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Handhelds Microsoft Portables Upgrades

Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside 316

Posted by timothy
from the touch-it dept.
crookedvulture (1866146) writes "Microsoft unveiled its Surface Pro 3 tablet at a press event in New York this morning. The device has a larger 12" screen with a 2160x1440 display resolution and a novel 3:2 aspect ratio. Intel Core processors provide the horsepower, starting with the Core i3 in the base model and extending all the way up to Core i7 in pricier variants. The tablet is just 9.1 mm thick, which Microsoft claims is the thinnest ever for a Core-based device. Microsoft developed a new radial fan that's suppose to distribute airflow evenly inside the chassis without generating audible noise. The tablet weights 800 g, shaving 100 g off the Surface Pro 2, and it's supposed to have longer battery life, as well. Microsoft has also rolled out new keyboard accessories, a pressure-sensitive stylus, and a docking station that supports 4K video output. The Surface Pro 3 is scheduled to be available tomorrow with prices starting at $799." Update: 05/20 17:12 GMT by T : Mary Jo Foley points out at ZDNet that one thing not announced today is an ARM-powered Mini version.
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Surface Pro 3 Has 12" Screen, Intel Inside

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  • Or... (Score:3, Informative)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:03PM (#47047783) Journal

    Or I can go buy a notebook for $300, keep my Nexus 7, and not shell out huge amounts of money for one big fucking tablet.

    • Re:Or... (Score:4, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:11PM (#47047867) Homepage
      Yeah, but then you couldn't carry your entire desktop with you wherever you want. The Surface 2 already had enough power to be a desktop replacement to all but the most demanding users. You can connect 4 monitors to the Surface Pro. Plug in a USB keyboard and mouse and most people wouldn't need another computer. If I had the cash I would definitely just buy Surface Pro and forget all about having separate desktop/laptop/tablet. I got the Surface 2 (not pro), and even that has allowed me to completely forget about my laptop and desktop unless I need to do some actual work. Surfing the web, watching videos, listening to music. I use my Surface for all of that. As far as home use goes, if I wasn't a developer, I probably wouldn't even need a "proper" computer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft had to develop a a power Surface or face losing the table and desktop world. Microsoft's control of the desktop is an illusion that we all believe. The minute most people realize they don't need Microsoft-specific tools to do what they do, Microsoft is sunk.

        Likewise, Google and Apple have a limited window (no pun intended) of opportunity in which they can dethrone Microsoft. With the introduction of this tablet, they may have missed that opportunity. All Microsoft needs is a tablet to be "

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by robbyb20 (651479)

          There are some people who actually prefer Windows(7, not 8) to everything else.

          Tried Linux in early 90s, not the best experience.

          Tried Mac in 2013 for 6 months, not an awesome experience. Never freed up large amounts of memory unless i did it manually, adobe products temp files took up 130gb and not intuitive to find and delete, little things like single clicking on a long file name to see the whole file from the desk top or even finder was impossible. That was important to me since my photo file names are

          • Tried Mac in 2013 for 6 months, not an awesome experience. Never freed up large amounts of memory unless i did it manually, adobe products temp files took up 130gb and not intuitive to find and delete, little things like single clicking on a long file name to see the whole file from the desk top or even finder was impossible. That was important to me since my photo file names are usually pretty long(Latename - date - sequence). It didnt work for the way that "I" work so it wasnt an option. Plus, bought the MBP maxed out for 2500, couldnt sell if for more than 1300. Complete waste of money and time for me.

            If you didn't like it, you didn't like it, and that's fine... you should certainly work using whatever tools you feel most comfortable with. But your specific points I don't get.

            Why are you trying to micromanage memory usage? This isn't the 90's. The OS will free up memory when it is needed. Any memory that is just sitting around "free" is memory wasted. The best way to check if you're running into memory constraints is to check if the OS is using swap at all (Mavericks has a nice memory pressure graph t

      • Re:Or... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:24PM (#47048013) Journal

        Wait, wait, wait... first you assert that he's not able to carry around his "entire desktop" wherever he wants, then you go on to say:

        I got the Surface 2 (not pro), and even that has allowed me to completely forget about my laptop and desktop unless I need to do some actual work

        ...and go on to talk about how you don't even need a computer if you didn't have that whole code-writing thing to bother with. So, well, which is it?

        Meanwhile, the reason I originally wanted to say something: With VPN and RDP/SSH, I can carry around entire effing servers wherever I want when I'm traveling, and access them from my smartphone if I wanted to - so even that one argument of yours is rather moot.

        (Now in my typical use case, I doodle in CG/3D artwork when I travel, and they ain't made a tablet yet that could render even a single frame w/o sucking the battery dry, so I carry around an MBP.)

        • Re:Or... (Score:4, Informative)

          by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:35PM (#47048123) Homepage
          The Surface 2 (not pro) is the ARM version they sell for $500. The Surface 2 PRO or Surface 3 PRO are the Intel x86-64 versions which will run any standard Windows software. I have the ARM version, and even that's enough provided you are just browsing the web and doing a few other small tasks. If you get the Surface PRO which comes with an Intel x86-64 processor, you can run full Windows, and all the applications you'd normally run on Windows. You could use it as your regular computer.
        • by ai4px (1244212)
          And most peon employee level remote access (ie blue cross blue shield) is done with Citrix, so thin clients could prevail if business would only stop to consider it.
        • by tepples (727027) <tepples.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:40PM (#47048183) Homepage Journal

          With VPN and RDP/SSH, I can carry around entire effing servers wherever I want when I'm traveling, and access them from my smartphone if I wanted to - so even that one argument of yours is rather moot.

          Can you get service on that smartphone for $84? That's how much I pay per year (not month) for my current phone because it doesn't have a data plan attached to it. A separate laptop lets me do work while riding transit without having to pay a huge data bill for VPN and RDP/SSH. For the price of a two-year data plan in this country, I could almost buy a Surface Pro 3.

          • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:45PM (#47048261) Journal

            Can you get service on that smartphone for $84?

            I do it for $45/mo. and that's in addition to making phone calls, receiving email, and playing games on it. Oh, and the company pays for that anyway because I receive corporate email on it too.

            A separate laptop lets me do work while riding transit without having to pay a huge data bill for VPN and RDP/SSH.

            True, but that was an example in extremis to prove the point that size doesn't really matter too much nowadays when it comes to mobile computing.

            • Can you get service on that smartphone for $84? That's how much I pay per year

              I do it for $45/mo

              Or $540 per year, which is $456 per year more than the voice-only service that I mentioned.

              receiving email, playing games on it. Oh, and the company pays for that anyway because I receive corporate email on it too.

              If your employer happens to be willing to pay the cell bill, a terminal that mostly gets web, mail, phone, and RDP might be ideal. But not everybody's employer is. Despite this, too many pundits have deluded themselves into thinking that such terminals are ideal for so many people that manufacturers should stop making affordable general-purpose computing devices with a robust offline mode. Besides, what happens to you

        • by deroby (568773)

          The way I read it he says a Surface *Pro* would be a perfect replacement for whatever people currently do on their computer; and more. But, since he has a non-Pro version of the Surface (read: the non-intel version) he himself is 'forced' to fall back on his 'real' computers to do some stuff related to his development work.

          Makes perfect sense to me; and indeed, a Surface Pro works perfectly well as both the traditional tablet while also being a perfect desktop replacement... or vice versa. You can hate Micr

      • Huh? My Nexus can fit inside a compartment along side my notebook, and still take up less room than this critter with keyboard and other peripherals. This product seems to solve a problem I do not have.

        But if it works for you, that's great.

      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:33PM (#47048095) Homepage Journal
        Surfing the web, watching videos, listening to music: you can do all of that on an iPad 1. How is this a selling point for an $800 tablet again? The whole point of a Windows tablet (@ $800 price point) for most people is that you can use it to do actual work. If you're needing to pull out your laptop or go to your desktop for that, the device is missing the mark.
        • Re:Or... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:41PM (#47048193)
          He said he does all that with the Surface not Pro, starting at $299.
          • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

            I do everything from coding to writing presentations or documents and any other business related tasks on my little 9 inch 3 year old Asus Transformer Tablet. Sadly gaming is the one thing I see a lack of on my android tablet, most games require the internet to work and want to suck my wallet dry nickle and diming me. I tossed my laptop as anything other than a video playback device when I'm at home (instead of using a TV), so I can watch something while doing other tasks on my desktop... Most of which is g

            • Your use cases are yours and yours alone, and therefore are lacking diversity. The size is killer for artists. The aspect ratio and the ability to tilt down is perfect for students. For me, the size and weight make it even better than my Surface Pro for a UAV ground station. No other tablets adequately address users with needs like these.
        • "Pulling" my laptop out means just pulling it out. It means finding a flat surface if i want to do serious work, so I don't see how a Surface Pro is going to make any difference in that department. If it's just checking email, reviewing documents, spreadsheets and that kind of work, frankly i find my Nexus more than fills the role.

          Ultimately I see no point to this device for the way i work. If I need a keyboard, I have my notebook, if I don't, then my tablet does the job. The price tag for this is just nuts

          • It depends on what "serious work" is for you. If you ultimately see no purpose for your work, that's completely fine. But for me and many others, serious work involves standing and writing. Or controlling a computer in the field with no tables available. Or creative type work like drawing. Or scientific/engineering work like solving equations or drawing diagrams.
        • How is this a selling point for an $800 tablet again?

          do you need or use a laptop?

          yes? then this is a more portable replacement for your laptop that can also replace your tablet in many situations.
          no? then this isn't for you, buy a cheaper tablet.

          the goal of trying to reduce the total number of "computers" we own is a good one, and i'm not unhappy someone is trying to solve it.

          The whole point of a Windows tablet (@ $800 price point) for most people is that you can use it to do actual work

          yes, you can do actual work on this. why couldn't you? you'd probably have to purchase a USB / bluetooth keyboard + mouse though.

          If you're needing to pull out your laptop or go to your desktop for that

          you don't.

      • by lgw (121541)

        What's the battery life on this like? The Surface Pro thus far has been blocked by that for me.

        • Surface Pro 2 lasts 6-8 hours, and they claim this one will be about 10% - 15% better.
          • by cbhacking (979169)

            The reports in TFA(s) are "up to 9 hours". That's not ground-breaking even for an x64 device, but it's excellent for a super-thin core i7 device.

            • It's also the point of diminishing returns. The difference between a 7 hour device and an 8 hour device is huge; you can get through the whole day with one and fall an hour short with the other. 8 to 9 is not as much of a gain. Anything more and you're charging it after work anyway.
  • Resolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andrio (2580551) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:08PM (#47047839)

    Damn it, how is it phones and tablets keep getting these awesome high-rez screens, yet it's impossible to buy a laptop with anything better than 1366 x 768 for less than 1K?

    • Re:Resolution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:28PM (#47048061) Journal

      Damn it, how is it phones and tablets keep getting these awesome high-rez screens, yet it's impossible to buy a laptop with anything better than 1366 x 768 for less than 1K?

      You get what you pay for, and when a laptop OEM goes cheap, the first thing to go is screen resolution. Bite the bullet and spend a the extra dosh for a good laptop. As a bonus, it'll last a lot longer - often long enough to give you a better ROI than the 2-3 cheaper laptops you'd be buying during the same time period.

      • >often long enough to give you a better ROI than the 2-3 cheaper laptops you'd be buying during the same time period.

        Correct. I bought one of the very first 1080p laptops so long ago that I don't remember when I got it, and it's still running great. The only thing I've had to replace is the battery. Yes it's big by today's standards, but it works fine with current software after all these years.
      • by Andrio (2580551)

        I know, I'm just saying, it seems odd that you can get a tablet with a 2560-by-1600 resolution for 400 bucks [google.com], and yet you can't even get 1080p with ~12" laptops unless you venture into the 1K+ territory. It just doesn't add up.

      • Re:Resolution (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @02:29PM (#47048755) Journal

        Microsoft seems a totally confused company at the moment. I bet more than 50% of all tablets are 7" screen size or less. The reason the iPad at about 10" is good is bcos of touch based apps for that platform.

        12" is way too big for a tablet and $700 is about 3 times the ideal price point. This device will get hammered by Android tablets by the low-price customers; and anybody who can afford $700 for a tablet would close their eyes and buy the iPad which has 100 times more useful touch based apps than the Surface Pro.

        The desktop OS is best navigated with a keyboard in Microsoft's opinion. The best Surface Pro apps are those designed for the desktop, such as Excel and Word.

        Looks like a very confused company determined to throw another $1bn in a vain effort to get 2% marketshare in tablets. Gates or Ballmer or Nadella, nobody seems to have any clue about desktops, tablets or smartphones.

        • Microsoft seems a totally confused company at the moment. I bet more than 50% of all tablets are 7" screen size or less.

          Because 90% of tablets are used for content consumption. One may say that this is a feedback loop, people consume content, tablets get smaller, so all people can do is consume content.

          Microsoft is saying they want to make a tablet that is good for content creation. That's why it's bigger. That's why it comes with a pen. You say 12" is way to big, and I ask for whom? For me, 12" is the size of my paper notebook, and the Surface 3 would work well in that application while a 7" tablet would not. You say $

          • by jkrise (535370)

            Microsoft is saying they want to make a tablet that is good for content creation. That's why it's bigger. That's why it comes with a pen.

            In my view, content creation is best done with keyboard, mouse and a desktop / laptop. What sort of content can be created with a stylus on a tablet? That's neither the best tools nor the most cost effective.

            Cadillacs and Toyotas are both good at transporting people from one place to another. A 12" tablet cannot do most things possible on a smaller phone or a larger deskt

            • In my view, content creation is best done with keyboard, mouse and a desktop / laptop. What sort of content can be created with a stylus on a tablet? That's neither the best tools nor the most cost effective.

              When is the last time you painted a picture with your keyboard or mouse? People make different content. Obviously the content you make it with a keyboard+mouse, sitting down at a desk, in an office probably.

              A 12" tablet cannot do most things possible on a smaller phone or a larger desktop.

              And smaller phones and desktop computer can't do things a 12" tablet can. My Cadillac vs. Toyota line was more about the specs of the device. 7" tablets are slow as hell. Surface Pro 3 is the most powerful tablet available. Saying $799 is too much needs qualification. It's too much for a 7" device, but i

    • by larkost (79011)

      If you are wiling to go refub, then Apple has just the thing for you, last year's 13inch MacBookAir starting at $779, or this year's starting at $20 more:

      http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_air/13

    • by Tumbleweed (3706)

      http://www.newegg.com/All-Lapt... [newegg.com]

      Perhaps you should learn how to use the filters at Newegg?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by smash (1351)

      Because the componentry in a laptop costs more? You've typically got more ports, more storage, ram expansion, etc. And because Windows resolution independence sucks hard anyway. I'll bet they didn't show this 12" screen running any of the legacy windows apps you'll specifically want WINDOWS to run. Only windows 8 exclusive stuff...

      Hitting win32 application widgets on 10" @ 1920x1080 on a surface 2 is bad enough. 2560x1440 on 12" will be even worse.

      • by jkrise (535370)

        I'll bet they didn't show this 12" screen running any of the legacy windows apps

        What do people generally buy tablets for? In my view tablets are best for consuming content, with about 5% input done through keyboard. Except for watching movies, or for super exotic porn watching, 12" is a horrible form factor.

        About half the Android tablets I've seen are used for dual purposes - making phone calls, as well as viewing mails, videos, Whatsapp and what not. A 12" tablet for making calls would make as much sense

        • What do people generally buy tablets for? In my view tablets are best for consuming content

          Sigh. I thought we were over this years ago. That's not even the majority use of tablets anymore...

    • Because you can break a single high-rez panel down into multiple smaller screens, but cannot stitch smaller panels up into a larger one? Manufacturing creates defects, and the larger the screen the greater the waste if a screen has a defect.

    • by jandrese (485)
      It's worse than that. This thing has a 3:2 screen. You know how many people would buy a laptop with a 3:2 screen and this many pixels? A lot. But laptop manufacturers are so in freaking love with widescreen now that it's just not going to happen. It's so frustrating. I've been on the hunt for a new laptop for a year and a half now, and nothing fits my needs. I'm not even asking for super low cost here. A $1000 or $1200 laptop would be totally fine, but manufacturers treat these tablet level displays
    • There's a few sites where you can buy an aftermarket panel of your choosing, assuming you're semi handy with a screw driver.
      Example, I bought an asus g74sx a few years back, and it came with a 17.3 inch 1680 lcd (not sure why they'd pick that resolution for a 'gaming' laptop?)

      But, http://www.laptopscreen.com/ [laptopscreen.com] had a 1080p replacement for just over $100 delivered. Not affiliated with them in any way -- they had a good price, and surprisingly fast shipping. (Despite how sketchy the site looks.)

      Took about 20 mi

  • interesting.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:11PM (#47047869) Homepage Journal

    ... good to see that others have finally followed apple's lead (and google's with the chromebook) and realised that 16x9 isn't the be all and end all, and closer-to-square aspect can actually fit more content. It's not just about movies.

    Pricing is reasonable, still totally NOT sold on the kick-stand idea, have run a surface 2 for a week and did not like. Would much prefer the ability to run it like an ipad with a touch cover on a desk, rather than vertical like a pc monitor or laptop.

    That said, i think the biggest bugbear is going to be Windows 8. It doesn't work very well with touch either. Yes, as I said above I've run a surface 2 for a week and did not like. Will be interesting to see whether it can have other OSes loaded onto it, but really the other other available tablet OS with software support is android. And if you're going down that path you're competing with some very cheap hardware.

    • ... i think the biggest bugbear is going to be Windows 8....

      Agreed. Windows 8 is going to be a strategic problem for Microsoft going forward. The reputation of Windows 8 is so soiled presently, that I doubt it is going to be an easy sell, even on touch screens.

      • Re:interesting.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:30PM (#47048075) Homepage Journal
        After using a surface pro 2 for a week, i reckon Windows 8 actually works better with mouse and keyboard than touch by a long shot. The problem is the apps. There aren't any for touch that actually do anything productive. Shitty little app store type stuff isn't the reason I'm going to buy a Windows tablet. I'm going to buy a windows tablet because i want to do business stuff on an AD domain. If i wanted to run mobile app type stuff i'd just buy an iPad or Android tablet for half the price.
    • That said, i think the biggest bugbear is going to be Windows 8. It doesn't work very well with touch either.

      True, but according to the commercials it'll turn you into one very badassed break-dancer/parkour/contortionist with awesome jazz hands...

    • Re:interesting.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:35PM (#47048125) Journal

      The problem with touch is that it's not really thought out by the software makers. There are exceptions. Bluebeam makes a PDF program for professionals that lets you edit and annotate. On a digitizer Win8 tablet, like this or my Sony Flip, fingers are used to zoom and pan, while the digitizer is used for writing on the screen. There's never a mixup between the two like occurs with an iPad, where even the best BT-linked styli are hit and miss (and still only work properly in special "aware" apps).

      The biggest downside to W8 is the lack of ability to go all-fingers when you want to, but that would require touch-optimized apps for nearly everything, and the vendors just aren't feeling the need to go there.

    • Re:interesting.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ai4px (1244212) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:41PM (#47048195)
      I used a surface pro for all of about 2 hours and returned it to the store. I was lined up to pay >$900 for a surface pro that didn't come with a keyboard. The touch screen in win8 isn't even smart enough to pop up an on screen keyboard when I touch a blank to type. I have to make the keyboard pop up, then move the screen around to see what I'm typing if the kb covers it up. Amazingly unintuitive. Couple this with a GUI that keeps funneling me into the puzzle pieces view... and trying to find apps that are not organized in alphabetical order..... again, amazingly unintuitive. Now they tell us it has a 3:2 aspect ratio? WhoTF is making these decisions?
      • Re:interesting.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:51PM (#47048349) Homepage Journal

        Yup. those were the problems i noticed too - erratic touch keyboard behavior, unusable win32 application widgets at 1920x1080 on a 10" screen, etc. The 3:2 aspect is a plus though for a table tin my opinion - 16x9 form factor tablet just feel awkward and unwieldy - it isn't tall enough when used in landscape mode and isn't wide enough and feels too tall when used in portrait. 3:2 or 4:3 is a much better compromise for something that feels good to hold and has decent screen area.

        The surface I used was an extended evaluation unit for work. I could have kept it for work use for "free" (work paid), but gave it back and went back to the ipad (primary work uses being VMware View, ssh, mail, etc.).

    • That said, i think the biggest bugbear is going to be Windows 8. It doesn't work very well with touch either. Yes, as I said above I've run a surface 2 for a week and did not like.

      How does it not work well with touch? You've used for a week, but I've got 2 years of experience using it on touch and it works fine. Care to cite any examples you encountered?

      • by smash (1351)

        All of the windows apps I want Windows for are win32 and the widgets are un-usably small on 1920x1080 on a 10" screen. Try using Outlook 2010 for example.

        The on screen keyboard pops up sometimes, sometimes does not, somtimes covers the win32 application I am trying to use.

        The metro side of Windows 8 is good enough for touch, but the fact is that very few people want a windows tablet in order to run the apps available in the Metro UI. They want to run office and other enterprise apps. And currently t

        • by smash (1351)
          Also: I've been running Windows 8 on various things since release as well. Many touch enabled laptops, tablets, etc. The Surface 2 in particular I had for a week (and mentioned that as basis for comparison as we're talking about the surface 3 here), but I've also evaluated HP elitepads, touch enabled elitebooks, Lenovo Helix (my favorite Windows tablet so far), Samsung Windows based tablet, Panasonic Toughpad, etc, etc.
        • So your argument is that applications not built for touch are hard to use on touch. Makes enough sense. But with a reasonable DPI setting and the pen I find working with the desktop and Win32 apps is easy enough. I still want to do heavy keyboard input with an actual keyboard, but running my Surface Pro as a UAV ground station using a non-touch optimized app is easy and better than using a laptop.
          • by smash (1351)
            Well, yes. There's no other selling point to buy a Surface Pro over any other tablet for the average joe. The major selling point is that you can use your existing windows apps.
        • Microsoft: if you are listening - ADD THE ABILITY TO ZOOM INTO THE CLASSIC DESKTOP

          Consider it done [microsoft.com]. Win-+ to open Magnifier, Win-Esc to close.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      ... good to see that others have finally followed apple's lead (and google's with the chromebook) and realised that 16x9 isn't the be all and end all, and closer-to-square aspect can actually fit more content. It's not just about movies.

      Closer-to-square absolutely sucks for content. If you look at any publications which actually approach square (e.g. magazines), you'll see that although the page is close to square, they break up the text into columns. Because square sucks for the actual content.

      4:3 i

  • by theodp (442580) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:15PM (#47047919)

    ...fuggedaboutit @$799

    • by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:27PM (#47048055) Homepage Journal
      You do realize you're getting a full blown intel core CPU here. This isn't in the same league as some cheap low power ARM cpu, it's much more powerful. You could realistically use one as a desktop replacement.
      • by slinches (1540051) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @03:05PM (#47049239)

        You could use it as a desktop replacement assuming you're not using it for anything that's computationally expensive, hook it up to a decent size monitor and add a keyboard/mouse. Although, if you're willing to do that, you could get a better spec desktop for ~$500 and still have $300 to spend on a separate tablet. There are advantages to each setup, but the former is a "one size fits all" solution, whereas the latter can be customized to the specific needs of the user.

        My personal opinion is that the Surface makes too many compromises trying to be everything to everyone and it ends up being a poor value as a desktop replacement and is rather clunky as a tablet. That means that the market is limited to people who highly value both size/portability and not having multiple devices and there's significant competition in that market from small laptops.

  • by Doofus (43075) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:27PM (#47048041)
    Specs and prices are available in this file: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/may14/05-20surfacepr.aspx [microsoft.com].

    Unfortunately at no price point will they go above 8GB RAM.

    I'll pay more for 16GB RAM! I guarantee other people are out there waiting for the 16GB model. Please MSFT, manufacture a 16GB RAM model.
    • by Doofus (43075)
      Posted the wrong link.

      Spec file here [microsoft.com].
    • by Jeff Flanagan (2981883) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:36PM (#47048137)
      A tablet may not be the best place to run virtual machines or servers, and nothing else really requires more than 8GB of RAM. Win 8 will run very well with 8GB.
      • by smash (1351)
        Pretty much that. 8 GB is enough to run a couple of VMs anyway - but if you want to run much more than that you'll likely run out of storage, kill your battery, etc. Get a server, and just use the tablet for what it is good at - displaying content processed elsewhere on the network.
        • Get a server, and just use the tablet for what it is good at - displaying content processed elsewhere on the network.

          Then the question becomes how much you want to pay a cellular carrier per month to move data between where you process it and where you view it. I explain further in my other comment [slashdot.org].

      • by period3 (94751)

        A tablet may not be the best place to run virtual machines or servers, and nothing else really requires more than 8GB of RAM. Win 8 will run very well with 8GB.

        Really? Virtualization and servers are the only applications you can think of that could possibly benefit from more than 8GB of memory?

      • A tablet may not be the best place to run virtual machines or servers, and nothing else really requires more than 8GB of RAM.

        Running Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom on less than 16GB can be painful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Copypasta:

      Technical specs
      Operating system
      - Windows 8.1 Pro
      Exterior: Dimensions
      - 7.93 in x 11.5 in x 0.36 in
      - Weight: 1.76 lbs
      - Casing: Magnesium
      - Color: Silver
      - Physical buttons: Volume, Power, Home
      Storage
      - 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
      Display
      - Screen: 12-inch ClearType Full HD display
      - Resolution: 2160 x 1440
      - Aspect Ratio: 3:2
      - Touch: Multitouch input
      Pen input
      - Pen input and pen (included with purchase)
      - Pen features 256 levels of pressure sensitivity
      CPU
      - 4th-generation Int

  • I already own an Acer Iconia 11.3 in tablet with Core I5 chip, which I bought to view Google Play magazines that didn't display well on my Nexus 7. The Iconia tablet turned out to be a fantastic tablet that I'm very happy with. The new Surface Pro 3 seems very appealing to me as well, and has great specs. My only problem is that when you go from the 64GB model to the 128GB model they charge an extra 200 dollars. A 128GB SSD drive goes for about 100 dollars, so we are talking about a 50 dollar increase in p
    • Re:A decent machine (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pushing-robot (1037830) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @02:05PM (#47048519)

      Yeah, comparing this to "the Apple tax" on their similarly-specced MacBook Air:

      i5-i7:
      Apple $150
      Microsoft $250

      4GB-8GB RAM:
      Apple $100
      Microsoft $100*

      128-256GB SSD:
      Apple $200
      Microsoft $200*

      (*MS combines these into one upgrade)

      256-512GB SSD:
      Apple $300
      Microsoft $400

      It's pretty bad when Apple's upgrade prices look reasonable by comparison.

  • " The device has a larger 12" screen with a 2160x1440 display resolution and a novel 3:2 aspect ratio."

    and yet a typical 15" laptop can only squeeze in 1366 x 768 resolution

  • by Lumpy (12016)

    So anyone have ubuntu running on these pro's smoothly yet? last I heard there was a couple of driver issues.

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @05:53PM (#47051221)

    Sure, the hardware specs look good. Nice processor, screen, etc. Light weight. Promises of great battery life.

    But here's the problem...it's still running Windows 8 which nearly everyone seems to hate. Same thing with the phone. Nice Nokia hardware but shitty OS.

    MS continues to make the mistake of comparing their hardware to the Mac hardware by only examining the hardware specs. They fail to look at it holistically. What's cool about Macs is that they run so smoothly. It's not about horsepower, it's about design. Something that is sorely lacking in Windows 8.

    I predict that MS will sell quite a few of these in the enterprise market and almost none in the consumer space (well, almost none compared to the number of android and iPads that get sold).

    What everyone seemed to want was a 7 inch Surface not a 12 inch Surface. Once again, MS fails to give consumers what they are asking for. Even Apple swallowed it's pride and came out with a 7 inch iPad. Why? Because it was obvious that consumers wanted it and tons of android tables with that form factor were flying off the shelves. So Apple was late to that market but at least they had enough sense to realize that they had made a mistake.

    MS still has that monopolistic mindset. They don't seem to want to listen to what people want. They send out product after product to the marketplace only to lose millions of dollars on it and abandon it shortly thereafter.

    What MS desperately wants to stop is the notion that you can get everything done without using any MS software or hardware. And that day is rapidly approaching if it's not already here. This new Surface will do nothing to slow that down.

  • by l3v1 (787564) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @02:00AM (#47054031)
    "a novel 3:2 aspect ratio"

    Yeah, it's so invigorating to see what novelties this new age of innovation in computing produces.

    Next they will present the novel larger version of it, that you can put on your desk for viewing stuff.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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