How I Got More Bang-for-the-Buck out of Surface 3

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by RichBrownsDesk, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. RichBrownsDesk

    RichBrownsDesk Member

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    Honestly the Surface 3 can be an expensive device. I got the 128 gig one, which is $600. Plus $130 for the keyboard, $40 for the pen, which made the initial investment almost $800.

    However, since then, I added the official docking station for another $130 and a 24 inch HD monitor for $200 and a wireless keyboard for $30 (when using the large monitor instead of the included S3 monitor). So the total cost is now close to $1200. BUT....think of what I have now. For $1200, I have a fully Windows-capable tablet nicer than an iPad.....plus a laptop computer for when I'm travelling.....plus now a full desktop machine, where the original device itself just serves to replace a desktop's "tower," and I instead use a full desktop monitor and keyboard. 3 nice machines for that $1200. It's now not such a ridiculously high price at all when you consider that it replaces all those devices.
     
  2. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Interesting and thanks for sharing. But that 3-in-one combo is a bit anaemic, don't you think given the Atom processor? If that would have been an i5 to the min with 4GB of RAM, yes, your costs would have been higher, but you would have had a "real" 3-in-One in just the manner than you describe it.

    I think - and here, I am perhaps digressing from your post, but not the content of it - the SP4 (if it comes with Skylake as is being speculated), would be the closest to realize your design. And in this connection, I recently read - I think it was a comment made by a senior figure at Lenovo - that Mr. Nadella's vision of "mobile first, cloud first" (or whatever it is) was referring to "the mobility of experience" rather than the mobility experienced when using multiple form factors (smart bands/ watches, visionware, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops).

    Really, OT here, I am guessing!!! Sorry! And, again, thanks!
     
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  3. RichBrownsDesk

    RichBrownsDesk Member

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    If my work involved graphics-intensive things or my leisure time involved heavy gaming, you might be right. Because my work (I work where I live) involves making some light reports and printing them and my gaming usually involves casual gaming and puzzles, I don't notice any difference between this and any regular desktop computer I've used. Plus I think when you start getting into the Pro tablets, you're getting into a size that's almost too large to use comfortably as a tablet.

    Digressing a bit, my favorite work-related uses for the S3 are: using the pen to take notes when I'm talking with my clients in my office and using Drawboard PDF app and the pen to sign documents.

    Oh and my job is program director for a halfway house / men's addiction recovery house.
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed that the ideal processing power, size, and weight is not a one size fits all formula, if it was we'd really only need one computer for everyone. :) Some of those "needs" are unfortunately driven by bad programming while others are legitimate however distinguishing between the two is not always an obvious task and sometimes it's purely subjective as well.
     
  5. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    Well, my work is as light as yours! I am in writing and academia and I have a SP3 which I use as my main device. But I use it usually as a laptop and seldom as a tablet. Aside from long Office docs, a messenger (Telegram), and some other stuff, I don't have much on my SP3. In that sense, the SP3 - in my config - is a bit of an overkill for me. I agree with you when you say that the 12" size makes the SP3 an unwieldy tablet. Which is why I had originally bought an iPad Air, which I have now replaced with the S3. This combo - SP3 + S3 - rounds off my needs.

    I don't have a KB for the S3 and use the Pen from the SP3 with it all the time. And, I don't game at all. While I have quite a few apps, my most used apps are Drawboard PDF, Book Baazar/ Book Viser (for ePUB), OneNote App (not desktop), Word and PPT Mobile, OneDrive, Mail and Calendar. And, 99.9% of the time, I am in the tablet interface.

    Having said that, I still find the S3 to be a bit sluggish. Apps take a noticeable enough tick of time to open up. Such anomalies - at least to me - are especially noticeable when I shutdown and start up the S3. But as a tablet, I love it and would be quite lost without it. In many ways, this combo is what I have been waiting for - tied in with and through OneDrive!
     
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  6. DLCPhoto

    DLCPhoto Member

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    I feel the same way about mine.

    Install AMIDuOS, and you can add to its functionality by making it also an Android tablet!
     
  7. RichBrownsDesk

    RichBrownsDesk Member

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    Definitely agree about Drawboard. So glad I found that one.
     
  8. Turbo4AWD

    Turbo4AWD Member

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    Yeah, I completely replaced my iPad with the Surface 3. Alienware laptop with dual GPU is my serious machine. I was tired of having to boot up the laptop to accomplish a task I couldn't do on the iPad and then shut the beast back down. I'm extremely happy with my Surface 3.
     
  9. mfgillia

    mfgillia New Member

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  10. Argus Tuft

    Argus Tuft Member

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    I purchased a new (2nd hand) vehicle in June this year (2015) and considered changing the sound system. Too expensive, so I tried various mp3 players and transmitters. With every combo, the volume was not loud enough. I tried burning mp3's to CD, and that seemed to fix the problem. I then thought about trying my S3 in the vehicle, and playing mp3's directly was even better. I went and purchased an in-car holder and now take my S3 with me everytime I go out in my vehicle. It's an expensive mp3 player, but at least it does the job.

    All I do is plug it in to keep it charged.
     
  11. stufried

    stufried New Member

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    I don't think the machine can be my main machine, but it is my morning coffee machine, take to a meeting, take on a business trip/vacation, take to court, use at night while watching tv machine, and take to bed to read a book machine. It has replaced my iPad 3 and Macbook Air 2011. I have an LTE model and with a TMobile LTE SIM it is my stream movies in a hotelroom machine.

    My two ways of stretching it are Netdrive and AmiDuos. Netdrive gives me OTA access to my cloud file storage space. It is not as fast as if the drives were locally mounted, but it is as convenient. I have a 128g Surface 3 with an external 128g drive, but 256 isn't that much when I have a 2 terabyte dropbox account. Netdrive gives me a nice compromise. As others have said, an Android emulator also makes the surface a nicer tablet.
     
  12. mva5580

    mva5580 Member

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    I'm happy that you're happy, but I think you're exaggerating the "value" you're getting out of that $1,200 a little bit.
     

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