Anyone who's looked at buying a small, portable computer in the time since the release of the iPad will likely understand the difficulty in choosing between a tablet and a laptop.
Do you opt for more power to run applications? Or perhaps a slim device that slides into a bag? What about a keyboard to type on? These features are no longer at odds with each other thanks to the Surface line of devices from Microsoft.
What is the Surface?
You'll be used to the idea of a laptop and a tablet. The former is a screen attached to a keyboard, making it easy to type and get work done. A tablet, on the other hand, ditches the keyboard and commonly uses a system like Android or iOS - meaning lots of apps and games as well as great portability.
When Microsoft announced the Surface line of devices, they essentially combined the functions of both a tablet and a laptop to create a single device. So what do you get?
The best of both worlds
The Surface Pro 3 is the latest in a line of these tablets from Microsoft, and it's the best yet. It's essentially a 12" tablet that runs a full version of Windows, comes with a kickstand, stylus and optional keyboards that attach with magnets. That's right - no more clunky docking mechanisms.
You're able to load up standard Windows applications, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Office and even a few games. It's a great device that can be used at home, work, school or while travelling.
Take a look at the pretty impressive list of features we've compiled below:
- 12" HD display (2160 x 1440)
- Up to 512GB SSD storage (450GB is usable)
- 4GB of RAM
- A stylus and built-in kickstand
- Optional extra keyboards that snap on
- A nine-hour battery life
- Full array of ports: USB 3.0, microSD, 3.5mm and Mini DisplayPort
It's also got WiFi, Bluetooth and the sensors you'll find in most other mobile devices, such as an accelerometer and gyroscope.
There's more to come
Microsoft is just getting started with these devices too. This year, users will be able to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to the latest Windows 10 for free, with features like remote Xbox One gaming and the speedy new internet browser Microsoft Edge.
Also coming down the pipeline is the Microsoft Surface 3, losing the 'Pro' moniker but still a powerful little device - essentially a smaller companion to the larger Surface Pro 3.
If you've been struggling to decide whether to buy a laptop or tablet, the Surface Pro 3 is a great option.