Surface Pro 3 missing pieces
I think the Surface Pro 3 is by far the most compelling tablet Microsoft has yet produced, and the most intriguing Windows tablet I've seen, period. But Eric brings up valid points. Microsoft is basically positioning the Surface Pro 3 as a competitor to not only the iPad, but also the MacBook Air and even 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Pro 3's marketed uniqueness is going to invite all kinds of comparisons, especially with the price. It might be the tablet that replaces a laptop, but it's definitely priced the like the latter. Here's my take on the missing pieces Eric pointed out:
1. Definitely. A mobile device isn't truly mobile if it can't get online whenever you need it to. Really wish they'd included this. Maybe later, like Microsoft did with Surface 2.
2. I'd feel okay about the prices if Microsoft would include the damn keyboard—as Eric said, the Pro 3's been priced like a laptop, and to me, that means Microsoft should include the keyboard. Even so, of all the Surface models, the Pro 3 does the best job justifying its entry high cost. When you compare what you'd get for your money today to what Microsoft wanted for the Surface RT a couple years ago, it's a pretty big leap.
3. See above.
4. We'll see about this. I'm gonna get a chance tomorrow to check out the tablet. I've talked to some people who say it handles surprisingly well. I'm curious. The Surface 2 was light, but still awkward in portrait mode. And both of the first two Pro models were pretty lousy as tablets, which made their size-related shortcomings as laptops all the more glaring. I'll be curious to see how the new aspect ratio, thinness and form factor balance out for handheld use. That said, between the Pro 3's improved laptop capabilities and pen functions, it doesn't need to match the iPad's pure tablet experience. Earlier Surfaces were too compromised, and even though this one surely has its drawbacks too, I think Microsoft has more effectively calculated where to draw lines. It's not gonna make consumers drop their iPads, but I bet business users will like it, and that Microsoft can build respectable share. Even a comparatively modest amount of enterprise market share would offer better margins than all those cheap Android devices combined.
All of the above said, if the pen delivers as advertised, I think these concerns are mitigated.