Skip to main content

A Month With The Surface 3

When Microsoft launched the Surface 3 I was a little sceptical of the device. It was priced close to the iPad but without the huge range of apps; it was a low power Atom based device, but significantly more expensive than some other Atom devices.

As an iPad and MacBook Air owner you could say that I was slap bang in the middle of Microsoft's target market. As a Surface Pro owner my more natural upgrade path would seem to be the Surface Pro 3. The Surface 3 has proven capable enough to replace all three of those devices for me.

Its an easy device to live with. It's light and portable, has excellent battery life and great connectivity. The screen is a decent size, the keyboard is excellent and the trackpad is good enough for daily use. Performance turns out to be excellent, that Atom processor is the first quad-core 64-bit version of its line and turns out to be very capable.

What the Surface 3 does well is demonstrate how good Windows can be on good hardware. Which I guess is the whole reason for the existence of the Surface line.
Where the Surface 3 really wins is its versatility. Walking between offices here in Auckland its as easy to carry as an iPad. I use the Surface Pen and OneNote in meetings - an awful lot less intrusive than dropping a laptop onto the meeting table and a lot more capable than trying to capture notes on the iPad. When I'm at a desk it's as capable and functional as a laptop and, if I'm doing something that requires me to sit at a desk for any length of time, I can plug in one of the USB 3 docks that we have on every desk here and I'm running two external screens, a mouse and a keyboard.
Charging is easy enough too. The offices here are littered with iPhone 6 and Samsung S5 chargers (our corporate options for phones), either charger juices the Surface 3 whilst in use, albeit quite slowly. The combination of excellent battery life and being able to jack in anywhere means no battery anxieties for me.
At its third attempt Microsoft really has delivered with the Surface. It does the tablet experience as well as the iPad, it does the laptop experience as well as a laptop, and it turns out that flexibility is its biggest advantage over either.
I can't see me switching back to the old way of working...


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…