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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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  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Re:Or... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:22PM (#47048001)

    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 "good enough."

  • 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.)

  • by Doofus (43075) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:27PM (#47048041)
    Specs and prices are available in this file: [].

    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.
  • Re:Resolution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @01:42PM (#47048205) Homepage Journal

    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 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.

  • 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:

    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.

  • Re:Or... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by robbyb20 (651479) on Tuesday May 20, 2014 @02:17PM (#47048649) Homepage

    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 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.

    Tried Ubuntu on a side laptop 2 months ago and for the life of me couldnt do anything but look at the internet. To get Steam to work properly, i had to install a bunch of other libraries that werent intuitive to find. This is important for those of us that would like to use a system but out of the box, cant do it with out further additions just to get certain programs to work.

    Guess where im back at? A freshly reformatted windows 7 box and no complaints from this user.

    Sorry if this post seems like its directed towards you. It was mainly for the comment about people realizing they dont need microsoft specific tools and dumping them and wanted to point out that even tho I dont NEED microsoft, i still prefer them.

  • 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.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982