back to article Pegatron named as Microsoft Surface fondleslab foundry

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Pegatron has been awarded the contract to build Microsoft's Surface tablet, and sources suggest Redmond's got a twin strategy for tablets. According to DigiTimes, Pegatron will be building both the Intel and ARM versions of the fondleslab, with the Ivy Bridge-powered slab going for around $ …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. David Webb

    The price is too high, you can't compete with the iPad if your pricing is roughly the same even for a product that offers a lot more, people will just go with what they know. A good price point would be $100 under the iPad and price parity too, if it's $500 then bring it out in the UK for £320 not £500.

    1. ThomH

      It's not even roughly the same. The iPad 2 is currently available for $399 — two thirds of the cost of Microsoft's ARM tablet — and is a device on which Apple make a profit. And since it's not the flagship product I doubt Apple would have any qualms about dropping the price if Microsoft became an actual threat. Apart from ports there also seems to be no sufficiently obvious way in which Microsoft's ARM tablet is a better pick.

      So, yes, I agree completely. Trying to usurp the existing dominant player with a product that isn't obviously better and isn't significantly cheaper is lunacy. Amongst others, Amazon's approach is much smarter, and I bet they'll have managed at least a European release before Microsoft manages to get any hardware out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Yes and the other day, I got a ZX81 from ebay for a tenner. What's your point, other than old hardware is less expensive than current hardware?

        1. ThomH

          Re: @ThomH (@AC)

          If you retread my post, you'll see I argue that there's an insufficient distinction between an iPad 2 and Microsoft's ARM tablet. I'm going to take it as given that you're not trying to say the same thing about the ZX81.

          Specifically, the two devices are about the same size, have about the same screen resolution, and since the iPad 2 is approximately the same speed as the latest model we're probably talking the same sort of order of performance.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Its just a rumour Mr Bourne. Agree if true too high and £320 sounds about right.

      If the RT model including keyboard attachment//32Gb matched the similar iPad 3 at £400/16Gb inc VAT at launch, pretty cool a more flexible device. A real competitor to Apple.

      Not impossible, UK XBox pricing is sensible so Microsoft don't always screw up. Understandable theres a suspicion they will.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "People will go with what they know"

      Yes, you're right. And what do most people know? Windows.

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    $800? Seriously?

    Sorry, I bought a fairly decent full-fat laptop for that. And it runs Linux.

    The only way MSFT could kill Surface in the cradle is with price. And it did!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is interesting..

    Since Pegatron builds Asus's electronics toys (among others) Sure looks they'll have their hands full.

    I wonder where Google will be making their much rumoured rebranded tablet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is interesting..

      I thought I heard Asus would be making the Nexus tablet. Are there other rumors floating around?

  4. Eddy Ito
    Paris Hilton

    Didn't see it anywhere

    Was there any say so of these having quad-G Little Transmitty Encoders fur gittin' to the intarwebs? If so, they might get those prices to fly with the usual subsidy and 2 year lockup. Otherwise it's just shoveling shit against the tide and I'm guessing MS Surfaces aren't surf aces at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Didn't see it anywhere

      Nope sorry, it's Wifi only.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Didn't see it anywhere

        Bad link:

        Spec sheet here

  5. Azzy

    Those prices - proof Microsoft has lost touch w/reality

    With Metro in Win8 and their strange decisions regarding ramming it down customers' throats, I had been wondering if Microsoft had finally gone 'round the bend. These pricing numbers confirm it.

    The $800 for the high end version is not unreasonable. It sounds like that's going to be where most of the x86 tablets come in. Do I think all the x86 tablets will be a hard sell at that price? Certainly, but the cost of x86 tablets is a problem not limited to microsoft's version.

    The $600 for the ARM version is well into the loony-zone though. NOBODY will buy a tablet that costs more than an iPad, unless it's an iPad 3. Even matching the price of the low-end iPad historically has resulted in crapola sales (see Xoom, Tab, et al). Microsoft might be able to pull it off if they matched the iPad, because of their brand name and the keyboard. But for a price 50% higher?! No way is that gonna fly. Microsoft should recognize this before pricing is officially announced, and adjust the price downward first, to avoid the appearance of being desperate to get rid of them as they chop $200 off the price tag within a month of launch.

  6. Don Jefe

    cash cow

    Sure you can hate on MS but the fact remains they are the largest software developer on the planet. They are on to something by making their own tablet as proof of concept - Apple isn't the only game in town.

    If Surface does what it promises then the iPad will have real competition for the first time. If it will run Office it will be the long term winner. I'm willing to fork over the $800 to try. My iPad was a serious disapointment for real world productivity.

    1. StooMonster

      Re: cash cow

      Android and Amazon are not "real competition" for iPad, but Microsoft Surface is?

      At least these two offer cheaper alternatives if nothing else, what does Surface bring? The x86 version looks to me like an ultra book but with the mobo behind the screen rather than underneath the keyboard.

    2. Circadian

      Re: cash cow

      @Don Jefe

      "Stupid is as stupid does."

      The iPad was always designed primarily as a consumer consumption device - thinking otherwise suggests a lack of critical thought capability. Dropping $800 just as an experiment confirms it. Oh, I have a letter from Nigeria here with a wonderful offer for you - I think you are their target market.

    3. Andy ORourke

      Re: cash cow

      I don't think (but i'm probably wrong here) the iPad was ever really meant for "productivity"

      It's great for consumption and even a little bit of productivity (I can do One Note and edit my spreadsheets etc) but obviously if you are trying to do anything "major" on it then you just had the wrong device.

      I think they (Microsoft) could be onto something with the surface but it's trying to get the differences over to joe public. I can imagine the confusion:

      "iPad - £400 or Microsoft pad £500" no brainer really, I am guessing a lot of "Consumers" wont know (or care about) the difference.

      As usual, it's horses for courses. I can browse the web, watch movies, listen to music, keep up to date in my spreadsheets and check my works emails without getting off the sofa when I "work from home" so the iPad works for me.

      If you need more than that then the iPad isnt for you, doesnt mean one is better than the other, just one is more suited to your requirments that's all

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: cash cow

        I was forced into an iPad purchase because it promised increased productivity & my boss wanted to trial them. It was a dud.

        As far as the asshat above that's butthurt because I have $800 to spend on a valid experiment: FUCK OFF. Work harder & you too can have extra money for toys & experiments.

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: cash cow

      I'm willing to fork over the $800 to try. My iPad was a serious disapointment for real world productivity.

      I am reminded of an aphorism about good money and bad...

      Of course, I've already admitted more than once that I find the entire class of tablet devices annoying and largely useless. Others' mileage might vary.

  7. Infernoz Bronze badge

    MS are massively priced out of the market!

    You can already easily buy a decent 10" Android for £170 to £200, which has masses of apps for it, so these prices are way way too high for a tablet with very few apps!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: MS are massively priced out of the market!

      Yes you can buy cheap Android tablets and even cheap iPads. But can they run Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and have the same level of deep integration with Microsoft services and solutions like SharePoint. No they cannot.

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        Re: MS are massively priced out of the market!

        There's plenty of view and/or edit programs for common office file formats for Android.

        As for SharePoint, nobody outside a business needs or wants. And mostly not even then. And the company can get them a proper laptop if req.

      2. Euripides Pants

        Re: MS are massively priced out of the market!

        I don't want my tablet to run Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Don't want "deep integration" either.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: MS are massively priced out of the market!

          How sad & meaningless your life must be if you don't want your device to run real business software.

          1. Euripides Pants

            Re: sad & meaningless

            How sad & meaningless *your* life must be if you want to work all the time.

  8. Walt French

    What's The Objective for Surface?

    I've used a large, high-powered laptop for years. Lots of hard disk, fast CPU, big, detailed (and gorgeous) screen. I run major math problems in Mathematica, edit video (occasionally), manage a couple of big databases, and write programs. (In addition to all the ordinary browsing & email I do.) So I wouldn't try to squeeze my work onto a tablet.

    But my wife's needs are different: she loves having 8½×11 PDFs on her iPad when she goes to Board meetings. Writes Chinese on it as part of her study. Pops it out of its home in the kitchen table drawer when we feel like Skypeing after dinner. Finds it easy to catch up on friends' photos or videos, or play a round or two of a game with friends before going to sleep. Every one of these tasks works better on a tablet (withOUT an extra keyboard in the way) than ANY other device. And does just fine on the modest CPU Apple supplies.

    People here seem pretty desperate to shoehorn the wrong jobs onto iPads, so I guess they'll do the same with the Surface. And they might be MORE disappointed in lack of good apps (that fabulous Chinese dictionary/OCR/flashcard in her case), or other apps that go viral too quickly for Microsoft to supply the financial incentive to developers. Also realistically, Microsoft has made the story VERY difficult with the long-battery-life, less expensive version unable to run any legacy Windows apps.

    As with any device, the question becomes: what job(mix of jobs) do *I* need to do, that this device will do better than any other device? I can see it working for some mobile corporate types, who need a “different and innovative” sexy device for their client work; for everybody else, I don't get why an iPad or a Windows UltraBook wouldn't work BETTER.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: What's The Objective for Surface?

      she loves having 8½×11 PDFs on her iPad when she goes to Board meetings. Writes Chinese on it as part of her study. Pops it out of its home in the kitchen table drawer when we feel like Skypeing after dinner. Finds it easy to catch up on friends' photos or videos, or play a round or two of a game with friends before going to sleep. Every one of these tasks works better on a tablet (withOUT an extra keyboard in the way) than ANY other device.

      "Better on a tablet ... than ANY other device" for any user, eh?

      From your list above, the only task I'd even consider a tablet for is Chinese input. (I don't know Chinese myself, but I have some Japanese, so I understand what it's like entering characters from ideographic writing systems using a keyboard.) But even then, I'd want to do it with a stylus ("pen" input) rather than a finger, since I rarely do calligraphy with finger-paints. And so if I had to do it frequently, I might like something like those flip-screen multi-mode laptops that were briefly fashionable among a certain set, like the ThinkPad X230.

      Different users have different preferences, as well as different needs. It's not simply a question of "the best device for the job". It's one of "the best device for the job and the user".

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pegatron rebrander anyone ?

    I have a mental image of a certain el reg hack feverishly updating their microsoft macro ..

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Pegatron rebrander anyone ?

      Hmm, I think that "Pegatron subsidiser" might be more sarky here.....

  10. Doug Bostrom

    Nokia is surely congratulating itself for tying its future to Microsoft.

    Kill the children, rewrite the will for the new cuckoo in the nest, then- uh-oh.

    I wonder if Elop is drawing two salaries?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nokia is to blame for its own failings

      Nokia did a OS licensing deal. They made decent hardware to marry with that OS. The only problem is they left it too late and wasted too much time with Symbian. They should have acted the day the iPhone was released. Or he day Android was released at the latest.

  11. banjomike

    demonstrate the strengths and capabilities of the new Windows 8

    I expect that he has got that the wrong way round. Presumably Windows 8 was CREATED for the tablet and Microsoft selling it to desktop users as the "new way forward" is just a sideline. Certainly the previews I've tried are very unpleasant to use.

    But I like the look of the Surface and Win8 seems OK on it.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: demonstrate the strengths and capabilities of the new Windows 8

      I have to agree. Certainly on phones that Metro interface would seem to be the mutt's nuts and makes the "Home screen(s) 'n icons" approach elsewhere seem decidedly clunky by comparison.

      I rather regret my recent Android purchase as I, slightly more recently, bought a WinPho device for my son. It's a better UI, a much better UI. It also manages to feel more consistantly smoother and fluid in transitions, despite the unit it's running on having nowhere near the horsepower of mine. Now, if they'd just put WinPho on something less stodgily Scandic in design, I think they'd have a winner. Having played with the devices, I reckon its Nokia letting MS down rather than the other way around here.

      With that experience, I fully expect Win 8 to be a damned good thing on tablets too. I might just punt for an ARM one. It does stink on the desktop, as you say, though........

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't pegatron

    the leader of the decepticons?

    1. Miek

      Re: Isn't pegatron

      I think it was Megatron (also Galvatron)

      1. Tom Chiverton 1

        Re: Isn't pegatron

        And Starscream (briefly).

        And that's just in the movie (the proper, animated, one)

  13. not_equal_to_null
    Thumb Up


    I fail to see why everyone is so up-in-arms about paying $799 for the Surface (I refuse the acknowledge that the ARM version even exists). It's not cheap, but it's not too over the top either.

    Let's face it, you're getting:

    - Decent build quality (by the looks of things)

    - Reasonable processing performance (I'm currently developing on a 1.6GHz i7, and it's great)

    - I assume a reasonable amount of ram (3 or 4 gb)

    - FULL 1080p HD (a real winner for me!)

    - Touch and Pen input

    .. for the price of an upper mid-range laptop.

    (and no, I'm not a MSFT fanboy...)

  14. The Grump

    Hey, isn't Pegatron...

    the same company HP used for its first I7 mobo's - and had a lot of BSOD and overheat issues ? Are HP exec's really dumb enough to go bobbing for french fries in a deep fryer ? I think the answers are 1) yes and 2) yes.

    HP = Fail.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Hey, isn't Pegatron...

      Builders (rebranders, EMS's, P&P Shops etc...) just build to specs provided by the "Brand Owner". If something goes terribly pear shaped it is almost always the fault of the engineering firm "Brand Owner" not the EMS.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like