Surface Pro 3 might, uh, surface next week

There’s a pretty good chance Microsoft will announce a Surface Mini tablet at its May 20 event next week. We already know all about that. According to the latest story by The Verge, though, we might also a successor to the Surface Pro at the event.

Where’s the evidence? Well, a Microsoft support page about some sort of camera-related Windows update clearly mentions an upcoming device. It says, "An update is available that adds support to the Surface Pro 3 camera." That could be a typo, or it could be a not-so-subtle hint of what’s to come.

That potential slip-up also fits nicely with a Bloomberg story posted last week. That story says Microsoft will "will also take the wraps off other new Surface models at the event, including ones powered by Intel Corp. processors."

We could simply see an incremental update to the Surface Pro 2 with a new, slightly quicker Haswell processor. I wonder, though, if Microsoft might have an Atom-based Surface up its sleeve. I was told by Intel to expect the first 64-bit Bay Trail slates in the second quarter of 2014, and a refresh of the Bay Trail lineup is also expected soon. A 64-bit, Atom-powered Surface Pro could offer a fine mix of performance, portability, power efficiency, and affordability for users who don’t need the power of a full-fledged Haswell chip.

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    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    Just got a new Toshiba laptop with Windows 8 in it. What a horrible OS. Just horrible. It’s like Microsoft had to change a lot of things for the sake of change. And the fact that they had to include the castrated classic desktop with the new, [b<]revolutionary[/b<] Metro interface makes me think MS was just a little bit unsure about Metro. They have good reasons for being unsure, of course, but it all feels disjointed. As I've said, it's horrible.. possibly the most horrible interface I've ever had the displeasure of using, and that's coming from someone who started out with MS-DOS 3.1, grew up with Windows, and has tried several Linux flavors. That said , I just can't imagine even considering a Win8 tablet.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, those were pretty much the exact thoughts i had about Windows 8 in general and laptops in particular. Only today a friend of mine was complaining about how she doesn’t want a windows phone because she’s already pissed with her Win 8 laptop.

      And I accidentally triggered charms a few times while trying to read a word document she was showing me.

    • NovusBogus
    • 5 years ago

    In all fairness to MS, Surface Pro isn’t a bad idea and does what ultrabooks supposedly do better than ultrabooks. I doubt this will be a significant step forward; Surface/ultrabooks already have more specs than they can reasonably need and while a focus on battery life would be nice, that usually isn’t a priority.

    • sschaem
    • 5 years ago

    Maybe MS need to dump ARM in their surface and instead use something like a A10-6000T ?

    I dont think two CPU architecture makes any sense…

      • NeelyCam
      • 5 years ago

      I think they should go with the new FX series. Never settle.

      Finally a tablet with a TRUE desktop power

        • ronch
        • 5 years ago

        125w TDP in a tablet? Capital idea!

        They should call it the Winter Edition Surface Pro. Look ma, no gloves!!

          • Klimax
          • 5 years ago

          Look, no fingers…
          (At least nobody would ever complain again about Surface Pro 1 being bit hotter again…)

          • NeelyCam
          • 5 years ago

          I was actually thinking of Centurions. That’d be some serious power

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      Yeah, kind of curious about that. Low enough power x86 SoCs are now there to choose from, if they can put that in the same price bracket and battery life as the current ARM one, what’s the point of ARM in it?

      • ronch
      • 5 years ago

      [quote<]I dont think two CPU architecture makes any sense...[/quote<] Yeah, tell that to AMD.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 5 years ago

      It’s about capturing the ARM market that will one day (never) take over the traditional x86 market.

    • PixelArmy
    • 5 years ago

    Needs Iris Pro or mobile Maxwell…

      • tipoo
      • 5 years ago

      I doubt Iris Pro will come in such a form factor at least until Broadwell, which won’t be out for a while. Sadly Intel seems to only pair it with higher wattage quads right now.

        • Andrew Lauritzen
        • 5 years ago

        Lower power chips don’t have the horsepower to make use of it yet. Look at the Macbook Air/HD5000… it has double the GPU hardware of the equivalent 15W HD4600 but is barely faster (<10%). Chips in that TDP range and lower are entirely power limited already.

    • Generic
    • 5 years ago

    I’m hoping Mr. Thurrott get his wish, and we get an upscale Surface Pro soon.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    I’d kind of like to see a Surface Pro with a Mullins APU just to see what it can do… any deals in the works AMD/MS?

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      no.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 5 years ago

      I’d like it, but it seems very unlikely.

      Temash was a bust outside of some unreleased MSI tablet. I’d expect Mullins to follow the trend unfortunately.

      • Klimax
      • 5 years ago

      Nope. It would be worse product then predecessor.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    You have to give Microsoft credit.

    Despite a tablet OS marketshare so small you could call it negligible, they keep pushing OEMs to make Win8 tablets and launching their own products. Never you mind that the three biggest OEMs have dropped Win8 due to lack of sales.

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      who’s dropped windows 8? and they’ve tripled marketshare in tablets up to 6% in a year. that’s FAR better than windows phone with the entire industry has recognized is a clear #3 and a decent OS.

        • mcnabney
        • 5 years ago

        Uhm, Windows tablets went from 1% in 2012 to 2.1% in 2013. And a lot of that in 2013 was HP-style dumping.

        [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/03/gartner-195m-tablets-sold-in-2013-android-grabs-top-spot-from-ipad-with-62-share/[/url<]

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          hp style dumping? what tablets were dumped? links please the surface had a permanent price drop. that’s not dumping, and they’re just inline with what they should have been all along.
          [url<]http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=pressreleaseviewer&a0=5505[/url<] this article was discussed recently here on Tech Report.

            • Chrispy_
            • 5 years ago

            I have a feeling I’m thinking of RT.

            I remember reading that Dell were the last to dump RT meaning that Microsoft now have ZERO vendors willing to touch RT with a long pole.

            By perpetuating RT, Microsoft’s is continuing to split their already paltry marketshare and tarnish the otherwise decent experience of Windows8 on a tablet by causing this x86/ARM confusion for buyers.

            • geekl33tgamer
            • 5 years ago

            Surely with low-powered X86 Atom CPU’s in the world, these don’t cost the earth, are careful enough on battery with good enough performance to replace the RT line of Surface tablets already, and leave the i5/7 CPU’s for the faster Pro variants?

            I can’t see how using those over Tegra would increase the base price of the tablet by an awful lot, and means everyone gets the same compatible Windows they expect?

      • Klimax
      • 5 years ago

      You are mixing up RT ARM and regular x86 devices. They dropped RT, otherwise what are all those announcements of Windows 8 tablets…

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 5 years ago

    The challenge here is that MS clearly doesn’t know how to make a product lineup. Its two main devices overlap for the same market price point aside the RT isn’t worth anything. I’m honestly not sure what the pro is supposed to do long term either cause it is sorta in an odd spot price/size/power/battery wise.

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      Rt not worth anything? maybe not compared to x86 windows, but it’s better than android. it includes office, multitasking, a full browser, etc. I’d buy an RT device if the price was right.

        • smilingcrow
        • 5 years ago

        “but it’s better than android.”

        Now don’t be silly. It has some Pros versus Android but overall I think consumers in general would take the Pros that Android/iOS have. For power users and corporates that’s a different matter but for now tablets are predominately bought by consumers. You are thinking as a geek and not seeing the overall picture.

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          what pros does android have, besides a larger store? like a list, please.

            • smilingcrow
            • 5 years ago

            The Pros and Cons of the various platforms are fairly clear so I’ll leave that for you to determine.

            • David
            • 5 years ago

            That’s both the biggest pro and con of a tablet; it’s app store. Some people don’t need more than the absolute basics so RT is fine. Other’s like more useful or cooler stuff. By this metric Surface Pro is the best and RT is the worst. IOS and Android fall in the middle.

          • Ninjitsu
          • 5 years ago

          I think RT may be better for tablets than Android, but the last time i bothered checking there weren’t a whole lot of apps. Since the platform’s been sort of abandoned since, I’d guess there still aren’t many of the core apps popular on Android/iOS, or for that matter, x86 Windows.

          On the phone side, however, it’s a clear win for android (and if it suits you, then iOS) as far as i’m concerned.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            The platform hasn’t been abandoned. It’s the same app store on windows 8. You’re right android won phones. Ios isn’t so clear. It’s being outsold by WP in 25 markets and more every quarter. It might continue or stop. Who knows.

        • ace24
        • 5 years ago

        [quote<]it includes office, multitasking, a full browser[/quote<] Android has literally all of those things.

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          Samsung androids have multitasking, not an app switcher.
          office on android sucks hard.
          is chrome a full desktop browser? last time I checked it wasn’t, though that might have changed.

          • gamoniac
          • 5 years ago

          I absolutely love how RT can print, too. Can the latest Android version do that? (Not being sarcastic) My ICS tablet can’t — at least not without having to pay for it.

          I know… Lenovo abandoned my tablet. No upgrade and stuck at 4.0.1. They should change name to Le-no-more 🙁

          Edit: typos.

    • sweatshopking
    • 5 years ago

    AND WE JUST GOT A PRO 2…………………………………………………….. 🙁

      • hbarnwheeler
      • 5 years ago

      Never buy technology.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        EVER.

          • Terra_Nocuus
          • 5 years ago

          I just bought a 4770K and BAM! Devil’s Canyon! (i knew it was going to happen, but my current machine is almost dead… but still)

            • Pez
            • 5 years ago

            Just de-lid it and OC it. Go on, you know you want too…

    • Norphy
    • 5 years ago

    There does seem to be a big gap in their product line between the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro.

    I’ve been playing with a Dell Venue Pro 11 at work for the past couple of days. Atom Z3370, 2GB RAM, 64GB Flash. It’s a very nice piece of equipment and the keyboard beats the pants off the Type Keyboard as well. Something like that between the Surface 2 and the Pro would be most welcome.

    • drfish
    • 5 years ago

    *fingers crossed* 64-Bit Bay Trail Suface mini. *fingers crossed*

      • TREE
      • 5 years ago

      *fingers crossed* 4GB memory and 16:10 aspect ratio *fingers crossed*

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 5 years ago

        Same – But I suspect you *may* get the former, but the latter is unlikely…

          • drfish
          • 5 years ago

          Honestly I’d be happy with a Bay Trail 10.6″ Surface but a mini would be ideal. I’m afraid the Surface Pro 3 is unlikely to be anything other than a faster Haswell chip though, otherwise where would the name come from?

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            supposed to be the new ULX chips, and fanless haswell on the pro 3. thems the rumors anyway.

            • drfish
            • 5 years ago

            I’d be pretty ok with this too. Especially with a little price drop maybe? I can dream…

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            I think it’ll be over 300$, as the rumored 1440p screen and full digitizer (supposedly identical to the pro 2) will drive cost up a bit. I’m interested in one as well, and i’d like it to be as cheap as possible.

            nm, i was reply thinking you were talking about the mini. i doubt much of a price drop, as there aren’t really any other systems that are as capable and powerful at that price point.

      • sweatshopking
      • 5 years ago

      IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S ARM, AND LIKELY 2GB OF RAM. SUPPOSED TO HAVE A DAMN NICE SCREEN AND A FULL PEN DIGITIZER.

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 5 years ago

        It’s also missing a caps lock, thankfully…

          • sweatshopking
          • 5 years ago

          WHAT?? TWO L33T GAMERS?!?!?!?!!

            • geekl33tgamer
            • 5 years ago

            Me and l33t-g4m3r were born in the same test tube.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            Noooooooooooooooo

            • geekl33tgamer
            • 5 years ago

            Heh, no stuck O key on a Surface Pro 3 neither – Thankfully… 😉

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            I’m on my desktop, thank you very much. The surface pro is my wife’s.

            • geekl33tgamer
            • 5 years ago

            I’ll ask the other Gerbils to have a whip-round. You clearly need a new keyboard.

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 5 years ago

      That + wacom-level stylus would be the perfect tablet for me.

        • sweatshopking
        • 5 years ago

        the wacom is looking like a go, the baytrail who knows….

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 5 years ago

          Yeah I’m guessing they’ll go ARM/RT unfortunately (and the latter is really the issue for me), but we’ll see. They seem semi-determined to keep RT alive despite the ability to do a no-compromises full Windows tablet these days (see V8P).

          Don’t get me wrong – RT is not terrible and I definitely use the metro stuff sometimes. I just see no reason to not have full windows as well these days.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            They are, and it has to do with the merging of RT and Windows Phone. They need to keep the code alive and they need a secure alternative. People don’t want virus’ anymore, and RT fulfils the security requirements set forth by the market after ios.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            Couldn’t they just provide a metro-only *option* on x86 versions for people for whom that “security” is more important than that functionality? (Although honestly you have enough tools to lock down desktop these days too.) I just really can’t get my mind around why I as a consumer would ever prefer to have *less* functionality. I think it’s clear that Windows tablets need all the help they can get at this point and segmenting out things that “aren’t Windows” in terms of running conventional Windows software seems like needless crippling.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            I get you, and i’m sure they could. However, ARM is growing, and not slowly. the NEED to be a player in that market as i’m sure you recognize. I’m not saying i’d buy it over x86, but (I might if it was cheap, the app store is pretty robust now) it’s not a useless os and i’d take it over android in a heart beat.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 5 years ago

            Fair enough. I guess I just wish they’d provide an option. Really though I just want a V8P + wacom + magnetic power connector… the latter two of which I feel like Microsoft is more likely to provide.

            [Edit] Better yet, some sort of induction charging.

            • sweatshopking
            • 5 years ago

            I want wacom, and a quality build. Cheap would be nice too….

    • crabjokeman
    • 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t want to buy one if it’s been submerged.

      • Helmore
      • 5 years ago

      It actually took me a while to get your ‘joke’ :/

        • crabjokeman
        • 5 years ago

        Yeah, it wasn’t ‘A’ material. Would you prefer if I went the “Frist post!!!11” route?

          • Helmore
          • 5 years ago

          Nah. My comment was more about myself just being slow today. I need to catch up on some sleep.

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