It’s not often we get posts inspired by submitted posts, but this is one of those occasions. As you may, or may not, be aware, we allow anyone to post a Tech blog to our website through our ‘The Tech Show Submission Page‘, and we received a post the other day, however it was a bit different. It wasn’t a post, but an explanation on how someone who’d just purchased an iPad Air took it straight back for a Surface Pro 3, and it got us thinking.
Apple’s iOS platform is the true definition of basic when it comes to doing real arduous tasks, some could say useless but we wouldn’t stretch that far, however the Surface Pro 3 is like the ultimate polar opposite, where it’s a true PC that can do away with the Laptop. But of course the main point of legitimacy is rather clear, isn’t it silly to compare these devices? Yes it is, but when it comes to a night and day experience to most things we do, it suddenly becomes very attractive to switch to the Surface Pro 3!
THE KEY TO THE DOOR, WINDOWS 10
We’ll be talking Windows 10 in much more depth in the coming days, but let’s just say that it’s the one Desktop Operating System that sealed the deal for us. Whilst some may disagree, we’ve been relatively disappointed by the latest version of Apple’s Mac OS X Operating System, Yosemite, and we’re expecting to be with 10.11, so when Windows 10 comes along practically with the answers to the call we’ve all been making, well…
We never did an OS X Yosemite review, we tend not to do Desktop reviews, but if we were to give you a compressed preview, it would go around subtle improvements with the term ‘refinement’ thrown in to the Trash. For what ever reason Apple have just lost the wraps with their quality control, whether that’s the heap of bugs from iOS 7, most remain in iOS 8, to now the Mac with Yosemite. Whilst new releases expect bugs, and an entire overhaul of the OS you’d expect that, is it really fair to claim iOS 7/8 and Yosemite are overhauls, let’s be fair it’s just a new coat of paint, which is why the high level of sloppiness is kind of hard to swallow.
Now, before everyone rages out, (here’s a guide to why that’d be pointless), yes, Windows 8 was by far not a cream of the crop OS from Microsoft and it too had quite the bugs, but Windows 8 was a complete overhaul of the Windows experience, both visibly and throughout the experience, and Windows 8.1 fixed the bugs, and now Windows 10 is the final piece of the triangle refining everything in to the most complete desktop package now available! From the multitude of options on one field, to the cross experience across PC, Hybrid and phone, to the incredible feature set of Continuum, Windows 10 has been a real shock to us in the best way possible.
SURFACE PRO 3 VS IPAD AIR 2
Ok, first things first this isn’t a versus, it’s a comparison of how two devices can fit a usage pattern nothing else.
Some of you will probably know, we’ve been using Microsoft Surface devices for quite some time now, we had the original Surface Pro and the Surface 2 (RT), and we were actually incredibly happy with both devices. But, it became noticeable that the Surface 2 we had was literally running Store apps only and why wouldn’t an iPad be able to fit our needs right? Yes, we fell for Apple’s dream story of continuity and promised experience and splashed out on an iPad Air 2 to work side by side with the iPhone 6.
Did it work? For the most part. But, when it came to actually getting stuff done, as in posting things on this website, checking things required for my job, to everything else, it became apparent pretty quickly that the iPad was far from the capable device. In fact, the iPad is the sole reason why 4 posts and reviews have been delayed on this website, as it simply can’t handle it. Whilst we expected some compromises would have to be make, heck we know what an iPad is, we remain incredibly surprised at just the level the iPad is at lacking in getting stuff done, even with iOS 8.
We remember watching the Surface Pro 3 Event, shown above, and listening to Panos Panay, who completely rocked the keynote by the way, talking about how most of us have to buy a Laptop alongside an iPad, as the iPad just isn’t capable of getting stuff done. Whilst at first we looked at this, like most pundits, especially Apple fanboys, did, as sour grapes for Microsofts lack of iPad scale success in the Tablet business, but it turns out he was right on the money.
The Surface Pro 3 doesn’t need to prove itself to us, we’ve already experienced the original Surface Pro and been blown away, and now the Surface Pro 3 does exactly what Windows 10 has done, it’s the third piece of the triangle which has just one end result, refinement. From the adjustable kickstand, to the thinness, the coolness, and of course battery life, all Surface, especially Pro, criticisms seem gone and irrelevant.
The next obvious logical step is to replace my iPad with a Surface Pro 3 right? Well, it’s more than that. Whilst the next few paragraphs in this post are personal to my usage case, just bare with us for a moment.
I have an iMac as my main desktop computer, that yes is testing Windows 10 in Boot Camp, and it’s beginning to get on a bit and is in need of replacement, then we have our iPad, used as our secondary machine for consuming content and was meant to be a portable way of getting stuff done. It’s clear that both these devices are beginning to fall short of their mark, OK maybe not the iMac that’s just age, but definitely the iPad. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what am I getting at? Well, it’s simple, the Surface Pro 3 wouldn’t just be able to replace my iPad, but the iMac too, and with the power of Windows 10 and the current disappointing road of OS X, it certainly seems the logical step to us!
Now, obviously we don’t simply have £850 to spare for our ideal Surface Pro 3 specification, which is the 128GB version plus a keyboard, but just so you know it’s the next step forward. The iPad has it’s use cases, and it works with those use cases, but it falls short at so many ways in the use cases we require and demand out of a computer. I remember testing the original Surface Pro as an iMac replacement and it worked, minus the squinting, but of course the Surface Docking Station would end that in one fail swoop. So, it’s happening folks.
Whilst the iMac has indeed aged, it does still have some years left in it of course, it’s a late 2009 iMac so I’m confident it’ll get the next version of OS X at least, but it’s sure not worth anything so I’m likely to give that away to someone, as for the iPad, well that’s obvious the last little bit towards the master machine. Now, the obvious question is what if the Surface doesn’t work? And the answer I’d simply give to anyone thinking that is, we already know it does, it just took a bit of disappointment (iPad) for us to realise it.
So, there you go, it took a while, but Windows 10 has finally sealed the deal for the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It’s refined for the Desktop, refined as a Tablet, and is more than Capable of getting stuff done with Intel’s Core i series of processors. Whilst we’ll of course be waiting patiently and excitedly for the Surface Pro 4, we’re already happy with the Surface Pro 3 for now and happy to upgrade be us satisfied.