Yeah, but ...
Is it actually useful, beyond the toy value?
iFads certainly aren't ...
Microsoft has confirmed prices for the Surface Pro: the 128GB model will cost punters 25 per cent more than a top of the range iPad. The laptop-cum-tablet, which Redmond says is "designed to showcase Windows 8 Pro", will land in the UK on 23 May, Microsoft revealed today. The estimated retail price for the 64GB version is £ …
For what values of "Useful"? iPads are certainly useful for content consumption and small scale content creation. So for Web, E-mail, book reading they are excellent and they are extremely handy for doing edits to documents. I probably wouldn't use them for primary document creation, but at a push you can.
The fact that my *builder* and his team use them to share design and project plans via Dropbox would suggest that its not just fanboys who find them useful.
"for Web... they are excellent"
What are you talking about? A device where you can't block ads, is excellent for web browsing? That's not web browsing, that's subjecting yourself to mind fucking. But you could say it's excellent for the latter.
Whatever. Glossy screen, lcd. No, thanks, I keep my eink for books.
>Is it actually useful, beyond the toy value?
Jake - the article didn't make it clear, but the 'Surface Pro' is more comparable to a laptop than to an iPad. Its specs are better than the machine that currently serves me well for everything, including CAD, rendering and image editing:
4GB RAM, 3rd Gen 'Ivy Bridge' Intel Core i5 Processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000.
So, it is not a toy. However, many people might be better served by a more traditional form factor at a lower price.
> 'Surface Pro' is more comparable to a laptop
While the 'legacy' software is mostly designed around, and requires, a keyboard and mouse or touchpad, the Surface Pro is definitely not a 'laptop'. With a floppy junction between keyboard and screen, a fixed angle for the screen, and poor weight distribution they are not suitable for using on your lap, nor on an aircraft tray, in that format.
They may be called 'Surface' because they require one to be useful, such as a desktop.
I agree with you I'm afraid, we've just issued iPad's to our guys that go out and sell...
Reason: It'll work, and it does what we need it to do on the road, which is e-mail, Dynamics, A Powerpoint repository we can control remotely, Office web Apps...it's pretty much the tool for the job..and everyone loves the iPad, so there is no need to retrain them with the finickety bits of Win 8...also I dont' have to continually battle with sharepoint.
Not as idiotic as the headline writer here (and some of the reactionary commentators). The price (including keyboard) is almost exactly the same as the MacBook Air 11". Makes sense as they are both notebook PCs. The MBA lacks multitouch and tablet mode so the Surface makes for a more attractive device for anyone who uses Windows rather than OSX.
That's the positive. The negative is the fact that the MBA is almost a year old and due for a Haswell, battery-extending refresh in June/July at which point the Surface Pro will be uncompetitive unless Microsoft also refresh the product. This is not the time in the annual PC refresh cycle to buy MBA or Surface Pro unless you really, really need one.
So although there is a logic in Microsoft pricing against MBA, this time of year is the wrong time to do it and its hard to imagine what Microsoft marketing is thinking.
All the same the real idiots are those who don't know how much it costs to manufacture a Core i5 notebook and think a full-featured PC is the same as a casual-use tablet.
F************K OFFFFFFFFFFF. MS needs its head examined. Lil' hint lads...you're late to the tab party, no one trusts win 8 and you've jack of an eco-system. No iWa*k is going to switch to MS and no Android user is going to cough that sort of cash, so get real and realise your coming from behind (and not in a good way)
Signed: A Friend.
>you've jack of an eco-system.
Can you expand on that statement? All sorts of hardware and legacy software work with (full fat) Window 8. I don't think there is a device that is now plugged into my Win 7 laptop that wouldn't work with this machine, from my HDDs to my mouse. The chances are that the vast majority of my installed software would work on it as well. Is it possible that you have confused this device for a Win 8 RT (can run on ARM) device?
I have no need for this form factor, but to say it has no 'eco-system' confusese me.
IMHO...Joe Public sees slabs as "fun,'n'cool; watch telly on the train, facefcuk, angry birds etc, so by an ecosystem I mean appsland, If you want to battle away with Excel, VS 2012 or whatever, you'd be better off with a laptop or in the case of Excel, RT. And try running VS on a screen that's slightly bigger than a big kindle frire. The vast majority of "people" bought a house PC so the kids could do their homework, they could do their CVs, play games on the internet and look at pr0n. When laptops got cheap then they didn't have to hide in their bedrooms anymore, and with tablets their CVs get written in work time and mailed to themselves, they can look at pr0n, download/stream videos, listen to music, go interwebbing, chat with their mates and the only thing that's left is the kid's homework which they'll use the old clunker for. Us techie types might ooh and aah that you can load world + dog onto your Pro, but who'd really want to. If a new laptop is say £350 and a kindle is <£200 why would I really need to spend £800 on something that'll make me look like I'm bashing the bishop on the train, when all I'm doing is editing a document.. I really wanted a Pro, but its time is passed already and I can do more with £800
Clearly the current Surface RT is not a great buy. However if ARM developments over the next couple of years seriously compete with Intel Microsoft have ensured they won't get the usual accusations of always being late to the party concerning ARM notebooks. Conversely if Intel takes the mobile limelight from ARM, Windows is well positioned, especially relative to iOS. Makes me laugh that a whole bunch of commentators don't get this bleedin obvious fact. Admit I'm also amused that some marketing types in Microsoft also missed the point and thought this Tegra 3 Surface RT reference device was going to sell just because they squandered a packet on confusing advertising.
These Surface Pros are slabs thanks to the i5 and its increased power consumption and heat disappation demands. Throw in the keyboard attachment and you may as well be buying an ultrabook.
The Atom based tablets are a far more sensible choice for the form factor - cheaper, longer battery, thinner, less heat and performance which is more than adequate for the sort of apps people run on tablets.
It is an Ultrabook in all but name. With benefit it can double up as a tablet. All things being equal, why would anyone prefer a clamshell? The new Atoms aren't available yet but yeah for some people. Definitely will benefit from haswell power/thermals ASAP for those like me who run more demanding software than Bay Trail offers.
"All things being equal, why would anyone prefer a clamshell?"
Because not all things are equal. The Surface Pro (perhaps living up to its name) has a larger surface footprint than an equivalent size ultrabook. The high center of gravity and lack of stiff hinge means it has a kickstand at the back to support it at a fixed angle and the keyboard is flimsier so it needs to fully rest on something too. Balancing it on your knees in bed or a chair is an extremely precarious proposition.
Chances are if you need an i5 it's no big deal to have a clamshell. And if you don't need an i5, there are more appropriate and cheaper devices for the tablet form factor (some of which come with keyboard docks with stiff hinges).
I'd find it useful to go beyond this Core I5 to have an Intel quad-core in a handy hybrid tablet format though I accept many people would find an Atom or ARM sufficient for their software needs. Rather have option of extra battery in the detachable keyboard unit rather that tied to that light Surface Pro affair. Great to see there are more options coming on the market even if nobody is making my perfect hybrid/detachable yet. Can't see my ever needing a legacy format clamshell again but as always, your mileage may differ.
......I could buy TEN 7 inch Android (Jelly bean) tablets from China, a windows 7 netbook (branded) and some 32 Gb memory cards for storage in the tablets and have some spare.
M$ marketeers are indeed living in dream world.
HP. RIM, Acer, all failed when priced high at launch.
I agree MS are targeting the wrong market segment with the wrong product. Kind of like the scene out of the film The Untouchables "bringing a knife to a gun fight".
The Surface should indeed be positioned against the MBA as that is the only way it will gain market share. Going head to head with iPad when already "years too late to the party" is just insane and will certainly see Balmer dethroned............... perhaps in more just one way...... ;-)
>For that money . . . . . I would get 2 x tablets and a chromebook.
You could, and for many tasks that would work great. However, you wouldn't be able to run all the software that is available for Windows, such as CAD, Photoshop, more specialist accountancy packages, obscure external hardware drivers, you name it. The Surface Pro is no more or less than an i5 laptop with a touchscreen and removable keyboard. Whether you want these features is nobody's choice but yours.
If you had said "for the money I could buy a tablet and a midrange Windows laptop", I couldn't take issue with you.
Or an enormous pile of several thousand calculators. Will my calculators, your tablets and the surface pro all do the same thing? Calculate sums, yes. Run Avid, no. Now we've established they have different capabilities, reasons and markets, your tablets costing is as relevant as my calculators.
>What you call legacy applications we call real applications and they aren't going away.
However, if we want to see more laptops with very high res screens, traditional Windows desktop applications apparently need a kick up the behind. A excerpt from a review of a 13.3" 2560×1440 Toshiba laptop:
"Whereas navigating the Modern Live Tile interface was easy on the Kirabook, it was nearly impossible to touch anything, much less use the cursor, in desktop mode. The menu options in Photoshop Elements were microscopic. We don't consider our eyesight to be poor, but even we had to hold the notebook close to our face. Fortunately, a Toshiba Display Utility lets you set the size of on-screen icons and text in Windows, but it doesn't apply to the apps themselves."
I entirely agree with your "headline fix". The comparison with an iPad is a spectacularly idiotic piece of click-bait. They are simply not the same type of equipment at all.*
*I am not having a pop at the iPad - just pointing out that it is a wholly inappropriate comparison.
Its also a fact that the cheapest iPad4+MBA combination is £399+£849 = £1248 which is 50% more expensive than the cheapest Surface Pro (with touch cover) £719 (+£100) = £819. Giving the alternative headline:
Surface Pro to hit Blighty, 35% cheaper than Apple
Weighs considerably less, and a dramatically faster tablet than iPad 4.
Not that I'm a fan, just find the constant negative spin by theRegister rather transparent and tedious.
> Not that I'm a fan, just find the constant negative spin by theRegister rather transparent and tedious.
It's hard to see where the positive spin is. Certainly your headline isn't it. The pro may be 30% or more less than a MacbookAir or any other premium ultra book but in the end it's a compromise. And if I'm going to spend that sort of cash I exepct the usability that a premium price should offer.
Being 30% cheaper would soon be forgotten when I was having to use a kick stand and dead flesh keyboard and carry the extra weight of an i5. Also having spent time with an iPad and a BB playbook, I really can't say I'm impressed with 16x9 as a premium formfactor in laptop or tablet. Premium should be 16x10 and 4x3.
I fear this is doomed...
...that say, yes but it can run CAD, Photoshop, Avid...well yes it can, minor issue however
It only has a poxy 11inch screen....so actually it's next to useless, anyway! Oh and those apps aren't suited to touch either.
Of course if you carry an 27" monitor around with you all the time it's fine, but then that kind of defeats the point...so here's the real question...
Why would you spend £899 on something when you get spend half that get a better specced machine that doesn't throttle down the CPU after 30 minutes running at full whack for half that price?
Speak for yourself, I'm seriously considering buying one. I want a tablet, but I don't want to be hamstrung by a not quite Windows (RT), a not quite Linux (Android) or a not quite Mac OS (iOS) machine. I want a bit of oomph behind it, so I don't want an Atom based machine. I want to run a full OS, which I don't see any Linux (proper Linux, not Android) or Apple options in the table space for. I want something which has a device a bit like the type cover and this suggests that the perfect machine for me to get is the Surface Pro, or similar. It is by all accounts a very tough machine, demonstrations of it being dropped, jumped on and thrown down stairs seem to confirm that. The only other thing I'd seriously consider is a Panasonic toughbook tablet, but they cost the earth.
"It is by all accounts a very tough machine, demonstrations of it being dropped, jumped on and thrown down stairs seem to confirm that."
Things break when you drop them and your kids will certainly find a way to break it. You just better hope it doesn't break as they are described as unfixable.
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