Microsoft makes cheaper version of Surface Pro 3, with smaller screen, less-flexible kickstand

Technology Associated Press

Microsoft is making a cheaper version of its Surface Pro 3 tablet computer in an effort to reach students and budget-conscious families.

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The new $499 version will have a smaller screen — 10.8 inches rather than 12 — a slower processor, and the built-in kickstand won't be as flexible, just three angles rather than the unlimited positions offered on the Pro 3. But the Pro 3 ranges from $799 to $1,949.

A keyboard cover, one of the Surface's distinctive features, will cost $129 extra. Microsoft bills the Surface line as a laptop replacement when used with the cover.

Microsoft Corp. expects to ship the new device around May 5. Advance orders starting immediately.