Microsoft Surface 3 :: First impressions

by Volker Weber

ZZ257C45B3

Surface 3 is now available for purchase and Microsoft provided one for testing. I have the full package: Surface 3, Surface Pen and Surface 3 Dock. I will keep Surface 3 for the remainder of the month and provide some updates on my usage. Plenty of photos below and some first expressions.

There are larger versions of the photos on Flickr. Clicking on a photo takes you there.

ZZ0FFD486E.jpg

This is the tall configuration which the original Surface provided. Notice you can flip up the keyboard to the screen which makes a swipe from the bottom gesture difficult but provides a better typing experience. This kickstand position only makes sense when Surface is used to display information.

ZZ29DDA21A.jpg

This kickstand position is most useful in a laptop configuration.

ZZ10B7EAC1

It takes a bit of courage when you first bend the kickstand as far back as this. Once you know you can do it, it's easy. ;-) Surface 3 has these three positions while Surface 3 Pro will let you adjust the angle in any position. To me it makes no difference. I don't need more than three.

ZZ3A8A5850

Surface 3 is only a bit larger than Surface and shares the same color as Surface 2. While they look alike, Surface 3 is a full PC with Intel CPU. It no longer runs Windows RT but Windows 8.1 and will upgrade to Windows 10. The CPU is low power which makes the device similar to Surface and Surface 2: very slim, no fan. Silent!

ZZ28196603

Slim for a PC, but chunky for a tablet. Surface used to be 16:9, now it's 3:2, iPad is 4:3. With 3:2 it is no longer awkward to hold in portrait orientation. The Windows logo moved to the side and suggests you can hold it like an iPad.

ZZ337712A9

Surface 3 docked as a PC. You can attach the pen to the left side. Also note the Kensington lock hole which suggests the dock is supposed to be left behind in an office.

ZZ70D06200

You can attach an Ethernet wire, two USB devices (or hubs), a screen, headset and power. There is no physical lock to secure Surface itself. This whole setup suggests a good use case for Surface: knowledge workers who want to work at their desk and use a tablet without requiring two devices. Surface 3 is less powerful than Surface 3 Pro, but has plenty of power for Office apps. Less power means no heat, no fan, no noise, longer battery life. Now you only need to convince senior management that less power has its advantages. ;-)

ZZ6864C5B6

There are only two connectors between dock and Surface: DisplayPort and USB-A. You open the dock by pulling it apart to the side, put Surface into the stand and then push the sides back in. Very easy.


ZZ39209AC9

Microsoft got the power supply right. It's a USB charger with detachable cable and exchangeable plugs.

ZZ29DD8207

When you are traveling you can buy a generic power lead for the country you are staying in. They are inexpensive and readily available. The detachable cable is USB-A to MicroUSB-B which is ubiquitous and used for almost all current devices that are not made by Apple.

ZZ33219F70

Surface 3 has a keyboard connector, a microSD slot and four ports: headset, USB-A, microUSB-B and DisplayPort. Lots of things to try out. Expect updates.

While almost everything in the Surface 3 design makes perfect sense, I am missing a place to store the pen. On your desk you can place on your keyboard, when it's not bent towards the screen. In a dock you can attach it to the left side. But when you are traveling there is no secure place. Well, I got that one wrong. If you have a keyboard cover you have a safe place to store your pen.

ZZ5B2DE489

A PC needs a keyboard. If you have an old Surface keyboard it will still work. It just does not match the size perfectly.


Side remark:

This is the first Microsoft hardware product that I can test early. It has always been very difficult to get samples since their processes are not geared towards people like me. This time the experience has been different. Microsoft bought the phone business from Nokia and with them an organization that is way faster and more flexible. I sincerely hope that Microsoft can learn from them instead of forcing their old ways on them.

Comments

Klasse Volker, herzlichen Dank! Ich lauere noch, glaube aber, dass ich bis zum Lumia 940XL (oder wie immer 'es' heissen wird) aussetze.

Hubert Stettner, 2015-05-06

Recent comments

Oliver Simon on iPhone 12 Pro :: Völlig neu und doch vertraut at 21:34
Michael Jäckel on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 20:52
Matthias Lorz on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 17:39
Oliver Stör on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 12:15
Kai Kramhöft on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 11:19
Sven Rohweder on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 10:42
Kai Stockrahm on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 10:03
Christopher Schmidt on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 09:54
Fridolin Koch on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 22:37
Matthias Welling on iPhone 12 Pro :: Völlig neu und doch vertraut at 21:52
Paul-Christian Ablaß on Wie gut funktioniert ANC bei den Jabra Elite 75t? at 20:30
Volker Weber on Jabra Elite 85t :: Erste Eindrücke at 18:42
Thomas Kahmann on Jabra Elite 85t :: Erste Eindrücke at 18:40
Tobias Hauser on iPhone 12 Pro :: Völlig neu und doch vertraut at 18:04
Bernd Hofmann on iPhone 12 Pro :: Völlig neu und doch vertraut at 16:54
Bernd Hofmann on Ein Jahr iPhone 11 Pro at 16:34
Oliver Stör on iPhone 12 Pro :: Völlig neu und doch vertraut at 15:00
Joachim Bode on Jabra Elite 85t :: Erste Eindrücke at 14:04
Axel Laemmert on Scriptable Widgets in iOS 14 at 21:57
Volker Weber on Scriptable Widget :: Klopapier-Bestand abfragen at 13:45
Dominique Roller on Scriptable Widget :: Klopapier-Bestand abfragen at 13:42
Harald Gaerttner on Scriptable Widget :: Klopapier-Bestand abfragen at 12:04
Horia Stanescu on Smooth Criminal :: Matthew Panzarino about the iPad Air at 11:58
Patrick Glaffig on Scriptable Widget :: Klopapier-Bestand abfragen at 11:42
Mark Dörbandt on Jabra Elite 75t und Elite Active 75t nun mit aktiver Geräuschunterdrückung at 00:10

Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

vowe

Contact
Publications
Stuff that works
Amazon Wish List
Frequently Asked Questions

rss feed  twitter  amazon

Local time is 21:52

visitors.gif

Paypal vowe