3 Reasons Microsoft Corporation's New Surface Pro Is a Winner

The battle for a piece of the fast growing tablet and laptop markets just got more interesting.

May 27, 2014 at 8:00PM

Now that we've had a little time to digest the unveiling of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) pseudo-tablet, the Surface Pro 3, the question is whether or not new CEO Satya Nadella and team took a significant step forward in the fast-growing mobile computing market. It's no secret that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its iPad devices dominate the sector. With over 210 million units sold since its inception four years ago, the iPad is clearly an unmitigated success. That's a big mountain for Microsoft to climb, to be sure.

So, how does the Surface Pro 3 stack up compared to the iPad? Not bad, actually. The next step in Microsoft's transition to becoming a devices and services company is a significant one, particularly considering how badly it missed the mark with the over-priced, under-performing Surface RT tablet. Granted, many of the wins Microsoft has enjoyed since Nadella took the helm were in the works prior to his ascension, but with the Surface Pro 3, there are several reasons he can add another arrow to his quiver.

Reason No. 1
What may prove to be the defining feature of the Surface Pro 3 is its positioning in the market. When Microsoft Surface head Panos Panay took the wraps off the new hybrid device last week, he called it the "tablet that can replace your laptop." That's a market that places this new Surface iteration, at least for now, in the enviable position of being in a class of its own.

Panay wasn't shy about alluding to Apple's iPad during his presentation, and one factoid he cited was particularly intriguing. According to Panay, 96% of iPad tablet owners also have a laptop. That's a staggering figure that begs the question, why? It's likely that the portability of a tablet, with its light weight and smaller size, is what differentiates it from the "bulky" laptop, and why so many iFans opt for both. But what if you could combine all the features that appeal to tablet owners into a laptop? Now you can, and it's called a Surface Pro 3.

Reason No. 2 
The Pro 3 is Microsoft's thinnest Surface iteration yet. At just over a third of an inch thick, Surface Pro 3 is about the same width as the old iPad. But remember, Pro 3 isn't what most would consider a traditional tablet, making its lean construction that much more impressive. When you add in the fact it's a mere 1.76 pounds, Pro 3 really separates itself from the laptop and tablet pack.

For comparison's sake, Apple's MacBook Air, with its 11 inch screen, weighs nearly 2.4 pounds. Granted, the iPad Air is a mere one pound, but Air is the ultimate tablet with nowhere near the screen size of the Surface Pro 3. Score another one for Microsoft.

Reason No. 3
In addition to the Pro 3's crystal clear screen -- it sports a 2160 by 1440 resolution -- its aspect ratio and enhanced Windows 8 OS translates to users being able to view more, with less. As Panay said during his presentation, the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 allows users to actually view more content than MacBook Air aficionados, even though it sports a 13-inch screen.

Final Foolish thoughts
Thinner and lighter than a traditional laptop and excellent resolution that allows user to see more with less positions the Surface Pro 3 as a legitimate alternative to both a laptop and tablet. And these key features are hardly the only upgrades from prior Surface devices. A digitized pen that's fully integrated with OneNote and instantaneously saves writing to the cloud, improved ergonomics, and a quieter, more energy efficient cooling system are also standard to the Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft is on quite a roll of late: expanding its cloud and data offerings with SAP and closing the Nokia deal, to name just a couple. Now you can add Surface Pro 3 to Microsoft's growing list of recent wins. Making a dent in Apple's tablet and laptop share will be a challenge, there's no doubt about that. But Surface Pro 3 has the features, and Microsoft's diversified revenue sources gives it the time to become a serious player in defining a new pseudo-tablet market.

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Tim Brugger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information