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(Slate)   Reviewer trying to figure out why Microsoft's new Surface tablet is such a dud. Let's see... it's made by Microsoft and... we have it all figured out. You're welcome   (slate.com) divider line 129
    More: Obvious, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Research, Kindle Fire  
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4402 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Nov 2012 at 8:37 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 07:13:00 AM  
It's an exceptionally flimsy laptop, with an ugly, klunky operating system.
 
2012-11-06 08:27:55 AM  
I'd like to know how many Microsoft execs were involved in the development of this thing. It's something that only a large committee of vice presidents could come up with.
 
2012-11-06 08:43:55 AM  
Don't know a thing about Surface... I just know that the commercials are beyond ridiculous. Trying waaaaaaaaaay to hard to be hip.

/ster
 
2012-11-06 08:47:49 AM  
First sentence in TFA:
"There's only question anyone should ask about Microsoft's Surface tablet:"

My Fark headline:
"Reviewer trying to figure out why their article is such a dud. Let's see... it's written in English and... reviewer fails at English... we have it all figured out. You're welcome"
 
2012-11-06 08:48:07 AM  

jbtilley: Don't know a thing about Surface... I just know that the commercials are beyond ridiculous. Trying waaaaaaaaaay to hard to be hip.


Sounds like they didn't learn much from the KIN phone fiasco.
 
2012-11-06 08:49:05 AM  

RatOmeter: First sentence in TFA:
"There's only question anyone should ask about Microsoft's Surface tablet:"

My Fark headline:
"Reviewer trying to figure out why their article is such a dud. Let's see... it's written in English and... reviewer fails at English... we have it all figured out. You're welcome"


Oh dear oh no a technical writer left out a word. SOUND THE ALSRM!
 
2012-11-06 08:52:39 AM  
Let's start with the word "tablet" and move on to the abomination that is Windows 8. There. Thread over, go home, hide from your political whackjob friends and relatives for the day.
 
2012-11-06 08:52:39 AM  
We need a poll on FARK to see the breakdown of OS/Tech company allegiances are. At work I have a surprisingly good number of people who are OS neutral and having conversations regarding each unique OS with it's good or bad features is always a good discussion. I learn so much.

Most places online I read there just seems to be a bickering of MS vs. Apple with the occasional Linux user.
 
2012-11-06 08:53:11 AM  
meh. your mileage may vary. I like it as at tablet OS.
 
2012-11-06 08:54:31 AM  
I would very much like to read a review about Microsoft Surface from someone who hasn't yet had experience with the iPad.

If you go in already having a benchmark. How can you be objective?
 
2012-11-06 08:55:26 AM  
The problem is that it really is just a tablet. I interrogated a M$ rep and he couldn't window the tablet so you could have two panes of browser visible at once. You know, because I can't get off watching one porn at a time.

I have a tablet that's unable to window the browser. It's about two years old. The only advance out there is a quad core instead of a dual core. Big freaking whoop. The closest thing to an advance in functionality I've seen is where Samsung slapped N-trig's active stylus system to their slabs; nicely reactive but not pressure or angle sensitive.
 
2012-11-06 08:56:54 AM  

ManOfTeal: I would very much like to read a review about Microsoft Surface from someone who hasn't yet had experience with the iPad.

If you go in already having a benchmark. How can you be objective?


I agree, most reviews even objective ones always compare it with an ipad. I honestly don't have a problem as such but it would be nice to see a fresh perspective.
 
2012-11-06 09:00:58 AM  
I got a chance to play with a Surface this weekend.
It was actually a pretty nice tablet. Well built, and Windows 8 is not a bad OS for a tablet*.
What is going to hurt the Surface, is the ghost town that is the app store at this time.

*Still sucks for a normal computer
 
2012-11-06 09:05:41 AM  
I have experienced all the things that guy complained about. On an iPad. So, there's that.
 
2012-11-06 09:09:23 AM  

ManOfTeal: I would very much like to read a review about Microsoft Surface from someone who hasn't yet had experience with the iPad.

If you go in already having a benchmark. How can you be objective?


If you're covering the tablet/phone market sector and you haven't used an iPad why the fark do you have a job?
 
2012-11-06 09:18:13 AM  
The problem is it's not entirely clear what Surface aims to be. It's sized like a tablet, has a touch interface like a tablet, and has an OS that seems better-suited for tablets than for traditional desktops/laptops so it's only natural that it's going to be compared to other tablets. If Microsoft wants to establish Surface as something more than just another tablet, they're going to have to come up with some sort of application where Surface excels but where traditional tablets and touchscreen laptops fall short. I'm not convinced they'll be able to do it seeing how tablet-like Surface appears to be.
 
2012-11-06 09:19:31 AM  

roflmaonow: ManOfTeal: I would very much like to read a review about Microsoft Surface from someone who hasn't yet had experience with the iPad.

If you go in already having a benchmark. How can you be objective?

I agree, most reviews even objective ones always compare it with an ipad. I honestly don't have a problem as such but it would be nice to see a fresh perspective.


Because people need a relative marker, and the price points are close enough for the devices to be competitors, so the feature sets can be compared.

Plus everyone and their dog has used an iWhatever and knows generally how the iOs works, making it a handy general comparison.
 
2012-11-06 09:20:12 AM  
Reads like a Consumer Reports article, switch out "iPad" to "Toyota" or "Honda"
 
2012-11-06 09:23:13 AM  
Terrible article.

As for the rest of you, please actually spend time on something if you're going to make comments. Reviews only take you so far and are usually a product placement or "nothing is better than Apple, here's another example of crappy competition"

Use the hardware, try it out... then make a reasonable opinion to share.
 
2012-11-06 09:26:35 AM  
Looks like I can replace the screen if it gets cracked. Cant do that on the new ipads. Also, a built in USB port is friggin awesome! I do lots of large file transfers and waiting for an ipad to transfer via wifi is annoying. And paying $30 for a dongle for everything is annoying.
 
2012-11-06 09:26:54 AM  

ManOfTeal: If you go in already having a benchmark. How can you be objective?

 
Seriously. And that goes for all those car reviewers who have driven another car before. And book reviewers who have read a book before. And music reviewers who have listened to music before.
 
2012-11-06 09:28:33 AM  
I will order one for work for testing purposes when the Surface Pro comes out, but until then, not so much.
 
2012-11-06 09:35:30 AM  

rooftop235: Looks like I can replace the screen if it gets cracked. Cant do that on the new ipads. Also, a built in USB port is friggin awesome! I do lots of large file transfers and waiting for an ipad to transfer via wifi is annoying. And paying $30 for a dongle for everything is annoying.


The screen in the Surface is not that easy to replace, and the glass is laminated to the LCD, which has some benefits, but if you crack the glass, you will need to replace the glass and LCD. Now, it would be rather hard to break the glass, as it's Gorilla Glass 2, and the edge is protected by a strip of plastic and the magnesium casing, which can take quite a beating.
Observe

/Typed on a Surface
//Only thing lacking at this point is apps
 
2012-11-06 09:38:39 AM  
Didn't read the article but am surprised by the relatively restrained responses in this thread. Are all the MS and Apple fanbois crashed in their mothers basement?

/thought the tablet was well built but my experience with Windows 8 (non-RT and RT) has been inconsistant
//time will tell
 
2012-11-06 09:42:02 AM  

arcas: If Microsoft wants to establish Surface as something more than just another tablet, they're going to have to come up with some sort of application where Surface excels but where traditional tablets and touchscreen laptops fall short.


Are there tablets with capacitive touch screens that are capable of using a stylus with single-pixel-perfect accuracy? I think the touched area has to be larger than a pixel on capacitive screens to be detected. Anyway, that's the issue with tablets... they're more for consuming content than for creating or managing content. Sure, you can make facebook and twitter posts, but you can create much else. I have a couple web apps I've written for business.. and those apps are more geared toward creating a managing data - entering personal (customer, patient, etc) information, recording transactions, etc. I would love to make a tablet friendly version, but trying to fat-finger all the data would be very hard on the user. If Microsoft could make a stylus-friendly tablet, but without going back to shiatty resistive screens, they would make some money off of me alone (hell, I'd sell the tablet with the app if the price was right)

They've got an OS that works plays as well as it can with both fat fingers and mouse pointers. I just with there was a nice tablet that did both gracefully. In my town, every doctor I visit is still using 9 year old Windows XP tablets with resistive screens styli for this reason - they need mobility and the ability to enter data as much as they consume it.
 
2012-11-06 09:52:37 AM  

jonny_q: f Microsoft could make a stylus-friendly tablet, but without going back to shiatty resistive screens, they would make some money off of me alone (hell, I'd sell the tablet with the app if the price was right)


The Surface Pro, in addition to having a 10 point capacitive multitouch screen, also has a Wacom digitizer in the screen. So there you go
 
2012-11-06 09:56:53 AM  

jonny_q: arcas: If Microsoft wants to establish Surface as something more than just another tablet, they're going to have to come up with some sort of application where Surface excels but where traditional tablets and touchscreen laptops fall short.

Are there tablets with capacitive touch screens that are capable of using a stylus with single-pixel-perfect accuracy? I think the touched area has to be larger than a pixel on capacitive screens to be detected. Anyway, that's the issue with tablets... they're more for consuming content than for creating or managing content. Sure, you can make facebook and twitter posts, but you can create much else. I have a couple web apps I've written for business.. and those apps are more geared toward creating a managing data - entering personal (customer, patient, etc) information, recording transactions, etc. I would love to make a tablet friendly version, but trying to fat-finger all the data would be very hard on the user. If Microsoft could make a stylus-friendly tablet, but without going back to shiatty resistive screens, they would make some money off of me alone (hell, I'd sell the tablet with the app if the price was right)

They've got an OS that works plays as well as it can with both fat fingers and mouse pointers. I just with there was a nice tablet that did both gracefully. In my town, every doctor I visit is still using 9 year old Windows XP tablets with resistive screens styli for this reason - they need mobility and the ability to enter data as much as they consume it.


^ This. All the apps I sell have end user data entry requirements far beyond end user data consumption (R&D lab software). A tablet OS is OK for consuming data. Entering data is a disaster compared to an "old fashioned" desktop.
 
2012-11-06 09:59:52 AM  

jonny_q: Are there tablets with capacitive touch screens that are capable of using a stylus with single-pixel-perfect accuracy?


N-trig as I think used on the Samsung Note series. Better than a regular stylus, still a long ways from Wacom Cintiq.
 
2012-11-06 10:00:27 AM  
Microsoft seems to be making a huge mistake in their marketing - it still sounds like they're trying to compete with the iPad, which is like feeding yourself into the woodchipper. They should be making it clear exactly where this device fits in your life/needs and how that is DIFFERENT from the iPad.
 
2012-11-06 10:01:24 AM  

arcas: The problem is it's not entirely clear what Surface aims to be. It's sized like a tablet, has a touch interface like a tablet, and has an OS that seems better-suited for tablets than for traditional desktops/laptops so it's only natural that it's going to be compared to other tablets. If Microsoft wants to establish Surface as something more than just another tablet, they're going to have to come up with some sort of application where Surface excels but where traditional tablets and touchscreen laptops fall short. I'm not convinced they'll be able to do it seeing how tablet-like Surface appears to be.


Like Microsoft Office?
 
2012-11-06 10:03:44 AM  
Its because you can't access the apple store.
They need to fix that.
 
2012-11-06 10:06:53 AM  
The reader posts in the article (both pro and con) are more useful than the article itself.
 
2012-11-06 10:12:41 AM  
Umm.. yeah.. cause microsoft is a dud... That whole windows thing was a fad... that changed the entire world...

BUT that being said... if the surface would run android apps i would already own one...
 
2012-11-06 10:19:42 AM  
Surface's major issue, for me is this: there are no apps.

When the ipad launched, it had apps galore, as well as tons of ported iphone apps. When The android tablets arrived, they had scaled android apps to run.

Surface just doesn't, at least not let. Give Windows RT a year or so, and I'm sure things will be okay. Till then, and it's really hard for me to recommend it over it's rivals at this point.
 
2012-11-06 10:21:50 AM  

jbtilley: Don't know a thing about Surface... I just know that the commercials are beyond ridiculous. Trying waaaaaaaaaay to hard to be hip.

/ster


I'm not sure you understand advertising and its purpose. Hint: Apple got their reputation by pretending to be hip.
 
2012-11-06 10:23:02 AM  

roflmaonow: I agree, most reviews even objective ones always compare it with an ipad. I honestly don't have a problem as such but it would be nice to see a fresh perspective.


I agree as well.

I have a HP Touchpad ($99 fire sale) and for $99? It's FANTASTIC. Compared tot he iPad? It's garbage!

I'm not talking lack of apps, either. The Touchpad is slow, buggy, crashes, the sound is fuzzy or goes out completely at times and the "Skype" feature looks like you're using a webcam from 1998.
But for $99? AMAZING!
 
2012-11-06 10:23:39 AM  

cefm: Microsoft seems to be making a huge mistake in their marketing - it still sounds like they're trying to compete with the iPad, which is like feeding yourself into the woodchipper. They should be making it clear exactly where this device fits in your life/needs and how that is DIFFERENT from the iPad.


Other than the communicated fact that it has a keyboard and can actually do stuff?
 
2012-11-06 10:25:56 AM  

roflmaonow: We need a poll on FARK to see the breakdown of OS/Tech company allegiances are. At work I have a surprisingly good number of people who are OS neutral and having conversations regarding each unique OS with it's good or bad features is always a good discussion. I learn so much.

Most places online I read there just seems to be a bickering of MS vs. Apple with the occasional Linux user.


I've been aligned against Apple since the early to mid-80s - mostly because of price, their "no, this is what you want" marketing and their followers. Nothing much has changed on that front. I have admired their product execution in most cases, both hardware and software, but not enough to pay them for it.

I started as a happy Microsoft user back in the C/PM (Macro-80 assembler) and Atari (BASIC) days and kind of admired the image of a college dropout nerd helping to shape an emerging market. My admiration waned with Windows 9x and monopolistic, extortive behavior. From a technical and user viewpoint I liked NT, but they made (probably had to) some big technical/security compromises by folding drivers in too closely to ring 0. They went thoroughly off the rails with Vista - no farking clue how that could happen so badly. They seem to have pulled their technical shiat together since then, though I haven't had any chance nor much desire to try out 8 yet.

In the last decade, I've become most strongly aligned with Linux. Partly because it's $free, more because it's Free and mostly because it fits the kind of shiat I like to mess with. I use it at work in servers and embedded systems. I use it at home in my desktops, my laptops and netbooks. My kids use it in the same. I use it for home automation and security. I use it (with realtime extensions) in hobby automation projects. I use it with GNU Radio to do some really cool shiat with SDR hardware. Android seems to work fine for consumer stuff, I'd choose it over Apple, but meh, I'm no fanboy. And finally, Linus is a guy I can actually admire - super no-nonsense, alpha nerd who'll tell you what he thinks and why. But then he can also be convinced, slowly sometimes and always by demonstration, to accept new directions; two prime examples being real time kernel features and Android itself.
 
2012-11-06 10:26:41 AM  

SuperSeriousMan: ManOfTeal: If you go in already having a benchmark. How can you be objective?
 
Seriously. And that goes for all those car reviewers who have driven another car before. And book reviewers who have read a book before. And music reviewers who have listened to music before.


Except that cars, books, and music have been around for centuries. Tablets are about two years old. Excuse me for wanting a completely unbiased review of a relatively new technology. How stupid of me.
 
2012-11-06 10:29:52 AM  

RatOmeter: I've been aligned against Apple since the early to mid-80s - mostly because of price, their "no, this is what you want" marketing and their followers. Nothing much has changed on that front. I have admired their product execution in most cases, both hardware and software, but not enough to pay them for it.

I started as a happy Microsoft user back in the C/PM (Macro-80 assembler) and Atari (BASIC) days and kind of admired the image of a college dropout nerd helping to shape an emerging market. My admiration waned with Windows 9x and monopolistic, extortive behavior. From a technical and user viewpoint I liked NT, but they made (probably had to) some big technical/security compromises by folding drivers in too closely to ring 0. They went thoroughly off the rails with Vista - no farking clue how that could happen so badly. They seem to have pulled their technical shiat together since then, though I haven't had any chance nor much desire to try out 8 yet.

In the last decade, I've become most strongly aligned with Linux. Partly because it's $free, more because it's Free and mostly because it fits the kind of shiat I like to mess with. I use it at work in servers and embedded systems. I use it at home in my desktops, my laptops and netbooks. My kids use it in the same. I use it for home automation and security. I use it (with realtime extensions) in hobby automation projects. I use it with GNU Radio to do some really cool shiat with SDR hardware. Android seems to work fine for consumer stuff, I'd choose it over Apple, but meh, I'm no fanboy. And finally, Linus is a guy I can actually admire - super no-nonsense, alpha nerd who'll tell you what he thinks and why. But then he can also be convinced, slowly sometimes and always by demonstration, to accept new directions; two prime examples being real time kernel features and Android itself.


I just flat like this post. Thank you.
 
2012-11-06 10:32:37 AM  
I'm still not willing to shell out more than $200 for any kind of tablet. My old $500 laptop can run professional 3D animation programs (not ideally well, but works fine for small stuff).
 
2012-11-06 10:36:40 AM  

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: I'm not sure you understand advertising and its purpose. Hint: Apple got their reputation by pretending to be hip.


I understand it, just saying Microsoft comes across like someone's grandpa saying "fo-shizzle" and later asking "Did I say that right? That is what you kids are saying today, isn't it?" At least Apple does a better job acting ;)
 
2012-11-06 10:37:12 AM  

ManOfTeal: Except that cars, books, and music have been around for centuries. Tablets are about two years old. Excuse me for wanting a completely unbiased review of a relatively new technology. How stupid of me.


Tablets are well over a decade old.
 
2012-11-06 10:38:46 AM  

roflmaonow: Most places online I read there just seems to be a bickering of MS vs. Apple with the occasional Linux_Yes.


FTFY.
 
2012-11-06 10:39:24 AM  

MightyPez: ManOfTeal: Except that cars, books, and music have been around for centuries. Tablets are about two years old. Excuse me for wanting a completely unbiased review of a relatively new technology. How stupid of me.

Tablets are well over a decade old.


We are talking about the iPad vs every other tablet, the iPad came out in 2010, which would make it's technology, the technology by which all tablets are now judged, 2 years old. My argument is still valid.
 
2012-11-06 10:42:49 AM  

wildcardjack: I have a tablet that's unable to window the browser. It's about two years old.


You'd figure Microsoft would know how to window the browser by now.
 
2012-11-06 10:47:05 AM  
Not overly impressed with the Surface yet, (once 8 Pro comes out, maybe), but those Lenovo ThingCentre 27" touchscreens at the MS stores are ridiculous. If I was in the market for yet another desktop, i would consider it. However, I get everything I need done with OS X and Linux so...meh.
 
2012-11-06 10:47:29 AM  

RevCarter: arcas: The problem is it's not entirely clear what Surface aims to be. It's sized like a tablet, has a touch interface like a tablet, and has an OS that seems better-suited for tablets than for traditional desktops/laptops so it's only natural that it's going to be compared to other tablets. If Microsoft wants to establish Surface as something more than just another tablet, they're going to have to come up with some sort of application where Surface excels but where traditional tablets and touchscreen laptops fall short. I'm not convinced they'll be able to do it seeing how tablet-like Surface appears to be.

Like Microsoft Office?


Are people really clamoring to work on Excel sheets on their tablet?
 
2012-11-06 10:52:17 AM  

theurge14: RevCarter: arcas: The problem is it's not entirely clear what Surface aims to be. It's sized like a tablet, has a touch interface like a tablet, and has an OS that seems better-suited for tablets than for traditional desktops/laptops so it's only natural that it's going to be compared to other tablets. If Microsoft wants to establish Surface as something more than just another tablet, they're going to have to come up with some sort of application where Surface excels but where traditional tablets and touchscreen laptops fall short. I'm not convinced they'll be able to do it seeing how tablet-like Surface appears to be.

Like Microsoft Office?

Are people really clamoring to work on Excel sheets on their tablet?


I am.
 
2012-11-06 10:53:17 AM  

ManOfTeal: We are talking about the iPad vs every other tablet, the iPad came out in 2010, which would make it's technology, the technology by which all tablets are now judged, 2 years old. My argument is still valid.


"Well what I REALLY meant was a specific type of tablet I don't want to compare other tablets to are 2 years old..."

Right, gotcha. Microsoft Pushed tablets in 2000 but they didn't take. Now they are trying to compete with tablets of a current generation that are actually building a market, but we're not suppose to compare them?

What a strange world you live in.
 
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