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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Hands-On

If you’ve been scoping the market lately for a full fledged tablet computer, then the Pro 3 of the Microsoft Surface Series should be right up your alley. According to the latest technology news, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the latest installment of their super tablet line, and quite frankly is pretty impressive considering the extra bucks needed to acquire it.

The Design

With a thinner chassis and slick design, the Surface Pro 3 has managed to pull off a unified device to end all other devices, (for the time being). With a larger 12-inch, 2160×1440 high resolution display, and a aspect ratio of 3:2, the difference in the Surface Pro 3 is immediately noticeable, especially while it’s being used in notebook-style (which is more laptop-like than its previous version. The Surface Pro 3 also feature a cool new kickstand which makes it easier to set up and use, and this version is also optimized for a digital pen, which is a nifty additional.

The Hardware

Considering a thin (9.1mm) chassis, the Surface Pro 3 features some serious hardware. Along with having i-series core options of i3 and i7, the Pro 3 still runs on a 15W Haswell ULT SoC. And if you go for the i5 option, you will get a dual-core/4 thread Haswell part along with a 3MB L3 cache. According to the latest technology news regarding the Surface Pro 3, the top speeds of all variations of its CPU cores are 1.9GHz base frequency and 2.9GHz max turbo, which makes it a pretty impressive machine which is able to perform at low thermals for the serious users. Both 64 and 128 GB of storage come with 4 GB of RAM, while those with 256 or 512 GB storage feature 8 GB of RAM.

Since the keyboard is an important component in all laptop/Tablet devices, the Surface Pro 3 type cover is clearly designed for improved precision for both artists and inkers alike.

Storage
For the techno geeks out there, the 64 GB version has more than 36 Gs’ of available disk space, and the 128, 256, and 512 GB variations come with the 96, 211, and 450 GB, respectively. In terms of storage, the 64 GB Surface Pro can be compared to a 32 GB iPad. That being said, the Surface is way more powerful. The surface features a full-size USB 3.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort, along with a MicroSD card slot as well, for up 128 GB of additional storage space.

Battery Life
The pen uses a single AAAA battery and two coin cell batteries, while Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 3 features a battery which allows it to get juiced for the whole day after a single charge.

The Verdict
So, the one question that has been bugging some people is the SATA-based drive and why Microsoft hasn’t switched to PCI-E yet. We think that the reason might be that PCI-E SSDs are a bit longer than the mSATA SSDs.

It seems that Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella has taken the route of Apple Inc., which is that using cutting-edge technology only leads to an increase in prices (and not to mention a reduced profit margin). So, if it’s fast enough already, why push the tempo by adding hardware which will only lead to the device being more expensive than it already is.

Bottom Line
Since the latest, MacBook Pro is around 4.5 pounds, (which is one super heavy tablet) and considering all other Tablets, Android or otherwise cannot be considered as super-computers, which is a serious deal breaker especially for the pros, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 seems like the obvious choice for those who want to enjoy the latency and transfer rate of a high-end Tablet computer with real practical usability.

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Linn Kiko a Premium Sound System with Superior Sound

There are plenty of speaker systems out at the moment that offer good sound plenty of options for connections from Bluetooth to Apple’s AirPlay and all come at a nice enough price. These focus mostly on having variety and the streaming, and arguably save money in the audio department where though the sound can be above average, to get the best you have to pay a little more money.

The Linn Kiko is a sound system that looks more to the high end of the price scale and concentrates on the audio aspect and the looks of the system which some would argue is just as important. When these systems are made to fit into your living room you need it to look good, and the Linn Kiko definitely fits that bill.

Build
The Kiko sound system is a high end model in not only sound but also looks. With its elegant and fashionable look, with curves in all the right places you should find no problem in fitting this into your living room if this is the placing of choice. Colours available are silver, champagne, blue (dark and light), white and black so there is plenty of choices to fit your personal needs. One drawback (or could be a positive based on your needs for the system) is there are very little controls visible at all, no high tech touchscreen here. Just a blue LED display and power switch, it’s a minimalistic look to fit the design. For most of the functionality you’ll need your computer, smartphone or tablet though there are a few controls available for skipping songs etc. on a remote that is provided.

Features

The main aim of the Kiki is to be able to play your music easily and quickly without having to spend too long installing anything. This is done through your network, so it’s easy to connect to things like AirPlay, internet radio services and music apps like Spotify. Software is provided by Linn (Kinsky software) this allows connection through tablets, smartphone and your computer. One of the surprising things though is there is no wireless internet for the Kiko, it will have to be wired up to your router by an Ethernet cable. This is quite against the minimalist design in a way. What this does though is improves sound quality and connection speed as you’ll have no problems that Wi-fi can sometimes have.

Connections
As well as the connection to your router to connect to your network there are also HDMI ports available as well as phono audio and coaxial digital inputs. This means that you can connect the sound system up to your television and Blu-ray player to use the Kiko’s audio system for output. The one problem with the Kiko as hinted above is that there are going to be wires coming out of the system, the speakers for example have quite a thick wire going to each. Part of getting the look of the Kiko right for your home will obviously be finding a place to hide these wires. Once they are hidden of course they won’t cause many problems at all.

Audio Quality
For an expensive audio system like this you’ll be expecting high end sound and that’s what you’ll get with the Linn Kiko. For a system that uses speakers that are quite small the small amplified drives pack plenty of punch and show why the Kiko is such a special system. Ranging from the quiet listening experience to the loud there is still plenty of punch and high quality sound that shows where your money went.

Verdict
The big problem you’ll have with the Linn Kiko is finding the excuse to spend £2,500($4,048) on it, but for a premium audio system it’s definitely worth it. The drawback of having to use the Ethernet connection to connect to your router and the internet is a drawback but once the system is up and running and you hear the sound quality it makes it worth it.