Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • Surface 3 will be available to purchase on May 5th, 2015. If you are on the fence about purchasing one I hope this will help you out.  Especially if you are using a Surface Pro 3 right now.  It's my final look at Surface 3.  I suppose we should catch up on what I've done on Surface 3.

     

    First Look and Photo Gallery

     

    Podcasts on Surface 3

     

    Battery Testing the Surface 3

     

    Initial Thoughts on Surface 3

     

     

     

    [gallery ids=2040,2041,2042,2043,2044,2045,2046,2047,2048,2049]

     

     

     

    Movie Mode Battery Testing

     

    The Surface 3 is getting battery life numbers all over the place. I'm testing my own way so let me explain it. I want to know how it performs if I have a video on the device. Playing a movie and screen on time. Almost like if you grabbed the Surface 3 and hopped on a plane. Just for fun I did the same test on both of my Surface Pro 3's, the Core i3 and the Core i5.

     

    Here are the details on the video loop. I have a MP4 of the movie Office Space. It's 720x 464,

    23 FPS. The data rate combined of video and audio is 1633kbps. It's a comedy and it's 1999. Let's test.

     

    No Surprise the Surface 3 outlasted the two Surface Pro's. Here is how long they lasted:

     

    Surface Pro 3 Core i3 - 7 Hours 45 Minutes

    Surface Pro 3 Core i5 - 7 Hours 00 Minutes

    Surface 3 128/4GB - 9 Hours 45 Minutes

     

    The display was set to 35% on all three and I changed the power plan to keep the screen on and not to sleep the machine. I would say the error correction is around Plus or Minus 15 minutes. The other thing that was working in favor of the Surface 3 is it was completely stock software. The Surface Pro 3 had other software installed even though I tried to go through each one and stop services to try to make them even. Wifi was on an they sat side by side and played a movie. I'm betting you would see the same if you jumped on a 10 hour flight and watched a few movies.

     

    Everyday Usage and Standby Battery Tests

     

    I know you have probably heard of Surface RT and Surface 2 draining the battery when it was supposed to be hibernating or sleeping.  Surface 3 fixes that as you will see from my usage and testing below.

     

    This kind of testing is subjective.  Your mileage may vary kind of warning here.  I'm simply using Surface 3 and taking notes.  I'm going to show you some of my raw notes on this test instead of summarizing it.  Here is how I set it up.

     

    Starting with 100 % Charge.

    Stock Surface 3 running IE with two tabs, Outlook.com and Onedrive. One or two other tabs open with light browsing of internet.

    Running Event viewer because I'm a geek and I look at that stuff and using notepad to take notes with.

    Running Windows Mobility Center to see battery status.  This is a cool app.

    Display set to lower 1/3rd around 30 to 35%. Lower than what you would need outside. I tend to conserve when it comes to display brightness. Power set to balanced, default. I never changed anything.

    No apps loaded. No installs. Windows Update ran twice after initial boot.

    WiFi is on and connected. Bluetooth is on but no connections to devices. Not even the pen at this point.

    Touch Keyboard connected.

     

    6:45 PM Went on Battery

    Closed the cover at 10:45 PM and it was at 95% Battery

    At 8 AM the next morning it was at  92% Battery.

    Life took over and I didn't pull the Surface 3 out for another 36 hours.  Thirty Six hours it was cover closed.  When I turned it back on it was at 85%.

     

    I used it on and off for 2 hours and ran it down to 78%.  Cover closed and picked up the next morning and it had only lost another 2%.

     

    Casual use and standby battery use are awesome on Surface 3. Hopefully you can decipher my notes but it should be clear that it only sips a few percentage points overnight and is generally good at managing battery usage day to day.

     

     

     

    Wi-Fi

     

    I wanted to test the Wifi on the Surface 3 vs. the Surface Pro 3 just for grins. I as well as many others

    had trouble with SP3 and WiFi early in its life.  My home Wifi is pretty freaking hideous and I'm waiting on the promised land of eero.  More on that here if you are interested.  I found Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 very similar if not identical in my testing.  I'll spare you the details.

     

    Keyboard

     

    I love the differences of this keyboard.  It's hard to put in words what the differences are.  Yes it's smaller and sometimes I do feel a little cramped on it.  I don't know how I would feel about it if I was on it 24/7 as a writer.   I talked about this keyboard in my initial look but have a few things to add to that.  I like how the function key lights up much like the Caps key does.  Surface Pro 3 does not have this.  It allows you to use old keyboard commands like Alt - F4.

    If you have ever hit the Function 1 or 2 button on the SP3 keyboard and tried to get the screen to dim but

    only managed to dim the keyboard backlight you are in luck. The S3 keyboard has both keyboard dimming and screen dimming.  Yes, you can change the brightness of your keyboard.  That is cool.

     

    I already told you that i keep my screen dim. Now I don't have to fumble

    with the OS to brighten it outside. It's on the keyboard. Share buttons are gone but honestly I always used the swipe in from right to access share. We'll address Windows 10 later so don't go there!

    Print Screen! Yes, finally. Capture the whole screen or don't forget Alt-PrtScn grabs the top windows.

    Funny that Alt-Print Screen worked with the Fn lit.

     

    Lapability

     

    I can lap the SP3 like nobody's business. It's very versatile and the ultra position-able kickstand does make it more lapable than the Surface 3. Surface 3 is good, don't get me wrong. I also prefer the 3 position stand over the stiff Surface Pro 3 one. The SP3 has that last little angle needed to get a perfect position while sitting on the couch.

    The Pen

    I rarely used the pen with Surface Pro 3 but I wanted to try it out on the Surface 3. I paired it up manually because in the setup it didn't ask for the pen. I assume that is because it is an optional accessory. Duh.

    Surface 3 has an app on it called Drawboard PDF. I gave it a try and it was great for reading a PDF manual. It struck me how awesome it was at reading when I pulled the keyboard off and put it in portrait mode and handled it like a book. The Surface 3 does this very nicely where the Pro 3 is just too big and heavy.

    Back to the pen, I annotated on a PDF with this app and it(the app) was an average experience. The erase was very blocky unlike OneNote. Example, if you write the word Pen and hold the erase button and tap the "n" it will erase the whole word. In OneNote you have more granular control and would be able to erase the "n" and be able to re write it neater. UPDATE: Drawboard contacted me and informed me there is a setting in the app to enable more granular control of the eraser. Good on them.  Don't forget that this is a Free app on Surface 3 that normally costs $9.99. I'm going to continue to use it and will keep you informed.

     

    I'm not knocking on the pen however.  There are more apps in the store to take advantage of the pen including Word and OneNote.  I loaded up a ton of photos in Word and made notes with the pen.  I found it a good experience and will probably use the pen more with Surface 3.  I can't give you a "Pro" experience with apps and pen but will probably do a podcast on it with some of my colleagues.

     

    Ports and Buttons

    If you are coming from the Surface Pro 3 like myself you are going to hate the location of the volume rocker. I can't tell you how many times I've turned my Surface screen off while just trying to turn the volume up. I mentally tell myself that it's close to the power button, don't hit the power button. I'll still hit it by accident sometimes. I would prefer the volume be on the left side but understand that it might not have fit there due to internals. (Update: It was reported this change is due to the dock.)

     

    General Use

    I've been trying to max this thing out. Kill it, another words. I can bog it down pretty good but I have not been able to melt it. There is noticeable lag in browsing and use if you have a lot of stuff open at once.

     

    My typical day includes 10 to 20 tabs in Chrome. Sometimes that many in IE. Tweetium, Evernote, and OneNote always open. Several explorer instances, a Chrome Facebook Messenger plugin, and more. I do file copies, Remote Desktop sessions, and Paint. Yes, paint. More often than not I'm doing all this at once. Memory has been my issue on Surface 3 with all those Chrome tabs. (i can't wait for the new Edge browser) Chrome is a killer on memory no matter what you are using so take that with a grain of salt. When I'm in the middle of a day like this I'm at 75% memory usage and most of it is the browser.

     

    It holds up well. Yes, the Surface Pro 3 i3 is better at it but this Surface 3 holds its own.  I have a Core i7 desktop for heavy lifting so for me the Surface 3 easily replaces the Pro 3 i3 as my portable device.

     

    Section Follow Up: I decided to finish up the review on the Surface Pro 3 to get a feel for the change.  Ahhhhhhh, more room! The size is nice.  The keyboard is not as "clickie" as the Surface 3 but still nice and roomy.  The extra .5" of trackpad is also a plus.

     

    Who is buying Surface 3?

     

    I paid $666 for my Surface RT 32 and a touch keyboard. I paid just as much for Surface 2 when it came out. Ugh. Surface 3 starts at $499 and the Type Cover is $129. If only Surface 3 had started from the beginning! I would be much thicker in the wallet but I know you have to start somewhere.

    You can still find Surface 2 in the online store but it's not available for purchase.

     

    I don't want to take the Surface Pro 3 away from anybody. It's a great device. However, if you are a Surface Pro 3, Core i3 user and are looking for more portability the Surface 3 is for you. I have easily converted from the i3 to this. If you are a web surfing, email checking, facebook posting, i3 user then you will love this new Surface. If you do it mainly from your comfy chair or couch you might want to check the lapability section above. Test the Surface 3 at the store.

     

    Maybe you have the Surface Pro 3 docked and are looking for a more portable solution? Keep it docked and go with Surface 3. It fills that gap. If you don't, get a dock for your Pro 3 and park it at a desk. Take it out when you need to but keep Surface 3 floating around the kitchen. (yes, my poor SP3 Core i3 is lonely and jealous)

     

    Touch is king.  Don't even think about buying something that doesn't have it.  I'm talking you Macbook and Air!  This new Surface will fit so many needs I can't begin to list them all. It's not a little brother to the Surface Pro 3 as it stands on it's own and fills a need that was left open by the price and power of Surface Pro 3.  It's a great device at a great price. Don't forget Office 365 comes with it. Surface Pro 3, not. Don't expect to install Office elsewhere. It's for the Surface 3 and one tablet only.

     

    I've only tested the 4 Gb of RAM version of the Surface 3. I might have a different opinion of the 2Gb less expensive version. I know it's $100 more but the 4Gb version has 128Gb's of storage. I'm going to recommend this version.

     

    There is only one reason I can tell you not to buy Surface 3 right now. If you need even more portability the 4G LTE version will be relased Summer 2015.

     

    David McCabe

     

    Surface MVP

     Share


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.



    Guest
    This is now closed for further comments

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 4 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 
       

       
      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!
       

       
      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Here is the main design.
       

       
      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  
       
       

       
      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

       
      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
       
      https://reset.threadless.com/
       
      or you can get it it via
       
      https://reset.fm/store
       
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
       
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
       
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
       
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

       
      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
       
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
       
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
       
      Expandable Storage
       
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

       
      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
       
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

       
      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/wireless/products/unifi-flexhd
       
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.
       

       
      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
       
      https://store.ui.com/collections/routing-switching/products/unifi-dream-machine
      • 4 replies
×
×
  • Create New...