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First Impressions: Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a winner

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On Friday, select Microsoft Stores received early preview units of the Surface Pro 3. We were able to spend some time with the Surface Pro 3, which will be released in two weeks. Needless to say, Microsoft's device is a MacBook Air killer, and even a threat to the MacBook Pro. It looked good in photos, but looked even better in person. Here are some of our initial impressions:

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  • The build quality is sturdy and the device, even though it is bigger, is easier to hold.
  • The Surface Pro 3 makes both a great laptop (with the Type Cover attached) and tablet. It may be a huge tablet, but it's still a good one.
  • The screen is gorgeous, but we wish it could get a little brighter.
  • The 3:2 aspect ratio screen is great for taking notes in portrait mode.
  • The 3:2 aspect ratio screen isn't the best for watching movies as you will see the the top and bottom black bars of shame.
  • The pen is great and more sophisticated than it was on the Surface Pro 2. A touch of the button launches OneNote--this is a feature that is incredibly useful.
  • Writing with the pen feels smoother than it did on the Surface Pro 2.
  • Finally! A trackpad that is actually useful. We love the new larger glass design of the trackpad on the excellent new Type Cover.
  • The Surface Pro 3 didn't feel wonderful on our laps, but nice enough to make it workable. This definitely wasn't the case with the Surface Pro 2.
  • The Surface Pro 3 is even useful without the Type Cover as the included on-screen keyboard really works well.

We have some good news for people who have pre-ordered the Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft's site. Chances are good that you will receive your new Surface Pro early as units are going to be shipped out as early as next Friday. The people who pre-ordered the Surface Pro 3 at Microsoft Stores will have to wait until June 20 to get their device.

Even though the Surface Pro 3 is quite expensive ($1139 for the Core 5 version with Type Cover), it is definitely worth the price. The Surface Pro 3 is a device that can actually replace both your laptop and tablet.