Australian Review: Microsoft Surface 3 – One Step Closer
The Surface 3 is a solid two-in-one that makes a better tablet than the Surface Pro 3, but a worse notebook. Fortunately, it's a much better tablet, but only a marginally worse notebook.
While the Surface 3 begins at AUD$699, I'd definitely recommended the AUD$839 model with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. 2GB of RAM (as featured in the cheaper variant) just isn't enough for a full-fledged Windows PC. You'll also want to factor in the cost of a Type Cover and a Surface Pen, which add an additional AUD$240 to the asking price.
They're not strictly necessary, but the Surface Pen is easily the killer "feature" that makes the Surface 3 standout over competing tablets, and using the Surface 3 without the keyboard cover means you're not really getting the full experience. This brings the total price for this configuration to AUD$1,079. You do however get a free subscription to a year of Office 365 Personal edition with the device, which helps make the price of the keyboard cover and pen a little easier to swallow.
I'd love more power under the Surface 3's hood, but the smaller size helps it better achieve Microsoft's vision for the Surface family. It genuinely works well as a both a notebook and a tablet, whereas the Surface Pro 3 feels more like a notebook with a touchscreen and detachable keyboard.
The Surface 3 isn't yet a one-size-fits all device that I could recommend to everyone, but its Microsoft's best yet.