Tools & Technologies

Surface Pro 3 – Some Further Thoughts and Links

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 3 tablet / laptop hybrid is almost ready to touch down in New Zealand (on August 28, as well as in 24 additional countries). I am looking forward to seeing it in action. In preparing for its release, I have been paying attention to news and updates. Here’s a couple of things:

1. The hardware specs are pretty impressive. Personally, I have had the Lenovo X1 Carbon (“new”) on my list as my next PC for a while (for when I replace my Lenovo X230), but two of the Surface Pro 3 devices (models 4 and 5) have a better Core i7 processor inside (the 4650U rather than the 4600U on the X1), same memory (8GB), and either the same or a larger solid state drive (256 GB or 512 GB). And with the keyboard, the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than the X1 – 1.1kg versus 1.28kg. That impresses me. And just yesterday or the day before, one of my friends mentioned they were selling their Lenovo X1 Carbon because their new Surface Pro 3 was “that good.” And they’d previously purchased but quickly returned both the Pro 1 and Pro 2, so that resonated with me.

2. The Surface Pro 3 comes in five variants, and while the Microsoft Store shows the processor and hard drive information for each, the other differences are opaque. Paul has a great post from May on the hardware in each version.

3. Todd on Mashable wrote about why the Surface might bite the dust. He gives four reasons, but the one that stuck out to me was #3 – the tablet segment has plateaued. In my own use of an iPad, I decided a year ago that it was great for reading books, checking email, and surfing the web, but that for other things (“real work”) I needed a full laptop. I gave up my iPad 3 and keyboard and went for an iPad Mini, in order to optimize the weight and size of the device for this scenario. Bruce Elgort asked on Facebook recently about what people were using their tablets for, and many of the responses were in a similar vein. So while Todd’s comment is accurate – that the tablet segment in some places has plateaued – I think the beauty of the Surface is that it does full justice to the tablet ideal and full justice to the laptop idea. I don’t own one yet of course, but this is my tentative conclusion in advance of doing so.

4. In some of the research data I’m writing up at the moment, based on a couple of surveys across North America, the Surface Pro features heavily as the device that is expected to increase in usage in organizations. I think the dual functionality, plus the lighter weight aspect, plus the ability to run standard applications is a big part of this.

5. Microsoft released some firmware updates for the Surface range, including the older RT devices.

Your thoughts?

Categories: Tools & Technologies

2 replies »

  1. Hi Michael, I too am looking at the Pro 3, initially for my wife who just needs an i5. My only caution would be for you to wait till trail-blazers have used the high end i7 so you can better understand the heat loading and battery performance of the high end device. Stu