Market Overview

Is Surface Pro 3 The Most Groundbreaking Tablet Yet?

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) unveiled the Surface Pro 3 Tuesday, bringing a host of new features to the world of Windows tablets.

With a 12-inch ClearType Full HD display, the new Surface Pen (which could be far more sensitive than a typical stylus), a new touch pad (for the new Type Cover) and three processor options from Intel, Surface Pro 3 is one impressive tablet.

Microsoft argues that this is the tablet to replace your laptop. The company even built a better kickstand (which can now be tilted back to a near 180-degree angle) and added a new click-in mode (where the top of the Type Cover folds slightly for a more secure connection with the tablet). Both those features are designed to make the Surface Pro 3 more comfortable to use as a laptop.

Related: Intel Paves Way For $99 Tablets

Microsoft also stressed the importance of the cloud and how certain apps (such as OneNote) would be optimized for Surface Pro 3.

"They are trying to get that whole cloud integration," Tigress Financial Partners analyst and Chief Investment Officer Ivan Feinseth told Benzinga. "They are trying to make it into a mobile device that lets you access all your work in the cloud."

Thus far, Microsoft's new tablet has received a fair amount of praise from those who got an early hands-on preview of the device.

But Is It Everything Consumers Wanted?

And is it what analysts were expecting?

Trip Chowdhry, the Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, said this event shows that Microsoft is "not standing still."

"They are going back to their roots -- try again and try again and try again," he said. "Hopefully they will get it right. But I don't think Surface Pro 3 will hit the mark yet."

Related: Surface Mini Rumor Roundup

First and foremost, Chowdhry said that the price point is simply too high.

"Think about it: you're getting an i3, a very lower-powered [computer], for $800," he noted. "With the keyboard it's $900. Is that a good value for the money? I don't think so."

That said, Chowdhry believes Microsoft has a "hidden strategy" behind its Surface campaign.

"They are pricing it high and instead of having mass appeal, they are trying out the market," he explained. "It is still a science project for Microsoft. They are tweaking the form factor, they are tweaking the software, they are experimenting with use cases. But they're keeping the price high."

Chowdhry thinks Microsoft will then use the feedback it receives from Surface Pro 3 and other Surface tablets to produce the ultimate mass-market device.

"I think probably the version 5 may be that version, which could be priced half of what it is today, and it could be twice as [good] as it is today," he concluded.

Not Quite The Right Size

There have been rumors of various 12-inch tablets for nearly a year. Samsung shipped its first 12-inch device in the first quarter.

But is bigger really any better?

"My personal opinion is that 12 inches is too big for a tablet, and 10 inches is too small for a laptop," said Feinseth. "Ten inches is a good size for a tablet and 14 is a good size for a laptop."

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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