Best Windows 8 tablet and laptop hybridKey features
- Hugely versatile hybrid kickstand design
- Sharp and bright 2,560 x 2,440 pixel screen
- Closer than ever to being a replacement for both a laptop and tablet
Microsoft's Surface and Surface Pro devices have struggled to make the impact the company would have hoped for, despite being intriguing and innovative takes on the laptop/tablet crossover. With the Surface Pro 3, though, the zenith of the concept has been reached.
There are three key reasons why the Surface Pro 3 works so well. The first is the new screen. Increased in size from 10-inch to 12-inch, its aspect ratio has been switched from a widescreen 16:9 to an iPad-like 3:2. This makes it much more practical for day-to-day tablet and laptop duties. It's also an exceptionally good quality display.
Secondly, the clever pop-out kickstand has gone from its original design of only one standing position, through the two positions of the Surface Pro 2 to now having as many positions between zero and 180 degrees as possible, stretching all the way to allowing the tablet to almost sit flat. This finally makes the 'ultimate hybrid' as versatile as it always should have been.
Thirdly, where the non-Pro Surface is limited by having to run Windows RT, which isn't compatible with most existing WIndows software, the Surface Pro runs a full-fat version of Windows 8. Combined with improved battery life, this means the Surface Pro 3 is a true crossover device that can replace a normal Windows laptop as well as a tablet.
All that said, if you weren't convinced of this crossover concept, the Surface Pro 3 probably still won't change your mind - smaller tablets are still easier to use and proper laptops are still better for heavy typing (espiecially on your lap) - but if you do like the idea, the Surface Pro 3 is the ultimate Windows 8 hybrid. Price
: £644 (£958 at time of review)