Microsoft Surface Pro 3 12" Intel Tablets

Got the i5 version and am loving it. Given these pricing, they are already lower than most retail shops so the deal is really not bad at all.

The i7 will most likely give you the extra processing power when needed. On the plus side, the screen on this Surface Pro 3 is really among the best on the ultra portable design.

As of Saturday, 17 January 2015, Costco offers two Microsoft Surface Pro 3 bundles; both include a black Type Cover and a 1-year subscription of Microsoft 365.

the i7/8GB RAM/256GB SSD and the i5/4GB RAM/128GB SSD:

Side-by-side comparison.

The i5/128GB.

The i7/256GB (has an additional tempered glass screen protector).

The above images screenshot by the Surface Pro (n-Trig) pen, courtesy of the i5/4GB RAM/128GB SSD model!

I got Surface PRO 3 for my wife and after she learned some of the touch screen commands, she loves it. A lot easier (faster) to use than a laptop. I Would not use Win 7 with this since you would lose the advantage of the touch screen commands built into win 8.

I have one of these, and I can tell you Windows 8.1 is glorious for this device!

I won’t get into the pricing debate but I can comment on the Surface 3. I bought an i5 128GB right after they came out and immediately regretted it. It was buggy, laggy, the fan was loud, and overall wasn’t worth the money and I promptly returned it. I knew at the time it was all driver issues and that some day they would have it all sorted out. The thing is - I loved the form factor. It was nearly perfect for those times when I didn’t want to lug around a 15" MB Pro and a tablet wouldn’t cut it (i.e. nearly every time I ride into work on my motorcycle). I was able to resist the temptation of re-buying one for about two months then finally gave in. I haven’t regretted it. Those two months gave them time to sort out the majority of issues and now it runs (nearly) perfectly. This is the first tablet that is even remotely capable of replacing a laptop for my normal work duties and the form factor is great for commuting. Battery life could be better (but what device’s couldn’t?) and the price is a bit high (unless you’re used to Apple prices) but other than that it’s a great piece of kit.

Nice overview!

In my closet is a “MICROSOFT” sweatshirt I was permitted to buy at the employee store in Redmond when I was a guest speaker out there 15 years ago! It has held up well!

It was fun to see all the used gear that was there pretty cheap! Great lunch areas too…hope you still have them!

Are you talking about color or pen/finger position, or both?

I’ve been trying different tablets over the years for drawing, and they all pissed me off quite quickly because I had to recalibrate them (for the latter) constantly and they’d still be off toward the edge of the screen, so instead of looking at where the tip of the pen is, you have to hover and then look at where the cursor shows up. No fun.

I haven’t popped for a Surface, but I have two smaller tablets running 8.1. They work, but everything seems just a wee bit small and I have big fingers.

In comparison, my Wooted refurb ASUS Memo 7 uses Android. Since it is set up for use on even smaller screens, I make less errors poking on it.

I suspect a 12" tablet with 8.1 would be a good idea if one wishes to use 8.1.


What capacity microsd card will this accommodate ?

My wife had the Surface Pro 2 and loved it but there were a few things she wished they would fix (thickness/weight, screen size, kickstand). Six months later MS releases the SP3 which pretty much addressed every one of her concerns. She immediately bought one and has loved every minute of it. She does a lot of note taking at meetings and OneNote has effectively replaced paper and pen for her.


In the same way amputating the feet fixes the worst problems of diabetes. (I’ve 8.1 on my ativ, that’s how I know.)

You know this is a wacom pen like on the digitizer, not the capacitive stylus like on paddroid tablets, right?

I bought a SP3-i7/256 during the holiday season to replace my travel laptop. When I did, it shaved 11 total pounds and about .5" off my carryon weight (I did have sort of a hefty beast of a machine, but charger, etc…).

Thursday night, Jan 15, I returned the SP3. It was the last day to do so for a holiday purchase.

Here’s why I returned it:
[] I started a new job this month where I don’t travel up to 100% of the time. The travel load size isn’t nearly as relevant now.
] I got a new MacBook Pro i7-16G RAM/1TB SSD from my new job. I was disallowed from using my SP3 as a work machine, which is what I would have preferred, but that was out of my hands. I’m actually a Linux guy, but between the mac and the PC I don’t really see a difference. The SP3 is well-made (like a Mac) and pretty user-friendly (like a Mac is, assuming you suck with computers), and since I had to run my preferred OS as a VM anyway it doesn’t matter which one.
[] I had previously returned/swapped this SP3 back in December because the WiFi just quit working. I saw some other instances of this on the web, but this seems to have been mostly an instance failure. However, I didn’t want my $1600 machine to flake out on me again (assuming I kept it)
] And this is the big one…the screen is just too good. With that degree of density, windows 8.1 did a fantastic job of stuffing a ton of stuff onto my display, but the text of every application was, by default, too small unless I had it plugged into a display (Mini displayport only, btw). This is fixable (usually), but sometime display profiles within applications weren’t so good at resetting font sizes from say 9-10 to 14-18.
If you aren’t over 40 years old (and thus not yet suffering from the inevitable deterioration of sight that seems to plague humans around that time), or if you’re used to squinting or some other scenario where the [exceptionally good] screen is displaying text in font sizes that would be 5-6 pt on a larger display, then this thing is pretty awesome. I had trouble seeing the text in my terminal windows.

I strongly suggest getting a SquareTrade warranty if you buy it from Woot, though, in case the wifi conks out on you (or you break it some other way).

Also you NEED the keyboard cover. It’s basically not really optional, since you’ll want to cover the display when not in use.

In the event that I don’t buy another one of these, I guess I’ll have to sell my docking station, bluetooth surface mouse, and keyboard cover on ebay. All three of those (Microsoft products) are also excellent additions to the SP3, although I might have liked an HDMI port on the dock. I hear the SP4 might use the SP3 accessories, so I may wait around for that and see if I really do need 2 portable computers after all. :slight_smile:

Worst analogy I’ve ever read.