With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft tried yet again to build a tablet that can replace your laptop, but critics found it fell just shy of that goal. Engadget's own Dana Wollman said that despite being "easier than ever to use as a tablet," the Surface still has some "serious usability flaws," including a keyboard that "offers a subpar typing experience and a frustrating trackpad." CNET liked the keyboard, but says that the Pro 3 "still doesn't fit perfectly on the lap" and that it's "more successful as a tablet than a laptop replacement." But despite these issues, there's still plenty to like about the Surface Pro 3, as evidenced by the readers who added the Pro 3 to their have list and wrote a user review recounting their experiences.The size and shape of the Surface Pro 3 were generally well-liked by users, with eca637 calling it "very thin, light, and sturdy feeling," while nerva2940 says "I hardly feel it in my shoulder bag." But comfort proved to be a contentious issue, as hkh222 says its sharp edges make it "uncomfortable to use on the lap," though nerva2940 found the Pro 3 "more comfortable and adjustable on the lap than any laptop." Users were okay with the keyboard, with gorbay calling it "the most satisfactory piece although it feels flimsy." The trackpad on the Type Cover was a bigger hit with users, with ajcosgro noting how it "senses your finger better and is slicker to slide across" than the trackpad on its predecessor. Siri325, meanwhile, goes so far to say it's "just as good as the Macbook Air's mouse pad."
The star of the show was the Surface Pro 3's pen input, which Siri325 says is "like writing on a sheet of paper," though he "will miss the ability to just flip the pen to erase." It's so good for note taking that nerva2940 says "I no longer carry paper" in class because "OneNote 2013 is an incredible program for compiling information and writing notes." However, not everyone was pleased with the switch in pen technology from Wacom to an N-trig digitizer, with gorbay saying it "doesn't compare" since "the pen can act weirdly depending on where your hand is positioned" and "with the insufficiently calibrated pressure curves right now, all you end up doing is [pressing] harder and harder, which pushes the glass down so much that you start seeing the ripples on the LCD."
But, though nerva2940 feels it "performs flawlessly in most categories" and geeky says "it's faster than my laptop" with "a gorgeous screen," is anyone ready to actually replace their laptop with a Surface Pro 3? The answer is an emphatic 'yes' for nerva2940, who uses it "as a full desktop replacement" and says "unless you're a hardcore gamer, you'll be able to use it as a full desktop replacement at home as well." On the other hand, gorbay "quickly gave up on the hope that I can have only one device. The form factor is everything for tablets and MS seems to forget that a lot. It is very light for a laptop but not light and small enough for a tablet. My work device and my leisure reading/web surfing device can still be separate for now."
So while the Surface Pro 3 has quite a few crowd-pleasing features, it's not quite there yet for most users. If you've picked up a Pro 3 for yourself, which side do you stand on? Simply add it to your have list and write your own review to let us know.
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- Key specs
- Type Tablet
- Form factor Slate
- Screen size 12 inches
- System RAM 4 GB
- Maximum battery life Up to 9 hours
- Dimensions 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 in
- Weight 1.76 lb
- Released 2014-05-21