Imagine if you had a time machine that could send you back exactly 13 years. The rules of time travel don’t let you change the past, but they do allow you to ask one question of a single person (time travel is, after all, very complicated). If your question for somebody in 2001 was “What will the future of computing look like,” they’d probably give you an answer that would sound very much like the Surface Pro 3.

That’s both good and bad. It’s good because the Surface Pro 3 is indeed a futuristic machine, a marvel of engineering that combines tons of crazy features into a thin and light package. It’s bad because, well, in 2001 we had almost no way of knowing that in 2014 the whole idea of what a computer is and does would be changing so rapidly.

That’s not to say that Microsoft’s vision for the Surface Pro 3 is antiquated — far from it — but it does show that the dream of replacing the laptop with a hybrid device is more complicated than it first appears. Microsoft has been hard at it for two years and with this device, it is very close to the ideal realization of its goal.

The Surface Pro 3 does a better job of cramming a full-powered computer into a touchscreen tablet than anything ever has before. But can it convince consumers that it’s really “the tablet that replaces your laptop?”