Surface 3 recharges over a battery pack, unlocked LTE version coming, and more facts from the Reddit AMA

This afternoon, the Microsoft Surface team took to Reddit to do another 'Ask Me Anything' session. Users put questions to the Microsoft engineers about the recently announced Surface 3, due to hit store shelves in early May.

As usual, the Surface developers revealed a few interesting tidbits about the latest hardware from Microsoft. We have rounded up the most exciting questions and the answers for you to read below. Here are some highlights!

  • Unlocked LTE version is coming but no ETA
  • LTE version does have GPS
  • No daisy-chaining for monitors, but you can connect up a 4K monitor, albeit at a terrible 30Hz
  • Surface 3 has the same Wi-Fi/BT chip and software as the Surface Pro 3, so there should be no issues out the gate

Read on for the rest!

Reddit AMA with Panos Panay and the Surface team at Microsoft

Q: Why micro/full sized USB over USB-C?

A: micro USB ... enables charging through all the chargers out there today. Optimized for charger (13W) in box. Full-size adapters needed for everything in market today.

Q: Does the S3 support 4k displays at 60Hz?

A: 4K at 30Hz with Intel X7 Gen8 engine.

Q: Does Surface 3 support Always On Always Connected (Connected Standby)?

A: Behavior is just like Surface Pro 3. 4 hours of connected standby, then into hibernate.

Q: Does the Surface 3 with LTE have a GPS chip?

A: Yes, the LTE versions have a GPS chip.

Q: Do you have plans to release an LTE/3G version that is internationally unlocked?

A: We are doing an unlocked LTE version. Can't say where it will be available yet, but we hear you and in many markets we will have it available. Stay tuned for more!

Q: Will there be an LTE model compatible with AT&T in the US?

A: Not saying anything more today other than that we will be available working with T-Mobile and Verizon. we're excited about that. we will have more news later...

Q: How is the eMMC performance in comparaison to the SP3 SSD? Is it a significant difference?

A: S3 eMMC is about 50% of SP3 SSD. If your workload involves heavy file transfers (like video editing) recommendation is SP3.

Q: Why Surface 3 is almost as thick as Surface RT from 2012? I mean it's only .4 mm thinner than SP3 (24nm Core i5/i7 with fan) while having fanless 14nm Atom inside.

A: The combination of a powerful machine, with all day battery life, full USB and a great kickstand results in 8.7mm. This is the fittest device we could create by not removing these essential elements. I think it's pretty fit :)

Q: Can we convert the charging micro-USB port to a full-size USB port with an adapter, and then plug in any USB device to it?

A: Yes! The micro-USB port charging port also handles USB data

Q: Why did the team decide to ditch the Surface text logo for the Microsoft logo?

A: We realized that a Surface contains all of what we as Microsoft has to offer. It is the physical extension of a software experience. To reflect that, we thought it was more appropriate to carry the Microsoft mark. And we all liked this idea :)

Q: How well does the Surface 3 handle a bunch of Bluetooth connected devices? Say I have a BT KB/Mouse plus a headset for listening on Xbox Music and I'm also syncing my FitBit. Any issues? How about the WiFi? Any issues like the SP3 had?

A: For sure you can connect all the Bluetooth devices you mention above at the same time. As for WiFi, no issues... People will get the same WiFi experience that Surface Pro 3 users are getting today.

Q: Any chance we can get an updated video driver for the SP3? Windows 10 has destroyed the stability of the displayport out, making the device kinda useless in my case.

A: We are so aware of this…drivers are under test. When we have one working to our satisfaction, we will make it available. We dogfood the same stuff, and we are feeling the same pain.

Q: Why was the choice made to go with the atom x7 cpu vs an intel core m cpu?

A: The key to Surface 3 was to give great performance, but to also keep the device thin and light. We benefit from this latest quad-core processor from Intel in a couple ways: First, we get great performance with a new burst mode feature where the chip will run up to 2.4GHz. However, when performance is not needed, it throttles down to 1.6GHz saving power so we can keep the battery as small as possible (keeping the devices as thin and light as possible.

Q: Does the Surface 3 have a TPM?

A: It has a Firmware TPM as part of the SOC.

Q: Any plan for surface 3 for Indian students ???

A: There isn't a plan right now. we definitely want to at some point though!

Q: Will there be a trade-in program for those loyal fans with orphan devices (RT/Surface 2)?

A: We'll definitely think about trade-ins. we don't have plans right now. Will also see what retailers are thinking - those are often done by the retailers themselves.

Q: Why no continuous kickstand like SP3?

A: This was a key decision for Surface 3 to keep the product affordable (and thin and light). We know from research the most important angles from Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and then we added the 3rd most shallow angle based on feedback from Surface Pro 3. Overall, keeping price as a priority while giving large range of angles was the goal.

Q: Will the Surface 3 support two 1440p displays via daisy-chained DisplayPort connections?

A: The Surface 3 does not support daisy chaining monitors over DisplayPort. The Pro line is great for folks who need this.

Q: How does the battery life compare to the Surface 2 and given the Surface 3 has a microUSB port will it support remote chargers?

A: Both devices get a full 10hrs of video playback. Surface 3's microUSB give more access to chargers and will at least maintain power from remote battery packs

Q: Could I use the Surface 3 for video editing?

A: Yes. x86 machine, so apps will run. Best reference point is PC Mark 8 Creative Benchmark which includes video editing performance that is 85% of SP3 i3.

Sound off in comments about what we learned. Has any of this news changed your mind about getting one?

Source: Reddit

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Are there plans to release a new Surface when Windows 10 goes RTM? I'm putting off upgrading from my first generation Surface Pro until Windows 10 has released to ensure they're made for each other. Surface 3 is definitely made for Windows 10 and vice versa. don't wait!
  • Surface pro 4
  • I think that they'll wait for Skylake to be a thing before showing off Surface Pro 4. Which should be in Q3 2015 anyway.
  • There is nothing in Surface 3 to support the biometric login features coming in Win 10. Nothing in Suface Pro 3 either, though.
  • Wrong - there is a front facing camera... Hello supports Iris recognition.  
  • There has been no indication, and no confirmation from MS, that any current device supports that particular method. The facial recognition depends on IR illumination and sensors. It is not established whether the iris recognition desn't require any more than the relatively low resolution front facing camera that are currently on the Surface Models. In fact, if it did work, I expect we would have heard something about it as the latest preview build includes biometrics.
  • I'm pretty sure it does or at least that's what I read?   I think I've read that?  Right?
  • I'm the other way. Pretty sure I've read/heard it doesn't. Surprised that didn't come up on the AMA. It certainly doesn't do fingerprint, and the face requires the IR illunination, but of the existing cameras did iris, I would think that would have been clearly highlighted by now.
  • I think we'll definitely see Surface Pro 4 and finally Surface Mini. I made up my mind, Surface 3 will be my upgrade this year and can't wait :)
  • There will absolutely be a Surface Pro 4. It needs to do the biometrics if nothing else. MS promised that the next version will work with the "3" peripherals. The most important one in that statement is the dock. With the keyboard that defines the physical size of the Surface Pro 4 (barring any adapter for thickness) and the main power/data connector.  Doesn't preclude adding a USB C, but I don't think they would remove the DP or full size USB.  I would be happy if they shrunk the internals enough (ala MacBook) and made them more efficient to allow a bigger battery and more life at the same performance. Maybe, just maybe, they could save enough room to make some sort of secure pen stowage. As far as a mini goes, expect that to be 7.99" or smaller and running what seems to be called Windows 10 Mobile (not to be confused with Windows Mobile). Big Windows Phone, without the phone, not full Windows 10. Fine with me, I never had any issues with RT, and my WP, or RT tablet, does everything I need to do now, that doesn't have me sitting at a desktop.
  • I really want one so I can have the LTE, but with the new flagship, sp4 and holo coming,I just don't have the money. :(
  • Don't you want the Band and/od the Surface Hub too..?
    And do you already own a Xbox One..?
  • I'm putting all my eggs in the HoloLens basket. Until I've got one of those I am not upgrading anything else. My feeling is that it will be the perfect complement to my laptop, with less duplication than I get with my tablet. If HoloLens has LTE, it could even replace my phone. But it's all speculation right now so I am hoarding my pennies until I can get my hands on a HoloLens, which I will definitely buy the day it goes up for pre-order.
  • Can't replace your phone since you're not going to walk around in public with that on your head.
  • ...or WILL he? LOL
  • Well, there are several things you've not thought through. I don't "walk around in public" now with my phone stuck to my ear. It sits in my pocket until I need it, HoloLens will be similar - take it out when you need it. OK, it won't be pocketable but it could hang off my belt or keep it in the top of my messenger bag. I often leave my phone at home and will do the same with HoloLens. I hate the idea of being contactable all the time so if I'm going out, it's often the last thing I want with me. Then there's the fact that people walking around in public with their eyes glued to their phone look ridiculous already, they're just too oblivious to notice. At least with HoloLens I'll always be looking ahead and won't be bumping into things. And how much worse is it going to look than someone wearing a pair of Oakleys and a pair of Beats headphones?
  • 85% of the i3 ain't bad and better battery life. If I didn't have a SP3 I might have gotten this instead. A little bit weary on the future of the line in terms of accessories.
  • You don't have to be weary, Microsoft announced a partnership with incipio and others to make accessories for the surface line due to customer demand. See the link below
  • Nothing here for Indian Students.. Another reason to pass..
  • Wen in India?
  • When in Antarctica? I want to watch videos while keeping my egg warm. Does the touch screen work with flippers?
  • LOL! This comment wins this thread!
  • What more to Philippine market? :c
  • Haha, keep them imports coming. Good thing Villman carries Surface :)
  • That's not another reason. It's the only reason. If you can't buy it, you have no choice but to pass on it.
  • true Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft (along with the rest of us) was tired of hearing you and others whine incessantly about it, so they decided you do not deserve a student discount. Maybe this will teach you and the whiny little bi*** entitlement act will stop.
  • I can't agree more! Many Indians in this site acts like there's no other countries than their own.
  • I can understand them being upset if they do not get Surface, Band, etc. A few years ago when XBox One was released Microsoft teamed up with some company (can't remember who - Mountain Dew, Pizza Hut, one of those) to give away XBoxes. When it was found out that the competition was only open to US residents people on one site were livid about how it was not available in their country, and how MS was being unfair. So I went out and found 50 different competitions, give aways, deals, etc. available in non-US countries and not available to people outside those countries. It took me only a couple hours to find all those. When I listed all those, people from other countries didn't care, they were happy that those deals were exclusive to them, but demanded that they get the same deals only available in the US. Same thing happens with prices, when the price of some product is announced, we see lists of people complaining about how Microsoft or some other company is cheating them because the price is higher in some other country. They never take into account that their country has VAT automatically included in the price while we have sales tax added at the register. Then there is shipping costs, import taxes, costs to abide by laws of that country, and so on. But they don't think of that, they just demand that they get it for the same price (or cheaper) than we do in the US. I say we start making the same complaints to them. vinayscxbox, why don't we have the Tata Nano car in the US? We demand that Tata start shipping them to the States immediately, or we will start whining about it over and over and over and over and ... And why don't they give students in the US discounts on their products? Huh? Why not? We demand answers immediately, and if we don't get them then we will post on every web site we can find our whiny complaints until we get our way.
  • The Idea is for MS to win... so let me put it this way... "Bring it to all markets where the iPad or latest samsung note is available"... that is including but not limited to India... Whining is pathetic... But here is what the 'whining' might be in some cases... When Apple or Samsung fans brag about the new over priced or gimicky(respectively) crap is out and we MS fans say how much better the MS product is... They point to the nearest mall and say "Well then show us"..... because their latest and greatest is already on display and sale there... That is the case in so many markets including but not limited to India. So keeping the childish "will hide your candy and teach you a lesson" aside... if the idea is to sell the candy(especially given the market share) then you need to bring it to as many markets... at least where your competetion is selling much heigher priced and much less capable devices... I will still cite the PS4 as an example... they brought it to so many markets before the XBOX ONE... and it is definetly one major contributor to its lead in the share. No country has a 'whiner' monopoly... there are all kinds of people everywhere... it is 'humans' that are everywhere and so is human nature...
  • Not only human nature. Cultural differences apply as well. Here in the internet there is no reason to entertain constant whining.
  • Like+++
  • Any thoughts on one that didn't get answered?:
  • They kind of answered this in a recent article. Basically, earlier Surface's designed in secret. Now, they are way more open, learning from users what they want, so things shifting. I think we can all agree though with the 3 series, they are hitting their stride, finding what really works. So they'll likely stick with that e.g. aspect ratio.
  • Not sure that is as big a deal as you might think. There has been some commitment that the next Pro will work with the peripherals of the current one. I think the chief benefit there will be the dock. That also somewhat limits the physical changes that can be made in the next generation Pro. You won't see a 13" one for example, which you hear asked for quite a bit. Or a laptop version, unless these are new 'lines'. The first and second gen Pro used the same peripherals, but being just a year between models, it seems they are iterating too quickly. Don't think too many would say the changes made for V3 were not very beneficial, so the choice was backward compatibility, or progress.  Other than the charge/expansion port/plug, the other ports are industry standard, so aside from the dock, everthing you cabled up to your Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Pro 3 should still be working, Displays via DP, or even third party dock via USB 3. I don't expect that to change with Pro 4. Remember Surface 3 is more a followon for the RT/Surface2 line, not another Pro device. The RT powered devices were never really intended to be docked into a desktop workstation configuration. This new one actually adds that possibilty and full Windows compatibility at a price point right around that of Surface 2, so a new dock is a plus. It isn't like someone moving from a Surface RT or Surface 2 is loosing the use of their dock.  Moving from a Surface Pro 2 to this is a different issue, and IMHO, isn't neccessarily an upgrade.  When you get right down to it, I don't see third parties falling all over themselves to make Surface unique add-ons in the first place. It's not like these are iPhones. IPhone 4 stuff doesn't fit iPhone 5, and that stuff doesn't fit either of the 6's. Still dedicated peripherals are available even before the phones are out. I don't think anyone loses by MS making Surface better.  A new version doesnt make what you are using obsolete, so can just keep using it. [From a personal point of view, the only change I lamented was the pen. There was no end of available Wacom compatible pens for Surface Pro and Pro 2. I even had some that came with HP convertible laptops that shipped with XP tablet edition that worked fine. The new NTrig is good, and the click to OneNote is brilliant, but pretty much limited to the MS pen. Makes my stable of stylii sad.] 
  • Sexy Red Pen, hope it'll work on my surface pro 3.
  • I am definitely buying the red pen!!! OMG great color
  • Yes, the pens work on both as they are one and same pen.
  • Is NFC support in either version? Can't find the information on
  • 99% sure no, likely due to the metal/magnesium casing.
  • What do people use NFC for? I haven't use it on my phone much.
  • I use it for quick connecting Bluetooth devices but that's all.
  • I use it all the interfere with my apple pay friends...its hilarious.
  • I use it to pay in various stores and occasionally sharing contact info's and pairing with other Lumias
  • Why do they continue with Intel crapics? AMD or NVIDIA graphics would make this a winner.
  • From what I READ Microsoft has been doing their best to balance performance and size. It's impossible to have it all, and I'm sure there's a device for you.
  • Actually, newer Intel graphics are pretty solid e.g. with the Broadwell series. Adding a sep chip for graphics in this device would drive up cost, make it larger, and use more battery. Even pricey Ultrabooks rarely - if ever - get a separate graphics chip.
  • Yup! It all started with Haswell! :-)  
  • Batteries, discrete GPUs still murder them. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Because it's an Intel processor and you're not able to fit any other graphics or other processing components in that case.
  • you can add a discrete gpu to a intel based device.  but you need to add the socket and you will draw more power.  S3 is not intended to run highend graphics like gaming.  But if you want to build a high end gaming machine yiu buy the best intel processor and pair it with the best graphics card, even though the intel processor contains a pretty good gpu.
  • If you want a decent device for some games or renderings, just go to or
  • I have a desktop at work and I use it for Solidworks which is very demanding 3D, with Intel graphics. For non-gamers it's not that big a deal.
  • I think this is my biggest complaint about the Surface 3 really. Considering the lack of a size and weight difference between the SP3, they may as well have gone Core M or something with a bit more grunt. It's a very expensive tablet after all. It just feels like the cut to an Atom wasn't worth it.
  • Geesh. There is a difference. There will be a Core M in the shape of the SP4 later this year. They will then have devices at diferrent price points. This one _is_ lighter, smaller with 10 hours battery. They aren't building a machine personally for you, but a range that you will be able to select from. The Atom switch is from Arm, and if its 85% of an i3 it was a well worth switch. Not sure why you are not looking at this like the rest of us are, its a good device :/
  • I'm looking to replace my Dell Venue 8 Pro as a device that I use to just grab and take notes on. I already have a SP3, but don't always have it with me as I need to use my work provided laptop. I'm considering buying a Surface 3 and regard it as a good device. What I'm saying is that I agree with one of the AMA questions put forward around the questions on weight and size. If you look at the new Encore 2 Write 10", it's lighter, thinner (despite having an older CPU), and of course comes with a pen at $350 compared to $500 for the Surface. Now I appreciate that I'm not comparing apples with apples here. The Encore has a lower resolution screen, no full USB port, and a bunch of other things such as the CPU differences. What's a bit disappointing is that MS hasn't really pushed the boundaries as much as I'd like to have seen, with regards to weight and size. If you're going to charge $500 + pen, it either has to be much more powerful than the competition, or be lighter and thinner. Hmm. I'll probably still buy one though. :)
  • The Atom x7 CPU in the Surface 3 is actually more powerful than the Core M in the unreleased MacBook.  People remember Atom chips from 7 years ago with old netbooks.  This isn't the same Atom chip and pulls ahead of some Core M models.  That's perfectly fine for a 2-in-1 device with a 10.8" display.  The Surface 3 doesn't need a Core M, not when the Atom x7 performs like it does.
  • This is a fantastic step for MS. A tablet priced at iPad level that blows the iPad out of the water is exactly what they should be doing. I may not be able to afford one, but damned if i won't enter to win with Bing rewards every chance I get.
  • Sadly this is only true for the US. In Europe the price is not nearly as competitive to the iPad Air 2 and even not really with a entry Surface Pro 3
  • 'Dollar to Euro conversion + Taxes' do not help. Try to get a Surface 3 with a free Typecover. Some shops in Europe have that deal for pre orders already. I ordered my Surface 3 with free Typecover this morning. Can't wait to get it delivered.
  • My complaint isn't simply about the Surface 3 being expensive it's about the position in the market the Surface 3 gets here. In the US is can compete with the iPad and the gap between S3 and SP3 is $300 ($250 if you include the pen) here it's 200€ (150€ with pen) this isn't well positioned in the market.
    And it's tot valid to include deals, there are deals for the SP3 here where you get an i3 SP3 with type cover, 1 year Office 365, a 64 micro SD card and a sleeve for 879€.
    For the conversion and taxes thing: If would order a S3 in the US and ship it to Germany I would pay $499 converted to 457,08€ + 19% (import taxes that are calculated on the converted price at the daily exchange rate) 86,85€ + an estimate of $25 (22,99€) for the shipping wich isn't taxed. This makes 566,92€ so it would save about 33€ to the retail price here.
  • To be fair iPad Air 2 with 64 GB is 580 Euro. But yes when Pro was released year ago the Euro was lot stronger so price difference is now smaller than in US. But also over time you might see better price.
  • What bothers me is the position the Surface 3 is set on the European market. Sure it is more capable then the iPad but the iPad has more awareness. Convincing someone that he has the better deal with the Surface 3 gets harder here if it can't compete in price and an equally speced iPad is cheaper then a Surface 3. You can take strong € or what ever for the 599€ price tag but that does not change the fact that the iPad Air 2 64GB and the iPad Air 2 128GB are cheaper then the rivaling Surface 3 model. And for the public general it is more important that you get an iPad for less money then that you could do more with the Surface 3.
    For me it is a serious flaw in positioning the Surface 3 in the European market. I don't say the must price it $499 vs 499€ but maybe 519€ it will still be more expensive then the iPad but not like 110€ as it is now.
  • I'm saving for this one, a good investment.
  • Blow? Where? 4 hours in stand on mode then hibbernate? Really? IPad can receive emails and notifications all times!  And again 16:9 screen??? It is useles for web browsing! As heavey user of iPad and owner of ASUS table on W8. I can say that windows on tablet not ready.  I use iPad 99% of times because of exellent apps, excellent battery life and 4:3 screen!    MS Can do better but they ether do not want or do not care.  
  • Surface 3 as the Surface pro 3 is 3:2 which is excellent, much better than 16:9 and tv60s 4:3. Watching photos of my nikkon is pretty amazing.
  • Does your iPad connect to Pen drives, hard drives, printers etc? Come with full Office? Open flash websites and games? Run desktop programs? Photoshop? Manage files with a built in file explorer? Homegroups? Heck, you can connect your iPad to the surface 3 as it is a full blown computer in the palm of your hand.
  • Why should I do this??? I have PC, laptop. I do not have to do this job on 10'' screen! Tablet is for get info, not for creating it. Photoshop??? Are seriously? You will try to run it on S3? With Atom CPU? Good luck with it. Only the people who never used iPad can say something like that. No tables can be so pleased to use, even Surface. And I am not saying this because I love Apple. I am Microsoft guy. But I am honnest to admit that iPad is better and always will be . And btw. I can print from iPad without any problems :)
  • Then you also don't need an apple tax riddle device if all you want is a toy. You can buy another Windows tablet, save money and do all you want. You are just being too defensive that someone is challenging your fruity company.
  • If all you need iPad is for emails and apps, your phone suffice. Why you need a tablet for that?
  • Why should I break my eyes trying to read text from small screens if I can do it on big screen? It is pointless here to argue with suck kind of people lkke you. You love windows tablet? Use it. I will use iPad. More apps, better apps quality.  If you think apps amount does nothing, look in almost dead Windows Phone!        
  • My point is, you shell out nearly $1000 just for a bigger screen and claim it does better than a full blown desktop OS based tablet?
  • iPad Ait 2 64Gb costs 599$, not 1000$ I went today to Microsoft store just to check S3. Only 2Gb version was in store. What can I say about it at first glance. 1. Build quality as excellent as is should be! 2. A little hevier to use it on hads for long time. 3. Screen is good, 3:2 excellent (I thought it was 16:9) 4. 2Gb ram is not enought to run heavy apps. 5. Without keyboard and mouse desktop applications almost useless. As I said before tablet for me is just agdget to surf internet. Check facebook, twitter and so on. Until Windows stoere has excellent quality apps for all my needs I cannot consider it as replacement for my iPad. I also love to play some games like Subway Surfer, Despicable Me, Asphalt 8 and so on. Not all of them available in the store. As the m,atter of fact, since I bought ASUS Transformer T100 a few years ago, store still has very low amount of good applications! But I can say that S3 much better that any Android tablets! Even without all apps I see no reason for people to buy android tablets now as nothing can be as good as Surface and now price the same as most top level android tablets. I see future for S3 as a replacement for all android users. As you just cannot compare what S3 can do and all other tablets :)   As about iPad. Most users of iPad won't change it. They will srtuck with iPad just because they use it for long time and already spent too much money on applications. iPad is not suitable for work needs (unless you only need email 8-) ), but as recreation device,it is on top. I really hope Microsoft will push S3 hard as now they can atract people! S3 pro costs a way too much
  • Well.... I am a very light user of apps. May be that is the reason I do not feel the pinch in terms of missing apps(also residing in India helps, I guess. Most local apps are indeed available with Windows phone store). But since it is a x86/64 architecture, all the desktop games can also be run. Not to mention all kind of softwares(even creepy ones!!!) will be supported with S3. Well, the point is you can install win32 apps that are updated continuously since XP with S3. Apps that are missing in the store? We cannot do much about them. But I am sure good alternatives are available. Either in the modern mode or in the desktop mode. With a better memory, I think this tablet is kind of future proof :-)
  • That's the pot calling the kettle black.  You are obviously a fanboy of your iPad.  That's fine but don't make outrageous claims or try to paint the Surface 3 in a darker light just because you can't fathom using one.  Why should you have two devices, like an iPad and PC, just to get tasks done when you can have one device that is great for both?  You also have no idea what this Atom x7 SoC is capable of. Your iPad is a consumption device, that's it.  Sure, you can run a watered down version of Office or use a browser that won't properly display some websites (or automaticlaly defaults to the mobile version of websites).  There are also a bunch of fun apps for the iPad but it's still a consumption device.  The Surface 3 can also be a consumption device but, when need be, it also runs full desktop programs. Either way it's clear that you are stuck in the split world that Apple has created.  You have a PC, smartphone, and tablet.  They share some of the same functionalities but you like keeping them separate.  The iPad is a fine tablet but it's in a lower category than the Surface 3.  Personally, I would rather carry around two devices instead of three.  I carried around my 15" MacBook (and later my 13" MacBook Air), iPad 3, and iPhone 5 with me everywhere.  It was tiresome, I had to bring way too many chargers and cables (especially since my iPad 3 used the old dock connector), and it was a hassle having to switch between devices.  Oh, I can't open this Word document on my iPad keeping the formatting in place.  Let me pull my MacBook out. Nope, I'm done with those days and the Surface 3 will give me that flexibility.  I already have it with my Surface Pro 2 but I'm looking for something a little thinner and lighter.
  • This comparison is kind of like comparing a smart phone and a dumb phone and saying that the dumb phone is better because of excellent battery.
  • IPad is like a dump phone??? He he. Good like woth S3. If you think it will be better, fine. I do not care what other think about it. I used a lot of gadgets. I know S3 will never beat iPad.        
  • Hey... I am not saying iPad is like dumb phone. Honest. It is not a comparison literally. What I tried to say is that, with 32/64 bit architecture, you can get ANY job done that requires laptop/desktop. iPad on the other hand is an ARM based. Mostly a bigger size phone with more power than phone. Hence you cannot compare both the devices head to head. Both have advantages on different fields.
  • Any surface 3 plans for the Filipino market? Any plans at all for us?
  • I'm no expert but I'm sure plans will happen at least when it's sold in the US. Still a month away.
  • Unlike other Surface release, this time Asia Pacific will get it the same time with US.
  • I am wandering why always microsoft compare there devicese to Apple devicese ?
    Why they are not comparing it to previous one ? And how they improved the surface 3 comparing it the old one
    Because now microsoft is trying to take on apple user and that is very difficult to do (Apple makes great product) and the fan boy had loyalty to apple I think it's much better to make the old user of surface RT, 2 to upgrade to 3 and  they will talk to there freinds how much good is the surface 3
  • Very well said. MS does seem to have a fetish for all things apple, would be nice to think of Windows users first for a change.
  • More iPad users than Surface users. Plus, Surface users probably already know the advantages of the new model.
  • It's actually not just for Apple users. If I am new to the market and looking to buy a tablet, my first obvious thing to look at will be the iPad and its variants.... then if I see something better at these pricepoints, I am likely to be sold.... if they just compared to the earlier versions of their own products, it does not tell me how it compares to the iPad that I am looking at..... Apple can do that because they have become somewhat of a reference point in the tablet game now, like it or not.... others have to show they are better at servicing users' needs than the (hopefully pricier) iPads...  do recall that in not so distant past, Apple used to compare with MS products in the Mac vs PC ads that they took out.... it's all about who the dominant dog is in the market...
  • You have a good point.  However, I think MS should really start to market the Surface line as a next-gen tablet and the iPad and galaxy tabs as "last-gen". Regardless of fact, in consumerism, perception is reality.  If people continue to think of Apple as cutting (or bleeding edge) technology they are more inclined to invest money into a product even if its the same price as another.  I.e. They think they are getting a good deal.  Think of it as a expensive bottle of wine.  Its been proven that a cheap bottle can taste just as good as a expensive bottle, the difference was cost to produce.  If you can plant a seed that "Apple was so last decade", then all of the sudden some people (again regardless of fact) may be more inclided to get something different.  Apple, Last Gen. Surface, Next Gen.  Simple as that... /s
  • There is no previous model. Surface RT/2 is not the predecessor, different architecture, price point.
  • Same wifi experience as that means it will have issues reconnecting coming out of sleep :(
  • I don't have issues with my sp3 and I'm things TP10
  • You might wanna check if you installed Hyper-V at any point. Even installing things like VirtualBox install additional network adapters that mess with connected standby as well as connecting to wifi on wake.
  • Definitely not running hyper-v on it
  • Indeed. If this is true it will be getting 70 megabit max while a two year old dell next to it is pulling data down at 300+
  • Good to hear it has usb otg. I really want to get one. How is intel atom x7 compared to what is in the original Asus t100 and the i3 dell venue 11 pro? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
  • Wait a second! I wanted LTE on my SP3, when did LTE become available for SP3?! Of is it just coming for S3?!
  • Just S3.
  • It's probably a battery life decision. Having LTE will drain the battery life to just a few hours, I suspect.
  • You don't have to leave it on. I'm surprised all of you wanting the LTE version aren't carrying a phone. ;) There is this thing called thethering that doesn't require you to have a second data plan.  I'm just funnin', but seriouisly, I have LTE in my 2520, and a data plan and I hardly ever turn it on. I am around WiFi most of the time. If I am not, I invariably do have my phone with me, and it is trivial to tether, since it is a Windows Phone. Don't even need to get it out of my pocket, just bring up the WiFi selector, and pick the Phone out of the list. It directs the phone into tethering, and connects. Use it with my SP3 often.
  • To a personal extent, sure. But I have business reasons for it. In most enterprise scenarios, having a dedicated LTE connection in the SP3 along with the VPN connecting it directly to the corporate infrastructure for those employees out in the field, it's a HUGE plus.
  • Not really, only if you are using allot of data does it. Just having it in there and on/connected, eh, not so much. Several years ago, yeah, but the modern LTE chipsets are pretty good about their power management in my expierence.
  • I think that is going to be dependent on where you are. With LTE turned on, in a marginal coverage area, it is still going to suck power trying to ensure a decent connection, even if you aren't actively using it. Same with phones. Nothing drains battery more uselessly than poor signal strength.
  • I went to a local Microsoft store and tested out two days ago trying to watch a movie on   The sound still stutters badly like my original Surface RT does. Not sure if it is due to low cpu performance or a bad sound card driver. Really hope they can fix it.
  • Well thats horrible.  Seems like tablet technology really isnt excelerating at the rate i hoped for. No outdoor use, still low battery life, cant support 3d graphics. And we shouldnt have to spend $1600 for that.
  • It is because the media bashes anything that tries to do these things as not what a tablet is "supposed" to be. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Is it possible that the WiFi connection wasn't adequate for video streaming?
  • I have a surface 2 and SP3 both run HBO Go equally well.
  • Could it be the Wifi connection at the MS store?
  • Unlocked, now we're talking.
  • When Microsoft was offering trade ins for old surfaces a few weeks ago, I put in the info about my original surface rt. I would have gotten 80 bucks for the surface, two of the keyboards, and a charger. I think we should be able to trade in our old rt models for at least half of a surface 3, because honestly, rt sucked.
  • RT didn't suck it is a great tablet OS.
  • That's not how companies make money. Surface RT was a first generation device, it was never going to be perfect, but to say it sucked, that's just not true. It may not be powerful enough for some people, but it is just fine for many, partularly children and older parents. Just becasue you weren't fully satisfied with the device, doesn't mean you're entitiled to a discount of the new model. If they want to offer it somehow, then that's great, but no company should be expected to do so.
  • You could have returned it if you thought it sucked.
  • Why no NFC? :-o
  • They are trying to cut cost down, not introduce new, mostly not that useful features...
  • What? I won't be able to pay for my Starbucks with my Surface 3?? Dealbreaker.
  • it's definitely not about making payments with your surface. but i think its really useful for bluetooth pairing with accessories. or tap to send via bluetooth etc.
  • Should I cancel my Surface 3 pre order now, just incase this trade in happens?!
  • it most likely wont happen.  juts sell your old one to ebay and may profit more.
  • Which reminds me... ANyone want to buy my Zune HD?  One day it will be a collectors item...  
  • Check eBay before offering it here. When the Surface RT came out, I sold mine for about $200.
  • If you have the 32gb one, it'll sell for over $200 on Amazon.
  • any plans for touch cover for S3?
  • nope
  • Why no touches cover? I don't use a keyboard often with my RT but when I need it, I have it. It was cheaper and thinner than the type cover.
  • You can still use the original touch cover from RT/SP. Buy it second hand if you wish. I think its because most people prefer the tactile feel of the TypeCover.
  • There's a plan for surface mini?
  • I really want a Surface Mini. Maybe it will be released with Windows 10.
  • I'm not sure it's coming out unless they can find a different niche then just being smaller.  Apple's Mini are losing sales because phones are getting bigger and it makes less sense.  If they can trick it out with pen or make a courier like device? 
  • NA
  • I believe they said there was GPS. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • SP4
  • Yes.. Yes... SP4 - SP4XL - SP4 Mini
  • What about SP4C with a 41MP camera? :-P
  • Yes.
  • Disappointing that surface 3 uses eMMC storage instead of a SATA SSD.
  • It's still faster than a HDD, and noiseless. I doubt you'll notice the difference. I'm glad they cut many corners to bring the cost down to such an attractive but not budget level. They should do the same by optional pen with SP line to shave £35/$50 off the selling price.
  • No, you'll definitely notice the difference. EMMC is about 1/10th the speed of a basic SSD. It's basically an embedded SD card (multimedia card). This severely weakens the value proposition of Surface 3.
  • They said in the Reddit AMA that the speed of eMMC in Surface 3 will be 50% of SSD in SP3.
  • When I see benchmarks, I'll believe it. Not a moment sooner. To date, eMMC has NEVER been 50% of an SSD.
  • "S3 eMMC is about 50% of SP3 SSD" SP3 - CrystalDiskMark (Sequential Read): 453.8MBps CrystalDiskMark (Sequential Write): 260.1Mbps eMMC 4.51 theoretical max - 1.6Gbs = 200MB/sec I'm guessing it'll be 175ish, or 40%. Anyone out there have a new Win tablet with eMMC? Would love to see Crystal Disk benchmarks.  
  • Dang I should of asked him if he'll change the pricing of the Surface once the Canadian dollar gets closer to the US Dollar :P If not I'll just travel south, buy it and then get back up here. Thank god it's only an hour to drive to the USA.
  • It'll probably cost just as much (or more), assuming this is a one day trip, and you don't have the USD already. (and you don't plan on smuggling it, heh)
  • Not really, I got an plug-in hybrid (Chevy Volt) so it won't cost to much :P And I'll wait for the CND to be close to parity to the USD before going down south to get one.
  • I want that pen!
  • Would be nice if the next high end Lumia's could use it...
  • Hmm, yea. Especially any 6" ones, 1530/1540?  ;)
  • Yes, exactly..
  • I'm rather interested in getting one. Would be great for my off-the-grid trips where I can only charge though my 20Ah battery pack via USB. I wish Microsoft would make it available around the world, or at least the countries I frequent to - the Philippines and Saudi Arabia at the very least.
  • In regards to the Surface logo on the back, the windows logo looks so much more BA than the Surface logo anyways.
  • 85% performance of the Core i3 SP3. This will basically kill of sales of that line and bring Surface to a much wider audience. For some people they will need the performance of i5 or i7 but for 90% of consumers Surface 3 will be enough.
  • I have an i5 SP3 but honestly, the way I use it I could probably live without it. Seriously considering chopping it in for an LTE Surface 3.
  • Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 2? :/ like the form factor of the 3 (3:2) better, but I'm thinking which is cheaper, and/or a better buy.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Definitely Surface 3. Pro 2 is ok, but it's nowhere near perfect. For example the pen is much less accurate, and 3:2 makes a huge difference.
  • Anyone seen a cover for the S2 or S3 that is like the type cover without the keyboard? Kinda like the cover I see on so many ipads?
  • I kinda wish for that myself. Imagine though if MS tried to sell just a cover that does 'nothing' for $40 like Apple. (and that's the cheap one. For $80 you can get one in rich corinthian leather)
  • Keeping my Surface 2. Office fully built in and I'm not liking the interface changes in Windows 10 (running the preview on a Dell Venue Pro 8). It's a great productivity device and very well made. 
  • I'm really disappointed in the lack of always connected standby. This is the main reason I wanted ARM regardless of the internet asshats saying Windows RT sucks. Currently, my surface will receive email notifications throughout the day and overnight even if I just let it sit in my bag, with minimal amount of battery drain. I can use it as an alarm clock because the device never leaves connected standby, something intel devices do not do. These x86 devices go into hybernation after 4 hours. Makes me regret wanting to promote this less-secure, sudo-tablet device with a purchase for the pen. Trade offs...
  • I totally stand with RT being a great OS and the original Surface hardware philosophy being a great choice...Sadly they didn't want to compile Windows 10 for RT. They could but didn't want to. But well, we'll see how this ends.
    The thing about always connected stand by is a really good thing, I think it really complements the tablet philosophy of previous Surfaces.
  • So, MS made a huge deal with the NFL for the SP3....
    What can marketing do, on the same scale, for the S3❓❓❓❓❓❓❓❓❓❓
  • But.. But... Wen in India?
  • I'm wanting one more and more with each new thing I read about it. And I'd love a trade in with my old RT, sadly even if possible it would be hard to do from my country. Oh, well, I'll eventually pay the import price, it's worth it
  • "85% of SP3 i3" that's much better than I thought. More than enough.
  • Why on earth would they use the same shit avastar wifi when the atom has it built in. That part must be a mistake.
  • im still interested, definatey and upgrade from my original surface rt. great job MS
  • Yeah for $499 it's the perfect upgrade!
  • Is it also possible for the LTE/GPS be added to the Surface Pro 3?
  • No. Maybe Surface Pro 4.
  • Hopefully the S4 and SP4 will have USB-C and gets a lot thinner. Personally I don't care that much about regular USB, what do you still connect to a tablet as evrything is done wirelessly and in the cloud? I do like the Surfaces but the start to look fat compared to the iPad. I do have the original Surface RT and when upgrading to a Surface 3 I would expect to have a thinner device. Also the bezels are too big i.m.o. 
  • All the extra fat adds power... Not just unwanted fat :-) so I am not complaining :-D
  • lovely version LTE + GPS i will buy it as soon as possible
  • is it possible to add LTE/GPS hardware to the SP3?
  • Everything is possible. Probable? No. Do you really expect a new version/model of SP3 to be released at this point? Maybe in a Surface Pro 4.  BTW, it is possible to add GPS to a Surface Pro 3. We used to use USB GPS receivers all the time. They still exist. So do data dongles BTW.
  • I want the LTE version with 4 gigs of use a carry around the house and use device and an emergency portable computer device. this thing will probably have a few bugs but will be worth buying. as far is it better than an Ipad it depends on how you use your Tablet.  if you use it for general tablet use the ipad might be better because it has more apps but if you intend to run any PC Programs, some PC games ect and want to hook up to a lot of devices through a USB connection the Surface 3 is the one you want to buy. I think more apps will come to Window tablet devices because of the NEW type of "Windows Apps" AKA Universal apps because developers I think know Windows tablets are being used by more and more people now because people can buy very cheap 7, 8 and 10 inch Windows tablets. the Microsoft Surface line of tablets are Premiun Microsoft tablets. Microsoft still needs a cheaper tablet for the low income and people on a budget. Microsoft needs to sell a plastic case 8 inch- 10 by 16 HD screen tablet like the Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet with a surface pro 3 Pen. MS should sell it for 180$ to 250$ 
  • What does "recharge over a battery pack" mean?
  • Video editing performance is 85% of pro 3 i3... That's a lot of power for a fan less hybrid!!! Surface 3 is no slouch!!!
  • "LTE version does have GPS" I wish Microsoft would put a GPS in all future tablets and support it better. The ability to do accurate position based things (and navigation) is a bigger thing than most people think. Almost all Android tablets have it.
  • Impressive article, Daniel.
  • I can't wait to get my 64GB version. I just hope Windows 10 will not use up a big chunk of the storage
  • When I bought my surface 3 LTE came with Windows 10 pre-installed. For the first week, Windows 10 froze at least 3 times a day. I was unhappy with surface until I did clean installation with Windows 8.1. With Windows 8.1, Surface 3 worked perfectly. I'll stick with Windows 8.1 for now, till Windows 10 is as stable as Windows 8.1 or better.