Microsoft has launched the Surface Pro 3. The device is touted as the first tablet which can fully replace your laptop with a desktop experience.
The company calls it nothing short of revolutionary with a kickstand, optional click-in keyboard, and multiple ports including full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and microSD™ card reader.
The major benefit is that you can take your favorite Office programs, including the full Microsoft Office Suite, on-the-go and use an appealing touch interface to get work done. Of course you can download your preferred entertainment apps including games, music and movies.
This writer is currently testing it to see if the hype lives up to expectations. The model in use is a Core i7 which is the fastest processor being offered.
On the plus side, the computer is very responsive and, as a developer, provides the ability to develop.NET software.
The Windows 8.1 operating system offers new polished business uses. The core desktop experience definitely feels upgraded.
Many applications have been enhanced and adapted to the Surface 3's display. Outlook 2013 has a touch mode, as does Adobe Photoshop CC.
There is also a pen to enable on-screen writing. The pen is a nice feature, but may take some time for a novice to learn how to use it.
Much has been made of the touchpad keyboard. It works well, especially on an airplane, but is no replacement for a touchpad on a laptop keyboard. The display is the highest quality and is only matched by a retina display on an Apple product.
Utilizing it as a desktop, one is able to easily plug-in many peripherals without much difficulty.
Microsoft has made some inroads into bringing the traditional windows desktop to the tablet and it will be the future of computing. The improved use of touch greatly enhances the experience.
More improvements are on the way. Microsoft is reportedly launching a new operating system. This will occur in the spring of 2015 and is code-named "Threshold".
Threshold will include some major Interface changes beyond a new start menu and modern app windowing. It is rumored to include the addition of virtual desktops. Similar to Apple's OS X, which already supports virtual desktops, it will enable users to run and switch between apps and groups of apps more smoothly.
Despite these advancements, the Surface Pro 3 is still not a worthy replacement for an iPad.
The Windows 8 user interface (UI) feels unrefined. As an iPad user, moving to this modern UI seems frustrating.
The iPad's touch Operating System is years beyond Windows' UI. The tactile feeling of launching an app on iOS is smooth and fluid, while on Windows, is less polished and prone to errors.
App utilization can also be clunky. Many Windows features have been stripped away in favor of simplicity. As an advanced user, no longer allowed to manipulate Windows, it seems alienating.
Working with apps on Windows is not intuitive. The interfaces to install, remove, and move apps work well on iOS, while one must constantly hunt for the right button on the Windows UI.
Another issue is the Windows store which has no appealing apps. Popular apps like feedly are not available. For an OS based on web technology, it should be easier to add web content. That is disappointing.
Despite some drawbacks, Surface Pro 3 is a nice step forward for Microsoft and touch computing. Though Apple users will find the device certainly less than "revolutionary", those who spend most of their time in Windows and its office suite may find it a worthy upgrade.
Marc Arbesman is a founder and CIO of ThrottleNet, Inc. ThrottleNet offers an array of technology services and products to help business owners achieve their corporate goals, while reducing overhead. This is accomplished through outsourced Managed Network Services which helps companies improve their technology uptime and IT capabilities while, at the same time, reducing costs. The firm offers custom software development and mobile applications to help companies accelerate their business growth. For additional information contact ThrottleNet online at http://www.throttlenet.com or call 866-826-5966