Since the first Surface RT released in 2012, Microsoft’s ambition has been to build a tablet that can replace your laptop. This was always a dangerous way to position the systems, because it drew comparisons with real laptops. Microsoft didn’t even shy away from those comparisons, explicitly comparing the Surface Pro 3 to the contemporaneous MacBook Air.
In terms of size, weight, price, and performance, the comparison made some sense, but it was double-edged. While it highlighted the Surface Pro 3’s undoubted advantages—better screen, touch and stylus input, tablet form factor—it also made clear the Surface Pro 3’s big deficit relative to the laptop: it’s not actually very good on your lap.