Microsoft Surface Pro 3: 8 Winning Features - InformationWeek

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5/21/2014
10:12 AM
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Microsoft Surface Pro 3: 8 Winning Features

Has Microsoft finally cracked laptop-tablet hybrids? Here are eight ways Surface Pro 3 raises the bar.
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The Surface Pro 3's pen experience could be a major differentiator.
The Surface Pro 3's pen experience could be a major differentiator.

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Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 11:52:00 AM
Re: Andddd?
I totally understand.  The decision to give up a laptop in favor for a tablet is still a huge hurdle for folks who need a proper keyboard.  I use a Windows tablet, but in order to benefit from the functionality, I require a connected keyboard, which negates the portability aspect since it requires usage in its docking station.  As a desktop replacement it's a perfect device, but until they master the hybrid ultrabook/tablet, folks will still be making a decision between a tablet and an ultrabook rather than looking at a hybrid device.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
5/23/2014 | 9:39:25 AM
Re: Andddd?
Mak, Jeff did a full analysis here: http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-devices/tablet-vs-ultrabook-10-ways-to-choose/d/d-id/1105787?

To me, there are two main advantages to an ultrabook: a nice keyboard and native storage. (I get that you can buy external keyboards and use cloud.) At the end of the day, it's personal preference and what you use the device for. At that price, I want to be able to do work on it, and as an editor, a proper keyboard is nonnegotiable for me. YMMV!
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
5/23/2014 | 12:27:50 AM
Re: Andddd?
@Lorna

I do agree, yes. I guess because at that price point you can get a nice ultrabook that weighs about the same as the tablet and does way more.

I'm curious. I get that an ultrabook has a bigger screen, but in what way does way more?
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
5/22/2014 | 1:51:09 PM
Re: Andddd?
I do agree, yes. I guess because at that price point you can get a nice ultrabook that weighs about the same as the tablet and does way more.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/22/2014 | 1:48:38 PM
Re: Andddd?
I think we can both agree, then, that the other 12 inch tablet on the market is monstrously overpriced. Samsung wants $850 for its 64 GB jumbo tablet, $50 more than Microsoft asks for the i3 64 GB Surface Pro 3. Granted, I don't get the feeling Galaxy Pros are flying off the shelf...
GAProgrammer
IW Pick
100%
0%
GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
5/22/2014 | 9:00:56 AM
Re: Microsoft Hardware
That's understandable. I guess you never buy Apple either, as their Newton was an abysmal failure?
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
5/21/2014 | 7:39:52 PM
Surface Pro pen
Instant note taking through a pressure sensitive pen, what a nice feature, plus drawing capabilities based on 256 pressure sensitivities embedded in the pen. I like that notion. Might have to give one of these a try.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
5/21/2014 | 5:10:07 PM
Re: Andddd?
Tend to agree with @Kevin, this is spendy -- especially given Microsoft's less than stellar track record with hardware. Seems like Redmond should be cutting people a break to reel them in. 
RajaR362
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50%
RajaR362,
User Rank: Strategist
5/21/2014 | 12:26:46 PM
Productivity
I don't see why this would not be the most productivity oriented table yet. Bravo Microsoft. 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/21/2014 | 11:19:39 AM
Re: Andddd?
@Kevin,

There's a lot of latitude in "for the most part."

It really depends which features you value. After all, why do people buy Macbooks when they can get similar specs for less money from a Windows machine? Is it the build quality, the appeal of OS X, Apple's effective marketing, integration with iOS, or something else? Whatever the reason(s), in the $1000+ segment, things don't work out like they do in the lower tiers; Apple might only claim around 10% of the U.S. market, but when you consider almost all of the devices they sell are $1000+, you can get a sense of how much differently things work at the very top. I can see why Microsoft decided to target the premium market, and to mothball the Surface Mini.

The Surface Pro 3 is meaningfully different from current Ultrabooks thanks to its pen integration, at the very least. Eventually, pen support will pervade all of Windows, and this sort of functionality might become more common among OEM devices. But for now, it's at least one feature that helps the Surface stand out, and that could help it to gain a place in the high end of the market. It might not matter to all users, but as someone who's spent a lot of time with both Photoshop and Final Draft (two of them pen-optimized apps demonstrated this week), I can definitely see a market for this sort of tool. As analyst Jack Gold said in our story yesterday, when you sell expensive, high-margin devices, you don't need to move tens of millions of units to be successful.

I think the Surface Pro 3 is a pricey, but if Microsoft had just included the stupid keyboard for the same cost, that wouldn't be so unreasonable.
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