Microsoft might unveil Surface Pro 3 next week

by Matt Klassen on May 15, 2014

In an event scheduled for next week Microsoft was set to unveil a smaller, pared down version of its Surface tablet. But the event has now suddenly become significantly more interesting with speculation that Microsoft may in fact be looking to unveil the third generation of its Surface Pro tablet series as well.

The rumours began when Microsoft posted a Support page to its site that happens to mention the “Surface Pro 3 camera,” discusses how to add recording support for H.264 in the Surface Pro 3. Now surely this could have been nothing more than a typo, the page having meant to say Surface Pro 2, but such a slip only adds credence to recent speculation that Microsoft is set to launch its latest flagship tablet.

Not only did Microsoft quickly remove the Support page in question, but last week inside sources revealed that Microsoft was indeed planning a new tablet project that would run Intel’s Haswell chipset. That device, sources noted, would be announced in addition to the smaller Surface device. While this isn’t concrete evidence by any stretch, when it comes to the tech world I’ll admit its by far more substance than rumours usually have; and I’m not sure if that makes it more credible or less.

There’s no question that Microsoft’s Surface Pro still exists in tech limbo, not garnering enough success to rival Apple’s iPad, yet not seeing enough failures to warrant the company abandoning the project. Given that the Surface Pro occupies a niche in the laptop/tablet hybrid segment that has few direct competitors, Microsoft does remain hopeful that continued improvements on successive generations of this device will finally allow it to break through.

While an Intel-based Surface tablet would certainly garner more attention in the tablet market, the greatest detraction from the Surface is not its features, its operating system, or its accessories, but its price, as few want to shell out the money for a high end Surface Pro when more powerful laptops are available for a better price. Sure those laptops don’t have the same hybrid capabilities, but it doesn’t seem like most people want that anyways.

In fact that’s exactly where I find myself in regards to the Surface Pro, I want one, I just can’t justify the price for what I’m getting in return.

So although it is certainly looking more and more likely that Microsoft will indeed unveil a new Surface Pro 3 series at next week’s press event, I have to think that with a high end Intel chipset the various price points for the tablet will remain in place, and that, unfortunately, will mean the Surface will continue to exist in that nebulous limbo somewhere between success and failure.

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