Best Surface 3 Case Options For You

A lot of people have been asking about some of the best Surface 3 case options to protect their new tablet.

It’s been a while since we did an accessory roundup, so I thought it might help folks if I went over some good options for Surface 3 cases.

Below you’ll find several choices ranging from a Mil-Spec (military specifications) armored case, all the way down to a simple clear skin case.

We tested most of these personally, and I marked them with (Tested) next to the name of the case. The remainder of cases are on our list because they are getting good ratings on Amazon and they have one or more features we found interesting.

Click the picture or the link for each protective case to see details…

What Types of Cases Are Available for the Surface Pro 3

Later on, we cover the best of the best, the top rated cases for a Surface Pro 3. But let’s first do a brief overview of all the cases available to you for your Surface.

  • Portfolio (or Padfolio) type covers. These come in all types of material and are available with various brands. These are complete work cases. If you take your work with you on the go and want a simple way to store your Surface, pens, a notebook, your phone, business cards, and other work-related things, then this is the perfect case for you. The level of protection with the Microsoft Surface portfolio case is not the highest quality, and neither is it a thin, sleek option. But it serves its purpose in keeping your work things front and center and making your life simpler and more organized.
  • Safety focused cases. These include Under Armour, Otterbox, and others of this nature. Cases like these are known for their protection. They function as an armour for your Surface. If your main concern is safety, this is the way to go. These devices are not cheap, and keeping them safe is essential. To some people, this is more important to find in a case than any other feature.
  • Messenger case. This type is the perfect way to carry a Surface, just as you would a laptop. The primary goal of this tote bag is to bring it along with you, so this is not a case that can be used as a skin. But if you are looking for portability, this is your case. It comes with pockets and handles, just like a traditional laptop case. Other options like this allow for tons of storage for your everyday things such as cards, bills, etc. Some even have openings that allow you to plug in your charger or have ports for speakers. There are safer and more protective case options like this, depending on the brand.
  • Cases with a kickstand. If you want to use your Surface like you would a laptop, purchasing a case with a kickstand is a good place to start. It allows your tablet to stand upright as you use it. There are cases such as the Dux who not only keep your Surface standing upright, but they also give a nice thin skin. This skin will protect your Surface, but since it is mostly clear, it also gives it a natural look. Kickstand cases with skins are some of the best if you need an upright surface, with the ability to touch all buttons and protect your case.
  • Cases that withstand nature. There are certain cases out there that are what is considered “military grade protection.†These are created to keep your case safe, regardless of the effects of nature. You could go hiking with a case like this! They are water resistant, shatter and pressure resistant, as well as shockproof. Though this is a bulkier case, you do have the plus of having a kickstand available.
  • Sleeve cases with zippers. These cases are amazing for portability, similar to the messenger case. Great for cross-country road trips, and even down to going to the coffee shop to get some work done. They keep the Surface neat and protected. Sleeves are the less bulky alternative to the messenger case. This sleeve is not a skin, but it does good for what it is meant to do. You can even put your charger in the zipper! These come in materials such as leather, which claim to be waterproof as well as anti-scratch. Some come with straps, and there are a variety of colors and patterns to choose from among the various brands.
  • Slim shell holder cases. Some cases are meant for nothing more than outside beauty. There are so many designs, patterns, fabrics, and colors to choose from. The options and brands that hold these varieties are endless. Many pretty cases can be purchased that have protection as well, but most are less durable. If your Surface doesn’t really leave your home or office, then aesthetics can be the most important thing to you. These options are typically cheaper than the high protection cases and there are options for them with other surface products, such as the Surface Microsoft Book.

What to Consider When Buying Cases for Surface Pro 3

There are a few things to consider when purchasing a case for your Surface Pro 3. None of these are required, but they are some of the best features available in case technology. Go through the list and find which ones are most important to you, then research your right fit based on that knowledge!

  1. Durability.
  2. Shock protection.
  3. Waterproof.
  4. Versatile.
  5. Kickstand.
  6. Storage heavy.
  7. Pockets and zippers
  8. Military grade protection.
  9. Tin & sleek body.
  10. Stylish.

OK, now let’s get started on the best Surface 3 case options in the industry.

Best Surface 3 Case Options: Armored Case

You’ll want to go for an armored case if: you’re clumsy, you are using the Surface in a construction zone/shop, your kids use it a lot, or if you’re just really protective of your Surface 3. If this sounds like you, there’s really only one option you should consider – Urban Armor Gear.

The Urban Armor Gear case for the Surface 3 offers the best protection from drops of any case I’ve seen. It holds the Surface firmly in place and it just “feels†like you could run over it with a tank without hurting it.

Considering it was built to Mil-Spec, that’s not really a surprise. It also offers a pen holder (nice touch), and it doesn’t block the ports on the Surface too much.

Of course, there are some downsides. First, it adds a lot of bulk, and it pretty much doubles the weight of the Surface 3. In addition, like most of the bulkier cases, it blocks the use of the Surface 3 kickstand.

It does offer its own 3-position kickstand that works well, but I felt like it was more difficult than necessary to get the kickstand into the 3rd position.

Best Surface 3 Case Options: Portfolio Cases

In this section, I will be covering Surface 3 case options that look like business folios. As we have seen above, these offer good protection for your Surface in case it’s dropped and some add additional storage space for things like pens and paper, but they also tend to add a lot of bulk that you have to carry around.

Still, if you’re looking for a Surface 3 case to use in a business environment, you’ll want to consider one of these cases.

View on Amazon

Maroo Synthetic Leather Folio (Tested)

I picked up my Maroo case when I got our Surface 3 from the Microsoft Store, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with it.

It looks good (I have the black one) and offers a couple of different places to store the Surface Pen.

It also does an outstanding job of keeping the ports free because it uses rubber corner holders to keep the Surface in place, as opposed to a “pocket with cutouts†like some other cases.

Of course, it blocks the kickstand, but it offers a passable (if not great) kickstand of its own. It also adds a lot of weight and bulk. However, if you’re going into a business meeting, it will help you make a good impression.

ProCase Folio Cover Case

View on Amazon

We’ve tested cases from ProCase for the Surface Pro 3 in the past and have found them to be well constructed and attractive.

This one is made just for the Surface Pro 3. It offers a nice built-in pen holder and quality Velcro and an elastic strap which are there to keep your Surface firmly in place.

We added this one in because of its 4.5 rating on Amazon and it’s more than a thousand (mostly positive) reviews.

Best Surface 3 Case Options: Light

This category covers cases that are lightweight and/or very slim fitting. A lot of people have asked us about Surface 3 case options that don’t add extra weight or bulk, so we included some options for your consideration below.

Trident Cyclops (Tested)

View on Amazon

This case almost went into the armored section with the Urban Armor Gear options. It is constructed of polycarbonate and thermo-plastic which gives it a “tacticool†feel.

However, it doesn’t add a lot of bulk or weight to the Surface 3, and it allows you to use the built-in kickstand which is pretty handy.

However, it is expensive, and it can be a huge pain getting the Surface 3 into it properly. This is because, unlike most cases which just kind of slip on, this comes in 3 pieces that have to be assembled around the Surface. Also, with the case in place, you’ll find that it prevents a keyboard cover from closing all the way. As a result, it won’t let you put your Surface to sleep by closing the cover; so, you’ll have to use the on-screen controls or top button to sleep your Surface.

All in all, though, once you get past the sticker shock and get the Surface into it, it works well and is probably worth the money for the balance of protection and low added weight/bulk. Oh, and it looks cool.

View on Amazon

Moko Slim-Fit Folio

The Moko Folio made it to our list because of its 4-star rating on Amazon (with 275+ reviews) and the hand strap feature, which lets you easily comfortably hold your Surface with one hand while using the on-screen keyboard with the other.

It also offers a pen loop and a 3-angle stand to compensate for the fact that it covers up the Surface’s built-in kickstand.

When closed, it holds the Surface firmly on all four sides but, when folded back or propped up, it only holds the Surface on three sides. So, I wouldn’t just fling the case open as the Surface could slide out but, as long as you’re just a bit cautious, it should work fine.

View on Amazon

Moko Smart-Shell Cover

This is another offering from Moko, and it also made this list, in part, because of the 4-star rating it earned with 320+ reviews.

The other reason it made this list is because of its light weight and the fact that it doesn’t add a lot of bulk.

It has a rigid tray that the Surface sits in and a PU leather outer cover that’s available in multiple colors.

Best Surface 3 Case Options: Skins

If you’re more concerned with keeping your Surface 3 looking new than protecting it from falls, you may want to consider getting a skin. Skin is just a sticker you place on the case to protect it from scratches and abrasions.

View on Amazon

Skinomi TechSkin – Carbon Fiber (Tested)

The Skinomi carbon fiber skin offers a textured design that looks and feels like carbon fiber (though I don’t think it’s actually made from carbon fiber).

It’s extremely thin and virtually weightless, so it doesn’t add any mass to your Surface 3.

It is relatively easy to install as you simply stick it on the back and sides of your Surface.

The adhesive is laid out in a grid pattern which makes it easier to avoid air bubbles during application and install correctly. That said, you should exercise caution and patience during the application. Otherwise, it won’t look as good.

As a bonus, it includes a screen protector as part of the package.

View on Amazon

Armorsuit MilitaryShield

This skin and screen protector combo is designed to be practically invisible when applied.

It has the advantage of letting your Surface look “stock†while still helping to protect the case and screen from scratches and abrasions.

Since it’s clear, you don’t have to be quite as precise during application of the film, but you will need to keep fingerprints and debris out from under the film during installation.

As a bonus, they include an installation squeegee to help you avoid air bubbles during application.

So, there you have it! That’s my list of Surface 3 cases. Now you have a slew of case options for your Surface 3 to consider. Do you have an option you like that I didn’t cover? If so, feel free to share in the comments.

Also, be on the lookout for some more hands-on reviews of the best Surface 3 cases because we have some manufacturers sending us new models to test soon.

See also:

Surface Pro 4 Accessories – What’s New?

Consider A Refurbished Surface Pro 3

How To Take A Screenshot With A Surface 3

How to Take a Screenshot With a Surface 3

Wondering How To Take A Screenshot On A Surface?

Taking screenshots is a very common task for a lot of people using a Windows-based computer. While the procedure is very similar to any Windows 8.1 device, the Surface Pen makes all the difference here.

So, in this article, I’m listing multiple methods that you can use to take a screenshot when using a Surface Pen or an attached Type Cover. No one way is “the best”.

Continue Reading

Weekly Surface News Roundup – 17 April 2016

Here we go again with another Surface News Roundup. This week, I have a quartet of hand-picked stories that should appeal to Surface owners or enthusiasts.

Here’s the quick rundown…

  • Luxury Type Cover
  • Apple Copies Surface Book Hinges
  • April 2016 Updates for Surface 3 LTE
  • Dual Screen Covers For Surface?

Alright, let’s start with the new, luxury, Type Cover story since it seemed the be what got the most press this week…[divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Luxury Type Cover

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the Signature Type cover for the SP3 and SP4 at Milan Design Week. According to a blog entry by  (Color & Materials Designer, Microsoft Devices) it was…

The perfect place to launch the Signature Type Cover, meticulously crafted with a luxury material, sourced exclusively in Italy and used in high-end fashion, automotive and interiors.

Yeah, it sounded pretentious to me too. Especially since all it really is, is a standard type cover covered with soft felt. If you’re curious about the tech specs, they’re listed below:

  • Supported platforms: Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4
  • Dimensions: 11.60 in (295 mm) x 8.54 in (217 mm) x 0.19 in (4.65 mm)
  • Weight: 0.63 lbs (285 grams)
  • Layout: QWERTY, full row of function keys (F1 – F12)
  • Dedicated buttons for Windows shortcuts, media controls, screen brightness

Starting at $159.99 USD, the Signature Type Cover is available at Microsoft stores and at certain retailers in the US, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the UK.

I haven’t yet seen one of these but as soon as I can, I’ll try to make it to our local Microsoft store and see if they have them in stock – who knows, they may surprise me 🙂

Related: Microsoft, TechCrunch, WindowsReport [divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Apple Copies Surface Book Hinges

In an example of “a good idea is a good idea regardless of who came up with it”, Apple has approached Amphenol who provided tiny but strong hinges to Microsoft for the kickstands on Surface tablets. They’re doing this because they want to make the next gen of MacBooks thinner than ever.

Just more evidence that Apple is now chasing after Microsoft. Sorry Apple fans, I think the evidence is clear…

Related: CultofMac [divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup: April 2016 Updates for Surface 3 LTE

Earlier this week, Surface 3 LTE owners probably noticed a round of updates for their devices. In case you’re wondering, those were the April 2016 Firmware updates and included a single fix intended to improve network stability:

  • Intel Corporation driver update for Surface IA7260 Firmware Update

There might be some slight differences in versions depending on where you’re located (North American units will get version v1524.5.24.28 while everyone else will get version v1544.2.00.29). If you don’t have a Surface 3 LTE, you probably don’t care about this update.

Related: Microsoft [divider]

Weekly Surface News Roundup: Dual Screen Covers For Surface?

Microsoft Research has been showing off what they are calling a “flex case”. The flex case acts as a second screen for a (Surface?) Phone or, maybe, could be scaled up to provide a whole new experience with a Surface tablet.

While this is just my speculation on the matter, just imagine having a type cover that can have the keys rearranged for different tasks or even re-configued into a second screen.

While it may seem far fetched, apparently Microsoft Research folks are already in deep talks with Lumia devices team in Finland to explore the possibilities of including this technology in Lumia devices. If that works out, is the idea of a Surface Phone or Surface Tablet “Flex Case” still outlandish? I wouldn’t say so…

Related: MSPowerUser [divider]

Well, that’s another week’s worth of Surface related news for this week’s roundup. I’ll be back again next week to bring you yet another round of news for your entertainment and information.


Save Email As PDF On Surface Tablets

Why would you want to save email as PDF?

  • How often do you buy a piece of software online and they send you a code or receipt via email?
  • How often do you have important emails that you need to save forever?

I know I do and often. Anything from receipts, to tracking important conversations, to software download codes, I receive it it all via email.

Unfortunately, email is not always a reliable or convenient way to keep track of those types of things (especially free email offerings like Gmail). It is always better to save a copy of them. Let’s face it, three months after you made that reservation,  you may not remember the details and can’t find it easily. And let’s not even talk about years of communications, like often happens in business.

So, what can you do?

The obvious answer is to organize your email into folders (or Labels in Gmail). Here is the thing, mail servers go down, emails get lost, emails can be difficult to find, and you need a network connection to even look for them. So, I don’t recommend relying on your email client to keep and organize important emails.

A better solution is to save your emails as a file and organize them somewhere safe, like on your device (with backups of course) or synced to the cloud on OneDrive.

That’s where saving your email as PDF comes in. In this article I will cover how to save an email as PDF on Surface tablets when using the built-in Mail App.

[Note: this does not pertain to other email clients because they are all slightly different.]

How to Save email as PDF from Mail App on your Surface tablet

  • Open your Mail App and go to the email you want to save
  • At the top right, click or tap the three dots to pull down the menu

  • Chose Print (yes, I know, it not intuitive but you’ll be “printing to a file”)
  • Select Microsoft Print to PDF 

  • Click Print

  • Give your file a name and location where you’d like to save it
  • Click Save

You now have a copy of your email saved in the location you specified above and you can move it to any folder you like. I like to save anything I purchase online into a folder on OneDrive that is divided into sub-folders for Receipts, Software codes, Travel reservations, etc. But you can simply create a folder structure that works for you.

A couple of notes: If your email is very long, it may take a minute or two to save the file. If you’re still using Win 8.1 the procedure is different and you will most likely need to use OneNote as an intermediary (unless you have PDF writing software).



How to Rollback Windows Updates on your Surface

You may have already noticed or heard that sometimes applying new updates cause problems on your Surface.

So, then what do you do when something like this happens?

Well, you can just rollback (or uninstall) the update or updates that are causing you problems. In order to successfully rollback a Windows update, you have to do two things:

  • First Disable Automatic Updates – if you don’t to this, the update will just try to re-install itself at the next opportunity.
  • Roll back the update through Control Panel – to actually remove the offending update.

It’s important to note that rolling back an update is usually something you would do as a temporary workaround to get your Surface back up and working. In an ideal world, Microsoft will issue a new update and that will solve your problem.

In addition, you need to acknowledge that it’s possible that the rollback will cause as many or more problems then leaving the problematic update in place.

So, before you attempt any rollback please make sure you BACKUP ANY DATA YOU CARE ABOUT FIRST!!!! That way, if something goes wrong and you tank your Surface you can always do a reset to get it back up and running without worrying about your data.

How to Rollback Windows Updates on your Surface: Disable Auto Updates

These steps will cover how to change your Windows updates settings to stop automatically installing when they become available.

Windows 10

In Windows 10, unfortunately, Microsoft has made it somewhat confusing to prevent some patches and upgrades from automatically happening (especially if you have a Surface 3). This is because Windows 10 Home edition (which the Surface 3 runs) cannot be configured to prevent security updates from being automatically installed.

In addition, while you can use methods like registry editing or Local Group Policy changes to prevent updates from installing on Windows 10 Professional (which is the version Surface Pros and Surface Books run), there are usually some pretty invasive side effects such as no longer being able to make changes to the update settings from the GUI and persistent “Some settings are managed by your organization” messages.

So, to prevent confusion, I recommend simply disabling the Windows Update service until you’re ready to try the updates again. This method will work on any Surface model running Windows 10.

Here are the steps:

  • Search for Services then select Services (Desktop App) from the results.
  • Scroll down and find the entry for Windows Update.

  • Double-tap/click it to bring up the Properties options.
  • Configure the Startup Type to be Disabled then tap or click the Stop button.

  • Tap or click OK then close the Services panel.

That’s it. Windows will no longer try to install updates. When you’re ready to allow Windows updates to work again, simply go back to the same screen, reverse the changes, and restart your Surface.

Windows 8.1

If you’re still running Windows 8.1, you could use the Windows 10 method to prevent updates from automatically installing. However, unlike Windows 10, Windows 8.1 offers much more control over how updates get installed without the need to turn services on and off.

  • Open Windows Update by going to the Charm Menu then Settings [Or from the Keyboard: Windows key + I, see our list of useful Surface shortcuts]
  • Tap Change PC settings

  • Tap Update and recovery

  • Tap Choose how updates get installed

  • Under Important updates, choose the option: Download Updates but let me choose whether to install them

  • Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click Apply

These steps configure your Surface (running Windows 8.1) to download the updates and ask you to install them but, it won’t just automatically do it. Now you’re ready to rollback the troublesome update and not worry about it trying to automatically re-install itself.

How to Rollback Windows Updates on your Surface: Perform the Rollback

Keep in mind that Microsoft does not recommend doing this because updates are intended to “help enhance the security and performance of your computer”. However, if an update causes problems, you clearly have no choice.

As for actually rolling back the update, the method is the same for both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 so, you can follow the same procedure as shown below:

  • Open Control Panel on the desktop
  • Tap Programs and Features

  • Under Programs and Features, tap View installed updates

  • Tap the update that you want to remove, and then click Uninstall.  If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation

After you uninstall the update(s), restart your Surface and it should be gone.

If you need help figuring out which update is the one causing your problems, you can refer to the Windows 10 Update History page Microsoft maintains. It lists a lot of information about the individual updates including the KB numbers which is really helpful for identifying them in the “Uninstall an update” list.

We hope this helps you solve any update-induced problems and, as usual, if you have questions please let us know.


LAST UPDATE: 15/2/2016

Weekly Surface News Update – 10 January, 2016

This week, we have a nice batch of news stories pertaining to the Surface line of devices. Everything from a new accessory to new markets and new clones. Here’s the short rundown of my favorite stories for this week…

  • Add a Second USB 3.0 port to your Surface
  • SP4 in India – it costs a small fortune
  • Why the SP4 doesn’t have RealSense
  • Surface 3 LTE in Austrailia
  • Surface Book pre-orders open in 10 markets
  • Samsung joins the Surface Clone Wars

Ok, let’s get the ball rolling with a new “must have” accessory for your SP4…


Weekly Surface News Update: Add a Second USB 3.0 port to your Surface

Surface pretty much since the Surface RT was released in late 2012. Their newest accessory is a port expander designed for the Surface Pro 4 and offers two USB 3.0 slots along with an Ethernet port.

In the past, their adapters, while useful, often blocked another port (such as the video out or charging port) but, they solved that issues with this version with a “pass-through” connection for the video out.

The adapter will be available for purchase for about $45 USD through Amazon sometime in February.

Related: NeoWin [divider]

Weekly Surface News Update: SP4 in India but, it costs a small fortune

Earlier this week, Microsoft made the SP4 available for order in India with shipping starting January 14th.

Unfortunately, it won’t come cheap as the Surface Pro 4 pre-order price starts at Rs. 89,990 ($1,345). For that price you get the Core i5 version with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. Compare that to $999 for the same device in the USA.

A SP4 with a Core i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD in India, goes for Rs 1,20,990 ($1808) and the Core i7 variant 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD for Rs 1,44,990 ($2167).

Related: TechTimes [divider]

Weekly Surface News Update: Why the SP4 doesn’t have RealSense

If you don’t know about Intel RealSense, basically it’s a technology that lets a camera “see” gestures. By doing so, you can interact with a computer simply by making hand signals or motions in the air. Cool, huh?

Some folks who were disappointed that the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book didn’t include the technology. Up til now, no one quite knew why but, the mystery was cleared up last week.

Dan Laycock, Senior Communications Manager for Microsoft Surface, told TrustedReviews that the Surface team considered including RealSense, but it would have made the SP4 thicker so they excluded it in favor of aesthetics.

Laycock said, “We did [consider Intel RealSense], but the thickness got in the way.” He also added: “So it was a consideration, but [the Surface Book] is very thin, and you can only do so much.”

Related: TrustedReviews [divider]

Weekly Surface News Update: Surface 3 LTE in Australia

If you’re down under and been chomping at the bit to get a LTE-capable Surface 3, your wait is almost over.

The Surface 3 4G LTE model will be available on January 28th and will retail for $979. You’ll be able to pick one up from the Sydney Microsoft Store, the online Microsoft Store, Harvey Norman, or JB Hi-Fi.

Related: Australian Business Traveler [divider]

Weekly Surface News Update: Surface Book pre-orders open in 10 markets

Along with the Surface 3 LTE arriving in Australia, starting last Tuesday (Jan 5th), customers in the following countries were able to pre-order a Surface Book:

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland
  • UK

While the Surface Book pre-orders have been open for nearly a week at this point, you’ll have to wait a bit longer for the device to be shipped. Currently, it seems that shipping will start on the following dates:

  • China and Hong Kong: January 15
  • Australia and New Zealand: January 28
  • Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, and UK: from February 18

Related: NeoWin, Gadgets360 [divider]

Weekly Surface News Update: Samsung joins the Surface Clone Wars

At the CES in Las Vegas, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy TabPro S and joins companies like Dell and Lenovo by creating what can best be described as a Surface-clone.

Samsung’s new Surface clone is 6.3 mm (0.25 inches) thick and weighs in at 693 g (24.4 oz). The 12-inch Super AMOLED screen sports a 2,160 x 1,440 pixel resolution. Inside the case, there’s a sixth-gen Intel Core M processor (clocked at 2.2 GHz) and 4GB RAM. For storage, you can get either 128 GB or 256 GB SSDs. 

Of course, to be considered a Surface-clone, it needs to be running Windows 10, which it does.

There’s no pen, however, and it does not offer a kickstand. Instead, the keyboard cover can be used to prop it up.

The price has not yet been announced.

Related: Gizmag [divider]

OK, that’s a wrap for this week. Check back next week for another round of news stories for Surface owners and enthusiasts.


New Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book Setup Help

If you just received a new Surface 3, Surface Pro 4, or Surface Book for the holidays you might be struggling to get it setup properly. Here are some helpful articles that you should review in order to make sure you have the best experience (and least frustration) possible.

Just click on the link in the title of each section to get to the articles.

Don’t forget to bookmark in your web browser and check back regularly for new tips, news, and fixes for your Surface tablet. Also, you might want to check out our questions and answers forum at From there, you can ask questions and get answers about your new Surface from fellow Surface owners and enthusiasts.


New Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book Setup Help: Setup My New Surface

If you’ve never owned a Surface, this article will help walk you through the first 5 things you should do in order to make sure you get it up and running quickly and smoothly. [divider]

New Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book Setup Help: Windows 10 on Surface 5 Must Do Things

If your new Surface is the first time you’ve worked with Windows 10, here are 5 things you should configure to make the transition smooth and enjoyable. [divider]

New Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book Setup Help: Surface Security Basics

If you’re worried about keeping your Surface secure and free of viruses or other malware, we got you covered. Just check out our guide on Surface security basics.[divider]

New Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book Setup Help: Surface Backup and Recovery Guide

Making Sure your data is backed up in the event of a problem is very important. Our backup and recovery guide will walk you though several methods to make sure you don’t accidentally lose important files or pictures on your new Surface.


Black Friday Deals on Surface Tablets and Accessories

Microsoft has kicked off their Black Friday deals and you can get some good deals on Surface tablets and accessories.

To help streamline your holiday gift purchases, I’ve listed some of the better Surface-related deals from Microsoft and Amazon. If you’re interested in any of these deals, you might want to hurry up and order now. many of them are only “while supplies last”.

Black Friday Deals on Surface: Surface 3

Here are some deals on the Surface 3 and it’s docking station:

  • Get a Surface 3 and Type Cover bundle for as much as $150 USD off the regular price.
  • $100 USD off a Surface 3 docking station.

Black Friday Deals on Surface: Surface Pro 3

Even though the SP3 has been succeeded by the SP4, it is still a capable computer that anyone would be happy receiving as a gift:

  • Save as much as $300 USD on a Surface Pro 3 from Microsoft.
  • Microsoft also has a SP3 bundle with a Type Cover, Case and Office 365 (1-year subscription) for as much as $469 off the regular price.

Black Friday Deals on Surface: Surface Pro 4

One of Microsoft’s latest creations, the SP4 is a powerhouse tablet PC that is sure to be a hit:

  • Save as much as $169 USD when you get an SP4, Type Cover, Case, and Office 365 subscription from Microsoft.

Black Friday Deals on Surface: Surface Accessories

If you are after accessories for a Surface, we have you covered as well. Below you’ll find some great stocking stuffers:

  • $25 USD off a Wireless Display Adapter so you canSurface’s screen to a TV or projector.
  • Microsoft Wedge Mouse for $20 fro Amazon! They usually go for $69.95 USD.
  • Even the Surface Edition of the Wedge Mouse is on sale for $36 off the regular price.
  • The Wedge Mobile Keyboard is also for sale for just $34.87. The regular price is $79.95!
  • If you don’t like the Wedge line of accessories, you can get a Microsoft Arc Mouse for just $36.95 USD instead.
  • Mini DisplayPort to VGA/DVI/HDMI adapter.

Ok, now you should be all set for your gift giving this year. have a wonderful Thanksgiving and, don’t get trampled at the sales tomorrow 😉


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Windows 10 Battery Saver On Surface Tablets

This post was prompted by a comment one of our readers left on our Surface Pro 3 and a Surface Pro 4 and didn’t realize that the Surface Pro 4 was running on battery while the Surface Pro 3 was plugged in.

His assessment was that the devices didn’t show any difference in performance until he realized that they were not both plugged in.  Once he powered the Surface Pro 4, it really improved its performance and outshined the SP3.

What’s the reason for this? Most likely, it is the Battery Saver feature of Windows 10 that when turned on, limits background activity and adjusts the hardware to conserve battery. While this feature was an impediment to his testing, it can be a very useful feature if you’re trying to maximize your Surface’s battery life.

Windows 10 Battery Saver: What is it?

This is a new feature of Windows 10 that conserves battery life on mobile devices, such as your Surface. It does so by limiting background activity (such as processes and apps) and adjusting hardware settings. This would account for what our aforementioned reader was seeing – scaled down performance due to these adjustments.

This feature is turned OFF by default and to take advantage of it, you will need to turn it ON.

Windows 10 Battery Saver: How it works

When you turn on Battery Saver, the following things will stop working or will become limited to save power:

  1. Background apps will not run
  2. Live Tiles will not update
  3. Email app and Calendar app will not automatically update
  4. Windows Updates will not automatically download
  5. Screen will dim (this is adjustable)

Other things of note:
  • When the feature is turned ON, the battery savings will kick on automatically when your battery life falls below 20%.
  • You can view details about your battery usage in the Battery Use section.
  • You can add certain apps to be exempt from Battery Saver.

Windows 10 Battery Saver: How to find it

  • Launch the Settings app – by swiping from right and choosing All Settings or pressing Win key + I on the keyboard
  • Choose System and then Battery Saver
  • Now you can adjust the settings

Windows 10 Battery Saver: Advanced settings

Under the Battery Saver Settings, you can adjust the following:

  • Set battery life % at which to kick on the saver (if you really need to stretch your battery life, you could set this value for 100% to maximize power savings. For example, if you’re on a trans-pacific flight and your charger is in you checked bag.)
  • Lower screen brightness – On or Off setting
  • Allow push notifications from any app while in Battery Saver mode
  • Add the applications that are allowed to run in the background while Battery Saver is on. It may be a good idea to allow your Mail and Calendar here or perhaps Skype – you get to decide what’s important to you.

The Battery Saver is an easy feature to configure and use and it can help extend the life of your battery. It might only help a little bit, but hey, anything is better than nothing, right?

If your battery drains very quickly on a Surface with Windows 10, you may also like our post on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book Battery Drain Issues.



Three Bingo Games To Play On Your Surface Tablet

It seems a distant memory when Bingo was only played by people over 60. Electronic Bingo games have long been integrated into computers, tablets and phones, and the Microsoft Store offers several titles to people like me, who want to kill time playing one of these most popular pastimes in the world. All the apps are free so you don’t have to worry about paying a premium for them.

Here are my favorite three Bingo games:

Absolute Bingo

True to its name, Absolute Bingo is absolutely one of the most complete bingo games out there. It runs in offline mode, so you can even play it when you’re on the subway or a plane with no Internet connection.

Absolute BINGO has 6 stages including Aura, Katavi, Misty Mountains, Just Beauty, Druids Maen, and Magellan. Each of them is nicely designed, and its animations blend seamlessly into the game’s interface. During game play, you can play with up to 4 bingo cards, and are able to see the last 5 called-in balls to avoid a “sleeper win.” The entire game is narrated in English, with four-second pauses in between calls. It’s simple, fast, and it’s light on HD space.

Bingo Star

Contrary to Absolute Bingo, Bingo Star has Internet functionalities, so people can play it with friends or people in the Bingo Star community. Just like Absolute Bingo, it has quite a few attractively-designed levels that players can unlock while playing the game.

The game uses several items including cash, energy, coins and keys. Cash is used in order to purchase bingo cards, energy for buying power-ups, coins (purchased with real-world money) to buy cash, energy, and keys, and keys to buy secret boxes that unlock random items. Bingo Star works flawlessly, and it’s also light on HD space.

Microsoft Bingo

This game carries with it the commercial license of Microsoft and is the only title that has support for Xbox LIVE. If you love bingo and use the Xbox console heavily, you might want to give Microsoft Bingo a try.

No longer just a casual game that can be played on computers and tablets, Bingo has transcended into a full-fledged, console platformer. Perhaps the reason for this is because the gaming market has grown significantly over the years (primarily as a result of online growth), where enhanced interfaces, HD-quality visuals and superior products have led to a fuller customer experience, as stated by mobile gaming provider Gala Casino. As a means to promote a richer customer experience, Microsoft has integrated its very own LIVE to Bingo.

Items within the Microsoft bingo app include coins, keys, power ups and tickets. It has the same functionalities as Bingo Star whereby tickets are used to purchase cards, keys to unlock collectibles, and power ups to give players an edge over opponents. The game also has several levels to beat, providing hours and hours of fun to bingo lovers, like me.

Do you have a favorite game that you play on your Surface? Share it with us in the comments section!