Feeds

back to article Microsoft hopes for FONDLESLAB FRENZY as Surface Pro 3 debuts

As expected, Microsoft has started sales of its latest iteration of its Surface Pro, hoping that it'll be third-time's a charm for Redmond's attempts to seduce fondleslab buyers into the joys of Windows 8. "I'm pretty pumped today, because Surface Pro 3 – the tablet that can replace your laptop – is now on sale at retail stores …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Wont be a hit until

version 3.11, Surface Pro for Fondlegroups.

31
0
Bronze badge

Re: Wont be a hit until

LOL

But also, I'm interested in this one myself. I'm torn between this and a Lenovo Yoga as an "alternate device". I like having the tablet functionality with touch for drawing network diagrams or reading manuals (or watching Netflix), and being able to convert to something with a keyboard when I need to create documentation or enter commands into a CLI.

As it is, I'm using an HP Elitebook and iPad Mini to get things done and it's a bit cumbersome with two devices, plus smartphone.

4
2
Bronze badge

Re: Wont be a hit until

I have been setting up Lenovo Yoga 2 11" tablets/laptops (tabletops?) for several customers over the last few weeks. Without exception they love the weight, the design and the speed. I think it's the first Win8 machine I've seen which has really made Win8 seem like an acceptable alternative to Win7 rather than a dismal failure which should be shot behind the sheds

The price is reasonable, the screen is good. It has an HDMI mini connector so that you can plumb it in to a larger screen. I'd buy one for myself but I simply can't justify ownership of another computer.

5
2
Silver badge

I saw the TV ad for this, and it emphasized several times how it was a tablet that would replace your laptop. Not "APPLY DIRECTLY TO FOREHEAD" level, but close. Something like 4 times in a 30 second commercial.

4
0
Silver badge

Price in Canada

I've seen that ad, and some print ads on the back page of one of the local free news rags.

Starting at $1049*

*keyboard and Office not included

Maybe a management toy, but it's not going to replace the $600 Dell laptops most people have round where I work.

12
0
Silver badge

Will this be like Iron Man 3?

I suspect I'll be even more disappointed.

1
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Price in Canada

"but it's not going to replace the $600 Dell laptops most people have round where I work."

But it is probably going to replace the iPad in the office. Several of our execs have already asked for these.

3
4

What's wrong with these people

Why don't they come out with a dedicated OneNote device? 7" wit a stylus instant syncing, that's all I would buy a Surface for anyway.

2
3

Re: What's wrong with these people

I'm the same, 7 or 8" surface with stylus and I'd buy it immediately.

The anti stylus garb was Jobs's distortion field. If some people don't want one, no problem at all, but a lot of people do.

7
2

Re: What's wrong with these people

+1 for the stylus being a potential big win.

I just picked up a HP Slate 7 Extreme. Different platform, obviously (Android) but the stylus feels like the piece that was always missing from every other tablet I ever used - iPad (maxi and mini), Surface (1st gen) or Android.

The prod-sticks sold as "stylus" for tablet not otherwise designed to work with them are a joke, almost designed to make stylus' feel like a step backward. But a proper, fine tipped stylus on a device specifically intended to support such, is a joy to use. Pin point accurate touch, rather than finger-fudging... and of course, no more finger smudges on the screen !!!

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: What's wrong with these people

They invented it, and called it Courier, and Gates killed it.

OK, the Courier wasn't a "dedicated OneNote device", but that's the sort of thing it looked like it would be good for, and it had a stylus.

Balmer didn't bring it to market, following pressure from Sinofsky and advice from Gates, because they didn't want Microsoft to sell a non-Windows device. It's as simple as that: Microsoft execs are obsessed with the idea of the "Windows ecosystem".

1
0
Silver badge

3rd Time Lucky for MS?

I think not.

More like, flogging a dead horse.

Sure there will be people who will buy one of these but there are vastly better alternatives often a lot chaper to choose from. Why buy MS then? What is the compelling reason to say yes?

For the life of me, I cant think of one. Perhaps some MS fans can shed the light here?

9
3
Silver badge

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

If you don't know why you'd want it then it's not for you. Even at the launch event MS said this to the audience of journalists (many of whom proceeded to review their samples based on their normal laptop usage).

Its an attempt to produce something a little different for those people (a minority perhaps, but not noone) for who a pure tablet or pure laptop isn't quite the right device. Its also rather more than their 3rd attempt - it might only be the third with the name, but really its just their latest refinement of their original tablet-PC concept from many years ago.

Those old tablet-PCs never really achieved mass market appeal, but I've seen a few over the years being used for specialised applications. I expect the same will be mostly true of these, though perhaps a little more widespread now that the weight has come down and the handwriting has improved to the point it might not be painfully frustrating to use.

2
5
Silver badge

proceeded to review their samples based on their normal laptop usage

Why would they do that? Could it be because MS is saying...

Surface Pro 3—The Tablet That Can Replace Your Laptop

http://youtu.be/CTo5DfBtWkY

5
0

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

"If you don't know why you'd want it then it's not for you"

I remember hearing this in the 1990s from an ICL marketing colleague about the PC-TV.

Shortly afterwards we wrote off a warehouse full.

(It was as if we'd missed the 80s and all those fights over "I need the telly to use the Spectrum/Dragon/whatever" versus "I'm watching the telly, you can have it later.")

Too d*mn expensive for what it is.

8
0
Silver badge

Re: proceeded to review their samples based on their normal laptop usage

Yes, I totally get why. But reviewing it as if it *is* a laptop is still missing the point. It is still a *tablet* first.

For comparison lets look into the history of the laptop. There was a time (perhaps 20 or so years ago?) when these were a lot less powerfull than a desktop PC and you'd only really use one when you needed portability - most laptop owners would also have a desktop as their main machine.

Then the gap closed a little and we started to get laptops which could be considered 'desktop replacements'. They weren't (and still aren't) quite as good a desktop as a top-end desktop machine, but for many people are good enough in that role that they're willing to compromise if it means not having two machines. To review a high-end laptop on the basis of only ever being used on one desk would be missing the point and lead to the reviewer complaining about it not comming with a full-size mouse, the screen being a little small and ports and expansion being limited compared to a dedicated desktop.

If what you primarily want is a laptop then the surface is probably the wrong choice. However for those people who now mostly use a tablet and only switch an actual PC (laptop or desktop) on when they really need to then perhaps something like the surface might enable them to have one less device - just like many of those same people got rid of desktops to save space and only occasionally put a laptop on a table if they have a lot of work to do.

3
1

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

I am an MS fan. I work from home and make my living selling tools for Microsoft's cloud platform. I can see the Surface Pro 3 working well for me as long as I have the docking station. I do the majority of my work in my home office but when I am out of the office I need quick access to desktop Windows to process orders or handle support.

I don't think I will even need the type cover. I can just pull the Surface Pro 3 out from the docking station, leave the office, and if I get an order I can quickly deal with it through the touch screen alone. On return to the office, slot it back in the docking station and continue working.

The cost is high, and for the past 10 years I have bought cheap hardware, but in this case for the way that I work I can justify it as it would make my working life better.

4
4
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

I work from home and make my living selling tools for Microsoft's cloud platform.

Not sure whether serious or bot-pumped commercial.

I don't think I will even need the type cover. I can just pull the Surface Pro 3 out from the docking station, leave the office, and if I get an order I can quickly deal with it through the touch screen alone. On return to the office, slot it back in the docking station and continue working.

I can actually see the movie. Bright saturated colors. A sunny day. Smiling young people everyhwere. I can hear the background music. A bit jazzy, but not too intrusive. Good job.

9
7
Silver badge

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

> I remember hearing this in the 1990s from an ICL marketing colleague about the PC-TV.

The origin of those was that Bill Gates had seen a survey that had most houses have the TV and the computer in the same room and concluded that people wanted a combined device.

Actually the reason for having them in the same room is that they didn't have a 22 room mansion like Gates had.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: proceeded to review their samples based on their normal laptop usage

> then perhaps something like the surface might enable them to have one less device

Actually Microsoft wants you have one _more_ device. They want you to keep your desktop (and buy Win8.1 and Office) _and_ buy a Surface. (and buy a Windows Phone).

That was the point of Win8 Metro: to make the UI 'the most familiar' so that you _demand_ that on your tablet and phone.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

"but there are vastly better alternatives"

Like what? For a fully featured OS tablet and not a toy / content consumption only OS like Android or IOS, this is the best I have seen to date.

4
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

At just over £600 (ex. VAT) the excellent 2:1 screen design tempted me, Microsoft have quite a lot right with this device, including stylus, for my requirements.

Unfortunately the extra £1000 they jokingly ask me to pay for the +4Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD that I'd need for my requirements make the whole thing a non-starter. The low end configuration may perform ok as a meeting accessory but is hardly much use for a developer like myself.

Can only surmise the silly pricing for SSD storage is to avoid competing with OEMs making it more of a great reference hybrid than something intended to actually sell to the Pro market. Strange decision to make it so unattractive to software developers all the same, usually these are the very people a reference device is meant to appeal to.

If the Pro 3 encourages OEMs to make 2:1 high performance 'broadwell' Windows tablets with rational pricing for SSD etc. Microsoft have done us a good turn.

If they actually expect the Pro 3 to be sold to developers, the Microsoft marketing people concerned are seriously out of touch with reality.

2
0

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

Not sure why people limit it to laptop/tablet hybrid.

I dock mine and ta-da, desktop replacement. I now have a Surface Pro 2 that has replaced my desktop for Visual Studio and video editing (hooked up to a big screen it handles this with minimum fuss), a laptop to take to meetings or just general productivity on the go, and a tablet for browsing and the odd game (runs the essential euro truck simulator no hassle). The wife uses the old iPad, perfectly good performer 3 years on from when we got it, but I just don't need to use it. I no longer have a desktop in the room, just a dock next to the TV with a wireless keyboard and mouse so i can use it from the sofa and gone is the laptop.

It's a space saver at the very least. My gripe is the price, but then you're getting a fair bit of hardware in a pretty small package. If they continue to introduce the yearly cycles, I might hop on the Pro 3 in a year or so when it's come down in price or been replaced. I don't have a need to have the latest version of things.

3
0

Re: 3rd Time Lucky for MS?

My experience of video editing on Surface 2 level Core i5 - runs less than 25% performance of my standard 2013 Haswell quad-core i7 desktop - passable for simple edits but not sfx so not ready to replace desktop yet for me.

The Pro 3 doesn't offer improvements CPU-wise over Pro 2 so not worth upgrading for most work, although I'm a big fan of the new 3:2 screen format nice to see Microsoft lead the way for once. I suspect the intention was to launch with broadwell silicon but Intels 6+ month slip spoiled the plan.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: proceeded to review their samples based on their normal laptop usage

If a laptop were being advertised as a "desktop replacement", I think reviewers would be perfectly justified in comparing it to an equivalent desktop - if it had a smaller screen and a lack of ports, these would be legitimate criticisms.

If MS are touting this Surface as a "laptop replacement", surely it's reasonable to see how it performs it that role?

0
0
Silver badge

May just be a lack of proof-reading?

The PDF version of the user guide currently gives a 404. I wonder if its being hastily edited before they make it available again?

2
0
Silver badge

Re: May just be a lack of proof-reading?

No longer a 404. All references to a surface mini seem to have gone from the PDF version of the user guide now.

2
0

It *is* a laptop

...with a detachable keyboard and a boutique price. Whom other than Microsoft employees would have one?

11
1
Silver badge

Re: It *is* a laptop

>It *is* a laptop

I believe the technical term is "craptop".

1
4
Silver badge

It's all in the timing

Third time lucky, i doubt it.

Late to market, definately.

Peak tablet already come and gone.

Potential, small to slightly above small.

Now if this were to come down to the 400 ( Euro, Dollar, Pond) mark then that might be another story....

As it is, for the same price I would prefer the Yoga as does the poster above..

5
1
Silver badge

Buy a Miix 2 instead

They're similar spec, they're cheaper and they come with a keyboard.

2
2

Re: Buy a Miix 2 instead

@DrXym: But they're not similar spec -- the Miix 2 is much lower spec in CPU (Atom vs Core), memory, SSD size, screen size, USB, ... A better comparison if you're going with Lenovo might be their Thinkpad Helix, which is also a similar price.

That said, the Surface 3 is not without problems or missing features. For me, it is not a laptop replacement (graphics capabilities are too low, keyboard still sucks although it's much better than their previous ones -- I've tried them all). If average compute and display power is all you need, it makes a decent tablet/desktop combo with the dock and a separate mouse and keyboard.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Buy a Miix 2 instead

The Miix 2 11" has the choice of i3 or i5 processor and comes with 2 or 4GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB SSD. For much less than the Surface 3. And it includes the keyboard so it's cheaper again.

1
0
Bronze badge

We've got a handful of Surface Pro 2s in the field and the sales guys love them. They whinged when they had their iPads taken off them but seem to like the screen quality and the kick stand and type covers of Microsoft's device. They seen pretty reliable as well, as we're yet to have any back in the office, unlike the iPads which had a bundle of issues with WiFi connectivity.

Not that I expect version 3 to set sales records, they're still pretty niche.

5
4

Frenzy

There may well be one, but it wont involve Microshit kit!! W8 has destroyed MS, and I think its too far down the line for a recovery.

They may (partially) recover the desktop/business market if they produce a business friendly/workable version, but as for laptops/touchscreen, no chance!!

7
7
Bronze badge

It'll replace my laptop ...

... if it has a 17" screen, 16GB RAM, quad core Haswell CPU, 2 x 1TB + 8GB SSD HDs. Oh, and run Linux.

No?

Irrelevant to me.

According to the adverts: One of these Surface things will attend to my work AND personal needs. Unfortunately I'm an IT consultant and my needs do not seem to be addressed particularly well. Although I'll grant the bloke on a train who is hemmed in a bit, his S'face will fit in better than my bloody great Tosh. Then again, I'd dig out my phone if I was that fussed. Actually I generally reach for a mag/paper/book.

Cheers

Jon

6
6
Silver badge

Re: 17" screen, 16GB RAM, quad core Haswell CPU, 2 x 1TB + 8GB SSD HDs

Whereas for me I expect it to handle the times I'd otherwise use a laptop quite well, since for stuff that is truely demanding I have a desktop with specs that make your monster laptop look like a toy.

But lets not get into a bragging competition, lets just agree that different people have different needs. Surface may not be for everyone, but its different enough that its likely to be for someone - probably someone whose needs aren't quite met by more conventional options. More choice of form-factor has to be a good thing - pick the one that suits you.

4
2
Bronze badge

Re: It'll replace my laptop ...

So... Basically... A surface 3 will be fine for you if it had a bit more Ram and another 2 cores... The ssd is way larger... And way faster than any 8gb model, the display has a comparable resolution... An external 2tb usb3 drive would match your storage need... And just load Linux... It's an ordinary PC... Oh... And the battery would more than likely last longer than yours...

Not a bad result for a general purpose device that is a similar size to an A4 pad...

3
2

Potential...

Yeah, it's expensive - but no more so than your typical Ultrabook. I think it's always going to fall down if you compare it directly to the iPad, but it's like comparing apples and... cats.

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/if-you-had-to-be-a-tragic-mythological-figure-86496376264.html

David Pogue sums it up quite nicely in his article...

2
4

VirtualBox

I have a Pro 2 with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM it can run a Linux VM in VirtualBox very nicely. Compared with the Yoga devices it works better than they do as a tablet, but not so well as a laptop. All in all, the Yoga would have been a better choice for me but I can't say I regret the purchase. The build quality is extraordinary, even compared with Apple kit.

I think Microsoft are gradually converging on a sensible product line. The Pro 2 is nice but the lower weight and larger screen of the Pro 3 makes it a better machine for doing work. If they release the small form factor ARM 'Mini' device (at a low enough price) then they'll maybe start to see some small success there too, although merging the Phone and RT OSs and extending the 'Phablet' (Lumia 1520) line would make even more sense.

4
3
Anonymous Coward

I'm pretty pumped today

each to their own devices

1
0
Anonymous Coward

It ain't a fondleslab if it's biggest selling point is the fact it has a keyboard...

6
0
SVV

Semi true I guess

But then again every desktop I ever used has sat underneath the desk, and every laptop has been pretty much only used when it was sitting on the top of a desk. So, if we're going to get pedantic, desktops should really be called underdesks and laptops should be called desktops.

Whatever, there's no way I'll be buying one of these things at this ridiculous price, let me know when they write off another warehouse full of them and they start to cost £200 or less.

2
0
WTF?

"I know you're going to love this new device" said the Bishop to the actress....

Just like they "know" you're going to love: W8.

Just like they "know" you're going to love: RT.

Just like they "know" you're going to love: WP.

Just like they "know" you're going to love: Ribbons.

Just like they "know" you're going to love: Bending over again and again and again.

Just like they "know" you're going to love: A company that "knows" everything and learns nothing.

Just like they "know" you're going to love: Whats his name? The Invisible Man?

The Guy with the Invisible Strategy?

The New Guy Picked By the Old Dead Wood?

The Guy In The Post Formerly Held By The Chair Thrower?

Anyone remember?

Does it matter anymore?

Thought not.

10
4

Yet Another High Profile Failurez

Microsoft Surface 3: Sadly will be another high-profile failure.

Why?

Firstly: Because they neglected to put LTE in there, so you can't connect to the internet using 4G, without first having to tether. #arseache

Secondly: It's shit at being a computer you can do meaningful work on, without the cover - another 100 bucks.

Thirdly: The price. It's too high for most people to think it's a good deal. Is it a tablet? Well it should be 500 - 600 bucks to rival Samsung's products. But at 1000 bucks with the keyboard for a decent model, I can buy a regular ultrabook with decent specs.

This is what they need to provide to rip me away from everything else and for me to give them mah damnz munneez:

* Embedded LTE. Just do it, already.

* Smoosh together the Windows Phone ACTUAL phone software part, and regular Windows. I want to be able to use voip exclusively like I do on my 4G-connected iPad mini anywhere in the world with some crappy local data SIM.

* Provide the Surface Mini. Now.

* Package in the keyboard. Really.

That's it. If they did this, then it would be an iPad killer - LOVE my iPad Mini due to 7 hour battery life. HATE HATE DIE DIE DIIIIIIE Galaxy Note 8.0 LTE for having 3 hour battery life for THE SAME APPS RUNNING AS THE IPAD MINI (which is what replace the FPOS). LOVE my MacBook Air for being mobile video editing powerhouse. HATE having to use multiple goddamn devices in the first place.

3
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Yet Another High Profile Failurez

"Because they neglected to put LTE in there"

The LTE version is coming. LTE is an optional extra just like with most other tablets.

2
2
Silver badge

Ought to sell hundreds

I hope they make millions of them again.

6
4

Never ever going to buy any MS devices again

Bought a Surface pro2 for my wife. unfortunately it is so awkward to use, so she rather uses her old eepc. I tried to use it, but It is frustratingly unintuitive. Terrible process handling, apps not showing in desktop mode, desktop apps not showing in tablet mode. I do not blame the hardware, but the win8/8.1 OS trying to be both touch and desktop but ending up being neither. Anyone that have tried an android or apple tablet just laughs at it, when trying to navigate around. No wonder it became a mega flop. Someone responsible in MS management should be spanked/deported for letting this product survive through 2 disasters. Too much money in the pockets makes people lazy.

5
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Never ever going to buy any MS devices again

The Surface Pro 2 works just fine for me. Best tablet I have ever used and far superior to my previous IPad.

Desktop apps are not meant to work in Metro mode. That's not exactly a challenging concept.

5
4
Silver badge

Re: Never ever going to buy any MS devices again

I use it absolutely fine and learnt it in no time. So either I'm a genius or you're an idiot.

The distinction between Metro and Desktop mode is not a difficult one to grasp.

8
4

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.