Microsoft Surface 3 Review: A Big Step Forward

The Microsoft Surface tablet line has now taken a major step forward following the release of the new Surface 3 edition. Microsoft’s original aim with Surface machines was to provide a complete tablet / laptop device, delivering the best of both worlds to users. While they certainly delivered on that, up until now, the device has been simply too expensive to be truly competitive with the likes of Apple’s iPad. The Surface 3 changes everything however, thanks to its welcome price drop, thinner and lighter design and generally more consumer-focused approach. Indeed, the Surface 3 will likely appeal to casual content and media consumers, business professionals and college students alike. Apple’s iPad and indeed many Android tablets fall short because of their simplified and appliance-like nature.

Both iOS and Android as operating systems provide wonderful content consumption experiences, but fail to provide the kind of comprehensive UI that is conducive to true productivity. This is where Microsoft’s Surface 3 excels however.

Microsoft’s strategy of having a one-size-fits-all OS didn’t initially thrill me when I reviewed the Surface Pro 2 a couple of years ago, but given its improvements over the last two years, it’s genuinely finally achieved its goal. The Surface 3, like all Windows 8-powered computers, provides a simple touch layer Modern UI environment for content consumption and basic usage, on top of traditional X86 Windows desktop.

It’s now a simple Tablet computer and a full PC in one device. iOS and Android fail to measure up in this respect. Additionally, Microsoft has dropped the price of the Surface 3 to $499 or €609 from Harvey Norman for the 64GB entry-level model. This now means that you’re getting far more value for money than buying an iPad Air 2 for example. In addition, the Surface offers additional MicroSD expansion, a Mini display port, USB 3.0 and a free upgrade to Windows 10 when it’s released.

Windows 10 reintroduces the much mourned Start Menu, which was controversially jettisoned from Windows 8. A move that proved largely unpopular and seemed like a contrived attempt to force longtime Windows users to accept the Modern UI as the primary means of using their computer — against their will. Thankfully the Redmond tech giant has listened to the cries of disenchanted users and brought it back in Windows 10. Furthermore, Windows 10 boasts many new and exciting features and the ability to easily port Android and iOS apps to the Windows store. Windows 10 is going to seriously improve the Surface 3 even further. Be sure to check out my full review of the Microsoft Surface 3 tablet in the YouTube video box above. Let me know your thoughts on the Surface 3 in the comments below and subscribe to Computing Forever on YouTube.

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