Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost
Good Lord, these ads are odious. They remind me of Samsung ads taking snide asides at Apple.
A few observations:
The Surface is never shown in portrait mode. This, alone, tells me that Microsoft don't get tablets, as portrait is the most comfortable way to use a tablet.
The Surface is never held, but kept in a stand, detached. It lacks that personal element that we love in our iPads.
Whilst the Air's keyboard is seen being used, the Surface keyboard is never used, perhaps because it's crap.
Well... these adds are trying to sell S3 as laptop replacement, so it makes some sense to compare it to laptop, and present it in laptop mode. I think at some point we might see adds focusing on S3 as tablet, too... but not many of those; as a tablet, S3 is bigger, heavier and much more expensive than competition, and raw power/storage/... advantages are mostly irrelevant for typical tablet usage. In short, S3 does not have (m)any advantages over any ARM (or even Atom) based tablets. But as amalgamation of laptop and tablet? Personally, I see some values there. I usually travel with both laptop and tablet, and add to that eReader, smartphone, camera or two... a lot of gadgets. When I was younger, I'd consider all that "gear" kind of cool, but I'm in my '40 now and I am starting to prefer concept of comfort to concept of "there's a gadget for THAT". Almost only thing I need from laptop when travelling is Lightroom, but since typical tablets still cannot do Lightroom in reasonable fashion for my needs, there is no way around it... unless I merge laptop and tablet in something like Surface.
In that light, presence of pen makes a lot of sense. I don't know how well S3 pen is executed, but if it is done good enough, S3 could be good tool for photographers (including aspiring ones, like myself) in general. It is closest thing to having PC and Wacom tablet away from the desk than anything else available out there. As additional small travel benefits for me, 12" screen would make nicer comics books reader, and screen size with integrated stand would not hurt watching videos, too.
Re S3 keyboard. I had a chance to play with one for a while. It is quite solid, actually surprisingly so. Big, flat, no-gap-between keys take some time to get used to, but even with relatively short travel, keys movement is well defined and backlight is executed well. Even touchpad is surprisingly well done - for Windows side of fence - even if with touch screen present, the importance of touchpad is somewhat marginalised.
Re the touch screen on computer. I don't like idea of large, desktop screens with touch - they are too big and too far from my eyes and hands to be comfortable for any longer usage, but on smaller screen that usually sits much closer to me? It actually works well. When I got my ThinkPad Tablet 2, I thought that I will not use touch screen when tablet is in laptop mode (with keyboard and mouse), but I actually found that scrolling and, occasionally, tapping links/buttons on screen feels nicer for me than reaching for mouse.
In short, it is compromise device, but for my usage scenarios, benefits could be stronger than compromises. I might wait to see how's Broadwell Surface (4?) going to fare, but when I finally decide to replace my good old ThinkPad 410, Surface Pro will be short-listed, at least.