Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Microsoft might not be the first company to break into 2-in-1 laptop, but it's one of the few to get it right. The first Surface was a suave new device that worked both as a laptop and tablet. Thanks to an ergonomic kickstand and excellent magnetic keyboard, it easy to use whether you're at a desk or even laying down. The Surface Pro 3 is thinner and lighter than the previous two versions, despite having a larger 12-inch display and higher screen resolution. A new kickstand makes it easier to set up and use, and the keyboard cover remains a best-in-class example. The Surface Pro 3 is now optimized for a digital pen, which is included. Performance Despite its remarkably slim and light frame, the Surface Pro 3 is a powerful machine. In benchmarks it's a match for pricey ultrabooks like the Toshiba Kira. Its 1.9GHz Core i5 processor scores 5,532, more than Toshiba (5,424) and the 2014 MacBook Air (5,401).
The MacBook and Surface Pro make an interesting comparison here. Apple favours a slower processor, but a faster PCI-e SSD and Intel's faster HD 5000 graphics. It's a trade-off that makes the MacBook very snappy, but the Surface Pro 3 is no slouch either.
That faster processor gives it an edge in processor intensive tasks, too. This is no workstation class processor, of course, but anything you can throw at an ultrabook works fine on the Surface Pro 3. That means any task or application you use in everyday work and life. It's an efficient and effective replacement for a work laptop or ageing desktop.
It isn't noisy, either. If you're just watching video or doing some other simple task, it's rare to even hear the fan spin up. Even when it does it's an unobtrusive whir. You'll notice it in quiet surroundings, but it's barely discernible over the hubbub of an office. It's another reminder of the incredible industrial design in the Surface Pro 3.
But That excellent keyboard cover is not included in the base price, and its improved touchpad still doesn't measure up. The chassis lacks pen storage, and even with tweaked kickstand and keyboard hinges, the Surface Pro 3 still doesn't fit perfectly on the lap. The Bottom Line While the new Surface Pro 3 is Microsoft's best PC to date, it's more successful as a tablet than a laptop replacement. CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i5-4300U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12-inch, 2160 x 1440 multi-touch display| Storage: 256GB SSD $649.99 VS Dell Venue 11 Pro Dell's Venue 11 Pro is one tablet that works in three different ways. You can use it as a typical Windows 8.1 tablet, snap it into a keyboard dock and use it like a laptop, or remotely connect it to a dock hooked up to a monitor or TV to play movies and TV shows on a larger screen.Dell says it has "The power of an Ultrabook, performance of a desktop, portability of a tablet."The Venue 11 Pro is unmatched for practicality. There's a mini-HDMI output; a 3.5mm headset jack; a full-sized USB 3 port; a volume rocker switch; and a Kensington lock slot.The rear panel pops off to allow access to the 32Wh battery, and in a welcome change from its predecessor, the Latitude 10, the Venue 11 Pro charges via micro-USB.The Venue 11 Pro10.8-inch a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display and will be offered with Intel's Atom quad-core Bay Trail processors or a fourth-generation Haswell processor up to Core i5 -- supporting up to 8GB RAM, 256GB of storage, WiDi and NFC.With the big screen and quad-core processor you’ll get around eight hours of mixed use from a single charge, and a little more if you turn down the brightness and avoid using Wi-Fi. That’s better than the Surface Pro 2, though not the ARM-powered Surface 2. Eight to nine hours is more than adequate for a day of work, and the Venue 11 Pro has one advantage in that you can remove the back cover and replace the battery with a spare – a real rarity in the tablet world.One thing that sets the Venue 11 Pro apart, however, is that the back cover can flip off, revealing a removable battery. Both versions of the tablet are pen-enabled, and each includes an 8-megapixel back camera. Accessories include a $99 dock that allows you to push the tablet's display to a larger monitor, a keyboard with a back stand, and a full keyboard dock with USB ports.Price:$500.