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Surface Pro 3 First Impressions After Four Days


RV_

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Got it delivered late last Friday, my brand new Microsoft Surface 3 Pro 12" tablet with 128GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, Intel i5 processor, and Surface stylus/pen.. After a full charge and an immediate install of 135 or so Windows updates to Windows 8.1 I also immediately upgraded it to Windows 10. Flawless.

 

With the updates done and the tablet functions checked out with the Surface Pen, which automatically switches to handwriting to test keyboard to make it much easier for those who are devout believers in the biblical method of typing: seek and ye shall find.

 

It is surprisingly fast, has an exceptional HD screen and picture, and so very easy to use. I am very glad I upgraded my test bed laptop to Win 10, then my wife's desktop from 7 directly to Win 10 with all programs including Quicken Home and business making the trip perfectly, and Venue 11 Pro from 8.1 to Win 10 again with all programs and setting in place, neither a clean install. not one iota of trouble.

 

I did go full Windows telemetry against my earlier feelings about privacy but since MS is not using it for other than performance and glitch improvements I feel confident in MS. They, like Apple, actually sell products in software and hardware successfully, not just our data to third parties for advertising as their singular source of revenue, like all Android save Amazon's version so they could reap our data, which they have anyway since we don't get Amazon's version of Android without buying an Amazon device. Jeff Bezos made every move smart. Now of course some unknowing people might go to the Google Playstore instead of Amazon for Apps in which case they gave it up voluntarily. But I digress.

 

I loaded Ad Blocker Plus for Internet Explorer which functions fine under Win 10. I had no older programs on my devices so I had the first time set up copy all my settings and preferences to the Surface and voila! My color themes and contacts and favorites were all there. OMG the Microsoft transition to a newer version has become flawless.

 

I haven't loaded up MS Office home and Business 2010 yet as it is a pain to do the phone activations and I keep procrastinating since there are so many other things to try. ;)

 

I did find one surprise I should have known. The media out is not an HDMI mini port as I thought at first glance. It is a mini display port (which also fits in the Thunderbolt port on my Dell 2720) so my three spare HDMI cables, the regular at both ends, the mini HDMI to full size, the micro HDMI to regular, are not enough so today I ordered a six foot cable that is a Mini Display Port plug to full size HDMI port plug, along with a tempered glass screen protector like I installed on our Windows phones. Now that will be procrastinated for a bit as the Windows phones came out perfect but boy was that a precise, slow, well prepped in a steamed bathroom with no air flow to deposit dust, and my hair gelled back so not even my dander could drop on the screen.

 

I was tempted to buy a type cover on sale for $79.99 but they were clearancing out the 50 dollar Microsoft glass screen protectors for $9.99. I already have my three full size PC wireless keyboard/mouse sets and the smaller K-400 that I used with all of my previous tablets.

 

Now to my concerns. I had read of some say it got hot, very hot, along with some that said it never even got warm. And the battery runtime per charge. Well using it heavy it does use more battery but with intermittent use throughout the day I still had 80% of battery at the end of the day. I skipped charging one day and today had 50% at the end of the day and put it on charge. It gets better run times than my Venue 11 Pro or my ASUS T200. My previous x2 only exceeded it when I had the keyboard attached with its battery adding to the run time.

 

My Surface did not even get more than lukewarm while running all those updates and making the upgrade to 10. Like all my previous dead cold running Windows tablets it only got lukewarm when using it heavily AND charging it at the same time. But not hot like my old Galaxy Tab 10 and my laptops. I tried a Surface 2 Pro i7 8GB for three days before I had to return the Surface 2 to TigerDirect because it got almost hot enough to burn, more than enough to make my hands sweat and be too hot for comfort. And the Surface 2 also had no better run times than a good hot laptop, three maybe four hours watching a Blu-ray or DVD. The Surface Pro 3 has none of these much dreaded drawbacks or shortcomings.

 

The fully adjustable kickstand is a pleasant surprise in its full swing from almost upright to almost flat and holds each position firmly. No worry about it sliding down unexpectedly.

 

I do want a magnetically attached cover only that snaps on magnetically like the Surface type covers. I can't believe that no one makes one, despite seeing numerous request for a source for one. MS is missing a bet by not making one. So I am searching for a non responsive (broken) typecover and am finding them on eBay but none for the Surface Pro 3. Most of the "for parts only" offers are for original Surface RT type covers which don't fit the 3. No matter as I already have 12" neoprene sleeves for travel that we use for our tablets.

 

So far I am thrilled with it. No I would not have bought it for the non Cyber sales $899.99 price it is being offered for now new like mine. The only time I spent more than $500 on a computer system was for my Dell 2720 All In One. And it was at more than half off and refurbished by Dell with a one year warranty for $999.99 at Woot two year ago. It is a keeper and my high turnover rate will remain the tablets and one day I will upgrade my SH to an All In One of her own. To be honest, I did buy the Factory dock for it open box for 29 bucks. All I have to do is disable her desktop and let her use the Tablet with the dock and her full size wireless KB and Mouse from her desktop and I doubt she would go back. I can put it in a stand at any height she wants up to eye level.

 

Back to the Surface. I do not have the typecover, so can't comment on it. I do have the Surface pen. It is great!

 

Overall I give the Surface Pro 3 equipped with the i5 and 128GB/4GB SSD/RAM I give it a ten out of ten, or maybe a 5 out of 5.

 

Questions?

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Glad it worked out for you. I think I said on another post that I had an opportunity to use a Surface Pro 4 with the keyboard cover, etc. Full blown device. Wow...I was definitely impressed. The screen is "killer", and the size of the screen is just about right IMO for a portable device. I REALLY liked it. I DID NOT like the price however, and for me that would keep me from ownership. However, if I was still working I'd have one for sure as my primary machine and just dock it for desk use. MS sure got that one right. And I do like W10 - I just wish my new i7 computer would work as well as the Pro 4 I used. Right now it is fine - but the wifi is STILL being "challenged" at times. It is simply a poorly designed interface, IMO. BTW, if you want to sell your T200 I'd like to eventually move my T100 out and move to one that has a GPS in it. I'm going to plant the T100 permanently on the truck dash for an engine monitor (using Silverleaf), and as a nav device for a secondary function. I have a BT GPS but that won't cut it with the SIlverleav already being BT.

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Jack, I'll email you in a few days when I've gotten closer to organized. Right now I have to run and get ready for the delivery of the new 65" streaming media center/player/TV.

 

Are you swinging through this area any time soon or are you already settled in for winter?

 

I agree that the Surface 3 or 4 are more than capable of replacing a desktop, let alone a laptop. It runs as cool as my Atom systems. I do know that having the cover is a biggie for some.

 

On the T-200, the base keyboard dock is like new, it stays in the case in the cabinet. It has been out since I got the Surface because I will be using it to refurb it faster than by touch. It is not new, but like new.

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