The Ultimate Surface Pro 3 Reviews Roundup

The Ultimate Surface Pro 3 Reviews Roundup

Summary: In the month since its launch, these 12 reviewers from top tech sites reviewed the Surface Pro 3. One called it "the best everything device ever made." Another called it "the greatest laptop-tablet hybrid you don't need." Here's your executive summary of an amazingly wide range of opinions.


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  • How did the tech press react to the Surface Pro 3?

    Microsoft had a full house for its launch of the Surface Pro 3 in New York City last month. In the interim, they've gotten plenty of attention from a tech press that is understandably skeptical after the Surface line's sputtering start.

    For this post, I'm reprising a format I used two years ago after the original Surface launch event. I've picked out a dozen reviews of the Surface Pro 3 from reviewers at top tech sites. (I didn't include my own review here but encourage you to read it after flipping through this summary.)

    The range of opinions among those reviewers is impressive, from enthusiastic recommendation ("Consider it Liked, Favorited, +1'ed and Pinned") to flat-out rejection ("I’m sorry to say that I can’t recommend it").

    For each review, I've included a screenshot, usually with a highlighted snippet of text from the first page, plus a link that includes the review's full title. That's followed by an excerpt from the review, and finally by my summary.


  • AnandTech

    "Liveblogging with the Surface Pro 3," Joshua Ho, AnandTech

    For those that didn’t follow our WWDC 2014 live blog, around an hour before the event Anand handed me the Surface Pro 3 review unit to write the text portion of that article. While I’ve used a Surface Pro 2 before, this was my first encounter with the Surface Pro 3, and I decided to try and use it for the liveblog.

    In short, it was surprisingly usable, although there are a few caveats. These issues basically come down to a lack of polish, as I encountered some strange bugs throughout the day as I tried to write things down.

    One month after the launch event, AnandTech has yet to publish a full review. Until they do, this short and casual post gets top billing as the most recent review. It's a surprisingly even-handed and calm account, with a generally approving tone, based on a few hours' use in a somewhat chaotic environment. The benchmark charts and deep dissection you might normally associate with an AnandTech story are in a separate preview by Anand Lal Shimpi.

Topic: Microsoft Surface

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  • Ahhhh, a roundup AND a Gallery ...

    :- (
  • Imagine

    the absurdity of saying a laptop is stable on your lap and this isn't? Why? Too light?
    • Dunno. I don't have any problems with the Surface on my lap.

      M Wagner
  • The nice thing about the Windows ecosystem

    is that if the lack of a clamshell keyboard really does bother you that much, there are plenty of other Windows 8 tablets that offer one, they just aren't built by Microsoft.
    Michael Kelly
  • Surface 4

    I hope the new i3 or i7 will be better. Or we need to wait for surface 4 next year.
    Solve the heat problems.
    Better keyboard but cheaper / include.
    Remove the products which below 64Gb. Windows and office take much of the space already.
    But the main problem is the price is too high.
    Utomo Prawiro
    • Depends upon to what you want to compare it.

      Compared to a MacBook Air, or an ultrabook, the price is not too high. Compared to a 5 pound, $350 Windows notebook with a 3 hour battery life, then yes - but that $350 notebook comes with a lot of trade-offs in weight, battery life, and mobility. You get what you pay for.
      M Wagner
  • silliest review .......

    Thanks for this review comparison piece - I've never heard of Katherine Boehret before so I don't know what her standing in the tech press alumni is but hers has to be the silliest review of all time - such a literal comparison approach in stupid!!!

    I'll certainly avoid her stuff in future
  • First impressions...

    ...are really, really good. I'm using the i5 Surface Pro 3 (8 GB RAM) and I've got to tell you it is an amazing piece of hardware. I'm running applications like Office, Novamind, Minitab 16. Heat - no significant issues. Power - More than capable. The keyboard is more than capable. I switch between a Vaio Z3 and the Surface Pro 3 effortlessly. The trackpad isn't as good as the Vaio but the thing is, once you start getting used to the stylus and touchscreen the trackpad really is moot. The only reason I would use the trackpad is because I've forgotten to use the screen or stylus. In other words, the weaknesses on this system get gobbled up by its strengths and then some. If you're capable of changing habits you'll do just fine. After all, touchscreen really is more efficient than a mouse or trackpad - so the return for that change is more than worthwhile.

    My favourite feature - the stylus. Taking notes in OneNote is really well done. I can draw process maps and take meeting notes so effortlessly. MSFT finally created an integrated writing solution. Anyone who facilitates meetings and scribes notes for later reference will love this. The weight is amazing. The screensize ratio really is worth it.

    I've used an iPad for a while before setting it down for its lack of functionality, and obviously, the Surface Pro 3 shows it a thing or twenty. Next to a powerful laptop it more than holds its own.

    I'll see how this handles over time. I've deliberately made a switch in parallel with my other laptop. I can't afford to go without a working computer from a business perspective. But I'm starting to think I could take this as a replacement system on the road. As more applications (that I use) come online designed for Metro the more relevant this tablet/laptop will become.
  • I did like the George Castanza break-up line (but I wonder how many ...

    ... of your readers know of George Castanza).

    If I didn't already own a Surface Pro 2, I'd already have a Surface Pro 3 on order! Why? Simple 50% more pixels, 38% more screen real estate!

    Frankly, not many Mac OS X fans are going to trade-in their MacBook Air (as evidenced by these reviews) but that is mostly because people don't like change.

    There is something about that Mac OS X paradigm that I don't get (despite years with MVS/JCL and DOS/Windows and with SunOS/Solaris/NeXTstep/AIX/Irix/Linux, only Mac OS X leaves me frustrated so it is easy for me to understand that happy MacBook Air owners are not likely to be impressed by the Surface Pro 3.

    That said, if you are NOT a happy MacBook Air/Pro owner, especially if you have any experience at all with Windows, you ought to give the Surface Pro 3 a look.

    Oddly, most of those I know who own a MacBook Air are running Windows 8.1 on it!
    M Wagner