Microsoft has a lot going on in the Surface Pro 3 including a unique CPU fan three-years in the making, over 100 custom parts and a few industry leading specs to boot. We’ll be touching upon those over the next few days, but today we’ll kick off with the new AC connector.
The magnetic AC connector was introduced with the original Surface Pro and Surface RT devices. With the second generation, it remained the same largely but it had some minor improvements like stronger magnets. The Surface Pro 3 connector though is completely redesigned, so much so that your older adapters (should you have one) will not work. That’s may be bad news for a few, but the new re-worked implementation is worth it for the new ease-of-use.
Indeed, heading into older reviews of the Surface and 2nd generation devices, the AC connector was often criticized. Sure, it ‘clicked’ but lining it up was always more work than it was worth, especially when compared to how Apple does their mag connectors, which are often considered to be the best.
As you can see in the above images, the Surface Pro 3 has a new 36 W AC adapter, down from the 48 W that came previously with the Pro. The adapter comes with the Surface Pro 3, though you can buy an extra here in the Microsoft Store for $79. You still get the bonus USB charging port, but the connector is now a ‘fin’ that magnetically pulls itself into the Surface, requiring less monkeying around. In fact, you can avoid looking for it if you’re in the general area as the magnets will draw it in improving the process. Due to the new fin shape, there’s less surface area that you need proper position when compared to the previous adapter. That makes any lining up issues all but disappear because there’s a reduced amount of resistance.
Other features, like the little LED light, are still present (although it’s now an oval) and you of course have the little cord-lock as well.
Will this redesigned AC connector finally win over converts for Microsoft? It’s early to tell, but like a lot of things on the Surface Pro 3, it’s a significant improvement over the last generation and it shows Microsoft is clearly paying attention to users and their gripes. So far, we like it.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.