Surface Pro 3 tested and highly praised for its 12-inch display

surface pro 3

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 tablet received high marks for its 12-inch screen from the research team at DisplayMate, which claim that it has "one of the very best and most accurate displays available on any mobile platform and OS."

A month ago, DisplayMate said that its tests showed that the 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S models had the best display ever made for a tablet. Today's report on the battery of tests they put on the Surface Pro 3 showed that Microsoft's device was "neck-to-neck with the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 in most performance categories" but that Samsung's tablet was still number one.

DisplayMate stated:

Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements on the display for the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has produced an excellent professional grade high performance display for Windows. In fact, the Surface Pro 3 has one of the very best and most accurate displays available on any mobile platform and OS. It joins near the top of a small set of Tablets that have excellent Top Tier displays – ideal for professionals that need a very accurate high performance display for their work, and for consumers that want and appreciate a really nice and beautiful display.

What do you think of this new scientific report on the Surface Pro 3's display?

Source: DisplayMate


Reader comments

Surface Pro 3 tested and highly praised for its 12-inch display


It doesn't cost that much more than other ultrabooks. And unless youre homeless or in huge debt, I can assume you can save up for a few months at worst....

It's comments like this that are the reason so many people in this country are in debt. Do NOT buy something until you have the money for it!

Let me know what kind of house you manage to save up cash to buy, K? Oh, and let me know how many times you get turned down for a home loan when you finally give in and apply for one. Impossible to get without a good, current credit record. And don't tell me "A home loan is different". Grow up, please.

Buying expensive electronics is not the best way to build credit. You can do that by switching bills and groceries to a CC, where you'll get the added bonus of cash back, points, etc. 

A home loan is different though. Unless you're financing, you're not going to have an affordable monthly payment to buy anything just because you have credit.

@kwparker80 I think you need to grow up. Only needs should be financed and that is only when there is no way of fulfilling that need by waiting to save up. Everyone needs to live somewhere and preferablly under the protection of a roof/house. Everyone has a choice to rent/lease/buy a house. While buying may not be a need, it's often considered smart because the values of homes are often increasing to offset the cost of financing which makes it a smart choice. Don't tell me that financing a home is "no" different than financing a Surface Pro 3. Don't get me wrong, I love my Surface Pro 3, but it's not worth financing.

@Novron That is a pretty blanket statement that you made and it's not true for all markets. Interest rates are still really low. There are plenty of markets where the housing is still low, with great promise of increasing. With the fact of interest rates making it possible to pay similar or less than you would for rent, it makes more sense to buy if you can qualify.

"Interest rates are low," that's the problem entirely.  The market is not built around an average price for a house.  It's built around what the average person can pay per month for a mortgage.  Right now, that's about $1000/mo.  30 years ago, my parents bought an $88K house, interest rates were about 16%.  They had a $1300/mo mortgage payment.  Today, that same house is about $200K, interest rates are about 4.15%, mortgage payment? Going to be about $1300/mo.

So, you buy that $200K house today, what happens?  Interest rates have nowhere to go but up.  Interest will go up and the value of your house will go down so that monthly payment stays the same because that is what the market can afford.  American's average income has not changed in over 30 years.  Their ability to pay more has not gone up and neither have housing prices if you take the bubble out of the equation.

The truth is, values will always go up and down. The average values will never go lower than what it was 30 years ago. If you hold onto a house for long enough, the value will definitely increase. If you want to wait for values to drop go for it, if you have the cash, then even better. Unless you have cash, your buying power is going to be the same, similar to what you described previously though I laughed at your analogy of your parents house. In your example, over the 30 year period you still get the same house. The thing is, values will never go that low again. We bought our house for 130k at 4.8% interest 10 years ago, its now worth 180k and and interest rates are not that much lower. The truth is, its value was around 190k in 2008 before the housing crashed which brought it down to 150k and it hasn't fully recovered yet. Either way, its still worth more now than it was when we bought it, which is the most important thing. That means our monthly money was going towards an investment, not down the tube on a rental.

Your example is predicated on the bubble. The "value" remains the same. The only way you're going to make money on it is with another bubble. Currently, if you buy now, you will be paying a high principal. As interest rates go back up, the principal will down. At $200K that 4% interest house will be $88K again at 16% interest and you lose about $120K on your house. For a buyer, they're still going to be paying the 1000/mo. But the seller isn't going to lose his ass. The real crash hasn't come yet, it's still on its way. The market was never allowed to be bottomed out. The Fed pumped enough money into into it to flip the interest/principal ratio and put the burden of the loss on us instead of the banks.

I'm sorry to say, but that house is never goinng to go downn to 88K. You can keep dreaming, because it is never going to happen. It's true that right now may not be the best time, because value are a little higher, but when kept over 10 -20 years, it's going to for sure make money. Another fact right now is that the cost of building homes is significantly higher, in fact it costs more in materials and labor than it does to buy an existing home that is a couple years old. In order for your dream to come true, the cost of everything has to come down, not just the housing market. If you think it's  smarter to waist your money renting (and probably paying more per month than buying), then go for it. I'm sure not going to. It's just all a big dream to wait for a massive crash to cause the house that is worth 200k today to drop to 88k.

"Mr. Brown", the point is you will never get a home loan without good credit. Bankers consider NO credit as bad as poor credit. Your feelings about what you should or shouldn't finance are just that, your feelings.
Oh, and by the way. I have grown up I'm 58 years old with an excellent credit rating. I have also bought and sold several homes in that time. I was turned down for the first home loan because of my young age and NO credit history. I'd say I have grown up..

A home loan is obviously different, it is something that without which it is impossible for most people to buy a house...

I'm just going to assume you're playing devil's advocate because I don't think anyone else got this from my comment. I understand there are some things in life you may just need to take a loan out for such as a house or a car but these are necessities whereas buying an electronic device such as a tablet is not. Sure there will be rare occurences but I've lived without a tablet so far and I'm not missing out on much. I'm not going to rack up my credit card just so I can have one because that's wasted money if I have to pay interest.

you should match loans to the expected life of the purchase. electronic items are usually luxury purchases and should be only be made if you have money left after paying the necessary bills, putting money away for retirememnt, and creating an emergency fund. you evalyate a house purchase to other options li,e renting. the long term advantage of buying a house is that keeps your housing payments constant. Rents will generally keep rising as long as the population in your area keeps growing. i bought my house 8 years ago. when i bought it, renting would have been a bit cheaper. I wouldn't be able to rent a decent 2 bedroom apartment for the same amount i am paying for a 5 bedroom house in my area.

If I hadn't just invested almost 2 grand on a maxed out Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus. I'd be all over the Surface Pro 3. And if I can find a way to slip it past my wife, I still may get one. Not going to be easy.

$799 (yes extra for the keyboard). What does everyone use, 5 yr old XP machines or something? Country availability aside this isn't an expensive machine in comparison.

I paid $2,500 for a beige box computer in 1994. 1gig hard drive and 128mb of RAM. It was an expensive monster.

$799-$999-$1,299 whatever is one helluva deal in today's time. We are lucky to be living in the now IMO.

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Yeah, I 'member those days. Now, we get stuff at a highly discounted price and lots of spamware. Don't know if that's how it works with the Surfaces, but my lates PC bought three years ago came with that.

There is spamware, bloatware, or any other kind of extras on a Surface except an Office trial.

Make it have bigger penetration outside of US then... Especially in developing countries... I still can't find Surface Tablets anywhere!!! And Nokia Care shop too isn't selling it.... Shame. How Microsoft tale over numerous Nokia Retail shop and change it to Microsoft shop... That will be great, cuz there are so many here.

I want to buy it but can it handle desktop software ? Like PhotoShop , Vegas Pro , and other powerful desktop software.

I play FireFall on my surface, it's a new FPS mmo game, and it runs just fine.  I also use Photoshop CC and it also runs great.

Surface Pro 3 is a pretty awesome thing to own.

I'm sure SP3 is great and I would get one if I could afford it, however Firefall is by most standards at least 3 years old by now. It was in a pretty open "closed" beta already back in 2011. Just cos they keep messing up the game and reworking it and releasing it potentially some time this year finally really doesnt mean it's new. That cell shading graphics wasn't really even new-looking back in 2011 :D

I have a surface pro 2 mate and it is fantastic, the SP3 is just in another league but performance-wise they are very similar and it has already proven its worth and pretty much takes whatever task you throw at it with ease!

I feel like the surface pro 3 has been getting so much love from even the most apple fan boy websites and we all know what usually happened when a non apple product gets praised by pro apple websites (Samsung galaxy, LG g3, kindle) they go mainstream

I think he means if the sp3 display compares to an excellent screen on a smaller tablet and the tablet itself is bigger then sp3 is the winner...cause its harder to maintain the quality of a screen as it gets bigger...

if you want to work with photoshop, and illustrator and lightwave or cinema4d... a 10.1 inch screen is not the best, so a 12 inch screen is more suited for that. can't you understand a simple thing like that? yeah a surface pro 2 can be used with an external monitor... but we are talking about going on a trip and doing some work while you are away from your normal computer or bigger external monitors if you use SP3 as your main computer.

so again, a 12 inch display sounds better for content creation which is what this device is targeted at.

@Keith Wallace: No, there's no touch screen, W8.1, Pen input, Core i3 i5 or i7 not to mention 0 storage on board. List goes on. ;P

It has a fan. Reading reviews fan only comes on for CPU intensive work so simple metro game wouldn't cause fan to start.

Well you heard wrong! what forum or site did you read that on? CNET, THEVERGE, ANDROID CENTRAL???

I have never heard the fan in mine in a month of heavy use. If it has come on, then I call BS on wherever you read that.

I hope so. This is what i Read. It is not My opinion. I own a Surface 2 and i think i am in love with It, i could fall in love with the SP3.

Mine's come on but only when playing Sins of a Solar Empire. Even then, not until end game When I'm smashing massive fleets of ships into each other.

It gets hot but the fan takes it back to "warm." This happens pretty much on any desktop game, despite the level of graphics it uses. Unless you are playing with no sound, you can't hear it unless it is pretty quiet.

From what I gather there's been much improvement in that short period of time. MS was pretty quick to smash bugs with this thing, and rightly so. They've probably got quite a bit invested in itm

I think it would be a disappointment if the Surface Pro 3 didn't have a comparable display to an ARM tablet that's $200 less.

That's now all really dependent on CPU manufacturers capabilities because it can already be done at the cost of processing power.

I finally took the plunge and picked one up last week from Best Buy.  Got the dark blue keypad too.  It's one slick machine!  I've got the MS 2013 Office suite and Windows Media Center installed on it.  I'll be using it for my desktop, laptop, and tablet pc!  Highly recommended!

Ugh...I love my Alienware M14x laptop to bits. But the more and more I see this Surface Pro 3, the more and more I want one! Maybe I could just get the original Surface Pro and call it even.

Microsoft should throw a glowing Xbox One logo on the SP3....average consumers by macs because they like the glowing logo.

I have a 14x but it has collected dust since the Surface Pro 3 came around. Also the fact as my kids get older, I have less gaming time. But the Surface Pro 3 will play games well enough that I don't really notice the difference. I am certain there is major FPS difference but I've not had any showstoppers.

need one bad... wanna change my laptop...but its expensive, no lies

but fingers crossed, planning towards it.....hehehe!!!!!!

My SP3 is the only computer I own that I like better than my MacBook Air, and I have quite a few notebooks and tablets. My Lumia Icon is also the most awesome phone I have ever owned.

Storage is a problem on the Icon if you have a huge music or video collection, but I don't. In my case 32 gig and SkyDrive are perfect. SD would still be nice, I agree.

I've pretty much gone all cloud on my XBOX Music but should the day come I lose my unlimited data, I don't want my music to be held hostage by data caps, so more storage would be nice. I've been on 8.1 since the preview came out and it has been great. Looking forward to the 8.1 update next week.

Thanks...don't get me started in the push to the "cloud" but being limited on data...whole 'nother subject!

Just received one on Sunday. I live in Poland. It is a powerful piece of tech...but one thing, this alloy on the back scratches as hell...they should put a warning sign on it or Smt

Most people are more careful with an expensive item such as the SP3 to start with. I bought mine a month ago and it doesn't have a single scratch on it. Just sayin'.

Dude, cut your nails or be more careful, or send it to me, I'll take care of it for you!

Favorite quote from the full report: "iPad Air now moves into fourth place behind the three other Top Tier Tablets."

Tab S is nothing in front of the surface pro 3 and its 4 GB ram. And the most powerful processor currently available in the market 4th gen Intel Core i7. Don't forget it is a full windows tablet which can do much complex tasks better than the TAB S. When it comes to .exe files its app marketplace is much much larger than the Google play store.

I think the screen is great. I just don't get what all the complaints over "overheating" are all about. I haven't had or noticed any problems.

Mine gets hot when playing desktop games but the fan helps keep it cooler...do overheating for me. I do wonder about durability for long term gaming over time though.

I am drooling to see what intel's new architecture will do for this beast of a device. My dream?

  1. Make it 11.6"
  2. Move the weight from 1.76LB to 1.2LB
  3. Current thickness is awesome
  4. Extend Battery life by maybe 2 hrs
  5. The Kick stand should be designed as this for multi-directional use for portrait or landscape use (See my small sketch below)
  6. Stay with the 3:2 aspect ratio


i think the emphasis of what is considerd the top wow features of the pro three is off the mark. I own a pro and it has a quite accurate and very good screen. For me the power of the pro 3 would be the evolution of the previous two generations. The power of the three would have been better if the device was more specifically tailored to the use of the pen. That would have made the device stand out, come close to many peoples wildest dreams of reaching the standard of the microsoft Courier device (what every really wants). The focus should have been further harmonizing hardware and software with the stylus to make it an excellent note taking device and for support of other stylus functions. I think with the pro three the focus has been too much on the hardware, and not enough polishing of windows 8.1 for the surface. I'm still missing a good ink-to-text recognition experience in onenote for windows 8.1 for the surface pro line up. It should be inline, live, a number of font options, supporting native language ink-to-text translations and reintroducing of even putting front and center the ink-to-text recognition manual library already well known in windows 2005, vista and windows 7. Onenote is in my experience currently still too much centered on a mouse and keyboard design and user experience. Onenote for the modern UI has improved on that, but inking notes can not be seen on a windows phone device, so there are still serious bug issues to be adressed in the Onenote experience for the stylus. 

I wish MSFT would make a full clamshell Surface with high quality 14" display. Would make a great development machine and laptop.

Bring it to Saudi Arabia and I'll glad buy one in a jiffy! Else, bring it to the Philippines and I'll buy one when I go home for vacation.

Display of my Lenovo ThinkPad 8 is also good. Better than Dell Venue 8 Pro. But its only 8 inches screen.

Boring BS trying to translate objective data and subjective perferences into a pseudo-metric Oh, you hadn't noticed, it is all done by a company attempting to sell their own products. I am as likely to give this credence as the guys telling me which knives to buy who happen to be demonstrating some knife brand at Sams Club on Saturday.