Microsoft has lifted the lid on the Surface 3, which on the outside is a clear cousin of the Surface Pro 3. It sports a similar design and comes with similar accessories — from its Type Keyboard Cover to the Stylus Pen and Dock — but how about on the inside?
Powered by a Quad-core Intel Atom "Cherry Trail" CPU, the Surface 3 is (somewhat ironically for the first non-Pro tablet to run full-fat Windows 8.1) pretty unsuitable for running the demanding desktop programs — such as Photoshop — that many users rely on.
But as a crew of writers who have tested a fair amount of tablets and laptops in their time, is there anything about the Surface 3 that could make it a good buy, despite its underpowered innards? Or is there simply no reason not to shell out a bit more for a Surface Pro 3?
- Read: Surface 3 review
Kevin Lee – Associate Editor, Laptops
Last year the Surface 3 was a surprising no-show at Microsoft’s yearly Surface event. Now the Richmond company has announced its latest tablet-PC to relatively little fanfare and it’s no surprise given it’s a bit disappointing. I was expecting an Intel Core M-powered thin and power-sipping device, but going with an Atom processor has removed the possibility of a fanless design. All the while, I’m not confident it’ll be that much more powerful than a traditional tablet, and it sure as heck won’t run as long.
Patrick Goss – Global Editor-in-Chief
I have to say I’m not convinced by the Surface 3 principally because I think it falls between two stools. Ultimately it seems to be targeting a group of people who think they want a tablet with a great keyboard and the ability to do a bit of work. Instead it’s an expensive, underpowered laptop with a shoddy detachable and pricey keyboard or a distinctly unappealing tablet.
Kane Fulton – Computing Editor
The fact remains that the Surface 3 is the most affordable and portable Surface tablet yet. If you loved everything about the Surface Pro 3 other than its price, and don’t need oodles of processing power or a bigger display, Microsoft’s new tablet grants you a ticket to the Surface party for that bit less. Unfortunately, that ticket should come at a far lower price than it does.
Desire Athow – TechRadar Pro Editor
Given that the Surface Pro 3 can be had for around a hundred pounds more, I don’t see any reason why one should buy the Surface 3. It’s too expensive, underpowered and accessories are too expensive.Buffer