Microsoft has gone to great lengths to ensure that sports fans are plastered with impressions of its hardware -- the Surface has a strong presence this season, and that presence is hinged upon a hefty sum of money the company is shelling out to get its slate in the limelight. The problem? Getting the announcers to remember what it is called.
Reports of Microsoft's top-spec Surface Pro 3 tablet suffering heat problems have begun circulating, with some owners of the Core i7 models claiming to have experienced repeated problems. The complaints all focus on the fastest versions of the tablets that Microsoft offers, and include both fans running aggressively for much of the time, and even stability issues with the Surface Pro 3 shutting itself down for safety.
Microsoft may have already called out the MacBook Air on features when it launched the Surface Pro 3, but now it's trying to make the Windows slate the more affordable option for students during Back To School season. Temporary cuts of at least $150 from the Surface Pro 3's price are on offer through Microsoft's own education store, just as long as you cough up before September 3rd.
The return of the Surface Pro means heftier processors and more refined hardware around the edges, and this week new store availability. Both the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i7 versions of the Surface Pro 3 will become available immediately if not soon in the United States and Canada. This week’s release will appear at Best Buy, Tiger Direct, Staples, and a variety of other major brand stores.
Microsoft may not have launched a Surface Mini alongside the Surface Pro 3, but chatter of a last-minute cancellation for the smaller slate looks all the more likely given the multiple references to it in the larger tablet's user guide. The download, available from Microsoft's Surface support site and intended to get new owners up to speed with the core hardware and Windows 8 features, but was clearly written on the assumption that both tablets would be released.
New Surface Pro 3 owners receiving their Windows 8.1 tablets tomorrow will get more than just a Microsoft slate in the box, with the company releasing a firmware update in tandem. The tweaked software will address certain power issues related to using the accessories, Microsoft says; however, it's not the first update the Surface Pro 3 has seen.
Third time looks to have been the charm for Microsoft, with the Surface Pro 3 proving to be a surprise hit among most reviewers - even those who are usually ardent Apple fans. As Vincent’s glowing judgement of the adaptable tablet suggests, there’s a lot of value to be found in a flexible form-factor. The glaring omission, though, is in not taking that flexibility to its logical conclusion: it wouldn’t take much for Microsoft to really tip Surface into must-have territory.
The Surface Pro 3 is something special. Microsoft has refused to give up on its concept of one device that’s both a tablet and ultrabook, and its ramped up the trash-talk, too, calling out the MacBook Air and iPad by name when it launched the third-generation Windows 8.1 machine. Thing is, this may not just be hot air: bigger but lighter, faster but slimmer, the Surface Pro 3 might well be the hybrid Microsoft has been promising all this time. More importantly, it could well convince me - as an unabashed Mac and iPad user - that the Surface Pro 3 is now competitive. Read on for my full review.