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Microsoft Handhelds Windows

Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews Arrive 320

The release date is approaching for Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet, and reviews for the new device have started appearing. The Surface Pro differs from the Surface in that it runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro, rather than the tablet-centric Windows RT. It also has much beefier hardware specs: 4GB RAM, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and a full HD display with 10-point multitouch. Ars describes it as having the expected good performance at the expected costs of heat, noise, and battery life. "This is not an all-day machine. Surface RT probably is. But Surface Pro is not." The review praises the screen and the stylus, but points out some odd scaling issues as well. The Verge's review also mentions the scaling, and notes the strangeness of dealing with issues inherent to a Windows desktop OS — like antivirus — on a tablet. BGR looks at the big picture, calling the Surface Pro Microsoft's "declaration of war" on its hardware partners. All three reviews dwell on how the Surface Pro exists at the intersection of laptop and tablet, and doesn't quite fulfill either role. Ars says, "From the tablet perspective, Surface Pro is not acceptable. It gets too hot for a hand-held device, its battery life is woefully inadequate, and it's too thick and heavy to be comfortable to hand hold for long sessions. ... From a laptop perspective, Surface Pro falls down too. The traditional laptop has a stiff hinge to hold the screen at an angle of your choosing. ... In practice, the Surface RT and Surface Pro have a bigger footprint on my lap even than my old 15-inch MacBook Pro. And if I move a little, whomp, the screen drops off the back of my knees and folds out of sight." The Verge adds, "The real dealbreaker for me was that it's just unusable in my most common position — sitting on my couch, feet on the coffee table, with the computer on my lap."
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Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews Arrive

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  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:18AM (#42807403) Homepage Journal

    I've read the Anan review and it mentions pretty much everything that's in the summary. Though he puts a lot of positive spin on some things - the fans and the heat for example. He says you can hear the fans but it is not a problem. And proceeds to say the case hits 40 degrees but that it's not uncomfortable for it to be that hot. I have a hard time believing that.

    I think the idea has some promise but a lot of problems in this current form.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:27AM (#42807447)

    This has potential to rid me of having a separate computer and tablet. The current Pro seems like it will work as a development platform for future applications; the consumers will start buying it more once it gets thinner and lighter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:35AM (#42807497)

    The computer has existed since around 1941 or so, and the concept has existed since around 1850..

    And windows were created by Xerox... copied by Apple, and then MS got a license from Apple..

    IE was created by the "partner" company named Spyglass - that was put out of business by MS refusing to pay for the IE development...

    Of course, you could just be sarcastic and I missed it...

  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:35AM (#42807501) Journal

    If Google comes out with a phone or tablet it's simply fostering adoption and providing some reference for other hardware makers, if Micro$oft does it they're "declaring war" on their hardware partners. Utter stupidity.

    Also, why would anyone think the Surface Pro was supposed to run on battery all day...? Clearly this is a workstation/tablet hybrid that leans farther to the tablet side.

    In the longer run Intel will have move entirely into this market, and you'll find that people no longer have PCs at the office, they've got 'surface pro 3' with full blown M$ Office on it - and by that time it will run 10 hours on a charge.

    Personally I thought this was going to happen sooner via systems like the Atrix phone and dock - they tried this at SIEMENS a few years back but Android was really the blocking issue, not the hardware. I love my Android phone, but as a full blown operating system it's got a long way to go.

  • by SerpentMage ( 13390 ) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:50AM (#42807583)

    How is, "shorter battery life", "vents", "to warm to hold", "unstable on a lap" FUD? Look if you don't like iPads fine, don't like iPads. But don't go slamming the review for telling the truth. Microsoft creating this abortion of a device to try to marry two technologies, which are separate technologies. We can argue that iPads are too expensive and have other short comings. But there are plenty of Android tablets that can fill the gap. Heck an Asus is much better than this Microsoft device.

  • by nojayuk ( 567177 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:51AM (#42807585)

    "For the price of it, you can get an awesome ultrabook."

    Which ultrabooks have a 600dpi pressure/angle/tilt sensitive stylus on a 1920x1080 screen?

    "You can also get a comparable tablet for a lot less."

    A tablet with an Intel i5 CPU, HD4000 GPU and 4GB of RAM for less money, even without the digitiser? Pray, do enlighten us.

    Wacom charge a thousand bucks for their lower-resolution Cintiq 12WX screen-based digitiser tablet and that's without any computer behind it, just an input/display device. That's what's tempting me to splash out on a Pro when it is released although I may have to get a grey-market unit since there's no firm date for it going on sale here in the UK.

  • Too expensive.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cptdondo ( 59460 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @09:51AM (#42807591) Journal

    $1,100???? My daughter just got a Lenovo, about 3 lbs, 15" screen, delivered for $350. Why would I want to spend 3x the money for a smaller screen and a worse keyboard?

    I can equip most of my family with nice laptops for the price of one Surface. :headscratch:

  • Re:Can I just ask (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @11:41AM (#42808829) Journal

    Actually, you'll be hard pressed to find more than one or two other laptops on the entire market which have an IPS screen, even if you ignore the fact that this has both a capacitive and a Wacom stylus screen. You'll also have a difficult time finding a similarly sized (i5, 4GB RAM) laptop with more than 6 hours of actual battery life (not "rated") that is still under 2 lbs. Realize also that for $40 you can get an external battery pack that has enough juice to take this device past 8 hours total runtime (though the connector market hasn't caught up yet).

    This is actually very close to the perfect device for someone who works occassionally on a netbook or small ultrabook, but also carries a tablet (because reading or watching entertainment on a netbook is a non-starter).

    I found the reviews funny. If I'm lounging on the sofa, I'm probably consuming content and I much prefer the tablet form factor. If I'm doing work, I'm almost certainly sitting at a table, in which case the built in stand kicks the shit out of all the lousy, bulky cases needed for a tablet to stand up. To complain that it doesn't work as well as a laptop computer when you're in a location where a tablet is a better form factor is just laughable.

  • Re:+1 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:32PM (#42809477)

    but a dead-end for anyone who wants to write, program or get real work done

    You know, this argument that "you can't enter lots of text on an iPad with the on-screen keyboard, it's a toy," would be a lot more compelling if there weren't cheap & readily available bluetooth keyboards that will pair with the iPad and let you type to your heart's content.

    Also, the argument that "real work" somehow requires lots of typing is more than a little silly. Not every job is programming. Not every job is writing novels and screenplays.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.