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Benefits of Surface 3 form factor?

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
I fully agree with what @wynand32 says in his post. One needs to be clear as to (1) what one intends to with the SP3 and (2) whether or not the SP3 can fulfil that role. The SP3 is NOT a jack-of-all trades. But it is close. The one thing that is perhaps unreasonable to expect of the SP3 is to perform like a gaming device. Let's get real here! The SP3 is not a gaming device regardless of however many tweaks that one may perform on it. It is, however, a fantastic productivity device and performs admirably on most non-productivity tasks (like media playback etc.).

With this as a premise, I have found the SP3 to be an ideal device for me given my usage requirements. I am in academia (not a student). This requires me to read and write a lot. For both duties the SP3 is amazing. Moreover, its form factor allows me to carry a powerful device that can switch between productivity and fun roles rather seamlessly and this is also where the split personality of Win 8.1 works well. I find that while for my work, I use the desktop side of things - Office mainly - for fun stuff (or at least what I consider fun), I use the MUI side of things during which time I tend to use it as a tablet without the keyboard. The Pen is an added advantage in both scenarios. I can mark up documents (PDF, Office etc.), I can draw (I use Inkscape), I use OneNote extensively for almost everything and the Pen is the key factor in my doing so. OneDrive (especially with its offline capability) allows me to access all the documents - including my e-library - wherever I am.

I have the i5/ 4GB/ 128GB version which I have currently supplemented with a 64GB MicroSD card, which I will soon replace with a 128GB card. This combined with the 1TB OneDrive space is more than adequate for my purposes for at least the next couple of years. The device - and I have had it since June 20th which was the launch day - has performed flawlessly - no heating, no wifi problems, no yellow lines anywhere. In short, I am very happy with it and it accompanies me everywhere.

I hope some of the above responds to your (the OP's) original query about the benefits of the form factor of the SP3.
 

ctitanic

Well-Known Member
So, short answer: if you have highly specialized performance needs that aren't enhanced by the SP3's form factor, then in all likelihood it's not the right machine for you. IMO, of course.

Correct! That said, you can still use it for everything else and use Remote Desktop to a more powerful machine when that is demanded.
 

wynand32

Well-Known Member
This for me is the #1 reason why I absolutely love the SP3. It has replaced my MacBook and my tablet! My MacBook was sold and my tablet was given to my niece.

It has indeed been a laptop and a tablet replacement rolled into one for me..

I find it fascinating when some people complain about how different the desktop and modern environments are in Windows 8.1, the whole switching back and forth between the two as if that's such a bad thing. "Schizophrenic," they call it.

But, what exactly is it like to switch between OS X on a MacBook and iOS on an iPad? That's just as big of a switch, only you're doing it on two different devices that you have to carry around with you. Same thing with switching between Windows 7 and Android.

If I have to switch between two environments to get the advantages of each (full featured apps and system control on the desktop, simpler more accessible apps in the modern touch-based tablet environment), I'd rather have them on the same machine.
 

ctitanic

Well-Known Member
I find it fascinating when some people complain about how different the desktop and modern environments are in Windows 8.1, the whole switching back and forth between the two as if that's such a bad thing. "Schizophrenic," they call it.

But, what exactly is it like to switch between OS X on a MacBook and iOS on an iPad? That's just as big of a switch, only you're doing it on two different devices that you have to carry around with you. Same thing with switching between Windows 7 and Android.

If I have to switch between two environments to get the advantages of each (full featured apps and system control on the desktop, simpler more accessible apps in the modern touch-based tablet environment), I'd rather have them on the same machine.
Exactly. I still no comprehend why all the bad press that Windows 8 got. I have seen it compared to Vista, a total none sense because Vista was slow and full of issues and Windows 8 did not have any issue but a new interface to learn.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
Exactly. I still no comprehend why all the bad press that Windows 8 got. I have seen it compared to Vista, a total none sense because Vista was slow and full of issues and Windows 8 did not have any issue but a new interface to learn.

I like Win 8.1 a lot! If I have a complaint it is not against Win 8.1 but against MS - they should have polished some of the stuff like using multiple MUI apps in floating windows, releasing an MUI version of Office, refining the Mail app ASAP instead of waiting for next year. But I think it will be well worth the wait though.
 

bluegrass

Well-Known Member
Hi,
my current laptop got old and I'm looking for some nice replacement. I don't really need anything powerful, because at home I have a big Windows gaming rig, so basically there is no device on the market, that can beat this beast in terms of performance. What I need is a very mobile, long lasting device, like an ultrabook - or Surface.

However, I live in Poland, so there is no "official" way to get one here (like... from Microsoft). Of course it is possible to import one from US though. But, as you may imagine, it adds to the price a bit, so already expensive Surface is even more expensive, especially compared to classic ultrabooks.

So - do you thing that Surface Pro 3 form factor is worth all that trouble?
I work as a ... hum... R&D computer programmer? I create demo software for future development, so what I need from my device is long lasting battery and lots of RAM (I often work simultaneously on many RAM-consuming programs like Visual Studio, Photoshop, virtual machines, etc. ) .

To compare prices, Asus Zenbook with i5, 8 to 12 GB of RAM, 128 SSD costs less than $1300 . The cheapest Surface Pro 3 with i5/8gb/256gb that I could find is $1500 (and the keyboard - $200). And yes - it has more disc space, yes - it has revolutionary form factor. I know that.

Do you use your Surface in that... unusual way? Or is it just a gimmick and Surface ended as a weird looking laptop?

If keeping cost as low as possible is your highest priority than I would look at something other than a Surface. If you wanted the best technology has to offer in a compact lightweight computer, than the Surface is it.

To keep the price down, Id look at an i3 or i5 4 gig/128 gig or 256 gig Surface.
 

ctitanic

Well-Known Member
I like Win 8.1 a lot! If I have a complaint it is not against Win 8.1 but against MS - they should have polished some of the stuff like using multiple MUI apps in floating windows, releasing an MUI version of Office, refining the Mail app ASAP instead of waiting for next year. But I think it will be well worth the wait though.
Totally agree.
 

malberttoo

Well-Known Member
Hi,
my current laptop got old and I'm looking for some nice replacement. I don't really need anything powerful, because at home I have a big Windows gaming rig, so basically there is no device on the market, that can beat this beast in terms of performance. What I need is a very mobile, long lasting device, like an ultrabook - or Surface.

However, I live in Poland, so there is no "official" way to get one here (like... from Microsoft). Of course it is possible to import one from US though. But, as you may imagine, it adds to the price a bit, so already expensive Surface is even more expensive, especially compared to classic ultrabooks.

So - do you thing that Surface Pro 3 form factor is worth all that trouble?
I work as a ... hum... R&D computer programmer? I create demo software for future development, so what I need from my device is long lasting battery and lots of RAM (I often work simultaneously on many RAM-consuming programs like Visual Studio, Photoshop, virtual machines, etc. ) .

To compare prices, Asus Zenbook with i5, 8 to 12 GB of RAM, 128 SSD costs less than $1300 . The cheapest Surface Pro 3 with i5/8gb/256gb that I could find is $1500 (and the keyboard - $200). And yes - it has more disc space, yes - it has revolutionary form factor. I know that.

Do you use your Surface in that... unusual way? Or is it just a gimmick and Surface ended as a weird looking laptop?

Hi, welcome to the forum.

For me, the Surface Pro 3 is the funnest ultrabook I will own. It is so light and easy to grab, that it is just enjoyable to grab it and run out the door.

I have the i5 and it has been an excellent machine for my general, all-around IT stuff, network management, server management, email, marking up PDF's, writing sheet music, using at the piano to display sheet music, my Nook reader, etc.

The form factor is what makes it killer. I just stare at mine sometimes and can't believe I'm packing an i5 and 8gb of RAM in this thing.

For what you stated that your usage would be on it, I can only say that I think that the SP3 has a good chance of impressing you.

Also holding it in your hand, and all of a sudden having a world open up to you of a touch interface and Pen integration on a Windows machine that was specifically made to show off how well it works with those inputs, well you just may find yourself liking things about that you could never conceive before.
 

Eldergeek

New Member
Great feedback on the OPs question. Back in 2010, I bought the iPad(32GB) with cell radio. Tried to use it to remote into work servers and staff PCs when problems presented themselves or for maintainence, using logmein Ignition. Found the screen too small to use in anything but an emergency situation. So I used it as a tablet, using a few apps. Shiny and new at first, but its limitations presented themselves in the next sixth months. My grand daughters got much more use out of it that I ever did. That being said about the "tablet" experience, I read a few months ago in one of the industry rags that over 85% of iPad owners had a PC/Mac as well. In my limited ( less than one month) experience with the SP3, while it works as a very good tablet, it is even more powerful as a laptop: the screen is stunning by every measure, and even using only the on screen keyboard, you still have enough screen left. With the Type Cover...all I can say is WOW! It has worked out very well over the past week. The pad is not as twitchy as some users describe, but, if I were using this at a desk ( which I plan to do), I would opt for a bluetooth pointing device, and, maybe, the Logitech Illuminated Bluetooth Keyboard Model K10, with one of the USB 3 Hubs ( with Gig E Net) available that work with the SP3 ( maybe the Anker 3 Port USB3 Hub). Add a mini Display port adapter and you have a very capable desktop replacement that could probably handle just about everything but video rendering tasks ( using Sony Vegas Pro). The model I have is the i5/256/8GB. I paid the premium to have the 8GB of RAM. Considering the Lexar High Performance Micro XDSC 633x 64GB: it comes with a USB 3 adapter, so the SD card can be used in the USB 3 port and/or in your SP3's SD slot. You have plenty of storage, and an alternative to the SP3 dock, which has been problematic so far. BUT, if you want simply a kick butt tablet experience ( maybe adding the Type Cover), go with the $799 SP3. Either way, you're miles ahead of any other Ultra form factor to date, plus...well, its simply gorgeous! And the pen...well thats the subject of some other (too long, sorry) diatribe. All of this is premised on US pricing for the SP3. If I lived overseas where the SP3 was not readily available, or available at a hefty premium, I would need to reassess the ROI, and actual value to me.
 

unruledboy

Active Member
Hi,
my current laptop got old and I'm looking for some nice replacement. I don't really need anything powerful, because at home I have a big Windows gaming rig, so basically there is no device on the market, that can beat this beast in terms of performance. What I need is a very mobile, long lasting device, like an ultrabook - or Surface.

However, I live in Poland, so there is no "official" way to get one here (like... from Microsoft). Of course it is possible to import one from US though. But, as you may imagine, it adds to the price a bit, so already expensive Surface is even more expensive, especially compared to classic ultrabooks.

So - do you thing that Surface Pro 3 form factor is worth all that trouble?
I work as a ... hum... R&D computer programmer? I create demo software for future development, so what I need from my device is long lasting battery and lots of RAM (I often work simultaneously on many RAM-consuming programs like Visual Studio, Photoshop, virtual machines, etc. ) .

To compare prices, Asus Zenbook with i5, 8 to 12 GB of RAM, 128 SSD costs less than $1300 . The cheapest Surface Pro 3 with i5/8gb/256gb that I could find is $1500 (and the keyboard - $200). And yes - it has more disc space, yes - it has revolutionary form factor. I know that.

Do you use your Surface in that... unusual way? Or is it just a gimmick and Surface ended as a weird looking laptop?


I am a seasoned developer, most of my friends are developers too, some of them owned surface pro 1 all the way to surface pro 3.

for development, the sp3/8g/256g is enough, even you can run virtual machine / emulator with no headache.

my developer friends who use sp3, all say it is good for development, that said, you might need an external keyboard/mouse and big monitor(s), you know what I mean, as a developer ;-)
 

iDatus

Member
3 surprises for me which I don't see mentioned in reviews or comments
1) when its on your lap you don't notice the weight of it as its spread out evenly.
2) when its on your lap you don't burn your legs or private parts.
3) when its on your desk at work or home where you have a keyboard to a rig or a gaming laptop you can flip the keyboard up (or take it off if you want to watch Netflix) and get the desk space back where the cover was. Flip it back own when its in need again, instead of packing it away in a bag or something.
 

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