Microsoft Surface 3: A review of the tablet-laptop hybrid for everyone
Microsoft Surface 3: A review of the tablet-laptop hybrid for everyone.
For the last few years, Microsoft’s Surface devices have blended tablets and laptops to fit the new touch-enabled version of Windows, its main operating system. Microsoft’s Surface 3, which went on sale Tuesday, may be the first device that finally keeps all the promises the company made when it first announced the ambitious line of tablet-laptops.‘DOING GOOD THINGS’:International Data Corp has forecast shipments of Microsoft’s tablets would jump 40.51 percent to 16.3 million units this year Microsoft Corp’s Taiwan branch expects shipments of its Surface tablets to grow this year, as users will be able to upgrade to the Windows 10 operating system at no extra charge. “The free-of-charge system upgrade could convince consumers to buy the existing Windows-based tablets without waiting for the new operating system to hit the market,” Microsoft Taiwan general manager of marketing and operations Roan Kang (康容) said on the sidelines of the Surface 3 tablet launch. “We have various display sizes of Windows-based tablets for consumers, and solutions for both work and entertainment purposes. In addition, this Thursday, the $499 device will go on sale in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The company said the two-in-one detachable Surface tablets generated US$713 million in revenue last quarter, up 44 percent year-on-year, driven by robust demand for the high-end Surface Pro 3. The kickstand doesn’t break because this extra position is actually a breakaway feature to ensure the hinge doesn’t ruin the rest of the tablet if you accidentally lean on it. The Pro gets a larger, 12-inch screen and significantly more pixels, so if you plan to watch movies, play games or do real work on this thing, you might want to upgrade. (Get more RAM while you’re at it.) Of course, one of the cool magnetic keyboards is practically a must-buy, since they double as screen covers. But like a laptop, it has a full USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort and charges through a micro USB port — handy for users who have the same cable for charging their phones. To be considered working, the screen must not have any cracks or dead pixels, the cursor must respond normally, and the housing must be completely intact.
While the original Reddit poster claims a Microsoft employee demonstrated the kickstand position at a retail store recently, Microsoft doesn’t officially recommend it. “The kickstand also contains a safety mechanism unique to Surface 3 to help protect the device, but the mechanism is not designed for use as a fourth kickstand position,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. After getting your trade-in value, you’ll need to mail Microsoft your old Surface and accessories, and the company will send you an email with a promo code. But the search giant can also take over your TV with the Google Chromecast , a streaming dongle that tops Amazon’s own Fire TV Stick on the company’s list of best-selling electronic devices. Part of its appeal lies in its pure portability, but there’s also the price: just $35 to wirelessly stream Netflix, Spotify, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, and more from your mobile device or PC to the TV. The touchpad is capable of two-finger scrolling, but it’s tiny and can be bothersome, often confusing left-clicks for right-clicks — though you may ask, “What’s the point of a keyboard and mouse on a touch screen?” The answer is that Surface 3 runs Windows 8.1, which underneath it all, is a keyboard and mouse operating system.
Google announced a few updates for Chromecast at Google I/O last year—from Android mirroring to options that will make your Chromecast screen more aesthetically pleasing. A built-in groove makes it easy to flip out to any of three settings, and there’s a satisfying click to each one. (Anand Ram/CBC) The software is quick, thanks to a quad-core processor, Intel’s Atom x7. The best selling point for the Surface 3’s software is the free, one-year subscription to Office 365, Microsoft’s productivity suite that normally costs $100 a year. From presentations to lectures, you won’t be let down by the full capability of Word or Excel, and it’s tied into Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive.
To be as productive as a good laptop, you’ll likely need to bump up to the higher storage and RAM configuration ($769), then add the Type Cover ($159). The decision rests in whether you need to run Windows with Office, in a world where a cheap Chromebook and Google Docs will save you much more money and be just as productive.
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