Microsoft launches the Surface 3 at $499, debuts trade-in program for older models

Microsoft Surface 3 right side
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Microsoft’s latest version of the Surface tablet, the Surface 3, is now officially for sale in multiple countries, including the U.S. The company made the announcement on its blog on May 5, specifying that the Surface 3 will initially debut in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. On May 7, its availability will expand to countries including Spain, Finland, France, Denmark and the U.K.

The Surface 3 was originally announced back in March 2015 on the Surface blog. At the time, the company said that it wanted consumers to be able to replace even the most high-end laptops with the product. Microsoft also revealed the starting price point of $499.

At just 1.37 pounds and 8.7mm thick, the Surface 3 is Microsoft’s thinnest, most lightweight tablet to date. It runs 64-bit Windows 8.1 and has an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 Cherry Trail processor. The Surface 3 also includes a full-sized USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Mini DisplayPort and a microSD card reader. An optional Docking Station adds even more ports, though it costs $200.

In terms of functionality, Microsoft is marketing the Surface 3 for both work and play. It includes front- and rear-facing cameras that can capture 1080p video, and a battery that lasts up to 10 hours. The basic edition of the Surface has 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, but you can pay $100 more for an edition with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The Surface has a 10.8-inch, 1,920 x 1,280 pixel touch screen display, while the Pro has a 12-inch display with a 2,160 x 1,440 resolution. Both editions have 256 levels of pressure sensitivity for accuracy and detail while using the Surface Pen.

When it comes to freebies, the Surface 3 provides a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.

“Surface 3 is a labor of love for us, built from years of learning in the lab and on the feedback and insights we’ve heard from our customers,” wrote Brian Hall, general manager of the Microsoft Surface team, in the blog post.

The Surface 3 will not only be available on the Microsoft website, but also from retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. Buyers who go through Microsoft’s trade-in program can earn credit for up to $150 off the new model by trading in an old Surface 2 or Surface RT. Old Surface Pro models aren’t part of the program. The trade-in offer runs until May 31st, and the coupon earned from will be valid until June 2015.


I bought a four-year-old MacBook Pro instead of a new one. Here’s why

The new MacBook Pros have a ton of advantages over the older options, but when it came to buying a replacement machine for myself, I found myself returning to 2015 rather than picking up Apple's latest and greatest.
Emerging Tech

Ex astris, scientia: Star Trek logo spotted on the surface of Mars

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been boldly going to Mars and capturing images since 2005, and now it has spotted something where no man has gone before: a structure on the planet's surface which will look familiar to Trekkies.

A dual-screen device from Microsoft is in the works. Here's what we know so far

Would you be interested in a dual-screen Surface computer? The Surface Centaurus is a Microsoft project working on just that -- and Microsoft already has a prototype. Here's all the important information on Centaurus!
Emerging Tech

Uber Eats’ drone delivery service could see Big Macs hit speeds of 70 mph

Uber Eats is testing meal delivery using drones. The company wants to start a commercial delivery service using the drone this summer, but it still needs permission from regulators.

What’s the best iPad for you? A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find an ideal iPad with the help of our guide.

Make your games sound amazing with one of these sets of awesome gaming speakers

If you want to take your gaming sound to the next level, you need to find the best gaming speakers for your set up. Whether you're on a tight budget, want some fancy RGB lighting, or just need the best speaker set money can buy, these great…

Why OLED gaming monitors may be further from reality than we thought

Earlier this year, Dell showed us the promise of an exciting new future for gaming monitors with the reveal of the Alienware 55-inch OLED gaming display. We loved it. But according to new reports, it may never see the light of day.

Walmart cuts $300 off Dell Inspiron 5680 gaming desktop for gamers on a budget

If you're stashing money but want an upgradeable rig that will go a long way, then this solid deal on the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 with Intel Core i5-8400 is for you. It is now available for only $700 at Walmart.

Genius uses 19th-century tech to prove Google copied its song lyrics

Song lyrics website Genius says that it proved that Google has been copying its lyrics and posting them on its own search results page. And Genius says it was able to do it by using a decidedly old-school form communications tech.

Check out Walmart’s steep discounts on Dell and LG gaming monitors

If you're a gamer looking for high-quality computer displays, you definitely need to take advantage of this deals from Dell and LG. These gaming monitors will fit your budget and your GPU.

A Surface Pen with an OLED touchscreen would actually be awesome

Microsoft patented another Surface Pen hardware feature, this time registering a patent for an OLED touch bar strip on the Surface accessory. This could enable dynamic setting change functionality in the next generation of Surface Pens.

Save $220 on a 2019 MacBook Pro with the latest Intel processor on Amazon

Interested customers can now grab a 2019 MacBook Pro with the latest Intel Core processor at a $220 discount on Amazon. This discounted MacBook Pro also features 512GB of SSD storage, a 15-inch Retina display, and a Touch bar.

You can grab the 2017 12-inch MacBook for $300 off right now, but act quickly

Despite the growing market for Windows ultrabooks, a MacBook is still what you need if you love the sleek interface of MacOS. The 2017 MacBook is on sale right now, too, but stock is limited, so act quickly before it's gone.

Apple's Mac Mini and MacBook Air are both great, but which is better?

Torn between the portability of a laptop and the power of a desktop? You aren't the only one. Apple offers great examples of both, with great unique and shared features for each. If we pit the Mac Mini vs. MacBook Air, which do you think…