Tried out Surface Pro 3: Good and bad impressions
I got my hands on a Surface Pro 3. First, the positives:
- The trackpad is really really good. My main laptop is a MBP (aging 2011 model) and I didn't really feel any difference using the trackpad on the type cover. It isn't as big as the MBP trackpad, but I didn't have any problem with it.
- The screen is amazing.
- The keyboard isn't great and a little shallow, but still very good. I've used worse keyboards on actual laptops.
- It looks beautiful.
- The pen is simply not special. Other than the quick launch button for OneNote, it's a very very medicore pen. It has the same delay that all stylus' have. It's really no different than the pen that you get with the Galaxy Note 10. In-fact, overall I would say the Galaxy Note 10 offers a slightly better pen solution than the Surface Pro 3. The word recognition was better on the Note and the Note does have a slot to hold the pen. The one advantage the SP3 Pen has going for it is that it's bigger, but in day-to-day use, I don't see that being a major differentiating factor. Now, don't get me wrong, The Note 10 is a terrible product because of touchwiz and bloat; I'm not recommending anyone buy the Note 10. However, I've constantly read people claiming that the Pen is a reason to buy the Surface Pro 3. In my opinion, it's just not. Even if you're an artist, I'm sure the professional tablets out there will be a better solution.
- Adjusting the hinge is a hassle. For this product concept, it is nice to have a hinge that can be put at any position, but adjusting it is annoying. It's the trade-off of having a friction hinge. The friction keeps in place at any angle, but it means having to exert an uncomfortable amount of energy to adjust it. Also, while the new hinge makes it more "lapable," it's doesn't compare to an actual laptop.
- The placement of the windows button. I found it really really annoying. For the most part, this device is going to be held in landscape mode and seeing that windows button on the side irritated me. It's not a big deal, and not a reason to avoid buying this, but still, they should have left it where it was or simply gotten rid of it altogether.
- The weight. It's not super heavy or anything, but it's important to remember this is only a couch tablet. I only use my tablet when I'm cooking or in bed, where I would only use One hand. For you strongmen out there, you should be fine, but for everyone else, just keep that in mind.
The SP3 concept is one that I've never liked and that opinion hasn't changed. If you're someone who uses tablets only on a couch and only do laptop work on a desk, the SP3 makes sense. However, for everyone else, there are better 1-device options elsewhere. Since this device isn't that great of a tablet anyway, Yoga-like devices or even detachable devices seem like a much better option. It all comes down to the compromises you're willing to accept, and for me at least, the SP3 requires too many compromises. Especially when you bring things like ecosystem into play, I think most people would be better off forgoing the whole 1-device dream and just buy an actual laptop and a tablet.