Review

Surface Pro 3 review: The be-all, do-all tablet from Microsoft

First impressions are a critical part of our lives. From interviews for your dream job to meeting a significant other, the first 30 seconds of interaction can define an entire relationship. So when Microsoft said that its Surface Pro 3 is the Ultrabook- and tablet-killer that we had all hoped the Surface Pro and Pro 2 would be, you can imagine that the skepticism flags were raised once again.

As its launch event came to a close, Microsoft rolled out the Pro 3 for attendees of the press conference to get their hands on the device. As I ran over to the pick-up area, like a four-year-old on Christmas morning, I was eyeing the dozens of Pro 3s like a hungry lion eyeing up a gazelle in the Serengeti. As I was handed the Pro 3, the first impression was that Panos Panay and his team had built something different; this was not like the Pro 2 even though they embodied similar characteristics.

When you pick up a Pro 3 the first thing you will notice is that it's lightweight, respectably thin and frankly, it looks fantastic. In some ways, it feels like they took a Pro 2 and ran over it with a steamroller. 

The Pro 2 was released about eight months ago but compared alongside the Pro 3, it looks like it needs to hit the gym and then get a makeover. In comparison, the Pro 3 is miles ahead of the Pro 2 in aesthetics, usability and appeal as well.

But the story of the Pro 3 is not all about looks as the device has to perform well in being both a tablet and a laptop; not an easy task. Both the Pro 2 and the original Surface Pro tried to do this, but each fell short of mastering either trait.

The mountain that the Pro 3 must climb is quite high as Microsoft put this device on a pedestal above the Macbook Air - arguably the best laptop on the market. The question is, can the Pro 3 truly be a ‘no compromise’ device?

 

To call the Pro 3 a tablet almost seems unfair to the competition. Yes, it is a tablet but it’s really an Ultrabook smashed into a tablet form factor. When you compare the base Pro 3 to other tablets, it’s not even close (although the Pro 3 does command a premium price tag). But, when you add in the Type Cover 3, it becomes an Ultrabook, one that easily competes with the others around the $1000 price point.

Microsoft’s best and brightest came together to create this surprisingly thin, but also powerful computer. For starters, you get one USB3 port, a DisplayPort, charging port (that has a few added bonuses), microSD slot and a kickstand. We would have liked another USB port here though, as the single port will require you to carry a USB hub in the event that you need to connect more than one device at a time.

The design is unmistakably Surface; with a squared off design and tapered edges, the Surface DNA is evident throughout the look and feel of the Pro 3. It is only available in one color (the same color as the Surface 2, in fact); this wasn't a big deal for us, as we love the color and prefer it to the very dark grey of the original Pro .

Spec Surface Pro 3  
Display 12 inches with 2160x1440 resolution  
Weight 1.76 lbs  
Color Silver  
Storage 128GB + MicroSD support  
Memory 8GB  
Processor 4th generation Intel Core i5  
Cameras 5-megapixel rear camera
5-megapixel front camera
 
Battery Life Up to 9 hours  
Ports

1 USB 3.0

microSD

Headset jack

Mini Displayport

Cover Port

 
Size 11.5" x 7.93" x 0.36"  
Price Starting at $799  
Availability June 20th, 2014  


One issue we do have is that the paint appears to scratch relatively easily, as there are now quite a few small marks on the back of the review device. When chatting with a few others who have been trying out the Pro 3, we learned that some had noticed this while others had not. I’d like to think that I am generally careful with my devices, so the scratches were a bit of surprise. 

If you are obsessive about keeping your devices in perfect condition, we recommend you get a case to prevent scratching the back of the device. Thankfully, there are no scratches on the front of the device, including on the all-important display.

 

The Pro 3 comes with a 12-inch display but Microsoft didn’t settle for 1080p 'Full HD' resolution. Instead, they set the bar high and raised the resolution up to 2160x1440px. There is also a new 3:2 aspect ratio for the display, which is an interesting change.

By going with a 3:2 layout, the device doesn’t feel as wide as its predecessors and frankly, feels much better in your hands and on your lap. The best part of this aspect ratio change is that in a 3:2 setup, you can run two full screen apps side by side. When you are using the device as a tablet, this is fantastic, but when using it like a proper Ultrabook, the functionality is not so important as I mostly use the desktop side of the OS in this setup.

Color reproduction, accuracy and viewing angles are all fantastic with our review unit and we are quite pleased with Microsoft’s choice of panels here. The IPS panel sports 216 PPI which Microsoft calls ‘Pixel Free’ technology. Basically, it means you can’t see the pixels and it is true, you can’t see the pixels even if you get your eyeballs right next to the display.

100% Zoom

Even though you can see the pixels when zoomed in at 100%, you can't see them with the naked eye.

We have had trouble finding any fault with the display. It's the right size for this type of a device and the panel easily meets our expectations for what a premium device should offer.

 

The chassis retains the Surface design that we have seen previously. With a silver-matte style finish and angled edges, it’s 100% Surface DNA.  But where it starts to differ from previous devices, besides the screen size, is how Microsoft was able to fit a proper Core series CPU inside the thin chassis.

The fan involves a bit of technical wizardry and black magic. Typically, when you think of a fan, you think of a loud whirr, along with heat discharge, and loss of battery life to support the mechanical apparatus. While it is unclear exactly how much of a power-drain the fan is on the battery, we can talk about the other two items.

First off, you can hear the fan; sorry Microsoft, but it’s on very rare occasions that you can hear it and for us, we only heard it when running 3D Mark and during one instance of a Windows Update installation and reboot. Even then, the fan was not as loud as you would think and only produced a modest hum, but alas - despite Microsoft's assertions to the contrary - you can hear it.

Apart from those two isolated instances, the fan is the stealth bomber of cooling apparatuses. During the majority of our normal use, we never heard it nor did we feel hot air from any particular region of the device.

The internals of the Pro 3 are a serious leap in technology in managing to squeeze in everything into such a compact chassis, and Microsoft should be proud of what it has built. Even though it has a fan - because only the cool kids run fanless, or something - we would have preferred to enjoy increased performance instead of an under-clocked CPU.

But does the device get hot? That’s a fair question given that some Ultrabooks can melt your thighs after using Photoshop for 10 minutes. During our review, the Pro 3 remained well within tolerable boundaries for heat.

Does it get warm? Certainly. Hot? Not even once. We never had the device get above a moderate level of warmth - and that includes those occasions when we ran benchmarks on it or performed other intensive tasks.

 

If you call it a stylus, Microsoft might come after you. Well, okay, probably not - but the Surface Pen that comes with the Pro 3 leaves behind the antiquated ways of what we typically call a stylus. It is a fantastic peripheral and once you integrate it into your workflow, it becomes a prized possession.

For starters, the pen is built out of quality materials and does not feel like a plastic toy. Its metal casing is accompanied by two buttons around where your index finger rests and a 'cap' button at the top where you would typically click a pen to extend the nib. The pen has a good amount of mass to it as well - 20 grams, which isn't too heavy but enough to make it feel substantial, like a quality piece of kit.

The unique aspect to the pen is its ability to launch OneNote with the tap of the purple button on its base. The idea is that the pen makes it easy to launch the note-taking application and quickly jot down what's important and then move on. It's a clever trick and we can see, how for some, this will be a handy feature that helps to separate the Pro 3 from other devices on the market.

The pen makes use of N-trig technology and has 256 points of sensitivity which means that you will see different results on screen depending on how hard you press down. For example, a heavy press will result in bold, heavy ink inputs, whereas lightly pressing the pen down will give you faint ink strokes.

The idea is to mimic the appearance of using a real pen on paper, and the results of using the Pro 3 are about as good as you would expect any electronic representation of a pen to be. We have had good results with the N-trig setup but we know that a Wacom digitzer may have been preferred by some as it has many more points of sensitivity, although in practice, few users will be able to appreciate the difference in this regard. 

Coming in at 137mm in length and 9.5mm in width, the pen is actually a bit thicker than the Surface Pro 3 itself. If you are wondering why the pen does not have a built-in garage... well, it just won't fit inside the tablet's housing. You can read more about Microsoft's decision to include an external loop to house the pen here, including how the pen can attach to the side of the Pro 3.

The accuracy of the Pro 3 + pen is superb, and while nothing can truly mimic the feel of writing on a piece of paper, the Pro 3 does get close. Since the optical stack on the Pro 3 is quite small, the pen tip gets very close to the screen and creates a natural feeling while you're scribbling notes.

The two buttons on the front of the pen allow for right-click and to erase content in OneNote. One thing we hope Microsoft will eventually allow is the ability to re-map the keys on the pen. While we know some may love OneNote, I'd love for the ability to have it launch another app on demand. For example, I take tons of screenshots for Neowin and to have it launch the snipping tool and allow me to quickly draw out the screenshot area with the pen would be a huge boost to my workflow.

When you pull the pen out of the box, you do have to sync it with the Pro 3 and this is done during the initial setup. There is a small light on the pen that turns green after you hold the purple button down for about 10 seconds that enables you to pair the device. It's relatively simple to do and took us only a few seconds in practice - and you should only have to do this once, unless you lose the pen. If you do lose it, replacements can be purchased from the Microsoft Store for $50.

We don't have any hard figures on the pen's battery life and Microsoft doesn't have them listed anywhere on its website but so far, the battery has not failed us yet, even after a significant amount of use while testing the device.

After getting used to having the pen by our side, it has become a key tool for us when using the Pro 3; dare we say it is 'fun' to use because it has been executed so well, and with OneNote integrated deeply, it's no surprise that the pen is now critical to our daily use of the device.

We know that the pen may be a distraction to some - we're still quicker with a mouse and keyboard setup, frankly - but when you need the pen, it's right there next to your Type Cover 3 and it's a joy to use.

 

In nearly every advertisement of the Surface line of tablets, there is always a common peripheral shown: keyboard covers. With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft also introduced the new Type Cover 3. While the updates may seem a bit modest at first, the new version is a rather significant improvement in terms of usability.

The new Type Cover is larger than the previous versions, naturally, as the Pro 3 is quite a bit larger than the Pro 2. As we showed previously, even though the keyboard covers are backwards and forwards compatible, they do look a bit silly when paired with the wrong generation of device. Still, it's not a bad thing that Microsoft kept this interoperability, as those of you who have invested in covers for prior generations could forgo buying the new Type Cover for your Pro 3. But as you'll see in this post, even if you have a previous generation cover, it may still be worth splurging for a new Type Cover 3, as the improvements are noteworthy.

For starters, Microsoft has made the top edge of the Type Cover 3 a solid magnet. This allows the Type Cover to attach itself to the bottom bezel of the Pro 3. By creating this long connection point, it creates a solid pivot point for the keyboard. This translates into better usability in your lap as the keyboard feels like it is 'one' with the Pro 3 and not simply a peripheral attached by a couple of magnets. It's a simple, dual-flex, style setup that goes a long way for the Type Cover 3 and the Pro 3.

Another benefit of the dual-flex style design is that it creates a small 'triangle' and raises the cover up just enough to make it feel a little more ergonomic. When you attach the cover to the bottom bezel, it shortens the footprint of the device too, making it easier to use in the cattle car section of an airplane.

Microsoft also made a big point about the trackpad on the Type Cover 3. If you have used any of the prior keyboard covers, you will know that the trackpad was mostly for looks and offered little usability. Thankfully, the new trackpad is now larger and covered in glass beads. The clicking mechanism has been reworked as well and offers a much more solid "click" sound and feel than the previous generation. In short, it feels like a real trackpad and is actually useable. 

The keys on the device still feel mostly the same as the previous generation and offer minimal travel distance before actuating. We would by no means call this a best-in-class keyboard, but it's quite easy to type on, and we had no problem pounding out emails (or writing this review). It does take a bit of time to get accustomed to the travel distance of the keys but once you do, it feels right at home.

Like the last iteration of the Type Cover, the oils from your fingers quickly stain the keyboard. Even with diligent cleaning, the 'glossy reflections' that result from the transfer of oil on your hands appear to happen quite quickly, which is exactly what happened with our previous Type Covers. Not a huge deal, but if you like to keep your electronics in like-new condition, be prepared to use a microfiber cloth on the keys after every use.

Generally speaking, the Type Cover 3 is a big improvement over its predecessors and is another small piece of the Surface puzzle that helps build out the suite of hardware and peripherals that make the Surface unique.

 

Ah yes, the age old question of whether or not a thin device can really perform as well as a larger device with more internal space. Microsoft made it clear that the Pro 3 should be able to cope with even heavy-duty performance requirements by allowing customers to specify an Intel Core i7 processor under the hood. Knowing how thin the device is and that an i7 can somehow run just fine in this space is a marvelous achievement of engineering for Microsoft.

With that being said, our device has an i5 in it and its performance is better than the Pro 2 but only by a small margin. The reason for this is that the display has a much higher resolution and to drive that display, the GPU and CPU get taxed a bit more than on the Pro 2 with its 1080p screen.

Inside our review unit is a Core i5 4300U which is slightly faster than the Pro 2s 4200U processor and of course, we have Intel HD 4400 graphics, which is the same as the Pro 2. So in terms of raw performance, there is not much of a gain at the i5 level but the optional i7 should give it an extra kick in the pants in the performance benchmarks.

Frankly, though, I’ve never been a big fan of benchmarks applications but I know that they serve a purpose. But these figures are isolated cases of raw performance and don’t always show the bigger picture. For example, the Pro 3 boots up fantastically quick and generally runs quite well. While some applications like Chrome tend to bog down the machine (seriously Google, what’s the deal here?), Modern Windows apps all ran flawlessly.

Nonetheless, you can see the 3D Mark scores above that should help those of you who want to use this device for gaming gain a better understanding of the performance you can expect. Just know that without a proper graphics chip inside, the device will never be best equipped to run the latest and greatest games at their maximum settings.

 

Like many other tablets, the Pro 3 has both a front and rear camera. While we will never understand why a tablet needs a rear camera as the shooter on your smartphone is almost always better than what comes with a tablet, here we are, once again.

The rear camera works as you would expect. The shutter speed is quick, but the images themselves are quite poor and that ridiculous feeling you have of holding up a 12-inch slab of metal to take a photo is still present.

To put it simply, the rear camera works when you have absolutely no other access to another camera and will allow you to take a snap as needed but don't expect to become the next Ansel Adams with your Pro 3. The colors tend to be washed out in broad daylight and in low lighting there is more grain than an Indiana farm.

‚Äč

The front camera makes a lot of sense for video calls and taking ridiculous selfies and we had no issues with it at all. Using it with Skype or Google Hangouts resulted in a good experience and that's really all that matters for a front facing sensor. Both of the images above were taken using the rear camera and as you can see, the images are pretty unremarkable.

 

When you take something thin and try to turn it into a speaker, the typical result is flat, tinny sounding audio that crackles the louder you turn it up. So, when Microsoft said that the speakers were 45% louder in the Surface Pro 3 when compared to the previous generation of devices, our skepticism shifted towards louder, cheaper sounding audio.

We know that audio preferences are diverse, and what one may consider 'good' audio, others may consider comparable to that of a phonograph. With that being said, I tried to keep expectations in-line with other comparables such as the Acer S7.

But, despite Microsoft having only a few tenths of an inch to work with, they have done a reasonably good job at getting quality audio out of the small speakers squeezed into the Pro 3's slender frame. 

As you would expect, the highs were acceptable, the mids were average for a laptop style speaker and the lows, well, they are absent from the experience. But, one nice thing about the Pro 3 is that it does get loud, much louder than we initially expected from the two small speakers that are seated facing the front of the device. The Pro 3 also supports ''Dolby Audio-enhanced sound' which is a tuning mechanism to make sure that the tiny speakers output the best possible audio that they can.

The audio from the Pro 3 will suffice for most users who need to watch a quick YouTube video or partake in an office webinar, and with the volume boost you can do so and annoy those around you as well.  But for any serious audio experience, we still highly recommend getting a quality set of cans for your ears or using a set of external speakers. After all, let’s be honest - while the speakers meet our expectations for what audio should be from a tablet this thin, it still falls short of the audio quality you'll get from using proper dedicated audio equipment.

For those curious, I have used the speakers quite a bit - on everything from Spotify to Skype, and beyond - and the results have met expectations. I was a bit concerned about testing out Skype as laptop speakers and cell phones traditionally have made voices sound a bit ‘tinny’ compared to the actual tones of the conversation, and I could still detect a bit of that going on here but it’s really not all that bad.

But again, for a device that is only 0.36 inches thin, Microsoft has done a good job of making sure that the speakers are not abysmal. In fact, we would say that they are comparable to the best Ultrabooks, and thanks to their increased output they are capable of filling a decent sized room with modest sound.

 

The kickstand is one of the unique features about the Pro 3 that we love. For starters, it is well integrated into the design of the device, so it never feels like it was a last minute addition to the platform. With the Pro 3, Microsoft refined this feature once again. Where the original Pro had one only one position for the stand, the Pro 2 had two stopping points - but the kickstand on the Pro 3 takes things to a whole new level, with one fixed stopping point and then a variable stop mechanism.

When you pull out the kickstand from the back it initially stops at one position, a comfortable angle for most use cases such as on your lap or on a desk. But, if you pull on the kickstand more, you can increase the angle of the kickstand to allow the device to be propped up at nearly any angle and quite frankly, it's fantastic.

What this allows you to do is define where the kickstand should stop for your individual use rather than what Microsoft tells you should work for you. As with the previous iterations of the Surface, the kickstand is sturdy at any pivot point, giving you the confidence to use it without worrying that it might collapse or snap off. 

The kickstand is a major feature that really separates the Pro 3 from other tablets on the market. The execution is fantastic and truly adds value to the tablet. With this new hinge setup, Microsoft has managed to make the kickstand infinitely more useful.

 

Power connector

"Oh thank you, Panos" were the words muttered from my mouth when a new power connector was shown off with the Surface Pro 3. If you have used any of the previous generation Surfaces, you will know that attaching the power connector is not a great experience. Sure, some may say it worked just fine but trying to plug it in, in the middle of the night in the dark, is like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube on NASA's vomit comet. Someone is likely saying that this is a bit dramatic but after you use the 'new' power adapter, going back to the old way feels archaic.

The new power connector uses a blade-style setup that slots into the side of the Pro 3. It is reversible but do note that this power connector is not compatible with the previous generation Surface devices. There is also a small indicator light near the tip of the charger that helps you identify if your Pro 3 is getting the juice to fill the battery. On that note, the charger is a 36-watt power supply that can fully charge the device in four hours, or get it to 80% in two hours time. 

As with the previous chargers, Microsoft has included a USB port on the power brick. Additionally, the power brick is smaller and lighter than the previous charger.

Attaching the connector to the Pro 3 is quite simple thanks to its strong magnets. The charger will detach with a modest amount of pressure on the cord which should reduce the likelihood of someone tripping over your cord and sending your Pro 3 flying across the room. One issue we do have, though, is that if you pull straight down on the cord, the blade design does not slide out of the unit which means that you can pull the device off of a table in this scenario. 

The most interesting thing about the power connector is what Microsoft hinted at during its recent AMA: It might actually be a Thunderbolt port. Why would Microsoft do this? Well, if it truly is a Thunderbolt port, then it can pass a lot of data through the connection (such as video out and/or power USB hubs, etc) which would be quite handy with a dock or other peripherals. 

Finally, the charger is a two-piece setup, which makes it easier for travel. By unplugging the cord that attaches to the socket, you can wrap it around the brick without fear of breaking the casing around the pivot point near the brick.

Battery life

To truly be a no compromise device, battery life is a critical component of this equation. Having been using the Pro 3 for many weeks and in various situations, we are averaging a little over 8 hours of battery life. At the top end, I peaked at about 9 hours of use but that was including flight time where I had the WI-Fi off and was simply typing for the majority of that time.

On the low end, the battery kicked the bucket after about 6.5 hours and this included watching two HD movies on a recent 1400 mile road trip.

To put that battery life into perspective, it’s good but not exceptional by any means. For a tablet, it is comparable to the competition, but compared with the Macbook Air, it falls short. However, when compared to other Ultrabooks like my beloved Acer S7, the battery life is roughly the same.

 

One of the complaints about the previous-generation Pro and non-Pro Surfaces is that on your lap, the experience was less than acceptable. As we previously noted in our lapability test, the Pro 3 makes large gains in this area. 

The extra width of the tablet and the new pivot setup with the Type Cover 3 make for notable improvements when used on your lap. While the Pro 3 is still not as solid on your legs as a traditional laptop, it's finally reached the point where it is acceptable. It's by no means the best device to buy if the majority of your usage is done on your lap, but if you are using your Pro 3 on a desk the majority of the time and your lap sparingly, then the Pro 3 performs well enough in this area for most users.

 

What Microsoft has done with the Pro 3 is improve on every conceivable aspect of the Pro 2. It’s bigger, thinner, has an awesome pen and an even better Type Cover. We can honestly say it’s a fantastic machine but there are caveats you should be aware of before you drop $900 (or much, much more) on the device.

First, the Type Cover 3 is a must; buying the Pro 3 without it is like getting a hamburger without French fries; it’s criminal. Second, the Type Cover 3 is good, but it is not the best keyboard out there.

The Pro 3 is fantastic if your criteria for a new machine are mobility first and everything else second, as the device is incredibly versatile and offers a wide range of inputs that are good enough to get work done. If you want a device with a great keyboard and a great display and are ok without having the note taking ability of the Pro 3, I’d still recommend that you look elsewhere for another device.

With that being said, the Pro 3 is an excellent device, and the trade-offs are now in the range of being acceptable to the point where I could see myself using this device every day. While the lapability is good, it still has room for improvement but in nearly every other scenario, the Pro 3 provides a decent experience for the user.

Another thing to consider is that this is a laptop in a tablet form factor. To call it a tablet is a bit weak as the device can do so much more than simply allow you to digest content and the price reflects this as well. Yes, we know that other tablets can get into this price range too but for us, we classify the device as an Ultrabook with tablet capabilities. If you purely want a tablet, you should check out the Surface 2, as the price is much lower and you'll enjoy much greater value if all you want is a device to sit on your coffee table.

Some may get caught up in the price of this device as it is not cheap, starting at $799 for a Core i3 and the Type Cover 3 is not included. Buying the cover and the tablet pushes the price above $900 which, for a tablet, does seem far too expensive. But, to us, the Pro 3 is not a tablet, it's an Ultrabook in tablet's clothing - and when viewed as such, at that price, the whole package makes far more sense. 

So, what’s the final verdict? Should you buy the device, should you pass? If you were on the fence about the Pro 2, then no doubt, you should buy the Pro 3. But even if you hadn't considered Microsoft's earlier Pro devices, and you're now on the lookout for a new laptop, the Surface Pro 3 had better be on your short list. 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Hackers target Domino's Pizza, demand $40,000 ransom for customer data

Next Story

Microsoft's war chest of patents against Android revealed

97 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Sigh.... The price discussion again.

Find a laptop with - the same - hardware/specs, and see how much that will cost you. Come back when you find one that is cheaper, or exists.

If you find the price too high for the hardware, you're not the target customer MS is looking for I'm afraid.

*sigh* too.

i agree with you. and meanwhile i have to mention that this device's thermal structure determined the boundary of its performance. If i've got it right, the i7 model won't have a significantly higher performance measure than the i5, and both i5 and i7 versions should have a hardly better(if not marginly lower) performance measure than their Macbook Air counterparts respectively, although the surface line's cpu is clocked higher. the same for the integrated HD4400 vs 5000. I won't say i'm sure, but i almost am when i heard that all models will last 9 hours on their 42watt hour battery.

Looking at either of the i5 models, which is what I would only consider, plus the keyboard, plus the pen, I am looking at no less than $1250, and more like $1500 as I would prefer to get the 256GB model, as by the time I install the apps I use in order to justify using a "pro" tablet, such as the Adobe Creative Suite, Office, etc. those are going to eat up a decent amount of HD space on that 128 GB model.
So at that price, really the only feature that makes it stand out from other laptops in that price range is the touch screen, something I would personally be very interested in from a design perspective, but am not 110% sold on.
So really for a tablet that is a laptop, it is just damn expensive. Really no other way to put it.

David40 said,
The only thing holding me back from getting one is the lack of the kinetic motion sensing capability.

Depends on the app, some cooking apps can be handled by waving your hand over the camera ;-P

It surprises me a bit why everyone is very fixated at the type cover. I can see the rationale there but there are certainly alternatives to the type cover. For example a wireless bluetooth keyboard (an apple's is a good example). It costs way less and works far better, right?

The thing is... I always thought (and still do) think that existing mainstream tablets (ipad, android) are wayyyy overpriced for what they do. They seriously can only do exactly what ur phone can do... just a bigger screen?!? If I'm going to spend another $500+ on something, I kind of want it to be able to do what this can do (i.e. use it do actually do stuff... run software... etc)

That said, I did end up forking out for an ipad, and, while i think it's way overpriced, I now have no reason for this either... although if they can get the positioning spot on I may migrate from phone + ipad + laptop + pc to phone + this + (maybe pc) at a future upgrade cycle

TruckWEB said,
At this resolution, I'll wait for a Surface with a better GPU... This tablet is nice, but a little gaming would be cool.

define 'little gaming', as it is already shown a lot of games will run just fine. Will it run crisis? Don't think so ;-P

Dutchie64 said,

define 'little gaming', as it is already shown a lot of games will run just fine. Will it run crisis? Don't think so ;-P

It actually does run Crysis -- just not at full detail/resolution. Of course, most desktop PCs won't either.

I saw the commercial for this system and the punchline was, "the surface pro 3 will replace your laptop."

not hardly. at best I think MSFT basically, I will say successfully opened a new niche arena of portable computing. But people still like having their data locally with themselves. I like my laptop for doing schoolwork and such but a surface pro 3 would lighten my load if i were to travel and visit family. but I'd still want my laptop for local data storage needs. I can see a time when people have a laptop/desktop for at home computing, power tasks and a surface tablet for travelling. surface pro 3 would work with me because as far as my photography goes, I could store "some" photos using the USB 3 port but one isn't enough but I think I could get by. I just think laptops/desktops will be around for a long time.

I give kudos to the traveler and using a surface pro3 for away trips then converge data on the laptop/desktop when I get home. this is the picture I see.

I'm also not believe the same specs for the 128 gb version for the Sp3 and Sp2 that the Sp2 graphics are better in performance when it's the same specs under the hood the better rez and larger sized screen should not effect that. If i was going to buy one of these to make any difference one would really have to buy the 256 to 512 versions. With 200 dollars off the Surface pro 2 currently the 256 gb version is 1049. And way more appealing. I coudl care less about a bigger screen and higher rez if it's saving me 200 bucks by getting the the 256 gb Sp2 version that is now at the price the 128 gb version was originally out the gate and just a mere 2 weeks ago. or heck the 128 gb version for 799. to 899.99. If the Surface Pro 3 had drastic different specs ( which it doesn't ) and didn't mirror the same specs is it's predecessor than I'd be more interested. Instead were expected to fork out a tad bit more money for higher rez and a bigger screen with last yrs guts that are in the Surface Pro 2

I think that Microsoft has it all wrong, although many here will say that I am wrong and that Surface is perfect for them, I think that most people don't want a converged device, They want the right device at the time depending on the need. Surface is all compromise, not a great tablet, not a great PC and if you need to do serious work then the keyboard is terrible.

derekaw said,
I think that Microsoft has it all wrong, although many here will say that I am wrong and that Surface is perfect for them, I think that most people don't want a converged device, They want the right device at the time depending on the need. Surface is all compromise, not a great tablet, not a great PC and if you need to do serious work then the keyboard is terrible.

Virtually all reports say that it IS a great tablet.

When docked or connected to external peripherals, it is AN AWESOME PC.

And people who need to do serious work with a keyboard can do so with a normal keyboard. Besides, no one has said that the keyboard is "terrible". Have you actually typed more than "hello world" on one? Any new device will feel wrong with you first use it. But after you've used it exclusively for awhile your brain and muscles adapt. It will not surpass a dedicated ergonomic keyboard for extended use, but to call it "terrible" is beyond disingenuous.

And I think if you were right about converged devices we would still carry separate phones, PDAs, cameras, pagers, and digital recorders (no doubt some still do). Reducing the number of devices you have to manage, key track of, and charge has immediate and tangible benefits. That some can't see them does not mean that they don't exist.

work bought me the surface 1, and i hated it. Still in the server room doing nothing. But this is making me want to have a look again. How long be i can view one in NZ. not going to give up my iPad but for a portable work machine im keen to see how it works.

I can tell you the tech specs for this review is either purposely misleading or flagrantly overlooked! There is no 8 gig memory 129 gb version !! The 128 gb version is 4 gigs not 8 gig ! 8 gig starts at the 256 gb and 512 gb versions. Hence if people are thinking the results are based on an 8 gb memory 128 gb versions than it is misleading because M$ didn't create one!

all the reviews (as far as i know) till now are based on the device ms distributed in the press conference. and they all are configured i5 8gig 256gig.

Cost: the more I think about it, from a longevity perspective, the cost of a Pro 3 is fair even if the device is only used as a tablet.

Reasoning: The Surface Pro 3 is much more powerful than less expensive tablets. Consider how many future generations of inexpensive tablets will be released before they reach the power of the Pro 3. A person can buy a few generations of $300 tablets or for similar total money they can buy a Pro 3 now.

Edited by Thoughtful, Jun 16 2014, 4:23pm :

Thoughtful said,
A person can buy a few generations of $300 tablets or for similar total money they can buy a Pro 3 now.

Truth for me. but i bought 'new ipad' over ipad 2 for display, and ipad mini over new ipad for lightness, and mini retina over mini for display. that is, i buy a new tablet for a very solid reason, which cannot be satisfied without a buy. i really need a all-rounder. yet this all-rounder seems to be the mini retina :)

The lack of LTE connectivity has had me saying that I will pass on this device...

Then I actually got a chance to test it. One word, WOW... just frackin' WOW! It was much better than I expected. The question is no longer whether I will get a Surface Pro 3 but whether I wait for the Core i7 version.

My wife got a chance to test one out yesterday and she loves it. We will probably go ahead and get a Core i3 version for her.

I do think the detachable tablet form factor (ex: HP Envy x2) is superior to the Surface's magnetically attached keyboard. This is especially true in terms of "lapability" But no one that makes this kind of tablet/PC hybrid has pulled it off with any better than mediocre execution. Instead everyone is rather average about it. The soon to be released HP Pro x2 comes close to the Surface in terms of capability (excluding pen computing) but is still way behind in the details. It looks clunky and cheap. Meanwhile MS has chosen a "slightly" less than perfect form factor but they have hit a grand slam home run in terms of execution.

If the devil is in the details, MS is the Great Satan. They nailed it.

Eagerly awaiting June 20th. This will *almost* replace my desktop fully as a software development machine. The Surface Pro (1st Generation) did a great job for the most part but the screen size left much to be desired. I did play with the SP3 a couple weeks back and it looked and feels epic compared to the SP1.

After doing my own hands on analysis at Best Buy over the weekend, I agree with the review.

Still ordering an i7 in August to be my new dev machine.

Great review, and it's definitely a good device.

It would be a much better deal, and appealing to more people if they would just finally bundle the keyboard.

As a user who usually dislikes Microsoft designed hardware/software I will say that this is one fine looking piece of hardware (still do not like Windows 8)...not only looking but also impressive specs,my only gripe being of course it runs Windows but if I were a Windows user this would certainly be drool worthy. Its unmistakably Microsoft, and I think thats a good thing, for Microsoft to have impressive looking products that are easy to tell whose behind it...

I DO however still think its price point will prevent it from ever gaining widespread popularity regardless of how much praise it receives. A) Competitors also have very handsome devices but at a fraction of the cost B) Competitors do not need selling points aside from price as they are already established and proven market leaders in mobility with huge eco systems C) I believe the Windows brand image is tarnished among consumers and in order to lure people back to (especially younger consumers) Windows Microsoft has to be willing to make sacrifices and perhaps lose money on this hardware with price cuts or their brand is going to continue to take a beating

Seriously, having one USB port is a negative in this review? That is the reason this thing has an optional docking station.

Granted, I can see where you are coming from since this is also considered a netbook, and netbook comes with at least 2 USBs. However, you should also consider how thin Surface is, and that it is also a tablet. So one should suffice right? ;)

And it's not like USB hubs are expensive. Why take up extra space in that small casing for a feature you might only need occasionally?

My laptop only has 2 USB ports, but there's almost always one free.

One port is fine. I can just hook up a hub if I need more ports.

i'll give them a negative because there is room in the device for this, and dual DP output while you're at it. nobody has DP 1.2 screens yet. the fact MSFT didn't even include dual video ports on the dock is offensive.

neonspark said,
i'll give them a negative because there is room in the device for this, and dual DP output while you're at it. nobody has DP 1.2 screens yet. the fact MSFT didn't even include dual video ports on the dock is offensive.

Well, I wouldn't want a dual display port on the device itself. It defeats that purpose of being a tablet, and even laptops only comes with one. I think one of each is good enough in my opinion. As for the docking station, well so far we know that there is one display port, but then again, I have not seen the docking station since it was announced, and I cannot find it on MS' site as well, except for the SP2 docking station. I am hoping that MS would make that change. Then again, there are widescreen monitors (LG and ASUS) with 21:9 aspect ratio that only need one display port connection.

neonspark said,
i'll give them a negative because there is room in the device for this, and dual DP output while you're at it. nobody has DP 1.2 screens yet. the fact MSFT didn't even include dual video ports on the dock is offensive.

With respect, have you looked at the PCB and the internals of the SP3? Even if you have, unless you're on the design team you can't really know if there actually is room and what tradeoffs including it would cause. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I don't see how you can be sure you're right.

Forjo said,

With respect, have you looked at the PCB and the internals of the SP3? Even if you have, unless you're on the design team you can't really know if there actually is room and what tradeoffs including it would cause. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I don't see how you can be sure you're right.

As for DP1.2, aren't hubs pretty readily available? Asking in earnest -- I haven't researched it.

Forjo said,

With respect, have you looked at the PCB and the internals of the SP3? Even if you have, unless you're on the design team you can't really know if there actually is room and what tradeoffs including it would cause. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I don't see how you can be sure you're right.

completely agree. such a conclusion probably is a result of looking from the outside.

and hey, looking from the out side i find enough room for 20 usb ports:)

Can we get a more 'scientific' measurement for fan loudness?

Basic level in dB/ full throttle in dB / ambient noise level in dB? In several distances from the device.

cheers!

It's 10x better than the Surface Pro 2, but it's a shame the camera isn't as well thought out. Maybe get a few folks from Nokia to work on that?

Also, they really should do an ad with OneNote showing off some base features with that option wheel. I don't think people appreciate the app enough, but if they saw it in action, it's quite awesome.

Steven P. said,
In my experience cameras in tablets are about as good as the low end smartphones.

That may be true, but at the prices these things are selling for, I would expect much better cameras.

Gergel7077 said,

That may be true, but at the prices these things are selling for, I would expect much better cameras.

I'd much prefer they put the costs into a better tablet in other areas. I already have a Lumia for taking photos..

I'd understand if we could make and take calls on the tablet, thus allowing it to be our only device, but until that happens, I'm ok with a good Skype camera.

Gergel7077 said,

That may be true, but at the prices these things are selling for, I would expect much better cameras.

I have to say I agree with that. At least put the same camera in it or something similar to what is in the Nokia 1020 or Icon. When I use to take my SP2 out in the field for work, I use to take pictures directly into one note and do annotations on them. It would have been nice if I could have had better resolution.

dead.cell said,
It's 10x better than the Surface Pro 2, but it's a shame the camera isn't as well thought out. Maybe get a few folks from Nokia to work on that?

why 10x better? exaggeration?

Alansweeney said,
why 10x better? exaggeration?

No, the screen ratio is much more usable for me. Portrait mode was practically useless on the 10.6" screen, as it was way too slim.

As someone who enjoys drawing, it's a very welcome change. Not to mention the adjustable stand, keyboard tilt, adjustments to the charger port... it's like they're really listening to all the problems I had with the previous model.

can't wait for SP4 using the new broadwell chips. even thinner and lighter and the best part is there isn't anything apple or google can do to counter the power of an x86 ecosystem which far out-feature them both combined.

agree. x86 was a drawback back when it is not suitable for a portable device but now, with the surface evloved it becomes a killer weapon.

As long as I cannot replace the SSD inside with a WD SSD+ HDD I'm not interested. I need large storage capacity from a laptop. So, an SSD + SD is not enough for me. I need 1 Tb on the go, and don't like external storage.
So it remains a nice and light tablet with a keyboard.

eiffel_g said,
As long as I cannot replace the SSD inside with a WD SSD+ HDD I'm not interested. I need large storage capacity from a laptop. So, an SSD + SD is not enough for me. I need 1 Tb on the go, and don't like external storage.
So it remains a nice and light tablet with a keyboard.

I realize it's not quite the storage you require but the 512GB option in addition to a 128Gb micro sd card would give you 640GB.

eiffel_g said,
As long as I cannot replace the SSD inside with a WD SSD+ HDD I'm not interested. I need large storage capacity from a laptop. So, an SSD + SD is not enough for me. I need 1 Tb on the go, and don't like external storage.
So it remains a nice and light tablet with a keyboard.

Out of curiosity, what do you store that requires 1 TB on the go?

I see some rationales there. depends on how one uses it. apple is selling 128gigs ipad, amazing? no because there are equally amazing people heading for it. People who need enough space for a excessively huge camera roll, or a ton of games and music and movies and maybe even free spaces lol.

I use it to store HD videos I make with my camera when travelling. I travel a lot and I take a lot of footage for later processing. So I need something very small, but with high storage capacity. At this moment I use an eeePC 900HA with a 1 Tb SSHD on it. Hopefully it still works well, even after upgrade from XP to 8.1.

eiffel_g said,
I use it to store HD videos I make with my camera when travelling. I travel a lot and I take a lot of footage for later processing. So I need something very small, but with high storage capacity. At this moment I use an eeePC 900HA with a 1 Tb SSHD on it. Hopefully it still works well, even after upgrade from XP to 8.1.

That is a unique use case. The only suggestion I could make if you really are not willing to carry a 2.5" drive would be 128GB SD cards.

What type of media does your camera use? How do you transfer data at the moment? If your camera uses SD cards, then you could save some time by simply swapping cards as opposed to moving your footage from the camera (or its media) to a laptop/Surface.

eiffel_g said,
At this moment I use an eeePC 900HA with a 1 Tb SSHD on it. Hopefully it still works well, even after upgrade from XP to 8.1.

eeePC? that asus netbook? very surprised to hear it an run win 8 on it.

Modification: my impressions stuck at around 2007 when eeepc was first announced. a little dip in wikipedia i found myself outdated, so leave me alone.

Anybody know of any comparisons in actual performance differences between the i5 and i7 models? With the SSD and RAM the same in the 256/8GB model I want to know if it is worth spend the extra for the i7 in the long run or not.

neonspark said,
nobody has an i7 model. it will not be out until august. but you can compare similar ultrabook chips to know what to expect.

I did hear that the i7 model had the HD 5000 video card in it, I wonder how much better that will perform over the HD4400 in the i5.

Professionals in tablet positions. For real gaming/computing demand the HD4400/5000 is not enough. Maybe a standalone display card found in macbookpro fits the pro name. But sure enough the SP3 matches at least what you can find in a decent ultrabook at the aultrabook level.

Niekess said,
And yet the question of Thunderbolt remains.

Nice review. I'm sure I will get this tablet now. :)

I'm honestly curious, why is thunderbolt something you're in need of? It seems to be the new firewire, it's wanted by a small minority.

MrHumpty said,
I'm honestly curious, why is thunderbolt something you're in need of? It seems to be the new firewire, it's wanted by a small minority.

I don't really need it. I just found it interesting there are talks about a Thunderbolt port in the charging port, but still no official confirm.

badb0y said,
The keyboard itself. But If I had to choose a color, I would choose Black

As someone who has black in the current sp2 gen, ill be going for some colour with the sp3. Bit of personality and less bland, also I find the black marks quite easy,

Osiris said,

As someone who has black in the current sp2 gen, ill be going for some colour with the sp3. Bit of personality and less bland, also I find the black marks quite easy,


Note the bit in the review about how the coating appears to scratch easily.

Steven P. said,
Note the bit in the review about how the coating appears to scratch easily.

It's only $130 right? Not sure why anyone would expect premium quality on a cheap keyboard like that... (/s)

dead.cell said,

It's only $130 right? Not sure why anyone would expect premium quality on a cheap keyboard like that... (/s)

ah sorry I meant the actual surface scratches easily, at least our review unit has that issue.

Steven P. said,
ah sorry I meant the actual surface scratches easily, at least our review unit has that issue.

Ahh, my fault. I didn't read too in depth in the article, given that I play with the Surface Pro 3 every day at work. I'll keep an eye on that though, and post any pics of wear and tear on the forums.

Osiris said,

As someone who has black in the current sp2 gen, ill be going for some colour with the sp3. Bit of personality and less bland, also I find the black marks quite easy,

Same! Colored keyboard in the pre-order, also a colored Lumia.

badb0y said,
The keyboard itself. But If I had to choose a color, I would choose Black

Given the few millimeters you'd have to work with, how would you change the design to make it more attractive? And please keep in mind the keyboard would need to score well in usability studies as well.

What would you change?

Steven P. said,

ah sorry I meant the actual surface scratches easily, at least our review unit has that issue.

Its the same on my RT. I think it's because the thing feels so tough that I probably don't baby it as I should. I don't even carry it around in the case that I bought.

I promise I'll be changing my ways after Friday though. My SP3 will be kept as pristine as possible -- hopefully at least for the first year or so. :)

dead.cell said,
The color or the actual keyboard itself? I personally like the Best Buy exclusive blue.

I agree, I like that blue one from Best buy also. By the time I saw that one, I had already ordered my SP3 from Microsoft.

From reading both the review and your comment, I would say it isn't about mobility for you, it is more that you aren't interested in the work one can accomplish while being mobile. In that case, yes I would agree there are cheaper options. It really is more of what you can do with it as far as being productive.
I wouldn't get one if all I did was surf the web and email either.

The Pro 3 is fantastic if your criteria for a new machine are mobility first and everything else second.

That's the thing. If someone wants a truly mobile device, there are far better options out there. Google's Nexus line of tablets or Apple's iPad offer a far more compelling ecosystem. And for a good deal less money as well.

I don't use laptops generally, so I won't debate the pros and cons of that use case. Though I will say that the Surface Pro strikes me as a Jack of all trades, master of none.

simplezz said,

That's the thing. If someone wants a truly mobile device, there are far better options out there. Google's Nexus line of tablets or Apple's iPad offer a far more compelling ecosystem. And for a good deal less money as well.

I don't use laptops generally, so I won't debate the pros and cons of that use case. Though I will say that the Surface Pro strikes me as a Jack of all trades, master of none.


What about losing the productivity aspect? Remember, this device is not just for media consumption, it's for hardcore productivity in a mobile package. You simply can't use an iPad or Nexus device for graphic design, video editing, etc. using a iPad. You have to put things in context for how you need to use the device for your personal purposes. The SP3 really stands out and must be compared with an MBA or equivalent ultrabook.

I agree here...the whole "Master of none" comment is really overstated without a deeper look. How is SP3 compared to the Ipad? It can do everything the Ipad can do and more...so if the Ipad is suppose to the Master of it's trade, then the SP3 is just as good. There is nothing the Ipad can do that SP3 cannot.

When compared to the laptop, the SP3 can pretty much cover all the bases...the lapability issue I find to be negligable. I no longer see majority of laptop users using it in their lap. This is nothing more than a bullet point. The SP3 may be top heavy, but you just adjust your habits and in a week's time you'll be able to use it decent.

So tell me, which product is considered the Master of it's trade and then let us tear that product down as well.

Vu Nguyen said,
So tell me, which product is considered the Master of it's trade and then let us tear that product down as well.

Yes simplezz, enlighten us.

simplezz said,

That's the thing. If someone wants a truly mobile device, there are far better options out there. Google's Nexus line of tablets or Apple's iPad offer a far more compelling ecosystem. And for a good deal less money as well.

You're doing it wrong and are still trapped at the bottom of the same thought hole that many others are.

A surface PRO is NOT meant to replace only the casual tablets.
It's for those who might be looking for better mobility than a laptop and don't want to carry both a laptop and an apple or android tablet.

simplezz said,

Google's Nexus line of tablets or Apple's iPad offer a far more compelling ecosystem.

Not for me. In my world the Microsoft ecosystem is the most compelling.

simplezz said,
Google's Nexus line of tablets or Apple's iPad offer a far more compelling ecosystem.

More compelling to the power user than a full blown version of Windows? I think not.

The very fact that the SP3 can run (and includes) a full-blown Windows 8.1 - and can run Office 2013 without compromises (including Project and Visio) AND can even be used as a portable development station (it CAN run Visual Studio) means it can do anything a laptop can - remember, Ultrabooks were designed as the evolution of portable PCs. If you absolutely need Android tablet apps, add BlueStacks or GenyMotion - heck, add an Android VM (the SP3 also supports Hyper-V); you're not locked down.

As others have stated, there's no reason to get a Surface Pro if you're just going to watch Youtube videos and post on Facebook. Sure, in that case, there are better alternatives. As the word "Pro" implies, this machine is for the mobile professional. This is probably the most powerful device released in such a mobile form factor. You will get one of these to get work done, plain and simple. It's no different than those people complaining about the price of a Mac Pro without considering the intended audience for one; you'd be wasting your money getting a Mac Pro to browse facebook and play the Sims, just as you would a Surface Pro.

I have a Nexus 7 and it's only used for skype and quick web browsing. My work is getting me a Pro 3 so that I can do some pathology annotations and CT/PET contouring. The pen will be invaluable.

simplezz said,

That's the thing. If someone wants a truly mobile device, there are far better options out there. Google's Nexus line of tablets or Apple's iPad offer a far more compelling ecosystem. And for a good deal less money as well.

I don't use laptops generally, so I won't debate the pros and cons of that use case. Though I will say that the Surface Pro strikes me as a Jack of all trades, master of none.

when you see someone bash(always) a company for no reason at all and make comparison like theses it's obvious you are one "trying to hard" type. It's like comparing a bike with a car. A car takes you places, a bike is limited to how much you can stand it's limitation.

NeoTrunks said,
As the word "Pro" implies, this machine is for the mobile professional..

Not even. It's for ANYONE who wants tun run Windows 8 in a tablet formfactor with a nod to "lapability" included.
Not just "professionals"

ZipZapRap said,

Not even. It's for ANYONE who wants tun run Windows 8 in a tablet formfactor with a nod to "lapability" included.
Not just "professionals"

While yea, it allows you to do that, there's cheaper ways of achieving that.

NeoTrunks said,

While yea, it allows you to do that, there's cheaper ways of achieving that.


Cheaper, not better. There are MANY tradeoffs when going with those cheaper ways. Screen quality, speed, pen input, speed, audio quality, peripheral support, did I mention speed?

The other thing I always find funny (scratch that, irritating) is how people recommend "a different device" if you want a better keyboard (or insert item that some other device does "better"). Why not just buy a better keyboard? If the best possible typing experience is what you want then buy the keyboard you want -- and STILL use the Surface. You have a choice. If you want more stable "lapability", then buy a case with a heavy base like those used by ipad users. And if you're lucky, those cases will come with a decent keyboard.

But still buy a Surface.

And sorry, the type cover is NOT required unless you're doing a lot of, wait for it, TYPING. You will still get a better experience all around and absolutely KILLER speed with no lag with this device. If you can afford it, it'll run spheres around other "tablets" for casual use as well.

The only use case I don't recommend this for is the user who is dead set on an 8" device. But then, you don't sell a car to someone asking for a motorcycle.

you see, when people start bringing in ipad / nexus into the topic with surface pro, they probably don't have a clue what the machine is meant for.
For iPad case, why there is Macbook Air 11" out there from the same Apple company if it's such a fantastic device. And why would Microsoft bring up Surface with windows RT ( tho that's pretty much a fail in my book) as a separate line of product when there is Surface Pro running full-blown windows 8. Let's not forget Google's fail chromebook project too.
There is much more stuff to do than just hogging a relative large portable device to watch youtube, checking facebook status, twitter feed etc... there are work need to be done, and that's where the surface pro comes in, and as emphasized through out the whole review, this is a ultrabook not a tablet.

On the side note, that type cover do suck pretty bad. I wish Microsoft can come out with something thicker with a decent keyboard, battery packed in and can hold the surface in certain viewing angle without the need for the kick stand. kinda like the keyboard stand Lenovo did for their windows tab.

Adding to the awesomeness for Surface Pro line, you can install / dual boot with various kind of linux distribution if you into tinkering with drivers and stuff . Apparently Hackintosh works with previous gen of Surface Pro too, so 3 system into one... what you say about that :)

It would have been fair if you judge it as advertised. During the announcement Panay showed all those that came to cover the announcement how they all whipped out their MBA and have their iPads in the bag. He re-iterated that that is exactly what the surface 3 is here to solve.
1 device for these type of folks and their type of use case scenario.
Rather than the cost of MBA or Ultra book + iPad or other combinations of sort like that, all you need is surface pro 3 that can be used as a tablet, take notes with its N-Trig Pen, attach keyboard when serious work needs to be done.

In your case, I will agree if a nexus at way lest cost fulfills your needs, But your needs and use case is not the same for all is simply what I think you should also consider.

Nice writeup. Already planning on getting one of these in a few weeks. Replacing a Windows laptop and an Android tablet.. run everything while on the go without carrying a bunch of extra hardware, even Android stuff for giggles.. can't wait.

I'll never understand why they always put some flimsy keyboard with these tables, trying to make you think it'll replace you laptop.

Sorry, not going to happen, tablets are a FAD. Maybe ok for some casual entertainment, news articles, or facebook, but are never going to replace laptops or desktops for any real work.

In fact when I go for holidays, its, should I take my tablet and my laptop? Nah, tablet is a waste of space, and would get minimal use anyway, just take the laptop.