Eyeing the New Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as a Laptop Replacement

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We really are in the golden age of travel technology. I’m sure I’ll look back on that statement in ten years – or two – and laugh. But the combination of portability and power of today’s laptops and mobile devices is almost absurd.

While I’d love to free myself from the constant tether of the internet, Facebook, and The Daily Puppy, my schedule is always peppered with work requirements no matter where I am in the world. Editing photos, publishing blog posts, answering e-mails, and … whatever it is that I do on social media.

For a while, I toted around an iPad which worked … okay. But it didn’t have (a) the computing power for proper photo editing and (b) a keyboard which, as a writer, I desperately need. So I’ve been lugging a 15″ laptop (a beast of a machine that could probably edit Transformers CGI footage if I asked it to) from destination to destination. But it’s growing increasingly obvious that I needn’t do that anymore.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

So I’m digging the new Surface Pro 3 for a bunch of reasons:

  • It has a full keyboard.
  • It offers 9 hours of battery life which is awesome for long-haul flights/transport.
  • Unlike a true tablet, it’s not app-centric
  • 12″ Full HD screen – ideal for editing photos
  • A full-size USB 3.0 and microSD card reader
  • 4th generation Intel Core processors (i3, i5, i7)
  • Up to a 512 GB hard drive
  • It’s only 0.55″ thick (with the keyboard attached) and weighs just 1.76 pounds which is almost ridiculous
  • Integrated front and rear HD cameras
  • Magnetic stability keeps the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover steady, so you can work on your lap or a desk.
  • It’s technically classified as a tablet according to the FAA and the TSA which means you can leave it in your carry-on at security. Boo-ya!

At $999 USD for the mid-range model, it ain’t cheap by laptop standards. But, for the insane amount of portability it offers, I’m willing to suck it up!

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I’m looking forward to checking out the Surface in the next few weeks. Anyone have one already? What’re your thoughts?

About The Author

Mike Richard
Founding Editor

Mike Richard has traveled the world extensively since 2008. He's camped in the Jordanian desert with Bedouins, tracked African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. He loves the great outdoors, good bourbon, and he (usually) calls Massachusetts home. He also enjoys speaking in the third person.

4 Responses

  1. Ryrhea

    I have a Surface Pro 3 that I bought for the exact same reason: travel. I love mine! It handled my recent 3 month backpacking trip through SE Asia and New Zealand, no problem. I rarely use the pen, but then I don’t do much photo editing or art… Maybe it’s useful for that. One thing I noticed was there aren’t many bags designed to fit a laptop/tablet of that size (generally they’re designed for a 10″ tablet or 13″ laptop). I found the Analyst bag by Victorinox works perfectly for me, if you are in the same predicament.

    • Mike Richard
      Mike Richard

      Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be using the pen much either. But I suppose it’s a cool feature to have if I change my mind.

      Hmm … that’s interesting about the lack of available bags though. I hadn’t actually considered that. Thanks for the tip on the Analyst bag! I love Victorinox’s gear so that’s good to hear.

  2. Ian

    the Surface 3 is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
    I got the i5 256GB model.

    Love the power, portability, battery life, the USB3 port, the kickstand and most importantly the stylus!
    I do a lot of drawings and take (handwritten) notes in OneNote.
    The writing experience is amazing, very smooth.
    That was the selling point for me!

    • Mike Richard
      Mike Richard

      Right on! Glad to hear you’re liking it. I’m really stoked about checking it out! The i5 seems like a good balance of features + price

      I still can’t get over how thin/light it is. That’s the biggest selling point for me.



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