Microsoft’s third-generation tablet is rolling out with more configurations, a larger screen, and other worthy enhancements.
The old adage about “third time’s the charm” with Microsoft products would seem to apply to its just-released Surface Pro 3.
Succumbing to the ‘new model’ syndrome
Let me get something off my chest right away — I’m feeling a little ripped off. Barely six months ago, I plunked down a bunch of money for the Surface Pro 2. And I was really happy with it … until Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 3. Surely Microsoft knew last November that it had an even better product so close to market! But then that’s the rub with many products — especially digital devices.
Still — a bigger screen, a bit more memory, and additional storage proved too tempting. I gave the Surface Pro 2 to my son and plunked down a bunch more money for the Surface Pro 3 (more on that shortly).
With that said, I’ll suspend my personal angst and move on to evaluating what Microsoft has delivered with the Surface Pro 3.
Yes, just as Microsoft touts, many users really can use the Surface Pro 3 (info page; see Figure 1) as both a tablet and their one-and-only laptop. Add on a docking station, and many users can even dispense with their desktop computers. (For a personal take on living with a combo tablet/laptop, check out fellow contributor Lincoln Spector’s April 3 story, “30 days of working and living on a Win8 laplet.”)
As with the Surface Pro 2 — and unlike iPads and most other tablets — the Surface Pro 3 offers the power and features needed to perform serious computing work. To begin with, it has a full, standard version of Windows 8.1 — not the far more limited Win8.1 RT. The tablet’s maximum 8GB of system memory and a 512GB SSD puts it on a par with many laptops and common desktops.