Customer Review

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface Pro 3 Works Well, June 21, 2014
This review is from: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (256 GB, Intel Core i5) (Personal Computers)
The product was released yesterday in Canada and I went out to Future Shop and was that store's first buyer for the unit. They had to search for it from the back to sell me one from their first shipment. I have it now for 24 hours and am ready to report that the previews from professional reviewers have been accurate. It won't be your desktop replacement and it won't replace a true blue tablet, but for the traveler and those who need a full-scale Windows PC and an occasional tablet, it's close to perfect.

Let me get the gripe out of the way: Windows 8.1. I've been using W8.0 and 8.1 since they came out but I still immediately downloaded ClassicShell and installed it. The new 8.1 UI just doesn't cut it for me. I need my Computer (My PC) icon often for the first few weeks of any PC as I personalize the various setting beyond what's available in the Control Panel. Secondly, the battery life is only so-so--seems like 6-8 hours. Not quite tablet territory but it's good enough for the business user for the day without carrying the charger brick around and that's sufficient.

Now, what's good:

1. It's only slightly heavier than my Samsung Tab 2 10.1 and it's full-function Windows!
2. Start up from scratch is within 15 seconds. Wake up from sleep is as fast as any tablet.
3. The new keyboard is ingenious. The rigidity is good enough and the key placements are intuitive. I have been using a Lenovo Yoga 2 for a year now and I still hit the wrong keys all the time. Not with this keyboard that I'm using now. The slight fold to give it a tilt is amazingly simple and effective. It does make touching the bottom icons a bit awkward but, hey, there is a good touch pad! My only gripe is the two-key function keys but I got used to it fast and we do have to realize it's a compact design. Touch type is totally acceptable, better than any detachable keyboard I've ever used. Pricey and extra but great design.
4. Smooth screen scrolling. The first Surface touch screen was not the best (never bothered with Surface 2) and this one is smooth and sensitive.
5. The pen is easy to use. The first time you use the pen it gives you a 15-second tutorial on how to use the buttons. It uses a cloth holder with a glue tape that you attach to the cover. It seems to hold it well but the longevity remains to be seen. Downside is that if you detach the keyboard then you have to make sure you put the pen in your pocket. It seems a bit silly because when you don't have the keyboard is when you need the pen the most. However, this is insufficient as a flaw to knock off a star.
6. I save the best for the last: the display. I'm outside in the backyard typing this. It's sunny and I can see the screen with shades on. The display is fine and bright; 1440, I think. This beats most ultra books out there for sure. If you're like me who use multiple windows open side by side, the aspect ratio and the fine display make it feasible on such a small unit.

I fly weekly to go to work. This baby will surely go with me. Since it's a tablet, and Canadian airlines now allow digital units (but not notebook computers) to be used at all time with airplane mode, I can use this uninterrupted throughout the flight without having to compromise full Windows functionality.

Highly recommended for those who don't mind the slightly higher price and would appreciate a full-function and compact PC that can double as an occasional tablet.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 7, 2014 9:02:10 PM PDT
J. Ward says:
Sole point of contention: get rid of that classic shell garbage. You're much better off LEARNING to use Windows 8.1 properly than trying to fight it :).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2014 2:09:36 PM PDT
Eddie Chu says:
You're probably right for equipment with touch oriented displays. For keyboard users, the keystroke-triggered actions remain the fastest way to getting things done, and the W7 UI is not only more familiar but also more efficient.
I'm take your advice and try the W8 interface more using this baby.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2014 2:28:46 PM PDT
J. Ward says:
I think you're find that the Win shell only is more efficient because it's familiar. Good luck! Once you're familiar with 8.1, I think you'll find it very comfortable to use.
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Top Reviewer Ranking: 37,174