Surface Pro 3 UK release date finally arrives

Surface Pro 3 is now available to buy in the UK. Here's the device's pricing and specs details, as confirmed by Microsoft

The Surface Pro 3 UK release date has arrived (28 August), with Microsoft hailing it as the tablet that will replace laptops as the work device of choice for business users.

Robert Epstein, Windows consumer lead at Microsoft, said: "So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want just one device that does everything.

"We are clear on our vision: Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop - packing all the performance and utility of a fully-powered laptop into a thin, light and beautifully designed tablet.

"You'll love being able to carry one device for your next class, workday or weekend getaway knowing you have all the power you need," he added.

The device is available to buy in the UK from the Microsoft online store from today, as well as from select third-party retailers. 

US release date

The tablet-hybrid has been available to customers in the US and Canada since 20 June, and has already been subject to several firmware updates ahead of its UK debut.

In June, just ahead of the device's US launch, it received an updated power putton and a performance boost, the former of which is in response to user feedback. 

Meanwhile, a further round of updates have been released for the tablet aimed at stabilising its performance, reducing its power consumption, and improving trackpad reliability, among other things. 

US pricing for the device starts at $799 (£474), and at £639 for UK buyers of the device. In exchange, they'll get the 64GB version of the tablet.

A laptop killer?

Microsoft is pinning its hopes on the Surface Pro 3 being the tablet that kills the laptop, while the previous version was slated as a PC-tablet hybrid.

Panos Panay - corporate VP at Microsoft - confirmed at the device's launch event in April 2014 the Surface Pro 3 will ship with fanless Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors and be cooled via ventilation vents spread around the chassis.

The Surface Pro 3 will sport a larger screen than its predecessor, measuring at 12in diagonally, with a resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels. The larger size screen doesn’t mean the new Surface Pro 3 will be bulking up, though, weighing in at 800g and measuring 9.1mm in thickness, Panay soothed.

UK pricing details for the Surface Pro 3

64GB/Intel i3/4GB RAM device = £639 128GB/Intel i5/4GB RAM = £849 256GB/Intel i5/8GB RAM = £1,109 256GB/Intel i7/8GB RAM= £1,339 512GB/Intel i7/8GB RAM = £1,649

A kickstand accessory for the Surface Pro 3 has a movement range of 150 degrees, including a feature Panay and Microsoft have dubbed “Anastasia mode” after his daughter. It holds at a 22 degree angle as standard. A docking station allows the Surface Pro 3 to act like a desktop, enabling interaction with touch, type and pen with output compatibility for 4K screens.

New cover types will roll out with the Surface Pro 3, which magnetically seal to the screen in order to give a more laptop-like feel. And enable a user to customise their viewing and working angles.

"Tablets have to be personal, mainly because what you're doing on them is exactly that,” added Panay.

First time around

Microsoft originally released its Surface tablets in 2012 to far less of a fanfare than the company was perhaps expecting. Its £800 price strategy baffled analysts at the time, while reviews were rated it as middling at best.

Originally by building far too many of the Surface tablets and having to endure a $900 million (£534 million) deficit, Microsoft overcompensated by building too few Surface Pro 2 models, resulting in perennial stock shortages.

The Surface Pro 2 built upon its predecessor with a powerful Haswell processor in a somewhat successful attempt to perk up the battery life, as well as the much-improved Windows 8.1 operating system. Hard to service parts and a bulky chassis lost it points in IT Pro’s review.

Microsoft initially let slip about the Surface Pro 3 in a support article published on the company’s site. It explained a Windows 8.1 update would add support to the new tablet’s camera.

Microsoft has since blamed the inclusion of details about the Surface Pro 3 in the article on a "typo."

However, it was also thought Microsoft would use the event to showcase a smaller, 8in Surface, but it never materialised. 

This article was originally published on 24/04/14. It was updated on 18/06/14 to reflect new information about UK availability. And again on 20/6/06/14, when the device became available in the US, and on 09/07/2014 to reflect further firmware updates. It was also updated on 28/08/2014 to mark its UK release.