Monday, July 28, 2014

Surface Pro 3 - user review

Last week, had the chance to have a play with a Surface Pro 3 with attached keyboard. Collation of reviews available via endgadget and techradar.

The powder light grey backing on the tablet looks classy and the matt surface means the tablet is less likely to slip off books / folders when being carried around. The tablet has, by far the largest tablet screen I have worked with. With the larger screen, the attachable keyboard becomes similar to small laptop size and therefore comfortable to use. However, I am of two minds when using the tablet without the keyboard. Although the tablet is light to hold, reading while lying down, with the tablet is less comfortable then with an ipad or surface pro 1. However, the larger screen comes into its own when viewing webpages or Google maps.

The tablet ‘kick-stand’ now has the ability to fold almost right back, so the angle of the screen when used with or without the keyboard attached, can be adjusted. Writing on the tablet is enhanced when the kick stand allows the tablet to sit at a natural angle. I have always been impressed with the predictive text ability to work out my terrible writing. Few mistakes are made even when I scrawl out words. The stylus / pen works well and is comfortable to hold and manipulate.

Tablet boots up quickly and windows 8.1 works well either with touch interface, through ‘cursor’ control via the keyboard touch pad, or through keyboard input.

The on/off switch has been shifted up to the top of the tablet and the windows button now sits on the right side of the screen, when the tablet is used in landscape mode / or attached to keyboard. The new power cord attaches to the right hand side and a tighter fit then with previous surface tablets.

Overall, you pay for higher quality performance. The Surface Pro 3 will no doubt retail in NZ for double the price of, for example of the Aspire Switch 10. You would get a high end laptop for similar price. So important to weight up WHY you need a tablet plus keyboard when a laptop / ultrabook may be just as appropriate. The advantage of the tablet, especially one like the Pro which is set up to be used as a slate, is keyboardless input, quick and easy web surfing and high quality camera/video to record experiences for upload to the cloud. So, as always, important to work out what needs to be achieved and match hardware accordingly.

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