Tuesday 21 October 2014

Surface pro 3 - body of a tablet, power of a laptop

Tech Insider with Jessica Kelly

Jessica Kelly

Published 30/05/2014 | 02:30

Surface Pro 3 launch in New York City on May 20 last.
Surface Pro 3 launch in New York City on May 20 last.
The Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3
Rob Cumiskey, Community Manager at Hailo and Colm O'Cuilleanain, Managing Director, Hailo with taxi guardian angel Johnny when Hailo was launched in 2012. Photo: Shane O'Neill / Fennells.
Rob Cumiskey, Community Manager at Hailo and Colm O'Cuilleanain, Managing Director, Hailo with taxi guardian angel Johnny when Hailo was launched in 2012. Photo: Shane O'Neill / Fennells.

The body of a tablet, with the power of a laptop - perfect for both work and play?

Hybrid devices didn't go down great at first. Like everything in technology, it takes a few stabs at a new product or design in order go get it right. The Microsoft Surface was first put out onto the market in 2012.

The Surface is a device that sees the power of a laptop fit into the body of a tablet, only designed better.

The Surface Pro 2 was released last year and tweaked the minor niggling annoyances that were on the original device. Small changes such an extra setting for the kickstand and enhanced better life. The stunning screen and the full version of Windows packed into a small, compact body make it the ideal device for work – and the awesome selection of apps mean it's perfect for play too.

I've been using a Surface Pro 2 as my day-to-day device, alongside an iMac for editing etc and it has been a dream. This is why I was very excited to see what Microsoft unveiled to the world last week.

The Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inch screen standing on an incredibly thin frame – 30 percent thinner than the MacBook Air. As with the last Surface model, this will have multiple kickstand positions – making it easier to view when on the go. The device will have a stylus, called the "Surface Pen" which works very well alongside One Note.

The device is loaded with a USB 3.0, micro SD card slot and a Mini Display port. It has an Ethernet port too – again reinforcing its suitability as a work device. The Surface Pro 3 will retail from €819 and will have multiple configurations. All devices will have a 4th generation Intel Core processor varying in power from Core i3 and i5 up to i7. Devices will be available with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and a whole host of hard-drive options too.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is available for pre-order from MicrosoftStore.com and from Harvey Norman, PC World and Currys this summer.

HP pavilion x360

The HP Pavilion is all style

I would like to think I'm a fair reviewer. While I inevitably make a first impression on a product straight out of the box, I never judge without extensive use.

Out of the box the HP Pavilion X360 looks awesome. It's red, neat and light. The screen turns 360 degrees, turning a laptop into a tablet in an instant. It's the kind of device that ticks every box on paper.

After a sluggish start, the Windows 8 home-screen appears on a disappointing quality screen. Opening any app takes an age. And then it might crash – or freeze, if you're lucky.

Once filler programmes are cancelled, the user can then begin to work; in an ideal world. I tried to use this laptop as my companion device for a week. Each day I walked away frustrated and continued to work on my phone.

It's hard to identify exactly what the issue is. Internally the Pavilion X360 has a 2.13GHz processor, 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive. Why the sluggishness? It has one USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and a HDMI port – meaning it's built to be used.

HP are usually one of the reliable brands, but I was disappointed this time out.

I can feel your Hailo

Hailo announced this week that it has launched a number of business-friendly features — making it easy for companies to use the service!

The features included the ability to control employee access, centralised payment, spending monitor — with handy monthly statements and an easy to use expenses manager.

Hailo has over 8,000 cars now and is continuing to grow around the country. The service which originated in London back in 2011 is going from strength to strength across Europe and is popular amongst the drivers too.

Jessica Kelly is a technology reporter with Newstalk 106 – 108FM.

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent
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