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  1. lars2206's Avatar
    I'm a previous owner of the Surface Pro 3 - a device I really liked and enjoyed using. However, there were a few things that annoyed me. The biggest being the fan noise. I know some don't mind it or notice it, but it came on a lot while I used my machine, even though I'm not close to being a power user. I use my machine as a replacement laptop for casual surfing, managing my mails, watching videos etc... Nothing out of the ordinary. But with my Pro 3 the fan would kick in even while surfing certain webpages, and while having a few applications open at the same time.

    Anyway, a few days ago I sold my Surface Pro 3, and decided to invest in the new Surface Pro 4, and since I didn't use much hard disk space or processing power, I was curious to check out the fanless M3 version. And it arrived today... My config lost a great deal of value here in Denmark - I guess there are not that much interest, or maybe people are more interested in the new Pro 4. So I ended up getting a little more then what I was able to buy the M3 version for.

    Anyway, here are my thoughts:

    - It is noticeable lighter and thinner then the previous model - really impressive.
    - No fan, hurrah... Really really nice and doesn't get as warm as the Pro 3.
    - Fast enough for my usage. Even installing updates were pretty fast. Before buying the i5 Pro 3 I tried out the i3 model, which took forever to install updates. Doing basic tasks, I don't feel much difference.
    - Beautiful screen. I like the size of the black bezel around the screen now. Again, it is noticeable.

    So I really recommend getting the M3 version. I don't mind scarifying more RAM, bigger hard drive and a bigger processor. This truly is a dream machine for me. Maybe not for you - but I thought I would share my thoughts for anyone considering doing the same.

    Also - small detail - but I love how the pencil now attacts to the side of the machine.

    I'm currently using it with a purple type cover I bought for the Pro 3, and it works great. Not sure if it is worth upgrading this to the new Pro 4 type covers.

    Feel free to ask any questions if you have any
    11-30-2015 01:24 PM
  2. Geo Hutchings's Avatar
    I'm a previous owner of the Surface Pro 3 - a device I really liked and enjoyed using. However, there were a few things that annoyed me. The biggest being the fan noise. I know some don't mind it or notice it, but it came on a lot while I used my machine, even though I'm not close to being a power user. I use my machine as a replacement laptop for casual surfing, managing my mails, watching videos etc... Nothing out of the ordinary. But with my Pro 3 the fan would kick in even while surfing certain webpages, and while having a few applications open at the same time.

    Anyway, a few days ago I sold my Surface Pro 3, and decided to invest in the new Surface Pro 4, and since I didn't use much hard disk space or processing power, I was curious to check out the fanless M3 version. And it arrived today... My config lost a great deal of value here in Denmark - I guess there are not that much interest, or maybe people are more interested in the new Pro 4. So I ended up getting a little more then what I was able to buy the M3 version for.

    Anyway, here are my thoughts:

    - It is noticeable lighter and thinner then the previous model - really impressive.
    - No fan, hurrah... Really really nice and doesn't get as warm as the Pro 3.
    - Fast enough for my usage. Even installing updates were pretty fast. Before buying the i5 Pro 3 I tried out the i3 model, which took forever to install updates. Doing basic tasks, I don't feel much difference.
    - Beautiful screen. I like the size of the black bezel around the screen now. Again, it is noticeable.

    So I really recommend getting the M3 version. I don't mind scarifying more RAM, bigger hard drive and a bigger processor. This truly is a dream machine for me. Maybe not for you - but I thought I would share my thoughts for anyone considering doing the same.

    Also - small detail - but I love how the pencil now attacts to the side of the machine.

    I'm currently using it with a purple type cover I bought for the Pro 3, and it works great. Not sure if it is worth upgrading this to the new Pro 4 type covers.

    Feel free to ask any questions if you have any
    Sounds good cheers for the review, if you could can you download lightroom and look for a super high res image like from a Lumia 1020 I can email you one and see how well it handles it, just so I have base to work from when I recommend a surface pro 4 , and also this means the surface pro 4 i7 is going to even better :) I am on the surface pro 3 i5 right now and going to update to i7
    11-30-2015 01:31 PM
  3. slysy's Avatar
    The m3 is great overall but the 4Gb RAM is annoying, even for light usage. I had 11 tabs open in Edge yesteday and the machine ground to a halt (with nothing else open). If an 8Gb RAM version was available it would be perfect.

    Now I have to choose between keeping it (with less RAM than I want), exchanging for an i5/8gb (and dealing with a fan I don't want) or switching to something else entirely :( It's a shame as the 128Gb is enough for me and the processor is also powerful enough.
    11-30-2015 02:31 PM
  4. snakebitten's Avatar
    Yep. Somehow I believe Microsoft just KNEW what would happen if they offered 8 Gigs of Ram with the M3. :)
    I assume they didn't want to clip the sales of the more profitable I5\8Gig machine, and they surely got the result they were looking for because it seems to be the biggest seller. (And the easiest to find inventory)

    But what they probably don't know is that I would have paid MORE for the M3\8Gig than the normal pricing tier would suggest. In fact, I might be in the minority, but I think they should offer the M3\8Gig\256 for the same price as the I5\8Gig\256, if they were so worried about profits. I'd buy the M3!

    As it is, I just could NOT settle for 4 Gigs Ram. Not in 2016!
    11-30-2015 03:50 PM
  5. TheCudder's Avatar
    I agree about the 4GB, especially in the "Pro" line. I would have been MORE than happy with a Core M3 / 8GB / 128GB model --- but instead I had to jump two models up to get 8GB RAM. It's pretty sad that the Surface 3 starts at 2GB RAM and the Surface Pro 3/4 start at 4GB. It's like you're not REALLY supposed to purchase either of these entry level models.
    11-30-2015 04:39 PM
  6. boltman2013's Avatar
    I have yet to be annoyed by my 4GB of ram..seriously who has 11 tabs on a browser open ? (A: hardly anyone)
    Eric J F likes this.
    11-30-2015 05:45 PM
  7. TheAsbo's Avatar
    I have yet to be annoyed by my 4GB of ram..seriously who has 11 tabs on a browser open ? (A: hardly anyone)
    I do after an hour or so. That's when I go back through and shut most of them down and the process repeats.
    11-30-2015 07:41 PM
  8. slysy's Avatar
    I have yet to be annoyed by my 4GB of ram..seriously who has 11 tabs on a browser open ? (A: hardly anyone)
    If you can cope with the 4Gb RAM it's a great machine and I would recommend it. I'm not sure how other people use their machine, but this was with nothing else open whatsoever. If I'd had some other stuff open too, then it would have run out of memory with even less tabs.

    To me a new (non-upgradeable) machine that we are spending a lot of money on should be able to handle a task such as this. If it struggles to do what I want in 2015, how is it going to be in two years time for example? Not exactly future proof. But if you are happy, that's great. It's a nice machine overall.
    12-01-2015 12:29 AM
  9. boltman2013's Avatar
    If you can cope with the 4Gb RAM it's a great machine and I would recommend it. I'm not sure how other people use their machine, but this was with nothing else open whatsoever. If I'd had some other stuff open too, then it would have run out of memory with even less tabs.

    To me a new (non-upgradeable) machine that we are spending a lot of money on should be able to handle a task such as this. If it struggles to do what I want in 2015, how is it going to be in two years time for example? Not exactly future proof. But if you are happy, that's great. It's a nice machine overall.
    If you haven't noticed programs and OS's are getting MORE efficient rather than less efficient..again 8GB is overkill for 99% and costs a minimum of $500 more.

    It boils down to a stat thing, bragging right but in fact no one cares so it ends up $500 wasted..their marketing worked good on you.

    BTW some nights I do porn and have over 11 open and it still works. So its not the browser killing it..I use chrome.
    12-01-2015 07:36 AM
  10. slysy's Avatar
    It was definitely the browser killing it. I think it may have been because Edge is a 64bit browser on the SP4 and therefore uses more memory. I'm presuming that you are using 32bit chrome?
    12-01-2015 09:05 AM
  11. boltman2013's Avatar
    It was definitely the browser killing it. I think it may have been because Edge is a 64bit browser on the SP4 and therefore uses more memory. I'm presuming that you are using 32bit chrome?
    Version 46.0.2490.86 m
    12-01-2015 09:31 AM
  12. Eric J F's Avatar
    I just ordered a SP4 m3 for exactly the same use and reasons the OP describes- light use and no fan. By the way, I saved $135 USD using Target's 15% Cyber Monday sale.

    I probably have a bit of tech OCD- I'm always closing unused windows, tabs, and programs, so I'm sure the m3 with 4GB will be more than adequate most of the time. Maybe it's a hold over from all my cheap bottom-end old computers.

    I agree with the comments on why MS didn't go with a 8GB m3. Five hundred extra dollars is a big leap. It's like the days when you had to buy everything else to get cruise control in a new car (yes- I guess I'm old!).

    If I notice any drawbacks after I've used it a while I'll speak up.
    12-01-2015 09:46 AM
  13. Comatose11's Avatar
    I have an I5/8/256 model. I recently followed the guide that was posted on windows central to disable connected standby temporarily to create more power plan options. The one i created for battery savings only allows my device to use passive cooling and I have my CPU max limited as well. So when I am not doing intensive things on my SP4 I always have it in this new "Battery Saver" mode I created and the fan never turns on, the device remains cool and my battery life has greatly improved. It basically operates like an M3 model until i put it back to balanced mode or my new "Max Power" mode i also created.
    12-01-2015 09:52 AM
  14. lars2206's Avatar
    Thanks for all comments. The machine did take a while to update to the latest "threadhold" update, but in the general use it is fast and speedy. How are people experiencing the battery life on the M3?

    Also - I'm surprised that Windows Hello does not work out of the box - I read somewhere that some driver from august 2015 had to be updated, and that that should happen in the latest software update. But on my machine the option is still missing. Do I have to update the Windows Hello driver manual?

    UPDATE: turned out I needed to restart my Surface few times, to have the latest firmware updates installed. So now Windows Hello is ready to be configured.
    Last edited by lars2206; 12-01-2015 at 03:31 PM.
    12-01-2015 11:39 AM
  15. slysy's Avatar
    I agree with the comments on why MS didn't go with a 8GB m3. Five hundred extra dollars is a big leap. It's like the days when you had to buy everything else to get cruise control in a new car (yes- I guess I'm old!).
    It's not even the cost that bothers me. It's that I want a fanless processor and 8Gb RAM
    12-02-2015 05:14 AM
  16. TechFreak1's Avatar
    I have yet to be annoyed by my 4GB of ram..seriously who has 11 tabs on a browser open ? (A: hardly anyone)
    You would be surprised,

    Edge with multiple tabs has been a hit and miss for me lately so I have been using Firefox more.

    Which I have to say is much better on my ears than Edge, as it kicks the laptop fan upto max rpm - sometimes even with no zero tabs open.

    Then a cumulative patch will roll out; running Edge will become whisper silent... another patch and it's back to Hyde mode again lol. Really don't know what to make of this behavior to be honest.

    The M3 Model with 8 gigs of ram, that would have been the sweet spot for a lot of people.
    12-02-2015 09:31 AM
  17. Witness's Avatar

    Also - small detail - but I love how the pencil now attacts to the side of the machine.
    ... Pen.
    12-02-2015 01:09 PM
  18. Hieu Nguyen6's Avatar
    My problem with pro 3 i5 is temperature. It's so hot with normal use and so hot when charge. How about your pro 4 M3 ?
    07-06-2016 10:56 PM

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