Under the Surface

Under the Surface
Microsoft Surface Pro 3.

Microsoft is pitching its latest tablet as a replacement for the laptop and in the process, it is tackling Apple head on.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has a bigger screen than the 11-inch Apple Macbook Air, yet it is 30 per cent thinner and 26 per cent lighter. Its screen also has a much higher resolution, 2,160 x 1,440, against the Macbook Air's 1,366 x 768. In addition, the Surface Pro 3 has a touchscreen and is bundled with a stylus, neither of which the Macbook Air provides.

Factually, the comparisons are accurate, except that these numbers consider only the bare Surface Pro 3. Add in the 295g cover-cum-keyboard Surface Pro Type Cover and the weight goes up to 1.1kg, which is comparable with the Macbook Air's.

Although the Surface Pro 3 is still thinner, it is relatively flimsier when you compare its detachable keyboard casing against a sturdy hinged clam-shell chassis. Because the electronic innards are housed in the screen instead of in the chassis, the Surface Pro 3 is, in essence, a tablet with a detachable keyboard.

Its natural peer should, therefore, be the Apple iPad Air or Samsung Galaxy Tab S. However, it is not difficult to see why Microsoft is not choosing to pick a fight with them.

The iPad Air and the Tab S each weigh about 470g, which is about 40 per cent lighter than Microsoft's new slate. Add to this the handicapped app library of the Windows Store and it is obvious the Surface Pro 3 does not stand a chance as a premium tablet.

Hardware Zone gave the Surface Pro 3 a 9/10 rating. Find out why here. 

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