Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 18:38 UTC
Microsoft

The only review of the Surface Pro 3 that matters - as always, from AnandTech. They conclude:

Surface Pro 3 is easily the best design Microsoft has put forward. If you were intrigued by the previous designs, this is the first one that should really tempt you over. I was a fan of the original Surface Pro, and with Surface Pro 3 I think Microsoft has taken the hardware much closer to perfection. At this point the design needs more help on the software side than hardware, which is saying a lot for the Surface Pro hardware team. Personally I'd still rather carry a good notebook and a lightweight tablet, but if you are looking for a single device this is literally the only thing on the market that's worth considering. I don't know how big the professional productivity tablet market is, but it's a space that Microsoft seems to have almost exclusive reign over with its Surface line. With its latest iteration, Microsoft is serving that market better than ever.

Coincidentally, Microsoft is going for the tackle: you can trade in your MacBook Air and get up to $650 from Microsoft. Any takers? Anyone...?

Order by: Score:
I'll stick with my MacBook Air
by themwagency on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 19:03 UTC
themwagency
Member since:
2013-03-06

Though the $650 is a legit offer... I have to admit I really like my MacBook Air. When given the choice, I'd think most people who made the leap to Mac will almost certainly stay because the BMA is such a nice piece of computing hardware and OS X is so nicely crafted.

Edited 2014-06-23 19:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'll stick with my MacBook Air
by Nth_Man on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 20:19 UTC in reply to "I'll stick with my MacBook Air"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

It reminds me of other news:

Microsoft is so desperate for you to ditch your iPhone it will happily buy it off you
http://www.cultofmac.com/247168/microsoft-is-so-desperate-for-you-t...

Edited 2014-06-23 20:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'll stick with my MacBook Air
by Lennie on Tue 24th Jun 2014 07:15 UTC in reply to "I'll stick with my MacBook Air"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Maybe it is just me, but I don't see the appeal of adding a touchscreen to a netbook-like device like the MacBook Air.

The other problem is: the Surface is bad at being a good netbook-like device.

It was a neat idea, but it's time to stop.

Microsoft can dump as much money into this (I've seen them being sold below cost), but I don't think it will work.

Reply Score: 2

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought that before I got one (Surface 2 Pro)

When I use the Surface it happily runs VS2013 and the odd steam game for me, so I am more than happy in that regard, and rarely use the touchscreen unless web browsing where I use it almost exclusively.

My Partner (with whom I share the device) does massive data analysis in excel and is using the touchscreen constantly. It has improved her productivity so much, she now refuses to analyse data on the desktop any more.

The moral of my story is (I guess) people use systems differently and will work out what suits their needs best. Maybe if you gave one a trial, you would find the same?

Reply Score: 3

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

My problem starts with: I just don't like the keyboard.

Reply Score: 3

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

The keyboard is fine though. I've used both the touch and type... the touch takes a lot of getting used to, the type is jut like a regular laptop keyboard. But if you don't like the keyboard, use a bluetooth one. I have a bluetooth keyboard at my desk and use my Surface 2 pro in tablet mode most of the test of the time. I only tend to use the keyboard when I'm away from home and need to code.

Reply Score: 3

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

If you are going to use an other keyboard, then what is the use of using the Surface ? Then you could just buy a tablet with a keyboard.

Reply Score: 3

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Tablets are locked down devices, whereas the Surface has the power of a full desktop system.

Reply Score: 3

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I understand your point, but in reality that isn't a formfactor issue, it is a matter of installing the right operating system.

Reply Score: 1

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

The pen. I'm an artist. To get a comparable Cintiq would cost way more. I know Wacom now have some tablets of their own, but the build quality of the Surface is amazing, and it is a first class Windows target.

Reply Score: 3

Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

Hard to argue with that ;)

For me, the keyboard types really nicely (type, i dont have the touch one) the touchpad leaves a lot to be desired though, i normally plug in a mouse. Apparently the new one is better though

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'll stick with my MacBook Air
by Deviate_X on Tue 24th Jun 2014 09:06 UTC in reply to "I'll stick with my MacBook Air"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

Though the $650 is a legit offer... I have to admit I really like my MacBook Air. When given the choice, I'd think most people who made the leap to Mac will almost certainly stay because the BMA is such a nice piece of computing hardware and OS X is so nicely crafted.


If this offer were available in the UK, I'd definitely trade-in my mac book air for a surface pro 3 because I have no attachment to OSX, and my mba's screen is a little bit broken... that's said I'll probably be buying a sp3 anyways

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Nico57
by Nico57 on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 20:59 UTC
Nico57
Member since:
2006-12-18

"Get the best of a laptop and the best of a tablet now"
"Hurry in to your local Microsoft retail store"
"Barely tipping the scales at 1.76 pounds"
"Featuring a gorgeous 12-inch display"
"Just slip it into your bag or backpack and go."
"Run your favorite programs and apps"
"delivers blazing-fast performance"

WFT is that? Who do they think they're talking to?
5y old boys/girls wanting to trade-in their MacBook Air?!?
Not so long ago, you used to sell hardware on *specs*, not on... Really, WTF is that?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by Nico57
by phti on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 21:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nico57"
phti Member since:
2012-06-02

They're just talking to common people, who don't want to get a degree in computer science just to buy a tablet.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Comment by Nico57
by Nico57 on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nico57"
RE: Comment by Nico57
by Morgan on Tue 24th Jun 2014 00:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nico57"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

From an AnandTech review of the iPad Air:

"A significant re-imagining of the original 9.7-inch iPad"
"the Air breathes new life into the platform"
"There really isn’t another tablet of this size that feels anywhere near as good."
"the iPad Air looks great"
"subtle curve around the sides"
"Cellular integration remains awesome on the iPad Air"

If you're trying to show some sort of bias towards Microsoft, you picked the wrong website. AnandTech gets flowery with all their reviews, and there's nothing wrong with that. If you don't like what they write, find another website to read reviews on. But you won't find many as thorough and objective, notwithstanding the superlatives they bestow upon the items they review. But they are consistent with both their praise and condemnation, across all brands.


iPad Air review link:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7460/apple-ipad-air-review/10

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Nico57
by Nico57 on Tue 24th Jun 2014 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nico57"
Nico57 Member since:
2006-12-18

Sorry, I should have been more specific.
I was reacting to the MS trade-in offer, from which I picked these quotes, not to the AT review.

But you're making my point actually, as I briefly elaborated in my down-voted second post.
MS is trying to sell his product based on supposed feelings and perceptions of the device.
That kind of subjective talk is OK for a review, and as long as it does not make up for the whole review.
But talking about your own product that way, not throwing in any solid data to defend it, is just aiming for the most stupid customers.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by Nico57
by Morgan on Tue 24th Jun 2014 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nico57"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

My bad; it does say a lot about AnandTech's review style that that's what I thought you were quoting, and that I could pluck the same type of superlatives from another review.

But as others have said, these days specs don't mean a thing, as pretty much any hardware is more than capable of everyday tasks (outside of gaming rigs, of course). What else is there to talk about other than the design and display?

Also, are you really faulting Microsoft for an ad that sings the praises of their device? Would you prefer they try to sell it by saying it's a run-of-the-mill, boring, dime-a-dozen tablet? Take a look at Apple's product pages, or Asus, or any other manufacturer of similar devices. You'll find the same kind of language, because believe it or not they want to sell their devices. Faulting Microsoft, or any company, for their ad copy is quite frankly a silly thing to do.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Nico57
by Soulbender on Tue 24th Jun 2014 09:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nico57"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Not so long ago, you used to sell hardware on *specs*, not on


Because computers today has specs so good that they no longer matter for the average user? Really, unless you're a hardcore gamer or someone doing audio/video production the specs are really of secondary importance.
Btw, the weight and the size of the display are specs.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Nico57
by Nth_Man on Thu 26th Jun 2014 07:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nico57"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

You are not alone. I quote a comment of another user:

Apple commercials show people doing actual useful things with their gear. MS commercials show people magically dancing through time and space with their gear.


Edited 2014-06-26 07:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Nico57
by Nth_Man on Thu 26th Jun 2014 07:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nico57"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

And a comment of another user:

From what I can tell from the commercials, Surface users repeatedly take the keyboard off and put it back on in order to make cool snapping sounds.

Reply Score: 1

v $650 from microsoft for my MacBook?
by strim on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 22:17 UTC
javispedro Member since:
2014-06-04

You might criticize the Surface Pro in many ways, but the inability to do "real work" is not one of them.

I'm in my yard atm, with a Gentoo-running Surface Pro 2 with QtCreator and Firefox open.

Granted it's not actually UNIX...

Reply Score: 2

gehersh Member since:
2006-01-03

I guess it all depends on what we mean by "real work".

In my particular case, a good typing capabilities is one of the top priorities. Granted I haven't tried Surface 3 yet, but I did try Surface 2 at a local Microcenter in Cambridge MA and I still remember that rubbery feel ... NO WAY JOSE!

Reply Score: 2

javispedro Member since:
2014-06-04

The keys are plastic, not rubber. It is probably indistinguishable from most cheap ultrabook keyboards.

The keyboard is good for coding work at least. I am not typing my thesis on it, but tbh I wouldn't type my thesis on anything but a ModelM. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Granted it's not actually UNIX...


...but then neither is Mac OS.

If I were in the market for a Surface Pro (I'm not, I don't like tablets for daily work) I'd also run some form of GNU/Linux on it; I'm just more productive there than on Windows.

Reply Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"Granted it's not actually UNIX...


...but then neither is Mac OS.
"

Technically... http://arstechnica.com/apple/2007/08/mac-os-x-leopard-receives-unix...

Reply Score: 2

Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, that only applies to Leopard. Subsequent versions have to be certified on their own...

...which is what they've done for Mavericks.

http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/register/brand3602.htm

Reply Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

...which is what they've done for Mavericks.


How predictable of them?

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

In any case, UNIX compatibility means command line applications and daemons, out of luck for everything else not covered by the UNIX 03 Product Standard.

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I know it's been "certified", but it's still not a UNIX or BSD kernel. It's a UNIX-like kernel, and that's just fine.

Reply Score: 1

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

I know it's been "certified", but it's still not a UNIX or BSD kernel. It's a UNIX-like kernel, and that's just fine.


out of curiosity, just what defines whether a kernel is UNIX or not?

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

"Mach was developed as a replacement for the kernel in the BSD version of UNIX"

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_(kernel)

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

If the source code descends from the original UNIX source code. Otherwise it is just UNIX compatible or UNIX certified.

Reply Score: 4

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


out of curiosity, just what defines whether a kernel is UNIX or not?


people who do not understand that Unix is not a kernel but an Operating System. Perhaps?

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I know it's been "certified", but it's still not a UNIX or BSD kernel. It's a UNIX-like kernel, and that's just fine.


Because it's been certified, it actually is UNIX(tm), one of the few actual, real UNIX(tm) systems out there. Whether or not you want to accept that is irrelevant.

Granted, being labelled UNIX(tm) requires nothing more than going through the certification process. But, it makes it more UNIX(tm) than any other "UNIX" out there.

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Granted, being labelled UNIX(tm) requires nothing more than going through the certification process.


Exactly, it's a mark on a piece of paper and nothing more. Mac OS is a fork of a fork of UNIX, with a replacement kernel, which is why I said what I did.

Don't misunderstand me; I enjoy using OS X on my Mac, and it's actually one of my favorite OSes of all time. But the "UNIX Certified" thing has always struck me as a bullet point in a sales flyer more than anything.

FreeBSD, which OS X is derived from, would be considered even closer to a true UNIX OS, yet where is its certification? Oh yeah, it's not a commercial OS so it doesn't get one.

And none of that matters anyway; obviously no one realized that my initial statement was an off-the-cuff attempt at humor, not a criticism meant to be taken so seriously and debated to death. But it's been fun watching everyone defend the honor of the sacred cow. ;)

Reply Score: 2

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

FreeBSD, which OS X is derived from...


Not wishing to split hairs, but that statement isn't correct. OS X is derived from multiple UNICES, it has its main origin in NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP, but has had an awful lot of FreeBSD (as well as other BSD) code included since OS X was first released. NEXTSTEP was a fork of the 4BSD which pre-dates FreeBSD by quite a number of years, though ultimately they all started from the same codebase at some point.

Reply Score: 3

caudex Member since:
2008-07-05

How does the WiFi work? Thinking of getting a Surface 3 and pair it with Arch Linux and Gnome 3.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Thanks M$, at least on my MacBook I can do some real work. Learn to UNIX.


After reading this I was literally laughing on the floor for 20 minutes while my Linux & BSD laptop was sitting calmly on the desk.

Reply Score: 4

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

After reading this I was literally laughing on the floor for 20 minutes while my Linux & BSD laptop was sitting calmly on the desk.


Nothing is stopping you from installing Linux or BSD on a Macbook. Things might get more dicey with more exotic hardware in the surface pro...

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You missed the point.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Mon 23rd Jun 2014 22:45 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06
Not for me
by wocowboy on Tue 24th Jun 2014 11:08 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

The Surface might be a perfectly acceptable tablet device since it uses the full Windows version, but as a laptop, the thing just falls flat. And I mean that literally, as it is simply useless on a lap with its kickstand having to be balanced VERY carefully on one's lap lest it fall to the floor. The distance from the front edge of the keyboard back to the kickstand is just too far to be useful on the majority of the population's laps. A REAL laptop is just so much a better design, with a screen that holds itself upright. That fact alone, plus the cost, will keep me from ever buying one of them.

Reply Score: 2

Surface Pro 2 256Gb
by Dano on Tue 24th Jun 2014 22:03 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

I bought a Surface Pro 2 w/ 256 Gb drive. Spent a week with it and got hooked. I ended up a week later buying the dock for it and connected it to a NEC PA271W monitor. Was shocked to find out that it worked great at full resolution. I ended up retiring my old PC and started using the Surface 2 as my work PC. Loaded Visual Studio, Geomagic CAD, SQL Server 2008 R2, Makerbot Software, Cadkey, Quickbooks 2012, Office 365, Atmel Studio, Steam, Fujitsu Scan Snap Organizer...and all my other apps, no problems all around. I show people the Surface on this monitor and they can't believe that it's a full PC with the speed it has. It's working fine with my standard Filco USB keyboard and I added a 1Gb wired Ethernet adapter to the USB 3.0 port. Also added a 64Gb memory card in the microSD slot which works as a Bitlocker drive. I have some fast computers, the processor is a bit slower than a full blown power house PC (not slow enough to prevent 3D cad work from happening), but the hard drive performance is actually stellar, which makes real-world desktop speed seem apparent. I don't dual boot anything on this puppy though and MS keeps pushing firmware updates to it via Windows update. The Surface Pro is nice and portable and well built. I dropped mine by accident and put a little dent in it, but it works fine. USB port is helpful to charge phone on the go. MS has good drop warranty if you want to spend more cash. Pissed though, that I bought the Surface 2 and then the 3 came out right after...MS offered a trade in for the Pro 2 for $495, which sucks and the dock I would have to throw away so have to wait to save for the Surface Pro 4 ;)

Edited 2014-06-24 22:14 UTC

Reply Score: 4