Microsoft Surface 3 with Docking Station Review

Using Surface 3

I’ve been using the Surface 3 for a couple of months now. I have the works – the Microsoft Surface 3 128 GB unit with 4 GB RAM, Surface 3 Type Cover, Surface Pen, and even the Surface 3 Docking Station!

Surface 3 Working

As someone who just started my own company, having a portable notebook is very important to me. The Surface 3 has basically replaced both my conventional notebook and tablet since I only need to bring this to meetings and while working on the go. It’s truly an all-in-1 device to replace your notebook, PC, and tablets.

Surface 3 Multitasking

The processing power of the Surface 3 is more than sufficient for work…

Surface 3 Games

…and play.

Heroes of the Storm

I can even run Heroes of the Storm on it! The quad core Intel Atom x7 processor inside the Surface 3 allows you to run all native Windows applications, which is the point of this device.

Surface 3 Starcraft

Think of an app you want/need to run – Photoshop, Word, or Call of Duty. The Surface 3 can run it without problems since it runs ALL Windows programs, not just a pared down app. Of course, you can still use your favorite touch apps but what’s unique about the Surface 3 is that it runs all my essential desktop software smoothly.

Surface3 Work

I frequently work at cafes where I can get my daily caffeine fix and use their WiFi to reply emails or write a proposal. I’ve often encountered conversations like these:

Stranger: OMG! Where did you download that app?
Me: It’s not an app, it’s the full program.
Stranger: What do you mean? You mean the program has been made into an app?
Me: No, this is the original desktop software.
Stranger: That’s not a tablet then? *stares at me and the device suspiciously*
Me: It’s a complete notebook – anything you can run on a PC, you can run on this.
Stranger: No way!

Surface 3 Video

They then proceed to examine my Surface 3 with great interest and dragging me into a conversation I didn’t plan for, thus undermining my work time. I think I’ve been a great evangelist for the Surface 3 though. :)

Surface 3 Review

I can use my Surface 3 as a tablet or a notebook (with the Surface 3 Type Cover). I usually require the keyboard of the Surface 3 Type Cover to work as my line of work entails doing a lot of typing and I’m just used to a physical keyboard.

Surface 3 Tablet Mode

However, tablet mode is great for reading ebooks and news – which I usually do on the porcelain throne in the morning. No worries, I haven’t dropped it so far. On a serious note, the Surface 3 Pen is really awesome too, especially if you’re using it as a tablet. I’ve already written about that in a previous post

Surface Docking Station

The Surface 3 is even more useful to me now that I have the Surface 3 Docking Station. The Surface 3 is equipped with a USB 3.0 port but I need more than that so I have to use a 4-socket USB port/extender when I come home to insert all my external hard disk drives, wireless mouse and smartphone charger/data cable.

Surface 3 Office

This is the thing that I needed to turn the Surface 3 into not just a tablet and notebook but a full-fledged PC! I can connect it to a HD LCD monitor, use the Gigabit Ethernet port for a more secure connection to my network, play music on the home speaker setup with subwoofers that I have with the audio out, and utilize the 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports.

Surface 3 Docking Station

The Surface 3 Docking Station is really ideal for people wanting to get the most bang for their buck and using the Surface 3 as a notebook, tablet and PC. It also automatically charges the Surface 3 when it’s docked and there’s a Mini DisplayPort video output which you can use for a larger monitor (or in our case for watching movies).

Surface 3 Movie

I’m not kidding, sometimes you download movies which has video or audio codecs which your television doesn’t support. You can use the Mini DisplayPort video output to go straight into your TV and not risk the Surface 3 from running out of battery coz it’s charging at the same time.

Surface 3 Pen Holder

There’s also a magnetic side that doubles as a nifty storage solution for the Surface pen so you don’t lose it as well as a security lock slot in the Surface 3 Docking Station, but so far I haven’t found any use for the latter. I don’t have any light-fingered friends or family but if you’re in an office environment it could be useful for you.

Surface 3 Heroes of the Storm

I’ve been very happy with the Surface 3. It’s been in use on daily basis and has replaced my notebook, tablet and PC with just one single device. It’s fast and the Surface 3 Docking Station was the final detail that allowed me to use it exclusively and relegate my old and slow PC to a cloud storage system. I only wish I can keep it coz it’s so integrated into my lifestyle now.

Behind the Scenes: Microsoft Surface 3 Official Malaysian Launch @ The Bee, Publika

Surface 3 Launch Preparations

I was lucky enough to view this entire event from behind the scenes, as I was involved in the official Malaysian launch of the Surface 3 on the 5th of May 2015. There were 4 guest presenters/speakers/influencers which were part of the event that day – 2 for Home and 2 for Office. I was part of the Office group, together with Careen, my partner.

The Bee Surface 3

The event started off quite early for us, I was there at 7:30 am for an 8 am rehearsal led by Rukmani where we ran through everything. Good thing breakfast (and most importantly coffee) was provided. Denise actually ran out and got me an iced latte – thanks for that!

Audio Ears On

I got wired up for sound before the dry run. I’ll be talking about how the Surface 3 has helped me in my life, and do a quick run-through of the things I actually do on it. I was quite proud of that fact that I was actually doing things I would actually do during the entire event, nothing was scripted.

Updating Blog

I was even replying Facebook comments at one point! I had my Surface 3 hooked up to the docking station, which allowed me to use a wireless full sized keyboard and mouse, as well as the HDMI output to Extend or Mirror the contents of my Surface 3 to the large monitor on my table.

View From Office

The Surface 3 Docking Station is capable of DVI/VGA/HDMI so it’s all covered there. I was a little worried that my personal account would be in full view on the large monitor they had setup for me on my table, but we were still alone at the time and the blinds were up.

Office Room

It had been decided in the previous meeting that the Home and Office sections will be flanking the stage and there will be full blinds/curtains to contain the scenes behind from prying eyes. We were slated to slip into the space and be in place at 1:50 pm latest.

Microsoft Surface 3 Launch Malaysia

The actual Microsoft Surface 3 Launch started at 2 pm. Thus, after lunch, we went behind the curtains and waited for our cue.

Rehearsals

Careen was slated to talk first and then I’ll go on about the flexibility of the Surface 3 – in particular how the Surface Pen allows you to write naturally while resting your wrist/palm on the screen (a very nifty feature I love) and the 4 USB and Gigabit Ethernet ports on the docking station (useful to turn your Surface 3 into a PC).

Happy Surface 3 User

I also liked how there’s a natural place to the left of the Surface 3 docking station for your Surface Pen! It’s a magnetic side which allows you to store your stylus without losing it, a very important feature when you’re transitioning from tablet/laptop mode to full PC mode.

Office Presentor Rukmani

I love little design features like this that helps make your life easier.

Personalized Mugs

The Surface 3 launch even had a place where you can get customized mugs made with your name on it!

Sixthseal Mug

I had mine done in “sixthseal.com” and “Huai Bin” in two different cups. I asked the nice people there to do the second one only if there were leftovers and they were kind enough to oblige.

Presenting Surface 3 Launch

I only have photos of me that I asked my friends to take while I was on-stage (or beside the stage, rather) and it was a great experience to talk about something which I genuinely like, for I have indeed fallen in love with the Surface 3 during my time with it.

Surface 3 Launch The Bee

It’s so useful for work and play that I miss it when I returned the Surface 3. It’s so portable, it works like a laptop (can even run Heroes of the Storm on it), and it’s silent since the quad core Intel Atom x7 can run fan-less.

Surface 3 Launch Malaysia

You can check out the Surface 3 at any large electronics store (saw it at Harvey Norman during the weekend) and see if you like it as much as I do. The Malaysian launch of the Surface 3 reveals the pricing to be RM 1,989 for the 64GB/2GB RAM version and RM 2,389 for the 128GB/4GB RAM version.

HB Careen

It’s out now, so you all have the chance to see what I’ve been so enamored with for the past few weeks.

Hands-on with the Surface 3

Surface 3 Bloggers

I was at a closed door media preview recently when I asked a rather embarrassing question.

Surface 3 Tablet

It was for the Microsoft Surface 3 and the Q&A was going on when I asked when the Surface Pro 3 was going to be released. There was a short moment of silence from the panel of speakers before two simultaneously told me – “It has already been released at the end of last year” – with a look that vaguely suggested that I was reaching new heights (or lows) of stupidity. smirk

Surface 3 Panel

The Surface Pro 3 is the more powerful and expensive brother to the Surface 3 and packs a beast of an i3/i5/i7 processor inside. I’ve been thinking which one to get and hadn’t decided yet at the time.

It got me thinking though…

Microsoft Surface 3 Rep

The truth of the matter is, people don’t actually follow gadget releases with religious fervour. Unless you’re a hardcore tech nerd, you probably wouldn’t be able to recite the latest hardware specifications. Most people only search for and read up on the latest news, releases and reviews when they’re about to make a purchase.

Surface 3 Hands On

This is where I come in. I’ve had hands-on experience with the Microsoft Surface 3 and I’ve been very impressed so far. I’ll be picking up a loan unit tomorrow for review but let me just tell you about the Surface 3 and what it’s all about first.

Surface 3 Demo

The Microsoft Surface 3 is a laptop replacement tablet that’s going to be released in the market soon. It’s a more affordable and mainstream offering compared to the Surface Pro 3 (which is more for power users) and it looks like it’s set to appeal to a wide range of users.

Writing Surface 3

There are a couple of new features in the latest Surface – the Surface 3 is the thinnest and lightest Surface ever! It just weighs a mere 622 grams. I was surprised when I picked it up, this is definitely lighter than I thought a tablet that works like a laptop would be.

Surface 3 Screen

Most importantly, it has a full-size USB 3.0! This allows you to connect a wide range of accessories and it’s what (for me) makes a tablet transcend into laptop functionality. You can plug in stuff like external hard disk drives for increased storage, your smartphone to transfer files (if you’re not using your own WiFi to sync), or even something as essential as a mouse!

(although I would highly recommend using a Bluetooth mouse instead of taking up the USB 3.0 slot, unless you plan on getting the docking station or a USB extender)

Surface 3 Excel

Also, Surface 3 runs all your Windows desktop software so you can use it just like a PC or notebook! That means you can use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, and all other desktop programs instead of relying on apps alone. That’s the beauty of the Surface 3 – you can run the app versions when you’re using it as a tablet, but for some essential software, you have the capability to install and execute it like you would on a normal computer.

Surface 3 Pen

The stylus is a thing of magic too – you can click it once to wake the tablet from sleep and double click it to automatically screencap what’s running and open it in OneNote (a feature I’ve found immensely useful in blogging and writing reviews).

Surface 3 Camera

There’s also an 8 MP 1080p rear-facing camera with auto-focus and a 3.5 MP 1080p front-facing camera.

Here are the specs for the Surface 3:

Surface 3 Specs

This is one tablet-laptop hybrid that looks poised to take the world by storm.

Surface 3 Blog

It’s the first Surface to have an Intel processor so you can run all Windows software, it’s the first to forgo the proprietary charging system in favor for a widely compatible micro-USB port so you can use it with your existing car and portable chargers, and it comes with an optional docking station to complete the PC experience.

Surface 3

Head over to the Microsoft Surface 3 microsite to pre-order your Surface 3 now! If you’re looking for a new tablet that has the functionality of a laptop, look no further – you know you want it. I’m really excited about this – the Microsoft Surface 3 has been hailed as a revolutionary change and it really lives up to the hype.

I won an LCD TV from Sony Style!

sony bravia

I won a Sony LCD TV from Sony Style. It’s from this contest the good people at Sony entered for me when I purchased my dSLR. The lucky draw gift I snagged is the KLV-20S400A BRAVIA LCD TV. It retails for RM 1,799 and it’s a flat, compact LCD TV which you can also use as a monitor. Check out the specs here. It’s brand new (just picked it up last Sunday) and unopened and comes with the full Sony warranty.

sony letter

I need cold, hard cash more than a TV to get through the month (please refer to previous post) so I’m planning to sell it. I’ll let it go for RM 1,300 (RM 500 cheaper than retail) but before I list it on Mudah.my I’ll give anyone who reads my blog the opportunity to purchase it for RM 1,200.

sony win

Email me if you’re interested. I’ll even cut a deal with you for more discounts if you’re a blogger (Terms & Conditions apply of course ;)).

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