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May 6, 2015

Hands-on with the Surface 3

Did you pick up a Surface 3? Yesterday, the Surface 3 went officially on sale! And new accessories such as Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, Surface 3 Docking Station and Surface 3 Screen Protector to go along with the new Surface 3 are also available. If you’ve pre-ordered the Surface 3, you should be seeing your shiny new Surface 3 arriving soon (if not already). I’ve been using the Surface 3 for a little over a week now and wanted to do a quick write-up on my experience. This isn’t a “review” of the device. If you want to read a review of the Surface 3, check out this review from David Pogue.

Surface 3

The Surface 3 borrows the same awesome premium craftsmanship seen with the Surface Pro 3. Which means it has a thin and light design and is powerful to get stuff done – but also have fun too. It has a kickstand like every Surface previously, but with three preset positions. It’s a bit smaller with a 10.8-inch display versus the Surface Pro 3’s 12-inch display. Despite being smaller, the display on the Surface 3 is still gorgeous. It also has the same The 3:2 aspect ratio first introduced with the Surface Pro 3 as well.

The Surface 3's 3:2 aspect ratio.

For me, the 3:2 aspect ratio on the Surface 3 makes holding it in portrait view really comfortable which I’ll talk more about shortly.

It terms of getting stuff done, the Surface 3 is fully capable of doing all the things you would expect to be able to do on a laptop. I’m syncing all my important files for work via OneDrive for Business and doing a lot of my daily work on the Surface 3 – without any issues. Matter a fact, I wrote this blog post on the Surface 3 with Word 2016 from the Office 2016 Public Preview announced earlier this week. Outlook 2016 works great too and I am an efficient emailing beast. Even though the keyboard is just a very tiny bit smaller than the Type Cover for the Surface Pro 3, I’m finding that it doesn’t make a difference with my typing.

Writing notes in OneNote on the Surface 3

I also am a heavy user of OneNote and absolutely love that the Surface 3 comes with support for the Surface Pen (Surface Pen comes separately). Note that I have a matching red Surface Pen with my red Surface 3 Type Cover! I just fold the Surface 3 Type Cover back and hold the Surface 3 like a tablet and write notes in OneNote.


Right now, I am really into playing Halo: Spartan Strike which was released a few weeks ago. This game looks glorious on the Surface 3. When I am in the mood for something more casual, I’m really enjoying the new game Crossy Road and Cut the Rope 2. Or I just fire up the Nook app and do some reading. Then there are times when I want to watch something – so I fire up either the Hulu Plus app or Netlix app (OMG have you seen Daredevil?).

Surface 3 an Miracast

Speaking of watching things – the Surface 3 supports Miracast and works great with the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. I can share whatever is on the screen of my Surface 3 wireless to my TV to go through photos or watch movies and TV shows from Xbox Video.

After a little over a week with the Surface 3, I has been both a laptop when I needed it to be and then a tablet when I wanted it to be and it works great. I highly recommend you take a look at the Surface 3 if you’re on the market for a new PC. The Surface 3 starts at $499 and is available now Microsoft Stores, Best Buy or other retailers in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. In the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico – we have an offer for you to be able to trade in your working Surface RT or Surface 2 and get up to $150 towards a new Surface 3. And starting May 7, Surface 3 will be available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For more info, see this blog post from Brian Hall on the Surface Blog.

Above photos taken with my Lumia 930.