This weekend Microsoft introduced a new model of the Surface Pro 3. Like the existing two Core i7 models, this new version uses Intel's Core i7-4650U CPU. At $1299 in the United States, the new model is significantly cheaper than the next Core i7 model, which starts at $1549. In fact, it's the same price as the high end version of the existing Core i5 model. With this new introduction, the Surface Pro 3 lineup is now as follows.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Configuration Options (Core i3 Omitted)
Configuration $999 $1299 $1299 $1549 $1949
CPU Intel Core i5-4300U Intel Core i5-4300U Intel Core i7-4650U Intel Core i7-4650U Intel Core i7-4650U
TDP 15W 15W 15W 15W 15W
Cores/Threads 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4
Frequency Base/Max Turbo 1.9/2.9GHz 1.9/2.9GHz 1.7/3.3GHz 1.7/3.3GHz 1.7/3.3GHz
GPU Intel HD 4400 Intel HD 4400 Intel HD 5000 Intel HD 5000 Intel HD 5000
GPU EUs 20 20 40 40 40
GPU Frequency Base/Max Turbo 200/1100MHz 200/1100MHz 200/1100MHz 200/1100MHz 200/1100MHz
Storage 128GB SSD 256GB SSD 128GB SSD 256GB SSD 512GB SSD

In addition to the models above, Microsoft still offers a version at $799 with an Intel Core i3-4020Y CPU, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and Intel HD 4200 graphics.

The sacrifice you make with the less expensive Core i7 model is that it only comes with 128GB of internal storage, while the Core i5 version at the same price has 256GB of storage. However, you move up from Intel's HD 4400 graphics to HD 5000 graphics, which bumps the number of GPU EUs from 20 to 40. The Core i7 has a lower base frequency at 1.7GHz vs 1.9GHz on the Core i5, but it can turbo up to 3.3GHz which will outperform the Core i5's 2.9GHz in bursty workloads. Moving to the Core i7 also gets you 4MB of total CPU cache, instead of the 3MB in the Core i5.

The intended audience for this new model seems to be users who want more CPU and GPU power, but are able to survive within 128GB either by leveraging cloud storage or simply by not having many programs and files that they need to store. With this new model the Surface Pro 3 line has now expanded to six different versions. While there's still no option with 16GB of RAM, Microsoft now offers a different model to suit almost everyone's preferences.


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  • jeffkibuule - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    The Intel XMM 7360 finally looks like a competitive solution from Intel that supports a wide variety of bands and gets away from rumored Qualcomm's demand of royalties based on the MSRP of a device. But unless the chassis of the current Surface Pro 3 was designed with an LTE radio in mind down the road, it'll probably have to wait until next year with the SP5 (MS has already said SP3 and SP4 will have same chassis design to encourage business deployments).
  • hrrmph - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    I can't wait for WinTel to get that LTE thing going.

    That's one area where Samsung has had them badly beat and I'd like to see that differential go away... amongst all of the players.

    That and WinTel will need to shrink it down into an 8" chassis to be able to take on the mini-tablets. Those make great navigators.

    If combined with WinTel's lead in storage capacity, I could see these things having a credible, highly detailed, offline map of the world in them.

    With an always available map and an always-on GPS receiver in such a device, you would have rock solid super stable navigation. You would no longer need to worry about when (not if) your tenuous tether to the server (cough... I mean cloud) is about to be unceremoniously slashed.

    It would be unbeatable for serious, cost-effective navigation in any vehicle type.
  • Thermogenic - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    Why couldn't you do this today with an Android or IOS minitablet using HERE Maps?
  • Morawka - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    wow qualcomm bases price of LTE based off MSRP? that's retarded and explains everything. Who do they think they are?

    These kinds of practices will be the downfall of Qualcomm.. It only pushes competitors to innovate and offer a competitive alternative.
  • finbarqs - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    that will definitely destroy battery life.
  • KateH - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    Having LTE would be useful. When I was living in the Denver suburbs and commuting downtown 40mins on the train, I'd tether my phone to my SP2 and use the time to answer emails etc. Now that I live downtown it's less of an issue since there's WiFi everywhere, but never having to drain my Lumia's battery by running a hotspot would be nice.

    The only big drawback is the utter corruption of US mobile data providers. If I was still using my Surface on-the-go a lot with commuting / business travel I could see myself ending up paying a crapton of $$$ for data and STILL running out constantly.
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - link

    If you were just doing general stuff (no videos, but otherwise any light browsing) you'd be fine with 2 GB per month. Most of the time, you'd be on Wi-Fi.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, July 9, 2015 - link

    Plug in a USB device or have an external thingy
  • ViperV990 - Monday, June 29, 2015 - link

    It costs $250 to go from 128GB to 256, and $400 to from that to 512. That's very steep for standard mSATA storage.

    I would like to see an i5/8GB/128 variant for $1049.
  • jabber - Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - link

    Thats the exact model that would be perfect for my wife that wants one.

    Basically why not just offer 8GB standard across the range with 128/256 as an option for each CPU type. Far more sensible.

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