Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review

The Surface Pro 3 operates as a tablet when you want to watch videos or read e-books . It works as a laptop when you need to get serious work done . The Surface features on both , though it drops short of meeting Microsoft’s assertion to do so without composing on on either . 

The Pro 3 runs a full version of Microsoft’s Windows 8 system , the same as you get on a conventional desktop or laptop computer . This means that that , unlike other tablets , it can run just about any program created for Windows : Microsoft Office , Photoshop and more . 

The Surface has a touch screen like other tablets , but it also has an optional cover that opens to reveal a physical keyboard and touchpad . It has a USB port and one for external displays , both of which are rare on tablets .

This also matches laptops in price tag . Although the new Surface starts at $799 , the keyboard cover is $130 extra . As a laptop replacement , you’ll would like a faster processor and more memory . Configurations run up to $1 ,949 , or $2 ,079 with the keyboard . A equivalent MacBook Air laptop costs $1 ,749 — although buying a separate tablet will run you a few hundred dollars more . 

The mid-range configuration comes out June 20 , with the rest coming out later this summer . Microsoft began taking orders Wednesday . I’ve had about a day with the Surface since Tuesday’s declaration . 

On the other hand , the MacBook isn’t hassle-free to open on a congested subway or bus , and it isn’t comfortable for viewing video in bed . The Surface , without the pc style keyboard , is ideal for those conditions . 

Apple’s iPad is perfect for that , too , and it has a greater range of tablet-specific applications unavailable for Windows or even Android . 

The Surface and other Windows tablets have the benefit of the ability to run multiple apps side-by-side , some thing I long for in the apple ipad when I want to check out e-mail or Facebook while watching videos . The Surface also has a bigger display screen , at 12 inches diagonally , compared with the iPad’s 9 .7 inches . 

The Surface comes equipped with a stylus that feels like a real pen . Clicking on it takes you to Microsoft’s OneNote app , where you can start handwriting or doodling , just as you would on a pad of legal paper . The screen is very sensitive enough to tell whether you’re pressing lightly or hard , and what appears adjusts accordingly , just like real paper .

One possible inconvenience : The pen doesn’t comprise a rechargeable battery . You need a AAAA battery ( the first time I’ve come across that size ) plus two wristwatch-type coin-cell batteries . And you need a small classic screwdriver , not provided , to replace the coin-cell batteries . 

The new Surface departs from most other tablets , which include previous Surface models , in adopting a screen ratio of 3 :2 . Most tablets use 16 :9 for widescreen tv . The iPad uses 4 :3 , which is common for older TV shows and standard digital photographs . 

That suggests you’ll gain useless space regardless of whether you watch 16 :9 or 4 :3 video . It is usually one or the other on other tablets , although the quantity of wasted space is bigger when you do have it . Microsoft says the 3 :2 proportion is the “sweet spot” that covers both types of content . It’s also good for photos from single-lens reflex , or SLR , cameras . 

A larger consideration than the display screen proportion is whether you need an individual device that does all things . 

There are numerous professions that don’t comprise of sitting at desks all day : health-care , retail and education , to name a few . A hybrid might sound right in those cases . 

But I’m not one of those people . 

When I’m reading e-books on a train or a bus , I prefer a compact tablet or dedicated e-reader . When I’m modifying photos or composing , I prefer a laptop computer with a larger screen . When I’m watching video , I prefer a streaming device attached to a big-screen TV . 

The Surface is good for those who want just one device , but there are trade-offs , notwithstanding Microsoft’s insistence otherwise .

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