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Surface Pro 3: A brilliant, quirky, scarcely flawless laptop replacement

Surface Pro 3: A brilliant, quirky, scarcely flawless laptop replacement

If you’re in a marketplace for a Windows-based laptop replacement, a Surface Pro 3 should be on your brief list.

surfacepro3-overall
Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft’s third shot in a tablet-that-can-turn-into-a-portable-PC difficulty represents a outrageous alleviation over a progressing attempts. we called a initial Surface Pro, expelled in Feb 2013, “brilliant, quirky, and flawed,” and argued that it “has adequate flaws that many intensity buyers will possibly contend no undisguised or play wait and see.”

Last fall’s Surface Pro 2, expelled in and with Windows 8.1, was fundamentally only a spec strike that combined a Haswell processor (improving battery life) and gave a heading Surface kickstand a second angle.

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Surface Pro 3, on a other hand, is a finish redesign that maintains a strange Surface Pro prophesy (and a few of a quirks), while rebellious a biggest flaws head-on.

Like a predecessors, a Surface Pro 3 isn’t for everyone. It’s also tough to categorize. Lining it adult subsequent to a required laptop or a full-size inscription formula in an peculiar set of comparisons and, inevitably, reviews that concentration on a mismatches.

I attended final week’s launch eventuality in New York City and came home with a representation of a Surface Pro 3, supposing by Microsoft, that I’ve used extensively for a past 10 days. As we did with a strange Surface Pro, I’m essay this examination in QA format, with a idea of assisting we figure out either a newest Surface Pro is a compare for your operative style.

What’s new in Surface Pro 3?

Conceptually, a new indication shares pivotal pattern facilities with prior Surface Pro versions. In a simplest form, it’s a tablet, though it has a courage of a reward Windows 8.1 Ultrabook, with a fourth-generation (Haswell) Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor, 4 or 8 GB of LPDDR3 memory, and adult to 512 GB of peep storage. (For some-more sum about a Surface Pro 3 configurations, see Which CPUs will we find in a Surface Pro 3?)

The Surface Pro 3 has a light magnesium finish, like that of a Surface 2 and distinct a fingerprint-attracting dim matte finish of both comparison Surface Pro models. The Surface heading is etched on a back.

In a earthy dimensions, a Surface Pro 3 is dramatically opposite from a predecessors. At 9.1mm, it’s a hair (or two) thinner than an iPhone 4S and 33 percent thinner than a slab-like Surface Pro 2.

surfacepro3-thickness

The figure is different, too. The Surface Pro 2 has a 10.6-inch (diagonal) shade with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a local fortitude of 1920×1080. The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch shade with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a fortitude of 2160×1440. That gives we 50 percent some-more onscreen pixels in a earthy shade that is about 10 percent larger.

Amazingly, notwithstanding a bigger shade a Surface Pro 3 is indeed 120 g lighter than a predecessor. The multiple of lighter weight, a thinner package, and a some-more offset figure means a Surface Pro 3 is significantly some-more unstable than comparison models. It feels really gentle in a hand.

The singular USB 3.0 port, mini-DisplayPort adapter, and Micro-SDXC label container are familiar, though a 802.11ac wireless adapter is an upgrade, as are a front and back 5MP cameras and a digital compass. The TPM 2.0 chip is an ascent from a TPM 1.3 chip in comparison models.

The Surface Pro’s heading hinge now supports a continual operation of positions instead of a one or dual in a prior designs. With a hinge entirely extended, a Surface Pro 3 is propped adult during a slight angle, for sketch or examination a movie.

surfacepro3-kickstand

Every Surface Pro comes with a pen, though this coop is different. It’s an active device, battery-powered, with a tip symbol that we can click to arise a device and open OneNote. Microsoft says a new coop is a “platform,” that presumably means other apps besides OneNote will be means to programmatically bond to it as well.

The Surface Pro 2 speakers were righteously criticized for not being shrill enough. Those speakers are changed to a front on a Surface Pro 3 (you’ll have to demeanour really delicately to see them), and they broach an considerable volume of volume.

The complement program has grown also. Windows 8.1 Pro is installed, and this book supports Connected Standby, that means it wakes adult in a fragment of a second and can reason a assign for most longer than a Surface Pro 2 while still behaving credentials tasks in low-power mode.

How does it perform? And how prolonged does it final when away from AC power? we answer those questions on a subsequent page.

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