Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Review

Meet The Surface Pro 3

The overall dimensions of the Surface Pro 3 are 7.93 in x 11.5 in x 0.36 in and in weighs in at right around 1.76lbs. Those numbers don’t make Surface Pro 3 the thinnest or lightest of the tablets currently available, but the device is well balanced, feels great to hold, and conveys a feeling of quality throughout. And it is the thinnest device on the market currently to feature an Intel Core processor.

The chassis is manufactured using a magnesium alloy that is stronger and lighter than aluminum. There is also an anti-fingerprint coating on the Surface that’s supposed to keep the device clean, but it didn’t seem to repel all of my fingerprints very well. A quick wipe with a micro-fiber cloth removes fingerprints quickly, however.

If you take a tour around the Surface Pro 3, you’ll find that the front of the device is virtually all screen, with only a single capacitive Windows button at one side, which will return users right to the Start screen, and a 5MP front facing camera at the top (alongside an ambient light sensor and microphone). There are also two slits for the front-firing speakers, but they are hidden exceptionally well in the black bezel. The left side of the device is home to a headphone jack and volume rocker. The right side of Surface Pro 3 houses a mini DisplayPort output, a full-sized USB port, and the power jack. We should point out that the USB port is USB 3.0, which offers much higher bandwidth than USB 2.0 when used compatible devices.

The bottom of the Surface tablet is where you’ll find the keyboard accessory dock and on the top you’ll find the power button. The edges all around the Surface Pro 3 have an angular, beveled look that makes accessing any ports or buttons easy and also makes the device fit a little better in the hand. There’s also a thin vent that runs around the edge of the Surface Pro 3 to help cool the device and allow air to be pulled into (and expelled out of) the system by its active cooler.

It may look relatively clean at first glance, but there is a lot happening on the back of the Surface Pro 3. At the top you’ll find the tablet’s rear-facing, 5MP camera and on the bottom, the device’s built-in kickstand. The kickstand confidently pops out with just a flick and is plenty strong. It is a thin piece of metal held in place with relatively small hinges, and can obviously be bent if mishandled, but it most certainly is not flimsy. The kickstand has been updated in the Surface Pro 3 to operate at the 22 degree angle made popular by previous-gen Surface devices when it’s first opened, but the hinges are friction hinges now, which means the kickstand can be used at virtually any angle beyond 22 degrees.

Underneath the kickstand is where you’ll find Surface’s microSDXC expansion port. Simply pop out the kickstand, and expansion cards can be slid right in without having to move any guards or port covers, etc. Unlike the Windows RT-based Surface and Surface 2, microSD expansion cards can be used for installing whatever you like and are useful for expanding the Surface Pro 3’s available storage.

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