Surface Pro 3 review: Is the third time the charm?

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 – May 23 2014, 5:43pm EDT (Ara Tecnica)

It’s often been said (though it probably isn’t true) that Microsoft gets things right on the third try—version one sucks, version two is barely adequate, and version three is the one that finally makes a mainstream splash. Does the Surface Pro 3 have what it takes to define a market and hit the big time?

Unlike the Surface Pro 2, which essentially stuck a new processor in an old system, the Surface Pro 3 is all-new. Unlike the Surface Pro 2, the Surface Pro 3 is a reaction to and acknowledgement of at least some of the criticisms leveled at the Surface product range.

And unlike the Surface Pro 2, the Surface Pro 3 is squarely and unambiguously aimed at laptop users. Introducing the new system, Microsoft cited “proprietary Microsoft research” asserting that 96 percent of iPad users also carry laptops. Not necessarily the most credible source—we asked the company if it could provide any information on how it arrived at this figure, but none was forthcoming. Still, we feel it does capture an essential truth. The exact proportion may vary, but many tablet users are also laptop users.

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