1. djohnb2012's Avatar
    Hey guys!

    I'm a huge fan of the Surface line and have the Surface 2 (RT) that I pair with a 17" laptop. I like the power and capabilities of my laptop but it's too heavy to carry in my bookbag. I love the Surface 2 but I often get frustrated with it's limitations and now that RT is dead I'm afraid it is already outdated. So I want to replace both with Surface Pro 3.

    The problem is I'm a heavy Google/Chrome user and I'm concerned about the battery drain that Chrome causes. Should I get over it and buy the SP3 or consider an ultrabook like a Lenovo Yoga series or XPS 13? Budget is around $1500.

    Also, which SP3 config should I consider? I do a lot of MS Word/Excel and occasional MS Project. Considerable web browsing (5+ tabs) and the occasional Civ V.

    Any input is appreciated.
    03-19-2015 06:43 PM
  2. BGrewer's Avatar
    I would probably say the i5 256gb (8gb RAM) if you choose the Surface Pro 3, I use Office quite a bit of as well as web browsing and I've noticed no lag. The i5 256gb also works well with games, but if your main priority is games I would get the i7 version (if you can afford it). Overall I have had about 8 hours of battery life (Office and web browsing), I don't have Chrome so I don't know how much battery life it wastes :/

    I have stepped-up from the RT to the pro 3 and I would recommend the system, if you can afford it.
    03-19-2015 07:07 PM
  3. Guzzler3's Avatar
    Chrome is chrome, a power sucking vampire of a program. I ditched it long ago. Tried Firefox for quite a while, but eventually dumped it and went back to IE. I use the modern version 99% of the time now. Only every 'blue moon' do I use the desktop version of IE.

    You are in an odd time right now for going for a Surface. MS is discounting the prices, which is good, but they generally do that to lower inventory for a new model. Sadly, we don't have enough information at this time about what the SP4 will be like (specs, prices, size, etc.). So it's a 'crap shoot' on whether to get a SP3 now, or wait for the SP4.

    In 20 years of being an IT tech, I always suggest to wait till you absolutely NEED a new computer (use what you have for as long as you can), then get the most that you can afford.

    If the S2 is bothering you right now, sell it for what you can. Live on the laptop for as long as you can (it sounds like it is strong enough for your current needs) and wait. See what the SP4 looks like. If it doesn't really catch your fancy, you could pick up a SP3 instead (MS might discount it more by then).

    If you don't do any programming, then the i7 SP3 is a bit overkill for your needs (IMHO). An i5 sounds right up your alley. The i3 might be a bit under powered (maybe). But... again I personally recommend the most that your budget will allow.

    I used to be a HUGE Lenovo/ThinkPad person, mainly because that is what I used to get for company issued computers. They were solid, well powered, rugged enough for everyday and travel (minimal bloat ware compared to other business laptops). But then the Surface Pro 3 came into my life (and the Surface line has NO bloat ware what-so-ever or weird hardware utilities programs)... I don't think I'll go back to anything else, unless someone brings out something that really overtakes it for features and such.
    djohnb2012 and Tsang Fai like this.
    03-19-2015 07:10 PM
  4. djohnb2012's Avatar
    The problem is my laptop is 3 years old and the battery lasts 4 hours without a charge. It struggles from time to time and I'm just waiting for the day that it crashes completely. That's why I've been researching anything I can on the SP3 but if the SP4 is coming.....

    Also, gaming is not my priority. Just Civ V every now and then.
    03-19-2015 07:40 PM
  5. prowade's Avatar
    I have also been thinking about picking one yup. I love the idea of a stylus but they usually suck.

    Any opinions on the stylus?

    Also, I would use mine for Office, Visual Studio, browsing, and the occasional PhotoShop and Google SketchUp.
    03-19-2015 08:04 PM
  6. someone2639's Avatar
    I have also been thinking about picking one yup. I love the idea of a stylus but they usually suck.

    Any opinions on the stylus?

    Also, I would use mine for Office, Visual Studio, browsing, and the occasional PhotoShop and Google SketchUp.
    Usually Wacom styli win because of pressure points, but it's not really deal breaking unless you're an artist 🎨
    03-19-2015 08:11 PM
  7. Eustis99's Avatar
    I say go for it! I use mine daily and absolutely love it! Also regarding the comment above, the stylus is excellent too. Never had an issue with it before.
    03-19-2015 08:18 PM
  8. mlbrowninsc's Avatar
    I have the i5 256 with 8gb of ram and have had it for a few months now. Have the Surface dock that adds two additional monitors and external drives. I love it! Best computer I have ever had. It is my main work computer now. Use office heavily but don't do much gaming. I get 7-8 hours battery life. I highly recommend the SP3.

    Posted via the Windows Central App on my BlackBerry Passport
    03-19-2015 08:52 PM
  9. kenjancef's Avatar
    I' had my S3 i7/256GB for a few weeks, and I love it! It's small enough to fit in my backpack, but powerful enough to do whatever I throw at it. And as far a s the pen, this is the first tablet/computer with a pen I've ever OWNED, but as an IT consultant for the past 15 years I've set up my share of them. And I have to say, this is probably the most responsive pen I've ever used, on something other than a dedicated drawing pad.

    If there is a Microsoft Store near you, I'd go there and just try it out. And I would doubt there would be a new Surface until after Windows 10 comes out, so that's a lot of waiting if you want an SP4.

    So for me, this SP3 is the perfect balance between tablet and PC, and it suits my needs just fine. But get what works for YOU.
    03-19-2015 09:08 PM
  10. CliveSinclair's Avatar
    Why would anyone not use a good piece of hardware for a program that has a 'OK' user interface, but is badly written and a power/battery hog (on any platform.

    Life exists beyond Chrome.
    BGrewer likes this.
    03-20-2015 02:05 PM
  11. jojoe42's Avatar
    I have also been thinking about picking one yup. I love the idea of a stylus but they usually suck.

    Any opinions on the stylus?

    Also, I would use mine for Office, Visual Studio, browsing, and the occasional PhotoShop and Google SketchUp.
    As a SP2 user, I installed Chrome in the first few months of owning it, and it cut battery to 2 and a half hours. I stopped using Chrome, and switched to IE (believe me I hated it at first) and it went up to 5-6 hours. If you calibrate the stylus properly to YOUR OWN hand (there should be a calibration option) I've found the stylus to be VERY accurate on my SP2, and having tried the pen on the SP3 the accuracy is pretty good - once again, calibration will help. Also the metal pen is much nicer than the plastic Wacom pen on the SP2. The palm rejection makes note-taking feel pretty natural in OneNote too.

    I use my i5 SP2 for all of your usage cases (except for VS - I edit movies in Premiere Pro and edit photos in LR/OP10) and I've had no issues, although the i7 might help in SketchUp as it starts getting a little slower with complex models.

    Overall I think you'll appreciate the smaller form factor and overall better design that is optimised for note-taking, yet can hop into High Performance and process an entire short film in Premiere Pro. It's really nice for note-taking (I can't stress how awesome it is) and with the SP3 the screen is nice, it's thinner, lighter and has decent battery. Go for it!!!

    (Oh by the way, it does run Civ V cause I played it for a while :P)
    03-20-2015 02:40 PM
  12. prowade's Avatar
    I do LOVE taking notes. I am always sketching ideas down, drawings of ideas, and I also prefer to wrote notes in work meetings... So the pen is huge for me.

    I may have to go give one a shot.
    03-20-2015 08:26 PM
  13. rjansen3's Avatar
    I am currently debating about buying a SP3 or waiting on the SP4. As mentioned in some of the previous comments I am able to wait because I am not in absolute NEED of a new laptop, but I absolutely will be purchasing whatever is out before I head to my company meeting in the first week of July. I just hate playing the waiting game. One thing that I'd like to mention is that most MS stores are pretty lax on their return/exchange policy, so if you wait long enough and end up with a SP3, you might be able to exchange for a SP4 when it is released. (If I end up with a SP3 I'm hoping the SP4 will be released before the return/exchange is up).
    03-21-2015 12:37 AM
  14. Jazmac's Avatar
    What do you use chrome for?
    03-21-2015 03:10 PM
  15. Eustis99's Avatar
    I thought they have a program you can trade in your old surface to upgrade for the new one?
    03-21-2015 07:54 PM
  16. djohnb2012's Avatar
    What do you use chrome for?
    I use chrome for my daily web browsing. I also use some of the chrome apps and plug ins like Hangouts and Docs/Sheets for group projects at my University. Being that my preference for mobile OS is Android, I like that Chrome syncs with my phone also. I just find that it's more convienent for me but obviously if it drains battery on SP3 (which I desperately want) I would consider altering my web browsing habits.
    03-22-2015 01:19 AM
  17. djohnb2012's Avatar
    I thought they have a program you can trade in your old surface to upgrade for the new one?
    I know they did a while back. Not sure if they still do.
    03-22-2015 01:22 AM
  18. Jazmac's Avatar
    I use chrome for my daily web browsing. I also use some of the chrome apps and plug ins like Hangouts and Docs/Sheets for group projects at my University. Being that my preference for mobile OS is Android, I like that Chrome syncs with my phone also. I just find that it's more convienent for me but obviously if it drains battery on SP3 (which I desperately want) I would consider altering my web browsing habits.
    Ahhh. If you have to use it because school projects in school I get why you would use chrome. I wouldn't think web based apps would burden the battery. Good luck with your research.
    03-22-2015 11:45 AM
  19. BGrewer's Avatar
    I thought they have a program you can trade in your old surface to upgrade for the new one?
    They still do the deal, but sadly they only do in that states :(
    03-22-2015 03:41 PM

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