1. cba191's Avatar
    I'm looking at replacing my Dell Venue Pro 8, because it's too slow for what I want. I'm looking at the surface pros, because I want to run lightroom while on the road. I'm going to be spending about 6-8 weeks on a motorcycle trip next summer, and am looking at something to take with me. I like the prices I'm seeing on some used SP2s, but don't know if I'd regret not getting the 3.
    Suggestions?
    11-08-2014 01:29 AM
  2. stephen_az's Avatar
    There is nothing wrong with SP2. It is compact and performs well. The wacom digitizer also does offer the opportunity to use a lot more stylus options; there are more power supply options including a travel charger; and there are lots of accessories. Performance of the i5 is comparable and battery life is only fractionally less. The thing I would question though is comparing a new SP3 to a used SP2. A used SP2 could work great or be a dog but that is because it is used not because it is a SP2. Buying any used electronics comes with a risk. Next summer then means as well that the device will be a couple years old. Since neither are user serviceable, if I was planning a long trip I would personally save money a bit longer assuming that is the limitation) and go with a new SP3 preferably with the Microsoft Complete warranty. If you are in the US and there are any problems you can stop at a Microsoft Store, do an exchange, and be up and running in an hour or two.
    Last edited by stephen_az; 11-08-2014 at 08:00 AM.
    11-08-2014 02:58 AM
  3. cba191's Avatar
    The trip I am planning is through Central America and Mexico. So, a Microsoft store is probably not going to happen. I wish Microsoft had a refurb store like Apple.
    11-08-2014 03:10 AM
  4. dirtyvu's Avatar
    I love my SP2. You will love it for adobe software. However, you will have to wait for an upcoming adobe cc that scales the UI properly. Right now the buttons are very small and not really touchable. Also you can't do things like pinch to zoom. But performance-wise it's very fast. I use camera raw, PhotoShop, in-design, and premiere.
    11-18-2014 04:24 PM
  5. Broomcorn's Avatar
    I wouldn't spend more than $200 to get the SP3 over the SP2. Not enough differentiates them, imo.
    01-13-2015 06:32 PM
  6. RTGent's Avatar
    I explained my choice here: http://forums.windowscentral.com/mic...pro-2-3-a.html

    I'd say it's easily worth it if you value a larger screen, in an even lighter and thinner tablet; and much less so if you prefer the lighter tone. I'm still fully satisfied with my 8/256 SP2 and have never doubted my choice.
    01-21-2015 11:40 AM
  7. Ltauhmise's Avatar
    Surface Pro 3 is an -excellent- choice. Admittedly I was also looking at the HP envy x360.
    01-21-2015 12:57 PM
  8. onlysublime's Avatar
    The SP2 is fantastic! If the price is good to you, go for it.

    The advantages of the SP3 is it has a larger screen, is thinner, lighter, and has a more flexible kickstand.

    The disadvantages is the SP3 is more prone to throttling under sustained load. Check out the benchmarks. The SP2 often outperforms the SP3. Another reason the SP2 performs better is the SP2's GPU only has to drive a 1920x1080 display. The SP3's GPU has to drive 2160 x 1440. This is not a trivial increase in overhead. The SP2 is also built like tank compared to the SP3.

    All things being equal, I would get the SP3. But things aren't equal. If you can get the SP2 for a lower price and you're okay with the smaller screen, go for the SP2.


    On my Acer Aspire S7, it has a 2560 x 1440 display. Even simple Modern games can cause the i7's GPU to choke. I've actually turned down the resolution of the S7 to 1920x1080 to increase the frame rate.
    01-25-2015 03:34 AM
  9. Steve Adams's Avatar
    I was just going through this in my head as well. I have an asus vivotab RT. Its a great device but I want to have some future upgradeability. I am not sure how RT is going to be handled when w10 rolls out. I love how my tablet works now, however, if we do not get any future apps then I am bailing for a win 10 tablet.
    02-10-2015 05:08 PM
  10. PiggyMiddle's Avatar
    Only you can decide. For me, it is the SP2. I was hoping msoft would keep the SP2 as well as the SP3 due to the smaller form factor as it is much more convenient for me, as a tablet in the 10.6" size compared to the 12".

    Under general use the throttling mentioned is of little importance unless you type at 30,000 word per minute. :)

    The screen resolution is also of small importance as the greatest cost of higher resolution is battery drain but the SP3 has that covered anyway.

    The weight difference is also doodly squat, it is measured in ounces. Hell, my Miix-8" is half th weight of the SP3 and I still find that heavy to hold for reading, so weight, within limits, is also not really an issue.

    I waited to buy the SP2 as I was hoping msoft would bring out a revised lighter version along side the SP3, but when it was clear that the SP2 was dead, I bought a new-old-stock i5-SP2. It (they, actually bought two) cost me around the same as an SP3 and it still had some msoft warranty, so I guess that would answer your question from MY perspective. :)
    02-11-2015 09:50 AM
  11. onlysublime's Avatar
    If you use your SP3 as your primary machine and you plan on doing CPU-intensive or GPU-intensive work, you will encounter throttling, especially if you have the i7 variant. I use my SP2 for everything. Even video encoding with Adobe Premiere.

    On the SP3, you will see throttling if you run the CPU for even very short times. Microsoft was very aggressive in preventing the SP3 from overheating and to prevent high fan spinup.

    I know for Piggy, these details don't matter to him. But people use their machines differently. For me, I would've avoided the i7 variant because it's a lot more money for very little gain over the i5.

    And the resolution situation... apparently Piggy doesn't play games or do video apps. Any gamer knows resolution matters when it comes to performance.
    02-12-2015 12:47 AM
  12. PiggyMiddle's Avatar
    Any gamer knows resolution matters when it comes to performance.
    Ummm, Blimey, correct me if I am wrong, but when the pixel size is so small that one cannot see individual pixels when viewed from a normal viewing distance, doesn't the resolution become just a numeric-figure rather than a visual reality?

    PLUS, the larger Screen size of the SP2 only gives a pixel density of 216-PPI, (Pixels Per Inch) whereas the smaller screen of the SP2 gives 208-PPI. Now the difference there is only 8-pixels per inch, giving an almost indiscernible 8/216 of an inch which equates to less than 1/32" so one could safely say, effectively no difference and thus resolution becomes unimportant. :)

    My case rests your Honor.
    02-12-2015 02:19 PM
  13. onlysublime's Avatar
    it's not about visual.

    Most people leave their computers at the default resolution. In the case of the SP3, it is 2160 x 1440. In the case of the SP2, it is 1920x1080. And this is especially true because the manufacturer ships the panel designed for the default resolution. That's why if you run at a non-default resolution, you get a soft image because the panel is not optimized for that resolution.

    Even at small screens, you can notice a softness when you do not run at the optimized resolution for your display panel.

    And if you run at your machine's default resolution, the SP3 has to push more pixels which impacts performance. Noticeably. You can either look at benchmarks or just do the eye test by running some GPU-intensive app or game. Just because you don't care about image quality or performance doesn't mean other people don't care.
    02-12-2015 03:10 PM

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