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  • jeffkibuule - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Doesn't this tablet feel like it was designed for Broadwell? Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I don't know, but this tablet feels like the type cover should be included outright for $50-$80 more instead of dragging the price up by keeping them separate... Reply
  • bryan1up - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I totally agree with you but at least the low end model is $100 cheaper than the Surface Pro 2. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Still a pain to spend so much and end up with an i3 though... Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    i3 will still have 1.9Ghz base clock, which should be quite comparable to last-gen MBA with 1.3Ghz i5. Reply
  • Morawka - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    lol, you do realize ipad buyers spend north of $700 all the time for a $40 Arm Chip inside Reply
  • Galatian - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Huh? My iPad was 499€?!? Reply
  • Devo2007 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    ... With the same 64GB of storage? Getting a 64GB iPad vs 64GB Surface Pro actually does become a tough decision now. Of course the Surface loses a fair bit of space, but it's a lot more powerful too! Reply
  • eanazag - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    The 64 GB Surface Pro matches up more with the 32 GB iPad in terms of available storage. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    64-bit win8 installation takes around 18GB, and 64gb micro sdxc cards are around $30 nowadays. Reply
  • linkgr - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Really? You are comparing a sdxc card with flash storage? This is supposed to be a profesional workhorse that is going to compete with macbook airs and pros with ssds speeds up to 800 mb/s. Reply
  • krutou - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Because sequential read speeds north of 500MB/s is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL?

    Not that it matters. The original comparison was between an 64Gb iPad and the Surface Pro 3.
    Reply
  • backbydemand - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Remind me again, where is the MicroSD port on an iPad? Reply
  • CoLdhAm - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    A fresh Windows 8 install takes up 10GB, and an 8GB recovery can be deleted or stored externally. SD cards aren't a viable solution for expanded storage on a PC because of read/write speeds and stability and reliability. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Yeah... oh... ummm, no. With little effort Windows 8 can take up a MASSIVE 8GB on a hard drive with the rest free Reply
  • Beany2013 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    That's wonderful.

    Come back in six months time when WinSXS and the update cache have gobbled a further 10gb of space.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    come back in 1 month when you iPad has 5GB of "Other" thanks to cached images from imessage and emails. Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, May 29, 2014 - link

    That's a fresh install. It doesn't take very long at all for Windows to start taking up way more space. It will be over 20GB in no time. Reply
  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Depends on if they end up using WIMboot or not. With WIMboot, the OS only takes about 3-4GB or so (and that's including the recovery image). Reply
  • krutou - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Thank god for the microSD slot.

    Sandisk recently came out with 128GB microSD cards.
    Reply
  • _david - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    €499 is $683 Reply
  • dave1231 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    64GB on the Surface is not the same useable size as on the Air. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    But you can also add MicroSD on the Surface Pro's Reply
  • doobydoo - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    But you can't use MicroSD's for anything but file storage. Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    @doobydoo - Oh wow! No kidding when you say that you are to use storage to store things only? O_O Reply
  • doobydoo - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    YuLevel - wow, you're on the wrong website if you don't understand the difference between storing files or processing files. Reply
  • Morawka - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    you can install windows apps to the micro SD and run them from it. Hell you can even run Crysis from it. Load times would be slow but there's nothing stopping it from working. it's seen as a regular drive in explorer. Reply
  • basroil - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Slowly? Clearly you've never used those 90mb/s read speed cards. They actually rival HDD for sequential reads and are quite a bit faster for 4k random (not much of that in crysis, but SD card=HDD in terms of performance for game loads) Reply
  • krutou - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    You can install programs on the MicroSD slot by using a symbolic link to mount removable storage on the main drive. Reply
  • basroil - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    "You can install programs on the MicroSD slot by using a symbolic link to mount removable storage on the main drive."

    That's only needed for WinRT, you can install standard windows programs (which are the ones that actually need space) without any fancy methods
    Reply
  • LittleLeo - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I don't think, so but you have to use Windows 8.1 if you buy the Surface no MicroSD can fix that. Reply
  • doobydoo - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Well the iPad Air is $499. Which is €365 Reply
  • Fergy - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    After taxes it becomes €499 Reply
  • dfarkas1986 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    499€ is very close to $700 at the current exchange rate Reply
  • backbydemand - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    €499 vs $700, sounds about right, ever heard of currency exchange rate Reply
  • Shadowmage - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Didn't you just prove his point? 499 British Pound Sterling equals 841.21 US Dollars Reply
  • crollo - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    499€ is roughly $700... Reply
  • darwinosx - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Lol you do realize you can gett get an iPad Air for as little as $400 and that retail is $499? Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    i3 processors aren't poor performers. At $800 that is actually a pretty decent piece of hardware. Try getting any ultrabook with >HD resolution and a Core processor anywhere near that price. Reply
  • basroil - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Not normally, but this is a Y processor rather than M where the difference between i3 and i5 is maybe 3 bins. Because they use a Y processor for i3 version and U for i5, you'll have over 10 bins to deal with, and that 's huge. Should be interesting though, since using a Y means the i3 one might get longer battery life! Reply
  • 8steve8 - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure about Y vs M , but this is a 15W tdp chip , not a sub-10W chip like I think you are implying...
    same class of chip that is in the macbook air. very fast for something of this form factor... would blow away an iPad... and keep pace with a 2014/2013 macbook air.
    Reply
  • basroil - Monday, May 26, 2014 - link

    M chips start at higher clock speeds but have less bins to help, and Y i3 chips are not 15W (between 10 and 15 though). Performance wise though, there will be a huge difference, simply because the i3 doesn't have turbo Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    Only because it uses Core i3 and older parts. Reply
  • dipique - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    The new Surface Pro 3 will come with a type cover.

    https://bgr.com/2014/05/20/microsoft-surface-3-rel...
    Reply
  • cwolf78 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    If you scroll down and read the actual press release from the link you shared, it makes it sound like the Surface Pro 3, Type Cover, and Surface Pen are all separate. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    The pen is bundled, the keyboard is not. All according to the actual product page. Though, I saw in Ireland the shipping date is the last of August... =/ Reply
  • owan - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Until these tablets can truly do everything a full desktop can do, I think they'll always feel like they're designed for something coming in the future.... Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    That probably depends on the desktop? Other than the obvious capacity for hardware upgrades, what can't this do that a desktop can? If you hook this into a docking station, you get USB, DP, RJ45, etc. Seems like a potent portable that could replace the desktops (and laptops) of many people. Reply
  • Daniel N. - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    this system can't run Crysis 3 but a desktop can (with good GPU of course) Reply
  • at80eighty - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    i cant even Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    While it certainly doesn't compare to a well-equipped desktop in visual quality - it certainly is PLAYABLE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l01hJvlPQMc Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Here's a few more games on that graphics chip (with the older/slower CPU, even:) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysDgUdQLvUk Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    A mobile device will never be able to do all that a contemporary desktop device can do. My tablet uses less than 10W in total, this one might be up around 20w max, while my tower has a 750w power supply (not even close to being a big PSU these days)... And the trend is bigger and bigger power supplies on desktop. Reply
  • Cashmoney995 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Your desktop uses parts that are not mobile yields or designs. When you go further down the nm in chip size you reduce power leakage and you get more performance. The general equation is power input = heat, computational power. I know a company that makes a single card powered off PCIe that has 96 (yes 96) x86 cores that can compute in parallel. PCIe has max power of 25watts. When you think that your desktop PSU is also built to have multiple hard drives, fans, cd burners, multiple USB, obviously the power requirement is increased. In the end all you really care about is the TDP of the CPU and Video card, one hard drive the cpu cooler and a couple USB. There is no trend for bigger and bigger PSU's on desktops. In fact, PSU growth has stabilized in recent years and the larger numbers are only peak output as well as marketing fluff. Think of it as a 1000hp engine in a city car...you'll never use it. Reply
  • Munif Mujib - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Actually, Surface Pro 2 can run Crysis 3 (barely, but it can). This certainly will as well. Reply
  • nevertell - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Desktops will always perform better than laptops and there is still a huge market share that care about the performance more than the functionality. It's basic physics that allow a device that can dissipate more heat do more operations per second than a device that can dissipate less heat. Reply
  • simonpschmitt - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Not to sound flip, but everybody looks at funktionality first. If the function I need isn't there I don't care how fast it is doing things I don't need.
    If you're looking at maximum performance acievable, yes a desktop will always be better than a tablet. But so will be a supercomputer.
    Most people only need a glorified typewriter and internet access machine. As a physicist I am even doing some Origin and Mathematica calculations on my ultrabook witch is very similar to the new Surface specwise (i5-4200, 8GB DDR3L, Samsung 840 EVO) and most of the time it runs smoothly. When I do need more power I usually run out of RAM. So even then I am not really pushing the thermal limitations.

    tl;dr

    Different people need different devices. If Microsoft continues on their current developement path, I can see the Surface line beeing a good fit for a lot of people.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    ?? I use a Surface Pro 2, with a dock, in work instead of a desktop? Have you even used one? Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    even SP1 does everything a full desktop can do... what are you talking about? Reply
  • Computron - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I wonder if a mid-cycle upgrade to Broadwell would be possible like the spec bump for the SP2?

    I would also love to hear Anand's speculation about what a Broadwell Surface would entail.
    Reply
  • basroil - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Different chip lines, so no, won't happen. Change from 4300U to 4350U is possible, but unlikely (lower clock, better GPU) Reply
  • Homeles - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    It does and it doesn't. The Surface Pro line has always felt like they were the fastest, most expensive, most power-hungry tablets you could buy. Broadwell cuts the power hungry part out of the equation, and that will undoubtedly change the way the Surface Pro line appears (to me at least).

    However, I do feel like the Surface Pro line could really use GT3, and that's not an option. So we'll have to wait until Broadwell to get decent graphics.
    Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    They are power-hungry, but with the latest firmware and drivers, even the original Surface Pro gets ~5-6 hours of video playback & web browsing (side-by-side).

    Surface Pro 2 takes that closer to 10 hours and Surface Pro 3 is supposedly about 20-30% better.

    Battery life still isn't what I would class as "amazing", but it's no different to an iPad (if you are doing iPad-like things on it of course).

    The reason the battery life is so competetive with other tablets (except for the 1st gen) is because of the gigantic battery. What Broadwell will hopefully do is not increase battery life (anything past 10 hours is pretty superfluous for most I suspect, considering I don't even charge mine every day), but decrease the weight.

    The Surface Pro & Surface Pro 2 are just a touch too heavy. Surface Pro 3 should be light enough to be comfortable (the others are only a hair too heavy, IMO), but the iPad Air is where tablets need to be in terms of weight. That low a weight enables so much more usability (although I still ditched my iPad, the interface just sucks compared to Surface).
    Reply
  • jhoff80 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    "They are power-hungry, but with the latest firmware and drivers, even the original Surface Pro gets ~5-6 hours of video playback & web browsing (side-by-side).

    Surface Pro 2 takes that closer to 10 hours and Surface Pro 3 is supposedly about 20-30% better."

    Either you're pulling these numbers out of nowhere, or you have some pretty magical devices there...
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Given a full 42Whr battery and running my Surface Pro 2 at times recorded a 4W draw, it "can" pull 10 hours.

    So it isn't far off at all.
    Reply
  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Possibly in theory. I've never seen my Surface Pro 2 make it past 7 hours of light web browsing alone (and that's with the brightness at 20%), and despite fighting all the time for my original Pro 1 to have more battery (Wifi and Bluetooth off even), I never saw that get more than 4:45. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    It's entirely possible. If you only do one thing at a time, like you turn off the browser when you've finished reading a page, the CPU will be able to idle down enough. I used to get four or so hours on my Surface Pro before it reached 30%, which is my cut-off point so I don't degrade the battery in just a few years. I could get six hours out of it. (Roughly 6 Watts.)

    With my browser running a bunch of tabs and my RAM nearly maxed out, yes, it tends to run at 8 or 9 Watts. If I put it into performance mode, it can reach 20 Watts. It's pretty neat how much range it has. My old netbook used to work at 4-6 Watts if I wasn't doing much, and 12 Watts max.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    my sp1 runs for 6 hours consistently with power profile tweaks Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    The i7 model has the HD 5000 Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    No, it feels like this is what the surface pro 2 should have been. Reply
  • jhoff80 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I'm assuming that the Pro 2 you're comparing against in benchmarks is the original i5-4200U and not the i5-4300U that some users have gotten more recently, correct? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Correct. Reply
  • londedoganet - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    A few more things I would like to see, off the top of my head:

    1) How are the viewing angles on the display?

    2) How does the higher resolution impact the visibility/usability of desktop apps?

    3) Thermals; any hot spots on the device during normal and heavy workloads?
    Reply
  • Computron - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    4) Test the new stylus' accuracy on the screen edges.

    The old Wacom tech was terrible on screen edges.
    Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    YES, great call Computron, please test the corners. I have to say, the inaccuracy at the outer corners is probably the one and only everyday use case scenario that makes me drop F bombs about my gen 1 since launch day. I saw someplace that there is some crazy 100 point calibration for the original screen but I never sat down and put in the time to see if it helped, I just resorted to poking with my finger. Reply
  • cavebear42 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    As long as we are talking pen performance, it would also be nice to see how both the pen and touch compare against other products in terms of performance. Obviously, Apple still doesn't offer a pen but comparing things like touch latency and accuracy against the iPad is something I don't think I have seen anyone do. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Oh, man, just touch latency in general! They've touched on it a couple times with a couple devices, but it's an incredibly important metric. I tried one of the earlier iPhones (it might have been a 3GS) a bunch of years ago and was generally unimpressed with the speed at which I could flip between images, and there are still phones that will tap if I scroll too quickly. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    THIS is why Anandtech's hands ons are worth waiting for :D Reply
  • PNN - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    That's right. Their "hands on" and previews are better than most full reviews. Reply
  • PrimaFizik1520 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    Agreed, was relying on the verge (ugh)
    until I discovered Anandtech.
    Now I actually have a much better idea of what Im getting into after just their preview.
    Can't wait for a full review!
    Reply
  • raywin - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Agreed, best tech press by far! Reply
  • Peroxyde - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Especially when other reviews are not technical enough. They just shoot the device with a rifle. Or dragging the device behind a car. Reply
  • Zalcor - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    How are the new speakers? Reply
  • anandr165 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Any chance you could run Battery life tests against MBA?

    And do you also have a type cover to test out?
    Reply
  • randomhkkid - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    They will almost certainly be included in the final review. All reviewers were given the type cover and a pen so a definitive yes for the latter :D Reply
  • Computron - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    A battery cover would be nice to test as well.

    Interestingly, the new surfaces apparently support all the old covers according to the official website.
    Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    wait.. are those finally available? I have been waiting since the Pro 2 reveal when they announced them for early 2014. Reply
  • themossie - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Yes, the Power Cover - basically a Type Cover 1 (no backlit keys) with battery. Widely available as of April, albeit pricey ($199 MSRP?) and new enough it's hard to find much under MSRP. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    I've been waiting since the Surface Pro came out, and one of the developers leaked that a battery cover was possible with the extra pins!

    I actually just got a Power Cover today, because Best Buy is finally stocking it locally. They may have before, but the salespeople seemed generally clueless and told me they didn't have any. It's pretty nice, but I like the fuzzy texture of the first Type Cover better.
    Reply
  • kafkar - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    "The system's internal fan was definitely audible during the Cinebench run"

    Wait, this "tablet" has a fan??? I thought tablets don't have fan! Though I was wondering how a 15W CPU could be fanless. It makes sense now.

    Though this means, this isn't quite a table like other ARM tablets are.

    What about Atom Tablets, do they have fan too?

    I want a Windows8 tablet, but I mean "tablet", not a thin PC.
    Reply
  • mga318 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    No, Atom tablets don't have fan. They're completely fanless. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    The current Silvermont Atom (and you wouldn't want anything less) is put into fanless designs and works great there. Just keep in mind that without a pen "full Win 8" is next to useless on such small screens, as you can't command desktop apps with enough precision. Reply
  • crazySOB297 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    There are plenty of "tablets" out there and available, this is really meant to be a hybrid device. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    It's one of the greatest PR challenges Microsoft faces with Surface. It's a thin slab with a touch screen. How could they possibly get away from the idea that it's a tablet?

    These days, when you hear the word 'tablet', you probably automatically think about thin little $200-$500 ARM devices without a proper OS. The first thing most people think when they see the Surface Pro is that it's thick and costs twice as much. If they compared it to an ultrabook, their reaction would be different; but that's pretty much what it is, with a different form-factor.
    Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I have owned my first gen pro since launch day, and still I don't think of it as a "tablet". It leans much more to an Ultrabook with a removable keyboard. I don't think the Surface experience resembles an iPad or any of the Android tablets, it is much closer to a laptop IMO. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    There needs to be a new word for these. People expect it to be all tablet-ey in the places it's laptop-ey. Tabtop? No, that's terrible,never use that. Laplet? Goddamn it. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Touchscreen Ultrabook with Optional Keyboard

    I dunno, the appearance has become so universal it's probably not possible to create a new brand around that image. If Microsoft pulls it off, I'll be seriously impressed. So far, people who ask me about mine tend to speak from the context of a tablet like an iPad, and I have to correct them.
    Reply
  • PrimaFizik1520 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    Purchase a Surface 2. Reply
  • prasadv - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    The previous surface pro models suffered with bluetooth mouse lag especially when wifi is in use. I would like to know if this is improved with new model. Thanks, Reply
  • Nerdy Geek - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Yep, definitely needs to check on that. PLEASE Reply
  • Computron - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Definitely check this. Latency is a huge problem. Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hmm now that is interesting. I have the Microsoft Arc Touch Surface Ed. bluetooth mouse and have never experienced any sort of lag. I have used it to mess around playing WoW, and use it for Adobe programs. Now that you guys have brought it to my attention, I'll bet I see it all the time =P Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    The only bluetooth mouse I could find fairly cheaply was a Razer, and it doesn't seem to have problems. I'm wondering if it's just a pro-gamer thing, and there actually is some lag there.
    Otherwise, it might be something that only affects certain mice or certain people.
    Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    please do NOT spam fud... i've been using my sp1 with bluetooth Arc mouse for almost 2 years now and never had lag. Reply
  • randomhkkid - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I'm looking forward to the battery tests on this, I'm considering moving from a laptop to this and a desktop but if battery life isn't good enough (ie more than 9 hours) I'll pick up the broadwell version once it comes out. Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I honestly believe that Broadwell will be the sweet spot that we all hoped Surface would and could be from the beginning. I REALLY want something like Iris or GT3 graphics, and some awesome battery life. I have a feeling that gen 4 is when I'll replace my gen 1 Pro. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Unless I am missing something, all of the GT3 parts are quad-core, which means they will *never* be in a tablet like this (47W TDP). Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Nop. GT3e comes in 47W parts. There are low wattage GT3 chips around, as MBA's Core i5-4350U which is a 15W part. Reply
  • netvope - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    At this thickness, I imagine that fan noise can be a problem. Measurement on the noise level and comparison with Surface Pro 1/2 or current generation comparable tablets would be nice. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Yep. They said it would be silent, but I'm curious how good they got with that. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Windows Phone Central reports that the stylus is wacom, not N-trig... but everywhere else I've seen says N-trig. Can you explain which is actually used? Reply
  • jhoff80 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    WPcentral is wrong. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    That's what I figured, haha. Reply
  • beggerking@yahoo.com - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Surface Pro stylus is Wacom Reply
  • PrimaFizik1520 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    That's not true.
    http://www.wpcentral.com/penny-arcade-on-surface-p...
    Reply
  • AnandTechUser99 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Just for fun, could you benchmark Serious Sam 3 (low-med settings) and/or Trine 2? This way we can compare it with those titles running on a Tegra K1 device. Reply
  • clarketelecom - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hi Anand,

    Some things I'd like to see in your next version of this article:

    1) Gaming w/HD4400
    2) Browser performance
    3) Impact of weird 3:2 version of 1440(p?) resolution on usability/gaming/app compatibility

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    The impact of the resolution should be minimal. Games tend to draw fullscreen at whatever they're told to in their settings, so you might have to choose a comparable size and let it scale. I think a lot of those kinds of applications have a set list of common sizes, but others will let you type in whatever you want.
    Worst case, some of the games might cause stretching or squishing by forcing a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. (3:2 is 16:10.667, so 16:10 is closest, with very small black bars at top and bottom.)

    The pixels seem to be about the same size; there are just more of them. This means objects and text on the screen should be the same size, but you'll have more space around them.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Any idea why MS is using U-series Haswell and not Y? I figured these would need the lower SDP, but I guess MS is making it work anyway. I wonder if they are getting some very special chips from Intel. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    The awesome cooling solution means it works better as a laptop, which is half the point of these. Y-series don't need a fan (supposedly). Reply
  • Morawka - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Graphics performance. The Y Series has very Few EU's that are clocked very low. This is pushing a WQHD Display, and every bit of juice in the graphics department helps. Plus the tablet is fairly large, it can dissipate it easily with that metal chassis. Reply
  • arkhamasylum87 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Can you do a CPU/GPU performance analysis to show the performance gap between the IPAD AIR and Surface Pro? Ideally, assuming Microsoft releases a Surface/Surface PRO fanless product with Broadwell in 2015, what would be the CPU/GPU performance gap of a fanless Core-based 2 in 1 from Intel and the best of the ARM competition, specifically Apple who are really pushing CPU/GPU performance? I would like to know if Apple moves to Intel foundry, would they be better the lowest TDP Core products designed by Intel. Reply
  • r3loaded - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Will there be a power cover for the Pro 3? Bonus points if it's backlit. Also, I'd love to see if low-end on-the-go gaming is possible with it, particularly stuff like Team Fortress 2. Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Well, I play WoW on medium settings on a gen 1 and it stays around 30fps. That is with the HD4000 graphics and the HD 4400 is supposed to be about 50% better. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    Team Fortress would definitely be playable. Also, I'm pretty sure the Power Cover will still work with it, though it would look a bit silly since it doesn't cover everything properly. Reply
  • klagermkii - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Could you do some benchmarks on the responsiveness and sensitivity of the pen system? For my usage this tablet would live and die by how well it could replace a paper notepad, so any delay between putting the pen on the surface and having writing appear is going to be a huge negative, as well as if it fails to register light strokes. Can you comfortably hold this Surface in one hand and write with the other? Reply
  • crazySOB297 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Having owned one of the few n-trig based tablet/laptop hybrids available in the past, it was very responsive compared to my other pen based tools. Also, the palm detection with n-trig based screens is excellent. Reply
  • klagermkii - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    That's good to hear although I wouldn't be coming from an existing tablet where I would be thinking "this is good for a tablet" but rather "this is good/bad compared to pen and paper". So if my expectations are set at pen and paper, with the money being thrown at the functionality of having all my notes recorded and synchronised to the cloud, would I be disappointed? I like paper/whiteboards because of how direct the interface feels, and I'm hoping that is carried over to the Surface. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Seconded -- commentary from Anandtech desired! Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    My opinion on this one: I have a gen 1 pro, and on programs such as Sketch Book Pro, there is minimal to no lag. On a program that I use called Black Ink, which is a GPU based art program similar to Photoshop, I can get it to lag after drawing quite a bit. As a person that enjoys graphite drawing on paper, my biggest beef with the "feel" of the stylus compared to a pencil is that you are using a hard plastic tip on a piece of glass, so there is no friction or "feedback" if you will, like there is a pencil rubbing across paper. When trying to draw in an art program, this feels off to me, but if I were just hand writing a note, I may note dislike it so much. Put it this way, it feels like you are signing a credit card purchase on the lcd screen style POS systems, but I don't think it lags quite like those, at least in certain programs. Reply
  • cavebear42 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Its hard to take the pen and paper analogy too far. I agree that this is the "feel" that most people are the most familiar with but also fountain, ball point, and felt tip all have different feels. My biggest problem with my paper notes is that they don't sync to the cloud. I am most interested in how this N-trig compares against other digital pens in the market (mostly Wacom). Reply
  • johannes - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    They are trying to find the best compromise between productivity and consumption (laptop and tablet). But at 12" and 800g, aren't they leaning too much towards the former? ie. isn't it too big and heavy to be a good tablet? Reply
  • crazySOB297 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I don't know, that's only 70 grams heavier than a Gen 1 iPad, considering the extra screen real estate and power, that's pretty amazing. Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Because it isn't a tablet on the sense of being light, thin and underpowered. It isn't meant to compete with ARM armed (gigs) tablets. It's a full blown laptop on a sleek and very portable tablet alike form factor. Reply
  • johannes - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Maybe I should have given some background: I have an 11" MacBook Air and I wouldn't trade it for anything bigger. The thought that bigger must be better is what got us 5" phones and 17" laptops. Screen real estate isn't a selling point to me: form factor is.

    The question is whether Microsoft found a good compromise.
    Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, May 25, 2014 - link

    How big is your bezel? I'd go through this article to the measurement sections, and compare the raw measurements for the device itself to the raw measurements of yours. Screen size is never a good indicator of device size.

    (I got a netbook with an 8.9" screen in 2009, instead of one with a 10.1" screen, because I wanted something small. As it turned out, both were the same size but the 8.9" screen was nestled in among some truly massive bezels.)
    Reply
  • SirMaster - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Man, why not the HD 5000 graphics. I'm disappointed about that. Maybe the i7 version has HD 5000? Reply
  • Jumangi - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    the 4000HD graphics are perfectly fine for what this device is intended for. Reply
  • mmaestro - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Nope. And the reason, IIRC, is that the higher level stuff is on far higher power parts. It might work if you didn't mind the tablet only running for 2 hours. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Exactly. HD4400 is a 15W part. If there's an HD5000 at 15w (I think there is?) its been proven to not perform any noticeably better than 4400. You are still limited to 15W, more or less. As for the 28W parts, to you'd be asking to nearly double the thermal profile of the device, which just doesn't really make sense to me :P Reply
  • YuLeven - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I agree with you guys. Core i5-4350U should have made it's way into this device. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    The i7 does have the 5000. Reply
  • Jayaloha - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hello, I have a few aspects I would love for you to check in your final review:

    1. Skype calls quality. (bought & sold a Nexus 7 once, because Skype calls were terrible quality)
    2. Difference snappiness between the i3 and i5. Is it worth the extra $200?
    3. Noise, heat, fan action and battery life while gaming/watching video?
    4. Gaming performance with i3 vs i5.
    Reply
  • UltraWide - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Does the i7 version get Iris (Pro) GPU?
    Are all i5 SKUs the same U4300? or does it vary by storage size?
    Reply
  • bullzz - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    no iris pro version. this is too thin to fit a 50+W CPU Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    No, but it gets the HD5000 Reply
  • 2disbetter - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Anand, Would be great if you could speak a little more on the overall build quality of the Surface Pro 3 and how this translates into daily repetitive use. I'm a big thinkpad user (despite the thinkpad lines continual decline.) and have had both the surface pro and surface pro 2. I sold the previous Surface Pros because of their lack of scaling and not being able to fill the gap my thinkpad x series was able to. (16GB Ram, 7-10 hour battery life, stellar typing experience. Main uses: VMWare Workstation, VS 2013 / Eclipse, Blender/3ds Max) The Surface Pro 3 really does seem like it can match these needs (I can survive with 8GB RAM, just can't run as many VMs concurrently), AND provide excellent WACOM based pen tracking. However if it doesn't feel like it can last as long as the thinkpad, I'm wary to pounce on this one, having already experienced the first two. Thanks in advance! I look forward to the review! Reply
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I just got a T440s, and with this, I'm thinking of returning that. This is half the weight at a similar price, and less hassle with upgrading components. I will lose the integrated VGA and Ethernet, but that's not really an issue nowadays. Reply
  • 2disbetter - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    If you consider being able to upgrade components a hassle, then I would highly encourage you to get something like the SP3. I would say the ability to upgrade components is one of the primary draws of the thinkpad line, and if that is not important, something smaller and built arguably better is a win win. Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I actually put in an order for plastic spudges already, and would be upgrading to 8gb ram and a 256 ssd. However, the SP3 would deliver 8gb/256gb out of the box at a similar price point, no extra work required. Yes, I would lose M.2, SD slots, etc, but that's not too relevant as a secondary mobile platform. I would also get to avoid hating the atrocious clickpad on a thinkpad, and atrocious power connector, every single time I use it.

    I used to value future upgradability more highly, but having had older (upgradable) laptops before, it is unlikely to get much upgrading anyway. 8 gigs of ram and a 256 ssd is likely to be sufficient for years on a laptop.

    Too much ram slows down resume from hibernate anyway. The M.2 on the T440s is interesting though.
    Reply
  • 2disbetter - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Sorry I was just devastated to learn that the SP3 will not have wacom. I'll wait until the review is out, but I think this was a huge blunder by MS. Let's hope I'm wrong. Reply
  • skiboysteve - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    2disbetter, windows 8 has built in virtual machine manager called Hyper V. You can set the VMs to have dynamic memory so they only use as much as they actually need. This allows me to run a lot more VMs in a lot less memory. You should check it out. You can also convert VMware machines to hyper V machines Reply
  • keyframe - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the in depth article. As a professional cg artist that does animation/sculpting and painting in the computer I think I speak for all of us when I say I am terribly disappointed with microsoft dropping wacom. This raises a lot of questions whether the pen will have pressure sensitivity with most of the pro apps we use. If anandtech can please test out if the pressure sensitivity works with some of the following apps (they all have free trials) I am sure the large artist community will appreciate it. Please do test with: Autodesk Mudbox, Pixologic Zbrush, Autodesk sketchbook pro. Looking forward to the full review. Reply
  • crazySOB297 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I know Zbrush and Sketchbook Pro work. Not sure about Mudbox. Reply
  • crazySOB297 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Actually, I may be wrong about that. The N-Trig drivers are based on the WinTab framework, so applications that support WinTab should work. Reply
  • jhoff80 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Not fully true. The N-trig driver is not Wintab. It uses the Microsoft Ink API (which many applications are slowly being added to support). That being said, recently N-trig released their Wintab wrapper, which as far as I can tell is basically a dll that translates the commands. Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    That is good to hear. It makes that "256 pressure levels" in the live stream a bit better to swallow. Reply
  • Imaginer - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Although, I like the radial menu of the Wacom pens. So it is still a bit of a toss. Reply
  • SeannyB - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Seconded. I use the stylus all the time on the Surface Pro 2 (though often not in an artistic capacity). I'm particularly interested in the battery life, how to recharge it, tracking accuracy (try corners), tracking latency, and whatever else may be gained/lost from the switch. Reply
  • rituraj - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    It uses a AAA size battery. So that's easy to come by in any store. Have to wait for some forum member a few months later to get anything on the battery life. I still doubt it will be as good for professional artists as WACOM is with only 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and arguably less support for different programmes. Reply
  • rituraj - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Sorry I missed an 'A'. It uses an AAAA size one. That's something I have never had to use practically.. Reply
  • sketchy352 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Try Sketchable. It is an affordable, a windows 8 metro app. It is GPU accelerated, fast under the thumb, allows you to choose the resolution to work at, shares with others via the charms, integrated with the camera, but is designed as a 2:1 transforming app. So it has keyboard shortcuts to steer while in laptop mode, and is super touch/stylus friendly when used in tablet mode. Reply
  • iheke - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I think you've nailed it. Basically, before the Surface Pro 3 - my wife (fashion designer) had the choice between a Surface Pro 2 or Cintinq Companion (the Surface being the better all rounder and the Cintinq having the best in class pen experience 2048 lvls of sensitivity vs 1024). The Surface Pro 2 wins because it provided more utility than just designing/inking - and the type cover more or less made it like having a laptop at times. Now with the Surface Pro 3 the pen experience is further away from the Cintinq (256 lvls) and its an even better laptop but she has to cross her fingers and hope that the pen experience is close to the all wacom experience she gets at work. It'll be interesting to see whether the artists/designers will just rush the Surface Pro 2 when the *inevitable* price drop comes - A 512GB Pro 2 is £1,400 while the Cintinq is £1,900. If the drop takes it to £1,000 its virtually a no-brainer. Reply
  • cavebear42 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I am interested if your wife really feels like the more levels made it best in class. I have used several devices and can't tell the difference between a 256 level pen and a 2048 level pen. Dividing my hand pressure by either of these very large numbers seems to make the step size silly small. Reply
  • quickbunnie - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    The docking station has a lock slot, but does this only offer physical security for the docking station itself? Or does it somehow lock into the tablet as well? Reply
  • mtalinm - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    just the dock. it's not as clever as the thinkpad docks. Reply
  • LarsBars - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Does the i7 have two cores or four? Thanks! Reply
  • AnandTechUser99 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    A Haswell U series Core i7 has 2 cores and 4 threads. Reply
  • rituraj - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    And the i3/5/7 means only speed bumps of a few hundred MHz over one another for the U series. I think all of them has 2C/4T regardless of i3 or i7. So yeah only more speed. Reply
  • Morawka - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    the i7 has more L3 Cache which makes it much faster Reply
  • malkolm - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    For your in-depth review:

    Can you please check if it is possible to natively install and run different OS on the Pro 3 (Win 7, Ubuntu)?
    Don't ask why anyone wants to use a non-touch optimized OS on such a device, but thats the only option i have to work with it in my company that banned Win 8(.1).
    Reply
  • Ktracho - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Is your company Chinese by any chance? Reply
  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Its windows. If you can do it on any windows device, there is presumably nothing stopping you from doing it on this one. Reply
  • Panzerknacker - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Really a shame that the maximum brightness dropped, I'm looking for a ultrabook for outdoor use and hoped that the Surface 3 would go over 400 nits. Would be nice if you can include this in the final review, how does the device/display perform outside in direct sunlight? Reply
  • cloakster - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    You guys are amazing. The only ones with a proper in depth review of the device. Thanks Anandtech! Reply
  • EdTittel - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I agree: great job, AnandTech. I'm impressed you were able to have so much substantive data ready for the launch. I look very much forward to the coverage of battery life and day-to-day usage. I'm more interested in this unit already than any of its predecessors, but having been bitten by the over-promised and under-delivered Fujitsu Q704 laptop (i7, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD: looks great on paper, runs like a wounded dog -- much slower than i5 SP2 -- in real life) I'm going to take my sweet and careful time before committing to the SP3. So thanks again!
    --Ed--
    Reply
  • EdTittel - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'd ask you to pay close attention to "wake after sleep/hibernation/..." issues, and potential LAN speed issues when Bluetooth is running (as it must be, to use the new stylus/pen device). The Q704 tablet proved especially irksome in post-sleep behavior with USB 3, and in converting between tablet and keyboard modes when undocking or detaching a keyboard.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Reply
  • toonvl - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I wish there would be a way to test purely the CPU performance against an iPad Air, but I guess that's not really possible using other OS's.. (Except for browser benchmarks of course, but that's not purely processor testing.. ) Reply
  • rituraj - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Why? These are different machines with very different use cases. Just search for any Haswell ultrabook vs iPad Air CPU comparison if you can and I bet the results will be very similar to this vs the Air. Reply
  • rituraj - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I'd also bet an i5 will destroy an A7 any time of the day except for some itunes blah blah test. Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Was that supposed to be a serious comment? A 15watt core i3/5/7 CPU and iGPU with 4/8GB RAM compared to a single watt SoC with a GB of RAM? Hmmm...not quite sure you're understanding the 'subtle' differences between devices. In fact, the answer to 'your bet' is right THERE! In the 'actual' pre-review! Maybe that was an attempt at an iOS or Apple 'dig' but...if you're truly serious about an apples to apples comparison {pun intended}. Please look at a MacBook Air's core i5 build vs. The SP3. Lots to be said for the SP3 in comparison to the MBA but they recently dropped the Haswell Airs that include the HD5000 iGPU as well as PCIe SS storage. Significantly quicker. Though the SP3 has the Air beat hands down in the display resolution department, it would make me a bit nervous, as the first generation rMBP 13" Intel core i5/4000 models with 8GB of RAM were at times a bit 'glitchy' while scrolling busy pages, graphic intensive applications, etc. Lotsa pixels means plenty of graphic power overheard to keep that consistent 60fps UI fluency we've all grown accustomed to in the lower rez displays. That said, the 13" rMBP this year configured identically to the SP3 is in parity with price, though a bit cheaper considering you'll have to add the keyboard to the SP rig. HiDPI displays from both sizes, I believe the 15" rMBP is $1999 with the core i5/8GB RAM/Intel 5200, the high end Iris Pro and even higher resolution. So at that high end pricing bracket, the choices are plenty but...that's comparing apples to apples. Not the Surface RT, Galaxy Note X.x or the iPad to a core i5 laptop. Doesn't work like that. Nor are they for similar use cases.
    Honestly, I enjoy both Windows and OSx...as well, iOS and Android. If you're not so religious, you'll open your mind and find there are some incredible 'up sides' to different OS'es, UIs, software, doc, motion, and still shot editors...you name it. Lotsa choices, excellent completion equals a PERFECT outcome to all of us...the customers;)
    Reply
  • HeroicNate - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    My big question, is this the same LCD used in laptops like the Lenovo Thinkpad yoga? The thinkpad version of the yoga had a 12.5"(I realize it's a .5" diff) screen that had really bad image retention issues. That would be a huge strike for me if the pro 3 has the same issue. I just got my surface pro 2 a few weeks ago and now I'm debating whether I should return it and get the pro 3 instead. I love the pro 2, but if I can get the pro3 at the same price it seems like i should. Reply
  • HeroicNate - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    After reading through the comments I ended up checking my pro 2. I actually have the 4300 cpu so that actually makes me lean more towards keeping what I have. If the biggest difference is the screen size and kickstand now, I can't tell if it'd really be worth returning and waiting for the pro 3. The fact that the pro 3's resolution is higher makes me thing I'll probably end up getting better performance with my pro 2 of a lower res. If the n-tech pen works as well as wacom I see that as a 0 diff. They both have pitfall's from what I read. Reply
  • westphillyres - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    So THIS is the website where I belong. Exactly the kind of hands on I was looking for. I was saying to myself, "If they GAVE the tablet to these journalists, why are they only doing a 3 minute hands on with info we already know?" Reply
  • nomaddave - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    As others have said, iGPU/video suite benchmarks would be extremely helpful to gauge use case scenarios with video editing packages. Seems to be one direction Microsoft is trying to heavily market these devices toward as well. Reply
  • mmaestro - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Any way to tell if that SSD is utilizing eDrive? If it's an offshoot of the EVO, it ought to be able to support it, right? Reply
  • TechieSandy - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Can someone do professional video editing on the top end model? Also, dos the Top end model have a quad core or dual core i7. Does it have a dedicated graphics card? Reply
  • HeroicNate - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I can almost guarantee it does not have a dedicated video card. there is no space and it's all listed as intel graphics. Reply
  • rituraj - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    scratch the 'almost' part. The i7 will be dual core 4 thread. the quad core ones will require it to be an inch thick.

    @Techiesandy, depends on what level of performance you are expecting. Never gonna replace your desktop. But still quite capable. Can output to a 4K resolution display (not sure if 30Hz or 60) so figure it yourself.
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hi Anand!

    Can you tell me (us readers) what the exact default scaling is? I'm not fully confident on what exactly the bar shown under "Display" shows, I would guess 150% as it's the third of four steps. Is that accurate? Is that a good level in general on this machine?

    Thanks
    Reply
  • carleeto - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Hey Anand,

    quick couple of things:

    1) How much disk space is used by the default install? In other words, on a 64GB machine, how much space does the user have to play with?

    2) What's the battery life, particularly with something like Lightroom running? I can see this being very useful as a tether for a DSLR.
    Reply
  • DocForker - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Disk space listed here: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pd...

    Storage and RAM

    64GB or 128GB storage with 4GB RAM / 256GB or 512GB storage with 8GB RAM2 • 64GB has >36GB available disk space • 128GB has >96GB available disk space • 256GB has >211GB available disk space • 512GB has >450GB available disk space
    Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Nevermind I guess, just say "11:25AM EDT - 6% more content than on the 13-inch MBA's screen" a short while ago which would imply 150% DPI-scaling. Would like to know briefly how it is to use though, how it's perceived. Reply
  • SDreamer - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I'd like to know how it supports Connected Standby. The Surface Pro 2 doesn't have it, but the innards of the i5 SP3 supports CS? How are they doing this and can it be replicated on previous Surface Pro models? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    We have half an answer to your question here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8038/windows-81-x64-... Reply
  • vyis - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    Can Ananld also do a test on surface Bluetooth & Wi-Fi issue? All 4 surface thus far have issue when Bluetooth and WiFi use in conjunction. Either getting a extremely slow WiFi or choppy Bluetooth.

    Watching the live stream make me to wonder is this 3 generation in development or defect that last for 3 generation .

    A link to thread of complain on Microsoft answer.
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/s...
    Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I wonder how the different CPU differentiate given that they're likely all some ultra low power variants of 2 cores + HT Haswell with slightly different frequencies.

    The new display might be nice unfortunately Windows still sucks rocks at UI scaling (changing the DPI breaks many apps that are not used to non-common resolution/DPI combinations -- even application where one would expect it like Steam go completely nuts, changing only the text size doesn't affect most application) and touch usage on the desktop as well so that combination of a high-res touchscreen and Windows looks really horrible to me. As a Surface RT owner it also saddens me to say that even now the amount of useful Metro apps (which wouldn't have these massive problems) is quite lacking...
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'm using win8.1 with 125% scaling (11.6" 1080p) and most core application looks fine to me. It's the application developer to blame, not microsoft. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Difference is likely binning. While the part numbers are largely the same, Intel does extra testing to see which chips use even less power vs others. Remember that while CPU manufacturing is designed to be as reproducible as possible, not every chip is the same. Reply
  • modulusshift - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    How about direct comparison to 13 inch MacBook Air, performance in touch-friendly Civ V, behavior of HiDPI screen in desktop apps, behavior of desktop apps in connected standby, complete analysis of OneNote customizations and stylus performance... And whatever you find interesting, of course. :) Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    The thing I most want to see is all the display tests - post-calibration. On an iPad I care about the default performance, because that's all there is. On a Windows tablet I couldn't care less about the default - only post-calibration performance matters.

    I suspect anybody who cares a lot about screen performance will be more than happy to calibrate their displays.

    For those who care a bit (eg: people who don't rely on that accuracy as professionals), I totally agree that the default setup needs to be tested (and deservedly criticised where it doesn't match up to the market leaders).
    Reply
  • I am as mad as hell - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    this thing is not going to replace any of my laptops. Dream on Microsoft. A more fitting name would be Microsoft Hubris. Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    it replaced mine, never looked back. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Maybe you had a total piece of crap, such as a cheap 15.6" 1366x768 plastic piece of junk?

    If you actually had a nice laptop, you wouldn't be lusting after Surface.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I had an Envy 14 configured with a 240GB SSD and 8GB of ram with a Core i5 450M CPU and a Radeon Mobility 5650 GPU... 3 years before I had my first Surface Pro 1.

    I sold it off. Reason being was the pen and being able to have all computing in a very mobile form, I grown to like working on the device for notes, typing, and 3D sculpting, painting, and gaming as a bonus when away from my desktop PC.

    I also determined by loose number comparision (a simple search would reveal some comparison) between my Envy 14 and the Surface Pro - both are the same and closely similar in performance. It was not a hard decision (considering my Envy 14 weights a lot more). The screen on the Envy 14 was just as nice if not the Surface Pro being better (Envy 14 was at a resolution less than 1080p).

    So, even the nicely hard specification laptop I had previously, had me change out a device.
    Reply
  • Imaginer - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Also, I used my Envy 14 with an Intuos 4... Workable, but not ideal. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I think this one can replace ANY 13" laptop out there, including rMBP 13". Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    I would think that would come down to the buyer, wouldn't you? Prefer OSx? Prefer Window's 8? Two or three pounds? Kinda tablet, kinda not, definitely touchscreen bit still finding its place or am actual, HiDPI true to form laptop (SP3 vs 13"rMBP). Am I getting warmer? The rMBP has a better GPU (5100 IrisPro vs the 4400). PCIe storage, twice as quick. Thunderbolt x 2 and USB x2 with HDMI and the choice to add a TB of PCIe SS storage. Incredibly fast. There's a difference but you're on the right track. That said, this year Apple nailed it with the Ivy 'League' graphics in the 13". Last year, relying solely on the 4000 series to move all those pixels, granted more than the SP3..but it took some time for most application developers and site coders to update some of the code bloat. To date, there are plenty of busy sites and graphically intense hardware that tax the 4000. That would concern me with this batch. To me, skipping generations with the SP seems the thing to do. We'll see though. I'm interested in its UI fluency, the ability for third party 'major' industry players' software scaling and 'look' of their UI on the native resolution, as well as battery life. Something Apple has been able to make serious gains. 10/11 hours on the 13" rMBP. 12/14-- on the 13" MBA. That's. Phenomenal. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I had a MBP with sandy bridge. Does that count? Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Non-retina MBPs are so hopelessly outdated nowadays... they are actually slower than current gen ultrabooks. Reply
  • Stocklone - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - link

    I really would like to know about the performance of the N-Trig pen vs the SP 2 Wacom-based pen. Does the writing look better or worse? The main task I will be using it for is taking notes so this is incredibly important for me. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I just checked the benchmark numbers of rMBP 13" and found SP3 is actually slightly faster than rMBP 13. I wonder why you did not select it for comparison? Because it will make apple's 'pro' machine look bad? Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    This can't possibly be true. Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Link. Please? I'm finding that a bit hard to believe. PCIe SS vs traditional SSD. Quicker processor choices. Better battery life. Better resolution. More I/O options. Ivy Pro graphics vs. Last gen 4400???? You get in to dad's hippy lettuce again there nerd? Reply
  • Laxaa - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    What will the benefits of Broadwell be, aside from lower power consumption? Better GPU? Reply
  • Connoisseur - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Based on the specs in the Microsoft Store, it appears that the OS and default apps take up about 30gb of disk space. Kinda puts a damper on the 64gb and even the 128gb version. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Windows hasn't changed much in that regard over the years. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    This myth is still around - the available space for 128GB surface pro and 128GB MBA is actually quite close. (Apple is using different metric to make space numbers bigger BTW) Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    30GB? I don't think so. The Win8 installation on my desktop doesn't tap up anywhere close to 30GB (I believe it's around 15GB), and I don't think Office and a smattering of mobile apps is taking up a huge amount of space.

    It's pretty trivial to get a relatively small Windows install. This nonsense of Windows taking up huge amounts of storage space is getting old.
    Reply
  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Especially if Microsoft decides to use WIMboot. The OS footprint (including recovery image) is supposed to be only ~3-4GB that way. Reply
  • Stubbazubba - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'd really like to see the performance difference between the 4 GB RAM model and the 8. There is an i5 model with each one, and I'd really like to know what that $300 gets me (space aside). Reply
  • XabanakFanatik - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'd like to see a thorough thermal performance review. Although I have never seen it mentioned anywhere, my Surface Pro 2 was unable to maintain even non-turbo clock speeds under heavy loads like prime 95 and would throttle the CPU. Playing games was worse with the extra load from the GPU causing it to throttle constantly.

    No one seems to even consider looking at this kind of performance in-depth, they're either too in-love with the concept of the Surface or they hate it enough they don't care. I want to know if the new cooling design does it's damn job or if it's just another throttle-fest like the last model.
    Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    ThrottleStop fixes this issue. Download it, and enjoy your gaming :) Reply
  • XabanakFanatik - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Preventing the throttling won't help the lack of thermal performance, it will just make it throttle less and get significantly hotter. I'd rather see some real thermal engineering instead of either option.

    I'm also interested to know if they've improved the SSD performance. My 128GB model had abysmal speeds and was MSATA. Maybe they've moved up to M.2, but have they migrated to PCI-e from SATA?
    Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty sure they answered that in this very article (unless I read somewhere else and am getting things confused). But no, it's still a SATA interface. But who cares? An SSD on SATA isn't going to be a bottleneck for the system. If the SSD is slow, then it's the SSD itself that's the issue, not the interface. Reply
  • XabanakFanatik - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Yes, you are correct. I re-read the article and see the mention of the drive improvement. The thing about PCI-e drives is that there are no slow PCI-e drives. There are only three I am currently aware of, the Plextor M6e, Toshiba something something something, and the Samsung XP941, all of which perform extremely well (Faster than the fastest SATA SSD's in most regards). Unless some OEM is an asshole and makes a cheap, slow PCI-e drive, there's nothing to do but gain from migrating to the new technology. Reply
  • Wall-Swe - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Nice, to see it beats out the MBA on everything, can't understand why you compare it to the MBP though. Reply
  • mtalinm - Sunday, June 08, 2014 - link

    probably because they both have "Pro" in the product name. I agree that part is not a fair fight. Reply
  • Morawka - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I wonder how easy it is to pop this baby open and replace the SSD. There is to wide of a gap between the i5 4GB 128GB and the i5 8GB 256GB. a $300 increase for $75 in parts. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Well you get 8GB kf RAM, so its kinda like at least $100 in parts...

    Oh, I get it.
    Reply
  • _david - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'd love if the measurements were complemented with metrics in all tech specs.

    I would also love to see in the review how it performs on a different screen, for example a TV. Especially considering the 3:2 formfactor.
    Reply
  • Mheikin - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    What might the logical reasons for NOT including 4G be? Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Cost, space (Core processors don't have any integrated mobile solutions, so you need an additional chipset in there along with the antennas). Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    "256 levels vs 1024"

    Isn't Wacom actually 512 with only Samsung proclaiming the 1024 which isn't actually true?
    Reply
  • Mheikin - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Where does the stylus go if you do not have the keyboard with you - does it still attach to the machine in Pro 2 like manner (even though it has batteries now)? Reply
  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    There is a loop on the type cover. On my surface pro I used some fishing line to create a tether to the back of the surface underneath the hinge of the kickstand. Reply
  • markettantrik - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    My Surface Pro 2 has a 1.9 GHz i5-4300U, not the 4200U that the article states. Reply
  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Originally it shipped with the 4200U. Recently, Microsoft has been using both parts seemingly interchangeably. Some lots have been made with the 4200U still, others with the 4300U. There's little rhyme or reason in it. Reply
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    "Surface Pro 3 features the same initial 22-degree stop, however it can be opened to any angle beyond that (up to 150-degrees) "

    So a range of 128 degrees? There must be something wrong here. Even if the stand would allow the Surface to stand vertically to have it laying flat down on its back, this would only be a range of 90 degrees.
    Reply
  • _david - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    A half circle is 180 degrees. So it can swing from 0 degrees (completely "closed") up to almost completely flat against the opposite side. Reply
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    OK, when you start from 0 degrees this way the kickstand has not an initial 22-degree stop but an initial 112-degree stop and the friction hinge allows it to be moved further back to 150 degrees.

    In any case "22 degrees up to 150 degrees" when speaking of the kickstand is just plain wrong. Either it allows 112 to 150 degrees (if measured from the "closed" position with the screen facing down) or 22 to 60 degrees (if measured from a vertical position).
    Reply
  • Drumsticks - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Not quite... Moving the kickstand 22 degrees doesn't mean the screen rotates 22 degrees. The kickstand does certainly have a 22 to 150 degree angle of rotation. It rotates from closed (zero) to twenty two, past the midway point, to almost fully open (150).

    You are right in that the viewing experience is not 128 degrees wide. It starts probably at about 110 degrees from fully closed and ends pretty close to probably 150-160.

    So your sentiment is right but the technical saying "22-150" degrees for the kickstand is accurate. I might have misunderstood you, apologies if I did.
    Reply
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    OK, I did misunderstand it. Thanks for the explanation. So the 22/150 degrees is the angle of the kickstand in relation to the device? I would be much more interested in the angle the Surface can be configured to sit though. Reply
  • modulusshift - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    That's just going to be some math. At 22 degrees, it would be a tent, with line perpendicular to the table bisecting the angle, meaning the screen is leaned back 11 degrees from perpendicular, or 101 degrees. At 150 degrees, that'll be trickier... that's 30 degrees from flat back the other way, and the kickstand angle is halfway down the whole tablet, meaning it has twice as long to decline the same amount, so about half the measure angle. 15 degrees off of 180, then? 165 degrees?
    So friction from 101 to 165 degrees, I think. Not bad.
    Reply
  • HaceQ - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'd love to see a more in-depth look at how well the new pen and digitizer combo works in the Surface Pro 3 compared to the one in Surface Pro 2.

    The N-trig based digitizer in the Surface Pro 3 has traditionally had a pretty bad reputation when it comes to things like lag and pressure sensitivity support in drawing applications, mostly caused by what appear to be bad drivers and no wintab drivers for software that doesn't use Microsofts' Ink API.

    Taking notes may be much improved in this N-trig powered device but is drawing and similar fine grained and faster use of the stylus now worse? A lot of people love the Surface Pros for digital art and a step back in this would have a huge impact on buying decisions.
    Reply
  • HaceQ - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I'll just reply to myself to say that the N-trig solution brings a lot of benefits for drawing as well and a lot of the N-trig hate is for really old versions of the tech but since every implementation's different I'd love to hear some real life experiences. Reply
  • AthlonBoy - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I noticed that the new dock doesn't use the USB or DisplayPort on the Surface itself, but uses its own proprietary connector. In the few pictures I've found of it, it doesn't have enough pins to be a dumb port replicator. What kind of interface is it? Reply
  • errorr - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Long term I just don't know how big a market tablets will be. You see as iPad sales have leveled off and the replacement cycle is slower. The surface is ostensibly a laptop/tablet hybrid and may be the future but I don't know.

    On a very long term scale smart phones are the future of personal computing. The only sure thing long term is smart phones and servers.

    What I mean is that people are so focused on how the capabilities of a computer are integrated with a certain input paradigm. There is no reason that should be true.

    With a smartphone I'll carry around a good-enough level of compute for almost any task. If I need to interact with a bigger screen or keyboard or mouse there is no reason my phone can't drive a desktop display or tablet. Smartphones also have the benefit of ubiquitous connectivity. The real killer is also the secure identity management function a smartphone can provide. It knows who I am, who I talk to, and what I need to know and I always have it with me.

    There will always be niche uses for more powerful computers but I'm not sure that matters for many people. If I need compute for anything the cloud will provide that much cheaper.

    The only question is gaming. Why not eventually provide a box that will do the heavy lifting while I'm at home with the right api and output it to a screen of my choice. That is already where NV seems to be headed.

    The primary driver of laptop sales is enterprise usage. However, as solutions become more SaaS focused the need to have anything but a thin client running is diminished. I don't need a laptop to interact with my Salesforce dashboard.

    Truthfully I find I barely use my laptop as much more than a glorified typewriter. Sometimes I run some small data analytics stuff for personal interest (sports stats) but that is the only thing I needed it for. I moved 2 years ago and still haven't bothered to set up my desktop since I replaced it with a dedicated NAS as storage.

    This is still a long way off but I already find 90% of my time is spent on my phone. Most of the world will NEVER own a laptop or a desktop in their lives. Consumer oriented compute is eventually and solely the province of the smartphone.

    So I'm thinking about some sports bets and am going to spend a few bucks on an AWS instance to run some stuff I wrote in R. I did 95% of the work on my phone during smoke breaks. I don't know how much something like surface matters.
    Reply
  • modulusshift - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Okay, yes, if you get all the technology working as you describe, there won't be as much use for tablets. But you're forecasting so far in the future that there's no point in saying anything. Beyond your point, there won't be a need for smartphones or tablets, because whenever you want to see something on a screen, your brain implant will create a screen for you to interact with virtually without it actually being there, and any content could be streamed directly from the servers.
    You're basically just saying that there only needs to be the cloud and an interface with it, and you prefer a smartphone to be that interface. I prefer tablets until we get to an Atrix or PadFone state, personally, because I like having the performance right there.
    Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    You should re read it. He's speaking of him/herself NOW. In the present. Others around the world as well. And he or she is absolutely correct. Today's flagship smartphones are significantly faster that yesterday's computers. Who cares what the future holds. Right now, in the present desktop Salea are down year in, year out, double digits. Laptop sales, down (excluding I believe Lenovo and Apple). Tablets and smartphones in particular, OFF the chart. And you can put em in yer pocket! Reply
  • errorr - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the defense.

    While I tried to predict further in the future the fact is that we are a lot closer than people believe.

    When I worked at a big consulting/SI firm I was issued a laptop. I did a little bit of email on my phone but needed the laptop to log into the VPN and CRM and later project management systems. Now, I know people who will spend a week without using their laptop. They can download a Cisco app and log onto their CRM system on their phone. Most of their work is done in email. The only thing they need a laptop for is to make a slide deck in PowerPoint.

    I've since gone back to school and bought my own nice shiny ultrabook. I loved that machine but 2 years in I barely open it unless I'm writing a paper. I have reverted back to taking notes with pen and paper. I use my phone to upload a PDF snapshot of my notes after class to my Google drive. There are not any websites or databases I use that don't have an app. The nice laptop is a glorified typewriter.

    In both scenarios, which I will claim are becoming the dominant usage model, the laptop is useful because it has a keyboard, a mouse, a bigger HD, and a bigger screen.

    In what world do any of those things need to be built into something together. Why can't I connect my Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to my phone and have the image sent to a large screen. I already have a NAS set up for extra storage. These are not pie in the sky ideas nor would implementing them be difficult.

    My TV is half way there with Chromecast. I control the cable box with my phone. A monitor doesn't need more than a basic SOC to do what I really want it to.

    The rest of my original comment was more of a reply to the 'you can't do real work on x' type arguments. Gaming is an interesting thought but NV isn't far away with Shield. If you have a demand for more compute (like when I used to do data mining and finance stuff) it seems much better to be able to send that off to an AWS instance or the like.

    Ultimately, both tablets and laptops (or both like surface) are losing their Raison d'etre. I find the keyboard, mouse, and screen useful in only a limited way now and there is no reason that should continue for much longer.
    Reply
  • errorr - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    On a side note, the tablet market is kinda fascinating. At the high end in the developed world the iPad is the vast dominant player. But, it is just a iPhone with a bigger screen and battery. Why can't it just be stripped down to a screen eventually? Also there is a question of how big is the market for iPads? It seems that the replacement cycle is much much longer than for smart phones.

    At the other end is the developing world and the wild success of super cheap sub $200 Android tablets. However, there is a mystery because they never show up online or in connected apps.

    Based on some anecdotes and speculation I've read those cheap tablets are becoming the primary media consumption device in the 3rd world. Data plans are too expensive to be popular. You can go to a town and get some kid to load up an SD card with days or weeks worth of TV and movies. I read about a reteraunt in India where they offered their customers tue service of filling up an SD card with all the latest Bollywood releases. The owners kid would take your SD Card in the back to where a computer with broadband was and fill the card up. Now the person can watch movies at home at their leisure without any need for a TV and DVD player.

    Another anecdote I read from Indonesia had the street vendors who used to sell pirated DVDs now just offering to out everything as an mp4 on an SD card.

    So cheap Android tablets are replacing TVs in the developing world. Most of these people will never own a computer in their life.

    I'm not sure what that means but it doesn't seem good for the future of tablets or laptops.
    Reply
  • errorr - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    Always something I forget to mention...

    The reason the smartphone will win is because of Identity and Security. My phone knows who I am, who I know, and where I am. It is always connected (a little hyperbole) and is the portal for my entire life. Messaging and social networks can all be integrated within the phone. As multifactor identification becomes universal the phone will become the central device. I can store the limited amount of truly vital or secret information encrypted on my phone. It is potentially a far superior way to run things and it seems Apple is moving in that direction.

    Now that good enough compute has come to the central device in my life I just can't justify buying something like a tablet no matter how much I want to.
    Reply
  • Ranari - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Hey Anand! Longtime fan of your site. May I kindly request for consideration in your review:

    -More details on the processor selection (Core i3, i5, and i7). It looks like the Core i3 has no turbo boost? That might significantly affect performance.
    -Battery life and HD performance, which you're already reviewing I'm sure. No rush there.
    -Can the pen scratch the screen?
    -Gaming benchmarks. No rush though. I have a gaming PC for that, but just curious. :)
    -Can it get too hot to hold?
    Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    As far as the pen scratching the screen, stylus aren't anything new. They figured out how to do make them work without giving them a tip that will gouge your screen out a long time ago. Nothing to worry about there, unless you glue a diamond to the tip of the stylus or something equally strange. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I could swear I saw a picture that showed a CPU + additional chip, implying some of these models might use Crystalwell?

    I'm probably reading too much in to a marketing graphic someone at Microsoft grabbed without understanding what it meant LOL
    Reply
  • smartass11 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Its 10% off with educational discount. So the base model is only about 720 dollars. Way better than iPad or MBA. Reply
  • akdj - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    They just dropped the entry price to the MBA to $899. $80 more or twenty less than the keyboard you'll need. Double the storage too. Faster storage too. Faster graphic chip, lower Rez display though. No touch. No stylus. More IO. This doesn't compare with the ipad. I'd buy this if you're looking for an actual computer (for education). An iPad can be later as a 'companion'. You don't need iTunes, a Mac or anything else to use the iPad ...it's autonomous. It's definitely a more 'companion device' meant to compliment and enjoy media, consume your books, magazines or comics. Games and some fun editing tools for music, audio, video and photography...but a decent SP3 would be Perfect for a student though. Keep in mind the 'extras'. Keyboard. Spyware. Memory stick. Mouse. Many of which you may already possess. Also the battery life. Both are included in the MBA. (Obviously only if you're considering one or the other). The past two generations have moved in to the 12 hour territory for the 13" models. That's pretty awesome if you're studying all day Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    But who would want as 12" standalone tablet? Everyone is going to have to pay $130 for the cover, too, so the $720-$800 pricing is very misleading. Reply
  • Jasonclark1985 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    So all this photoshop cc support will really be enough to make us dump our ipads? I dont think so. They totally forgot to mention this http://bit.ly/1sVtta1 Reply
  • xnay - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I want you to touch on why there's no cellular connectivity? If this is also supposed to be a tablet why do I lose all connectivity as soon as I leave my home/workplace? Reply
  • xunknownx - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    your chart is wrong. for $799, your getting an i3 with 64GB, not i5. at $800 for an i3, and without a keyboard, this is a rip off. Reply
  • Razzy76 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    iPad at $500 is a rip off IMO. Reply
  • xunknownx - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    i didnt say the ipad wasnt a rip off Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    How about we agree that both are? Reply
  • puc103 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    I compute and when I do, I require a lot of CPU. The cinebench score of 2.82 is just pathetic. Single threaded is just as poor. That Mac Book Pro on the other hand, thats in 2600k desktop territory. Quite a beast. After playing around extensively with the surface 2 (specifically running virtual machines) I came to the conclusion that these things just need way, way more power. Just my two cents. A great little machine to do simple tasks on though. Albiet expensive. Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    rMBP 13 has cinebench score of 2.81, just FYI. Reply
  • errorr - Saturday, May 24, 2014 - link

    I rather save money up front and use a Amazon E2C g2 instance for $.65 an hour and leave compute tasks off my laptop. Reply
  • uniiso - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    As overall panel quality improves across the board, I think the last remaining benchmark that hasn't caught enough attention is a 45deg X 45deg angled black level test on the panel. Most IPS panels suffers the most at this particular angle but some (Apple for one example) manage to somehow get this sort out. So Anand could you consider adding this into the fleet of panel testing? Thanks Reply
  • chasm22 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Let's make this as short as possible. Why do you vary the test machines from test to test? One set of machines one time, a different one for the next test. In what possible way can this lead to any sort of clarity?

    To put it simply, it is painfully obvious to me that the Surface Pro is meant to be competitive with the 13" Macbook Pro. Not the 2013 13" Macbook Air. Not the 2014 13" Macbook Air. Not the 2013 15" Macbook Pro. And not the iPad Air.

    Did you have to work hard to leave off the Macbook Pro 13" model? Come on, what good is a comparison if you don't include the closest competitor? Why the heck would you bump up to the Macbook Pro 15" Comparisons of the Mac and the Surface should be easy to accomplish, yet where are they? Each comparison you offer has different machines?

    Let's see the comparison test we all want to see. Same computers in each test. Not some mashup of 2013 this and 2014 that. Not a tablet OS vs a full blown OS. Let's see a direct comparison. The Macbook Pro and the Surface Pro 3 have the same gen of intel. Their size is similar. Their pricepoint is similar.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    It is called SELECTION BIAS. You can easily cherry pick things you compare to make one side look much better, without directly manipulating the data itself. Another example is the display analysis. On the charts shown here MBA looks very good, even surfacing surface screen - but it *somehow* misses two things, the viewing angle and screen resolution.

    One the other extreme, we can compare the surface pro 3 to non-retina MBP 13 apple is still selling at $1199. 1280*800 TN display? check. Ivy-bridge processor? check. 5400rpm mechanical drive? check. 2kg weight and 25mm thick? check.
    Reply
  • cavebear42 - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    Its funny that you don't think that it was meant to be compared to the Mac Book air since, at the announce, the presenter literally brought a Mac Book Air on stage with him. Reply
  • XabanakFanatik - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    It's funny you post this like you know something about what's going on. The only fact you are correct in is the fault in not including a late 2013 13" rMBP.

    The early 2014 Macbook Air is the most recent version of the Macbook Air and the late 2013 15" rMBP is the most recent version of the Macbook Pro. The whole reason for including the specific model information is so we know that, at the time of the article, they are comparing it to the most recent versions of both systems. Please, stop posting until you educate yourself about the content of the article.
    Reply
  • Geistdark - Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - link

    Can the i7 version of this tablet handle pc gaming better than the razor's edge? Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I believe the Razor Edge has a discrete GPU. That being the case, the answer to your question is no. No version of the SP3 is going to outperform the Edge for gaming. Reply
  • Geistdark - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - link

    Don't be silly. Reply
  • surft - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    Creatives (advertising, graphic design, etc.) will very much love this hybrid even with the color reproduction problems and the price because of the portable, full feature Adobe Suite functionality. I can see this as a viable company expense for Ad agencies. Reply
  • Razzy76 - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    You sound bitter in your article. Microsoft created an awesome tablet that is just as thin and light as last gen iPad and it is MUCH more faster than iPad. You can use it as a laptop or tablet or a desktop (using Surface Pro 3 screen as a primary or secondary screen - your choice) And best of all, you can install many kind of software that is not available on iPads! ;) Reply
  • LittleLeo - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    All the MS Surface tablets have one HUGE disadvantage, they run Windows 8.(1). That O/S makes Vista look popular and ME well designed. Reply
  • Kaymd - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    Are you serious about this or just joking??? Have you even used Windows 7 let alone Windows 8.1??? To say ME and Vista are better than 8.1, no one can take you seriously... Be specific, state facts, mention your points rather than just generic ridiculous comments! Geez! Reply
  • Jbeekmann - Thursday, May 22, 2014 - link

    I'd be interested to know if handwriting recognition is improved. Microsoft is definitely making a fuss about it. Reply
  • ATOmega - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    I wouldn't mind knowing how a simple Ubuntu 14.04 Server VM runs in virtualbox. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, just enough that vagrant can be used. Reply
  • kgcm2 - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    I had the original Surface Pro and I ran a 2008 R2 VM just fine in Hyper-V with 1vCPU and 1.5GB of RAM. Ubuntu should run just as well. Reply
  • Razzy76 - Friday, May 23, 2014 - link

    Oh it will. Especially if you get the 8GB Surface Pro. Reply
  • PrimaFizik1520 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - link

    I noticed the GMB and Grayscale accuracy weren't the best.
    Should I be concerned about the screen as a photographer?
    Reply
  • Edutechs - Thursday, May 29, 2014 - link

    I am looking forward for the next Nexus tablet . It will be definitely better than this. Reply
  • Kanuj Sharma - Thursday, May 29, 2014 - link

    waiting for it to come to India looks promising if it can do work as laptop for content generation rather than just a tab for viewing... Kanuj Sharma www.candytech.in Reply
  • jed22281 - Friday, May 30, 2014 - link

    When exactly can we expect the full-blown review?
    Shame we don't get emailed about new posts in this forum sw >.>
    If someone responds to me I'll never know...

    Thank-you.
    Reply
  • Brakken - Friday, May 30, 2014 - link

    This is a great looking... um... tabtop? Laplet? I'm not sure. But at 12", it's not hand-holdable, espeically with that keyboard flapping about, so I guess I'll settle on tabtop. In any case, the functionality of this little gem is amazing! It's great something so usable is finally in the same league as the MacBook Air! Reply
  • Arachnid0 - Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - link

    I'm getting an SP3 and trying it decide between the i5 and i7 256GB models. I've read mixed reports, and I would love your take on the battery life penalty (if any) imposed by the i7/Intel 5000 graphics combo as compared to the i5/Intel 4400, vs the increment in performance. What is the real life significance for each of these? This will be a do everything machine for me: web browse; email; work including small spreadsheets/PowerChart; movies (watching) and possibly some photo/video editing if practical (not extensive- family stuff). Planning to use high speed micro SDXC to augment storage if necessary (seems less expensive at this point than the 512GB top-end SP3. Thanks for comments/opinions. Reply
  • BananaMan - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Hi. I love your review and will certainly be coming back here for information in the future. Since you asked, I have a few suggestions for your next round of testing.
    There is a lot of talk about use with the keyboard but what I'd really like to know how is stacks up as a scribbler and note taker. Could you please look at using it on portrait mode, with the stylus - isn't this is one of the main advantages of the Surface? Please look into the onscreen keyboard as part of this as well.
    And although this is meant to be a working machine, how about playing games like Civ5 and Elder scrolls online? Is the i5 up to the task of modern recreation or the i7? Or really are they not going to make the grade?
    Finally if you can get a trial of the next Photoshop that is for designed for the surface I'd love some information on how good or bad that combination is in practice.
    Reply
  • slickdoors - Saturday, August 02, 2014 - link

    I recommend the suppliers sell the Surface Pro 3 http://www.brotechstore.com/ Reply
  • Anand_is_Apple_biased - Sunday, August 03, 2014 - link


    Anand is a biased piece of c**p...Why compare this with full-size laptops like MBP. Those are different product categories altogether (why not compare to 25 inch screens as well???)

    No comparison with the obvious competitor from Apple (MacBook Air).

    Go figure..

    Anand is just a bribed douche !!!
    Reply
  • slickdoors - Sunday, August 03, 2014 - link

    I Bought one the Surface Pro 3 from a Chinese suppliers, very excellent service and fast shipment, I recommend the suppliers http://www.brotechstore.com/ Reply

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