Jump to content

Surface 3: Anyone Else Check Them Out?


Recommended Posts

I went to Best Buy today as they now have the new Surface 3 Windows 8.1 tablets in stock and on display to check out.


I have a buyer for Lynn's (my SH) Lenovo Lynx 11.6" old slow dual core Atom Z2760 Windows 8, now 8.1 tabletthat she is still using. It is only 720p HD like my ASUS T200TA.


I am factory restoring the Venue 11 Pro for her as it has the quad core Z3770, 64GB SSD and 2GB of RAM, full size USB 3 port, and full 1920X1080 HD. The 10.8" size and weight are totally acceptable. Then after selling hers and to make sure there are no initial wireless adapter or other issues like they had with the Surface Pro 3 in the first three months. If they are still working fine after a month I'm getting one with 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM. $599.99 with no keyboard or stylus. I played with it today and it is sweet.


I'm not getting the keyboard cover a I never would use it. My T200 I'm on now has the Z3795 SoC that's just a tad slower graphics than the new x7-Z8770 SoC in the Surface 3. Otherwise they compare and this one has 4GB of RAM too. But this one is not full HD. I have the dock for it and a 128 SSD in the dock's 2nd SSD slot. I have never taken the dock out of the sleeve. It makes it big and heavy like a laptop. I never used a laptop in my lap, I always used a table or desk or my desktop instead. Back when we had a laptop we also used the desktops and the laptops were only pulled out for updates monthly and a charge, or once or twice a year for trips.


In our case, laptops can't replace our tablets. I could use a stand and my powered 7 port USB hub and truly replace my desktop with it. With a kb and touchpad on my Logitech K-400 I can do everything I do on my desktop. Really. I can use any full size wireless kb and mouse or even wired, as well as powering it, having a drive dock attached for external drive storage, and connect my Hauppage Digital OTA TV receiver.


So if anyone has already bought the new Surface 3, not the Surface 3 Pro, I'd be interested in reading your impressions. It's lighter than this T200 too.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haven't seen the Surface 3 yet. Costco has the Pro for 1145. An "I Want" but as always, a bit more than I want to spend.


Costco also has an Acer 2-in-1 for 800. 2.4ghz I7, 8gb, 128G SSD, 2 usb3 ports, 13 inch Gorilla Glass touch display but only HD, twice as heavy. Doesn't have Office or the pen, but looks like could be a better value than the Pro. Same ad has the Surface 3 for 700. Only 4GB memory.


Lots of worthy choices. Can only have just one :(.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same ad has the Surface 3 for 700. Only 4GB memory.



Surface 3 or Surface 3 Pro?


On Microsoft's website, the Surface 3 with the 4GB memory is $599. I'm surprised that Costco would be selling it for $100 more than you can get it directly from Microsoft.


However, the Surface 3 Pro starts at $799 on Microsoft's website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Costco includes the keyboard/cover.


I suspect the Acer I7 is a substantially better processor than the Surface Pro (ready to be corrected). The Pro has a much better screen resolution (appreciated by my old eyes). The Surface 3 a smaller screen. All 3 can create and display content. Beyond that it's an apple, orange, and banana and how deep the pocket comparison. Have to put a value, to you, on each fruit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no discounting the new Surface 3, not the Pro, but the 10.8" Atom x7-Z8770 SoC is:


$499.99 with 64GB SSD and 2 GB RAM. Keyboard cover and stylus extra.

$599.99 with 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. Keyboard and stylus extra.


I'd not buy or use the keyboard, but the stylus, like my Venue11 pro stylus, I'd probably buy eventually.


I love the snappy speed and feel/weight/balance of the Surface 3. 128GB is really more than I need in a tablet, but to get the 4GB of RAM I have to get the 128GB SSD model. $599.99.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


If you could tell us the processor number or exact model number of it I could comment and show a comparison.


For example, I am on my ASUS T200 tablet hybrid now. The ASUS has the Atom Z3795 SoC. The Surface 3 has the Atom x7-8770 SoC. So I went here to see what advantages I'd get, other than full HD 1920X1080 resolution, which is the screen but must be supported by the System on a Chip (SoC).

so click on this link, and see my processor graphics chip compared to the Surface 3chipset:




But they need the chip number to compare.


For example, click this link to see how many different i7 chipsets there are, some totally different than others.



So which do you want to compare? If you scrolled down the i7 page you realize saying an i7 .... begs the question which i7?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Derek, you are treating your wife well.... :)


In my case I'm about to pull the trigger on a Chromebook for Danielle. That is all she really needs, and we always have connectivity. She just does email and web browsing. THIS is the one I'm thinking of. One of my motivations is to minimize malware and virus possibilities. I could do that with an Android device, but she likes the 13" display too much to give up. My only issue is that I HAVE to be able to store some music on her machine for her line dance classes. I think the Chrome will do it....it does not need a lot of space....

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You are as into Android as I am Windows. I used Android only with my first two tablets and a phone. If MS never came out with Windows 8 with touch I'd be into Android too.


I just checked specs! Very well done. If I wanted a Chromebook this one has few downsides. You mentioned storing her music. Read this from the review from PC magazine:




You get an adequate collection of ports. On the right are an HDMI-out port, a single USB 3.0 port, a headset jack, and a Kensington lock slot. On the left are a USB 2.0 port and an SD card slot that includes support for several SD formats (SDHC, SDXC, etc.). Unlike many of the 11- and 12-inch Chromebooks, this system has a deeper card slot, letting you insert a card and leave it, for more local storage."


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0%2c2817%2c2470486%2c00.asp It has an SD port that supports SDXC, which allows up to 128GB micro SD card storage.


The review also points out it has a full 1920X1080 HD IPS panel. 13" of HD is awesome for an inexpensive device. It also has USB3 as well as HDMI out and supports the fastest WiFi standard, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which I just bought for my new house wireless router. The Linksys AC 1700.



If there were no Windows tablets, Phones and cool new touch and all in ones, making in a few months a pretty well integrated ecosphere, I would join you in that purchase. 90% of the time nowadays it would serve me well too.


A really significant spec is its 4GB of RAM as opposed to the 2GB seen in the lower end Chromebooks and Windows Atom mobile devices. In the no fan cooler running mobile chipsets, RAM can make the difference between a long wait for an SDXC 64GB card to be read and ready.


Last but not least, Toshiba is my favorite laptop manufacturer hardware-wise for laptops. I have no use for laptops anymore and own none. But my last two 14" laptops I used to preview Win 8 and experiment with my first SSDs. I also removed the optical drive, and replaced it with a second drive bay where I put the wiped 640 GB Hard drive. I later took it out so I could stop worrying about bumps. Today I'd have, like my T200 second drive, an SSD. This Chromebook has a 16GB SSD so short of intentional abuse, it should be secure physically from the bumps in the road.


You raise an excellent point in being prone to little in the way of attacks even though Chrome browser has to stay patched too. There is a lot to be said in having a least attacked OS. Big time security by obscurity aside from fast patching of chrome browser vulnerabilities too. Google pays big rewards for bug discoveries year round now no longer just once a year at the now dropped annual pwnium event.



Thanks for the info Jack. I would recommend it to folks who just want simplicity and security. Folks who don't like Windows anymore, don't have to learn a more complicated and powerful OS, at much greater expense, nor have to spend big bucks like Switching to Apple. Or learn a new way of doing things that while using good GUIs imitating Windows desktops and OSX, it is still a text menu driven OS, when you need to get under the hood.


Chromebooks have everything built in with no compatibility errors or hardware glitches because the machine is designed around the software and vice versa.


I was never happy with Android because it was never quite both a gaming and productivity platform when I got into Windows tablets. Prior I was very happy with my Galaxy Tabs and Android phones.


Please review it if you do get it. We might try one next. One of the biggest PIA aside from hard to work with files, or most productivity only to try more than a few apps and find it wasted time, was the inability to print directly to my printers via my wireless network router requiring I only load the Brother Ethernet network printer. I can print from any of my tablets or scan from them if I am near the printer using the same software as my PCs. I buy top spec routers and don't want to mess with the cheaper printer built in wireless chipsets. So let us know if it can print easily to a Brother or other printer via the home network wireless.


Again thanks for the sidetrack.


As far as treating my wife well, yes but she gets my hand me downs because I am her IT. No learning curve. And I just extended the Dell Venue 11 Pro warranty for another year. Don't forget the Venue 11 has a user removable back cover and changeable battery among other things. So it is not a disposable device like all the ones that will cost more to have the non user replaceable batteries replaced, than just replacing the battery ourselves, like with our old laptops.


Jack, go pick up and play with the new Surface regardless. They did a terrific job! Very fast and they only had the 64GB SSD and 2GB of RAM system to play with. I'll be getting the 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM version for $599.99. No keyboard cover ever. I will just plug in my Logitech K-400 keyboard for travel, or one of my three spare full size PC wireless kb and mouse sets that have USB receivers if I want to use it at home for longer work..


My only question mark is which USB3 powered hub as I've had issues with some of them and read reviews indicating they are all not ready for prime time. I still use my 7 port powered USB2 Hub and it is fine. If I need faster I've the i7 Dell XPS One 2720.


The only devices I accept for consumption only are my Kindles. All the rest can, and do, consumption, gaming, and productivity. There's nothing wrong with the others. But I can troubleshoot all my systems the same way. And load all my printer and MS Office programs on all of them.


If one hates Windows which I know you don't, they'd di better if they aren't power users getting a Chromebook like this than spending big bucks for all new hardware and software, or juggling multiple OS'. As you know I saw this coming when I jumped in with both feet in December 2012. I could wait. I had fun in the interim.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


See what you mean about I-7's. My view is it's more marketing than substance except for 2 or 4 core.


The Acer 2 in 1 has a 4th gen 5500U 2 core at 2.4 Ghz. There are 2 5500 models listed. I assume the mobile one is used.


Costco's Surface 3 only says Intel Atom 1.66 Ghz. Since Costco doesn't offer any price breaks on the Surface 3 I doubt it varies from those offered elswhere. I know Costco puts the squeeze on vendors and sometimes that results in a marketing item that appears equal but has subtle, and cheaper, components.


Sort of academic now as a Nigerian Prince is enjoying the funds that may have purchased one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Derek, I may get MYSELF a Surface, but not for Danielle. I'm slowly becoming convinced that the Chromebook will suit her perfectly. Given what she does with it. Which is not all that much from a productivity perspective -mostly consumption. I'm all about ease of maintenance - and that Chrome machine is not likely to have many issues.


Plus, we have not been without Internet since (forever)....I can't remember when. And if we WERE, I still have plenty of standalone machines for her to play with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife looked at both the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 and decided that for her, another 15" laptop is still what she wants to replace the one she is using now. I just help her find computers for her to look at. She is a retired C++ developer and makes her own decisions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I took your comment as an off topic question. Get the i7. Here is your comparison for that i7 with the Surface 3 SoC that you aren't getting anyway. But if the Nigerian Prince is reading, this is valuable info for him! I would try both hands on Prince, as the caches and turbo freqs combined with the quad core might make it snappier despite two cores running a bit faster. These kinds of comparisons can only be accurate by trying the same most demanding use on both. Comparing that mobile i7 and the Surface 3 Atom SoC:




I forgot about needing to be connected to use the Chromebook. You really need to stop into a BB and pick one up (Surface 3) and play with it in the store. For Danielle's use, a T200 would give both, but the 11.6" screen might be a bit too small for her. They are on Amazon now for $369.99 with the 32GB SSD and 2 GB of RAM but can be used offline. The ace in the hole? It will have about the same storage left as the Chromebook but the T200 has a spare drive bay in the keyboard that you can slap an old 120 or 320GB 2.5" slim spare hard drive you have lying around in it. Think quad core Atom speed with 2 GB like your slower T100 has, then add in the z3795 and a large hard drive? hmmm? http://www.amazon.com/Transformer-12-Inch-T200TA-B1-BL-Detachable-Touchscreen/dp/B00T03KQ3Y Decisions decisions. ;)


Bill give Diane a hug from us! Bill you are no slouch yerself. One size fits all of that one size only. Me I am into my Main desktop and my tablet in my recliner. You know I will find the perfect tablet along the way. My view is spend several times as long as the item is newest and can be sold for less a few months later and not be undesirable. Some people eat out every night or several times a week. I have friends that drop more gambling in a week than I spend in a year on computer stuff but can afford it and that is their hobby. Some golf and boat and hunt. I play with computers and am now obsessed with Atom tablets. But if you read the comparison of my T200 SoC and the new one on the Surface 3 there is little difference. But in the hand the size and weight feels better and the speed just seems faster. I have been accused of changing my computers as often as others change their underwear! Ugh! I am daily and twice on hot days myself. But once every few months for computers. I just decided to get rid of my backup Lenovo i5 quad core 8 GB RAM small form factor desktop. My tablet fills that function. But if I sell it and Lynn's Lynx which is going too, I will have enough to buy the Surface 3 with a C note added. The old Lynx will bring a fast 200 Bucks next Tuesday when the guy comes over to see it. And the Lenovo will bring $300.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Derek, the MAIN reason for the Chromebook is that it minimizes virus and malware "events". And weird behaviour, which her 8.1 Windows machine has from time to time. In particular, her machine does not handle wifi connections well. REALLY POOR implementation, Microsoft/Acer. Everything is updated - so it is something in the sw/drivers/hw. It literally drops her connections and will not reconnect without a boot. And will not connect to an alternative wifi until the reboot. In fact, it often will not even SHOW available wifi. Other people see this as well. VERY annoying. It does vary some on installation of various patches. In general my belief is that 8.1 has hosed the comm stuff pretty bad. BAD ON YOU, MS.


With a Chomebook she is very unlikely to ever have those types of issues.


For her a 13" display is REQUIRED. No bigger. No smaller. So she says.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want an OS no one will be going after perhaps an RT machine . . . just kidding! ;)


I just got a bad Broadcom driver from Windows update, and I know not to download hardware drivers through Windows Update and to always go to the vendor. That was a couple of weeks ago and on my T200 only. Every time I booted no connection was present when I opened Outlook first. Then when I opened IE it started troubleshooter, went and found the problem, RESOLVED BY RESETTING THE ADAPTER, and then I had WiFi. I went into control panel, opened Device Manager, right clicked on the WiFi adapter, clicked on properties, then the driver tab, then clicked on "Roll back driver." It went back to my working driver no issues since. I do usually allow all optional updates but not drivers. I started allowing them too and had no issues a couple of times,until this month.


Anyway I like the Chromebook idea. Since I am about to go through a new hardware cycle again, getting the Surface 3 tablet, factory restoring my backup desktop for sale with a new drive, and factory restoring the Window 8 tablet, and going through all the updates to the 8.1 upgrade, then all the updates since, to sell it, then factory restoring the Venue 11 pro and installing Office 2010, and all her data files from her old tablet for Lynn. Fortunately I bought a ten dollar USB 2 Trendnet USB to Ethernet adapter which will significantly speed up the downloads for the tablets. I may keep the ASUS T200 as my backup now. But after using the Surface 3 for a month or so I'll likely sell it too.


I've been waiting for the weather to cooperate but we've had two months of flooding rains and can't put in the new house until it dries out. Right now I have a foot deep creek of drainage flowing across my flooded yard and three feet deep behind the house where it goes to the natural drain gully. I can't move the new to us RV and am running out of tweaks and mods we want to do. We re-roofed it with TPO two weeks ago using enterprise roofing and seam heat sealing. Much better than the thinner EPDM to install, and thicker. Anyway, I expected to wait on the computers until after we moved into the fiver then into the new house. Now it might be all I can do for the next few weeks.


Tablets aren't for everyone as you and I both know Jack. And for the folks frustrated with Windows 8/8.1/10 a Chromebook may be better and easier to learn/use than going through OSX or Linux learning curves. Linux has the advantage of using the same hardware as Windows. But like in your case, since you are buying new hardware anyway, this is a good time to fork to Chrome OS. Fork it! :D


Keep me posted on how it works out if you go that route.


Meanwhile go play with a Surface 3 in the store and come back and tell me you aren't tickled with it. I think it will be a home run for many looking for a tablet and productivity system for normal surfing, mail, and Office productivity functions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University


Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo

  • Create New...