Microsoft takes aim at laptops with new Surface tablet

New York (AFP) - Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a new Surface Pro tablet designed as a powerful all-purpose computer fit to replace a laptop.

Surface Pro 3 was touted as lighter, thinner, bigger and more powerful than its predecessor and crafted for a world in which people want to work as well as play on tablets.

"We want products and technologies that enable people to dream and get stuff done," Microsoft chief Satya Nadella said at a press event in New York.

Pro 3 has a high-resolution screen that is 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) if measured diagonally, weighs approximately 28 ounces (800 grams) and is slightly more than a third an inch deep.

The tablet has the Surface trademark keyboard cover, but modified to let users tilt it as they wish and more securely anchor the device while being used, say, in a person's lap.

It also comes with a "pen" that can be used to remotely activate Pro 3 with clicks or to write on it as though it were a notepad.

"We are super proud of Surface Pro 3," Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay said while introducing the tablet at the event.

"I am sure that this is the tablet that can replace the laptop."

Surface Pro 3 will be available for pre-order beginning Wednesday with a starting price of $799.

A version of Microsoft's latest champion in the tablet war, powered by an Intel Core i5 chip, will hit the market in North American on June 20.

Additional models, including a top-end Pro 3 with an Intel Core i7 chip, will be available in the US and 26 other countries including France, China, Australia and Germany by the end of August, according to Microsoft.

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