Review roundup: Microsoft's Surface Pro is about compromises

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 92

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


     


     


    You mean the tech isn't there at a price point Apple thinks people will be willing to pay? Clearly, Apple could put a Retina Display in the Mini. It just couldn't do it at a price point it wanted to do so. 



     


    Its not only price point, its yield, a company producing 1Million devices can afford to go there but that is nowhere near enough for an ipad, not even an order of magnitude near enough.

  • Reply 42 of 92

    Battery life on SP is a killer, in my opinion, for anyone who needs to use a tablet. It's not a "fixed-laptop" as so many are, so that close-by power supply is not as readily available as for a "fixed-laptop".

    As for Mossberg's arguments,

    A- Non-touch programs don't run well on the touch interface. Okaaaaay. Predictable, my dear. I remember quite a few apps vetted by Apple that utterly sucked due to being heavy-handedly translated from non-touch to touch, especially games. EA, Ubisoft, Square Enix, you hear me?
    7,99$ ones, no less. And these were supposed to be "touch-enabled". If Apple could not enforce that all apps they vetted really were top-notch (to be reaaaaaally nice in the description), probably it's unfair to take the least likely gripe as an argument, that customers might be unhappy that apps that were never designed for that platform, nor updated for it, would not work as well as they do on the platform they were designed for?
    Argument invalid, imho.

    B- Surface Pro is a study in compromises. So's the iPad. The problem is not "does it compromise", it is "does it compromise well". In that respect,it seems it doesn't, but if it sells millions I'll eat my words...

    @Ikrupp Why the random French words? It doesn't really support your argument to insert random words, y'know.
  • Reply 43 of 92

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    That's not a compromise; the tech isn't there yet.



    Not true. Nexus 7 has a much better screen than iPad Mini. 


     


    Mini is compromised for purely financial reasons. I don't care, I'll get iPad Mini Retina for my girlfriend when it comes out ^^'

  • Reply 44 of 92
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    jd_in_sb wrote: »
    “If you see a stylus, they blew it.” - Steve Jobs
    LOL I love this line. I believe Samsung recently doubled down on the stylus by purchasing Wacom stock.
  • Reply 45 of 92
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    Mini is compromised for purely financial reasons. 



    Source?

  • Reply 46 of 92
    kr00kr00 Posts: 99member


    The whole endeavour to evolve a PC into a tablet is flawed, based on the fact its trying to appease users who want a PC but in a tablet form. The ecosystems are just miles apart and won't work as a marriage. Only a major mind shift by users will see a truly productive tablet evolve. Users have to be drawn into a whole new world of computing, not a renovated old one. Apple have done a good job coaxing its users into a new ecosystem, but its only part the way there. Microsoft needs to do the same, and forget about trying to appease its flock. A totally new way of thinking has to exist before we can move to the next level of tablet computing. You just can't bring old world and new world together and make it work. The next generation has to come with absolutely no compromises.

  • Reply 47 of 92
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member


    When the Surface was first announced last year and Microsoft showed off the touch covers all these Windows fanboys said "see Apple, that's how you do a Smart Cover".  I remember at the time thinking it seemed gimmicky and that Apple probably had prototyped something similar but decided against it because of poor user experience (and also because they're not trying to converge a laptop and tablet into one device).


     


    Well I just watched the Verge's Surface Pro video review and the called the touch cover a gimmick.  image


     


    Has anyone ever seen the Surface (or any other Windows convertible) being used in portrait mode?  I read on my iPad all the time and usually when I do it's in portrait mode.  Seems to me the surface would suck for reading books or magazines.    I wonder what note taking is like as that too I assume would be done more often in portrait mode.  It's hard to know because you never see the device shown that way.  The UI just doesn't seem suited for portrait mode use.


     


    Microsoft would have been better off building a nice thin and light laptop that had touch screen/pen digitizer capabilities than a laptop/tablet hybrid. I have yet to see a review that really praises the Surface as a tablet.  And using it on your lap seems like it doesn't work very well.

  • Reply 48 of 92
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,626member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Maybe they shouldn't be trying to pass off a laptop as a tablet, then.



     


    Their problem is that it doesn't pass as a decent laptop, either, it's the worst of all possible compromises.


     


    As predicted, the Surface Pro (like the RT before it) is DOA because it does nothing well.


     


    This is what happens when products are designed in the executive suites, based on "market research" and an idée fixe.

  • Reply 49 of 92
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    Their problem is that it doesn't pass as a decent laptop, either, it's the worst of all possible compromises.


     


    As predicted, the Surface Pro (like the RT before it) is DOA because it does nothing well.



    Yep.  And what's laughable is Microsoft saying you need to compare the Surface to a Macboom Air + iPad to get a fair comparison.  Really?  I'd love to know how many people will use the Surface as a tablet.  It's too thick and heavy and battery life sucks.  Plus you never see it in portrait orientation without the keyboard/cover.  Which leads me to believe it sucks being used that way or being used without the keyboard cover.


     


    This is what I love about Apple.  They get that design involves making compromises, but they're good at making the right ones.  Microsoft tried to design a device that was the best of everything but it ended up being the best at nothing.

  • Reply 50 of 92
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Yep.  And what's laughable is Microsoft saying you need to compare the Surface to a Macboom Air + iPad to get a fair comparison.  Really?  I'd love to know how many people will use the Surface as a tablet.  It's too thick and heavy and battery life sucks.  Plus you never see it in portrait orientation without the keyboard/cover.  Which leads me to believe it sucks being used that way or being used without the keyboard cover.

    This is what I love about Apple.  They get that design involves making compromises, but they're good at making the right ones.  Microsoft tried to design a device that was the best of everything but it ended up being the best at nothing.

    The comparison is really simple:

    Surface RT compares to the iPad

    Surface Pro compares to the MBA (since every advertisement is bragging more about the keyboard than the device itself, one assumes that they're suggesting that the keyboard is largely necessary).

    The Pro is more expansive than a comparably equipped MBA - and has significant limitations. The RT is comparable in price to the iPad but has much poorer app support.
  • Reply 51 of 92

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by graxspoo View Post


    Hi Tim,


     


    I'm wondering though, wouldn't you rather have something like a PC version of the MacBook Air for about the same price as the Surface Pro? With a proper laptop, you have an experience that is designed for keeping your hands on the keyboard, using the touch-pad, etc. With the Surface Pro, you have to switch between touch, stylus and optionally track-pad, and UIs that are designed for a mouse and for touch. It seems like a jumble. Plus, most portables in the MacBook Air category almost double the battery life of the Surface Pro. There's also very little disk space left after the OS has taken it's fill. And there's less expandability and connectivity than you get with a real laptop.

     


    As an example the Toshiba Portege:


    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2410357,00.asp


    Costs less than the Surface Pro, and gives you 8 hours battery life.



     


    Yes considered a MacBook Air, I usually buy Macs firstly because I like them and because you then have the options of both OS's. But I have 2 issues with the Air, it doesn't have a touch screen and you can't take off the keyboard.


     


    For the web I much prefer using my iPad on the sofa over a laptop, but it's an annoying compromise as it doesn't do everything. If I want to type anything over a couple of lines it's not great, and if I want to program or edit an image I need to go back to a laptop. I don't want 2 devices though, it's like having an iPod and a phone. they need to be one device.


     


    Yes the battery life is a bit disappointing, and the space is small (although can be expanded). But is it better in my scenario then a laptop that I find clunky or an iPad that doesn't do what I want.

  • Reply 52 of 92
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    timgriff84 wrote: »
    Yes considered a MacBook Air, I usually buy Macs firstly because I like them and because you then have the options of both OS's. But I have 2 issues with the Air, it doesn't have a touch screen and you can't take off the keyboard.

    For the web I much prefer using my iPad on the sofa over a laptop, but it's an annoying compromise as it doesn't do everything. If I want to type anything over a couple of lines it's not great, and if I want to program or edit an image I need to go back to a laptop. I don't want 2 devices though, it's like having an iPod and a phone. they need to be one device.

    Yes the battery life is a bit disappointing, and the space is small (although can be expanded). But is it better in my scenario then a laptop that I find clunky or an iPad that doesn't do what I want.

    Then buy one. No one is suggesting that either the MBA or iPad or Surface RT or Surface Pro is right for everyone. People should choose the product that best meets their needs.

    I suspect, however, that people who have your particular set of needs are a tiny minority.
  • Reply 53 of 92
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,626member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


     


    Yes considered a MacBook Air, I usually buy Macs firstly because I like them and because you then have the options of both OS's. But I have 2 issues with the Air, it doesn't have a touch screen and you can't take off the keyboard.


     


    For the web I much prefer using my iPad on the sofa over a laptop, but it's an annoying compromise as it doesn't do everything. If I want to type anything over a couple of lines it's not great, and if I want to program or edit an image I need to go back to a laptop. I don't want 2 devices though, it's like having an iPod and a phone. they need to be one device.


     


    Yes the battery life is a bit disappointing, and the space is small (although can be expanded). But is it better in my scenario then a laptop that I find clunky or an iPad that doesn't do what I want.



     


    Unfortunately for you, your "scenario" won't live up to the promise. Unfortunately for Microsoft, you are the market research they used to design this device.

  • Reply 54 of 92
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,626member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post



    Then buy one. No one is suggesting that either the MBA or iPad or Surface RT or Surface Pro is right for everyone.


     


    I am. Well, not really suggesting, stating would be the better word. The Surface Pro is the wrong device for everyone, in all cases. The Surface RT is simply the wrong device. If you need a tablet and a laptop, the only way you're going to get the functionality of both is to buy both. Simply wanting a device that's the best of both worlds doesn't mean the Surface, Pro or RT, is such a device. As they say, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

  • Reply 55 of 92


    That's what you get by trying to be "everything at once." Funny that they used Lenka's song for their ad - a self-fulfilling prophecy... Yes, jack of all trades, master of Zune ;-) It's a study in how to burn thru $1B of an advertising budget with mediocre results.

  • Reply 56 of 92


    This is just funny.. 4 hours of battery life is not that bad. It runs i5 CPU not Arm core like iPad..


    Surface Pro has 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53in


    Macbook Air 11" has 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.68in


     


    Mackbook Air 11" has 2 USB port + 1 tunder bolt. Surface Pro 1 USB + 1 display port + SD card. Port wise I don't think not much difference between 2 products to me. 1 USB for mouse(if you need one), Either you buy 64GB SD card or 64GB USB stick.. Now only difference is tunderbolt and displayport.


    I rather have displayport to easier connect to either TV or monitor. Tunderbolt dongle is too expensive.


     


    Also someone mention about buy Mmacbook Air and install windows OS? Do you know how much space on Macbook Air?


    I just checked 11" air has either 64 or 128GB.. No SD card expansion.. If you buy 64GB version then both OS will took more then half of 64GB space..


    I thought you guys complain about Surface Pro has too little space left for use.


    At least Surface Pro has SD card expansion slot.. Another 64GB SD card should be solve your space issues.


    Soon 128GB microSD card will lunch.


    11" Air does not have one.. Very disappointing when it was released without SD card for 11".


     


    You all wanted or not PC(include pad, laptop, desktop)already shifted to touch.


    Check how many Macbook, iMac, Mac mini sold compare to iPad.


     


    Current touch screen on laptop is not that great. it is good but not great. Soon you will see 13", 15" tablet with full OS running.


    I hope next windows trim down some size and instant boot like windows RT does.


     


    Also about 4G connection. RT has nVidia tegra 3. Which does not have included 4G stuff. The tegra 4 will solve that problem.


    It maybe replace current Surface RT by end of this year.(which close to product life cycle to be 1 year)


     


    Yeah.. Pen was around long time.. I saw some insurence guy carry bulky tablet PC that has pen.. Surface Pro should be good for sign contract and other thing.


     


    At least MS has single UI for pad and PC. Apple has 2 different UI. Soon they will have to think about how to combine them as one and move to touch for everything. If Apple does not want to move this way then they will lose market share soon.


     


    Oh.. One more thing about Surface PRO does not have Office.. Soon MS will start promotion to give out Office 365 1 year free.


    Surface Pro 64GB($899) with Office 365($99) free is pretty good deal to me.


    I think Office 365 is good choice if you have 4-5 computers for family.


     


    Anyway I am more concern about MS release Surface PRO too close to next Intel Haswell CPU release date..(It should June 2013)


    Current ivybridge CPU has 4 months to live.. Unless Intel give real good price to MS then price drop will soon to follow..

  • Reply 57 of 92
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    karas11 wrote: »
    This is just funny.. 4 hours of battery life is not that bad. It runs i5 CPU not Arm core like iPad..
    Surface Pro has 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53in
    Macbook Air 11" has 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.68in

    Mackbook Air 11" has 2 USB port + 1 tunder bolt. Surface Pro 1 USB + 1 display port + SD card. Port wise I don't think not much difference between 2 products to me. 1 USB for mouse(if you need one), Either you buy 64GB SD card or 64GB USB stick.. Now only difference is tunderbolt and displayport.
    I rather have displayport to easier connect to either TV or monitor. Tunderbolt dongle is too expensive.

    Also someone mention about buy Mmacbook Air and install windows OS? Do you know how much space on Macbook Air?
    I just checked 11" air has either 64 or 128GB.. No SD card expansion.. If you buy 64GB version then both OS will took more then half of 64GB space..
    I thought you guys complain about Surface Pro has too little space left for use.
    At least Surface Pro has SD card expansion slot.. Another 64GB SD card should be solve your space issues.
    Soon 128GB microSD card will lunch.
    11" Air does not have one.. Very disappointing when it was released without SD card for 11".

    You all wanted or not PC(include pad, laptop, desktop)already shifted to touch.
    Check how many Macbook, iMac, Mac mini sold compare to iPad.

    Current touch screen on laptop is not that great. it is good but not great. Soon you will see 13", 15" tablet with full OS running.
    I hope next windows trim down some size and instant boot like windows RT does.

    Also about 4G connection. RT has nVidia tegra 3. Which does not have included 4G stuff. The tegra 4 will solve that problem.
    It maybe replace current Surface RT by end of this year.(which close to product life cycle to be 1 year)

    Yeah.. Pen was around long time.. I saw some insurence guy carry bulky tablet PC that has pen.. Surface Pro should be good for sign contract and other thing.

    At least MS has single UI for pad and PC. Apple has 2 different UI. Soon they will have to think about how to combine them as one and move to touch for everything. If Apple does not want to move this way then they will lose market share soon.

    Oh.. One more thing about Surface PRO does not have Office.. Soon MS will start promotion to give out Office 365 1 year free.
    Surface Pro 64GB($899) with Office 365($99) free is pretty good deal to me.
    I think Office 365 is good choice if you have 4-5 computers for family.

    Anyway I am more concern about MS release Surface PRO too close to next Intel Haswell CPU release date..(It should June 2013)
    Current ivybridge CPU has 4 months to live.. Unless Intel give real good price to MS then price drop will soon to follow..

    Wow. You managed to cram a lot of errors into one post. Let's highlight a few of them:

    - battery life. The MBA has 5-7 hours of battery life compared to 4 for the Surface.

    - Storage space. While less than half of the space on a 64 GB Surface is available for use, somwhere around 75-80% is available on the MBA. OS X doesn't take anywhere near as much space, Apple doesn't stuff the system full of shovelware, and the backup is on the Internet rather than on the disk.

    - SD cards have a massive disadvantage - reliability. Not only is the card unreliable, but the extra hardware in the system is a source for problems. But if you really insist on an SD card, you can buy a USB adapter for a few bucks - completely negating your advantage.

    - The fact that you consider Thunderbolt to be too expensive is negated by the fact that the Surface Pro is more expensive than the MBA after you pay for the keyboard. Besides, if the cable bothers you so much, just use Airplay. You can buy an MBA with Apple TV for less than the cost of a Surface Pro with keyboard.

    - You seem to be confused by the fact that tablets and laptops are not the same thing. That's understandable because Microsoft is apparently confused, as well. Apple has products for both markets without creating silly hybrids that do neither thing well.

    - While it is correct to say that MS has a single UI to cover all platforms, it has not been established that this is the way to go. Apple has decided to go with GOOD UIs for both tablets and laptops rather than crappy blended UIs. If you doubt that, just read the reviews of WIndows 8. Hardly anyone is praising the new UI.
  • Reply 58 of 92

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by karas11 View Post


    At least MS has single UI for pad and PC. ...



     


    You say that like it's a good thing. Although, in actuality, they really don't. What they do have is 2 UIs crammed together on 1 device.


     


    Quote:


    ...  Apple has 2 different UI. Soon they will have to think about how to combine them as one and move to touch for everything. If Apple does not want to move this way then they will lose market share soon. ...



     


    An interesting theory, but without any basis in evidence, not even enough to support an inference supporting your assertion. What evidence we do have is that devices that try to combine a traditional "desktop" interface with a touch interface fail miserably. There are a number of products that have tried this over the years, most of them based on Microsoft technology, and including Windows Mobile, and they have all been miserable failures. The Surface Pro looks very much like it will also be a miserable failure. Adding "touch" capabilities to traditional "desktop" interfaces has also been a practical failure. It continues to be a failure, so there a) really isn't any pressure on Apple to do this, and there won't be unless and until it isn't a failure, and b) there's no evidence that, for general use, this is even a useful paradigm.


     


    Note: One should keep in mind that a laptop is already a "compromise device". So, creating a laptop tablet hybrid will necessarily compromise a) the tablet aspects of the device, and b) the already compromised desktop aspects.

  • Reply 59 of 92
    19831983 Posts: 1,224member
    I had high hopes for this. But it looks to be another Microsoft hardware flop like the Zune and the RT before it. Ballmer really needs to go already!
  • Reply 60 of 92

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Then buy one. No one is suggesting that either the MBA or iPad or Surface RT or Surface Pro is right for everyone. People should choose the product that best meets their needs.



    I suspect, however, that people who have your particular set of needs are a tiny minority.


    Exactly. People will vote with their checkbooks :-)

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