Microsoft's new Surface Pro 3 videos highlight its best features

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 went on sale a couple of weeks ago - or rather, certain versions of the new 12-inch tablet did, and only in the United States. Even so, the good news there is that the wait for those models not yet on sale will be shorter than originally expected, as Microsoft brought forward the release date in the US for the Core i7 and i3 models by a month. 

Microsoft is still refining its marketing message for the Pro 3 - with mixed results - and in addition to TV ads, its Surface channel on YouTube continues to be a source of video insights and information about the new device. Microsoft's Panos Panay recently appeared in a video there, to explain some of what sets the Surface Pro 3 apart from other devices on the market. 

In a further video released today, the company has delivered a more succinct overview of the device, quickly summarizing the most important features that the Pro 3 has to offer.

Using the now familiar slogan of "the tablet that can replace your laptop", it highlights the Pro 3's ultra-thin and light design; fourth-gen Intel Core processors; multi-stage kickstand; new Type Covers (including backlighting and color options); microSD reader; USB 3.0 port; optional Surface Docking Station; Snap view for side-by-side apps; and Office 2013, as well as focusing on the Surface Pen, including handwriting and drawing capabilities, and special OneNote functions. 

To put it simply, this video manages to capture everything that makes the Surface Pro 3 so awesome - and which we loved in our review of the device - in under 90 seconds. 

A second video posted today focuses more closely on the Pen, although while it successfully highlights the convenience of its OneNote and cloud integration, it's perhaps less impressive in that it shows all touch interactions on the screen using only the Pen itself. This could lead to some confusion among potential buyers, leading them to believe that the touchscreen works only with the stylus. 

Given their length, these ads are not destined to be broadcast on TV, but will likely be used via other media such as on Facebook and Twitter, as part of a broader effort to familiarise users with the Surface Pro 3.

What do you think of the new videos? Be sure to share your thoughts below!

Source: YouTube 1 | 2

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Samsung calls iPhone users 'wall huggers' in new commercial

Next Story

Android L boosts Nexus 5 battery life by 36%

51 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

it's perhaps less impressive in that it shows all touch interactions on the screen using only the Pen itself.

The second video is titled "Introducing Surface Pen" and they show what it can do in the video. Comments like these don't make sense to me. :/

BajiRav said,

The second video is titled "Introducing Surface Pen" and they show what it can do in the video. Comments like these don't make sense to me. :/

BTW I don't think anyone can easily find a modern consumer device whose touchscreen responses only to its stylus.

Pretty good ads but not sure why they claim Full HD for 1080p instead of saying the actual resolution or just invent some other magical words.

I've had my SP3 for a few weeks now. I love it. I haven't used my 15" Sony VAIO hardly at all since I got my Surface Pro 3. It was nice to learn that clicking the Surface Pen twice opens up a screen shot option. Not only does it paste to One Note, it adds it to the clipboard so you can post the screen shot anywhere.

Kickstand is great. Full USB port is great. Wireless display is great. Touchpad is great. $1299 is not so great. But if I'm going to run Photoshop, I need more than 4GB ram.

Hey Microsoft - here's what's missing with the SP3's PEN that I want:
- Side by side handwriting recognition in Word and OneNote (handwriting on one side, text on the other side) ... or top/bottom, or dropdown hidden row
- Fillout/create forms with handwriting recognition in Word or excel
- Excel handwriting recognition in cells by default
- IE webpage textbox handwriting recognition
- Quick pen screen lock/palm rejection button when writing, and unlock button for zooming paper size
- Default college rule lines in new OneNote and word ... zoomed 125%
- Default 1.25% zoom when writing anywhere

Pull up the 'on screen keyboard' using the keyboard button on the taskbar in desktop. Select the "pen input" method from the keyboard icon in the lower right corner.

It's "handwriting recognition as you write" (in cursive or printing), with full editing capabilities if it happens to get something wrong (which is rare, even with my horrible chicken-scratching). Works for ANY desktop app.

I understand MS is working to make "ink" a fully useable input method throughout all of windows and Office, but in the mean-time, this excellent facility is available. And most people don't seem to know about it.

I don't know what they have done with disk transfer rates in this thing, but transferring large files is amazingly fast to it. They should be marketing it as the tablet that can replace your desktop for gods sake.

I never expected to use the pen as much as I am. First of all, it makes using real desktop applications incredibly useful to use on a small screen for mobile scenarios. Secondly, I am totally addicted to this pen. Not only can you draw, but you can select what you draw and enlarge it, and copy and paste it, erase, and my god I can search for text in written text. I haven't even tried to see what else it can do like math equations and stuff. I just keep this thing parked and plugged in on my desk on all the time with the kickstand way down to replace my notepad. I print my Outlook 2013 daily calendar out to OneNote and then write all over the thing all day long. Then I just copy and paste my scribbles to the next days calendar and cross off what I have already finished.

It has replaced my 15.6" laptop, Surface 2, AND my notebook. I would pile all three of those on top of each other to go to jobs. Now I just have this tiny thing. The only reason I am not going to use it to replace my desktop is because I don't want to be to rely on another device should one of them crap out on me.

This thing has far exceeded my expectations. Funny that while Microsoft was perfecting pen input on those crappy tablets years ago, they got blown out by Apple. Now this device clearly is the culmination of those original dreams, and all those years of perfecting pen input are put to incredible use in this device. Thumbs up all the way.

Yeah there is a bug in the wifi that I'm sure will be fixed, occasional slowness that rebooting fixes, and I have trouble keeping my Nokia 360 Bluetooth speaker connected. That's all I have to complain about.

"The built-in MicroSD card reader lets you easily transfer large files."

What devices are you transferring to and from with MicroSD cards?

It would have made more sense to have a full-size SD card slot for digital cameras.

Yes... there is a regular USB port you can use for a card reader... and that's great.

But I just can't imagine anyone using MicroSD cards to move files around in the way they describe.

Michael Scrip said,
"The built-in MicroSD card reader lets you easily transfer large files."

What devices are you transferring to and from with MicroSD cards?

It would have made more sense to have a full-size SD card slot for digital cameras.

Yes... there is a regular USB port you can use for a card reader... and that's great.

But I just can't imagine anyone using MicroSD cards to move files around in the way they describe.


Yes let's slap a full size SD card slot onto a device where we're trying to make maximum use of space.
Just get an adapter to full size for your camera.

siah1214 said,

Yes let's slap a full size SD card slot onto a device where we're trying to make maximum use of space.
Just get an adapter to full size for your camera.

Yes... and that's what I said... at least you can still use a card reader on USB.

But let's get back to that MicroSD card slot.

Has this ever happened?

"Jim... here's this month's marketing report... on this MicroSD card..."

Flash drives... yes. MicroSD cards? Not so much.

Besides... a full-size SD card slot doesn't have to take up that much room... the card only has to go in a tiny bit.

Michael Scrip said,
"The built-in MicroSD card reader lets you easily transfer large files."

What devices are you transferring to and from with MicroSD cards?

It would have made more sense to have a full-size SD card slot for digital cameras.

Yes... there is a regular USB port you can use for a card reader... and that's great.

But I just can't imagine anyone using MicroSD cards to move files around in the way they describe.


Why not? I move files with my micro sd card quite often between my mobile phone and the Surface I use at work. Music and movies mainly. Whats the big deal about that?

Gergel7077 said,

Why not? I move files with my micro sd card quite often between my mobile phone and the Surface I use at work. Music and movies mainly. Whats the big deal about that?

Both devices need a MicroSD card slot.

Your phone and Surface have those... so you're good.

Laptops and desktops don't have them... which, I'd imagine, is where many file transfers happen.

But I have to wonder... if MicroSD card slots are so useful... how come they only appear on smartphones and tablets?

Will 2015 laptops eschew the full-size SD card slot for the MicroSD flavor?

You DO understand that every single MicroSD card you buy comes with a SD Card adaptor, right? This isn't rocket-science... you throw the SD card in the adapter, and use it in the SD card slot for your camera or whatever... then pop it out, and slide it in the microSD slot in the Surface.

This ISN'T AN ISSUE.

pmbAustin said,
You DO understand that every single MicroSD card you buy comes with a SD Card adaptor, right? This isn't rocket-science... you throw the SD card in the adapter, and use it in the SD card slot for your camera or whatever... then pop it out, and slide it in the microSD slot in the Surface.

This ISN'T AN ISSUE.

Nobody has ever handed me a MicroSD card to get files off of. None of my cameras use MicroSD cards. I think my old Blackberry had a MicroSD card slot... but I never once took the card out once it was inserted upon purchase.

So... for me... I'm not seeing the usefulness of a MicroSD card slot in a $1000 computer. Yes... I know adapters exist... but that adds extra steps (and before you say "it's not that difficult"... I know. It's the principle of the matter)

Maybe the space taken up by the MicroSD card slot in the Surface Pro 3 could have been used for something else.

I honestly haven't ever seen a standard SD card slot in anything for years now.

I *ONLY* buy microSD cards. And they come with adaptors. It's trivial.

The MicroSD card is NECESSARY... I wouldn't have bought a SurfacePro3 without one. Why would you want it to lack it? I can add a new 128GB D: drive by just plugging in a cheap MicroSD card (Amazon has amazing sales).

I dont' get this idea that they shouldn't have included this critical slot. You don't see the usefulness? How can you MISS it? It's so obvious!

pmbAustin said,
I honestly haven't ever seen a standard SD card slot in anything for years now.

I *ONLY* buy microSD cards. And they come with adaptors. It's trivial.

The MicroSD card is NECESSARY... I wouldn't have bought a SurfacePro3 without one. Why would you want it to lack it? I can add a new 128GB D: drive by just plugging in a cheap MicroSD card (Amazon has amazing sales).

I dont' get this idea that they shouldn't have included this critical slot. You don't see the usefulness? How can you MISS it? It's so obvious!

Really? Almost every laptop and even some ultrabooks have full-size SD card slots.

Almost all cameras use full-size SD cards.

But my desktop tower has NO card slots at all... so what am I MISSING?

BTW... I *ONLY* buy full-size SD cards. Then again... I'm a videographer and a photographer. And HD footage and RAW photos are HUGE. :)

Well, your problem is you waste money buying old full-size SD cards for no good reason.

Buy MicroSD cards, and use them everywhere (in full size slots and microSD slots). And they come in even bigger storage sizes than full size SD cards.

Your complaint is similar to complaining that the SurfacePro3 doesn't have 3.5" floppy drives. Or even a CDRom Drive. Yeah? So? It's OLD TECH. There's newer, better, faster, tech... usable MORE places... called MicroSD.

pmbAustin said,
Well, your problem is you waste money buying old full-size SD cards for no good reason.

Buy MicroSD cards, and use them everywhere (in full size slots and microSD slots). And they come in even bigger storage sizes than full size SD cards.

Your complaint is similar to complaining that the SurfacePro3 doesn't have 3.5" floppy drives. Or even a CDRom Drive. Yeah? So? It's OLD TECH. There's newer, better, faster, tech... usable MORE places... called MicroSD.

I don't have anything to plug a MicroSD card into. So I'm not gonna use a MicroSD card in an adapter for no reason.

Besides... I'm getting 90MB/s with my fastest full-size SD cards. MicroSD cards haven't reached that yet. So no... I'm not "wasting money buying old SD cards for no reason"

Agree to disagree on the whole matter.

The claim was made in the commercial that you can use a MicroSD card to transfer large files. While true... the other person also needs to have a MicroSD card slot... or you have to have an adapter.

At that point... I would just use a flash drive to transfer files instead. Good thing the Surface Pro has a full-size USB port, right? ;)

Michael Scrip said,

Both devices need a MicroSD card slot.

Your phone and Surface have those... so you're good.

Laptops and desktops don't have them... which, I'd imagine, is where many file transfers happen.

But I have to wonder... if MicroSD card slots are so useful... how come they only appear on smartphones and tablets?

Will 2015 laptops eschew the full-size SD card slot for the MicroSD flavor?


Yes both devices will need a micro sd card slot. But micro sd cards also come with full sd card adapters. So again I ask, what is the big deal?

As far as why micro sd cards are found on smartphones and tablets, isn't it obvious? Smaller devices require smaller cards. It would be absolutely ridiculous space wise to put a full sd card slot on a mobile device. Why do you think SIM cards went from full sim to micro sim to nano sim? The smaller the device the smaller the cards have to be.

As far as laptops are concerned, the same space constraints may one day get rid of full sd cards in favor of micro sd cards. You can buy a 128GB micro sd card nowadays. It's exactly the same thing as when laptops used to come with CD\DVD burners that you do not see today on ultrabooks. Or when some ultrabooks now use msata drives rather than the slower and bulkier 2.5" HDD. I do see a day when the micro sd card will be favored over full sd cards. It's just the natural progression of smaller and smaller devices.

Edited by Gergel7077, Jul 3 2014, 11:29pm :

Michael Scrip said,

I don't have anything to plug a MicroSD card into. So I'm not gonna use a MicroSD card in an adapter for no reason.

Besides... I'm getting 90MB/s with my fastest full-size SD cards. MicroSD cards haven't reached that yet. So no... I'm not "wasting money buying old SD cards for no reason"

Agree to disagree on the whole matter.

The claim was made in the commercial that you can use a MicroSD card to transfer large files. While true... the other person also needs to have a MicroSD card slot... or you have to have an adapter.

At that point... I would just use a flash drive to transfer files instead. Good thing the Surface Pro has a full-size USB port, right? ;)


Are you telling us that you don't own a smartphone? Micro sd cards have been used in smartphones for years and years. You don't use an micro sd card for speed alone, it's main purpose is for storage of files (usually media) for small devices.

It's perfectly fine if you want to buy full size sd cards. More power to you. But if you want full flexibility for files transfers to all types\sizes of devices, I use an full sd card reader. It can read\writes to both sd card sizes so i do use it to transfer files between all devices. So really you don't require all devices to use micro sd card slots when an sd reader will function for both if you so desire. They are cheap too.

Gergel7077 said,

Yes both devices will need a micro sd card slot. But micro sd cards also come with full sd card adapters.

So again I ask, what is the big deal?

The big deal is what everyone is making of my comment. Holy cow...

Forget I even mentioned full-size SD cards... it should have been a different discussion.

Look... I get it. You can take the MicroSD card out of your Surface Pro, put it in an adapter, and give it to Sally from accounting to transfer a file.

Or you can use a flash drive to transfer a file... which seems much easier than MicroSD.

THAT was my main point all along.

I understand you can use MicroSD cards add capacity to all sorts of devices. I was just unaware that MicroSD cards were being used for "sneakernet" around the office.

Apparently is happens all the time.

I learned something new!

If you buy a microSD Card, you HAVE AN ADAPTOR, so that "or the other person needs to have an adaptor" reasoning is B.S.

So no, both devices don't need a microSD slot. They can both be full-size, they can both be micro, or they can be one of each. It's FULLY FLEXIBLE.

I can't believe anyone thinks this is a drawback, or that a device attempting (and succeeding) in being the thinnest and lightest full PC ever, should have a FULL SIZE SD CARD slot. That's just ridiculous and laughable and stupid. I'm sorry, but I just have to roll my eyes.

Gergel7077 said,

Are you telling us that you don't own a smartphone? Micro sd cards have been used in smartphones for years and years. You don't use an micro sd card for speed alone, it's main purpose is for storage of files (usually media) for small devices.

It's perfectly fine if you want to buy full size sd cards. More power to you. But if you want full flexibility for files transfers to all types\sizes of devices, I use an full sd card reader. It can read\writes to both sd card sizes so i do use it to transfer files between all devices. So really you don't require all devices to use micro sd card slots when an sd reader will function for both if you so desire. They are cheap too.

I'm an iPhone user... so no cards at all. :)

And I'm a Canon 70D DSLR and JVC HM150 camcorder user. Both those cameras use full-size SD cards.

Yes... I could use MicroSD cards in an adapter... but I have nothing else that uses MicroSD. I, personally, wouldn't have anything to gain from the flexibility of MicroSD... especially at the expense of speed.

And speed is important. When I'm offloading 50-60GB of footage... I need the speed.

I honestly haven't heard of anyone using MicroSD cards in an adapter in their camera just so they could transfer files to mobile device. If your camera uses full-size SD cards... you use full-size SD cards.

GoPro and similar cameras use MicroSD... and yes... those must be put into an adapter or card reader to get the files into a computer.

But I haven't heard of many cases where people are using MicroSD cards between devices.

Apparently it's a thing :D

pmbAustin said,
If you buy a microSD Card, you HAVE AN ADAPTOR, so that "or the other person needs to have an adaptor" reasoning is B.S.

So no, both devices don't need a microSD slot. They can both be full-size, they can both be micro, or they can be one of each. It's FULLY FLEXIBLE.

I can't believe anyone thinks this is a drawback, or that a device attempting (and succeeding) in being the thinnest and lightest full PC ever, should have a FULL SIZE SD CARD slot. That's just ridiculous and laughable and stupid. I'm sorry, but I just have to roll my eyes.

Roll your eyes then.

Forget I even mentioned full-size SD cards. It was a topic for a different discussion.

And don't lose the adapter... because you're gonna need it to transfer files from another laptop or desktop.

(or just use a flash drive to transfer files) <---- what I should have said in the first place.

I'm so sorry to have wasted everyone's time. But thanks.

Michael Scrip said,

The claim was made in the commercial that you can use a MicroSD card to transfer large files. While true... the other person also needs to have a MicroSD card slot... or you have to have an adapter.

No one implies there has to be the other person. It can be just one of your own MicroSD cards where you store some info that isn't important enough to backup in cloud (like movies and games). In fact most of the time MicroSD slot is used in Surface to compensate for low storage capacity (unless you got 512Gb and even that can be not enough). And since it doesn't pop out you can leave it permanently.

x.iso said,

...In fact most of the time MicroSD slot is used in Surface to compensate for low storage capacity (unless you got 512Gb and even that can be not enough). And since it doesn't pop out you can leave it permanently.

Exactly. The fact that the surface has such a slot and that the card doesn't pop out makes me confident to buy a 256gb model.

I got mine on the first day, and recently used it on a trip/flight I made... and I cannot be more pleased with it. It fits perfectly into the seat-back pocket of planes, works great as a Kindle device for reading or a video device for watching movies... it's so impressively thin and light, fast and functional, with really good battery life. If I'm just using it off-and-on, it can last days.

The only thing that's missing, imho, is GPS (so it can auto-update time zones as I travel, and give me good maps based on current position). A second USB 3.0 port would be nice, but not a huge deal for me personally.

The screen is amazingly sharp and brilliant. The sound is good. If I had to critique anything, it'd be something as minor as wishing the power button were on the right instead of left.

I cannot recommend this thing highly enough, to be honest. It's awesome.

The only thing the 3 has that I wish my 2 had is the kick stand that can go back farther.

Otherwise most of those features ARE available on the Pro 2.

Altima said,
The only thing the 3 has that I wish my 2 had is the kick stand that can go back farther.

Otherwise most of those features ARE available on the Pro 2.


I think if you actually had SP3 you would appreciate just about every detail that was improved.

neonspark said,
I have to say, after using sp3 for a few weeks, you just cannot go back to anything else.

Nice, but wondering if you are use a lot of the modern/metro apps. That surface pro 3, looks like just a more convenient laptop, but I'm not convinced it could replace completely android/ipad tablets.

I can tell you that with my Surface Pro 2 I spend most of my time in the modern environment, I have no need for any other tablet. With the Pro 3 being thinner and lighter, I'm sure it would only be better.

Altima said,
I rarely use the Modern apps. I still see no use for them on my Pro 2.

Do you use a keyboard a lot with it? The only way I can use the desktop environment for anything serious is if I have a mouse and keyboard plugged in.

bigmehdi said,

Nice, but wondering if you are use a lot of the modern/metro apps. That surface pro 3, looks like just a more convenient laptop, but I'm not convinced it could replace completely android/ipad tablets.


I use a lot of both modern and desktop apps! I got one too and it can truly replace your android/ipad tablet AND your laptop all together. It's brilliant! :)

bigmehdi said,

Nice, but wondering if you are use a lot of the modern/metro apps. That surface pro 3, looks like just a more convenient laptop, but I'm not convinced it could replace completely android/ipad tablets.


It not only can replace all those tablets but all laptops as well.

neonspark said,
I have to say, after using sp3 for a few weeks, you just cannot go back to anything else.

(for a notebook)
Tiny screen, cute gpu and funky keyboard.

bigmehdi said,

Nice, but wondering if you are use a lot of the modern/metro apps. That surface pro 3, looks like just a more convenient laptop, but I'm not convinced it could replace completely android/ipad tablets.

when in tablet mode, those are the only apps that you can use practically. I love the news app at the end the day. the 10 inch tablets like the ipad and asus memo are just too small for me now. It feels like when I used to think a 4 inch phone was nice then I used a 5 inch phone and couldn't go back.

plus there is something about a core i5 tablet that makes the baytrail (android or windows) tablets feel horribly laggy, say nothing of ARM chips..

Brony said,

(for a notebook)
Tiny screen, cute gpu and funky keyboard.

and 1.7 lbs with a touch screen. Listen I have an i7 laptop with a large screen. don't tell me it is better because I own both :) and wouldn't touch the i7 brick unless I have to go fetch an old file or something.

Altima said,
I rarely use the Modern apps. I still see no use for them on my Pro 2.

I also own an SP2 and I can say this:
SP2 is a pain to use as a tablet. SP3 feels more balanced so I find myself using the modern apps a lot more. I still wish it was lighter but being thinner and larger actually has made running the modern apps more enjoyable. I now fully prefer the modern UI when in tablet mode while never really used it with SP2.

Gergel7077 said,

It not only can replace all those tablets but all laptops as well.
I respectfully disagree about "replacing all laptops".

JHBrown said,
I respectfully disagree about "replacing all laptops".

well yes, if only it had decent gpu to boot...