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First Impressions Of Sp3


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First and foremost it has been pretty disappointing that none of the Best Buy stores in my area have a Surface Pro 3 on display yet - I have checked 3 stores as recent as yesterday. Additionally the Best Buy employees are mostly clueless about the existence of it as well.


There is a Microsoft store that is relatively close by, and I ended up going there over this last weekend to check out the Surface Pro 3. Thankfully it is on display right up front and center. I would like to reiterate my great experience at the Microsoft store - I have never had a bad experience. I told them I wanted to check out the device, and I didn't have any questions but wanted to spend some time with it. At that point they pretty much left me alone to do whatever I wanted - except take it out of the store :). I used it all over the store, grabbed some different chairs to sit in and try it out on my lap. All in all I was in the store for about 45 minutes. Below are some things I wanted to call out specifically regarding my experience with the Surface Pro 3.


The power connector - so much better than the previous generations of devices. Goes in easily every time, no fiddling at all. This should have been the power connector since day 1 of Surface devices.


Weight - I have a surface RT, and the whole time walking around with the device with keyboard and using it, I felt like I was carrying around my RT, seriously.


Pen - I currently do not use a pen on my RT, but I see how this could be useful for me for jotting down notes quickly by using the button on the pen. It worked great, and I was impressed by how it felt close to using a pen and paper. My biggest complaint is still there is no easy storage for the pen. The loop on the side of the keyboard is cumbersome to get it in and out of. I ended up clipping it on the keyboard.


Screen - There is so much more screen real estate than my RT with the resolution and slightly bigger form factor. The screen was crisp and easy to read. I like the new 3:2 form factor, and it felt good holding, using, and viewing in portrait mode.


Keyboard - I currently have a type cover 2 on my surface RT. The new type keyboard key response is very similar, and was super easy to get used to. It is a little bigger overall, but I don't have any issues with the type cover 2 regarding they keyboard. The biggest improvement was with the trackpad, it is a big improvement over the type cover 2. I will say that the physical click for the trackpad was a little loud. Right now if I need to use the track pad I take out my Arc touch mouse. The new track pad is actually usable and works pretty well. The extra magnetic strip on the keyboard to secure it to the screen works remarkably well. Sitting in different positions and in different chairs was comfortable and stable for typing and using the device. I was definitely skeptical at first, but the experience was really good.


Kickstand - you can adjust it to almost any angle. Firm enough to hold the device, and just easy enough to get it in the position you need.


Battery life - obviously I was only in the store for a limited time and have no idea about the battery life. I would hope that it is at least as good as the battery life on my RT based on Microsoft's claims. I typically get 2 - 3 days of moderate usage out of the RT. I will say I love the fact that the RT is instant on always connected device. Supposedly the SP3 will stay connected when in a low power state. I didn't have time to really test that out. It does come on pretty fast though.


One quick rant - docking station not yet available - Come on Microsoft!


The performance of the machine is excellent, no lag anywhere and leaps and bounds faster than the RT. All in all I think this is a great device, and I really, really want one. Unfortunately I have some other more important things going on in life and just don't have the funds to get one right now. If I was going to get one I would seriously consider getting a higher end model and a dock and replace the desktop I have! I am not getting rid of the RT though, it has been a great device for me and I use it daily.


Sent from my Surface with Windows RT using Tapatalk

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I'm curious, when you use the pen and are writing notes when the new kickstand is tilted all the way back, does it seem fragile?  As in, can I put pressure down from my hand/arm and accidentally break that kickstand if I were to be taking notes daily with the kickstand kicked back in that angle?

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If it's tilted all the way back, the SP3 feels very solid. I suppose it might be possible to break the kickstand if you sat on the screen, but the normal weight of your forearm as you write or draw shouldn't be a problem.


The kickstand has multiple angles that all work well for keyboarding, but once you apply any weight with your pen hand, it will start sliding toward its lowest position. If you can keep your hand off the screen as you write, it will stay upright.

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I went to best buy today and played with the SP3 for about an hour to decide whether or not I want to upgrade. I like the weight of the tablet, def can tell that it is lighter. The kickstand is absolutely awesome and is making me lean more towards selling my sp2, but I wonder how much abuse it can take? I didn't get to play with the pen since they didn't have one on display and they just got the keyboards in (black and purple)but they weren't on the shelves yet. The screen is easier on the eyes but it didn't seem like a huge leap in terms of picture quality compared to the sp2 IMO. I think the sp3 is definitely a laptop replacement with the screen size increase and will make getting work done easier. The tablet in portrait mode still feels odd to me but better than 16:9 in portrait (which I never use). I don't think watching a movie with black bars is going to bother me, Im going to give it a week or two to think about it before deciding. Selling points for me are kickstand, thinness, weight, improved trackpad, slightly bigger keyboard

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Well I came home Friday with my new SP3. Went to Microsoft store to pick up my SP3 and black type cover. Then to Best Buy to get the exclusive blue cover. Not sure which one to keep. Also got the mini display port adapter


So, first thing I did was spent $9.99 to get the Media Center pack from MS. I then synced with my HD Homerun and had my SP3 record Letterman that evening. Works great. 12 inch portable TV


Then I downloaded several games from Steam. They had some really good sales going. Fired up Tomb Raider and it worked very well.


Then this morning I went out on the deck with it and used as a tablet. Great thing was as the sun came up, I was able t changing the viewing angle to avoid the glare from the sun. Again worked very well.


Also last night watching the Lego movie, I used it on my lap as a tablet. Worked very well. Device is very light and the 12 inch screen much better than my 7 inch Fire HDX


I have also used it with Zinio for my magazines. Holding in portrait mode the pages of the magazine fit the screen very well and there was no real need to zoom in.


Today I plan on testing out some comic books.


Also I used the mini display port to hook into my 110inch screen. Will let you know how that comes out.


So far the keyboard works very well. I do not do miuch typing so for my needs it is great


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That's awesome, @shrktank. Sounds like you're using it in every possible configuration! I love it as a magazine and comic reader.

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I was actually impressed by my local Best Buy.  They had one Surface display at the front of the store with a couple SP3s on it and then they had another Surface display with the laptops where they had three SP3s and a few Surface 2/Pro 2s on it.  This is a far cry from the junky (and I do mean junky... they looked like they had been torn apart by 4 year olds) displays they had back when BB started selling the original Surface.


They were really knowledgeable about the product, as well.


I'm LOVING my SP3, so far.  The type cover is awesome and the pen is terrific.  I live in OneNote, so the integration is fantastic.

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I really like my Surface Pro 3, and I'm glad I bought it.  Similar thoughts to others above but I'm starting to notice a few flaws the more I used it.  


The kickstand isn't always level, and I feel like the surface is wobbely most of the time, kind of annoying.  


The Wifi seems really slow compared to other devices on the same network, I still have yet to test this further.


The home button quits working often.  It vibrates but nothing happens.


Also sometimes it doesn't turn on, forcing me to hold the power button for a long time until it does.  


Idk, I'm hoping these issues will kind of work themselves out over time, because I really love everything else about it. Tip: If you like The Sims 3, play it on here.  It works really great with the pen, and touch zooming, I was so impressed.

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To reiterate, the table isn't always level making the surface wobbly.  I'm sure the kickstand is fine ;)

Edited by andybbtt11
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