How Does the Surface 3 Stack Up Against Its Predecessors?

surface3Microsoft has been struggling to compete in an increasingly tablet-driven industry while also remaining faithful to its many business users. With Windows 8, the company tried, and so far has failed, to make both sides happy. The company also tried, and failed, to launch a tablet that would compete with popular competitors like the iPad.

With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft may have finally made its tablet-laptop hybrid work. The selling point for the Surface–the fact that it can work as both an app-driven tablet and a full-blown Windows laptop–is becoming more attractive as users grow to accept Windows 8 as an inevitability.

Ease of Use

The Surface is more than a tablet with an attached keyboard. It has the ability to rest upright similarly to a laptop. With the Surface 3, a kickstand brings additional support to the tablet to help keep it upright in a variety of positions.

A business’s IT support staff will enjoy having the familiarity of the Windows O/S in a tablet format. Additionally, the Surface 3 brings with it a full-size USB 3.0 port and a 12-inch full HD display. On the rare occasions tech support will be required to work on this cloud-based device, they’ll have an easier time than they have with iOS devices in a Windows-driven environment.


The big question for businesses centers on affordability. While other tablets may be less expensive than the Surface Pro 3’s $799 price point, the Surface 3 has much more to offer than its competitors. For $799, business users have access to a 4th-generation, Intel Core processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 9 hours of battery life.

The Surface Pro 3 has many benefits for those businesses trying to make the choice between tablets and laptops. The impressive RAM and full-size USB port make the Surface 3 great for the work environment, especially for the many professionals who have found they’re increasingly required to be more mobile, while still accessing the documents and software they use in the office each day.

Smaller iPad May Come in the Fall

Since it was introduced, the iPad has been by far the biggest player in the tablet space. And it doesn’t just have a big market share—compared with a number comparable devices that have come out in the last few years, it’s actually really big.

The iPad has a 9.7-inch screen, compared with about 7 inches for the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy’s smaller versions. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is preparing to introduce its own smaller tablet.

Citing unnamed sources, the story says Apple has told component suppliers to prepare for mass production of a tablet with a less-than-eight-inch screen in September. Rumors of a smaller cousin for the iPad have been floating for some time.

The tablet market is growing rapidly. Market research firm IHS iSuppli predicts that tablet sales will rise 85 percent to 127 million units this year. The iPad held a 62 percent share of the world market for tablets last year, and its dominance is even greater in work environments.

As more variations on the table theme—notably the Microsoft Surface Tablet and Google’s Nexus 7—roll out, Apple must be feeling some pressure to diversify its offerings. But being the big guy in the room comes with complications. One report last year found that the biggest competitor for the iPad is actually the iPhone, which, of course, has only a 3.5-inch screen. That raises the question of whether a smaller Apple tablet will function mostly to subdivide the company’s enormous market.