8.1/10
Informr score
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 30 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • 3:2 aspect ratio offers plenty of screen real estate
  • Generally smooth and quick performance
  • Thin and lightweight when compared to laptops

What's bad

  • Loud and hot when playing games
  • Highly reflective display
  • Keyboard attachment sold separately

The Surface Pro 3, Microsoft's third hybrid tablet/laptop, brings with it several changes. The most noticeable upgrade is the display size. At 12 inches, it is 1.4 inches larger than its predecessor and sports a 2160x1440 resolution. Despite the above full HD resolution, its pixel density is actually lower than the MacBook pro with Retina at 216ppi. While reviewers did notice a slight lack of clarity in comparison, they still say describe the resolution as top-notch. They also point out that the new 3:2 aspect ratio affords more screen real estate and makes the tablet feel more like a notepad in portrait mode. Due to the high resolution and aspect ratio, critics warn that small icons or buttons are difficult to press though the issue is slightly rectified with the trackpad and stylus. They also add that the screen is highly reflective due to the glossy screen coating.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 shares the same magnesium body as previous models but offers a new and improved kickstand for ease of use. Previous Surfaces only had a couple angles users could lock into but the Pro 3 offers a friction hinge that allows an angle between 22 degrees and 150 degrees. Experts enjoyed the flexibility as it made it much easier for them to switch between working at a desk to on their lap. It is also incredibly thin at 0.35 inches and, when compared to laptops, is light at 798 grams. Unfortunately, in order to actually use it as a laptop, users must purchase the keyboard component separately. The Type Cover keyboard features backlit physical keys and attaches to the Pro 3 via a magnetic strip. For the most part, reviewers were fairly underwhelmed with the keyboard with The Verge stating, "It…doesn't feel quite as good as a proper laptop keyboard, but part of that is the plastic, clackety noise it makes…"

In order to compete as both a tablet and laptop, the Surface Pro 3 features top-of-the-line internal hardware. There are three different versions of the Pro 3: i3, i5 and i7. Even the lowest end impressed critics with Digital Spy stating, "Even the most budget Surface Pro 3 will make most devices feel sluggish." The i3 model offers 4GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage while the i7 has 8GB and 512GB. Benchmark tests place the Surface Pro 3 above other hybrids like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro and even laptops like the HP Spectre Ultrabook. During actual tests, reviewers found performance to be very snappy and smooth though there was some slight sluggishness during games. When using it intensively, experts noticed that the fans would get incredibly loud and the metal surface would reach, as Tech Radar puts it, "scorching levels of heat." Besides getting loud and hot, reviewers discovered that the battery would also drain in around 8 hours, which they note is good but doesn't stack up to 12-hour battery life of the MacBook Air or even the iPad Air, which lasts 10 hours.

Though Microsoft touts the Pro 3 as the single-device replacement for a laptop and tablet, reviewers aren't quite as optimistic. Digital Spy states, "The Surface Pro 3 proves you can have an incredibly powerful portable computer in a slim form-factor…Sadly…a laptop is nearly as portable while an iPad or Nexus 5 are cheaper." The Guardian adds, "…while the Surface Pro 3 is lovely…I don't think it's going to give Lenovo, or Apple, any sleepless nights."


Operating system
Windows
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
12"
Camera
5+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GeekBeat

So I’m giving it a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice award because it’s lightweight, it’s fast, it has a beautiful screen, a magnificent keyboard, a super geeky stand, a bad ass docking station option, fantastic touch responsiveness, a sweet pen for writing on the screen… and...

- John P., GeekBeat
What Mobile

There’s no denying that the Surface Pro 3 is a very well-featured device. From software to hardware, and even design, the Surface Pro 3 is a wonderful piece of kit. For once it’s nice being able to review a Microsoft device without having to mention the Windows operating system as a draw...

- Callum Tennent, What Mobile
Pocket-lint

So is the Surface Pro 3 the "laptop killer" it claims to be? It's not out and out murder, not even manslaughter really, more a viable laptop alternative with full Windows 8.1 that will suit a certain audience.Just like its earlier Surface predecessors, the Pro 3 still sits on the fence with what exa...

- Mike Lowe, Pocket-lint
Know Your Mobile

There’s a Surface Pro 3 for almost every budget. Sure the higher-end Surface Pro 3 looks expensive when compared to an iPad, but remember the Surface Pro 3 is not a tablet competitor. It’s for people who want a powerful laptop that also has all the advantages of a tablet.I wasn’t a...

- Michael Grothaus, Know Your Mobile
PC Pro

The Surface Pro 3 is a terrific Windows tablet that does a passable impression of a laptop – if that balance suits your needs, then the cost may be well worth it. But if all you really want is a regular laptop, then, with deference to Microsoft’s marketing claims, you should probably sav...

- Sasha Muller, PC Pro


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Quick view

Screen Size
12"

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3's screen size is 12 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Intel Core i3 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
64/128/256/512 GB

Internal memory is 64/128/ 256/512 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
8000mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 8000 mAh battery. Microsoft's performance ratings are 9 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Surface Pro 3 Specs

Overview
Release date June 21, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
No (Option available)
Networks
No
SIM card size
No
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Windows Tablets

Processor Intel Core i3 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 64/128/ 256/512 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Stylus
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 8000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 7 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 9 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Magnesium alloy
Colors Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 20.1 x 29.2 x 0.8 cm (7.9 x 11.5 x 0.3 in)
Weight 800 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 216 pixels
Size 12 inches
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles OPP/FTP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC
PC Synchronization No
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Panorama, Self-timer, Exposure
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Variations:

128GB storage model
Processor: Intel Core i5 1.9GHz

256GB storage model
Processor: Intel Core i5 1.9GHz or i7 1.7 GHz
RAM: 8GB

512GB storage model
Processor: Intel Core i7 1.7GHz
RAM: 8GB
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Reviews
Where to buy Microsoft Surface Pro 3
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