Microsoft unveils 12-inch Surface Pro 3 tablet from £639, arriving in August

Microsoft has announced the Surface Pro 3 during its Surface event in New York. It has an extended 12-inch 2160 x 1440 screen and the company is pitching it as a laptop replacement device.

The tablet side is just 9.1mm thin, weighs 800g and contains a built-in full-friction kickstand, that stays where you want it to by just gently applying pressure. A low latency digitiser pen is included, like with last year's model, but a big selling point is that when you click it, the writing app appears immediately on the tablet. It can also share what is being written or drawn to other Surface Pro 3 devices in the same room.

Other specifications and features include speakers that Microsoft claims are 45 per cent louder than on the Surface Pro 2. It also runs a laptop-style Intel i7 Core processor - the thinnest device to do so. The company says that's 10 per cent more powerful than before, and it doesn't even contain a fan to keep it cool.

The battery is also better than on the previous generation, said to last between 15 and 20 per cent longer than the ones used in any other Surface device launched before: you should get 10 hours from it. And a USB 3.0 port is included for high speed transfer.

A new set of Type Covers have been developed to match the thin design aesthetic and the trackpad has been redesigned to be more responsive. The cover snaps to the Surface Pro 3 tightly so it feels like a laptop when in place according to Microsoft.

There will also be a 4K-ready dock available, so you can plug the tablet directly into a compatible TV or monitor.

There will be Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 versions of the Surface Pro 3, with prices starting at £639 for the i3 64GB version and running up to £1649 for the i7 512GB.

Pre-orders are now open at the Microsoft Store; delivery, however, isn't expected until August 2014.