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Microsoft unveils $799 Surface Pro 3, calls it 'the tablet that can replace your laptop'

post #1 of 183
Thread Starter 
In a presentation that frequently mentioned the iPad and MacBook Air, Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled the Surface Pro 3, a device it hopes will contend with both Apple's popular tablets and thin-and-light notebooks with one converged device that will start at $799.




In unveiling the new laptop-tablet hybrid, Microsoft Surface chief Panos Panay noted that most people in the crowd were typing on Apple MacBooks, and many of those likely had an iPad in their bag. He also cited statistics that showed that 96 percent of iPad owners also own a laptop.

Panay then brought out the Surface Pro 3, an Intel-powered device that he said can meet the needs of both a laptop and a tablet in one touchscreen form factor. The redesigned Surface Pro runs full Windows 8, and starts at $799 with an Intel Core i3 processor, while more powerful configurations of Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs will also be available. It goes on sale Wednesday.

In another comparison to Apple, Panay had a scale onstage where he weighed a 13-inch MacBook Air in contrast to the new Surface Pro 3, which comes in lighter at just 800 grams but also sports a smaller 12-inch screen. Panay said that despite having a smaller display, the Surface Pro 3 view 6 percent more content than on a 13-inch MacBook Air, thanks to the aspect ratio of the display as well as Microsoft's optimization of Windows 8.




At 9.1-millimeters thin, the Surface Pro 3 is the thinnest Intel Core product ever made. It also has a new cooling design with a fan Microsoft says is 30 percent more efficient than any other on the market, radially emitting air throughout so that users cannot feel, hear or see the fan at work.

Another change to the Surface Pro 3 is a redesigned "full-friction" kickstand that allows the device to be propped up at a variety of angles.

Panay also talked about how "lapability" of portable devices is critical, and is one aspect where previous versions of the Surface lineup fell short. With the new kickstand and a removable keyboard cover that magnetically attaches to the bottom of the screen, Panay said the Surface Pro 3 is more stable on a user's lap than before.




Another accessory shown off by Microsoft was a new pen with 256 points of pressure compatible with the latest Surface Pro. Microsoft hyped the ability to place one's hand against the screen and write with a pen that feels natural for note taking and drawing.

One key use of the pen showcased by the company was for a new version of Photoshop CC designed for Windows 8 and Surface Pro 3. Adobe took the stage to demonstrate how users can combine the use of the pen and their fingers for multi-touch control when editing images.

Microsoft's pen also clicks on the top, much like a regular retractable pen that would be used for paper. Clicking it immediately opens up Microsoft OneNote on the Surface, so a user can begin writing down their thoughts instantly.




In another demonstration, Panay double-clicked the pen's button to take a screenshot, which was then immediately opened in OneNote. Panay then used the pen to crop the image, and began to draw on it. Once saved, the note then synced to Microsoft's cloud services.

As PC sales have slumped and Windows 8 has been met with criticism, Microsoft has bet heavily on "converged" devices like the Surface, seeing the future of PCs offering the best of both a tablet and a laptop. But sales of the Surface have floundered against more tailored options like Apple's iPad and MacBook lineups.




In comments made in April of 2012, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said Windows 8-style tablet PC convergence devices are not likely to please most users. The CEO compared combining a laptop and a tablet to arbitrarily selling a refrigerator with toaster functions tacked on the side.

The Surface Pro lineup represents the high end of Microsoft's custom-built tablet hardware, featuring Intel processors with full-fledged versions of Windows. The company also sells a less expensive Surface model with an ARM processor that runs a stripped-down operating system dubbed Windows RT.

AppleInsider spent some time with the Surface RT 2 and Type Cover 2 accessory last fall, and found that while some functions like simultaneous multitasking were an improvement from Apple's iPad, the device was still too unwieldy to use on a lap and not fully functional enough to replace a laptop.

post #2 of 183
Hmmm, not bad...
post #3 of 183
step in the right direction, especially the price. If the want to move these suckers that was the smartest move. Look forward to pressure sensitivity and a digitizer on future iPads.
post #4 of 183
Looks like a nice device. Like a said on another post, I like the Surface Pro, but it's a heavy beast. However, comparing a tablet to a laptop... yes of course the tablet should be lighter. But compare that to an iPad Air. The Surface Pro is too heavy to be a true tablet. That's why they keep moving it towards the laptop category.

However, it can't replace a laptop if you can't use it on your lap with a floppy keyboard. Have you tried to use a Surface on your lap? That's why it's called a Surface... because you need to place it on a surface, not a lap. Also, if it has a fan, it's not a tablet.

If Apple comes out with an iPad Pro with a 12" screen, this thing is DOA.
post #5 of 183

It's not the screen size or the weight that matters most.

 

To be a great tablet, it's about the touch interface and the ecosystem of software.  So it's not a big competitor of the iPad.

 

To be a great laptop, it's about the performance and optimizing the user interface, which means the keyboard and trackpad.  So it's not a big competitor to the MacBook Air.

 

It's yet another tweener from Microsoft.  NEXT!

I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
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post #6 of 183
All they need is a decent OS. They need to focus on this as running 2 separate operating systems on 1 device is totally counter intuitive.
post #7 of 183

If they're going to compare the weight of Surface Pro with the MacBook Air, they should've at least included the keyboard cover.

 

 

Quote:
 He also cited statistics that showed that 96 percent of iPad owners also own a laptop

 

Of course they do... most of these people know the benefits of having the right tool for the right job even if those "jobs" are similar.

 

I have a breaker bar and a ratcheting socket wrench, why? Because a ratcheting socket wrench is a lot quicker, but if you apply too much force to one, you can break it - that's what a breaker bar is for.


Edited by mjtomlin - 5/20/14 at 3:56pm
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #8 of 183
If the pen really solves the age-old parallax issue, I'll be infinitely impressed.
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post #9 of 183
Might give their OEM partners some laptop competition. But I still can't see the masses using this as a tablet. And the fact is most people these days don't need a tablet to be a full featured as a laptop. I can't remember the last time I used my laptop. If Apple adds more productivity features to iOS (like split window multitasking) I don't see Surface getting much traction outside of Microsoft diehards. Plus it runs Windows. I would imagine a lot of people who use the. MacBook Air so because they prefer OSX to Windows.

The other reason I don't know how much traction this will get is price. The base model is $799 and I think it goes all the way up to $1900+. Those may be totally legit prices for the specs but in the Wintel space people are accustomed to much cheaper prices. And on the tablet side it will also be competing with Android tablets that are a lot cheaper than $799. Again I just don't see how many converts Microsoft will get. If anything it will just take share from their OEM partners.

Honestly I think Microsoft spent more time talking about MacBook Air today than any of their products. lol.gif

And whatever happened to the Surface mini we kept hearing about? That was supposed to be the iPad mini killer yet we heard nothing about it and I see most tech blogs are pretending they never predicted it. Strange.
post #10 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post
 

If they're going to compare the weight of Surface Pro with the MacBook Air, they should've at least included to the keyboard cover.

 

 

Just to clarify, Panay did add the keyboard to the Surface Pro on the scale later in the presentation in order to show that it was still lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air. The keyboard wasn't formally unveiled until after he had placed the Surface on the scale.

post #11 of 183
It's runs Windows. Windows is dead. I expect to see as many of these in the wild as I did Zunes.
post #12 of 183
So it sounds as though RT is dead.

And the new Surface 3 goes click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click? Oh, OK. I get it.
post #13 of 183

but it still uses windows... enough said

post #14 of 183
Quote:
 calls it 'the tablet that can replace your laptop'

 

Dear Microsoft,

You are 4 years too late with the idea that tablets replace laptops.

cheers

 

Also, loved the apples-to-surfaces comparison of a notebook to a tablet.  I'm guessing the MacBook Air is also heavier than the iPad... another tablet which, for some, could replace a laptop.

 

The ironic thing is that iPad Air is 469g and Surface Pro 3 is 800g.  I'm trying to envision how those two offerings would look on the scales...  (and yes, I know that Surface Pro runs the desktop version of Windows; based on sales of previous Surface Pro versions that's not a huge differentiator for a tablet in most consumers minds, so I think it's a fair apples-to-Apples comparison).

post #15 of 183

Ugh, back in with the fans. 

 

Not that I would instantly hate it - Assuming that it is silent and doesn't rock the device itself. But it does mean moving pars and a higher chance of issues and failure, especially on a device with no seated orientation (but maybe so with Windows?) - something I am very happy Apple eliminated from their tablets.

post #16 of 183
Nice improvement but the main presenter came across so douchie. His speak would have been better for a late night infomercial convincing the sleep deprived elderly to part with their money.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

If the pen really solves the age-old parallax issue, I'll be infinitely impressed.

 

Hmm, iOS 7 introduced the parallax effect.  What if this was a stepping stone for pen support in iOS 8?

Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #18 of 183

I love it. 

post #19 of 183

Praying it still comes with the kickstand...checking...YUP!  Awesome!  Good to go now.  Maybe I can develop some cargo pants that have a built-in shelf on the front of the pant legs.  /s

post #20 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

Hmm, iOS 7 introduced the parallax effect.  What if this was a stepping stone for pen support in iOS 8?

Unfortunately, the parallax here is not an animation behavior in software, but the pen writing not where the tip "is". It's the result of the space between the glass, the touch layer, and the screen underneath all adding gap above the pen.
This is what they meant they solved, I believe.
post #21 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

If the pen really solves the age-old parallax issue, I'll be infinitely impressed.

I don't recall him saying the pen solved that issue, but rather the display being very close to the glass that resolved it.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #22 of 183

Keep pluckin' that chicken, Microsoft...

Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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Quality isn't expensive... it's priceless.

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post #23 of 183
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post #24 of 183
Not a product I'd want, but I really do want Apple to offer an intelligent Wacom-style pen ("SmartPen" to go with your "SmartCover"?) for art apps and to solve the palm-rejection issue while using the pen on an upgraded and larger iPad. iPad Pro, my money is waiting.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #25 of 183

I absolutely LOVE how he didn't even manage to include the fucking cloth keyboard when comparing the weight against the Macbook Air. He might as well compare the weight of the iPad to that of the Air, or any other laptop for that matter. I mean- really? The "replace all your devices with a surface" was the same main argument they made with the 1st version- it didnt work then, why would it work now?

 

The suggestion that those in the audience using a Macbook Air/iPad combo would jump at the opportunity to replace both those devices with one that is shittier than both is also hilarious. Does he think that maybe, just MAYBE people choose to use those products because of a few more factors? The surface 3 is in no way, shape or form a replacement for the Air. You cant even use the damn keyboard in your lap. 

post #26 of 183
All you see are Macs. I bet MS would love for that to all be Surfaces but I don't foresee that happening.


"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #27 of 183
Okay, so now take your thumb off the MacBook Air side of the scale.

In reality, this is the latest Windows world incarnation of a netbook, but too cumbersome to use on your lap to be a laptop. Windows still requires a keyboard to be really usable. And they add a stylus. This is not a product which was designed to be a tablet. The iPad was.

As Tim Cook said, "Our competition is different - they're confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they're trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?"
post #28 of 183
I have a Surface Pro 2 and, while I find it to be an extremely capable device, I never use it. Why? It sucks at being a tablet (too thick and heavy) and it sucks at being a laptop (it won't sit on your lap, and the flap stand is horrid). And Windows 8 makes me want to retch.
post #29 of 183

Double the weight of an iPad Air?

 

1/3 the usefulness of a Macbook Air?

 

Pointy stand that digs in your lap?

 

Replaces neither product.

 

The full sized iPad is only now reaching the weight limit a tablet should be. Nearly double that weight is far too heavy to pretend this will ever replace a tablet. And it's certainly no MacBook Air replacement.


Edited by Ireland - 5/20/14 at 10:40am
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 183
It's going to fail because they are still using gimmicks to trick people.

Like the picture shown above. The Macbook Air weighs more than the Surface? Of course it does. The Surface doesn't a have a keyboard. Who in that audience is going to blog without a keyboard? No one.

World's thinnest Core device (without a keyboard). Add a keyboard and the surface is $899. The same price as a Macbook Air, except the Air has an i5 processor, 128GB of flash and a full size keyboard.

So in the end, all Microsoft did was make the surface thinner.
post #31 of 183

Could this be any uglier?

post #32 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't recall him saying the pen solved that issue, but rather the display being very close to the glass that resolved it.

 

You can hear him talk about it in length during one of Engadget's videos

http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/20/microsoft-surface-pro-3-pen/

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post #33 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post


Unfortunately, the parallax here is not an animation behavior in software, but the pen writing not where the tip "is". It's the result of the space between the glass, the touch layer, and the screen underneath all adding gap above the pen.
This is what they meant they solved, I believe.

I apologize, I wasn't clear.  What if they are developing a pen that would sense where the input device is and subtly "pull the screen" for the lack of a better word?  Even if the technology isn't used with a pen input device I could see some version of this idea being useful on the rumored curved displays.  Maybe they found a way to track finger movement?

 

I always found the parallax feature by itself to be a bit odd.  It was a feature(?) no one was asking for, and to me at least seemed like a first step towards something more.

Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #34 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

I have a Surface Pro 2 and, while I find it to be an extremely capable device, I never use it. Why? It sucks at being a tablet (too thick and heavy) and it sucks at being a laptop (it won't sit on your lap, and the flap stand is horrid). And Windows 8 makes me want to retch.

 

If that's what you discovered why would you find it to be "an extremely capable device"? Don't make excuses. If it sucks a tablet and sucks a laptop it sucks. Period.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #35 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post



Could this be any uglier?

A visual catastrophe.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #36 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

You can hear him talk about it in length during one of Engadget's videos
http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/20/microsoft-surface-pro-3-pen/

I watched the live stream. Where in the video does he say the pen solved the issue, as opposed to reducing the parallax between where the pen touches the glass and how far away the display is from that point?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #37 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

Just to clarify, Panay did add the keyboard to the Surface Pro on the scale later in the presentation in order to show that it was still lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air. The keyboard wasn't formally unveiled until after he had placed the Surface on the scale.
So a 12" device is lighter than a 13" device. Imagine that. But the 13" Air gets 12 hours battery life. According to Ars Technica the Surface Pro 3 gets 9.
post #38 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

It's going to fail because they are still using gimmicks to trick people.

Like the picture shown above. The Macbook Air weighs more than the Surface? Of course it does. The Surface doesn't a have a keyboard. Who in that audience is going to blog without a keyboard? No one.

World's thinnest Core device (without a keyboard). Add a keyboard and the surface is $899. The same price as a Macbook Air, except the Air has an i5 processor, 128GB of flash and a full size keyboard.

So in the end, all Microsoft did was make the surface thinner.
Ah but according to the Verge hype machine, this is Microsoft replacing the laptop as we know it.
post #39 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripragged View Post

It's runs Windows. Windows is dead. I expect to see as many of these in the wild as I did Zunes.

At the risk of sounding cynical, I have to agree with you. When will MS get it that their products need to be "best in class," or why bother?

post #40 of 183

I have to admit though, the full adjustable kickstand does look cool. 

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