This morning, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3, the latest addition to its tablet roundup. The 12-inch Windows 8 Pro device launches in the US on 20 June, but Australia will have to wait until end of August for local release.
The larger screen and integrated keyboard mean that this really is a laptop with tablet capabilities. Microsoft appears to be pitching it heavily as a MacBook Air alternative: the announcement blog post describes it as "half the thickness of a MacBook Pro, and 30% thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air". The pricing is also designed to compete with the well-known Apple device: the entry-level 64GB model is $979. Apple's cheapest current MacBook Air is $1099 (it has 128GB of RAM rather than 64GB, but also has a smaller 11-inch screen and no touchscreen capabilities).
Here's the Australian pricing for the various Surface Pro 3 configurations:
|64GB Intel i3||$979|
|128GB Intel i5||$1209|
|256GB Intel i5||$1549|
|256GB Intel i7||$1829|
|512GB Intel i7||$2279|
No sign of a Surface RT 3, we notice. You can pre-order the device on the Microsoft Australia web site, with delivery promised by 31 August. For me, the most appealing element of this is the claimed nine-hour battery life. How about you?