The Surface 3 – A Review

I have been an Apple devotee for many years, and have owned exclusiley Apple Macs and iOS devices since 2005. And yet The Surface 3 and Windows 10 were too intriguing for me to pass up. A few months ago I took the Surface 3 plunge, and I feel it is about time to provide a short review of not only the device, but the experience of ordering, receiving, setting up, and using the tablet.



The surface 3 is available at a few different retailers in the US, including Best Buy and Amazon. I initially wanted to simply drop into Best Buy and pick one up. They have a nice display of the Surface 3 and 3 Pro, as well as all the needed accessories, including the Type Cover and Pen. However, I decided to set aside my need for instant gratification and turned to the Microsoft Store online. The store is quite nice, and easy to use. I settled on the higher-end Surface 3 model, with 128Gb of storage and 4Gb of memory. The retail price for the Surface 3 is $599, but students, teachers, and university faculty can get 10% off their purchases at the Microsoft store, so that definitely swung me in their direction. Additionally, Microsoft offers Complete Accident Protection coverage for Surface 3s. I’m normally not a fan of extended warranties, but I decided on including this $99 coverage since, as a tablet computer, it will likely suffer more abuse than the average desktop or laptop machine. I also opted to include the dark blue Type Cover, and after much hmming and hawing, the silver pen.

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Surface 3 On The Way!

I’ve been a part time Mac user since 2003, and a full time Mac user since 2007, when OSX went Intel, and I never looked back. OSX is so elegant, and stable, and iOS is simple, strong, and useful. I am committed to the Apple ecosystem, and use iTunes, iCloud, etc.

But today I succumbed to temptation, and ordered my first Windows-based product in over 12 years, the Surface 3. I was wooed by the beautiful hardware, great screen, and honestly the elegant interface, plus Windows 10 is the first Microsoft OS in years that has me truly excited about a different vision of computing, and the only way to experience it is to jump in head first.

My shiny new device arrives in a couple of days. I’ll be updating this blog over the next few weeks with my thoughts on the Surface 3, Win8, and Win10, and the experiece of using the combo tablet/laptop machine. It should be fun!

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Rest in Peace, Mr. Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy passed away today at the age of 83. I will write a deeper reflection on this amazing actor and individual later, but for now, I can only say that he will be greatly missed.

Empty Spock Chair

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Dell Venue 8 3000 – So Slow!

I’ve been playing with a Dell Venue 8 3000 for the past few weeks, and I have to be honest: If this is what all android tablets are like, then I’ll find something else, thanks. I have generally been an Apple person, using iPads/iPhones. But I hear many good things about android, and it looks intriguing, so I gave it a shot with this tablet.

Now, on the plus side, it has Netflix, Hulu Plus, and VLC, so there is little that I can’t watch or do. Plenty of games, etc. Nice marketplace. The downside is the OS. It’s running the latest version of KitKat, with Dell’s most recent firmware. And it is slow. SLOW. The keyboard takes a few seconds to come up, all web browsing is dog-slow, and in general it is just an unpleasant experience. I’m not saying that Apple stuff is perfect. In fact, I’m looking at a Windows tablet, all of which seem to run great. But this tablet is just bad. it’s a shame, because the hardware is nice. The screen is quite good, full HD in an 8″ tablet. But it is slow enough to send me back to my phone to surf the web or do anything, really. Such a shame.

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Holy Cow!

If you are ever in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and are looking for a great hamburger served in an awesome old yet upscale (dare I say retro) drive in/diner, definitely check out Holy Cow Burgers on Cehntal, just west of I-40. Amazing burgers, great fries, tasty Malts. Good stuff!

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Current Listening

I rebuilt my computer about a month ago, including rebuilding my iTunes library, which means that right now sorting my music by play count gives me the top ten songs that I have had listened to over the past month (on my computer, not my iPhone). So with no further ado:

10. “1977” – Ana Tijoux

9. “Sultans of Swing” – Dire Straits

8. “Mr. Fancy Pants” – Jonathan Coulton

7. “Something in the Water” – Brooke Fraser

6. “La Camisa Negra” – Juanes

5. “Code Monkey” – Jonathan Coulton

4. “Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster the People

3. “Ta Douleur” – Camille

2. “Gordita” – Shakira

1. “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen

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My wife made the most amazing green chile chicken enchiladas two nights ago, and I have eaten far more of it then I should have. Dinner on Monday, dinner last night, and maybe even dinner tonight, who knows! And last Friday she made one of the best lasagnas I have ever had, with beef and saucisse de Toulouse. It was magnificent. Yeah, my wife has serious cooking game. I think she should be on Chopped!

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