back to article Microsoft: Surface is DEAD. Long live the Surface 2!

Undeterred by its critics, Microsoft has torn the wraps off Surface 2: its upgraded Windows 8-powered tablets, now with faster processors, better graphics, a load of new accessories, and not one but two kickstand positions. Surface Pro 2 with docking station The Surface Pro 2 with its new docking station Redmond has …

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  1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    Sounds like some improvements...

    We'll see if the relative lack of apps and a "cool" brand continues to impede performance vs. Apple and Android tablets.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      What lack of app?

      The Pro 2 runs more and better apps than any iPad/Android tablet. Real professional app and not smartphone-designed ones.

      1. MIc

        Re: What lack of app?

        nothing like 5 down votes for an accurate statement....

        1. Jess

          an accurate statement...

          True, but a very misleading one.

          All these extra apps are designed for standard workstations, and will be dreadful to use in a tablet configuration.

          1. Petalium

            Re: an accurate statement...

            No, it is not dreadful to use ordinary programs. Having used a pro for several months i have found absolutely no problem at all running any windows program including development environments, office programs and a host of other more special programs needed in my daily work.

            As for the price complaints, who cares? if you use it for work, the price is not important, if you only want it for laying in your sofa and surf the web, then by all means, by the cheapest android.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: an accurate statement...

              Bit of a strange anology that....

              If I wanted it for work I'd just get a better specced and much more producutive laptop, and yes if I or millions of others around the world wanted it for the lounge, I'd get an iPad or a high-spec Android tablet.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: an accurate statement...

            Did you ever try a Pro? That's why it comes with a detchable keyboard and a digitizer. It runs smoothly desktop applications, even if not designed for a touch interface. I guess you also never used software with a graphic tablet...

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Re: What lack of app?

        Indeed the Pro will run more apps since it will run the millions of regular Windows apps. The problem is that it is way too expensive when sold as a tablet, and is saddled with a terrible keyboard when used as a laptop. It tries to be both and therefore is successful as neither. For the same price you could buy a proper laptop and tablet, and each will fill its particular role better than the Surface Pro.

        It is the computing equivalent of one of those combination car/boat vehicles that doesn't make a good car or a good boat, and costs as much of having one of each.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: What lack of app?

          Sure, you can buy both. And carry around both. And charge both. And buy apps for both. And move data around to/from both. Maybe there are people who prefer just one device...

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: What lack of app? @LDS

            Exactly. That is why I love my Samsung ATIV tablet. It gives me everything in one package, a full Windows PC and a tablet. No having to worry about syncing data.

            I wouldn't trade it for an iPad or an Android tablet if you paid me.

        2. largefile

          Re: What lack of app?

          So you've tried both of the newly improved keyboards already and you have determined they are terrible?

          1. Z-Eden

            Re: What lack of app?

            Yes because tweaking the keyboard will really help this fly off the shelves...

        3. Franchesca

          Re: What lack of app?

          I have one (the first Surface Pro) with a type cover, and I love it. I previously had an iPad but it really was just a toy, and I had to go to my PC to do useful stuff. My PC is now mouldering in the garage and I don't miss it one bit (though we do have other network storage available for storing big files such as movies, and my old iphone converted to a media centre for the TV).

        4. mmeier

          Re: What lack of app?

          What's wrong with a car/boat comby? The last I used wasn't all that fast but it could swim nicely, reach 100km/h on the road, 800km on a single refueling, sun roof, high seating (and place for the friends), all wheel drive, stell bumpers, very silend and it never got towed away.

          Ah, that old TPz "Fuchs" was fun back then...

      3. Bill the Sys Admin

        Re: What lack of app?

        what is the definition of a real professional app?

        1. HwBoffin

          Re: What lack of app?

          minesweeper

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: What lack of app? @HwBoffin

            Minesweeper on Windows 8 is great fun... Much better than the Windows 95 version.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What lack of app?

          "what is the definition of a real professional app?" Anti-Virus software.

        3. LDS Silver badge

          Re: What lack of app?

          Applications that pays your salary at the end of the month (and yes, even PowerPoint slides help to pay salaries). And they are not Angry Birds or YouTube - unless you're the developer of Angry Birds, or the owner of YouTube.

      4. darklordsid

        Re: What lack of app?

        Yes, too bad MS is so eager to call them "legacy" and hide the desktop under tiles, just to turn win32 developers away!

      5. Sr. Handle
        WTF?

        Re: What lack of app?

        For the price I think is a way better an ultrabook (and even much much better an MBA).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like some improvements...

      Still won't sell

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like some improvements...

      Unfortunately, the prices are still out of whack when you look at either a comparable Android tablet or a much more powerful laptop.

    4. LarsG

      Re: Sounds like some improvements...

      Wouldn't it be good if people started to buy the product?

      Is it an overpriced tablet? Or an expensive small laptop?

  2. Ilsa Loving

    My reaction to this news

    So I sat here reading the article, seeing nice improvements all around for the Surface.... and then I get to the price and any interest I had evaporated before I even finished reading the sentence.

    I'm sorry, but you just can't keep charging premium prices when your device is already a flop.

    We'll see how things go with Surface 3. For some reason it always takes Microsoft 3 revisions before they finally do something right.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      How much an Ultrabook costs?

      The Surface Pro is an ultrabook with a detachable keyboard. You have to compare it with that class of devices, not an iPad or a Galaxy. A MacBook Air 11" with 128GB starts at $999.

      While at $439 the Surface has an average price for an high-end tablet - although it's still less appealing than Apple and Samsung models, until MS gets Windows RT right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

        "The Surface Pro is an ultrabook with a detachable keyboard."

        Great, but the screen is too small and the Microsoft-provided keyboard options are not suitable for doing any significant amount of typing. Even the 11" MacBook Air's screen is 20% bigger and it has a nice, standard Apple keyboard and trackpad, not a floppy keyboard with a minuscule amount of key travel and a nearly pointless trackpad.

        I know a couple people who have Surface Pros. They tried to use them as real laptops a few times. Now they just collect dust.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

          "Great, but the screen is too small"

          Now remember Intel upping the expected screen size for the Ultra spec *after* extensive consumer research showed the screen was too small. Surface Pro is an Ultra Book 1.0 form factor that the public rejected before work on Surface even started!

          As usual Microsoft will have to learn the hard way that they cannot dictate what the buying public *want* and without a functional monopoly they cant force something they don't want on the public.

        2. Should b Working

          Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

          I keep swiping on my macbook air's screen and nothing happens...

          gotta compare apples with, er apples.

          1. Nathan Askew

            Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

            Part of the problem is that windows 8(.1) is not very good as a touch OS, or very good when controlled with a keyboard and mouse. How can you use a touch OS which needs a keyboard to find an app quickly?

            Good luck to any who buys these devices. I fear there will be plenty of non-techy people talked into buying one but some spotty sales person. I saw someone buying a Surface RT yesterday ??

        3. MattEvansC3

          Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

          Sorry your math is out. The surface has a 10.1" screen, 20% bigger would be a 12.3" screen. 10.1" to 11" is a 9% increase.

          Also you are comparing the touch cover to the MacBook Air's keyboard? At least do a fair comparison and compare it to the physical TypeCover.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            @MattEvansC3

            It is your math that is out. 20% bigger refers to screen area, not diagonal measurement. Doubling the diagonal measurement of a screen would make it four times larger, not twice as large. The increase from 10.1" to 11" is about an 18.5% increase in screen size.

            1. MattEvansC3

              Re: @MattEvansC3

              Should've understood it was referring to total screen space, my bad.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

            Sorry your math is out. The surface has a 10.1" screen, 20% bigger would be a 12.3" screen. 10.1" to 11" is a 9% increase.

            Both the width and height increase. With the same aspect ratio the increase in area is 18.6%

          3. Jeff Green

            Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

            10.1 is a linear dimension increasing that by 10% gives you 20% more screen area ...

        4. LDS Silver badge

          Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

          1) Screen too small? Why? Too small for what?

          2) Did you try the new keyboards already?

          3) Does the MacBook Air 11" have a ten point touch screen?

          4) Does the MacBook Air 11" have a 1920x1080 resolution?

          5) Can you detach the keyboard from the MacBook Air and use it as a tablet?

          1. asdf Silver badge

            Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

            LDS is like the dutch boy with his finger in the dyke. He just knows eventually Stevie Ballmer's vision will allow Microsoft to conquer the mobile market if we all just believe.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

              And most people here are just MS haters who can't judge a device just on technical grounds. If this device was shown with Ubuntu installed instead of Windows 8 I'm sure praises would have skyrocketed, while some people on their knees would have thanked their gods for such a gift.

              But because it's MS it has to be destroyed and burned. Maybe the Surface will be eventually successful, maybe it won't. If you're so sure about it's failure, what do you have to worry about?

              I don't like Ballmer either, but I just don't hate any MS product just because Ballmer is the CEO. Nor I spend time denigrating Apple products on every article about them just because I didn't like Jobs too and his "walled garden" mania. Nor I like Google's "all your data are belong to us" mania, just avoid its products and again, don't spend time firing on any articles about Google new products. Just skip them.

              Maybe there are too many people who are really afraid eventually MS could return successful in the mobile space as well... after all before the iPhone and the iPad Apple in its worst day tried to sell the Newton and the market didn't accept it - while Palm sold tons of its PDAs. Then Palm failed and Apple came back.

              You could never tell what future will bring... especially people with short memory can't.

              1. asdf Silver badge

                Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                >But because it's MS it has to be destroyed and burned.

                Might have to do with all the goodwill they burned with their illegal monopoly. I never want to see that company ever take over a market again. Nobody destroys choice like Microsoft not even Apple who specialize in it. Microsoft's business model is summoned up in two words trojan horse.

                1. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                  And in fact I was totally happy when MS was forced by the EU to open its protocol and APIs to ensure interoperability. And it was EU - not US antitrust law now that US are much too worried to touch any US company - be it MS, Apple, or Google. But despite its attempts, MS was not so good at "destroying choices". In many sectors it failed - and when it was successful, many competitors (Novell, Lotus, Wordperfect, Borland and others) should often blame themselves also for some huge mistakes they made. (I did buy their software to avoid to buy MS, but missing features and lots of bugs made me drop them too).

                  After all even Apple could make a lot of money from iDevices because Palm and Windows Mobile screwed up by themselves, should MS blame Apple because it wasn't able to deliver a good mobile OS?

                  Adobe still holds the media software crown (and maybe is Adobe that destroyed choice there?), database software still see Oracle and others playing well, Internet Explorer no longer dominates the Internet, asp.net is just a way to develop web sites (and not the most widely used), while VMWare dominates the virtualization market despite Hyper-V. Linux took a large share of the server market, and MS couldn't stop it, despite its server software is far better than what NT Server was.

                  But what has to do a new product review and a monopoly that no longer exists? MS has no way to reinsate such a monopoly, even if the Surface (Pro) succeed, unless Apple or Google do disastrous mistakes with their products. Anyway a Google monopoly on mobile devices is as much as dangerous as MS monopoly on desktop systems. As long as user can choose a different project, the more difficult for any company deliver products which work against the user - because of lock-in or because of data collection.

              2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

                Re: How much an Ultrabook costs? @LDS

                " If this device was shown with Ubuntu installed instead of Windows 8 I'm sure praises would have skyrocketed,"

                That is because it would be £100 cheaper and therefore good value. I get by perfectly well without any Windows applications, with the exception of occasionally running Sketchup in a XP VM.

                1. Paul Shirley

                  @Mystic Megabyte

                  A device with Ubuntu preinstalled would be mildly welcomed because we could *replace the OS on it*. Ubuntu is a steaming pile sharing many of the faults of Win8 Metro/Modern but at least they don't charge an arm and a leg for it.

                  An ARM device with Ubuntu would be eagerly welcomed compared to Win8 RT because again we could replace the stinking OS, unlike the RT device.

                2. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: How much an Ultrabook costs? @LDS

                  Well, for people needing to use Windows applications - and they are not a few - £100 more are not a huge price increment.

              3. Horridbloke

                Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                " If you're so sure about it's failure, what do you have to worry about?"

                We're not worried. We're laughing.

                1. LDS Silver badge

                  Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                  Yes, a nervous laughter, I guess...

              4. Pookietoo
                FAIL

                Re: But because it's MS it has to be destroyed and burned

                No, because it's a poorly conceived product, with laughable marketing and ridiculous high-end aspirations, it has to be trashed.

              5. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                > Maybe there are too many people who are really afraid eventually MS could return successful in the mobile space as well.

                Yes, they are afraid of that. Microsoft's business model is not just to succeed but it is to ensure that any competition fails completely and is wiped out. Many of those afraid have experienced their favourite products being killed by Microsoft's anti-competitive, illegal, and underhand tactics.

                Apple may have a walled garden and may not offer its products for others to sell, but it doesn't go around actively killing competition by threatening OEMs, resellers and retailers to only ever selling their products.

                For example 'Windows on ARM' seems to have been aimed at OEMs in order to extend the 'loyal discount' control over what products they can make and sell to also include ARM based tablets. It may well have been cheaper for HP to dump WebOS rather than lose the discounts on _every_ MS product.

                Fortunately, the failure of RT has removed that threat and HP can now make Android tablets because of that failure. Potentially they could bring back WebOS too, possibly with an Android emulator to enlarge the supply of apps (granted that hasn't worked for Blackberry).

                This is why we cheer the failure of Surface, its success would be over the bodies of dead competitors. Its success would (eventually) reduce progress, just as Windows and IE killed off many competitors from the mid 90s for a decade or more.

                If Linux had been a company MS would have bought and killed it just like it did for so many others.

                (One reason that Apple did not get killed off by MS is that MS was under investigation for anti-competitive practices, and when that was over it was too late).

                You may think that killing off competition is a good thing, perhaps because everyone running the same system makes life easier or more rewarding for you. A Ford car dealership may want everyone to buy their brand, but I don't want a Ford, and I don't want Ford buying and killing the brand that I like (granted they don't do that much).

                1. mmeier

                  Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                  MS did not buy Atari, Amiga, Acorn or IBM and still TOS/Amiga/RiscOS/OS2 failed

                  MS did not buy StarOffice (Sun did) nor Corel or Novell and still these Office packages failed

                  MS did not buy Interactive or SUN and still those UNIX systems failed

                  ...

                  1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                    Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                    > MS did not buy StarOffice (Sun did) nor Corel or Novell and still these Office packages failed

                    StarOffice is now called OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice and did not fail. In fact they are still alive because they are not in a position where MS could buy them.

                    Corel and Novell (both owned WP at times) WordPerfect for Windows 'failed' because Microsoft withheld and changed APIs so that WP was not able to compete against the in-house product (see various law suits).

                    > MS did not buy Interactive or SUN and still those UNIX systems failed

                    The server market is approx 1/3 each to Unix, Windows and Linux (depending on who and how it is measured) so UNIX hasn't failed.

          2. Bucky O' Hare

            Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

            3) And precisely what use does ten point touch screen have? :)

            Apart from producing fancy looking yet highly pointless struff. This is the real world, and nobody has any need for tripe like that.

            1. Mark Allread

              Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

              "what use does ten point touch screen have?"

              Multiplayer finger Twister.

            2. LDS Silver badge

              Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

              So why the IPad from version 2 has ten point multitouch too?

              Some people play the piano with just two fingers. Others with the full ten.

            3. Hi Wreck
              Go

              Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

              I don't know about that. Emacs would certainly be able to use 10 point multitouch.

        5. LDS Silver badge

          Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

          The Macbook 11" screen is just 1366x1768, while the Surface has a 1920x1080 screen, and almost twice the pixels. So what screen is better?

      2. Kunari

        Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

        Surface Pro 2 is $899 + cost of the keyboard, so you're looking at a price of $1,000 to make it a "ultra-book" like device.

        I'd rather just buy a real ultra-book with a better screen and keyboard.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

          "I'd rather just buy a real ultra-book with a better screen and keyboard."

          Also, have you seen anyone try to use a Surface as a laptop on their lap, with the kickstand out?

          It's like a comedy sketch.

          The person has to sit perfectly still, with his back hunched over and neck craned forward to see the too-small screen which is at a sub-optimal angle (and is precariously balanced) due to the kickstand. Laughable that anybody would use this as a laptop replacement.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

              "Seeing as the only people who would realistically use it as a laptop would use the TypeCover which can support the weight of the Surface Pro without the kick stand then that would have to be like a quite contrived sketch."

              You're mistaken. The Type Cover will not let you use a Surface like a regular laptop. You still have to have the kickstand kicked out, or the Surface will flop over (in one direction or the other).

              1. MattEvansC3

                Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

                A reviewer on another website said he didn't need the kickstand but reading up on it further you were right, he was talking out of his arse and I've withdraw my incorrect post accordingly.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

            > a sub-optimal angle (and is precariously balanced) due to the kickstand.

            The 2nd position will give a better angle, _BUT_ the additional distance will move the kickstand beyond the knees and/or not leave enough room for the keyboard.

      3. darklordsid

        Re: How much an Ultrabook costs?

        Yes, and tell me again how well did wintel Ultrabook sold?

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: My reaction to this news

      My reaction?

      "and not one but two kickstand positions."

      Well whoopy do. In 1969 we landed on the moon. In 2013 we added a SECOND NOTCH TO A BIT OF PLASTIC..

      head, hands, sound of sobbing.

    3. fedoraman
      Coat

      Re: My reaction to this news

      So - are we on version 1.0a or 2.1 ... of Microsoft ?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the most accurate article, price starts at $449 or £359, not $500. Touch cover is also backlit. Not the cheapest bit of kit, but could make a very decent workable tablet.

  4. MJI Silver badge

    Can't see the point if

    I cannot run windows executables.

    Otherwise may as well use Android or IOS

    1. Wilco 1
      Facepalm

      Re: Can't see the point if

      iPhone/iPad can't execute OSX binaries either. Android could run Linux binaries (the kernel does exactly that) but doesn't allow users to do it by default.

      So I don't see your point. As long as you can run applications, and read/edit all the common file formats, does it really matter at all whether you can run the exact same binaries across different devices? Do most people want to install SQL server or Visual Studio on their phone/tablet or do they just want to display/edit powerpoint slides? I suspect the latter, not the former.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Can't see the point if

        Note the difference:

        - iOS can't execute OS X binaries but the app store's got lots of apps.

        - Windows RT can't execute Windows binaries and the app store's got hardly any apps.

        Okay, so let's look at it the other way round (tablet compatibility with phone OS):

        - The iPad could run iPhone apps at launch, because of iPhone app compatibility people bought iPads, when enough iPads were sold developers could invest in developing iPad-specific apps.

        - The Surface RT couldn't run Windows Phone apps at launch, Surface RT hasn't sold in any numbers, Surface RT apps are still few and far between.

        1. Mark Allread

          Re: Can't see the point if

          "Windows RT can't execute Windows binaries and the app store's got hardly any apps"

          100,000+ is not "hardly any"

          1. darklordsid

            Re: Can't see the point if

            You are so right! 100k+ apps are too many, indeed, let's close submissions to the store!

        2. Wilco 1

          Re: Can't see the point if

          "Windows RT can't execute Windows binaries and the app store's got hardly any apps."

          80000+ apps are hardly any apps? That completely invalidates your whole post.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Can't see the point if

            Apparently as of the beginning of this year there were approximately 40,000 WRT apps.

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/18/7_reasons_windows_rt_was_doa/

            1. Wilco 1

              Re: Can't see the point if

              I've seen the 80000 figure used on other websites, and Microsoft is now claiming 100000+. Even if only 1% is any good, that seems plenty of choice. It's not like it doesn't count at all until they reach 1 million apps or some other magic number.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Can't see the point if

        Yes, it does matter because if I already have licenses I do not have to pay for more. If I run the same applications I do not have to learn different ones. If the application are the same they behaves exactly the same and I do not risk nasty import/export conversions. Maybe people don't install SQL Server (but some lighter database why not?), but they might install some SQL database client tool. And with the docking station, 8GB and 512GB SSD you can install as well Visual Studio and use it without much trouble to develop touch applications directly on the Pro.

        Or you may want to run Photoshop or something alike in the filed while taking photos - and the digitizer comes really handy there.

        1. Wilco 1

          Re: Can't see the point if

          The applications will still be familiar, they are simply touch based ports of the desktop versions. For example Surface RT and Surface 2 run all of Office, so it's not like you're being forced to use something completely different instead and relearn everything.

          The key issue is that applications originally designed for desktop use (mouse & keyboard) won't run as well on a tablet with a touch based GUI. So even if you were able to run your desktop applications, you'd probably still prefer the Metro versions of them.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Can't see the point if - Office

            Again if I wanted to word process I would use a laptop.

            Not interested in TIKFAM as such.

            MSs USP with a tablet SHOULD be WIN32, of not why bother.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Can't see the point if

        "iPhone/iPad can't execute OSX binaries either. Android could run Linux binaries (the kernel does exactly that) but doesn't allow users to do it by default."

        But an iPhone/iPad is not a Mac. Users know this.

        Most Android users probably have no idea what Linux is or that Android is related.

        Windows users expect Windows to run Windows programmes or apps. They neither know nor care that there might be more than one type of mutually incompatible Windows OS

      4. darklordsid

        Re: Can't see the point if

        Think about "Surface" and "Surface Pro" brands for incompatible platforms... how would average customer would react if iOS was called "OSX" and OSX re-branded in "OSX Pro", and find out that the platforms are incompatible?

        MS utterly derided users ever more dropping "Surface RT" (already synonym of failure) and branding it "Surface" only.

        PATHETIC!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't see the point if

      RT can't, but Surface Pro can.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Can't see the point if

        Surface Pro

        Too many OS too confusing.

        TBH in this market an XP or Win 7 laptop would be better for ME.

        If it is a tablet. I would go where the apps are.

  5. TeaLeaf

    I predict...

    sales of 100,000 units. (Wikipedia says Microsoft has 97,000 emplyees.)

  6. TheOtherHobbes

    #import madness_definition_of

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by."

  7. JDX Gold badge

    Actually looks quite nice

    ...I just can't see any reason to buy one (RT that is). Perhaps styling and design is an area they hope to score points on. In my personal view, iPad is still a mile ahead of even top Android tablets in terms of "how pretty the box is" and sells a lot of units on that basis.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Actually looks quite nice

      Exactly and if a notorious Microsoft fan such as yourself is saying this perhaps Microsoft should have ran some focus groups or something. Nobody can see a reason to buy the things which is why Microsoft took the billion dollar hit.

  8. Blank Reg

    Is there a Surface 2 XL on the way?

    That docking station looks like it was designed for a bigger tablet than the current Surface 2, maybe there are some larger models coming.

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    They still don't get it.

    $200 for a dock, $120/130 for a keyboard, $900 for the Surface Pro (the only useful model). I doubt many people will want to fork out that sort of money. At the very least the keyboard should really be bundled with these devices.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: They still don't get it.

      Pro isn't aimed at the masses but as a "business tablet".

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: They still don't get it.

        The days of overcharging businesses just because it's aimed at a business are well over, at least when it comes to hardware and especially when all your software doesn't work in TIFKAM mode - what's the point of paying extra for a business tablet then extra for business adaptors which hang off the USB ports to make it work like a laptop?

        60 USD for a bluetooth dongle - WTF is that?

        1. The Real SteveP

          Re: They still don't get it.

          If what you say is true then Apple would have ceased to exist long ago. They produce nice-looking gadgets containing 3 to 5 year old technology and charge ultra-premium prices because their customers are only interested in the badge.

          And to the person who raised the issue of Microsoft's 'illegal' monopoly - well they never had one illegally. They beat the competition fair and square using the same methods that their competition did. And if you were referring to the Fourth Reich's (EU's) huge fine for not providing a choice of browser, why haven't Apple been fined the same amount for the same reason?

          1. Pookietoo
            Stop

            Re: why haven't Apple been fined the same amount

            Maybe because they haven't been found guilty of using their market position to exert unfair influence when competing against other suppliers.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: They still don't get it.

        "Pro isn't aimed at the masses but as a "business tablet"."

        I don't really accept that and even if it were true it's still too much money.

        It also doesn't explain why there isn't a cheaper "consumer" tablet which is running the only version of Windows people actually want.

        1. mmeier

          Re: They still don't get it.

          Assuming similar basic capabilities as the Surface/Pro (Inductive digitizer, no 3G/LTE)

          Samsung Ativ Tab3 (630€ with keyboard) does it

          Lenovo TPT2 (620€, without keyboard) does it

          Dell Latitude 10 (725€ without keyboard) does it (and you can change batteries yourself)

          And if "touch only" is good enough there are a few more at even lower prices.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: They still don't get it.

            These are all Atom based, 2GB, 1366x768 devices. The Pro is an i5, 8GB 1920x1080 device. There's some difference in power.

            Sure, if you just need a device for web and emails an Atom is OK, if you need more power the Pro is a far better device. Of course you pay for it far more.

            1. mmeier

              Re: They still don't get it.

              DrXim asked for "cheap consumer tablets". That means Atom since "consumer" is web/mail/light office work.

              If one needs more power then the S/P2 is the smallest of the useful systems. It's main benefit over units like the Vaio Tap11 or Acer R7bis is WACOM instead of NTrig (1), the better dock, battery cover (2) and the 8GB memory that is available. Depending on your needs a bigger screen (I prefer 12 or 13'') and better CPU (M-series) one of the other units out/announced might be better.

              (1) At least for me, I dislike the battery needed element of the otherwise fine NTrig Gen 4 and better.

              (2) When it becomes available

              1. DrXym Silver badge

                Re: They still don't get it.

                To clarify I was referring to cheaper Surface models. I'm aware there are other brands. And yes I was suggesting that if the assertion that the Pro is a business model, then really there should have been a cheaper consumer model. It could have packed an Atom CPU or an i3. Both would be more than adequate for a tablet device.

                Microsoft could have thrown out an Atom powered tablet for about the same price as the RT version and people might actually buy it because it would be useful for something.

                1. mmeier

                  Re: They still don't get it.

                  MS is actually doing "the right stuff" by not bringing out an Atom

                  An Atom for a decend price AND a good quality is not doable. The good ones with WACOM/NTrig and LTE are well above 700€. Lower priced and you get in the way of VEB Plaste and Elaste and Samsung can compete by sheer mass.

                  An i3 is not offering much benefit in price or battery performance.

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    how can they justify $60 for a bluetooth adapter for your keyboard, you can get an entire bluetooth keyboard for about £10

    Have Microsoft not yet realised they cant go around charging Apple prices and just expect people to be willing to pay them

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      What kind of keyboard costs GBP 10?

      The horror. The horror.

      1. king of foo

        i've got one...

        'Health and safety' got me it after I complained when they swapped out the insanely power inefficient lighting in the office for even worse 'mini suns' without glare filters. They said here, use this new keyboard it has matt keys and won't glare so much. Yeah, like its not already reflecting off my gloss desk..

        It was awful for the full 5 mins I tried to use it. It went straight in the bin immediately after I 'switched off' (broke) the light above my desk. Now it can't hurt anyone else and the company will save a fortune on the electric bill...

  11. Vociferous

    Does it still run the useless Windows RT?

    If so = DOA.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it still run the useless Windows RT?

      It's a tablet, with a good screen (now), a very good web browser, a good keyboard and office for when you need to edit documents. There's quite a few apps too now.

      For what I use my ipad for seems like its a better fit than the ipad

      1. asdf Silver badge

        Re: Does it still run the useless Windows RT?

        Lots of positive opinions posted AC on this article. Wonder if it has anything to do with the prior article about companies getting nailed for posting fake reviews.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fake reviews

          I don't think Waggener-Edstrom was among the companies that were investigated, so its employees probably still aren't afraid enough to post AC.

          It has probably more to do with posts made under some IDs here being already downvoted almost automatically - see vogon, richto, mmeier, lds... They have taken such a extremist and disconnected, fanatical pro-ms position so frequently that almost nobody takes them seriously any more. Almost like they were some sort of anti-Eadon particles^Hcommentards.

          1. Fihart

            Re: Fake reviews @jbernardo

            For fuller explanation of jbernardo's contribution, Waggener-Edstrom are PR hacks for the digital age and (surprise, surprise) close neighbours of Microsoft's Redmond campus.

          2. RyokuMas Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Fake reviews

            Fanatics come in all flavours... unfortunately!

          3. LDS Silver badge

            Re: Fake reviews

            Because the fanatical pro-Linux, pro-Google, pro-Apple and anti-MS positions here are instead "connected and relaxed"? Many post here against cannot be taken seriously as well, and just demonstrate a conceited hate agains MS just because the poster thinks if he bash MS he's automatically "cool" as he learned in some fanatical IRC channel.

            Grew up guys, get out of your bedrooms and basements, meet some real people out of IRC and forums...

            1. Vociferous

              Tarring with a broad brush there, bud.

              > Because the fanatical pro-Linux, pro-Google, pro-Apple and anti-MS positions here are instead "connected and relaxed"?

              FWIW, I'm a Microsoft user since before Windows 3.0. I've been a Microsoft fanboi since Windows 95 through to Windows 8, which I hate because it's it's the wrong step in the wrong direction as a result of the wrong answer to the wrong question. Win 8 did get me to finally learn Linux, which I suppose is a good thing.

              I consider Windows RT to be useless because it is a Windows which doesn't run Windows software - and if all you want to do is surf and watch movies, there are cheaper alternatives which work just as well. I can't imagine any informed buyer buying an RT machine.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: Tarring with a broad brush there, bud.

                I do not like Windows 8 on "touchless" devices as well. I have lots of Linux servers and the application my company develop run both on Linux (RHEL, Ubuntu and Debian) and Windows - I work on both - and know well both. I don't like Linux as a desktop OS but that's my opinion and I do not force anybody to use one or the other.

                I agree RT is something nobody felt a need for. But I like the Pro because it fits my needs (I have a lot of Windows applications I like to use on a device like that, LightRoom, for example), and I can't see why I should say it is bad if I think it is not - just because bashing MS is trendy here. I see a very childish attitude here, and sometimes I wonder if I'm talking to grown up people or just to teenagers that thinks they are IT gurus because they were able to install Ubuntu on dad's machine...

  12. Petalium

    Good to see some improvements on the battery life, the only downside with the current pro version.

    I simply love the pro, it has replaced my old development machine, runs SQL server and development studio, easy to lug around between conference rooms. Unlike my IPad it doesn't crash all the time when surfing web pages, excellent screen, basically it has replaced both the IPad and the laptop. Lack of apps?, who the fck cares, I have millions of windows programs to choose from.

    Disclaimer, I may be mad, I also like the ribbon menu system, windows phone and thinks Linux is worth exactly what you pay for it....

    1. mmeier

      Screen is a tad small and the unit (still) lacks LTE (or at least 3G) and user replaceable battery. But otherwise the S/P2 is very nice even more so since MS (unlike the Tab11 or the Asus units) will offer 8GB of memory

      60 percent increase in endurance => 7+ h on the internal 42Wh Battery.

      30Wh "Keyboard battery" => 5+h on more

      So at under 1.5kg I can get a full powered core i5 with 8GB/256GB SSD (and not a pseudo SSD like in the Android/iThingy units) running a full powered OS for 12 hours. Nice.and the price is ok as well for the build quality of the Surface with the metal shell and all.

      And best of all it uses WACOM so there is a third "Wacom" player in the field aside from Lenovos new Yoga and a Fujitsu-refurbished T902. Guess the "switch to NTrig" option of the Sonys no longer is of interest.

  13. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Lets see: Windows 8. No thanks. Definitely no, thanks. No, no, no, no.

    Price: no thanks

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge

      Let's see:

      "Windows 8. No thanks. Definitely no, thanks. No, no, no, no." - sounds like a knee-jerk "I hate Microsoft" reaction.

      "Price: no thanks" - fair enough.

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Actually, unlike your comment, it's not a knee jerk reaction; it's a conisdered opinion after giving Win8 something of a try.

        I do not like it at all. Possibly with Classic Shell but, there again, why should I tonk around making it usable? I didn't have to run around customising my new car whan I bought it, just to make it possible to drive, so why should I be expected to do that with what is suposed to be a finished and polished OS?

      2. Ron Christian

        Reply Icon

        Let's see:

        "Windows 8. No thanks. Definitely no, thanks. No, no, no, no." - sounds like a knee-jerk "I hate Microsoft" reaction.

        "Price: no thanks" - fair enough.

        ------------------

        I dunno... I have Win7 at work and at home, and get along with it. I have Win8 on a convertible, and it's essentially shelfware. I may give it another try when 8.1 comes out, but I consider the device essentially unusable at this time.

        So, it's possible to not want Windows 8, not due to a knee jerk "I hate Microsoft" or "I stood out in the rain to get my latest trendy brushed metal fruit box" but simply because "I tried it, and in my professional opinion, it sucked."

        1. mmeier

          If you do not like Win8 - put Win7 on the convertible. It supports tablet pc just fine (tablets OTOH are not supported well)

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Windows 8.1 actually.

      I use Windows 8 on a conventional laptop and while I have plenty of gripes about its behaviour with a mouse / keyboard (only some of which 8.1 resolves) I think it works quite well with a touch screen. It's also very stable and responsive.

      The price on the other hand is stupidly expensive and not helped by Microsoft still stuffing gimped RT on the lower end model. It would have made more sense to drop it and ship a proper Windows tablet powered by an Atom processor.

  14. BlackKnight(markb)

    best thing about the surface is its ease of integration into my home network. within 2 hours of getting the RT home, I had it connected to the network, accessible from my home network devices for file and folder sharing, US VPN configured for netflix and had the missus using it for uni. Still haven't found a way to do that with apple, still looking for a network smb file browser for andriod.

    for someone who very quickly loses patients with technology, this thing is yet to fly accross the room (unlike the iphone) and simply does the job. the lack of choice for web browsers is disappointing. but the version of IE on this thing isnt half bad speed wise (significant improvement on the desktop version).

    Windows 8 on the tablet actually works well, I wont run it on my desktop as i don't have a touch screen, so you lose a lot when your locked to mouse and keyboard.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      @BlackKnight(markb)

      for someone who very quickly loses patients with technology

      I really hope you're not a doctor or someone in the medical profession ...

      1. MattEvansC3

        Re: @BlackKnight(markb)

        A doctor wouldn't lose a patient with technology, that would be the receptionist booking their appointment under the wrong name.

    2. Chemist

      "still looking for a network smb file browser for andriod"

      I set our file server to use Samba just to allow my wife's Android phone and tablet. She uses File Expert and you connect using ( from my memory) something like tools-network-client.

    3. Mark #255

      Android Network file browser

      still looking for a network smb file browser for andriod

      The ES File Explorer does exactly what you're looking for. I've used it to browse on WinXP, Win7 and Samba (Ubuntu 10.04) servers.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Android Network file browser

        ES File Explorer is a very decent file manager for Android. SMB copying is a little slow though.

    4. Hi Wreck
      FAIL

      Re: 2 hours?

      I'm not that patient.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a train wreck

    This is like watching a train speeding to a brick wall. You know the train can't stop and the brick wall is not going to jump out of the way ( always wondered about people who get hit by trains - did they think the train was going to go around them?) ..

    First the Tablet formerly known as RT It brings nothing compelling to the market (unless you are a Bill love child and think MS sh*ts gold). Apple own the high end and Android owns everything else. I have not seen one reason to buy one. Any reason you come up with does not matter to 99% of the market - and that is no my opinion but the facts from the sales numbers.

    And the Pro 2 is chasing a market that is so small it would not even rate a slice on the pie chard. I'm sure there is small number of people that like to sit at home and work on Excel spreadsheets or run MS SQL servers just like there is a small number of people who need to own a garbage truck. So if a garbage truck (or a Pro 2) fits your needs then buy one, Just be ready to spend your life in that part of the pie chart of tablet sales labeled "other".

    Thinking about it I would not be surprised if the number of garbage truck sales are greater than Pro 2. I am certain they do not smell as bad as a Pro 2. {}:>))

    1. mmeier

      Re: What a train wreck

      For a market "that small" the big players seem to be very busy in there. Lenovo, Sony, Asus, Acer, Samsung, .... - all building new tablet pc and convertibles.

      Guess they know their market a bit better than some AC.

  16. asdf Silver badge

    Wow

    Just based on the amount of votes for pro Microsoft comments Microsoft marketing is really making a push the second time around. Guess they finally learned about astroturfing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      On the contrary, it is a bit low key now. Did you forget that any post critical of WP7 would get more than 30 downvotes when the first Lumias came out? And that a few commentards would immediately come out quoting MS canned responses, like "if you don't have one you're not allowed to criticise", or "it will be fixed next version"?

      Or that any critic of the first surfaces would be downvoted like crazy too, and would get exactly the same canned answers?

      Of course, if you go to any site that uses disqus or livefyre for the comments, you'll see the hundreds of non-anonymous, single time posters praising whatever microsoft is selling and attacking anyone who dares to criticise them. But those aren't astroturfers, no, they are genuine, outraged microsoft fans who go to the trouble of creating an account to post only once and then disappear.

      As for iteration 2 of the surfaces, it still feels like watching a train wreck in slow motion... Still not offering anything to tablet users, maybe appealing to ultrabook users but too expensive still even for that.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Wow

        Maybe not offering anything if "Tablet == iThingy inspired TouchyToy". But if tablet is "Wacom/Ntrig equiped, full powered CPU and OS like MS does since 2003" than the S/P2 and the other Haswell units have a LOT to offer. Enough endurance for a workday, enough power for everything except First Person Shooters, guarantee that the PowerPoint/Excel/Word stuff with embedded VBA etc. runs, mature tablet software and so on.

    2. Vociferous

      Re: Wow

      They spent a billion dollars on marketing their tablets the first time. They're spending a LOT less this time; probably they're targeting social networks more, because that's cheap, and airing fewer TV commercials, because that's expensive.

  17. Mikel

    What I wouldn't give

    For the popcorn concession.

  18. Fihart

    Choices, choices.

    1) iPad

    2) Cheap Android

    Sorry, did I leave Surface off that list ?

  19. localzuk

    Nice improvements

    Some great little improvements here. If only they'd sell the 2 as a loss leader, they'd build up a market in no time.

  20. Richie 1

    those combination car/boat vehicles

    I think you mean "hovercraft".

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: those combination car/boat vehicles

      Hovervan!

  21. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Confusion

    So Microsoft's solution to the confusion people were having between the "Surface RT" and the "Surface Pro" is to call the updated RT one the "Surface 2"? Somehow that makes things clearer?

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Confusion

      It's not intended to make things clearer, it's intended to increase the market share of Windows RT at any cost, because Windows Phone and Windows RT must reach critical mass so developers start writing apps for them.

  22. Rallicat
    Thumb Up

    I agree the price needs to be cheaper, Microsoft are playing catch up, and they need to be prepared to make a loss in order to establish share with Surface. On the other hand, there are plenty of other vendors out there producing Windows 8 tablets, so it's not as if there isn't choice at other price points.

    I generally see Surface as a premium reference tablet. Given the limited distribution, how else can you view it? It shows what a Windows 8 tablet can be, and fills the premium space because let's face it, who else is really going to seriously build a premium Windows 8 tablet?

    As for whether or not it's any good... well yes, it is. There's nothing in particular 'wrong' with it, and the best fault finding that most people are doing in this thread is largely splitting hairs. Sure it's not for everyone, but it can really suit a lot of people's needs, and for anyone looking for a premium tablet it's worth at least considering it rather than dismissing it just because it's Microsoft.

  23. chiller

    ..... and MS stumble onwards like a pissed up old fart ......

  24. phy445

    Ugly dock

    I'm afraid that dock in the first picture is astonishingly ugly. It looks like someone on Hackaday ripped some bits out of an old printer to repurpose as a stand.

    I think they have even managed to out-ugly Dyson!

    If MS want large numbers of people to part with money for slabs and the peripherals then they need to up the style factor. At the moment the Tesco slab looks better.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Camera weirdness on Surface models

    According to Paul Thurrott, the Surface 2 Pro still has the appalling low resolution cameras fitted to the original model. Surface 2 at least has something believable.

    If true, we can look forward to some fun reviews about just how bad this £1000 (configured sensibly) tablet/notebook weighs in against Nexus 7, iPad and the rest of the competition.

    Bizarrely, the much cheaper Surface reportedly has camera upgrades to 1080p video, 3.5 and 5 megapixel stills.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Camera weirdness on Surface models

      Because no sensible user would use it as a camera device? As long as the built-in camera is good for Skype calls or the like it's enough. Frankly, I found very silly people trying to get photos or videos with a tablet. I prefer by far my full-frame DSLR to take photos and videos...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Camera weirdness on Surface models

        Some people use iPad etc. as camera, benefit is you are not squinting through a tiny viewfinder or miniature screen so great for some kinds of composition. I don't take photos this way normally but just because like you I use a DSLR for good shots and phone for convenience doesn't make people who do things differently silly.

        Far more silly to skimp on a few dollars worth of camera on a premium tablet so iPad/Surface comparisons lose a popular use case.

        What I personally use the rear facing camera for is imaging applications from OCR to other custom software I develop. Lots of really handy uses. Presumably whoever signed off the Pro 2 spec in Redmond, like you, didn't understand why at least a basic 5MP/1080p camera is a must have feature for modern tablets.

        Annoyed because I'm now faced with releasing Windows store apps next year which will display a 'feature not available' message when software encounters a low resolution camera like the Surface Pro.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Camera weirdness on Surface models

          Camera in a "toy breed" (iOS, Android, RT) - well that may get used and may be useful. Never understood those things they are even worse than a compact camera when it comes to sensor size, zoom etc.

          Camera in a tablet pc? What for? Photographing the whiteboard that is no longer used because tablet+beamer (or tablet+60'' display) have replaced it? Actually NO camera would be the best solution. If you need one - the S/P2 has USB for that.

  26. Zed Zee

    Microsoft don't seem to get it.

    Pardon me, but didn't MS just write off $1B worth of the first gen Surface?

    What are they doing pumping out 'more of the same' then?!

    This strategy of releasing a faster, better product does not make sense. There are far more fundamental strategy points to deal with than adding "2" at the end of the product's name.

    Things like deciding on one architecture and not two; either go with Intel (not recommended, since they don't have even 1% market share in the mobile/tab market) or ARM (defo!) architecture, so that developers don't have to write (or at least, compile) their apps twice, for two different architectures.

    Second, more focus on an entry-level, cheap tablet is more of a priority, since MS is so late to the party - they simply cannot afford to slap an arrogant price on it (as Apple continue to do on their's), because they're not setting the trend here. So, a cheap entry-level 7"/8" tab would be a really good idea right now, to get their foot in the door; here's hoping Nokia will show them how to do it with the Lumia 2520 ("Sirius") tablet.

    Third, invest in bringing Windows Phone 8 to work on tablets, not slap on there the desktop Windows 8 version. This will mean one code base, one API for devs and hopefully lower licensing costs - a bit like what Canonical is trying to do.

    Can someone who knows someone in MS, please pass on these suggestions...?

    1. Ron Christian

      Re: Microsoft don't seem to get it.

      ...because making incremental improvements and adding a "2" on the end is all they know.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    faster processor, huge ssd, reasonably priced

    600 squid and it's a deal!

    ...

    er... actually... it's GBP 1400 in the basic configuration.... sir. But it DOES include a free stand! It's the finest stand in the whole galaxy, sir!

    ...

    ok, 620 then!

    ...

    Unfortunately sir, this amount can only buy you... just over 3.35 magnetically detachable keyboards for the abovementioned hardware... sir. But they are the finest keyboards the galaxy has ever seen!

    1. Chemist

      Re: faster processor, huge ssd, reasonably priced

      "finest keyboards the galaxy has ever seen"

      Presumably the product of the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation - hopefully there's a wall looming

  28. Ron Christian

    Gaaah!

    > Prices for the Surface 2 start at $450 for a base-spec unit and $900 for the Surface Pro.

    Let's PLEASE stop continuing this misconception. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro (Surface 2 Pro) are two different products, with different architectures, and they are not software compatible with each other. The Pro purports to run Windows PC apps. The Surface 2 will only run the paltry handful of Windows apps compiled for the ARM processor.

    Users interested in the Surface product line must be very careful about this. I can't imagine that more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the consumers interested in the Surface product line want to buy one because of how cool the form factor is and how nifty the GUI. They want to buy one in the belief that they are slates that will run their existing PC applications, being the best of both worlds. Yes, exactly in the Borg sense, but never mind. This (backwards compatibility) is the ONLY reason to buy one of these overpriced devices.

    The problems are these:

    1) Windows PC apps will "run" on the Surface Pro, but because legacy apps are not touch enabled, to use them effectively requires a keyboard and a mouse. Hence, you are technically running your app on a slate, but you're not using the slate in the way slates are generally understood to be used.

    2) Windows PC apps will not run AT ALL on a Surface RT or a Surface 2. This can not be said enough times. If you buy an ARM based Surface, it must be with the understanding that the only apps you can use are the ones that come with the device and whatever is in the Windows RT marketplace. If you're buying an ARM based Surface, you need to be satisfied that you prefer the Surface form factor and the Win8 interface enough to put up with the lack of apps.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Gaaah!

      Right on the second point, wrong on the first. Surface/Pro has a WACOM stylus and with that you can use legacy applications just fine. Currently doing so (FireFox on a T731 in tablet mode)

      1. Ron Christian

        Re: Gaaah!

        I beg to differ. I have a Windows 8 convertible (asus) with a stylus and it's absolutely pants on Windows 8. This must be a very unusual definition of "just fine".

        1. mmeier

          Re: Gaaah!

          Given that a lot of people around here find WACOM/NTRIG based units quite useable with legacy apps (and do so since 2003) I guess the problem exists between your tablet pc and your chair

  29. Get the puck outa here

    Polishing a turd

    An incremental speed increase in a failed product. Who thought of that?

    Even Blackberry didn't release a Playbook 2.0!

    These things will be another billion dollar write down in under a year, Ballmer's parting gift to Microsoft.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's that

    they say about doing the same thing again and expecting a different result, sonny?

  31. elaar

    Was watching "Elementary" and had to painfully watch Sherlock take time to remove the slab, sort out the back support and then add the keyboard, and then add insult to injury make a search with "bing" massively highlighted on the screen.

    It was hard to watch, us Brits aren't used to poor product placement. It made me want to hate it!

  32. Slions

    Not that bad

    We got a few of those Asus VivoTab Smart in the office and they are actually not that bad. Admittedly I mostly used the classic desktop and VisualStudio. Though I'm sure some of the Modern UI apps are probably worth it. That Market application looked great anyway. You also need a few accessories to actually be able to use it properly. The stand/cover, a pen for when you are pissed off trying to use desktop apps with your fat fingers, a keyboard to actually do some productive work, a mate screen protector in case you get fed up looking at yourself in that glossy screen, and a sleeve (ISY).

    Been travelling lately with one of those and a brand new ThinkPad Compact Bluetooth keyboard, that worked quite well for me. Good battery life, really small and light package so you can easily put it in your backpack.

    Did not notice many people actually working with Android tabs and iPads on the move while I actually managed to be productive with that setup, though full HD would have been better obviously. You also very much need a small table to actually get it to stand, on your knees it won't work. Thankfully most planes and trains have that even in economy class, except maybe Heathrow Express but thankfully it is express.

    The detached keyboard is actually quite good, makes me wonder if buying a laptop is worth it. I quite like working with the tablet on the table and the keyboard on my knees. Though I guess laptop would be the same just without the need for the table.

    Anyway Surface Pro 2 and the likes look quite promising. It just does not make much sense to compare it with iPads and Android tabs.

  33. Slions
    Facepalm

    Not consumer

    It will obviously never sell in the same volumes as iPads and Android tabs...

    1. mmeier

      Re: Not consumer

      The "low price" tablet pc segment will be served by the MS<<DELL Venue 11 that will be shown next Wednesday. Baytrail, proper digitizer (sadly also supports touch), 4GB, 11'' and according to some sources starting prices around 400€. Since it is basically the Latitude10 replacement there will be a LTE model as well and a dock.

  34. Shoddy Bob

    Nice

    These would be beautiful little machines if you could get Ubuntu onto them. It's a shame that after two decades, Microsoft have finally got their security sorted out so you can't boot into something else.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Nice

      Does xBuntu support

      + WACOM digitizer with pressure support

      + Support Handwritting Recognition

      + Offers an equivalent to MS Journal, ArtRage V2 or better?

      + Offer an equivalent to the MS Speech recognition let alone Dragon Natural?

      + Supports MIRACast

      If not you are paying 200+ € for components you can not use

      1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Nice

        > Does xBuntu support

        > + WACOM digitizer with pressure support

        Yes.

        > + Support Handwritting Recognition

        Yes.

        > + Offers an equivalent to MS Journal, ArtRage V2 or better?

        My N800 from several years ago runs Xournal which also runs on any Linux.

        > + Offer an equivalent to the MS Speech recognition let alone Dragon Natural?

        ViaVoice was available on Linux in the late 90s. There are several systems currently available, some free, some proprietry. Like many, I tried speech on OS/2 a couple of decades ago. It may be useful in a small number of cases but is not generally of much use. For example it was used in meat works back in the early 80s where the boners needed to qualify the carcase but could not touch anything. They probably still do.

        + Supports MIRACast

        Android does. Maybe next release for Ubuntu.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Nice

          Links please of it did not happen. Last time someone offered Links to WACOM it was either for EXTERNAL tablets. Those work different from the screens. Or for Android and the Note drivers are Samsung closed source. There are "early beta" drivers for Wacom penabled technology but they are not very stable.

          Same for HWR. If it is not up to at least Win7 - it does not work. And comparing Note to Win7/Win8 even Samsung is not yet there. With the same pen and user the Note has a lot more misses and generally wrong choices than Win8. Problems with words not in the directory and it either does not learn/adapt at all or extremly slowly (> 6 month with steady use)

          Xournal is nice but like SNote not up to even MS Journal (lack of OCR among others)

          As for speech the short version of your answer is: NO. Oh and speech has come a LOOONG way since the late 90s and ViaVoice. Even the Windows7/8 internal engine is better than say ViaVoice 8 (2000). The better hardware helps here as well

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Nice

            > Links please of it did not happen. Last time someone offered Links to WACOM it was either for EXTERNAL tablets. Those work different from the screens.

            http://cintiqcompanion.wacom.com/CintiqCompanionHybrid/en/

            1. mmeier

              Re: Nice

              Android unit from WACOM. That is the same as the Note series. The Samsung drivers are not OpenSource and I doubt the WACOM are. So they can't be absorbed by the GNU

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