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Yesterday was an important day for Microsoft. With the announcement of the Surface Pro 3, Redmond is continuing to show that they’re in this for the long-haul and perhaps more importantly, they’re actively improving upon their previous work. A Surface Mini was not revealed as expected, but it sounds like for good reason, including the possibility of it contradicting the “one device to rule them all” message.

Sitting in the same room with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Stephen Elop and the who’s who in tech media, it was fascinating to watch Panos Panay – the corporate vice president for Surface Computing at Microsoft – take the stage and sell us on the idea of the Surface Pro 3. Soon after the now familiar promo ad for the device, the audience cheered and enthusiastically clapped. It was an odd thing because it felt genuine; people were seriously excited about this announcement.

Fast forward 24 hours and most of the ‘new tech high’ has worn off, and a few of us who have the Surface Pro 3 are digging deep into this new creation. Being sold on the idea is one thing, but using it and actually liking it is another. While it’s much too early for a review, here are some of my first thoughts on the Surface Pro 3 and Microsoft’s chances of success with it.

It’s really well built

All of Microsoft’s Surfaces have so far felt very premium, and the Surface Pro 3 is no different. Machined parts, no wobble or creaks, the Surface Pro 3 feels the price it fetches. The Surface Pro 3 isn’t meant to compete with budget computers; it’s an all-in-one, high-end, high quality device that demonstrates the best of Microsoft. Here, I think it succeeds.

I love the color

My favorite device up until now has been the Surface 2 and Surface 2 with LTE. Part of the appeal was the metallic grey color, because I just find black boring. Making the Surface Pro 3 in that same color scheme makes the device stand out. It’s also less dreary.

It’s light and it’s heavy

The Surface Pro 3 weighs 1.7 pounds. That’s on the heavy side for a pure tablet (versus 1.44 pounds for iPad Retina; just 1.0 pound for iPad Air), but it’s not prohibitively heavy. By that I mean it still feels good to hold, partly due to it being so thin. Is it too much tablet? Maybe, but it’s not as silly as the Lenovo Yoga and flipping that to be a tablet. The Surface Pro 3 at least feels like a legit tablet on its own and dare I say, it feels more tablet-y than the Surface Pro 2 too.

But if you think of the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop, it’s very light (MacBook Air is 2.38 pounds by comparison at 11 inches; 2.96 pounds at 13 inches). When tossing it in my Ultrabook shoulder bag, I’m reminded just how light it is when compared to even standard Ultrabooks these days.

The new kickstand is great

Having a kickstand on a tablet was nice (Surface gen 1); having two positions was better (gen 2), but having an almost infinite amount of positions is the best. The kickstand has always been the cornerstone of the Surface series, and it’s one of the main reasons I’ll choose it over a Lumia 2520 any day.

It will be fascinating to see how long this new hinge lasts. I will say it’s very stiff, so stiff that you feel like you may break it off at first. Good problem to have, I suppose.

Panos Pen

The pen holder is awkward

As you could tell from Mark’s earlier article, the pen holder is a bit odd. Having said that, I’m not sure what else Microsoft  could do to resolve this issue. They can’t put the pen into the device (it’s already too thin and packed too tightly) and the pen is too unique to abandon. C’est la vie.

It’s fast

Running an Intel Core i5-4300 (1.9-2.5 GHz), it’s easily the fastest Surface I’ve used. I couldn’t imagine the Core i7, though I assume some of you need that much horsepower. For me, for now, I’ll take the extra bump in battery life. Seeing as how fast the Core i5 feels, I have high hopes for the cheaper Core i3, which is good for those of you on a budget.

Battery life seems legit

No, I haven’t performed any battery tests*, but from using it all day and having hordes of people ogle it all night, it still had 30% by midnight. It doesn’t feel like I need to monitor the battery on the Surface Pro 3, which is a good thing. We’ll see though how that holds up over the next few days.

*Microsoft rates the battery life at about 9 hours for web-browsing

Front-facing speakers are awesome

Nokia got the front-facing speakers rights on the Lumia 2520, so I’m glad to see Microsoft follow suit. Having stereo speakers produce sound aimed at your face is the only way to go. In fact, it feels downright silly to have speakers on the sides. Considering these are supposed to be 45% more powerful than the last version, they’re exciting. They won’t shake the room, but they will envelope you when using the Surface.

Surface Pro 3

2160 x 1440 resolution nails it

I have a few quad-HD devices (2550 x 1440) and while the resolution is remarkable, scaling on Windows desktop can be trying at times with some items just being tiny. The resolution on the Surface Pro 3 is ideal with everything scaling nicely; nothing feels too small so far.

3:2 is better than 16:9

I’ll explain why Microsoft went with 3:2 for screen dimension on the Surface Pro 3 in another article, but for now I’ll just say I prefer it, especially in portrait mode. My older Surfaces now look odd being so long in the horizontal plane. Sure, I get that 16:9 is good for movies, but 3:2 is much more natural for daily computing, and that’s what this device is for, as opposed to being a media-centric device.

The pen…works

Okay, I’ll catch flak for this but I’m just not a pen and paper user. My knowledge on Wacom versus N-trig lacks and my handwriting is just as terrible. Also, this Surface Pro 3 needs some more software before the new pen can be fully utilized.

But it is cool.

Clicking the pen button to launch OneNote – even when the device is locked – is a neat trick and very useful. The Surface team heavily researched what makes the perfect pen, including the ideal size, the ideal tip, the ideal weight balance and even how resistive the coating should be for your grip. Once you try it, you’ll see that this isn’t a gimmick.

It’s quiet and there’s no heat

Yes, the Surface Pro 3 does have a fan, despite some previous reports. In fact, it has a highly customized fan that Microsoft has allegedly been working on for three years. It’s neat technology but to the user, all you need to know is this: you’ll rarely (if ever) hear it, and you won’t feel it. I did manage only once so far to get it to crank lough enough to be audible. It sounded like steam hissing a bit, and it was very temporary.

You can make the Surface Pro 3 slightly warm (not searing) when pushing the CPU, but my Lumia 1520 can easily get hotter, for reference. If it weren’t for the radial vent, I would swear this was an RT device, to be honest.

The new trackpad is way better

The old trackpad was barely useable, but Microsoft has addressed that with the Surface Pro 3. It has 70% less friction; it’s larger, and it has a very firm and satisfying ‘click’ when you push it down. Fun fact: it’s evidently made from little glass beads to give just the right feel for your fingers.

New power connector for charging is also better

I wrote on this earlier. The power cord has been completely re-worked and is 87% (my calculation) less annoying than previous versions. See my previous report for more information.

Initial conclusion?

Up until now, I’ve been a Surface RT guy instead of Surface Pro. My reasons?

  • Lighter and thinner
  • Better battery
  • Better camera
  • Better color scheme

It was my ‘lay back and relax’ Windows device that I could snap a keyboard on if I wanted to do some “real” work. Not too real, mind you, for that I have a Dell XPS 15 with a Core i7 or my dual-27 inch desk setup. But if I needed to do some emails, web searching, Twitter responses, etc., my Surface 2 was my go-to device. The Surface Pro 1 and 2 though were too thick, too pricey, and their screens were too small for my liking. For that price and size I’d just use my Ultrabooks and be done with it.

With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has addressed nearly every concern of mine, even the cameras (which aren’t amazing, but are better than the Surface 2’s). The device feels like the best of the Surface 2 combined with the Pro’s hardware, but now with a bigger screen and some new innovation.

The only thing missing for my likes? Give me an LTE option.

The Surface Pro 3 is an impressive device. I’m not sure if it’s the device for everyone, or whether or not it will even sell well. But I can say it Microsoft is trying hard, and if anything, they have set the bar for quality and even innovation. So far at least, I feel good about grabbing this instead of my Surface 2, and I’m even more likely to leave a laptop behind. Let’s see how it all works in the coming days but yeah, I'm impressed.

Have a question about the Surface Pro 3? Ask away and I’ll try to answer! If you want more discussion, jump into our Surface Pro 3 forum.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • cant wait to put my hands on this. was going for a surface 2 but now I'll save a bit more and buy this. College only starts in September so I've got some time to save some money :D
  • Yeah I am in the same position as you. But the problem is I live far away from Microsoft store :(
  • BestBuy will have them.
  • Yes, and they have an exclusive Blue Touch cover that only you could find at BestBuy(not at Microsoft Store)
  • The Microsoft Store however has an exclusive dark red type cover that IMHO is pretty awesome
  • My initial thoughts on Dan Rubino's thoughts: EPIC
  • And here, today i read in the newspaper, it had an article from new york times (i think ?), and guess what ? It said "..Microsoft, so far having failed to get any success in the mobile and tablet industry..". What the hell !!
    No mention of OneNote, just wrote "note taking", no mention of specs, no mention of the fact that it runs full win8 (for non-geeks). How would MS get the attention if the media doesn't cover their best points ? Ads alone dont suffice.
  • If it was New York Times, what else can you expect?
  • No i checked, it was REUTERS and AP.
  • Only if Apple brings out something new it's heralded as the second coming of Christ. I'm not even joking here. It's like Apple owns the NYT. Not bashing iProducts here. Oke, maybe a little :P
  • Wipe that off your nose...gross
  • Thoughts on thoughts... huh
  • I would've ordered mine today... but I want LTE, d*mnit... so I'm going to wait.  I know, I know... I could tether... or dongle... but I don't want to tether or dongle.  So I'm going to wait... and hope they release an LTE version for Christmas.  If they do, then I'll buy one on day one. Until then, I'll tether my Surface RT when necessary.  *sigh*
  • If you have a Windows phone, tethering ain't really a big deal. It's pretty much all automatic from the point you force it to connect, which takes 5 whole screen touches.
  • And after 5 hours you have neither tablet or Phone because the battery is empty. also LTE only tarifs are available. The Data options on Mobile contracts are a joke anyways. feels like living back in 1995
  • yup. Tethering isn't an option. It is like back in the days when you had to buy a wi-fi card. remember that? this is 2014. LTE as a built in option shouldn't even be a matter for debate when you sell a device touted to replace both a tablet (which can have LTE) and a PC. I will too buy a second surface 3 if they release it for LTE because I use the tablet to process credit cards in places where there is no wifi. currently I have to use my phone for this and as you say, it dies faster. I've considered buying a second phone. can you imagine? ridiculous MSFT. just ridiculous.
  • You're going to use the internet straight for 5 hours? That's quite expensive.... How much data are you looking to use? -- Bam --
  • Do people who are using Smartphones and Tablets seriously not going with a data tariff? Since 2 years I've 10gb data tariff in the Netherlands (35€, even incl. some free call minutes and free SMS) for my Lumia 1020 instead of a crapy default phone plan which usually only includes 200mb or 500mb. Skype is my replacement for normal phone calls ('free' landline calls to DE coming from the Office 365 package I've running) and texting. Most people I know are reachable through WhatsApp, Facebook Chat or Viber etc. I really have no need anymore for a classic phone tariff, these so called smartphone tariffs are a joke for devices that heavily rely on data All in all I pay around 45-50 €/month depending if I additionaly call mobile numbers and do some SMS texting. Previously I payed 50€ alone to have free cals within the same carrier network and landlines and crapy 500MB data volume and since I switched I really ask myself why it took me so long to switch. As soon as MS offers the Surface Pro 3 with a SIM option and in something else than grey it will be a day one buy!
  • Anyone knows if is out there a LTE Intel chip capable? Even Samsung can't make they ARM Exynos chips work with LTE. As far as I know Intel doesn't have LTE Intel Core iX chips. Can Microsoft put a second LTE chip in the Surface maybe? Anyone?
  • Do you reviewers not mention which gpu is in this on purpose ?? Is it a 4400 a 5200 iris or what is it ???
  • i3 has 4200 i5 has 4400 i7 has 5000
  • He mentioned the CPU. All i5-4300's use an HD4400. An iris pro at meaningful performance is a 28W+ part, and double the COU thermal budget of what is currently in the device. It just wont work.
  • I would love one but... I can't stand grey on electronics. I know the fashion goes between grey and black every few years, especially with things like tv sets (sky boxes usually show you where the trend is at the moment), but I HATE grey! Tech looks sleek, timeless and sexy in black, buy grey looks old and dull straight away.
  • I completely agree. The grey is massive turn off for me. I've got an SP2 and everything else about this is exactly what I've been wanting with the larger, higher resolution screen and the ability to tilt it all the way back for comfortable pen use. Oh well, I can't really justify the spend on an upgrade so soon anyway. Hopefully they bring back the black next year.
  • Colours are good too, something to match my Red 920 or the coming 930s would be highly appreciated.
  • I hate gray too, but this isn't really gray, it has a rich metallic appearance rather than gray. Have you seen these in person? 
  • Give it a few weeks and go to or other such source and make it any color you like :)
  • The battery ♥ You said there is no heat. Have you tried halo in it yet?
  • good
  • I have another question if you have time; I do not know what to search to find this, but you've probably provided how you have made your surface 2 set up. Any chance you can share that with me? Because, I love my surface 2, but if you have a better, more comfortable set up, I would love to try it! What I mean is, the specific ways you use it. Unless you have a YouTube video. I should start there -- Bam --
  • Have you checked to see if the previous SPro pens were compatible?
  • I have and they are not.
  • Daniel. I am not able to tip you guys anymore. Is my email address blocked? Sorry, didn't know where to ask you this. Btw, just wanted to send you Fox news review / comparison of Surface Pro 3.
    Fox news calls i5 a dual core 1.6GHz processor and makes sure iPad air wins the comparison.
  • Lol! Dammit Fox News...
  • Ya, FOX News is not even on this planet. Never have been...
  • What journalist isn't all about the i? Even the supposed tech news sites have a hard time finding someone who will do reviews without an Apple/Android only agenda.
  • Quite understandable why they closed the comments for that article...
  • I had just read that article and was coming here to discuss it. Something told me to read these comments. FOX news totally skews it towards the iPad. They even go as far as saying the say the Surface pen costs an extra $50, which isn't true. They even go out of their way to pad the specs of the iPad by listing it's speakers under "Ports". Ugh. The tone of the article is completely negative towards the Surface.
  • They want those primo seats at all the hot Apple annoucement events.
  • Just FYI, it is not a FOX News written article. It's from Digital Trends. FOX News frequently prints tech articles form other sources (like BGR), all of which I hate an usually disagree with. And it's a ridiculous comparison. It's like comparing a Mercedes (Surface Pro 3) to a Smart car (iPad Air). There's no comparison and theyre not directed to the same consumers. But, The SP3 blows away the iPad Air.
  • The iPad Air is the clear winner, ask any chick. It's thinner and lighter; what else matters?
  • Colors...especially pink.
  • They are all pink where it matters!
  • I went to the digital trends site and probably got banned. I was not very nice in the comments I left to others and especially not their hack psuedo journalist that wrote the story.
  • This.  It isn't written by Fox News.
  • Awesome news. starting with the comparison not even trying to calculate pounds in grams and not listing all graphic options as well as storage options for the surface as well as CPUs .. wonder how they "compare" it then :O basically this comparision is full of shit
  • According to that article the iPad Air has an x86 Intel 5000 GPU. I want one of those...
  • notice that they blocked comments on that article.
  • this is why MSFT needs to garget the journalist market (which this tablet kind of does). all these iditos basically see a non apple device and bash it, where as if it was the same thing with an apple logo, they'd orgasm in text form.
  • Just a heads-up--this is actually a story that is also displayed on Fox News' site. Edit: oh, goodness... I'm a little late on this.
  • Thank you much!
  • The Surface Pro 3 uses N-Trig technology and is NOT compatible with any Wacom stylus. The other two main differences between N-Trig and Wacom is that N-Trig only has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity while inking, Wacom has 1,024. N-Trig pens also require either AAA or AAAA batteries to function whereas Wacom pens don't need a battery. This won't be good news for artists or Photoshop pro's who were hoping to purchase the SP3 and hoping for Wacom technology.
  • Wow. Huge let down. ಠ益ಠ
  • Dan, are you saying Microsoft failed to deliver? Since they meant for this product to replace our laptops.
  • that's like saying because it doesn't replace every laptop, it isn't a laptop replacement. realistically, you have to use common sense. Does it replace a 17 inch laptop? off course not. how can it?
  • Hey, Could you post the grey wallpaper (visible here somewhere?    Thanks,
  • I really think they need to sell this as being a super slick laptop, instead of a super expensive tablet... They've always had trouble defining their surface products, but this one finally makes sense as a real laptop, and occasional tablet, rather than the other way around. I'll be getting one, but can't see myself using it much without the keyboard attached.
  • I agree and so doesn't Microsoft. Watch the presentation yesterday, iPad was barely mentioned if at all. It was all MacBook Air/MacBook Pro. Let's see if the ad campaign follows suite, but my guess is it will due to the way it was announced.
  • That's good. I didn't watch the presentation, but a lot of the news coverage and pictures I saw treated it as a tablet and compared to the iPad. Of course, the press has its own vested interest in creating compelling storylines rather than describing reality, so what Microsoft does and what the press says can often be two different things... Unfortunately they shape perception. I really hope Microsoft pulls this off. :)
    Would be nice if they have a package that includes keyboard for less than the two parts separately as well... For those of us who want a laptop. :)
  • Right. Exactly The one thing I think most people don't get is that it's not supposed to be a better tablet than the iPad and a better laptop than a MacBook It's supposed to be a better laptop than an iPad and a better tablet than a MacBook, and it absolutely excells at both
  • Nice way of putting it! I may borrow that... :)
  • Haha, thanks Dan c: I'm flattered
  • This is a great way to explain a surface pro 3
  • I would like to borrow that too please..
  • Sure, go ahead c:
  • I think Microsoft needs to borrow it. :)
  • "It's supposed to be a better laptop than an iPad and a better tablet than a MacBook, and it absolutely excels at both" Wow dude lol spot on man! that is exactly what every one needs to know before stating an opinion, especially journalist -_-
  • A macbook isnt trying to be a tablet, and an IPad isnt trying to be a macbook. The Surface 3 is trying to be both, but succeeding at neither
  • What do you mean "succeding at neither" if S3 is not even out yet! Its just a statement fir the sake of it or fear, right?
  • Awesome! Great way of putting it.
  • That's a perfect way of putting it. Try using a Macbook or an iPad to draw straight into Sketchbook Pro or Photoshop and when you're done log into your XenCenter to manage your VM's. Both experiences are done better on the Surface Pro 3.
  • @ BeneathTheSurface:  Your explanation was BRILLIANT.  "It's supposed to be a better laptop than an iPad and a better tablet than a MacBook." I hope Microsoft heard that.
  • That's a cool way to express it.  Of course, NO tablet is of any use to me unless it CAN replace my current laptop in most ways.  That's one reasyon why the iPad and Android devices are useless consumption toys as far as I'm concerned.  I'm a musician, an IT administrator and budding netcaster, I rely a lot on my laptop, which goes with me literally everywhere.  It doesn't have LTE, but I also always have my Lumia 1020, so that's not really a concern for me.  The Surface Pro 3 seems to be pretty much ideal as a near-complete laptop replacement.  It will be able to run the legacy software to support my synthesizers, allow me to more conveniently manage my network admin tasks, and even handle some of the lighter aspects of my netcasting pre- or post-production.  This is the kind of performance I demand in a tablet, period.  Nothing else, not iPad nor Android toy, qualifies as a useful tablet to me.
  • Wow. Thanks guys! c: I didn't expect that comment to have such an effect XD
  • Quick! Run for Govenor!
  • lnteresting. For the past week I've been installing my home studio software (Sonar) on a Surface Pro 2 and am so far pleased with the results. Other than issues with a couple of very old legacy VST plugins (Arturia) everything works as advertised - and blindingly fast. I'll still keep my studio on my dual monitor desktop rig, but now at least I can edit while I'm on the road. Very pleased. And there's no way I could get anywhere near this kind of power on an iPad or Android toy.
  • dude, seriously tweet that to Panos. That's a C-executive worthy line.
  • Lol if I had a Twitter I definitley would Get a summer job in Microsoft's ad department XD
  • Let me get this straight.   It's a better apple than an orange and a better orange than an apple.    
  • Haha.  You better trademark that phrase and sell it to Microsoft.  A commentor named Douglas7 on Engadget quoted you: The best thing we can do for this product is to keep using this line :P    
  • Wow 15 minutes of fame, here I come! XD
  • Yep, that's so annoying. FOX News even compared it to the iPad Air, put all the specs side by side and said the Air was 'the clear winner' because it was smaller. Sure that's FOX News for you, but they're not the only ones making stupid comparisons.
  • When they do the comparison for the surface mini to iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 will win because it is the second one. -- Bam --
  • Umm, there is no surface mini :p
  • His point was.  No matter what Microsoft came out with, it will always be Apple as the winner.  That is the reason Surface Mini was on hold, because both Elop and Satya decided to put it in the back burner until they find something more differentiate to compete with.      
  • Yeah, I know. Super obvious, LOL :). Though I don't think that's the reason they put it aside. I think it's more that they're hoping for OEM's to start dropping devices with free Windows installed in the 7-8" category, probably in the same range as Android devices ($99-199) and don't want to disrupt that. And really, there's no need for an 8" Surface anyway. Tons of 8" full Win8 devices already exist and, if you look for sales and refurbs, can be had for under $200 anyway. Why get in the way of those OEM's? I wouldn't. Let them have that space, the profit's in selling apps and gaining market share :)
  • Actually I think there is a reason for a Surface Mini to exist with great inking and great reading experience. It would be an ideal note taking size. Consume books, if MS could get Amazon to create a decent Kindle app and Audible app. And if it came with touch designed Office for three main programs could be useful for light productivity also. There has to be some play also for the Barnes and Nobles stuff that they paid 300 million dollars for.   
  • Well put Nik. Well said.
  • Dan will the keyboard be included at the price points or will it be extra like it is now?
  • Unfortunately, extra (that's partially due to having 5 color options,so they need to be bundled separately)
  • Surely they could handle that via some sort of voucher. I really think to do battle with laptops/ultrabooks they need to bundle a keyboard. Never mind im still getting one.
  • Well, color options is one thing, but in the past they also had both the Type Cover and the Touch Cover (which was a no-show at this event-- perhaps it wasn't performing well, either market-wise or experience-wise). Now that there is just one type of cover (ugh. pun.), it makes a little less sense that the cover isn't included in the price. Since they are marketing it as a laptop replacement, it is a hard case to make that the cover is optional.
  • fair enough, then make it 129 dollars cheaper.
  • Daniel, nice report. My feeling is that the modern ui will be combined with RT/ WP 8.1. This tablet makes that conclusion now seem more evident, when i see the 3 in portrait mode it would almost mimic what a phones homescreen would look like, IMO. Think of it, every app thats on the phone works in the modern ui. Do you think my suspicions have merit? Would love to see a wordflow keyboard on tablets as well as maybe making the keys smaller and maybe seethrough...
  • Yes, they are definitely heading that way. I think they have even said so. I honestly thought WordFlow was in W8.1 already (I don't have a touch screen on my PC at home). I LOVE it on the phone, and hope they can bring it to W8.1 too!
  • As I type this on my 2520 i get so irritated that hitting the spacebar sometimes hits the windows key and the keyboard is too big, in fact too large on all W8 devices. I think a cool keyboard would be see through and smaller. IMO. Ill look forward to the article Daniel.
  • @mrdeezus, I'll write more on that topic this week, but short answer 'yes', I agree
  • Why doesn't Microsoft make a really slim laptop? With all the research done on surface 3, they can easily outdo the MacBook Air and show apple it's place in hardware innovation. Shouldn't spook hardware OEMs due to high price. I have my own serious doubts of this will sell gangbusters. The laptop would have been totally different and a huge market
  • I would by a Macbook Air type laptop from Microsoft with the same kind of great tech as is in the surface pro 3. For me the new surface pro isnt a tablet, it's a laptop replacement - so give it a proper keyboard already and a rigid hinge so I can use it everywhere, rather than hardly anywhere at all
  • If the Surface Pro is going to be primarily used as a laptop (and we all know it will), then why don't they just give us a REAL keyboard... that is detachable?  Meaning, in addtion to the Type Covers... maybe offer a slim (but heavier) Magnesium keyboard (with an extra battery in it) for those who prefer that? I think that would go a long way in convincing the fence-sitters to take the plunge.  The new Surface may be lappable... but it's still not as lappable as a LAPtop.
  • Totally agree. I wonder if they aren't trying to avoid stepping on OEM toes by presenting it as a tablet instead of a laptop. Have read a bit about some of their 'partners' getting pissed that they're competing in the device game and building more Chromebooks, in part, to illustrate that.
  • The impression I got was unless you really need to use a pen this device doesn't make a lot of sense. It's too expensive, it's too big for most tablet users. For laptop users you have options with much better keyboards and less fiddly designs. I really don't like the boring gray color either. The bright colorful covers look terrible mismatched with the boring gray box color. I think it looked a lot more sleek in black and black made the color keyboards pop. I don't use a laptop on my lap ever so the obsession with lap ability is completely lost on me. I love the two in one concept, but for my money you cannot beat the transformer designs that HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer are using.
  • I think I'll buy the i3 if it can run for app coding. Maybe if I do well at work ill get an i5. But def not an i7. I rarely use my.laptop and dell venue 8 pro as it is to spend that kind lok Also.why can't I click wpcentral links in notification center. Always says no network connection even when I'm.on WiFi.
  • Mine's been saying the same for the last day or so.
  • We're looking into it, thanks
  • I'm in your same boat. If it can handle visual studio well enough, I'm seriously considering the i3 option. I think once I pair it with an SD card I can live with the 64GB ssd. Daniel can you tell us how much space is left after the OS? I remember with 8.1 update 1 they give OEMs an option for a smaller OS footprint in order to free up more space on 32GB devices.
  • Off the top of my head, not too sure, but on my 256 GB device there's 232 GB available and after installing a lot of my apps, I'm down to 208 GB.
  • 64GB has >36GB available disk space  • 128GB has >96GB available disk space  • 256GB has >211GB available disk space  • 512GB has >450GB available disk space. Taken right from Microsoft Store Specs for Surface Pro 3,
  • I think that the i5 option would be useful for us that need more on the go (virtualization would be it for me), but the i7 would only be for someone doing things like image or animation rendering on the go. I would totally be afraid for the battery life.
  • Trust me, I have the Pro 128 GB with Visual Studio 2013, SQL management tools, and some other 3rd party tools as well for a dev machine. I also have windows store apps installed, no media files and I have ~14 GB free. You'll want the 128 at the minimum.
  • Does it feel too heavy for light surfing or content consumption like you would a Surface2?
  • Surprisingly, not yet. I think because it's quite thin and well balanced (weight distributed equally).
  • For me a media consumption device would have to be a little smaller. Sure, a bigger screen means more content, but there comes a point where you feel like you're drowning in screen space and it's just too much for simply playing Halo  Heck, I watch movies on my iPod Touch 5th gen and after a few minutes you develope tunnel vision and even the tiny...what is it, 3.5 inch screen? big enough to watch on I love using my mom's Kindle Fire for just kicking back because it's so small and cozy
  • I would personally think that that's what the canvas kickstand more would be used for our angle slightly higher than the complete 150 degree angle
  • I wonder if MSFT will update the 10.6 inch with current specs of the SP3. Or if 12 inches is the new standard for the SP.
  • I think your enthusiasm with this product is a bit muted.  It is a game changer and the first innivative product that we have seen since the Macbook air.  Its ok to be excited about a microsoft product.
  • I don't disagree, but I've noticed no matter how awesome something is from Microsoft, it's perceived a lot less than the general consumers. Also, this is still a tough sell/up hill battle for them. Having said that, yeah, so far I'm really enjoying it (despite a few software bugs due to non-finalized drivers).
  • So, as an oddity for Microsoft, when speaking with less tech-oriented friends about the Surface Pro, they genuinely seem to perceive it as a premium product; almost on par with how they view Apple products. The major sticking point has always been the price. Hard for people to stomach $800 for a tablet, period; especially when it isn't the 'top of the line'. As for RT or 2, as I'm sure you well know, the OS is so far down the shitter or public perception that no one even considers it (regardless of recent improvements).
  • Who is no one? Everywhere I turn, people who have a Surface 2 rave about it.
  • 'No one' refers to no one person. Though I would have thought it obvious, I was using the expression there to indicate the likely perception of the RT operating system as held by a typical member of the buying public. Lest we forget that the typical member of the buying public, if sales numbers are any indication, probably hasn't had any personal experience with the RT OS. Instead, they are probably only aware that it was almost universally panned when it first came out, and would avoid it for that reason. When I say 'it' was universally panned, I am in effect referring to both OS and Surface RT itself. The combination of the two were so poorly received, by and large, that it tainted the perception of the OS from thereon forward. I hope that was pedantic enough for you. You might take care to notice that neither here, nor in my original comment, did I pass judgement on either product. I was referring only to how it is perceived by the general buying public. I am sure that those who own them like them quite a bit. I, too, like the Surface 2; but alas, I was never talking about those people or the actual quality of the product. It was all a matter of perception.
  • I can vouch for this, because I have direct, personal experience with being totally submerged in the thought process of "RT sucks, is not an option, don't bother looking". I convinced a friend to get a full windows 8.1 touchy laptop, and I think it's wonderful.  But every time I start poking around for windows tablets reviews online, I see "RT sucks" on every review site for every RT tablet. Kinda a downer when I'm looking to buy a windows tablet on a tight budget, and most review sites are all like "$800 or it ain't worth a second glance!"
  • much of what you speak of unfortunately comes from a really biased press. They do it to android gear too where even when it is heads over heals better than anything apple ships, these journalist are on a quest to convert everybody to apple, even more so now as apple went from niche to major player in one market. Even more so when even after android decimated their dominance, the ipad still quite dominant and this is a front assault apple canot counter for OSX loses to windows with consumers all the time. so your review was pretty much what I consider most consumers would say were they not pre-position to hate it from the apple press core. I can already see the WSJ and NYT articles open up with "why surface 3 fails to beat the ipad and mba". You know they will.
  • The original Asus Transformer is in my opinion the most innovative computer to come along in the past decade and where are the accolades? Every PC manufacturer has copied Asus. The US tech media are Apple obsessed, seeing the audience was a disgrace and shame on Microsoft for not putting people like Daniel, Ed Bott, Mary Jo who actually use Windows in the front row.
  • I think the box has quality issues doesn't it?
  • I think MS did the right thing buy putting the guys with MacBooks in the front row. Totally made the point Panos was trying to make.
  • thanks for the review, do u think the i7 version is good enough to run multiple heavy programs in the same time? and by the way, the design is just amazing!!!
  • That's still vague, but yes, most people say Core i7 will handle things like video editing with no issue. From my experience, that is mostly accurate. Microsoft did demonstrate some architectural programs being used on the i7 version, so that is their audience.
  • So you don't think a college student would make much use of an i7?
  • The i5 in my SP2 as been enough to run visual studio, a local instance of a MySQL server, and everything else I've had to do. The only thing the SP2 can't do well enough is games (PC games like Bioshock Infinite I mean; Angry Birds runs fine). The only productivity thing it's not quite fast enough for is making adobe stylus input as smooth and lag-free as it is in OneNote. An i7 would help with that I imagine. I can still use illustrator (because stupid OneNote doesn't have a simple calligraphy nib option), but it's a tad slow.
  • Yes. it's odd. I seem to recall the original OneNote had nib options. They should bring that back.
  • My wallet can't hold that much money. 900 bucks for a tablet is way too much anyways I have my desktop for heavy use and my Lumia 2520 for light use.
  • Right. See if you see it as "just a tablet" then yes, the price is high. Think of it as a laptop that can be a tablet and you'll see no, it's priced reasonably (especially for the high quality). But that's the messaging that Microsoft needs to get right.
  • They seemed to state it pretty clearly at the presentation but still people don't seem to get the intention of this device.
  • They should have bundled it with the keyboard if they want to sell it like an ultra book cause maybe you and I know what its capable of but the majority of people are gonna look at it as a very expensive tablet and mostly the customer reps at Microsoft store don't know what there selling and at best buy they'll have other options around so I think they should have bundled it with the keyboard at least that's what I think.
  • This is my thought too...maybe say bundle the keyboard with it for the first thirty days, or bundle the black one and sell the colored ones for $99.
  • Well, it's not a ' real' i7 processor, not like 4771 or something, it's not a workstation.
  • Well that's the problem right there. If you want a tablet, this is not the one. If you want a laptop that can be a tablet, this one is bang on. A tablet is doesn't provide you half the stuff Surface is capable of.
  • It seems okay
  • I really wish I had the income to afford one. Maybe now I can afford a surface 2?
  • It look amazing but I cannot understand why they don't put an LTE module.... I've bought the Lumia 2520 and I'm happy with it but with PRO3+LTE I can remove my laptop and my tablet to with a lighter and more efficient product
  • I think for a few reasons including too many SKUs, which model gets it, and the fact that LTE tablet/computers are not exactly the hottest selling items, especially when you have portable hotspots and phone tethering. Then you also have that whole "carrier" thing, where they all want exclusives, etc. Would a Surface Pro 3 sell enough on AT&T to warrant a deal? Would AT&T even want it? I'm not sure.
  • Daniel,  do you think getting and USING the Surface Pro 3 the way someone would use a Surface 2 is a waste?  I like everything (mostly at least) about the Surface 2 but held off wishing/wanting a bigger screen.  I don't really need a laptop replacement but moreso a fun media toy to have for streaming, watching youtube, surfing, facebook, etc...If I got the Surface Pro 3, it would really be mainly used as a bigger screen'ed Surface 2.
  • Not a waste at all. You're getting the same (maybe better) battery life, much higher performance, the ability to install .exe apps (including other browsers), a larger, higher resolution screen and...well, everything is just better. The only issue: can you afford it? If so, then you'll be quite happy with it.
  • Do you think Microsoft will release SP3 specs in a 10.6 inch body? Or is this the end of the 10.6 inch SP?
  • AT&T, nor any other provider, would want to carry a full Windows 8 tablet because they are not in the business of laptop support. They have already shown to carry Nokia's tablet because being ARM it removes the risk and support due to it being locked down for legacy applications as well as not currently susceptible to virus'. Microsoft needs to release the mini with LTE, modern Office and no desktop, that would be a perfect provider supplied device.
  • Last I checked, BestBuy sells all kinds of cell phones and is quite adept at computer support.
  • also, ARM chips have the hardware for LTE while intel does not. it would require an addon. realistically I think that is the reason. MSFT already clearly stated that LTE is an option with surface 2 but that is only because the chip has it anyway so why not. If intel wants to be a serious tablet player on android, it has to support LTE in the SOC so windows guys like me, will collect the windfall profits.
  • The correct answer is "carriers"
  • Half the articles I've read already complain about the number of SKU's (showing how stuck they are on the tablet comparison). Adding an LTE option to each model would double that. Maybe what MS should have done was just offer a more traditional laptop customization option, but my guess is that would produce too many possibly configurations and drive up their costs.
  • if you've paid attention to apple, who has LTE and many sku's the LTE sku tends to be higher end. so no, it would not double it. Quite simply you can just have LTE on the 8GB models and if yo don't want it, well don't use it. That's how it works with android tablets that have it.
  • The only thing wrong is the price. Too expensive when compared to an even more powerful laptop.
  • Right, but what laptop equals it in performance/features and still weighs 1.7 lbs? You're paying for their engineering, the silent fan, the low heat, the front facing speakers, the new kickstand...that's the difference.
  • A laptop also doesn't have the walcom digitizer. And the keyboard is always attached... -- Bam --
  • Nvm it uses ntrig! -- Bam --
  • Do people show up at the car dealership and berate them for making cars that are not in their price range? Or for making pickups when they want a coupe?
  • Yes.
  • Which thinner, lighter, quieter laptop did you want to compare it to?
  • Please post specs of said device. Thanks.
  • I really want one for work. I can't justify it for a personal device with an XPS 27 at home. It could replace many work computers since we have PC's at our desks and one for every machine in our lab (about 14). If I could just pick this up and plug in anywhere, that would be neato.
    Also, my last comment was deleted. Lame.
  • I think I am in the minority here but I prefer the 16:9 screen ratio.   One of the main things that has me thinking if I should go from my SP2 to an SP3 is I am not sure I want a bigger device (and I am not a fan of the Windows button placement).
  • The Win button placement makes sense if you're right handed and holding it with two fact, it's way easier now since you just use your thumb. Also, with the new keyboard, it would have blocked it.
  • It also makes it more convenient in portrait mode
  • You can flip it over if you're a lefty and holding it vs sitting on a desk
  • However if I remember rightly don't the covers have a start button on them? Therefore this one being blocked would become a non issue if I'm thinking right? Your other points I've got no argument against though. And it's become Daniel vs Daniel, let's see how many folks get confused.
  • I want one!!!
  • That's exactly how i feel with the Surface 2, i use it daily, but not for everything .... The Pro series where to thick, i didn't like that. And now that it is as thin as the Surface 2 and has the same looks on the back i really want to buy this Pro 3! I travel a lot so it will be exciting to take an x86 tablet with me ... I think the i5 with 128GB SSD will do it for me, and if not, the i3 with 64SSD + 64GB Micro SDXC will do fine i suppose.
  • Same here because for about $100 we can get a 128 sd card.
  • What about using it in bright light conditions?
  • Haven't tried it completely, but a little preview: Surface has no air-gap between the bonded glass and LCD (unlike the iPad), so the glare and visual acuity is much higher. It also can get quite bright.
  • According to Anandtech it's about 25 nits lower than the SP2 (335 vs 371).
  • Makes sense when you factor in the increase in screen size
  • You guys need to help me out. Idk if I should buy the i5 128GB or i3 64GB. There's a $200 difference and I want to see if its worth it. Simply use it to browse the web, homework, and some gaming (barely getting into it). What do you guys think?
  • TBH, the i3 will probably be okay. $200 you can apply to the keyboard, which you still need to get :/
  • For your situation I would get the i3 out of the two, but couldn't you just use A Surface 2 RT
  • I think u should wait for a surface3 rt when its comes out.
  • It's not, the surface mini will come out instead because there's nothing wrong with S2
  • Does the surface pro 3 pen work with surface pro 2?
  • It won't, two different technologies. SP1 and 2 use Wacom and SP3 uses N-Trig which are two different ways of working.
  • nope, sorry (active pen on the SP3)
  • How is the wifi signal in general? Have you tried running the wp8,1 emulator on it?
  • Seems good. Although I think the Wi-Fi driver crashes on occasion, needing a restart (early build).
  • Daniel, is it possible to get an artist review it and let us know if N-Trig works better than Wacom? Would be nice to hear an unbiased opinion.
  • That might be hard to do, but I did have a few friends who like to draw play with it and they had no complaints.
  • Hey Daniel, thank you for the Q&A! Can you please tell me if the pen has a battery (afaik, wacom makes the only battery less, pressure sensitive pens and just want to be sure)?
  • Well, it's an N-trig pen, and yes, it has two batteries: one for the pen, 2 small ones for the BT.
  • Glad to get you intial thoughts.  Do you know when the dock, and that dark blue type cover I saw next to the purple and cyan are due to be available? How is it in your lap with the new keyboard? Is it stil bouncey/unstable or at least better? Also on size are you able to post some pictures next to, on top of, underneith, a surface pro 1/2 I know its 12" and a little less bezel just trying to judge the size a little better. Hopefully it still works well on an airplane.
  • Just saw on Twitter the dark blue is Best Buy only. So I guess Ill be ordering a cover from them.  
  • Dock is "in the coming months". It does work very well in the lap. Using that new keyboard mode with the magnets shaves about an inch off, making it much more manageable and sturdier. In short, it's great in the lap.
  • I appreciate this article and look forward to seeing Surface Pro 3 for myself. From what I have read Microsoft really got everything right this time. I like bigger screens (I have a Nokia 1520) and I know I would prefer the 3:2 aspect ratio because it is better for books, comics and magazines. My concern is I don't need a laptop and will Surface Pro 3 be too heavy as a tablet... that and the fact the model I would want would cost over $1400 with the Type Cover. BTW, today I was using my Surface 2 while having lunch at a local burger joint and two different people asked me how I liked the Surface and one guy said he was planning to buy a Surface Pro 3.
  • Everyone is different, but my gut answer to "...will Surface Pro 3 be too heavy as a tablet?" would be 'no' from my usage in the last 24 hours. Maybe that'll change, but that's my initial reaction.
  • This is when I wish I was rich and not a student.  Or was a rich student. So I could buy one of these. Well, I have to keep using my EP121 until it breaks, then I'll have a reason to buy one.  Wish Microsoft Store would offer some sort of monthly payment option.
  • 3:2 is not better....
  • How is the N-trig? How is the latency? can you do a test on that, do some swiggly lines :)
  • Good to hear some positives about the use so far, I'm sure minor negatives will creep up, but I cannot find any real flaws in this device this time. Also the presentation, haven't felt that magical feeling since Steve Jobs talked about the iPhone 3G. The screen seems just big enough for work, but not overly huge to become akward when using as a tablet, decent battery life (Microsoft also put at the bottom 9 hours of video playback as a footnote on their product page), and that kickstand. However, I think I'll still be holding off for now. My SP1 did replace my laptop, tablet and desktop (which was already replaced by my laptop). That kickstand is definitive for the Surface (went from a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 to this for a slightly larger screen and kickstand). Once they get 10+ hours of productive battery life, throw in a GPS module (HERE Maps is available so it seems pretti viable as a large SatNAV), and maybe some Nokia Pureview tech in it (I snicker at iPad users using it as a camera, but having that OneNote functionality a camera is important in some cases), then I'll consider the price.
  • Why can't they just sell it unlocked? I have a shared plan, and if I could just slap my own sim card in it, that would be ace.
  • Unlocked with which LTE bands? It's not really that easy to sell those. But I'm sure they're considering it.
  • Does the new type cover work on SP2?
  • Sure, but it'd be huge
  • So it does work? I think a little increase in size would be ok for a far better track pad.
  • Yes, it works.
  • Nice "review"! But i have got a few questions :D How about instant on?   When i switch on my Surface Pro 2 i have to wait about 5-10 seconds until i get to the lock screen(Unlike an iPad wich is on at the moment i push the lock button). That is really annoying! Also when I open the Type-Cover it doesent switch on automaticly... Does the Surface Pro 3? Would be nice! :)
  • It has instant on, though it can be flaky on occasion (early release). It does not turn on automatically when opening it, though you can just push the trackpad or Windows key.
  • Does the SP3 actually support connected standby? Because the photos show the power button on the start screen - and that shouldn't be there if it does. Can you run powercfg /a from a command prompt to confirm?
  • In order to turn on when you open the keyboard, you need to set the action on lid on power settings (for sp2 at least). Also, of you're using standby instead of hibernate, it's instant on.
  • David , if you are having problems with the instant on , try this : open the optimize drives , select the OS drive ( solid state drive ) and optimize it . after that ( takes 5 seconds ) try again to lock / unlock the surface to check if this solves the problem.    
  • Nice report, size and dimensions nicely fix into A4 folders. US price is 10% better than Australian price taking into account tax.
  • Am I crazy that I'm strongly considering selling my pretty powerful i7 Lenovo laptop and my Surface RT in order to combine them for this one device?
    I always thought having a laptop AND a tablet was pretty silly. Phone, Surface Pro 3, Xbox. Seems like all my bases (writing, Office, light Adobe Creative Cloud) are now covered.
    Can't wait to go into the MS store to put my hands on one to test it out.
  • I think that's exactly what Microsoft is tell you to do, lol
  • I've already sold my SP2 and I think the SP3 will replace my current Lenovo Yoga Pro. If it shapes up like I think it will, I'll be selling my Yoga and I'll probably make more back from selling both devices than I've spent on the SP3! :-)
  • Sounds like that could be an incredibly smart move. I'm hoping I'll break even. i5 has me covered, I think.
  • My Yoga Pro is an i7, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM laptop but my i5 SP2 is just as fast running the software I need to do business. I've pre-ordered the i5, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM SP3. I think it will be fine running the stuff I need to run.
  • Is the i5 good for games such as Diablo, or will I need the i7 for such activities?
  • Won't really matter. The integrated graphics will be the same. When it comes to games, the number one performance piece is the GPU. But in regards to this machine, I suspect you could get like 40 fps if you lower the settings all the way down and play it at a non-native resolution like 1366x768.  The current resolution of the SP3 is wayyyy too high for the little HD 4400 to push.
  • What is the graphics card on this? I have SP2 and sometimes I wish it had a better graphics card
  • Not sure, but it's on-board graphics and not a separate, dedicated video.
  • Supposing the CPU is the i5-4300U and not the i5-4350U (or -4360U), then it is the HD 4400, which is just slightly better than the older HD 4000. But with this form factor, don't expect the speed of the HD 4400 to be able to increase much before getting throttled. (The i5-4350U and -4360U have the HD 5000 part iirc.)
  • I just sold my Surface Pro 2 and I've pre-ordered the i5 256GB model! I actually think this will replace my current laptop which is a 1st Gen Lenovo Yoga Pro. The SP3 has a higher resolution screen than my Yoga! At work, I use the Yoga more like a desktop with external keyboard and mouse and an attached monitor. I think I'll end up getting the docking station for use at work and the SP3 will absolutely replace my SP2 as my evening side-table tablet. Can't wait for it to arrive!
  • I think that's a good plan and congrats!
  • MS's problem is mass appeal to consumers.  The Surface RT and Surface Pro are loved by most of their owners - the problem is they are not great commercial successes for MS (i.e. - they make a lot of money for MS).  Its hard to see how this will be much different.  E.G. I have a core i5 (Sandy Bridge) ultrabook from Asus that I got a killer price on last year ($599 for 128 GB SSD, 1600x900 13.3" inch screen, one USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, micro HDMI out, 2.4 GHz wireless N (very slow BTW) that has a good keyboard, light weight (under 3.0 lbs), decent battery life (4-5 hours) that I am not looking to replace.  This is a beautiful, well designed touch screen Ultrabook that everyone who owns one will probably love.  At $929 (i3, 64 GB, with Type Cover) its mass market appeal will be limited.  For those looking for a touchscreen ultrabook that can be an occasional talbet this will be a great device.  The problem I see is I didn't see a 128 GB option for the i3 ($50-$100 upgrade) as the 64 GB option is pretty limited storage wise (I replaced the 500 GB HD on my laptop with a 128 GB SSD on my Windows 8.1 machine and it has 51 GB used with 60 GB available).  On my home machines (when SSD was still  pretty expensive) I found a couple of 64 GB SSDs for <$75 and they get pretty full (10 GB or less available after installing my common applicaitons) and SSDs slow down quite a bit if you use them near capacity.
  • I agree in the sense that I still believe that if Microsoft wants to push devices, take a hit on the profit from the keyboard and bundle it.  Either keep the price the same or charge like $50 more with the keyboard.  It becomes tough to swallow the price once you realize you need to tack on an extra $130 for the keyboard. Also, at this price tier (with keyboard included), there is little reason to be offering an i3 and only 64GB of storage.  For comparison, the Macbook Air 11" starts at $900, undercutting this once you include that keyboard, and has an i5 with 128GB of storage.  If all you want is a laptop, then the Macbook Air appears to be a much better value proposition.  It is when you compare it against the Macbook Air 13" that it gets more interesting.  That one starts at $1000, the same as the SP3, with the same internal specs.  Granted, there's an extra $130 charge for the keyboard, but you gain a touchscreen, pen input, and much higher resolution with the SP3.  One benefit of the Macbook Air 13" and 11" though is the inclusion of the i5-4350U vs the i5-4300U.  While clocked identically, the former has the HD 5000 part, while the latter has the HD 4400 part.  All in all, I think the recent $100 price reduction on all Macbook Airs will hurt the value proposition of the SP3 greatly, since instead of being either the same price or cheaper than the Airs, it is now more expensive (keyboard always included).
  • I saw Panos's presentation and I'm sold , bye bye rt here comes the pro 3 !!! Way to go Microsoft, won't need to buy a laptop anymore , this is coming at a perfect time :))
  • I think Microsoft should make a 10 inch Surface Pro 3 that's $100 dollars cheaper at every configuration than the 12 inch model. It also might be a good idea to make a Cherry Trail model for about $500 when it releases later this year. Then you cover all price points.
  • Nice review Daniel. One question about the speakers though. Louder is great but would you say they kept the Dolby sound quality I love from the Surface Pro 2?
  • Yeah, they're not that loud and certainly no distortion. I was impressed, felt immersed.
  • MS: here is an idea for the Pen - make one with a magnet that you can snap into the charger port slot, like you do with the actual charger. I don't know where its located on the device so not sure how well that would work ergonomically - if not, just use my idea in Pro 4 - provided you send me one for free. :P
  • Um, that's how they did do it before. It was terrible (too easy to knock off).
  • Did not know that. But since the new port is 87% less annoying, perhaps they can make the Pen with a magnet 92% harder to knock off.
  • when Panos visited the Boston MSFT store last year, I noticed that he had a pen loop glued to the back of his SP. i asked him what it was and he showed me. picked one up myself and it is great. search amazon for "leuchtturm pen loop". nice to see that they are including it with the keyboard. i wouldn't trade 30m of battery life for a pen slot in the device!
  • How are the speakers pointing forward? From where?
  • There are two small slits on the upper corners/edge of the display. You can't really see them but they're there.
  • Thanks
  • Very clever design. Great improvement, because I LOVE the soaker quality on my SP2, but they're so easily washed out it's unbelievable.
  • When can i go down to Best Buy and check it out?  What many people missed from this announcement is this.  Microsoft announced a product and launched it the next day instead of waiting weeks or months to launch.  Great job
  • "Early June" for retail demo devices. I'm sure MS Stores will have them earlier.
  • The only thing missing for my likes? Give me an LTE option.
    thank you. I find it un-freaking-believable some people oppose this option as if taking away something people would be willing to pay for in any way shape or form helps MSFT. Oh did I mention the competition has LTE as well as surface 2? the decision to hold back and LTE model for the "pro" flagship devices in MSFTs portfolio is not just non sensical, it is something they are going to pay for in reviews for many will be quick to note how 2 thousand dollars worth of tablet didn't buy what you expect from a true, high end device, and how if you're looking to truly replace your LTE tablet and laptop, well look elsewhere.
  • It is a moot point once you realize this is trying to compete against a laptop (Macbook Air) more so than a tablet (iPad Air).  Other than business laptops, name one consumer laptop that has the inclusion of a cellular radio.
  • yet they made it a tablet too thus your mba comparison overlooks the true dual nature which is part of the device market. thus making your point moot
  • Intel Core processors do not have LTE until Broadwell shipping in December.
  • you don't have to have it on chip, although I realize that is prefereable, it is NOT required.
  • Comments are not getting fetched by the WPCentral Win8 app...
  • Problem here too
  • Gonna get a job in the summer and try to work up enough money for this beast
  • Might there be a podcast forthcoming to discuss yesterday's event?
  • Jay is traveling this week, but yeah, we'll see what we can do
  • One question, Daniel. Its a very important one. Something that could make or break my pre-order. Does it seem faster?
  • I think I already answered that ;)
  • Why would it be? The i5 4300u is the i5 4300u, whether it's in a Pro 2 or a Pro 3.
  • Hi Dan. Did you manage to ask anyone at the event if a LTE version would be forthcoming? If not, can a dongle be used with a sim card?
  • They gave no comment on an LTE version, sorry
  • My wp8 Lumia 1020 shares internet and is with me at all times. Why do I need a card in my device?
  • I want people to stop comparing the weight of the naked Surface Pro 3 to an Air. Someone throw a type cover on it then compare the weight. That seems like a fairer comparison to me.
  • indeed. i found that highly disingenuous
  • The Surface Pro Type Cover weighs 10.4 ounces While that makes a huge difference to speckies and perhaps professional mountain climbers, it does not to the averagve user
  • Which means the true comparison (Pro 3 and cover) is at or more than the weight of an 11" air. Thus my point about it being disengenuous to compare it without the type cover.
  • Considering the Macbook Air 13" weighs almost 3 lbs (2.96 to be exact), I doubt the Type Cover is going to add over a pound to the total weight. For comparison, the Macbook Air 11" weighs 2.38 lbs.
  • They did that yesterday at the presentation. It still weighted less. According to the specs I just read the pro 3 with type cover attached is still lighter than the 11" Mac book air
  • Yeah you completely missed the presentation where Panos goes to the scale, says something along the lines of "oh yeah I know you guys are wondering so to be fair..", then snaps on the type cover on the Pro 3 and puts it back on the scale and it didn't tip over - so yes even with the Type Cover the Pro 3 is lighter than a MacAir 13inch.
  • How long is the power cable? Is it the same as the surface pro, surface 2, or hopefully longer yet.
  • ...yeah, but can I put XP on it...
  • Inb4 "if only it ran android . . . "
  • Perfect timing for replacing a couple of executive notebook setups at work... And perhaps consolidating my desktop and Samslate 7 into a single device.
  • Daniel, how's the Surface Pro 3 with the keyboard when using it on your lap (i.e. on the train or sitting back on a bed or couch)?
  • Strike that, I scrolled up and saw that you answered that it is sturdy on the lap.
  • I foresee a commercial for it with students, artists, and professionals holding it like a notebook.
  • Students, anyway. Microsoft pretty much spit in the faces of their artist fans by skimping on the digitizer.
  • "The Surface Pro 3 weighs 1.7 pounds" Isn't the i3 1.7 pounds and the i5/i7 2 pounds?
  • Actually never mind misread some documentation on Surface 3. It's all 1.7 pounds I believe.
  • The Surface Pro 3 is absolutely stunning. Does it have a micro SD slot? Unfortunately I have to wait for a more powerful version - with broad well.
  • Yes it does--under the kickstand, just like previous versions
  • The pro's MicroSd slot has never been under the kick stand, only the RT version is that way. The pro version is on the right hand side. Has been since v1.
  • Ah, you're right My bad. I was referring to previous versions of Surface RT
  • This is perfect for me.  I use my windows laptop with an external monitor and keyboard in my office, but when I travel, the extra bulk of the laptop and bag is something that becomes a real pain.  More recently I've begun taking just my Surface RT when I can, which is great for emails and Office, BUT I can't run my PC applications which I need if I am training or consulting.  The Pro 3 combines the protability of my Surface RT and full windows of my laptop so I only need ONE device.  Now to work on my boss so it happens!!
  • I think I'm sold on this now. I've been debating whether to get this or not, due to already owning a Surface Pro 2, but I think I'm sold. Everything is better. I feel mildly screwed over (like many did when Apple released the 4th gen iPad mere months after the 3rd gen), but overall product quality, improving the product portfolio and true innovation is far more important than me feeling mildly burned because my technology has been made a few months earlier than I had scheduled. I'm really blown away by this device... My SP2 has made my school year SOOOOO much easier, but there were a few complaints here and there (especially the kickstand only going in two positions). But the 3 addresses pretty much all my complaints. Surface Pro 2: You've been a loyal companion these past few months, but I'm afraid I've found something better. It's not you, it's me. I hope you understand why I'm readying for you eBay, and hope there's no hard feelings. Thanks, for everything.
  • Do bear in mind that Pro 3's i5 versions don't offer any upgrade whatsoever to CPU and RAM. They're exactly the same as Pro 2.
  • Thanks for the tip, but I'm well aware. Hence I'm going to wait until about September or October before buying, to see if a "Surface Pro 4" is released with the next-Gen Intel processors. I doubt it, because I don't think the next generation will be ready until the holidays, but still worth making sure. However, my SP2 is still the fastest machine I've ever used. Period. So while the processors haven't been upgraded, that's also not a massive deal for me. Faster would be nice, yes, but the SP3 upgrades in many areas where the SP2 had been lacking. And I assure you: The SP2 has never been lacking in speed. Well, maybe if you're one of the many souls with gaming rigs or graphic heavy desktops, but for the most part: This thing is FAST.
  • Hell, I loved my Surface pro 1 for the past year. I was just upgraded to a pro 2 a few days ago (my Wi-Fi chip died) and I agree: It's ridiculously fast, ALWAYS. I love it!
  • Can you spread some light on the GPU being used, i know it's not dedicated but is it Intel HD 4400 or Intel HD 5000?
  • We simply don't know yet, but probably 4400?
  • Daniel, Nice review! How is the desktop on the pro 3? Is the descktop end large enough? As far as using your finger to click on things and for viewing. I bought the rt 2 and I find when I'm looking at the desktop everything is just to small. My thinking was I could remote into my main pc to use my programs that the rt2 can't run but, I find this to be small as well. I like to pre-order one but I'm not sure how much better this is with pro 3. Do you have any comperison photo's or video to show the differnce? Thank you!    
  • Desktop looks great. Things are small, but not oddly small that would prevent you from doing anything or enjoying using it.
  • I too am very impressed with this device and look forward to finding a way to persuade my IT dept to get me one!!
  • I was gonna buy it until I saw the N-Trig pen..
  • New flash: apparently the same processor and graphics adapter as the Surface Pro 2 is now the "fastest" in the Surface Pro 3! Did you miss the part about Surface Pro 2 being updated to the 4300 prcoessor in January? You also clearly do not undertsand digitizers and therefore have no clue as to what using non-industry standard technology means to many of us.  The LTE blather isnt even worth an explanation.  Please do your homework before shamelessly shilling for someone. It would be less embarrassing. Oh, for all those out there salivating over how great this will be for Photoshop, and how Adobe has partnered with Microsoft on it, consider the following. The i5 Surface Pro 3 uses the GPU that Photoshop has crashed since Surface Pro 2 was released. Look up Surface Pro 2 (or any machine using Intel HD Graphics 4400), Photoshop CC, and GPU sniffer and you will see the problem that has persisted for some of us to the present day. It was sort of fixed at one point, months after reports flooded in to Adobe, but still crops up for many. If you also look closely, you will find Adobe employees on their forum who have publicly blamed Microsoft and Intel for the fact that an Adobe Photoshop component crashes the GPU and then draws the CPU to its knees.
  • Ummmm....go to hell? lol
  • Adobe CC is being updated and was demoed on the stage and they said there is more to come. Also the pen may not be on par with the cintiq but but for most part it will do the job. For precise broad-pixel strokes digital art and demanding photoshop work it may not be that as precise as a wacom pen with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, but I guess you would not work on such a project on any mobile computing device let alone SP3. But I bet, for note taking, 256 levels of pressure sensitivity is an over kill. I guess your concerns, for the most part, will be assuaged. You may have to hold you judgement till the reviews come in.
  • What I find disappointing is that there's no CPU upgrade on the i5 versions. It's literally and exactly a Surface Pro 2. Other than that, it's fabulous for me--though it's a device my fiancee will never upgrade to for a simple reason: the MASSIVE downgrade in active digitizer. She's a professional illustrator and has come to rely on her Wacom digitizer and Bamboo Feel stylus. She wanted a larger screen Surface Pro, nothing more, and was pretty crushed to find out Microsoft bassically slapped their artist fans in the face with such a stupid move on what would otherwise have been a perfect upgrade. Now they simply won't get those dollars. Maybe Wacom itself will get them.
  • "...could Microsoft can..."?
  • Free form poetry. I'm an artist, damnit!
  • C'est la vie?
  • It's French for "that's life"
  • I wish surface would come in a bigger size hopefully 13-14 inches and I can look forward to buying it as my laptop replacement. To all the people out here who have surface, can it be used as a decent laptop? I have a desktop which is wearing out so need to find something asap.
  • Hey, someone: A few months ago, I picked up a 23" monitor to go dual w my 17" Dell laptop. When I'm working, I'm on the big screen, running file explorer and email on that tiny 17" screen. I'll be replacing that 10 lb. beast w a surface pro 3, giving me more power, twice as much RAM, and extreme portability. BTW, I found the best way to make a laptop last longer is to grab a separate keyboard for desktop use. After 3 laptops, it's always the first part to die.
  • Thanks for reply. I have a question, won't you feel the screen is too small while on the run because you are switching from a 17" to 12"? I agree hardware wise it is the beast. Its just the high price and screen size that confuses me.
  • I think people are just too fixated on ipad and Google's offering. People are generally not ready to accept the next step in innovation which I have to say I am very surprised about. The ipad has been around for a long time, as tech goes, and has remained unchanged. Style is the same, color is the same, yet people always mention more color or style for other devices. Other manufactures have to go so far above and beyond added feature after feature, but then you wine about the price. USB 3.0, bluetooth 4.0, wireless ac, and more. What ports do ipads have? This device has the same specs as an ultrabook. It would be a shame to have it fail. If i'm Apple, i'm thinking, why give you'll buy it anyway, and like it!
  • Its too big.  I get they want an all in one but this isnt something I'm going to want to pull out on the subway to read a book or magazine.  Sure its a really good looking laptop replacement but im not about to sell my dell because it gives me the portibility i expect from a tablet.  So i still see the need for something this size for productivity and something a lot smaller for consumption.  
  • We really need someone to tell us about the N-Trig pen.
  • What do you want to know about it?
  • How it compares to the Wacom pen in SP1 and SP2 and if it's better than N-Trig has been in previous devices such as the Sony Tap and Dell XT3 (not good)
  • I have the SP2 here and will look to do more with it compared to the SP3. I'm not a pen user, nor an artist, so that's kind of hard for me to test, but will try.
  • just a full fledged review would be grand. That honestly could make or break the device for me, and I'm not even an artist.
  • My main concern is will it feel and Works good for drawings cause i use it for drawings with sketch pro and since I read someone said surface pro 2 have 1024 points pressure and sp3 has only 200.. Any one can confirm
  • I believe it's 250 but I can't answer if you'll think it's better/worse than SP2. Microsoft seems confident in the tech is all I can say, and they evidently chose it for a reason.
  • Hi
  • Dan is Back  with a Bang !! :P LoL  ( No Posts  for Two days from dan)    
  • No posts, but a lot of the photos, video and live blog were me ;)
  • Great initial review. Availability in South Africa is a non starter unfortunately. So order online for local delivery, but what would that mean for the support and guarantee? When will the docking station be available, and would it be possible to have 2 external displays connected?
  • Any chance of it hitting the indian stores?
  • I was just wondering the same :-)
  • @Daniel.... Will Surface 3 ever make it to India??? The only way I can buy a surface is by importing them until now.
  • No idea, sorry.
  • Is the OneDrive, 200GB promotion included with the SP3 like on the 2nd gen Surfaces? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Probably will, but I don't have confirmation at this time.
  • When SP3 was released 6 years ago, nobody said it was too soon. But then SP3 meant something else 6 years ago.
  • Hey Dan, I know it's not directly related, but do you think that the surface line from now on adopt this new aspect ratio? So if they're ever making a surface 3 will that be 3:2 or do you think they'll keep those at 16:9?
  • I think 3:2 going forward, but it may depend on what that Surface device is geared for, as they have a long line of devices, reportedly.
  • Don't we think the thick black casing around the screen is uncalled for? How thick is that an INCH? I believe that will be breaking point for this. It's not sexy. It won't be able to compete with the other devices that have the screen going all the way to the edge of the device with no bezel.
  • The bezel isn't actually that thick on the bottom his wallpaper just makes it look that way lol
  • Great direction and excellent execution BUT too pricy. Come on MS, if Dell can create a good 8" full Windows device which weighs 0.86 pounds and is 8.5 mm thick, and sell it for $200, you can make an awesome 10" for $450. Just put inside intel Atom! Imagine a 10" Surface which weighs ~1 pound, thin as hell at around ~7.5 mm with full Windows for $450. Now THAT will be an iPad killer.
  • RT will never make the cut for me, partly due to inability to install custom keyboard.
  • But this isn't RT...
  • I can afford an S2 now but it'll be a pretty dumb machine for me. I have to make a custom keyboard for my language (Khmer) for medical reasons.
  • Can you have four apps rubbing on the screen at once, the only reason I ask is I received an email from Microsoft about multitasking and it had a note at the bottom saying you can run up to four shops apps at once depending on screen size. Just wondered if this related to the new surface pro 3.
  • Pretty sure, no. You need a big monitor for that.
  • General question.  I want to take notes. lots of notes, handwritten with little diagrams of circuits and whatnot.  How does the pen fare in writing handwritten notes in the size and style as one might on a sheet of College ruled paper? The dimensions of the device seem taylored perfectly for it, but I wonder if I'm asking too much from a stylus. Is it choppy? are the lines too fat? Is it precise enough? Is there too much lag for that? (I don't know a thing about styli and tablets, so please excuse me if my questions are pedantic. ) As an aside, from what I've seen there's a lot to love about this device, except the price.  I understand that the price point isn't unreasonable for a super well built, decently capable laptop replacement that functions as a slightly clunky but really stinking attractive tablet. I get it.  But still, it's just steep. Makes me feel the same kind of sad I've always felt towards Apple, except that the gorgeousness of this device alleviates it a bit.
  • The pen is okay. I'm not a huge digital pen guy, so we'll see how much I convert over the next few days. I think for what it is, it's great.
  • Thanks for the early-review Dan, I had a question: Is Surface Pen soled seperately? and could Surface Pen double as a remote controller (or mouse) to use the tablet or at least for presenting PowerPoint (LASER stuff)?
  • Pen is included. I don't think the second thing would work.
  • Daniel, use the metric system, kilograms or grams, not pounds. In your articles you often forget the international visitors. Getting annoying.
  • +2520 Or at least use both systems.
  • OR just Bing 1.7lbs =______ g?????
  • Noted.
  • Thanks!
  • And in other news, those of us in the states get annoyed when international journalists use grams for weight and pounds for cost . . so . . use bing for conversion and move along . . . Its not a big deal for me, my point is that both "sides" write from that which is familiar to them. When a guy in India is reviewing a device I don't expect him/her to use imperial units, so people shouldn't rag on American bloggers for not using metric units . . . (unless of course this is one of those "we-hate-americans-because-they're-arrogant-and-don't-think-like-us" rants that show up once in a while)  
  • Hearing some background noise about broadwell's immanent arrival. Does that make this device less appealing? Does its attractiveness fall apart when similar devices can run faster and eat less battery?
  • Since we don't have Broadwell on hand to see how much better, it's hard to answer. In tech, there's always something down the road, maybe worth waiting for.
  • While we should see some incremental speed increases in Broadwell, I'm not sure it matters that much for the SP3.  Haswell is pretty darned fast, and with an i7 available, I seriously doubt anyone is going to see speed as a reason to hold out for the next generation (or even to upgrade once Broadwell comes out). As for battery life, I also don't see that as a reason to hold out.  Early reviews suggest that MS's 9-hour battery life estimate is fairly accurate.  If so, then that's an "all day" device.  At that point, I don't think longer battery life has any value beyond bragging rights.  Again, not a reason to hold out or upgrade. WITH THAT SAID, I would expect the Broadwell generation to benefit the Surface Pro 4 in two ways that will matter significantly.  Both relate to the fact that Broadwell uses less power, because of its smaller die (14 nm vs 22 nm for Haswell), and because it supports DDR4, which is more energy efficient than DDR3.  So here are the two advantages I expect to see in Surface Pro 4:  (1) It can be fanless.  Which means a thinner, lighter device.  (2)  By the time you reduce the power by switching from Haswell to Broadwell, and by the time you have more energy efficient DDR4, and by the time you eliminate the fan (which is a huge power eater), you can have a MUCH smaller battery and still get 9-10 hours of battery life.  Which also means a thinner, lighter device.  Between these improvements, I predict that MS should be able to get a Broadwell-powered Surface Pro 4 under 1.5 lbs, and shrink the device to .33 inches thin (any thinner than that and it would just feel weird and flimsy).  Also, with all the space created by eliminating the fan and using a smaller battery, MS should be able to find some space to create a spot for holding the stylus. To me, those are very cool things.  However, I can't imagine anyone holding out another 6-12 months in hopes that we can shave 1/4 lb and .05" off the next generation.  The fact is that the SP3 is already reasonably light, super thin, super powerful, and super awesome.  In other words, "we're there." I did not buy an SP1 or SP2, because they were too thick, heavy, and shy on battery life.  The SP3 fixes all of my concerns, and the fact that future devices will be even better isn't a reason to wait. I pre-ordered my SP3 at 12:01 EST on May 21.
  • The Surface Pro 3 looks very interesting. I'm just wondering about one thing: Does it connect the power cover? From the images I've seen, it looks as if it does not have the metal connectors in the indentations for the keyboard connector.
  • Ed Bott reported that it does not work (it'd be too small, anyway when you flip it closed)
  • Daniel,
    The distribution guy said you'd have to sign a loan. Do you have to return the unit to Microsoft?
  • Probably.
  • I wish they would've sticked with the coloring of the first gen Surfaces. I think they look much more professional than this and in my line of work I rather have a subtle black device than a lighter color.
  • Hello Daniel, Let me start off by mentioning that i loved reading your initial impression of the surface pro three. I liked your overal insights into the various aspects of the device. I wish especially thank you for spending some words on the stylus experience. I think the important message here is indeed that the software needs necessary improvements to complete the experience of the surface pro 3. My questions for your: compared to your surface 2, do you find yourself using the surface pro 3 more in portrait mode? If so, which experiences in windows 8 have given you greatest pleasure of doing in portrait mode? I use my surface pro (1st gen) daily for both personal and work related uses. I've noticed that when doing work like writing many messages or document, the trackpad always seems in the way, especially when it comes to hitting the spacebar. My thumb slides over the trackpad and I instantly lose my inline typing cursor on the screen, and the writing stops. Out of frustatrion I turned off the trackpad on my typecover permanently with a windows 8 settings app for the type cover. Because all surfaces have touchscreen, I have grown accustomed to using touch as my cursor. What are your experiences with the new type cover for the 3rd generation type cover? Do you experience issues with the trackpad when using your surface pro 3 as a productivity device with the type cover? Do you find yourself touching the screen more or actually using the trackpad, when navigating the OS and software programs and apps? Whats your experience of watching a movie on netflix or the xobx movie app on the surface pro 3 with the new speakers? On my surface one, I have to crank up the volume all the way to 100% to hear the movies well enough, even with headphones on or external bluetooth speakers, like my nokia 360s. Do you find yourself cranking up the volume to max also? My tip for a solution for the pen storage: microsoft could have used one of sides of the pro 3 to make a port dedicated for snapping on a polycarbonate accesory where you could solidly snap the pen on to. Other tabletmakers in the not so distant past have shown this in their products in some form or another. I think that would have been the best compromise without sacrificing the cramped internal space and without sacrificing the design too much. I think it is not possible now, but perhaps this could be an idea for a snap-on protective case for the pro 3, which will inevitably come in the near future.
  • I don't use it more in portrait, but I would say maybe more often? I still use it with the KB attached most of the time, so it's easier in landscape. Without the KB, I'd probably use it in portrait, feels right. The speakers are louder and don't need to be 100%. They're not crazy loud, but I'll do more testing for the review. I don't think I have that issue with the trackpad, as physically this keyboard is larger (not the keys, but the overall KB). I'll pay more attention to this for the review.
  • Hi Daniel. I was wondering if there is anything that you didn't like about the Surface Pro 3 hardwarewise, or you wish was done better, or is a step back from version 2. How does it feel when using the tablet in portrait mode ?
  • I wish the cameras were a little better. The power button on the left side is weird for me and sometimes there are software glitches. I'll think a little more on that and maybe do a follow up article.
  • My same thoughts regards the power button on the left... it looks kind of weird. When I first saw it I thought they were going for "portrait first" for this device. But then I saw the orientation of the Windows Logo is in landscape mode, so yeah it is kind of weird. Not a deal breaker. Software glitches... nothing that can't be fixed. Camera is not really a concern for me... only going to use the front facing one, if at all. Not going to use the back camera most probably.. in fact they could have done without altogether. Always found them ridiculous taking pics with that iPad!
  • Thanks to you and the WPCentral team for the outstanding SP3 coverage this week Daniel!  This appears to be the hardware that my business partner and I have been waiting years for so we can at last dump our laptops with their accesssories (Goodbye 6+ lbs) and to go along with our Nokia 1520's.  This is important as we are based in Thailand and do consulting around SE Asia and East Asia so we have to be mobile and on the go most of the time! I've already pre-ordered 2 i5/256GB/8GB Ram SP3's along with the new Type Covers for each. One small favor to ask of you...what is the voltage spec's on your new  SP3 PowerSupply?? I've spent considerable time searching the internet but there aren't any SP3 User Guides or well-detailed spec sheets out there for download yet.  Since our new SP3's will be delivered to my Dad's address in the U.S. and he will express them out to us, this power spec question is critical as we work in countries with everything from 100 - 240 watts!   Thanks for the great work and can't wait for our new "BGC's" (Business Game-Changers) to get here!!
  • You're welcome, glad you're enjoying it!
  • Daniel can someone please check the SP3 power brick to see what voltages it can work with? Here in Asia we have everything from 100 to 240 voltages. Thanks for checking and sharing this info!
  • If I'm reading it right, it's the same 100-240 voltage.
  • Thanks for the detail Daniel...we're looking forward to our SP3 arrivals!
  • Is it possible to flip the keyboard back so the tablet stands on it? I mean so you can work with touch only, but not have to detach the keyboard.
  • Yep I do it all the time on my Surface 2 its great
  • Sounds great. Thanks!
  • Damn you americans and Your Imperial Systems....  
  • Darned you internationals and your metric system . . . . . . did that make you feel better?
  • Im a Microsoft junkie. I have 6 Windows Phones, and have had all versions of the surface product (although they all ended up on ebay eventually - including the very expensive mistake of recently buying £1300 worth of surface pro 2 as my main machine). The problem for me is that I'm a power user, and my new retina 13" macbook pro (which Ive just purchased to replaced the Surface 2 Pro) is the perfect machine for me. Powefull, reliable, fabulous sturdy keyboard, runs Windows better than any machine I've owned (including the surface pro 2 ironically), as is a productivity workhorse dream for me. It's portable enough, and is the best bit of kit on the market for my needs, and the new surface pro 3 wont trump that. For casual tableting, none of the surface products work for me. When I compare them to my Nexus 7 and my Ipad, they just arent great. The new surface pro 3 wont be any better. I need a simple tablet to do browsing, emails and netflix etc. So, in summary, the surface isnt a great choice for me.  What completely drives the nail into the coffin is the price. Sure, if you're a cheapskate your never gonna buy one, but I would by anything that appealed to me, regardless of price, as longs as I believe I get some kind of value for money. Im in the UK, and to get an bottom end I3 surface pro 3 with the essential keyboard I would need to fork out £750 - For an I3 that is only found nowadays in the cheapest, and nastiest of bargain bucket laptops. If the product was two thirds the price and included the keyboard, I'd buy one anyway - just because I'm a Microsoft fanboy. But, seriously ? NO!  Long story short - Who is the Surface Pro 3 for ? Well Im a big fan, but it's not for me.
  • I think it's a bit dodgy to pick a non-standard resolution. In my opinion, the probably should have considered something like 16:10 ahead of 3:2, maybe even gone back to 4:3, at least with something like 16:10, they could have picked 1920x1200, gotten that bit more vertical space than 16:9, and still have things run at a native resolution when running 1080p (albeit with black bars). In any case, this release comes accross as very encouraging. Hope to read some decent reviews when it gets up for sale. Price is a little bit too high to buy on a whim though...
  • I have a Surface Pro 2 and for me, 10" is the perfect balance between portability and productivity. I don't really NEED a SP3 for my kind of work per se...but...I do WANT that beast of a machine :P
  • Where should the pen go? Right on top in landscape mode in a "push-in,push-out" handle/cradle where the pen enters and exits stage RIGHT. Thin is good, so the cradle needs to look like it belongs there and is an integral part of the design. Making a small "bump" is welcome of a 3-2 12" screen because it makes the device even easier to hold with one hand. I still sport the original Surface Pro 128 as my only device (It replaced my laptop, tablet, and Desktop once the awesome Surface Docking station was released), so I use it all day long. It took me a total of 10 minutes working with it in tablet mode to see that hashing the pen on the side in landscape mode was an oversight. One-inch of black Velcro later, it was centered on the top in landscape mode and looked decent, even with the pen removed (soft side on pen, rough side on Surface, FYI). One of the hardest engineering feats is balancing form and function-- but hey, isn't that what the Surface concept is all about? True evolution and innovation, with the user experience paramount with just the right level of "sexy". Pen placement MUST be top-of-mind for Surface Pro 4. It must-- unlike what I'm seeing with this comical loop on the detachable keyboard on the LEFT side (really?)--be something solid and, once again-- on the TOP of the device in landscape mode. Kudos to the Surface design team for how quickly they've addressed other concerns. The pen placement is the ONLY reason I'll be staying with my original Surface Pro, unless I can find Velcro to make the Surface Pro 3! That's my $0.02. ;)
  • I am really surprised that Microsoft has still not seen fit to include GNSS capability in any of their Surface products (other than their Surface 2 LTE device, where GNSS comes riding on the back of the WWAN chip). A dedicated GNSS chip (such as the Broadcomm BCM47521) consumes little in the way of real estate or power. Location services are part of the Windows 8.1 operating system, and many Apps (e.g. maps, weather, astronomy, photography) make use of them. All models of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 come with GNSS as standard (as do the newly announced successor, the ThinkPad Tablet 10). Having used Apps that exploit GNSS on my TPT2, I really don’t want to go backwards and lose this capability in my next tablet. It seems to me that Microsoft has missed an opportunity here to provide leadership. As far as I’m concerned, it takes the edge off the claim that the SP3 is the “best of a laptop, best of a tablet” product.
  • People fail to see how great and brilliant Microsoft products are. Recently launched pro 3 beats the iPad hands down in all ramification. Microsoft is excellent at what they do. I guess the issue here is they( Microsoft) lays so much emphasis on the American market and isn't aggressive with their advertisement. NYT is obviously an apple fan. Won't be surprised when Apple comes out tomorrow with similar features of Pro3 then the whole world will say "genius"...... Not happy at all
  • My initial thoughts on Surface 3: Damn that's an expensive tabletwhatever!!
  • I was saving up for the pro II, but I think I'm going to switch up to the III.  This is a game-changer, people, JMHO.
  • A bit of a stupid question, but do you guys get early releases for free to review it, or do you guys pay money for it? (or they just give them to anyone who was at the presentation?!)
  • Mix. Everyone at the press event got a SP3 to 'borrow'. Sometimes we buy phones (usually the Samsung ones), other times we have loaners.
  • Why it will not be released worldwide? like Turkey or Bulgaria???????
  • Daniel . . . I'm wondering how this works on one's lap, not the keyboard (which has already been addressed) but the kickstand part; I'm really liking this idea but the whole unit doesn't seem like it would "sit" well in a lap like a laptop/notebook device . . your thoughts?
  • I don't know if this has already been answered, but do you know if there are any plans for an LTE and GPS version? Thanks in advance
  • Having played with Dan's unit the day he received it in NYC, I have to say... I REALLY like the device. Thanks to the big screen size, I could really see this as replacing my Macbook Pro/Air as my travel computer, where right now I take both a laptop and an iPad with me. Powerful for work, big screen and great keyboard for productivity, and still a tablet for killing time watching movies.
  • Kevin . . you really should be more careful with your choice of words . . ;-)  
  • lol, hey oo!
  • Great review by Yahoo Tech's David Pogue (formerly NYT) who's known to be a diehard Apple fan:
  • Daniel, could you please test the gaming performance of the device? I would be especially interested in the STEAM in home streaming feature. Performance, image quality, lag... If its not much to ask:) Microsoft really surprised me with the SP3. So far I am very interested in the device. Awesome form factor (16:9 is just not pro imho), thin, light, good battery life, pen support for the occasional PS and sketchup... It would be a perfect replacement for my aging 13" laptop. And if I could play Civilization streamed from my gaming rig I would be completely sold.
  • Not a gamer, but will definitely consider for the review!
  • Another hit piece from Digital Trends. According to this moron, no consumer  would want this, enterprise users only. Funny, I'm a consumer and I want one. Apparently I'm a "fictional consumer".
  • If this doesn't convince people of the tablets possibilities and what it should be capable of doing then I don't know what will. Not much can be improved next year, of course they can lose some weight and extend battery life with an upgraded model but other than that nothing is missing. Everything depends on Intel now and them finally releasing their next gen chips that don't need a fan for cooling and using even less energy. Best Thing Ever, after this nothing less will suffice, especially not a simple slab of glass (like the iPad) that was saved by 3rd party devs or a dinosaur like Macbook Air (and I'm saying this as a Macbook/iPad combo user). The only thing that worries me is if Windows 9.0 next year will be a free update for buyers of this badass device (it should be).
  • I've had an original Surface Pro since its launch and love it.  I was releived when the SP2 came out with not much added value to interest me.  But I lasted maybe a day since the official launch of the SP3 and I'm back in on pre-order already and am counting the days till the i7 launches.   As an original SP user, one of my obsessions was to hound MS about the under-utilized sytlus pen features, so I'm particularly glad to see they've upgraded the pen and are actively expnading its reach to additional apps.   And its hard to tell until you see it hand handle it, but the screen size and aspect ratios sound like marked step-ups to me.  I've had a number of jury-rigged set-ups to account for the single-position original stand, so here too, the SP3 is yet another example of how Microsoft doggedly, intelligently and continually works to improve their products.   They don't always hit the bullseye, but it is part of their culture -- you know their products are always getting better.   I would rather have an early launch, imperfect device or program and go along for the ride than to wait and wait for some insanely great and insanely static product.  
  • It appears that they have pulled the Pogue video, but can be found at Really funny --Microsoft should buy this as a commercial. Wonder why pulled from other sites that linked to it.    
  • Looks very good, now if MS would only license the TrackPoint from Lenovo and incorporate into a type cover --it would be awesome. I am one of those old fogeys who started off with TrackPoint on first ThinkPad and it still is best pointing device. Or even a trackpoint add on that would simply cover up the trackpad. I would be willing to pay a couple of hundred dollars more if had a TrackPoint--or even a bluetooth trackpoint that would work.   
  • I noticed a few people mentioning they are students. I just wanted to make you all aware, in case you did not know, that the microsoft windows store offers 10% off  hardware and software for students. And yes this includes preorder of the SP3. Oh and in case you were wondering, yes, this also goes for us Canadians, eh! US: Can: I'm personnaly eying up the 128Gb/4Gb for 944$ CAN student price (1045$ CAN reg), pending on me trying it out at the store. Debated the 256Gb/8Gb but for 300$, I probably won't see the difference for what I use it for. Cheers,
  • What if Microsoft make a special cover lets say a power or metal cover whatever they will call it with metal chassis on its edges up to the connector that connect magnetically and work as a hinge with some sort of friction thing like the kickstand to make it work like a laptop so it can live on the lappability of the surface or may be on sp4 (maybe in time of w9 release),,they can shove some little mm and gm so they can make a lil bit denser cover of this this way trolls will never question the surface viability to replace a laptop.. I want an sp3!!!
  • I hope my school used this tablet for Virtual Learning Education. 
  • I can guess what your thoughts will be, cos they're always the same: "It's amazing! It's so awesome" Then when the next thing comes out... "The previous version was ok, but flawed. This new version is amazing. It's so awesome" Then when the next thing comes out... "The first version was pretty poor. The next version was ok. This new version is amazing. It's so awesome" I guess it's your job to say "everything is awesome". At least there's a song you can play while you work now though.
  • I'm really learning to dislike these comment sections. Petty arguments over fractions of performance data that one needs to be running a program to measure is not a real-world testament to the performance of a machine. Can't stand pretentious tech know-it-alls! So if I offend any all-knowing, all-seeing IT Techs, I apologize in advance. I recently heard an IT guy exclaim he thought W8 was "too difficult to get used to" as he closed his W7 DELL laptop and pulled out an iPad just to check his personal email. I guess making the switch between those two interfaces is 'natural', whatever. I consider myself a real-world user in the sense that I am NOT in the tech industry. I am an avid MS user. It is necessary in today's business world (yes, there are businesses that are NOT on the Win platform or MS products, these artsy fartsy businesses are the exception in my travels). I am a business consultant as well as a franchise owner (food industry). EVERY one of my clients over the past 11 years has been on Win/MS products of some kind. For me, I need a device that is smaller than a laptop, lighter, but just as powerful. I create presentations, briefings, reports, and even record audio/video online lessons for our Adobe Connect site, all while on the road. I use my Lumia WP for pics of client sites and need to access them right away from my SP device. I am in countless meetings so notes and organizing them is important. I travel A LOT and never turn on the TV in the hotel room. I use my device for entertainment/reading as well. I Skype with family when on the road and of course Outlook is a must. Can a "lower OEM device" provide these features? Sure, in some ways. I tried the Lenovo and Acer. I had to get too many accessories just to make it work for me (separate docking keyboard, mini-USB mouse, etc.). But I prefer the premium experience Surface Pro 3 offers; the look/feel, keyboard/cover/touchpad all in one on the real estate that is just the right size with the ability to entertain while on the road. Oh, and yes, I get to show it to the other travelers that drag their laptops out in the terminal to work on the spreadsheets just to have to put it away and pull out a second device (most likely an iPad) just to read or watch on the flight. Makes no sense to me. My SP2 is great, although the aspect ratio isn't my ideal choice. Hence the SP3! I pre-ordered and KNOW it will perform. I have been with WP8/Surface Pro from day 1. I will NEVER go back to traditional laptop/desktop. I am SOLD! Again, this is from a "normal tech user". And for anyone that feels the need to correct any of my assumptions about the tech I use, or the manner is which I use it...see the third sentence above, I don't care! BTW, great site. I read the articles DAILY!
  • I've been looking for reviews or videos about the surface pen. There are lots of mentions about one note but I'm really interested to see how it works with word and excel? Some of the pictures on the MS website show red line markups on excel files but I haven't seen this done. Also interested to find out if write-to-text works with languages other than English? Especially Semitic languages. Thanks for the awesome review and the awesome site. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • I've heard good things, never owned any kind of touch screen computer before. I am very interested in the Surface, but I only know most of the details of #2. So I guess I should read up on #3.