Designed for Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (SP3)
Compatible with Microsoft Type Cover keyboard
Feather-light composite construction
Impact resistant soft core
Over sized tactile buttons
Air vents to keep things cool
Water resistant grip material
Easy access to touch screen and ports
Un-compromised audio and video
Aluminum kick stand with 5 angular positions
Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6) when used with Microsoft Type Cover keyboard
Posted by Jason McIsaac
Image courtesy of www.urbanarmorgear.com
Just over 3 weeks ago our main laptop decided not to charge any more so we went looking for a replacement, I was wanting to look at the Surface Pro 3 as I liked the size and the versitelity of the Laptop to Tablet options, so in the ending got one for me and a Toshiba laptop for my wife.
So now I have this awesome device that I am going to EDC (Everyday Carry) but I'm a bit worried it might get scratched or damaged if I take it out and about, what could I do? I hit the internet looking for a slim rugged case and came across the Urban Armor Gear's Scout case for the Surface Pro 3 (SP3).
I received my review unit last week...
The Scout comes in a hard see through plastic packaging, for me this was awesome as my case was sent to Perth Western Australia, I was surprised that it only took around 7 days to get to me when you consider it was sent via USPS and it normally can take up to 3-4 weeks to get anything sent to us here.
For those interested in the below photo I have my Benchmade HK Ally Combo Blade Folder, which in my view goes very well with the case, I am into Black EDC Gear.
Ok now I have the case in my hands and what do I think of it so far? Well...I like it a lot, just from the look of it it shouts Protection, which is one of the main reasons I wanted the case, as I want to use the SP3 away from the home to edit this site, send and receive emails from customers, update my stock spreadsheet and create invocies so could be any where from the local coffee shop to my kids school or car.
So you have your new Surface Pro 3 and it is wrapped in a Rugged case but the case is very slick, so what do you do if you have wet hands and decided to pick up the SP3, what could happen? Very high chance it might slip out of your hands and that the case will protect your SP3. Now in Perth we don't get a lot of Rain, however I am washing my hands a lot during the day from cleaning the Kitchen to the Bathroom so sometimes I might still have damp or even slightly wet hands, I have found that the Frogskin Tech the UAG has on the Scout is awesome, no issues with gripping the back of the case be it dry or with wet/damp hands, this would come in handy when camping and you take your SP3 to read ebooks or if you have coverage post awesome sunset photo's to Facebook, I would have loved to have had the Scout when I went on our Cruise in early April.
UAG Scout Up Close & Personal
The Scout has a cut out for the back 5MP camera which still shows the Privacy Light and keeps the back Microphone open. I like how UAG has done this it's practical and has a hard plastic surrounding the Camera area giving further protection.
As with the Camera the side ports of the Surface Pro 3 are all open giving the user full access, which is a must when trying to contect a Wirelss Mouse or External HDD to the SP3. The Stylus is connected via the Loop supplied with the Type Cover and is in fact attached to the Type Cover on the Right hand side, for me this is the best postion, I still can get to all the ports as seen in the below photo. I wish that UAG was able to have added a Stylus holder like they did for the Surface 3, but this may not have been an option due to the Air vents around the sides of the SP3.
Even though you have a rugged Scout case on the SP3 connecting devices to the SP3 while it is on is no trouble at all this is also includs the Magnectic Charger as seen in the photo to the right, I even have the SP3 on my lap right now writing this review with the charger connected.
It does take a little be to get the charger facing the right direction but the Magnet takes charge and connects the charger.
As with most rugged cases be it for Tablets, Smartphones and the SP3 having buttons covered and protected is a must and the Scout is no slouch in this area with very large buttons that can be felt for be it day or night with great tectile feel and movement.
As shown below the Power button is protected but still gives good feedback when clicked as does the volume keys as per the second photo below, you can also see that the Headphone jack port is open and has a extra protection with the corner section, actually all for corners have additional protection with raised plastic on them as the corners of the SP3 are more likely going to be hit first if dropped.
The SP3's Speakers are placed at the Top left and right sides of the screen, UAG has cut outs on the side of the case exposing the Speakers enabling you to listen to your favourite movie or music with no disturtion of sound.
As the Scout case wraps around the back of the case the bulit in kick stand is now nolonger avalible to be used, so how can I now use it with the Type Cover as a Laptop?
Well UAG has this covered with their own Kick stand bulit into the back of the case it has 5 levels of viewing, the only thing I have with this it there is some play in each level and that it can move backwards a bit when you place the SP3 on a hard surface, but once it is on the table or desk it is very solid, check out the photo further on in the review of me with the SP3 in my Car.
UAG Scout and Type Cover
I decided to get the Type Cover for my SP3 as I wanted to use the SP3 as a Laptop and also a Tablet, so when I was looking for a Rugged Case it needed to be able to be used with the Type Cover.
As you can see in the below photo the Magnetic section that the Type Cover connects to is fully open and the Type Cover just clips in.
As you can see with the Type Cover attached looks great and to some may have thought it was an actual Laptop.
One thing that I was surprised about the SP3 is that I was using it more and more in Tablet mode with the Type Cover folded back behind the SP3, so this was one thing that the Scout had to do, at first I thought it wasn't going to work but surprise it did, yes the Scout does add some extra weight but it is still feels ok, I wouldn't want to hold it one-handed for long peroid of time but for short burst very uasable.
Testing the UAG Scout
I pick up my youngest son from school first at 2:30pm, however due to the lack of car parks around the school I have be down there before 2pm to get one, so I have 30 minutes to kill, and the best way to that is doing work on my SP3 in the car be it editing my website, checking emails or catching up on Social Media. With the Scout I feel a lot more secury knowing that I have some protection.
You would be surprised to know that the below setup was very stable and infact I started writing this review in Word on the SP3 like this, the Kick Stand is resting on the Automatic Gear stick, the Type Cover & SP3 are resting on the Handbrake and my left Thigh. I couldn't beleive how easy it was.
So I have used the UAG Scout on my Surface Pro 3 in the following areas to see how it would handle with the slight weight and bulk added would it still be easy to use and carry.
AT HOME: I use my SP3 a lot around the home and had been putting it down on benchs and the like and found that I had a small scratch on the back of the Kick Stand, with the Scout I now don't have to worry about these as it is now protected and the FrogSkin casing feels so good in hand with dry or even wet hands.
SCHOOL PICK UPS: As stated above I use my SP3 in my car waiting to poick up my son from school, I also take the SP3 into the school and sit out the front of my son's classroom to finish off some work or write some ideas down in OneNote for the Website or some new review, so now having the UAG Scout just gives me some pieace of mind incase some kid runs pass and knocks the SP3 off my lap.
SHOPPING CENTRES (MALLS): When I go to the local Shopping Centre (Mall for those in the USA) I take my SP3 and had been just carrying in hand and on the last few occasions taking a laptop backpack, however this has now stopped as I have the Scout and feel so secure in carrying it, yes the added weight which is not a deal breaker in my books means that I am swapping hands to carry it.
REVIEW OUT COME
Has the UAG Scout done what was intended for? In my books yes, however there are a few small things that some might find issues with, but for me they were not deal breakers and wouldn't stop me getting this case
The Scout comes with a small elastic loop that keeps the Type Cover closed over the case, this does work well, however I have forgotten on a number of occasions that I had it over the corner of the Type Cover and just pulled the Type Cover down, if I did this to often I might damge the Type Cover or the snap the loop. also the plastic pull tab sticks up a bit, more cosmetic thing and over timne I will most likely get used to it.
COST: With anything now a days we are always after a bargin and getting the best item at the best price, the Scout costs $89.41 AUD ($69.95 USD), this is pretty high when you are on a budget, however UAG offers FREE World Wide Shipping, for me this is a HUGE Plus as that could have been another $25-$40 AUD added to the price, would I have still bought the Scout if I had to pay for it, Hell yes, there are enough reasons for me to, the main one is I can't afford to buy a new SP3 if my one was dropped and damaged and yes I could claim Insurance but that is such a pain to deal with, it makes more sence to buy a case and I just like the Rugged look of the Scout, could have just asked the Wife to get it for early early birthday present.
SD CARD ACCESS: As I stated above, that the Scout case wraps around the back of the SP3, the SD Card is stored under the SP3's Kick Stand so you will need to make sure you are happy with the size of the SD Card you have installed when using this case as you don't want to keep taking the case of to get access to the SD Card, for me I have a 32GB SDHC card and for the time being very happy with this size, I might look at a 64GB card in the furture when I can convince the Wife that I really need it.
STYLUS HOLDER: Not everyone is going to buy the Type Cover stright away so where do you put the Stylus? In your Pocket? In a Small carry case? It would have been awesome for the Scout to have a some where to put the stylus like the Surface 3 Scout / Rouge case, but as I stated above it seems this would not have been an option due to the fan grills around the SP3. I think just bite the bullet and get the Type cover and use the include loop that comes with the Type Cover and attach it to the Type Cover like I have or to the Scout case which I also tried, the plus is that the screen is now protected as is the back.
If you want some great Protection for your SP3 then I recommend getting the Scout (Black) or the Rouge (Red) Rugged cases from Urban Armor Gear. The Protection and marterials used are great, the look and feel is awesome. Check out Urban Armor Gear's Scout or Roiuge by clicking the buttons below or the photo to the right.
Got a Apple or Samsung device check out UAG's other cases for Smartphones.