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(BetaNews)   An iPad user's review of the Microsoft Surface Tablet...you know what's coming, right?   (betanews.com) divider line 94
    More: Amusing, Microsoft Surface, iPads, Microsoft, Windows Store, Windows Explorer, screen resolution, software portability, Microsoft Word  
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9677 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Dec 2012 at 6:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-22 01:18:43 AM

gingerjet: Mr. Fuzzypaws: I'll review my shopping experience when I got my iPad mini.

Go to store.
Clerk: Can I help you?
Me: I'd like an iPad mini.
Clerk: OK.
An exchange of cash happened.
Me: Thanks!

Four out of Five Stars. It was cold and rainy that day.

Compared to a Radio Shack:
Clerk:  Can I help you?
Me: I need a 3' HDMI cable.
Clerk: Ok.  Would you like the extended warranty?
Me:  Its a 6 dollar cable.
Clerk:  Things happen to cables.  A dog can chew on it ...
Me:  No.
Clerk:  Wouldn't you like the piece of mind ...
Me: No.
Clerk:  Ok - do you need anything else such as a ...
Me: No.
[an exchange of cash happens]
Clerk: Have a nice ...
Me: Go fark yourself


It's a real life version of Bob and Alan off Chewin the Fat. (pops, youtube, first sketch after the hideous :30 opening tacked on)
 
2012-12-22 01:22:47 AM
Can I install Linux on it?

Actual curiosity here, but no real relevance, as I can't afford any of these toys anyway.
 
2012-12-22 01:26:56 AM

HempHead: RexTalionis: HempHead: I would be interested to see how MS Excel works on a touch screen.

You know, there are keyboards for that.

But no mouse. :>\


I thought mice (both bluetooth and usb) just worked on the surface?
 
2012-12-22 01:39:05 AM

Clockwork Kumquat: Can I install Linux on it?

Actual curiosity here, but no real relevance, as I can't afford any of these toys anyway.


I think the bootloader is locked with Secure Boot, but if you can get past that it is pretty much the same Tegra 3 chipset that the Nexus 7 uses, so finding hardware drivers should not be an issue.
 
2012-12-22 01:56:14 AM
Last time I went into Radio Shack, I got into an argument with the guy over whether Lance Armstrong was a dickhead or a victim. That was fine with me, but I got a feeling that after I left, the other guy told him 'dude, just agree with the customers.'
 
2012-12-22 02:18:48 AM

T-Boy: Actually, what Microsoft is doing makes sense to me. They are working to nifty the OS of all devices, from phone to tablet to desktop, so that apps will run on everything. That is what Windows 8 is all about. If they can get it to really work, they should be able to sell hardware in the tablet and phone market. The software disconnect between Apple's portable devices and their computers annoys the hell out of me.


There's a difference between the operating system and the user interface. Under the hood, Mac OS X and iOS are pretty much identical; they're just built for different CPU architectures (with their respective optimizations) and have different user interfaces. You might recall that in some of the early promotional material about the iPhone, Apple made a big deal about how it was running Mac OS X with a touchscreen interface, and only changed the name of the iPhone version of the operating system to "iOS" a little over a year later.

What Microsoft is trying to do is not just unify the phone, tablet, and desktop OS'es (which Apple has already done), they're also trying to unify the user interfaces. I don't know if there's any good way to do that, but I think it's telling that in the nearly six years since Apple first unveiled the iPhone, they have ported features between the two UI's but they have made no attempt to fully unify them.
 
2012-12-22 02:20:22 AM
The tardiness of the review isn't really my fault.

That's true, it's more your mom or dad's fault, whoever had the gene or was too old.
 
2012-12-22 02:24:57 AM

LasersHurt: Overall it was a fine review, but the "It's heavier (it's not heavier)" "It's fat (it's not fatter)" writing style made me want to slap the shiat out of the writer.


yup
I am with you, we can take turns holding him down and kicking him.

Damn thing is 1% heavier. While it is possible that some people might be able to tell the difference in a blind taste-test.

WHAT might have been noticed is that there was a different balance.
THIS might be very noticeable and yet not relevant for usage.
 
2012-12-22 02:52:06 AM

OriginalGamer: The Surface isn't necessarily bad, but the hardware isn't quite as good as the current iPad, and the screen really could use a resolution bump.


I think that depends a bit on the individual. I have very high resolution eyes, at least compared to my wife and a few other people. Where I can see the pixels at 1600x1200 on a 14 inch display they complain that the text is too small at 1400x1050. Past a certain point as PPI goes up it's the same as the audiophiles talking about the warmth and richness of their analog amplifiers. Maybe there's actually something there, but for most of the population there's no difference.
 
2012-12-22 03:05:33 AM

Mr. Eugenides: OriginalGamer: The Surface isn't necessarily bad, but the hardware isn't quite as good as the current iPad, and the screen really could use a resolution bump.

I think that depends a bit on the individual. I have very high resolution eyes, at least compared to my wife and a few other people. Where I can see the pixels at 1600x1200 on a 14 inch display they complain that the text is too small at 1400x1050. Past a certain point as PPI goes up it's the same as the audiophiles talking about the warmth and richness of their analog amplifiers. Maybe there's actually something there, but for most of the population there's no difference.


Well, there's definitely a noticeable difference from 1366x768 (Surface) and 2048x1536 (iPad).
 
2012-12-22 03:47:33 AM
For once I'd like to see Microsoft innovate at something new.

Like everything else they've done, they waited till someone (Apple) did something right, then make one of their own. Worked for Windows. I'm glad it didn't work for Zune (you'd think they'd have learned their lesson). I hope Surface fails. Hard.

I'll call it "Zurface" from now on, "The Curse of The Zune"... ;)
 
2012-12-22 04:13:20 AM

Phil Moskowitz: It's cute watching him figure out that IProducts are just toys, however.


I assume you give the same criticism to Surface and Android tablets?
 
2012-12-22 04:51:02 AM
The iPad is just as big a piece of shiat as the Surface. Take it from an iPad user.
 
2012-12-22 07:05:56 AM

Clockwork Kumquat: Can I install Linux on it?

Actual curiosity here, but no real relevance, as I can't afford any of these toys anyway.


Not the "baby" one. The Pro, with the x86 architecture, I don't see why not.
 
2012-12-22 10:08:20 AM

Without Fail: HempHead: RexTalionis: HempHead: I would be interested to see how MS Excel works on a touch screen.

You know, there are keyboards for that.

But no mouse. :>\

I thought mice (both bluetooth and usb) just worked on the surface?


Yeah, I've never used one but I thought that was basically the whole point of Surface--that it could be both an iPad knockoff AND a conventional Windows laptop, thus providing continuity for business users.
 
2012-12-22 11:01:50 AM
So he expected to hate it but ended up saying "meh"

/ still not buying one
 
2012-12-22 12:21:08 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: Without Fail: HempHead: RexTalionis: HempHead: I would be interested to see how MS Excel works on a touch screen.

You know, there are keyboards for that.

But no mouse. :>\

I thought mice (both bluetooth and usb) just worked on the surface?

Yeah, I've never used one but I thought that was basically the whole point of Surface--that it could be both an iPad knockoff AND a conventional Windows laptop, thus providing continuity for business users.


The keyboard covers have integrated trackpads, they aren't the greatest trackapds but they work.
 
2012-12-22 12:56:59 PM

jso2897: Clockwork Kumquat: Can I install Linux on it?

Actual curiosity here, but no real relevance, as I can't afford any of these toys anyway.

Not the "baby" one. The Pro, with the x86 architecture, I don't see why not.


They make ARM versions of Linux. And if all else fails, there's always NetBSD.
 
2012-12-22 12:59:06 PM

jso2897: Clockwork Kumquat: Can I install Linux on it?

Actual curiosity here, but no real relevance, as I can't afford any of these toys anyway.

Not the "baby" one. The Pro, with the x86 architecture, I don't see why not.


According to an MS press release, secure boot is used for ARM devices, but not x86. We'll see if that plays out, but that's what they stated when they started discussing locking in the hardware to just Win8
 
2012-12-22 01:01:15 PM

Colin O'Scopy: For once I'd like to see Microsoft innovate at something new.


No you don't.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-12-22 02:01:27 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: Yeah, I've never used one but I thought that was basically the whole point of Surface--that it could be both an iPad knockoff AND a conventional Windows laptop, thus providing continuity for business users.


It's still not going to be a serious business machine. Even with their cover keyboards, it's still a shiattier experience than a laptop, and once you add the weight on, you're getting close to the weight of something like a Thinkpad Carbon X1, which is a fully-armed and fully operational business machine.

The problem with all tablets is that they can never replace a laptop. I'd much rather carry a 3lb full laptop than a 1.5lb tablet. I know that at no point will I say "damn, I wish I'd brought the tablet".
 
2012-12-22 05:13:48 PM

farkeruk: Yankees Team Gynecologist: Yeah, I've never used one but I thought that was basically the whole point of Surface--that it could be both an iPad knockoff AND a conventional Windows laptop, thus providing continuity for business users.

It's still not going to be a serious business machine. Even with their cover keyboards, it's still a shiattier experience than a laptop, and once you add the weight on, you're getting close to the weight of something like a Thinkpad Carbon X1, which is a fully-armed and fully operational business machine.

The problem with all tablets is that they can never replace a laptop. I'd much rather carry a 3lb full laptop than a 1.5lb tablet. I know that at no point will I say "damn, I wish I'd brought the tablet".


---

I guess I was referring more to Windows 8 in general. As much as multi-touch has contributed to the consumer computing experience, it can't replace the keyboard and mouse--not even close. There needs to be some kind of hybrid that can be like an iPad for dicking around, but also offer the keyboard-mouse interface for applications that need it. I assumed that was the intent behind Windows 8. (Whether it actually succeeds is another matter.)
 
2012-12-22 05:47:49 PM

Colin O'Scopy: For once I'd like to see Microsoft innovate at something new.


Microsoft actually innovates quite a bit internally. They have some outstanding R&D going on, and have done amazing things over the years. The problem is in the upper management and in marketing, they fail badly and have had no compass of leadership since Gates left as CEO. Sometimes great products will come out anyway, like the developer tools that continue to kick the butt of everyone else's. Or most of Office, although they are dangerously close to ruining it with the UI. Xbox and it's community are doing great, pretty much humiliating Sony and Nintendo outside of Japan. Ink and OneNote is a more typical example of something that is absolutely brilliant innovation, copied from no one, that works spectacularly, that they farked up the marketing on HARD for a decade and are now abandoning. Live Mesh is another one that worked great and they are now killing. The Courier tablet was an amazing skunkworks project that upper management killed because it wouldn't work with Office.

And where is the software innovation at Apple? itunes? iwork? aperture? safari? The theme seems to be "software that is easy to use and looks nice, but is pretty thin on capability, limits you severely in sometimes puzzling ways and is surprisingly buggy". And what in any of those things is innovative? They're just cheap copies of MS or Adobe or Google products.
 
2012-12-22 06:24:54 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: There needs to be some kind of hybrid that can be like an iPad for dicking around, but also offer the keyboard-mouse interface for applications that need it.


http://www.hanselman.com/blog/MyNextPCWillBeAnUltrabook.aspx
 
2012-12-22 06:40:15 PM

Bacontastesgood: Live Mesh


Isn't that functionality just getting folded into skydrive, which itself is a beast?
 
2012-12-22 10:19:52 PM
Meh, if I'm not going to pay a 3X premium for iOS and the Apple hardware tax, I sure as hell am not going to do so for a product from the makers of zune.

Say what you want about Android, and it is far from perfect, but I can get a tablet with comparable specs for $150, WITH all the connectivity Apple doesn't think I should have (SD card slot, USB, HDMI, etc.), and WITHOUT the all the censorship of content.

I mean, I accept that the first ipods were better than any comparable product on the market at the time, and in the beginning, iphones were pretty slick as well. But something about the tablet platform just seems to make Apple people abandon all reason and accept clearly inferior products as long as they have the apple logo on them.....
 
2012-12-22 11:16:27 PM

udhq: Meh, if I'm not going to pay a 3X premium for iOS and the Apple hardware tax, I sure as hell am not going to do so for a product from the makers of zune.

Say what you want about Android, and it is far from perfect, but I can get a tablet with comparable specs for $150, WITH all the connectivity Apple doesn't think I should have (SD card slot, USB, HDMI, etc.), and WITHOUT the all the censorship of content.

I mean, I accept that the first ipods were better than any comparable product on the market at the time, and in the beginning, iphones were pretty slick as well. But something about the tablet platform just seems to make Apple people abandon all reason and accept clearly inferior products as long as they have the apple logo on them.....


Sorry dude.... There's no such thing as a good, cheap tablet/laptop/anything. Subsidies don't count either. I'd love to see your $150 POS run infinity blade II or final fantasy iv.
 
2012-12-22 11:19:28 PM
And all *Decent* android tablets cost the same, if not more than an iPad, you cheap fark.
 
2012-12-22 11:33:17 PM

udhq: Meh, if I'm not going to pay a 3X premium for iOS and the Apple hardware tax, I sure as hell am not going to do so for a product from the makers of zune.

Say what you want about Android, and it is far from perfect, but I can get a tablet with comparable specs for $150, WITH all the connectivity Apple doesn't think I should have (SD card slot, USB, HDMI, etc.), and WITHOUT the all the censorship of content.

I mean, I accept that the first ipods were better than any comparable product on the market at the time, and in the beginning, iphones were pretty slick as well. But something about the tablet platform just seems to make Apple people abandon all reason and accept clearly inferior products as long as they have the apple logo on them.....


While I agree with so e of your points (SD expansion) there is no way a $150 Android tablet is anywhere near the iPad hardware, or screen quality. The Nexus 7 is a good comparison, while being a little cheaper. But it is rather disingenuous to claim the iPad hardware is inferior.
 
2012-12-22 11:35:56 PM
Nexus 10 I mean.
 
2012-12-23 12:32:01 AM
It's also worth noting that everyone giving the author shiat about the Surface feeling bulkier even though they are about the same thickness can be attributed to the fact that the iPad has very tapered edges compared to the Surface's more squarish design.

www.digitaltrends.com
i.imgur.com
 
2012-12-23 01:18:01 AM
So he put aside his biases and gave a fair review of the product. Unlike the pathetic brainwashed iHaters prattling on in this thread.
 
2012-12-23 02:14:21 AM

psy5ive: udhq: Meh, if I'm not going to pay a 3X premium for iOS and the Apple hardware tax, I sure as hell am not going to do so for a product from the makers of zune.

Say what you want about Android, and it is far from perfect, but I can get a tablet with comparable specs for $150, WITH all the connectivity Apple doesn't think I should have (SD card slot, USB, HDMI, etc.), and WITHOUT the all the censorship of content.

I mean, I accept that the first ipods were better than any comparable product on the market at the time, and in the beginning, iphones were pretty slick as well. But something about the tablet platform just seems to make Apple people abandon all reason and accept clearly inferior products as long as they have the apple logo on them.....

Sorry dude.... There's no such thing as a good, cheap tablet/laptop/anything. Subsidies don't count either. I'd love to see your $150 POS run infinity blade II or final fantasy iv.


FF4? Are tablets that bad that 150 bucks won't handle a super nintendo game, or am I missing some joke?
 
2012-12-23 03:32:18 AM

heinrich66: The iPad is just as big a piece of shiat as the Surface. Take it from an iPad user.


The iPad is a great piece of hardware, and runs a great OS that is easy to use. Take it from an iPad user. And several million others.
 
2012-12-23 04:50:35 AM

Smackledorfer: psy5ive: udhq: Meh, if I'm not going to pay a 3X premium for iOS and the Apple hardware tax, I sure as hell am not going to do so for a product from the makers of zune.

Say what you want about Android, and it is far from perfect, but I can get a tablet with comparable specs for $150, WITH all the connectivity Apple doesn't think I should have (SD card slot, USB, HDMI, etc.), and WITHOUT the all the censorship of content.

I mean, I accept that the first ipods were better than any comparable product on the market at the time, and in the beginning, iphones were pretty slick as well. But something about the tablet platform just seems to make Apple people abandon all reason and accept clearly inferior products as long as they have the apple logo on them.....

Sorry dude.... There's no such thing as a good, cheap tablet/laptop/anything. Subsidies don't count either. I'd love to see your $150 POS run infinity blade II or final fantasy iv.

FF4? Are tablets that bad that 150 bucks won't handle a super nintendo game, or am I missing some joke?


It was remade with majorly updated graphics on the iPad recently. Essentially a complete rewrite, polygon based.
 
2012-12-23 08:58:45 AM

Ess_Aytch: heinrich66: The iPad is just as big a piece of shiat as the Surface. Take it from an iPad user.

The iPad is a great piece of hardware, and runs a great OS that is easy to use. Take it from an iPad user. And several million others.



The ipad is a toy. The surface is an actual enterprise tool that can be used for things other than updating your facebook status or replying to emails.
 
2012-12-23 11:00:22 AM

Goodfella:
The ipad is a toy. The surface is an actual enterprise tool that can be used for things other than updating your facebook status or replying to emails.


That's the Pro (the x86 one). This one (non-Pro) is the ipad knock off toy running the limited version of the OS.

Of course the Pro is itself just another x86 tablet rather than anything special. It's even priced like all the other x86 tablets on the market of which there are plenty and have been for decades for those that want an x86 tablet and it's attendant price tag.
 
2012-12-23 11:21:38 AM
You guys know I'm mainly a MS guy, so I'll just say this:

WinRT shouldn't have been the mainline offering for the Surface family. Actually, this goes for all of the current Windows tablet offerings. Acer found a way to offer an Atom-powered tablet for $549. Reviewers say it runs most applications reasonably well. Battery life is 9 hours, which really is nothing to scoff at. It can run the entire library of Windows programs. All of that within the iPad's price point. No sacrifices to binary compatibility are made, and the application ecosystem makes even iOS pale in comparison.

ARM is gaining steam, and huge performance gains are being made by Samsung in particular, so Microsoft is right to made an ARM version of Windows NT, but until they find a way to make binaries made to run on x86/x64 work on ARM processors... it's not a flagship product.
 
2012-12-23 12:57:01 PM

Goodfella: Ess_Aytch: heinrich66: The iPad is just as big a piece of shiat as the Surface. Take it from an iPad user.

The iPad is a great piece of hardware, and runs a great OS that is easy to use. Take it from an iPad user. And several million others.


The ipad is a toy. The surface is an actual enterprise tool that can be used for things other than updating your facebook status or replying to emails.


The iPad has proven itself to be valuable for both. I use mine for work and fun, and it's nice to have the same device for both.
 
2012-12-23 01:32:47 PM

Ess_Aytch: The iPad has proven itself to be valuable for both. I use mine for work and fun, and it's nice to have the same device for both.


Serious question: how good is the iPad for moderate-to-heavy spreadsheet use?

Yes, I'm sure spreadsheet apps for iOS exist, but that doesn't begin to answer the question. For anyone who uses Excel daily--which is a giant segment of the business world--the precision and speed afforded by the traditional keyboard-mouse setup are essential. I may be missing something but I can't begin to fathom an iPad (or any tablet) offering that kind of usability.

And while spreadsheets are the most obvious and widely used example, the same principle applies to so many other business applications, like the rest of Office and any type of CAD. This does not invalidate your statement that the iPad has a place (and is often the superior tool) in many business applications, but until it can be docked into a full-blown OSX workstation I don't see it penetrating most corporate environments as anything but an accessory to a primary desktop computer.
 
2012-12-23 05:23:55 PM

Goodfella: Ess_Aytch: heinrich66: The iPad is just as big a piece of shiat as the Surface. Take it from an iPad user.

The iPad is a great piece of hardware, and runs a great OS that is easy to use. Take it from an iPad user. And several million others.


The ipad is a toy. The surface is an actual enterprise tool that can be used for things other than updating your facebook status or replying to emails.


Maybe you're using a different Surface than everyone else...? Because the one being reviewed here is a bigger screened Windows Phone, and essentially an iPad with a different UI and lower res screen.
 
2012-12-23 08:04:40 PM

OriginalGamer: Maybe you're using a different Surface than everyone else...? Because the one being reviewed here is a bigger screened Windows Phone, and essentially an iPad with a different UI and lower res screen.


I've been using Surface for about a week and I certainly don't think of it was a bigger screen Windows phone or an iPad with a different UI. Instead, I'd say it's more comparable to a laptop with increased portability.

With type cover, I can type just as fast as I do on a full size laptop. With Remote Desktop + type cover, I can connect to my other Windows PCs and use them just like I normally would.

Powerpoint and Word work great and let me do content-production that just I can't do on iPad (Apple's word processor for iPad is a joke and I've never used it since buying it). I've connected the video output to the projector in the conference room at work and it works well, for giving presentations, etc. I also like how easy it is to transfer files back and forth over USB, and how I don't have to convert all my movie files like I do with my iPad. Despite also using retina displays regularly on my iPhone and iPad, I think the Surface's screen is perfectly clear and things look good on it.

iPad certainly has some advantages (foremost of which is the vast app selection, covering a number of apps I enjoy and which are not in the Windows store yet), but I do think the current surface is much more viable as a laptop replacement than the iPad is, and that it will get even better with time as more apps are added to the store.
 
2012-12-23 08:07:09 PM
Also, compared to just using a laptop, I've found Surface to be useful in comparison because it can get 8-9 hours battery life, it weighs less, and it can fit into certain areas that would be cramped for a traditional laptop (e.g., my airplane food tray after the guy in front of my put his seat all the way back).
 
2012-12-24 12:13:15 AM

Tickle Mittens: Isn't that functionality just getting folded into skydrive, which itself is a beast?


Not even close to all of it. Peer to peer sync is gone. Remote desktop is gone. And no, windows RDP is not the same at all.

SkyDrive is all just "sync to teh cloud!" Yeah, that will work great when I want 100GB of highly confidential 3d medical images synced between paired systems. And they are shutting down the Live Mesh/Essentials team, I don't know how many will move to SkyDrive.

It just sucks when they have something that works great and they fark it up because smarketing.
 
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