Surface Pro 3: In-store fondling and first impressions (starts Friday June 6!)

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by JoeS, Jun 5, 2014.

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  1. Lazer

    Lazer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got to spend a few minutes with a demo unit at the MS store in Portland yesterday. Honestly, I was a bit let down.

    The screen size is perfect, the weight and thickness are great and the build appears to be very well done. The kickstand is awesome. When inking I was unable to enact the right-hand windows button thing. Though twice I accidentally grabbed the edge and activated it - simply pressing it again returned me to where I was. So while inking, it appears the button may be disabled. The button is not a deal deal breaker for me.

    My sore spot is really however, the pen. It works and appears accurate, but I am very used to my collection of Wacom pens - so being stuck with this one pen is a bit of a bummer. I am also fan of nib options - does anyone know if this pen will have nib options? The weight of the pen is ok, but the diameter was a bit big for my taste. The delay while hovering was weird - very noticeable. I felt it a little when inking too - it seemed to have a noticably slower response than Wacom. I didn't spend enough time to know for sure - but it was enough to make me worried about it's performance. The pressure sensitivity was nice though, no complaints there.

    So that's actually not the real pen let-down for me. What I found was that while using it, I could see a "magnetic halo" around the pen tip when inking. Not when hovering and more noticable the more pressure you use. At first I thought the screen was flexing under the pen pressure - but I ruled that out by pressing on the screen with my finger and remembered that the pen is magnetic - and we all know what heppens when you bring a magnet around a display.

    I have to say I am frustrated - This would have been the ultimate machine that I have been waiting for - if only they had stuck with Wacom. I don't know if I can handle this sort of dark "halo" around what I am trying to do - it was very distracting. I haven't seen anyone talking about this anywhere - did I just test out a bad unit or something?

    The one I tested was a 128GB i5, 4GB model.

    There were a couple other things that kept me from getting super excited as well. I wasn't sure if the screen was bright enough. I went to turn up the brightness and saw that it was maxed... Was the store insanely bright?

    The last bugger for me was the power management area. I had heard that they axed some power options - and it's true. There is no "High Performance" mode and no way to change any processor details in the power settings. There were only "Balanced" and "Demo" options there. I could be wrong, in that there is an admin tricky way to enable the high performance settings - but I couldn't find it. I often use High Performance when I am plugged in, when using my tablet as a desktop, etc. I get that it lowers battery life - that's why it's plugged in... It's never cool to eliminate options - especially on a "Pro" model. So... I'm not sure how this will affect performance. I do feel like I would have to wait for the i7 model in this case, as I need the processing power at times and hopefully the i7 would still rock in "balanced" mode.

    So yeah - I don't know - I REALLY want to love it. It's SO close! Why is everything always "so close" yet so far away... sigh...

    Those are my thoughts/opinions anyway
     
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  2. fella1

    fella1 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Argghh two weeks is too far away!!!!

    Went by the Microsoft kiosk store in Charlotte and played around with the SP3 for about 20 minutes or so. I had a SP2 for about six months which I just sold a week ago. The SP3 is much better the SP2. I immediately felt the weight difference. Even though it only weighs a little less it feels like a lot less which I'm sure is due to the size/ratio change. It didn't feel at all too large when using it in tablet mode either and portrait was really pleasant in comparison to the portrait experience on the SP2. I went to the Comixology website and looked at a free comic sample in portrait mode and after stretching it to fit the screen it looked almost perfectly like a full size paper comic page. Comic reading was one of my favorite pastimes on the SP2 and the experience here was leaps and bounds better.

    The screen is also extremely sharp with nice vibrant colors.

    The pen input is really accurate also even out at the far edges on all sides of the tablet. Writing and sketching with it felt great.

    The new hinge also works really well. It has the perfect amount of resistance when you push it down past the default opening angle. Really quite a nice piece of engineering.

    It is really thin. When you hold it in person and look at it from the side it's hard to believe that you are holding a full power PC in your hands.

    The typing experience with the type cover felt the same as on the SP2 but the track pad was massively improved. Two finger scrolling worked well and it was very responsive.

    The only somewhat negative thing I noticed was that the screen does feel warmer in the lower right hand corner than the SP2 felt. It wasn't hot but it was definitely warm. Not a dealbreaker for me by any means but it is noticeable.

    I had already preordered the i5/256 version and can't wait to get it now!
     
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  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I am sooooooooooooooo jealous of you fondlers...
     
  4. metalsiren

    metalsiren Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    me to, cry, cry f**kers..... FU MS for not having a store in Raleigh
     
  5. MROX

    MROX Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks, I count multiple fondlers mentioning it is lighter than previous surface pro 1&2. How would you compare it to a Surface 2?
    Lighter, better, the same, worse?
    (I am in europe, so fondling will not happen for awhile :(, the surface 2 would be another reference point for everyone)

    Sent from my Surface 2 using Tapatalk
     
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  6. mpwipperman

    mpwipperman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the pictures. That red looks a bit brighter than the pictures on microsoft's site. I think I'm going to change my pre-order from black to that red. I drove over to my BB today as well, and they were clueless, even though they said the MS rep stopped in today. Oh well.
     
  7. lonaysta

    lonaysta Scribbler - Standard Member

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    according to surfaceproartist, MS and Ntrig will provide optional nib replacements. I compared the delay while hovering between SP2 and SP3 and I agree SP3 is noticeably delaying more. But while inking its better than Wacom. Just different opinions from observations.
     
  8. metalsiren

    metalsiren Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I need to find where I can fondle this, all the reports are driving me nuts. I mean f**k, my wife doesn't even let me fondle her anymore..I should be able to fondle this nice piece of hardware. (yes its Friday and I have lost my mind)
     
  9. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Nib replacements will definitely be offered sometime in the future. If you want a smaller pen, both the Sony and Acer stylii work nicely with SP3 (neither has a click tip, obviously). The Sony has the hardest tip, Acer next and the SP3 the softest. The new nibs will supposedly be closer to Wacom's soft nibs. We shall see.

    Wondering what software you tested with. OneNote, Fresh Paint, something else? I find performance and responsiveness vary by program. Some seem to need fine-tuning. The hover lag is an optical illusion. There's really no need for a cursor anymore if the pen tip is accurate. But it definitely can be distracting. I've reduced the pointer to a single pixel in every program that gives me the option.

    I haven't noticed the puddling effect. It's definitely there on my Sony Flip, but mostly when I press very hard. Once I know what you were using, I'll try to reproduce.

    Brightness definitely isn't an issue with mine. Department store lighting is the worst.

    If you go into the Power Management Advanced Settings, you can create your own High Performance mode. A couple of settings seem to be missing, but the one I always disable manually is Adaptive Brightness.
     
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  10. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    There had to be something wrong with the unit, the digitizer i used functioned flawlessly. I wonder if it needed calibration.
     
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