Microsoft Surface 3 Review: One of the most attractive Windows tablets on the market

By Julio Franco
Jul 6, 2015
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  1. With Microsoft conceding that Windows RT had failed, the company updated the Surface line with a new product that consumers would find considerably more attractive. Rather than continue down the path of ARM-based tablets, Microsoft switched to low-power x86 SoCs, while also taking inspiration from their performance Surface Pro line. The end result is the Surface 3, and it’s mighty attractive.

    The Surface 3 packs a similar design to last year’s Surface Pro 3, albeit in a slightly smaller, fanless body. The outer shell is made from a magnesium alloy that gives the tablet a pleasing matte grey finish, while the 10.8-inch display features the same 3:2 aspect ratio as its larger brother. Internally we’re getting a new quad-core Intel Atom ‘Cherry Trail’ SoC and up to 4 GB of RAM, while keeping features like the full-sized USB port that makes the Surface line so versatile.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,107   +535

    The conclusion this review comes to is very split-headed. Of course it's not going to have laptop performance, it's a $500 tablet. It's in the same price bracket as the Ipad, so why is it fair to compare one tablet of similar price to a laptop and not the other?

    People aren't going in and expecting laptop performance from this tablet. What they do want is something that can do more than just play games and run basic apps usually available on tablets. Much better for students who need usb, something every apple device seems to be lacking in.
  3. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,785   +186

    Because the iPad is a tablet, whereas the Surface 3 is a laptop-tablet hybrid. It makes sense to compare the Surface 3 with the Asus Transformer line because they are similar products with similar price points.

    Someone buying an iPad doesn't want a hybrid device at all, hence why they buy an iPad (or Android tablet), and if they did they would be tossing up between a Surface, Transformer or a similar hybrid product
    Steve likes this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,115   +1,379

    Would be nice to see how Surface 3 Pro compares.
  5. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,589   +278

    Not only do we want the keyboards bundled, we want availability of spare parts. My wife broke the kickstand of her Surface Pro 2 but there is no way to get a replacement. Poor show.
  6. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Booster Posts: 157   +40

    What about the RAM and the performance with only 2GB? My Acer W500 really struggles with its 2GB (which are actually only 1.6 and its somehow legal to advertise as 2...)
  7. illegaloperatio

    illegaloperatio TS Rookie

    First of all, the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi has an MSRP of $699. You shouldn't be comparing it to the price when the T300 Chi goes on sale.

    Second, the Synaptics digitizers on the Transformer Book T300 Chi is nowhere as good as the much more expensive N-Trig digitizer on the Surface 3. In fact, the pen on the Transformer Book T300 Chi is borderline unusable.
  8. Xero07

    Xero07 TS Booster Posts: 100

    Does anyone know how well this performs playing video over widi or miracast?
  9. Scorpus

    Scorpus TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,785   +186

    To be honest I don't know why Microsoft shipped be a model that you can't buy. But personally I wouldn't want a model with 2 GB of RAM

    The T300 Chi is widely available for less than the $630 Surface 3 + Type Cover. And either way, the T300 Chi has 128 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM so I guess I really should be comparing it to the $730 Surface 3 + Type Cover bundle
  10. illegaloperatio

    illegaloperatio TS Rookie

    It does, but the Transformer Book T300 Chi has neither an N-Trig Digitizer nor a Wacom digitizer.

    Looking at the Lenovo ThinkPad 10 which has a Wacom digitizer, the price is about the same as those of the Surface 3.
  11. Knightley 1

    Knightley 1 TS Rookie

    Except the competition is better priced. I got an Acer 2 in 1 for 400.00 that was an i3 model with a keyboard. At one point best buy had the Dell venue 11 core M version on sale for 500.00 again with a keyboard. I can't imagine why anyone would buy this over them at its price point. I could even say buying a refurbished surface pro 2 is a better idea.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,107   +535

    Your stating sale prices vs retail. The Dell Venue 11 is currently $750.

    In addition to that, comparing a tablet to a laptop. Dell Venue is a laptop, and weighs much more. So does any Acer 2 in 1. The Surface is going to be more portable.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,107   +535

    Only the Surface 3 has a similar weight to the Ipad. Weight and dimension wise, the surface is pretty much a Ipad. Most people go out and buy a keyboard anyways for their device.

    Really, what qualifies this device as a hybrid to you? Is it the windows operating system?
  14. The dell venue is a tablet it weighs 1.5 vs 1.4 of the surface. My Acer 2 in 1 weighs 1.8 with 11.6 inch screen and that was not a sale price. Are you suggesting that the slight weight difference of the surface is making a difference here? There are other 2 in 1 also at a better price point than the surface 3. Again at its price point for the full experience it is not worth it. Also sales price is irrelevant if at the time someone is searching and comes across the dell. We are talking a 630.00 device, that my Acer outperforms in performance, and typing experience all for 230.00 less.
    If Microsoft chooses to keep pricing the non pro surface line it is going to go away. I recently just bought a refurbished i7 gaming laptop for under 500.00 from, I don't think they understand the current market.
  15. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 824   +53

    I would like to know how this tablet performs streaming Xbox One games using Windows 10.

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