The Surface Pro 3 is the best Windows 8 machine you can buy. But don’t take that as a compliment.

When I was in the Boy Scouts in elementary school, I won first place in the “turtle race” at the Pinewood Derby. The slowest car. The best of the worst. I got a trophy and everything.

That’s what it feels like calling the Surface Pro 3 the best Windows 8 machine. It’s a sad award for being at the top of the lowest class. It’s not the hardware that’s the problem, but Windows 8.


…the problem is Microsoft is trying too hard to bring us the future today, and technology hasn’t caught up with an ambitious product like the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro had the potential to be as disruptive to desktop computing as the iPhone was to mobile phones, but in order to get it out the door within a reasonable period of time following the Windows 8 launch last fall, Microsoft had to fudge key features that people really care about such as battery life.

But that’s a small added value for a laptop replacement that doesn’t do a great job at replacing your laptop.

You can’t rest the Surface Pro comfortably on your lap without it flopping around. You can ‘t adjust the angle of the screen when it’s propped on a table with the built in kickstand. You need to spend at least another $100 to get the full laptop-like experience with one of the special keyboard covers. At 10 inches, the screen feels a bit small for traditional desktop computing. The cheapest model only has 23 GB of free storage, so you’ll have to buy a separate memory card because you’ll definitely need more than that.