Microsoft’s third shot in the tablet-that-can-turn-into-a-portable-PC category represents a huge improvement over its earlier attempts. I called the first Surface Pro, released in February 2013,“brilliant, quirky, and flawed,” and argued that it “has enough flaws that many potential buyers will either say no outright or play wait and see.”
Last fall’s Surface Pro 2, released in conjunction with Windows 8.1, was basically just a spec bump that added a Haswell processor (improving battery life) and gave the trademark Surface kickstand a second angle.
Surface Pro 3, on the other hand, is a complete redesign that maintains the original Surface Pro vision (and a few of its quirks), while tackling its biggest flaws head-on.
Like its predecessors, the Surface Pro 3 isn’t for everyone. It’s also hard to categorize. Lining it up next to a conventional laptop or a full-size tablet results in an odd set of comparisons and, inevitably, reviews that focus on the mismatches.
I attended last week’s launch event in New York City and came home with a sample of the Surface Pro 3, provided by Microsoft, which I’ve used extensively for the past 10 …