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Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a very light upgrade from its predecessors. By that, I mean the machine is very light indeed, not that it’s a minor upgrade. In fact, Microsoft has worked miracles to pack what they have into a machine this thin. Whereas the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 was essentially a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is an Ultrabook in tablet’s clothing. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has taken Microsoft to new levels of customer involvement, with many features requested by users appearing on the new tablet. In terms of tablets, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the one to get, no question about it.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 comes with 1 x USB 3.0 port, a display port, a charging port (that can also take thunderbolt cables!!), a microSD slot and a kickstand. The fact that there is only one USB port on the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 means that you will need a USB hub is you have more than one USB device to hang off the machine. The IPS screen has an interesting 3:2 ratio, which means you can place two full applications side by side on the display. Speaking of the screen, it’s a 12” number with a “beyond HD” experience. This accounts for the 2160x1440-pixel density of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (that’s 216ppi). In fact, Microsoft says that you cannot see individual pixels with the naked eye.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 comes with a 256GB SSD plus a microUSB for more storage. RAM is 8GB. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 can be purchased as an i5 (recommended) or an i7 for much more money. There is a 5MP camera front and rear. The rear camera is not the best in the World, but it will take pics that are reasonable. The front facing 5MP camera will be good for video chats. In real World testing, you can get up to 9 hours of realistic use from the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which is about right for a day’s work, or watching vids on the tube. Despite what Microsoft says, you can hear the fan, but only on very rare occasions and very quietly indeed.
The pressure sensitive pen is larger than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, and so had to be housed outside the machine on a felt loop. Unfortunately, this loop tends to lose its ability to hold the pen firmly in place over time, so you might want to keep spare loops handy. By the way, the purple top button of the pen will take you to OneNote instantly, which I think is a neat touch, this being a tablet and all.
The Type Cover 3 keyboard is now magnetically attached to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, making it a sturdy platform upon which to type. And the touchpad has been improved over previous versions of the Microsoft Surface Pro series. The kickstand now has one major stop and an infinite variety of stops, so that you can find the position that’s just right for you.
So is this the Ultrabook Tablet for you? By all accounts, yes. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has improved immeasurably from version 1, and Microsoft are listening to their customers. It offers a very versatile experience. Instead of surfing, watching videos or reading (all rather passive diversions) on a standard tablet, you can actively engage with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and get work done.
If you have the ready, get one.