Review microsoft surface 3 lte tablet acts as laptop

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Review: Microsoft Surface 3 LTE tablet acts

as laptop

16 September 2015, by Jim Rossman, The Dallas Morning News


If you remember your Microsoft Surface history, each generation of Surface tablets had two versions - a cheaper version called Surface, which ran a neutered operating system called Windows RT, and a more expensive version called Surface Pro, running a full version of Windows.

The Windows RT Surface computers ran on ARM processors, which is why they didn't run full Windows. Surface Pro tablets ran Intel processors.

Starting with the Surface 3, both the Surface and the Surface Pro use Intel processors and can run a full version of Windows 10, although the Surface 3 LTE model I used ships with Windows 8.1.


Tablets like the Apple iPad are fun, but they're not The difference between the Surface 3 LTE ($499 exactly a replacement for a full-blown computer. with a data contract) and the Surface Pro 3 (starting

at $799) is in the hardware.

As an iPad user, I've often wondered whether it could ever take the place of my laptop.

Alas, the answer is no - not yet, at least.

The Surface 3 LTE ships with an Intel Atom X7 quad-core processor running at 1.6 GHz with 2 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of storage. It has a 10.8-inch display.

Apple's iOS is a nice operating system, but it can't

run Macintosh apps.

To give you some reference, the lowest-priced

Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch display with an Intel

Windows users are lucky - they can have the best Core i3 CPU running at 1.5 GHz with 4 gigabytes of

of both worlds: the small size and large touch-

RAM and 64 gigabytes of storage.

screen of a tablet along with a full copy of Windows

and the ability to run all their favorite Windows

You can also go crazy and spend up to $1,799 on


a Surface Pro 3 if you max it out.

I've been using a Microsoft Surface 3 tablet for

The Surface 3 LTE's display has a resolution of

the last week, and it's a pretty darn good Windows 1920 by 1080 pixels with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and


Bluetooth 4.0 plus 4G LTE.

It's even better because the version I used is the To supplement the onboard storage, the Surface 3 new Surface 3 LTE with built-in cellular data from LTE has a microSD card slot to accommodate up to

128 more gigabytes of storage. The physical

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dimensions are 10.5 inches by 7.36 inches by 0.34 Bottom line: Great size and features make this a

inches, and it weighs 22.4 ounces.

good choice for those who aren't power users.

Besides Windows 8.1, the tablet comes with a one-?2015 The Dallas Morning News year subscription to Office 365 with full versions of Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more.

The Surface 3 LTE has a full-size USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort, so you can attach any USB accessory and output to a larger monitor.

The built-in kickstand now can adjust to three viewing angles, which is great when you use the Type Cover, a $129 option. The Type Cover has a built-in trackpad to control the Surface's pointer.


Even though I use a Mac, I had no problem setting up the Surface 3 LTE to do all my work tasks. The Type Cover's trackpad is easy to use, but it's not very big, so I did prefer to use a mouse with the Surface 3 LTE.

I connected hard drives and thumb drives, and easily connected my external monitor.

I do wish the Surface 3 LTE had more RAM. Windows can get a bit bogged down with just 2 gigabytes of RAM. Given the speed of this tablet running Windows 8.1, I'm not sure I could recommend upgrading to Windows 10.

To be fair, Microsoft lists 2 gigabytes of RAM as the minimum requirement for Windows 10, but I wish there were more RAM available, even if it cost more money.

Overall, the Surface 3 LTE is a great starter computer and a really nice tablet. You will need to get set up with a data plan, but it's pretty inexpensive to add to an existing AT&T family plan.


Pros: Runs Windows, nice accessories, bright and clear touch display.

Cons: Needs more RAM, Type Cover is expensive.

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APA citation: Review: Microsoft Surface 3 LTE tablet acts as laptop (2015, September 16) retrieved 12 October 2021 from

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