New Surface 3 vs Surface 2 Comparison

New Surface 3 vs Surface 2 Specs Comparison

Surface 3 VS Surface 2

OK, so the word is out, the Surface 3 will be shipping on 5/5/2015, see my post New Surface 3 Available For Pre-Order.

But you may be like me and thinking: “I have a Surface 2, what is a Surface 3 going to do for me that’s so much better?”

To that end, I’m outlining the differences between the two in a direct spec comparison, see table below. I highlighted the main differences for you in orange.

Surface 3 vs Surface 2 Tech Specs

Specs Surface 3 Surface 2
Display 10.8” ClearType Full HD Plus, 1920 x 1280, 10-point multi-touch 10.6” ClearType Full HD, 1920×1080, 5-point multi-touch
Surface Pen Support YES! No
Size 10.52 x 7.36 x 0.34 in 10.81 x 6.79 x 0.35
Weight 1.37 lbs 1.3 – 1.4 lbs
Processor Quad-core Intel Atom x7-Z8700 Quad-Core Nvidia Tegra 4
Battery Life Up to 10 hours Up to 10 hours
Storage 64 GB, 128 GB 32 GB, 64 GB
4G LTE Yes – but not yet released Yes
Kickstand 3-position 2-position
RAM 2 GB, 4 GB 2 GB
Ports Full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, microSD, Micro USB charging port, Headset jack, Cover port Full-size USB 3.0, microHDMI, MicroSD, Micro USB charging port, Headset jack, Cover port
Cameras 3.5 megapixel front, 8.0 megapixel rear with autofocus 3.5 megapixel front, 5 megapixel rear with autofocus
Sound Stereo speakers with Dolby audio + Mic Stereo speakers with Dolby® audio+ 2 Mics
Sensors Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Proximity Sensor
OS Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 RT
Software 1-year of Office 365 Personal with OneDrive cloud storage MS Office Home and Student edition (RT version)

So, how does the new Surface 3 vs Surface 2 compare?

As you can see, although subtle, the differences are many. The minor improvements in screen size, kickstand, and camera are nice but the biggest winners are the full Windows 8.1, Surface Pen support, and better hardware specs.

So, what does this mean for the Surface line?

Well, it means that Microsoft is clearly listening to its customers and plans on continuing at least the Surface and Surface Pro line (and perhaps they’ll add more..). Many of us have been asking for a light-weight full Windows 8.1 Surface that has 4G LTE available – it turns out, that Surface 3 will do just that. And you’ll be able to run any Windows programs on it, not just what’s in the Windows Store – that’s huge! And let’s not forget the free Windows 10 upgrade – something the Windows RT line of tablets won’t get, see post Windows 10 for Surface RT/2.

The Surface Pen support is also going to be a big seller. The lack of a good stylus has really been my only complaint about my Surface 2 (my purse Surface). Now with the Surface 3, it will have it and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one of these devices.

According to the hardware specs released by Microsoft, the new Surface 3 will basically be available in two versions, one with 2 GB RAM, 64 GB space (just like the higher end Surface 2) and second one with 4GB RAM, 128 GB space, plus there eventually will be 4G LTE version, although Microsoft hasn’t said when yet. All Surface 3 tablets will come with a better processor (Intel Atom x7-z8700). These is a nice hardware improvement over the Surface 2 line. It makes them more similar to a laptop than a tablet. Oh boy, look out Apple!

I am certainly planning on buying a Surface 3, if nothing else because it will have the Surface Pen (that I love!) support.  What about you? Do you want one of these devices? Which do you think is better – Surface 3 vs Suface 2?

Do you think the new specs justify an upgrade?


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