The Microsoft Surface Pro has never been a straight alternative to an iPad and, despite the firm’s marketing messages, is not necessarily a direct replacement for your trusty laptop. So exactly what is it and what’s new about the latest version due to hit the shelves later this summer?
Well, in many ways, the Surface Pro is the perfect travel companion. Since its battery life was improved and the dual-position kickstand introduced for the current model (Surface Pro 2), these devices are much easier to use by anyone on the road looking for proper Windows functionality from their tablet. You can use them to connect to your office network and run virtually any Windows-based application, as well as integrating seamlessly with SkyDrive and Office 365.
Improvements in the Surface Pro 3
In some circles, Microsoft’s promotion of its Surface Pro tablet range has been compared to the ‘Wash & Go’ shampoo commercials from the 80s and 90s. “Take two bottles into the shower?” “Take a laptop and a tablet on my next business trip?” Not me!
But whilst the second generation of Microsoft’s Surface Pro certainly achieved the company’s stated aim of producing a tablet that could do all the same stuff as your laptop, its designers have decided to take things a step further with the Surface Pro 3.
Enhanced features include:
Screen – the Surface Pro 2 came with a 10.6 inch screen, which Microsoft seems to have accepted could never fully replace a laptop. So instead, the Surface Pro 3 offers a 12 inch screen which is oriented in a 4:3 format, meaning it can hold information presented in a 13.5 inch display. It also offers whopping resolution of 2160 x 1440 pixels.
Kickstand – the dual-position kickstand has been replaced with a new ‘friction hinge’, which allows the screen to recline to any position – back as far 150 degrees. Microsoft calls this furthest setting ‘Canvas Mode’ due to its suitability for drawing.
Processor – the range starts from the i3 processor and stretches upwards to i7 ones. The introduction of the i3 processor has enabled a competitive entry-level price, compared to the Surface Pro 2 range, which started from i5.
Surface Pro pen 3 – just when the Surface Mini seemed destined to be the note-taking device of choice, the Surface Pro 3 appears to have assumed this role. The Surface Pro pen 3 can be used to power on the device, save sketches to OneNote cloud and take photos which can then be annotated. Thanks to the thinnest LCD screen yet, Microsoft claims this version is closer to writing on paper, since its ‘virtual ink’ practically touches the pen nib when the two interact.