How can I use the Surface 3 4G to run my business?

Microsoft’s business-focused tablet has the power of a PC with the connectivity of a phone. Find out how to use it to work from anywhere

Tablets are touted as the next frontier for the mobile office, but in most cases the compromises still outweigh the benefits. Microsoft’s Surface 3 4G on O2 Business, however, has been created with business firmly in mind and is as powerful as it is portable.

It runs full desktop versions of Windows and Office, has 4G connectivity built in, and partnered with the optional keyboard and wireless mouse it’s more than a match for any laptop.

Mobile powerhouse

It may be a tablet on the outside, but on the inside the Surface 3 4G LTE is packed with components that are the envy of many laptops, all in a package that for the weighs just 622g and is less than 9mm thick.

The quad-core processor is speedy and well suited to a number of things at once, the 10.8in full HD touchscreen is big enough to view documents or web pages side by side, and unlike most tablets it comes with a full-size USB 3.0 port for connecting peripherals as you would to a full-blown PC.

You have a choice of 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, and can add up to a further 128GB via microSD card. Combine that with a fast 4G connection and the device is suitable for streaming presentations, punching numbers into complex spreadsheets, or playing the latest blockbuster movies in your free time.

Windows 10

The Surface 3 4G comes with Windows 8.1 Pro pre-installed, which can be upgraded to Windows 10 at no extra cost. For the business user, Windows 10’s highlights include the latest version of Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, Universal Windows apps that work seamlessly on multiple devices, the new Edge browser and, crucially, beefed up security features.

Aside from the desktop version of Windows, you also get the full desktop version of Office pre-installed too, so you can create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and use Outlook for your emails just like on a PC. It also means you can download and install desktop versions of other software too from the Windows app store or anywhere else online, rather than stripped-back mobile apps as with most other tablets.

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Optional extras

As much as it’s a capable business machine on its own, with Microsoft’s range of optional accessories you can transform the Surface 3 4G into a true workhorse at the heart of your business.

The Type Cover keyboard gives you the convenience of a physical keyboard but only adds slightly to the Surface 3’s overall size and weight. Its three-position kickstand lets you stand it upright when you’re working at a desk, or can be folded over when you’re on the move to protect the screen.

You can also add a wireless mouse, or better still use the elegant Surface Pen, a digital stylus that can detect over 250 levels of sensitivity.

The future of the mobile office

Tablets may be the future home of the mobile office, but the Surface 3 4G is arguably there already, and its benefits for the business user are only going to increase. Windows 10 has been dubbed ‘the last version of Windows’, as from now on upgrades to the operating system are going to be rolled out incrementally, rather than packaged up as a whole new version.

And you can be sure that many of those upgrades will be aimed directly at devices like the Surface, which combine traditional computing features with more future-focused concepts like touchscreens, styluses and 4G connectivity. That means as capable as the Surface 3 4G is of running your business today, it’s only going to get better in the future.

This article was produced in partnership with O2 Business. O2 is the first UK digital communications company to offer the new Microsoft Surface 3 4G to its business customers.

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