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Why the Surface Pro 3 has quietly replaced my work PC

Mark Hachman | Oct. 16, 2014
The Surface Pro 3 review unit Mark Hachman has been long-term testing delivers more compelling hardware with comparable performance, strong battery life, Windows compatibility, a good keyboard, and even better mobility.

If there's any drawback to making the Surface Pro 3 your new work PC, it's the fact that you'll have to contact your IT department to make sure it's cleared for use. Otherwise, you'll be forced to use your own Office 365 subscription, for example.

Finally, a word about price
Many of you are undoubtedly thinking, "Geez, for the price of a Surface Pro 3, sure, you'd better be able to replicate a notebook experience."  And that's true. A mid-range Surface Pro 3 costs about $1,300, which is roughly double the price of a comparable mid-range notebook. You would certainly expect a $95,000 Tesla to outperform a $22,000 Honda Accord, and the same goes for tablet/notebook comparisons. The Surface Pro 3 is expensive, and this will push many consumers back into notebook territory.

To the same point, I have the luxury of comparing a notebook my employer provided for work with a tablet Microsoft provided for evaluation. You do not. You have pricey decisions to make. So, in all fairness, I have to concede that paying extra "just" for portability and convenience may not appeal to everyone.

Nonetheless, we're rapidly approaching a convergence where the lines are blurring between tablets and notebook PCs, and all consumers should be watching closely for the tipping point. Intel sees hybrid, two-in-one PCs that combine tablets with keyboard docks as the future of the PC. Meanwhile, innovations like Intel's upcoming Core M, improved SSDs, and wire-free connections  will let you safely jump from a notebook to a tablet without missing a beat. And of course prices will drop for "notebook replacement" tablets as well.

For me, however, that day's arrived. I'm a tablet guy now.


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