Print 62 comment(s) - last by Vertigo2000.. on May 22 at 9:23 AM

Microsoft continues to refine its Surface concept

Microsoft is giving it another go when it comes to its Surface tablet family. The first generation Surface RT and Surface Pro were introduced in late 2012 and early 2013 respectively. Microsoft followed up with the second generation Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in September 2013.
The company is now hoping to boost its fortunes in the tablet market with the new Surface Pro 3. One of the big things that Microsoft is trying to stress with the Surface Pro 3 is that it is a device that can can “do it all.” Microsoft’s Panos Panay proclaimed that “96% of people who own an iPad also own a laptop.” With the Surface, all you need is one device.

Surface Pro 3 is a big step forward, as it now features a 12” display (3:2 screen ratio) compared to 10.2” (16:9) for Surface Pro 2. Screen resolution has been bumped from 1920x1080 to 2160x1440.


And it must be stated that amazingly, Microsoft was able to not only make the Surface Pro 3 lighter despite the increase in screen size (1.76 pounds compared to 2 pounds), but also made it thinner than the existing model.

The Surface Pro 3 is now 9.1mm thick instead of 11.7mm thick.

The Surface Pro also expands on what Microsoft calls “lapability.” Microsoft wants to make it easier to use the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop, and to do so the company has seriously upgraded the kickstand thanks to an innovative hinge.

The kickstand can now be used at any angle up to a 150 degree degrees (no more pre-configured indents).

When used in conjunction with the redesigned Type Cover, the Surface Pro 3 should be easier to use in your lap. The redesigned Type Cover magnetically seals itself to the bottom of the screen and can easily adapt to fit your preferred typing position.

Microsoft also has a new trick features with the Surface Pro 3’s stylus. With the device off, you can simply click the button on the top of the stylus to automatically turn the device on with it ready and waiting in the OneNote app. The notes you then take will be synced to the cloud instantaneously.

Microsoft says that the Surface Pro 3 is good for up to 9 hours of battery life, and includes front-facing speakers that are now 45 percent louder. In addition, the Surface Pro 3 now includes two 5MP cameras which are capable of shooting 1080p video.
Microsoft continues to include a full-size USB 3.0 port, microSD card reader, and a Mini DisplayPort.

The Surface Pro 3 Docking Station will set you back $199
The Surface Pro 3 will go on sale tomorrow, starting at $799 for the Core i3 version with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Full pricing is as follows:
  • Intel Core i3, 4 GB RAM, 64GB - $799
  • Intel Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 128GB - $999
  • Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256GB - $1,299
  • Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256GB - $1,549
  • Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 512GB - $1,949

Source: Microsoft

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RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By Labotomizer on 5/20/2014 3:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
You completely missed the point. What premium? Who else offers that level of hardware for a price that's less for a laptop and a tablet?

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By artemicion on 5/20/2014 6:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
The premium for having a laptop in an ultra portable form factor. The OP made the valid point that if you're usage scenario is covered by a cheap tablet for doing tablet things and a cheap 15.6" laptop for doing laptop things, Surface 3 doesn't present a good value in terms of consolidation.

Real world example:
I have a $200 Nexus 7 to couch web browse with and a $550 Haswell i7 Inspiron 15 that I game on. Cheaper than the Surface 3 and arguably superior to the Surface 3 in some respects (my laptop would be superior for gaming since it's only pushing 1080p and has a GeForce 750m). Yeah, the laptop isn't as portable but it doesn't have to be--not like I play Diablo 3 lying down on my couch.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By retrospooty on 5/20/2014 6:48:49 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, but its not really made for a person that has a NExus 7 and does gaming on the laptop. It's made for someone that wants an all in one device they can travel with, but also use as a tablet when it suits them. It's good for what it is. It's just not for everyone.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By atechfan on 5/20/2014 7:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
I want to play around with one a bit more to see if the nTrig digitizer is good. In my very brief hands-on, it seemed way better than any nTrig digitizer I've used before, but I didn't get a chance to try it with Photoshop or Manga Studio. The Wacom in the Pro 2 works well with those programs, and previously Photoshop had driver issues with nTrig. I hope MS and Adobe worked with nTrig to iron that out. That said, the switch allowed MS to make the device thinner, and got rid of the slight gap between the nib and where the ink appeared on screen that the Wacom equipped Surfaces had.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By coburn_c on 5/21/2014 2:30:40 AM , Rating: 2
I've had an n-trig 1.0 and 2.5 revision hardware. The improvement was dramatic, the 1.0 had HORRIBLE support and was pretty clunky, the 2.5 was almost up to Wacom levels. I think they are on 4.0 now so I would be surprised if it wasn't honestly competitive with Wacom.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By atechfan on 5/21/2014 4:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
That is what I have been hearing from people who have used it more extensively. A couple of my old MS contacts told me the decision to switch was pretty easy, as the nTrig was actually more precise. The biggest downside is the pen is active and needs batteries.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By Vertigo2000 on 5/21/2014 11:38:06 AM , Rating: 1
I, like most people, already own 2 devices, so which one is this supposed to replace? If my laptop craps out, why would I buy one of these? The screen is too small to work on and it costs 2x as much as the laptop I own. If my tablet craps out, why would I buy one of these? It's 4x as much as my current tablet costs and the Windows 8 app store isn't as good. I guess if they both crap out then I'd look at one, but what are the odds of that happening? And I would assume the majority of people are in a similar situation, so who is this being marketed to?

Is it cool? Sure, but that's a bad reason to buy one. Would I turn one down if it was given to me as a gift? Hell no. But I certainly wouldn't buy one as a replacement for one of my other 2 devices... but that's just me.

I don't like the screen size for doing "real work". I don't like the aspect ratio. And I certainly don't like the price.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By retrospooty on 5/21/2014 2:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
"I, like most people, already own 2 devices, so which one is this supposed to replace?"

It's really not made for you (or me either). It's made for someone that probably travels alot and/or for whatever reason they deem suitable, want one single device that serves both needs. A large tablet and a small laptop.

Filling a different need than you or I personally have doesn't make it a bad product. I know alot of execs that travel that would want this.

It's like auto purchases... If you drive far every day and want a compact car with good mileage, that doesn't mean an SUV is a bad product. It's just not one that suits your personal needs.

RE: Uhhh... hmmm...
By Vertigo2000 on 5/22/2014 9:23:00 AM , Rating: 1
I understand what you're saying, "different strokes for different folks".

It just seems MS's demographic to purchase this thing is quite limited. It almost feels like it's doomed to fail... again.

I applaud their attempt though, it's a cool product... it just has limited sales potential.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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