Microsoft Surface 3 FAQs: Everything you need to know!

Looking to learn more about Microsoft Surface 3? We've got you covered, here are our comprehensive Microsoft Surface 3 frequently asked questions that should clear up all your queries.

Microsoft Surface 3 FAQs

Microsoft finally stops its attempt to promote Windows RT OS with the next-generation of the Surface tablet, the Microsoft Surface 3. It now powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor and comes with a full version of Windows 8.1 with the ability to run desktop software.

It’s better to know more about this device before you make a purchase decision, and here are our comprehensive Microsoft Surface 3 frequently asked questions that should clear up all your queries. We will try to cover all Surface 3 question segments including display, battery, performance, software, and design.

  1. Surface 3 Design, Configuration & Purchasing Q&As
  2. Surface 3 Display & Screen Q&As
  3. Surface 3 Battery & Power Q&As
  4. Surface 3 Performance Q&As
  5. Surface 3 Software & Compatibility Q&As
  6. Surface 3 Comparison Q&As
  7. Surface 3 Miscellaneous Q&As

1 Surface 3 Design, Configuration & Purchasing Q&As

1How much does a Surface 3 cost?

There are four configurations of Surface 3:

  • WiFi
    $499 - 2GB/64GB$599 - 4GB/128GB
  • WiFi+4G LTE
    $599 - 2GB/64GB$699 - 4GB/128GB
2What are the dimensions of the Surface 3?
Microsoft Surface 3 has dimensions of 10.52″ x 7.36″ x 0.34″ (267 mm x 187 mm x 8.7 mm).
3How much does the Surface 3 weight?
Microsoft Surface 3 is weight at:

  • 1.37 lbs (622 g) without a keyboard.
  • 1.95 lbs (884 g) with a keyboard.
4What ports are on the Surface 3?

Here are all available ports on the Surface 3:

  1. 1 x Full-size USB 3.0
  2. 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  3. 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
  4. 1 x Micro USB charging port (passes power and USB 2.0 data)
  5. 1 x MicroSDXC card reader (up to 128GB)
  6. 1 x Surface Type Cover port.
  7. 1 x Nano SIM card slot (Surface 3 [4G-LTE] only)
5Does Surface 3 have a camera?
Yes, there are two cameras on Surface 3:

  1. 3.5-megapixel front-facing camera.
  2. 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus.
6What processor is in Surface 3?

Microsoft Surface 3 has only one processor configurations:

  1. Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom x7-Z8700
    • Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics.
    • Base Frequency: 1.60 GHz
    • Burst Frequency: 2.40 GHz
    • Cache: 2 MB
    • 4 cores, 4 threads
7Does Surface 3 come with a Surface Pen?
No, Surface 3 doesn’t include a Surface Pen out of the box. You will need to purchase separately or use the same Surface Pens from Surface Pro 3.
8Does the new Surface 3 come with a keyboard?
No, you will need to purchase the keyboard (Surface 3 Type Cover) separately. The original Surface 3 Type Cover costs $129.99 available in five colors including black, blue, bright blue, red, and bright red.
9When was Surface 3 release?

Microsoft Surface 3 was:

  • Announced on March 21, 2015.
  • Preordered on March 21, 2015.
  • Available on May 5, 2015.
10Can you upgrade RAM on Surface 3?
No, you can’t upgrade your Surface 3 RAM as it was soldered directly onto the motherboard.
11Is the Surface 3 fanless?
Yes, All Surface 3 is fanless.

2 Surface 3 Display & Screen Q&As

12What size is Surface 3’s display?
Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch ClearType Full HD Plus Display.
13What is the resolution of Surface 3?
Surface 3 has a resolution of 1920 x 1280 and a pixel density of 214ppi (pixels per Inch).

For more information, check:

14Does Surface 3 need a screen protector?
Even Microsoft Surface 3’s screen is covered by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass, it still prone to scratches. You’d better pick one up for your Surface 3 to protect it from scratches.
15Does a screen protector reduce the responsiveness of Surface 3?
Yes it does, it much or less noticeable depending on what type and thickness of screen protector you put on it. For the best option, you should look for a slim tempered glass screen protector, as it’s smooth to the touch and reduce responsiveness issue.
16What is the aspect ratio of Surface 3?
Surface 3 has a 3:2 aspect ratio.

3 Surface 3 Battery & Power Q&As

17How long does the Surface 3 last?
Microsoft Surface 3 last 10-hours of battery life for video-playback tested by Microsoft.
18What is the battery capacity of Microsoft Surface 3?
Microsoft Surface 3 has a battery capacity of 27.5 Wh (7,270 mAh, 3.78V). For more information check:
19How do I charge my Surface 3?
You can charge your Surface 3 by using the OEM charger came with your Surface 3 – Plug the charger to the power source and plug the Micro USB connector to the Micro USB charging port on the right side of the Surface 3. You can also use any USB charger and cable that have a high rated power to charge your Surface 3 as well. However, it’s highly recommended to charge with the OEM charger and cable provided by Microsoft.
20Can I charge Surface 3 via USB?

No, USB port on Surface 3 is used for data transfer only.

4 Surface 3 Performance Q&As

21Can Microsoft Surface 3 run Photoshop?
It’s possible to run Adobe Photoshop on Surface 3, however it will be slow.
22Can the Surface 3 run games?
Yes, you can. You can install steam on it, and the performance will depend on the games you want to play.
23Can you code or programming on Surface 3?

For writing code, Microsoft Surface 3 is powerful enough to handle most code editor such as VS Code, Atom, or Notepad++. Combined with its great tactile keys, it’s a perfect mobile development machine you want to have.

However, if you’re looking to compile more complex codes on Visual Studio or Android Studio, you might need to get a Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, or Surface Book instead.

24Is Surface 3 64-bit?
Yes, Microsoft Surface 3 uses the Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom x7-Z8700 which supports 64-bit instruction and it does come with a 64-bit version of Windows 8.1.
25Is Surface 3 good for drawing?
Yes, drawing is really smooth on most apps such as Windows Ink, Sketchable, Bamboo Ink, OneNote, and more. It supports the latest Surface Pen with 256 levels of pressure.
26Is Surface 3 good for students?
Yes, it is. With Surface 3, you can take advantages of all kind of note taking including typing, drawing, and touch. You will never get stuck on taking note of all kind of information you want.
27Will Surface 3 run Office?
Yes, Surface 3 comes with a 1-Year Microsoft Office 365 Personal. Office apps will run smoothly on Microsoft Surface 3.
28Will the new Surface Dock work with Surface 3?
No, The new Surface Dock required a new Surface Connect interface which doesn’t available on Surface 3.

5 Surface 3 Software & Compatibility Q&As

29Does Surface 3 run Windows 10?

Yes, it does. Surface 3 shipped with a full version of Windows 8.1 and can be upgraded to Windows 10 for free.

30Can you download apps on Surface 3?
Yes, you can. You can download safe and Microsoft verified apps and games from Microsoft Store. Since it’s a full version of Windows, you can also download and install any apps from any source you’d like to.
31Does Surface 3 run full Windows?

Yes, Surface 3 comes with full Windows 8.1.

32How do I reset my Surface 3?

To reset your Surface 3 on Windows 10, plug in your Surface 3 so you don’t run out of power during the refresh.

  1. Open Settings > Update & Security.
  2. Select Recovery.
  3. Under “Reset this PC“, select Get started.
  4. Choose either Keep my files or Remove everything.
  5. If you choose to Remove everything, you can choose to clean only the drive where Windows is installed and all drives.
  6. Next, you will have the option to just remove my files and remove files and clean the drive. The option to clean the drive is more secure but takes much longer. For example, if you are recycling your Surface, you should clean the drive. If you are keeping your Surface, you just need to remove your files.
  7. Select Reset.
    Surface 3 will restart and the Surface logo appears during the reset process (this can take several minutes).
33Is Microsoft Office free on Surface 3?
No, the 10.8-inch Surface 3 comes with a 1-Year Office 365 Personal subscription, so you need to renew the subscription to continue using the full Office suite when the free period ended.

34Does Surface 3 need antivirus?
In most cases, you don’t need a third-party antivirus. Windows 10 on Surface 3 has a built-in Windows Defender for virus and threat protection out of the box. It’s free and receives definition updates regularly via Windows Update.

6 Surface 3 Comparison Q&As

35What is the difference between Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3?
Here are some major differences between Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3:

  • Released Date Surface Pro 3 released on June 20, 2014, while Surface 3 released on May 5, 2015.
  • Peformance Surface Pro 3 uses the latest 4-Gen Intel Core i5 processors while Surface 3 uses Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom.
  • Design Surface 3 is thinner, lighter, new Microsoft logo on the kickstand, and 3-position kickstand.
  • Display Surface Pro 3 has a 12-inches ClearType display (2160 x 1440) while Surface 3 has a 10.8-inches ClearType Full HD Plus display (1920 x 1280).
36What is the difference between Surface 3 and Surface Go?
Here are some major differences between Surface 3 and Surface Go:

  • Released Date Surface Go released on August 2, 2018, while Surface 3 released on May 5, 2015.
  • Peformance Surface Go uses the latest 7th Gen Intel® Pentium® Gold Processor while Surface 3 uses Intel® Cherry Trail Quad Core Atom.
  • Design Surface Go is thinner, lighter, and multi-position kickstand compared to Surface 3 with an only 3-positions kickstand.
  • Display Surface Go has a 10-inch PixelSense™ Display (1800x 1200) while Surface 3 has a 10.8-inches ClearType Full HD Plus display (1920 x 1280).

For more information check:

7 Surface 3 Miscellaneous Q&As

37Is Surface 3 a tablet or a laptop?
It’s a 2-in-1 tablet or laptop. It can function as a tablet and also a laptop when connected to a Surface 3 Type Cover.
38What is the company that makes Surface 3?
Surface 3 is a product among other Surface-branded products that are made by the Microsoft company.
39Can I use older Surface Pro pens on Surface 3?
No, you can’t. Microsoft has adopted a new N-trig technology on Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 which is not compatible with the Wacom technology that is used on older Surface Pen.
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