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Surface Pro 3 'notebook' reaches retail in the U.S. last Friday

Gregg Keizer | June 23, 2014
More models of Microsoft's tablet-slash-laptop go on sale Aug. 1

For Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research, the Surface Pro 3 has been "a nice device." O'Donnell, like many analysts and some members of the media, has had a Surface Pro 3 since the May 20 launch event.

"I like the bigger touchpad, the bigger screen, and the aspect ratio [of the screen] is better," said O'Donnell. "All in all, it's a nice product."

Two configurations of the Surface Pro 3 went on sale Friday, at prices of $999 and $1,299 sans cover keyboard. (Image: Microsoft.)

Not perfect, though. O'Donnell's biggest beef was that Microsoft keeps selling the cover keyboard as an extra, when that keyboard is absolutely necessary to make good on the firm's claims. "They should have bundled the keyboard," O'Donnell said. "They're trying to position it as a tablet. It's not a tablet, it's a notebook."

O'Donnell estimated that he's used the Surface Pro 3 as a notebook 95% of the time, as a tablet just 5% of the time. He uses his go-to system, a Dell XPS 12 -- the screen revolves to lay flat on the keyboard for tablet-esque tasks -- in the same 95-5 fashion.

"The best way to view and think about the Surface Pro 3 is as the evolution of the notebook," said O'Donnell. "This is how notebooks are headed."

Surface Pro 3 tablets and accessories can be ordered from Microsoft's e-store.


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