The recently-unveiled Microsoft Surface 3 is now officially available for purchase in the U.S., as well as a few other markets, with more to follow shortly.
Microsoft officially took the wraps off its new Surface 3 back in March, and started taking pre-orders for the slate the same month. The company has now announced that it started shipping the tablet and making it available in stores in Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.S. Accessories such as the Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station, and Surface 3 Screen Protector are available as well.
The Microsoft Surface 3 will further expand its availability starting on Thursday, May 7, when it will reach Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
As a reminder, the Surface 3 sports a 10.8-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels and features support for an optional Surface Pen stylus, which allows for pressure-sensitive writing or drawing and hovering functionality. The tablet starts at $499, while the optional Surface Pen costs $50 and the optional Surface 3 Type Cover costs $130.
Under the hood, the Surface 3 packs an Intel Atom X7-Z8700 Cherry Trail processor, delivering roughly 80 percent of the performance the Surface Pro 3 achieves with an Intel Core i3 processor, according to Microsoft. The base model comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage capacity, but customers can also opt for a variant with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $100 more. The tablet also features an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 3.5-megapixel front shooter, stereo speakers, a full-size USB 3.0 port, a microSD card reader, a mini DisplayPort, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, and Bluetooth 4.0.
The Surface 3 comes as the successor to the Surface 2, but doesn't run the ill-fated Windows RT operating system. Instead, the Surface 3 runs the full-fledged Windows 8.1 OS. In fact, the Surface 3 is the company's first entry-level tablet to run the full Windows 8.1.
To further sweeten the deal, Microsoft also has a trade-in offer in place. For a limited time, interested customers can trade in a Surface RT or Surface 2 in working condition and get up to $150 in credit toward the purchase of the Surface 3. This offer is available in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
For more information, find the Surface 3 on the Microsoft Store here, the limited-time trade-in offer here, and Microsoft's official announcement at this link. To see the tablet in action, check out the video below.