Surface Pro 3 Accessories thread

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by spinedoc77, Jun 7, 2014.

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  1. dbrn

    dbrn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    My SP3 i5 is on the way (now that 3 different purchasing officers have stopped asking why I can't just get an ipad :rolleyes:) and I'm considering buying a skin and/or screen protector. After poking around different threads, this seems like a complete list of the models most highly recommended/appropriate for my use (indoor/office carry-around):

    1) Xtreme Guard clear skin + screen protector
    2) ArmorSuit clear skin + screen protector
    3) Skinomi clear skin + screen protector
    4) Photodon Crystal Clear screen protector

    (I haven't included any Stickerboy because I don't like their look :p.)

    Some of the things I'm unsure/confused about, and would like to hear opinions about, are:
    a) Do these clear skins basically have the texture of smooth, hard plastic? Would I get a nicer feel and more grip with, say, this Skinomi brushed aluminum? Do ANY of these offer more grip than the naked SP3?
    b) How do the screen protectors from 1-3 stack up against the Photodon for inking-experience, transparency and, finally, protection?
    c) Given that my school is buying this for me and I'm not likely to be able to resell it myself down the road, is there much point in a skin and/or a screen protector?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. opasha

    opasha Scribbler - Standard Member

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. Thank you for the detailed response, Steve!
     
  3. xnederlandx

    xnederlandx Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I was thinking about this a little while back.

    The best reason I can think of in that the extra pins in the power connector for DisplayPort, USB and Ethernet haven't been doubled-up (in a symmetrical fashion) to support reversibility.
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Photodon MXA Follow-up: UPDATED 03Aug14 PM

    ...I installed the Photodon MXA SP this morning on my Pro 3 and I have a couple of issues to report that prospective purchasers should consider carefully:

    <> The camera cut-out on the top edge of the SP is right on the ragged edge of being too narrow. As is my usual custom, I tried a couple of trial fits last night to be sure that everything lined up OK. It immediately became apparent that, although things could be made to line up, the exact placement of this SP was critical because of the narrow width of the camera / signal light / microphone notch. This image shows the placement with the left and the lower edges of the SP placed exactly over the corresponding edges of the screen glass:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, it's a tight fit! The SP installation was no more difficult than usual, but I did notice that touching Photodon's adhesive layer left a faint mark, whereas the adhesive layers on other brands of SPs didn't seem so sensitive. To their credit, Photodon cautions about this in their installation instructions. The next two images show the installed SP alignment. I had to juggle the picture angle a bit to get enough contrast in the image so you can see the SP placement. The first image shows that the camera cut-out just barely clears the camera aperture and the mike hole. The second image show the upper right corner of the SP; it's clear that I slightly mis-aligned the lower edge of the SP (along the long edge of the Pro 3) so that this corner is slightly skewed. To be clear, this is not Photodon's fault; my alignment was slightly off:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The gap that you see along the top edge is a little over 1 mm, so it's not as significant as it might appear.

    <> The surface of the MXA SP is probably too soft for good inking or touch. This is probably the more serious issue with the MXA (crystal clear) film. Once I stripped off the protective top layer, I was surprised at how "draggy" (soft) the surface was. Trying the Pro 3 pen, my impression is that there is too much inking resistance for it to feel comfortable. Similarly, it was difficult to slide my fingertips over the SP when using touch. I'll work with this SP for a few days, but at the moment my impression is that I need to look for another product.

    <> UPDATE 03Aug14: I've been using the Pro 3 during the day, and the surface of the SP has become easier to work with. Maybe this SP will be OK after all. It belatedly occurred to me that, after I had stripped off the top surface protector, I wiped the SP with a cleaner. It's possible that made the surface more "tacky" than normal. After some use, my finger definitely slides more easily over the surface. The Pro 3 pen also seems to glide a little easier, too, but if I use another N-trig pen with a harder tip, there is no question that the inking feel is (to me) much better. For now, if you have ordered an MXA SP, don't despair; things may be OK... More as it develops...

    I've e-mailed Photodon about both of my observations, so we'll see what they say. It may be that another one of their films may be more suited to the needs of inking and touch. Hopefully, they will correct the dimensions of their custom-cut Pro 3 SP to make the placement much less critical...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
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  5. be77solo

    be77solo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Finally got around to accessorizing mine...

    20140803_190736.jpg

    Type Cover 3 (love it!), use my old SP2 HDMI adapter, wireless keyboard adapter, a sleeve w/ pocket and when MS finally releases it, the dock.
     
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  6. dbrn

    dbrn Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks for the detailed update, Steve. Please keep us in the loop!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...The camera cut-out on the top edge of the SP is right on the ragged edge of being too narrow...>>

    ...Good news. I got an e-mail from Photodon this afternoon; they have already adjusted the custom cut for the Pro 3 shape and they are sending me another SP to try.

    More as events unfold...
     
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  8. Osiris

    Osiris Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Was just contemplating the Type Cover 3 materials and had a thought, has anyone tried suede protector on their type cover to try and resist the dirt and grubbiness that seems to appear on these reasonably easily?
     
  9. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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  10. gmich

    gmich Pen Pal - Newbie

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    They've worked out great for me on past devices (MB Air, a Dell Laptop). I may get one for my SP3 as well.
     
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