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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 (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



129 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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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.
 
2012-11-06 10:53:51 AM

RevCarter: 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.


Likewise. If I can get the stuff done I need to on the device easily, I'm all over it.
 
2012-11-06 11:00:00 AM
When the version with the Intel Chip and Win8 pro comes out, you MAY -- (emphasis: MAY) see enterprises replacing laptops with those, thus reducing the need to buy an employee a tablet also or run the security risk of BYOD.

They will also be able to use existing custom applications, infrastructures, tools, and support teams to manage them. This is what MS is counting on. This RT version is targeted at consumers who want a device for their home but would like to occasionally create a document. No one, not even MS, expects it to "kill" the iPad.

Not saying it's gonna happen, but that is the plan.
 
2012-11-06 11:00:35 AM

RatOmeter: 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 i ...


Thank you, that was a good read. I appreciate comments like these. I've come to a point now where I have no OS preference and have had a similar line of thinking along OS lines. Though not as technically astute on the linux front as you I want to get to that level of comfort with linux on a day to day basis and I'm not just talking GUI stuff.

As it currently stands I use win 7 on a daily basis mostly because of gaming. I know all other functionality is basically available either on OSX or linux and have no problem switching over to any alternative.
 
2012-11-06 11:07:06 AM

MightyPez: 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.


I don't know where you are at right now but I'm on planet earth......

Back on topic.....I just want someone to weigh the pros and the cons of the Microsoft Surface without throwing in the, "Oh by the way, Apple's iPad does this better."

A completely unbiased, objective observation, that's all I want. Apparently, that's too much to ask for.
 
2012-11-06 11:10:15 AM

olapbill: RevCarter: 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.

Likewise. If I can get the stuff done I need to on the device easily, I'm all over it.


Me too. If I could run Office, Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and had the ability to single-pixel control, I'd look at a tablet.
 
2012-11-06 11:17:26 AM

ManOfTeal: MightyPez: 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.

I don't know where you are at right now but I'm on planet earth......

Back on topic.....I just want someone to weigh the pros and the cons of the Microsoft Surface without throwing in the, "Oh by the way, Apple's iPad does this better."

A completely unbiased, objective observation, that's all I want. Apparently, that's too much to ask for.


I don't think you understand what "unbiased" means. It certainly doesn't mean "ignore a competitive market."

Saying X product does something better or different doesn't constitute bias. It constitutes understanding a feature Y product has is done differently or better by product X.

These products don't exist in a vacuum and not comparing them to other products in the market does a serious disservice to people looking for information.

As an example, having an app market is a great feature. But as it stands, the Windows 8 market has very few apps compared to iPads of Android based tablets. That is an undeniable deficit at this point. So a great feature, but currently executed better on the competition.

That isn't subjective or biased. It's a fair review of a feature of a product.
 
2012-11-06 11:24:51 AM
So, surface tablet is out (unless it's given to me)

There's an android tablet with a similar setup though, fark if i can remember which one
 
2012-11-06 11:27:30 AM

the_sidewinder: 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


then why the hell didn't they ship that first?
 
2012-11-06 11:30:02 AM

loonatic112358: So, surface tablet is out (unless it's given to me)

There's an android tablet with a similar setup though, fark if i can remember which one


I believe there are several now. I liked using the Asus Transformer setups quite a bit. Trackpad and keyboard on an optional (but expensive) dock accessory. Worked really well for RDP sessions whereas my iPad has always been semi-tolerable, but not great on.
 
2012-11-06 11:31:41 AM
I'm thinking of getting a tablet that has a more modern UI than the iPad.

Something like this:

gwydir.demon.co.uk
(hot)
 
2012-11-06 11:31:53 AM

MightyPez: I believe there are several now. I liked using the Asus Transformer setups quite a bit. Trackpad and keyboard on an optional (but expensive) dock accessory. Worked really well for RDP sessions whereas my iPad has always been semi-tolerable, but not great on


i plan to get either a convertible laptop or some sort of tablet so the kids can do school work on them, sort of waiting for these things to shake out and settle down before i bite though
 
2012-11-06 11:34:59 AM

loonatic112358: MightyPez: I believe there are several now. I liked using the Asus Transformer setups quite a bit. Trackpad and keyboard on an optional (but expensive) dock accessory. Worked really well for RDP sessions whereas my iPad has always been semi-tolerable, but not great on

i plan to get either a convertible laptop or some sort of tablet so the kids can do school work on them, sort of waiting for these things to shake out and settle down before i bite though


It's definitely a burgeoning market and difficult to nail down what is going to stick. An exciting time for enthusiasts, but a frustrating time for consumers.
 
2012-11-06 11:35:44 AM
I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?
 
2012-11-06 11:38:45 AM

Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?


There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.
 
2012-11-06 11:41:15 AM

loonatic112358: There's an android tablet with a similar setup though, fark if i can remember which one


Pretty much all of the tier-1 OEM 10" Android tablets are going to be in-line with the hardware specs of the Surface. The Surface has a full USB port, but if that's really your most compelling need, so does the Lenovo Thinkpad tablet.

I got to play with one for a few minutes on Sunday. It has a well-polished feel to it and I liked the screen, but the ability to run "real" Microsoft Office isn't something I absolutely need from a tablet and that's basically the only argument I think could be made. I can see how it would be handy as a compromise device for a student, though. The soft keyboard on the cover does feel a lot nicer than the one my Xoom uses.
 
2012-11-06 11:44:06 AM

Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?


It's not Windows 8. It's Windows RT, which just happens to look pretty much exactly like Windows 8, but compiled for a different computing architecture and without the ability to run code made for any previous version of Windows, just like iOS devices can't run OSX software even though they're from the same code base.
 
2012-11-06 11:48:21 AM

LasersHurt: There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.


Can't Windows 8 x86 also run the RT apps? Not contradicting you, just (hopefully correctly) supplementing.
 
2012-11-06 11:49:03 AM

LasersHurt: Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?

There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.


Well that seems short sighted. I'm guessing it's a cost issue?
 
2012-11-06 11:50:31 AM
Y

LasersHurt: Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?

There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.


Yep, with Windows 8 we will see the first real tablet pc.
 
2012-11-06 11:53:19 AM
the price point was too high for gimped Win RT. I'll seriously consider a Surface Pro for my next laptop purchase though.
 
2012-11-06 11:58:00 AM
Went to the Microsoft Store the other day and played with a Surface tablet (I have a toddler so I regularly go for walks with him at the nearby mall).

It's pretty. That's about it. It's not super-intuitive. For example, I wanted to see what apps were available. I found the Store icon, clicked on it, and it took me to the store. So far so good.

I could not figure out how to search. At all. There was no search icon. Touching the edges of the screen did nothing. If I typed with the hardware keyboard, it would automatically start searching, but if I have to bring a hardware keyboard with me everywhere then I may as well get a laptop.

Also, the app selection is pretty poor. I'm surprised they didn't make the Surface compatible with Windows Phone - it's the same processor architecture so a software compatibilty layer shouldn't have been too much of a hassle.
 
2012-11-06 12:04:32 PM
I have both an iPad and now a Surface. The iPad does have more apps, but the main thing I was using it for? Browsing the web while watching tv or doing something else. Played the occasional game and some reading. The problems started to arise when I wanted to do more substantial editing of a document or commenting on a forum. The iPad could do some of this, but I wasn't happy with the way it did. I also felt "boxed in" by the walled garden that is Apple. I tried android tablets (Asus, Samsunger) and it seemed less than the iPad, the app selection was good, but the implementation/hardware wasn't great. The surface is different. App selection is definitely less. But it feels less walled. The hardware is really solid, slightly less than the iPad (especially screen), but better than the android tablets I tried. (Disclaimer: the Nexus 10 may be a better guage). I can go from tablet consumption to excel spreadsheet editing without much thought. Now when I do the family budget, I can do it from the couch rather than my office.

The iPad is a great consumption device, but sucky input device. The surface is a good consumption device and a good input device. Long story short: if you want to do mainly consumption, stick with the iPad. If you want something to kind of bridge the gap and allow for better input and editing go for the Surface. If you want a a cheaper tablet, go with the previous gen iPad. If you want something you can attach your world to, go with Android.

Oh, and smartglass is pretty damn sweet, and Xbox music is good. I realize these are coming to android and iOS, but the implementation here is awesome.
 
2012-11-06 12:05:19 PM
Got mine for free from Co. Works great, took afternoon to get used to interface. If I was buying it myself, I'd wait for Pro, but Free is good. I think the RT release was a bad idea in its entirety. I understand why they split it up, but lets get to the one that can load my legacy software. Thats the one that kills the competition.
 
2012-11-06 12:12:07 PM

treesloth: LasersHurt: There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.

Can't Windows 8 x86 also run the RT apps? Not contradicting you, just (hopefully correctly) supplementing.


I'm not sure, but I believe you cannot.

Dissociater: LasersHurt: Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?

There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.

Well that seems short sighted. I'm guessing it's a cost issue?


Two different product lines. The hardware for the x86 tablets will be quite a bit more expensive. The idea is, I guess, for the RT line to integrate with Windows, but largely be a mobile device first and foremost. The x86 devices will be straight-up PCs in your hands.
 
2012-11-06 12:17:26 PM

Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet.


I bought a Nook Color for my mother. I got it back when she passed away. I chipped it with an N2A Android SD chip, and the thing never leaves my hand it seems. I don't use it for browsing much, and don't do e-mail on it, but for reading and playing games, you can't beat it. I also like the smaller form factor, you can wrap your hand around it unlike the bigger tablets, so it's more secure from dropping it. I'd have never bought it for myself, but now that I have it, I love the darned thing.
 
2012-11-06 12:38:46 PM
It costs too much. If they wanted to succeed, they should have started with a 7in tablet and priced it in the Nexus7/Kindle Fire/Nook Color|Tablet range. The HP TouchPad was a great device, but was priced far too high for the market. The Surface is in the same boat.
 
2012-11-06 12:50:12 PM

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.


How do you expect to get an unbiased review of anything, even if it's in a relatively new category? It isn't merely what this particular tablet can do, it's important to know what it can do relative to other contenders a reader may contemplate buying. The opinion of the article is that Surface does most things less well than other tablets, and when you throw in its key advantage (the keyboard), it's not competitive on price. That all seems like information that would be handy to know if you're looking to buy one of these things.
 
2012-11-06 12:50:19 PM

Marcus Aurelius: 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.


I was thinking the same thing.

Sounds like executives, marketers, and product managers over-ran the engineers again.
 
2012-11-06 12:52:21 PM

Lord Dimwit: I could not figure out how to search. At all. There was no search icon. Touching the edges of the screen did nothing. If I typed with the hardware keyboard, it would automatically start searching, but if I have to bring a hardware keyboard with me everywhere then I may as well get a laptop.


Search for every application in Win8/RT is done by first swiping in from the right side

/Which is communicated during the setup bits of the OS
//Maybe they should also communicate it on in store documentation for the OS
 
2012-11-06 12:54:50 PM

bhcompy: It costs too much. If they wanted to succeed, they should have started with a 7in tablet and priced it in the Nexus7/Kindle Fire/Nook Color|Tablet range. The HP TouchPad was a great device, but was priced far too high for the market. The Surface is in the same boat.


The 32 GB version is sold out on every MS online store except for China's, and the MS stores were apparently pretty packed at launch

/Whether or not that means they sold a lot remains to be seen, maybe in the fiscal quarter report
 
2012-11-06 12:56:43 PM

LasersHurt: Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?

There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.


That's a bummer; I was at least intriqued with the Surface under the notion that it was a closer to an iPad/Macbook Air hybrid. As just an alternative to the iPad with a keyboard, it is less interesting.
 
2012-11-06 01:00:55 PM

Nuclear Monk: That's a bummer; I was at least intriqued with the Surface under the notion that it was a closer to an iPad/Macbook Air hybrid. As just an alternative to the iPad with a keyboard, it is less interesting.


The Surface Pro is probably more of the kind of thing you are looking for
 
2012-11-06 01:06:18 PM
There are so many ideas that could have been done...

A serious investment in flexible display and Kinect like controls when used at home, the office, or other setting. Though simple, one of those could have made a game changer. They didn't.

Everyone is copying/modeling another person's design. No innovation is going into these tablets as far as I can see.

Oh sure, there may be some innovation. The complete lack of jaw dropping innovation makes the current tablet market fall on its knees. They're popular now, but if it is anything like the Netbook drop, 2 - 3 years from now people will be tired of the tablet.
 
2012-11-06 01:06:30 PM

Nuclear Monk: LasersHurt: Dissociater: I don't know anything about the surface because I can't see a reason to own a tablet. But I don't understand the complaints about the lack of apps in an app store. It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run? Or does it not count if it's not in a special store labeled 'apps'? Or did they make it without the capability to download software and install it off of websites like a regular computer?

There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.

That's a bummer; I was at least intriqued with the Surface under the notion that it was a closer to an iPad/Macbook Air hybrid. As just an alternative to the iPad with a keyboard, it is less interesting.


Give it a few months. You'll get your Surface device (priced like a Macbook Air, more likely, but hey).
 
2012-11-06 01:07:54 PM

the_sidewinder: Nuclear Monk: That's a bummer; I was at least intriqued with the Surface under the notion that it was a closer to an iPad/Macbook Air hybrid. As just an alternative to the iPad with a keyboard, it is less interesting.

The Surface Pro is probably more of the kind of thing you are looking for


Ah...good, though ashame it's on the high end of the offerings. Still will probably look into it.
 
Xai
2012-11-06 01:33:33 PM

bloobeary: It's an exceptionally flimsy laptop, with an ugly, klunky operating system.


Have you tried it? It's not in the least bit flimsy, at about 12mm thick it is 35% thinner than a macbook air, the OS is better than any other touch-screen OS on the market and it even runs stuff like office and word.

The fact is it is made by microsoft, which is a branding issue, not a tech issue.
 
2012-11-06 01:47:04 PM

Cooper420: 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.


My friend just spent a couple of minutes with one. His review was, "slow, clunky, and buggy. A typical Microsoft 1.0 release."

If it's slower at the same tasks than my current Android device, nothing else matters. I can imagine no benefit MS could add that would be worth me buying a new device that feels slower.

I'm sorry if you think I'm being unfair. In my head, it really is that simple. I've already spent the time getting used to Android. The MS logo is, if anything, a minor negative feature. So the Surface has to be significantly better at most tasks or a whole lot better at a few important tasks to even earn a second glance. Nobody I've heard/read, except for one former coworker now Microsoft employee, have made such a claim. Why would I need hands-on time with one?
 
2012-11-06 01:47:44 PM

treesloth: LasersHurt: There are two types of Windows 8 tablets - Windows 8 RT, which is meant to run on mobile hardware, which is what is out now on the Surface. This can't run Regular Windows programs. Soon they will release Windows 8 on x86 style hardware, which WILL run regular programs.

Can't Windows 8 x86 also run the RT apps? Not contradicting you, just (hopefully correctly) supplementing.


WinRT Apps fall into the categories of 'X86', 'X64', 'ARM', and 'Neutral'. Most app developers are picking 'x86' or 'Neutral' right now. That makes ARM specific apps a tiny minority.

Nuclear Monk: That's a bummer; I was at least intriqued with the Surface under the notion that it was a closer to an iPad/Macbook Air hybrid. As just an alternative to the iPad with a keyboard, it is less interesting.


A score of those will be announced in the next three months. Here is one that is already out.
 
2012-11-06 01:58:53 PM
The premise that we are entering a "post-PC" era is essentially flawed due to the touch screen user interface being inferior to the keyboard and mouse user interface for virtually all business applications. Microsoft has taken a wrong step by making their new OS optimized for tablets/touch screens. That their foray into hardware manufacturing, where they have limited competency and experience, has resulted in an inferior device is not surprising at all.
 
2012-11-06 02:01:36 PM
The commercial bugs me. First of all, it's been on ESPN (the channels I watch most) a ton lately. Second, the rhythm of them clicking around reminds me of the "Give me a break" Kit-Kat tune.
 
2012-11-06 02:04:48 PM
I'd bet money, like large sums of money, if you stuck an apple logo on it and changed the startup screen - you'd get thousands of people saying how great it is.
 
2012-11-06 02:11:03 PM
If Microsoft wanted this to be anything other than a flop, there would be a version of Office with a touch interface, and Surface wouldn't have a bigger profit margin than iPad.
 
2012-11-06 02:26:28 PM
For Tuesday, November 6, 2012

http://www.dilbert.com/
 
2012-11-06 02:31:19 PM
The only hardware MS should be making are mice, keyboards and for the love of everything holy could they please bring back the sidewinder.
 
2012-11-06 02:45:20 PM
I was, as is my habit after drinking an organic decaf soy latte, browsing through my local Apple Store, reminiscing with the Apple Geniuses about how Steve Jobs used to bake these wonderful pies (Apple, of course!), when I got a call on my iPhone 5. Sadly, my hands were full - I was buying another iPad Mini. So when I'd finished my transaction I immediately iMessaged my boss to find out what he wanted to chat about. When he told me I was going to be reviewing the Microsoft Surface, my beret almost fell off in surprise!
 
2012-11-06 02:52:04 PM

BullBearMS: If Microsoft wanted this to be anything other than a flop, there would be a version of Office with a touch interface, and Surface wouldn't have a bigger profit margin than iPad.


looks like there is/will be. and supposedly at no cost.
Link
 
2012-11-06 03:02:32 PM
"God why can't Microsoft sell anything," I type on this windows 7 based laptop
 
2012-11-06 03:03:50 PM

jgbrowning: olapbill: RevCarter: 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.

Likewise. If I can get the stuff done I need to on the device easily, I'm all over it.

Me too. If I could run Office, Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and had the ability to single-pixel control, I'd look at a tablet.


Likewise, I use Office, PS. SolidWorks and other 'real' programs every day, so I am waiting for the Surface Pro to come out before buying a tablet. Surface Pro will run full versions of those programs, not just the dumbed down one for the first generation Surface.
 
2012-11-06 03:16:48 PM

StoneColdAtheist: Surface Pro will run full versions of those programs, not just the dumbed down one for the first generation Surface.


Yet ultrabooks already do that and have real keyboards and pointing devices to boot.
 
2012-11-06 03:35:20 PM

BullBearMS: StoneColdAtheist: Surface Pro will run full versions of those programs, not just the dumbed down one for the first generation Surface.

Yet ultrabooks already do that and have real keyboards and pointing devices to boot.


Point taken, but they also cost twice as much; are ~50% larger and weigh 6 times as much.

Will be buying something this fall/winter, so will keep my options open.
 
2012-11-06 03:49:16 PM
My laptop crapped out a couple of months ago and I can do most everything I need to on my phone except word documents and spreadsheets. I am not the most tech savvy guy out there so I bring this to the Fark masses. All I need is something that will go on line, create word and excel documents, work with my printer and I would like it to have a USB and HDMI out. I have been holding out on buying a laptop because I was waiting for a tablet/laptop type device. I have never owned an Apple product but I am not necessarily against it. Is the Surface a good choice for my limited needs? What about the Ultrabook? Any suggestions?
 
2012-11-06 04:10:04 PM

titwrench: My laptop crapped out a couple of months ago and I can do most everything I need to on my phone except word documents and spreadsheets. I am not the most tech savvy guy out there so I bring this to the Fark masses. All I need is something that will go on line, create word and excel documents, work with my printer and I would like it to have a USB and HDMI out. I have been holding out on buying a laptop because I was waiting for a tablet/laptop type device. I have never owned an Apple product but I am not necessarily against it. Is the Surface a good choice for my limited needs? What about the Ultrabook? Any suggestions?


Well, I would wait and see what other MS products shake out of the tree, and see what the App store gets like. The thing is, the app store DOES make a difference. And people have been very disappointed to find they cannot run native MS products on the Surface - it has to do with the ARM chipset. So wait for the non RT version, which will be Intel, and more compatible. While waiting, ask yourself what you want to do with it. Create your needs and wants list - what do you need as a dealbreaker? What would be nice to have?what is your existing ecosystem? does that matter? do you tie other things in, like external devices? what is your phone - do you like that?
Then, I would evaluate by:
- budget
- need
- nice : factors such as apps, programs
- the extras : bonus surprises (ereading? videos on the go? travel related usage?)

hth:)
 
2012-11-06 04:11:04 PM

titwrench: My laptop crapped out a couple of months ago and I can do most everything I need to on my phone except word documents and spreadsheets. I am not the most tech savvy guy out there so I bring this to the Fark masses. All I need is something that will go on line, create word and excel documents, work with my printer and I would like it to have a USB and HDMI out. I have been holding out on buying a laptop because I was waiting for a tablet/laptop type device. I have never owned an Apple product but I am not necessarily against it. Is the Surface a good choice for my limited needs? What about the Ultrabook? Any suggestions?


Get the cheapest laptop you can find that has an HDMI port.

Don't become one of those people who "need" a system with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, 16GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD drive just to check their e-mail or read their friend's inane "blogs".

Working with word documents and spreadsheets suck on a tablet (it can be done, but it sucks).
 
2012-11-06 04:18:05 PM
Thinking about getting a new Kindle Fire HD when those come out. I've wanted a tablet/e-reader for a while, and it seems like the best one for my needs. My husband is pushing me to consider the Nexus 7 (or Nexus 10, I guess), but I've not been that impressed with Google's tablets.

Is there anyone out there with a current Kindle Fire who can tell me if I'm making a huge mistake with that choice?

/Thanks in advance.
 
2012-11-06 04:22:11 PM
Ty both timelady and WhippingBoy. That helped. I think I might take WhippingBoy's suggestion of a cheap laptop to get my by until I see how this whole tablet thing shakes out. Instead of the best of both worlds I might get the worst of both. I am still drawn to the sexiness of the tablet but I might need to wait until they match my needs better.
 
2012-11-06 04:33:52 PM
So it's an overpriced, underpowered "me too" product? Sounds like it'll be a winner.
 
2012-11-06 04:46:23 PM

MrEricSir: So it's an overpriced, underpowered "me too" product? Sounds like it'll be a winner.


Yep, just like Windows, Office, Internet Explorer...

Complete jimmy-come-lately flops. It's a wonder Microsoft is still in business.
 
2012-11-06 04:47:03 PM

Icetech3: 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...



Ask and ye shall receive
 
2012-11-06 05:26:49 PM
I want one. For the driver library. I'm in research. The apps I can bake on my own. The driver library is that thing's strength.
 
2012-11-06 05:30:04 PM

WhippingBoy: Get the cheapest laptop you can find that has an HDMI port.

Don't become one of those people who "need" a system with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, 16GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD drive just to check their e-mail or read their friend's inane "blogs".


I have one of those ...

but I play a lot of games at friend's houses.
 
2012-11-06 05:30:13 PM

thrasherrr: WinRT Apps fall into the categories of 'X86', 'X64', 'ARM', and 'Neutral'. Most app developers are picking 'x86' or 'Neutral' right now. That makes ARM specific apps a tiny minority.


Ah, got it. So it's probably a tradeoff of performance optimization vs. multiplatform compatibility?
 
2012-11-06 06:11:20 PM

Dissociater: It's windows 8, can't it run anything windows 8 can run?


People still aren't clear on the difference between "Windows 8" and "Windows 8 RT" and "Windows Phone 8", and that's why two of those are going to fail.
 
2012-11-06 06:28:53 PM

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 use Windows 7 for my gaming PC, Ubuntu for my media server/DVR, and Android for my tablet. I'm familiar enough with Macs to troubleshoot problems for friends & family, but I don't use them myself. I don't have a problem with Macs, I just prefer other systems. I tend to choose whatever OS works best for the application I'm using, but the price point on Macs means I usually end up building a Linux system instead.

Most of the techie people I know follow that pattern, though a lot of them seem to really dislike Macs for some reason.
 
2012-11-06 06:30:26 PM

zarberg: WhippingBoy: Get the cheapest laptop you can find that has an HDMI port.

Don't become one of those people who "need" a system with a 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, 16GB of memory, and a 512GB SSD drive just to check their e-mail or read their friend's inane "blogs".

I have one of those ...

but I play a lot of games at friend's houses.


I'm not knocking them... some people genuinely utilize their full power.
 
2012-11-06 06:39:55 PM

titwrench: Ty both timelady and WhippingBoy. That helped. I think I might take WhippingBoy's suggestion of a cheap laptop to get my by until I see how this whole tablet thing shakes out. Instead of the best of both worlds I might get the worst of both. I am still drawn to the sexiness of the tablet but I might need to wait until they match my needs better.


If office stuff (spreadsheets, docs, powerpoint) are what you're missing, yes. I'll second the cheap laptop. If it's a Windows laptop (hard to find any other) and there's no version of Office installed, just install LibreOffice (OpenOffice of old). If it's not got Windows installed, then congratulations, and the LibreOffice recommendation still applies.
 
2012-11-06 06:49:57 PM
Related question: I remember seeing some sort of development on an Android app player for WinRT. Anyone remember seeing that somewhere? I know Bluestacks and AMD are doing something, but that's not what I'm looking for...
 
2012-11-06 07:09:24 PM

Malivon: There are so many ideas that could have been done...

A serious investment in flexible display and Kinect like controls when used at home, the office, or other setting. Though simple, one of those could have made a game changer. They didn't.

Everyone is copying/modeling another person's design. No innovation is going into these tablets as far as I can see.

Oh sure, there may be some innovation. The complete lack of jaw dropping innovation makes the current tablet market fall on its knees. They're popular now, but if it is anything like the Netbook drop, 2 - 3 years from now people will be tired of the tablet.


I agree with a lot of what you have said. People have forgotten that there were tablets 10 years ago lol. I honestly do not enjoy them very much and still prefer a laptop. Much in the same vein will be social networking and cloud storage after several more big hits/dox dumps and loss of their non-backed up life. I can't wait for it to make the final sweep so people get back to being non-AW dbags...hopefully lol.
I kind of think MS is taking the long view on this because they can afford to. What we are seeing now is living room dev and testing. I think everyone has a "not sure if you're serious" kind of feeling with 8 and metro right now. I mean it is okay, but how is it different than putting 9 large tiled folders or widgets on an empty win9x desktop with active desktop ;) Sorry, that got kinda windy-kidney stone meds. I hope you are right about the tablets is what I meant hehe.
 
2012-11-06 07:14:03 PM
I have experience with iPad 2 and 3, WebOS (HP Touchpad), and Android ICS (HP Touchpad). I test drove a Surface last week and will likely buy the Pro version. I agree with the reviewer that it feels heavier than it is. Beyond that it's a neat package. The OS interface is more intuitive than the iPad and it has room to grow and be used like a real computer instead of a big phone. I've never been an app fan so the current lack of apps isn't a problem. Hardware wise it is solidly built and the keyboard with the touchpad is something I have wanted for awhile. I wasn't able to do a side by side with an iPad 3 or 4 but the display impressed me. I didn't experience any of the slowness issues the wrter comments on. For me everything was smooth. It also made Windows 8 much more attractive to me. I tried the evaluation version and hated it. After test driving the surface I picked up the rhythm of the OS and got the upgrade on Saturday. So far it's working great on my laptop.
 
2012-11-06 08:12:21 PM

Cooper420: 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.


Manjoo is Slate's Ric Romero, but with less charisma. I hate everything he writes. I usually close articles on Slate if I open them up and see his name on them.
 
2012-11-06 10:10:57 PM

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'm sure that a pre-contact tribe from New Guinea would be quite impressed with the new Surface tablet running Windows 8.
 
2012-11-06 10:45:10 PM
I bought a Surface the day they came out. I bought the 64GB version which comes with the keyboard and paid for the better keyboard too.

The Surface has a USB port, a mini-SD slot, and mini-HDMI out. I love my Surface for on the go options. It even has a working Remote Desktop which is a boon as an IT guy. The Lync app for the RT version sucks. I cannot get it to connect to our Edge server at all. But I can live with that.

My boss and I both installed Windows 8 onto our work laptops and they work fine. We can run ConnectWise, Adobe Acrobat, mRemote and PuTTY, ScureCRT, Remote Desktop, vSphere client, attend WebEx meetings, and use Office, Lync, and Visio 2013 without any issues. And we love the look of Outlook 2013.

We're installing Windows Server 2012 onto ESXi 5.1 VMs and using them to run Lync Server 2013 and SharePoint 2013. We'd consider Exchange 2013 but Microsoft is making everyone wait until 2013 for the ability to actually migrate.

The amount of integration between Office 2013 and Lync is getting ridiculus but its all useful. I have to wonder who the hell needs OneNote-Lync integration but its available.

All in all, I am impressed with my Surface and Windows 8 on a non-touch system. People just need to learn to use Windows 8 and they might learn to love it too.

Regarding both Windows 8 and Server 2012, they really are fast at booting up, shutting down, and overall application responsiveness and speed.

I predict as more people actually bother to use Windows 8 the more people will start to embrace its simplicity.
 
2012-11-07 12:27:56 AM

Torese: I bought a Surface the day they came out. I bought the 64GB version which comes with the keyboard and paid for the better keyboard too.

The Surface has a USB port, a mini-SD slot, and mini-HDMI out. I love my Surface for on the go options. It even has a working Remote Desktop which is a boon as an IT guy. The Lync app for the RT version sucks. I cannot get it to connect to our Edge server at all. But I can live with that.

My boss and I both installed Windows 8 onto our work laptops and they work fine. We can run ConnectWise, Adobe Acrobat, mRemote and PuTTY, ScureCRT, Remote Desktop, vSphere client, attend WebEx meetings, and use Office, Lync, and Visio 2013 without any issues. And we love the look of Outlook 2013.

We're installing Windows Server 2012 onto ESXi 5.1 VMs and using them to run Lync Server 2013 and SharePoint 2013. We'd consider Exchange 2013 but Microsoft is making everyone wait until 2013 for the ability to actually migrate.

The amount of integration between Office 2013 and Lync is getting ridiculus but its all useful. I have to wonder who the hell needs OneNote-Lync integration but its available.

All in all, I am impressed with my Surface and Windows 8 on a non-touch system. People just need to learn to use Windows 8 and they might learn to love it too.

Regarding both Windows 8 and Server 2012, they really are fast at booting up, shutting down, and overall application responsiveness and speed.

I predict as more people actually bother to use Windows 8 the more people will start to embrace its simplicity.


Shill more!
 
2012-11-07 02:23:29 AM
What Microsoft would really like is for all the windows developers that are writing enterprise software to start writing that software for windows 8. Write once deploy across the enterprise on servers, desktops and mobile devices. Can they successfully convince corporate developers and enterprise ISVs to do ths? We will know very soon. If they can their App Store will fill up rather quickly with hardcore business apps.
 
2012-11-07 06:19:40 AM

sarajlewis83: Thinking about getting a new Kindle Fire HD when those come out. I've wanted a tablet/e-reader for a while, and it seems like the best one for my needs. My husband is pushing me to consider the Nexus 7 (or Nexus 10, I guess), but I've not been that impressed with Google's tablets.

Is there anyone out there with a current Kindle Fire who can tell me if I'm making a huge mistake with that choice?

/Thanks in advance.


I have both, so I think I can give an educated answer.

Get the Nexus 7 or the upcoming Nexus 10 if you want the larger tablet.
It's not that the Fire is bad, it's just that it's skinned so badly by Amazon.
There are ways to get around that, but it's still running ICS.
 
2012-11-07 08:49:30 AM

poot_rootbeer:
Shill more!


I am quite serious. Windows 8 and Server 2012 work amazingly well if you take the time to use them.
 
2012-11-07 12:30:13 PM

BullBearMS: If Microsoft wanted this to be anything other than a flop, there would be a version of Office with a touch interface, and Surface wouldn't have a bigger profit margin than iPad.


I really think comparing the surface to iPad isn't quite the way to go. It is more akin to the Nexus: it is a "gold" standard device, with the added understanding that Microsoft (as is usual) is beholden to the hardware partners to some degree.

Google doesn't operate under these constraints, since they give away Android for free. Google doesn't need to make a profit on software (or hardware), they monetize every transaction/search/function you do on their OS, through either data gathering and/or selling ads.

Microsoft makes money by selling their OS (and now their hardware). They can't undercut their partners on price, or there would be a existential threat to their larger business model. Look at it this way: Acer is already complaining that Microsoft is selling hardware, even though the hardware is priced at a healthy premium. If they start making products that take away from partner sales and they lose partners.

Apple doesn't operate this way, they don't need to worry about "partners", they own the entire pipeline for their product. The make money everywhere along the chain: hardware/software (consider it one and the same), apps, ads, content and even some of the Google type data.
 
2012-11-07 01:15:22 PM

Irregardless: What Microsoft would really like is for all the windows developers that are writing enterprise software to start writing that software for windows 8. Write once deploy across the enterprise on servers, desktops and mobile devices. Can they successfully convince corporate developers and enterprise ISVs to do ths? We will know very soon. If they can their App Store will fill up rather quickly with hardcore business apps.


As a .net developer, no.

There are a few problems that I'll try to explain.

1) you really can't develop an app that works for a Surface and a desktop. Apple understood this. The interface is different and when you're on a tablet, you want the Fisher-Price version that does the basics and on the desktop, you don't want to be babied with the Fisher-Price version.
2) Most enterprise development on .net is now web based. So, the UI toolkit that developers know is HTML, CSS and JS and jQuery. Not XAML. Despite it being "Microsoft", for Windows 8, almost every developer will have to tool up in XAML to write an app. Which also means that companies are more and more reluctant to use this stuff because finding the staff isn't easy.
3) Phonegap. Following on from 2, I'm actually more comfortable (despite being a Microsoft developer) with developing in Phonegap which uses HTML, CSS and JS, and anything on the backend in an ASP.NET MVC REST web service. And doing so allows me, as the developer to build a touch app that works on Android, iOS or Windows 8 with pretty much one code base.
4) Most enterprise software isn't "app store". You're often installing it for the client, or tweaking it for their needs, or you've consulted with them on how to integrate it into their business. Nothing that I've built in the past decade would go in an "app store".

Also, I think people need to understand that a lot of businesses don't care if they have MS tablets. Desktop matters because of the applications, but tablets are a different thing altogether. A friend of mine is selling tablet-based solutions to retail customers and they're using Thinkpad tablets running Android.
 
2012-11-07 01:19:45 PM

poot_rootbeer: Torese: I bought a Surface the day they came out. I bought the 64GB version which comes with the keyboard and paid for the better keyboard too. ... I predict as more people actually bother to use Windows 8 the more people will start to embrace its simplicity.

Shill more!


Yo, Torese, who's yer handler at Microsoft? I need to make a few extra bucks and am willing to shill for free hardware and software.
 
2012-11-08 08:51:24 AM

RyansPrivates: BullBearMS: If Microsoft wanted this to be anything other than a flop, there would be a version of Office with a touch interface, and Surface wouldn't have a bigger profit margin than iPad.

I really think comparing the surface to iPad isn't quite the way to go. It is more akin to the Nexus: it is a "gold" standard device, with the added understanding that Microsoft (as is usual) is beholden to the hardware partners to some degree.

Google doesn't operate under these constraints, since they give away Android for free. Google doesn't need to make a profit on software (or hardware), they monetize every transaction/search/function you do on their OS, through either data gathering and/or selling ads.

Microsoft makes money by selling their OS (and now their hardware). They can't undercut their partners on price, or there would be a existential threat to their larger business model. Look at it this way: Acer is already complaining that Microsoft is selling hardware, even though the hardware is priced at a healthy premium. If they start making products that take away from partner sales and they lose partners.

Apple doesn't operate this way, they don't need to worry about "partners", they own the entire pipeline for their product. The make money everywhere along the chain: hardware/software (consider it one and the same), apps, ads, content and even some of the Google type data.


Hi RP Thanks for straightening him out. BullBearMS is an Apple shill and resident paying troll. Just add his syphilitic pig raping arse to the ignore list along with GAT_00. You'll find Fark slightly more bearable.
 
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