Microsoft has launched the Surface Pro 3 Windows 8 tablet so here's what you need to know about the Surface Pro 3 release date, price and specs in the UK. Updated on 9/10/15. See also: Surface Pro 3 review.

Surface Pro 3: Release date UK

The Surface Pro 3 went on sale on 20 June 2014 in Canada and the US while it started shipping in the UK on 27 August. We've updated this article because the Surface Pro 4 has been announced but the Pro 3 remains on sale so you can now get it at a lower price - see below.

See also: Surface Pro 4 hands-on review.

Surface Pro 3: UK price

In the UK, the Surface Pro 3 originally started at £639 for base model with a total of five different models reaching £1,549. Now the Surface Pro 4 has been announced and will go on sale shortly, Microsoft has given the Pro 3 a price cut so it now starts at £549 - remember that the new Pro 4 Type Cover is compatible.

Here are full pricing details correct as of October 2015:

  • Core i3, 64GB, 4GB RAM - £549 (was £639)
  • Core i5, 128GB, 4GB RAM - £729 (was £849)
  • Core i5, 256GB, 8GB RAM - £929 (was £1,109)
  • Core i7, 256GB, 8GB RAM - £1,059 (was £1,339)
  • Core i7, 512GB, 8GB RAM - £1,329 (was £1,549)

Get the Surface Pro 3 at the new lower price from the Microsoft Store.

Surface Pro 3: Specs

The Pro 3 has a 12in screen with a 2160x1440 resolution (a 3:2 aspect ratio), and a new kickstand with a 'friction hinge' which can open to any position up to 150 degrees.

Surface Pro 3

Despite the extra size over the 10.6in Surface Pro 2, the Pro 3 is no heavier: it weighs only 800g (100g lighter). The device is 9.1mm thin compare to 10.6mm.

Microsoft says the optical stack - i.e. the LCD screen and digitiser - is the thinnest ever at just 0.75mm. What this means is that when you use the optional stylus (Surface Pen), the pen tip virtually touches the 'ink', making writing and sketching much more natural.

Touching the new Surface Pen to the screen when the Surface Pro 3 is in sleep mode wakes it and launches OneNote so you can immediately take notes. Plus, you can click the button on the pen to send the note to OneDrive.

Surface Pro 3

The Surface Pro 3 is claimed to be 10 percent faster than the Surface Pro 2, and it can also drive a 4K monitor via the optional docking station. The tablet itself has a Mini DisplayPort output.

Microsoft has redesigned the fan to make it 30 percent more efficient than any other current fan and integrated a perimeter vent so air escapes all around the edge of the device. It's said to be completely silent, with no detectable air flow.

If you don't need a Core i7, there will also be models with a Core i3 and i5. Storage will come in four capacities: 64-, 128-, 256- and 512GB. There will be either 4- or 8GB of RAM.

There are front-facing speakers which are 45 percent louder than before, and you also get a USB 3 port. There's also a microSD card slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and a TPM 2.0 chip.

There are front and rear-facing cameras, capable of 1080p video and 5Mp photos.

Sensors comprise an accelerometer, gyro and magnetometer, plus an ambient light sensor. There's no built-in GPS.

Surface Pro 3 Type Cover

Surface Pro 3 - Type Cover

A new Type Cover has been designed for the larger tablet. It's easier to type on, and importantly has a 68 percent larger touchpad (the previous Type Cover for the Surface Pro 2 was widely panned for its tiny, useless track pad). It will come in a variety of colours. A subtle but important feature is a magnetic hinge which flips up and attaches to the bottom bezel of the Surface Pro 3. This is said to make it much more rigid, helping when using the tablet on your lap.

Surface Pro 3 - Type Cover from side

Microsoft recently launched Windows 8.1 Update and announced its Surface 2 tablet with 4G support is coming to the UK on 8 May.