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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is almost here

Some say we should wait for version 2.0 of any software before deploying it. Some say this is also true for devices. Is the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 even better than its predecessor?

While I admit you will always get the greatest and latest if you wait a bit longer, the real question you should ask yourself is “do I need to solve a business problem now?” and work from your answer if waiting is a good strategy.

Having said that, this question is popping up again, with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 just around the corner. Pre-orders are open in the Microsoft New Zealand online store, with configurations ranging from 64GB SSD and fourth generation Intel i3 processors to a 512GB SSD and fourth generation Intel i7 processors.

I just had the opportunity to briefly play with one here, ahead of the general availability.

Running Windows 8.1 Pro and with 8GB RAM options this is clearly not a “tablet”. Microsoft has at last positioned their mobile device in the right category: an ultra-portable laptop-class tablet (or a tablet-class laptop).

Microsoft Surface Pro 3: mobile office

While many compare this device to similarly sized tablets available in the market, it is clear now the Microsoft Surface Pro series is a laptop replacement with emphasis on high performance and mobility. It clearly should be compared to devices in the ultra-thin laptop class.

Having said that, it is still strange that the detachable keyboard is an optional accessory (I’d love to see it as an integral part of the package) and there is a lack of mobile data access (granted you can always share your Windows Phone mobile data via WiFi Sharing). On the other hand support for WiFi 802.11ac and 802.11 a/b/g/n standards really put this device in a different class in terms of wireless data speeds.

Add to this up to nine hours of battery life, a package that measures 292 x 201 x 9mm, weighs only 800g, a new built-in multi-position kickstand and you have a truly mobile office.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3: mobile office

Microsoft Surface Pro 3: mobile office

Because the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 runs Windows 8.1 Pro you can install all your favourite desktop software (yes, including Microsoft Office) and expect the level of performance you can only get from devices designed for work.

Talking about work, the built-in TPM chip allows for increased security with support for device-based encryption such as Microsoft BitLocker. BitLocker uses the TPM to lock the encryption keys that protect the data. As a result, the keys cannot be accessed until the TPM has verified the state of the computer. Encrypting the entire volume protects all of the data, including the operating system itself, the Windows registry, temporary files, and the hibernation file. Because the keys needed to decrypt data remain locked by the TPM, an attacker cannot read the data just by removing your hard disk and installing it in another computer.

And the screen. What a screen: 12” of a beautiful bright display. Really impressive when compared to the Surface Pro 2 in terms of size.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3: comparing with Surface 2

I’m also really looking forward to the new Surface Pen. Having used pen devices before with OneNote this updated version seems to bring lots of improvements for freehand note taking, presentation annotations, drawing and content creation.

Having seen what our team achieved with a specialised tablet in previous projects (check our Silver Fern Fams “Pasture” case study) I am really looking forward to seeing what kind of solutions can be developed with the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (and similar Windows 8.1 Pro-based devices) in the field and offices around the country.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 will be available end of August 2014 in New Zealand.

Posted by: Mauricio Freitas, Online & Digital Marketing Specialist | 18 June 2014

Tags: Modern User Interface, Windows 8.1, Microsoft Surface

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