Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review Roundup

As you all know, Microsoft announced Surface Pro 3 device at a press event last week. This 12-inch device scales at 1.76 pounds, but packs all the power and performance of a premium laptop in a thin and lightweight design. It also comes with the all-new Surface Pen which delivers a natural writing and drawing experience. You can read the reviews of Surface Pro 3 device from various tech blogs. Here is a roundup of them.You can pre-order the device from Microsoft Store now.

Engadget:

Pros

  • Remarkably thin and light for a machine with laptop guts
  • Easier to use as a standalone tablet
  • Fast performance
  • Gorgeous, high-res display
  • Keyboard can be propped up at a more comfortable angle

Cons

  • Flimsy keyboard is inferior to what you’d get on a proper laptop; worse, it doesn’t even come in the box
  • Not that comfortable to use in the lap
  • Middling battery life

ConclusionThe Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s biggest and best tablet yet, but it needs a better keyboard to truly replace your laptop

Read full review here.

The Verge:

The Surface Pro 3’s hardware is undoubtedly impressive. Although Microsoft calls it a tablet, it’s better to think of this Surface as a full-fledged PC that can work as a large tablet in a pinch. More than anything else, the Surface Pro 3 is the ideal physical form for Windows 8.1. Both the OS and the hardware feel like a computer with some (occasionally great) tablet features tacked on top. It’s as though the bits that make up Windows prayed really hard and created a physical version of themselves.

The Surface is so PC-centric, it’s hard to even think of it as being in the same category as the iPad. Instead, Microsoft is very clearly taking aim at the MacBook Air, but beating the most popular laptop on the market is a very tall order. Taking everything into account, the hardware is now very competitive between the two. So whether you think the Surface Pro 3 is a better alternative depends almost entirely on what you think of Windows and the Microsoft ecosystem.

It took three iterations for the hardware to live up to Microsoft’s original vision for the Surface, but now it finally does. If you believe that Windows 8.1 hasn’t taken off because the hardware hasn’t been good enough, the Surface Pro 3 removes that argument from the table. It’s simply hard to identify areas where it can get radically better. If the Surface Pro 3 can’t get consumers on board with Windows, Microsoft is going to need to seriously rethink its software strategy at a fundamental level.

Read full review here.

CNET:

The GoodThe Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter than the previous two versions, despite having a larger 12-inch display and higher screen resolution. A new kickstand makes it easier to set up and use, and the keyboard cover remains a best-in-class example. The Surface Pro 3 is now optimized for a digital pen, which is included.

The Bad That excellent keyboard cover is not included in the base price, and its improved touchpad still doesn’t measure up. The chassis lacks pen storage, and even with tweaked kickstand and keyboard hinges, the Surface Pro 3 still doesn’t fit perfectly on the lap.

The Bottom LineWhile the new Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft’s best PC to date, it’s more successful as a tablet than a laptop replacement.

Read full review here.

Ars Technica:

Surface Pro 3 is the closest Microsoft has come yet to producing a laptop-killing tablet. But the laptop will live on to fight another day. This time around, the third iteration isn’t the one that gets it right.

The good

  • Beautiful design
  • Beautiful screen
  • Packs so much into so little
  • Neat OneNote integration

The bad

  • The dearth of USB ports
  • The touchpad remains mediocre
  • Some people will find it expensive

The ugly

  • It’s still the best laptop replacement that can’t actually replace a laptop

Read full review here.

PCMag:

Pros : Clear, bright, 12-inch, 2,160-by-1,440-resolution display. 10-finger multi-touch support. Infinitely adjustable, full-friction kickstand. Pressure-sensitive stylus included.

Cons: Heavy and bulky for a slate tablet. Type Cover costs $130 extra. Integrated pen storage is flimsy. Only one USB 3.0 port. Kickstand still digs into your legs when used in your lap. Doesn’t work with last-generation Surface accessories. Performance is not better than that of the previous iteration.

Bottom Line : With its 12-inch, high-resolution display, full-friction kickstand, and Surface Pen, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet aims to be the only mobile PC you need. But will you ditch your laptop? We’re not so sure.

Read full review here.

Yahoo Tech:

Do you need this beast?
That said, there are legitimate reasons to pass on the Surface.

If all you need is a tablet, get a tablet; you’ll save money, weight, and thickness. If all you need is a laptop, get a laptop; you’ll save money, you’ll probably have more storage, and your machine will be more rigid and secure when it’s in your lap.

And, of course, if you prefer Apple’s unified, attractive universe of machines that work wirelessly together, well, then a Windows machine isn’t for you.

But if you own or carry around both a tablet and a laptop, then the Surface is calling out your name. There’s nothing like it.

It’s so much better than the sales figures would indicate. We, the buying public, are not giving it a fair shake.

If this marvel of engineering doesn’t lift the Microsoft hardware curse, I don’t know what its designers are supposed to do. Maybe join a self-help group with Cassandra and Sisyphus

Read full review here.

You can pre-order the device from Microsoft Store now.

 

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • hotrod2391

    Its getting there…I know people are still having doubts but MS is on the right path. The hybrid thing that they have envision will not be born in an instance but I think their hard work will pay-off soon. When their OS converge and apps/programs are universal then think of the possibilities. This is the 3rd step towards the right direction.

    • Bugbog

      I agree, although, in Microsoft’s case, it takes thrice as much hard work to get acknowledged and appreciated, whereas some other companies just fart and receive news coverage.

      Case in point, Sony has “just” revealed that they will be selling the PS4 in China; this is receiving worldwide coverage. Whilst ‘we’ are just shaking our heads thinking, didn’t Microsoft announce a month or two ago, with a specific sales date? Yet no love from the media!

  • blackhawk556

    no matter how good of a device they release, these bloggers will knock it for the smallest thing just so they have something negative to write about. I bet when the new iPad is released they will not knock it because it packed at USB port, keyboard, and pen.

    • Bugbog

      Sure you can get an iPad for $400, but to get one that is superficially comparable to the i3 SP3? that’ll set one back at least $830 (64Gb + Keyboard + Case + Stylus + Port adapter). Missing anything?

      • VHMP01

        Functionality!

  • Sugadevan

    Hi Pradeep, the Ars Technica review link goes to the verge review, correct the link!

  • Thoughtful

    “And, of course, if you prefer Apple’s unified, attractive universe of machines that work wirelessly together, well, then a Windows machine isn’t for you.”

    Huh??? Where’s the mention of the Microsoft ecosystem (universe)? Surface, Lumia – aren’t they attractive? Unified OneDrive, Office 365, …? Same operating system core from phones to desktops to xbox..? Yes Apple is good. But so is Microsoft.

    • Bchau

      iOS and OSX are totally incompatible. Apple’s unified blah blah blah. LOL.

      • Ruben Verbaan

        Haha, yes I always thought that Apple’s cloud services were meagre compared to Microsoft’s services…

  • Ruben Verbaan

    I wonder if the point that Microsoft is trying to make really came across. By and large the reviews say: “Hey this is a great machine, but it’s havier and bulkier than an iPad Air so it’s not a great tablet and it isn’t as stable as a Macbook Air in your lap so it’s not a great laptop”. But I think all these reviewers are missing the point. Now Microsoft may have helped them missing the point by saying this will replace your laptop and taking on the MBA. I think it’s a mistake to try beating the best of class in two categories.

    The point I think is this. It is entirely a case of how you will be using this… Actually I think there is a large number of people that this machine is for. Tech journalists clearly isn’t one of them. Somehow they all have company issued MBA or MBP’s. Normal companies don’t do that. They’ll give you a Dell, a HP or if you’re lucky a decent Lenovo. Or they don’t give you one at all, but give you a virtual desktop through Citrix in stead and you’ll be able to use what ever computer is available. Normal people in normal companies now use iPads to reduce the amount of paper. So they’ll go to meetings and use their iPad as a note taker and for the meeting documents. But iPad isn’t all that good for that. First they all buy a seperate keyboard for taking the notes. By now their iPad weigh as much as the Surface Pro. Second they have to switch back and forth between note taking and reading the documents. Most of them don’t do that anymore and they either bring pen and paper to take notes or print the documents for the meeting… See the potential for the Surface?

    Then there is the laptop case. These people work in offices. Desks are everywhere. They don’t use laptops in their lap. They opted for a laptop because they need to give a presentation or that they don’t have cloud or virtual desktop access and want to work at other places than their own desk. I was one of those people. Until I decided I didn’t want to carry 2,5 kgs of laptop with charger, etc. all day. I was too heavy and for the occasional presentation I just borrow one. At my desk a had a docking station, separate keyboard and monitor… See the potential for the Surface?

    Why don’t these reviewers see this case. It is a very clear one. Sure the iPad is great if all you do is browsing the web on the sofa (I do have the browser though – Disqus is terrible on Safari). My children fall in this category. But for so many others there is a very compelling case for the surface. However people need to be educated. I take an interest in stuff like this, but most of my co-workers don’t even know it exists.

    If Microsoft would only allow me to get one (I live in Europe). I will demonstrate it to everyone I know…

    • cybersaurusrex

      Exactly. The Surface is a better tablet than a MacBook… and a better laptop than an iPad. And THAT’S what everyone seems to be missing.

      In other words, the MacBook as a tablet would score about a 2. And the iPad as a laptop would score about a 4. But the Surface scores about an 8 in each category; therefore, making it a “10″ in the tablet/laptop replacement category.

      • Ruben Verbaan

        I couldn’t have said it better… Microsoft should probably not have “attacked” the MacBook Air and implying that it is a better laptop. It isn’t. Is better for a lot of people that currently use or may not use anymore? You bet!

        Probably the best they could’ve done is not make any comparisons at all. But focus on the use case (of which I’ve presented one above) and on the enormous technological innovation to make this at all possible!

        I’m sure some of the tech journalists would have still made the comparison. But now MS have made it easy for them to do it. The best battles are fought on your own turf. Now they are fighting in Apple’s arena again. That is never easy, especially attacking hardware and software that many of the correspondents use and love (and probably not without reason)…

        • VHMP01

          MS did right, it is a better laptop than the Mac Barbie Air! And it also is a better Tablet than the iPad Air! Both which having to carry around are heavier and less functional. It’s simple as that!

          • Ruben Verbaan

            Haha, “Mac Barbie Air” that nails it!

    • reKitab

      “If Microsoft would only allow me to get one (I live in Europe)” too!

  • Stacey White

    Though nice pack of pros and cons but real reviews will be given by the end users and it will take some time off course. Anyways, by far it is undoubtedly the most fancy version of any MS product.

  • rockuz

    I don’t care what this tech sites are saying. I’m buying one for myself and they can kiss my behind. No matter what MS does they will find something to complain/criticize about their products.

    • cybersaurusrex

      The Surface is in a tricky spot. As a laptop, let’s say it’s an 8. And as a tablet, it’s also an 8. But… as a tablet AND laptop replacement device, it’s really a 10… which a lot of tech writers seem to be missing.

      • DarthTigris

        It’s ridiculous how initial iPad reviews talked about how they use it instead of their phone or laptop and Surface reviews go on and on about what they can’t do that they can do with the others.

        It’s like the most literal example of glass half full/empty that I’ve ever seen and the tech writers are completely blind to the fact their doing it.

      • Guest

        Let’s be honest as a tablet SP3 is bit of a pig, too heavy to be an 8. more like a 6 at best :(

  • http://www.adriansmale.net Adrian

    They universally also missed the point. This is one device to carry which can take the place of a laptop and your tablet. 1.76 pounds you have everything you need. Believe me for the mobile worker that’s a big deal and oddly price wise nobody mentions how cheap this is compared to buying the two things it can actually replace. But as someone has rightly said…they never give MS anything other than a hard time.

  • Abdul9

    At last. I was also wondering why MS decided to not upgrade the performance of the i3 and i5 models and why they decided to put only one usb port on such a big hybrid. If the device had at leas better performance than the Surface pro 2 then I would have absolute nothing to complain about. Broadwell can’t come soon enough, this Surface is the first that almost made me use my saving for it instead of a car.

  • NegLewis

    As always MS it’s the best at “itself fcking”. Better than competition.
    1 USB? …TF!?
    64 GB … It should be 64GB SSD + 256 GB Flash build in.
    After 6 months Windows takes AT LEAST 90 GB of space and needs 10 GB just to be minimally usable.
    No cloud storage?… TF…
    NO Office (SE)…
    They really need to … Suffer…

    • DaFoo

      Windows takes up 90 GBs? TF are you smoking?
      Cloud storage? Uh, OneDrive??? TF are you using for cloud storage?
      Office is generally not a free program.
      1 USB? How many does the iPad have? TF do people care?
      64 GB? There are multiple different models, up to 256 SSD. TF model do you want?