With the Surface Pro 3 being publicly available today, you might be wondering if there's been improvements in how the device handles sleep mode.
Those that purchased the original Surface Pro or a Surface Pro 2 know that Connected Standby (introduced in Windows 8) was not an option, while it worked quite well with the Surface RT and Surface (2) models. Connected Standby allows devices to run continually and keep alive the network connection. This ensured that emails would still flow and notifications would still work while in sleep-state. Wake-up the device and everything was just there. For the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 series, to conserve battery, the device has to shut down completely after a period of time. Due to the architecture of the device, Connected Standby is just not supported.
This always bugged me. When I acquired my first Surface device, it was the Surface RT. While the original RT unit was undeniably slow and limited by the crippled version of Windows RT, it did support InstantGo (or Connected Standby). When I traveled, I'd use it as my hotel room alarm clock because it never had to be shut down. When I finally decided that RT was not for me and snagged a Pro unit, I was immediately disappointed that I couldn't use it in the same way.
Enter the Surface Pro 3 and Windows 8.1.
Due to the new architecture, the Surface Pro 3 actually works with InstantGo technology, a first for the Surface Pro line of devices. InstantGo was introduced in Windows 8.1 as a replacement for Connected Standby, though they are basically the same thing. The technology allows the device to continue to perform tasks and provide notifications while it sleeps. InstantGo basically turns the Surface Pro 3 into a huge smartphone. Just like your smartphone, the Surface Pro 3 still receives notifications when locked and it never has to be turned off.
Originally, I thought InstantGo was only for ARM systems, but that's not the case. InstantGo works with any ARM, x86, and x64 architecture, as long as the hardware supports it.
Now with the Surface Pro 3 in my hands, I can go back to using the device as a tablet was meant to be, and still have the power and performance of a laptop.