Surface Pro 3 Better, But Microsoft 'Laplet' Still Lags Apple's iPad

Image: Surface Pro 3 Better, But Microsoft 'Laplet' Still Lags Apple's iPad Photo of Microsoft Corp.'s new Surface Pro 3 tablet computer.

Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:45 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Microsoft pushed out the Surface Pro 3 tablet this week as an improvement on its Surface product line, but some analysts suggest the Pro 3 still falls behind the champion of tablets, Apple's iPad.

The new Surface Pro 3 hit the market Wednesday, according to CNN Money. For $800, Microsoft says it was designed to replace the personal computer and laptop with a tablet-like device, a "laplet" perhaos, but CNN said it still lags behind market-leading Apple.

"Microsoft thinks the Surface Pro 3 will change the world as we know it, convincing us to ditch our tablets and laptops in favor of this Frankenstein hybrid device," wrote CNN Money's David Goldman. "It does some things really well. But while the Surface Pro 3 may be good enough to be your only laptop, it's not better than the iPad."

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Tech Crunch's Matt Burns, though, said that the Surface Pro 3 gets Microsoft closer to its ultimate goal of challenging the iPad and replacing laptops forever. He pointed to the larger screen, thinner keyboard and a fourth-generation build-in as big thumbs for the device.

"To be honest, it's the Windows world's best answer to the fantastic MacBook Air yet," Burns wrote for Tech Crunch, pointing out Microsoft's false starts with the first two Surface Pros. "It's seemingly more powerful and versatile than anything from Samsung, Lenovo or HP.

"The Surface has always promised a tablet could replace a laptop. But through two Surface generations, that has so far failed to materialize. The Surface Pro 1 and 2 were too heavy and thick. The screen was too small and the device didn't work well while on a lap. The Surface Pro 3 answers all of that."

Ed Bott, of ZDNet.com wrote while the Surface Pro has made solid improvements that will win it new laptop fans, he does not know if there will be enough people who will want to shell out nearly $1,000 for it when there are still other comparable – and better – options available.

"The real question is whether there are enough well-heeled buyers out there willing to pay the premium price for a Surface Pro instead of a MacBook Air," Bott wrote for ZDNet.com. "The lighter weight, sharper display and touch support are pluses for the Surface. But they might not be enough to convince traditionalists to give up that familiar laptop form factor."

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