surface pro 3 sale
Amazon is offering big discounts on the Surface Pro 3. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 4 earlier this month, and that means steep discounts on the Surface Pro 3. Amazon has posted huge savings on the Surface Pro 3 across the range, with $359 off the top-of-the-range Core i7 with 512GB storage, which normally retails for $1949. These savings are being offered by third-party vendors selling through Amazon -- and they might not last for long.

The Surface Pro 4 is set to launch Oct. 26, but the Pro 3 is still a respectable tablet. The Pro 4 is thinner (8.45 mm instead of 9.1 mm), lighter (766 g instead of 800 g), faster (Microsoft claims a 30 percent boost) and comes with nice bonuses like facial recognition, but if none of these differences is essential, the savings could be well worth it.

Some of the biggest updates to the Surface range are also backwards-compatible with the Pro 3, like Microsoft's new keyboard cover. The new type cover has backlit keys, a larger trackpad and better-spaced keys. Microsoft even makes a version with a fingerprint scanner, a high-tech way of logging in that almost makes up for the fact that the Pro 3 doesn't have face scanning. Microsoft's new Surface Dock also works with the Pro 3, which will offer extra USB ports, audio/video out, Ethernet and charging.

Customers may notice that Amazon offers the choice between Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. The Windows 10 option is more expensive and probably best avoided unless you don't want to tinker with the operating system. Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 8.1 users until next July, so buying one now will come with the option to upgrade to Windows 10 for free anyway.