Can the new Surface 3 tablet replace both an iPad and a MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by saintforlife, May 9, 2015.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    I love the iPad for media consumption and battery life. I like the productivity of the Air. I am trying to see if I can replace my iPad and MacBook Air with a single device. Just wondering if the new Surface 3 tablet offers the closest solution to this problem?

    Does the Surface 3 wake up instantaneously like the iPad does at the push of a button even after many days or does the Windows OS go into some sort of deep sleep after a certain time? Will the battery life on the Surface 3 be comparable to an iPad?
  2. JamesMike macrumors demi-god


    Nov 3, 2014
    The battery life is suppose to be around 10 hours on video watching, but that maybe best case.

    This a link that gives you the wake options.
  3. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
  4. Even Longer, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015

    Even Longer macrumors 6502

    Even Longer

    Dec 12, 2012
    Head of a pin
    I don't know, if Surface 3 can, but Pro 3 could for sure (based on my case).

    There are 2 factors to consider:

    1. As mentioned above, how do you typically use your Air? Is it mostly browsing, texting and light office work, or do you occasionally use it for some medium-heavy stuff, like light image editing, encoding etc.? Should former be the case, Surface 3 would surely be sufficient for that performance wise. Just ask yourself, if the screen size is big enough for your productivity stuff.

    2. If your media consumption habit is about movies, music, YouTube etc., it will also replace your iPad with ease.
    If you can't live without some iPad exclusive games or apps, - maybe you should reconsider that part.

    To make the story short: in my case SP3 did replace a 15" MBP & iPad air 2.

    You may also be interested in a Surface 3 review from Paul Thurrott here:
  5. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    As I usually recommend, it is highly dependent upon how you use your devices.

    For what it's worth, I'm in the same boat... I have an iPad 4 and an 11" MBA, but would love a hybrid of those two. I currently have an Acer Switch 11 hybrid (and have owned Surfaces in the past) to get a sense of how Windows-based hybrids would fit within my workflow.

    Windows has 2 or 3 different levels of sleep/suspend. The Surface 3 (and any Windows tablet) will instantly wake up if the interval since it was last "awake" is less than about an hour. Longer than that (a few hours later), and it takes a little more time. After a few days of sleep, it takes a little bit longer to wake up as it essentially restores from hibernation. It is far quicker than notebooks, but isn't the instantaneous wake-up that iPads have.

    Battery life is also different and highly unpredictable. Depending upon the apps you have installed on a Surface, there could be significant battery drain even when asleep. I can put my iPad to sleep and when I wake it 8 hours later, the battery drain is about 1-2% (if that). On the Surface (and again, any Windows tablet) the drain I've experienced was about 1-2% PER HOUR (sometimes more).

    In every day use, again based on personal usage patterns, battery life on the Surface is not comparable to the iPad.

    All that is from a hardware perspective, software is another topic.
  6. pesos macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2006
    FWIW, I've owned all these devices... ipads and minis of multiple generations, 13" MBA, 15" MBP, and so on.

    The SP3 has replaced all of them (in conjunction with iPhone 6+ which I think of as my ipad mini mini).

    Surface 3 might do the trick for you and save you some money if you don't need to push the laptop side of things too hard. Obviously as others have said, you need to be ok with the Windows ecosystem.

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