back to article Microsoft Surface Pro will land in UK in WEEKS*

Microsoft struggled to fill retailers' shelves with the 128GB Surface Pro in North America but is rolling out both this and the little-loved 64GB version in Blighty later this month. In a statement last night, Redmond confirmed the Pro will start shipping to Australia, China, France Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the UK …

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  1. Anonymous Coward 101

    Gosh

    I won't be the first to point out that for the same money you could get a decent laptop that is ideal for 'proper work', plus a first rate tablet, and still have £200-300 left over. I have no doubt the Surface Pro will be a really nice bit of kit, but what a lot of money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gosh

      A decent enterprise grade laptop such as an HP Elitebook is at least £1000 these days so you would be buying something inferior.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gosh

        A decent enterprise grade laptop such as an HP Elitebook will have a better spec tho.

        Just saying.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Gosh

        "so you would be buying something inferior.,"

        A Surface Pro?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gosh

          No, he means the cheaper laptop would be inferior. Surface pro is ultra portable and SSD.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Gosh

      SSD equiped core i5 Ultrabooks (the closest equivalent to a S/P) come in betwenn 750 and 900€ (Asus, Samsung Series 5). A "decend" tablet comes in at 300+ € assuming Android (Galaxy Tab 2) if you define "decend" as "build by a brand with resonable Quality Control" and closer to 400-450 if you want stuff like HD or stylus (can't have both!)

      For that you get to lug around two device, still have no pen support (or no HD on the tablet).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gosh

        For £750-£900 you are talking lower build quality and no touch capability. The Surface Pro is custom moulded Magnesium and is incredibly strong. To get something similar you are talking along the lines of the HP Spectre @ £1K+

        1. boltar Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Gosh

          "For £750-£900 you are talking lower build quality and no touch capability. "

          I'm sorry, but touch capability might be fine on a tablet with no keyboard or mouse, but on a proper computer its just a gimmick unless you have some really niche app that makes using a large prodding finger easier than a very precise mouse.

        2. M Gale

          Re: Gosh

          "The Surface Pro is custom moulded Magnesium and is incredibly strong."

          Mixing flammable metal with lithium batteries. Sounds like a good idea to me.

          And magnesium's less flammable relatives seem to be either poisonous, irritant, or laxative. Again, what could possibly go wrong?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gosh

            Seeing as the auto-ignition temperature of Magnesium is circa 650 degrees, that's not much of a risk....

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: Gosh

              "Seeing as the auto-ignition temperature of Magnesium is circa 650 degrees, that's not much of a risk...."

              So you don't think a lithium fire can get up to that temp?

    3. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Gosh

      Just a tad more will get you an Air, just a tad less will get you a very well specced Win 8 machine.

      So tell me why you would want to buy one?

      1. keithpeter
        Boffin

        Re: Gosh

        "So tell me why you would want to buy one?"

        http://stevenf.com/posts/surface-pro

        Perhaps not this first iteration, but I am interested in precision pen based drawing with appropriate software, along with external mirrored display. If the whole thing fits in an A4 form factor case and is less than half an inch thick, I'd be very interested.

        I'd need handwriting recognition, including mathematical formulas (perhaps with stylised input pad for those a la palm) plus an embeddable CAD like application that can intelligently recognise common shapes. Save in editable format and export to pdf.

        I gather from the review that the current first release Surface has a 'wacom like' pen, not capacitative, that blocks accidental fat finger input when held close to the screen, and that provides precision control.

        If we can get to wireless display linking, then a device like that with a projector could replace interactive whiteboards (which ain't cheap) with something you can hand round in the class for students to add notes/complete questions &c.

        I'd drop £1k on that even if I had to eat baked beans for a bit.

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Re: Gosh

          Here's a review of the Surface Pro being used for artwork production and gaming by a web cartoonist and games industry artist, "Gabe" of Penny Arcade including some WIP videos of him drawing and editing with it.

          http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/02/25/the-ms-surface-pro

          1. keithpeter
            Boffin

            Re: Gosh

            Thanks Robert. This from the review you linked to...

            "There was no brush lag at all and the pressure sensitivity worked perfectly. The stylus itself felt exactly like drawing on my Cintiq except that the Surface screen is smooth whereas the Cintiq screen has a bit of texture to it."

            Well, there is an important market if anyone is wondering...

        2. mmeier

          Re: Gosh

          Except for the form factor a i5 based Windows tablet can do all that. Touch can even be snitched of completely [palm recognition works fine as well] HWR is part of the Windows system the software is there as well. Screen casting is an old hatwith WlDl

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ANYTHING I CAN DO

      REDMOND: Anything you can do I can do better

      ......I can do anything better than you

      EL REG: No, you can't

      REDMOND: Yes, I can

      EL REG: No, you can't

      REDMOND: Yes, I can

      EL REG: No, you can't

      REDMOND: Yes, I can, yes, I can

      Pretty much sums up the surface

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

      Cross-selling the FUD hard as ever, eh Eadon? You know that imitation is the greatest form of flattery - I wonder how flattered Microsoft would be by your performance?

      Personally, much as I'd like to see the Surface work out (more choice for customers), I think that the pricing is all wrong and we've got another white elephant.

      But - as per usual - I did a bit of investigating before posting this: interestingly enough, as of last year, "Across the "big five" EU countries – the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France – Windows Phone now shows a 5% share" (source)

      Yes, I know it's an old article, and yes, I know it's 5% is not much. But at the same point in it's life-cycle (about two years in), Android had a worldwide market share of only 3.9% (source) - unfortunately, I couldn't find the stats for Europe only in that time, so I can't make a proper comparison, but still, interesting reading.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

          1) Talking about yourself in the third person doesn't have good precedents.

          2) Market share dropping, does not mean that users are leaving, it can also (and more likely in this situation) mean that the market is growing.

        2. RyokuMas Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

          "In Q4 of 2012 MS Phone share collapsed from 3.2% to 2.5%." - citation?

          Moreover, was it a loss of customers, or whole market growth outpacing growth of the WinPhone platform? If 1000 phones sell in Q1 and I sell 100 of them, I have a 10% market share that quarter. If in Q2, 4000 phones sell, and I sell another 200, despite the fact that my sales have doubled from Q1 to Q2, my market share in Q2 is only 5%, and 6% as a whole.

          "Near the beginning of the year [2012], activations were screaming along at over 700,000 a day. As of the third quarter of 2012, though, that has almost doubled to 1,300,000 a daily." (source). Moreover, it's funny you should mention the figure of 25%, as this appears to be the growth in Android activations in Q3 of last year (source). Given just how much of the market share is Android, it strikes me that it's more likely that numbers of Windows Phone users continued to grow during that period - just not at sufficient rate to keep up with a rapidly expanding market.

          So I'm afraid that without sources of your figures to back up your argument, it doesn't really help. Unless you can find, link and crunch the numbers - although last time I challenged you to do similar (number of Android units sold in the first two years from launch vs number of Windows Phone - not mobile - units sold in the same life-cycle period), nothing ever came back...

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. RyokuMas Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

              @Eadon

              The figures are bad, I will grant you that. I never said otherwise. But this article does not say anything about actual units sold (apart from Ballmer's claim of a fourfold increase, which I do not believe for a second - in fact I would wager the only person who would would be someone like yourself, but batting for Microsoft rather than against).

              However, as I have said time and again - it's too early to write off the Windows Phone. At a similar point in it's lifecycle (2-21/2 years), Android had only around 5% market share, and that was with a blatent gap in the market. I'm not pro-Microsoft, just like I'm not pro-Linux, Apple, Google or whatever. However, I am anti-monopoly and anti-prejudice. If you have such a burning desire for Microsoft to fail regardless of what knock-on effect it might have on the market, that is entirely your choice. Just don't come crying to me if/when the Google and Android monopoly proves as bad or worse than what we currently have.

        3. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

          Nice thoughts, but unfortunately not true. Actually Microsoft tripled their UK market share last year, up to 5.9%, and have had similar success in most global markets:

          http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/windows-phone-market-share-almost-triples-in-year

          The growth curve is also currently exponential (i.e. accelerating) so whilst you might not like Windows Phone, apparently a growing section of the public does - and the majority of new customers have ditched Android for Windows Phone.

          Microsoft do have a very strong security record in mobile, so I would also expect them to take big chunks of the 'Blackberry' corporate market too. They have already had some major wins with Foxtons, Avanade, etc.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

            "and the majority of new customers have ditched Android for Windows Phone."

            Ahahah !

            1. Shagbag

              Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

              I had a WinPho7. It was shit. Then WinPho8 came out and, guess what, I had to buy a new phone if I wanted to experience it. So I didn't buy another phone. And I sold the Nokia Lumia. Once bitten.

              The Blackberry Z10 looks good. But my eyes can't get past the Nexus 4. £280. Simply magnificent value.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

            > The growth curve is also currently exponential

            That's what you said when you climed that they would sell 30million last year, how well did that work out ?

            1. TheVogon Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

              I claimed no such thing.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

            Microsoft do have a very strong security record in mobile, so I would also expect them to take big chunks of the 'Blackberry' corporate market too

            What you have there is something that can only have come from a particularly wild and possibly drug induced dream of an MS executive. The words "secure" and "Microsoft" can only exist in the same sentence if it also includes "not" or even "absolutely not", at least not with a lot of extra effort. Further, the only way MS is taking market share from Blackberry is via statistics where its users buy another product and so reduce their market share in an otherwise expanding market.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

              The records speaks for itself - 1 minor security issue across all versions of Windows Mobile, and 1 minor SMS issue with Windows Phone, versus circa 400 vulnerabilities for IOS and a similar number for Android.

              Microsoft are already directly taking market share from Blackberry - just Google what they are doing with Foxtons and Avanade.....

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

                And I quote The Vogon "and the majority of new customers have ditched Android for Windows Phone."

                Yeah, right

          4. Wallsy
            Stop

            Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

            I'm not a Microsoft hater, I tend to spend much of my work day peddling their wares. However I don't think you can use their "win" at Avanade - 80% owned by Microsoft - as an example of their increased competitiveness.

      2. Jess

        Re: But at the same point in it's life-cycle

        But i had a Windows mobile phone well over three years ago. And it was given to me, because it had been sitting in a cupboard for years and no-one wanted it.

        1. RyokuMas Silver badge

          Re: But at the same point in it's life-cycle

          @Jess - Windows Phone hasn't been around for 3 years yet - must have been a Windows Mobile, which I'll be the first to agree was a turkey. I certainly can't recall ever seeing any out there in the wild.

          1. Jess

            Re: But at the same point in it's life-cycle

            Yes it was a windows mobile 6 (I think) device however my point is that Windows phone is not 2 years old. It dates back years. WP7 is a new shell around WP6's core.

            If you wish to think of WP7 as a new platform wrt WM6, then it is completely illogical to not do the same for WP7 wrt WP8, making it 5 months old, not 2 years.

            Android doesn't really bear any comparison. The situation with BlackBerry is far more similar. (What Apple have done several times on the desktop computer market.)

      3. Homer 1
        Linux

        Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

        @RyokuMas

        "Android had a worldwide market share of only 3.9%"

        Except Google has only been punting Android for 4 years, and it already has 3/4 of the market, whereas Microsoft has been desperately trying to peddle its mobile platform, in one form or another, since the days of the aptly named "Wince" 16 years ago, and it's still languishing in single figures. So the possibly that Microsoft will magically succeed now, after perpetually failing for nearly two decades, seems unlikely in the extreme, especially when the only thing it has to play with is something as pig ugly and dysfunctional as Tiles®.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

      I would buy one for the sole reason that it will annoy you.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I would buy one for the sole reason that it will annoy you.

        Then it will annoy you, and you will be £1k down...

      3. Steve Todd

        Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

        There have to be cheaper ways of annoying Eadon.

    3. Thomas 4
      Meh

      Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

      Although it goes against every fibre of my being, I do partially agree with Eadon here.

      The Surface's price is ridiculously high for what it is. Is there anything the Surface Pro can do that could not be done by a similarly spec'd laptop at half the price? Its little brother, the Surface RT, is hobbled by an OS that really, really should have been Windows Phone 8.

      If Nokia made a 7 or 10 inch tablet with Windows Phone 8 on and spec'd and sold at a similar price to the Galaxy Tab or iPad, Microsoft would have made a killing, or at least a fairly hefty flesh wound. As it stands now, neither Surface is particularly appealing.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I need to scrub my keyboard with acid for typing that first sentence.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        anything the Surface Pro can do that could not be done by a similarly spec'd laptop

        Couldn't you say the same about ultrabooks?

      2. mmeier

        Re: MS are trying a little harder to push the Surface than the Zune

        10 and 11.6 inch Win8 tablets similar in performance to ARM based units are "a dozend a dime" from Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Acer - Atom based with or without stylus and if you need HD the Acer A700 comes in at iPad 3 prices.

        And to answer your question: Try writing/sketching/painting on your notebook. Or holding it in one hand and quickly take notes with the other.

        Penable tables are a "if you need it". But IF you need it - no notebook will replace them. And among the penables the S/P is actually decently priced for what it delivers

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Screw the cost - its peanuts compared to decent enterprise grade laptop. Surface Pro is the most powerful, the most secure and the most enterprise ready tablet that there is. I will be buying them for all the directors, managers and other senior staff globally in my company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh really

      So how many staff are in located your bedsit and how many globally ?

    2. Irongut

      Whoever you're buying your laptops from has been ripping you off if you think you need to pay a lot more than a grand for a decent one. In the last year I've replaced all our directors' laptops, got two for the price of a Surface Pro and they're very happy with them.

    3. Steve78

      I'm sure they'll show their gratitude with either outsourcing your job or just giving you your P45.

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but not for people who do any work on them

      I second your sentiment. Must burn through that cash we choke on....

    6. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Up

      @AC 12:19

      >all the directors, managers and other senior staff

      ah yes. All the people who don't need a proper computer. I see your point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC 12:19

        Strictly speaking - yes - they have previously managed with iPads so they can get away without proper computers, but one advantage of the Surface Pro is that it give you the best of both worlds.

        For the AC above querying numbers, I am buying 30 as a pilot, and the number of users in scope is ~ 500.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Surface Pro is the most powerful, the most secure and the most enterprise ready tablet that there is"

      Easy there, that much Kool-Aid isn't good for you, dude!

    8. Wibble
      WTF?

      I will be buying them for all the directors, managers and other senior staff globally in my company.

      Is your industry PR? Is your major account Microsoft?

      Why then didn't Microsoft give them to you?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    A very expensive mobile computing solution

    Has too much PC baggage and just doesn't quite work. I think I'll give this a pass, certainly at the price of a second mortgage. WP needs scaling up to tablet and not Server 2012 shoehorned into a tablet.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

      How do you know it "doesn't quite work" when it hasn't been released yet?

      And why on earth do you think this is based on Server 2012... isn't it desktop W8? Actually since Pro is just x86, which edition of W8 is it anyway? And couldn't you set it to dual boot Linux+W8 or W7+W8 or whatever?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

        JDX, your talking rubbish about dual boot. There is barely enough SSD space left for one OS never mind two.

        As regards my server comment, it was illustrating a point of do you really need full fat windows on an 11inch screen and for a vast majority of people I suspect the answer is no. I think MS need to re-align their OS strategy into Server, Workstation and Mobile (tablet, laptop and phone). WTF do I want Modern UI on a DT or Server for ?

        Modern UI (i.e the runtime) really should be a virtualised option for server and DT.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

          If only you could use external storage with Surface Pro.

          Of course some of us would find the 80Gb or so free space on the 128Gb version is fine for work and Linux. You possibly don't realise how much space 80Gb is... if you don't fill the thing up with video it's a lot. 20Gb used to be OK for a desktop and PDFs/doc files are not really bigger than they were back then.

          You shouldn't be using a tablet to store all your stuff.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

            Shit expands to fill space.

            Never have been a network admin have you ?

          2. mmeier

            Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

            From experience with a 64GB SSD equiped penable after two years of use:

            SSD for OS and programs has a bit over 20GB left - Win8, MS Office (Word, PP, Excel, OneNote), Eclipe IDE, GIMP, Kindle (and 100+ ebooks), LaTeX (and "IDE") and various small tools (Browsers, PDF reader etc)

            The 64GB Class-10 SD card in the slot is at 20GB as well holding Dokuments (including multiple 100+ page PDFs), Sourcecode and other user data

            Granted, I do not use this unit to watch videos so those "space eaters" are not on there. Never saw a reason for that (TV can do it from the NAS) but for most business needs a 128GB unit should be more than enough.

            Next planned penable will get 256 or 512GB SSD but that is because it will replace the whole zoo (Desktop, Tablet, Smartphone) and needs more storage than a "demo/doku" maschine.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

            You CAN use external storage with Surface Pro - it has a proper USB3 slot - and it has a Micro SXDC slot that can take a 64GB card.

            You can also remove the recovery partition if you want to, (and recover from bootable USB if ever required) - gaining circa 10GB of additional disk space.

          4. M Gale

            Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

            "You possibly don't realise how much space 80Gb is..."

            I've worked with computers that have winchester hard drives. 10MB of double-height 5.25" fun with a worm gear powering the read/write head and separate ribbon cables for address and data. 10MB is an enormous amount if the only thing you work with is early 1980s software and text files.

            And 80GB is a tiny amount if you are working with modern software and images.

            1. JDX Gold badge

              Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

              >>And 80GB is a tiny amount if you are working with modern software and images.

              Then it's odd the W7 PC I use 8+ hours a day for my job as a software developer as well as for miscellaneous home PC user stuff is only up to 120Gb after 4 whole years, including all the old git/svn working copies lying around, my personal music collection, and all the crud copied from my last desktop "in case I might need it".

              I repeat, you should not be storing everything on your surface in the first place, therefore 80Gb is loads of space... considering most tablets are 16/32Gb it should be pretty blindingly obvious that even 50Gb of free space is plenty, and therefore the couple of GB you lose for a Linux install is hardly a problem... surely your Linux/Win partitions can share files or you could even install Linux on a bootable SD or something along those lines.

              1. M Gale

                Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

                And I have a terabyte on this machine that's getting dangerously full after two years. Your point is what?

                I also have laptops, and I'm constantly fighting with the Available Space issue. But then, I do think it appropriate that a hard drive is a good place to put, oh I don't know.. films, music, all that kind of stuff that you might want to use a media consumption device like the Surface for.

                80GB? It might last me a few weeks. 80Gb? Probably a few minutes. I know plenty of less-technical people who also bought cheap computers with small (funnily enough, around the 120GB mark) drives, and they are also fighting for free space because these are people that actually use their computers for stuff. They don't just sit in the corner looking pretty and occasionally get switched on to edit a text file.

                Now you as a software developer can probably make do on 80GB. It's not like a bunch of C++ source code for a project really takes up all that much space. However, saying "it's not meant for that" when Microsoft are trying to tell us all that the Surface is "everything at once" is disingenious at best.

                The Surface Pro is sold as a premium product. Priced as a premium product.

                And specced like a toy.

                1. JC_

                  @M Gale

                  It's not like a bunch of C++ source code for a project really takes up all that much space

                  Wow, that's remarkably ignorant, check out the size of the boost library and platform SDKs. Consider what happens to .cpp files - they get compiled into object files which take up a lot of space. How about the different flavours of Visual Studio and all the supporting tools (SQL Server, VMs).

                  80GB? It might last me a few weeks. 80Gb? Probably a few minutes.

                  Unless you're recording media, video at that, how do you (permanently) use up 80GB in a few minutes?

                  people that actually use their computers for stuff. They don't just sit in the corner looking pretty and occasionally get switched on to edit a text file.

                  Yeah, cause that's *exactly* the work process of a software developer...

                  M Gale = Eadon?

                  1. M Gale

                    Re: @M Gale

                    Wow, that's remarkably ignorant, check out the size of the boost library and platform SDKs

                    1.59GB for v1.51.0 of a framework that contains so many millions of lines of code that it makes your average Linux kernel look tiny. If you're stupid enough to link to every single library, then no wonder your code is bloated. I'm using Boost right now. What's your point? Asides to prove that 80GB really isn't enough?

                    Unless you're recording media, video at that, how do you (permanently) use up 80GB in a few minutes?

                    GB != Gb. I could fill up 10GB (or 80Gb) in a few minutes while copying 5-10 films over. Or maybe 2 films, Boost, a couple of other frameworks (hello, 961 megabytes of Ogre) and a compiler. Let's say Code::Blocks, because the full MSVC is just a weeny bit on the huge side and #pragma once can kiss my bell end.

                    Even with 80GB free, that's a big chunk of space gone and I'm only just started.

                    Yeah, cause that's *exactly* the work process of a software developer...

                    You make it seem like that.

                    M Gale = Eadon?

                    I disagree with you, therefore I'm Eadon.

                    On top of being a shill for Google, that's the best accusation yet.

                2. mmeier

                  Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

                  Actually the S/P is equipped like most Notebooks/Ultrabooks that come with an SSD. If you want more than a 128GB SSD there are not that many choiced left. You either go "spinning metal"(1) or you go well above 1000€ even for a notebook and there are few COTS units available.

                  If you do massiv video editing etc. OR carry tons of movies around than you might end up with a filled drive quickly. For the former this is not the "right stuff" nor are most notebooks. This is the domain of the 17'' "luggable" with a battery that is more UPS and less "mobile work" or maybe of the 2500€ "mobile workstations" from Fujitsu. A 10'' screen is a tad small for that (even 12-13'' is small IMHO)

                  Given that playing (illegaly) downloaded movies is a typical job of many home PCs and NAS these days it is to be expected that "Frank Freeloader" ends up with a filled HD quickly. The same problem will arise with the typical iThingy as well. Most found a solutiion - they do not carry all their stuff all the time.

                  (1) Something I happily left behind on mobile devices

                  1. M Gale

                    Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

                    Actually the S/P is equipped like most Notebooks/Ultrabooks that come with an SSD. If you want more than a 128GB SSD there are not that many choiced left. You either go "spinning metal"(1) or you go well above 1000€ even for a notebook and there are few COTS units available.

                    Question is, do you really need SSD? Wouldn't a flash cache + spinning metal give you a load of the advantages and some actual storage space? Not that any buyers will have the option of finding out.

                    1. mmeier

                      Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

                      Fujitsu T 902 offers such an option. While l would take the T902 it would not be that version. SSD on mobile devices is less about speed [That is a nice extra] and more about rugged storage for me. Even more so in a tablet or convertible that gets shifted around and handled like a legal pad a lot. HDD defects where relatively common in the old days of penables

                      SSD on a desktop is a " if someone else pays it" equipment lMHO. A fast HDD and a fast network and NAS /SAN would be my choice if l could have 2 of 3 (otherwise I'd choose 7 of 9 or maybe a three))

                      1. M Gale

                        Re: A very expensive mobile computing solution

                        (otherwise I'd choose 7 of 9 or maybe a three)

                        Oh, I think anybody would choose 7 of 9. At least, any hetero male and perhaps a few scissor sisters too.

  5. JDX Gold badge

    Price

    Comparing it to a tablet it looks extortionate. No doubt some will be suggesting it should be £300. But it's not a tablet, it's a mid-range laptop squashed into a tablet casing. From the hardware side I think it's a marvel of modern technology to be honest.

    But do you need a full PC in a tablet? If you do, this might be your wet dream. Otherwise just get an iPad :)

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. mmeier

        Re: Price

        Only the stupid equal Tablet with "iPad/Android Touch Thingy". Those with a brain know there are different breeds and choose what they NEED no matter who builds it or what OS it runs. If you need a toy breed media consume tablet - get an iPad if you want updates or a Samsung if not. If you need a working breed penable look at the job and get something Atom-based from Dell/Lenovo or core i based from Sony/MS/Lenovo/Fujitsu

        Performance-wise the S/P is a high end ultrabook with a good screen resolution and a sturdy build. I would prefer a 12 or 13 inch screen but I am spoiled by having used those for years. Notebooks are cheaper but offer less options since they are only notebooks while this unit is both. Convertibles are more compact but force you to take the keyboard and weight with you. So "dockable" penables are a nice compromise for those who need/use/like both

        Granted, GNUliban and other FOSS-Fanatics can not use them since Penguins won't be able to use most of the components (Digitizer, WIDI/Miracast, Enhanced Power Saving/Hybernate ect) so the rant against this units. But hey - who cares about neckbearded fanatics.

        1. eadon2
          Boffin

          Re: Price

          @mmeier - it's easy for guys like you to dismiss geeks as just "neckbearded fanatics" and penguins. But alienate this market sector at your peril. Microsoft alienated geeks, by threatening Linux with lawsuits and so on, and now suing Android manufacturers and extorting patent taxes from them.

          The problem with alienating geeks is that geeks are unbelievably powerful. They decide, ultimately, what ends up in Datacentres and in people's pockets. Linux is killing Windows in the server market? Why? It's not because execs are demanding Linux, they don't know what it is. It's because the geeks are telling execs that if they use Windows on servers, then the TCO will be higher, and the solution will likely fail. (Which is an accurate engineering assessment - and who makes those assessments? Geeks).

          Look at mobiles. Android was, and is, the geekiest serious mobile OS ever. It's the most open, it has a Linux kernel. Geeks loved it at first sight. And it took a only three generations of Android for it to have killed Symbian (no, sorry, Android didn't kill Symbian, MS/Elop did), smashed Blackberry, slaughtered WinCE / WinPho and it even caused the Jesus Phone to stumble.

          That is very much because the Neckbeards, the geeks, created buzz online and told all their mates how good Android is.

          Now a geek / neckbeard wouldn't be seen DEAD with a Windows Phone or a Surface or a Zune. And guess what? RIP Zune. Windows Pho has been, considering how many billions have been ploughed into selling it, an utter catastrophe, and the Surface has bombed.

          Those Microsoft products are considered by the people to be a JOKE. And who told them that these products are a joke? The media? No - the media are gushing about MS products - they need the advertising dollars.

          The neckbeards, the geeks told everybody that the Microsoft products are a joke (which happens to be true) and now those products have failed in the marketplace. The products would have failed anyway, but people would have bought a few first, before getting burned.

          1. mmeier

            Re: Price

            Cute but fail E2. No better than the original.

            The people deciding what ends up in IT departments and server rooms are MBAs. They may or may not listen to Engineers and/or trained craftsman. And those in turn more often than not decide on capabilities and not on fanatism. In a quarter century in the job I have seen quite a few customer IT departments. Banks, Various industries, Huge travel agencies as well as smaller (10-100) companies. With the exception of the occasional "run by the PFY son of the bosses sister" shop they ALL employed a mix of systems depending on "what works best". UNIX for database/appservers, Windows for clients and specialist systems for Firewalls, LoadBalancers, Windows for Login and internal Portals and maybe some Macs for DTP etc. Phones where choosen by "do they integrate with the structure" and often BBs. iPhones and Androids are mostly BYOD devices.

            It was only the PFY run shops that insisted on "Linux only". And they often failed with the approach since certain bookkeeping/tax/inventory software did NOT run (requiring WINE and long config runs if you are lucky and Windows units if not). Or PFY believed the "Linux is secure" mantra and ended up with a hacked server (if he was lucky / semi-smart is was only the Webserver in a DMZ and not THE server)

            The same goes for software. If some of your software needs ORACLE/MS-SQL/DB2 anyway smart IT departments will try to get ALL the software to use that DB. If all your software can do with mySQL - they will go with that

            Oh and NO IT department ever thought about Zunes or iPods

            Final note: In the last two companies we developers and admins where free to choose or OS (Linux, Solaris/x86, Windows) and in both cases we debated and decided on Windows. OS for development maschines is a "background element" and Windows is easier there for us to use and the admins to administer (1) Admins that cater / catered for double digit numbers of UNIX boxes and had certifications as well as experience for Solaris (or Linux) and Windows both.

            (1) Smart Companies do NOT use central repositories or direct Windows updates so the "Linux repos" do not matter.

          2. TheVogon Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Price

            "Eadon2" lol - this is one of your shill voting accounts? I always wondered how some of your posts ever got upvoted at all....

            1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Price

                @Eadon and Eadon2 - So after all your banging on about posting under your own name and not AC, dismissing comments people make about "you could be posting under multiple accounts" you are now actually admitting to posting under multiple accounts?

                Do you save Eadon2 for when the moderators have put you on the naughty step?

                1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                  1. TheVogon Silver badge
                    Mushroom

                    Re: Price

                    "for some reason" - Yes I think we can all guess what that is.

                    As if you don't get enough RSI from using Linux, you are overdoing it on the voting buttons too....

                2. This post has been deleted by its author

                3. GSV Slightly Perturbed

                  Re: Price

                  [Broadcast Eclear, sent 1362373633.4]

                  xGSV Slightly Perturbed

                  oBOFH Reg Readers

                  Eadon is not the only person here with multiple accounts. In fact, occasionally I post here whilst pretending to be a human. None of you have caught on yet, either.

                  Turing? Pft.

            2. 1Rafayal

              Re: Price

              @TheVogon

              Lightbulb moment for me.

              Makes me wonder if we need these up/down vote buttons at all if certain people are that social inept to want to have a fake el reg rep.....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Price

        Those corporate execs only bought iPads because Microsoft didn't have anything in that space. Given the choice of a high end device that runs a proper version of Windows and Office, and can be fully managed in the enterprise rather than a content consuming tablet with a toy OS, the choice for corporate use will be overwhelmingly for the Windows based tablet solutions. Surface might seem like it has a high price ticket, but when you consider that it has a full OS, and is aimed at the corporate market it isn't really. And anyway, Microsoft are trying to set an example for their OEMs to follow rather than become the mass market leader and alienate all other manufacturers. Therefore this is not about low cost or volume sales.

        nb - the 'New' MS tablets don't need a keyboard t o use them. Clearly as usual you don't have a clue....

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Price

          nb - the 'New' MS tablets don't need a keyboard t o use them. Clearly as usual you don't have a clue....

          Surface may not require a keyboard but Windows (legacy) software has been designed to work best with keyboard and mouse. For example: many legacy programs require pixel level mouse clicks; input in dialog boxes has not been optimised to keep itself away from an on-screen keyboard.

          The Metro apps may be OK, but there are few of those and the whole point of Pro is to run legacy.

          1. mmeier

            Re: Price

            That's why the S/P comes with a WACOM pen. And all other useable tablet-pc/convertibles(1) also come with inductive pens (Wacom or NTrig). That gives you the precision you need for "older" software. Works like a charm. Since pen input and handwriting recognition work extremly well in Win7 and even better in Win8 you do not need a on screen smearboard<<<keyboard either.

            (1) Yes, I do consider Acer W510/700, Lenovo Yoga etc. unusable. A non-penable tablet can be replaced by a 100€ Chinaplastic or for those who need a ego-crutch by a 600€ Chinaplastic with some fruit

    2. M Gale

      Re: Price

      But do you need a full PC in a tablet?

      Well that might be nice, but you just told me that it's not a full PC in a tablet.

  6. CADmonkey
    FAIL

    Current tablets

    This is getting ridiculous. My wife is keen to replace her Samsung NC10 netbook (10.1", 1200X600) with something that doesn't cost a grand but still gives her more than a 2" rectangle to type an email in. And it needs MS Office because she needs Outlook (proper desktop Outlook, not some portal). Ultrabooks are twice the price of netbooks and all seem to use those calculator keyboards.

    Tablet & keyboard, then....simple,no?

    The current Win tablets themselves are a mixed bag, but the ergonomic situation is appalling for anything other than simple messaging if you're not going to hold the screen in your hands and smear you fingers all over it. The range of BT keyboards seems OK but I would imagine most of them would bounce around on your lap cos they're so light. Even the 'docking' solutions are generally less than ideal.

    Instead of lugging a laptop & PSU, we are now looking at a tablet, some form of BT keyboard and some form of computer stand. And either a touchpad or a mouse. How are you supposed to set that lot up on a train?

    These are basic computing needs for business correspondence on the move. Is there some definition of 'progress' that I am unaware of? I fail to see how the Clamshell design is now regarded as obsolete. The only compromises we endured with the netbook were a puny screen and it was a bit gutless.

    1. Miffo

      Re: Current tablets

      Laptop still required for proper work shocker.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Current tablets

      Ex-lease ThinkPad X201 should fit the bill - 12", real computer, can get 'em for under £300 with Windows 7 and a couple of months left on the warranty. Now that's progress!

    3. mmeier

      Re: Current tablets

      Take a look at the Atom based penables. Windows 7 and 8 come with very good handwriting recognition and the WACOM / NTRIG pens are extremly precise (better than a mouse). The units have a slightly better screen resolution than your wifes old Samsung, good endurance and all offer 3G/UMTS variants as well as WLAN only.

      For the Samsung Ativ500 forget the "dock" that is of little use (basically a BT keyboard). For the ThinkpadTablet2 and Dell Latitude 10 there are "Folios" that offer a clamshell type feeling with an "integrated" (actually BT) keyboard.

      Depending on how much "writing on the move" is needed those should work fine.

    4. 1Rafayal

      Re: Current tablets

      I think as someone else suggested, you can pick up an HP EliteBook for around the same price.

      These are very good business-centric laptops, I happen to have one issued to me by work.

      Way heavier than a tablet though, and does require a chunky PSU.

      Alternatively, you could go for the Lenovo Tablet 2, which runs proper Windows 8. I had the first version of the tablet, running Android 4. It comes with a keyboard folio case with optical mouse. The whole setup works very well. going for the v2 version would mean Windows and Outlook.

      There is an astonishing amount of variation in these devices, when you start to look at them.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    The Surface Pro is coming

    All 1000 of them; so that Microsoft can start another story about "extremely high demands", or are they going to do it properly this time?

  8. strangelybrown
    Thumb Down

    Like a hovercraft at a bar mitzvah

    I'm in the mobile space, and have the oddly detached experience of working with Microsoft from time to time. I like Windows Phone 7.5, clean and simple, which suits me - lack of apps aren't really an issue as the useful ones are present. I detest Windows as a desktop OS though.

    Nonetheless, one of my customers (a merchant bank) expressed an interest in Surface in both forms last week. I duly trotted made contact with Planet Thames Valley Park, and asked to speak with their leader. Initially communication was difficult, as working for a UK firm I lack the necessary vocabulary for subtlety on that planet. I resorted to loudly saying 'synergies' a lot, which seemed to do the trick.

    "My customer is interested in Surface. Can we go in and demo an RT?"

    (sucking of teeth) "Hmm, not really, we don't really do demos on Surface"

    "Riiiight. Howabout we come to Reading and try that?"

    "Well, we can, but we can't leave you alone with one."

    "Okay, before I tell them just to buy an iPad, what support can you give me? Howabout something on the Pro?"

    "We can come and give them a presentation on Windows 8 and Office365!"

    Following this impressive display of point-missing, I cast around in my business to check it wasn't just me... sure enough, my peers have experienced similar ineptitude.

    Seems all those years of default OS have really pushed the Redmond cranium-rectum synergies to new heights.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    It's the charge of the Light Brigade all over again only this time at Redmond...

    Nobody dare question ridiculous orders coming from above.

    1. mmeier

      Re: It's the charge of the Light Brigade all over again only this time at Redmond...

      Well, the light Brigade DID take the redoubt. And their allies did make use of the charge to clear some hills.

      So this may very well hurt the Russians. Not to mention that this time the Heavy Brigade (Oracle with a Solaris/x86 under Apache licence?) may join the fight.

      Hmm, Linux users as Zaristic Russians - fits. Beard, backward culture, autocratic Monarch...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Dell have beaten them to it

    Why is anyone going to wait to spend £1k on a Surface when you can get a Dell Latitude 10 right now for £400-£450..?

    Had a 'pro' one delivered yesterday for testing - not sure about the aspect ratio which seems a little elongated when used in portrait but overall seems ok. I think this is the future for most enterprises instead of laptops, particularly when linked to Server 2012 RemoteApps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dell have beaten them to it

      Surface Pro has:

      A proper I5 CPU, not an Atom like the Latitude.

      Twice the RAM and twice the disk space.

      A larger and full HD screen, with multitouch and stylus input

      An injection moulded magnesium chassis

      Optional state of the art mag lock keyboard.

      A larger battery

    2. mmeier

      Re: Dell have beaten them to it

      Depending on what you need the Dell or Lenovo Atom based tablets may be the way to go. Sturdy or soon to be sturdy (Lenovo has some QA problems) little penables with 8+h endurance and (for a price) 3G/UMTS included. But there are things the Atom units can not do and if you need more performance, have more than one major application open or need the higher resolution than a core i unit is a must. And there the S/P is one of the choices.

      Besides: 450 GBP for a fully equiped Dell Latitude (4cell battery, Penable version, not the touch only one) sounds very low. That is 520€ and the Dell Website wants more for the touch-only toy. A fully decked out unit ends up 700-850€ (without/with UMTS) before VAT, the TPT2 is priced similar.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Dell have beaten them to it

      Why does anyone want to spend £1k on an ultrabook?

      1. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Dell have beaten them to it

        Take a look at the HP Envy Spectre XP Pro for a few good reasons why...

  11. Robert Sneddon

    How much to build a Surface Pro?

    Has anyone done a BOM teardown of the Surface Pro yet, costed out the components etc.? The price is way high but are MS actually making a profit on each unit sold or are they loss-leaders?

  12. Tom 7 Silver badge

    An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

    so when it burns it burns brightly?

    1. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

      If you heat it to 650 Degrees..

      1. M Gale

        Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

        A standard Bic lighter will burn at somewhere between 420C and 800C. A windproof or "jet" lighter will go to a thousand-and-odd with the maximum temperature of a butane flame being about 1970C.

        So instead of some nasty bastard putting a ciggy mark or a hole in your laptop, they get to cause a metal fire that will practically burn itself through the floor. That's if the battery doesn't explode on you. If Microsoft ever get to make enough units for the miniscule chance of a battery failure to rear its head and go "oh hai statistics", you're going to end up with a hell of a lot more than some warped plastic and and a nasty smell.

        Incidentally, magnesium flames are rather blindingly brilliant.

        1. Robert Sneddon

          Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

          Never worked with magnesium, have you? It shows, rather.

          There's this little thing called heat conduction -- magnesium is particularly good at it. Applying a mere thousand degree flame with a few watts of energy to a spot on a piece of solid magnesium will damage the surface but it will not cause the magnesium to undergo rapid oxidation (or to use the simpler word, "burn") since the energy is rapidly dissipated.

          Igniting solid magnesium requires a lot of energy -- an acetylene torch running oxygen-rich might work on a Surface Pro's casing but not much less, a few kW of heat on a square cm or so. Magnesium alloy aircraft wheels required a bonfire before they'd go off as I've been told by friends who have experimented in that direction. A pure oxygen atmosphere would help too.

          Turn the magnesium into shavings or fine powder and you've got more chance of lighting it off with a low-energy source like a cigarette lighter but then again aluminium will do the same thing, it's why Al powder is used in solid rocket engines.

          1. M Gale
            Flame

            Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

            Yeah, I'd still rather chance a battery fire with an aluminium case over a magnesium one any day. Neither would be preferable, but at least you don't have the added extra chance of a second sun being born in your living room.

            1. JDX Gold badge

              Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

              In the same way that we shouldn't run the LHC in case it creates a planet-sucking black hole.

              1. M Gale

                Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

                There's distinctly more chance of a lithium fire causing a magnesium fire than there is of a couple of protons causing planetary annihalation.

                1. JDX Gold badge

                  Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

                  >>There's distinctly more chance of a lithium fire causing a magnesium fire than there is of a couple of protons causing planetary annihalation.

                  In the same way that there is more chance of being struck by lightning than the LHC destroying the planet. If you get your device into a situation it could catch fire, you already have enough problems.

                  1. M Gale

                    Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

                    You mean like buying a device where the case is made entirely of flammable metal?

                    If this were a car design, the first exploding chassis would be a recall. When the first Surface explodes in a brilliant white flare, will there be a redesign?

                    Or are you saying that lithium batteries do not periodically go pop? Like a lot more often than the LHC destroys the earth?

                    But hey, let's throw petrol on the fire. That'll help.

            2. TheVogon Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

              Erm, but Aluminium also burns at a similar temperature....

              1. M Gale

                Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

                Aluminium *melts*.

                Magnesium *burns*.

                There is a difference. And no, I'm not on about grinding metal up into fine particles either.

                1. TheVogon Silver badge
                  Mushroom

                  Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

                  Aluminium also burns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L-R2PxzWGM

                  1. M Gale

                    Re: An injection moulded magnesium chassis?

                    There is still a massive difference between melting a hole in a can (been there, done that) and causing magnesium to start going off.

                    For one, the aluminium stops reacting when you take the heat source away.

                    Seriously, what the fuck do people teach kids in science class these days? How the fuck is THIS anything whatsoever like the puny non-self-sustaining glow you get from a thin aluminium can while hitting it with a fucking blowtorch?

                    I say again, encasing lithium in magnesium is a disaster waiting to happen.

  13. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    DO NOT BUY - Unavoidable limited life

    An analysis by Ifixit has shown that the Surface Pro is effectively unrepairable. It has 2 fans inside and when one of them fails the unit is no longer usable.

    Even an Ipad with a failed battery can still be used tethered to a power supply but a Surface Pro with a failed fan is a useless lump.

    Fans have a limited life - they must be replaceable in any sane computer design.

    1. M Gale
      Joke

      Re: DO NOT BUY - Unavoidable limited life

      Fans have a limited life - they must be replaceable in any sane computer design.

      Or at the very least, they must make the awful grinding noise fixable by thumping the thing when it's warmed up.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: DO NOT BUY - Unavoidable limited life

      Any component has a limited life.

      1. M Gale

        Re: DO NOT BUY - Unavoidable limited life

        "Any component has a limited life."

        And on many laptops, the fan can be replaced.

        On most tablets, there is no fan.

        Fans tend to be the first thing to go.

  14. teapot9999
    Go

    I have one - meh

    The Surface Pro is not really a tablet - it is too heavy and thick. It is a laptop with a slightly different design. The keyboard add on is awful - very easy to hit the wrong buttons and is like a cross between the keyboards on Sinclair ZX81 and Spectrum.

    1. mmeier

      Re: I have one - meh

      Actually there are two keyboards available. One is like you described, the other is similar to a 10'' BT keyboard of good quality. MS has been doing keyboards for quite some time after all. The flexible one is cheaper so it is seen more often most likely.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have one - meh

      Both keyboards are very useable and the touch one is very sensitive and simple to use. You must be Abu Hamza if you find them difficult....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steve Ballmer Explains Office On The Surface

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I11emrREiY4

    Enjoy your new Office. Enjoy your new Surface.

  16. Steve Martins

    terrible design

    I simply don't get it. Why would I want a tablet that requires a flat surface in order to be used with a keyboard? Half the time I use a laptop due to its portability, held in one hand, or on my lap (or occasionally balanced precariously on something else). If I want to use a keyboard with a tablet why wouldn't I just use bluetooth? Why would I limit myself to the support structure included in the device itself instead of using one of a multitude of cases that can add this functionality (and keyboard if desired). If I wanted a tablet why would I choose one that is so fat and weighty when there are so many more svelte and lighter options on offer?

    I'm not even going to touch on aesthetics as I am a designer, know what i am talking about and have an opinion (that probably differs from yours).

    I'm not even going to touch on operation systems as win8 has been damned by many many people who can express their dislike much more eloquently than me.

    1. mmeier

      Re: terrible design

      Using a penable one handed is easy. They are actually a lot better at that than a notebook computer. To touch involved, use the extremely precise inductive pen and WRITE on it. HWR or simple "store what I write" works everywhere in Windows since Vista [XP had a special version]

      And if you prefer art Keyboard just don't buy the touchcover- S/P has a build in kickstand and BT4.0 so that will work as well. Unlike Helix or Ativ700 there is no battery in the keyboard

      As for Windows 8: if You do not like it downgrade to 7.But before that ignore the Penguboys and the "different from grandpa Xerox" muscle memory operating crowd and try it out!

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