Even before tablets took a big bite out of the notebook market, netbook sales were soaring, proving that in the internet age, many consumers need only a moderately powerful device. It’s with that thought in mind that the team at TabletPCReview compared the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to the revamped and recently-released Surface 3.
In any direct comparison, the Core-powered Surface Pro 3 wins, hands down. As they stated, “the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a premium device and an exceptional piece of hardware.” Adding, “performance is top notch, and when coupled with a keyboard cover and pen, it’s the most productive tablet on the market.”
But starting at a base price of $799 without its iconic keyboard cover, it’s pricey. It’s also too much computer for those only concerned with browsing the web, checking email, and light productivity work.
Starting at $499, the Surface 3 is a better fit for these users. It’s a bit smaller than the Pro 3, owing to its fanless design, but sports the same high-quality build and display. Microsoft ditched Windows RT and ARM in favor of 64-bit Windows 8.1 and a fifth-generation Intel Atom processor, which proves more than capable of handling moderate tasks.
In fact, the team heaped plenty of praise on the Surface 3, calling it a “premium device,” and claiming that it’s “well worth the $499 base price, even in a market awash in cheaper alternatives.”
So which device is best for you, and given that Microsoft sells various configurations of each, which is the best buy? Should those considering the most powerful Surface 3 (1.6GHz Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor with Intel Burst technology up to 2.4GHz, 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage) at $599 instead opt for the least powerful Surface Pro 3 (1.5GHz Intel Core i3 with Intel HD Graphics 4200, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB storage) for $799?
The answer is not so clear, especially considering the Pro 3 ships with a $50 Surface Pen, while the Surface 3 comes with a free year of Office 365, which is a $70 value, and both are incomplete without a $130 Type Cover.
Head over to TabletPCReview, where the team sifts through the options, comparing the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3, while considering all options.