Surface Pro 3

yogeewan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 29, 2010
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have been using this as an experiment for the last couple of weeks. My main machine has always been my 15" cMBP i6 with 8gb ram, 256 gb ssd and 1tb optibay.

having said that, i have been using the surface pro 3 i5 256 gb 8gb ram version, and this is one sweet piece of hardware. i think if there is anything that can challenge apple in the macbook air space, it is this device, sans its battery life comparison.

stable, fast, a maturing OS and desktop friendly, with the office suite in place, this is quite a machine. the battery life alone is the deal breaker, it is like a typical windows laptop with about 3-4 hrs on heavy use as against 6-7 in my macbook.
 

maflynn

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the battery life alone is the deal breaker, it is like a typical windows laptop with about 3-4 hrs on heavy use as against 6-7 in my macbook.
That's odd, because from what I've read typical battery life has been in the 8 hour range. I don't own one, just from other people's experiences.

I'm sure others who own an SP3 will chime in and state that your battery life is typical or atypical.

As for the quality of the machine, I agree and I'm tempted for one. My MBP is due to be upgraded next year and I'm seriously looking at the SP3 (or 4) when the time comes.
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Interesting, other reports are of much higher battery life.

I'm getting 8hrs and about 15 minutes on one charge using IE, Firefox, iCloud Mail, Outlook, Twiiter and Facebook apps. Brightness was just below half way. Tests have shown that using full brighness only lowered usage by just over an hour.

There is also a power keyboard that gave the SP3 over 12 hrs.
Which means you were getting about half of the expected life. Any thoughts on why?

B
 

yogeewan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 29, 2010
149
275
Interesting, other reports are of much higher battery life.



Which means you were getting about half of the expected life. Any thoughts on why?

B
not sure but i believe maybe the intensity of use. but definitely not even close to the 7-8 hrs! ive got office apps particularly outlook continuously open but have never crossed 4.5 hrs battery life. but again im mostly on the desktop doing work, not used it as much as just a tablet.
 

reese2147

macrumors regular
Dec 2, 2013
111
2
have been using this as an experiment for the last couple of weeks. My main machine has always been my 15" cMBP i6 with 8gb ram, 256 gb ssd and 1tb optibay.

having said that, i have been using the surface pro 3 i5 256 gb 8gb ram version, and this is one sweet piece of hardware. i think if there is anything that can challenge apple in the macbook air space, it is this device, sans its battery life comparison.

stable, fast, a maturing OS and desktop friendly, with the office suite in place, this is quite a machine. the battery life alone is the deal breaker, it is like a typical windows laptop with about 3-4 hrs on heavy use as against 6-7 in my macbook.
I appreciate your input as I have been considering a Surface Pro 3 purchase for a couple months. I decided to wait until Windows 10 is released and see if it will be the OS that pulls me away from Apple. Microsoft is really getting their stuff together and if they start producing quality hardware (phones, tablets, etc)..... watch out Apple.
 
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spinedoc77

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2009
9,588
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That's odd, because from what I've read typical battery life has been in the 8 hour range. I don't own one, just from other people's experiences.

I'm sure others who own an SP3 will chime in and state that your battery life is typical or atypical.

As for the quality of the machine, I agree and I'm tempted for one. My MBP is due to be upgraded next year and I'm seriously looking at the SP3 (or 4) when the time comes.
I get a solid 8-10 hours on mine consistently. I've had gaming sessions with pretty heavy duty games and still get 3-4 hours.
 

gotluck

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2011
5,657
1,049
East Central Florida
I get a solid 8-10 hours on mine consistently. I've had gaming sessions with pretty heavy duty games and still get 3-4 hours.
That's good to hear, if not a little bit hard to believe given my experience with windows laptops, don't think ive ever got 8-10 on anything. They optimized the hell out of the SP 3 eh?
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
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Colorado
Today I got 8 hrs, 23 minutes on my battery on my SP3. I used Outlook, Word, Facebook and Twitter apps continuously along with IE and Firefox. I also used the News, sports, travel and iTunes apps.

Not sure why the OP is getting half the use. I use an app called battery bar which keeps track of how much use you get on a charge.
 

yogeewan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 29, 2010
149
275
Let me use it for some more time, if this is the case only withy mine I might take it in to get the battery checked. But I'm pretty sure 8-10 hrs is something I don't expect out of it, technically speaking, the i5 should burn out out much before. But it is definitely a sweet machine, would try and see if it can hit the 5-6 hours.

Coming back to serious windows usage in 10 years, except office for work.. And it's been a pleasure to use. But the touch cover trackpad is a POS compared to an apple trackpad, but I'm nitpicking, a mouse coupled with the touch facilities far outweigh its cons.
 

JackieInCo

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Jul 18, 2013
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Let me use it for some more time, if this is the case only withy mine I might take it in to get the battery checked. But I'm pretty sure 8-10 hrs is something I don't expect out of it, technically speaking, the i5 should burn out out much before. But it is definitely a sweet machine, would try and see if it can hit the 5-6 hours.

Coming back to serious windows usage in 10 years, except office for work.. And it's been a pleasure to use. But the touch cover trackpad is a POS compared to an apple trackpad, but I'm nitpicking, a mouse coupled with the touch facilities far outweigh its cons.
I do have the i5 128GB and am getting 8+ hrs.
 

yogeewan

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 29, 2010
149
275
This is after a restart 100% charged with just internet explorer running. 5.2 is what batterybar tells me, and with a few more programs open, it comes down to about 4.5
 

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burgman

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2013
2,066
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This is after a restart 100% charged with just internet explorer running. 5.2 is what batterybar tells me, and with a few more programs open, it comes down to about 4.5
Is your SP3 getting warm on the upper right side with screen facing you? If so then look and see what processes are running and draining the battery.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
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This is after a restart 100% charged with just internet explorer running. 5.2 is what batterybar tells me, and with a few more programs open, it comes down to about 4.5
If you use Chrome, while on battery power, use IE or Firefox instead. Use Chrome when plugged in only.
 

MozMan68

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2010
3,633
1,467
Right here...
Mine has consistently lasted all day, but I don't use it constantly at work...laptop for regular work and use my SP3 during meetings and basic surfing, but have it on constantly for surfing/working after I get home.

Constant use, I would say I get 6-8 hours typically while travelling. Could be better, but gets me through the day typically.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,691
3,299
Ike any device, battery life will vary greatly depending on the specific use. What brightness do you have the screen at? Windows adds the further challenge that so many processes are given free reign, meaning a stray or hung process can easily cause a huge drain.
 

akuma13

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2006
849
335
I love Chrome in general but it's a power hungry battery hog. I usually get 4 hours if i'm browsing/watching youtube videos on chrome.

Is there a good alternative that is less power hungry and has extensions for the Surface?
 

joshlalonde

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2014
422
0
Canada
Well, about the Surface Pro 3...
I have a number of problems with it. Some of these won't be of any concern.

1. Battery life.

You guys are talking about battery life. Whatever you get versus what you expect... it's still max 8 hours or so. That's not really good. 8 hours assuming you're doing web-browsing *using modern apps*. Never mind actual usage. With actual usage, you'll get a lot less battery out of it. Another reason that the Air trumps SP3. Though, it might have something to do with the OS. When running Windows, my battery life is about 7-9 hours. OS X reports about 12, sometimes more.

2. Sacrifices

Microsoft sacrificed important things like cooling just to make the device thinner. A lot of people have complained that their 'laptop replacement' would begin throttling after 20-30 minutes playing Minecraft, for example. There's even some videos by cbutters, if I recall. It's a bit ridiculous for Microsoft to say it replaces a laptop when it can't handle things that the Air does. The cooling on this is great. It goes back to room temperature about 5 minutes or so after quitting the intensive game/application.

3. Windows

This last point isn't me talking about OS X / Windows. It's more about Windows 8.1 in general. First of all, let's talk about Windows Apps in general. Modern apps are not good.. I dug out my Surface RT today. Some of the things that annoyed me while I was browsing the tech news in Appy Geek: Constant refreshing every time I swiped to a new article. It would instantly refresh even though the article was cached. Not necessarily a Windows problem.. but it's like that on most apps. I think it might be the API, but I haven't done enough Windows programming. It's even like that on Internet Explorer. You swipe back a page, and it goes dark and blurry and then refreshes. That's annoying and not a great experience.

That was a trifle matter to pick on, but it's just one of the many annoyances I have. Windows is frustrating to use.

Let's talk Apps. There are almost no apps... Yes, there are apps. But most of them are junk. They suck! Microsoft pays more attention to other platforms than its own. iPad got dedicated office apps before Windows did. A ported version to RT was not acceptable, "touch mode" or not. It's just called lazy.

There are more things I want to say but I'm tired. Goodnight
 

Technarchy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2012
6,753
4,926
Surface Pro 4 should really push the design to the next level.

Lighter, cooler running, thinner, fanless.

Should be quite awesome, and pick up nicely where the slick Surface 3 left off.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,786
33,746
Boston
1. Battery life.

You guys are talking about battery life. Whatever you get versus what you expect... it's still max 8 hours or so. That's not really good. 8 hours assuming you're doing web-browsing *using modern apps*.
I think for most users 8 hours is more then what people want

2. Sacrifices

Microsoft sacrificed important things like cooling just to make the device thinner. A lot of people have complained that their 'laptop replacement' would begin throttling after 20-30 minutes playing Minecraft, for example.
I don't play games so its not a huge deal for me.

3. Windows

This last point isn't me talking about OS X / Windows. It's more about Windows 8.1 in general. First of all, let's talk about Windows Apps in general. Modern apps are not good.. t
I don't use modern apps, but regular apps are fine on the SP3, and the OS is stable feature rich.

In the end, you need to pick the tool that best fits your needs, and I don't think the negatives you highlighted are huge negatives for me.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,598
Colorado
Well, about the Surface Pro 3...
I have a number of problems with it. Some of these won't be of any concern.

1. Battery life.

You guys are talking about battery life. Whatever you get versus what you expect... it's still max 8 hours or so. That's not really good. 8 hours assuming you're doing web-browsing *using modern apps*. Never mind actual usage. With actual usage, you'll get a lot less battery out of it. Another reason that the Air trumps SP3. Though, it might have something to do with the OS. When running Windows, my battery life is about 7-9 hours. OS X reports about 12, sometimes more.

2. Sacrifices

Microsoft sacrificed important things like cooling just to make the device thinner. A lot of people have complained that their 'laptop replacement' would begin throttling after 20-30 minutes playing Minecraft, for example. There's even some videos by cbutters, if I recall. It's a bit ridiculous for Microsoft to say it replaces a laptop when it can't handle things that the Air does. The cooling on this is great. It goes back to room temperature about 5 minutes or so after quitting the intensive game/application.

3. Windows

This last point isn't me talking about OS X / Windows. It's more about Windows 8.1 in general. First of all, let's talk about Windows Apps in general. Modern apps are not good.. I dug out my Surface RT today. Some of the things that annoyed me while I was browsing the tech news in Appy Geek: Constant refreshing every time I swiped to a new article. It would instantly refresh even though the article was cached. Not necessarily a Windows problem.. but it's like that on most apps. I think it might be the API, but I haven't done enough Windows programming. It's even like that on Internet Explorer. You swipe back a page, and it goes dark and blurry and then refreshes. That's annoying and not a great experience.

That was a trifle matter to pick on, but it's just one of the many annoyances I have. Windows is frustrating to use.

Let's talk Apps. There are almost no apps... Yes, there are apps. But most of them are junk. They suck! Microsoft pays more attention to other platforms than its own. iPad got dedicated office apps before Windows did. A ported version to RT was not acceptable, "touch mode" or not. It's just called lazy.

There are more things I want to say but I'm tired. Goodnight
I remember hearing plenty of people complain that their MacBook Air would over heat as well. Poor design just to make the computer thinner? Probably.

I don't play games on my SP3 and just use it mainly for internet, iTunes (syncing iPhone and iPad), monitoring and two forums I run and using Photoshop occasionally in the design of those websites and everyday stuff like outlook, word and a few other things.

I am surprised at how well Windows 8.1 runs these days. I have not experienced one crash in the three weeks of owning this and sometimes I forget that this is a full Windows computer in that I can run anything that I want on it and install anything from anywhere.

I am getting 8+ hours of usage in this thing in actual usage and that is pretty impressive.

I hardly ever want to use my Mac Mini anymore because my SP3 is just so much faster at doing things. Sure most of that is due to the fact the the SP3 has an SSD installed whereas my Mini doesn't but my SP3 is now my go to computer when I want to do 90% of the things I want to do. The Mini gets used only as an iTunes server and when converting MKV files to whatever format that iFlicks converts to while importing to iTunes. It does that job fast. If there was an iFlicks for Windows, I would use that.

I have nothing but good things to say about this computer. It was hard spending $1100 on this thing including the keyboard and I figured that I could always return it if I wasn't happy but I don't see that happening. I still have another month to thing about it due to BestBuys extended return for the holidays but again, I doubt I will return it.

Can't wait to see what the SP4 will be like. I can see myself buying it too instead of a Mac. I don't know how anything Apple fits into my future but I can see Windows computers there.

I grew up using Windows computers and if it had not been for that iPhone in 2007, I would have continued using them. I was using Windows computers since 1994.

The touchscreen experience on this is top notch. Adobe even updated Photoshop so that the touch screen experience is amazing.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,786
33,746
Boston
I am surprised at how well Windows 8.1 runs these days. I have not experienced one crash in the three weeks of owning this and sometimes I forget that this is a full Windows computer in that I can run anything that I want on it and install anything from anywhere.
Agree completely, I was a doubting Thomas regarding Win8, but its a solid OS with a great mix of new features. I still like OS X for a lot of things, don't get me wrong but Win8 is a great OS in its own right. Still I don't use modern apps and I hide the metro screen.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,598
Colorado
Agree completely, I was a doubting Thomas regarding Win8, but its a solid OS with a great mix of new features. I still like OS X for a lot of things, don't get me wrong but Win8 is a great OS in its own right. Still I don't use modern apps and I hide the metro screen.
Same here. I just install the apps I want and use those. I hate the metro version of IE and honestly, I don't know why there are "two" versions of it but then again, I'm still so new to this version of Windows. I have lots to learn.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,598
Colorado
One thing that I did finally figure out this past week was how to get to the settings and features of apps installed from the app store.

When using an app such as Facebook, slide your finger from the edge of the screen on the right to expose the charms and hit settings. This will bring up the Facebook settings such as privacy and everything else you need to get to sometimes.

Also, some apps installed from the store have hidden menus. You get to those by sliding a finger down from the top of the screen.

It took me a while to figure these out because it's not explained when you install apps and use them for the first time.

Although many users use the keyboard and maybe even a mouse, the apps are still designed with the touch screen in mind.
 
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