Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th May 2014 17:48 UTC
Microsoft

Microsoft has unveiled a new Surface Pro 3 device at a press event in New York City today. Like the previous Surface tablets it still includes a kickstand, but Surface chief Panos Panay says it's designed to remove the conflict of buying a laptop or a tablet. The kickstand on the device is multi-stage, and the device is just 9.1mm thick. "This is the tablet than can replace your laptop," claims Panay. Microsoft has moved to a 12-inch screen on the Surface Pro 3 with a 3:2 aspect ratio and HD display, but the new tablet also has thin bezels with a silver and black design. Microsoft will start accepting pre-orders on the Surface Pro 3 tomorrow starting at $799.

It's an amazing piece of hardware, and Microsoft really deserves praise for the amount of power it has managed to pack in such a slim and light package, but the same could be said of the previous Surface Pro - and that one hasn't exactly taken the market by storm either. The problem, is software - something Microsoft was remarkably hush-hush about during the unveiling.

Something else Microsoft was hush-hush about: Windows RT and ARM. No new RT/ARM-based Surface device, and I have a feeling that particular experiment has met its end today.

Order by: Score:
Excellent pen! No 4G?
by Aeyoun on Tue 20th May 2014 18:22 UTC
Aeyoun
Member since:
2014-05-20

The pen is ingenuous. Picking an iPad out of a bag, unlocking it, navigating to the note-taking program, launching it, waiting for it to launch, and then fighting with the touch-keyboard … . It is clear to me that picking it up, and just starting to draw or write down a note is a very powerful feature.

I hope others will recreate the same instant-usefulness of this function. By others, I mean a Linux desktop of course. GNOME should be tablet-ready by now. How are we doing in that department?

The lack of 4G connectivity is baffling. Could be one of the “other configuration options” that were mentioned for August? Why not come out of the gate as strong as possible?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Excellent pen! No 4G?
by Nelson on Tue 20th May 2014 18:36 UTC in reply to "Excellent pen! No 4G?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Intel LTE chips for tablet form factors are a relatively new thing, and even then there are battery life concerns surrounding 4G in the first place.

Also depends on uptake of 4G LTE tablets, has this ever really been a popular thing? How popular are cellular iPad models vs Wifi only models?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Excellent pen! No 4G?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th May 2014 19:51 UTC in reply to "Excellent pen! No 4G?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, ubuntu and KDE plasma have done tablet interfaces. I don't think gnome has.

Of the two, I think I prefer the UI of KDE plasma, but ubuntu was more stable. I should retest soon.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Excellent pen! No 4G?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th May 2014 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent pen! No 4G?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Of course gnome shell kinda already looks like a small screen UI in a lot of ways. I'm sure there are some drivers for some touch screens, but I kind of doubt its integrated very well.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Excellent pen! No 4G?
by intangible on Tue 20th May 2014 20:24 UTC in reply to "Excellent pen! No 4G?"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not a huge fan of Samsung's UI choices, but the thing they got right is the "s-pen" tech on the Note phone/phablets and the bigger ones, like the 10.1 and 11 inch version tablets.

Reply Score: 6

Encouraging
by nikcomp on Tue 20th May 2014 18:44 UTC
nikcomp
Member since:
2011-12-28

Most encouraging message and proof of concept from Microsoft in a while. Onenote looks very impressive in this form. Blogger is dead on though Microsoft MUST unify so a Surface strategy can compete. Today Onenote definitely showed a potential for a unified Microsoft but its just a single app. The whole of Surface and Windows 8 needs to unify much more than it is today. Right now its still a bastard of two parents, and increasing screen resolution just makes legacy apps look that much worse. Still today was the right message from MS.

Reply Score: 2

Surface RT / ARM needs to die
by laffer1 on Tue 20th May 2014 23:07 UTC
laffer1
Member since:
2007-11-09

Microsoft needs to kill the ARM tablets now. They haven't been widely adopted and there aren't enough applications to make them valuable compared to iOS or Android devices. Intel is working on battery life and the surface pro models are proof this can work.

There is no reason to go ARM for Microsoft. It just weakens their strength of allow legacy windows apps to work. It doesn't matter they're clunky. Using DOS apps in Windows is clunky too.

The other issue for Microsoft is that they don't have any x86 tablets in the $300-$400 range. OEMs like HP and Asus have some neat windows tablets in that price range that run "real" windows and have full support for many applications. I recently went shopping for a tablet and while I immediately dismissed Android based on app availability and my own prior apple ecosystem choices, I was very close to going with a Microsoft tablet because I could run iTunes on it. Having access to all my music in the cloud and videos was a big selling feature. Only Apple and Microsoft could deliver that. I ended up going with an Apple iPad because of LTE availability though.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ronaldst
by ronaldst on Wed 21st May 2014 00:09 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

> I have a feeling that particular experiment has met its end today.

Or maybe the new NVIDIA Tegras aren't available in enough supply to announce pre-order for the a Surface 3.

IMO today's press event was mostly from a business standpoint. And aimed at laptop market.

Reply Score: 2

expensive niche product
by unclefester on Wed 21st May 2014 01:36 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Another very expensive product that will only cater for niche markets.

An i3 is already overkill for a non-gaming laptop like this. An i7 is nothing but a marketing gimmick. Storage is woefully inadequate unless you buy the super expensive top of the range 512GB model.

Reply Score: 5

RE: expensive niche product
by REM2000 on Wed 21st May 2014 07:30 UTC in reply to "expensive niche product"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

i would normally agree with you, an i3 is a powerful chip. However i think the main draw for the i7 is when used in conjunction with the dock, there your tablet will turn from a portal device to a pretty powerful workstation, capable of 4K resolutions and steaming through some pretty heavy work.

It's clear that Microsoft is really chasing the business/enterprise market with this device instead of the consumer arena so much, it speaks when they annouce that Coke, BMW etc have all expressed a great interest in the device, that to me is their market for the Surface Pro3.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: expensive niche product
by bassbeast on Wed 21st May 2014 23:01 UTC in reply to "RE: expensive niche product"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

But I agree with the other poster, its gonna be seriously niche, if they sell 20k units i'll be amazed. The sweet spot when it comes to laptops is currently $400-$600 and more and more businesses are making employees BYOD which drives the price down even more. Sure they'll take a thousand dollar convertible if the company is writing the check, if they are the ones paying out of pocket? Suddenly that low end basic use laptop is just fine.

With tablets I've seen those numbers driven even lower thanks to the quad core ARM chips (quite impressive those are, even if the battery life isn't that hot) going for $120-$250 USD, so that with the exception of those buying an iPad (which i predict those numbers are gonna start dropping as the previous gen is "good enough" so folks won't upgrade) the sweet spot for tablets is $150-$300 USD.

So yeah its going to be seriously niche, MSFT just doesn't have the sexy factor or hip factor when it comes to selling gear and with a sluggish economy in most of the west and everybody worried about being downsized? not a lot of corps gonna shell out this much cash for an employee.

Reply Score: 3

RE: expensive niche product
by Adurbe on Wed 21st May 2014 08:45 UTC in reply to "expensive niche product"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

its not That expensive if you compare it to its peers. its 'only' $799 starting price. A macbook air is $100 more.

i3 is a lovely little chip and the i7 Really shows its merit when you are doing work which takes advantage of it. When time = money, that extra grunt pays for itself

(have a look at http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-4500U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-4200M it gives a nice overview)

Reply Score: 2

amazing?
by l3v1 on Wed 21st May 2014 06:31 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think the SPro2 is amazing. It's nice, OK, I give it that, but otherwise... I mean come on, nice screen, 'novel' 3:2 ratio and whatnot, but with the kickstand still not as good as a proper keyboard, and with prices hitting $1729 with i7, 8GB ram and 256GB storage I'd say it's a long way from their PR-claim that this is 'the' laptop-replacement tablet (i.e. for proper working people, not subway content consumers).

Reply Score: 2

RE: amazing?
by smashIt on Wed 21st May 2014 08:11 UTC in reply to "amazing?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

and with prices hitting $1729 with i7, 8GB ram and 256GB storage I'd say it's a long way from their PR-claim that this is 'the' laptop-replacement tablet (i.e. for proper working people, not subway content consumers).


if you compare them to a thinkpad x240 with similar specs the prices are on par

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: amazing?
by unclefester on Wed 21st May 2014 08:42 UTC in reply to "RE: amazing?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

if you compare them to a thinkpad x240 with similar specs the prices are on par


Still bloody expensive. I saw an AMD powered HP 11,6" laptop running Windows 8 for AUD299 on the weekend. I would need to spend over AUD2000 to get a Surface pro 3 with the same storage.

These expensive lightweight laptops with high-res displays and high end CPUs are usually overpriced toys purchased (with shareholders money) just to impress other executives.

My i3 laptop rarely exceeds 10% CPU usage. The idea that any executive needs an i7 to web browse, watch a video or display a Powerpoint presentation is laughable.[One of my friends bought the top of the range i7 Macbook Pro when he does nothing but web browsing.]

Reply Score: 5

apples & oranges
by pica on Wed 21st May 2014 09:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: amazing?"
pica Member since:
2005-07-10


... I saw an AMD powered HP 11,6" laptop running Windows 8 for AUD299 on the weekend. I would need to spend over AUD2000 to get a Surface pro 3 with the same storage


Just guessed the HP laptop does not feature
* a FullHD IPS display
* 8GB RAM
* 256GB SSD

My i3 laptop rarely exceeds 10% CPU usage. The idea that any executive needs an i7 to web browse, watch a video or display a Powerpoint presentation is laughable ...


I once had the chance to install and test
* Eclipse
* Topcased/Polarsys
* Visual Studio
* Sparx EA
on a Surface Pro 2. These applications are more demanding than a powerpoint presentation or a web browser. Both the Java as well as the C# project were 1000+ classes each. The UML model was also 100+ diagrams. All 4 test cases worked well on that Surface Pro 2.

A Surface Pro is more than a web tablet.

Nevertheless I got a Sony Pro13 instead, because I
* prefer matte, anti-glare screens
* require Linux

pica

Edited 2014-05-21 10:03 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: apples & oranges
by unclefester on Wed 21st May 2014 10:26 UTC in reply to "apples & oranges"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


.. .Just guessed the HP laptop does not feature
* a FullHD IPS display
* 8GB RAM
* 256GB SSD


Of course not because 99% of users don't need those specifications.


I once had the chance to install and test
* Eclipse
* Topcased/Polarsys
* Visual Studio
* Sparx EA
on a Surface Pro 2. These applications are more demanding than a powerpoint presentation or a web browser. Both the Java as well as the C# project were 1000+ classes each. The UML model was also 100+ diagrams. All 4 test cases worked well on that Surface Pro 2.


The vast majority of users don't need the power.

A Surface Pro is more than a web tablet.


The reality is that all is what the majority of purchasers will use it for.

Most people buy things to impress other people not to perform the task at hand.

At a rough guess I'd say 90% of ultrabook users probably don't need anything more than a Chromebook.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: apples & oranges
by pica on Wed 21st May 2014 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE: apples & oranges"
pica Member since:
2005-07-10

if there always have been solely the vast majority, no computers would exist.

pica

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: apples & oranges
by unclefester on Wed 21st May 2014 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: apples & oranges"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

if there always have been solely the vast majority, no computers would exist.

pica


Computers were extremely rare until personal computers became available in the 1980s. Before then computers were only used by large corporations, universities and governments.

The vast majority of home users bought Commodores, Tandy's etc for many years. The majority didn't use expensive IBM compatible PCs at home until prices dropped substantially in the late 90s.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: amazing?
by smashIt on Wed 21st May 2014 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: amazing?"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Still bloody expensive. I saw an AMD powered HP 11,6" laptop running Windows 8 for AUD299 on the weekend. I would need to spend over AUD2000 to get a Surface pro 3 with the same storage.


hp + amd + 128gb ssd gives me 1 result here in austria:
HP ProBook 6465b

and it costs 1000€, like the surface

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: amazing?
by unclefester on Wed 21st May 2014 10:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: amazing?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

hp + amd + 128gb ssd gives me 1 result here in austria:
HP ProBook 6465b

and it costs 1000€, like the surface


That's the price of an ultrabook. This was an entry level AMD powered 'netbook' on sale.

Laptops with conventional hard disks are vastly cheaper than ultrabooks. With an ultrabook you pay 2-3x as much to fit the hardware into a smaller package.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: amazing?
by leos on Thu 22nd May 2014 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: amazing?"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21


That's the price of an ultrabook. This was an entry level AMD powered 'netbook' on sale.

Laptops with conventional hard disks are vastly cheaper than ultrabooks. With an ultrabook you pay 2-3x as much to fit the hardware into a smaller package.


So what you're saying is I can get an inferior product for less money? Shocking!

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: amazing?
by unclefester on Thu 22nd May 2014 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: amazing?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

So what you're saying is I can get an inferior product for less money? Shocking!


IMHO an ultrabook is generally an inferior product at a much higher price. You get things you don't need (ludicrously overpowered i5/i7 CPU), greatly reduced storage, a much smaller screen with resolution 'improvements' you don't really notice and a teeny weeny little keyboard that doesn't suit touch typing. The only real upside is reduced weight. Basically you pay a lot of money for a massively overpowered 'netbook'.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: amazing?
by leos on Thu 22nd May 2014 05:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: amazing?"
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

"So what you're saying is I can get an inferior product for less money? Shocking!


IMHO an ultrabook is generally an inferior product at a much higher price. You get things you don't need (ludicrously overpowered i5/i7 CPU), greatly reduced storage, a much smaller screen with resolution 'improvements' you don't really notice and a teeny weeny little keyboard that doesn't suit touch typing. The only real upside is reduced weight. Basically you pay a lot of money for a massively overpowered 'netbook'.
"

Obviously you have never used an ultra book.
Compared to a low cost netbook or cheap laptop, ultra books are:
1. Much faster. How you imagine this is a disadvantage I have no idea. Even for just browsing the web you will notice this difference especially on a Windows system
2. Much faster storage. Worlds of difference between a system with an SSD and one with a spinning hard drive.
3. Much better screens. It's not just resolution (although that certainly helps), it's also viewing angles, colour reproduction, etc.
4. Much better battery life. Macbook air lasts 12 hours (yes not technically an ultra book but it spawned the genre).
5. Less weight, better build quality.

So no, there is no logical world where a netbook is a better product.

Reply Score: 1

RE: amazing?
by ricegf on Wed 21st May 2014 12:09 UTC in reply to "amazing?"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I see Microsoft introducing yet another expensive mobile device, and I see virtually all of their laptop and desktop manufacturing base racing to market with inexpensive Chromebooks / boxes, mostly under $300.

Google seems to be repeating their successful Android strategy (which took 80% of the market against Apple's excellent but pricey iPhone) in the traditional Windows arena (laptops and desktops).

I could be wrong, but I think the laptop market will be minority Windows in 5 years. The bulk of the overall market appears to favor inexpensive maintenance-free devices, despite Microsoft fans' continued insistence that everybody desperately wants to run Photoshop.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: amazing?
by unclefester on Thu 22nd May 2014 04:10 UTC in reply to "RE: amazing?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I think the future is probably $150 Chromebooks or possibly a new generation of (gasp!) Linux netbooks.

Once solid state drives are really cheap (<$100/GB) the laptop as we know it is probably doomed.

Current laptops are already overpowered for most tasks. My i3 Acer laptop benchmarks about 4x as fast as my old AMD4000+ desktop. Even the very bottom end of the AMD mobile APU range are fast enough for general use.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: amazing?
by henderson101 on Thu 22nd May 2014 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: amazing?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Define "general use" though. Video/Photo editing is a common "general use" these days. I, personally, would buy the best machine possible at the time of purchase. I replace my laptops rarely, and getting the best possible spec means the cost of ownership against time of usefulness is greatly improved.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: amazing?
by unclefester on Fri 23rd May 2014 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: amazing?"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Define "general use" though. Video/Photo editing is a common "general use" these days.


You'd be far better off buying a low cost dedicated desktop or 15.6" laptop and a chromebook or tablet.

I, personally, would buy the best machine possible at the time of purchase. I replace my laptops rarely, and getting the best possible spec means the cost of ownership against time of usefulness is greatly improved.


This is a very poor investment strategy. It nearly always gives you the worst possible cost/performance ratio. Today's flagship model laptop/desktop/monitor/phone/camera is typically a very low range model in three years and an almost worthless brick in six years.

As a consumer the greatest 'bang for your buck' is achieved by upgrading mid range technology on a 12-24 month cycle.

Reply Score: 3

I would go for it
by pica on Wed 21st May 2014 08:39 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

if it possible to use it with a matte display foil.

Is it possible?
Does touch work with foil?

And if it fully supports at least one Gnome3 based Linux distribution. I work 75%+ on aone Gnome3 based system and I like it very much.

Is one supported?

pica

Reply Score: 2

PieterGen
Member since:
2012-01-13

The idea of one device that "does it all" is appealing. Just as the "one application that does it all". In real life however, it turns out that these "jacks of all trades" are often compromises all over, and therefore basically suck.

The XBox One also aimed to replace game console AND TV Settop Box. Turns out it is good as a console but not a good settop box. Yahoo is a website that "does it all". Sharepoint is an enteprise-program that "does it all". Yet in usability they suck. They do it all but all in a lousy way.

In the non-tech world it is the same. That famous 75-functions Swiss Army Knife is not a very pleasant knife to use. That 80-functions kitchen machine that blends, grinds, chops, cuts, cooks and bakes is a horror to use.

On the other hand, "do one thing well" products & apps are usually nice. The iPad is a great tool for media consumption. Google is great for searching. Wordpress is a fantastic blogging tool.

Still, you can go TOO specialized. A tool like mutt (linux email program) is very powerful but extremely specialised and needs so many additional programs, that many people prefer a more "complete" program - less powerful, but good enough for the average Joe. So, some extra funcionality is good, but only for less important and less used work. A Swiss army knife with 3 or 4 functions is fine (the knife is most important and should be good, plus it may have an "OK" can opener, screwdriver or mini-scissor. Likewise, on the iPad some fuctionality for light office work is fine.

But don't try to make one tool that effectively replaces two or more *often used, important* tools. Remember those old science fiction "flying cars"? Well, they DID actually build real "helicopter cars". They sucked as helicopters and they sucked as cars. Or those boat cars? Yep, sucked as a boat AND sucked as a car.

So, will the "laptop + tablet killer" do better? I doubt it. Compared to a real tablet, it is heavy, power hungry, big & clumsy. Compared to a real laptop it is small, cannot be used on you lap (!?), expensive, lousy keyboard.

Maybe, if your use case is "just in the middle" this is the ideal tool for you. But I think that's a small niche market. And again: would'nt an MacBook be a better choice? What does the Surface do what the MacBook (with Windows in a VM for windows-only apps) can't do?

Edit for typos

Edited 2014-05-21 10:59 UTC

Reply Score: 4

leos Member since:
2005-09-21


So, will the "laptop + tablet killer" do better? I doubt it. Compared to a real tablet, it is heavy, power hungry, big & clumsy. Compared to a real laptop it is small, cannot be used on you lap (!?), expensive, lousy keyboard.

Maybe, if your use case is "just in the middle" this is the ideal tool for you. But I think that's a small niche market. And again: would'nt an MacBook be a better choice? What does the Surface do what the MacBook (with Windows in a VM for windows-only apps) can't do?


Well said. While the idea of a device that does it all is extremely appealing, there are just too many compromises and always will be. The killer for me is that it sucks as a laptop just because of the weight balance and crappy keyboard. If I want a proper laptop, then I can get one and it will work much better for productivity than a surface. If I want a tablet then I will get a tablet that is lighter and cooler and doesn't need a fan and runs an OS that is optimized for tablets.

In reality I find I'm doing more and more with my phone and in many cases need neither a laptop nor a tablet. Last trip I was on I lugged around my laptop and an iPad (from work), but never used either. My phone was everything I needed (well ok the laptop was used as a backup battery ;)

Reply Score: 3

Not very workable
by wocowboy on Wed 21st May 2014 11:30 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

I tried one of the Surface models for a while. If you are going to use it on a table-top or desk as a computer, or remove the keyboard and use the device as a tablet, it is just fine, it is a pretty good experience considering it's Windows 8, which is a whole other matter in my opinion.

The problem comes when you try to use it as a laptop...on your lap. A kickstand is simply a horrible thing, design-wise. Having the heavy part of a device propped up on your legs with a lightweight and somewhat flexible keyboard also on your legs is just not ergonomically the best option when you compare it to a Macbook Air or really, any other true laptop device. Any movement of your legs may send the thing crashing to the floor, which just doesn't happen with a laptop. Yes, it can happen, but not as easily due to the ergonomics of the long distance surface required from the kickstand to the front edge of the keyboard. As a laptop, the Surface is a complete failure, while as a desktop it works and has the additional option of using it as a tablet.

Reply Score: 5

Re:
by kurkosdr on Wed 21st May 2014 12:15 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Something else Microsoft was hush-hush about: Windows RT and ARM. No new RT/ARM-based Surface device, and I have a feeling that particular experiment has met its end today.


Nobody is going to miss it. The only real advantage of WIndows on a tablet is compatibility with existing Windows Desktop software (whether this compensates for the advantages Android has over Windows on tablets, mainly apps, is up to the individual).

Windows RT made sense when the general assumption was that Intel processors will always be slower and more expensive than ARM, but now with the Venue 8 Pro being a generally good and affordable x86 tablet, Windows RT is useless.

Edited 2014-05-21 12:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Still wrong
by biffuz on Wed 21st May 2014 12:57 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

I think it's still wrong. It's better than its predecessors as a desktop replacement - which is a good thing, given that Windows is mostly required for "legacy" apps (office, graphics, dev, db) which are designed for desktop - but it's terrible for a tablet (too large) or even a laptop (use THAT on a train!).

Reply Score: 3

ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

Apple is smart to constantly avoid the convertible market. Trying to engineer around basic design differences like the usage modes between a laptop, a desktop replacement, and a tablet is a fools errand.

You could also cut a hole in the bottom of your car to allow pushing it with your feet. That's dual use. Ancient tech ;-).

Microsoft, after 5+ years, are still in denial about how people use iPads. They must not even allow their own staff to naturally use a tablet in it's most common way, because that way goes against the MS way.

Yeah right Microsoft, I want my tablet to have a fan.

Mise well well make it weigh more than any other tablet made.

Sharp corners are also a good idea.

Why not include something small and easily lose-able for input?

Also, while you are at it, make it nearly unusable on my lap, on the couch, in a comfy chair, on the train, or in a car.

Also, can you possibly make it's weight distribution so bad that it tips over on airplane trays?

So here we are -- 3 versions in, and MS still believes that "real people" only do "real work" at their desks, in conference rooms, and at cafe's. Everywhere else the Surface is a clumsy, overpriced laptop or a loud, heavy, and overpriced tablet. If you don't have a flat, stable surface in front of you then you aren't doing "real work", I guess.

Go back to software, please (developer tools, databases, cross platform, to be specific). Leave the hardware to the experts.

I just don't see how you buy one of these instead of either a macbook air (which probably runs windows as well as this on better hardware) or a real tablet and a cheap laptop. You could get a samsung tablet and a dell laptop for that price. But that would be admitting you need 2 devices where MS insists on seeing one.

MS has been trying to sell this single, convertible device for all of our needs since the late 90's. Their persistence is odd, they usually don't stick to such a bad idea for so long.

I think they are trying to sell to IT purchasers only, and will probably offer huge bulk discounts. I can see them claiming a $900 retail price but bundling these things with all sorts of other software sales -- Buy 1000 Win8 licenses, get 100 Surface's; buy Enterprise SQL Server, get 10 Surfaces. This will get them out there but we'll see after a year of real use how this convertible holds up. I see broken hinges, lost pieces, and forever being a weird corporate laptop in this things future.

Reply Score: 1

Made up terms
by ezraz on Thu 22nd May 2014 13:09 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

"ultrabook", "notebook", "netbook", "laptop", "air", "macbook" -- these are all made up marketing terms.

Every manufacturer is trying to balance weight, power, battery life, typeability/usability, screen size, and price.

Move one up, another goes down. Focus on one only, the others suffer. They are all related and dependent on each other. It requires an integrated design amongst many disciplines to deliver a good machine.

Which is why Apple practically invented the proper laptop in the early 90's. It featured a balance of the needed features and fine craftsmanship.

Look at the powerbook 150, released in 1994:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook_150
If you update the parts that can be updated (chips, screens, ports) that is still a great laptop. It's about balance and long-term usability.

Look at the Duo, released in 1992:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerbook_Duo
This was an attempt at a convertible, but the conversion was between desktop mode (with external monitor, storage, and networking) and laptop mode.

Then they started shaping the plastic into more organic shapes and made some really good PowerPC machines, but they all suffered from case flex problems. One-handed lifting of a black powerbook or the titanium model could crack the case by the keyboard. The materials they were using just weren't strong enough for long-term use on the designs they were attempting.

Powerbook G3, released in 1997:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerbook_G3

Finally moving to the single, carved slab of aluminum for each half of the laptop took care of the rigidity issues. I could probably (physically) beat someone with my macbook if it came to that (isn't that what cloud backups are for?).

This is how you make a laptop nowadays:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHBSjupwlTM

OK that's 2008. Apple has been doing it for 5 years now while the others are still using plastic, or metal fastened to plastic, which is why macbooks are still the finest laptops made.

Anyone telling me that Apple is marketing only, please tell me where I can get a laptop carved out of a block of aluminum that will run all OS's with excellent battery life for years and years that isn't made by Apple. You can't. Which is why even linux conferences and surface press events are attended by people carrying around macbooks.

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