Microsoft Surface 3 review
Will it be third time lucky for Microsoft's Surface?
The Microsoft Surface 3 is a natural, successful evolution of hybrid laptops that were, with hindsight, failures. Where the original Surface RT and Surface 2 were crammed into a restrictive mould by Windows RT, the Surface 3 runs full Windows 8.1.
With this software on-board the Surface 3 is limited only by the Intel Atom CPU. Unusual as the hardware may be, it’s a ‘full’ laptop at heart, one with the added flexibility of a hybrid design.
Starting at £419 it provides better screen quality than most entry-level laptops too. However, as the optional-but-essential keyboard base increases the price to £529, it represents merely a good deal rather than a great one.
The Microsoft Surface 3’s body is similar to that of the Surface Pro 3’s, but smaller. Where the Pro model has a 12-inch screen, this one has a 10.8-inch display, and the shrinking process comes with all-round more compact dimensions.
At 622g and 8.7mm thick, it’s the slimmest and lightest Surface yet. However, this is not really an achievement if the Surface 3 is thought-of as a tablet. At this point, there are plenty of thinner, lighter rivals. In almost every respect, the hardware only shines when considered a laptop-replacer or a tablet-laptop hybrid.
Processor: Intel Atom x7 1.6GHz quad-core
GPU: Intel HD Graphics
Memory: 2GB or 4GB RAM
Storage: 64GB or 128GB SSD
Connectivity: Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 1 x USB 3, microSD slot, 3.5mm headset jack, 1 x Mini DisplayPort
Dimensions: (WxDxH): 267mm x 187mm x 8.7mm