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Part 3: Surface Pro 3 review

The Surface Pro 3 arrived in stores on Friday, June 20, 2014.
The Surface Pro 3 arrived in stores on Friday, June 20, 2014.
Photo courtesy of LA Gadgets Examiner, used with permission.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3
LA Gadgets Examiner

Graphics and multimedia

The Surface Pro 3 produces a great multimedia experience out of the box. However, you may want to replace the Intel HD 4200 graphics software with the Intel HD 4400. You can download the drivers from Intel's page and won't regret doing so since you can play more games and manually adjust the color saturation, contrast, etc. on your display.

The Surface Pro 3 has 5MP cameras on front and back that take good, but not great, photos. This isn't a big deal since most Surface Pro 3 owners won't be using their devices primarily as cameras. The Surface Pro 3 also takes decent 1080p videos as well, even though they appear somewhat compressed and the sound is a little muffled.

Battery life

Microsoft claims the Surface Pro 3 can last up to 9 hours on a single charge. We were able to get about five hours of use with the brightness turned almost completely up while using Photoshop, Word, and constantly surfing the Internet. This is on par with most ultrabooks and even the MacBook Air. However, the Surface Pro 3 isn't the type of device you want to use all day while leaving the charger at home.

Conclusion

We named the Surface Pro 2 as the best technology product of 2012. It had its hiccups, but was a portable (though somewhat heavy) tablet that could also be used as a laptop. The Surface Pro 3 operates even better as a laptop-tablet hybrid with fewer sacrifices. Even though the Surface Pro 3 is somewhat overpriced, it is cheaper than buying a MacBook Air and iPad separately. It is also easier to carry around. Congratulations, Microsoft! You have a winning device on your hands.

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Twitter: @ddeino