Microsoft has recently unveiled its Surface Pro 3, the latest iteration on its vision for a device that can truly straddle the line between computer and tablet. The idea is to provide a single gadget that can do for most of us what would take at least two separate machines, all in a highly premium package that can appeal to businesses and individuals alike.
The Surface Pro 3 is a 12” tablet running full Windows 8.1. Its specs range from i3 processor with 4GB of RAM up to i7 with 8GB. It essentially has a 2K display, with a touchscreen and a pressure sensitive digitizer pen. It is as thin as one of the first generations of iPad, and comes with a detachable ‘keyboard cover’ that can transform it instantly into a laptop. Lastly it has a kickstand that can be adjusted to any angle or closed entirely.
So what you basically have is an iPad with an attachable keyboard and digitizer pen, plus the power of a full computer. If you’re asking yourself why you might want that, then here are just a few of the impressive things you could do with the Surface Pro 3 or either of its predecessors.
While it’s less talked about than the other features, the digitizer pen is actually one of the most impressive features of the Surface Pro line. Using this device you can hold your tablet in one hand, while drawing with the pen with the other. Many professional digital artists have taken to the device because it lets them draw on their lap rather than needing a desktop PC with an additional graphics tablet. Then pen is sensitive and accurate enough to suit their professional needs, and for casual users it’s great fun to have a doodle and see what you can create.
Likewise the pen can also be used for taking notes, which is why it’s so suitable for professionals like doctors who need to take handwritten notes while on the move. It helps too that OneNote comes with every Surface and is such a highly capable app for the purpose of organising notes and annotating PDFs.
This is no gaming laptop, but if you go for an i7 with 8GB of RAM (or even a mid-range model) then you’ll be able to handle most games. You can then hook the tablet up to work with the Xbox 360 controller, install steam, plug the micro HD into your TV and enjoy playing games right through the television. Things like Titanfall, Skyrim and Sonic Generations will all work fine.
The Surface Pro is also a highly powerful computer that can do everything your desktop can. You can use it for word processing, for running legacy software for coding or designing, or for handling a vast range of other tasks.
The type cover is a great innovation as it allows you to work properly anywhere, as though you were using a laptop computer… except it’s even lighter than the Macbook Air. This is great if you’re currently working out of coffee shops or if you’re moving a long way.
Because the Surface itself is actually just a flat screen, you can also use a different set-up when working in the office. Put it on a desk and use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and it suddenly becomes a mini-desktop PC. You can even hook it up to multiple external displays for a multi-monitor set-up.
With the crisp display and the useful kickstand, you can enjoy watching films and television shows anywhere. A great use for the Surface is actually to stand it up on the kitchen countertop with the Netflix app, and then to catch up on shows while doing the washing up!