Get To Know The Best Of The Rest! Surface Pro 3 Vs 4

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As we all know, we are living in the era of technology where it has become crucial to be up to date meeting the demands of life. Far gone are those days when an invention or an upgrade of certain gig took years. Today in the genre of computer, upgrade happens in days or months. Tablets are quickly taking the place of laptops.

Or one may say,

“It’s called a Hustle Sweetheart”.

Why? Because every company is trying to design a new tablet and tout it in an amazing way that bewitches you. Almost everyone is aware of the wonderful Surface lineup presented by Microsoft. It is no surprise when Microsoft reveals a new product in this lineup. The company has been doing this for years, churning out new product release one after another in a constant effort to combat Apple and others.

If you are a novice and don’t know anything about the Surface lineup, let’s make it easy for you.The Surface family is a series of tablets and accessories that Microsoft aimed at highlighting the strengths of Windows.

Microsoft introduced the Surface RT and the Surface Pro in the first-generation of Surface devices. The Surface RT was a tablet Windows RT-based that debut with mixed reviews. The Surface Pro was generally liked, despite a few shortcomings like battery life. The Surface Pro ran Windows 8.

The second-generation of Surface tablets were Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro. The Surface 2 and the Surface 2 Pro made use of the foundation of first-generation products and built from it. The Surface 2 wad basically an entirely new device. It was made thinner, trade-off black for a silver chassis and greatly improved performance. A 4G LTE model was introduced and battery life was increased. The Surface Pro 2 was almost identical to the original Surface Pro except for an additional kickstand angle and updated internals.

The Surface Pro 3 was an entirely new Surface built upon the previous generations. It featured a larger display of 12 inch at a resolution of 2160×1440. It was thin as the Surface 2 and powerful as the Surface Pro 2. It was well received.

Microsoft refined the Surface Pro 3 by announcing the Surface Pro 4 which was more or less a perfect version of its predecessor. It was the first Surface device that shipped with Windows 10 by default, not requiring upgrading from Windows 8 or Windows 10.

This would be enough for the introduction and knowledge of the Surface lineup. We are here going to discuss two flagship tablets by Microsoft that can replace your laptop, the Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro and their comparison. So this article is basically about Surface Pro 3 vs. Surface Pro 4. Before comparison, let’s discuss about the two products Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 individually.

Surface Pro 3:

surface pro 3According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 3 is a tablet that can replace your laptop. It surely can but it not will, as you will definitely buy what you want to. If you need an iPad, you will buy one. Similarly, if you are planning to buy a laptop, you will. The Surface Pro 3 is something different.

It is a very talented hybrid and is as adept as at working on-site and on the move and as watching Netflix in bed. It is a digital notepad and a graphics tablet. With the Surface Pro 3, the basic Surface Pro concept remains the same. It has still a keyboard cover, a built-in kickstand and a pressure sensitive stylus. But since the Microsoft and original has made all the right moves, the Surface Pro 3 is also the first serious redesign of the Surface Pro.

Previous Surface Pros felt simultaneously felt too wide and too tall, too small and too large to work as a tablet. Switching from 10.6 inch and 16:9 aspect of previous modes to 12 inch and 3:2 aspect screen solves the problem. This actually transformed the Surface Pro 3 which gives you enough room to work and also feels comfortable in any aspect.

The Surface Pro 3 is thin and light, not light in tablet terms but at 800g it is lighter than any laptop in this class. It is impressively just 9.1mm thick. Everything about build quality and industrial design of the Surface Pro 3 is staggering. The only substantial criticism is its redesigned charger connection that falls out too easily. The Surface Pro 3 is better than the old one but still needs a little work.

The new kickstand has better build quality. Now you can set the Surface Pro 3 to any angle between a near flat and upright one, instead of just one or two. The sturdiness and the smoothness of the hinge is astounding. The extra flat angle is ideal for small tray tables, so you can lay it flat and use on-screen keyboard to type on.

Anyone working on their feet all day will appreciate the accurate stylus and large touchscreen. The tablet format brings the benefits of Windows 8.1 better than any other Windows device. When you are done working on-site or back from a meeting, it is also easy to plug it into a monitor and carry on where you left.It is a fine laptop replacement in any other setting. The keyboard has trick of clipping to the front edge magnetically, and create a comfy wedge angle for typing.

The Surface Pro features a very sharp, larger and squarer aspect screen and has 2,140×1,440 resolution and 215 ppi. This is comparable with the 13 inch MacBook Air having 126ppi and other laptops in class. Both photos and videos look sharp. Colors are rich but not oversaturated and blacks have a deep, clear look to them. The Surface Pro 3 is bright which helps counteract reflections when outdoors.

There are weaknesses such as hint of bleed from edges when in very dark rooms, but laptops can’t match this for same money. The speakers also are a big improvement. The front-facing speakers display decent volumes without distortion. For watching TV, they are fine provided there is not too much on-screen action.

The Surface Pen is a new one. Previous Surface Pros used Wacom digitisers but had a slight offset and poor corner accuracy, whereas, the N-trig pen supporting for only 256 levels of pressure sensitivity solves these problems. And the improved accuracy makes the pen better for hand written digital notes. With the storage of pen improved, you can now get a stick on loop with cover which is more secure. It can still magnetically clip to the side.

Microsoft is dab hand at accessories. The basic layout of Keyboard Cover is spot on and the keys are of comfortable size for touch typing. Keys are also backlit. The touchpad is also improved and is larger than before as well as much easier to use.

Despite the remarkably light and slim frame, the Surface Pro 3 is a powerful machine. The faster processor gives it an edge in intensive tasks. It is an effective and efficient replacement for ageing desktop or work laptop. And one comfortable thing is that the Surface Pro 3 is not noisy, it is even rare to hear the fan spin up.

Everything is messed up if you don’t have enough battery for your tasks. The first generation Surface Pro had terrible battery life but it was fixed in Surface Pro 2. The Surface Pro 3 comes with about the same battery life as the second-gen version and Microsoft claims it to provide nine hours of web browsing.

The Surface Pro 3 is well connected and features 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, Mini DisplayPort, a single USB 3.0 port and a microSD slot supporting up to 128GB cards. There is also a dual purpose headphone/mic jack.

With the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft nailed its tablet hybrid concept as it is versatile, powerful and brilliantly put together.

Surface Pro 4:

surface pro 4Now that you have crossed a stair, you are almost there. Of the two products compared in this article is the Surface Pro 4. The Surface Pro 4 remains an excellent product and is still top of the tree when you talk about tablets which also work as laptops. It runs Microsoft’s desktop OS software, Windows 10 and allows you to run any Windows application as well as apps from the Windows Store.

The Surface Pro 4 holds, under the hood, an Intel processor, Skylake Core i5-6300U. You can also step down to a Core m3 or go up to an i7. For the model with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, price is £749 inc VAT and rise to £1,799 for an i7 with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. And you will have to add on £110 for the Type Cover.

In terms of design, the Surface Pro 4 doesn’t vary much from that of the Surface Pro 3, but there are little touches that improve it. It has the same kickstand and you can adjust it to almost any angle. You can also angle it all the way back, making Surface Pro very useable without keyboard attached in a lap.

The Surface Pro 4 comes with USB 3, a microSD slot hidden under the stand and mini-DisplayPort. Its connectivity and design is nearly the same as predecessor but one small design tweak is the addition of a few magnets on the left side. These magnets firmly hold the Surface Pen included with the device. The Surface Pro 4 feels and looks like an expensive, high-quality product.

Microsoft added some much-needed rigidity to the Type Cover which means keyboard doesn’t bounce in the same way as its predecessor. The keys are a bit clicky but give a pleasant experience. The touchpad is also improved, a little bigger and topped with glass with better feel. A few extra touches are also added, for instance, the function key has a tiny light and acts as function-lock, backlighting has improved.

There is also snappily-named Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with fingerprint ID. It is cheap but works very well. You can enroll fingerprints similar to Touch ID on an iPad or iPhone. And when you are done, you will be able to tap the sensor which is located just to the right of the touchpad. This instantly unlocks the tablet, even from sleep directly. It is so good in fact that if you are planning to buy the Surface Pro 4, then seriously consider paying the extra £25 for the privilege.

The Surface Pro 4 has a fast and accurate ten-point touchscreen. The resolution has been improved to 2,736×1,824 and delivers a pixel density of 267ppi. Everything looks absolutely super clear and sharp, with super brightness and excellent color accuracy.

You can say the Surface Pro 4 is step up from the Surface Pro 3. The keyboard is improved, screen is amazing and the small design touches added by Microsoft gladden the heart and show lots of attention to detail. It makes it hard to go back to using the Surface Pro 3.

Coming to the core of the article,  Surface Pro3 vs. Surface Pro 4,  lets discuss the differences between both, though it is mentioned a bit earlier.


To ease out more, below is given the dissimilarity between the two.

Design:

The Surface Pro 4 is lighter and thinner at 766g and 8.45mm versus 800g and 9.1mm of the Surface Pro 3. The more compact and lighter body results in a more ergonomically friendly experience. Many 2-in-1 users carry the tablet around in hand like you might carry a portfolio or large notebook. In such case, lighter body and smaller thickness is certainly more than welcome.

One nice feature particularly is that Microsoft kept the width same as Surface Pro 3 to ensure than keyboard accessory designed for older model also works with its successor. Similarly, this is feasible in the opposite manner that newer accessories work with the older model. It is nice to have compatibility between different versions.

The Surface Pro 4 also brought improved Type Cover, as it offers a larger 19mm and 1.3mmtravel providing a more comfortable typing experience. Its trackpad is made of glass and is 40% bigger than the Type Cover of Surface Pro 3 and gives definitely better overall experience.

The new Surface Pen has also received a lot of attention. The newly minted stylus comes in a set of new colors with removable tips for calligraphy or painting. The new pen also attaches itself to the Surface tablets magnetically for the first time and interacts with the touchscreen of the Surface Pro 4 with 1,024 points of pressure sensitivity.

Display:

Both Surface models share similar design strategy with a 12 inch display. As mentioned earlier, the Surface Pro 4, at first glance, looks almost identical to Surface Pro 3, but there are some noticeable changes in the design. Despite being the same size as the predecessor, the Surface Pro 4 has actually larger display, because of the smaller bezels. The 0.3 inches may not seem much on paper but 12.3 inch display of Surface Pro 4 is noticeably larger than 12 inch screen of Surface Pro 3.

The Surface Pro 3 screen offers 2160× 1440 pixel resolution with the pixel density of 216 pixels per inch, but the Surface Pro 4 comes with increased screen size and bumped up resolution of 2736×1834 pixels, the increased resolution offers improved pixel density of 267 pixels per inch. Overall, experience is certainly vastly improved.

Hardware:

Display is not the only big and new thing on the Surface Pro 4. Beneath the gorgeous magnesium shell, Microsoft brings significant changes and improvements with the arrival of Surface Pro 4. The most important of these is its processor which as the upgraded Intel architecture inside Surface Pro 4 offers a welcome power boost. The Surface Pro 3 gives a choice of Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, which are 4th generation chipsets, whereas the Surface Pro 4 features 6th generation Skylake processors in the same configuration.

The amount of available RAM is also an improvement especially for heavy users, as the Surface Pro 4 can support up to 16GB RAM. The Surface Pro 3 is limited to a maximum of 8GB RAM which can be considered limiting for intensive tasks such as photo or video editing and gaming. But a configurable option for 16GB RAM means, that the Pro 4 is more suitable for heavy users.

Other hardware specs are mostly similar as both models support 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a front-facing 5MP snapper and Bluetooth 4.0. Microsoft has upgraded rear camera to 8MP. It is also worth noting that Iris front sensor on Surface Pro 4 is compatible with Windows Hello biometric security in Windows 10. Because of this, you can unlock your Surface Pro by just looking directly at the camera, as claimed by Microsoft.

The full-size USB port which is pretty essential to the Surface experience is present in the Surface Pro 4 unchanged from Surface Pro 3. A full-size port makes easy for users to connect to printers, controllers and other accessories because no dongle or separate purchase is required. To take advantage of MiniDisplay port located on the right edge of the Surface Pro 4, users still need an adapter. It is the same port used in the Surface Pro 3.

Between the two generations of the Surface, the overall hardware differences may be few and far, but the changes that exist, improve the overall experience.

Battery:

Like smartphones and other mobile technology, battery life on a PC varies widely depending on the usage of your machine. Microsoft claims on paper that battery of the Surface Pro 3 offers around 9 hours of web browsing. Mostly the tablet lives up definitely to these claims. With newer architecture under the hood and considering its efficiencies, the Surface Pro 4 should outlive the Surface Pro 3 easily. But Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 4 can last the same 9 hours as its predecessor.

Verdict:

Change is good and this is especially true when it comes to Microsoft’s Surface lineup. The Surface Pro 2 features new processors and updated the operating system from Windows 8 to 8.1. Then the Surface Pro 3 was almost a new device completely with larger screen, aspect ratio and improved ergonomics. And with the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft further refined its formula making it one of the best 2-in-1 devices ever created.

Evaluating the Surface Pro 3 vs. Surface Pro 4, although the changes are not as dramatic as the shift from Surface Pro 2 to Surface Pro 3 but here is no denying the Surface Pro 4 came with amazing improvements over the Surface Pro 3. But these improvements come at a cost, which you can say extra cost. Approximately at $300 more than the Surface Pro 3, the latest 2-in-1 by Microsoft, the Surface Pro 4 does offer some improvements. But whether it is worth the money depends largely on your particular needs.

The Surface Pro 3 is obvious choice for anyone who wants the Surface experience for a reasonable price. More powerful versions of Surface Pro 3 are available at lower price as compared to their Surface Pro 4 counterparts. Though there are lots of differences between the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Pro 4, but none makes it completely obsolete if you are focusing on price mainly.

For those planning to get the best performance and tablet experience, the choice would be the Surface Pro 4. The entry-level Surface Pro 4 is lighter, thinner and quieter than any previous generation device and this makes it the tablet replacement and ultimate notebook. The expensive models of the Surface Pro 4 provides better media creation programs, better performance in games and faster file transfers.

What do you think about the upgrade and which one you are intending to buy and how informative this article was? Let us know your views in the comment section.

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