Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Feb 2013 11:23 UTC
Windows And there we are - the Surface Pro reviews are in. Reading through them all, there's clearly a common theme, and it's not particularly positive. We're a few months in now, so I think we can finally call it: Windows 8 and Surface are the wrong way to go.
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RE: Surface Pro
by galvanash on Wed 6th Feb 2013 16:47 UTC in reply to "Surface Pro"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Form factor needs a solution for laps


This one I 100% agree with. I think this ends up being the platforms achilles heel.

toss the Core i5 and throw in a low power Intel processor.


The problem is there are no such processors (at least not yet). The i5 they used is the 17W variety. That is as low as any Intel ULV processors get currently (not counting Core 2 Solos from 2008, which don't have GPUs, or Atoms which categorically suck).

A handful of 13W models were just released last month - too late for Surface Pro. There is a 10W Pentium too - but it has 1st generation GPU which is absolutely awful and would cripple such a machine.

This all could've been avoided if Microsoft had aborted the Surface RT and Surface Pro and released just a "Surface" with midrange Intel processor, modest specs, exceptional battery life, and respectable performance.


I think they should have waited for Haswell and worked to figure out how to put a bigger battery in it, but it would have set the product back almost a year... That only addresses the battery life issue though. I don't know how to fix the kickstand-on-your-lap problem. Maybe someone could design an aftermarket "shell" with a hinge to hold the screen at a comfortable viewing angle, but the problem is you need to counterweight the screen - that means the base of the thing would need to weigh at least 2lbs.

I _really_ want to like it. I can live with the battery life and the price as is. But the kickstand thing has put me seriously on the fence - if it is uncomfortable to use in laptop scenarios Im afraid Im going to hate the thing...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Surface Pro
by WereCatf on Wed 6th Feb 2013 16:52 in reply to "RE: Surface Pro"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The problem is there are no such processors (at least not yet). The i5 they used is the 17W variety. That is as low as any Intel ULV processors get currently (not counting Core 2 Solos from 2008, which don't have GPUs, or Atoms which categorically suck).


The new 7W Ivy Bridge - CPUs from Intel ( http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/01/power-saving-through-marketi... ) should make things a lot easier for manufacturers and a lot more interesting for end-users once they arrive properly in the mass-market. I would love being able to run x86/x64 software on a tablet without terrible compromises in speeds or loud fans keeping the thing from scorching my fingers.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Surface Pro
by galvanash on Wed 6th Feb 2013 17:36 in reply to "RE[2]: Surface Pro"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The new 7W Ivy Bridge - CPUs from Intel


Yeah. Those are the ones I was referring to as being released last month. They are technically 13W TDP - the 7W number is SDP, some new made up metric for "average" power use. i.e. they are lower power, but not as much as the number implies.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Surface Pro
by Nelson on Wed 6th Feb 2013 19:05 in reply to "RE: Surface Pro"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think Atom would be adequate for most tablet uses. Just not heavy duty Photoshop or whatever. Its doable, but not perfect. I think THAT could've waited a year. A Surface Pro running haswell would make sense a year from now.

But given that the Atom in Clovertrail out muscles what they put in the Surface RT, with comparable battery usage, it would make sense to put one in a normal Surface.

As for the lap issue, I'm not sure how they'd fix it, but I'm not worried. They're smart people. If they want to fix it they can figure out a solution. I'd be surprised if they weren't receiving a lot of feedback on this.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Surface Pro
by sonnyrao on Sun 10th Feb 2013 08:48 in reply to "RE[2]: Surface Pro"
sonnyrao Member since:
2011-07-18

I think you forget just how *awful* the Atom processors have been.

We're talking 3-4x slower than the processor that they put into the surface pro.. probably roughly on par with the Tegra 3 that's in the Surface RT.

How could they demand a premium for that?

Reply Parent Score: 1