Microsoft Surface: $199 (?)

Hanson

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I actually recommended the Surface Pro 2 to my cousin this weekend. He does CAD design work and wanted something with a stylus. While the Note 10.1 was okay, the Surface Pro 2 had the big advantage of replacing his Windows laptop, Macbook, and iPad combo when traveling. The only hitch was the cost -- $1299 for the 8GB RAM model plus a keyboard was a little daunting. But it was the best solution for all of his other needs.
 

Hanson

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It's almost a good deal. It still too heavy for a tablet and too small for a notebook (plus it doesn't appear to include a keyboard, so that's going to tack on another $100-$150 to the package).

Tempting, though.
 

DaveF

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Does it include the stylus needed for use as art tablet / Cintiq-type device? Still expensive, but might appeal to my niece's parents.
 

Hanson

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The bottom line is, productivity goes up as the screen size increases. So this 8" Surface tablet will be a combo of shitty tablet and shitty productivity tool.

Seriously, just stop already. Surface sucks balls and cannot be salvaged. I'm assuming this is the last gasp of the old regime at MS.
 

Sam Posten

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Well, what else they got? Mobile is clearly the future and they have made it their quest to make one OS that runs everywhere, saying that Mobile only OS are passe.. What direction would you have them take.

Also, please insert the words 'rumored' in my post above. Seems like a genuine leak but you never know, they could be just release Surface Socks next week. =)
 

Hanson

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As I understood it, the new MS is all about software and services and letting go of the hardware stuff (the timing of the Nokia purchase is just another Steve Ballmer disaster). Hence Office finally being released for all platforms. The Nokia camera guru jumped ship for Apple. Does that tell you anything? Reminds me of when Duarte left WebOS for Android.
 

Sam Posten

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No Mini Surface BTW. Lots of handwringing on why that happened but it was probably a smart move. The new Surface Pro is.... well....
If your question for somebody in 2001 was “What will the future of computing look like,” they’d probably give you an answer that would sound very much like the Surface Pro 3.
That’s both good and bad. It’s good because the Surface Pro 3 is indeed a futuristic machine, a marvel of engineering that combines tons of crazy features into a thin and light package. It’s bad because, well, in 2001 we had almost no way of knowing that in 2014 the whole idea of what a computer is and does would be changing so rapidly.
http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/23/5743416/microsoft-surface-pro-3-review
 

Hanson

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So... the 1.76lb SP3 at 9mm thick is "thin and light", but the 1.66lb, 7.8mm thick Galaxy Note Pro is "huge and heavy".

Thanks for the objective reporting, The Verge!
 

Sam Posten

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Penny Arcade remains the only one I know jazzed about Surface:
The new kickstand is exactly what I’ve been craving. The ability to drop the device all the way down into a drafting board profile.....The larger screen is fantastic. Not only is the resolution sick but the extra room makes desktop programs like Photoshop easier to manage. It also has a new 3:2 aspect ratio rather than the old 16:9 that the Pro 2 had. All together it makes the Surface 3 feel a lot less cramped when drawing.
But...
The new type keyboard has this cool ability to sort of fold up and snap into place along the lower edge of the device. This makes it feel very sturdy when using it in your lap but had a strange side effect. This new position covers up the location of the Windows button and so MS decided to move that button to the right hand side of the Surface Pro 3. No big deal right? Except that as a right handed drawer this is the exact spot my hand goes when drawing and navigating menus. ... Disabling the home button in the device manager works and solves the problem to some degree. The issue is that while it no longer bumps me out to the desktop is still gives its little haptic buzz each time I brush it with my hand.The other problem is performance. The Surface Pro 3 I was given has the i5 processor in it and is essentially the same guts as my old Surface Pro 2. The thing is, now those same guts are driving a larger 12” screen with a stunning 2160X1440 resolution. Honestly if it didn’t feel slower I’d be surprised. There’s noticible cursor lag and stuttering when navigating files in PS and Manga Studio. When moving my pen over to make a menu selection I can see the cursor lagging behindThey have also removed the “high performance” power option from the Surface Pro 3. It used to be that you could essentially tell the Surface “fuck my battery I want you to kick ass” and that’s no longer an option. Apparently this has something to do with the new quick wakeup abilities. Would that fix my performance issues? I honestly can’t tell you because there is no way to activate it anymore.So my honest opinion right now is that I’m frustrated with the device. It’s so close to being perfect that the problems it has feel especially maddening. If it just performed a little better! If they just hadn’t put that button right there! Grrrr.
 

mattCR

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They are wrong on most counts with the assessment on penny arcade. It's not the same processor. The i5-4300u is 300mhz faster clock, 100mhz faster gpu, offers new graphic shaders and a new memory management model. Everyone is free to an opinion but that is just factually wrong. The bump on the i7 option is greater. The thing that not enough are talking about is the big change in pen technology which is fantastic.
 

DaveF

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mattCR said:
They are wrong on most counts with the assessment on penny arcade. It's not the same processor. The i5-4300u is 300mhz faster clock, 100mhz faster gpu, offers new graphic shaders and a new memory management model. Everyone is free to an opinion but that is just factually wrong. The bump on the i7 option is greater.

The thing that not enough are talking about is the big change in pen technology which is fantastic.
That minor speed bump appears insufficient to drive its graphics at full res, according to PA:
The other problem is performance. ... with a stunning 2160X1440 resolution. ... There’s noticible cursor lag and stuttering when navigating files in PS and Manga Studio. When moving my pen over to make a menu selection I can see the cursor lagging behind
I mentioned in another thread, I've got a high-school niece who's doing (remarkable) drawings on a Nintendo DS! (I'm not sure if she still uses the Wacom tablet or if that went with her sister to college.) The Surface seems possibly perfect for her. Unfortunately, I think it's far too expensive to seriously recommend to her parents.
 

mattCR

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See, though, I'm wondering how they come to the conclusion it isn't capable of driving that resolution. I've seen no problem driving video, upscaled or otherwise, and I don't have problem with webpages/etc.
If you goal is to game, then yes, the processor and video card in it will not run say, Bioshock Infinite worth a damn.. but I haven't run into any app that kills me.. Photoshop gets the Intel native bump and runs solidly.
Magna Studio is an odd duck. I'm running an I7-4770K + 290 AMD Graphics (the two together would be more than a Surface Pro) and depending on what options I would try in Magna Studio I can slow it to a crawl.
Since PA gives me no idea what options they have turned on, using it as a benchmark is pretty foolish considering I don't think that is a target audience.. it'd be like me saying: Solidworks runs like crap on a Surface Pro.. probably true, considering when you lose TrueView it CPU calculates and you're probably walking off for long periods of time while it renders.

Those comparisons just aren't valid.. Apple and others avoid this by making sure those kind of applications don't/can't run on iPad or an Android platform..

JMHO
 

DaveF

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Fair enough. I'm unfamiliar with their art tools, and assumed it was laptop friendly. But they using the Solidworks of illustration, that might be misleading to the lay reader.
 

Sam Posten

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Seemed pretty clear to me they were running a vanilla Surface as provided by Microsoft with OOB settings and it lagged in his apps. He says himself it might be fixable in a patch and he was able to work through it...

Either way I don't see anyone else giving it even the faint praise PA is, and the general consensus remains that they are overpriced for what you get but are passable as a laptop replacement (the kickstand being the marquee improvement) but still remain a mediocre tablet.

If you find more positive reviews of the Surface please post em, I haven't seen any raves. I remain intrigued but not enough to drop a grand to try one myself for longer than what I can play with at the MS store.
 

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