and how much of that is usable, especially after installing office???
If you were holding out for a Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft has confirmed that they will be available in January. Just be sure to bring a bulging wallet. In a blog post on Thursday, Microsoft Surface general manager Panos Panay revealed that Redmond plans to offer two versions of the Surface running full Windows …
You do realise those are just some common examples. You could run SAP or Oracle on one of these things. Not that you'd want to...
I'm just a little unclear what the business justification for these might be? How would you convince your boss that you need a $1000 fondleslab, where a normal laptop will do just as well. If you need something to impress customers with, get an iPad or an even cheaper Android knock-off.
Access is used all over the shop for small applications and internal projects, and is entirely suitable for that.
Anyway, "a far cry from the latest iPad's 9.7-inch, 2048-by-1536 Retina display". Who cares? Nobody was complaining about 1080p resolution tablets before iPad3.
I dare anyone normal to hold such as device at normal viewing distances and notice any difference at all, for that matter, take a 32in display and sit 3 meters away and I bet most folk couldn't see the difference between 720 and 1080 either
it is a tad expensive but i suppose not that much more than an equivalent laptop, which is essentially what it is.
I do think its in MSs interest to make some lost cost tabs, run WP8 on them if you must they do need to get some ultra low end parts if for no other reason then people cant afford it just now
What do you expect? The Surface Pro is a tablet, so of course it's going to be compared with an iPad. The fact its twice the price, 50% heavier while having half the battery lifetime is very relevant.
Microsoft are trading on their legacy software but news for Microsoft, it's now just as easy to developer enterprise apps for iOS as it is for Windows (and in the case of Windows 8 and Metro, given the headstart one might say iOS is actually easier). And once you have an app running on iOS, why the hell do you need 4GB of RAM and a dual-core Intel processor?
The article is also correct in stating that Microsoft hasn't done enough to prove that users are prepared to replace desktop PCs with tablets - IMHO, these users don't exist (not in meaningful numbers anyway).
I want a tablet to replace my mobile phone, which is frankly too small for comfortable browsing while stretched out in the lounge, where I consume data, but when I'm sat in my comfy chair at my comfy desk and need to be creative I want nothing more than a humongous display with a keyboard and mouse to drive the UI. I do NOT want a touch-based UI when I'm flaming sitting down and have better tools at my disposal to communicate with the computer.
Maybe I need to spell this out for Microsoft, I don't want to be creative with a touch-based UI, it's a freaking nightmare. It's OK for short periods or very small amounts of data entry, but nothing more than that, and that's where the whole concept of a tablet-desktop-replacement falls down. Hard.
"The Surface Pro is a tablet, so of course it's going to be compared with an iPad."
I might have expected a more refined capability of distinguishing categories on here. What next, let's compare mainframe computers with pocket devices because they're both computers?
" that users are prepared to replace desktop PCs with tablets -"
Microsoft tablets are essentially touch-laptops. They're not desktop computers and they're not stripped down single-tasking items like an iPad.
" It's OK for short periods or very small amounts of data entry, but nothing more than that, and that's where the whole concept of a tablet-desktop-replacement falls down. Hard."
If you want to use a touch interface to do a lot of data entry in place of a desktop then that's as sensible as those folks who attempt to use Word tables as relational database tables.
On the other hand having a full powered laptop (which happens to have an additional touch interface) which allows me to do do MUCH more than an iPad, and work with data from USB and SD card sources without doing backward flips through iTunes - now that's something.
If you have Surface Pro then you don't need an Ipad and a Macbook. You can consume on your couch and then carry it to your desk to do some work. Connect it to a big monitor, keyboard and mouse if you want to (and you don't need to carry those to the couch).
But, like Padphone, it might not appeal to people who are only in the market for one of the devices it can replace.
> Microsoft tablets are essentially touch-laptops. They're not desktop
One thing that Surface is not and that is laptop - you will not use one on your lap, not with the keyboard attached. The screen angle is wrong, the weight is in the wrong place, the keyboard attachment is floppy, the stand will dig in to your flesh. You may be able to balance it for a short time, but it will be awkward and any attempt at swiping the screen will result in disaster.
No, it requires a desk.
I'm not keen on TIFKAM, but could be tempted by a surface pro if the secure boot thing can be disabled and an alternative OS installed. Personally I'd probably go for Win 7 (or maybe 8+Classic Shell if thats not an option), other may prefer Linux. As for Apple comparisons, that'll get a lot more interesting/amusing (depending on your opinion of Apple) if anyone can work out how to Hackintosh it and install OS/X.
Not sure but I thought the secure boot thing was just mandatory for the ARM versions of surface?
Even if that is true then I wouldn't put it past MS to make sure that the drivers aren't available for earlier versions of windows and I know Linux driver support has improved greatly in recent years but there may well be some lag before useable drivers for surface become available.
I agree. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If it's Hackintosh-able, I'm there. A drawing tablet that could run the pro-level graphics tools that I already own, for doing actual wok when I'm away from my desk...? Yes, I would even buy Microsoft hardware.
(Hunh...! Shouldn't they have named their phone/tablet/console division "Microhard"...?)
(Eh-h-h... maybe not...)
It would be an interesting experience to sit in on a MS Strategists and Economists meeting in order to try and understand the reasoning behind the pricing structure but anyway....it seems to have some positive points
Yes, it can run full blown windows programs.
Yes, it is almost as good as Windows 7. ( W8 meh, yes I have tried it for several weeks and still dont like TIFKAM).
Yes, it is VERY expensive.
Yes, the Touch Surface is more of a gadget than a utility but the keyboard is damned usefull for anything mildly serious.
Yes, it is light and that means a few hundred less grams, even kilos for some, to lug about, always a good thing.
No, it will never have the Apple Shinyness but then again that really doesn't matter in the office.
It is a serious BYOD because it can get locked down as any other device running W7 / W8. This is a good thing...even though I don't care for BYOD. ( no need for Citrix sessions for example )
Will it be a success, I doubt it.. Competition is strong, its' not a tablet, its not an Ultrabook, its ok on portability. It probably wont appeal to the public at large but corporations will definately have a look at this seriously.
Lets wait and see what battery life it has in the real world.
Lets wait for some serious bashing about in the train, the car, the office floor and see how it stands up.... We will need to see an industrial/military version also ( toughbook style)..
An I interested in one , yes, but not at that price, if it were to drop to the 400 Euro mark, keyboard included, I would snap one up.
It will be interesting to follow this one. I hate W8 but I quite like the idea of the Surface Pro.....hhhmmmmm
Will it run W7 correctly......
"Yes, it can run full blown windows programs."
True, but those full blown Windows programs were designed for use with a keyboard and mouse, and it would take a huge leap of faith to assume that many of them are going to be rewritten for the Surface devices any time soon (if ever).
Which would weigh in around at 2Kg and have a 17" screen........and don't you love lugging those things around.
The principal idea behind tablets etc is not about price or cost cuttiing, it's about portability and the more it is portable the more likely it will get "ported". Price comes down with volume and initially there is no volume, so everyone has to wait until the interest sparks or otherwise they remain at the top end of the price chain.
If you can't afford one, don't buy on, just move on and buy your £250 laptop.
> Does the keyboard not have a track pad on it?
Yes, it does. (At least the touch cover does, I'm not positive about the type cover).
> If not, you can connect some kind of mouse, surely?
Yes, you can - the Surface has a full-size USB connector and the OS recognizes HID devices natively, just like you'd expect.
If they could get the price down to $999 or less with keyboard for the 128GB model I would be very interested in the Pro tablet. Certainly sounds powerful enough to run any Windows applications I would use on it. If I could attach a USB to Gigabit Ethernet and USB to serial I could us it for testing and console configurations. A 2 pound tablet to carry around would be great compared to a 5+ pound notebook for much of what I do as long as it runs existing Windows programs.
Yep yep - I was going for that with an Acer Iconia A500 tablet - it made all the right noises, had the hardware, lacked software execution and a few other bits- went back to an HP Elitebook 8440p that does run Win8Pro nicely. Has the heft and sharp corners to make someone notice. Manly thing lol.
That's a lot of money for not having a keyboard, these Surface thingys..
I can go to Costco (I just checked) and buy a nice laptop with a large screen (11.6 inches) a nice amount of memory (4 gig) and a pretty good sized drive (500 gig) for only $399. It will do everything I want to and even has niceties (places to plug in things). Why would I buy some snappy overpriced Surface goodie that has a smaller screen, less memory and even less secondary storage for more money?
I'm not a fool.
Of course, I would immediately put Linux on it, but that is a minor detail.
@ Herby - upvote from me, as you've basically described the machine I have for my personal use whilst on business trips (in tandem with my work laptop).
Processor powerful enough for what I need, HDMI (& VGA) output, 3x USB ports and an (upgraded) battery which gives an 8 hour runtime. Dual-boot Win7 and LUbuntu - ticks all the boxes I need it to.
"The new Surface models' high price tags mean they'll be hard-pressed to win over fans of the top-selling tablet to date, Apple's iPad."
But its not supposed to compete with an iPad, that's what the RT version is for. The Pro appears to me, at least, to be all things to all men. Its a tablet when you want it to be, then its also a fully-fledged Ultrabook when you want to do some real work.
For £650-700, that's a pretty good deal - not much if any more than current Ultrabooks. You can also plug it into a proper monitor, when you're at home, so it could replace your desktop too.
I'm very interested!
I'm almost in tears at all the mistakes Microsoft are making. Far more expensive than an iPad - that's just unacceptable. As a developer with both feet planted firmly in the Microsoft camp, I can't afford to see them lose the platform wars! I'll be praying hard for them to turn it around soon; but I might just go learn some Objective-C as a backup option.
Let's ignore the ludicrous price for now and consider the device itself.
If it has an achilles heel, it will be the fact that it is reliant on the x86 archictecture. Even the very lowest power sucking examples of x86 still use much, much more than ARM alternatives.
The bottom line is, if it has a fan in it, it will be a fail.
Nobody wants a tablet that runs hot and needs a whirring, buzzing fan to try and keep it from melting.
You may as well get an ultrabook that has a keyboard and can be put on a desk and avoid toasting your hands and arms while using it.
Not to mention needing a bigger, heavier, more expensive battery to keep it comparable with the competition.
I for one was pretty shocked at the price, I was totally expecting the entry level unit to be around $1099 and higher up from there.
I suppose if you add the keyboard in it comes to ~$1024, which is closer to 1099.
Unlike most other folks I guess I view the Surface pro as a Ultrabook rather than a tablet. It runs a PC operating system, has an Intel processor, for the most part will be used with a keyboard.
Compare the specs/price of the Surface to that new Dell tablet/ultrabook that they have been pimping recently(that also is not yet shipping). The "XP12 Ultrabook" - Dell's price starts at $1199 with 4GB ram and 128G SSD.
The Surface is also a full 1.3 pounds lighter than the dell
Don't get me wrong I don't expect it to stem the onslaught of iPads, but I'd be sort of surprised if the Surface didn't do quite well against comparable devices from the likes of Dell/HP/etc.
I haven't noticed claims of battery life yet (nor do I see note of any on Dell's site for their thing)
I do think it's terrible that MS takes up so much of the space for their recovery partition and stuff, they should give the users the option to nuke that as part of the setup and reclaim that space. If they want to recover they can do so by say putting the recovery data on a SD card or hooking their tablet to their computer and running recovery software there (WebOS uses this method). It's not a big deal when you eat up a few gigs on a several hundred gig disk, but when it's as small as it is - they really should of thought that out better. Hopefully they fix it in the next iteration.
> If they want to recover they can do so by say ...
I am not sure that would fit in at all with their 'secure boot' lockdown. It is probable that the USB only supports MTP so does not have access to the complete drive and it probably can't boot off the USB.
'Secure Boot' is not just to prevent Linux booting, it is also to prevent Windows XP and 7 as these are a bigger threat to the revenue growth that MS wants.
We have been slowly slipping towards people wanting tablets in the classroom for teaching from (not one per pupil), and iPads have been been played around with but simply don't have the flexibility or capability needed really. So, at the moment, we have laptops issued to staff, and then some staff have iPads as well. Our head has a laptop, iPad and a desktop.
One of these Surface Pro devices would be powerful enough to replace all 3 for him. All he needs to do is dock it when he's in the office or classroom, we can encrypt it using BitLocker so Ofsted are happy when he goes out inspecting, and he still has the tablet form factor when he's wandering around.
The price isn't outrageous either, considering the spec. i5 + 4GB RAM + 1080p screen. Seems like its priced just right to me.
The private school my kids go to has a one iPad (or Android) per child policy, and I know several others with the same (the parents are expected to buy them).
A couple of my local state schools have announced they are going to have a one iPad per pupil policy from next September, one has mentioned multiple payments for parents and the other "free" (not sure how that is going to work out).
Many office workers have notebooks that spend most of the time in docking stations and they cost quite a bit more than this. They're seldom in use when not in their docking station except to check for e-mail or look something up on the interwebs or take notes at a meeting.
Something like this would probably be welcomed by a lot of people though I think the price will have to come down - even if the hardware is comparable to notebooks, tablets have got significantly lower price points.
I have to have one for a customer and I do resent carry > 2 kg around between docking stations. Have to see what the hardware is really like when it's available and, assuming I can get permission to use it on the network, then I might get one.
A lot of that price though is probably the support contract (at least that's what our IT people keep telling us) and I don't see any word of that kind of thing here. I would be interested to know what an "industrial package price" (including machine, cover/keyboard and next-day on-site engineer support in case of issues) is for these things, and how it compares to a similarly spec'd laptop.
Plus whether there would be any kind of plan for desktop docks etc, for those who may want a decent sized screen when sat at a desk (touchscreen or not depending on preference and requirement).
If they can get decent battery life out of it (like 10-12 hours) I think they have a fighting chance. However, at those prices they are ogling the enterprise, and even if I had a very good reason to recommend these for my engineers and construction managers I would never get IT to support 8, so it would be a no-no. MAYBE if they could get 7 to work on it without a hassle I could get them to condone it, but otherwise it''ll be smallish laptops.
If you look at the potential use case for such a device it's actually a tempting proposition. For the enterprise it can run the Cisco VPN client and act as a domain member meaning you get the full level of connectivity and security that you would expect from a laptop. A battery life of 6-7 hours would be fine for how long such a device is likely to be used away from a desk, and because it's powerful, when you get to your desk, you would be able to plug a full sized keyboard, mouse and monitor into it and keep using it as your main computer.
For the individual used to iPads and the like, it's perhaps not so useful. That said for £700ish for the 128GB model with a keyboard, I'd be awfully tempted.
Does it look the same as the cheapest ARM Win RT model to the untrained (or mildly trained) eye? If so, they're going to have a hard time persuading people to buy it. Let's face it, we all like to show off our expensive bling once we've convinced ourselves that we deserve it - for whatever reasons make sense to us.
If people are going to think you've got a cheap and nasty Surface when in fact you've blown a chunky wad on it, it's not going to be very rewarding.
"One can't help but note, however, that these displays are still a far cry from the latest iPad's 9.7-inch, 2048-by-1536 Retina display".
Oh come on... 1080p on a 10.6" screen is more than ridiculous anyway. Lets tan the battery and gpu with even more pixels for ZERO benefit! Methinks the reviewer may be a fanboi...
It does come with a mouse (well trackpad). Bloody useful for navigating those annoying websites that use onMouseOver events that are fucking impossible to use on a touch only device. And even then some mouseover sites are damn near impossible to use WITH a mouse (Bugzilla I'm looking at you)
A lot of us are virtualizing our desktop environments, and it just doesn't matter how powerful the endpoint is. We have users with iPads and Android tablets who routinely do work remotely running the View client (against a Windows 7 desktop in the datacenter). Citrix users have been doing this forever. Obviously connectivity is the key, but it's getting to the point where not having connectivity is the exception.
I was on a Southwest flight a month ago that had WiFi, gave them my five bucks for the privilege, and spent the next three hours using a View session on my laptop to actually do work. It wasn't the smoothest experience, but the fact that it worked at all was impressive and just signals where we're headed.
You don't need powerful endpoints in the business world (which is I assume where the Surface is trying to fit). All you need is a decent display, keyboard and mouse, plus some low bandwidth connectivity, and you're all set. And you don't need $1,000 or Windows 8 to get there.
While general enterprise desktop computing might be heading this way, ask the kind of people who use high powered workstations to do CAD or design work in a remote desktop session and they will very quickly tell you to bugger off.
I can also see this being useful in smaller companies that don't have large back-office systems. My dad's company would be a perfect case. The sales manager would find something like this perfect when out on jobs since he can still use Outlook and the VPN to the office, but doesn't have to lug around a laptop, case, charger etc etc.
I'd forgive a higher price, but for the low specs.
Maybe Android can't run visual studio-which I need but it does have a 2500*1600 screen. Ms want me to accept far lower resolution, low storage (for a windows device!) where most is used by Windows with its winSXS folder bloat, a measly amount of ram and average processor speed?
I'd hoped to find a device suitable for visual studio. Not for heavy development either, just simple f# console stuff, light vb and c#, and casual tinkerings with ILasm-I'm learning these and a tablet I can do it on would be a god send.
But the specs on offer for the majority of my savings are deeply unexciting. Ok, I'm not the masses, just a developer playing with stuff. Have to confess though, win8 itself isn't exciting but for the very shallowest of reasons. I hate the new look :).
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