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In Surface Pro 3 Reddit AMA, users protest lack of GPU, bundled Type Covers

Mark Hachman | May 28, 2014
A bundled Type Cover and some sort of GPU acceleration top consumer wish lists for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, if a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session is any indication.

Apparently not, as the Surface team merely said that they loved the suggestion.

In all fairness, external GPUs such as the 2007 Asus XG Station have been few and far between, with the "external GPUs" found on Amazon simply offering the ability to connect multiple monitors to a laptop. And adding an external GPU inside the tablet will have a significant effect on cooling. But it's still an advantage that some notebooks have.

Microsoft also reported that the Core i5 and i7 versions will drive a single 4K monitor or two 2K monitors besides the native display. The cheapest, Core i3 version will drive a 4K monitor as well, but just two HD monitors, as well as the Surface Pro display.

Battery woes

The battery performance will be the same across all three processor versions of the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft wrote. The Core i7 will see benchmark scores approximately 15 to 20 percent better than the i5 version of the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft said.

But if you have to replace a Surface Pro 3 battery outside of warranty, users reported, the cost can be horrendous: $450, far more than the $130 Apple charges to replace a MacBook Air's battery. Microsoft executives, however, claimed that such a replacement would be relatively rare.

"The batteries on our Surface products are designed with some of the highest charge cycles for consumer electronic devices," the team wrote. "This means that the battery can get charged daily (5 days a week) for over 4.5 years and still maintain 80% capacity."

For now, most reviews of the Surface Pro 3 have been positive. But it's clear that, from a consumer viewpoint, Microsoft still has some work to do.


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