All about the Microsoft Surface 3
The Microsoft Surface 3 has a big job to do. It has to expunge the memory of Windows RT and the Surface 2 and it has to fill the gap between a cheap tablet and the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Fortunately, the Microsoft Surface 3 delivers on both counts.
The Microsoft Surface 3 runs an Atom x7-Z8700 1.6GHz Quad Core processor, 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD hard drive. This can be upgraded to 4GB of RAM and 128GB of hard drive for an extra cost. It also has USB 3.0 ports, MicroUSB, a Mini-Display port, MicroSD slot, cameras and Wi-Fi. LTE models are coming soon.
The main event is the screen. It’s a 10.8 inch ClearType HD touchscreen capable of full 1920 x 1280 resolution at 216ppi. The screen quality is excellent, colour reproduction is very good and detail belies its mere 216ppi. It’s a pleasure to use and will take a serious eye to discern between it and the Pro display during normal use.
The build quality seems excellent and the smaller size makes the Microsoft Surface 3 very portable. The kick stand makes using it as a laptop simple and if you use the Type Cover, weighs only 923g.
That Type Cover is our only gripe with the Microsoft Surface 3. Despite being the whole point of owning a Surface, Microsoft still charges you extra to have it. So while the cost of the Surface is good, having to spend an extra 20% on something you can’t really use it without is annoying.
Gone is Windows RT, may it rest in peace. This time round we get a full 64-bit version of Windows 8.1. This is the full version, able to use apps and everything your Windows desktop can run if the hardware is up to it. You also get a free years’ subscription to Office 365 included in the price.
Given that the tablet uses an Atom processor, it runs fairly briskly. This isn’t a powerhouse tablet but it isn’t designed to be. As a productivity tool it’s credible. You can perform multiple tasks at once, modify documents with ease, video conference, connect to networks in seconds and all those things we do every day.
As a budget Windows tablet the Microsoft Surface 3 is up there with the best. In fact, we would say it performs better for the price than most competitors. Battery life is good, power is decent for the price and the quality of the device itself is better than the rest. For those who don’t have the budget for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, this is the tablet to get.