Last week we took delivery of the latest Microsoft Surface tablet computer, the Pro 3. Our tablet has 8Gb RAM, runs an intel 64-bit processor, has half a terabyte hard disk and is WiFi only. It also has a pen for drawing stuff such as scrawling on OneNote. It runs Windows 8.1 Professional.
It did not come with Microsoft Office 2013 pre-installed as expected, but as Microsoft partners we were able to get this installed quickly. Installation of service packs took an hour or two before it was ready for real-use.
The first thing to say is that this is the best tablet I have ever used. This is because is it BOTH a tablet AND a laptop AND a desktop. I can touch operate any app, use the on-screen keyboard, dock my old Surface 1 keypad to it and type, or use the pen, or even plug in a USB wireless mouse adaptor and use that. It is lightening quick, and highly responsive.
Why is it better than the iPad you may ask? The answer is that I can run ANY windows program on my new windows tablet. I can choose from millions of legacy and modern windows apps, as well as those from the Windows Store - even those I bought or installed on other Windows 8 computers.
Unlike the original WinRT Surface, I can also run the .Net Framework which allows me to run our core TriSys desktop applications and get full programmatic access to our cloud services at Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This means that I can write powerful modern business software using Visual Studio and the TriSys SDK to design, build, debug, test and configure live line of business applications wherever I am in the world for any of our customers using my single device.
We have ordered the docking station which will allow us to plug into Gigabit cabled ethernet, a desk keyboard, multiple USB ports and multiple high definition monitors. All of our future 2014/15 computer purchases for staff will be the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 who can use their computer at work, home, or on a train/plane or even whilst being driven to work in a google car!
In summary, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has leap-frogged the competition and finally struck back at the iPad and Chromebook.