Microsoft unveils Surface Book laptop & Surface Pro 4 tablet with new Surface Pen

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  • Reply 221 of 251
    robertcrobertc Posts: 118member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobborries View Post

     

    I can't believe it, the laptop commercial shows the nVidia graphics chip in the keyboard half, then it detaches the screen, separating the graphics chip from the screen! You can only get full graphic capabilities when the two halves are together, thereby loosing the thin and lightness of the screen clipboard in tablet mode. Has Microsoft gone crazy? Wouldn't you want both the CPU and GPU together inside the screen half?


    The power consumption and heat of that GPU would be too much for the 1.6 lbs tablet portion. 

     

    The device was designed as a notebook first. The tablet is a secondary function for use cases when mobility is critical. This is also why the tablet portion only has a 3 hour battery, but when docked with the keyboard, it has 12 hours.

  • Reply 222 of 251
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,238member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobertC View Post

     

    For CPU, yes. The next Denver based Tegra SoC is said to be coming out late this year (unless nVidia pushes it to their Pascel based Tegra in 2016). 

     

    For GPU? No, nVidia's Maxwell GPU is far ahead.


    Is the Tegra even a mobile processor anymore?

     

    No, Nvidia isn't in that business anymore:

     

    http://www.in.techradar.com/news/computing-components/processors/Nvidia-decides-to-call-it-quits-from-the-mobile-chipbusiness/articleshow/47202749.cms

  • Reply 223 of 251
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    A little reading would indicate that ARM 8.1-A architecture doesn't bring all that much performance benefit; it mostly allows a system that's more robust for applications beyond mobile. As well, you don't know if it is or isn't implemented in the A9X.

     

    As of today, the A9X is the highest performance ARM processor for mobile in production, and it hasn't been benchmarked AFAIK. If you don't agree with my statement, nor agree with EricTheHalfBee's statements, then link a source saying otherwise.


     

    I don't agree or disagree with you, I'll wait for benchmarks before doing so. I was merely contesting the statement "it's THE fastest by a landslide". We don't have a source saying either way right now. The ARMv8.1 is the incremental step up and again, we don't know if it's in or not. I do note that the A9X is listed as being ARMv8-A compatible on Wikipedia with a source linking to an Ars article on iPhone 6S[+] performance, so who knows. I figure they'd say it was 8.1 if it was.

  • Reply 224 of 251
    robertcrobertc Posts: 118member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    Is the Tegra even a mobile processor anymore?

     

    No, Nvidia isn't in that business anymore:

     

    http://www.in.techradar.com/news/computing-components/processors/Nvidia-decides-to-call-it-quits-from-the-mobile-chipbusiness/articleshow/47202749.cms


    nVidia left phones long ago, but Google is using Tegra X1 it in their Pixel C tablet.

     

  • Reply 225 of 251
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,238member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobertC View Post

     

    nVidia left phones long ago, but Google is using Tegra X1 it in their Pixel C tablet.

     

     


    That the Tegra X1 was the choice for the Pixel C tablet pretty much defines the poor state of ARM for Android tablets; there aren't any good alternatives to compete with Apple's A series.

     

    http://www.kitguru.net/desktop-pc/base-unit/anton-shilov/nvidia-tegra-x1-to-power-desktops-notebooks-tablets-portable-consoles/

     

    "Thanks to high performance and maximum level of integration, Tegra X1 can power almost any device. Unfortunately, its thermal design power (TDP) of up to 10W is too high for mobile electronics. As a result, it will not be that easy for Nvidia to squeeze the chip into tablets or portable game consoles without reducing its clock-rates as well as performance. Still, there are plenty of applications that Nvidia can address with its Tegra X1."

     

    I'd be surprised if the Pixel C benchmarks all that well in sustained testing.

  • Reply 226 of 251
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Smoke, no, the CPU is fast enough but what I'm interested in is the GPU. It's the only out there that supports CUDA. I'm not sure how much more clear I can make it that I'm interested in GPU computing, especially using ARM. Also Nvidia didn't just end the K1, their focusing on Denver as their custom SOC. The new Quad core version will be released in early 2016 and preliminary benchmarks show promise. Though again, it's all about what I can use in my GPU projects, i've never once said these chips where better than Apple's for mobile devices. They are however the absolute best for what I'm doing and the Pixel C is an absolute dream machine for my dev work.

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  • Reply 227 of 251
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    k2kw wrote: »
    I just got a Surface 3 and really do like the kick stand and how the keyboard cover magnetically attaches at an angle.    
    The cover/keyboard for the iPad Pro seems limited in comparison (only two angles vs 3).    I think that the Surface Pro 4 will be a big hit
    for MS with its increased power and new cover-keyboard.   I expect sales of the SP 4 to be up at least 50% next year.
    Oh and the new pen sounds sweet too.   I really like that the SP 4 gives you a very light laptop for traveling.

    I thought it was nice how the pen attached to the Surface Book but it would have been cooler if the pen would have gotten automatically recharged when attached to the surface book.   I don't know if the Surface Book will take off.    My only negative point about the two products is lack of LTE/SIM.    They look like great laptops but aren't mobile computing platforms the way the iPad is.

    Yeah, kickstand is really impressive for something that sounds quite trivial. I was pretty much "meh" about it before having SP3 to use, but now I would not buy a tablet without it, if I have a choice.

    Charging pen would be great. With that being said, I'm yet to have to replace batteries in my pen, so it might not be big issue... but regardless, charging would be nice. Especially that they have wireless charging on Lumia phones - they could have implemented tech to wirelessly charge pen magnetically attached to tablet. Now that would be neat!

    Surface Book is very expensive, especially with dedicated GPU. It will be niche (at least 1st generation), but as with most items Microsoft, it will go down with price faster than Apple gear... which is good for consumers. I will be looking at them in maybe 6 months or so.

    SIM card should have arrived to small Surface 3 (non-pro) already so I'm expecting that it will be available on Surface Pro at some point, be it through updated Pro 4 or with next Pro. I'm pretty sure we will see this soon, because Surface Pro is trying to be replacement for both tablets and laptops, and both of them have SIM options for quite some time. Personally, I'm OK with phone tethering because I can have only one contract/data plan, and since I'm not heavy mobile user, it is good enough for me. A colleague of mine is using USB dongle... both options are compromised, though.
  • Reply 228 of 251
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    auxio wrote: »
    There probably isn't (I'm not an illustrator), but I've heard of plenty of other apps and custom styluses which attempt to address the market for digital illustration where you need low-latency and rich pen styles to simulate working with physical tools as closely as possible.

    I really don't know much about software available for iOS... so my opinion on them wouldn't be worth much even if I have one... which I don't. I was/am under impression that pros will still be insisting on Photoshop/Illustrator and would be carrying around MBPs (or Windows laptops/Surface) with Wacom digitisers... not unlike Pro photographers carry bulky SLRs with even bulkier lenses, regardless of much lighter image taking devices available... but for what I know, that trend might just as well be changing. Eventually, we'll see - if iPad Pro does attracts pros, pro software will follow.

    Re Surface... We are using CorelDraw X7 and Corel PhotoPaint X7 for our inhouse needs... so I've tried them on Surface Pro 3. Vector based drawing actually worked quite nice - fast and responsive, even with vector objects "airbrush" and similar complex tools. With that being said, we don't doo overly complex things - business cards, small flyers etc. I don't know how well would it handle bigger load. PhotoPaint, on the other hand, did not impress me - it worked but didn't understand pressure sensitivity, even if there was an option to be turned on. And again, I don't know how would it handle complex bitmap with layers, transparencies and such.

    All that tells you is that they've added GPU optimizations to their product.  Meaning, they'll take advantage of whatever GPU you have, but the performance will only be as good as any given GPU.  Speaking from personal experience, the performance of GPUs varies wildly.  While integrated GPUs are getting better, they're still no match for discrete GPUs -- especially when you get into high resolution displays.

    My point was that Illustrator currently doesn't use GPGPU for actual drawing tasks, pen responsiveness and such... but for basic navigation around image. So on desktop, with this version of Illustrator, GPU wouldn't help much with pen - at least that is my understanding. On iOS, however, there might be software that does full GPGPU and does it well. If it does, power to iPad Pro users! I haven't noticed such software with price tag that would point to pro-level (I'm aware of AutoCAD 360 but that one seems to be quite basic?) but again, there might be apps that I am unaware of.

    Sure.  However, I know a number of illustrators, and they tend to carry sketchbooks around with them everywhere so that they can get ideas down on paper wherever and whenever they happen to get inspired.  For a tablet to be able to replace that sketchbook, it needs to be as light and easy to carry/handle as possible.  As well as be highly performant in any situation to capture all of the intricate details of those sketches (and not get in the way with lag).  This is where I don't believe the Surface Book, when using the integrated GPU, will be good enough.  Especially given that most Windows apps aren't being optimized for tablet use due to the market for such apps being so small.

    OK. Few pro's and enthusiasts I know are all in photography and they carry laptops in their camera - actually camera/laptop combo backpacks. I'm guessing main reason being that both Photoshop and Lightroom don't exist (with full feature set) outside of OSX/Windows. Maybe also because with the weight of camera gear, additional weight of laptop over tablet is not really make-it-or-break-it issue. This might be different with people who draw rather than edit photos. I don't know any ilustrator in person.
  • Reply 229 of 251
    majanimajani Posts: 92member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    That the Tegra X1 was the choice for the Pixel C tablet pretty much defines the poor state of ARM for Android tablets; there aren't any good alternatives to compete with Apple's A series.


     

    I don't understand how this is the case. Have you seen benchmarks for the Tegra X1? It's beating the A8X by almost twice, which is giving even the A9X a run for it's money based on Apple's performance claims. I don't see how it's defining a 'poor state' for Android tablets.

  • Reply 230 of 251
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member

    Uh, "one of the fastest"? Sorry, it's THE fastest ARM processor out there. By a landslide.

    I see you're still over-hyping Nvidia processors. Funny after you claimed the K1 64bit processor was so advanced Nvidia stopped making it and went back to using ARM A57 cores for the X1.

    A9 clocked lower yet smokes the pants off the 64bit K1. Despite Nvidia claiming they'd have the highest IPC of any ARM processor. It wasn't even as fast as the A7 in terms of IPC.
    Ugh, they didn't stop making the K1, the X1 was released to show off Maxwell, Erista, is the K1's replacement and will be released shortly after the next iteration of their Denver chip. I'm also not saying the X1 is the fastest chip there is, your taking my comment out of context. It's the fastest ARM chip I can get for my GPU computing development and it is. I'm just excited, stop trying to make me out as some sort of anti-apple CPU hater, I have nothing against the A9 as I to will be buying an iPad Pro like everyone else. You just don't seem to get how important GPU computing is to me and that Nvidia's SOC's are the only ones out there currently that actually have an entire community around them dedicated to just that, 1000's of examples, code, libraries, help, etc. everything I need to bring my projects a fruition. I am not, repeat, not, comparing the X1 to the A9, as they are meant for completely different tasks when in comes to what I'm doing with them. Nor am I saying that the Pixel C is a better tablet, in fact I'm not even going to be using it as one.
  • Reply 231 of 251
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    majani wrote: »
    I don't understand how this is the case. Have you seen benchmarks for the Tegra X1? It's beating the A8X by almost twice, which is giving even the A9X a run for it's money based on Apple's performance claims. I don't see how it's defining a 'poor state' for Android tablets.
    It's not, actually it's a really good chip. A lot of members here just really hate it when someone talks about another product in a good light, they really do. The silly thing about it is I won't even be using the Pixel C as an Android tablet, an iPad replacement, etc. but as a development machine with Linux installed. I didn't even mention Android in my post except to say that I will be removing it, they fill in what they think I'm trying to say and that's that the X1 is better than the A9. I don't care one bit about the A9 when it comes to my projects as it's only available in Apple's portables and has zero benefit to me in this regard. I was just trying to convey how great this year has been for tech. I've also wanted a laptop with an X1 or even Nvidia's new Denver 2 for a while now. Why, CUDA, it's the only ARM CPU that was actually designed with GPU computation in mind. Not because I think it's better than Apple's products but for my personal mad science-y whims. I'm just a tech nut who likes talking about tech, all tech and this is the place to do that, General Discussion.
  • Reply 232 of 251
    majanimajani Posts: 92member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Relic View Post





    It's not, actually it's a really good chip. A lot of members here just really hate it when someone talks about another product in a good light, they really do. The silly thing about it is I won't even be using the Pixel C as an Android tablet, an iPad replacement, etc. but as a development machine with Linux installed. I didn't even mention Android in my post except to say that I will be removing it, they fill in what they think I'm trying to say and that's that the X1 is better than the A9. I don't care one bit about the A9 when it comes to my projects as it's only available in Apple's portables and has zero benefit to me in this regard. I was just trying to convey how great this year has been for tech. I've also wanted a laptop with an X1 or even Nvidia's new Denver 2 for a while now. Why, CUDA, it's the only ARM CPU that was actually designed with GPU computation in mind. Not because I think it's better than Apple's products but for my personal mad science-y whims. I'm just a tech nut who likes talking about tech, all tech and this is the place to do that, General Discussion.

     

    Man... I do enterprise IT security across a largely BYOD-policy organization so I see almost every platform and OS you can imagine. I simultaneously love and hate everything tech-related and seem to have about 3 new smartphones a month. (yes, I am aware BYOD and security rarely go in the same sentence)

     

    I've had people come in and ask me to install both iOS on and android and Android on an iPhone, people asking for me to 'install the internet' on an old Nokia and all sorts of other strange combinations...

  • Reply 233 of 251
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,238member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MAJANI View Post

     

     

    I don't understand how this is the case. Have you seen benchmarks for the Tegra X1? It's beating the A8X by almost twice, which is giving even the A9X a run for it's money based on Apple's performance claims. I don't see how it's defining a 'poor state' for Android tablets.


    My claims are within the context of a tablet, not a development system, which is what your link shows, and I'm speaking of CPU performance, not GPU performance. Even then, i still contend that the A9X will beat the performance of the Tegra X1 in GPU performance because the TDP of the X1 will be too high for sustained performance within a tablet.

     

    It will be quite easy to compare the X1 versus the A9X when both the Pixel C and the iPad Pro are available to purchase and test. I expect that the A9X will be superior to the X1 in actual  benchmarks.

  • Reply 234 of 251
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,238member
    edited for duplicate post.
  • Reply 235 of 251
    still runs on windows though - and going from desktop view to mobile os is badly executed. plus they still need a lot of good apps on the windows store. I get why Apple is sticking to two operating systems - but still, I think apple's biggest mistake on OS X is not including Siri - we are so used to getting small tasks done with it that it makes switching between iOS and OS X almost feel like a downgrade.
  • Reply 236 of 251
    50% faster than what? Falling from a height of 6 feet?
  • Reply 237 of 251
    I work in a Mac environment and every time I walk past a mac laptop it is smudged with fingerprints from the keyboard!! (Screen closes tightly over the keys unless you put a sheet of paper/tissue to cover) I'm constantly cleaning my screen... About time someone thought of having a gap to separate the screen from the keyboard when closed. Ironically "they" have a done it for a touch screen which is going to get smudged as f#ck. Would make more sense for Apple to have a "gap" on their models.
    Love my Mac products but this is something that the apple guys haven't considered...
  • Reply 238 of 251
    majanimajani Posts: 92member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    I'm speaking of CPU performance, not GPU performance.




     

    Oh so you don't mean the A9X, you mean the 'twister' implementation vs. the Cortex-A57 ARMv8-A core? In which case, you're correct. I do believe the A9X to be a superior SoC on that front from early readings.

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    Even then, i still contend that the A9X will beat the performance of the Tegra X1 in GPU performance because the TDP of the X1 will be too high for sustained performance within a tablet.




     

    TDP has been my concern with the X1, too. I don't know how throttled it is in the Pixel, so we'll just have to see. I can't imagine it not being throttled, though. 

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tmay View Post

     

    It will be quite easy to compare the X1 versus the A9X when both the Pixel C and the iPad Pro are available to purchase and test. I expect that the A9X will be superior to the X1 in actual  benchmarks.


     

    I expect it to be a hugely mixed bag, like ever benchmark. It'll perform better on some, worse on others: each benchmark pushes the SoC in a different way.

  • Reply 239 of 251

    Came across this thread while looking for Surface Book news.  I've been using Macs for around 4 years and use a rMBP 15" for development. It's a great machine. But I pre-ordered a Surface Book. This thing is a competitor to the rMBP 13".

     

    The rMBP 13" weighs 3.48 lbs (does not have a discreet GPU)

    The Surface Book weighs 3.48 lbs (for the high end model with GPU, 3.34 lbs with the non-GPU model)

     

    The rMBP gets up to 12 hours of movie playback

    The Surface Book gets up to 12 hours of movie playback

     

    The main difference is, I can take the screen off of the Surface Book and use it as a tablet. The rMBP cannot do that. I have tried using the Surface Book in the Microsoft Store. It feels like a premium product - I was surprised how thin the keyboard was. Much thinner than my rMBP 15" (looks more like an Air). When the screen is detached, it's incredibly light for a 13.5" screen - 1.6lbs. It's lighter than the Surface Pro 4 even though the screen is over an inch bigger (doesn't sound like much but it's a big difference). Of course when detached it has less battery life since the base contains the majority of the batteries. But that's the purpose of the device - a laptop that can also act as an occasional tablet (if your usage is the opposite get the Surface Pro 4). And that's exactly how I plan to use it. The rMBP is a laptop that can never be a tablet. That's the reason people, including us Macbook owners, desire the Surface Book. To say "it only gets 3 hours battery life in tablet mode, macbook gets N" is just stupid.

     

    The Surface Book is probably not perfect right now - it could use a kickstand on the tablet and probably a beefier video card. But for a version 1 device, I think it's pretty awesome.

  • Reply 240 of 251
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    solarfuse wrote: »
    Came across this thread while looking for Surface Book news.  I've been using Macs for around 4 years and use a rMBP 15" for development. It's a great machine. But I pre-ordered a Surface Book. This thing is a competitor to the rMBP 13".

    The rMBP 13" weighs 3.48 lbs (does not have a discreet GPU)
    The Surface Book weighs 3.48 lbs (for the high end model with GPU, 3.34 lbs with the non-GPU model)

    The rMBP gets up to 12 hours of movie playback
    The Surface Book gets up to 12 hours of movie playback

    The main difference is, I can take the screen off of the Surface Book and use it as a tablet. The rMBP cannot do that. I have tried using the Surface Book in the Microsoft Store. It feels like a premium product - I was surprised how thin the keyboard was. Much thinner than my rMBP 15" (looks more like an Air). When the screen is detached, it's incredibly light for a 13.5" screen - 1.6lbs. It's lighter than the Surface Pro 4 even though the screen is over an inch bigger (doesn't sound like much but it's a big difference). Of course when detached it has less battery life since the base contains the majority of the batteries. But that's the purpose of the device - a laptop that can also act as an occasional tablet (if your usage is the opposite get the Surface Pro 4). And that's exactly how I plan to use it. The rMBP is a laptop that can never be a tablet. That's the reason people, including us Macbook owners, desire the Surface Book. To say "it only gets 3 hours battery life in tablet mode, macbook gets N" is just stupid.

    The Surface Book is probably not perfect right now - it could use a kickstand on the tablet and probably a beefier video card. But for a version 1 device, I think it's pretty awesome.

    1) Your comment screams BS. You think it compares to a 13" MBP. You start off buy listing the Macs you own and then when you make your facile comparison you don't mention that the Surface Book only gets 3 hours of battery life and no dGPU when used as a tablet. You also make no mention of price. The MBP starts $200 less than the Surface Book and the price disparity continues to increase as you move to the more expensive models. Additionally, you make no mention of use cases, why you need Windows when you have Macs for development, or why you need such a limited tablet when you can just use the 15" MBP you say you have along with an iPad (or some other tablet) for when you do need a tablet. You don't even list the Surface Book's processing speed when it (plus RAM and minimum storage) need to be higher than Mac OS X for doing the same tasks do to legacy overhead from rampant spaghetti code.

    2) Being a lousy tablet, that loses the key reasons, like battery life and a dGPU, Surface Book are important factors when choosing a device; so, yes, 3 hours of battery life is very important when talking about something you are expected to be considerably more mobile than a notebook... which gets 12 hours. Even the iPad gets 10 hours.

    3) I called one Microsoft Store. They said they won't likely have any in stock until the 26th. What Microsoft Store did you give it a through testing?
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