Microsoft Surface 3: Slim, Light, and Running Full-On Windows
The next element in Microsoft’s Surface line has arrived-The new 64-bit Intel Atom Surface 3, that’s the little sister to Microsoft’s flagship Surface Pro 3.
No, there is no “RT” this time round. The Surface 3 is powered by Intel’s newest offering- the quad-core 1.6GHz Atom x7 processor (code named the Cherry Trail’). Cherry Trail is some sort of tablet-laptop hybrid chip whose unique combination of advanced power management and burst mode delivers top performance when required for a particular task, but scales back later to conserve power. This makes it powerful enough to run full Windows, without requiring a fan.
The Surface 3 throws up a nice couple of surprises. For starters, it is the lightest and thinnest Surface ever, coming in just at 1.37 pounds. It comes with a 10.8” 1920 by 1280 pixels screen which gives it a 3:2 ratio. We expect it to be shipped with a full on Windows 8.1, which will be upgrade to Windows 10 when it is released later this year.
On the other good news front, it has better Dolby Audio-enhanced speakers; and 2 cameras, an 8 MP rear one and a 3.5 MP one. And guess what? The Surface 3 charges itself by micro USB, too. Another proprietary charger, dead. Yeah. Kill em all! It also includes a Micro SD card reader, Mini DisplayPort and Micro USB charging port, which works with the dedicated Surface chargers as well as other generic USB phone chargers. Providing unmatched versatility, where you can switch from a tablet to a laptop where its multi-position Kickstand and Type Cover. The Magnetic stability keeps the Type Cover, so you should be able work just comfortable on the lap as you would at your desk. Use its multi-position Kickstand as a hands-free form to watch your favorite films on its brilliant Full HD view and Dolby audio. Plus, you can very easily transfer files through its full-size USB-3.0, mem card reader and Mini-Display Port.
It is quite curious about its real world battery life…and it should be…. Well, according to the specifications sheet, it will give about 10 hours of continuous video playback. We also should be curious about Atom x7’ performance, in terms of how laggy it might be when browsing or performing harder tasks.
The Surface 3 features a 3-position kickstand which should help you find the optimum angle for whatever you are doing, and though it does not come with a stylus, it will work with one which you have to buy separately. LTE versions will be available too, but for some extra cash. Also available is a new, smaller keyboard cover also to be sold separately.
All these elements come together to create a new Surface that benefits a lot from and builds up on the innovation found in the previous versions of this product. Pre-order is available through Microsoft Stores, microsoftstore.com and a couple of select retailers, while actual sales begin come May 5 with availability in 26 markets at $499.
- Some software bugs.
- Lacks full micro SD card slot.
- Type Cover costs an extra $130.
- Integrated pen storage device is quite flimsy.
- Bright, clear display.
- Easy to use as a stand-alone tablet.
- Greatly improved kickstand.
- 10-finger multi touch support.
- Infinitely adjustable, full friction kickstand.