With user needs changing every day, find the sweet spot between a tablet and a laptop has been the Holy Grail for some of the heavy hitters in personal computing. The front runners in recent times have been the Microsoft Surface and the Lenovo Yoga Pro, but up until recently neither has managed to hit the mark. Until now.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, released in mid 2014 is fast becoming known as the laptop killer as it persuades more and more people to make the switch to the more lightweight but powerful tablet as their go to personal computing device for every day use. But it hasn’t happened overnight, with Microsoft working hard on this device for over 2 years, ever since the first gen Surface Pro was released.
So what have they got right in this model that they missed in earlier versions?
Simply put, it is one of the best looking pieces of personal computing hardware ever released, and that includes Apple products. With a magnesium alloy body and clean lines, there is none of the clunky corners seen on earlier tablets.
One notable change, led by consumer feedback, is the repositioning of the speakers so that they face forward rather than out to the side as they did in the Surface Pro 2. The weak tinny sound of those speakers has been completely eliminated by the repositioning, improving user experience considerably.
Another change, and this is quite a substantial one, is the screen aspect ratio being reworked to 3:2 instead of 16:9. The reason for this is that as a hybrid the screen will undoubtedly be used in both the vertical and horizontal position, and the new aspect ratio makes this transition completely workable.
They’ve also taken a leaf out of Apples book, and magnetised the power port and plug, so that you no longer have to worry about it accidentally dropping out while the hybrid is charging.
The computer is available in quite a few different configuration options:
- 64GB / Intel i3 / 4GB RAM
- 128GB / Intel i5 / 4GB RAM
- 256GB / Intel i5 / 8GB RAM
- 256GB / Intel i7 / 8GB RAM
- 512GB / Intel i7 / 8GB RAM
Battery life at around 8 hours is a pretty good amount of work time, somewhat below the 10 hours of the Ipad Air, but that is almost certainly accounted for by the differences in screen size.
As one of the most anticipated items of the year, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is what you should be looking at if you’re after a tablet that can be relied on for work as well as entertainment. The hardware is excellent, the speed is laptop-like, and the user comfort level is high. Without a doubt the best Windows 8 tablet to own, and one that can be used relatively easily as a laptop if you get the optional keyboard cover.
The gap between tablet and laptop has finally been bridged.