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Surface Pro 3

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Surface Pro 3
Image of Surface Pro 3 with Type Cover
Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover
Product familySurface
Type2-in-1 detachable
Release dateJune 20, 2014
Introductory priceUS$799–1949
DiscontinuedNovember 1, 2016
Operating system
CPUIntel Core i3-4020Y
Intel Core i5-4300U
Intel Core i7-4650U
Memory4 or 8 GB LPDDR3 1600 MHz RAM
Storage64, 128, 256 or 512 GB
Removable storagemicroSD slot
Display12.0 inches (30 cm) 2160x1440 (216 ppi) eDP ClearType HD screen with 3:2 aspect ratio
GraphicsIntel integrated HD Graphics
HD 4200 in i3 CPU
HD 4400 in i5 CPU
HD 5000 in i7 CPU
SoundFront-facing stereo speakers
InputBuilt in: touchscreen, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer
Sold Separately: type cover, mouse, stylus pen
CameraFront: 5 MP
Rear: 5 MP
TouchpadOn the Surface Pro Type Cover (sold separately)
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5 mm audio socket, Cover port, Charging port
PowerBuilt-in rechargeable 42 W⋅h (150 kJ) lithium-ion battery
36 W proprietary external power supply with integrated USB charging port
Online servicesWindows Store, OneDrive, Xbox Music, Xbox Games, Xbox Video
Dimensions11.5 in × 7.93 in × 0.36 in (29.21 cm × 20.14 cm × 0.91 cm)
Mass1.76 pounds (800 g)
PredecessorSurface Pro 2
SuccessorSurface Pro 4

The Surface Pro 3 is the third-generation Surface-series 2-in-1 detachable, designed, developed, marketed, and produced by Microsoft. It originally ran the Windows 8.1 Pro operating system (OS), but the optional upgrade to Windows 10 Pro (OS) operating system was later added.[1]


The older, original Surface and Surface 2, with their ARM-based processors and Windows RT operating system, are pitched against the iPad and other tablets. The Surface Pro 3 (like the preceding Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2), with its x64 Intel CPU and Windows 8 OS, is a full-fledged PC that competes against Ultrabooks (particularly those convertible laptops with touchscreens for a tablet functionality, flexible hinges, detachable keyboards, or sliders) and other high-end sub notebooks such as the MacBook Air.[2][3][4]

The Surface Pro 3 was announced on May 20, 2014, at a New York City event,[5][6][7] pre-orders were opened on May 21, 2014, and the first models were released on June 20, 2014 in the U.S. and Canada,[5] with the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i7 models released on August 1, 2014.[8] The Surface Pro 3 was launched in 25 additional markets on August 28.[9]

On October 6, 2015, Microsoft released its successor, the Surface Pro 4 with a bigger screen with a higher resolution and reduced bezels, faster CPU options, a thinner body and improved cooling system.



The Surface Pro 3 has a body made of magnesium alloy giving a gray matted finish to the back of the device. The charging port is magnetized and connects securely to the charger.

It comes with an improved kickstand, allowing the device to be set at any angle between 22 and 150 degrees. The kickstand has a high resistance which provides firmness and prevents accidental sliding.

The Surface Pro 3 features a larger 12 inches (30 cm) (screen display area 25.4 cm x 16.9 cm) display over its predecessor. The screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio which Microsoft claims allow the device to be used more comfortably in the portrait orientation. Because the touch screen digitizer and the pen digitizer are combined into a single layer, the screen is physically thinner than that of its predecessors, which improves viewing angle.

Although the Surface Pro 3 has a larger screen than its predecessor, it is both thinner and lighter, weighing 100 grams (0.22 lb) less. Microsoft claims the Surface Pro 3 is capable of up to 9 hours of web browsing.[10]

The Surface Pro 3 is built on the 4th generation Intel Core processor with TPM chip for enterprise security. It includes a USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort on the right, an audio jack on the left, and a hot swap microSD slot on the back of the device. The microSD slot supports memory cards up to 200 GB.[11] The internal solid-state drive and system memory are not user upgradeable.

Surface Pro 3 configuration options[12]
Price tier (USD) CPU Integrated GPU RAM Internal storage
$799 Intel Core i3-4020Y (1.5 GHz) HD 4200 4 GB 64 GB
$999 Intel Core i5-4300U (1.9 to 2.9 GHz) HD 4400 128 GB
$1,299 8 GB 256 GB
$1,299 Intel Core i7-4650U (1.7 to 3.3 GHz) HD 5000 128 GB
$1,549 256 GB
$1,949 512 GB

External display connectivity[edit]

Like its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3 is capable of connecting up to three external displays. To connect a third display the 2-in-1's own screen should be turned off.

The device itself has a single Mini DisplayPort output and in order to connect two external displays one can additionally use a secondary Mini DisplayPort on a docking station accessory (sold separately). To attach three (or fewer) displays, an aftermarket DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport hub can be used or a daisy chaining feature of compatible displays. One of external displays can be attached over-the-air utilizing Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology.

In a single external display mode over DisplayPort, the i5 and i7-based models also support a resolution of 3840x2160 at 60 Hz, known as 4K Ultra HD.[13]


The Surface Pro 3 initially shipped with Windows 8.1 Pro, but since the Windows 10 release on July 29, 2015, new devices come with the updated OS pre-installed, eliminating the need to upgrade as is the case on existing devices.[1] The Windows 10 upgrade, among other features, brings a Tablet mode, which can be useful when device is used as a tablet, that is without a keyboard attached.


The Surface Pro 3 is one of the first 64-bit Windows devices that features InstantGo (formerly Connected Standby),[14] allowing for smartphone-type power management capabilities. This allows for Windows Store apps to update info (such as email) while the device appears off, and for the operating system to run automatic maintenance when connected to AC.[15] The Surface will enter hibernation state after four hours of no activity, to further conserve battery power.[16]

With InstantGo active there is only one power plan available with a limited options.[17] InstantGo is currently not supported when Hyper-V is enabled, instead the device will enter hibernation each time it is put into sleep mode.[18]


The Surface-series devices feature a Type Cover accessory, an attachable protective keyboard, which is sold separately, yet has continually appeared in every Surface ad since the launch of the original Surface. The Type Cover for Surface Pro 3 features backlit keys, is thinner and has an improved touchpad over its predecessors. It also has a magnetic strip which binds to the front bezel of the display for additional stability. The magnetic strip can also be used to elevate the position of the keyboard, which can help to comfortably use a Type Cover on a lap.[19]

The Surface Pro 3 is the first Surface device to feature an improved version of the Surface Pen, which is included with each device. In contrast to that from the earlier devices of the Pro line, which was based on Wacom technology, the Surface Pen of the Surface Pro 3 features N-trig DuoSense technology with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Microsoft also offers a docking station, which adds five USB ports (including three USB 3.0), a Gigabit Ethernet port, an additional Mini DisplayPort (which can be used simultaneously with the port on the Surface Pro 3) and a 3.5 mm audio socket for audio input/output.[20]

Some of Microsoft's wireless touch mice were restyled to match the Surface-series devices design, added where applicable a Bluetooth connectivity and relaunched as Surface Edition series mice: Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition[21] and Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition.[22]


The Surface Pro 3 has received positive reviews. David Pogue suggested "The upshot is that, with hardly any thickness or weight penalty, the kickstand and the Type Cover let you transform your 1.8-pound tablet into an actual, fast, luxury laptop". Pogue said that the Surface Pro 3's form factor works well as a tablet, in contrast to the Surface Pro 2, whose bulk and weight limited its appeal as a tablet. Pogue also stated that the new multi-stage kickstand, 3:2 screen aspect ratio, and new Type Cover 3 detachable keyboard made it a competent laptop.[23]

It has been suggested that the Surface Pro 3 comes closest to the Microsoft Tablet PC concept that company founder Bill Gates announced in 2001,[2][3][4] being the first Surface to become a credible laptop replacement.[24] Time magazine included Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in the list of the 25 best inventions of 2014.[25]

The Surface Pro 3 received a repairability score of 1/10 from iFixit because of the use of a strong adhesive material throughout and the difficulty in removing the display.[26]


Timeline of Surface devices
Surface Duo 2Surface DuoSurface Hub 3Surface Hub 2SSurface HubSurface Studio 2Surface Studio 2Surface StudioSurface Laptop SESurface Laptop Studio 2Surface Laptop StudioSurface Laptop Go 3Surface Laptop Go 2Surface Laptop GoSurface Laptop (7th generation)Surface Laptop 6Surface Laptop 5Surface Laptop 4Surface Laptop 3Surface Laptop 2Surface LaptopSurface Book 3Surface Book 2Surface BookSurface Pro XSurface Pro XSurface Go 4Surface Go 3Surface Go 2Surface GoSurface Pro (11th generation)Surface Pro 10Surface Pro 9Surface Pro 8Surface Pro 7Surface Pro 7Surface Pro 6Surface Pro (2017)Surface Pro 4Surface Pro 3Surface Pro 2Surface ProSurface 3Surface 2Surface (2012 tablet)


  1. ^ a b Callaham, John (4 August 2015). "Windows 10 is now pre-installed when you buy Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 tablets". Windows Central. Mobile Nations. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Pogue, David (May 22, 2014). "Smart, Versatile Surface Pro 3 Can Do It All — Maybe Even Lift the Windows 8 Curse". Yahoo Tech. Yahoo. Archived from the original on 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  3. ^ a b Bohn, Dieter (May 23, 2014). "Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  4. ^ a b Eadicicco, Lisa. "POGUE: The Surface Pro 3 Is The One Time Windows 8 Isn't A Disaster". Business Insider. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  5. ^ a b Warren, Tom (May 20, 2014). "Microsoft announces the Surface Pro 3". The Verge. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  6. ^ "Microsoft introduces Surface Pro 3: the tablet that can replace your laptop" (Press release). New York: Microsoft. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "Surface Pro 3: Microsoft's new tablet aims at laptop market". CBC News. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Surface Pro 3 Product Page". Microsoft. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Thurrott, Paul (Aug 6, 2014). "Surface Pro 3 Launch 25 Additional Markets August 28". Winsupersite. Retrieved Aug 11, 2014.
  10. ^ "Microsoft Store — Surface Pro 3: tech specs". microsoftstore.com. Archived from the original on 9 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  11. ^ "World's Highest Capacity microSD™ Card". SanDisk.com. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Surface Pro 3 tablet models". June 2, 2014. Archived from the original on December 9, 2014.
  13. ^ "Quick Reference Guide to 4th Generation Intel® Core™ Processor Graphics (formerly codenamed Haswell)". Intel.com. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Windows 8.1 x64 Connected Standby Support".
  15. ^ "Introduction to connected standby". 29 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Surface Pro power states: On, off, sleep, and hibernate". Microsoft.
  17. ^ "Power plans: frequently asked questions". Microsoft.com. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  18. ^ "Surface Pro 3 Tip: Hyper-V vs. Connected Standby".
  19. ^ "Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review".
  20. ^ "Surface Pro 3 Docking Station Product Page". Microsoft.
  21. ^ "Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition Product Page".
  22. ^ "Wedge Touch Mouse Surface Edition Product Page".
  23. ^ "Smart, Versatile Surface Pro 3 Can Do It All — Maybe Even Lift the Windows 8 Curse". Retrieved 2017-02-02.
  24. ^ O'Rourke, Patrick (May 27, 2016). "Microsoft's Panos Panay talks about the death and rebirth of the Surface". MobileSyrup. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  25. ^ "The 25 Best Inventions of 2014". Time.com. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  26. ^ "Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Teardown". iFixit. Retrieved 2014-08-28.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Surface Pro 3
3rd generation
Succeeded by