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

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.

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

"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:
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:
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:

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:

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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