1. anon(6169872)'s Avatar
    Hi All

    Long time reader, first time forum post!! I've done reading on a number of forums and threads and didn't see anything specific to this topic so please bear with me

    I'm in Sydney and we don't get the Surface Pro 3 for another fortnight so I'm curious to understand the use cases and workflow for everyone else.

    I'll explain what I have, what I am looking to do, why I think a Surface Pro 3 would fit and would appreciate feedback and comments or stories of other Surface Pro 3 users

    - Desktop - reasonably powerful and used for Creative Cloud, media consumption, games, media production etc.
    - Venue 8 Pro - May have got a lemon because waited 2 additional months for stylus which was on manufacturing back-order which turned out to be absolute rubbish i.e. random inputs such as taps and additional flicks when writing and drawing. The touch screen also registers a substantial amount of random/additional taps from my finger which is terrible when swiping to scroll and navigate then suddenly opening a hyerlink. Atom CPU is OKAY for bare essentials but struggles on a Tumblr page or opening a HD movie file. Transfer speeds suck especially since only 1 micro-USB port for charging AND data. Painful to write an essay, report, email or VPN into office and work remotely on 8 inch screen.
    - Lumia 1020 - my point-and-shoot I take everywhere

    Surface Pro 3 - Considering the base i3 model because:

    - new budget constraints - was originally looking at the 8Gb/256 but can now only comfortably
    - other than the usability issues I have with the Venue 8 Pro I blame alot of it on the 32-bit, 2Gb RAM and Atom combo. It's JUST under what I need to be satisfied. I believe an i3 and at least 4 Gb of RAM is sufficient (based of a very old Toshiba of similarly classed specs I use at work)
    - not intending to do serious work... just office, occassionally Notepad++, vitalsource bookshel e-book software etc. 4Gb would be more than enough

    - highly accurate colour reprodcution on screen because I'm into photography
    - I presume merely viewing CR2 (from Canon EOS 7D) and DNG (from Lumia 1020) files are sufficiently quick on an i3 SP3 since it's acceptable on my Venue 8 Pro
    - I will not be installing Lightroom or Photoshop on the SP3. It is a viewing and presentation device and any serious work is done on the desktop
    - When taking photos in the field or during an event I want to backup my memory cards only the fly and view them on a larger screen. Tried this workflow on a Venue 8 Pro but trying to copy 8Gb of RAW photos through the USB power on the emmc drive was terrible. at least half an hour to take the photos off the memory card. I imagine a USB3.0 card reader combo with the SP3 will address this.

    - I do not intend to get the touch or type keyboard because I've tested a number of docking hybrid solutions and there is NO system I like and don't want to spend the money and patience getting used to a 12inch keyboard which leaves the platform top heavy and makes it difficult to access taskbar items since I have chubby fingers. I'm also okay with the W8.1 touch screen keyboard since I'm used to that input method since... tablets and touch-screen smartphones became mainstream..
    - the occassions when I would be doing the professional documents and long periods of typing I'd be using an external/bluetooth full sized keyboard and the Microsoft Wedge mouse
    - I don't necessarily want larger capacity local disk space because I'm paranoid about hardware failure and losing data on flash-based storage on a device that a) I don't imagine many people in Sydney can repair a device which is notorious for being difficult to repair b) I don't imagine Microsoft or any retailer will make effort to recover data from the device on a fault covered on warranty. I will be utilising OneDrive and storage array on Desktop instead

    So that kind of summarises my potential case and workflow for the SP3.. does anyone's situation sound similar or can anyone provide useful criticism?

    My original budget was ~$1500 and considered the i5 8Gb/256Gb model initially and alternative was FHD Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga.

    Kind regards, Jaymo307
    08-12-2014 10:32 PM
  2. rdubmu's Avatar
    I think based off your needs a surface pro 3 would be perfect but with the type cover 3. It works perfectly and has a magnet that sicks in two places.

    Another option would be a idea pad Yoga or the thinkpad yoga
    anon(6169872) likes this.
    08-12-2014 11:11 PM
  3. stephen_az's Avatar
    Personally, I think based upon what you have described the SP3 is more than you need. Perhaps you might consider the Dell Venue 11 Pro as well. If not looking for the Type Cover, the DVP 11 is thinner and lighter than SP3 and does have a full size USB port. I set one up for my office last week and was pretty impressed. The 1080P screen may be a somewhat lower resolution than the SP3 but I personally thought the color rendition was somewhat better and it was an equal match for sharpness. That extra resolution also brings little to the table for the type of viewing you are describing. I would also rank one of the various Lenovo Yoga 2/Pro2 models ahead of the SP3. Early color issues have been addressed and its 360 flip screen allows for very flexible viewing options.

    I honestly think any SP3 really would be overkill. It is also worth considering that without a Type Cover it may prove to be rather clumsy. FWIW, as described you are looking at a really expensive tablet that would have numerous cheaper alternatives. Yes, Windows 8.1 is a well designed touch interface which I highly recommend, and I have also recommended and setup SP devices, but few x86 based applications are optimized to use touch; the ultra high resolution makes for a nightmare of microscopic text/menus in quite a few applications; and the variety of touch apps through the store (while improving) is nowhere near as robust as other platforms. Do you really want to toss premium dollars at a device for viewing and media consumption? A Lenovo Yoga product will give you a real keyboard to fill the gap and even the DVP 11 has a power keyboard option that makes more like a laptop with 15+ hour battery life. Take it for what it is worth but most people here are going to tell you how wonderful the SP3 is for everything and I can also recommend it for various uses. Reality is though you seem to be defining a use with cheaper and more practical alternatives.
    08-13-2014 02:59 AM
  4. anon(6169872)'s Avatar
    Hi Stephen, thanks for the reply and thank you for reminding me of the VP11.. to be honest I haven't looked at it for a while because since December it has had some major shortages in Australia and at one point the Australian website didn't have an 'Add to cart' button haha

    hmmm.. ~95% sRGB coverage, slightly cheaper for equivalent CPU/RAM/SSD. Like you said the resolution is not much of an issue and presents issues with touch-UI elements (major annoyance on tiny VP8 desktop apps)

    The dock is cheaper and the battery keyboard is the same price as SP3

    certainly appealing. especially since I'm a huge fan of Dell ProSupport
    08-13-2014 05:19 AM
  5. katmandoo122's Avatar
    I seriously considered the Yoga in place of my SP3. I've been very happy with the SP3 decision, though. Ultimately, it comes down to this for me: the Yoga was not seriously a tablet in tablet mode. It was a flat laptop. The SP3 is a tablet. People say it's too big but I have read on it every night and I like it.

    You do need the type cover, though. It's more than a keyboard. I use it reversed all the time to stand the SP3 up while watching TV/Movies in bed while it's on my belly (sorry to make you picture that) and it is very nice as a keyboard. Not Yoga nice but still very nice. And, while I agree about the taskbar thing, its not much of an issue for me at this point. The taskbar is a hold over that I find myself using less and less. With the ability to hit the Windows key and type in the application I want open along with the swipe from the left features, there's not a lot a need left for the TB. And, if I need to, the keyboard drops down anyway, allowing full access.

    Good luck with your choices!
    anon(6169872) likes this.
    08-14-2014 11:12 AM
  6. spasell's Avatar
    Well, honestly, if you're going to consider the SP3 without the keyboard I would go with something else. What make this work well is the keyboard and complete use with it. You can save considerable $ on a machine close or on par with the performance of the SP3, but to use it just as a tablet, I'm not sure. I can't speak intelligently to the use of separate BT or wired keyboards so maybe that would work, but I felt that for the $1500 (I have the i5), it was worth it to me. In the AM, I use it as tablet, reading WSJ, other articles, quickly looking at the morning emails, etc.

    During the day when traveling, I use it strictly in desktop mode and it's fantastic. Of course, I'm in sales, and so, I don't require the intensive graphics heavy use many would want. I am also not a gamer at all, so that part I don't care about.

    I use the pen often to take notes in my meetings with customers and my employees, and that works perfectly.

    I love the instant on when in hibernation mode and the fact it takes 10-15 seconds from a cold start to boot up fully.

    Really the only knock on this is the price, and while I was able to justify it, many just cannot. It's the one area that MS really is hurting itself on. I mean, I'm sure it's an expensive device at cost, so maybe it needed to happen. But if it were, say, $1000 or if it simply included the keyboard instead of the $129 additional cost, that might have also helped.

    It's too bad because I feel the hardware is superior to almost all machines I have used, including the MacAir 2012 that I had been using. The screen is amazing, watching video and movies is better than my older MacAir, and the speakers are better than most as well.

    For instance, last night, in my hotel room, I just watched The Killing on Netflix and would require headphones for my MacAir but for this device, the sound was loud enough that I did not need them at all.

    There is what I consider quite a bit of glare when outside, very reflective, although not as bad as the iPad I used or the Galaxy Note 10.1 I had as well.

    Battery life is good to very good. They were saying 9 hours. Real world with brightness at 85% or more for me, web browsing, heavy email, MS Office running quite a bit, and with Chrome being used on occasion, I'm getting more like 6-7 hours.

    I watched 2 movies from East to West Coast last week. That was 5.5 hours in the air and still had about 20% battery left when done (I used iTunes as well).
    rdubmu and anon(6169872) like this.
    08-14-2014 04:34 PM
  7. rdubmu's Avatar
    I also just started watching the Killing on netflix. What an excellent show!
    08-14-2014 07:57 PM
  8. seangprice's Avatar
    Great device but it's really limited without the keyboard. I travel a lot for my job so portability and power are a must. I found my 15 inch MacBook pro to heavy and big to travel with all the time. As a stop gap I started using a Surface RT 64 GB, which I love. With the release of the Pro 3 I found a good replacement for the MacBook Pro.
    anon(6169872) likes this.
    08-15-2014 12:53 PM

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