The best tablet you could own! – Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Review

As a tech reviewer I get some great products dropped on my desk. However usually (at least in the past couple of years) these products are not game changers, They are usually a new version of the same thing E.G. a new android smartphone is just a higher spec version of an android smartphone.

But in the past couple of weeks i have had the pleasure of using a device that actually changed the way i used my computer…and where i used it. This device is the new Surface Pro 3 tablet from Microsoft, And it is the best tablet you could possibly own!

Im not going to bore you with the specs, but ill drop them on the bottom of the review. What i am going to do is tell you how it changed the way I worked!

microsoft-surface-pro-3-maximum-recline_slideshow_mainTablets can’t do everything!

About 2 years ago when we first started Hashtag Radio we did a show on the “New iPad”, During that show we commented about how both iPads and Android tablets were great couch web browsing devices and portable gaming machines but they were so far away from being laptop replacements that it seemed we were doomed to a life of multiple devices.

What Microsoft have managed to do is build a device powerful enough to to run the full windows 8.1 experience, not RT, not Mobile windows…..the full blown version of windows. This is great, but what is windows like on a touch device?

10649705_10204704299236354_5989199724893244823_n“Windows 8 sucks”….Really?

Change is good, but getting people to accept change is hard! Ask anyone at Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft.

When Microsoft finally accepted that the future was in mobile, they took their OS and instead of reworking it (See: Windows Mobile) they binned it and then took to building a new OS targeted at touch screen PC’s. Sure there was a few odd choices early on like RT but the product they ended up with is great. But Haters gonna hate, and wow did they hate! But after actually using Windows 8 for a while, and then the 8.1 update and I think we can all agree that windows 8 is good.

But when put on a tablet it is great! Touch makes Windows 8.1 make sense!

Work it!

Now back to that “Tablets won’t replace laptops” thing.

I made a decision as soon as the Surface showed up that i would not use my Mac or work PC for two weeks and see if i could live on the Surface Pro 3 exclusively! That means i’m going to have to manage social media accounts, design websites , draw images, record podcasts and edit them and more all on a tablet, Something i would have NEVER done on another device!

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 10.19.23 pmWeb design: For my day job i build, maintain and design websites. To do this i use a combination of Adobe’s Dreamweaver, Photoshop and of course a web browser. Now I am not going to sell you on IE. I had to fix IE the way most web developers do…. by installing Chrome, which has some very cool features just for the Surface! Photoshop and Dreamweaver left a bit to be desired at first as the resolution of the screen makes the icons and tool bar so small its almost unusable. But there is a fix for Photoshop hidden in the options that allows you to change the way it is displayed . which makes the Surface the perfect Photoshop machine! The pen (Stylus) is a great tool too, It works the same as any Wacom tablet with the pressure sensitive nib sensing how hard you want the brush to work e.t.c .

Podcasting: I recorded one podcast and produced three podcasts on the Surface with no lag, and super fast mixing! the only issue i did find was that Adobe Audition had the same display issues as Photoshop but without the same fix. I do hope that with time Adobe adds more support for the surface across their Creative Cloud suite.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 10.18.54 pmSocial Media: I am a social media addict , so i need good apps for my tweeting and facebook use. Both Twitter and Facebook have great official apps that are both responsive so when the tablet is turned it resizes smartly and even better when you utilize the ability to split the screen you can have twitter resize t fit on one quarter of the screen cleanly and facebook will sit awesomely in the remaining three quarters. Also the same app i use on my Nokia windows phone for Facebook page management is available on the Surface: FB Pages Manager 

So to sum it all up, The Surface had the power to do everything I needed! What things that were a let down was not the Surface’s fault but the fault of the software not being optimised yet. However it seems Adobe are working on sorting that out.

Your laptops argument is not valid!

I use a Mac, I love it!

However i didn’t touch my Mac the entire time i had the Surface! I honestly believe that Microsoft has created the first tablet to truly replace the laptop. Its more portable, more flexible and if you really  need a physical keyboard then there is also the Typecover available, which i also had with the Surface. It was great for writing reviews and code on but i only really needed it when i had a lot of typing to do .

I loved the Surface, It pains me to return it to Microsoft. Try one and so will you!

 

Specs:

Core i5 128GB specs
  • Tablet
  • Slate
  • 12 inches
  • 2160 x 1440
  • Windows (8)
  • Core i5
  • 4
  • 128 GB (total)
    SSD
  • 1.76 lb
  • May 21, 2014
General
  • Tablet
  • Slate
  • Windows (8)
Display
  • 12 inches
  • 2160 x 1440
  • 3:2
  • LCD (Active, Color, Backlit, LED)
  • Capacitive [finger], EM digitizer [stylus]
Processor
  • Intel
  • Core i5
Networking
  • 802.11 a, ac, b, g, n (2.4, 5 GHz)
  • WEP, WPA, WPA2
Video
  • Integrated
  • Intel
System
  • Intel
Environmental
  • Fan-cooled
Other features
  • Yes
Memory and storage (basic)
  • 4
  • 128 GB (total)
    SSD
Connections
  • 3.0
  • Yes (unspecified version)
Audio
  • 3.5mm (Dual-input)
  • Stereo
  • Yes
  • Stereo
Size & weight
  • 0.36 inches (d)
  • 1.76 pounds

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Phid McAwesome

Phid has been working on and off in media since the age of 17, Now more known for talking about tech and video games, working in the Tech and Gaming space and making meals for his Kids and Wife Charis McAwesome.

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