As a traveler and adventure photographer/blogger I am on the move a hell of a lot of the time. When I was looking for a good work horse to take with me, there were 3 fundamental factors which I knew it would need to have.
- I was looking for a laptop or a tablet that would be capable of supporting programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom among others.
- Because of the nature of my work, I needed something that wasn’t too big, but also one that was big enough for me to work on and with.
- It needed to be both thin and very lightweight.
After much searching and comparing, the one that came out on top and was the winner was [drum roll please…..]
… The Surface Pro 3.
I’ve owned the Surface Pro 3 for a quite a while now. I have taken it on many trips and adventures and have put it through some testing and grueling conditions, and I feel I’m ready to give it a proper review. So without any further ado, let’s dig into the review!
This is: The Surface Pro 3
With its bright silver colored, smooth magnesium shell, the Surface Pro 3 feels and looks incredible. The Surface Pro 3 is equipped with a 5mp camera in the front and rear, and has a headphone jack and volume button on the left hand side. Looking at the right side we have a full-size USB 3.0 port, a micro SD card reader (located under the kickstand), a mini display port and of course a charging port to keep your Surface Pro 3 going. The battery lasts a decent 9 hours for standard web use, though heavy use of power hungry programs reduces battery life to 2-3 hours.
It is incredible how thin and lightweight the Surface Pro 3 is, especially for the performance it delivers. It is 292 x 201 mm, 9.1 mm thick and weighs just 798 grams (with the type cover on and the stylus pen the weight goes up to a 1110 grams, which is still very light). This all adds up to make this beauty an absolutely joy to take with you wherever and whenever you go.
The 12 inch (2,160 x 1,440) touchscreen is protected by a glossy panel of Gorilla Glass 3 and it makes for a very comfortable reading, viewing and working experience. The multi positional kickstand, lets you quickly and easily adjust the angle of the surface through 150 degrees, allowing you to place the Surface in a wide variety of different angles.
The type cover is optional – but highly recommended if you want to get the most out of the Surface Pro 3. Attaching the keyboard is done through the strong magnets on the bottom of the Surface. The keys of the keyboard feel very strong and give a pleasant typing experience. The touchpad also functions very well. The type cover has a dual use. Not only is it a keyboard, but it also serves to protect the Surface Pro 3 from any scratches.
The Surface Pro 3 comes with an aluminum stylus pen, which recognizes 256 pressure levels. The pen sits comfortably in the hand and when you use it on the screen it gives a realistic paper-like feel. Two mode buttons at the front allow you to erase or select, while the top button, opens up OneNote (with 1 click) and takes a screenshot (with a double tap). A cool feature is that you can then select the area of interest from the screenshot in OneNote, and draw or type notification or marks on it.
There is a Microsoft app called the Surface Hub Control Panel which allows you to tweak the sensitivity of the pen and make some other minor adjustments. However, the lack of any really advanced pen–tweaking features feels like a missed opportunity. Another minus point of the pen is that there isn’t exactly any “real” place to put it away. You can attach it to the device via the magnet but this doesn’t really hold when you carry the Surface around. On the optional keyboard there is a loop to slide the pen through, but, this feels a bit cheap.
There are six configurations of the Surface that differ in processor, RAM and storage. By clicking the tabs here, you can compare the different models to find out which processor would be the best fit for your required use.
The Surface Pro 3 is a beautiful, strong and well-designed piece of technology. With its lightweight and slim body, it’s extremely comfortable and easy to carry with you anywhere. Furthermore, its functionality, capability and performance means that this tablet feels like a true replacement for a laptop. The only two small criticisms I would have about the Surface Pro 3 is the inability to truly tweak the stylus pen, and also that the keyboard doesn’t come as standard. Besides those small issues you will find a powerful friend that is ready and willing for anything.