Microsoft Surface

And "magical."

While not a Surface, I find it interesting that it is kicking a "revolution" of laptop-level power in tablets. I just got an email about the Razer Edge Pro. Not to schill for them but it is designed to be gaming tablet/laptop. Of course it is $1300 which is very expensive to me, but it has some impressive specs:

Processor

Intel Core i7 Dual core w/ Hyper Threading Base 1.9GHz / Turbo 3.0GHz

Memory

8GB DDR3 (2x4GB 1600MHz)

Video

Intel HD4000 (DX11)
NVIDIA GT 640M LE (2GB DDR3, Optimus Technology)

Display

10.1” (IPS, 1366x768)
10-point capacitive touch

Operating System

Windows 8

Storage

128/256GB SSD (SATA-III)#

Network

Intel WLAN (802.11b/g/n + BT4)

Others

Stereo speakers
Codec supports 7.1 (via HDMI)
HD Webcam (front-facing, 2MP)
Array microphones
Dolby Home Theater v4
USB 3.0 x1 (green, SuperSpeed)
Audio jack (3.5mm, 4-pole, stereo out / mic in)

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

And "magical." :)

iUnicorn, now with Retina rainbows out the wazoo. The scatological fidelity is amazing.

Anyways, picked the Surface (we'll see if it materializes, haven't heard back, but source is reputable dev).

Despite Jobs' assertations, I've always wanted a stylus. Oh, and a higher dpi display. And, honestly, I think I've been converted to touch displays. I've caught myself more than once reaching for the screen on my laptop. My MacPro retina is amazing, although some Windows apps doesn't play so nicely with 200% dpi (Mac cheats, uses pixel doubling so only 1440x900 is addressable, to make it easier for programs to play nice, glaring at you Adobe).

I guess somewhere along the way I became something of a Microsoft fanboy? How the hell did that happen?

Pirate Bob wrote:

I guess somewhere along the way I became something of a Microsoft fanboy? How the hell did that happen?

Heh. My wife and I were talking about that the other night. I used to be a really bullish Apple supporter, and now I'm a big Microsoft fan. I don't know how it happened, but it's funny.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Heh. My wife and I were talking about that the other night. I used to be a really bullish Apple supporter, and now I'm a big Microsoft fan. I don't know how it happened, but it's funny.

I'm a partial member of the camp as well. I work for MS, though, so I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that the Kool-Aid is working...But I'm a creator first and foremost, and have always been an Apple user for my music stuff. They have so thoroughly unimpressed me (and occasionally pissed me off) these past 2 or 3 years, though, that I'm seriously considering switching everything over to Windows. That will be a big leap for me, because I have so many songs written in Logic Pro that would not be converted to a Windows format...

But honestly, when pondering my next hardware purchase, there isn't a thing in the Apple lineup that appeals to me...But a super kickass all-in-one touchscreen Win8 machine seems pretty tasty...

Nevin73 wrote:

While not a Surface, I find it interesting that it is kicking a "revolution" of laptop-level power in tablets. I just got an email about the Razer Edge Pro. Not to schill for them but it is designed to be gaming tablet/laptop.

I think the market for device convergence is huge.

IMAGE(http://www.rad-dudes.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/gadget_array.jpg)

I mean, all this is now in your phone in your pocket. It's getting there were mid-range-ish gaming is now portable? That stuff excites me. Just give me something I can dock into wherever and do whatever - wonderful.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Pirate Bob wrote:

I guess somewhere along the way I became something of a Microsoft fanboy? How the hell did that happen?

Heh. My wife and I were talking about that the other night. I used to be a really bullish Apple supporter, and now I'm a big Microsoft fan. I don't know how it happened, but it's funny.

I wonder if it's something like rooting for the underdog? Apple used to be it but now, now they're massive. Not that Microsoft always makes it easy to root for them...

New firmware update and a bunch of other app + Office updates are available today for anyone interested.

Looks like Feb 9 for the Pro
http://blogs.computerworld.com/table...

but

IMAGE(http://blogs.computerworld.com/sites/computerworld.com/files/u23/surface-pro-release_date.jpg)

groan wrote:

Looks like Feb 9 for the Pro
http://blogs.computerworld.com/table...

but

I'm shopping for ultrabooks with high res screens. That's not an unexpected price if you consider the hardware.

That said, that higher res touch screen devices will drop in price pretty quickly this year I bet.

groan wrote:

IMAGE(http://blogs.computerworld.com/sites/computerworld.com/files/u23/surface-pro-release_date.jpg)

WHAT free?!

groan wrote:

Looks like Feb 9 for the Pro
http://blogs.computerworld.com/table...

but

IMAGE(http://blogs.computerworld.com/sites/computerworld.com/files/u23/surface-pro-release_date.jpg)

Spoiler:

No it's not.

Nevin73 wrote:
groan wrote:

Looks like Feb 9 for the Pro
http://blogs.computerworld.com/table...

but

IMAGE(http://blogs.computerworld.com/sites/computerworld.com/files/u23/surface-pro-release_date.jpg)

Spoiler:

No it's not.

Spoiler:

It is if you steal it from the bank, doctor's office, grocery store, atm. Why do you think they have boxes of them?

The only other device with a digitizer I've seen is the HP EliteBook Revolve. Have you seen others?

Symbiotic wrote:

The only other device with a digitizer I've seen is the HP EliteBook Revolve. Have you seen others?

Yeah, I'm looking at stuff like the Yoga and the Zenbook Touch personally, and haven't seen any other pen devices.

EDIT: Sorry... shouldn't post while sick.
I am anxiously awaiting hands-on reviews. Otherwise I'm on the hunt for a Ultrabook Hybrid with separate stylus digitizer. (or something like that)

Like I said: Anxiously waiting for hands-on reviews.
Being able to run my work apps AND serve as an input tablet is my shoulder's dream come true.
EDIT: as for other devices... nothing with quite as much promise if they do this right. Pressure sensitive? High sampling rate? Discrete input sensor? Please don't f*ck it up. Do that feature right and I will buy one.

A nightmare scenario would be having the stylus features restricted to Modern interface apps... or to not ship with applications that support basic sketching/note-taking in common formats.

I just realized the upcoming Lenovo Helix has a digitizer/pen. Probably more of a "real" laptop when docked, but more expensive. Very interesting. Lots of smart design features.

Oh my gosh you guys. That video. You guys. Oh my gosh.
That said... Thanks for the heads up! It looks like the Helix may be a strong contender especially if that 10 hour battery life holds true with an i7 processor.

Lots of Surface Pro reviews out today....
A short synopsis of the various impressions I've seen so far:
The added bulk makes it a bit cumbersome for casual tablet couch use.
The fixed angle kickstand makes it awkward for laptop mode use. /same for RT
Bad camera. /same for RT
Noisy fan under load.
Mic apparently picks up fan noise when recording video.
The battery lasts between 3 and 5 hours.
It runs Windows 8 and runs it well and the benchmarks seem to indicate that at least some of that battery burn is justified.
No dedicated slot or clip for the stylus so there is no place to store it when using one of the covers.

I'm not seeing a lot of info about the stylus or what software driver/settings suite there is around the digitizer, except for a mention that when set up in External monitor/pen tablet mode there is no way to switch the stylus to mouse mode.
Has someone spotted any more in-depth hands-on coverage of that feature?

Personally, the Thinkpad Tablet 2 seems to represent a better set of design choices. The Atom it uses may be slower, but it's reported to have the thermal characteristics people are looking for in tablets. Unless I'm wrong, it even charges off micro-USB.

I think I'm going to wait for the first hardware revision, and then decide between the Surface Pro or a Haswell equipped Ultrabook or convertible like the XPS 12.

I was a laptop user up until I got a tablet.

I have no idea why they made a laptop-like tablet.

It defeats the purpose.

EDIT: I do my gaming on a Win 7 Desktop PC. Pretty much everything else on my tablet

Rezzy wrote:

No dedicated slot or clip for the stylus so there is no place to store it when using one of the covers.

Actually, the stylus clips to the power jack. It's a strange choice because you can't have it clipped to the tablet while it's plugged in to external power and, with that battery life, you'll want to be connected to external power whenever possible. I also wonder how easily it becomes dislodged.

I was seriously looking at picking one of these up at some point, but I think, for me, the smart money is to wait for another iteration of these devices. The book on this thing seems to be that it's not quite an ideal tablet and it's not quite an ideal ultrabook. Makes it a hard sell since given that I don't have a real need for the thing.

From what I've been reading, this looks OK for a first effort but is being beaten by other tablets (especially in the battery) department by the likes of Acer. If that junk peddler has a product that outshines yours...ouch. I'm curious if Microsoft heavy investment in the new Dell buyout that's taking them private is because they want to hand over hardware production to someone with more experience.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

From what I've been reading, this looks OK for a first effort but is being beaten by other tablets (especially in the battery) department by the likes of Acer. If that junk peddler has a product that outshines yours...ouch. I'm curious if Microsoft heavy investment in the new Dell buyout that's taking them private is because they want to hand over hardware production to someone with more experience.

Taking one aspect of a complex machine like the surface such as battery life and using that to say that an Acer is better than the surface is not really an accurate overall comparison. Drop a larger battery in an acer laptop and it will outshine a macbook pro, too.

I agree with that but supposedly the tablet it's up against is similar in terms of performance and size. I've never touched it so I wouldn't know. But given that battery life is such a critical thing with a tablet, it still doesn't look great to be outshined by one of the consistently lowest quality brands in the PC industry.

ubrakto wrote:
Rezzy wrote:

No dedicated slot or clip for the stylus so there is no place to store it when using one of the covers.

Actually, the stylus clips to the power jack.

Oops, you're right. Had the magnetic connector stuck in my mind so it fixated on the cover.

Anyone intrigued by the fact you can play (some) Steam games on this with a 360 controller? Would be great for when I'm on the road and looks like beautiful hardware. Headed to the MS store now. Ironically typing this on my iPad 3....

Anyone intrigued by the fact you can play (some) Steam games on this with a 360 controller? Would be great for when I'm on the road and looks like beautiful hardware. Headed to the MS store now. Ironically typing this on my iPad 3....

I'm intrigued by a lot of things about being able to run regular desktop apps on a tablet. That some games will work too is just a bonus.

Still really interested in what kind of differences Haswell hardware will make when it releases though.