You can now head into a Microsoft store and buy a Surface Pro 3 with an i3 or i7

After many weeks since the announcement of the Surface Pro 3, the i3 and i7 versions of the device are now on sale at retail stores. If you pre-ordered a Pro 3 with either of these processors, you should be receiving a shipping notification very soon or you may already have one in your inbox.

With the i3 now in stock at US retail stores, the price for entry starts at $799, although, that is without a keyboard. While we enjoyed our time with the core i5 version and can highly recommend it to those who understand the tradeoffs, the i3 will have considerably less horsepower under the hood and should be reserved for those who need a light laptop/tablet setup and don't plan on doing any video or photo editing.

While Microsoft has not said how well the device is selling, they did point out that it is moving off retail shelves faster than any Surface in the past during their earnings call. The benchmark is highly ambiguous as there are no figures to judge the sell rate, but, the company surely cant be upset about selling a device at a faster rate than the prior iterations.

If you did buy a Surface with an i3 or i7, let us know your thoughts when the device arrives, we are always up for member reviews of hot gadgets.

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35 Comments

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Robert.E.Wade said,
My i3 version is out for delivery today! It should be waiting for me when I get home ;)

How do you like your I3 so far?

George P said,
This is sooner than I expected, thought they said later in August, not August 1st.

From what I was told, they wanted to get it in a month earlier, but I guess they just missed the July mark. Either way, August 1st is better than late August!

DConnell said,
So rather than "later in August" it turned out to be "later, in August" :-D

Oh the differences a comma can make! (Y)

dead.cell said,

From what I was told, they wanted to get it in a month earlier, but I guess they just missed the July mark. Either way, August 1st is better than late August!

Yup, also means it will be in time for late back to school shoppers.

From the looks of this, you'd be better off with the Surface Pro 2 than the SP3 i3 in terms of performance. I wonder if I can find a good sale on the SP2?

Trust me, even with the performance difference, you want an SP3 over an SP2. The SP2 is thick and chunky and doesn't have the kickstand or the far better power connector or the better screen, or the better size... the form-factor of the SP3 wins out by far. Seriously.

Some of your points I'll agree with, but not all. I prefer the smaller size - if I wanted that large a device to carry, I'd be using my laptop. I like the small size and portability of the old design.

If I want a larger screen, I can connect it to one, but for a portable device that you can use for real work, I think the 10 inch form is the sweet spot.

Having both of them, I can assure you that the Surface Pro 3 "feels" smaller than the Surface Pro 2 ... because it's so much thinner and weighs so much less. AND has better battery life (thanks to connected standby). Seriously, I can't imagine the situation where the Pro2 is better than the Pro3

DConnell said,
Unless you can get the SP2 cheaper, of course. ;-)

That's the situation I am on, ofc my SP2 is free now since I have one. I did love the SP3 feel though, just not enough to upgrade from my SP2.

I also leave mine docked in more often then not though, and from that perspective the SP2 is a lot better, though I hope they keep the form factor with some later models, a $200 dock is an expensive accessory to upgrade every couple of years :/

On sale at local stores you say? Oh wait, they're all in the USA, so they're not really local at all.

C'mon Microsoft, there's a whole world of retail opportunities beyond the land of Uncle Sam!

Even the i3 would be an upgrade not only from my 1st gen Surface Rt, but from my laptop as well. It doesn't have to be the absolute top of the line to be useful. I've got a tower for my video editing and that sort of thing. I wouldn't need my tablet/laptop hybrid to be capable of it. Although the i3 Surface would be able to do it, it would just take a little longer.

Personally, I'm pleased to see that a somewhat more modestly-speced and priced version exists. Its still more than I can afford at the moment, but if I had the money to spare, I'd probably be served quite well by the basic model.

Why exactly can't you do photo editing on an i3 system? People photo-edit on their phones!

The same can be said about video editing!

I just don't get this NEED that some people have to creative negativity where none exists. The $799 SP3 will BLOW AWAY the top level iPAD and costs just about the same amount (with the exception of LTE).

And it will still greatly outperform a LOT of laptops due to it's architecture and SSD.

basically it's the culture of the i-nut. They praise how the ipad has lightroom and you can do anything on it you can on a PC (not true) but when they use LR on the surface (the real thing and not the castrated version of the ipad) they complain about how editing a 36MP Raw file from a Nikon D810 isn't as fast as on their i7 desktop.

and you know what, if they make that kind of comparison to knock the surface down then you know they never had any intention of even trying it :)

offroadaaron said,
who are you guys arguing with?

As far as I can tell, the OP is disputing a claim made in the article, and the first responder is elaborating on why that claim was first made.

neonspark said,
basically it's the culture of the i-nut. They praise how the ipad has lightroom and you can do anything on it you can on a PC (not true) but when they use LR on the surface (the real thing and not the castrated version of the ipad) they complain about how editing a 36MP Raw file from a Nikon D810 isn't as fast as on their i7 desktop.

and you know what, if they make that kind of comparison to knock the surface down then you know they never had any intention of even trying it :)

Who was saying that?

benthebear said,
Who was saying that?

Some Neowin members get tangled in arguments with people that aren't here. Not sure why they drag the garbage in with them, but it happens on occasion.

dead.cell said,

Some Neowin members get tangled in arguments with people that aren't here. Not sure why they drag the garbage in with them, but it happens on occasion.

Figured as much. It's fun watching people argue the hypocrisies of a straw man.

On a related note, I don't think Brad was saying that it was impossible to edit video and photos on the i3 SP3, just that it's not ideal. If doing said activities is your job, or if it's a serious hobby, I wouldn't recommend an i3 based system either.

benthebear said,

Figured as much. It's fun watching people argue the hypocrisies of a straw man.

On a related note, I don't think Brad was saying that it was impossible to edit video and photos on the i3 SP3, just that it's not ideal. If doing said activities is your job, or if it's a serious hobby, I wouldn't recommend an i3 based system either.

That may be what he "meant", but it's certainly not what he said.

" should be reserved for those who need a light laptop/tablet setup and don't plan on doing ANY video or photo editing" (emphasis mine)

Ostronyx said,
I was waiting for surface Pro 3 i7, is there any full review so far?

Not seen any i7 reviews yet, waiting for them too. Hopefully the lag issues some have reported on the i5 are not present on the i7 :/

bithush said,

Not seen any i7 reviews yet, waiting for them too. Hopefully the lag issues some have reported on the i5 are not present on the i7 :/

pff lag? if the i5 lags then you need a full blown laptop buddy.

bithush said,

Not seen any i7 reviews yet, waiting for them too. Hopefully the lag issues some have reported on the i5 are not present on the i7 :/


I don't know what you've read, but my i5 certainly DOES NOT lag.

For get that at $1600 I buy a Kick A$$ gaming laptop that will blow water out that Surface Pro 3 i7 out water with this
MSI GT Series GT70 Dominator-895 Gaming Notebook
Intel Core i7 4800MQ (2.70GHz)
8GB Memory
1TB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M 3GB
17.3 Screen

SHS said,
For get that at $1600 I buy a Kick A$$ gaming laptop that will blow water out that Surface Pro 3 i7 out water with this
MSI GT Series GT70 Dominator-895 Gaming Notebook
Intel Core i7 4800MQ (2.70GHz)
8GB Memory
1TB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M 3GB
17.3 Screen

The last time I've check at a Surface Pro, it is considered a netbook in a tablet form factor. Try having that type of form factor on a gaming laptop and see if it doesn't over heat.

In other words, Surface Pro is catered to a different crowd, and not the gaming community.

RommelS said,

The last time I've check at a Surface Pro, it is considered a netbook in a tablet form factor. Try having that type of form factor on a gaming laptop and see if it doesn't over heat.

In other words, Surface Pro is catered to a different crowd, and not the gaming community.

Actually, it's an ultrabook -- not a netbook. Netbooks were slow Atom-type systems with extremely low specs and correspondingly low performance. With the exception of the dedicated graphics chip in his example (and storage capacity), the surface will keep up with his system. It'll even load games faster (in some cases, a LOT faster) than his system. But, of course, once they load, his will have a higher framerate.