06-16-2015 07:10 AM
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  1. Bill Mitchell's Avatar
    Appreciate that Bill, but we shouldnt have to spend more money on other devices to get anywhere near the amount of battery life on the SP3 that Microsoft claims in their advertising... I'm a student, and I just spent 750 on an SP3 and keyboard, I have no money left :) But I am going to try to enjoy it for what it is, and will just keep an eye of the battery useage over time and see if it improves.
    You are still a young man. I'm 54. The sad truth of life is we rarely get what we want or deserve. We get the best we can and make it work for us. 5 years from now you'll be able to fold up your tablet, put it in your pocket and it will last a week on a charge. But right now, it's between the SP3 and Yoga Thinkpad for hybrid supremacy. Depends on your particular priorities.

    You should seriously consider an external battery. The problem here is that because the SP3 is new with a custom plug, there are few inexpensive options. You can check here:


    Prices should come down as more brands come online.

    * Also, consider turning your SP3 off when you aren't actively using it. Boots fast so should not be an issue. One other good thing is that it charges pretty fast. 15 minutes at a plug between classes should give it some good extra life.
    Last edited by Bill Mitchell; 09-23-2014 at 08:26 AM.
    09-23-2014 07:53 AM
  2. Green Onion's Avatar
    I'm also a student, and one thing I did that has gotten battery life to last the day is turn off the function where it wakes upon opening the type cover, and just use the power button. I think it's because it jostles around in my backpack and the battery drains. It's not onerous for me since I use the power button anyway.

    I also think some of the recent patches have improved battery life, so I guess make sure you're up to date (although you probably are).
    09-23-2014 09:06 AM
  3. mikeoc's Avatar
    Hey Bill, I'll see how it goes - I don't mind carrying my charger around with me (although it kind of defeats the purpose) - I can survive with 6hrs battery life, and I do boot the machine off when not using it for a while (although it barely loses any charge when in connected standby, which is impressive) but I did my research and specifically bought the SP3 because it advertises up to 8hrs of (light) use, and I need to be able to use it for up to 8hrs ideally due to 2x 4hr lectures a day as I said before. I expected realistically this may vary down to around 7hrs, but 2hrs below is not really good enough. I don't think I'm being unreasonable here :) I will experiment more though with settings and give it time. If I can get it to creep up to 7hrs of use, I will be happy. Battery aside, am loving my SP3.

    Thanks for the info on external battery packs.

    FYI I'm a mature student aged 41, self funding a medical degree, so resources are limited - every penny counts. Age doesn't have much to do with expectations ;-)
    09-23-2014 09:24 AM
  4. mikeoc's Avatar
    Thanks Green Onion - am up to date with patches. How do I find that setting you mentioned?
    09-23-2014 09:41 AM
  5. Green Onion's Avatar
    Honestly I don't 100% recall but I believe it was in Windows device manager. And then there was a second thing I did in Control Panel > Power Options > "Choose what the power option does" link > "Change settings that are currently unavailable" link > check the "Hibernate - show in power menu" checkbox near the bottom, and that should display the hibernate option, which should help.

    Edit: Also try power options under the control panel
    09-24-2014 11:00 PM
  6. mikeoc's Avatar
    Great, many thanks for that - I recall I had seen the options one time before, but couldn't find it anywhere this time! :)
    09-25-2014 03:28 AM
  7. AdilY's Avatar
    In my opinion the keyboard is a must have accessory which also acts as scratch protection for the screen.
    09-30-2014 06:43 PM
  8. AdilY's Avatar
    Go to windows update and make sure nothing is pending. Right swipe-> Settings-> Change PC settings -> Update and Recovery
    09-30-2014 06:45 PM
  9. AdilY's Avatar
    My Surface hasn't arrived yet, but my red keyboard has.

    I do not like it. The worst part about it is the distance for each key press. It's quite short and stunted.

    It appears that other than the trackpad, everything else about this keyboard was just thrown in. It most certainly is NOT worth $129. More like $50. I feel very cheated by Microsoft with this accessory and I wish there was an alternative, but there isn't.

    This really detracts from the SP3's otherwise superb design.
    Any BT or wired keyboard will work. I personally have no issues with the Microsoft keyboard. Especially like the backlight.
    09-30-2014 06:48 PM
  10. Joe Dubya's Avatar
    I'm running first gen Surface RT and one of my main concerns is battery life (that, and overheating, no free office) - please do report back after your trip!
    09-30-2014 09:05 PM
  11. lithos's Avatar
    Agree. I don't usually like trackpads, and expected the SP3 keyboard to be ok but not great, but I was very pleasantly surprised at its feel and functionality. Keyboard is not deep, but the keys have a great feel. Trackpad is very accurate and embedded buttons are easy to use with thumbs in combo with typing. I used one of the nipple pointer keyboards years ago. Much prefer SP3 keyboard and trackpad.
    10-11-2014 03:04 PM
  12. Coreldan's Avatar
    I think the travel on the keyboard is great for what it is. Obviously it can't be compared to a full desktop keyboard that is 4 times thicker. For considering how thin and mobile it is, it feels like the keys travel down to some other dimension, cos I can't understand how they can travel even that much in such a thin package.

    I prefer to use mine not attached with the lower bezel magnet-thingie, cos that gives me a cheap feel. The keyboard feels pretty sweet when it's firmly against the desk/whatever. But the magnet-feature is great for lapability and other scenarios where space is limited.
    10-11-2014 03:38 PM
  13. jropelato1's Avatar
    Here's a write up about how I use the SP3 for photography. My Surface Pro 3 and Me ? Ropelato Photography
    raziel likes this.
    10-31-2014 02:10 PM
  14. ptrkhh's Avatar
    Picked up my SP3 (i3) last week, stock is very low in the UK at the moment both online and in stores but managed to grab one from John Lewis on Oxford St in Central London, just before uni started at the weekend. I have a cyan blue keyboard too. Previously had a 1yr old Samsung 13.3" ultrabook, and a 3yr old Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1". The ultrabook only had 3.75hrs max battery life so always had to carry around the charging lead and try to find a socket in between classes (my lectures are generally 4hrs long!), and the Galaxy Tab was okay for working on, but no MS Word/Powerpoint apps, bit slow and laggy, screen bit small, not ideal for working on dissertation etc... so neither ideal for my needs. I wanted a device that would give decent battery life, plus the functionality I needed. SP3 seemed perfect! Setting up was seamless as it just carried over the settings from my laptop, took 5 mins. No problems with heat or battery drain, or yellow line on screen as reported by some users. I tested it out this weekend while I was at school.

    Trying to be objective about the battery life, as I know it is early days and it might get better with more use, but at the moment with screen display down to lowest the battery lasted no longer than 6 hours - which is obviously a disappointment, when compared to the battery life suggested by Microsoft, as I really need 7-8hrs. This was mainly for using OneNote, PowerPoint, and OneDrive, and occasionally checking email and looking up a few things on IE - so what I consider fairly light use (maybe this is a wrong assumption?). I am up to date with all updates. So I basically wanted to ask - those who have had your SP3 for a while - will battery life improve over time?
    I get 7-10 hours on my i3. The battery life on the first week werent very good (about 6 hours) due to Windows Update, OneDrive sync, OneNote sync, etc. They somehow only use 3Mbps out of my 15 Mbps connection, thats why they need a full week. After the first week, I could get 8-10 hours with light usage: browsing with IE, taking notes with OneNote (metro), annotating PDF with Drawboard, reading news with Nextgen Reader, email, watching downloaded videos with PressPlay, all with 30-50% brightness, WiFi and BT on (because I use a BT keyboard, I didnt buy the overpriced keyboard)
    kekos likes this.
    11-25-2014 06:00 AM
  15. fueledbygin's Avatar
    The battery life is bad. There's no real point in pretending it isn't. That said, I'm not really expecting tablet-level life on something that's essentially a laptop. What's really bad, however, is mine can be asleep and still drain completely in under two days. Meanwhile, my work-issued macbook air I turned on for the first time in over a month, and it still had juice in it. Obviously, even when "sleeping", there are a lot of things still going on under the hood in the Surface. And, I can't really blame Windows, as I've had plenty of Windows laptops that do not have heavy battery drainage while sleeping. It's really weird, and annoying, and I can't remember the last laptop I've used where I felt so tethered to a power supply (probably back in the early-mid 2000s when I was under the spell of the promise of 17" behemoths replacing my desktop while still providing portability-yes, laugh away).

    As for the wi-fi issues with the Surface Pro 3...back in October, I was finally able to solve it by just installing the Windows 10 Tech Preview. All the issues where the wi-fi failed when coming out of sleep (fixed by turning wi fi off, then back on) vanished. But, the last firmware update that was supposed to (yet again) fix the wi-fi issues has now broken my wi-fi again, so now even on the Tech Preview I am forced to turn wi-fi off, then back on, every single time I take my Surface out of sleep. Over the course of a day, that is a lot of times, and if I had actually purchased this device and it wasn't something issued to me by my workplace, I'd be metaphorically throwing it through several windows. I've owned a lot of devices over the years, and this wi-fi issue is just absurd. I've literally never seen such a lingering issue play out like this before.
    I've made my thoughts clear on the cover keyboard before, but it is worth reiterating. It's not good. It is far too flexible, which results in a horrible touchpad. A youtube video of me at the tail end of a long day trying to click on a super small link while the damn pointer constantly moves due to the touchpad flexibility would probably be hilarious.
    The Surface has its moments. I actually sort of like it as a tablet, though there's so little in terms of tablet-like apps that are both available and I would actually use that 99% of my time spent using it as a tablet is in "desktop" mode. In fact, I can't think of a single metro-style app I actually use on it. The hardware/size/form is nice. If there was an android or ios tablet with this body, it'd be pretty fantastic (both platforms in which I do actually spend time on tablet-style apps on my own personal ipad and nexus 7). And, to be honest, I suspect half the time I'm using it as a tablet in desktop mode is just to avoid the horrible trackpad in the cover keyboard.
    One last thing. The kickstand is a nice idea, but at the end of the day, it also means when you're using your Pro as a laptop, it is taking up more real estate than an actual laptop.
    Outside of the first 5 minutes when I unboxed it, I've never used the pen. I'm not even sure where I put it at this point.
    If my work had actually asked me before thinking they were doing me a favor by purchasing me the Pro, I'd have asked for a Windows-based ultrabook instead.
    12-03-2014 11:29 AM
  16. vegardaleksander's Avatar
    Bought the SP3 i5 last week - MBA student perspective:

    So far this has happened over the week:

    Slipping the Surface Pro 3 into the docking station instantly gives me a simple, clean and productive home office:

    • Dell U2711 (2560x1440)
    • Logitech K800 keyboard
    • Logitech Performance MX mouse
    • 1TB external USB3 HDD
    • QI Wireless Charging for Nexus 5/7
    • Mini-speaker/Bose AE2i
    • Chromecast in HDMI port when SP3 undocked

    SP3 with N-trig pen and Type Cover takes care of all the note-taking in classes and group projects.

    Using the Nexus 7 as a dedicated reader with most of the scholarly books side-by-side makes it easy for dedicated note-taking on the SP3. Sharing highlighted text to OneNote from Nexus 7 works great. Sometimes I do everything on the SP3 (especially PDFs) - but my personal preference is to have a seperate book side-by-side the SP3.

    Overall I'm very happy so far - not encountered any of the bugs/issues I've seen reported. Combined with OneNote this is THE killer tool for students.
    Last edited by vegardaleksander; 12-08-2014 at 06:50 AM.
    12-06-2014 01:53 PM
  17. Darth_Bane's Avatar
    New SP3 owner here. I picked one up yesterday 1/1/2015. I was still able to get the incentives, i.e., 100 gift card, and a free case.

    I'm still loading software and getting used to it, but here's my take on the SP3.
    Display - smaller then my 15" rMBP, but nice nonetheless. With scaling, I'm happy with it, as I use it more away from desk, I'll be able to determine if the smaller display will be an issue.

    Performance - I don't play games and I've spent the past couple of days loading software. So far, I'm happy with the performance. I'll get a better feel once I install vmware workstation, and start using Lightroom and PS.

    Keyboard - better then what I was expecting, but still a bit inferior to the MBP's keyboard. Not bad, its just the MBP is better. I'm not worked up about it enough to consider it a show stopper. I knew going into the purchase of the keyboard's reputation and limitations

    Trackpad, I'm surprised at how well the much maligned trackpad is. Its good and does what I want it too.

    Battery - I haven't used it enough to say its excellent/good/bad.

    Other observations. With the SP3 plugged into the dock, the fans have kicked in. I'm running a few things but not a lot. the CPU temps are hovering at 58c. Probably about 10c warmer then my MBP
    01-02-2015 02:10 PM
  18. BGrewer's Avatar
    I've had my Pro 3 for about 2 weeks now and noticed no scratches what so ever. However, on my old Surface RT I've noticed a cluster of small indentations in the top right corner, which I suspect are scratches, so i'll probably be getting a screen protector for my Pro 3.
    Note: I use the type covers on both tablets, and I think its best to be safe than sorry to use both a screen protector AND the type cover!
    IrekJanek likes this.
    03-04-2015 12:09 PM
  19. IrekJanek's Avatar
    mikegyver's solutions are relatively expensive, you can find a few very good options for much less just google "top 10 surface pro 3 portable charger"
    03-20-2015 11:06 PM
  20. walcolm's Avatar
    the pro should have come with a free keyboard and office 365 subscription for the price. its a major bummer that the touch pen cannot scroll the screen...that's a really horrible oversight and i hope they put in an effort to fix it
    04-20-2015 03:56 PM
  21. Loc Ngo's Avatar
    So, I have a core i5 4GB model. I wanted a Surface 3 but opted for this one instead. And everything has been amazing. It can easily last through my usual workday running my work apps, moderate web browsing, online music streaming, occasional Youtube and Office. I usually left home with 90% charge and leave work with 15 to 20% left. That's amazing given some reviews said that this device has mediocre battery. I even find myself completely give up using Firefox and Facebook on web. My two gripes are that it sometimes gets hot for unknown reason and the horrendous quality of the Windows Central app. Yes, the Windows Central app for Windows 8.1, which is supposed to be one of the top quality app out there. But it's just plain terrible. I can't use the forums, which is ridiculous, and I can't even watch any videos or search for articles - the lovely little search button on the bottom left does absolutely nothing when I tap on it.
    Last edited by Loc Ngo; 05-12-2015 at 09:39 AM.
    05-12-2015 09:26 AM
  22. JetFixxxer's Avatar
    I purchased the i5 version about a week ago. I'm testing it for work to see if we can stream line our paperwork instead of printing and wasting paper. Also to carry our manuals with use on site instead of going to the laptop.

    So far I'm extremely happy with it, except for the camera. The SP3 takes such crappy picture for scanning and scanning is a huge part of my job. Right now I have to take a picture with my phone upload to OneDrive and then merge into the pdf or send it separately. This defeats the overall purpose of streamlining.

    The battery seems to be lasting through out the day. Even burning CD/DVD or 3.5" diskette (Yes I know). I really haven't put it through the paces.

    I haven't opportunity to use it completely with my job. I'm expecting to within the next week or so.
    06-16-2015 07:10 AM
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