There are already a lot of opinions out in the wild about the new Surface Pro 3, but I just picked one up and thought I'd throw together a quick list of awesome and not-so-awesome things about the device.
This list specifically was generated from using the i5/8gb version of the Surface Pro 3 with a fabulous purple type cover.
Perhaps you're on the fence about buying one and these little tidbits will sway you one way or another in whether you purchase one. More opinions about a device are better than none at all.
Behold! Ben.J.Bauer's list of awesome and no-so-awesome things about the Surface Pro 3.
- The Screen
Rocking in at 2160x1440 crammed into a 12in screen means easy font readability while browsing the web or reading books through the Kindle app. The colors, by no professional tests at all, are rich and properly fill the visible spectrum (read: my eyes are happy).
- The Pen
You wouldn't believe the fluidity of the pen that comes with the base package. It feels natural and real. The tip glides across the face of the Surface but offers enough resistance to feel like a real pen. Two buttons on the side proved quick access to right click and erase functionality and a top button offers quick launch of OneNote. The thing that impresses me most about the pen is its weight. It feels like a solid, well crafted pen, not some crappy stylist.
- The Versatility
It's all over the advertisements for the Surface Pro 3, but it needs to be said here: it really is a replacement for your tablet, laptop, and dare I say, desktop as well (pending you don't need a beefy graphics card). Find yourself with a docking station and you only need this one device. I find myself switching back and forth with ease between tablet-friendly apps like Tweetium, Reddit2Go, Kindle, and FL Studio Groove, to desktop friendly apps like Visual Studio 2013 and Adobe Photoshop.
It doesn't feel awkward or forced because I let the position of the type keyboard dictate what I'm going to focus on. When it's in front, the Surface is my desktop, when it's wrapped around the back, the Surface is my tablet.
- The OneNote
It's such a simple application, but it's also a key part of the experience with this device. I've read other reviews that said OneNote makes the Surface Pro 3, and I don't blame them. Tap the purple button on the pen and the device wakes up with OneNote ready to go. Scribble notes, draw, collaborate, but the device back to sleep. It almost makes note taking "sexy".
- The Windows 8
You may be thinking that I'm going to launch into the usual diatribe of how the big start screen is annoying, how powering off the device or rebooting makes no sense, how the "charms bar" is the dumbest design ever, how the touch interaction is awesome but the mouse interaction is horrible. But I'm not. That's not what I hate about Windows 8.
What I hate about Windows 8 is that, out of the box, it works-ish. That's right, it works to the point that it functions but not quite but almost. Did the device boot up? Yes! Did it allow me to login and sync with my account settings? Yes! Did everything work flawlessly? ... No.
The drivers that came on the device weren't the latest and then Windows Update hosed the install so I had to manually download and install the drivers from their .infs. The network driver wouldn't recover properly from a sleep state, the pen didn't quite work when it lost its Bluetooth connection, and installing Hyper-V for my local Windows Phone images completely hosed the sleep state which I then uninstalled because having to cold boot a "tablet" is ridiculous.
Every time I re-install Windows 8 on any device I'm reminded that I have to be a power user to get it back to the state of "working" as opposed to "work-ish".
- The Weight
You shouldn't really expect a tablet/laptop replacement to be the weight of a tablet only, but I'm demanding and I expected it to be a little lighter. It's a very solid build of a machine but it's no spring chicken when it comes to its heft. Compare it to the Apple MacBook Air all you want, but Air doesn't tout itself as a tablet.
- The Heat
When you throw an i5 (or any Intel "i" processor) into a small form factor you have to be ready to deal with the heat that it generates. The Surface Pro 3 is no exception. The fan does its best to keep the device cool when you're running graphic intensive applications, but the device can get to the "uh oh, is this ok?" state. It's not going to burn you, but it will make you question how long you should be running that application continuously for.
There you have it. My Awesomes and Not-So-Awesomes of the Surface Pro 3. If I had to make a blanket recommendation I would say that if you're in the market for a new tablet or a new laptop then you should really consider this device. It's a work and play machine that I now take with me everywhere.
Have any other Awesomes or No-So-Awesomes that you think should be in this list? Leave a comment below and let me know.