Microsoft introduces new entry-level Surface tablet ahead of Windows 10

Andrew Sadauskas /

Microsoft has opened pre-orders for a new entry-level tablet called the Surface 3, which will be available in Australian stores from May 5, ahead of the forthcoming release of Windows 10.

The Surface 3 is available as either a 4G/LTE or Wi-Fi-only version, with either 64 or 128 gigabytes of storage, with the laptop/tablet hybrid starting at an Australian recommended retail price of $699.

It supersedes the Surface 2, and will be sold alongside the 12-inch Surface Pro 3.

Unlike its predecessor, which ran a cut-down version of Windows called Windows RT, the Surface 3 runs a full copy of Windows 8.1, and will be upgradeable to Windows 10. This means, unlike the Surface 2, it will be fully compatible with desktop Windows apps.

It features a 10.8-inch full-HD display (with a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels) and is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor (with a burst speed of up to 2.4GHz).

The device also includes a 3.5-megapixel front and an 8-megapixelrear-facing camera, with both able to capture 1080p video, a full-size USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort and a microSD slot. There will also be an optional docking station and stylus available.

Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.