I've been a huge fan of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 ever since it came out last August. I purchased one of the Intel i7 models, and it was able to successfully replace my laptop, just as Microsoft claimed it could.
It's an incredible computer/tablet.
Now Microsoft has come out with the Surface 3 (note the word "Pro" missing), which is available for pre-order, and ships in early May.
I was at a Microsoft store in the mall today, and Microsoft has a bunch of the new Surface 3's that you can play with in the store.
All I can say is wow, they have done it again. The thing is a perfect replacement for an iPad, as the size is very similar, and it's extremely light-weight -- and silent, due to the fact that it is fanless. And it starts at $499!
While the Surface Pro 3 does offer the ability to be just a tablet when you remove the keyboard, the new Surface 3 is that tablet you can just chuck in a bag to read a book someplace, and easily lounge around on the couch and surf the Internet on. The fact that it is so light and portable makes it even more amazing that the thing is a full Windows computer also, able to run anything that a desktop PC can run. And the screen is spectacular -- great colors and better than HD (1080P) resolution.
Now, I love Apple hardware, particularly the iPad and iPhone. But the thing I hate about Apple products is the operating system. I really dislike how Apple forces you to use everything within their "walled-off" ecosystem, and if Apple doesn't specifically allow something on their devices, you're out of luck.
You have some music on your computer that you want to put on your iPhone or iPad? You practically need to be a rocket scientist to get it into iTunes and then synchronized onto your device. It's great for Apple, because it "forces" people to buy their music through Apple's store, but not so great for users who want to be able to use what they already have.
So the fact that Microsoft is starting to make really terrific products that can match (and exceed) what Apple has out there is great news for me -- one step closer to living Apple-free!