For nearly three years, I have been looking for a laptop to replace the one that crashed around Christmas 2011. I had tried different ones but none of them satisfied me. They were either too heavy, too expensive, not user friendly and fragile. I believe if I waited long enough, I would find a laptop that met my criteria. When I saw Microsoft’s Surface Pro advertise on TV, I thought, I want to try it.
I was looking for a versatile, lightweight, durable, portable, user friendly computer with many, many apps. It amazes me that I can carry all of these activities and more in one hand.
I have an IPad. My IPad has fierce competition from Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet I am more enamored with the Surface Pro 3 then I am with my IPad. The Surface Pro 3 is a little larger than the IPad. Their thickness is about the same and so is their weight. In my opinion this is where the comparisons end.
The Surface is the easiest computer, I have learned to operate. Pre-loaded with Windows 8.1 Pro, you can install your favorite desktop software, including the full Microsoft Office Suite (sold separately) and thousands of programs created for the Windows platform. It also has a 4th generation Intel Core processor which delivers information at unbelievable speeds.
It is the fifth computer and the fourth laptop that I have used in more than 20 years. Barely tipping the scales at 1.76 pounds, its thinness and lightweight shake off the memories of older and much heavier laptops that I lugged through scores of airports on hundreds of flights.
I became fixated with the Surface when I saw its first TV commercial. I knew I had to try it. I am
glad I did. In baseball vernacular, The Surface Pro 3 is a three run home run.
When I turned the computer on, I was instructed to provide my name and a password. I did. I was immediately taken to a page with many, many apps. There are apps for e-mail, sports, weather, maps, Skype, Internet Explorer, calendar, music, finance, news, photos, documents, and on and on. I clicked on an icon for Surface and five aps appeared. I clicked on the third icon (field explorer) and the page that appeared read Get started with your Surface Pro 3. Some tips to get you going. Eleven tips ranging from Get to know your Surface Pro 3 to Protect your Surface were offered. I went through all of them. They were extremely valuable, and they helped me learn to operate the computer quickly and efficiently.
I will use the tablet for writing, researching and entertainment purposes. In three days I have placed four articles in the documents. I have made good usage of Notepad.
A touch-sensitive pen accompanies the Surface Pro 3. It takes a battery. The pen opens aps and it can be used for word processing and for moving items from one place to another. Additionally, when placing the Pen over an icon, the name of that icon appears in small letters. The small letters makes it difficult to read them. I have used a magnifying glass to read the message.
A pull out stand allows the Surface to stand straight and to use an on-screen keyboard. I find it nearly impossible to type quickly when using a stand up onscreen keyboard. I prefer using a keyboard that is lying flat. You can buy a flat keyboard and connect it to the Surface. The keyboard costs $130. I think Microsoft should make the flat keyboard part of the Surface Pro 3. It would be more enticing to buy. If the flat keyboard initially came with the tablet, in the vernacular of baseball, it would be a grand slam. I was very interested in knowing what accessibility features that Microsoft put in Surface Pro 3. I went to the control panel and looked at three features. They were speech recognition, the narrator and visual display.
I started working on the speech recognition program and within 3 hours, or less, I was dictating this review. I produced this review using the speech recognition program in the Surface PRO 3. Two hours after I finished this review, I transferred this review to my PC.
I tested the narrator briefly. It works well. Since I do not have a vision problem, I did not optimize the visual display. I will look at optimizing the visual display in the future.
People with disabilities can benefit from the Surface Pro 3. It can easily replace their laptop. It has mine.
You can use the Surface Pro 3 with and without a charger. Without the charger, the Surface Pro 3 can operate for nearly four hours. When you turn on the computer, an icon shows you how much power is left. The charger re-charges the tablet in less than an hour.
The Surface Pro 3 costs between $799 and $1,549. I would buy the $799 unit and add on later. My first add on would be the flat keyboard.
The Surface Pro 3 is tablet that offers diverse opportunities for every user in a variety of environments -- business, government, science, education, arts and so on. People with disabilities can benefit.