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Do you like the new 3:2 aspect ratio on Surface Pro 3?

When the Surface Pro 3 was announced, one thing that might have stood out is the aspect ratio of the display. The 12-inch screen with 2160 x 1440 resolution has a 3:2 aspect ratio. That may be unusual because previous Surfaces had widescreen 16:9 aspect ratios. While 16:9 is great for watching movies, it makes a narrower screen in portrait mode. WPCentral forum member trainplane and others have shared that they like the new 3:2 aspect ratio. Read on to find out why.

trainplane says:

I wanted to commend MS for daring to put out a tablet that isn't 16:9. I hope other tablet and laptop makers follow now that Apple and MS have tablets not 16:9.

Mercule says:

For things like taking notes, reading books, or word processing, a ratio closer to a piece of letter/A4 paper is nearly ideal.

The new 3:2 aspect ratio provides a wide screen even in portrait mode. It makes the Surface Pro 3 look and feel like a pad of paper. How do you feel about the new aspect ratio? Share your reactions over at the forums.

(Also, stay tuned as tomorrow we'll explain why Microsoft chose 3:2 over other display ratios)

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

239 Comments
  • Yes. +SP3
  • lol, stop that
  • Editors are not allowed to be social lol   You must hang out behind the scenes and maintain your air of mystery......O.o
  • Hahaha +520
  • +920
  • No. Editors are not supposed to write +[phone model number]. It's moronic and Sam is mocking those who do it. It just chews up comment space with people typing "lol! +930!!"
  • Weird request, but could one of you SP3 having types measure the screen in inches or mm? I know it's 12" but I'm trying to work out it's actual dimensions compared to, say, an A4 sheet of paper and I'm simply not mathematically equipped to do that on my own. ;) Thanks!
  • The equation is 12 * (3 / sqrt( (3^2) + (2^2) )) for width and 12 * (2 / sqrt( (3^2) + (2^2) )) for height. 
  • The Surface Pro 3 screen is 9.985"x6.656".
  • Amazing, thank you! And nicely done, I wish I had more aptitude for figuring this kind of thing out but alas, I'll just stick to drawing pretty pictures, lol! :)   So, we have 254x169mm, ok cool. A little less than than A4 (297x210mm) but not bad. Certainly more than capable of giving a decent canvas size as a still really portable device.    
  • 254 x 169 mm you say. Looks like they still got 16(:)9 in there. Half-Life 3 confirmed, and coming to Xbox One only! /s
  • ahhh, remember to subtract the margins you would have on paper. Another 25.4mm or so on the edges on average. 1" for the American folks
  • If drawing is your specialty, then even without maths you can get pretty far: all you need to do is drawing a box of any size whose sides are in 3:2 ratio, then draw the diagonal and make it a 12 inches long line segment. Then draw the box of which this 12 inch segment is the diagonal and measure its sides with a ruler.  
  • please do an in depth review soon.  i wanna know more about the pen
  • Lol, Daniel's tickle spot
  • YES! +1020 +DV8!
  • Lmfao. xD
  • +SP3 and a yes for me! Always felt a little cramped on 16x9.
  • LOL!
  • Envy +NoSP3 ¬¬
     
  • Come on man, it was going away....cripes. That has to be the dumbest forum reply ever created... + whatever phone model etc. Just stupid...
  • I kind of like it. One of at least two memes originating from WPCentral. :-)
  • And the other?
  • The other us "seems faster".
  • No, it's stupid. If you want to rec it, do +1 The phone model thing is moronic. Sam is mocking you all.
  • I like it as well, I find it cute
  • Does anyone know of SP3 supports Miracast? Can Dan or Sam test and post?
  • The Surface Pro 1 & 2 both support Miracast. I see no reason why the 3 wouldn't.
  • LOl :D
  • I like it. But it just makes sp3 looks like an iPad.
  • Nothing wrong with that. People prefer familiar faces & the iPad is well designed.
  • No, it makes it look like a regular computer monitor shape. Never did like this new era of 16x9.
  • those were 4:3, this is 3:2. slightly wider.
  • Yeah, but that wasn't the point. And I was trying to not be too technical.
  • Who cares. 3:2 is a fantastic aspect ratio. Its better than 16:10, which is better than 16:9, which is better than 4:3 (which isn't too bad but I think its a bit too square for me)
  • I'd agree with saying 4:3 just doesn't give you enough screen estate in any direction really...and holding a 16:9 tablet in portrait to read books feels awkward...
  • Well 3:2 is actually 15:10 would not be so bad for movies too. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Well, the best ratio for watching movie is 21:9 and LG had ever made it, in the past.
  • It makes it so it's not awkward to use in a portrait orientation. And 16:9 is great for movies, but not that great for information-heavy tasks (too wide and not tall enough). The new screen aspect ratio is full of win.
  • I have a 16:10 monitor 19" on my pc, and it is amazing for all jobs ! I enjoy it more than my 16:9 laptop, though sadly, my pc's lcd can't be used everywhere in the house.. (
  • Haven't tried it yet; will take getting used to after a Pro 2. Might be cooler on a smaller device.
  • Sam (or Daniel), can you guys please give us more information on the processors. Model numbers or clock speed. Then with the i7 models, we need core count if we can't get model numbers. Every site seems to be saying "here are the full specs", but they really aren't complete without that information. That would give us a truer performance and price comparison.
  • To be honest Microsoft hasn't shared much info on the exact models of the i3 and i7 models. All we know is i5 info.
  • Show us the CPUz output of the proc :)
  • Or post the entire Speccy page
  • Check out anandtech.com. The i5 is a 4300U, the i7 is a standard model, something like 1.9-2.9 ghz?
  • +1
  • You can find the answer on CPU here: http://www.surfaceforums.net/forum/microsoft-surface-pro-3/8968-surface-... It's the i7-4650u with Intel HD 5000 graphics. For i7, it's
  • Yes. it is great. Makes viewing in the Portrait mode a lot more pleasant.  Still 12" is pretty big, and 1.8 lb is not a log of fun to hold long time. 
  • No tablet is a lot of fun to hold for a long time. It takes a >250gr E-Reader to be fun to hold for a long time.
  • I think you mean ≤
  • Yes I like it!
  • I agree. For a larger display, I like the wide screen format since you can typically put two virtual sheets of paper next to each other and comfortably read them. On a device the size of the surface, this isn't possible, so it makes more sense to try to match the paper aspect ratio so you can maximize the usage of your limited screen space.
  • Yep +928
  • This is and will be the new screen ratios for MS going forward.
    Sp3-12"
    S3-10"
    Smini-8"
    All 3:2
  • I like that idea, but I think they'd be better off if they condensed it to two. A 12" Surface Pro for college students/professionals which would run Windows 8 Pro and have an aspect ratio of 3:2... and a 8" for the little instagram girls, high school students and people who just want that media consumption and don't need anything more than Windows 8 RT. 16:10 would be more suitable on the smaller tab.
  • Only if RT supports all media formats.
  • There's tons of Windows Store apps you can use to play just about any media type. Hell, I have a Surface Pro 2 and I don't even keep VLC installed (which was pretty much mandatory for me back in the XP/Vista/7 days) because there's lighter-weighted metro apps that do the job while letting me be anal about subtitles, audio tracks, etc. RT is easily one of the most underrated operating systems of this generation, and I've often thought about downgrading to a Surface 2 for the weight and thin-ness... up until the Surface Pro 3 got announced anyway.
  • VLC for win 8 is available now. ;) Still needs to mature however...
  • Wont be buying any then.
  • doubt it. for a small tablet where media consumption is key, you cannot afford to lose 16:9.
  • With the exception of an old square moniter, all of the devices I've used Windows on were 16:9 I've tried using a Surface in portrait, though and I have to admit it was terrible Having more viewing options is great
  • as most windows apps scroll horizontally and most don't rotate at all. you in for a surprise about how bad portrait mode will work for anything other than notes.
  • It looks like its a ultra wide 1440 screen
  • Oh yeah, and I think I'm sold on the 3:2 format. More real estate in landscape for productivity tasks. Interested to know the impact when using the onscreen keyboard as well. Should give users a lot more real estate there too. Definitely better in portrait
  • Yes now if they could add more tiles to the start screen and eliminate some of the unused space ill be happy.
  • +SP3
  • I hate the pre-made columns that win 8 uses for tiles. I'd rather it be more like window phone
  • Well you can always put all your tiles into one group
  • No, its not that, its how they shift left when you move them... Also how they are in a 2 wide preset...i may be explaining it wrong. It just seems like a step back from wp
  • But Windows Phones are built vertically, so it makes more sense for the icons to scroll down, whereas on a horizontal screen having the icons move downwards wuold leave a lot of empty space   I suppose they could have the tiles rotate when you turn the device, but thatwould confuse a lot of people
  • What I mean it's to use more of that empty space
  • This
  • I agree^^^ live tiles like the ones on our windows phones would be nice! Taking up more of the screen space, but in a horizontal format (natively) rather than WP's vertical. Oh and transparent tiles too!!
    Hmmm maybe once they merge Windows Phone and RT???
  • Charms -> Settings -> Tiles -> Show more tiles
  • Yeah but still has alot of empty space.
  • Heck yeah. 3:2 is the best.
  • No thanks. 16:9 or superwide.
  • Reading the comments I thought all hope was lost. Good to see that there are some people like me who want to keep 16:9. It makes the tablet feel like a real PC. Without it people will think these tablets are just glorified iPads. Also, the position of the Windows button will look weird when using the SP3 as a laptop (when docked on a keyboard). +SP2
  • Yay I'm not alone! Although I don't hate it I would have much prefered a 16:9 tablet. It feels more in line with the rest of my devices (TV, Phone, Laptop and my current tablet, the Surface 1) which are also 16:9. The 16:9 ratio also has a nicer side by side look which kind of a major point for Windows 8. The button on the right is also weird to me almost to the point that I wouldn't want to buy one even if I had the money. OCD kicks in hard.
  • A "real" PC? I don't know; if you've been using computers for more than 10 years, this might feel more real than the HDTV standard they've foisted upon us.
  • You obviously haven't used SP1 and SP2. 
  • Have an SP1, 16:9 is annoying. Much rather have 3:2.
  • can we please cut it out with these "you obviously haven't used" comments. first of all, surfaces aren't like a date with the pricess of england. they are really easy to get. 16:9 tablets are really common so if if you've used one, you know what a surface will look like. second, you can claim that he hasn't used SP3, but to claim this person hasn't used a 16:9 tablet is silly.
  • My first impression was that they just back-handed all the fans who stuck up for 16:9's superior video viewing over the iPad's antiquated 1980 TV aspect ratio... but for all practical purposes it does make more sense for the business crowd. I'd only be giving half the truth if I didn't note how many times I was on my Surface Pro (and currently Surface Pro 2) portrait-view-writing in OneNote and found myself having to horizontally scroll to get to a decent amount of content.
  • 3:2 is a lot better than 4:3. It's a decent compromise. It's not much more square than 16:10 (3:2 = 15:10) which many believe is better for productivity than 16:9. I like 16:10 a lot more than 16:9.
  • Personally, 16:9 suits small tables in the 7"-7.5" range, 3:2 for 8"-8.5" and 4:3 for sizes above that.
  • Bingo, on my Dell V8P its fine but on my ATIV Tab is kinda weird.
  • Nope, totally turned me off Surface. I use my current Hybrid, the Lenovo Helix for everything. Including a 1:1 res WACOM tablet on my 27" 16:9 desktop monitor.   Wierd screen res screws that up totally, not to mention a bigger device just to show black lines while watching video. I also really like the old ratio in portrait to read, it shows me so much more!   Besides which why would I want a device with a 256 point n-trig pen? It's pretty much only any good for OneNote now.   I was waiting for the next Surface to replace my device, as the surface really has best in class construction quality and industrial design, but they've ruined everything I love about it. Now I'm stumped as to what to look to next for an i7 12" 256gb wacom hybrid tablet.
  • Depends on what you're doing. If you're doing 3d then wacom is really the only way. Anything 2d like photoshop/corel/manga studio and I heard that the N-Trig should be okay.  Trust me I was stumped about it too at first, but try it out when it is available and see how it works. If not check out the review shortly after. N-Trig may have just came a long way.
  • Love it! Can't wait for the iPadPro\iBook\Airtab or whatever the hell they call it, to be somewhat similar, so that I can then laugh at all the sheeple that say msft copied aapl.
  • But the iPad already is closer to 3:2.
  • 4:3 dows not equal 3:2. Just as 2+2 does not equal 5. Unless you are the American government of course. hah.
  • You may know maths but at least I can read. I didn't say that the iPad IS 3:2 I said it was closer to it.
  • I will buy it! Definitely.... When the Surface 9 comes out!
  • What are we missing in 8.1.1?
  • Dude, it's not about OS! It's "Surface". I don't have money now for it. So I will buy Surface 3 when the Surface 9 comes out xD
  • Personally yes. 16:9 isn't too helpful in tablets. 3:2 better. Really glad this wasn't another 16:9 tablet.
  • It'll allow for 9x upscaled GBA emulation if there's an emulator that supports a resolution that high. I wonder if VBA-M supports that.
  • I can't necessarily say if I like it or not without using it, but it seems to be well received, so I probably will.
  • I do like it but I also have to admit that it looks iPad-esc
  • *iPad-esque
  • I like it because it makes the usefull vertical size a lot larger. SP3's 12" 3:2 vertical screen size = 13.6" 16:9 laptop vertical screen size! And therefore better suited as a (business) laptop and that made me think about replacing my work laptop for a SP3.
  • IMO it's the biggest drawback of it, but that's because I rarely read books and magazines and things of that sort. I watch tv and movies, and that's all in 16:9, so 3:2 is of no use to me. But people seem to like the iPad, so maybe there's something to a less wide screen.
  • Nop. 16:9 all the way. This is just the TV screens all over again. I still remember when the World had moved to 16:9 yet Americans insisted in doing everything in damn 4:3. Eventually Microsoft will go back to the normal 16:9 screens on the Surfaces. I get it that this 3:2 of the SP3 is to make it easier to use in portrait mode like a "piece of paper". But I'm also willing to bet that the majority will NOT use it in portrait mode because the majority who's willing to throw away money on a SP3 will also be buying a type cover to make it useful. And with the type cover in, portrait mode just gets less ideal (there's no way to pick it up with the cover bend backwards without feeling the keys and I don't see people keep attaching and detaching the cover).
  • I wanted to stick up for this just as bad as anyone because, well... it's really REALLY fun watching an iPad user get his video letterboxed or cropped while I played it near a prime res... but the reality that's getting proven true more and more is that we can't judge everything by the standards of a TV screen. 16:9 works nicely for displaying video content because it's closer to the standard of video aspect ratios... thing is, not everything abides by that. There's a whole world outside of watching videos and I'll even admit to ignoring what matters in that whole world that exists outside of just watching videos. Most of the business-oriented tasks that Microsoft expects people to do on a professional tablet do simply work better on a 3:2 screen. The fact that it's bigger, WHILE LIGHTER and more powerful with better battery life and more efficient operation just make it a no brainer.
  • Isn't making business targetted devices what put Microsoft BEHIND in the tablet consumer game in the first place?
  • They're only *behind* when looked at from the view that they're taking on iPad. Surface Pro isn't the pop-fad-toy all the little Instagram girls will cheese their panties over... it's a business machine which AIMS towards a niche... that niche being people who look at the overall concept of tablets and want something that isn't a media consumption toy.
  • You buy $1000 tablets to just watch videos on it? Why? I like my productivity machines to have a more productive aspect ratio. My TV is great at 16:9 though.
  • "Throw away their money" really?
  • A 3:2 aspect ratio is close to an A4 paper, which means it can also work like an A4 where if you cut it in half, it will still have the same aspect ratio. Remember what the Windows 8 is good for? Side-by-side multitasking, right? This means that the aspect ratio is perfect for productivity.
  • Yes! Love it!
  • Yes... It's about time
  • I mean look how that good it looks in portrait mode, now imagine that at 10 & 8 inches. That's what's next.
  • It's fantastic. I can't wait to use it for sheet music.
  • Actually, I kinda prefer writing on the SP2 in portrait at 16x9. It feels like the long legal size writing pads that I used to use in my office (8.5x14). At first, it does feel a bit fiddly, being more narrow than the average sheet of paper, but having more vertical space is great for lists since you don't have to keep scrolling up for more writing room. That said, I'd be curious to see how well the new pen writes. I'm kinda spoiled to having the whole "flip the pen to erase" motion, since that's more like a real writing mechanical pencil than a plastic stick.
  • Can this pen not do both click to OneNote and flip to erase? Genuinely curious. They're marketing for note taking and image editing but if I have to select another tool everytime I want to erase... =/
  • What MS needs is a otter box type case for this...
  • There's the Incipio Feather case for Surface Pro.
    http://www.matw.de/gallery/MRSF-050_3.jpg
  • I loved the case when I saw it but sadly out doesn't support the keyboard cover. The perfect surface case for me is the freedom case, you should check that out on YouTube.
  • Couldn't agree more, I was UBERLY annoyed at how easy the s2 finish scraped off. Same finish on the SP3.  
  • I spent a lot of time regretting the thick SP2 until I saw pictures of this. Would Microsoft really just *not* resolve that?
  • I am not so sure there is anything to resolve here. They claim that it is not a finish and simply the vapor mag. without a coating. Ever the original black 'coating' chipped.
  • Love it!
  • Looks great! I also like the jbl in the background!
  • This aspect ration is FAR superior to 16:9.  I have a 16:9 monitor and I always wish it was 16:10.  I always thought the surface was awkward in regards to aspect ratio.  I'm glad MS did their homework and changed the ratio. +Panos
  • I know I am in the minority but I have to express my preference of 16:9.   Multi-tasking makes more sense with such ratio.
  • The aspect ratio is fine. MSFT could have made the bezels thinner.
  • I halfway agree, but at the same time chopping off bezel may compromise us having something to hold while leaving room for the second hinge to magnetize to the screen for that added stability.
  • I like thin bezels on handsets and televisions, but with the edge gestures of Windows 8 I'd prefer swiping in from the edge of the screen, not the edge of the device. That and having a small space to grip it off-screen.
  • Can't wait to try and see !
  • yes 3:2 is perfect. I prefer saying 15:10 instead because you can easily and immediately compare the scale with 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratios
  • 3:2 is good by me. It's also the same ratio as 35mm film which is why I like it. In reality it's also not that far off 16:9 anyway. I'm not sure how it looks iPadesque though, I was under the impression that was 4:3?
  • "I'm not sure how it looks iPadesque though, I was under the impression that was 4:3?   1.5 is closer to 1.33 than to 1.78. That's why it's iPad-esque.
  • For Photoshop this will be a welcome change. I thought the widescreen looked cool, but for getting things done the new ratio will be great.
  • If they scale it down to A3 size it will attract even more people I would say. I often take notes or make doodles on a A3 block. Well of course, a Surface can do way more than just taking notes ... but ... I would really like to get rid of my A3 block. ;)
    However, the close to A4 format of the Surface Pro 3 also pleases my taste receptors. ⌒.⌒
  • Scale it DOWN to A3 size?
    Do you mean A5, perhaps?
  • Yes, indeed. :P
    It was already very late as I wrote that comment.
  • Is this where I post that is seems much faster?   I have not held one so I can't say if I like it by the 16x9 for a tablet is weird on the larger ones. Regardless I am ordering.
  • I love the new format - in fact, I've been resisting 16:9 on desktop with some 16:10 and 5:4 monitors for desktops.  The 4:3 on iPad is better, but it is lousy for video and too short in portrait mode by a bit. The 3:2 format is really "15:10" to put in in equivalent values - that is just like a 16:10 but a bit taller - I've been waiting for someone to do something like this for a long time.  Every tried a current surface in portrait mode?
  • Think its good for the Pro line but for the non-Pro line I think consumers would like 16:9 still to avoid the black bars during movies.
  • 16:9 doesn't really work well with portrait mode. I like the 3:2 ratio for a tablet for portrait and landscape. I think it's better the. 4:3 cuz I don't like the 4:3 for landscape.
  • Im already requesting for the loaner, but still need to wait for few months.
  • Is there going to be a surface 3 [RT] ? I'm maybe interested in a surface again.
  • Imagine it being even thinner... That would be interesting
  • Yes, it will be much better as a PC replacement than the Pro 2
  • Where are you getting this info?  
  • I love it on dell too
  • This is a nice compromise between 16:9 (comically tall in portrait) and 4:3 (comically tall in landscape)
  • I hope the next surface rt or whatever it will be called will stick to 16x9. I understand why this was done for the Pro tablets, but for someone like myself who just uses it for media, 16x9 is the only Way to go. If they change that I will not be purchasing another tablet.
  • if you use it for media why would you need a Surface Pro in first place? to run VLC or Potplayer in the desktop? oh wow....
    I'm sorry but your argument doesn't make sense, it seems surface 2 would be enough for you and cheaper, then if you use it JUST for media like you just said.
  • Off topic: Ngram Beta has become the official Telegram app for Windows Phone.
  • What are you? The developer? If so....embarrassing.
  • New ratio is awful. Tired of Microsoft telling me why one way is better and trying to sell me on it for three years, then when I buy in, flip flop on what they had been preaching. F'ing stick with something for once. Way to much flip flopping from the big M.
  • It's not flip flopping. It's progress. That's like saying that switching to making tablets after selling folks on netbooks as the future of mobile computing is flip flopping.
    1. Try what looks good.
    2. Evaluate and analyze market reaction.
    3. Try what looks better.
    4. ????
    5. Profit
  • Really? Look at their track record all the way back to 'Play-For-Sure' through the 'Zune to Xbox Music Debacle'....they never see anything through. This isn't progress to a lot of us. Its changing just for the sake of it because they have no clue what they vision is anymore.
  • 16:9 is too wide, 4:3 is too boxy. 3:2 is perfect. Our elders have taught us this when they invented the 35mm film. :-)
  • Yes. Most photos have a ratio similar to 3:2. That is why our American prints are mostly 4x6" and 3x5 (actually 3.5 x 5.25 inches). Any photo slideshows will look great on this screen, without letter-boxing or cropping. 16:9 in landscape mode and 4:3 are also good though.
  • YES, YES, YES, YES. SO MUCH BETTER FOR PROGRAMMING
  • Yes. Wide screen is good for watching movies, BUT that only accounts for 5% of my device (tablets, computers, phones) usage. The rest of the all that width is totally wasted on me! So I rejoice the 2nd coming of our Lord 4 By 3.
  • It's 3:2 not 4:3. 4:3 is terrible for computing and terrible for movies.
  • Whatever it is.  3x2 or 4x3.  I honestly don't care.  All I want to say is that for me, anything is better than stupid wide screen.  :-)
  • 16:10 would be my perfect tablet, perfect for everything, 3:2 is away too squarish
  • 16x10 = awesome, have dual monitors that size, so i think i will like 3x2 (15x10) better than 16x9. would use it in portrait mode a lot i think. 16x9 looks silly in portrait mode...
  • Reminds me of my old tc1000
  • Yes i do like it much better than the 16:9 or 16:10. A lot more usage area in a smaller format/shape. I wish The smaller ones come in the same aspect ratio.
  • I'm disappointed with the choice to go 3:2 vs 16:9. That's one of the first things I disliked about the iPad was its odd aspect ratio. I prefer 16:9 on my first Gen Surface. However, this is not a deal breaker. There are too many positives about the Pro 3 to overlook. The screen ratio is a minor negative for me.
  • Is it wrong that I really want the UI to make a change? Not a huge drastic change, more of a marrying of windows phone 8.1 and the desktop. I want transparent background live tiles that can live on the desktop. They should be interactive tiles (would especially be useful for mail, music. I'm not into the legacy start menu like all the minions out there, I'm a huge fan of modern UI, just think it needs some tweaks. I would be extremely happy if windows phone 8.1 launcher were an option on pro devices, maybe that's where we are headed in threshold, who knows. All I do know, is that MS has nailed it with WP 8.1, and the features they have added to the phone need to start making their way to pc's of all sizes. Universal apps, Cortana, etc.
  • Absolutely. 16:9 is why I don't own a Surface. I hate that aspect ratio. I use computers for more than movie watching.
  • Diminishes some of the snap function, doesn't it?
  • I have yet to touch the new ratio... How can I decide??
  • I think it's a good idea! God knows how annoying it was for me when trying to read magazines, pages where way to skinny. But maybe for Surface Pro 4, Microsoft can make the 16:9 for media fans and 3:2 for bookworms. Options are never a bad thing.
  • 16x10 would be best, imo
  • I like it! It looks gorgeous!!!
  • Ugh. I wish one of the SP3 models offered the "standard" Surface 16:9 display ratio. It's perfect when using the on-screen keyboard. Even so, I rarely use my SP1 in portrait mode, even when reading books, because I prefer looking at two full pages instead of just one.
  • I actually got pretty excited when they announced that it was 3:2. 16:9 is just a little too unwieldy to hold with one hand but too narrow for portrait and 16:10 doesn't solve the problem either. 4:3 like the iPad has just reminds me of old TV sets before widescreen was available. I feel like 3:2 is a great compromise between the 2 and it's also the aspect ratio used for DSLRS.
  • The standard photo ratio was something I hadn't even thought about. This thing's sounding better and better.
  • This is one of the most compelling aspects of the Surface Pro 3 for me. I usually prefer portrait mode to begin with, plus Zinio is one of my most-used apps. It also frees up space in landscape if you have to use the onscreen keyboard.
  • Better than the squareish 4:3 ratio that ipad uses. Not as ackward in portrait as 16:9. Has more vertical space than 16:9. I wonder if surface mini has same ratio? Rumours were pointing to something close to ipad's ratio? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • To all the whiners out there, you realize this beast can drive a tv display at 16x9 all you want for movies while still keeping the 3x2 aspect ratio for business stuff without breaking a sweat right? I always watch movies on my projector anyway with my surface pro. Screen aspect ratio isn't a problem especially at that screen size. Anyway just my opinion and anyone who doesn't like is entitled to do so, and I respectfully decline their request to join in on their hallucinations.
  • Ugly as hell. I'd rather have an aspect ratio that matches all my other monitors instead of the one Apple tried to force.
  • Why is it ugly? You're buying a surface pro to use as a mobile monitor or as a productivity tablet? A 3:2 aspect ratio is almost the same as an A4 paper, which means any document related work can be done easier. This aspect ratio also allow the screen to keep the same aspect ratio even if you cut it in half, like when you're using Windows 8 multitasking view. Moreover, a wider screen will have less surface area compared a squarer screen, even if they have the same diagonal length, so it's also better for those who wants to draw or take notes.
  • I think the 3:2 is better in landscape as well, and I'll tell you why...
    Windows 8 onscreen keyboard is such a real estate hog that the idea of having more vertical space made that feature the system seller for me.
    Selling my surface pro 128 now, just before my freedom case ships for the damned thing. :\
  • Everyone eventually figures out that 16:9 sucks.
  • For tablets yes, for Televisions no.
  • For televisions, the wider, the better for HD. Especially with the release of more super wide screen movies.
  • Do you know how often bluray movies have black bats in top of my led 3d tv?? Like all the time. Be nice if they took up the full screen like games do...
  • Then buy an extra widescreen TV. 21:9 TVs are already in the market, but they're still relatively new, so they're very expensive.
  • obviously, since tvs are not 10" or 12". I mean, I would be sad to have a tv of that size, but since tvs are big... well 16:9 would be fine.
  • 3:2 is directly in between 4:3 and 16:9.  Not as much letterboxing when watching a movie compared to 4:3, but a little more natural size than either.  I really think this is the sweet spot in aspect ratio.    I also look forward to seeing it in a future Surface Mini.  An 8" 3:2 tablet would have nearly 25% more screen real estate than an 8" 16:9 tablet like the Venue 8 Pro (which I like, btw, but which is not great in portrait).  I really hope that we're only waiting for Gemini to see it come out.  Maybe they'll push a Deskop-less version of RT out with it.  I see no reason why RT can't do that ahead of Threshold.
  • 3:2 has 8% more than 16:9, not 25%, unless my math is wrong. 3:2 is 4.44" x 6.66" = 29.54 sq in.
    16:9 is 3.92" x 6.97" = 27.35 sq in.
    29.54 / 27.35 = 1.08 In this case, more square means more square inches. An 8" iPad in its usual 4:3 aspect ratio would be 4% more screen real estate than an 8" 3:2 Surface. Regardless, variances of 4-8% in area are not going to be as noticable in daily use as the distribution (i.e., aspect ratio) of that area.
  • Damn you, Microsoft, for releasing a product I didn't realize I wanted! The screen ratio and physical size are just shy of perfect for reading comic books, which are roughly 10"X7.5". I have to wait until early next year but I am definitely buying this.
  • Oops, I meant 10.5"X7".
  • Yes
  • "hope others follow [...] now that apple and ms have tablets not 16:9"
    What apple tablet was ever 16:9?
  • I prefer the 16:9 personally.
  • I thought Apple owned the rights and patent on teh rectangle? #Shotsfired #Lawsuit   In fact didn't they invent teh rectange and the color white?
  • So does this mean no surface rt 3?
  • Love the 3:2 aspect ratio. It's perfect!
  • I hoped MS would make the Pro 3 16:10, but this is even better. 16:9 will be ok on the rt or mini version, but for the pro 3:2 is perfect
  • How would that look when you watch movies? I'm guessing it scales,but I wonder how it looks..
  • Scaling would distort what you see i.e. long faces etc. You could crop, or watch movies with black borders. Most movies are anamorphic which gives black bars on 16:9 screens as well, but true 16:9 material like TV shows will not get very big black borders. Here's an example: http://docs.gameclosure.com/guide/assets/scaling/aspect-ratio-2.png
  • Kinda figured that. Thanks for the reply and visual. I HATE black bars! Nevertheless it's a small trade off in the grand scheme of things.
  • Absolutely! Now I want the same on a surface mini.
  • Yes! With a ratio 2:1 :P
  • Yeah! I think it is good that Microsoft decided to go with that ratio. Much better for everyday things
  • Just stop the 16:9 nonsense everywhere in computing.
  • Finally they got it right. 16:9 does not make sense at all! I mean how often do you watch movies on your tablet? I am pretty sure people only use it 5% (max) of the time for watching movies. 
  • Cc
  • Why dont you ever use a poll for these questions?
  • I don't. I feel that a 'pro' product should have the aspect ratio other computers have. Also, apps wont support the resolution unless the developers update them. I'm considering buying one and wont be able to play the Sims 3 in full screen. I also dont see why they're trying to make it paper like. If someone wanted to take notes on paper,spend $2 on paper, not a $800+ laptop with a strange resolution.
  • Yes. It's wider on landscape to read ebooks and news. And it's taller on landscape so more line of codes available at once (a little less scroll-intensive, not that the older scroll-intensive, but this one still less than older ones :p). To bad I can't afford it T_T
  • But but mark happens to be a mac guy...
  • Love 3:2,  and the thin bezel makes it a gorgeous device! But I still want mini version.
     
  • My major concern with 16:9 was that they were not ideal for reading PDFs in portrait. I think 3:2 address this, but I need another hands-on review to see how PDFs look in this new form factor. So... can anyone of you guys do this ?
  • 3:2 is PERFECT and it always was. It's 16:9 that is silly, even on consumer devices. Who is passing all of his time watching movies?!? Web, mail, office sw, pictures... Any of this is better with 3:2.
  • 3:2 Surface mini to read on...
  • In my opinion 3:2 is great ... My das has a sony vaio duo 13 and in portrait mode it really looks and feels strange because of the 16:9 i feel like 3:2 is great for everything between 8 - 14 inch screen size because it just feels more natural as a tablet and it doesnt look strange as a laptop
  • Yep, aspect ratio makes it even more appealing. I wasn't expecting to want one so bad.
  • Apple will copy and call it Magical.
  • I think it really looks great in portrait mode now are they going to change the surface 3 to 3:2.
  • but my question is, can the SP3 handle games like WoW and LOTRO well? if so i'd be willign to replace my old self-built desktop PC (original icore 7 processor, 8GB of ram, SS hard drive, nvidia geforce gtx 295 video card).
  • Of course it's not. This is a microsoft product, not Apple, So it's not a toy. while it'll run WoW , and I'd imagine it would do it really well since that poor game died 5 years ago and it doesn't require any performance parts to render on high settings. The heat alone would shave off years of life on the SP3. it's not made for gaming. It's made for making money. (aka earning a living) If you want to game, get a Razer Blade Pro or use your desktop.
  • I reserve judgement but I suspect I will not like it over 16:9. If they had an option I would never buy such an aspect ratio over 16:9. the reason I got it was because of the weight and size chagnes. maybe time will prove MSFT right or wrong. we'll see.
  • For me personally, 10" (my SP2) is just the right balance between portability and productivity. Having that said, I really want to have the SP3... But my wallet won't allow it :(
  • 3:2 was a great choice after you think about it a bit. 16:9 was always quite unwieldy in a tablet if you wanted to do anything besides watch movies. Too short when viewing it in landscape and awkwardly long in portrait. 16:10 is pretty great, especially for smaller tablets, but getting into sizes 10"+ it becomes pretty short/long like 16:9. 4:3 is nice, but again reaching this size it becomes quite large and squareish and bars on movies become large. 3:2 is a perfect middle of the road ratio. It's tall enough in landscape and not too long in portrait without being a square and having huge letterboxes. Considering it works out to be 15:10, which is a bit easier to picture, its by far my new favorite screen ratio.
  • Love ❤ it!
  • At least they didn't go for the applesque 90's 4:3. Personally I would only go as far as 16:10.
  • 15:10 (3:2) is right there with 16:10, yet gives a tad more height in landscape without turning into a square (4:3). IMO it's a great resolution and one i havent yet seen but hope to see much more of in the future.
  • I like 3:2. I would mostly use it in landscape mode as a laptop, and 16:9 means the vertical is really short at any given screen size. 16:10 is much better, and 3:2 (15:10) better still. I just bought a Fujitsu T904, which has many of the same benefits (8GB RAM, tablet/laptop, active stylus, 9+ hours battery life, etc.), but it's a little heavier with a 13.3" screen, and it has the 16:9 aspect ratio. Only plus is that it has a nice home for its stylus in the unit. It also has a higher resolution (2560x1440, but until desktop Windows applications can handle screen scaling better, the SP3's slightly lower resolution may actually be better). Had the SP3 been announced two months earlier, I probably would have gone with it over the T904.
  • Yes, finally! A Windows device with a pen and 3:2 aspect ratio. SUATMM!
  • Was going to pick up a new MacBook but after seeing the Surface Pro 3 I ordered it instead! Top of the line too, i7, 512gb, and 8 GB ram.Can't wait til I can start working with this thing!!!
  • Of course like, but I have no money
  • I prefer 3:2 because I do a lot of reading and that size is closer to the dimensions of books, magazines, comic books.
  • 4x6 is my preferred photo crop. So there...
  • I primarily use my yoga 2 pro in landscape. In landscape its aspect ratio is perfect. In portrait (which I rarely use), it looks strange. Personally since I mostly stick to landscape, I would prefer the 16:9 ratio.
  • Actually I think 3:2 might be great.  I currently have a Dell Venue Pro 8 and it is 16:10.  I like that it isn't as oddly tall in protrait mode. The numbers are: 16:9                                   Surface and new TVs
    16:10                                 Dell VP 8
    3:2  ->  16:10.67                Surface Pro 3
    4:3 ->    16:12                    iPad and old TVs
  • I could imagine a 3:2 aspect ratio working well for a tablet, and for the surface in particular. When I fire up e.g. Visual Studio on my Surface Pro, it always seems quite obvious to me that such applications have not been made for (small) 16:9 single screen systems. What bothers me a bit more is that with no further information from MS, I feel left hanging in the air as Surface Pro early adopter. I got mine not even a year ago, as soon as they were available in Europe. Now size and aspect ratio are changing (I'm actually more curious how a taller AND wider Surface Pro 3 is going to be like in my shoulder bag), and my main worry is that acccessories for the 16:9 Surface Pros are going to dry up. I was seriously waiting for a Power Cover with German keyboard (or even better a backlit advanced power cover), and now I worry that with the new dimensions, accessory support for existing SP Pros is going to fade.
  • Hi Mark, How often do you find yourself using the pro 3 in portrait mode? What are your experiences with app support for portrait mode? What is the multitasking experience like in portrait mode?   Thanks.