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New entry-level i7 Surface Pro 3 spotted at discounted rate

Although Microsoft took longer than it should have to make an impact on the tablet market — considering it invented the term back in the very early ’00s — its latest models of Surface Pro have been much more competitive. In fact, the Surface Pro 3 released last year has made the company almost three quarters of a billion dollars in the last quarter. Perhaps that’s why it’s feeling generous enough to price an entry level i7 version of the notebook-replacer at just $1,300.

Although not as hefty as the $1,950 version, the much cheaper i7 model does come with the same i7-4650U 1.70 GHz CPU, which features Intel HD Graphics 5000 for reasonable graphical performance. It also comes with 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD, so should be very snappy during use.

On top of that, its 12-inch, 1440p display is the same and it costs as much as the slightly less performance-focused i5 version. However, that weaker Surface Pro 3 comes with a trade off as it is fitted with a 256GB SSD, so has expanded storage capacity, as WinBeta points out.

Related: Redmond rumble: Microsoft’s Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 go head-to-head

None of these are as affordable as the bottom-end Surface Pro tablet however, with the 64GB SSD, Core i3, 4GB version costing just $800. However, as economical as that buy is, the CPU is much less powerful and it’s twinned with the Intel HD Graphics 4200 GPU, which will deliver poorer graphical performance too.

Regardless of which model is picked however, reviews are strong and the ability to customise the keyboard and stand to make it viewable from any angle is present with all of them. It’s also low profile, measuring just 0.36-inches and has enough juice to last for up to nine hours of Web browsing — though don’t expect it to last that long if you’re gaming or watching HD video content.

What do you think of the newly discounted i7 Surface Pro 3? Does it tempt you enough to pick one up?