If there was any doubt that Microsoft is giving up on the idea of Windows RT, the new Surface 3 should take care of that. This $500 tablet runs full-blown Window 8.1 and will be eligible for the upgrade to Windows 10 later this year.

Microsoft calls it the thinnest, lightest Surface ever. As a bonus, it comes with a full year of Office 365.

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 This tablet is slightly smaller than than the Surface Pro 3. It weights just over a pound and has a 10.8 inch screen.

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 The kickstand is adjustable to 3 positions for multiple viewing angles.

kickstand

 One big difference is that it uses a micro USB charger instead of the proprietary charger that’s needed for other surface models.Microsoft promises a battery life of up to 10 hours.

You’ll still need to purchase the keyboard cover separately ($129)  and it won’t be interchangeable with keyboards for current Surface models.  You’ll also have to purchase the Surface Pen, which adds writing and drawing functions to the tablet, separately.

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An optional docking station will let you connect to an additional monitor, printer and external mouse and keyboard.

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The devices have a 64 GB hard drive and come with 1-year free of OneDrive cloud storage as part of the Office 365 subscription. You can also pay more for 128 GB hard drive.  Each surface has a USB Port and a micro SD slot.

The new tablets run on the quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor and don’t use a fan for cooling, so they are very quiet.

Microsoft does say that if you need a PC to handle complex tasks like rendering video or 3D modeling, you’ll probably want to stick with the more powerful Surface Pro 3 model.  But for everyday web surfing, office work and games playing, this tablet should do nicely.

This model is tempting me. I’ve been saving up for a Surface Pro 3, which would cost me around $500 more. But I do occasionally do some video editing that requires rendering and it might be worth waiting and saving some more to make sure that I have enough power tor the task.

~ Cynthia