My iPad is Collecting Dust, Thinking Surface Pro 3

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by booksbooks, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. booksbooks macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2013
    I've probably been in and out of BestBuy a dozen times over the past 3 months and have put the Surface Pro 3 (SP 3) through its paces each time. I like it, a lot. It's literally the only non-Apple computing device I like in the world.

    My current iPad Air is collecting dust. Between my MacBook Pro Retina 15" and iPhone 6 Plus, it just doesn't have much of a reason to live. iOS is hardly changed in a fundamental way since version 1: for primarily this reason... to this day... the iPad is still effectively a giant iPod Touch.

    It's hampered by software that's meant for a smartphone. It's overly simplistic and limiting on such a large device that wants more. That's hungry for more in the way of widgets, multi-tasking, and other software innovations for such a larger device.

    When it comes to hardware, the iPad is a stillborn when it comes to productivity. If I were the product manager of the iPad, I'd feel like I failed if my customers were running out and gluing a bunch of ugly extras onto the device to make it "productive". And none of these are truly seamlessly integrated with the iPad because it's all aftermarket... or more precisely, an afterthought.

    The SP 3 cleans up a lot of these issues with more powerful software, way more powerful hardware that can run desktop class applications, different input methods like a pressure sensitive, precise stylus, mouse input, and a keyboard cover that is so well integrated into the product that it's seamless.

    The iPad, I will concede, is the best "tablet" on the market, but nothing more. It's not productive enough and innovative enough... I've got an iPhone 6 Plus... I don't need a giant version of it. I feel like the iPad is almost absurd in some respects in this context. Sometimes I just don't want to lug my laptop around. the SP 3 can act as a laptop running desktop applications but also serving as a laptop and a tablet. The iPad just seems so limiting now what with jumbo smartphones like the 6 Plus running literally the exact same software but where these devices fit in your pocket.
  2. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    Then go get the Surface Pro 3. I honestly don't know why people make these posts. Are you looking for our blessing to replace your iPad or something? Personally, I'm content with my iPad. It fits perfectly in my lifestyle and I hardly pull out my laptop anymore. Do I wish it had more features? Sure. But there is no need to turn it into a top heavy, keyboard detaching monstrosity either.
  3. booksbooks thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2013
    Are people allowed to be critical of Apple products on this forum? Here's another way of looking at it.

    I honestly don't know why people make these posts. Are you looking for our blessing or something regarding you liking the iPad?

    In short, just because you like the iPad doesn't mean everyone does or that it's somehow illegal to make a post that's critical of a fruity product. Instead of wasting time asking why did a person make x post, look at the substance of the post and the facts.
  4. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Disagree that all this is a bad thing.

    I'm not particularly keen on the SP3, or current hybrids in general, because I find the screens too small for work. Consequently I use a 14" laptop for productivity stuff. Therefore, for my tablet I mostly want a simple, light, dedicated media tablet that does not try to do too much. The iPad fits this need perfectly.
  5. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2011
    They most certainly are, but be prepared to get heckled on an Apple forum.

    No, because I love my iPad. I don't care what other people think, but if I ever did need a blessing to upgrade my iPad I would probably get it here, not in the Windows or Android forums.

    I never said it was illegal nor that everyone has to like the iPad. But your posting this on an Apple forum, so we're you expecting anything less? If I posted something like your post on the Windows forums, being for the Surface Pro 3, I would probably get cheered on. If I made a post as to why iPad is better however on the same board I would get heckled.

    I did. And I disagree, and I am posting here expressing my disagreement with you just like you did.

    I think the Surface Pro 3 is still trying to find itself. Is it a laptop? Is it a tablet? I think Microsoft is even trying to figure this out, but it seems they are leaning towards a 'laptop' while still trying to capture the tablet market.

    Interesting device, but not my cup of tea at all. It's not powerful enough to replace my MacBook Pro at video editing but too cumbersome to be a tablet.
  6. New Apple macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2012

    i agree
    it's like people saying
    ' hey guys i have bought an expensive jacket, they killed 55 foxes to make it, but do i need it, now it's collecting the dust, should i go for a raincoat ? ' (who the hell knows if you live in the desert or in alaska, if you own it already or not, if you have the money or not, if you like strawberries or not, you know it best!)

    confused individuals who do not research prior to buy, that throws out money like you've got plenty etc

    + i never stop thinking, a part of these crazy posts comes from dealers, employees, fans (lying, promoting, acting weird just for the fun of)


    now let's be critical at who splash a lot of money (1 apple product) and after that wakes up and says, damn all i wanted was an egg mixer!

    you are as guilty as apple, my friend.
  7. HolyGrail macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2010
    Planet Earth
    Not understanding on why you feel the need in informing us. I don't feel the need in informing the forum of why I hate rice krispies, then making a post on how I might like crunch berries better, nor do I think they would care.

    Macrumors is filled with users announcing what there planning to do, instead of just going to do it. Only weak minded users need a reason to announce what their doing or need feedback to justify their purchase.
  8. idark77 macrumors 6502


    Dec 2, 2014
    I could not live with Windows 8.1, and i cannot live with Windows installed in a tablet... :(
  9. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Get the Surface then.

    I hope to god that Apple never makes the iPad anything like it.

    If you need a tablet that can also be a laptop, then yes, you need a Surface. The power of the iPad however is and always has been that it is a computer companion not a direct computer replacement. Within that paradigm many people have found they can do much of their work with something as streamlined as an iPad, and many others have found that it enables them to do new kinds of things that a regular computer isn't so good at.

    For me, my iPad is my most used computing device even though it can't replace my Thinkpad for work or my iMac at home. It does most of the things I do outside of those two computers better than they ever could, and that's just the way I want it.

    I'll ask you this. If you already have a laptop, why do you feel that your tablet needs to provide that same experience?
  10. Ludatyk macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2012
    I'd add my two cents.

    Looking at your set up already you already have a laptop. You mention you have a Macbook. You already have a tough time getting your iPad in your daily flow.. figured you'll be in the same predicament. There's many critics of the SP3... But I think its an awesome device. The hardware is amazing, only thing holding the SP3 back is Windows. Developers just doesn't support the Windows Store compared to iOS & Android. You have been testing it out for awhile now... You'll have 14 days to return it at Best Buy.

    Go ahead and give it a shot...
  11. teethemagicbee macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
    As said above you're already having a tough time using your ipad. this isn't because of apps or anything. its because you don't need one! Really(IMO) you should have a desktop, tablet and phone. Or desktop, laptop and phone. Its kinda pointless(especially if you have a 6+) to have a laptop AND a tablet. It should be just as mobile with either one.

    I think you've just got an itch to buy something new and different, which i get myself lots and i do scratch that itch often. change is healthy! but look at it in a different way. SP's are really touchscreen a way. So you're really just gonna be buying another laptop, which you don't need. What desktop apps will you be running that you can't on your MBP?
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The SP3 is a great laptop replacement that doubles as a tablet.

    If you don't plan on replacing your MBP with this, then I think it may be overkill for just an iPad replacement.

    I like the SP3, and I may consider this to replace my aging MBP next year but I'll probably wait to see what apple does with a broadwell MBP.
  13. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Choose the right tool for the right job and you'll be happy.

    This isn't rocket science. You know what the iPad is, what it does, and what it doesn't do. If that works for you, great. If not, get something else.

    See how simple that is.
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think that's what the OP is looking to do. That is asking for help in determining the right tool for the job.
  15. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    There is a difference between asking for help, and having your mind made up when you walk in the door.

  16. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Personally, I've been on this fence many times in the last year or so.

    I have no problem with Windows 8.1 and use it daily for work and on my home desktop. The problem I have with the SP3 is that it's just too heavy for regular use as a slate/tablet. So I actually see it more as an MBA replacement than as an iPad replacement.

    I also own a Dell Venue Pro 8 tablet, which makes a decent netbook replacement. As above, I find it a poor replacement for my iPad mini, as it's heavier slower and the battery doesn't last as long.

  17. booksbooks, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    booksbooks thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2013
    Is there a reason why people oversimplify everything on the Internet and make all kinds of wild assumptions?

    1. I'm an Apple Developer.
    2. I've owned every iPad model to date.
    3. I'm partly in the education industry when it comes to software and eBooks. Tablets are something I know a lot about.

    My point is that the iPad is stuck innovation wise. Something like the SP3 has shown us that a lot can be down to a tablet. At the least an integrated, backlit keyboard is excellent. And the multi-angle integrated kickstand is equally impressive. All Apple has been able to come up with is a smart cover.


    This is always the best advice.

    I agree with people on here to a point that say I already have a MBP and iPhone, why get something like a SP3?

    Well, why get a MacBook Air 11"? Right. Because it's super portable. The SP 3 will allow me to do the following:

    • Have a larger screened tablet
    • Have a tool for work: mocking up ideas with the precision pressure sensitive stylus; using it all over the office for presenting such ideas right on people's desks particularly with the integrated stand and touch interface
    • Sometimes replace my larger laptop with something that will act as BOTH a tablet and laptop replacement at times: it runs full desktop class applications like Photoshop that works great with the stylus and multi-angle kickstand
    • Use it to watch movies (the iPad can be useless for this without a third party stand attachment)

    And this is my point. People criticize everything non-Apple here. But the reality is you have to go out and by ugly third party crap and glue it to the iPad to make the device "functional". For example, without an third party cover/stand, how useful is the iPad? Really, not that useful. It's difficult and sometimes impossible to lay in bed and watch say Netflix without a stand. Or have it on a table watching a movie while you're eating, etc. Devices like the SP 3 include such functionality in the device.

    I think people are partly delusional when it comes to Apple that sometimes our love for the brand makes us suspend logic and reality. I love the iPad for what it is: the best, most simple tablet on the market. But without third party accessories, it's pretty useless save for just a small number of tasks. And with the iPhone 6 Plus, its value is eroded even more.
  18. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    This is the reason the forums are great, differing uses and points of view. For me the SP3 isn't too heavy, I use it one handed, I use it in bed, I carry it around with me, etc. The ipad is way too limiting, as the OP said it's really just a big iPhone that hasn't fundamentally changed since its inception. Of course, as someone else mentioned you need to gauge YOUR needs and compare those with the devices you are comparing to find out what you want. Keep in mind things like the SP3 being a bit heavier BUT having a larger screen for example, which one would you find more useful for your needs?

    Nothing wrong with either choice, they are both magnificent examples of hardware. I don't think putting down others choice of the ipad is healthy, even though I've been guilty of it as well. If you don't like the ipad for your needs then just don't buy it. It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself by putting the ipad down and that's the wrong way to make a decision IMO. From what you are saying I think you will love the SP3.
  19. I7guy macrumors P6

    Nov 30, 2013
    Looking at Central Park@550 feet
    The SP3 is really nice. A friend bought it and I got to playing with it.

    The thing is, it's not an ipad's a bit heavier. But as a laptop replacement that runs everything windows, it's really nice and light. The way its packaged with the keyboard is really slick.
  20. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Nov 12, 2012
    Why do folks entertain getting a SP3 over an iPad? Two totally different horses for different usage.


    + 1000
  21. ravipiero macrumors regular

    Oct 22, 2013
    SP3 is indeed a beautiful device.

    But for my usage, is it to big, heavy, and expensive as iPad replacement. It will be perfect combo for iPad and MacBook replacement, but I have no interest in using Windows full-time at the moment.
  22. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    We recently started supporting the surface pro 2/3 at my work. Now, when I say "support", I mean wiping windows off and running a version of linux on it with proprietary software.

    But the hardware is so nice that some of the developers want to swap their laptops for a surface. Its just beautiful hardware.

    I'd get one in a heartbeat.
  23. Toltepeceno Suspended


    Jul 17, 2012
    SMT, Edo MX, MX
    You do notice this is the alternative to ios and ios devices forum? I don't get why people get upset with those posting the correct things here.
  24. Spicedham macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    I have them all here's my opinion.

    MacBook pro. Best OS of all devices. Does everything you need. But the MacBook is not as portable and doesn't have a touchscreen.

    iPhone 6 plus and iPad air 2. Battery life is very good. Very portable. Does 90% of what I need for computing.

    Surface pro 3. Does everything but nothing well. Hardware, it's light for a laptop heavy for a tablet. Battery life is not as good as any of the other devices, you get about 5-6 hours of real world usage. The trackpad on the keyboard is tiny to the point it's frustrating to use if you are used to the MacBook pros trackpad. Software, is terrible. The apps in the store are a joke, think of the selection and quality of android apps when they first started. The desktop UI is made for using the trackpad and keyboard. It supports touch input but everything is so small it's frustrating to use. when I go on trips and need to do work I usually take the sp3 because it does everything even though it does nothing particularly well. I look at it like a slightly incompetent old secretary. Can get all the jobs done but can be annoying and hard to work with.
  25. Toltepeceno, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    Toltepeceno Suspended


    Jul 17, 2012
    SMT, Edo MX, MX
    Where does it say you only have to only post asking for help? Don't like the discussions the forum is set up for then don't go into the forum. Period. This one is set up for alternatives to ios and ios devices.

    I see myself with an ipad as I don't need a surface pro, but he did post in in the right area.

    I was just told in another post this started in the ipad forum, I did not know that.

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