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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 VS Surface Pro 2 Comparison Overview

When Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3, it claimed that the tablet has got all that it is necessary, but apparently it was not enough. To take that big leap forward, the software giant has now unleashed the third generation Surface tablet dubbed Surface Pro 3 with enhanced aspects.

Recommended: Top 10 Awesome Features of Surface Pro 3

Announced on Tuesday, the Surface Pro 3 went on pre-orders starting from the very next day and its large footprint makes it a perfect laptop replacement. Except for its size, how far is the tablet a worthy upgrade to the Surface Pro 2? Go through the comparison between two the second and third generation Surface Pro tablets to know the differences.

surface pro 3 vs surface pro 2

Display and Processor

The Surface Pro 3 is pretty large in size than its predecessor with a 12 inch diagonal ClearType FHD display boasting a unique 3:2 aspect ratio instead of the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio in the earlier models. The tablet packs in FHD resolution of 2160×1440 pixels that is termed “Pixels Free” by the vendor. In comparison, the Surface Pro 2 features a 10.6 inch display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Definitely, the latest offering is a better one with 38% increase in the screen size and 50% boast in the resolution.

In order to slim down the Surface Pro 3, the company appears to have ditched the internals. Well, the tablet is the thinnest ever Intel Core product and this applies even with the Type Cover attached to it. To achieve this, Microsoft has incorporated the powerful Intel Core i7 processor into the diminutive build. There are different variants of the Surface Pro 3 and they use Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 processors under their hood.

In comparison, the yesteryear model – Surface Pro 2 features the fourth generation Core i5 processor. In addition to this difference in the processor, the current generation model implements the fanless concept and the company claims that it can deliver 30% more efficient cooling system than the other existing products in the market.

Camera and Internal Storage

The cameras get a significant upgrade in the Surface Pro 3 as both the front and rear snapper are upgraded to 5 MP to enable high-resolution video calling and quality photo and video capturing. On the other hand, the Surface Pro 2 packs dual 1.2 MP cameras at the front and back for basic functionality.

Both the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 come in four different configurations with varying internal storage options – 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB and there is a  micro SD card slot for expansion as well. The same applies to the RAM capacity as both the tablets house either 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM with no different.

Battery and Design

While the Surface Pro 2 uses a 42 W-h battery that is claimed to deliver up to 7 hours of web browsing, the one used in the Surface Pro 3 remains unknown, but it is rated to provide up to 9 hours of web browsing. This is a solid 10 percent increase from that of the yesteryear mode.

Microsoft has improved the Type Cover keyboard on the Surface Pro 3 to make the tablet a noteworthy laptop substitute. The Type Cover in the latest offering is thinner than the one used in its predecessor with a bigger trackpad that makes browsing a tad easier. Also, the Type Cover can be attached to the display of the tablet to make the keyboard feel more stable and sturdier when it is kept on the lap. Also, the kickstand used in the new tablet resolves the lapability issue as it supports Canvas Mode that places the tablet at 150 degrees.

Software and Features

Both the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 run on Windows Phone 8.1 Pro operating systems. Furthermore, the latest tablet offering comes with the original Surface Pen that has a weightier design than the ones that comes with the previous Surface tablets. By clicking on the Surface Pen, users can access the OneNote app and double clicking on the same will capture the content that is displayed on the tablet’s screen.

Key Specs

Model Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Microsoft Surface Pro 2
Display 12 inch, 2160×1440 10.6 inch, 1920×1080
Processor Intel Core i3/ Core i5/ Core i7 Intel Core i5
RAM 4 GB/ 8 GB 4 GB/ 8 GB
Internal Storage 64 GB/ 128 GB/ 256 GB/ 512 GB, Expandable 64 GB/ 128 GB/ 256 GB/ 512 GB, Expandable
OS Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1
Camera Front and rear cameras with 5 MP resolution and 1080p video recording Front and rear cameras with 1.2 MP resolution and 720p video recording
 Battery 9 hours backup 7 hours backup

Price and Conclusion

The Surface Pro 3 pricing starts at $799 for the base Core i3 model with 64 GB of default storage space with 4 GB of RAM. It has to be noted that this latest model with significant improvements is priced cheaper than the Surface Pro 2 that is priced starting at $899 for the Core i5 model with 64 GB of native storage and 4 GB of RAM. However, Microsoft seems to have not considered that the laptop replacement to ship with a free Type Cover as the accessory is available for an additional cost of $129.Price and Conclusion

Pricing apart, the Surface Pro 3 with a larger and crispier display, thinner build and enhanced features could make it an efficient product in the market being a perfect laptop replacement. Moreover, the presence of the Core i7 processor is pretty much appealing as it will deliver great levels of productivity.


Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.