Microsoft Surface Pro 3

8.1/10 AVG.
RATING
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Specs summary

Screen
12"

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3's screen is 12 inches with 2160 x 1440 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Intel Core i3 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows 8.1 Pro operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
64/128/ 256/512 GB

Internal memory is 64/128/ 256/512 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
8000mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 8000 mAh battery.



The Surface Pro 3 is the best way to experience Windows 8, and a big step toward Microsoft's laptop/tablet future.

- Brandon Russell , TechnoBuffalo 


The Surface Pro 3 might well be the hybrid Microsoft has been promising all this time.

- Vincent Nguyen , SlashGear 

Reviews summary

8.1/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 30 reviews

What's good

  • 3:2 aspect ratio offers plenty of screen real estate
  • Generally smooth and quick performance
  • Thin and lightweight when compared to laptops

What's bad

  • Loud and hot when playing games
  • Highly reflective display
  • Keyboard attachment sold separately

The Surface Pro 3, Microsoft's third hybrid tablet/laptop, brings with it several changes. The most noticeable upgrade is the display size. At 12 inches, it is 1.4 inches larger than its predecessor and sports a 2160x1440 resolution. Despite the above full HD resolution, its pixel density is actually lower than the MacBook pro with Retina at 216ppi. While reviewers did notice a slight lack of clarity in comparison, they still say describe the resolution as top-notch. They also point out that the new 3:2 aspect ratio affords more screen real estate and makes the tablet feel more like a notepad in portrait mode. Due to the high resolution and aspect ratio, critics warn that small icons or buttons are difficult to press though the issue is slightly rectified with the trackpad and stylus. They also add that the screen is highly reflective due to the glossy screen coating.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 shares the same magnesium body as previous models but offers a new and improved kickstand for ease of use. Previous Surfaces only had a couple angles users could lock into but the Pro 3 offers a friction hinge that allows an angle between 22 degrees and 150 degrees. Experts enjoyed the flexibility as it made it much easier for them to switch between working at a desk to on their lap. It is also incredibly thin at 0.35 inches and, when compared to laptops, is light at 798 grams. Unfortunately, in order to actually use it as a laptop, users must purchase the keyboard component separately. The Type Cover keyboard features backlit physical keys and attaches to the Pro 3 via a magnetic strip. For the most part, reviewers were fairly underwhelmed with the keyboard with The Verge stating, "It…doesn't feel quite as good as a proper laptop keyboard, but part of that is the plastic, clackety noise it makes…"

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In order to compete as both a tablet and laptop, the Surface Pro 3 features top-of-the-line internal hardware. There are three different versions of the Pro 3: i3, i5 and i7. Even the lowest end impressed critics with Digital Spy stating, "Even the most budget Surface Pro 3 will make most devices feel sluggish." The i3 model offers 4GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage while the i7 has 8GB and 512GB. Benchmark tests place the Surface Pro 3 above other hybrids like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro and even laptops like the HP Spectre Ultrabook. During actual tests, reviewers found performance to be very snappy and smooth though there was some slight sluggishness during games. When using it intensively, experts noticed that the fans would get incredibly loud and the metal surface would reach, as Tech Radar puts it, "scorching levels of heat." Besides getting loud and hot, reviewers discovered that the battery would also drain in around 8 hours, which they note is good but doesn't stack up to 12-hour battery life of the MacBook Air or even the iPad Air, which lasts 10 hours.

Though Microsoft touts the Pro 3 as the single-device replacement for a laptop and tablet, reviewers aren't quite as optimistic. Digital Spy states, "The Surface Pro 3 proves you can have an incredibly powerful portable computer in a slim form-factor…Sadly…a laptop is nearly as portable while an iPad or Nexus 5 are cheaper." The Guardian adds, "…while the Surface Pro 3 is lovely…I don't think it's going to give Lenovo, or Apple, any sleepless nights."


Reviews (8.1/10 Avg. rating)


GeekBeat

There’s no going back

from GeekBeat

So I’m giving it a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice award because it’s lightweight, it’s fast, it has a beautiful screen, a magnificent keyboard, a super geeky stand, a bad ass docking station option, fantastic touch responsiveness, a sweet pen for writing on the screen… and it’s cool. And it made me hate my Mac...

More

So I’m giving it a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice award because it’s lightweight, it’s fast, it has a beautiful screen, a magnificent keyboard, a super geeky stand, a bad ass docking station option, fantastic touch responsiveness, a sweet pen for writing on the screen… and it’s cool. And it made me hate my Mac.

Oh, and let’s not forget that Windows 10 is right around the corner. So ultimately… who knows. The wind could be blowing Microsoft’s direction. Trust me. If you don’t have a sweet touchscreen laptop – don’t even try one! Because if you do, there’s no going back. 

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What Mobile

Outstanding feature list, premium build

from What Mobile

There’s no denying that the Surface Pro 3 is a very well-featured device. From software to hardware, and even design, the Surface Pro 3 is a wonderful piece of kit. For once it’s nice being able to review a Microsoft device without having to mention the Windows operating system as a drawback. Yes the app selection is still a little limited, but when you have the entire Windows desktop programme catalogue available who cares...

More

There’s no denying that the Surface Pro 3 is a very well-featured device. From software to hardware, and even design, the Surface Pro 3 is a wonderful piece of kit. For once it’s nice being able to review a Microsoft device without having to mention the Windows operating system as a drawback. Yes the app selection is still a little limited, but when you have the entire Windows desktop programme catalogue available who cares?

It’s refreshing to have a tablet aspiring to be what we all hoped tablets would be when they burst on to the scene nearly five years ago. What’s most impressive of all is that the Surface Pro 3 barely falls short of these aspirations.

For most people this device could quite conceivably replace their laptop. If you’re big on gaming, editing or OSX then you may find it a little wanting. But for the ‘casual’ user this device is capable enough, particularly with the broad spectrum of available specifications. And make no mistake, if you already own both a decent laptop and a tablet then you’ll probably be in no hurry to trade them both in for this one device.

Shy of the audacious price and the baffling decision to not include the Surface Pro Type Cover, there’s really very little wrong with the Surface Pro 3. If the future is all about ‘laplets’ then it’s looking very bright indeed. 

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Pocket-lint

A laptop-quality device in upscaled tablet form

from Pocket-lint

So is the Surface Pro 3 the "laptop killer" it claims to be? It's not out and out murder, not even manslaughter really, more a viable laptop alternative with full Windows 8.1 that will suit a certain audience.

Just like its earlier Surface predecessors, the Pro 3 still sits on the fence with what exactly it's trying to be - and it doesn't succeed in delivering the best of a tablet device given its 12-inch scale. It's also expensive, there's no MS Office included in the price and the screen has an annoyingly reflective coating...

More

So is the Surface Pro 3 the "laptop killer" it claims to be? It's not out and out murder, not even manslaughter really, more a viable laptop alternative with full Windows 8.1 that will suit a certain audience.

Just like its earlier Surface predecessors, the Pro 3 still sits on the fence with what exactly it's trying to be - and it doesn't succeed in delivering the best of a tablet device given its 12-inch scale. It's also expensive, there's no MS Office included in the price and the screen has an annoyingly reflective coating.

But despite finding this physical size perplexing at first, a week of use in the laptop form (and with the optional keyboard attached, of course) has come to make sense. Often great sense thanks to the significant screen resolution and multi window multi-tasking, variable position stand, touchscreen controls and included stylus. It's clear the Pro 3 is the most accomplished Surface yet, but it still won't tick all boxes for all users.

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Know Your Mobile

Best Surface to date and the best hybrid device out there

from Know Your Mobile

There’s a Surface Pro 3 for almost every budget. Sure the higher-end Surface Pro 3 looks expensive when compared to an iPad, but remember the Surface Pro 3 is not a tablet competitor. It’s for people who want a powerful laptop that also has all the advantages of a tablet.

I wasn’t a fan of the gimmicky original Surface. With the Surface 2 Microsoft made some good steps forward in the hybrid market. But with the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft has hit it out of the park. They’ve got some beautiful hardware design going on in this latest version and some truly stunning software features like those found in the Surface Pen...

More

There’s a Surface Pro 3 for almost every budget. Sure the higher-end Surface Pro 3 looks expensive when compared to an iPad, but remember the Surface Pro 3 is not a tablet competitor. It’s for people who want a powerful laptop that also has all the advantages of a tablet.

I wasn’t a fan of the gimmicky original Surface. With the Surface 2 Microsoft made some good steps forward in the hybrid market. But with the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft has hit it out of the park. They’ve got some beautiful hardware design going on in this latest version and some truly stunning software features like those found in the Surface Pen.

While the Surface Pro 3 isn’t going to sway many who may be tied into the iPad/MacBook world, its a no-brainer for anyone in the Windows world who is looking for the best mobile computing device out there. 

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PC Pro

An impressively persuasive hybrid

from PC Pro

The Surface Pro 3 is a terrific Windows tablet that does a passable impression of a laptop – if that balance suits your needs, then the cost may be well worth it. But if all you really want is a regular laptop, then, with deference to Microsoft’s marketing claims, you should probably...More

The Surface Pro 3 is a terrific Windows tablet that does a passable impression of a laptop – if that balance suits your needs, then the cost may be well worth it. But if all you really want is a regular laptop, then, with deference to Microsoft’s marketing claims, you should probably save your money and buy a regular laptop. That doesn’t mean the Surface Pro 3 is a failure, though: on the contrary, it’s a persuasive implementation of the convertible concept. If things carry on like this, the Surface Pro 4 really could be the tablet that finally consigns our laptops to the scrapheap.

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The Inquirer

Redmond’s best and most portable tablet yet

from The Inquirer

The Surface Pro 3 brings some very welcome improvements to the design of the previous model, with Microsoft retaining the tablet's high quality design while improving it in the places it needed most, namely the multi-angle kickstand, higher quality and bigger screen and, most of all, its much more premium feeling, thinner and lighter design.

Read full review

The Surface Pro 3 brings some very welcome improvements to the design of the previous model, with Microsoft retaining the tablet's high quality design while improving it in the places it needed most, namely the multi-angle kickstand, higher quality and bigger screen and, most of all, its much more premium feeling, thinner and lighter design.

Read full review

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Recombu

A slim tablet-cum-laptop with a full Windows experience and stylus support

from Recombu

There’s no question, Microsoft has created an excellent device. The Surface Pro 3 boasts real PC performance in one of the most compact packages on the market, but…

Whether or not the form factor will work for you depends on a few key things. It’s a lot harder to live with without the Type Cover, making it an essential accessory and an extra £109.99 on top of the £1109.99 you’ve already shelled out for the i5 model we tested...

More

There’s no question, Microsoft has created an excellent device. The Surface Pro 3 boasts real PC performance in one of the most compact packages on the market, but…

Whether or not the form factor will work for you depends on a few key things. It’s a lot harder to live with without the Type Cover, making it an essential accessory and an extra £109.99 on top of the £1109.99 you’ve already shelled out for the i5 model we tested.

As a tablet it’s usable, but it’s better suited to a desk or a lap and that then raises the question, ‘Does the Surface form factor lend itself to these environments?’ Lenovo’s latest Yoga 2 laptops seem like a better fit, with a more familiar form factor, but the ability to jump into a sudo-tablet when it’s required.

We love the Pro 3 for what it’s trying to do and to an extent it achieves that goal. If you’re curious enough to lay down cash, you won’t be disappointed for the Windows experience in Microsoft’s own image that this is, but if you’re after portable workstation, there are other options worth considering too. 

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The Telegraph

It's slightly too flimsy for a permanent laptop replacement

from The Telegraph

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter yet faster and bigger than its predecessors: a 12” screen and a decent-sized trackpad on the clever cover that doubles as a keyboard mean that this is finally a decent laptop and tablet in a single package.

Better still, this is a device that looks smarter than any of the top ‘ultrabook’ laptops on the market, designed to look more like an elegant paper notepad than a gadget. Turn it on and the screen is peerless, helped by a 3:2 ratio that makes it feel comfortable in the hand...

More

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter yet faster and bigger than its predecessors: a 12” screen and a decent-sized trackpad on the clever cover that doubles as a keyboard mean that this is finally a decent laptop and tablet in a single package.

Better still, this is a device that looks smarter than any of the top ‘ultrabook’ laptops on the market, designed to look more like an elegant paper notepad than a gadget. Turn it on and the screen is peerless, helped by a 3:2 ratio that makes it feel comfortable in the hand.

Microsoft made much of Surface’s kickstand, making it a tablet you can prop up. Now it’s got a greater range of possible positions, but it’s also so tight doing it one-handed is impossible and even doing it with two sometimes feels like you might break something.

As with previous models, the Pro 3 comes with a stylus, which now can be used to wake the tablet up from sleep with a single click and slip straight in to Microsoft OneNote to jot things down, either with handwriting recognition or not. But it’s a shame that there’s nowhere to store this rather clever pen, making its loss a near certainty.

Starting at £639 for an Intel i3 processor, 64GB of storage and 4GB of memory and hitting £1,649 for the top of the range i7, 512GB/8GB model, the Surface Pro 3 inescapably expensive, but it is also a superb tablet that challenges top laptops. For that ambition, Microsoft deserves praise, and consumers who prize style and substance may find it hard to resist. 

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Tech Advisor

A truly portable laptop, and an acceptable tablet - great engineering

from Tech Advisor

A very decent laptop replacement, and an okay tablet, the Surface Pro 3 is undeniably impressive. If you need a single device to do everything we can't think of any better device. And when you consider the cost of buying a discrete laptop, tablet and desktop PC the Surface Pro 3 is priced to shif...More

A very decent laptop replacement, and an okay tablet, the Surface Pro 3 is undeniably impressive. If you need a single device to do everything we can't think of any better device. And when you consider the cost of buying a discrete laptop, tablet and desktop PC the Surface Pro 3 is priced to shift. The question remains as to whether people want a single device rather than multiple gadgets that are better at their individual tasks. We shall see.

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Pocketnow

It’s not without its compromises, but Microsoft really did score a winner here

from Pocketnow

This is the tablet that can replace your laptop (assuming you also get the Type Cover). In many ways, it’s more of a laptop than a tablet. From storage capacity, to raw power, to ease of typing and work, this thing is a beast that will gladly accept anything you decide to throw at it. Lately, the theme with Microsoft –whether it’s the hardware, software, or digitizer– is confusion. There’s a lot to be desired in the overall user experience, especially when compared to Apple. I’m not making this comparison unfairly since Microsoft drew the parallel itself during the Surface Pro 3 announcement. It is very possible to pass off a lot of this confusion as “Microsoft being Microsoft,” but a user should not have to...

More

This is the tablet that can replace your laptop (assuming you also get the Type Cover). In many ways, it’s more of a laptop than a tablet. From storage capacity, to raw power, to ease of typing and work, this thing is a beast that will gladly accept anything you decide to throw at it. Lately, the theme with Microsoft –whether it’s the hardware, software, or digitizer– is confusion. There’s a lot to be desired in the overall user experience, especially when compared to Apple. I’m not making this comparison unfairly since Microsoft drew the parallel itself during the Surface Pro 3 announcement. It is very possible to pass off a lot of this confusion as “Microsoft being Microsoft,” but a user should not have to.

That being said, a little confusion is to be expected when trying to capture a unicorn. This is not a transition that is going to happen overnight. What is important is the progression of Surface to Surface Pro 2 to Surface Pro 3. Extraordinary strides are being made and Microsoft has almost nailed it. Stamp out some of these bugs and welcome to the future, friends.

This is a great device, and if you’re in the market for a high-end Windows 8.1 experience, get this. That isn’t even a question. There are certain advantages to having two devices, as I learned on vacation. It should also be said that while the Surface is a great laptop and a great tablet, there is still room at the table for a 7-8-inch tablet. 

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Full Specs

Overview
Release date June 21, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom, India
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 8.1 Pro

Compare Windows Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Intel Core i3 1.5 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64/128/ 256/512 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Stylus
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 8000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time 7 hours
Wi-Fi Surfing Time 9 hours
3G Surfing Time No
4G Surfing Time No
Reading Time No
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 20.1 x 29.2 x 0.8 cm (7.9 x 11.5 x 0.3 in)
Weight 800 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels
Pixel density 216 pixels
Size 12 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles OPP/FTP
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC
PC Synchronization No
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Panorama, Self-timer, Exposure
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Variations:

128GB storage model
Processor: Intel Core i5 1.9GHz

256GB storage model
Processor: Intel Core i5 1.9GHz or i7 1.7 GHz
RAM: 8GB

512GB storage model
Processor: Intel Core i7 1.7GHz
RAM: 8GB
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface Pro 3
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