In talking with Microsoft about the Surface 3 review unit they were sending in, they stressed how this is like the Pro 3 but smaller, fanless, and more accessible for consumers with a lower price point. But hearing all of that, and then sliding the 3 out of the box, this prior conversation was awash in my brain.

Inside was a Surface 3 with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM ($599, full specs), a blue keyboard cover ($129), a dock ($199), and a pen ($49).

I thought, "Hey, this feels like a Surface Pro 3, but smaller" and my brain was right, because that was the point Microsoft set out to establish with the 3. Turning on the tablet fired up the setup process for Windows 8.1, and I forgot how long this process takes as I have gotten used to Windows 10's faster first-run experience. Once I got the machine setup, it' was time to take write down my initial feelings; these are the 'gut' impressions that many will experience when they first touch the device at one of the retail outlets that will sell the Surface 3.

Read the complete review.