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My Gadget Of The Year: Microsoft Surface 3

 
I've been through a lot of technology this year, new phones, tablets, accessories and computers. 2015 has been a stellar year for the range and depth of new capabilities that became available to purchase.

2015 was finally the year of the smartwatch... sort of. Apple entered the market with the Watch and typically Samsung had a comeback, and in the Gear S2 it had a really good one. Huawei produced a nice looking Android Wear watch, but smartwatches never made the leap from 'toy' to tool.

Apple launched the MacBook early in the year and whilst it and Microsoft's Surface Book offered new directions and capabilities for the laptop they were only marginally better than other offerings in their classes.

We had a good selection of new phones this year, Samsung stood out again, backing up its technical prowess with new premium builds that made them every bit as good to hold as to use. Of the four new premium devices Samsung launched, the S6 and Note 5 impressed most as devices, but the Edge and Edge+ won kudos for their amazing designs.
 
The Gear VR provides an amazing consumer VR experience and is a must buy for Samsung phone owners, however I can't help but feel that as Genesis for home VR it will soon be surpassed by new devices that render it obsolete.

One device moved its class on significantly though. The Surface 3 truly became the first tablet that could replace your laptop and proved that Microsoft could deliver at both ends of the hybrid market.

The Surface 3 runs full Windows and with the Type Cover and Surface Pen delivers full desktop capabilities. It's not the most powerful machine you can buy, but it can do everything you throw at it. Its fanless design, Windows 10's Tablet Mode and easy portability give it all the virtues of a tablet.
 
Where an iPad or Galaxy Tab with a keyboard attached is just an iPad or a Galaxy Tab with a keyboard attached, the Surface 3 transforms into something much more when you plug in the Type Cover. Dock it at your desk and the difference is even more pronounced.
 
The limitations of the iPad Pro and the Pixel C ably demonstrated how difficult it is to get a hybrid right. The Surface 3 was a perfect example of hitting the design brief just right.
 
It beats other Surface devices by being cheaper, more portable, having a better battery life and no noisy fan. And it beats out Apple, Samsung and Google's efforts by being so much more capable. Not the best tablet, not the best laptop. Easily the best at both though.
 
In a year when I've travelled more than ever before, being able to pack so lightly and efficiently has made a world of difference. The Surface 3 has enabled that change and as a result it has been my Gadget of the Year.

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