79
Engadget
Score
79

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Surface Pro 3 review: Has Microsoft finally made a tablet to replace your laptop?

Summary

The Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft's biggest and best tablet yet, but it needs a better keyboard to truly replace your laptop.

Pros
  • Remarkably thin and light for a machine with laptop guts
  • Easier to use as a standalone tablet
  • Fast performance
  • Gorgeous, high-res display
  • Keyboard can be propped up at a more comfortable angle
Cons
  • Flimsy keyboard is inferior to what you'd get on a proper laptop; worse, it doesn't even come in the box
  • Not that comfortable to use in the lap
  • Middling battery life
Surface Pro 3 review: Has Microsoft finally made a tablet to replace your laptop?

It didn't last long, but there was a moment earlier this week when I was sure Microsoft would unveil its own laptop. At a press event, Surface chief Panos Panay took the stage to remind the reporters in attendance how they once said tablets would make laptops obsolete. A quick scan around the room revealed rows of journalists, all typing on Ultrabooks -- including the MacBook Air, no less. For a moment, it seemed like Panay was conceding defeat.

Indeed, Microsoft has had multiple chances to prove it can bridge the divide between slates and laptops: Both the first- and second-gen Surface tablets were intended as do-it-all devices. And both times, the company fell short of its mission. The Surface Pro in particular was powerful enough to rival Ultrabooks, but suffered from several usability flaws: It was awkward to use in the lap, and also unwieldy as a tablet. For most people, a touchscreen laptop was still the better choice.

Even so, that wasn't Panay conceding defeat up there on stage -- that was him being persistent. When he finally did get to the point, he unveiled not a laptop, but a tablet, the Surface Pro 3. Most notably, this third-gen device steps up to a larger, 12-inch screen, bringing it in line with contemporary Ultrabooks. The keyboard has been born again too, this time with a larger, more responsive touchpad and the ability to prop it up at a more comfortable angle. As a tablet, meanwhile, the Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter than the Surface Pro 2, despite having a bigger display. Just as important, the device will start at $799 when it goes on sale next month -- that's a hundred dollars less than last year's model. All told, the Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft's biggest, fastest, thinnest, lightest, best tablet yet. Panay even went so far as to say, "Today we take the conflict away." Did they, though?

Read Full Review

Scores

Engadget

79
 

Breakdown

Battery life
6.5
Noise
6.0
Design and form factor
8.2
Portability (size / weight)
8.2
Speed and features
7.5
View All Scores

Specs

Surface

Type
Tablet (Slate)
Bundled OS
Windows
System RAM
4 GB
Maximum battery life
Up to9 hour
View Full Specs

Specs

Surface

Type
Tablet (Slate)
Bundled OS
Windows
System RAM
4 GB
Maximum battery life
Up to9 hour
View Full Specs
Video

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