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There are laptops and desktops, netbooks and tablets, and they all do what they’re designed to do very well. So far though, few of the productivity options out there do it all. Consumers are forced to choose their priority and deal with the accompanying shortfalls in whatever device they choose.

Surface 3 from Microsoft looks set to change that, with a well thought out and powerful hybrid machine. It promises portability convenience AND desktop computing power enhanced with the optional docking station.

It’s smaller and lighter than the Surface Pro 3, but offers a similar battery life and, of course, full Windows 8.1 and Microsoft 365 Office capabilities.

Plenty of Memory Plus Optional Keyboard Cover

Add to that the Type Cover Keyboard (with backlit keys) and Surface Pen (both also optional add-ons) and the Surface 3 is a powerful and versatile machine for both office staff and those on the move who need to stay in touch or access company databases in the field.

There are four memory options:

  • 64GB – 2GB RAM + Wi-Fi
  • 128 GB – 4GB RAM + Wi-Fi
  • 64 GB – 2GB RAM + 4G LTE
  • 128GB – 4GB RAM + 4G LTE

Shipping is anticipated early in May.

The Surface 3 ships with Windows 8.1 installed, but Microsoft offer a free update to Windows 10 when it’s released. A further bonus is a one-year subscription to the popular Microsoft 365 suite of software which includes a free 1TB of storage via Microsoft OneDrive.

The Surface 3 Docking Station

The docking station for Surface 3 is a game changer when it comes to squeezing every ounce of functionality out of a portable device.

It effectively transforms the Surface 3 from a tablet PC into a desktop machine, with 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports (please note USB ports are covered when docked). Connect speakers for audio input/output, connect a HD monitor, printer, full sized keyboard – and charge the Surface 3 while you’re working. There’s even space to store the Surface Pen while you’re not using it.

The Surface Pen with One-Click OneNote

For mobile communications, stylus functionality by way of the Surface Pen takes the Surface 3 even further. Taking meeting notes or minutes, jotting down customer references or preferences, or just making ‘note to self’ type scribblings is all fast and easy with the full-size stylus that gives one-click access to OneNote, even while the device is asleep.

If you’ve never experienced this kind of freedom to just write with a mobile device before, it’ll be a revelation. No typing or fiddling with awkward on-screen keyboards – just pick up the pen and write exactly as you would in a notebook. The advantage being, of course, that all notes are automatically save and easily retrieved so there’s no danger of losing them.

If you’re looking for a mobile solution that’ll keep your staff connected and productive, whether they’re in the office or on the road, the Surface 3 looks like being a valuable addition to the existing arsenal of mobile devices. Except this one really does deliver the all-round capability the others have been lacking.

If you need advice or can’t see the wood for the trees with all the various options on the market (even amongst Microsoft’s own computers) we’re here to help. Let us know what problems you’re having and we’ll explain the solutions in a clear way that’ll point your best way forward.

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