The early reviews on Microsoft's Surface 3 tablet are flying up online fast and furious.
They all seem to have one big common theme: the newest Surface device just may be the PC tablet that knocks Apple's iPad off its pedestal and defines the mobile computer that has all the power of a laptop but the price and portability of a tablet.
"It's official: Microsoft is good at hardware. Given its past struggles that's not an association that immediately springs to mind but following the superb but expensive Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has now made a new sexy hybrid laptop/tablet for the masses," exclaimed one reviewer.
On its Surface 3 website, Microsoft declares its tablet portfolio now offers a tablet option for every user, and their unique mobile computing needs and industry feedback on the Surface 3 not only support that contention but also take it a few steps further: Microsoft may just have the best and most compelling tablet that will rock Apple's world as well as the budget laptop marketplace.
Why? Well, the reasons are many. It may be more time efficient to talk about the few weak spots but then there wouldn't be much more to read. So let's focus on the big features that have consumers, analysts, industry watchers and product gurus all abuzz.
Surface 3, due in market by May 5, is smaller and lighter than past tablets yet retains the design and premium chassis. Part of the lightness is due to the smaller display, but the display itself is pretty amazing given its 1920 x 1280 resolution and 10 finger multi-touch input.
"It does Windows and stacks up nicely against the iPad Air 2, though it's still just a tablet," noted another reviewer.
Processor wise Microsoft has switched out the Nvidia chips powering Surface RT and Surface 2 for the Atom x7 Intel processor, which is made for the mobile computing environment.
Maybe the big game changer within Surface 3 is the fact it's running on Windows 8.1 and is ready to be upgraded the minute Windows 10 arrives later this year. Gone is the RT operating system that ran Surface and Surface 2.
It reportedly holds a charge for 10 hours - that is 60 minutes more than the higher-end Surface Pro 3 yet it is priced about $100 cheaper than Pro 3, starting at about $599. Some reports claim it's being sold for $499 in some venues.
The new tablet boasts a rear camera with 8MP, while the Pro boasts just 5MP. The front-facing camera features 3.5MP.
"The Surface 3 is Microsoft's true iPad killer - or at least, its best attempt at one," added the reviewer.