Is the Surface 3 the ultimate portable computer?
I have owned and used a number of laptops over the years. I’ve had everything from big, fast gaming laptops through Apple Macbook Pros to small, underpowered netbooks.
Why did I decide the Microsoft Surface 3 with it’s Atom processor and 10.8 inch display was the perfect device for me in 2016?
The Surface 3 is not a powerhouse. Let’s just say that right now. My entry-level device has a quad-core Atom X7 processor, 64GB storage and 2GB RAM. That said, it’s perfectly capable of doing what I want to do which comprises:
- Watching streaming video (YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix) in 1080p
- Web browsing
- Taking notes (with OneNote)
- Accessing systems via RDP, VNC and SSH
- Occasionally using Office applications (Word, Excel etc)
I have a powerful desktop PC for other things like gaming and development. Unless your laptop is your only computer, I would suggest you don’t need a machine with much more power – and the downsides of a more powerful machine (battery life, weight, size, heat) to my mind outweigh the benefits.
The Surface 3 weighs 621 grams (1.37 lbs) without the keyboard. With the keyboard it weighs 885g (1.95 lbs). By way of comparisson, the 11 inch Macbook Air – constantly touted by tech media as the perfect portable device – weighs 1.08kg (2.38 lbs). That is 22% heavier. Without touchscreen. Yes it’s a considerably faster device but what do you really need an ultraportable laptop for anyway?
What do tech journos who go on endlessly about the Macbook Air do 99% of the time? Blog. Or use twitter. Hmm….
Need a keyboard? Attach the Typecover. Want to take notes? Detach the keyboard and use the Microsoft Pen. Watching streaming video? Remove the Typecover, fire up your app of choice, set the kickstand to the angle you prefer and enjoy….
I really do think the Surface 3, at the time of writing, is the perfect portable computer.
For those who need more power
Laptops are constrained by space, power and thermal envelope design considerations. Get a desktop computer for power-hungry tasks and a small machine for using when you’re out and about. It’ll be a better experience 😉