Windows notebooks with ridiculously low price points have become the norm. Spend a little bit more money and you can get a Windows notebook with a touchscreen and as much storage as you can ever hope to fill in your life time. Windows tablets have become ridiculously cheap too and now offer Desktop app compatibility. That’s right, you can now watch a video or listen to music even on a cheap Windows tablet. This holiday, you don’t want to buy those though. If you’re truly looking for a Windows notebook, tablet or something in between you want the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft’s home grown answer to the iPad and MacBook Air.
Why you should purchase a Surface Pro 3 is simple. Sure, you can get something else made by one of Microsoft’s hardware vendors, or you can purchase Microsoft’s hardware and software solution, its vision for what Windows 8 devices should be like.
Tablet Like Hardware
If you’ve never held a Surface Pro 3 in your head, than you’re missing out. With a 12-inch display, it’s certainly hefty, but an e-reader it isn’t. It’s so thin that its included pen for artists and note takers is thicker than it is.
The rear shell of the Surface Po 3 is covered in a durable metal that feels high-end and premium. This shell isn’t painted black like in past generations. Instead, it’s silver and is cold to the touch. There’s a fan since the Surface Pro 3 comes with Intel Core i Series processor and is capable of running things like Photoshop and iTunes. This isn’t to say that you’ll ever hear the fan. It only comes on when you’re doing something seriously resource intensive like playing a game or rendering video.
The volume button and power buttons both feel premium and precise when you press them. A touch sensitive Windows button allows users to quickly switch between the Windows 8 Start Screen and the apps that they are running.
The Surface Pro 3 is a convertible that has hardware tricks we just aren’t seeing from other hardware vendors. Users who purchase a Surface Pro 3 Type Cover can lock the keyboard into place so that it’s more stable on their lap. Covers and accessories for other Windows devices have long offered tablet users a kickstand, but the Surface Pro 3 has one built-in. This kickstand can be freely adjusted.
Really, you’re getting great hardware with the Surface Pro 3. An expansion port allows users to snap in different colored colors now, and the hope is that later covers will add more functionality.
Notebook Like Power
Chances are that if you’re looking at a Windows notebook this year, you’ve looked at and rejected the Surface Pro 3 because, admittedly, it doesn’t like a traditional notebook. It’s not a traditional notebook, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some of the same advantages.
There are versions of the Surface Pro 3 with mid-range slower processors and more expensive versions that come with more storage, more RAM for running seriously demanding apps and faster processors. Each and every Surface Pro 3 comes with a Mini Display port so that it can be connected to a monitor. A single USB port and MicroSD card slot can be used for external storage, printing and more. Notebook, particularly Ultrabook, shoppers are getting everything they’d get with those machines in this thin package except for a second USB port.
There’s no way around it. Windows 8 has amassed a reputation that scares a lot of people away. It’s a new operating system, with a lot of changes. Some people make it sound like it takes a lot of effort to understand Windows 8. It doesn’t and on the Surface Pro 3 it is even easier.
The Surface Pro 3 has a touch screen, but you don’t need to fold back its keyboard to use it. Touch is available and convenient at any time. Want to get rid of the Start Screen, Charms Bar and other extras in Windows 8 so that you can use the mouse instead? That’s doable, but leaving those elements there and simply using touch makes the intricacies of Windows 8 easier to understand. Swiping down on the Surface Pro 3 screen closes Windows Store apps. Swiping from the left edge to the right reveals the Charms Bar.
All of your programs are in the Desktop and available for you like they would be anywhere else. You can supplement those apps with downloads from the Windows Store. Because you’re using a Surface Pro 3, you have a touchscreen for interacting with these apps already.
The Surface Pro 3 isn’t a traditional notebook. Really, it’s a catch all, an easy way to get the future of Windows all in one package. It offers possibility; it speaks to a future when you don’t need a notebook and tablet. Instead, you have just one device that’s as good looking and durable as a MacBook and software that lets you do want you need want. That’s the true advantage of having a Surface Pro 3, it’s Windows they way you’re going to want to experience it in the future.