Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review

Although the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (ad) is now over a year old, it is surging in popularity at the moment. This is likely due to price reductions, the release of Windows 10, and the announcements of the new Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book which have all whipped the Microsoft faithful into a frenzy. Plus, that end of year shopping season is approaching. Read our review below to find out more about the Surface Pro 3.

Description

The tablet that can replace your laptop. Surface Pro 3 (ad) is in a category of its own. With a stunning 12″ display in a sleek magnesium frame, Surface Pro 3 has all the power and performance of a laptop in an incredibly lightweight, versatile form. It may just be the ultimate device.

Specs

Device Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Screen 11.5 in
Weight 1.76 lbs
Battery 9 hrs
OS Windows 10
Processor Intel Core i5-4300U
Speed 1.9 GHz
RAM 8 GB
Storage 256 GB
USB 3.0 3
USB 2.0 1
CAM Front & Rear 5 MP

The specs listed above our for the version of the Surface Pro 3 (ad) that I am reviewing, but there are several available versions. You can choose from versions that have the 4th Gen Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors. There are 4 GB RAM and 8 GB RAM versions. You can also choose from various hard drive sizes, including 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB. You can also choose for the device to come with Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, although I’m not sure why anyone would not opt for Windows 10.

If you’re wondering what makes this different or better than the Surface 3, the Pro has a better processor (the regular 3 had the Intel Atom processor), better HDD, better cameras, and a 12 inch screen with better resolution (the regular 3 had a 10 inch screen). The Pro has a new kickstand that can go in multiple positions, whereas the regular 3 only had three possible positions. The battery life and the rear camera are both slightly worse in the Pro version. The Pro version does come with the Surface Pen.

Using the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Honestly, using the Surface Pro 3 (ad) feels very similar to using past Surface devices. The screen is slightly larger and better which is a noticeable upgrade, and the device does perform slightly better when running those big programs like Photoshop. The new kickstand is a lot better as you aren’t stuck with three preset positions.

Some problems with the device remain, mainly that you can’t really use the keyboard (which is sold separately) easily on your lap. You basically need a desk or table, or you could put a big, hard book or something under the device on your lap which is what I often do. Either way, that was a big problem with the device that I think Microsoft has now kind of addressed with the new Surface Book which has a hard keyboard that really attaches to the top screen. I do like the keyboard layout, I just wish it fit on my lap better.

The Surface Pen is nice and works well. However, there is no place to store the pen on the chasis (it fits on the side of the keyboard accessory), which would have been a nice addition.

Overall

I really like the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (ad). This is a lighter, thinner version of the Surface tablet line, yet it has a bigger screen, better display, and better specs in most categories. The only two areas where it is slightly worse are the battery life is 1 hour less due to the better screen and processing power, and the rear camera is 5 megapixels instead of 8 megapixels. The new pen is pretty nice and works well, but there is no place to store it unless you buy the additional keyboard. I’m also perplexed as to why these devices come without keyboards.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft Surface Pro 3
9.075

Design

9/10

    Features

    9/10

      Battery

      9/10

        Performance

        9/10

          Pros

          • Larger, better display
          • New processor and more RAM equates to better performance
          • Lots of variations of the Surface Pro 3 available
          • New pen works well
          • New kickstand allows for multiple positions

          Cons

          • Keyboard is sold separately
          • Doesn't sit well on your lap