by Paul Mah

7 reasons to ditch your iPad for the Surface 3

May 08, 20154 mins
AnalyticsiPadTablet PCs

Microsoft’s new tablet, the Surface 3, is looking to be a compelling option to Apple’s iPad. Here are seven reasons the Surface 3 may make you want to leave your iPad at home.

Microsoft’s Surface 3 tablet

Microsoft is releasing its new 10-inch tablet that runs on Windows 8.1. With a starting price of $499, the Surface 3 is pitted squarely against Apple’s iPad Air 2 tablet, and is a highly compelling option if you are looking to get a new tablet or replace your iPad.

[Review: Can Microsoft’s new Surface 3 replace your notebook? ]

Here are seven reasons why Microsoft’s Surface 3 may be the better choice.

1. Significantly more expandable via USB

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Unlike the iPad, the Surface 3 comes with a standard USB 3.0 port. This throws open the door to a world of expandability, ranging from extra storage, a USB to Ethernet adapter or even a USB 3.0 hub for additional ports. No more having to spend your hard-earned cash to buy expensive peripherals that will only work with the iPad.

2. Get productive immediately with Windows apps

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While much has been written about people who are able to do their work on the iPad, the truth is that it takes time and effort to identify the appropriate apps, get them set up and then tweak your work style to make them useful. However, because the Surface 3 works just like a typical Windows PC you can expect to be productive immediately.

3. Superior handwriting

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The Surface 3 uses the same stylus technology as the more expensive Surface Pro 3, which had been generally acknowledged to offer superior responsiveness and palm rejection capabilities. It is important to note that apps work with the Surface 3 stylus by default, unlike many of the third-party stylus’ for the iPad where support must be manually added by apps.

Note: The stylus is sold as a separate accessory with the Surface 3.

4. Unbeatable for data entry

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The Surface 3 offers a detachable Type Cover keyboard with backlighting, similar to the Surface Pro 3, which fastens snugly to the tablet via magnets at two different spots. And despite its slim form factor, the tactile feel of the keyboard and the rigidity makes it as good as any laptop, and will be welcome by fast typists loathe to be held back by a lousy third-party keyboard.

Note: The Surface 3 keyboard is sold as a separate accessory.

5. Cheap, expandable memory

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Aside from the built-in storage options of 64GB and 128GB, the Surface 3 also comes with a built-in microSD card reader that is compatible with microSD cards of up to 128GB. And you can always add even more storage capacity via its USB 3.0 port. No matter how you dice it, it is clear that the Surface 3 has significantly more storage headroom than even the largest-capacity iPad you can get today — and costs a lot less, too.

6. Rechargeable via micro-USB

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Unlike the Surface Pro 3 or iPad, the Surface 3 sports a standard micro-USB charging port. This eliminates the problem of forgetting to bring yet another proprietary power charger along when on a road trip, and also makes it possible to use most available external battery packs to quickly recharge your tablet. In our tests, we were able to charge the Surface 3 using a Xiaomi external battery.

7. The best Windows tablet yet

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There is no denying that the Surface 3 is one of the best, if not the top Windows tablet, on the market today. For one, its built-in kickstand eliminates the need to hunt for a third-party case or accessory to hold the tablet up. In addition, Microsoft also changed the display of the Surface 3 to an aspect ratio of 3:2, which is far more usable than the widescreens of most Android tablets. Finally, when used with the official keyboard, the Surface 3 can be used as a full-fledged laptop, which certainly puts it ahead of the iPad.