Microsoft announces mid-range Surface 3 for the UK

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Without much fanfare Microsoft has today announced the Surface 3 tablet – a midrange replacement for the Surface 2, and the slightly stupider younger sibling of the business-focused Surface Pro 3.

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Spec-wise, the new device has a 10.8″ display (in the 3:2 aspect ratio), and is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor. Microsoft reckons you can get 10 hours of battery life out of the device. Like the other tablets in the Surface line, there’s a combination keyboard/screen cover too – though you’ll have to buy it separately. Same goes with Microsoft’s much-acclaimed “Surface Pen” (NOT a stylus, it insists).

Perhaps most significantly, unlike iPads and Android tablets, which run cut-down operating systems optimised for mobile, the Surface 3 runs full Windows 8.1 – so will be able to run all of the desktop apps you’ll need. You’ll also get a free Windows 10 upgrade when Microsoft gets around to releasing it.

Pre-orders in the UK start today at the Microsoft online store, with most retailers due to stock the Surface 3 soon, including Currys PC World, John Lewis, Argos and Staples. It’ll start from £419.

James O’Malley