1. yeoldgreat1's Avatar
    I work as a Tech Support Engineer for a CCTV Transmission company. The things we manufacture are converters for Analogue Video/Data and Ethernet over fibre optic cable equipment or over wireless.

    As well as providing tech support to customers, as part of my job I have to create datasheets using InDesign, use Photoshop to modify product pictures for the datasheets, modify the website, etc. I also have to visit customers on site for fault-finding work or site surveys.

    My boss said that if there are any courses then let him know and he'll look at putting me forward for them. As well as sending him a list of ones that might help, I added a cheeky note at the bottom saying that maybe a Surface Pro 3 would help me to do datasheets and other things.

    He wasn't against the idea but said it would be hard to justify a tablet over a laptop, if I could come up with reasons then he would be willing to fight my corner with his bosses. At the moment, I've been passed down a HP laptop for field work/times I work from home. It's a HP G61-410SA (1.9GHz Celeron, 3Gb DDR2 RAM, 320Gb HDD). Supposedly it was quite a highly spec'd laptop when it was bought and is still newer than other sales people's laptops, however it is often pinched for training and equipment testing.

    So that's why I've come to you guys, I need help coming up with some reasons as to why it would be beneficial. This is what I've come up with so far:

    • Photoshop and InDesign are easier on a tablet with the pen rather than a mouse.
    • Site surveys for wireless equipment would be easier, I could get out a tablet for tests outdoors rather than a laptop which isn't easy to see outdoors. (Can USB to Ethernet converters work with the SP3 rather than waiting for the dock to be released?)
    • Higher specs will last a long time.


    Any other reasons would be greatly appreciated
    08-11-2014 07:00 AM
  2. bulls96's Avatar
    Its really a laptop in a tablet disguise.

    Sent from my Surface Pro 3 using Tapatalk
    08-11-2014 07:11 AM
  3. Adam_ation's Avatar
    Just buy one, It will justify itself.

    I didn't even need one as i already have a top spec laptop and desktop, but i'm so glad i did! Its astonishing how powerful they are for such a compact device - Adam
    nuprotocol likes this.
    08-11-2014 09:24 AM
  4. stephen_az's Avatar
    Its really a laptop in a tablet disguise.

    Sent from my Surface Pro 3 using Tapatalk
    Yes, that lack of a keyboard is an amazing disguise.
    08-11-2014 09:28 AM
  5. bulls96's Avatar
    Also you probably would have gotten away w just saying the Pro 3 was a laptop.
    Sent from my Lumia Icon using Tapatalk
    08-11-2014 09:31 AM
  6. stephen_az's Avatar
    Specifically with respect to your questions:
    1) PS and InDesign work but the interface is quite clumsy and inconsistent. The new pen works well enough in PS but it is not nearly as fluid as omen would hope. There is also the annoying reality that if you are using the pen with the keyboard folded back or with the device at a very shallow angle (logical for much use given you are otherwise manipulating a small vertical screen) you are still obliged to use keyboard commands to execute various tasks. A good example is the magnet lasso tool. If you use it to select something while in use as a tablet, it often extends the line from the item you lassoed to the menu when you try to select. For practical purposes you need to have a keyboard handy to hit enter for it to be of any use. BTW, all Adobe applications are equally challenged with touch devices - different nuisances across the board and even their rather fluid ios apps are hamstrung, in that case by limited feature sets.
    2) The mobile use you describe would be a very good use scenario. There is also an approved USB to Ethernet adapter. I have, however, found that WIFI even with updates remains more temperamental than its predecessors. Lack of a car peer adapter is annoying given one exists for SP2.
    3) The specs are fine for your intended use and Microsoft has done a good job of optimizing performance. BTW, before someone chimes in with the inevitable SP3 throttles the CPU BS, I have yet to encounter that and have done some very intensive stuff in PS and Lightroom. As an additional BTW, before someone chimes in with the latest Brroadwell processor fantasy, a) Intel PR never lives up to their claims so that is comparing actual apples to fantasy oranges, and b) there is no guarantee there will be a SP3 Broadwell update and if there is one that it will be anytime before next year.

    With all that said, I also have to add that you need to take a close look at the price vis a vis cost benefit,. It is proportionally a very expensive device. In fact, in my own work scenario I cannot justify it for anyone other than those with deep expense accounts (or executive status) who are ironically the ones who will generally benefit the least from SP3. It is a great device that goes with me wherever I go, like the SP 2 did before it. Performance is very good as is battery life and portability is unmatched. The price, unfortunately, is a lot to absorb. I also find it telling that the product to which Microsoft regularly compares it, is the Apple MPA line, which means they are choosing to compare to pricey premium devices with a tiny market share (some of which are actually cheaper since you need to buy a keyboard cover for SP3).

    Although you haven't asked for comparisons, here are a few quick assessments of some of the alternatives I have used or tested:

    1) Surface RT based devices: Will not work due to lack of key application support (it is never coming from companies like Adobe)
    2) Atom based devices: Useful for basic stuff but not for Adobe applications. The processors are no longer netbook equivalent but are still bottom rung of the ladder when it comes to performance.
    3) Dell Venue 11 Pro: fractionally cheaper with roughly comparable performance but its pen support is poor (has a pen but I have found it useless most if the time) and its keyboard cover equivalent is very buggy/temperamental.
    4) Dell XPS 12: Equal or superior performance but no pen support. They are also heavier devices with a known history of screen bugs/defects. If it doesn't have to be replaced a couple times though, they can be an absolute bargain through Dell's outlet. The qualifier, unfortunately is both sarcasm and serious. I returned almost as many as I purchased and that one required servicing.
    5) Dell XPS 11: Had a lot going for it when originally announced but never lived up to expectations. There is also no real pen support and the keyboard is more like a Surface TypeCover but is permanently attached - many complaints about it. It appears as well as that Dell discontinued the product since it only seems to be in their outlet now.
    6) Various Sony hybrids: Comparable performance but equally (or more) expensive for any model that would be of use). Pen support depends upon the model. Weights range from very light to quite chunky.
    7) Toshiba Portege Z10 line: Probably superior performance with pen support and detachable keyboard but heavier and very expensive. At least Toshiba does not insult anyone's intelligence though by making you buy the keyboard separately.
    8) HP business hybrids: Some have very good specs but realistically only available through HPs website or a business reseller. Many do not even know the products exist. Of course, as per HP's MO of recent years, they will drop products and support on little to no notice.
    9) Last but not least, the Lenovo Yoga line: Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 will match performance and battery life but the device lacks pen support and is heavier. Since Lenovo is not going anywhere and has shown the strongest commitment to the platform and form factor, and has somewhat better prices for some models, Lenovo wins more often than not on the cost-benefit front. They offer lots of products though with varying features and processors so one needs to make sure the model selected really has everything needed.
    10) SP2: If they haven't obviously discontinued the product, this would be my easy recommendation (with no reservations). The i5 performance matches SP3; form factor is only a bit heavier; Wacom pen support is superior; battery life is comparable; there are lots of peripherals and add ons; they are built like tanks; and (on a purely aesthetic front) the black chassis is less susceptible to scuffs and visible scratches than SP3. Unfortunately it has been discontinued so it is really not a viable business option for the long haul.
    Last edited by stephen_az; 08-11-2014 at 12:39 PM.
    08-11-2014 10:31 AM
  7. rdubmu's Avatar
    An Intel Celeron processor has always been a mid to low end processor


    Sent from my Surface Pro 3 using Tapatalk
    xandros9 likes this.
    08-11-2014 12:22 PM
  8. rdubmu's Avatar
    I would look into getting an ThinkPad Yoga. I would get a larger screen version. You will like the keyboard much more than the keyboard on the SP3.

    The SP3 is a great device and should last you a few years.


    Sent from my Surface Pro 3 using Tapatalk
    08-11-2014 12:23 PM
  9. Adam_ation's Avatar
    Also i would like to chime in that i opted not to buy the touch keyboard for the exact reason stephan stated above (and the damn price of the thing), I mostly use the SP3 as a creative tool and I realised i would be wanting to use the pen and also have the benfit of keyboard shortcuts at the same time. I have instead purchased the Microsoft wedge keyboard and couldnt be happier! - Adam
    08-11-2014 03:18 PM
  10. Michael Alan Goff's Avatar
    If you're moving around a lot, the Surface Pro 3 will be quicker to sleep and turn back on.

    What types of things do you do when you go to meet the clients specifically? Anything that would require a quick use of One Note?
    08-11-2014 04:00 PM
  11. rdubmu's Avatar
    Also i would like to chime in that i opted not to buy the touch keyboard for the exact reason stephan stated above (and the damn price of the thing), I mostly use the SP3 as a creative tool and I realised i would be wanting to use the pen and also have the benfit of keyboard shortcuts at the same time. I have instead purchased the Microsoft wedge keyboard and couldnt be happier! - Adam
    There is no touch keyboard with the surface pro 3
    08-11-2014 04:07 PM
  12. Adam_ation's Avatar
    There is no touch keyboard with the surface pro 3
    meh, typecover, i meant the type cover - Adam
    08-11-2014 06:03 PM
  13. yeoldgreat1's Avatar
    Thanks for the ideas. I sometimes have to create quick layout or pin-out diagrams and One Note would make that easier, I currently use Visio for those kinds of things and it can take a while. If I have to do Ethernet training then a tablet would be easier than walking round with a laptop.

    I don't often have meetings with clients but site work may include configuring switches or wireless equipment. If I ever have design meetings to discuss projects then One Note would be really useful for that.
    08-11-2014 07:12 PM
  14. Wall-SWE's Avatar
    Just buy it! Its a great device! Actually Apple is so afraid of the Surface PRO 3, that they lowered their price for the MBA. As they know that Microsoft when the Surface PRO 3 outsells the MBA, will use this in ADs against Apple.
    08-16-2014 04:14 AM
  15. yeoldgreat1's Avatar
    Our IT company has to look into whether the programs we need can integrate together properly on Windows 8, so I've got a couple of options:

    1. Wait to see what they say about W8 and go for a SP3 (or will a Yoga be better?)
    2. Give them a list of specs (great screen, separate graphics card, 8+Gb RAM, etc) and they'll find a W7 laptop for me


    My current work machine is an XP desktop so this laptop/tablet will replace that so I'm trying to work out which is the best way to go.

    I'm leaning towards going for a Windows 7 laptop as a replacement because while the SP3 is a really good machine, I'm not sure it's enough to replace a desktop.
    09-22-2014 04:03 AM
  16. Bill Mitchell's Avatar
    Go either SP3 or Thinkpad Yoga. SP3 will be lighter and have better screen. Thinkpad will be heavier but better keyboard and more sturdy. If you think you will be typing a lot on your lap, go with the Thinkpad - the SP3 is more "lapable" than before but still not as good as the Thinkpad.

    I bought the SP3 because I'm a sucker for the QHD resolution and the 3:2 aspect ratio.
    09-22-2014 02:04 PM
  17. Bill Mitchell's Avatar
    If you can wait a few more months all of the new M processor models will be out with much better battery life and slimmer profiles.
    09-22-2014 02:05 PM

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