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Surface 3 Review


LindaH

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My new computer arrived yesterday afternoon (Surface 3 with 128GB and 4GB ram). I bought it from Costco and it came with a keyboard and a pen. I don't know how much use I'll get from the pen, but the keyboard is a "must have" for me since I don't like typing on a virtual keyboard. At the same time, I ordered (from Amazon) a Bluetooth mouse (because I don't like using a touchpad and would turn it off if it was possible). I already had a wireless mouse, but it uses a small device inserted into a USB slot to work. The Surface has just one USB slot which I usually keep my flash drive in; thus the need for a Bluetooth mouse. It, too, was delivered yesterday (Prime free two-day delivery).

 

The setup was painless! I'm used to doing a lot of work to get all my files/programs on the new machine and going to all the websites that are in my Favorites so that I can put them on the new machine's Favorites. Well, with both machines on and connected to the Internet, the Surface found and transferred all the apps I'd added to my previous machine! That was a pleasant surprise!

 

Also a pleasant surprise was learning that all my Favorites on Internet Explorer had been transferred over to the Surface, too! Yea! That saves me a considerable amount of time! And...all my emails that I'd saved in special files in the email client got transferred, too.

 

The only thing, so far, that I've done in additional to the setup, is install my wireless printer's software and Quicken. I have a portable optical drive which worked on the Surface, so I was able to use the CDs for the printer and Quicken (although the CD for the printer gave me the option of going online to download the programming which I did to make sure I had all the latest updates). The computer had found the printer already and I could use it as a printer, but it's also a scanner and without the software, I wouldn't have been able to use that feature.

 

I like the keyboard...it's a "real" keyboard, not the type the Surface machines first came out with and has a good "feel" to it. The only thing I'm not really pleased with is the power cord (although I'll get used to it and, in the scheme of things, it's a small point). Instead of the piece that's inserted into the computer being at the end of the cord, it's in the middle. While this is a picture of the Surface 3 Pro power cord, and the Surface 3 power cord looks a bit different, the part that plugs into the computer is in the same location:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Surface-Pro-Power-Supply/dp/B00KRQ9YKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432411014&sr=8-1&keywords=surface+3+power+cord

 

Costco's delivery was excellent! I ordered the computer on the 20th (Wednesday) and, while they said it could take 5-7 business days, it was delivered yesterday, for a two-day delivery time!

 

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Thanks Linda! I had a feeling you'd like it. If I might suggest, get a powered USB 3 hub like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0J2-007W-00002 but not that one unless you want to take a chance. It has no reviews. MS sells a dock for over a hundred bucks that doesn't do anything this one won't except direct Ethernet connections. I use a USB to Ethernet adapter for that with my tablets. I do recommend the Trendnet, as I own one : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833156468&cm_re=usb_to_ethernet_trendnet-_-33-156-468-_-Product I own the older larger USB 2.0 10/100 one and it's great. However I will be getting the USB 3 version next time I see it on sale.

 

Then you plug the hub power into the wall, and the hub main to the computer's USB 3.0 port. Now anything plugged into the hub's 4-7 ports will also be connected to the tablet. I've used a wired kb and wired mouse, charged a Flip camcorder, and ran the tablet power plug to it too in addition to hard drives and optical drives. That's obviously going to stay at a desk near an AC outlet. But for just a mouse USB receiver and USB thumbdrive any unpowered four port hub should do for mobile use.

 

That tablet screams compared to our old first Gen Atom dual core tablet computers huh? Keep us posted for tips tricks and traps as you go. It is the same size as my Venue 11 (10.8") which is the smallest I'll go. But the Surface feels a lot lighter.

 

I'm so happy for you! Enjoy!

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Derek, I thought about getting a USB hub and will do so if I find that I want/need to have more than one thing plugged into a USB slot at a time. Right now, I can always take the flash drive out in order to use the slot temporarily for something, like I did when I was using the optical reader to load software. In fact, I have one around here someplace, but it's one I got years ago and would not be the faster 3.0, so if I find I need one, I'll buy a new one.

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WDR, if you're thinking about a Surface, you might consider getting one from Costco before their deal is up. You get the Surface, the keyboard, and the pen for about $80 less than buying all three from Microsoft. Even if you won't use the pen, it's still a savings of $30 over buying the Surface and keyboard from Microsoft (or most other places I've checked).

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One thing I've discovered about the Surface 3 is it has good speakers. My other computer (Envy X2) had such poor speakers, I couldn't really hear what was being said even with the sound cranked up...so much so, I very seldom even bothered watching You Tube videos where someone was speaking.

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Linda...just FYI...I bought a bluetooth keyboard that will pair to anything obviously that has bluetooth. It presently is paired to my Ipad and my Iphone. I like the fact that I can type away with the keyboard on my lap and the Ipad or Iphone is off to the side somewhere.

 

Nice review about the Surface....would lke to own one someday.

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Want good sound? We have a Bose Mini that bluetooth connects to "anything". It has EXCELLENT sound, and runs about 8 hours outside of the dock. AND it is small. It really does sound GOOD. Danielle uses it with her line dance lessons (she teaches) with my Samsung Tab 8.4" Pro tablet. An excellent combo.

 

I'm not normally a fan of Bose products, since I think they are overpriced for what you get....but in this case I feel it is worth the money.

 

Disclaimer - I am NOT an audiophile, but I can appreciate good sound....

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Jack,

Totally agree, Bose wave radios and especially the Soundlink mini are excellent. My Wave music systems one the larger Acoustic Wave System II http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/wave_systems/awms/index.jsp , and the Music system III http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/wave_systems/wms/index.jsp are both overpriced. I could afford but won't, because I know about their refurb and upgrade programs.

 

Both of them have Bluetooth receivers plugged into the aux in 3.5 and are great.

 

I want the Soundlink mini and will get one. like you I think they are overpriced but great products. I get broken ones and trade them in for the newest models at about half price. They will refurbish any Bose working or not for $150.00 you pay shipping one way. I had them send me the packaging and prepaid shipping label for $35 for the big one. My point is that they are worth it to us because their refurbish also has a new one year warranty. So you can get a good looking non working unit for ten bucks or free with a craigslist ad, and have it refurbed for $180 total. Or trade it in for a new one for slightly more.

 

I have the Soundlink color in mint color http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/digital_music_systems/bluetooth_speakers/soundlink_color/index.jsp we got for $50 at a yard sale and still like the mini much better.$179 is excellent price on it too.

 

I have ~ 57GB of music on 64GB micro SD cards for my tablets and phones. I just turned off media player on my T200 tablet and I prefer Media player to the XBox music player and select artist genre or just all music and play on shuffle. I used to use my Bluetooth (BT) Jawbone copy and a Braven BT speaker refurb a lot. We both use Jabra Cruiser BT hands free in our vehicles and went a bit BT crazy a year go. Since our Cruisers play our phone music over the Vehicle's stereo we have music wherever and keep a good pair of in ear headsets in our vehicles too, as well as a 3.5mm patch cord so we can plug into non BT PA systems.

 

All of that to say this. One Bose mini, and one of these BT receiver devices attached to all of your stereo/soundbar/amplifier systems, even clock radios with inputs, makes all your portable mp3 music easy to play wherever you are. http://www.amazon.com/Mpow-Streambot-Bluetooth-Receiver-Streaming/dp/B00MJMV0GU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432579165&sr=8-1&keywords=Bluetooth+receiver

 

That is an example, ours was locally purchased and we paid too much.

 

At home we stream from our tablets. In the vehicles the Jabra Cruisers.

 

Our tablets and phones changed how we listen to music. I don't like ads.

 

One BT adapter can be moved from unit to unit but I'm lazy and each sound system has their own. You di have to remember to turn off BT on your devices so they don't pair with a device not turned on. Tiny learning curve for me. My SH has no problem once I set them up.

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I probably would not spend the money on external speakers. 99% of the time, I have the sound on my computer turned off...the only time it is turned on is if I'm watching a short You Tube video (I don't stream movies or TV programs...not enough monthly data to do that). That's why I appreciate the better sound on the Surface 3 compared with my previous computer.

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