Microsoft officially unveiled the Surface 3 a little more than a week ago, but now the device is available for preorder from major outlets like Amazon, Costco, Best Buy and the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft might have just unveiled the Surface 3 tablet, which is being billed as the “most affordable” Tablet/PC duo yet, but the Surface 3 has officially hit the preorder market, as well. The move will now make the device available for purchase at some significant marketplaces starting at $499, which will ensure shipping on May 5th.

Interestingly, this is the first device that Microsoft has unleashed post-Windows RT, and it really has garnered a lot of attention. The limited information consumers have when it comes to the devices specifications though is an area for concern, according to what many have reported.

Amazon, Best Buy, the Microsoft Store, and also Costco are all participating in the preorder party for the Surface 3. While each is offering slightly different deals in terms of shipping – the overall cost remains essentially the same. For example, the 64GB version with 2GB of RAM will cost $499 at any location that is participating in the preordering of the device, while the 128GB version that comes with 4GB of RAM will cost $599. One of the positives is that Microsoft is also offering a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office, which typically costs $6.99 per month.

The specifications of the device have been limited, as far as what consumers actually know about Microsoft’s Surface 3. However, there are some things that consumers know heading in that really make the device a solid buy – for those in the market for a 2-in-1 style tablet and laptop. The big add for this device is the fact that Windows RT is gone. That means traditional desktop apps will work just fine with the Surface 3 – which wasn’t something that could be said about either of its predecessors.

Surface 3 with Dark Red Type Cover

The Surface 3 is only 8.7mm thick and is billed as the thinnest tablet that Microsoft has ever produced. The display measures 10.8-inches, which is a little smaller than the 11-inch standard many have come to rely on – but isn’t too significant comparatively. The resolution of the device measures in at 1920 x 1280. As far as what’s running all of those physical features – the Surface 3 relies on an Intel Atom x7 quad core processor with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Internal storage options consist of 64GB and 128GB respectively, as well. Reports have indicated that Unlocked LTE versions of the Surface 3 will be released, as well. It’s just unclear how soon that will be happening.

Surface 3 and Surface 3 Docking Station

What is clear though is that it will cost $100 more for the LTE-enabled version of the Surface 3. The Surface 3 brings a 3.5MP front-facing camera, and an 8MP rear-facing camera. All things considered, both camera options are pretty good given the current situation. At the end of the day though, affordability is really the big thing that Microsoft is bringing to the table with this device. This will be seen as a device on the Windows side that can hang with the Apple MacBook Air.

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