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1,013 of 1,049 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SURFACE PRO 3 A STUDENTS POINT OF VIEW
Microsoft seems to always advertise their Surface Pro products towards businesses, IT, artists, and engineers. They forget to mention the great benefit this Surface Pro 3 has for students! I'm going to give 6 reasons why the Surface 3 is great for students, such as myself.

First, a quick about me. I am currently a biochemistry major in college and while taking...
Published 8 months ago by Joseph Soquiat

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752 of 789 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Hybrid Device, Just know what your looking to do with it.
I'm writing this review from the perspective of an Animation/VFX student. While deciding what portable device would be best for me during school, I read a ton of reviews of different laptops and tablets before I finally decided on the Surface Pro 3 i7 model. One of the problems I had with buying this device, was that either the reviews for it were less than stellar but...
Published 6 months ago by Joe Sawicki


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1,013 of 1,049 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SURFACE PRO 3 A STUDENTS POINT OF VIEW, June 25, 2014
Microsoft seems to always advertise their Surface Pro products towards businesses, IT, artists, and engineers. They forget to mention the great benefit this Surface Pro 3 has for students! I'm going to give 6 reasons why the Surface 3 is great for students, such as myself.

First, a quick about me. I am currently a biochemistry major in college and while taking 20 units last quarter, most days I would have to carry 5 notebooks, occasionally 1-2 textbooks, 1-2 lab notebooks, and my surface RT tablet. In short, my backpack was thick and heavy.

Introduce, the Surface Pro 3, and the 6 reasons why it is absolutely great for students.

1) It can replace your notebooks for note taking.
With the new surface pen and larger screen, taking notes is a breeze. Writing on it feels great, though a little slippery, but great nonetheless. Now, I have no need for my 5 notebooks or the many colored pens that I would carry. With Onenote, all my notes are organized and will stay that way. And since it backs up to the cloud, accessing it from anywhere is a great convenience. Having my notes for me to study at any time on my phone ensures I can always have my access to my notes. In short, it organized my school life and made my bag lighter and thinner.

2) It can replace your textbooks.
Because of its 12 inch, high resolution, paper-like screen, reading e-book versions of textbooks, as well as PDF's, feels "normal" if that makes sense. The 1.76 pound SP3 greatly reduces the weight of my Physics, O-chem, and Biology textbooks in my backpack. Also, having textbooks on my surface means I’ll never have the scenario where I accidentally leave my textbook at my home/dorm/apartment. Another bonus, the ability to use the Surface Pen to mark up PDF's and textbooks allows for great in-text note taking and editing.

3) It can replace your tablet.
Looking at the SP3 as just a tablet, there is one obvious drawback, the lack of the overall amount of apps in the Windows App Store when compared to that of iOS and Android. Note however that you can install desktop applications on the SP3. More on that later. Although the Windows Market is small, it has most of the general apps that people use on tablets (Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Skype, etc.) For apps like Youtube and Instagram, you can find non-official apps that simulate the official one quite well. There are also a hand full of fun games you can find on the windows market. Many review say it's a ghost town, but it you look around you can find some pretty good apps. All this tablet talk is important to me as a student because there are times, of course, when I don't want to study or have free time. Simple apps can keep me occupied will during gaps between classes, or when I'm at home and want to play a quick game or use Netflix.

4) It can replace your laptop.
This is Microsoft's main theme for this product. And in short, it can, given some compromises. It runs full Window's 8.1 Professional so most (if not all) of the desktop applications that can be run on Windows is compatible. This is great if you have specific programs you need to run, or just want to install popular programs like Spotify or Steam. This makes the whole "lack of apps" problem not as significant. Speaking of programs, I like to run Steam for playing games. The SP3 is not a gaming machine by any standard, but on low settings it can run games at a playable frame rate. I have the i5 processer, 8 gigs of RAM, 256 ssd version and it runs smoothly and quickly when running everyday tasks, much like a laptop. Also, the Type Cover Keyboard is greatly improved from the previous generations. If you are going to be typing for long periods of time, it may not be the best for you. But for everything else it works great. The second magnetic strip that attaches to the bezel provides great support. The touchpad is a little small, but once you get used to it that doesn’t become a problem. I suggest trying one out for yourself because everyone is different. Lastly, the new kickstand allows for many angles in which you can position the surface. Again, I suggest testing a surface for yourself. In the end, it’s not exactly like a laptop, but it can do all the things an Ultrabook can.

5) It can simulate a desktop.
With a monitor/tv, and Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, this tablet can be connected to a screen and run a dual-screen interface. This is what I do and it makes a huge difference. A larger than 12 inch screen and full keyboard and mouse simulates a desktop feel. Being able to come back to my room and plug in my SP3, and just as easily disconnect the SP3 and leave, makes me ultra-portable and efficient.

6) All of this, and its 1.76 lbs and 0.36 inch thin.
Even if you don’t like the SP3, its undeniable that it is a great piece of hardware. Students are always on the move and having a light device like this, that can replace a multitude of things in your backpack, is a real convenience. No more thick textbooks, no more having to carry multiple notebooks, and no more need to carry a laptop and tablet. Less weight, less thickness. From my experience, I can get anywhere from 6-10 hours of battery life. It really depends what you’re doing and what your settings are. The SP3 should be able last the whole day for most student class schedules.

In closing, if you are a student and are looking for something for school, take a look at the SP3. Is it expensive, yes. But it is an incredibly versatile piece of technology that can help to simplify your life. I hope this review helped and thanks for reading! (P.S. Students get a 10% discount when you buy from a Microsoft Store or their online store! Take advantage!)
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752 of 789 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Hybrid Device, Just know what your looking to do with it., August 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm writing this review from the perspective of an Animation/VFX student. While deciding what portable device would be best for me during school, I read a ton of reviews of different laptops and tablets before I finally decided on the Surface Pro 3 i7 model. One of the problems I had with buying this device, was that either the reviews for it were less than stellar but for non product related issues, or I couldn't find a good review by someone who was looking to do what I wanted to do with it (Animation/VFX programs such as Maya and Creative cloud mainly).

To start, let me say that if you think the price on this device is too high and would be better at a $400 price point like most other "high end" tablets, then look elsewhere because this Hybrid device is not for you. Of course cheaper is ALWAYS better on the wallet, but that does not mean its a better device. iPads and Galaxy Tabs a great devices, but neither of them can compete (currently) with what the Surface Pro 3 brings to the table. This is a full Windows laptop, in a tablet form factor. It can run practically anything your desktop pc can run with little to no sacrificing (except maybe in gaming...more on that later).

Now onto my actual review. To say that I love this device is an understatement. It can run everything I need it to run. The screen is absolutely fantastic. It has a great build quality and is super thin (even considering whats packed inside this thing). I can see the fault with its weight, if your not expecting it. It is surely heavier than other tablets and could possibly be an issue for one handed operation but it isn't the end of the world.

The main reason I bought this was to run the software I need for my schooling while away on business trips, and to also watch a movie or two on those long plane trips across the country.

-SOFTWARE-
Maya runs GREAT. Obviously you can't render on this too much, but I use it to model then bring it up on my desktop to do the rendering. It runs very smooth and fast. Much better than I expected it to run to be honest. The only issue I can see so far, is with the screen resolution so high, the text is very, very, VERY small on the screen. If your proficient enough in Maya, i'm sure the text won't be too much of an issue as you can just short cut everything and just remember where certain keys are. I am no expert, so I keep a cheat sheet close by. Also you can search the internet for ways to increase the text size in maya by editing config files which I find to be somewhat useful as well. I save all of my data on a high end USB 3.0 Flash Drive (Corsair GTX). That way I can move it from Surface Pro, to my Mac Pro with no issues.

Photoshop runs great as well. The stylus that comes with this is made by N-trig and not Wacom, but seems to do the job fairly well. Adobe hasn't made a Surface friendly version yet (to my knowledge), but the full on version seems to be working just fine with the keyboard attachment. This is the same for After Effects. I don't use much of the other programs in CC. For any editing I us FCPX on my mac. I'm sure Premier would run ok on this for smaller projects.

Office works great, no issue there. I also use Move Magic Screenwriter for any script writing I do, That runs great as well. I found since buying this that I tend to write more than I used to just for the fact I'm not tied to a table with my desktop. This would be true of any laptop, but just another plus.

The screen being such a high resolution, Movies just pop off and look stunning. I have yet to find a file type that won't run on this. I can't really comment on the sound quality as I use head phones for 99% of my time with it.

Gaming is a mixed bag but really shouldn't be the main reason you buy this. The version I got (i7 512SSD) has the HD5000 integrated gpu. It's ok for what it is but I really with is had either the new Nvidia gnu or at least the new intel Iris chipset. With either of these, I feel serious gaming could be a GIANT plus for this. Anyway, I tried a few different games on it just to see how hard I could push it. WoW runs pretty decent a medium settings in higher populated zones I would get maybe 20FPS, in lower zones I could get 30+. I'm not sure you'd want to do any serious end game stuff on this, but it may be possible. Wildstar ran about the same as Wow (to be expected), but the frame rate was a bit lower. By turning it down some, you can get the FPS at a reasonable level. Big First person shooters (COD, Titanfall, Battlefield etc...) are not really all that great. They can be played but the frames drop too low to be actually competitive. Simpler games like Child of light run really good.

So if I love it, then why on 3 stars? Well I'll tell you. I like to start all my reviews at 5 stars, then take away or add as I see fit. The first thing is, yes this should be packed with the keyboard. Microsoft is aiming it at the laptop customer base, so it should behave like one...with a keyboard. Paying $2k then another $130 is crazy. I'm sure you can fine a solid bluetooth keyboard that would work just as good, but it won't act as a screen protector when folded.

Another problem - What I like to do with any new copy of Windows is to get all the updates in line before adding anything else to the machine. This is no different. During the update process, I had the table overheat and shut down TWICE. I kind of expected heat would be an issue somewhere, but not during updates. This immediately put a sour taste in my mouth. After a few attempts, the updates went through and then a Firmware update came which installed just fine. After this firmware update, I have not overheated but also haven't had any new updates to install...

And one more major concern is with the MicroSD slot. First it looks like an afterthought. Its sort of hidden on the back behind the kickstand. Some people may like the incognito slot, I for one don't. If using it in a tablet form and you want to change the memory card for whatever reason, you have to pop the kickstand just to get to the slot. But first, you have to be lucky you get one with a WORKING SLOT. My sd slot was deemed defective. It will not read any card I put in it (yes the cards work). With Microsoft on the phone, we went through multiple troubleshooting options before they gave up and said it was dead. Being under warranty, Microsoft said I could send it back and they would replace it no problem, roughly a 5-10 day turnaround (5 stars for Microsoft Customer service. I actually felt like they were trying to help me on the phone). However, they (and myself) thought the best solution would be to first contact the seller, TigerDirect and try to get an immediate replacement. This was about a week ago, and so far Tiger Direct (zero stars here) has not responded to my attempts to replace this. I work in the electronics field, I know devices can be shipped broken, but ignoring the customers is not the best way to go about it. This isn't a review of Customer service...Just be wary on who you buy it from.

Due to me paying what I did, and the device have a broken slot, strange overheating issues and not being packed with the keyboard, I had to take away a couple stars. I would give it a 3.5 if I could, but I can't.

It really is a great device for any student or working professional looking for something as powerful as a Laptop mixed with the portability of a tablet. Just know what your buying. If you want a tablet to play AngryBirds and surf the net a little, this is going to be overkill. If your trying to edit movies, while it may be possible, just know that rendering anything on this will most likely cause heating issues not to mention take 10x the time it would to just export it to an actual Desktop PC/Mac with more power. I'll continue to update and refine as I use it more.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find something useful in my review.
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661 of 694 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Massive improvement over its predecessor. Amazing computer., June 23, 2014
By 
DP21 (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5) (Personal Computers)
Pros-

1. Big beautiful and responsive display.
2. Very fast and fluid.
3. Very thin and light design.
4. Much improved keyboard.
5. Kickstand is better than ever.

Cons-

1. Only a single USB port.
2. Can get pretty hot with intense use.
3. Price.
4. The app store is still very limited.
5. Battery life is still not optimal for tablet use.

Last year I purchased the Surface Pro 2 as soon as it came out and I was a big fan of it. I put up with some of the limitations it came with because I liked the portability and flexibility that it provided. I am happy to say that the Surface Pro 3 has improved on a lot of those limitations. It is an overall better experience. In this review I intend to give you an idea of what it feels to use the Surface Pro 3 and at the same time compare it with the Surface Pro 2 in case you are deciding to purchase that one.

Pros-

1. As soon as you take a look at the new Surface Pro 3 the first thing you will notice is how much bigger it is in comparison to the Surface Pro 2. The display in the Surface Pro 3 has been increased to 12 inches and it makes a big difference in the user experience. Running the laptop in desktop mode is much more enjoyable now. The new 3:2 aspect ratio is much better optimized to use with the desktop applications for Windows. It makes for a more polished experience and comfortable experience. The Surface Pro 3 screen is also very responsive just like the Surface Pro 2 was. The resolution in the display was increased a little bit but I can't really notice much of a difference. Both of the displays have very nice color accuracy and look gorgeous. The only flaw I see in the display is that now all of the videos in Netflix, YouTube and media players have black bars on the top and bottom just like you see in modern TVs. The Surface Pro 2 did not have those borders. It is a real shame that the Surface Pro 3 is not taking advantage of the increased size of the display when it comes to videos. This appears to be because of the 3:2 ratio i mentioned before.

2. The experience on the Surface Pro 3 is very fast and fluid. It is much faster than any android tablet on the market or the Ipad for that matter. It is not a fair comparison though because the processor in the Surface Pro 3 is simply much faster than the one in the Ipad. The model I am using has a i5 processor that has been running wonderfully. Everything that I throw at it loads up in an instant. I have not experienced a single stutter in the last couple of weeks. I always have several applications running in the background such as Spotify and Utorrent. I also have a really bad habit of having 10-12 tabs opened in Google Chrome at all times. Not a problem with the Surface Pro 3. Honestly, it is not a problem for the Surface Pro 2 either. The boot times are pretty awesome too. You know how it takes your old computer a couple of minutes to boot up and have everything ready to use? If you buy a Surface Pro 3 your computer takes only about 15 seconds to have everything up and running and ready to use. The only thing I have not tested in this laptop has been gaming. I am fairly certain it can probably handle light games but will probably have a harder time handling heavy duty games since it doesn't have a dedicated graphic card. Maybe the i7 model can but I can't really say.

3. Another hardware improvement in the Surface Pro 3 over the Surface Pro 2 has been weight reduction and a much thinner design. The Surface Pro 2 looks like a fat brick compared to the new Surface Pro 3. The overall weight reduction is not dramatic but noticeable, especially when you are using it as a tablet. The Surface Pro 3 feels less dense than the previous model. It is still not as comfortable to use as an Ipad when you have it in tablet mode but it has definitely being improved. Browsing the web and reading the news in tablet mode is better than on the smaller Ipad. I had a hard time going back to my old Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 when I stopped using the Pro 3. It just feels small in comparison. If you were turned off by the aesthetic of the Surface Pro 2 then you will probably appreciate the improvements that the Surface Pro 3 brings to the table.

4. One of the weakest points that the Surface Pro 2 had last year was the keyboard. The Type Cover 2 from last year provided a nice typing experience but the trackpad was a complete disaster. It was very small and uncomfortable to use. There was no way around it. This year however the trackpad has received a big upgrade. The trackpad is much bigger and the left and right buttons are much more tactile. Every time I had to do a right click on the Surface Pro 2 I wanted to throw the laptop out the balcony. It was that bad. The Pro 3 doesn't have that problem. Besides the extra size in the display this has been the biggest and most satisfying improvement that the Surface Pro 3 brings. The keyboard also has a magnet that connects itself to the laptop that raises the keys. It is a nice addition that makes the typing experience more comfortable.

5. The kickstand in the Surface Pro 3 provides a lot of flexibility over previous versions. This is how it should have been from the beginning. I can use the computer as a laptop just about anywhere now. It definitely provides more comfort when you are trying to use on your lap or while sitting on the bed. The improvement in the kickstand has made me use the computer more as a laptop than a tablet.

Cons-

1. One of the limitations that the Surface Pro 3 has is the lack of USB ports. I think it is ironic that Microsoft keeps advertising that the Surface Pro 3 as the tablet that can replace your laptop. Apparently they missed the memo that just about every laptop has at least two USB ports. This computer only has one. Sometimes I like to use a wireless mouse that comes with a USB receiver, that takes away the possibility of plugging in a USB flash drive or anything else. Microsoft opted to add a Mini DisplayPort that almost nobody is going to use as opposed to a second USB drive. This was one of my criticisms of the Surface Pro 2 and Microsoft still has not fixed it. It is really baffling.

2. The Surface Pro 3 is a pretty powerful computer that can handle some serious workload. Unfortunately one of the downsides is that it can get pretty hot with intensive use. This is not a problem when you are using it as a laptop with the kickstand because the heat is not placed in your lap but it can be irritating when being used as a tablet. The hot spot is located in the top right corner of the laptop when used in landscape mode. It becomes more manageable when used in portrait mode. You learn to adjust after a while.

3. The Surface Pro 3 is a very fast, very nice and very expensive laptop. The entry level price of the laptop starts at $799 dollars and that is without the keyboard included. The keyboard is going to cost you an extra $130 dollars. If you are a student don't forget there is a 10% discount on both the keyboard and the computer if you buy it directly from Windows. I am not sure if other retailers like Best Buy are offering a price match on that promotion. All of the accessories that Microsoft sells for the Surface Pro 3 are just as expensive. One word of CAUTION with the $799 model. It only comes with 64 GB of storage out of which only about half of is usable. But not only that, the updates that Microsoft releases monthly take a lot of storage over the life of the tablet. I made the mistake of purchasing the 64 GB model with the Pro 2 and it ended up being a mistake. After 6 months I only had about 11 GB left. The laptop comes with a MicroSD card slow where you can store movies and pictures but the Microsoft Updates have to be stored on the hard drive, there is no way around it. The $999 model comes with double the storage and a better processor. It is a better value for your money.

4. Another year has passed and Microsoft still has not managed to improve the App Store. It is still lacking. It is very inferior to the Google Play Store and the IOS App Store. The advantage the Surface Pro 3 has is you can install any Windows legacy program that you want. That includes the full Microsoft Office suite. The lack of quality apps on the Microsoft Store is going to be a turn off for those of you that plan to use this computer more as a tablet than a laptop.

5. The battery life in the Surface Pro 3 has been improved marginally over the Surface Pro 2. I would say it is about 15% better. I manage to get around 7 hours of use. That was while using it mostly for light things such as web browsing and listening to music. If you start streaming videos on Netflix and YouTube and crank up the brightness to 100% then it will last between 4-5 hours. That is average for modern ultrabook laptops but mediocre at best for tablets. I know the Ipad can easily handle 10 hours.

In conclusion, the Surface Pro 3 features several improvements over its predecessor the Surface Pro 2. It has a gorgeous 12 inch display. Very fast processor and a much improved overall design. The body of the laptop is much thinner and lighter. The kickstand extends itself farther than in the past allowing for a more comfortable experience while using in the lap. The trackpad in the keyboard is bigger and more accurate than in the Surface Pro 2. There are some negatives like the lack of apps in the app store and only one USB port is available in the computer. Do I recommend this computer? I sure do. It is an excellent piece of hardware that is sure to please you whether you are doing work or play.
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660 of 709 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface Pro 3 is the Future, June 19, 2014
I currently own Surface 2, MacBook PRO 15 inch, and an iPhone 5 so I am not bias to either side (replacing the MacBook Pro/S2 with the SP3). Choose the product that is best featured, not best brand - this drives competition and consumer quality. I am going to list PROs and CONs organized into significant and common. Significant PROs/CONs is a term for uniqueness or high-end / setback or low-end. Common is a term for similar features or specifications amongst its peers. Most comparisons are between the SP3 12" to MacBook Air 11.6" (2013) model (due to its public familiarity, size, and prestige). The MacBook Air 11.6" (2014) model improves with a slight faster CPU clock (0.1 GHz) and PCIe SSD almost making it the same MacBook Air - refer to TechnoBuffalo (2014) for technical specifications of the MacBook Air 11.6" 2014 model, thus it is safe to compare SP3 with the MacBook Air 2013 model. Everything will be cited (loosely APA format) for viewers to check credibility.

Significant PROs:
i. Resolution: 2160x1440 (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air 1366x768 (Apple, 6/19/2014)
ii. Display Panel: 12" IPS (Engadget, 5/25/2014) - MacBook Air 11.6" TN (Anandtech, 6/24/2013) - IPS panel has better viewing angels as well as color saturation versus a TN panel. IPS panels are also more expensive.
iii. Kickstand - Variable degrees, can also be open from both sides now!
iv. Performance: Top performer in its PC category with PCMARK7 5,024 and 3DMARK06 5,053 (Engadget, 5/25/2014)
v. SSD Speed: Top performer in its PC category with 555 MB/s read and 252 MB/s write (Engadget, 5/25/2014) - Note, MacBook Air (2014) read/write speeds are significantly higher compared to SP3 Flash memory with its PCIe interface (very expensive) averaging in the 700MB/s.
vi. Camera: 5.0 megapixel 1080p front-and-rear facing (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air 720p front facing only (Apple, 6/19/2014)
vii. Power Supply - The magnet for the Surface 2 took precision and accuracy to get it connected to charge. The SP3 slides in without any actual effort. Microsoft also hinted that it is also possibly a thunderbolt type connection (able to transmit data). Another cool thing that pertains to travelers especially is the brick on the power supply contains a USB 2.0 port so you can charge your phones (possibly transmit data?) while charging the SP3 - I say to them, "GENIUS!"
viii. Graphics: Intel HD 4400 (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air (2013/2014) Intel HD 5000 (Apple, 6/19/2014) - Cinebench OpenGL: SP3 had 20.55 FPS (HotHardware, 2014) versus MacBook Air (2014) 18.28 FPS (LaptopMag, 2014) - Higher is better.

Common PROs:
i. Physical Size WxDxH: 11.5"x7.93"x0.55"[0.36" + 0.19" Type Cover] (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air 11.8"x7.56"x0.68" (Apple, 6/19/2014)
ii. Physical Weight: 2.42 lbs [Type Cover included] (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air 2.38 lbs (Apple, 6/19/2014)
iii. Network: 802.11ac - For more information regarding 802.11ac, refer to TrustedReviews (2013). (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air 802.11ac (Apple, 6/24/2013) - Side note, both run Bluetooth 4.0
a. Many ask, why this isn't LTE? Cheaper alternative is to turn on your hotspot on your phone. Don't have LTE on your phone? Then why are you asking for LTE on this if you don't even plan on getting it. Adding more data to the plan is cheaper than adding another service line.
iv. Intel 4th generation (Haswell)
v. Pen - pressure sensitivity downgraded from 1,024 degrees to 256 degrees, but when tested, user never actuates the full 256 degrees, refer to PennyArcade (2014) for more details. The Pen made improvements over its predecessors, but lag is what is holding it back. (PennyArcade, 6/13/2014)
vi. App Market - Microsoft Market is still small in comparison to Android and iTunes, but you know what is amazing about a real 64-bit computer? The ability to install any programs you want and one of those programs is called the Android Market. You can download and install Android onto your SP3 and take advantage of the full ecosystem of the Android market while having a 64-bit operating system. [...] by Sean Ong
vii. Battery Life: SP3 real 7 hours and 8 minutes (Engadget, 2014), theoretical 9 hours web browsing (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air theoretical 9 hours web browsing (Apple, 6/19/2014)
viii. Type Cover - In my personal view, I view this as a PRO due to its innovation, but the overwhelming public believes this should be a CON because it should be included or much cheaper. Take this into consideration before coming to conclusion. The Type Cover is a mechanical keyboard that is backlit, portable, and also a cover. You want Microsoft to have it included with the SP3? Downgrade the resolution, the display panel, the camera while removing the rear facing, remove the kickstand, make it a little fatter, and remove the pen feature so it is now on the same level as a MacBook Air - sure we will add a Type Cover for free. :/
ix. Metal encasing
x. Ports: microSD, headphone jack, and mini display port

Significant CONs:
i. USB 3.0: 1 (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air 2 (Apple, 6/19/2014)

Common CONs:
*Keep in mind, Apple has discounted $100 on the 2013 models to clear out for the 2014. Essentially, the 2014 model may actually be the same price and specifications as the SP3.
i. SSD Storage: i5 128GB, 4GB RAM cost $999 / i5 256GB, 8GB RAM cost $1,299 (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air i5 128GB, 4GB RAM cost $899 / MacBook Air i5 256GB, 8GB RAM cost $1,199 (Apple, 6/19/2014)
a. Another cool thing about SP is the ability to add microSD cards increasing storage.
ii. RAM: i5 128GB model contains 4GB DDR3 1600 cost $999 (Microsoft, 6/19/2014) - MacBook Air i5 128GB model [configured] contains 8GB DDR3 1600 cost $999 (Apple, 6/19/2014).
a. Those that want the SP3 8GB model must purchase the 256GB or 512GB storage SSDs. In my opinion, 4GB is sufficient for EVERYTHING besides a few things. 8GB model is only necessary if Photoshop or any other graphic intensive program is used [Facebook, Android, or any APP games do not count] (Due to the nature of the integrated graphics sharing memory with the RAM, increasing the memory will increase performance).

Nor PRO/CON
i. Audio - unable to judge fairly - I do not own a MacBook Air 11.6" model. SP3 sound is a large improvement over its predecessors though - they are now Dolby Audio stereo front facing.
ii. Windows 8.1 - Many users don't want to adopt the new OS and is the main reason why they don't upgrade. Windows 8.1 can actually be transformed into a Windows 7 with a start menu app and setting desktop view as default. Why not just keep Windows 7? Windows 8.1 is optimized by the latest generation of Intel and SSDs (Perfect example is found in section viii under Significant PRO, where SP3 Intel HD 4400 out performs MacBook Air's Intel HD 5000). Performance gain is huge in comparison to Windows 7. One defined example is Battlefield 4 where users found an FPS increase up to 50-100 FPS. Boot times shortened up to 15 seconds on SSDs! If you are a performance hog, Windows 8.1 is a must.

Overall - Much of the downfall of the SP3 that many reviewers say is in actuality, are on par or better than the MacBook Air 11.6" (2013/2014). Bias tech reviews purposely mislead readers that the SP3 battery life is terrible in comparison to the MacBook Air 13.3" (2013) model since it can pull real 12 hours and 51 minutes of life, but most don't question that the 13.3" model is larger, heavier, and has more space to fit a larger battery. Microsoft also does this at its presentation stating the SP3 and Type Cover is lighter than the MacBook Air 13.3" model, but hides the fact that it is slightly heavier (0.04 lbs) than the 11.6" model. You will notice many Apple Bias tech reviewers such as Engadget, Gizmodo especially, and TechRadar purposely mislead the consumer downgrading a product that in actuality is a fantastic product. I solely believe SP is the future of computing and All-In-One, but it's up to the consumer to buy products by features and not by brand or an Apple logo. Consumers need to think more critically when reading tech reviews. Laptops cannot get any thinner in the near future than the SP3 without the keyboard (or else you will soon be sacrificing the USB port). The physical size and weight is at its peak. The future is about performance, display, and battery life. I rather let the engineers and developers of the SP3 finish my review of the SP3.

I said to them "listen, I am an edge case. I don't use this machine the way most of your users will use it. I understand this thing isn't going to do everything for everyone." Their answer was basically "why not?" -Gabe (PennyArcade, 6/13/2014)

I rarely do reviews, but give credit where credit is due. SP3 is a work of art. Please comment if there is anything else I should add that I missed or didn't explain well enough.

References
AnandTech - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
Apple - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
HotHardware - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
LaptopMag - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
Microsoft - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
PennyArcade - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
TechnoBuffalo - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]
TrustedReviews - Retrieved 6/19/2014. [...]

----------<UPDATE>----------

Type cover Issue
-When the keyboard is in its upward/slanted position. Icons on the toolbar and taskbar becomes very difficult to press, requiring the pen to press or having the keyboard laying flat.

USB 2.0
-USB 2.0 on the charger does not connect to the SP3, it only serves as a charging port.

Sound
-The sound is astonishingly brilliant. It will surprise many customers at the depth it can produce between the two small slits.

Pen
-for the unlucky ones, you may have to purchase a micro screwdriver (size #00) to change the 319 batteries if the button fails to work.

Battery Life
-The battery life will surprise many people as well. The battery life was underestimated by Microsoft (suppose low expectations?). I didn't officially time it, but during my 5 hour lecture, I had ~55% remaining with the brightness at 75. I can easily go for a 9-10 hour note taking/web surfing (5 hour lecture leads me to boredom).

Misc.
-Scrolling anything upwards (flicking the page up), it lags using Adobe Reader XI, and I don't really understand why. The reader that came preinstalled works perfectly fine.
-Headphone jack is in an awkward position, it is a hanging wire when in use.
-The Pen holder that comes with the type cover will get snagged several times in use, so be careful. I ultimately stopped using it and placed the pen in the bag.
-clear type needs to be adjusted.

OneNote 2013 Pen Feature
The unlucky few (including me). It took me a several hours from researching SP forums, Windows forums, Microsoft technical support. I manage to figure it out on my own.
Having the Pen open OneNote 2013 instead of OneNote Modern. If you have it installed, check under options>advanced section [default OnteNote Application] is there; it is below section [Pen] and above [Email sent from OneNote]. If its not there, go to Account and section [Office Update] right above [About OneNote]. If that is not there, run Windows Update and repeat previous steps. If failed, go to OneNote website (Free), and the button [Free Download] is the 32-bit OneNote (download if you installed 32-bit), if you installed 64-bit, at the bottom of the page there is a link [Other download options] for the 64-bit. Download and install (there is no need to uninstall previous OneNote). Go to options>advanced and under [Default OneNote Application], check 'Make OneNote 2013 (desktop) the default.' Close, and restart the system. When opening OneNote 2013 for the first time, it will go through 2 steps asking which default OneNote program you want to use, select OneNote (desktop) and then select the two button pen (unless you are using a different pen than the one provided). Finished!

Update 9/10/14
-Multiple software related to SP3 and not Windows 8.1 - cross tested with desktop Windows 8.1 PRO and SP3 Windows 8.1 PRO - issue still persist though expected since its still young. Microsoft can only control software by their development and not others.
-WiFi fixed is confirmed on other models sold after the of i5 models (my friend recently bought i3 model and updated firmware is now stable)
-Text is still blurry in several applications and some software. Cleartype does not fix the situation (This is my only major flaw I've had so far)
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533 of 580 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Surface Pro 3 is Amazing, June 2, 2014
Length:: 7:52 Mins

In this video I show off my favorite uses for the Surface Pro 3. This tablet is absolutely amazing in what it can do, and I'd say this is hands-down the BEST tablet and computer that money can buy. Do check out my other Surface Pro 3 videos on YouTube to learn more about this device! Enjoy. this video.

Quick pros and cons from my time with the Surface Pro 3:

Pros:
1. It's REALLY slim and portable.
2. I LOVE the larger screen size. So roomy, yet doesn't feel too big or bulky.
3. The battery life is amazing. I've not counted the hours - but I use it as I would any other tablet and I've never noticed my battery die on me.

Cons:
1. My Surface Pro 3 does go into a "deep sleep" mode (hibernate, perhaps?) when not in use overnight or for a while. When this happens, it takes a few seconds to start up vs the instant on when it just goes to sleep. I'd expect a true tablet replacement to have instant on/off capabilities.
2. The beautify of the Surface Pro 3 is that it can run heavy duty software. But if doing anything that's processor heavy, the top right corner of the Surface does get hot to the touch. I've noticed this especially when playing graphics intensive games.
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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface Pro 3 is a perfect technology for anyone who wants a tablet/ultra book hybrid., June 20, 2014
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5) (Personal Computers)
What a beautiful piece of technology. I was skeptical about MS Pro products but when I saw this thing at the local MS Store, I immediately fell in love with it. Since I am going to school in less than two months, I was already thinking about getting something that is both portable and yet versatile enough to watch videos and play some games when I am not suffering in school.

I never had a surface pro 2 but I took sometime comparing the two at the store and I have to say the third generation looks a lot better. The upgraded screen looks fantastic and much more detailed than the previous generation. Although you have to pay almost $130 more in addition to the pro 3 for the keyboard, it is almost a must-buy because the keyboard is really the reason why surface pro 3 is such a great product. A lot of reviewers online complained about how the keyboard still does not provide the best typing experience, however, I feel like it is more than adequate. The touchpad though, as many people pointed out, feels shallow but it is hard to complain when there is only that much space to work with. As I am typing this review right now on the new surface pro 3, I don't really think I am typing on a mobile keyboard. Surface pro 3 comes with a Micro SD extension slot so you can expand the storage as you wish. The USB slot is a life saver and something tablets like iPad air (which I own) desperately needs. A relatively fluent Windows 8 user, I find the OS much more intuitive running on a touch screen. Give it a run I am sure most fluent Windows 7 or even XP user would have little issue with it. The new pen is a very nice touch. Writing notes now is much easier. I spent fifteen minutes to set this little thing up and used it immediately in a meeting this afternoon and I had a pretty pleasant time with it.

Overall, through a day of usage, this little thing has already made me very very happy. To those who are thinking about getting a ultra book or a tablet for school, give Surface Pro 3 a try. I really think it is a very nice companion for students and business people who want more functionality than tablets without the extra weights of laptops or even ultra books.

P.S. Students and Teachers get 10% off. People at the store didn't even confirm me as a student so maybe you can get it also without actually being a student or teacher. GOOD LUCK!

Update 1.........................................................................................................................................................................................

I have been streaming World Cup on this little thing and can I just say it is getting crazy in Brazil!?

While I was talking with my friends, I have noticed a lot of the geeky ones still think this is a VERY expensive investment for ANYONE. $1,200 is a lot of money to pay for anything for a college student. It is true but what you are getting in return is a FULL computer that can also be a tablet. You might be able to get similarly spec'ed PC somewhere else for $700 but you probably won't be able to get something that is this portable and versatile. If you are replacing a very old laptop, this, IMO, isn't a very expensive choice. But if you have surface pro 2 or anything that is similar, this is probably a pretty expensive upgrade. Make sure you evaluate you situation fully so you can make the most appropriate decision.

P.S. I was so excited and just wanted to share my happiness with everyone. WANT TO RUN ANDROID OS ON YOUR SURFACE? Go to [...]. You will be able to take advantage of a massive number of android apps from Google Play Store. I thought this single emulator just made Surface that much more versatile. GOOD LUCK!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for work; fun for play, August 7, 2014
Always using laptops, I wanted a device that was portable, yet powerful. Now, I am a very picky person when it comes to technology, so my journey of discovery was a long and arduous process to decide on the perfect all-in-one for me. I wanted a device that allowed me to browse the internet and watch movies, but I also wanted to do programming, photo editing, and virtualization. Just like the title says, the Surface Pro 3 works for whatever my need is: whether it be work or play.

Appearance:

When looking at the design of the surface, there is an unmistakable beauty to it. It was very thought out: very sturdy, compact, well built, and - dare I say - has the appeal of an Apple device. The Windows button is touch-sensitive (touch screen button instead of a physical button), the device supports USB 3.0, an SD card, headphone jack, and a Mini DisplayPort HD AV (HDMI) port. The power cable is also slim, connected up along the side on the device instead of protruding out. Microsoft has increased the Surface 2 real-estate from 10.6 inches to 12 inches. This increased size is the perfect size between size and comfortably.
The kickstand supporting the Surface is one of the best features of this device, one that can virtually position the device in any angle. People might not think of this as a big benefit, until they switch from using the surface from on your desk to your bed to your lap to your... well, you get the point. It wouldn't surprise me if all tablets have similar stands in the future. Another great component, that isn't included in the box, is the Surface's keyboard. It is very well designed and snaps to the bottom of the Surface using magnets to ensure it stays in place. Adding functionality and comfortability to the keyboard, this companion also sports backlighting and is elevated at the top for increased ergonomics.

The engine:

Like I said before, I like to mix both business and pleasure into one device. The Surface Pro 3 fits the bill perfectly. I run several intensive programs that demand allot out of the machine: Photoshop for photo editing, Visual Studios for programming, debugging, and building, and VMWare/VirtualBox for virtualization. This machine handles all that I throw at it and still has room for more. For this reason, I choose the i7 with 8GB of RAM, and I would not look back. If you don't need to perform computationally heavy tasks, then you might consider the i5. Further, if you are looking for simple note taking or web surfing, you might want the i3 model. The amount of RAM that you will need also depends on the applications you are running; 8GB should suffice for most people.
Moving on, the 2160×1440 12-inch display is one of the best - if not the best - displays out there. Not to reinvent the wheel, a review was performed by a group called DisplayMate Technologies, and they concluded that the display on the Surface Pro 3 is "one of the very best and most accurate displays available on any mobile platform and OS." The pen attachment that comes along with the optional keyboard is also very well build and provides great functionality when working with the Surface; specifically OneNote and Window's pre-installed paint app. It is very accurate, fluid, and is almost like writing on a piece of paper. Click the top of the pen and the free OneNote app opens up, allowing you to take notes easily and instantly.

The Surface Pro 3, like its predecessors and most all tablets on the market, uses a SSD (Solid State Drive#. Unlike HDD's (Hard Drive Disk), SSD's contain no moving parts, thus providing a significant speed boost for everything from booting up to running programs to accessing files on the machine. Also, since there are no movie parts, the versatility of the device is also increased as you no longer have to worry about which angle to have use to device in. Moving on to the wireless, the Surface Pro 3 uses 802.11AC as a successor to wireless N (You will need a router that is capable of supporting it). Finally, the most feared aspect of the device is the Windows 8.1 operating system. There is an app that is preinstalled that demonstrated how to use the touchscreen functionality of the device. Other than that, it is really a great OS and is nicely integrated with other Microsoft services. Added functionality such as "Play to" and the SmartGlass companion app makes this a great Windows iteration. If you do feel that strongly against the operating system, it is good to know they are coming out with Windows 9 to replace Windows 8.1

Cons:

Out of all the great things about the Surface there are a few drawbacks; the price being the biggest one. It is an expensive device, but I believe you get what you paid for. Most people are unjustly comparing this to a MacBook, which is not done fairly. To get an accurate comparison, you will need to match up the specs and the value of each component over another. Another drawback is there is only one USB port. This hurts when trying to use a mouse or a thumbdrive at the same time for example. I would recommend a USB 3.0 hub to expand the number of available ports.

The beautiful screen resolution might also be a drawback for some people. Adobe Photoshop for example does not conform to the users resolution making the buttons very small. Note: that the new version (Photoshop CC) is optimized for the Surface Pro 3. This is also not a device for gaming; but it was not built to be, so I was not expecting much here. Finally, a couple small drawbacks I can see is the SSD for compliance when encrypting the device (if used for work or sensitive material) and the lack of an optical (CD) drive. For most people, these won't be an issue, but it might.

Final thoughts:

I think that the Surface Pro 3 is an amazing device that is very slim, powerful, and functional. It is easy to recommend it to business professionals, students, power users, and casual users. It fits the bill for whatever you need it - and more.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing machine for business users, August 7, 2014
I've been using this heavily ever since I bought it. It has been absolutely flawless. I take it with me to meetings that can last hours and run multiple complex excel spreadsheets on it while running off of battery power, while simultaneously taking notes in Word. I view this thing less as a tablet and more as an extremely powerful but light and ultra-compact laptop. I find programs work faster and smoother on here than even on my custom-built i5 desktop with 16 gb of RAM. And 512 gb of on-device storage gives me enough room to really work (though I prefer cloud storage to local disc storage of my data).

Still the tablet features are ever present. Bootup takes only seconds. The touchscreen is responsive and intuitive, encouraging a combination of typing on the keyboard and selecting things with your finger, increasing productivity. It is incredibly light and small, making it a pleasure to tote around.

The looks are impressive. I don't personally tend to care much about design or sleekness (unlike Apple fans). But when I take this thing out of my bag and open it up, I can't help but notice it makes an immediate impression on clients and negotiators on the other side of the table. It seems to give me instant credibility.

The Surface seems to embody the full realization of the vision behind Windows 8.1. In the "classic" Windows desktop mode (which seems identical to Windows 7 for all intents and purposes), I love being able to split the screen to keep two apps open side by side, snapping apps/windows to the left/right/maximized just by flicking them to the left or right or up, etc. with my finger. For entertainment, I touch the windows button and switch to the metro/tablet mode of Windows 8.1, where I touch apps to watch Netflix/Youtube/etc. . I'm finding I like Win 8.1 more and more, despite what the critics have said. I think the Surface has a lot to do with that.

I haven't used the pen much yet. I'm not much of an artist and don't use the Surface for that. I generally prefer to take notes by typing rather than using handwriting. But based on the few times I have used the pen, I have noticed it is fast and responsive.

After using the SP3, I can't really imagine going back to a laptop. Ever since I got the SP3, my two Lenovo laptops have been gathering dust.

I have heard people complain that gaming performance is worse even than the Surface Pro 2 because the Surface Pro 3 is designed to aggressively throttle back CPU clock speed whenever the temperature starts to rise. Maybe this is also an issue for people who need to do video editing and production on the SP3. I don't use the Surface for gaming or video editing, nor do I plan to. But as far as non-gaming performance goes, I have never noticed any slowdowns. For business and everyday purposes, this shouldn't be an issue at all.
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94 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed - Nice Work Microsoft, June 21, 2014
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5) (Personal Computers)
I wasn't highly impressed with the Surface and the Pro 2 was only marginally better. I was at a major chain yesterday and they had just put out a 3 as a demo. My old Gateway laptop with the 20 minute battery life was destined for the trash heap, but I was only half looking for a replacement.

Wow. I've only been using it for a day and a half and I'm seriously impressed. It didn't take long testing it at the store before I was sold. (Sorry Amazon, I couldn't wait, even with Prime.) I haven't been this happy with tech since I bought my first iPad. Had Microsoft made hardware of this quality ten years ago, Apple wouldn't have taken off.

The keyboard is amazing. The backlighting makes it perfect for use in a dark room and it's one of the most comfortable I've ever used on a portable device.

I've used it for hours at a time, but have never run the battery below 70%. It's great to have battery life as something I don't have to think about.

The screen is sharp and everything responds without a lag and I'm running the i5. The versions with the i7 have to absolutely scream, but I don't think it would be noticeable based on the performance I'm getting. Does Excel really need to be faster? Videos also run beautifully.

The mouse pad isn't bad, but I've never been a fan of them. Touchscreen takes away much of that pain, but my Bluetooth mouse will be here Monday.

The kickstand on the back is set perfectly. Plus, the way the keyboard folds up so it's set on an angle is genius. The flat keyboard was always an irritant for me with laptops.

I'm still getting used to Windows 8.1, but flipping back and forth to classic is a simple push of a button. No problem.

I have noticed a rare, small hot spot on the top right of the unit, but I hear what I believe is a fan kicking on when that happens. It wasn't hot enough to cause discomfort, but it was noticeable.
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99 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good improvement over its predecessor. Amazing computer., June 23, 2014
By 
DP21 (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Pros-

1. Big beautiful and responsive display.
2. Very fast and fluid.
3. Very thin and light design.
4. Much improved keyboard.
5. Kickstand is better than ever.

Cons-

1. Only a single USB port.
2. Can get pretty hot with intense use.
3. Price.
4. The app store is still very limited.
5. Battery life is still not optimal for tablet use.

Last year I purchased the Surface Pro 2 as soon as it came out and I was a big fan of it. I put up with some of the limitations it came with because I liked the portability and flexibility that it provided. I am happy to say that the Surface Pro 3 has improved on a lot of those limitations. It is an overall better experience. In this review I intend to give you an idea of what it feels to use the Surface Pro 3 and at the same time compare it with the Surface Pro 2 in case you are deciding to purchase that one.

Pros-

1. As soon as you take a look at the new Surface Pro 3 the first thing you will notice is how much bigger it is in comparison to the Surface Pro 2. The display in the Surface Pro 3 has been increased to 12 inches and it makes a big difference in the user experience. Running the laptop in desktop mode is much more enjoyable now. The new 3:2 aspect ratio is much better optimized to use with the desktop applications for Windows. It makes for a more polished experience and comfortable experience. The Surface Pro 3 screen is also very responsive just like the Surface Pro 2 was. The resolution in the display was increased a little bit but I can't really notice much of a difference. Both of the displays have very nice color accuracy and look gorgeous. The only flaw I see in the display is that now all of the videos in Netflix, YouTube and media players have black bars on the top and bottom just like you see in modern TVs. The Surface Pro 2 did not have those borders. It is a real shame that the Surface Pro 3 is not taking advantage of the increased size of the display when it comes to videos. This appears to be because of the 3:2 ratio i mentioned before.

2. The experience on the Surface Pro 3 is very fast and fluid. It is much faster than any android tablet on the market or the Ipad for that matter. It is not a fair comparison though because the processor in the Surface Pro 3 is simply much faster than the one in the Ipad. The model I am using has a i5 processor that has been running wonderfully. Everything that I throw at it loads up in an instant. I have not experienced a single stutter in the last couple of weeks. I always have several applications running in the background such as Spotify and Utorrent. I also have a really bad habit of having 10-12 tabs opened in Google Chrome at all times. Not a problem with the Surface Pro 3. Honestly, it is not a problem for the Surface Pro 2 either. The boot times are pretty awesome too. You know how it takes your old computer a couple of minutes to boot up and have everything ready to use? If you buy a Surface Pro 3 your computer takes only about 15 seconds to have everything up and running and ready to use. The only thing I have not tested in this laptop has been gaming. I am fairly certain it can probably handle light games but will probably have a harder time handling heavy duty games since it doesn't have a dedicated graphic card. Maybe the i7 model can but I can't really say.

3. Another hardware improvement in the Surface Pro 3 over the Surface Pro 2 has been weight reduction and a much thinner design. The Surface Pro 2 looks like a fat brick compared to the new Surface Pro 3. The overall weight reduction is not dramatic but noticeable, especially when you are using it as a tablet. The Surface Pro 3 feels less dense than the previous model. It is still not as comfortable to use as an Ipad when you have it in tablet mode but it has definitely being improved. Browsing the web and reading the news in tablet mode is better than on the smaller Ipad. I had a hard time going back to my old Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 when I stopped using the Pro 3. It just feels small in comparison. If you were turned off by the aesthetic of the Surface Pro 2 then you will probably appreciate the improvements that the Surface Pro 3 brings to the table.

4. One of the weakest points that the Surface Pro 2 had last year was the keyboard. The Type Cover 2 from last year provided a nice typing experience but the trackpad was a complete disaster. It was very small and uncomfortable to use. There was no way around it. This year however the trackpad has received a big upgrade. The trackpad is much bigger and the left and right buttons are much more tactile. Every time I had to do a right click on the Surface Pro 2 I wanted to throw the laptop out the balcony. It was that bad. The Pro 3 doesn't have that problem. Besides the extra size in the display this has been the biggest and most satisfying improvement that the Surface Pro 3 brings. The keyboard also has a magnet that connects itself to the laptop that raises the keys. It is a nice addition that makes the typing experience more comfortable.

5. The kickstand in the Surface Pro 3 provides a lot of flexibility over previous versions. This is how it should have been from the beginning. I can use the computer as a laptop just about anywhere now. It definitely provides more comfort when you are trying to use on your lap or while sitting on the bed. The improvement in the kickstand has made me use the computer more as a laptop than a tablet.

Cons-

1. One of the limitations that the Surface Pro 3 has is the lack of USB ports. I think it is ironic that Microsoft keeps advertising that the Surface Pro 3 as the tablet that can replace your laptop. Apparently they missed the memo that just about every laptop has at least two USB ports. This computer only has one. Sometimes I like to use a wireless mouse that comes with a USB receiver, that takes away the possibility of plugging in a USB flash drive or anything else. Microsoft opted to add a Mini DisplayPort that almost nobody is going to use as opposed to a second USB drive. This was one of my criticisms of the Surface Pro 2 and Microsoft still has not fixed it. It is really baffling.

2. The Surface Pro 3 is a pretty powerful computer that can handle some serious workload. Unfortunately one of the downsides is that it can get pretty hot with intensive use. This is not a problem when you are using it as a laptop with the kickstand because the heat is not placed in your lap but it can be irritating when being used as a tablet. The hot spot is located in the top right corner of the laptop when used in landscape mode. It becomes more manageable when used in portrait mode. You learn to adjust after a while.

3. The Surface Pro 3 is a very fast, very nice and very expensive laptop. The entry level price of the laptop starts at $799 dollars and that is without the keyboard included. The keyboard is going to cost you an extra $130 dollars. If you are a student don't forget there is a 10% discount on both the keyboard and the computer if you buy it directly from Windows. I am not sure if other retailers like Best Buy are offering a price match on that promotion. All of the accessories that Microsoft sells for the Surface Pro 3 are just as expensive. One word of CAUTION with the $799 model. It only comes with 64 GB of storage out of which only about half of is usable. But not only that, the updates that Microsoft releases monthly take a lot of storage over the life of the tablet. I made the mistake of purchasing the 64 GB model with the Pro 2 and it ended up being a mistake. After 6 months I only had about 11 GB left. The laptop comes with a MicroSD card slow where you can store movies and pictures but the Microsoft Updates have to be stored on the hard drive, there is no way around it. The $999 model comes with double the storage and a better processor. It is a better value for your money.

4. Another year has passed and Microsoft still has not managed to improve the App Store. It is still lacking. It is very inferior to the Google Play Store and the IOS App Store. The advantage the Surface Pro 3 has is you can install any Windows legacy program that you want. That includes the full Microsoft Office suite. The lack of quality apps on the Microsoft Store is going to be a turn off for those of you that plan to use this computer more as a tablet than a laptop.

5. The battery life in the Surface Pro 3 has been improved marginally over the Surface Pro 2. I would say it is about 15% better. I manage to get around 7 hours of use. That was while using it mostly for light things such as web browsing and listening to music. If you start streaming videos on Netflix and YouTube and crank up the brightness to 100% then it will last between 4-5 hours. That is average for modern ultrabook laptops but mediocre at best for tablets. I know the Ipad can easily handle 10 hours.

In conclusion, the Surface Pro 3 features several improvements over its predecessor the Surface Pro 2. It has a gorgeous 12 inch display. Very fast processor and a much improved overall design. The body of the laptop is much thinner and lighter. The kickstand extends itself farther than in the past allowing for a more comfortable experience while using in the lap. The trackpad in the keyboard is bigger and more accurate than in the Surface Pro 2. There are some negatives like the lack of apps in the app store and only one USB port is available in the computer. Do I recommend this computer? I sure do. It is an excellent piece of hardware that is sure to please you whether you are doing work or play.
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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5)
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