Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 2: What's the difference?

Microsoft has announced the Surface Pro 3 at an event in New York, with the aim of offer everything in one package with a "tablet that can replace your laptop".

Despite many believing Microsoft would launch a Surface Mini during the event, only the Surface Pro 3 was produced on the stage, so the big question is, how does it compare to the Surface Pro 2 and what's the difference between the two?

The Surface Pro 3 has a bigger and sharper display

The Surface Pro 3 display is 2 inches larger than the Surface Pro 2, bringing a 12-inch screen to the Surface family, but the size isn't the only thing that was increased as Microsoft upped the resolution too.

The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch display with a 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution, which offers a pixel density of 216ppi compared to the 10.6-inch display on the Surface Pro 2 that features a 1920 x 1080 resolution providing an 208ppi.

This should mean that you will see a big difference in the two displays if you sit them side-by-side, with images set to be sharper and clearer on the new model compared to the predecessor. It is 38 per cent bigger than the Surface Pro 2 with 50 per cent more pixels and Microsoft says the colours will be brighter and the contrast better as each Surface Pro 3 screen is colour calibrated at the factory so this is certainly be something we look at when we get the new model in for review.

The Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter

The Surface Pro 3 is obviously wider than the Surface Pro 2 since it has a larger display, but importantly, the new model is thinner.

The Surface Pro 2 comes in at 274.57 x 172.97 x 13.46mm while the Surface Pro 3 is just 9.1mm thin so there has been a significant reduction in thickness. 

You'll also get a lighter device with the Surface Pro 3, despite the larger display as it weighs just 800g compared to the 907g of the Surface Pro 2, which will certainly be handy if you are carrying it around.

The Surface Pro 3 is faster and louder

Aside from the fact that the Surface Pro 3 is lighter and thinner than the Surface Pro 2, you will still get a better performance as nothing has been compromised according to Microsoft.

The company has introduced the Intel Core i7 processor under the hood of the Surface Pro 3, which is said to give a 10 per cent improvement on performance compared to the Surface Pro 2 that has an Intel Core i5 chip running the show.

Microsoft also claims the Surface Pro 3 will be 45 per cent louder than the Surface Pro 2 so if you are using it to watch films, this should be a welcomed feature.

The Surface Pro 3 will last longer

You should also get more juice out of the Surface Pro 3 compared to the Surface Pro 2. The Surface Pro 2 claims to offer 7-15 days idle life and charges in 2-4 hours with the included power supply.

The Surface Pro 3 on the other hand, is said to last between 15 and 20 per cent longer than the battery in any other Surface device launched before so you should see a decent improvement here with the new device, with Microsoft saying 10 hours.

The digitiser pen sees an improvement with the Surface Pro 3

The Surface Pro 3 will come with a low latency digitiser pen as the Surface Pro 2 did but there has been some improvement with the new model.

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 so that could be a big selling point for some.

Storage and RAM stays the same

The Surface Pro 2 is available with either 4GB of RAM or 8GB of RAM and in storage options of 64, 128, 256 or 512GB, which is also the path the Surface Pro 3 takes.

The Surface Pro 3 also offers USB 3.0 like the Surface Pro 2 for high-speed transfer but there are a couple of exciting accessories with the new model such as a 4K dock so that could be what sways you here.

The Surface Pro 3 will be cheaper 

Perhaps surprisingly, the Surface Pro 3 will be cheaper than the Surface Pro 2 and it will be available in the US from tomorrow, 21 May.

The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899 while the Surface Pro 3 will be starting at $799.

Conclusion

The Surface Pro 3 certainly takes it up a step in the Surface line and while the storage and RAM options remain the same, a lot has improved with the successor to the Surface Pro 2.

You'll not only get a bigger display, but also a sharper one and the device itself is thinner, lighter and more powerful.

Add that to a better battery life, louder speakers and a cheaper price point and Surface lovers might be onto a winner with this device.