The Surface has been Microsoft's contender against the iPad since 2012. With the latest models being able to rival MacBooks and hold their ground, this "tablet" can be a force to be reckoned with. I've recently become the owner of a Surface 3, one of the current entry-level Surfaces. I've used it in as many ways as I can see fit, from basic apps, to taking it to classes, and even writing this article; here are my thoughts on it.
My model's specs include an Intel Atom processor, 4gb RAM, and 128gb storage. Now that may not sound like much, but it's worth noting that the Surface does not come shipped and loaded with "bloatware". With that being said, it has effectively replaced my old laptop that I would do my school work on. If you opt to as I have and buy the typecover to go along with it, it will be a fully functional laptop. There is nothing that old laptop can do that this Surface cannot, and it will do it while being, lighter, easier to carry around, and overall more practical and functional for student purposes. The display is a full 1080x1920 and is quite clear and bright. In terms of audio, the speakers are actually clearer and louder than I expected, the Surface also drives my Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones very nicely. Without any distortion and driving them well without the use of an amp, it was quite a pleasant surprise. This Surface is plenty fast for what I need it to be, the specs aren't monstrous and I can't play modern games at max (if any) settings on it, but that's what I have my PC for after all.
Tablet wise, this is personally my favorite tablet I have used to this day. I personally can't stand iPads or iOS in general for that matter, and as much as I like Android I've never really been a fan of the Samsung Galaxy tablets either. For quite a while I have just disliked tablets altogether and never really cared for having one. My overall disinterest in tablets began to fade when I saw how useful the Surface is for students. With countless features that make studying and note-taking easier, legitimately too many to name, I grew an interest in the Surface. I knew as a student, it would make my life a lot easier and just for the sake of having a tablet, it was the one for me. With it running Windows 10 (my favorite OS) and having both a laptop mode and tablet mode, it is incredibly fluid and easy to use. From note-taking and recording lectures to reading books and everything in between, I can often go to class without my backpack and everything inside it. If you're a college student, or can take it to high school, I highly recommend considering one.
In terms of apps, it's what you'd expect from a tablet. I can play Pandora or Netflix with ease as well as any little games I find on the Windows Store. I do really enjoy it for reading books and comics, though the physical size may be too large for some, I myself am quite fond of it. My model, unfortunately, wouldn't be the best for things in the graphic art scene. If you're willing to spend the money and snag a Surface Pro or Surface Book you'd be able to achieve that feat. As far as a tablet goes there isn't much I couldn't do besides that really. At the end of the day, my only complaint is the charge time, battery life is fine really but it takes a good 5 hours or so to charge it.
To conclude, my thoughts on Microsoft's Surface 3, for the most part, have been nothing but positive. As a student, it has and continues to benefit me greatly, and in my normal day to day life it is a pleasant gadget to own. I have absolutely no regrets with making the decision to go with the Surface and I enjoy using it every day. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially students as they will benefit the most from it in my opinion. If you have any questions in regards to the Surface that you'd like me to answer, please leave them below.