Full specs

Key Features
What's new
  • New design It’s now thinner (8.7mm), new tablet-friendly 3:2 aspect-ratio form factor, and new Microsoft Logo on the kickstand.
  • Full Windows 8.1 You can run all your desktop apps and upgradable to Windows 10.
  • Better display New bigger and better 10.8” Full HD Plus display with 10 points multitouch.
  • Inking supports It now supports a new Surface Pen with 256 pressure sensitivity, tail eraser, and remote Bluetooth activation.
  • New CPU Architecture It’s now using the new quad-core Intel® Atom™ x7 processor for outstanding performance and long battery life.
  • New kickstand Now in three angles.
  • New Micro-USB port It can be charged with any mobile phone charger.
  • More Better 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera, new Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), and optional 4G LTE.
What's missing
  • No magnet charging port replaced with the new Micro-USB port.
  • Slower Charging The new Micro-USB has a limited power delivery (13W) compared to its older propriety 24W charger.
AvailabilitySurface 3
Released2015
Release Info
  • Introduced: March 21, 2015
  • Pre-ordered: March 21, 2015
  • Released: May 5, 2015
PricingSurface 3 Wi-Fi
  • $499 - 2 GB | 64 GB
  • $599 - 4 GB | 128 GB
Surface 3 4G LTE
  • $599 - 2 GB | 64 GB
  • $699 - 4 GB | 128 GB
Surface 3 Price
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13.5" Touch-Screen Intel Core i5-8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive (PKX-00003) Matte Black (Renewed)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 13.5" Touch-Screen Intel Core i5-8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive (PKX-00003) Matte Black (Renewed)
By Microsoft
$298.00
$319.00 7% OFF
Microsoft Surface 3 128GB WiFi Tablet 10.8" Intel Atom - Silver (Renewed)
Microsoft Surface 3 128GB WiFi Tablet 10.8" Intel Atom - Silver (Renewed)
By Microsoft
$185.17
$199.94 7% OFF
Microsoft Surface 3 10.8 FHD (1920x1280) Touchscreen 2-in-1 Education and Business Laptop Tablet (Intel Quad-Core Atom x7-Z8700, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD) Mini DP, WiFi AC, Webcam, Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)
Microsoft Surface 3 10.8 FHD (1920x1280) Touchscreen 2-in-1 Education and Business Laptop Tablet (Intel Quad-Core Atom x7-Z8700, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD) Mini DP, WiFi AC, Webcam, Windows 10 Pro (Renewed)
By Microsoft
$127.64
$173.50 26% OFF
Microsoft Surface Go 3 - 10.5" Touchscreen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Device Only - Platinum (Latest Model)
Microsoft Surface Go 3 - 10.5" Touchscreen - Intel® Core™ i3 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD - Device Only - Platinum (Latest Model)
By Microsoft
$489.99
$629.99 22% OFF
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5) (Renewed)
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5) (Renewed)
By Microsoft
$192.89
$213.75 10% OFF
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5" Touch-Screen – Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 512GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) – Platinum with Alcantara (Renewed)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5" Touch-Screen – Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 512GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) – Platinum with Alcantara (Renewed)
By Microsoft
$443.90
$472.80 6% OFF
DisplaySurface 3
Size10.8 Inches
Info
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1280 (2.4M Pixels)
  • Density: 214 PPI
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Inking: supports Surface Pen
  • Touch: 10 points multi-touch
ExteriorSurface 3
Dimensions10.52” x 7.36” x 0.34” (267 mm x 187 mm x 8.7 mm)
Width: 10.52” (267 mm)
Height: 7.36” (187 mm)
Thickness: 0.34” (8.7 mm)
Weight
  • Surface 3: 1.37 lbs (621 g)
  • Surface 3 with Keyboard: 1.95 lbs (884 g)
Colors
Silver
Keyboard and Trackpad
  • Surface Type Cover
    • Not included
  • Keyboard:
    • Activation: Moving (mechanical) keys
    • Layout: QWERTY, full row of function keys (F1-F12)
    • 4 directional keys; Windows and Media Controls Keys;
    • LED backlighting
  • Trackpad:
    • Precision glass trackpad.
    • Supports up to three-finger multitouch gesture.
Ports
  • 1 x Full-size USB 3.0
  • 1 x microSD™ card reader
  • 1 x Micro USB charging port
  • 1 x Headset jack
  • 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1 x Cover port
  • 1 x Nano SIM card slot (Surface 3 with LTE only)
Internal SpecsSurface 3
Processor
  • Intel® Atom™ x7-Z8700
    4 cores, 4 threads, 1.60 → 2.40 GHz, 2MB Cache, 2W
Integrated Graphics
  • Intel® Atom™ x7-Z8700
    Intel® HD Graphics
    16 Execution Units, 20 → 600 MHz
Memory
2GB 4GB
1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM.
Storage
  • 64GB 128GB
    eMMC
ConnectivitySurface 3
Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi 5: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible.
Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth Wireless 4.0 technology
Optional LTE
  • Nano SIM Tray
  • GPS
  • Assisted GPS
  • GLONASS
BatterySurface 3
Size27.5 Wh
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours of video playback
Power Supply
  • 13W Micro USB power supply
SoftwareSurface 3
OS
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Upgradable to Windows 10 Pro
Built-in Apps1-Year Microsoft Office 365 Personal
Camera & AudioSurface 3
Camera
  • 3.5MP front-facing camera with 1080p HD video
  • 8.0MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD video
Audio
  • Single microphone
  • Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby® Audio enhanced sound
MiscSurface 3
InkingSupports Surface Pen
256 levels of pressure
N-trig Active Pen technology
Sensors
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Magnetometer
  • Digital compass
In the box
  • Surface 3
  • Power supply
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety and warranty documents
Warranty
  • One-year limited hardware warranty
More
  • Casing: Magnesium
  • Kickstand: 3 positions
  • Physical buttons: volumes, power

Processor specs

ProcessorIntel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom x7-Z8700
Intel Atom x7
Launch DateQ1’2015
Lithography14 nm
Base Frequency1.60 GHz
Burst Frequency2.40 GHz
SDP2 watt
TDP< 4 watt
Level 1 Cache128 KB
Level 2 Cache512 KB
Level 3 Cache2 MB
# of Cores4
# of Threads4
Max Memory Support8 GB
Max Memory Bandwidth25.6 GB/s
GEEKBENCH 3
Single-Core Score945
Multi-Core Score3,138

Graphics specs

Surface 3
Intel Atom x7
GraphicsIntel® HD Graphics
Base Frequency200 MHz
Max Dynamic Frequency600 MHz
Graphics Max Memory8 GB
Graphics 4K SupportYes, at 30Hz
Graphics DirectX11.2
Graphics OpenGL4.4
# Display Supported3
Graphics Technologies
Intel® Wireless Display

Tips and tricks

Learn how to utilize your Surface 3 entirely with our tips and tricks. Our comprehensive guide will assist you in maximizing battery life, enhancing performance, boosting productivity, and efficiently solving any issues that may arise.

FAQs

Before making a purchase decision, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the device you are considering. To help you with that, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the Microsoft Surface 3. Our comprehensive guide covers all aspects of the device, including display, battery life, performance, software, and design. We hope that our Surface 3 FAQ will answer all your queries.

How much does a Surface 3 cost?

There are four configurations of Surface 3:

  • $499 – 2GB | 64GB 
  • $599 – 4GB | 128GB
  • $599 – 2GB | 64GB | 4G LTE
  • $699 – 4GB | 128GB | 4G LTE

What are the dimensions of the Surface 3?

Microsoft Surface 3 has dimensions of 10.52″ x 7.36″ x 0.34″ (267 mm x 187 mm x 8.7 mm).

How much does the Surface 3 weigh?

Microsoft Surface 3 is weight at:

  • 1.37 lbs (622 g) without a keyboard.
  • 1.95 lbs (884 g) with a keyboard.

What ports are on the Surface 3?

Here are all the available ports on the Surface 3:

  1. 1 x Full-size USB 3.0
  2. 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  3. 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
  4. 1 x Micro USB charging port (passes power and USB 2.0 data)
  5. 1 x MicroSDXC card reader (up to 128GB)
  6. 1 x Surface Type Cover port.
  7. 1 x Nano SIM card slot (Surface 3 [4G-LTE] only)

Does Surface 3 have a camera?

Yes, there are two cameras on Surface 3:

  1. 3.5-megapixel front-facing camera.
  2. 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus.

What processor is in Surface 3?

Microsoft Surface 3 has only one processor configuration:

  1. Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom x7-Z8700
    • Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics.
    • Base Frequency: 1.60 GHz
    • Burst Frequency: 2.40 GHz
    • Cache: 2 MB
    • Four cores, four threads

Does Surface 3 come with a Surface Pen?

Surface 3 doesn’t include a Surface Pen out of the box. You must purchase separately or use the same Surface Pens from Surface Pro 3.

Does the new Surface 3 come with a keyboard?

You must purchase the keyboard (Surface 3 Type Cover) separately. The original Surface 3 Type Cover costs $129.99 and is available in five colors: black, blue, bright blue, red, and bright red.

When was Surface 3 released?

Microsoft Surface 3 was:

  • Announced on March 21, 2015.
  • Preordered on March 21, 2015.
  • Available on May 5, 2015.

Can you upgrade the RAM on Surface 3?

No, you can’t upgrade your Surface 3 RAM as it was soldered directly onto the motherboard.

Is the Surface 3 fanless?

Yes, All Surface 3 is fanless.

What size is Surface 3’s display?

Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch ClearType Full HD Plus Display.

What is the resolution of Surface 3?

Surface 3 has a resolution of 1920 x 1280 and a pixel density of 214ppi (pixels per Inch). For more information, check Microsoft Surface display size and resolution – a complete list.

Does Surface 3 need a screen protector?

Even though a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass covers the Microsoft Surface 3’s screen, it is still prone to scratches. You’d better pick one up for your Surface 3 to protect it from scratches.

Does a screen protector reduce the responsiveness of Surface 3?

Yes, it does; it is much or less noticeable depending on what type and thickness of screen protector you put on it. For the best option, you should look for a slim tempered glass screen protector, as it’s smooth to the touch and reduces responsiveness issues.

What is the aspect ratio of Surface 3?

Surface 3 has a 3:2 aspect ratio.

How long does the Surface 3 last?

Microsoft Surface 3 has 10 hours of battery life for video playback, as tested by Microsoft.

What is the battery capacity of Microsoft Surface 3?

Microsoft Surface 3 has a battery capacity of 27.5 Wh (7,270 mAh, 3.78V). For more information, check Microsoft Surface battery capacity – a complete list.

How do I charge my Surface 3?

You can charge your Surface 3 by using the OEM charger that comes with your Surface 3 – Plug the charger into the power source and plug the Micro USB connector into the Micro USB charging port on the right side of the Surface 3. You can also use any USB charger and cable with high-rated power to charge your Surface 3. However, charging with the OEM charger and cable provided by Microsoft is highly recommended.

Can I charge Surface 3 via the full-size USB?

No, the full-size USB port on Surface 3 is used for data transfer only.

Can Microsoft Surface 3 run Photoshop?

It’s possible to run Adobe Photoshop on Surface 3. However, it will be slow.

Can the Surface 3 run games?

Yes, you can. You can install Steam on it, and the performance will depend on the games you want to play.

Can you code or program on Surface 3?

For writing code, Microsoft Surface 3 is powerful enough to handle most code editors, such as VS Code, Atom, or Notepad++. Combined with its great tactile keys, it’s the perfect mobile development machine you want to have.

However, if you want to compile more complex codes on Visual Studio or Android Studio, you might need a Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, or Surface Book instead.

Is Surface 3 64-bit?

Yes, Microsoft Surface 3 uses the Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom x7-Z8700, which supports 64-bit instruction and has a 64-bit version of Windows 8.1.

Is Surface 3 suitable for drawing?

Yes, drawing is smooth on most apps, such as Windows Ink, Sketchable, Bamboo Ink, OneNote, and more. It supports the latest Surface Pen with 256 levels of pressure.

Is Surface 3 suitable for students?

Yes, it is. With Surface 3, you can take advantage of note-taking, including typing, drawing, and touching. You will never get stuck on taking note of all the information you want.

Will Surface 3 run Office?

Yes, Surface 3 comes with a 1-Year Microsoft Office 365 Personal. Office apps will run smoothly on Microsoft Surface 3.

Will the new Surface Dock work with Surface 3?

No, The new Surface Dock required a new Surface Connect interface, which isn’t available on Surface 3.

Does Surface 3 run Windows 10?

Yes, it does. Surface 3 shipped with a full version of Windows 8.1 and can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free.

Can you download apps on Surface 3?

Yes, you can. You can download safe and Microsoft-verified apps and games from Microsoft Store. Since it’s a full version of Windows, you can also download and install any apps from any source you’d like to.

Does Surface 3 run full Windows?

Yes, Surface 3 comes with full Windows 8.1.

How do I reset my Surface 3?

To reset your Surface 3 on Windows 10, plug in your Surface 3 so you don’t run out of power during the refresh.

  1. Open Settings > Update & Security.
  2. Select Recovery.
  3. Under the “Reset this PC” select “Get started.”
  4. Choose either “Keep my files” or “Remove everything.”
  5. If you Remove everything, you can clean only the drive where Windows is installed and all drives.
  6. Next, you can select “Just remove my files” and “Remove files and clean the drive.” The option to clean the drive is more secure but takes much longer. For example, you should clean the drive if you recycle your Surface. If you are keeping your Surface, you can remove your files.
  7. Select Reset.
    Surface 3 will restart, and the Surface logo will appear during the reset process (this can take several minutes).

Is Microsoft Office free on Surface 3?

No, the 10.8-inch Surface 3 comes with a 1-Year Office 365 Personal subscription, so you must renew the subscription to continue using the entire Office suite when the free period ends.

Does Surface 3 need antivirus?

In most cases, you don’t need a third-party antivirus. Windows 10 on Surface 3 has a built-in Windows Defender for virus and threat protection. It’s free and receives definition updates regularly via Windows Update.

Is the Surface 3 a tablet or a laptop?

It’s a 2-in-1 tablet or laptop. It can be a tablet or laptop connected to a Surface 3 Type Cover.

What is the company that makes Surface 3?

Surface 3 is a product among other Surface-branded products made by Microsoft.

Can I use older Surface Pro pens on Surface 3?

No, you can’t. Microsoft has adopted a new N-trig technology on Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3, incompatible with the Wacom technology used on the older Surface Pen.

What is the difference between Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3?

Here are some significant differences between Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3:

  • Released Date: Surface Pro 3 was released on June 20, 2014, while Surface 3 was released on May 5, 2015.
  • Performance: Surface Pro 3 uses the latest 4-Gen Intel Core i5 processors while Surface 3 uses Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom.
  • Design: Surface 3 is thinner and lighter, with the new Microsoft logo on the kickstand and a 3-position kickstand.
  • Display Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch ClearType display (2160 x 1440), while Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch ClearType Full HD Plus display (1920 x 1280).

What is the difference between Surface 3 and Surface Go?

Here are some significant differences between Surface 3 and Surface Go:

  • Released Date: Surface Go was released on August 2, 2018, while Surface 3 was released on May 5, 2015.
  • Performance: Surface Go uses the latest 7th Gen Intel® Pentium® Gold Processor while Surface 3 uses Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom.
  • Design: Surface Go is a thinner, lighter, and multi-position kickstand compared to Surface 3, which has only a 3-position kickstand.
  • Display: Surface Go has a 10-inch PixelSense™ Display (1800x 1200), while Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch ClearType Full HD Plus display (1920 x 1280).

Check Surface Go Type Cover vs. Surface 3 Type Cover for more information.

Surface specs

Surface Duo
Surface
Surface Pro
Surface Pro X
Surface Laptop
Surface Laptop Go
Surface Laptop SE
Surface Laptop Studio
Surface Book
Surface Studio

Here are the most frequently requested comparisons for Surface 3: