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Microsoft Surface Pro Reviews Arrive

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the evaluating-the-turducken-of-modern-computing dept.

Microsoft 320

The release date is approaching for Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet, and reviews for the new device have started appearing. The Surface Pro differs from the Surface in that it runs a full version of Windows 8 Pro, rather than the tablet-centric Windows RT. It also has much beefier hardware specs: 4GB RAM, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and a full HD display with 10-point multitouch. Ars describes it as having the expected good performance at the expected costs of heat, noise, and battery life. "This is not an all-day machine. Surface RT probably is. But Surface Pro is not." The review praises the screen and the stylus, but points out some odd scaling issues as well. The Verge's review also mentions the scaling, and notes the strangeness of dealing with issues inherent to a Windows desktop OS — like antivirus — on a tablet. BGR looks at the big picture, calling the Surface Pro Microsoft's "declaration of war" on its hardware partners. All three reviews dwell on how the Surface Pro exists at the intersection of laptop and tablet, and doesn't quite fulfill either role. Ars says, "From the tablet perspective, Surface Pro is not acceptable. It gets too hot for a hand-held device, its battery life is woefully inadequate, and it's too thick and heavy to be comfortable to hand hold for long sessions. ... From a laptop perspective, Surface Pro falls down too. The traditional laptop has a stiff hinge to hold the screen at an angle of your choosing. ... In practice, the Surface RT and Surface Pro have a bigger footprint on my lap even than my old 15-inch MacBook Pro. And if I move a little, whomp, the screen drops off the back of my knees and folds out of sight." The Verge adds, "The real dealbreaker for me was that it's just unusable in my most common position — sitting on my couch, feet on the coffee table, with the computer on my lap."

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Instead of the FUD... (-1, Troll)

mystikkman (1487801) | about 2 years ago | (#42807377)

Instead of the FUD in the summary, head over to Anandtech for a better review. Or just continue supporting the dumbification of PCs by promoting iPads.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6695/microsoft-surface-pro-review/ [anandtech.com]

Re:Instead of the FUD... (5, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 2 years ago | (#42807403)

I've read the Anan review and it mentions pretty much everything that's in the summary. Though he puts a lot of positive spin on some things - the fans and the heat for example. He says you can hear the fans but it is not a problem. And proceeds to say the case hits 40 degrees but that it's not uncomfortable for it to be that hot. I have a hard time believing that.

I think the idea has some promise but a lot of problems in this current form.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (0, Redundant)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#42807717)

40C degrees (or 104F) is colder than your bath water

Re:Instead of the FUD... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807763)

40C degrees (or 104F) is colder than your bath water

True. However you don't want a 104F notebook sitting on your lap. It makes you sweat quite a bit and is uncomfortable. It absolutely won't burn your or anything like that. But it sucks to have a machine that warm on your lap.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 2 years ago | (#42807877)

I have my shower set to around 35. My wife bumps it up to around 40 but I think she is crazy.

And I'm a mammal. So I also give off heat. I prefer the objects that I allow to come into contact with my skin to be cooler than I am or at the most to come to the same temperature I am.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (2)

justthinkit (954982) | about 2 years ago | (#42807923)

But is the same temperature as a jacuzzi [ehow.com] . TOTC [answers.com] .

Is that a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808173)

Is that a jacuzzi in your lap or are you just happily computing?

Intel the Problem (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42807839)

I think the idea has some promise but a lot of problems in this current form.

Unfortunately ARM solves many of those hardware problems (apart from needing a flat surface), but then that would be that other unsuccessful product Windows launched recently...the one with RT in its name.

Re:Intel the Problem (1)

rioki (1328185) | about 2 years ago | (#42807879)

And THAT is totally what I don't get. Why did MS not release a full windows for ARM?! They would do themselves a favor. I can totally see a laptop/netbook with ARM for light office work and web surfing. Why does it have to be IA? Do they have a contract with Intel?

Re:Intel the Problem (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#42808009)

Because full Windows isn't meaningful if one can't run ancient old Windows programs --- this worked out so well for the Compaq TC1000.

Re:Intel the Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808095)

I think they also assumed developers would flock to their ARM Windows platform.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807409)

Wow. That review was terrible. It also does nothing to refute the facts that the battery life sucks, it overheats, and it's a shitty tablet and a shitty laptop together. Please astroturf elsewhere

Re:Instead of the FUD... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 2 years ago | (#42807697)

Wow. That review was terrible. It also does nothing to refute the facts that the battery life sucks, it overheats, and it's a shitty tablet and a shitty laptop together. Please astroturf elsewhere

While that may have been astroturfing, as always Anandtech produced the most informative, data-filled review of a tech product. No other source ever, ever, ever comes close to Anandtech. It's absurd that Slashdot would ever mention a hardware review and skip Anandtech.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (5, Informative)

heja2009 (1828186) | about 2 years ago | (#42807789)

Data-filled indeed. Pages of benchmark results, most of them for some obscure web benchmark (WebXPRT). The results show in so many ways that an i5 tablet is much faster than all those ARM tablets. I learned very little from that review that was not also covered in other less technical reviews. Basically Anandtech is throwing softballs at the companies that the site depends on to a large degree. I can understand that, but they do not exactly deserve praise for it. As for the Ars review, I found it excellent. The extensive coverage of the display scaling issues was the first time I ever read a comprehensive explanation of how this is handled in Windows. Very informative!

Re:Instead of the FUD... (2)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 2 years ago | (#42807713)

My big complaint with the review in the post is about how it fits in your lap.

In practice, the Surface RT and Surface Pro have a bigger footprint on my lap even than my old 15-inch MacBook Pro. And if I move a little, whomp, the screen drops off the back of my knees and folds out of sight.

It isn't a laptop and you aren't going to use it as a laptop. Sure, it has a keyboard, but if you're sitting on the couch with you feet up, you'd be using it in tablet mode. But, this is also why I don't think I'll have a laptop as my main "goof off" computer. I'm not going to post to Slashdot or Facebook or Twitter with a device that only has an on-screen keyboard (my phone has a physical keyboard for "heavier" text input). So, I'll likely still have some sort of laptop / dockable tablet so that I can input text. But I'm not going to use the Surface keyboard cover as my keyboard because it doesn't provide the laptop clamshell footprint --- which works quite well.

The rest of the complaints are fairly valid. The Surface Pro is interesting hardware, but I'm not sure they're using it the way it will really be used, so I question any usability points in the review.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (5, Insightful)

bfandreas (603438) | about 2 years ago | (#42807865)

The hardware is interesting. But...
-it's got the battery life of a laptop
-it weighs as much as an ultrabook
-it doesn't have a proper keyboard
-you can't balance it on your lap
-it's too heavy to hold in one hand
-it's got a full blown wasteful Windows installation that eats greatly into the available disk space
-has cooling vents

To me that reads: all the drawbacks of both a laptop and a tablet

It propably is an amazing piece of kit and I honestly want something like that more than my next breath. But I would have preferred if they had gone the way Asus went with the Transformer line. Detachable clamshell keyboard with an extra battery. No need for a sleeve. Does not tip over as easily. All the benefits of a laptop and a tablet. Should have been a winner. Maybe the next batch.
Also I'm not quite sure about the choice of CPU.

I love the convergence of tablet and laptop. That is a truly, truly great thing. But normal laptop innards conveniently rearranged will not quite cut it. We are currently moving away from the old Intel x86 architecture and into happy RISC land for a reason. My Transformer has replaced my notebook for all but heavy typing and dev work. For everything else I actually prefer the plucky little bugger and take only that with me on business trips. No worries.

Re: Instead of the FUD... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#42808237)

Well considering that Win 8 is a hybrid OS that requires a user to have a keyboard for certain tasks, complaints about the uncomfortable keyboard positions is valid.

+1 (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807413)

+1
The question is not whether it is perfect, the question is whether it is a good traihead; iPad looks like a good reader, film viewer and game console, but a dead-end for anyone who wants to write, program or get real work done. Surface looks like the beginnings of a usable Dynabook.

Re:+1 (2, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 2 years ago | (#42807673)

Oh give me a break, Dynabook? Is this Microsoft "marketing" in action? Yes Yes I know the term came somewhere else, but I am doing a jab. I happen to own a tablet (Android and iPad), smart phone (iPhone and Android), and computers (OSX and Linux). The reality of the matter is that the Surface Pro is NOT a device to get things done. It is not a device to program, unless you edit with a text editor, and don't want to compile and debug. I have gone through many of these iterations and the reality is that all of these devices are separate devices. The idea that Microsoft thinks you can create an all in one is just plain stupid.

I have bought more hardware than most and owned my first laptop in 1991. And the reality is that it is like NoSQL databases, where you can have two of three attributes, not all. So you can either have battery and power, but not lightweight ease of carry. Or you can have lightweight and battery, but not power. Only Microsoft would create a half arsed job to try and create something with all three. In fact if I had to critique Microsoft it is their lunatic attitude that you can create software that follows the 80/20 rule and still be cool.

Small screen, Needs Flat Surface (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42807807)

dead-end for anyone who wants to write, program or get real work done

I don't think anyone is getting their best work done, on a Surface...I'm not really sure why anyone would imply real work cannot be done on a Nexus.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (5, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 2 years ago | (#42807583)

How is, "shorter battery life", "vents", "to warm to hold", "unstable on a lap" FUD? Look if you don't like iPads fine, don't like iPads. But don't go slamming the review for telling the truth. Microsoft creating this abortion of a device to try to marry two technologies, which are separate technologies. We can argue that iPads are too expensive and have other short comings. But there are plenty of Android tablets that can fill the gap. Heck an Asus is much better than this Microsoft device.

Re:Instead of the FUD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808225)

Microsoft creating this abortion of a device to try to marry two technologies, which are separate technologies

Reminds me of this newfangled iphone thingy that was recently released, it's an abortion of an MP3 player, a GPS, a phone, and it uses a touchscreen? What the crap is this mutated form of tech? Everyone knows touchscreens don't work well enough!

Re:Instead of the FUD... (5, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | about 2 years ago | (#42807705)

TLDNR summary of Anandtech review:

As a tablet it, uh... has really good benchmark results... for a tablet. If you put up with all the heat, battery life and bulk issues it's awesome!

As a laptop it, uh... has really good benchmark results... for a tablet. If you put up with all the ergonomic problems and the crap touchpad, it's awesome!

It's a laptop... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807383)

...with a crappy keyboard and a touch screen.

Re:It's a laptop... (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#42807503)

No, it's a heavy, non-portable tablet with poor battery life and a requirement for virus checkers, rebooting after installation, frequent security updates, and a bizarre, unintuitive OS.

Re:It's a laptop... (5, Insightful)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#42807555)

And it's main selling point it the fact that it's two inferior devices in one.

Re:It's a laptop... (4, Funny)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#42807563)

My god, I just used "it's" instead of "its". Slashdot is indeed making me dumber, just as I had suspect.

Re:It's a laptop... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807687)

You're even dumber than you suspected. You correctly used "it's" in your original post, though you managed to misspell "is."

Re:It's a laptop... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42807709)

My god, I just used "it's" instead of "its". Slashdot is indeed making me dumber, just as I had suspect.

Suspected.

Re:It's a laptop... (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42807693)

And it's main selling point it the fact that it's two inferior devices in one.

No, it's main selling point is that it isn't made by Apple. At this stage, I'd buy a fucking Etch-a-Sketch [*] instead of an iPad.

[*] RIP Andre Cassagnes.

What Market share? (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42807963)

No, it's main selling point is that it isn't made by Apple.

Except Apples market share of the tablet market is already down to 43% its not like there are not better value than Apples re-badged foxconn range.

Re:It's a laptop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807627)

Yep I'm with you. I don't understand quite how M$ could make such a bizarre nich (useless) product.
I think it comes off the fact that microsoft is reactionary, not pro-active. and this beast is the result.

Re:It's a laptop... (2, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 years ago | (#42807643)

But what's a tablet, besides a giant cell phone that doesn't make calls,is much too large to fit in a pocket, and with terrible battery life, or a tiny, unwieldy, badly crippled laptop?

Re:It's a laptop... (3, Funny)

genik76 (1193359) | about 2 years ago | (#42807917)

You can twist anything to be undesirable by asking questions like that. What's a car, besides a horse needing gasoline and which can't be eaten after it dies of old age? What's a hoover, besides a brush needing electricity? What's a house, besides a tent which cannot be moved as necessary?

I believe in Microsoft (1, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#42807405)

Microsoft invented the computer and the window and the Internet explorer and without Microsoft (and maybe apple if you are into artsy shit or whatever) we would have none of that so why do you people always complain about it? I think you should be greatful to Bill Gats, for his ultimate wisdom in compurtores and his glorious campaign to smash the teachers unions and replace teachers with fast food service associates, because Bill Gats cares about our children and our future like no other man on earth, he is the greatest, the messiah! Fuck Steve Jops!!!!!!

You do know things did exist before MS. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807497)

The computer has existed since around 1941 or so, and the concept has existed since around 1850..

And windows were created by Xerox... copied by Apple, and then MS got a license from Apple..

IE was created by the "partner" company named Spyglass - that was put out of business by MS refusing to pay for the IE development...

Of course, you could just be sarcastic and I missed it...

Re:You do know things did exist before MS. (-1, Flamebait)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42807675)

Of course, you could just be sarcastic and I missed it...

No shit, Sherlock.

Re:You do know things did exist before MS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808209)

Communication is 90% body language and tone. Determining the difference between a stupid person and a sarcastic person using only 10% of communication isn't dead bang easy.

Same turd... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807421)

...different glitter

Waiting until Haswell and beyond (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807447)

This has potential to rid me of having a separate computer and tablet. The current Pro seems like it will work as a development platform for future applications; the consumers will start buying it more once it gets thinner and lighter.

Re:Waiting until Haswell and beyond (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807609)

the consumers will start buying it more once it gets thinner and lighter.

+5 funny.

Re:Waiting until Haswell and beyond (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807721)

Well, by all means, they should put it on a diet then.

Can I just ask (4, Insightful)

theRunicBard (2662581) | about 2 years ago | (#42807449)

Why not buy a laptop? They weigh 5 lbs... that's light. They're usable. They run all the software desktops run because they're the same thing. Battery life can reach 6-10 hours depending on OS and model. They come with a USB port (Nexus 7 complaint).

Re:Can I just ask (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#42807573)

I can think of 3 reasons why not:
1. OMG, shiny!
2. Apple did it, so it must be awesome!
3. All those executives bought them, and they can't all be wrong, right?

Now, of course, none of those are good reasons, but this is all about marketing, and marketing doesn't aim for good reasons.

Re:Can I just ask (5, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | about 2 years ago | (#42807629)

Why not buy a laptop?

Indeed - especially with all those nice ultrabooks around that are barely bigger, heavier or more expensive than this.

This device does not exist because there is a need or demand for a tablet-laptop halfbreed. It exists because Microsoft's only hope of breaking into the tablet market is to convince people that they need a tablet that can run legacy Windows apps. That's the only USP that Microsoft can offer, arriving this late to the party.

Yet all the evidence from the success of the iPad and the failure of WIndows Tablet Edition points to the contrary: a tablet has less functionality than a laptop by design and what people need is software that has been designed from the ground up for touchscreen use.

Of course, Microsoft has a lot of marketing clout and are big enough to survive a few false starts, so I wouldn't count them out just yet. If they were like any other company they'd have been bankrupted by Vista and the Office Ribbon.

Re:Can I just ask (4, Funny)

thoth (7907) | about 2 years ago | (#42807871)

demand for a tablet-laptop halfbreed

Aha! What would make these things sell is a better name for them: the tabtop? Or the laplet?? ;)

Re:Can I just ask (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808177)

The Craigslist sellers have already created that name. Labtop. Just look at 90% of the listings in the Computers section.

Re:Can I just ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808233)

Tabletop.

Laptop==no stylus==no thanks (was Re:Can I just..) (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#42807679)

Because I'm currently using a Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121 running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and need to keep my Wacom stylus --- I use it for:

  - annotating .pdfs
  - drawing and sketching using ArtRage, Autodesk SketchBook, FutureWave SmartSketch, Creaturehouse Expression and Macromedia FreeHand
  - designing fonts using FontForge
  - lightweight programming using Runtime Revolution (I find drawing interface elements easier w/ the stylus)
  - writing papers using LyX and WinTeXshell which are then typeset using LaTeX (I prefer to write rather than type)
  - notetaking w/ handwriting recognition using Evernote

If the Surface Pro had longer battery life or a replaceable battery, I'd get one. If it's possible to run Mac OS X on it, I'd be tempted, until then, I guess I'm back to pricing a larger SSD for my current machine.

Re:Laptop==no stylus==no thanks (was Re:Can I just (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42807925)

Because I'm currently using a Fujitsu Stylistic ST-4121 running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and need to keep my Wacom stylus

That's OK, you have an upgrade path to the extremely reasonably priced when refurbished Fujitsu Lifebook T900. ~900 for Core i7, 4GB RAM, Win7, and combo 8-way multitouch and wacom pen. After much hemming and hawing that's what I selected as my lady's next (now current) laptop and while it's a little chunky and heavy for a laptop, it's a fantastic machine for art, and it has a replaceable battery. This would be a much better move for you than Surface, because it's much less of a ripoff and you won't be forced into such a shitty OS.

Re:Laptop==no stylus==no thanks (was Re:Can I just (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about 2 years ago | (#42808221)

I don't want chunky and heavy --- I see no reason to haul around a keyboard and optical drive I almost never use (I have docking stations for when I want to use it at a desk at work or home) and it wouldn't fit in my favourite laptop bag which I've been using for about 2 decades now, and don't want to replace.

Re:Can I just ask (1)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#42807745)

Given the price, and that it only has an i5 and 4GB of ram, one can get a better laptop for the same money. Unless a case can be made for a touchscreen, it seems to be a questionable purchase

One this that I like in a table is all day, meaning 7-10 hours, of battery life for light use, and a small charger, meaning USB, so I don't have all that extra bulk to carry around.

I have seen tables used as point of sale in shops. It could be that the surface would work there.

Re:Can I just ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807907)

My table works without charger!!

Re:Can I just ask (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#42807799)

My Nexus 7 has a USB port. It is micro-USB, but adaptors are not exactly new.

Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (4, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42807501)

If Google comes out with a phone or tablet it's simply fostering adoption and providing some reference for other hardware makers, if Micro$oft does it they're "declaring war" on their hardware partners. Utter stupidity.

Also, why would anyone think the Surface Pro was supposed to run on battery all day...? Clearly this is a workstation/tablet hybrid that leans farther to the tablet side.

In the longer run Intel will have move entirely into this market, and you'll find that people no longer have PCs at the office, they've got 'surface pro 3' with full blown M$ Office on it - and by that time it will run 10 hours on a charge.

Personally I thought this was going to happen sooner via systems like the Atrix phone and dock - they tried this at SIEMENS a few years back but Android was really the blocking issue, not the hardware. I love my Android phone, but as a full blown operating system it's got a long way to go.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (3, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 2 years ago | (#42807561)

There's a key difference: Google devices are built by partners, though they are marketed (badly) by Google. Surface devices are built directly by MS.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (2)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42807655)

I think that's a case of semantics ;).

The Google 'partner' that builds the phone isn't making a profit anymore than the actual manufacturer making the RT and Pro, plus they aren't 'marketed badly' by Google - that's is not their purpose. Neither is it the purpose of the Surface RT or Surface Pro.

It's like complaining back when nVidia and ATI made cards that they were poisoning their hardware partners when nothing could be further from the truth (they no longer need to do this because of the ubiquity of their chipsets.)

Micro$oft is simply putting out a reference design to generate initiative.

I tell you, I'd love to find a way to dual boot the thing and get OpenSUSE on it - otherwise it's a 1080p touchscreen laptop (which is moderately cool.)

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#42808127)

The Google 'partner' that builds the phone isn't making a profit anymore than the actual manufacturer making the RT and Pro

I should hope they are, otherwise they're going to go out of business.

They may not be making all of the profits, but if they're doing manufacturing without making any profit, they'd be idiots.

But Microsoft has typically let their partners design the boxes to run Windows, with this Microsoft is entering actually designing and selling Microsoft branded hardware. Except for keyboards and Mice, they've never actually had their brand on the hardware for the most part.

'Declaring war' might be a little strong, but Microsoft is definitely moving into competing with their former partners.

Part of their reasoning for this is that they want to compete with Apple and get the money on the hardware too, but part of it might be that the manufacturers weren't lining up to create new devices around a platform they don't know if anybody wants -- so why should they take the risks ?

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42808185)

It's why I said "any more". Neither group is getting the types of profits that would expected from a direct retail offering of their own.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (2)

garcia (6573) | about 2 years ago | (#42807653)

If Google comes out with a phone or tablet it's simply fostering adoption and providing some reference for other hardware makers, if Micro$oft does it they're "declaring war" on their hardware partners. Utter stupidity.

While you may be correct, in this case because of Microsoft's nearly 40 year history as not really being a computer hardware vendor (not talking about mice here), they are telling those they partnered with for decades that their products are inferior and Microsoft can do it better.

Google hasn't been around long enough to create that sort of legacy and has both partnered with and created their own hardware along the way.

I just don't see this as an apples to apples comparison for you to make. But hey, your opinion is as good as anyone's.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42807797)

But hey, your opinion is as good as anyone's.

A man's reach should exceed his grasp... ;)

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (0)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#42807737)

Why defend crap?

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (2)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42807919)

"First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist..."

Plus, what exactly are you referring to as crap?

The hardware's not crap - although it doesn't serve my needs.

The OS isn't crap - although I primarily use *nix.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (4, Informative)

llZENll (545605) | about 2 years ago | (#42807759)

I agree and the summary is very negatively biased. I clicked through to the BGR article expecting to find a scathing summary, when in fact it was quite the opposite.

"On an island, the Surface Pro is a fantastic premium computer that is portable, versatile and capable. It is priced fairly and it offers novel features that provide clear advantages over rival devices. But in a market where interest in personal computers is declining and Windows 8 is struggling to gain traction, I fear the Surface Pro might not be the right product right now.

The Surface Pro is not good fit for everyone, but those who do purchase Microsoft’s new tablet for work or for personal use — whether they number in the thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions — will not be disappointed."

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (5, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 years ago | (#42807793)

and you'll find that people no longer have PCs at the office, they've got 'surface pro 3' with full blown M$ Office on it - and by that time it will run 10 hours on a charge.

From what I've seen, I'm sure some technology execs are smoking the same thing you are. However, I see no point in the future where a tablet is going to replace my workstation. I can see myself having a tablet to augment my workstation (e.g. having manuals on a tablet instead of on paper), but the actual work is always going to be done on a proper computer.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42808047)

What exactly do you consider a proper computer?
What do you mean by actual work?

I have a dual hex core (24 hardware threads) 26GB dev box in my office, a new Mac Mini, and a Dell Touch screen all-in-one - I develop on all of them.

The majority of people at a company (that isn't an ISV) don't need anything more powerful than an iPad to do everything they've got to do.

The Surface Pro is going to give them an iPad-ish form factor except it will run Windows 7/8 software that already exists - That's a pretty huge win for IT departments, especially given that they can provision the devices with group policies/AD.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808219)

Paying 2-3 times as much for running legacy software that won't have any advantages from "iPad-ish form factor"?..

Yeah, real value proposition.

If you need to do actual office work, cheap laptops will be better, if you need to do actual warehouse work, Androids in rugged cases (or old trusty WinCE PDAs) would be better, and if you need something for your representatives to show off, iPads will be better.

The only somewhat plausible use-case is that artist guy here in the comments.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808135)

I live off a laptop when I'm in the office normally using it docked and often as nothing more than a portal to other remote PCs. When I'm elsewhere I'll do anything I can via a Nexus tablet.

If I could buy a tablet form factor device that could be used in the same manner as my laptop I could easily see me moving to that model. One less device and more consistency between my desk and mobile enviroment. Is the surface pro that device? I doubt it but I think dismissing the entire market before it really has had a chance to exist is a little premature (much like someone dismissing the tablet market a year before the first iPad was released).

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808287)

However, I see no point in the future where a tablet is going to replace my workstation.

It won't replace a workstation, it will replace a desktop. If you are doing any computationally significant work, you will still have a box plugged into a wall. However, there are a lot of jobs where the only tech requirement is email, spreadsheets, and a color display. Having a sufficient computer that is more acessible than a laptop will win in those jobs.

Do keep in mind that as technology advances, the line of "computationally significant" will drift. 14 years ago, you couldn't buy something half as powerful as this tablet without looking at rack-mounted server bundles.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#42807857)

If it indeed runs too hot to hold in hand, then no, there is no hyperbole.

Yeah, the imaginary tablet in your mind will perhaps be much better, if and when it exists, but Surface Pro, the product in actual existence, the product this submission is about, is a heavy, overheating piece of shit.

TL;DR No hyperbole, Surface pro is crap.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about 2 years ago | (#42808067)

If it indeed runs too hot to hold in hand, then no, there is no hyperbole.

I haven't seen a review that says anything bad about heat, I've read and heard that if you lay it down on a blanket it can get hot.

Hell, I have a Macbook Air that gets lava hot if you do any OpenGL work on it.

BTW, the hyperbole was in reference to the "declaring war" sentiment.

Re:Ridiculous hyperbole... FFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808255)

In the longer run Intel will have move entirely into this market, and you'll find that people no longer have PCs at the office, they've got 'surface pro 3' with full blown M$ Office on it - and by that time it will run 10 hours on a charge.

But this is slashdot, we must ignore the fact that it's a first-gen device and a unique one at that. There couldn't possibly be another, better, iteration later.

MS is trying to invent a hardware category (5, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 2 years ago | (#42807513)

The issue with the surface is, it isn't a tablet and it isn't a laptop. For the price of it, you can get an awesome ultrabook. You can also get a comparable tablet for a lot less.

I think people want a tablet that they can use a keyboard on, but I don't think that this is it. MS has tried for over a decade to convince us it's was of doing a tablet is the right way - and it has been a failure.

I haven't seen any enterprises adopting them, so I am unsure where they actually plan to sell them

I don't think the surface is a "bad idea" it is just terribly executed.

Re:MS is trying to invent a hardware category (5, Interesting)

nojayuk (567177) | about 2 years ago | (#42807585)

"For the price of it, you can get an awesome ultrabook."

Which ultrabooks have a 600dpi pressure/angle/tilt sensitive stylus on a 1920x1080 screen?

"You can also get a comparable tablet for a lot less."

A tablet with an Intel i5 CPU, HD4000 GPU and 4GB of RAM for less money, even without the digitiser? Pray, do enlighten us.

Wacom charge a thousand bucks for their lower-resolution Cintiq 12WX screen-based digitiser tablet and that's without any computer behind it, just an input/display device. That's what's tempting me to splash out on a Pro when it is released although I may have to get a grey-market unit since there's no firm date for it going on sale here in the UK.

Re:MS is trying to invent a hardware category (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#42807897)

Wacom charge a thousand bucks for their lower-resolution Cintiq 12WX screen-based digitiser tablet and that's without any computer behind it, just an input/display device.

For $900 you can get a refurb'd Fujitsu Lifebook T900 with 4GB RAM, Windows 7, and a 13" combo digitizer (mediocre resolution, I admit) with a combo wacom with 8-way multitouch and pen/whatever, with the pen stored in the unit. It's only slightly more ugly than a cintiq and it's a convertible tablet. Oh, did I mention for that price you get an i7? Cintiq is the worst ripoff ever.

Re:MS is trying to invent a hardware category (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about 2 years ago | (#42808277)

The T900 has a 1280x800 screen and weighs 2.4kg whereas the Surface Pro is 1920x1080 and weighs under a kilo. The pics I've seen in reviews suggest the T900's pen is wired to the base unit but it's not too clear -- the Pro's pen is of course wireless.

I'd really be interested to find out if the Pro will work with the extended range of art pens Cintiq have on offer.

Better Devices for a Sixth of the Price (1, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42807909)

A tablet with an Intel i5 CPU, HD4000 GPU and 4GB of RAM for less money, even without the digitiser? Pray, do enlighten us.

Absolutely the quieter, cooler, more portable, with an efficient CPU Nexus 7 for a sixth of the price.

Re:Better Devices for a Sixth of the Price (0, Troll)

nojayuk (567177) | about 2 years ago | (#42808069)

How does the Nexus perform running PhotoShop? What's its multitasking capabilties like? Does it support USB 3.0? Storage expansion options? Etc. Etc.

In other words the Nexus 7 is a lot less capable for a lot less money, like a Schwinn bicycle is a lot cheaper than a pickup truck. Good luck running your construction business on the Schwinn.

Even Better. (1, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42808251)

How does the Nexus perform running PhotoShop? What's its multitasking capabilties like? Does it support USB 3.0? Storage expansion options? Etc. Etc.

It multi-tasks great, In fact far better than the crippled Metro interface. In fact I have a large variety of photo editing programs suitable for quick editing on the move. I do design work on the 23" screen Desktop. With which I have networked to my Nexus, Which has available about 30GB and 100GB in the cloud,...again for about a sixth of the price, and has longer lasting battery, more portable, and has more mobile applications available for it, with a consistent popular (soon to be the most popular) OS.

Re:Better Devices for a Sixth of the Price (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#42808161)

if you go that way hell, why not six tablets from shenzen! they're almost the same thing as nexus 7!
just face it, nexus 7 isn't going to cut it.

surfaces biggest problem is marketing.. they should be marketing it to graphics folks who want that digitizer and full photoshop. not to moms&pops and shoving metro on their face.

Re:Better Devices for a Sixth of the Price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42808191)

Absolutely the quieter, cooler, more portable, with an efficient CPU Nexus 7 for a sixth of the price.

You're either answering questions that weren't asked intentionally or because you're too ignorant to notice; neither of which make you look good.

I've got a Nexus 7, in fact I'm implementing software on them across a division of my firm, but that doesn't make it the same as a fully functional and resourced PC in a tablet form factor (and some of the differences are actually pluses for the Nexus).

Re:MS is trying to invent a hardware category (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 2 years ago | (#42807999)

The price point actually is quite good. The form factor is a bit unfortunate.

Asus has shown how you would do a proper hybrid tablet/notebook solution. Mechanically they have nailed the ideal(to me) form factor with the Transformer tablet line. If they actually built something like that with specs similar to this MS thing then I would pay more than a thousand bucks for it.

I'm currently sitting in front of an i7 notebook with 8gigs of RAM. Imagining I could simply detach the screen while leaving the keyboard in the docking station makes me nursing a semi.

In the olden days I used to run around with a clipboard and a pocket protector. Nowadays I'm running around with a tablet. Brushed aluminium. Same weight. I get beaten up a lot less now.

Re:MS is trying to invent a hardware category (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#42807803)

Well the reviews have the kickstand as an ergonomic failure. It's a novel design but functionally, other convertible designs seem to do the job better - e.g. Asus Transformer, Dell Inspiron Duo, HP envy x2.

Human factors is for wussies, says Microsoft (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#42807543)

You'll take the crap we're shoving down your throat and you vill like it!

Compromise (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807549)

I can't help thinking Microsoft still doesn't really get design. They talked a lot ahead of the launch of this device about the fact that their goal was a design without compromise - see this for example http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/08/31/designing-for-metro-style-and-the-desktop.aspx

But what the mean by no compromise is entirely different from what Apple means by no compromise. Apple designed the iPad to be the a compromise-free tablet - the best *tablet* they could come up with. And it was, and is a brilliant tablet. What it isn't is a laptop. Microsoft's idea of no compromise is a device that can be both a laptop and a tablet. What you end up with is an entirely compromised product - too heavy and power hungry to be any use as a tablet, it is also impossible to use on your lap making it an entirely rubbish laptop.

Every review I've seen says the same thing:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324900204578285963270503862.html?mod=djemptech_t
"It’s too hefty and costly and power-hungry to best the leading tablet, Apple’s full-size iPad. It is also too difficult to use in your lap."

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/05/microsoft-surface-pro-review/
"When trying to be productive, we wished we had a proper laptop and, when relaxing on the couch, we wished we had a more finger-friendly desktop interface"

http://techland.time.com/2013/02/05/review-microsoft-surface-pro-the-surface-thats-more-pc-than-tablet/
"It’s bulkier than Surface RT because its components require more interior space. Microsoft’s stated battery life is five hours, compared to eight for Surface RT. Even the AC adapter is portlier."

Poor Mobile Strategy (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#42807735)

I can't help thinking Microsoft still doesn't really get design.

Nothing to do with compromise. Its unashamedly, about using their Desktop [and Office] monopoly, to muscle there way onto mobile [smartphone and tablet] after failing have a compelling product to gain relevance in the new sector, by pretending they are an ecosystem(sic).

It hardly takes a genius to see that the a separation of both Tablet and Desktop for in both hardware and software, rather than some hybrid affair would be an improvement...but its not going to win against Android, or ironically ChromeOS.

Too expensive.... (4, Interesting)

cptdondo (59460) | about 2 years ago | (#42807591)

$1,100???? My daughter just got a Lenovo, about 3 lbs, 15" screen, delivered for $350. Why would I want to spend 3x the money for a smaller screen and a worse keyboard?

I can equip most of my family with nice laptops for the price of one Surface. :headscratch:

Re:Too expensive.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807659)

Because screen size and a keyboard aren't the only things in a laptop, other consumers with more needs would buy a better laptop, hybrid, or tablet.

Re:Too expensive.... (0)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 2 years ago | (#42808107)

The Lenovo screen is probably borderline crap, so it's specs aren't really better, though I'll agree that it's a better value unless you are rich

My most common position? (0)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#42807601)

If you're sitting on a couch with your feet on a table, you're not doing any serious work, so why wouldn't you just use an iPad anyway while you're fapping to furry porn?

Just because it's called a laptop doesn't mean it's best to use it on your lap.

Re:My most common position? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42807755)

If you're sitting on a couch with your feet on a table, you're not doing any serious work,

Because there is a mandated sitting position for serious work?

Re:My most common position? (1)

Wovel (964431) | about 2 years ago | (#42807855)

Why wouldn't you be doing serious work? More real work is done in that position than hunched over a desk.

In either case your right. Despite outdated notions here on slashdot. The iPad is better choice for all tablet use cases and most laptop use cases than the surface pro.

Re:My most common position? (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 2 years ago | (#42808025)

If you're sitting on a couch with your feet on a table, you're not doing any serious work, so why wouldn't you just use an iPad anyway while you're fapping to furry porn?

Just because it's called a laptop doesn't mean it's best to use it on your lap.

You can't watch furry porn on an iPad. No Flash, you see? Also this thing is to heavy to be used with one hand. So you might have to hire some help while you hold that thing with both hands.
MS obviously has designed this thing for heavily mutated deviants. Has Flash, but you will need three hands.

Re:My most common position? (1)

js3 (319268) | about 2 years ago | (#42808055)

If you're sitting on a couch with your feet on a table, you're not doing any serious work, so why wouldn't you just use an iPad anyway while you're fapping to furry porn?

Just because it's called a laptop doesn't mean it's best to use it on your lap.

For other people like us it's not a common position. Most of my time is spent sitting at a desk or table with my laptop, a few times I've been seen with the said laptop on my lap on the couch. I want a device like this because it's a laptop that I can work on the majority of the time and still use it to moonlight as an tablet.

If you want a tablet just buy a tablet.

Footprint (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#42807727)

I would have thought the issues with perching the Surface were obvious from the moment photos of it appeared that showed how the stand worked. It might be fine on a desk but it would be a nuisance perched on the lap, or a small lecture hall table, or a clipback tray, or sitting in bed etc. Eventually Asus transformer devices will appear for Windows 8 Pro and I think at that point people can enjoy the best of both worlds - providing the keyboard dock counteracts the weight of tablet bit and doesn't tip over.

And so... (2)

rimcrazy (146022) | about 2 years ago | (#42807765)

It's a shitty laptop and a shitty tablet. Oh and 41-43Gb of OS gobbling up your SSD is simply a frigging joke.

Nothing new here..... move along.

should have more ram or at least at upgrade choice (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#42807833)

should have more ram or at least at upgrade choice.

4GB is small now days.

The Egg and the Candlestick (1, Troll)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about 2 years ago | (#42807849)

Ballmer's Microsoft sat on a wall, Ballmer's Microsoft had a great fall. And all the Company's Fanbois and all the Company's Money, couldn't put Ballmer's Microsoft back together again. Linux be nimble, Linux be quick. Linux jumped over Microsoft's Candlestick.

Don't get it (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#42807921)

My 2009 N900 had more disk space and (replaceable) battery life. How is this the pinnacle of the computing evolution? Could you use it today as main computer with 23-89gb of usable disk space? Did we hit Moore's law limit and bounced back?

Wacom tablet built in. Sort of. (2)

dlingman (1757250) | about 2 years ago | (#42808279)

Given that the lowest end (12WX) cintiq is around $900, and this seems to have much of the functionality of that, without the need to lug a laptop or desktop around as well, this suddenly becomes more interesting. I'd like to see more info about it's usability in that respect.

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