The Microsoft "Surface" tablet seems to be getting glowing reviews, for those of you who.... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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were wondering why Windows 8 looks the way it does and where it's headed.

Every article I've seen seems to be raving about it.

Here's Gizmodo's as an example - Microsoft Surface Just Made the MacBook Air and the iPad Look Obsolete

This is apparently the "blur the line" product that gives sense to W8.
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post #2 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 05:23 PM
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I was reading about the surface the other day. I just might have to try it.
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post #3 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 05:30 PM
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It's the future. The desktop is a dead platform (Or as Steve put it, a truck).
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post #4 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

It's the future. The desktop is a dead platform (Or as Steve put it, a truck).
The desktop PC is far from dead as a platform. The MS Surface will definitely attract users in certain sectors, but will not easily replace a desktop in a lot of other areas such as production tasks.

I'm in the process of replacing a laptop with a desktop for home use (primarily gaming and photo editing) and have been looking for a tablet to fill the void it's left with regards to portability. The current tablet offerings all have their short comings and if the MS Surface lives up to its expectations then it should fill that void nicely. I won't hold my breath though smile.gif

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post #5 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 07:24 PM
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Nobody outside of microsoft knows anything about the surface:

Ram
Battery Life
Screen Resolution
Price
Screen protectors sold with or without
Windows 8 features supported/not supported
3G/4G data connectivity
radios included
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post #6 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 08:44 PM
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It will all come down to the price. If the Pro costs as much as an Ultrabook, then I'd rather buy an Ultrabook. MS is clearly going after the business/enterprise market here, I see very little effort to take away sales from the iPad.
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post #7 of 38 Old 06-19-2012, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post

It will all come down to the price. If the Pro costs as much as an Ultrabook, then I'd rather buy an Ultrabook. MS is clearly going after the business/enterprise market here, I see very little effort to take away sales from the iPad.

Well, first of all, the Pro model is NOT competing with the iPad, it's competing with the iPad/Macbook or iPad/Ultrabook combo. The RT tablet should be comparable in price to the iPad and those are the two directly competing.

For me personally, I'm sick of a tablet (currently using an HP Touchpad running Ice Cream Sandwich) and a laptop as two separate devices. Obviously, there are some use-case scenarios where a tablet is excellent. Unfortunately, there's just too many things that I simply cannot do on one. If I'm going on a trip for a few days, I have to try and plan out what I might need to do while I'm on said trip to see if I need a full-fledged computer or just a tablet. For me, the Surface (running Windows 8 Pro) is the obvious solution, because it can be used as a tablet, but then also give me the ability to use any application that I might ever need on the desktop.

In that case, instead of having to compromise based on having to decide my needs in advance, I'd have one device capable of tending to all of my needs. That's also why the price being the same as an ultrabook is a non-factor to me. I need a new laptop anyway, and this would take the place of two devices for me.

As long as the build-quality is good, I'm pretty much sold. And in my mind, it has to be sturdier than the Samsung Series 7 Slate I bought (and then returned) 6 months ago.

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post #8 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Nobody outside of microsoft knows anything about the surface:
Ram
Battery Life
Screen Resolution
Price
Screen protectors sold with or without
Windows 8 features supported/not supported
3G/4G data connectivity
radios included

But we do know that we often see people lugging around a decent laptop for work / jobs, and a tablet, often they have a keyboard for their tablet. Chargers, extra chargers, as well as their phone.

Total cost over 1500 for those setups, then the fact all that junk weighs a ton and they cant seem to drop any one device. If they could it would be the tablet. If one device can replace multiple and be less than 1500 then some people are going to see the value in that. Your whole list is full if items each manufacturer can manipulate for diference uses and price points.

Also I feel like I am the only one who is really excited that soon after we could see these surface keyboards showing up as cases for typical smart phones. How nice would that be to have a real keyboard that is paper thin and flips around to protect the screen or back out of the way and can be stored either way.
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post #9 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 12:40 AM
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At the prices being floated about for the upcoming Surface I'd take an ultra Book, better bang for the buck.
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post #10 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 04:25 AM
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The Surface tablet looks interesting, waiting for confirmed pricing to decide.

I have a iPad at work I use for testing, and really don't like it all that much (I know I'm one of the few), I would never buy one for myself.
One of the biggest isssue is iTunes I've never liked the software.
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post #11 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I was reading about the surface the other day. I just might have to try it.

I almost bought an AsusTransformer Pad, but after I saw the Acer W510 and 700 tablets, I decided to wait, thinking I was going to get one of those great looking tablets. Now, I might have to get the Surface.
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post #12 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 10:36 AM
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If this thing supports flash (unlike the ipad), I will be very happy. :P... I'm sure it's already been documented somewhere.
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post #13 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, it looks like MS showed the next leg of its "common platform" this morning, demoing its newest Windows Phone 8. Again, it's supposed to use a common OS kernel with Windows 8, so it's supposed to be easy to make apps work on everything from the desktop to the tablet to the phone. They're all supposed to have common web browser functionality too.

The problem with a lot of the criticism of W8 here flowed from viewing it just as a pc OS. And if that's all you're looking for, you might not like what they're doing. But if they can actually pull off having a common interface and a lot of commonality in data formats and apps that effectively brings to market true portability among devices, they're probably going to have a winner on their hands.

Of course, whether they can actually pull that off remains to be seen. But they've obviously been seriously working on this for a while.
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post #14 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 10:48 AM
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I'm sure it will because Microsoft allows you to install actual programs, not just Apps. So if it's not supported natively, then you can just add a program that supports it.

Has anyone tried the Windows phone because if it's any good Microsoft has the ability to make a very strong integrated experience that would rival Apple. Throw in their gaming platform, the Xbox, and it could be very impressive.
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post #15 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 10:55 AM
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We were discussing the Windows 8 common platform at work yesterday, myself and a UI designer. It'll be interesting to see how well the common platform really works across different hardware when the speed at which applications can connect to the backend are so different. Even the interaction design between a phone app (real estate, network latency, etc.) and a desktop app need to be very different, let alone managing the data flow between the application and the server (again, network latency and just what's available in the hardware as to local storage and access to that).

 

 

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post #16 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

I'm sure it will because Microsoft allows you to install actual programs, not just Apps. So if it's not supported natively, then you can just add a program that supports it.
Has anyone tried the Windows phone because if it's any good Microsoft has the ability to make a very strong integrated experience that would rival Apple. Throw in their gaming platform, the Xbox, and it could be very impressive.

Speaking of XBox, that's apparently part of the package, and there is some yet to be fleshed out integration with the XBox as being an entertainment server/coordinator for all of these various platforms.

Frankly, the need to get an XBox doesn't interest me very much.

I don't think anyone anywhere outside of MS and its partners has tried the new Windows 8 phone yet, because it was just demoed today. And current Windows Phone 7 hardware will not be upgradable apparently (although Windows Phone 8 hardware will run existing 7 apps).
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post #17 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 11:09 AM
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I have a Windows Phone 7 and love it. I really like the live tiles -- saves you from having to launch the program to see important things like how many new emails, current temp, etc. I like a preview on top of my not-an-icon icon.

I think the desktop Metro UI interactions would have been better if you could have used the mouse to "swipe" by clicking anywhere and holding the mouse button down and then dragging instead of having to use the scroll bars. I found myself continually trying to do that -- like Google maps lets you do.

 

 

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post #18 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 11:18 AM
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I also have a Windows Phone (Samsung Focus, AT&T). Got it on Windows Phone launch day. It is a great phone, and I'm really looking forward to Windows Phone 8 (will definitely upgrade at that point), and these new Surface tablets. I think MS is on the right track in bringing all these devices together, it is just unfortunate that the role Media Center will have is a little unclear. I'm hoping they bring Media Center functionality into the Metro fold (ie. Live TV, DVR). Would really like to watch Live or Recorded TV on one of these tablets.

I like the fact that MS has basically raised the bar for any of their partner OEMs about what it means to create a great tablet. Dell, HP, Toshiba, Asus, etc. will have to raise their game above clunky, low quality, bloatware loaded tablets if they are to play in this game. That is a good thing.
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post #19 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 11:24 AM
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http://www.microsoft.com/global/surface/en/us/renderingassets/surfacespecsheet.pdf

I wonder what "Micro HD video" connector is. I don't see HDMI anywhere here.

 

 

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post #20 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

http://www.microsoft.com/global/surface/en/us/renderingassets/surfacespecsheet.pdf
I wonder what "Micro HD video" connector is. I don't see HDMI anywhere here.

"Mini DisplayPort Video" on the Pro. No idea what the "Micro HD video" is.

Let's face it. The ability of the Tegra (which powers the "standard" version) to display true HD video on an external display is pretty limited. The Pro, on the other hand, is powered by an i5 cpu so I doubt if it will have any problem.

So are we all going to have to start buying new AVRs with DisplayPort switching?
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post #21 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

http://www.microsoft.com/global/surface/en/us/renderingassets/surfacespecsheet.pdf
I wonder what "Micro HD video" connector is. I don't see HDMI anywhere here.

It's a dongle of some kind. For the RT version, Microsoft has a comment on the Surface page (at the very bottom): "HD Video Out also requires the HD Digital AV Adapter (sold separately)."

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post #22 of 38 Old 06-20-2012, 12:45 PM
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The Intel-based version of Surface comes closest to meeting my requirement for Origami Computing - a device that can move seamlessly between a tablet and a full desktop experience.

I'm intrigued to know whether the price and availability outside the US will also tick my boxes.

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post #23 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanM View Post

I like the fact that MS has basically raised the bar for any of their partner OEMs about what it means to create a great tablet. Dell, HP, Toshiba, Asus, etc. will have to raise their game above clunky, low quality, bloatware loaded tablets if they are to play in this game. That is a good thing.

Second that.
No one has been willing to do what Apple has done though, because I think the ipad is almost a loss leader for their apps. I don't think they make that much money off it whereas Android tablets have to make a profit off the tablet hardware...

Note that MS never announced pricing besides "competitive"...that could be "competitive in their own minds" like the crazy pricing we saw initially....$500 Blackberry Playbook?? LOL wink.gif
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post #24 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 10:37 AM
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Second that.
No one has been willing to do what Apple has done though, because I think the ipad is almost a loss leader for their apps. I don't think they make that much money off it whereas Android tablets have to make a profit off the tablet hardware...
Note that MS never announced pricing besides "competitive"...that could be "competitive in their own minds" like the crazy pricing we saw initially....$500 Blackberry Playbook?? LOL wink.gif

Microsoft could do the same -- sell the tablet at a loss to sell their OS & apps -- take a hit on the tablet to sell a Windows 8 license and MS Office. The OEMs are stuck with buying a license for the OS. It should be interesting.

 

 

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post #25 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post

Second that.
No one has been willing to do what Apple has done though, because I think the ipad is almost a loss leader for their apps. I don't think they make that much money off it whereas Android tablets have to make a profit off the tablet hardware...


I'm pretty sure Apple has given their average profit margin figures before. I want to say both iPhone and iPad were very healthy in the upper 30% range. The closest info i could find was this PC world article (link) that thinks the raw material + production costs for a $499 iPad cost $270. So that leaves them approx $230 or 46% to determine R&D, shipping and profit.

You can't, or shouldn't compare it to apple in this way. Apple designed both the hardware and software; right down to the cpu and screen production. Though the Surface is branded Microsoft, the processor and components are for the most part off the shelf. Apple has the luxury to eek out the most from the least with this strategy, and obviously it fares well for them.

Other than for obvious reasons, I wouldn't compare the surface much to iPad. I'd compare it to Android. Microsoft isn't directly going after Apple - it wants to kill Google. Surface could be a good start to it.
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post #26 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 11:11 AM
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The OEMs are stuck with buying a license for the OS. It should be interesting.


Are they? Apple doesn't license their OS; Google gives away theirs for free. They only license from Microsoft; which is also a big part why Microsoft so greatly wants to destroy Google.
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post #27 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanM View Post

I also have a Windows Phone (Samsung Focus, AT&T). Got it on Windows Phone launch day. It is a great phone, and I'm really looking forward to Windows Phone 8 (will definitely upgrade at that point), and these new Surface tablets. I think MS is on the right track in bringing all these devices together, it is just unfortunate that the role Media Center will have is a little unclear. I'm hoping they bring Media Center functionality into the Metro fold (ie. Live TV, DVR). Would really like to watch Live or Recorded TV on one of these tablets.
I like the fact that MS has basically raised the bar for any of their partner OEMs about what it means to create a great tablet. Dell, HP, Toshiba, Asus, etc. will have to raise their game above clunky, low quality, bloatware loaded tablets if they are to play in this game. That is a good thing.

I also bought a Windows phone 7 on launch and really like it, Skydrive and Office are nice features.

I read all current phone will not be upgradable to Winows Phone 8.
Older phones will get an update a Phone 7.8 that will be delivered directly to Windows Phone users that will bypassing the carriers.
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post #28 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 12:39 PM
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I was reading about the surface the other day. I just might have to try it.

It is much more intriguing than an ipad to me... (which is a solid product)

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post #29 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

It's the future. The desktop is a dead platform (Or as Steve put it, a truck).

Not for an enthusiast...

A tablet is ok to play on the web...

But it's not a real PC IMO

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post #30 of 38 Old 06-21-2012, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

It's the future. The desktop is a dead platform (Or as Steve put it, a truck).

Btw... Steve is dead. The PC is not.

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