advice on a surface pro 3

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sambb
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advice on a surface pro 3

Post by sambb » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:37 pm

Any advice for purchasing a surface pro 3? I use my pc exclusively for MS office and browsing the web, so apps aren't important. Portability is. i am not sure about which one to get. I already own an iPad.

Lynette
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Lynette » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:55 pm

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dhodson
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by dhodson » Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:59 pm

The pro 2 is pretty close but yes the 1 is inferior

If get a good deal on a 2 instead which is what I use

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kramer
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by kramer » Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:02 am

I was holding my friend's pro 3 the other day. On the negative side, it strikes me as pretty heavy for a tablet (800 grams). And with the keyboard (which is not included in the price), the weight is 1.1 kg. Also, I don't know if that yet includes the weight of the cover. That is approaching ultrabook weight.

Awhile ago I read that the i-5 version gets throttled due to heating concerns when it is pushed, whereas the i-7 version performs better and does not have this problem.

I guess it depends on exactly how you will use it. For me, it would be too heavy and big to use as a reader type device. I would probably just keep it in laptop form most of the time and use it that way.

My friend seemed excited about the stylus capability, so perhaps that is something that sets it apart.

cannondale
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by cannondale » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:19 am

I'd wait until Apple comes out with their 12.2" device that can supposedly run iOS and OSX(?). You'd get a really good deal on surface 3 then. There's a post on fatwallet on how SP3 is already 20% off MSRP.

dhodson
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by dhodson » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:07 am

They are heavy as a tablet

I use mine 75% as a super powerful laptop and 25% as a tablet

dwc13
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by dwc13 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:59 am

kramer wrote:I was holding my friend's pro 3 the other day. On the negative side, it strikes me as pretty heavy for a tablet (800 grams). And with the keyboard (which is not included in the price), the weight is 1.1 kg. Also, I don't know if that yet includes the weight of the cover. That is approaching ultrabook weight.

Awhile ago I read that the i-5 version gets throttled due to heating concerns when it is pushed, whereas the i-7 version performs better and does not have this problem.

I guess it depends on exactly how you will use it. For me, it would be too heavy and big to use as a reader type device. I would probably just keep it in laptop form most of the time and use it that way.

My friend seemed excited about the stylus capability, so perhaps that is something that sets it apart.

The reported heat issues have primarily been with the i7 models of the Surface Pro 3, not the i5.

http://www.lovemysurface.net/surface-pr ... g-problem/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2597552/ ... arise.html

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surf ... 33738b8532

IMO, Microsoft has done a lot of things right with the Surface Pro 3: USB 3.0 port, micro SD reader, 12" IPS panel (2160 x 1440), dual-band wireless, TPM. The biggest downside (potential heat issues and Intel integrated graphics aside) is the base price, which does not even include the add-on type cover (keyboard). Either bundle the type cover or add MS Office (not the 365 subscription-based version, either) and keep the base price the same and it would be a far more compelling offering. Weight really isn't an issue from my perspective. The iPad isn't remotely close as a competitor from a capabilities standpoint, while an ultra portable notebook computer will likely be heavier (the 11" MacBook Air starts at 2.38 lbs, has a smaller, much lower resolution screen). The weight of the Surface Pro 3 without the add-on type cover is 1.76 lbs (0.79 kg), 2.4 lbs including the type cover.

Unfortunately, in order to get a model with 8 GB of RAM, at the present time that means one will have to buy either a 256 GB i5 or an i7 model, as RAM is not user upgradeable. FYI, the folks at iFixit took apart a Surface Pro 3 and broke the glass (screen) in the process -- and they routinely take apart computers/electronics. So much for DIY upgrades, I suppose.

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microso ... down/26595

Puakinekine
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Puakinekine » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:23 pm

I've had the Surface Pro 3 (i5 256gb) for several months now and like it quite a bit. I bought it for travel, as it seemed the best bang for the book in terms of weight, power, storage, screen quality, and versatility in a fully powered Windows OS. I do not particularly like tablets (having an iPad in the household and owning a Nexus 7) wanting a non-screen keyboard to do anything but the most minimal typing. I had been using a Nexus 7/external keyboard combination for travel. It was less then ideal with no mouse/touch pad, lack of power, and small screen. Having a fully powered Windows machine with a minimal footprint in my backpack at 2.41 pounds with keyboard, that is fully compatible with my larger home base Lenovo, is about the best I've ever done with a travel device.

With the Surface Pro 3, I almost always have the keyboard attached. Even when watching movies, I use the keyboard as a stand, flipping it upside down and behind the screen for support. I have never used a tablet for very long without some kind of support, usually a stand/cover, so then it does not matter what the weight of the tablet is in my hand. On the occasion that I have use the Surface Pro only as a tablet (airplane) the weight has not been an issue.The one awkwardness I find with the kickstand is that you cannot have the screen at right angles to the keyboard--something easily done with a laptop. This makes laying on the couch and watching movies less then ideal without a second prop up (scrabble tray!).

The screen is beautiful and the build quality is the best I've experienced. I don't understand how people can expect to be able to crack open the back of this sort of seamless device to tinker with it. It's not that sort of device. Get a Thinkpad for that. I've not had overheating issues, or any issues at all for that matter. I purchased it from the Microsoft online store. At the time both Surface Pro and cover were 10 to 15% off. If you are going to buy it I would recommend using the Microsoft Store as people who have had issues seem to have had excellent service (mostly immediate replacement) for these machines.

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gunn_show
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by gunn_show » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:42 pm

dhodson wrote:The pro 2 is pretty close but yes the 1 is inferior

If get a good deal on a 2 instead which is what I use
Good timing for this thread, have been wanting to get a home machine and replace iPad at same time if possible. Groupon posted this yesterday
http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-microso ... bfc58307cc

Is this a v1 or v2? Assuming based on googling that this is a v1... which isn't ideal but man the price is right. I think there is a 10% off coupon as well making this under 400 bucks.

Wondering if at this price it is worth it to buy ... or just wait and pony up for the Pro 3 when it goes on special in future... thoughts?
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

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sambb
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by sambb » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:47 pm

The price for me is not the issue, as it is a corporate expense.
Also, the use as a tablet is less important but i need to have the ability to take notes (one note) and use office seamlessly - office is a big deal. Ipads are great, but when I need to use hard core office - there is no subsitiute for an actual pc.
I love the ipad - but not for work beyond minor email and editing
I dont need apps
I dont need games
I dont need 100% tablet use
I do, however, need to be able to jot down notes in meetings, and seamlessly integrate with office

I was hoping the surface i3 or i5 meet those needs. Seems like the i3 could do it.

Puakinekine
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Puakinekine » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:34 pm

sambb wrote:The price for me is not the issue, as it is a corporate expense.
Also, the use as a tablet is less important but i need to have the ability to take notes (one note) and use office seamlessly - office is a big deal. Ipads are great, but when I need to use hard core office - there is no subsitiute for an actual pc.
I love the ipad - but not for work beyond minor email and editing
I dont need apps
I dont need games
I dont need 100% tablet use
I do, however, need to be able to jot down notes in meetings, and seamlessly integrate with office

I was hoping the surface i3 or i5 meet those needs. Seems like the i3 could do it.
I find the One Note integration one of the best things about the Surface Pro, including note taking with the pen. If money is no object, I would still go with the i5 over the i3. I am sure the i3 is fine, but with perhaps some lagging that the i5 would not have?

DVMResident
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by DVMResident » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:33 pm

sambb wrote:Also, the use as a tablet is less important ...I dont need 100% tablet use
In this case, I would also consider the Thinkpad* Yoga with a Stylus. It leans much closer to traditional laptop with a secondary tablet function.

*Thinkpad, not Ideapad. The branding is similar, but the Ideapad Yoga does not have a stylus.

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sambb
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by sambb » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:29 pm

I was all set to buy an i5, but then today i read on the forums that these tablets are unreliable and can "hang", need hard resets, and even have serious wifi issues. Those never happen on my iPad. Disappointed.

Puakinekine
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Puakinekine » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:48 pm

sambb wrote:I was all set to buy an i5, but then today i read on the forums that these tablets are unreliable and can "hang", need hard resets, and even have serious wifi issues. Those never happen on my iPad. Disappointed.
I have not had any issues in 3 months, but the new YogaPad3 sounds like an excellent device as well. You don't really know how it will do, though, as it isn't out yet.

The wifi issue is one that I have also had on my Thinkpad from time to time. It seems like many Windows 8 (and Apple machines for that matter) sometimes cannot find the wifi when waking up from sleep mode when on battery. How I have made it a non-issue on the SurfacePro3 is to turn the device off, rather then let it sleep when on battery. It is as quick to power up as it is to wake up, so there is no loss of time and the wifi is immediately recognized. It is more of a pain on the Thinkpad, where the restart is not instantaneous.

I thought of you when I saw this today. It is worth a read, along with the comments where people talk about the pen and note taking.
http://indefinitelywild.gizmodo.com/mic ... 1645988630

soccerdad12
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by soccerdad12 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:57 pm

i have had the surface pro 3 for a couple of months. It is awesome. The pen works perfectly which makes onenote a joy to use for my purposes. There are no downsides to me (except the price is a little high).

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by RandomPointer » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:03 am

sambb wrote:I was all set to buy an i5, but then today i read on the forums that these tablets are unreliable and can "hang", need hard resets, and even have serious wifi issues. Those never happen on my iPad. Disappointed.
I have the i5 one, and I don't have any issue. I had a problem with WiFi, but the problem went away after upgrading the router firmware (Asus router).

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by smackboy1 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:35 am

What is the battery life like on a Surface Pro 3? What is the boot time? Is it possible to use it all day on standby mode like an iPad?

I have a slate but the short battery life and long boot time and weight and heat makes it not practical for whole day of meetings and use on the run.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by neurosphere » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:46 am

smackboy1 wrote:What is the battery life like on a Surface Pro 3? What is the boot time? Is it possible to use it all day on standby mode like an iPad?

I have a slate but the short battery life and long boot time and weight and heat makes it not practical for whole day of meetings and use on the run.
I have the Pro 2, and I can use it most of the day from standby on one charge. Obviously, the devil is in the details regarding usage. In any case, I just flip the keyboard up whenever I'm not using it. I don't typically bother turning it off because I find the battery drain in sleep mode is negligible.

But it boots up very fast. I'm guessing I can go from off, to an open Word document in less than 10 seconds.

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by HoosierJim » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:55 am

If it is ever going to be used in a stationary place like a desk for intensive MS Office work or fine mouse positioning - I would get a bluetooth keyboard/mouse (I need to 10-key numbers). The keyboard is good so if you don't need a numeric keypad just get a mouse. Get the data port/hdmi cable and a 24" monitor - now you have the best of the mobile and stationary worlds.

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semperlux
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by semperlux » Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:25 am

I have a Surface Pro 2, works well for what it's intended to do, namely a more mobile replacement for a laptop with full PC power / function. I use mine mainly for full version Acrobat filing & MS office. No games. It definitely is easier to take with me on trips. I have a wireless Logitech full size Keyboard & mouse as the above poster recommended that I use. Other times, nothing is connected & I use it as a tablet.

I have an i5 core, & don't have any overheating issues. I have experienced the wifi issues, but only with certain routers or setups. No problems at home, but wifi sometimes drops out at my mother's house. No big deal & not enough for me to not recommend buying this.

The screen is a good size for tablet use, but is not large enough for full PC function use, ie Office / Acrobat. When I do use it for full PC function, I have a HDMI adapter for my 50in TV that I display it on and it works well. But for quick edits & just to read documents, the screen is sufficient.

Wife is looking to get rid of her desktop & is also interested in the Surface Pro 3. Is it a lot better than Surface Pro 2? Or about the same but faster & more memory? I hear the main difference is the 3 is thinner & slightly lighter than the 2.

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by MC2014 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:30 am

I decided to get a surface pro 3 (ordered but have not yet received it) primarily because I felt that the IPAD air, while great in sleekness and size, seemed more for entertainment (movies/video games). The surface pro 3 seemed more for work related portability which is what I was looking for.

There is no USB port on the ipad. While this is not a critical issue for some, I felt that it limited my ability to use my old external storage drives etc. which I have use for. While I may be putting more and more in cloud storage, I have a whole lifetime of stuff on my external storage drive that I don't think I'll be transferring
over to cloud anytime soon.

The Surface Pro 3 also allows me to use programs that I need for work on my tablet, allowing me to take the tablet as a substitute laptop on conferences.

I felt that the USB dongles for WIFI on the go also allowed me more flexibility than having to subscribe to a wifi package, phone package/data plan, or tether my cell phone or do something like that. (I share a cell phone with my spouse, so I already don't have that option of tethering whenever I would like to. Also, we don't use our cell phone when we travel internationally).

Once I get it, I will let you know how it works out, but I am pretty excited about the surface pro 3! :D

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by sambb » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:57 am

I am most concerned about the niggling reliability issues, which are fairly prominent on the surface forums. It seems frustrating to some users. Don't know if the value is there, if the tablet lacks reliability

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semperlux
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by semperlux » Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:46 am

I've had my SP2 for 1 full year, and the only reliability issue I've had is it sometimes drops its wifi connection when interfacing with specific routers when not plugged in. Otherwise it works well and has been quite reliable and fast.

At the time I bought, and also currently, I believe the SP is the only viable PC replacement in tablet form that can run full powered versions of PC software. Of course there will be competitors entering this market, but when and how good their products are is anyone's guess.

So given this, depending on how pressing it is for you to buy, it may be worth waiting for other options to come on the market or at least the next iteration of the SP and see if any of your concerns are addressed.

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Lynette » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:41 am

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widestance
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by widestance » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:59 pm

Looked pretty long and hard at the Surface 3 Pro, ended up going with the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro ultrabook.
Felt like I got a better deal without having to purchase extras.
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:29 am

sambb wrote:I was all set to buy an i5, but then today i read on the forums that these tablets are unreliable and can "hang", need hard resets, and even have serious wifi issues. Those never happen on my iPad. Disappointed.
I've had the Pro 3 since mid-summer. Reliability issues were mostly in the first month of usage, and some of it was "user error" instead of hardware or software issues. Some of it was bad design on Microsoft's part though. For example, the guy at work who put the work image on it kept complaining about it "hanging" after it had been asleep. It was actually installing updates when it was woken from sleep, but it didn't put anything on the screen to let you know it was installing updates, other than a brief flash of the Surface logo. If you weren't looking when that flashed on the screen, you could think it was "hanging" when really you just needed to be patient and wait for it to finish updating. Microsoft really should have put a pinwheel or something on the screen for that.

Now that I know that's the behavior, I give it a minute to boot up before worrying about it hanging. Better yet, when I notice it has an update pending, I just tell it to install updates and restart, so I don't have to worry about it trying to install updates next time I wake it up from sleep mode.
HoosierJim wrote:If it is ever going to be used in a stationary place like a desk for intensive MS Office work or fine mouse positioning - I would get a bluetooth keyboard/mouse (I need to 10-key numbers). The keyboard is good so if you don't need a numeric keypad just get a mouse. Get the data port/hdmi cable and a 24" monitor - now you have the best of the mobile and stationary worlds.
Work sprung for the keyboard dock for my Surface Pro 3. We had to wait a couple months for it to come in, so before that I was using a setup like you described. It is definitely an improvement to hook it up to a 24" monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse. I do prefer the simplicity of putting it into the docking station though. Also with the docking station, you have 5 USB ports available, so you can use either Bluetooth or wireless USB dongle mice and keyboards.

Whatever method one uses to hook it up to an external monitor, I would recommend setting the Surface up to turn off the internal display when it's hooked up to the monitor. I notice that greatly cuts down on overheating issues for me (see below for more notes on this).
smackboy1 wrote:What is the battery life like on a Surface Pro 3? What is the boot time? Is it possible to use it all day on standby mode like an iPad?

I have a slate but the short battery life and long boot time and weight and heat makes it not practical for whole day of meetings and use on the run.
Battery life depends on how bright you like the screen. If you have the brightness at about 50% or higher, it might last 4-6 hours. I usually leave the brightness around 30-35%, which can get me through the day without needing to be charged.

As for heat, I've only had it get too warm when I used it to watch videos for a couple hours (where it did get uncomfortably warm) and one time when I used OneNote for about three hours straight without letting it turn off the display (nowhere near as warm as after the videos, but warmer than normal). It also used to overheat in the docking station before I set it up to turn off the internal display, but that may just have been something about how the docking station affected normal airflow and heat dissipation from the back of the case. In any event, it seems that leaving the internal display on for extended periods of time greatly contributes to the heat issue.

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sambb
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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by sambb » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:54 am

Are there unresolved wifi issues? My research has led me to think this happens.
Any thought on i3 vs i5? I would use it only for MS office. Work environment.

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:12 pm

sambb wrote:Are there unresolved wifi issues? My research has led me to think this happens.
Any thought on i3 vs i5? I would use it only for MS office. Work environment.
Haven't had any WiFi issues caused by the Surface since the firmware updates from a couple of months ago (I have had wifi issues caused by my neighbors incorrectly setting up half a dozen access points to stomp all over any other access points in range, but the Surface can't be blamed for that).

I can't comment on the i3 vs the i5. I have the i5, which works well for most Office documents.

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Re: advice on a surface pro 3

Post by max12377 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:37 pm

I have a surface pro 2. I bought it for the writing app because it's one of the very few that seems to work well. Now instead of writing note on paper it's all done electronically.

The drawback to the Surface Pro, in my opinion, is Windows 8. Windows 8 seems like a half-baked OS. Some things I can do in Win 8 & some thing I have to return to the old desktop mode. Yuck. ( For example, the snipping tool..)

I like the portability of the Surface Pro 2 otherwise. The detachable keyboard works quite well. Also, I don't have issues with watching Flash video which is a problem on an iPad or iPhone.

I have an iPad 1 and quite frankly, hardly ever use it anymore. I can't see a new gen iPad making much of a difference save for better hardware. I do have an Iphone 6plus that pretty much removes the need for an iPad. I'm ok with the Phablet.. :sharebeer

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