We are always testing out new gadgets, tablets and phones at the office and were very excited to pick up the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet. As a precursor and warning, I am a Mac Guy – love the iPad and iPhone, love the easy to use design for switching through apps, and the functionality of opening and closing them. In my role as Business Development, the idea WYSIWYG provides me with confidence when traveling and meeting new clients. My one issue with the iPad has always been the functionality of working on our business apps like our mobile desktop. It works well, but you loose some functionality in my opinion without a mouse or track-pad..
Our first idea was that this device could be the segue from a laptop to a tablet for some users. With plenty of computing power and storage (ours has 128GB), our company-wide feeling is that this is a prettier package then some of the other laptop/tablet all-in-ones. The larger screen is a definite bonus too.
The USB Port, pictured above, enables a user to connect to a dock to run dual monitors or the ability to attach a mouse. Microsoft is coming out with a customized dock for the Surface Pro 3 in August.
Turning the unit on is a real pain! Not like the trusty iPad, that comes to life in 3 seconds. There is a fumblingly start page, where more often then not I end up turning the Surface Pro 3 off then on. BOOOOOO.
Battery life is important to most people. To see battery life, you have to go to the desktop and the taskbar – it is not present when you are working on an app. Closing Apps are also tricky and not as easy as the iPad.
All devices have to be kid friendly these days so i put it to the test of my sticky fingered 2 1/2 year old. Her iPad follows her everywhere – shes always playing games, watching netflix and youtube….so I wasn’t sure how she would respond. She took to the touch Windows 8 platform really well, sliding through apps and closing them with the windows button on the border with ease on the Metro Screen. The stylist was a great tool for her to use on the paint app and the responsiveness to touch and pressure was amazing. She fumbled and became confused when she stumbled into the Apps by name page and the desktop page. All said, the iPad is still an easier devise for the babes.
Having Microsoft Office locally is the best feature. I know you can buy the Office app for iPad but the integration and alerting of messages is great. Having the shared calenders and public folders is a real benefit for business use, something that the iPad doesn’t have. We use terminal services (as many of our clients do) so connecting through the Citrix gateway is easy and the functionality with the keyboard and track-pad is superior to the iPad.
So after a week of use, my view is that the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a good platform for business users. I feel that the current price is high for leisure use but having the benefit of office locally sure make it easy to use. I don’t feel this is a replacement for an iPad, but as a sleek replacement to a laptop.
We are interested in hearing your thoughts on this tablet! Will you be exchanging your iPad and laptop for a single unit?
By Greg Reid