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Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you'll find them

- Danielle Steel, Bittersweet.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Gadget of the Week - Microsoft Surface Pro 3

We have n the past featured computing devices which can either be a tablet, a notebook computer, or both. All this is possible thanks to a keyboard dock which enhances the typing experience and therefore, the productivity.
These are the Samsung ATIV Smart PC and the ASUS Transformer Book T100.

Today, we look at a device which makes the bold claim that it is a tablet that can replace your laptop.
Guys, say hello to Microsoft Surface Pro 3.

Where is stands out

Unlike many touch devices with a 10.1 inch screen, Surface Pro 3 has a 12 inch screen. It also packs a fourth generation Intel Core (i3, i5 or i7) processor. RAM is either 3GB or 8GB.

Another plus for Surface Pro 3 is the full-size USB 3.0 port on the tablet itself. Both the rear and front cameras are 5MP with 1080p video capability.

There also is Surface Pen and the much improved kick-stand that supports the Surface tablet at various angles.

Expert Reviews

Engadget calls this Microsoft's biggest and best tablet yet, but it needs a better keyboard to truly replace your laptop.
Despite its larger screen size, the Surface Pro is easier than ever to use as a tablet, thanks to a thinner, lighter design and more sensible aspect ratio. If Microsoft could just figure out the keyboard thing (and start throwing it in for free), I'd be more inclined to recommend this as a laptop replacement. 

PC Pro UK simply has a succinct verdict:
With a fantastic screen and improved ergonomics, the new Surface Pro is an impressively persuasive hybrid.

ZDnet concludes, with respect to past Surface tablets, that:
[the] design changes Microsoft has implemented are largely successful — a bigger 3:2 aspect-ratio screen, a thinner and lighter chassis, useful stylus/OS integration, an improved add-on keyboard and touchpad. Performance and battery life are both acceptable.

In addition to the premium pricing and a keyboard that is sold separately, there are a few more issues:
..the too-easily-activated Windows touch-button in the right-hand bezel; the risible Pen Loop and lack of any other 'home' for the Surface Pen; the single USB 3.0 port; the lack of a full-size SD card slot; a tendency to run warm under load, with consequent fan noise. 

And here is the UK PC Advisor's verdict:
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.

User Opinions

eca637 says:
With Microsoft's quest to have a tablet replace a laptop, they've churned out the Surface Pro 3. I purchased this device with the intent of using it in engineering classes as something I can carry around and work math on. First Impression - very thin, light, and sturdy feeling. Read entire review

 Joseph Soquiat, a student who owns a Core i5, 256GB Surface Pro 3, gives six reasons why Surface Pro 3 is a great device, saying:
Microsoft seems to always advertise their Surface Pro products towards businesses, IT, artists, and engineers. They forget to mention the great benefit this Surface Pro 3 has for students! I'm going to give 6 reasons why the Surface 3 is great for students, such as myself.

Sean Ong, does a video review to support his claim that Surface Pro 3 is amazing. He sums it up thus:
This tablet is absolutely amazing in what it can do, and I'd say this is hands-down the BEST tablet and computer that money can buy.

Pricing and Availability

The Price in Kenya site lists prices for Surface Pro 3, from Ksh 80,999 (Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB) to Ksh 197,499 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, 512GB storage).

OLX listings feature different prices, such as Ksh 170,000 and  Ksh 195,000.

The price range on Amazon is $784.99 for the Core i3, $1299.99 for Core i5 up to $1918.40 for the top-end Core i7.

* * *

Now, with a new computer, what else but a bright future in sales?