Surface Pro 3’s 3:2 aspect ratio

SurfacePro3Primary_PrintI’ve pre-ordered the core i7 version of the Surface Pro 3; it’s supposed to arrive by August 1. However, the core i5 version is already available, so I was able to play with a demo unit at the local Beast Buy. My focus was whether the different aspect ratio of the SP3 — 3:2 rather than the usual 16:9 – was good, bad or indifferent.

I did not anticipate that the different aspect ratio would make such a big difference to me in the appearance of the screen. The screen looked almost like a square. Looked weird, probably because I’m not used it.

That’s appearance; what about functionality? I tried some simple tasks. I displayed some web pages, tried inking in One Note, and tried typing and viewing documents in Word.

My conclusion was the usage experience was no worse, perhaps better than with the 16:9 aspect ratio. Regarding better, the Word documents appeared to fill (use) more of the screen. I guess this should not be surprising. The aspect ratio of an 8 1/2 x 11 page (1.294) is closer to 3:2 (1.5) than 16:9 (1.777).  Indeed, this was one of Microsoft’s justifications for the 3:2 aspect ratio.

Nevertheless, I still will need to get used to the more “squarish” appearance. Though perhaps the day will come soon when devices with a 16:9 aspect ratio will look “weird.”

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