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Microsoft Portables

Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-everybody's-clamoring-for-more-expensive-tablets dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "According to Microsoft, the Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available for purchase on Feb. 9 in the U.S. and Canada. As anticipated, the Surface Pro will be slightly thicker than the Surface with Windows RT, and will weigh about two pounds. The tablet is powered with an Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory. It also includes an 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band Wi-Fi, a stylus for pressure-sensitive input, dual 720p HD webcams, a full-sized USB 3.0 port, microSDXC slot, and mini DisplayPort. Since the Surface Pro runs Windows 8 Pro, it will work with your corporate infrastructure, as well as any older apps that you used on Windows XP to 7. In terms of pricing, the 64GB version will cost $899 while the 128GB will set you back by $999."
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Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:37PM (#42663563)

    I'll start: this thing is too expensive for what it is.

  • by Holi (250190) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:58PM (#42663803)

    Because your bank isn't using it, that means no corp will. Is that your point?

  • Not the same thing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @08:59PM (#42663817)

    Makes the Macbook air just as outrageous

    ...and it is. Except that Apple is desirable, but the top selling laptop on Amazon right now is the chromebook http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Electronics-Laptop-Computers/zgbs/electronics/565108/ref=pd_ts_zgc_e_565108_morl?pf_rd_p=1306419382&pf_rd_s=right-5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=2956501011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1RB1ZW709NBS28NH1KWN [amazon.com] selling for a third of the cheapest surface.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:33PM (#42664133)

    Why would any professor worth his salt "Recommend" his students be locked into a device for consumption

    in other words, an iPad.

    rather than one that more freely enables co-operation and creativity?

    Or, in other words, a Surface Pro.

  • Compare to ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rougement (975188) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:33PM (#42664137)
    An iPad at $400 cheaper and a MacBook Air for only $100 more. I'm not sure, at this price point, what MS are trying to accomplish. It just reeks of a hurried "oh hell, we must release something to counter Apple' Well, here's your something.
  • Re:And? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:45PM (#42664263)

    The TX2500 uses a Turion CPU...that's like Pentium-M level performance.

    And Oblivion? Really? That game is almost a decade old. The fact that you only get a horrid 18fps in it shows how crappy that computer is.

  • by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:49PM (#42664301) Homepage

    "The Surface Pro isn't good at anything."

    Or so you've read and like to repeat on the internet.

  • by mattack2 (1165421) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @09:52PM (#42664327)

    So, that means your bank did stupid, browser-specific sites rather than using web standards.

  • by ahabswhale (1189519) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:02PM (#42664421)

    Oh, you think I'm just spewing what everyone else is saying? That's true but only because it is true. Here's why...

    It's design sucks. A device can only be really good at one thing. This is not a new principle to design but pretty much the fucking foundation of industrial design.

    Want more?

    It's too heavy, expensive and crappy on battery power to be a good tablet, and it doesn't have a real keyboard or adequate screen size to make it a good laptop. Basically, they've built a "laplet" (or "tabtop", if you prefer). Unfortunately for Microsoft, nobody has ever asked for a laplet. This thing will fail even bigger than the Surface RT.

    Like I said, it sucks. Even Microsoft is starting to realize it so they've already decided to drop the price by $100.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @10:12PM (#42664521)

    It might be a third less because it uses a shitty ARM CPU, has half the RAM, one eighth the amount of storage space, no touchscreen, no pen input, no memory card slot, lower resolution and weighs more than the Surface Pro.

    No its a third...as in you can but three of them for the same price as Surface. Pro. It comes with 100GB of cloud storage...and has a memory card slot. runs a lightweight OS [and can run Ubuntu too :). Other than touch-screen something I want...if I can get android compatibility, but that has been announced on the next chrome book there is embarrassingly little in it.

    ...but your right it is not exactly the specifications, but functionally very similar, and has advantages cost being the most glaring.

  • by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @11:29PM (#42665071)

    No, it's not expensive. It's just plain useless.

    Windows RT was a dismal failure, and Windows 8 will be equally disastrous. It fails on the touch front and on the mouse and keyboard front. Having tried it extensively, allow me to name the ways:

    Touch:
    1) The Metro home screen is the only touch-friendly aspect of it. However, it is filled with useless Microsoft apps that can't function without an internet connection and are tied to largely inferior Microsoft internet services.
    2) It has the usual miserable Windows software keyboard and handwriting recognition, with fairly limited support.
    3) Outside of Metro, the remainder is the usual touch-unfriendly Windows interface meant for a mouse and keyboard, where fat fingers will simply fail. This is what gets me the most. If the thing is a touchscreen, then it should be configured out of the box to be touch-friendly. Instead, it is configured as un-touch-friendly as possible. And worse, while you can say switch Explorer to use large icons on a grid instead of the list or details view, many screens simply don't have a touch-friendly interface.
    4) The edge swiping is annoying and easy to do accidentally, The left edge "screen list" is useful, but only to bring up Metro apps.
    5) Having to go to Metro just to access the swipe that will bring up a button to get to the list of programs is painfully clunky. The bottom swipe should be active on the desktop screen, and it should be the list of applications, not an extra button.
    6) The right swipe should have been able to access the entire control panel, but instead, it's largely useless.

    On the mouse and keyboard front:

    1) The Metro UI and swiping is as horrible as expected. Some things have Metro and old Windows equivalents, but most do not. It's incredibly annoying to switch between mouse and keyboard, and touch, and that's pretty much what's necessary to use Metro.
    2) And I don't think I need to mention that you can't even get to your software list without going through Metro, which is already a three step affair even by touch.
    3) It doesn't come with the cover, which is another $150.

    Oh, and did I mention that you have to "activate" Windows before you can use some of its functionality? It's hardware made by Microsoft but there's somehow still a chance copy of Windows on it can be a bootleg. Activation is automatic with an internet connection, fortunately, but it's ridiculous that it's even necessary.

    I expect Windows 8 to be slightly better than RT, in that it can run traditional apps. And there are third-party programs to minimize the damage Metro causes for those who want to do useful work with it. But that's about as good as it'll get. It's still a touch disaster, and a fairly useless "entertainment" device (RT comes with Office, but no games preinstalled).

    Microsoft needs to shape up if they want to even have a shot at the tablet market. They possess a split personality disorder both on the UI front and on the developer front that they very much need to ditch. If they can't seem to figure out what kind of machine it is (or develop a separate "personality" for each purpose), nobody else will be able to. And people will avoid it.

    For starters, they're going to have to revamp the entire look-and-feel of their tablet Windows to be touch-centric. It'll be easy to go from touch back to mouse and keyboard, because the mouse is just a very, very fine finger. But they need to commit to it, instead of leaving half of the screens in the old Windows UI and the other (useless) half touch-friendly.

    And they'll have to include the keyboard out of the box. The software keyboard is a stinking manure pile. Nobody's going to buy a Surface/Pro without an external keyboard. Nobody's going to touch Windows RT/8 without a real keyboard.

    Portable work devices are rarely perpetually-connected, while entertainment devices are usually connected. Including Office with RT to make it a useful work device was genius, but not including any games was equally boneheaded stupid.

    Only if they can fix the split personality disorder in the rumored Windows 8.1, could it be a useable OS. Otherwise, it'll just be another disaster.

  • by ahabswhale (1189519) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @11:56PM (#42665319)

    Surface Pro is the best tablet that can run x86 applications.

    I don't need a tablet that can run x86 apps. Users don't give a flying shit about "x86" they just give a shit about having good apps to run. iOS and Android already offer that in spades. And the Samsung Galaxy Note supports the stylus in ALL apps, not just specially written ones.

    Show me another machine that is as thin, light, and powerful with a stylus. You can't.

    Apparently, you're not too hip on the tablet scene: http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxynote/note_10.1/index.html?type=find [samsung.com]

    It's thinner, lighter, cheaper, has longer battery life, 3G, and is designed for use with a stylus, etc.

    You might say a tablet is defined by being thin and light and having all day battery life, but that's different from what I want in a tablet. I want a stylus for writing. Surface Pro has this, 90% of tablets today don't.

    I think I already covered this argument.

    I want ports for USB drives, portable harddrives, video out. Surface Pro has this, 90% of tablets today don't.

    USB drives and hard drives? What fucking century do you live in?? And pretty much everyone has a video out capability now (not that I've seen anyone ever use that feature before other than fucking around).

    want an SD card slot for expansion and swapping cards. Surface Pro has this, 90% of tablets today don't.

    lol, lots of tablets have SD card slots dude. Have you ever googled an android tablet before?

    The Surface pro is a little thicker and heavier than iPad (.5 lbs and .5") but the tradeoff is more power with an i5 and compatibility with millions of applications and devices. So great for you if your iPad or Android tablet is thinner and lighter and lasts all day. I don't care because they are as useless as rocks for my needs, and I'll gladly pay $899 for a tablet that does what I want.

    And what are your needs? You mention all these features you want that the Surface Pro just happens to have but seriously, what is your job or hobby that requires these features? I'm having trouble envisioning it. I'm willing to say that it's possible that there's a small group of people the Surface Pro would be a good match for but I think it's a very, very small group. Congrats to you if you're one of them.

    And FYI, that $899 does not include a keyboard. Feel free to tack on another $130.

    Honestly, based on everything you've said, I find it hard to imagine how the the average consumer would choose a Surface Pro over a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Keep in mind, I'm not any kind of Samsung fanboy.

  • by Zontar The Mindless (9002) <plasticfish@info.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @01:47AM (#42666123)

    Aren't most corporate apps these days really Web apps? Where I work (very big, very multinational software company), the only things that everyone has to use and that actually have to *run* on people's machines are Web browser, VPN, and maybe an office suite.

    Tablets already have the first 2 covered quite well. (It's not like we're sitting around on our thumbs waiting on ports of Firefox or AnyConnect to iOS and Android.) And who the fuck is going to write a 20-page whitepaper or 50-slide PPT preso on a tablet?

    So we'll have the sales guys going for e-peen points waving their tablets at each other, while (surprise, surprise) not doing much actual work on them at all. And 90% of corporate workers will still be using desktops or laptops.

    So yes, in this case, x86 compatibility is not much of a draw at all.

    (Now for me *personally* it might be fun to get one of these and to try to put Linux or Android on it. But "fun" does not a business case make.)

  • Re: And? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MikShapi (681808) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @02:50AM (#42666469) Journal

    Runs fine (uber-res, all bells and whistles on) on myacbook air.
    Then again, 2.5 lanes of PCIe 2.0 coming out of its side might have something to do with that.
    Never mind the absence of a high-end surdace model (i7/8GB), The surface pro has just one PCIe worth of grown up IO coming out the side. Nice... But sub-standard.

    Microsoft can do better in a showcase reference model the OEMs are expexted to copy.

  • by caywen (942955) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @05:25AM (#42667143)

    A device can only be really good at one thing. This is not a new principle to design but pretty much the fucking foundation of industrial design.

    You seem so sure of yourself, evident by the unnecessary profanity. And yet many highly successful products both past and present betray your assertion.

    MP3 + Video player => iPod Touch and its ilk
    MP3 + Video player + Browser + Apps + Phone => smartphones
    Passenger car + SUV => Crossover SUV cars
    Game Console + Media Center => PS3, Xbox 360, soon PS4 and Xbox 4
    PC + LCD monitor hybrids => All in one PC's, iMac
    Compact Camera + Interchangeable lens => Micro 4/3 (e.g. Sony NEX)
    Printer + Scanner + Fax => Printer / Scanner / Fax (duh)
    Radio + CD Player => Boombox, FM Walkman
    Power Screwdriver + Power Drill => Combo Power Screwdriver / Drill
    Hammer + Crowbar => Pretty much any hammer you find today

    and the list goes on and on and on. Pretty much every one of these carries with it compromises that can be lambasted by anyone inclined to do so. In all successful cases, the benefits match or exceed the compromise. Some of these examples are more enduring than others, but the bottom line is that compromised hybrid designs are a fine way to go about product design.

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