The Microsoft Surface 3 vs. Surface Pro 3

Die ehemalige Lifewire-Autorin Melanie Uy hat mehr als 5 Jahre Erfahrung im Schreiben über verbraucherorientierte Technologie und ist eine erfahrene Telearbeiterin.

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The Microsoft Surface family has many members, and it’s not always easy to tell each one apart. For example, the Surface 3 and the Surface Pro 3 look identical at a glance but are different devices on the inside. We tested the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 to help you decide which is a better fit for you.

Production of the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 ended in 2016, but these devices can be purchased used or refurbished.

Surface 3 vs. Surface Pro 3


2 GB of memory with an option to upgrade to 4 GB.

64 GB of storage with an option to upgrade to 128 GB.

10.8-inch display (1920 x 1280).

Quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor.

Full-size USB 3.0.

Up to 8 GB of memory.

Up to 512 GB of storage.

12-inch display (2160 x 1440).

Intel Core processor up to i7, 1.7 GHz.

Full-size USB 3.0.

Wiegt 1.76 Pfund.

Both tablets have Windows 8.1 installed, unlike the previous Surface RT model, which came with a limited version of Windows. You can use both tablets with a keyboard cover (with backlit keys), a stylus, and other accessories such as a docking station and wireless display adapter. Aside from different sizes, both devices look the same from the outside. That’s where the similarities stop.

Surface 3 Pros and Cons

Less expensive than the Surface Pro 3.

Comes with a 1-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal and 1 TB of OneDrive storage.

Up Stunden Akkulaufzeit zu 10.

Surface Pen is sold separately.

Kickstand only has three positions.

Less storage space and processing power than the Surface Pro 3.

Surface 3 is the more affordable of the two tablets. It comes with 2 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage, which can be doubled. It has a 10.8-inch display with a 1920 x 1280 resolution. This tablet runs on a Quad-core Intel Atom x7 processor that isn’t as powerful as the Intel Core processor on the Surface Pro 3. However, the Surface 3 has a longer battery life (up to 10 hours).

The Surface 3 runs the full version of Windows just like a regular laptop, and it has a full-size USB 3.0 port, a microSD card reader, and a Mini DisplayPort. These features give it several advantages over the iPad, but it won’t replace a regular laptop.

Surface Pro 3 Pros and Cons

Surface Pen is included.

Up Stunden Akkulaufzeit zu 9.

Microsoft Office is sold separately.

More expensive than a regular Surface 3.

Limited USB ports compared to similar devices.

Surface Pro 3 could be a full laptop and tablet replacement. The 12-inch tablet has a 2160 x 1440 sharp display and comes in many configurations with Intel Core processors. The Surface Pro 3 options include:

  • 64 GB storage, Intel Core i3 (1.5 GHz), 4 GB RAM
  • 128 GB storage, Intel Core i5 (1.9 GHz), 4 GB RAM
  • 256 GB storage, Intel Core i5 (1.9 GHz), 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB storage, Intel Core i7 (1.7 GHz), 8 GB RAM
  • 512 GB storage, Intel Core i7 (1.7 GHz), 8 GB RAM

In terms of performance, the Surface Pro 3 is comparable to a MacBook Pro, but it also functions as a tablet. On the downside, the Surface Pro 3 has the same ports as the Surface 3, which is fewer than a regular laptop should have. The multi-position kickstand is an excellent addition since many laptops can’t be positioned with such precision.

Final Verdict: Surface Pro 3 for Laptop Replacement

Before choosing any laptop or tablet, consider what you need it to do. The cheaper Surface 3 offers the same Windows 8.1 experience as the Surface Pro, and its small size and less powerful specs make it suitable as a tablet or travel laptop. The Surface Pro 3 makes a better laptop replacement or a desktop PC replacement when docked.

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