Samer Abu Ltaif, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf, announcing the availability of Surface Pro 3 for commercial users in UAE. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Microsoft is entering the crowded Middle East tablet market, dominated by Apple and Samsung, with its Surface 3 Pro on Tuesday.

The US software giant had launched its first Surface 1 tablet in May 2012. Both the tablets — Surface 1 and Surface 2 — were not officially launched it in the Middle East.

“Surface 3 is very unique in terms of positioning itself as a laptop and that can also be used as a tablet. It has the power of a laptop and the flexibility of a tablet,” Samer Abu Ltaif, Microsoft Gulf’s Regional General Manager, told Gulf News.

The 12-inch device is the thinnest laptop in the market with 9.2mm thickness and weighs 800 grams. It is powered by Intel’s fourth-generation processors.

He said the UAE is one of the 31 countries where Surface 3 Pro will be available. In the Middle East and Africa region, the device will only be available in the UAE and Qatar.

“Microsoft did not go to assemblers to assemble the tablet. We have more than 100 different components made and customised by Microsoft on this device. We believe in empowering businesses and people to perform more in a mobile-first, cloud-first world,” he said.

But unfortunately the device will not be available to the consumer sector.

“We are deliberately focusing on the commercial sector with this device as we are continuing to make progress and learning as we go.

Pre orders are set to begin by mid-June and general availability in August. The price is not yet fixed for the UAE market, Abu Ltaif said. In the US, it is available from $700 to $2000, depending on the configuration.

Somanna Palacanda, Business Development Director for Surface, said that 96 per cent of the people who have a laptop also have a tablet.

“So many people carry both a laptop and a tablet but really want just one device that serves all the purposes,” Palacanda said.