Surface 3 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by yuki, Mar 31, 2015.

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  1. alextrela182

    alextrela182 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You can install the batterybar pro.
    Even free version is much more useful than windows battery indicator.

    Sent from my iPad Air 2 using Tapatalk
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  2. gaidin43

    gaidin43 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This is my first time with any surface device. Overall it is a very slick design and well-built machine. The screen is fantastic and I've noticed no noticeable issues with performance for basic browsing or applications so far. I do not have the type cover, although I may break and get one. I did order a pen though, just not here yet. The Microsoft glass screen protector is actually pretty decent.

    Update and install of office 365 had zero issues and seemed to go rather quick considering (less then 30 min). Dropbox sync is still pending even After being on charger all night (assume it has a heavy sleep setting). Installed blue stacks and genymotion. Bluestacks runs, a bit slow, but it's an emulator. Genymotion is quick, I just don't have a lot of familiarity with it to install programs.

    My biggest issue is trying to figure out how to work this into my work flow. I have an i7 beast of a laptop that has been my main pc I use when I'm on the couch and an 8" android tablet I use for media, games, and light browsing/shopping/reading. My plan was to move my laptop to a desk for when I need it for heavy work and free up the living room of cords (8 month old and wife requirement/keeping the peace) and use the surface for the majority of my daily uses of the laptop and as a travel device to replace both the 8" and dell xps 13 I've been using. The size of the surface is oddly between a pocket sized 8" and a decent sized, but still small laptop for productivity.

    Any suggestions on how to incorporate this device?
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  3. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Love the pride you take in your choices of pen and keyboard colors, kind of like me and my girlfriends on a sale at H&M.

    Balbutio ergo sum
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  4. tsigalko

    tsigalko Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Today, i have first touch for S3 at retail store in my country. I test with S3 at 2G/64G. I try every emulator that i save in my flash drive and give result like this.
    PPSSPP : playable (i test with MGS, Castlevania)
    ePSXe : playable (i test with Dragon warrior vii, Tekken3)
    Desmume : not well, still lack (fps around 45-60)
    PCSX2 : not playable (i test with ICO, Dragon Quest Viii)
    I hope this information will useful for somebody who want to try to play game on S3.
    Anybody who has other result from me, please let me know
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  5. kornchild2002

    kornchild2002 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This might be a long post but I went to the launch "event" at my Microsoft Store in Cincinnati, it's actually in the Kenwood Mall just around the corner from an Apple Store, go figure. They weren't really doing anything special other than having big, blue, square signs out front saying "Special Event" with the four colored Microsoft Logo. They weren't giving out Pens with the purchase of Surface units and weren't aware of any special promotions like that.

    I did walk away with a neat looking water bottle that has the Microsoft logo and says Surface on it, a gray t-shirt with the same things, some plastic white thing of which I have no idea what it does, and a granola bar. I went a couple of hours after the store opened, around 12:30 PM. It was surprisingly empty aside from the four other people there picking up their Surface 3 units along with two kids who seem to be perpetually playing the Xbox One in the front of the store.

    I walked away with a 128GB Surface 3, dark blue Type Cover, a blue Pen, and the tempered glass screen protector. They didn't have the sleeve I wanted (HEX gray camo) but my fiance was nice enough to order one from me. The total cost was $801.29 including sales tax. It was actually $746.something with the educational discount on everything but Ohio sales tax increased to 7% recently, lousy Democrats.

    I like the colors of the Type Cover and Pen, they are a nice change from the black Power Cover I had with my SP2 its black plastic Wacom pen. I highly recommend getting the MS screen protector. It is tempered glass and they apply it, for free, in the store. I even purchased one for my fiance for her Surface 3 which we actually picked up from Best Buy instead. They installed it for her as well though they messed up on the installation (they dropped the screen protector) and took another one off the shelf free of charge. The protector feels exactly like the screen. It is glossy but this is the first time I have really liked a screen protector and felt that it didn't interfere with the display.

    So far my general impressions of the Surface 3 (compared to an SP2) are as follows:
    1. It's really thin and light especially compared to my SP2 with a Power Cover.
    2. The display gets brighter while using less power, go figure.
    3. The 3:2 aspect ratio is much appreciated.
    4. Setting up the Pen was a pain (I had to disassemble the top portion to fully remove that white sticker) but I actually like clicking the top button to open OneNote.
    5. It doesn't get nearly as warm even when doing updates.
    6. Speaking of updates, there was over 400MB worth of them and I finished installing all of them this morning. The process didn't really tax the Surface 3 but damn, that's a lot for an out-of-the-box product.
    7. The lack of fan noise is awesome.
    8. It feels just as fast as my SP2 in day-to-day tasks. Word, Excel, touch IE, FaceBook, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Watch ESPN, and websites all loaded up just as quickly as before and they worked without a hitch. Chrome was fine too but 4K YouTube video playback was a no-go. 4K YouTube video playback in the app I have and in the touch version of IE worked just fine though I have heard that you can only get 4K through Chrome (not sure if this is true or not).
    9. I like this Type Cover more. The keys feel a bit bigger and are more evenly spaced. They have a nice travel distance and the trackpad is a huge upgrade over the small, non-clickable trackpad on the Power Cover.
    10. The Type Cover backlight is required with the dark blue color when typing in low light. My fiance went with the bright red Type Cover and she has yet to turn the backlight on, they keys are naturally that bright.
    11. Charging does seem to take a while but I was also importing my SP2's profile, upgrading Windows, and installing Office all at the same time. I didn't see any power drain while plugged in, I just noticed that it took an hour to add 2% to the battery while doing all of this.
    12. There was 90GB of free space left on the 128GB model right out of the box.
    13. I did manage to test the battery a bit before finally having to go to bed. I was browsing the internet with the touch version of IE, loaded up a video in the YouTube app I have (I forget what it's called), watched an episode of Archer in Netflix, and messed with the FaceBook and Reddit apps for a bit. The battery was at 100% when I started (and it had stopped charging) and it went down to 50% after 4.5 hours of use with Bluetooth on, Wi-fi on, the screen brightness set to ~50%, and auto-brightness turned off.
    14. All-in-all, this is very much a Surface device and I like it. I will conduct more taxing tasks in the coming weeks such as running MATLAB, SigmaPlot, and mirroring the display via Miracast. I don't expect it to have any issues though. It feels like a lighter, smaller SP3 and I think that is what MS was going for. It may not be as blazingly fast as a Core i5 CPU paired with true SSD but, as the benchmarks are showing, it isn't bad either. I expect everyday performance to feel the same as my SP2, just with longer battery life.
    15. On a side note, I chuckled a bit as I walked past the Apple Store because someone was buying a gaudy gold new MacBook. It's nice to know that I purchased a unit that is just as powerful, even thinner and lighter, gets the same battery life, and has more features all for $400 less.
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  6. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Playing around with the S3 this morning. Some initial impressions. First, it's big. It is in a very different class than my old, ill-fated, M80TA. The 8" tablet is far, far more portable than this 10" tablet. The surface is like carrying around a legal pad folio. Although it is light, it is nothing like the effortlessness of holding an 8" tablet. When sitting on the couch, the ANV8 disappeared because of its lightness. You always know you are holding the Surface.

    On the other hand, there are clear advantages to the lager tablet for serious work. Reading on-line research is much easier on the eyes and typing a complex document works better as well. The one thing that the S3 will do is make my X301 deskbound, since I can do everything I need to accomplish out of the office on this S3. I actually think it is the first tablet I have owned that can perform in the same range as the 10w SU9300 C2D in the X301. This tablet may have extended the life of my X301, which I have been thinking of replacing but may be keeping as a deskbound notebook due to its incredible keyboard and typing experience.

    I can't say enough about the 3:2 aspect ratio. It is a significant improvement in both portrait and landscape. I can't imagine using a 16:9 after this.

    The question I ask myself is, if there was an 8"option to this Surface (equally built, etc.) would I switch? The jury is out.

    I used my pen for a day without pairing it and found it to be incredibly responsive. After pairing, think it feels slightly different. It feels more like the pens I tested on display models. Am I crazy?

    I also think Steve may be right about writing on the S3 display without a SP. It feels fine and I may just go naked.

    The build quality is truly first rate. I think the KB is going back the next time I can get to the MS Store. The ones I've used on display models felt better than this one. It's on the chattery side.
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  7. epicfoxes

    epicfoxes Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Initial Impressions

    Build Quality

    Stunning appearance and feel. Someone mistaken it as a MacBook until they saw the MS logo. The expression on their face, priceless.
    I appreciate MS demonstrating that there's a happy medium behind to quality and price.
    @Bronsky I am not sure what corners could be cut without diminishing the premium that the S3 delivers.


    Stunning and probably doesn't need any adjustments. Reading my textbook(s) using drawboard was an improved experience versus AVN8.


    The pen setup was annoying however such a beautiful writing experience that's smooth and no dead zones (OneNote, I will test in Word once activated). My AVN8 had multiple dead zones which became annoying and cumbersome over time. The keyboard has other mentioned has decent travel and to my expectations. I suspect the chatty keyboard is due to new components. Over a few weeks I expect it to soften.

    System Performance

    No issues yet however I've haven't done any taxing tasks yet except watching Netflix and some java scripting. No comments on battery life as I wasn't able to test the system thoroughly last night.

    Kudos for MS making a quality device and setting the bar higher for OEMs
  8. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    It is probably partially the SoC or RAM that makes installations/updates slow, but I think the eMMC is a really big part of it. That is the performance area in which it lacks most significantly compared to, for example, the SP3. The Atom SoC is perhaps a factor or two lower (~50% or ~33%) than iCore (depends on benchmark), but the eMMC can be multiple orders of magnitude slower than an SSD in some areas (random small reads/writes).

    I've re-run CrystalDiskMark on my unit. The speeds have increased from the time I ran it on the noticeably sluggish demo unit, but still not close to an SSD.


    Here is my T904's SSD,


    In particular the bottom row is where I think things like updates and installs tend to show the downside of the eMMC. The much slower sequential writes (top row right column) probably also play a role.
    Kendra likes this.
  9. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    Worked last evening to do a bit of set up. I tied my configurations to my Elitepad 1000 so all my settings copied over. Some observations:

    1. I had to delete the Office 365 setup program in order to install Office. So, I lost the year of 365 since it was already activated according to the installation program. I am okay with that since I will not be subscribing anyway.
    2. The full size USB port is NOT full power. It would not run my DVD drive. I ended up using my splitter cable from my Dell Venue 8 Pro to plug my drive into the mini-USB port and then powering it from the power cable. That worked.

    Other than that, so far so good and, yes, like others noted, the 3:2 is great. So far no performance issues or comments compared to the Atom Z3795 other than copying things from my mSDXC seemed faster. Time will tell!
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  10. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I observed the same about the USB port. It would not drive my trusty old Pioneer DVR-D09. Tried to add the microusb to the split cable by adding an adapter but no dice. We have a powered unit at work.

    This device feels a quantum faster than the Bay Trail in my M80TA. Could also be the RAM increase. Got the unit to heat up a bit with some graphics. Back got warm. Anybody try to power an external display?

    This is about as large and heavy as I would like my tablet to be. I don't think I'm interested in the Pro anymore and most certainly if it grows to 14".
    Kendra likes this.
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