3 Reasons Why Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 Is A Winner

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

I don’t normally write about hardware but if you’re looking for a new laptop for your business then get the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It’s a winner. And for three reasons.

Reason 1: Just about every IT person I know loves it.

I have a list of about 50 friends and partners at IT firms in my area with whom I stay in close touch. I was curious about their experience with the Surface Pro 3 so I emailed them all. I received not a single negative reply. Not one. Bear in mind, most of them are Microsoft partners and likely have a leaning towards all things Microsoft. But between them they serve thousands of small- and medium-sized companies and have hundreds of years of tech experience. And they would be the first to criticize. So here are just a few of their responses:

“I have one personally. I love it and I probably sold about 20 of them and I have never gotten any negative feedback.”

Michael McCully  – Spearhead NTS

“I don’t personally have one, although I want one, but I have peers that use the Surface Pro 3 that love it. We also have a number of customers that have selected Surface Pro 3 devices over iPads.”

Ryan Langston – Computer Enterprises Inc.

“Our sales director LOVES his. He says it is great and the battery life is fine.”

Wayd Emma – an IT director at Grapevine Visual Concepts.

“I use it and I love it!”

Lou Kahn – Kahnnect IT Technology Services.

“I have two clients who have these and everyone who has it loves it,”

Scott Clarke – Menark Technologies

“You will love it. Very powerful with a good battery.”

Greg Gurev – Mysherpa

“I shouldn’t tell you this, but you should definitely get the Surface Pro 3. It’s great!”

A Lenovo partner who would kill me if I included his name here.

I know these people. They would be the first to complain about bad technology. The fact that they are all so passionate about this device has given me pause. Microsoft seems to have something here, don’t you think? But there must be some cons. Which brings me to reason two.

Reason 2: For a business owner, the technical pros outweigh the cons.

There are certainly downsides to the Surface. It’s expensive and to get the full benefits of the platform you need the Pro 3, which runs Windows 8.1 (and Windows 10) and has enough storage space (128GB) and RAM (8GB) to make it worthwhile. You have to add on a keyboard cover to make it functional as a laptop. You may (like me) want to spring for an extra battery pack for those long flights. There’s no cellular connectivity. There are few ports so you’ll need adaptors for more USB devices and projectors.

But for a business owner, it’s truly the quicker, better, wiser hardware solution. It’s super-light. It has a great battery (about 5-7 hours). It’s both a tablet and a laptop. The screen resolution is excellent. The performance is fast and reliable. Most importantly, it integrates well with Microsoft applications – so if, like millions of other business owners, you and your people use Office, SharePoint, CRM or other Microsoft products you’re going to find fewer headaches standardizing on this device. I’ve been using this thing for a month and it makes me want to sing.  Which brings me to reason three.

Reason 3: Ed Sheeran’s pretty good. Really.

You know what? Ed Sheeran’s pretty good! Really. Sure, he’s a bit bubble-gum and his fan base seems mostly made up of teenage girls. I’m more of a classic rock guy.  But, it turns out that he’s a talented musician, an excellent songwriter and blends pop, folk and even hip-hop really well. I didn’t want to listen to him at first. But after hearing “Sing” and “Thinking Out Loud” a few times, the guy impressed me. Who knew? Now I’m a fan.

And the same goes for the Microsoft Surface. I didn’t want that either. My firm is a Microsoft partner and never really considered hardware options from the company. Not only that but I was (and still am) happy with my Lenovo ThinkPad x140e that I had bought in September and had no desire to change. But Microsoft sent me a souped-up Surface Pro 3 as compensation for some internal blogging I did for them (It was a completely separate service and I am not being compensated by them to write this piece). Not only that, but just a year ago I predicted on this very site that Microsoft would ultimately kill the Microsoft Surface because of the company’s renewed focus on making applications across all devices and platforms. “Would I purchase the Microsoft Surface?” I wrote back then. “Not anymore. And I’m not sure that you should either.”

I was really wrong about that. I’m officially a fan. In the past month I’ve been using my Surface Pro 3 non-stop and loving it. And obviously I’m not the only one. You read the reviews from the IT community above. The Surface has become a big seller for the company and is building a strong following. The company just announced plans to expand its channel for selling the unit. Clearly, this device is here to stay.

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