Everything You Need To Know About The New Surface 3

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Surface 3
  • Display
  • Processor
  • Camera
  • Storage
  • OS
4.5

Last week, Microsoft announced the next tablet in its Surface line-up: the Surface 3. As the blog states, Microsoft’s intentions for the Surface series is to make a tablet that is versatile enough to function as a tablet and laptop PC. They came pretty close with the Surface Pro 3, and the new Surface 3 is just one step closer. But, what are the big differences between the Surface 3 and the Surface Pro 3? Is it worth upgrading from your current Surface 2? How does it compare to other major tablets like the iPad Air 2?  Well, we’ve got the answers to those questions and more down below!

THE SURFACE 3

SPECS

One of the biggest differences between the Surface 3 and previous Surface models is its new processor. Microsoft has ditched the Nvidia ARM processor for a new Intel processor. This means that the tablet itself runs Windows 8.1 and has a wider range of features. This was a great move on Microsoft’s part considering the main point of the tablet is to replace conventional laptops. It also has a stronger battery life (about 10 hours of video streaming as opposed to 8 on the Surface Pro 3). The camera has also been upgraded from 5 MP to 8, though the front camera isn’t as good at 3.5 MP. The Surface 3 also comes with microUSB port, something for Android and Windows phone users to rejoice over. A more expensive model of the Surface 3 (more on pricing below) will also include LTE connectivity.

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DESIGN

The design for the Surface 3 is strikingly similar to the Surface Pro 3, though there are some noticeable differences. For one, the Surface 3 is a decent amount smaller than the Pro. At 10.8 inches compared to the Pro’s 12 inches, the Surface 3 is still pleasantly large without being difficult to hold. The screen is still designed with 3:2 aspect ratio, so the screen quality is still beautiful and it still feels natural to use in portrait mode. In fact, the tablet pretty much looks and feels the same. The only real difference is the kickstand. Whereas the Surface Pro 3’s kickstand can be adjusted up to 180 degrees, the Surface 3 only has three settings for its kickstand. It isn’t a huge deal ultimately, but people who love an adjustable stand may be irked by it.

SURFACE 3 vs. iPAD AIR 2

When it comes down to it, the Surface 3 has a larger display than the iPad Air 2. That being said, the iPad Air 2 is naturally lighter than the Surface 3, though not by much. Other than that, the battery life is quite similar, as is the screen resolution. The biggest difference between the two, besides the obvious differences in operating systems, is the cost. The Surface 3 has two models: one with 64 GB of internal memory and 2 GB of RAM for $499, and the other has 128 GB of internal memory, 4 GB of RAM, and LTE connectivity for $599. The 64 GB iPad Air 2 comes in at $599, which makes the Surface 3 the cheaper option. Keep in mind, though, that the essential Surface type cover is a separate cost of $130, which evens it out to be about the same.

THE VERDICT

The Surface 3 is going to be a great tablet for the general consumer. It doesn’t have the burdensome price of the Pro 3 (currently retailed at $799.99), and it also comes with full Windows 8.1 access. It doesn’t blow the iPad Air 2 out of the water, though it gives it some stiff competition. Ultimately, if you want a solid tablet that runs Windows and Office without breaking the bank, the Surface 3 is the perfect option.

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