Surface Pro 3

It is lighter than even the macbook air (~2.4lbs with type cover), and has a high DPI screen. Comparable ultrabooks with high DPI screens like the lenovo yoga 2 pro weigh 3+ pounds. Of course the yoga 2 has a much better keyboard and trackpad and a much larger 13.3" screen, but its battery life tops out at ~6.5 hours. Remains to be seen how the surface3pro lasts.

I read a random article this morning that listed the Surface Pro 3 as 9 hours, but I have to believe it’s going to vary somewhat based on the hardware config. That number also appears to come straight off the tech spec sheet (“Up to 9 hours of web browsing”) and I doubt it will hold up on real-world use.

When the Pro 2 came out, I was interested, but I thought it would be best to wait one more generation before seriously considering a purchase. Unfortunately this is way out of my price range. The i5/256GB/8GB model is $1299 + $130? for the cover. Can’t say I’m wild about hearing that it needs a fan either.

Yeah, I’m not talking about their listed battery time. I want someone like Anandtech to actually test it.

The macbook air 13" really gets 11+ hours, no BS.

I’m also skeptical about the battery life, but some Windows Ultrabooks truly have gotten 9 hours of web browsing. But hell, even if it’s 6 hours, that’s nearly twice as good as my Dell XPS 12.

The Surface Pro 2 really got 8 hours.

The Surface Pro 3 has a larger much higher DPI screen, and the CPU is essentially identical, they didn’t switch to a ULV, and both are Haswell. Both use a 42wH battery, same capacity.

One difference is the SP3 supports connected standby. It’s the first non 32-bit Atom or ARM windows device to do so. But connected standby doesn’t necessarily save any power, it just lets the computer maintain network connections while “off”, like your mobile phone. It also wakes up in half a second rather than 1-2 seconds. I don’t see that as making up for the huge high-DPI screen.

I betcha the SP3 gets ~6 hours. That’s just over half the macbook air. Broadwell will fix that; it reportedly drops power consumption by 30%. But there’ll be a broadwell macbook air too.

The buzz I’m hearing on Broadwell, though, is we’re more likely to see desktops in 2014, with the laptop refreshes falling more in 2015. So it’s a matter of how long I can stand my Spectre X2’s shallow keyboard.

As for having a silent-but-present fan, while I like the idea of no moving parts, my Spectre X2 is a fanless Core i5. And because of that, it doesn’t get the turbo boost the fan models get. I’d rather have a silent fan and more performance headroom.

I agree, I don’t mind a fan. Fanless devices are highly TDP constrained.

Intel’s CEO already said last week that Broadwell was going to barely make it for the holiday season. They’re having that much trouble with yields; 14nm is a bitch and a half. They’re basically missing the lucrative back-to-school season.

Doesn’t the SP2 only come in i5? The SP3 comes in i3/i5/i7, so maybe the 9 hours quoted is for the i3.

Well it’s more than that, it’s looking like near-identical CPU performance (better GPU, sure) again. But that’s for another thread!

Ed Bott now has the exact CPU types in each Surface Pro 3 variant. The i7 models do have an HD 5000 instead of the HD 4400 in other models.

Ok, as a tablet-free someone who might be about to start a job with a 1 hour commute… how is gaming on these things?

Bad. It’s an ultrabook with integrated Intel graphics. You’re fine if you only play old games or indie games, otherwise forget it.

The schizo nature of Win8 continues to drag nice hardware down.

Yep. The creative answer to a problem most people don’t have. The Ars Technica review that posted yesterday is particularly good and well balanced (as usual for them).


Interesting Penny Arcade review from an artist’s perspective. The N-trig pen is not substantially worse than the previous Wacom but the Windows button sits under the right hand while drawing, and the i5 model can’t quite keep up with the higher screen resolution when doing graphical stuff. That last part is pretty much expected – the world is still waiting for Intel to make integrated graphics that don’t suck.

Hey, at least they’re competent in 2d now so I can use it while I order another GPU :)

(And I’m sure Hearthstone would run, too)

Hearthstone runs fine on the atom processor Venue 8 Pro. I’d be concerned if an i5 had problems running it :-P

I was thinking about pretty hex based stuff like Warlock etc. Do those have touch friendly UIs these days?

I don’t know about Warlock, but Civ V has a tablet interface that seems to work reasonably well on my Surface Pro.