back to article Microsoft Surface 3 Pro: Flip me over, fondle me up

The touchscreen Surface Pro 3, unveiled on Tuesday, is Microsoft's latest attempt to bridge the gap between laptops and tablets. Panos Panay claims Surface Pro 3 is one device to rule them all Panos Panay claims Surface Pro 3 is one device to rule them all "It starts with dreaming the impossible," gushed Microsoft CEO …

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  1. lotus49

    Who ate all the pies?

    Compared to an iPad or a top end Android tablet like the Note 10.1 2014, the Surface looks like a real porker. Its screen is too small to use for an extended period and it isn't usable with the keyboard except on a flat surface.

    I can't see this doing much better than the previous iterations, of which I have only seen about 10 in the flesh compared to more iPads than you could shake a stick at. Windows 8.1 really isn't that bad compared to most previous iterations of Windows but this device sits uncomfortably between a consumption only device like the iPad and proper laptops on which you can actually do real work. It may not flop as badly as the first iteration of the Surface, but I confidently predict that it will flop nonetheless.

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Pint

      Re: Who ate all the pies?

      With an attitude like this, it's no wonder that Microsoft decided against paying you millions as a Surface consultant.

      1. HollyHopDrive

        Re: Who ate all the pies?

        @Preston - lol - but don't you think that is actually the problem. Microsoft didn't hire him. Microsoft hired yes men. And you also need some no men. Because when your no men say yes, you've probably cracked the serious flaws. Whereas the yes men just want to keep getting paid so just keep saying yes.

        My problem is, the top end one costs as much as a macbook pro of a equal if not better spec. Way more than an mac air. Screen will be better in either case (apple do seem to have lovely screens the monkeys!).

        Now, granted they are aimed at businesses not consumers (a flaw btw!) - look at what apple have done. They got the consumer and now we see Macbooks and ipads in business. Something that even 3 years ago would be a real rarity.

        MS (IMHO) need to stop inventing the laptop-tablet. Sometimes I want a tablet. Sometimes I want a laptop. Sometimes I want a hammer, sometimes I want a screwdriver. I can use a decent screwdriver as a hammer but it doesn't give the best finish, and is cumbersome but for a quick job we've all done that!. Sometimes that doesn't work and that's when I get the hammer. Also, putting a screw in with a hammer just is overkill. Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer.[well MS have in my analogy] It doesn't need inventing. I am happy to own both.

        Apple (and samsung) have set the bar. Microsoft are way off the mark with this one. I don't want my desktop apps on my tablet. Its a dreadful device to write a document on, but a great device to read one on. Until they get that.....and laptops....really...what percentage of people actually use on on their lap to do anything serious for any period of time.

        Oh...I think I need a lie down.....my rant has got out of control...

        1. stucs201

          Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

          Oh yes they did

          Not just hammer and screwdriver, but also knife, saw and tooyo'oenoo' (*) too.

          Or if you want just a hammer-screwdriver

          (*) tooyo'oenoo' = pliers, as I'm sure many of us are aware due to other articles here on el-reg.

          1. lambda_beta
            Linux

            Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

            You can hammer a screw, but you can't screw a hammer.

            - ancient Chinese proverb -

            1. king of foo

              Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

              I'm sure if you feed that into Google you will find a fair few examples of people screwing hammers...

              1. Frankee Llonnygog

                Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

                And more than a few hamdrivers

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

              "You can hammer a screw, but you can't screw a hammer."

              You can shag a cash machine though:

              http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/20/tennessee_atm_outrage/

          2. Ralph B

            Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

            You're forgetting the 3 Rules of Engineering:

            1. Always use the correct tool for the job.

            2. The correct tool is always a hammer.

            3. Any tool can be used as a hammer.

            1. Locky

              Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

              "You're forgetting the 3 Rules of Engineering"

              Close;

              1. Always use the correct tool for the job.

              2. If it moves and it shouldn't, Hammer

              3. It it doesn't move and it should, WD40

              1. D@v3

                Re: "2. If it moves and it shouldn't..."

                gaffer tape

              2. L0ki
                Coat

                Re: "Nobody invented the screwdriver hammer"

                I think you meant:

                2. If it moves and it shouldn't, Gaffer Tape

        2. mmeier

          Re: Who ate all the pies?

          @ HollyHopDrive

          Ever used a tablet pc (as opposed to a tablet)? It's quite a bit different in capabilities with the stylus adding both the option to use desktop software (works fine since 2003) and taking notes / sketches at a precision of a fine pointed (and pressure sensitive) pencil. Add in a very mature "handwriting->computer readable" software and this is a fine piece of equipment for conferences etc.

          Put it in a dock, add a USB keyboard and it can replace 90+ percent of the notebooks and desktops (FPS style games and heavy duty software development are the exception)

          Oh and the screwdriver hammer has been invented - called a Leatherman IIRC

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Ben Bonsall

          Re: Who ate all the pies?

          Knifewrench! Practical and safe!

          1. hplasm
            Happy

            Re: Who ate all the pies?

            Trusty Flickhammer!

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Off topic - Re: Who ate all the pies?

          There's the proper physical tool and there's also the lock-in MS provide and their adherence to the idea of cloud computing. People have varying degrees of acceptance of these but open formats and increased control, or the ability to totally control what your system does, is not the direction that MS is driving the herd toward.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Who ate all the pies?

      THe iPad doesn't have a 12" screen or a full-blown i7 CPU. These are totally different devices, as was mentioned this is competing more with MacBook Air than iPad Air.

      Seems like it could be a big hit in business, I don't think this version is really a consumer-oriented device but a business device... interest in Surface Pro has mainly been from that market.

    3. mmeier

      Re: Who ate all the pies?

      What is better:

      12'' vs 10.6'': The 12'' format is basically DIN A4 from the useable "real estate". Having using the S/P2 "grandfather" (ASUS EP121) and 10'' tablet pc (Dell, Samsung) that is quite a bit of difference for use as a "digital college block"

      As for the S/PROs before that, have they, as opposed to the RT variant, really been a flop? Here in germany they can even be found at the Metro owned chains of electronic shops

      More variants in power and price from a i3 that is placed nicely against the Lenovo and HP Baytrails (TPT10, EPad 1000) in price with some more power and a faster SSD all up to an i7 that plays against Thinkpad Yoga and Q704

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who ate all the pies?

      "Compared to an iPad or a top end Android tablet like the Note 10.1 2014, the Surface looks like a real porker"

      But those are not proper PCs - or running fully featured OSs - they are primarily game playing and media consumption devices. They might do for execs that just need to read email (although personally I would never allow something as insecure as Android in the corporate environment. IOS at least does the basics in that respect.)

      This is a real computer running a fully featured and touch optimised OS. That is 9mm think (that's only 1.5mm thicker than the latest iPad - which has vastly inferior specs. and capabilities) and lasts ~ 9 hours on a single charge. And has a larger screen and simultaneous 4K output capability. Businesses will likely be forming a queue for it. And I suspect it won't do too badly with consumers either - likely constrained only by the high cost....

      I have pre-ordered one anyway.

      1. Tom Graham

        Re: Who ate all the pies?

        Yes, it's a real computer running a real OS.

        Just like...

        Thousands of existing models of laptops.

        The only difference being - it is marginally slimmer than the slimmest existing laptops from Lenovo, Apple etc at the expense that you cannot comfortably use it on your lap, or on the tray of an aeroplane or train seat.

        For the same price I would prefer an ultrabook or Air with a hinged keyboard.

        And it is bigger, heavier an more expensive than tablets, which are not full computers.

        So what is so great about it?

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Who ate all the pies?

          >>And it is bigger, heavier an more expensive than tablets, which are not full computers.

          So what is so great about it?

          Because whilst it does neither use case 100% as well as a dedicated form-factor, it does both of them 80% as well and that is a major convenience and cost saving. I have the Surface 2 (not even a Pro) and it's replaced the majority of my laptop needs. I'll take the laptop if I know I'm going to be setting up somewhere for a day's work. But with the Surface I can do lots of the work I would do on a laptop (Excel, Word, Outlook, SSH into servers) without having to lug a larger device around. Consequently I do laptop-activities in places I would never normally have my laptop with me.

          Similarly, I no longer have to carry around a separate tablet device - this is quite good enough. So lighter than carrying two devices, more convenient and considerably cheaper. And whilst it may not be quite as light as an iPad, it's still not heavy. And it's only going to get lighter so inevitably hybrid devices will get better and better at eating up the tablet space as well.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Who ate all the pies?

            You know it's funny. I remember most of these same objections when phones started to have cameras in them. Neophobes insisted it was rubbish to have a single device when they could carry a camera AND a phone and dedicated devices were better.

            And then technology got to the point that phones could do camera work adequately well for most people. Sure, if you're totally focused on photography, you'll have a dedicated DSLR alongside your phone. But for everyone else, they use their phone.

            Now tablets / hybrids are able to compete with laptops and history repeats with the same arguments repurposed. MS are ahead of the curve here, that is all.

    5. Stephen Channell
      Unhappy

      Where's the docking station?

      Now that they've moved the USB, power & Display Port to the right hand side, they can do a real docking station, unlike the joke one they did for the Pro2.

      With a flat/wedge dock, the screen becomes a mouse/mouse-mat replacement for a desktop experience

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where's the docking station?

        @Stephen:

        They did announce a docking station for it; engadget had brief coverage at http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/20/surface-pro-3-accessories. It's similar to the one for the Pro/Pro2; however with the placement of the USB and display port on the Pro3, the dock actually adds ports since it doesn't block any. The power port is now the expansion port: 12 of its 40 pins are used for power (and talking to the power brick) and the rest for expansion. However, I'm not sure whether the display port on the Pro3 works along with the one on the dock. Also, they are both mini -- don't know why they don't go with full size display port on the dock, but it's not looking like they will. And again, overpriced at $200.

        Not sure what you mean by "a flat/wedge dock" compared to the Pro/Pro2 dock.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who ate all the pies?

      Probably because it is a real computer not a Tomy Tablet?

  2. sam tapsell

    just not interested...

    If my own feelings are anything to go by, microsoft is in trouble.

    To either love or hate a product is still a reaction.

    This generates indifference...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: just not interested...

      The most interesting thing was all the audience (press hipsters on a Microsoft jolly) were tweeting from their Macbooks....

      Surface was dead yesterday, it's still dead today, It's just another defunct Microsoft product line that's the only news.

      1. sam tapsell

        Re: just not interested...

        Microsoft are stuffed.

        If you do want legacy windows apps, you don't need a touchscreen or windows 8.

        If you want fancy touchscreen apps, they are being written on iOS and android.

        I can see no way back in for Microsoft. I am amazed their earnings have held up so far.

        1. TheVogon

          Re: just not interested...

          "If you do want legacy windows apps, you don't need a touchscreen or windows 8."

          But if you want a fully featured touch screen OS, Windows 8 is your only choice. Touch and guesture based control is clearly the future. For instance: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/07/those-giant-fox-news-touchscreens-are-microsoft-perceptive-pixel-displays-running-windows-8/

          "If you want fancy touchscreen apps, they are being written on iOS and android."

          As well as for Windows 8. Microsoft are now monetising key apps like Office on lower end platforms like IOS and Android too though.

          "I can see no way back in for Microsoft. I am amazed their earnings have held up so far."

          Microsoft are ahead of the competition here - no one else has the touch and gesture technology across the whole stack - it's just taking a while for the world to catch up - but it will. Microsoft sell far more than just desktop OSs by the way.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: just not interested...

          Their earnings have held as they have over a dozen different billion dollar units (at least until the last re-org shuffled things around). Plus the second biggest cloud offering.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge

      Re: just not interested...

      I was very interested in this ... until I saw the price tag. I immediately went from "me wanty!" to "no thank you". I am willing to bet I am the majority. Windows 8 works well with tablets and phones (and that is where it needs to be permanently confined) and so that is not the issue with adoption. The problem is with the price. Between $800 and $1950. It is nice, but it ain't that nice.

      1. Sartori

        Re: just not interested...

        That was exactly my thought too. I really like it, but not at those prices. It may well find a market but I suspect it's going to be a fairly niche one. On the upside, those Surface 2 tabs should drop in price pretty soon.

        1. mmeier

          Re: just not interested...

          @ Sartori

          Since Lenovo and Fujitsu offer similar units at similar/higher prices there are at least three companies that think it is worth the investment. And unlike MS the other two are not trying to push the OS and are both into Android as well. HP is in the market as well the Elitepad 1000 competes against the i3 version of the S/P3

          Compared to their offers the prices are decend to good. Even more if you take into account that some of the units offered by the competitors are Baytrail not i3 or better. GSM/LTE is a "to be debated" point for this class of unit. Often they operate in a "WLAN rich" environment. And if that is not enough, a battery powered MIFI router will solve the problem nicely(1)

          (1) Users of smartphone could use those as an alternative. But for me the beauty of a tablet pc is to get rid of the smartphone and go back to the "load sunday phone all week" phones

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: just not interested...

            •Intel Core i3, 64 GB and 4 GB of RAM - $799

            •Intel Core i5, 128 GB and 4 GB of RAM - $999

            •Intel Core i5, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM - $1,299

            •Intel Core i7, 256 GB and 8 GB of RAM - $1,549

            •Intel Core i7, 512 GB7 and 8 GB of RAM - $1,949

            +type cover keyboard - $130

            The entry level core i3/4Gb/4Gb model is priced on the high side at $929 (including the essential keyboard) but believable given Microsoft appears to want to keep volumes low so as not to offend the OEMs.

            However 64Gb of non-expandable storage hardly meets the needs of most 'pro' users so the de-facto entry level is the next model up i5/4Gb/128Gb at $1129.

            Now the pricing starts to go weird with an extra $250 if you want 8Gb RAM and 256Gb of storage (the retail price of the parts used adds well under $100 so you are really being screwed for non-user-upgradable). Given that this is the model most suited to 'professional' use, $1429 counts as expensive compared with competitors.

            I understand the Core i7 version is dual core not quad but I've no seen any information what the $250 extra for the i7 upgrade for i5 is actually buying in terms of performance.

            Given the retail price of mSATA SSD, the extra $400 to fit 512Gb rather than 256Gb is simply a joke in poor taste.

            Personally, I think it looks like a well thought out product and the kind of device I expect to be using in years to come. But priced to fail unless there are really a lot of potential 'pro' customers happy with performance typical of a conventional $400 laptop.

            Possibly the pricing was intended to apply to faster equivalent 'Broadwell' based products, then when Intel slipped 14nm until late 2014 somebody forgot to update the spreadsheet. I've no theory for the SSD nonsense.

            1. mmeier

              Re: just not interested...

              The i3 unit is interesting if compared to the Lenovo TPT10 and Elitepad 1000 units. Smaller SSD but it is faster, bigger screen and more powerful CPU. And the price is "close" while build quality on the S/P series so far was good (Back/sides attract scratches but that's it)

              And the bigger models compare to the Thinkpad Yoga price wise. Better than the Q704 and lighter than the Lenovo.

    3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      I'm interested

      Interested enough to wait and see if there's a fire sale at some point.

  3. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    "...nine hours battery life from a single charge..."

    Okay. How many hours from a double charge?

    PS: The tablet will be terrible in some all-consuming way not yet mentioned. They'll have forgotten the Off switch, or headphone socket, or something equally daft. You watch.

    1. mmeier

      Re: "...nine hours battery life from a single charge..."

      17 but you run the danger of bursting the battery. So only use it when the Fandroids are charging

  4. NoneSuch Silver badge

    It's okay

    Everyone who bought a Surface 2 will snap up one of these. So that's what, two or three thousand people?

    Buy that Microsoft stock kids.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: It's okay

      Isn't that what they said about Surface 2? Didn't exactly happen. ;-)

      Anyway, that last picture in the article defines the Surface problem perfectly - it just doesn't work as a combo device without a desk, or desk like surface to rest it on.

      It's a heavy, large tablet (compared to the tablet competition) that you can't type on at speed without a solid, largeish surface to do it on (unlike the laptop competition).

      And it's priced waaay to close to some very versatile competition in the laptop sphere if you're prepared to give way a relatively insignificant amount (compared to usability issues) on weight and battery life - anything from cheaper 'semi-ultrabooks' to Macbook Airs are just as portable realistically (IE you don't notice them in your backpack/bag), and at least on them you can hold them to your lap with your palms as you type (as I'm doing with my Macbook here).

      MS keep getting it just wrong enough to make Surface Pro a non-option for almost everyone who doesn't have a very MS specific usage case involving touch and extreme portability.

      And that's why it just keeps on failing, but they are so close - if they would just use a proper physical interlock for the keyboard, then that big usability problem of typing at speed (or at least, without the tedium and annoyance of constant corrections that comes with all touch interfaces) goes away, lower the price slightly and and suddenly it's a pretty compelling device.

      Steven R

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It's okay

        I've a Surface 2 Pro, and can easily type while sitting without a desk. Probably people complaining should really try before speaking. And you can type much faster than on any tablet without a physical keyboard.

      2. Cliff

        Re: It's okay

        You're right, it's nearly what I want, but not quite. For work I want a light laptop, windows based so I can run my software, but to not degrade performance-wise when I install and uninstall stuff, I want Office bundled, I want my life to be easy. I'll pay for that, but slightly less than they are charging. I suppose I want a windows/android hybrid weighing nothing but tiger powerful for cheap. I'll read the reviews, I'll weigh it up seriously, but right now it's almost what I want, I think, but not quite.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's okay

        "It's a heavy, large tablet (compared to the tablet competition)"

        It isn't heavy for a 12" tablet. And it's much lighter than similar laptops.

        "you can't type on at speed without a solid, largeish surface to do it on (unlike the laptop competition)."

        No longer true - Microsofts latest touch / slide keyboard beats Swype on Android for speed!

        "if they would just use a proper physical interlock for the keyboard"

        It doesn't need it. The snap together maglock is great to use and very secure. No idea where you got that comment from.

      4. mmeier

        Re: It's okay

        It's a light, sturdy ultrabook that allows me to choose distance between screen and keyboard and that I can use to quickly take notes, make sketches/drafts, annotate documents etc. All without hiding behind the "Chinese TFT wall" and with a fingerprint free screen easily handed around the conference table for all parties to add data.

        Price wise it competes nicely with Thinkpad Yoga or the T/Q series units from Fujitsu

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's okay

      "Buy that Microsoft stock kids."

      Luckily I did. It's the highest it's been in over a decade...:-)

  5. Alan Denman

    Screen too small?

    Strange, the 11 to 12 " size is almost proven the preferred 'usable' size.

    As sure as that Apple phablet, Apple will almost certainly have theirs arriving once 9" sales go downwards.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Screen too small?

      Really? Surface 3 looks like another assault on the ultrabook market and Intel discovered back in 2012 that users found 13" too small. Over in tablet land even Apple eventually went smaller than 10" because buyers want smaller devices - 9" seems the upper limit on comfortable tablet use in many situations.

      My gut feeling is there's an 'uncanny valley' between 10" and 14" that puts of buyers/users (unless an Apple is painted on). MS see an unexploited niche but forgot to ask why it's unexploited.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Re: Screen too small?

        I actually rather like my 13" laptop (16:10 ratio, rather than 16:9). I am looking to replace it by a 13-14", no bigger. I am also very happy with my 10" ASUS transformer pad. That seems to be a MUCH better format for a tablet/laptoplet(or notebooklet) than this offering from MS, and gives me 15-16 hours of use (with less grunt, but I get that from my laptop. I do not mind having two or three devices, but maybe I am weird (i.e. not the category the marketeers are interested in)

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Intel discovered back in 2012 that users found 13" too small.

        That's why Apple (http://www.apple.com/uk/mac/compare/notebooks.html) currently only sell a single laptop with a screen size above 13", dropped the 17" one altogether, and brought in a new 11" line. And gained market share at the same time.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Screen too small?

        "users found 13" too small"

        But that was at 1080p or less - this has far greater than full HD resolution. All you need to do is engage zoom mode and move your head nearer the screen...

      4. mmeier

        Re: Screen too small?

        Among tablet pc users the 12-13'' size is generally considered the "right" one since it is close to the useable real estate of a DIN A4 college block. The 10-11'' range was a "if nothing better is around" (Sony Duo 11) or "combined with an Atom it's acceptable"

        Bigger tablet pc (Acer R7-572 i.e) are mostly "Artist tool" where portability is a nice add on but not the main job. A 12''/below 1kg/6+h of endurance unit is often seen as the "sweet spot" for units with inductive digitizers.

        The switch to NTrig will be debated. DuoSense2 is up to WACOM in most areas, better in some (edge accuracy) and worse in others (needs battery) but still better than Atmel (HP) or the DELL abomination

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: "Among tablet pc users"

          Sort of misses the point though, Intels research suggested smaller screen sizes as a major cause of potential ultrabook users *not actually buying them*. I think the Surface in an ultrabook competitor role will suffer the same lack of interest.

          Maybe the current minority constituting 'tablet pc users' is worth targeting but it doesn't seem a good way to noticeably increase sales! It certainly doesn't seem to be the market MS think they're targeting.

          1. mmeier

            Re: "Among tablet pc users"

            Actually that is EXACTLY the market MS is targeting. Price, capabilities, presence of MS in tablet pc oriented discussion groups/forums etc. all show that. The S/P3 screams "affordable alternative to Q704" and "more power than similar priced/equiped Baytrails".

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Nice!

    I'll take two. This is exactly what MS should have done - the 10 inch screens are too small for the tiny MS Office menus.

    Just send the bill to someone else please.

  7. tin 2

    Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures.

    I think my confidence is dented enough to say no thanks, even if it made tea, washed the car and predicted the lottery results

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

      Oh?

      And which was the first version of Windows to start selling in large numbers?

      Oh, right: it was Windows 3.1.

      Microsoft are very good at iterating. They don't give up after just one go; if they think the concept has legs, they'll keep trying and trying until they get it right.

      And it's not just Microsoft either; the Mac was Apple's *second* attempt at producing a GUI-based desktop computer. Similarly, the iPhone and iPad were predated by Apple's own Newton by some years.

      It's extremely rare to get it right first time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

        Yup. Xbox too. They just keep grinding along until they have a winning product.

        Except don't say the word "Zune". Bad word in Redmond, apparently.

        1. Vector

          Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

          Yeah, kinda surprising. MS usually starts getting things right by the third go round, but they sure cratered with this one. I mean, it sounds like a decent device spec-wise but there's too many compromises for them high prices.

          Microsoft? Yeah, I remember them. Didn't they do something with IBM once?

        2. breakfast

          Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

          The phrase "Bing it on my Zune" still raises a smile from me. It just sums up perfectly the quality of Microsoftness, like the kid who is trying so very hard to be cool.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

            The phrase "Bing it on my Zune" still raises a smile from me. It just sums up perfectly the quality of Microsoftness, like the kid who is trying so very hard to be cool.

            Or more like the politician who's trying so very to be cool, or down with the masses, or whoever they're targetting today who isn't a political donor.

      2. Kris

        Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

        > It's extremely rare to get it right first time.

        Keep telling yourself that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Gimp

          Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

          @Kris - "> It's extremely rare to get it right first time.

          Keep telling yourself that."

          Yeah - we all know Apple never got anything wrong.

          I mean besides the Apple III.

          And Lisa.

          And Puck mouse.

          And the ROKR iTunes phone (what you didn't know Apple tried to sell a screwed up piece of garbage phone in 2005 before they figured out the iPhone?)

          And Newton.

          And Pippin (what? You didn't know Apple tried to sell a PlayStation competitor that flopped so bad it never sold 100,000 units?)

          And eMate.

          And QuickTake digital camera. (and Quicktime for that matter).

          And iPod HiFi.

          And MobileMe.

          Should I continue?

          1. TheOtherHobbes

            Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

            >Should I continue?

            No one cares.

            Apple's failures are irrelevant to the failure of the Surface - which is a failure because it does absolutely nothing new or interesting in a market already crowded with form factors of all kinds, all of which score higher on affordability, desirability, and/or innovation.

            The real problem continues to be Microsoft's inability to understand what customers want or to make stuff that appears cool.

            'Hey look we made a small thin computer thingy' is not an interesting USP in 2014.

          2. jzlondon

            Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

            Since when did this become about Apple? The story's about a different company.

          3. jason 7

            Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

            Apple TV took how many attempts before it was usable out of the box?

      3. plrndl
        Linux

        Re: "Surface ***3***. i.e. this is our 3rd attempt after 2 dismal failures"

        "Microsoft are very good at iterating. They don't give up after just one go; if they think the concept has legs, they'll keep trying and trying until they get it right."

        That's why I'm looking forward to Windows Phone 42.

    2. Charles Manning

      Third attempt???

      For all those that think this is going to be "third time's a charm " for MS,...

      MS have been trying to sell tablets since the 1990s. It has always been BillG's pet form factor. BillG was always waving around tablets at Comdex.

      They started with Windows 3.1 for Pen Computing 1.0 in 1992. Since then they've served up at least 8 different flavours - none of which has gone anywhere useful.

    3. mmeier

      Where the initial to PRO series Surface really failures? Any concrete numbers on that? The RT flopped as expected given the CTrail ATOM based units that where out at similar price/endurance and better capabilities.

      But x86 tablet pc/convertibles, while never a big market, have been build by at least two of the big names (IBM and later Lenovo, Fujitsu) since 2003 at least. And others have been/are also present in the market (HP, DELL, ASUS, ACER,...). Niche market but hey, so is MacOS

      As for "cool" - why? Computers are tools so they must be functional. In that way they are like rifles. A HK G36 has all the "cool" toys (Aimpoint, integrated scope, lightweight) but if the weather is to hot/cold/wet/dry it fails. The HK G3 has none of that, it is ugly and primitive. But is does work at -30 degrees, in the rain or even after taking a drop in the mud.

  8. POSitality

    Shame really...

    I got a Surface - ARM, version 1 - for a work project and it has (along with the Pro series) two killer punches nothing else has:

    Full sized USB port and a proper charging socket

    Okay, my Asus T100 has a port on the keyboard and everyone bar Apple has micro-USB... which usually does double-duty as a charging socket. Fine, for considerate, technical people but you can't give most tablets to numpties: you can't trust 'em with micro to full USB adapter leads. You also can't charge and plug in an external device at the same time. *And* you can only shove 2 amps over micro USB... it's an embuggerance!

    Why oh why, Microsoft, make a true business-class tablet for peanuts (ARM version) and then say you can't use it for business?! Store apps only :( That might float for the phone, but the ARM tablet is a failure due to a *policy decision* and jeez, no one would actually care to figs for the processor. Five minute recompile job in Visual Studio.

    Microsoft, you had 2 years head-start over the competition (for Windows tablets) and you pissed it up the wall.

    Tablet that sits happily on lap? Asus T100

    Tablet with separate charging socket? HP Omni 10

    Tablet cheap as chips with no need to go through Store? Toshiba Encore

    I might not get my full-sized USB port on-tablet any time soon but hey, give it another year for Asus, HP, Tosh, Dell, Acer, et al to shamble towards some better designs 'cos it's not like Microsoft are gonna press their advantage :(

    /rant:off

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Shame really...

      > two killer punches nothing else has: Full sized USB port and a proper charging socket

      I have a 10" tablet that has a charging port plus _two_ USB ports, one is host, the other client. Plus I use a bluetooth keyboard/cover/stand. Using bluetooth means that I can have the tablet in portrait and/or have the keyboard (or a full sized one) on my knee while the screen is, say, on the airline tray.

      > numpties: you can't trust 'em with micro to full USB adapter leads.

      Why ? Do they try to use the wrong end ? Do they have difficulty knowing which way to use a pencil ?

      1. POSitality

        Re: Shame really...

        @Richard Plinston

        A 10" Windows tablet with charging and two USB ports?! Sign me up, I really, really *need* one of those. Do tell :)

        Bluetooth keyboards? Another device to charge or supply batteries? No thanks, we have enough :P

        Numpties: don't let them mess with micro-USB ffs... I've know ppl break full-size USB ports forcing them in upside-down, micro doesn't stand a chance. Resilience is not the design's selling point :(

        @Shane Sturrock

        I feel your pain, buddy. My laptop is Windows 8.1 with that stupid Secure Boot feature and I have to boot up VirtualBox just to write a boot sector on a USB memory stick! "Soz, bootsect not safe for you buddy!" If it wasn't for 100% of my clients being on Windows I'd take Linux and even OS10.x as my main system any day.

  9. Ulaavi
    Meh

    Where is the laptop

    The Surface 3 has decent specs - at least on paper.

    Why doesn't anyone make a decent Windows laptop with this kind of spec?

    256 GB SSD, 8/16GB RAM, 9 hr battery - not very far from this tablet/laplet (what a silly name)

    Wouldn't mind if it was twice as thick and heavy as the S3.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is the laptop

      "Why doesn't anyone make a decent Windows laptop with this kind of spec?"

      Sounds like the HP Envy range to me...

  10. Shane Sturrock

    This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

    I just replaced my three year old MacBook Air with a new Retina MacBook Pro 13" and bumped the specs to 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD. That's a serious little laptop right there. I can run VMWare Fusion with multiple OS's each with plenty of RAM to do real testing, and the speed of the SSD is amazing. A huge step up from my old MBA. Add my trusty iPad and iPhone and I'm all set. I've got the perfect laptop, along with a phone and tablet which have oodles of great apps and work really nicely together. Nailing all that functionality into a single device is the dumbest idea ever. I see people on planes struggling to use their Surface Pro, especially the front seat guys with the wobbly tables that come out of the arm rest and I'm happily able to pull my iPad out of my bag and kick back. If I need to do some work, the MacBook Pro is there too and it is small enough that I barely notice the extra bulk over the Air it replaced.

    I know we all know this, and I know we all told MS what we thought long before Windows 8 hit the shelves but they persisted anyway. Their app store is terribly weak, the OS feels like the front of a ford cortina welded onto the back of a tractor the fit and finish is so bad and then they stick out this wobbly piece of kit which just has to have a stable desk to use in which case, why not just get a laptop? The next round I may even forget the iPad and just get a bigger phone as I've had a play with a few of the modern Android phablets and they're really getting there. I don't think there's much to touch the Mac laptop for the moment, especially not with Windows on.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

      You have to carry both the laptop and the tablet. With a Surface, you carry with you one device only. At the beginning of May I spent four days in the marshes taking photos of birds, flowers and butterflies. A Surface 2 Pro in my photo backup was what all I needed to import photos in Lightroom for a quick check on a bigger screen, control the camera remotely in Live View via a 5m USB cable (Canon WFT-E7 WiFi adapter has a crazy price, costs as much as in iPad) and whatever else I needed, all in a single device small and powerful enough...

      And sorry, the "Metro" app store can be "weak" but who cares - I'm running the full EOS software on it, Lightroom and Photoshop... really, who cares about RT apps?

      BTW: never found an issue using the Surface on an airplane, train, bus... often its small size makes it a very good device to use when there's no much space.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

        Is it waterproof? Or were you careful not to drop it?

        1. jason 7
          WTF?

          Re: This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

          How many other mainstream tablets are if you are asking?

          1. mmeier

            Re: This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

            Two "mainstream" (Fujitsu Q704 and Q584 in some versions) and the "Toughbook" series of specialist devices are at least proofed against rain / splashes. Not for divers

            The fanless Atom units should be resonably splash proof (say spilled drink) and with a book sleeve so should be the i-series ones (Vents in the EP121+book are about 1cm above the table)

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

          My backpack is waterproof... :)

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: This hybrid laptop/tablet approach still doesn't work

          >>"Is it waterproof?"

          Honestly Microsoft! Have you really not found a way to combine cooling vents in a device with making something fully waterproof? Or invented a portable way of dissipating substantial heat without vents? Crikey! Talk about Fail!

  11. Kris

    My 2013 Air is probably my fav techy thing I've ever owned, and my first apple product. There's a slickness to the hardware and OS which is hard to grasp if you haven't used one for a few weeks. I skimmed this article and didn't think much of the hardware, then saw that it was running windows 8. Really, are people masochists?

    The hardware is far from the biggest problem here. I don't think it was just the dodgy stand stopping people buying the surface 2.

    We got a couple dumb win8.1 laptops for test stations at my company, and to say that I regretted not paying the extra for bottom of the line apple laptops would be an understatement. Unfortunately, by the time it had finished updating itself over and over again and oem-installed nagware had been uninstalled and dismissed, I'd missed by opportunity to return them. I didn't want to go over to the dark side, but who has time for this nonsense?

    Btw, does any PC manufacturer deliver a totally working, secure, pleasant and non-bloated PC that I can take out of the box and actually work/create on without drama and security or trial-offer dialogues? Seriously, take my money... well, if you're priced somewhere between the crapo ones I bought last month and an Air.

    Anyway, back to the surface. As much as I love (and I almost mean love) my Air... laptop screens are too low. They're not ergonomic for extended sessions. You neck aches and it spoils your evening.

    Kris

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      YMMV but

      I was able to get my hands on a Dell Latitude 6530 and the only crapware installed was an invitation to buy MS-Office each time I double-click on an office document.

    2. Kris

      Thanks guys- first time I ever mention that I like/own a single apple product, and my first ever downvotes. I see how this works ;)

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Downvotes

        I wouldn't worry about it. 4 downvotes seems par for the course on this topic if you're even slightly critical. Surface has its fanbois, too.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Downvotes

          You can't be critical or complimentary of MS or Apple in this thread. If you want free upvotes just mention how MS can go **** themselves, the laptop you rescued from a skip and installed Pretentious-Linux on is perfect for your needs.

          1. fandom

            Re: Downvotes

            How can you be so pathetic as to whine about downvotes.

            Dudes, get a life!

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Downvotes

          Well, it looks there are a number of people who jump in any thread they can bash MS and downvote everything just barely positive about MS. Frankly, if I see an article about an iPad or another Android tablet I skip it because I'm not interested. A lot of people here are "not interested" but feel the need to repeat it over and over....

  12. Flatpackhamster

    It's the price that's putting me off a Windows Tablet.

    I'm very happy with my Win8 smartphone, but there's no way I'm paying that kind of money for a Windows Tablet. If Microsoft want to carve themselves a market in the tablet industry they're going to have to sell at cost, or a loss, to do it.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: It's the price that's putting me off a Windows Tablet.

      It's not really a tablet though, it's a tablet/ultrabook and as such is in the ultrabook price bracket. This is total overkill for watching Netflix, checking Facebook and playing Angry Birds.

      Maybe MS are not interested in the consumer tablet market since RT seems to be on the way out. Or maybe WP8 will expand to fill that gap the way iOS moved to support iPad. Phones and tablets are becoming blurred somewhat already.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Version 3

    It used to be said that you should wait for a Microsoft product to reach version 3 before buying it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A tablet with a FAN?

    Microsoft still has no idea what people want. Another flop. Maybe they'll get it right with Surface 4...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: A tablet with a FAN?

      You think someone buying a tablet is interested if there's a fan or not? You realise the MacBook Air has a fan, and that that's more what this is competing with? It's a fully specced PC with detachable keyboard, not a toy for playing Flappy Bird on.

    2. mmeier

      Re: A tablet with a FAN?

      If you don't want a fan - use a Baytrail tablet pc. Where is the problem? There are choices from 8-15'', WACOM/NTRIG/ATMEL, Baytrail or i-Series. Just by what suits your needs.

      And if that is as "loud" as the S/P2 - it is almost silent.

  15. stucs201

    The on-lap "problem"

    Surely even as is it works at least as well as when people put any other tablet and bluetooth keyboard into a 3rd party case?

    However I think there is a better solution. If its detachable then why don't they make a second style of keyboard? Something thicker and more substantial of more netbook depth. That should allow room to include a slide out tray to support the kickstand (even better if it locked to it somehow) or perhaps a hinged support for the screen without using the kickstand. Either way there also ought to be room in such a keyboard for a large second battery.

    If they did this it would both increase the flexibilty of the Surface while mitigating the compomises a little. Want to the sort of work you'd normally take a laptop for - use the proposed chunky keyboard. Need to slim down a little but want a cover during transport - use one of the existing keyboards, not really any chunkier than the covers for other tablets. Need to travel really light or just browsing in bed - leave both keyboards out of it.

    True it still might not be as good a laptop as a dedicated one, but it'd be getting closer. It'd also push the price higher to buy two keyboards, but not compulsary to do so and you'd need to balance against not buying both a laptop and tablet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The on-lap "problem"

      "However I think there is a better solution. If its detachable then why don't they make a second style of keyboard?"

      You mean like the Surface 'Type' keyboard that they already make as well as the 'Touch' keyboard?

      1. stucs201

        Re: The on-lap "problem"

        No, not like the type keyboards. Something chunkier which can help produce a more rigid unit for lap use.

        Of course you'd know thats what I meant if you'd read further than the part you quoted.

  16. Uncle Siggy

    ARMed and ready?

    How many units have ARM ordered?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/25/microsoft_spins_arm_story/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ARMed and ready?

      That story is a year old. BMW, Coca Cola and LVMH have already made orders for the Surface 3 though:

      http://www.ubergizmo.com/2014/05/microsoft-surface-pro-3-heads-to-bmw-coca-cola/

  17. kmac499
    Facepalm

    My knee top computer is a

    Two year old lenovo idea pad s205 called "Dobby" cos he's the house elf pc and sits on one knee easily. 11" screen 1368*whatever, 4Gb of Ram, 500Gb of disk. A good keyboard wifi bluetooth webcam etc . 3 hour batt life.

    The real killer is it's windows 7

    Now if MS did a win7 Surface...

    1. mmeier

      Re: My knee top computer is a

      What's the problem? Win7 has all the drivers so the S/P series should run under that as well

  18. Nya

    So close...

    MS is it's own worst enemy. The design is right as is the ports etc. The snag is it's far too over powered and far too expensive. The screen didn't need to be bigger, or higher res. The processor didn't need taking up to an i7. It actually needed downscaling to an Atom and MS banging them out at the £300 area to go toe to toe with the 10" Androids (without having RT stuck on it). As it stands you might as well just buy a Nexus and run your Windows applications through remote desktop and save a grand. So close MS, but still missing the mark sadly.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: So close...

      I bought a Surface Pro exactly because it was so powerful. If it was an Atom with 2GB of RAM, I would have not get one. Not every body uses this kind of device just for browsing, reading, or watching a movie. There are some who needs power to actually do something, not consume only.

      Try running your Windows application via Remote Desktop when you're abroad in a marsh taking photos...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So close...

        But why did you want a tablet instead of an Ultrabook if you have real work to do? Sure, you can hammer nails with a pipe wrench, but it is easier to just use a hammer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So close...

          "But why did you want a tablet instead of an Ultrabook if you have real work to do?"

          But you don't need both with the Surface - you just snap on the keyboard and it IS effectively an Ultrabook...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So close...

            Snap on the keyboard and you have a laptop with a terrible keyboard.

            1. Tufty Squirrel

              Re: So close...

              This.

              As for "pissing about with remote computers whilst I'm in the marshes", I can do that just as well, and probably better, with my thinkpad. What the surface brings (and the *only* thing it brings) is the "tablet" side of things, which is utterly useless for the aforementioned remote login stuff (and, of course, is available far more cheaply on a non-surface laptoplet hybrid.

              It's a shame really. The ARM version is far too locked down (at the current $199 for a "refurb" - read "written off as part of the $900M loss MS took on them - it would be attractive if you could do anything useful with it), the Intel version far too expensive, and neither of them fill a particular niche.

              So far, MS have pissed away nearly a billion and a half on Surface. I don't see this version turning that around.

            2. h4rm0ny

              Re: So close...

              >>"Snap on the keyboard and you have a laptop with a terrible keyboard."

              No, you have a laptop with an okay-ish keyboard and a lousy trackpad. But the latter doesn't matter because it's a touch-screen device. I hardly ever use the trackpad on my Surface 2.

              N.b. there are two keyboards - the Touch and the Type. The former isn't that good but that latter is alright.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So close...

              Obviously you havn't used one. The 'Touch' keyboard is pretty damn good, but the 'Type' keyboard is just like any other high quality premium laptop keyboard.

      2. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: So close...

        >Try running your Windows application via Remote Desktop when you're abroad in a marsh taking photos...

        Bit of a niche market you're touting there, eh?

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: So close...

          Or try to run your Windows app via remote desktop while you're on an intercontinental flight... or whenever you just have expensive internet connection, or maybe no connection at all. Sure, if you just use a tablet on your armchair at home you don't need much, but there are a lot of people on the move who like a small, powerful pc-tablet hybrid.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So close...

            If it were true there were "a lot" of people who wanted that, Microsoft would be selling a lot more Surface tablets.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              Re: So close...

              Surely there's the price issue, and the "status-symbol" one. There are people not ready to shell out 1.5K for a device that is still not perceived as a "status-symbol" like others. Guess there are more people willingly to pay that sum for Google Glasses, but not for a Surface.

              But it will... at the end of 2002 when I got my first smartphone - which after all is a PDA-phone hybrid, and told it would have been the future, most colleague didn't think so and prefer to carry around both a phone and a PDA - some years after everybody now wants a smartphone.

              1. Nya

                Re: So close...

                But we all know what MS will do. The new whizz bang budget 7" model will be out soon with RT...and do unless they've learned off Nokia on how WinMo only started to take off when it was cheap it'll fall flat on it's face again.

                MS doesn't make niche products. It's always about getting things out for the masses and giving businesses the chance to make a livelihood off them. So far Surface has been a total feck up mostly through pricing and the lack of sources to get the things into market. They still haven't learned on the pricing issue as we've seen here sadly. Let's just hope this time they put them into the long established channel who sells MS things so that this time they can try and find places to sell them to instead of like last time and them going to Dixons Curry House Phone World to attempt to sell them to Britain.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: So close...

            Ahhh, the envy of those who never went outside their bedroom wi-fi range.... travel a little guys, get out of your basements, feel the sun, you will discover there's not yet wifi and even mobile coverage everywhere...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So close...

              Ahhh, the envy of those who never went outside their bedroom wi-fi range.... travel a little guys, get out of your basements, feel the sun, you will discover there's not yet wifi and even mobile coverage everywhere...

              --

              Gee, someone ought to invent a way for laptops to use cellular connections instead of just wifi.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So close...

        Let's not get bogged down in unusual use cases.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: So close...

      The processor didn't need taking up to an i7.

      I'm inclined to agree with you on this. It's for the same reason that Apple doesn't put i7's in their Air: there's very little call for that kind of oomph on the go and the cost in terms of battery and heat isn't worth it.

      Along with many I quite like most of the specs but I'd rather have them in a notebook without a touch screen at half the price. For tabletty things I'll stick with my slightly more expensive than cheap as chips tablet that weighs less than 500g.

      Still, good luck Microsoft. Maybe targeting the professionals will work better than the mass market. Competition is good™.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So close...

        "The processor didn't need taking up to an i7."

        Presumably why there are also i3 and i5 based Surface 3s

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So close...

      "The snag is it's far too over powered and far too expensive."

      For you maybe. Microsoft are clearly not expecting mass market sales at these prices - they are creating new high end devices as an example for OEMs to follow.

      I'm sure you will see the lower specs you want turn up in a tablet with a fully featured Windows OS - but just not in a device from Microsoft.

  19. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip
    Holmes

    lack of a firm hinge

    I doubt that adding a firm hinge will help matters. All the weight is in the tablet part. It is top heavy, so without a kickstand it will always want to flip onto its back. This is a problem that must surely afflict all tablet keyboard combos. For lap use I suggest some sort of waist mounted truss similar to a harmonica brace. This could also work while the user is standing and even walking. I can see the hipsters going for this.

  20. Kris

    Microsoft are clearly one of the few companies who can afford to iteratively (and expensively) shove a product down people's throats until they eventually start buying it...

  21. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    It's their 3rd try and I'm still not seeing what problem this is supposed to solve

    If I need to consume media do I need an expensive device to do it on?

    If I need to do productivity do I need to type on an unstable keyboard with an unstable kickstand?

    A netbook still seems infinitely more practical.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: It's their 3rd try and I'm still not seeing what problem this is supposed to solve

      Nor the keyboard nor the kickstand are 'unstable'. I suggest you to give it a try, you could be surprised...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's their 3rd try and I'm still not seeing what problem this is supposed to solve

        But how long have you owned a Surface 3 for?

    2. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip

      Re: It's their 3rd try and I'm still not seeing what problem this is supposed to solve

      The problem? Microsoft believe a flagship device will help turn around the fortunes of their mobile OS business. This is the solution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's their 3rd try and I'm still not seeing what problem this is supposed to solve

        "a flagship device will help turn around the fortunes of their mobile OS business. This is the solution."

        No - that would be the Lumia Icon (930). The Surface is more part of their PC business.

  22. John Tserkezis

    I was given an ASUS Windows RT tablet for work, specifically because it has a "real" keyboard, not that touch garbage that's on the Surface. Apparently, my rants were not unheard after all... :-)

    However, as the Surface 3 goes, since they're going with the intel i3/i5/i7 series, then the question that begs to be asked (again, as with other posts) "why not regular desktop Windows 7/8.1"?

    I can do most of my work with the tablet, but I carry my own Atom based laptop anyway. Why? Because even though the tablet is a little lighter, a little smaller and has a little better battery life, my laptop with the expanded battery does *all* that I want and need, verses *most* with the tablet. The trade-offs are actually so close they're not really tradeoffs at all.

    I don't like Microsoft's new stance on the closed market for RT applications, perhaps I've been spoiled, but aside from the software base that's massively larger, I have a substatial registered software collection under x86 windows, that's rended useless with RT. I don't like that bit at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "because it has a "real" keyboard, not that touch garbage that's on the Surface"

      You know Surface has a very good 'real keyboard' option too? As well as various Bluetooth options if you don't want a snap-on keyboard / cover....

    2. mmeier

      The Surface PRO2 is a Win8.1/x86 unit not an RT based one. And if you prefer Atom - Lenovo and HP sell nice units (Fujitsu as well but the costs are a bit over the top)

      And the type cover was always quite sturdy, the touch cover was so so. If you don't like either - any BT/USB/2.4GHz keyboard will do

    3. D@v3

      "why not regular desktop Windows 7/8.1"?

      The surface PRO(s) do run the regular desktop version of windows, it's what makes them 'Pro', it's only the surface RT that doesn't.

  23. stucs201

    RIP RT?

    Is it just the pro version this time around then? If so does it mean the end of RT? Or are they keeping the 2 RT and 2 Pro around for those who want a smaller device?

    (not that I'd personally want an RT version)

  24. Dave 126 Silver badge

    This Surface3 has a 2160 x 1440 3:2 screen. Good. Other vendors might take notice.

  25. southen bastard
    Alert

    I almost like this, bit bloody expensive,

    Whats the video like, tryed playing real games on laptops before and its a bit of a let down,

    If the video is up to a real spec i would concider the high end version,

    Wireless key board and mouse of course.

  26. Tommy Pock

    Convergence

    "Bridging the gap between a laptop and a tablet."

    What's the point? They're two different things. It's like bridging the gap between your trousers and a hat.

    1. John Bailey

      Re: Convergence

      "What's the point? They're two different things. It's like bridging the gap between your trousers and a hat."

      I believe that would be a shirt.

      Which is an actual need. This is more like bridging the gap between shoe and sock.

      1. Tommy Pock

        Re: Convergence

        Weeeeell not quite, because a shirt isn't a combination of trousers and a hat. What you've invented there, sir, Apple was granted a patent for last Thursday (fabric accoutrement to cover or partially cover some or all of the torso including or not including part or all of one or both arms patent no. 847494937) and now you owe them a million pounds

        1. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: Convergence

          Will your hatrouser have a pocket for my hamdriver?

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Convergence

      The point? Just one device instead of two. Just one device to carry around, and configure for what you need to do. Remember the Surface Pro has a full digitizer also, and it's a nice device to take handwritten notes.

      It's like bridging the gap between a bicycle (the tablet) and a car (the laptop). You may need a motorbike. It could be expensive, it can not be for every body, but it can do more than your bicycle - even if you have the latest race carbon fiber model that cost a fortune - in more compact way than a car. Sure, it requires some compromises, but can bring you anywhere farer and faster than a bicycle.

    3. Southwestwall

      Re: Convergence

      Bridge between trousers and hat? You may be way more astute than others give you credit for. That sounds suspiciously like an AssHat.

      Suspicion of asshattery at play in the Surface bicycle-for-fish scandal? Don't tell Cupertino, they'll want the patent sewn up by the end of the week.

  27. heenow

    Boot Camp, y'all?

    Did WinFans suddenly forget that all of their precious Windows progs run on all MacBooks?

    Looking at the prices on the Surface thingy makes me wonder what the size will be of Microsoft's next write-off. I guess that billion-dollar one was just a warm-up.

    For crying out loud, their own marketing manager for the brand couldn't demonstrate it well today.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Boot Camp, y'all?

      How much for the WACOM or NTRig equiped convertible MacBook?

      If one buys a tablet pc / convertible than one wants/needs the features of both a full powered OS/CPU and an inductive stylus. Since Apple sadly does not offer that - the MB is NOT a competitor.

  28. king of foo

    the real "future"...

    Is a decent docking setup.

    Smartphone = the brain

    Click - now it's a tablet

    Click - now it's a desktop

    Click - now it's a deathstar

    1. fandom

      Re: the real "future"...

      "Click - now it's a deathstar"

      Finally, a real killer app.

  29. Frankee Llonnygog

    The Surface 2 is great for competition

    By which I mean there will be lots of competitions to win one. I'll probably enter a few if they're not too hard

  30. jzlondon

    Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

    "Installing update 1 of 23. Please do not switch off your computer."

    How many of you have needed a machine in a hurry and booted it up to something like that?

    And that's the least of it. Windows 8 is a UI disaster. Just sit someone who's not particularly computer literate in front of it and watch them try to use it. Hilarious. Where are all the settings? That's right! They're hidden in about a million different places. Want to open a PDF? Fine, but why has it gone full screen? Where's the save button?

    And so on, and so on. Windows XP, for all its faults, was much less confusing.

    Microsoft have lost the plot when it comes to the basics.

    1. fandom

      Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

      Can't you disable automatic updates?

      Really, I don't know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

        "Can't you disable automatic updates?"

        Yep. Or just have it download them and ask you when to install them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

          Disable automatic updates...and have your new tablet become part of some botnet, or your banking details stolen. Ironic how the same people that used to beat Ms up about not taking security patching seriously now whinge about it.

      2. jzlondon

        Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

        Yes, you can disable automatic updates. But the default behaviour sucks, and the default behaviour is what most non-techie users (ie most users) will stick with.

        It needs to be better and just allowing it to be configured is no excuse. As techies are painfully aware, most non-techie users almost never change any settings at all on their computer, let alone something they don't understand like software updates.

        1. Hellcat

          Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

          Ah, PICNIC.

          Nobody in my house seems to have any problems using the PC or the tablet, and the Xbox 360 isn't too far removed from the 'tiles' type start menu.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

          The dafault behaviour ensuire the non-techie doesn't skip updates and makes his or her computer vulnerable...

        3. h4rm0ny

          Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

          >>"Yes, you can disable automatic updates. But the default behaviour sucks, and the default behaviour is what most non-techie users (ie most users) will stick with."

          Users who can't figure out how to disable automatic updates are exactly the ones who shouldn't do so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

      ""Installing update 1 of 23. Please do not switch off your computer."

      How many of you have needed a machine in a hurry and booted it up to something like that?"

      I gave up using Chrome OS when I realised how limited it was - and how many patches it FORCED me to have to install.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

      "Windows 8 is a UI disaster. Just sit someone who's not particularly computer literate in front of it and watch them try to use it."

      My 3 and 5 years olds don't seem to have any problem at all using Windows 8 and finding everything they need - and neither does anyone else I know. I suspect you have a fault somewhere between your chair and your keyboard...

      1. jzlondon

        Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

        > "I suspect you have a fault somewhere between your chair and your keyboard..."

        Dude, I wasn't talking about me. I'm a Windows software developer with almost 20 years of professional experience. I was talking about various family members and non-techie friends.

        Please don't try to make it personal. It's not a good way to win an argument.

        Besides, if a large number of people don't get something, it's no good just accusing them of being thick. Maybe they are, and maybe it feels good to say it, but how does that help anything? Maybe the software developers just aren't doing a good enough design job?

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

      You just need to learn how to configure Windows Update...

    5. ajc07977

      Re: Windows 8 is an unfocussed mess

      You reek of someone that has never properly used a W8 touchscreen device. I was a prejudiced as you were when W8 and W8 RT first came out ... but actually you are wrong in SO many ways. For someone that has never used Windows 8 before / not particularly computer literate ... it is easier to learn just 4 ... that's right JUST 4 different swipe from side of screen jestures. From the right and then onto Settings and Options will always bring you to a CONTEXTUAL menu (i.e. to do with the app that your are using). Easy.

      Swipe from the left to go through all the open apps. Swipe down from the top to close an app. Swipe up from the bottom in IE to add bookmarks or pin to start page. Easy.

      Now with a laptop or All-in-One hardware that is NOT a touch screen device ... I could agree with you massively on most fronts. I have a NON-touchscreen W& Dell XPS laptop running W7 Ultimate (and there is NO WAY I would want to run W8 instead). On the family Surface RT and Surface2 RT devices however... brilliant - love how easy they are to use. I have also (at Currys PCWorld who I actually finish working for on Friday) found that I am now massively more comfortable in front of a W8 laptop with touch, than one without. I have transformed many of the bigoted, out-of-date and ill-informed 50/60/70 year old generation of (XP/Vista) generation user (who have come into the store, having been told Windows 8 is terrible), by showing them touchscreen ease of use.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real problem

    9.1mm thick, i7 processor? These will be plagued by overheating problems in a few months mark my words.

    1. jzlondon

      Re: The real problem

      Yes, because they won't have tested for that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real problem

        Yes, because they won't have tested for that.

        The thorough testing they did on the xbox360 fills me with the greatest of confidence... The surface 2 was announced in October 2013, here we are in May and they have already superseded it. Microsoft are rushing these things out with new improvements in the hope they get one that eventually sells. I'd have no confidence that they've done thorough testing on this

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The real problem

          "The thorough testing they did on the xbox360 fills me with the greatest of confidence"

          That was a very long term BGA chipset mounting problem that was not easily forseen. Not due to lack of testing.

  32. DrXym Silver badge

    Microsoft really have no clue

    There is a market for Windows tablets / hybrids but not at this price point. Not only are their tablets more expensive than other Windows tablets, they're also more expensive than Apple notebooks. And the keyboard costs a ludicrous $130 more.

    And the kickstand sucks. It sucks if you want to use it on your knees. It sucks if you want to use it on a cliptray, or on those narrow lecture theatre desks. They should have gone with a stiff hinge.

    There are far more interesting Windows tablet / hybrids coming out. E.g. has a Lenovo Miix 2 11.6" launching shortly which looks far better specced, practical and cheaper than Microsoft's offering.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft really have no clue

      "There is a market for Windows tablets / hybrids but not at this price point. "

      Clearly there is - I want one, and lots of other senior IT guys I know do too. And these are ideal for business. Unlike Apple and Android products.

      "Not only are their tablets more expensive than other Windows tablets, they're also more expensive than Apple notebooks."

      They run Windows though which has a lot more included functionality than OS-X - particularly in the corporate world. Apple's laptops don't even support touch yet either.

      1. D@v3

        Re: Apple's laptops don't even support touch yet either.

        you say that like it's a bad thing.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Apple's laptops don't even support touch yet either.

          The best part on x86 units and touch is - one can easily switch OFF touch and use the stylus only. No go with the Android units, Note does not offer the option.

          Now a tablet pc without the touch DIGITIZER would be even better since would allow the non gloss screens.

      2. jzlondon

        Re: Microsoft really have no clue

        In the enterprise world, it's not so much the included functionality in Windows, as it is the in-house software, third-party LOB software and Microsoft Office macros.

        In investment banking - my industry - the majority of third-party software is built for Windows desktops alone. Likewise, most internally developed trading, settlements and risk software has a Windows front end. And a large number of traders and risk people rely on hugely complex interlinked Excel spreadsheets driven by macros and quant libraries, all of which are Windows based. The cost of migrating it all to another desktop platform would be eye watering.

      3. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft really have no clue

        "Clearly there is - I want one, and lots of other senior IT guys I know do too. And these are ideal for business. Unlike Apple and Android products."

        Lots of windows PCs are ideal for business and cost less money. Including tablets.

        And Surface 3 tablets are arguably a pain in the arse for business, if you find yourself on a train, plane, airport terminal, hotel bed or anywhere else where you discover how stupid that kickstand is.

        "They run Windows though which has a lot more included functionality than OS-X - particularly in the corporate world. Apple's laptops don't even support touch yet either."

        Read what I said. They're more expensive than other Windows tablets. e.g. Lenovo are releasing a 11.6" i3/i5 powered tablet for considerably less than their equivalent Surface 3 and that includes the keyboard (which the tablet stands up in). You can have a better Windows tablet for less money than a Surface 3. So why would someone want a Surface 3?

        1. mmeier

          Re: Microsoft really have no clue

          Okay tell me WHAT i-Series Lenovo with WACOM/NTRIG digitiser exists or is announced that is cheaper than a comparable S/P3?

          The TPT10 - is Baytrail and the tablet pc versions are costly(1)

          The TP Yoga - costs about the same, is a convertible (heavy!) and has less battery life

          The cheaper Lenovo units - are tablets not tablet pc

          Same for other devices. They either use a sub-standard stylus (DELL), have technical and support problems and/or low battery life (Sony Tab/Flip), are VERY costly (Fujitsu), are lower powered (HP) or bigger and less "mobile" and more "transportable" (ACER R7-572).

          If I use a S/P2 (or any other tablet pc) in cramped conditions - I do not take out the keyboard. I pull out the stylus. That's the main selling feature of tablet pc compared to touch only tablets(2) the very mature software supporting handwriting and handwriting recognition (Bonus: The offline speech recognition of Windows is quite capabel as well)

          (1) Possibly worth the money if you insist on 3G/LTE on board

          (2) Oh, the S/P3 is not a penabled device since it is NTRIG not Wacom

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft really have no clue

        " Windows though which has a lot more included functionality than OS-X"

        Windows has far fewer security vulnerabilities than OS-X too.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Microsoft really have no clue

      Lenovo, Fujitsu and HP think differently. Their tablet pc (as opposed to tablet) units all play in the same price region. And neither is new to this market nor lacks Android units

  33. NipseMuscle

    Surface Pro 3. Didn't Microsoft learn anything from their landfill experiments from the first two?

    Surface Pro 3. There but for the grace of God, go I.

    Surface Pro 3. A fool and his money are soon parted.

  34. IHateWearingATie

    Lenovo Yoga 2 > Surface, at least for business

    I've been using a Lenovo Yoga 2 as my main work machine for a bit now, and it seems to provide a good enough tablet experience without compromising its main duty of letting me do a day's work in MS Office (yes, I gave up being a 'proper' techie a while ago - editing slides in powerpoint pays so much better )

    Remember this is a business machine. Tablet duties at work are limited (taking notes in meetings, showing things to people at their desks etc), and limited at home as well as I already have a Nexus tablet to play games / surf / try and wrestle out of the grip of my kids.

    I can't really see any benefit that the Surface gives me over the Yoga. If I was going to use it primarily as a tablet with a bit of laptop work, it may be different.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lenovo Yoga 2 > Surface, at least for business

      "I can't really see any benefit that the Surface gives me over the Yoga"

      In a coporate environment - as you outline - the screen resolution makes a big difference for a start - particularly on Office.

      1. IHateWearingATie

        Re: Lenovo Yoga 2 > Surface, at least for business

        My Yoga 2 is 1920 x 1080 - not sure I'd get any benefit at a greater resolution for the vast majority of the work I do.

        We try and keep the number of words on a slide down to a minimum for senior management. Don't want to confuse them, the poor dears :)

    2. mmeier

      Re: Lenovo Yoga 2 > Surface, at least for business

      For my use cases:

      The main difference is weight. If I go to a meeting I typically do not need the keyboard etc. So a tablet pc + dock is a more efficient solution for my use cases. Somethink like a (Has|Broad)well upgrade to the Helix (preferably with 12.5'' screen) would be my first choice, followed by a tablet pc + dock and then a convertible. There the Yoga is a damned fine maschine with a good price.

      If you use a notebook more than a tablet pc your use case might be the opposite. In that case the dock is a problem since you either need more than one or lug around extra keyboards etc.

  35. Norman Hartnell

    Fan

    This is overpriced for a tablet, and I really, really, don't want a fan in my tablet. If I wanted a fan, I'd buy a laptop. No moving parts, please.

  36. mrfill

    Innovation

    12 inch screen, 800g, keyboard...

    Congratulations to MS for inventing...... the laptop!!!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Survival of the coolest

    Fan is super small with tight vanes on the heat sink.

    Tight vanes and fan will fill with dust and fluff.

    Fan will become inefficient.

    Lap and groin will get hot.

    Fertility will be reduced.

    Result. Surface 3 could see a reduction in Windows users over the longer term.

    I will be recommending it.

  38. Erebus
    Thumb Down

    Still roaming challenged

    No 3G or 4g offering - clearly Microsoft is still not listening...

    1. mmeier

      Re: Still roaming challenged

      After quite a few years with and without GSM equiped units - I do not miss it for my use cases.

      About 80+ percent of the time a WLAN under my / my employers control is available anyway. For the rest an external component has the benefit of being easily upgraded / adjusted (LTE has some frequency issues between countries) and does not use the tablet pc power. Smartphones are an alternative but with a 12'' unit dropping a battery powered LTE Mifi in the attache case would be my preference.

      1. jzlondon

        Re: Still roaming challenged

        Could you just tether it to your phone? I've found that since I got an unlimited plan with Three which includes tethering, I've not needed anything else. Ended up taking the SIM card out of my iPad altogether.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Still roaming challenged

          Depends on the phone. Smarties can do it easily (WLAN Hotspot on) but featurephones often have a slow sharing / low data rates.

          For me the MIFI is all about getting rid of the smartphone. I want/need one with an inductive pen and those have quite a few issues when it comes to long term (> 9month) support. The ones with LT - do not have a pen.

  39. jzlondon

    Ultra high resolution display

    Does anyone have experience running Windows on one of these high-res displays, like the Surface 3 has, while simultaneously plugged in to an ordinary monitor?

    How well does it work?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ultra high resolution display

      "How well does it work?"

      Just like a desktop PC does with 2 monitors connected - it works fine - so you can for instance display applications on the tablet and watch a movie on your monitor.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Limited window of opportunity

    We are a global Lenovo laptop customer and we have been evaluating the surface as a potential alternative or addition. Our company piloted a sample of 200+ at one of our sites but after 6 months has dropped them completely. User feedback was not complimentary, supply was not great, and support was not good either. I doubt there is an opportunity to convince our BIS dept to try it again.

    1. sysconfig

      Re: Limited window of opportunity

      Alternative to, say, a Lenovo X1 Carbon? Hardly. I'll stick with mine. Runs Linux splendidly (and Windows, if you have to), has built in 3G, last 8 hours on battery. Don't want an overpriced we-want-to-compete-with-everything-and-give-you-Win8-on-top-of-that device.

    2. mmeier

      Re: Limited window of opportunity

      If you are with Lenovo, wouldn't the TP Yoga or TPT10 fit better / get you better prices? If you talk "200 units" I bet Lenovo makes a nice price on those. Or maybe a Helix if battery life is not the main factor.

      I would sell my neighbours grandmother for a (Has|Broad)well equiped Helix "12.5". The combination device was still the best I have seen, sadly it came out when the CPU was already outdated

  41. Zot

    They failed with Surface 2 but 3 has similar specs.

    Yeah, it's slightly lighter, and has a slightly better battery life. It's still using that Intel HD 4400 chip. Next!

    1. Zot

      Re: They failed with Surface 2 but 3 has similar specs.

      Oh, it has 1.5 times the number of pixels to draw so it actually has a lower performance than the Surface 2, if it's using the same GPU. They think that people don't look a specs?

      WTF are Microsoft doing?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They don't understand the market.

    A laptop gives you PRODUCTIVITY. It runs all sorts of actual applications properly, and you have a decent keyboard. You can get work done.

    A tablet allows to jot some things down in a meeting or on the go, browse the interwebs, have apps which do a number of small tasks reasonably well. It's the extension of a smartphone, highly mobile, light, keeping you connected, in places where a laptop may be less convenient to use.

    Surface Pro 3, trying to fill the gap in the middle? Which middle exactly? Making compromise on the key features of both worlds? With that price tag?

    IMHO it has fail written all over its surface. (Pun intended)

    1. mmeier

      A tablet pc gives you both. It can take notes a lot better than most tables (Note series is a so-so exception, software still lacks compared to Win7/8) AND is a notebook in mere seconds. Actually more flexible since I can choose keyboard/mouse to my liking and set distance etc.

  43. Gonzo59
    Alert

    Surface

    I have two surface beasties. No problems with either, they both do what they are supposed to do. I would quite happily buy the new version. We do have the apple things and they are good at what they do as well, sadly not as well as promised. Far to fiddly!!

  44. Jeff Henager

    I'm the last person that could be accused of being a M$ fanboy, but I would love to get one of these to test. It looks like the best platform for 8.1 out there.

  45. ilithium

    Still way too expensive

    I've always admired the Surface hardware - I got a free RT whilst at Microsoft (and gave it back).

    The hardware's really good - but how can this be a competitor to laptops when the price point is so high?

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Still way too expensive

      Weight and size. If you travel a lot by air, you'd be happy to pay £100 for every 100g you don't have to haul in your cabin bag in a mad dash between airport terminals. Even with the type cover on, it's about 250g (about 1lb for those in the 18th century) lighter than a similarly-priced MacBook Air.

      As an aside, I'm glad that someone has realised that widescreen sucks for laptops. While getting an old 4:3 iBook working a couple of months ago, it struck me that despite the lower resolution, the screen format worked better than 16:10 or 16:9... especially when every OS takes vertical slices out of your screen space for window bars, toolbars and menus. The 1.5:1 ratio is also close enough to the A-series's 1.414:1 ratio to make this a very good tool for reviewing and annotating documents when used in portrait.

      I can't help thinking that if this had been an Apple launch, it'd be hailed as a revolution...

  46. Arnold Lieberman

    Livefan F2

    Been hankering after one of these for a while now, but can't quite justify it...

    4Gb RAM, Celeron for £315

    http://www.tinydeal.com/livefan-f2-116-ips-windows-8-intel-dual-core-64gb-tablet-pc-p-107132.html

    up to i7

    http://www.dx.com/p/livefan-f2-wifi-11-6-ips-intel-i7-windows-8-tablet-pc-w-4gb-ram-64gb-ssd-white-black-282847

  47. Glostermeteor

    Still WAYYYYY too expensive

    Surface is great for business, I have a Pro 2 for work and it is amazing/ But it will never compete with the iPad or laptops in the standard market because of the price.

  48. rav

    NO WIFI, LTE OR 4G: Not enough Battery!!!!! RTFLOL

    After reading on several websites about Surface I've come to the realisation that in order to connect to the internet you need to plug in an ethernet cable. And an ethernet port is provided!!!

    THERE IS NO WIFI, LTE OR 4G!!!!!!!!!

    SERIOUSLY?

    1. stim

      Re: NO WIFI, LTE OR 4G: Not enough Battery!!!!! RTFLOL

      Surface Pro 3 has WIFI and 9 hours of battery life.

      If you have a phone that has "internet sharing" then just connect to that (it creates a WIFI point) - people generally have their phones with them all the time, so not a problem.

      1. mrfill

        Re: NO WIFI, LTE OR 4G: Not enough Battery!!!!! RTFLOL

        .... until you discover they don't allow tethering and you get charged god knows how much per megabyte...

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: NO WIFI, LTE OR 4G: Not enough Battery!!!!! RTFLOL

          Then either join the 21st century and get a phone / provider that will allow tethering, or get a dongle to plug into the tablet that provides this. Honestly, most places you should be able to use WiFi. Where you can't then unlike an iPad, you can just plug in a USB accessory to provide LTE. But the latter is rarely necessary. Lack of LTE doesn't stop most laptops from selling well, or the iPad from being the best selling tablet despite not having LTE for most of its lifespan / on all models. At least with a Surface you can expand it to that option if you want to.

          1. mmeier

            Re: NO WIFI, LTE OR 4G: Not enough Battery!!!!! RTFLOL

            Actually a battery powerd MIFI in the attache case/backpack is even handier than the USB dongle that sticks out IMHO. 3G units sell at 40-80€, LTE units at 100+ currently. Being able to place them at a convenient spot helps as well.

  49. stim

    options, options, options...

    Seems to me that MS is watching Apple fans pay an awful lot for not a lot and thinking "we can do with a bit of that, but we'll do it better" - hence making the smart, and quite pricey Surface machines. To be fair, their OEMs are banging out cheaper alternatives for consumers to look at. Makes sense for MS to set a high standard for OEMs to aspire to.

    These are high end laptop ALTERNATIVES, if for whatever reason someone prefers a laptop, I'm sure Lenovo or some other company will be happy to sell you one.

    I have a Surface 2 (non-pro) and I use it daily for consumer stuff, get home from work & sit on the sofa, grab the surface - perfect. Take it on short trips, bung it in the car - perfect. I don't take it to Starbucks like the Mac boys love to do, I have a Lumia for walking-mobile travel.

    I also have a laptop - i use it for more productive stuff like video & photo editing, more serious office work and legacy apps - usually while sat a desk or at a table. This is now getting sold for a Surface Pro 3.

    Interestingly, depending on how it works out, I might sell the Surface 2 and just keep the Surface Pro 3 for my sofa machine and my more serious machine... time will tell if it's as comfortable and small enough to be my consumer-friendly device too.

    I think this is very cool stuff MS has produced and had Apple produced something similar, people would be falling over themselves to pay twice as much for half as little...

  50. Mikel

    Taking aim at iPad Air + Macbook Air

    Wrong target. Android tabs under $400 are surging to the fore. This has no chance to get share.

  51. ajc07977

    I think photographers will like the 3:2 screen ratio to match those on the rear of many DSLR and CSC type cameras.

    P.S. I'd love to know why (especially apt with this device and it's screen resolution and ratio), hardware running Microsoft OS seem incapable of having a built-in FULL SIZE SD slot that is FAST. That it is missing from Surface Pro3 = even more silly.

    Take my Dell XPS L502X i7 8GB RAM, fast 128GB SSD and HD Screen. A very viable alternative to Apple MacBook Pro machines for performance. Yet when I mislay my EXTERNAL SD(HC/XC) card reader (USB) ... and use the inbuilt SD slot ... the performance is as crappy as it has been for a decade or two (typically about 3 MB/S transfer time from an averagely fast SDHC card capable of ten times that speed). Almost 5.5 hours transfer time of a 16GB card ... no thanks !! Cancel > find external card reader > repeat > less than 15 mins later (DONE).

    That 15 mins to transfer could be even quicker (5mins or less) with a 90 to 100 MB/s card in a latest APPLE laptop (can do 100 MB/s speed from inbuilt slot). Why are all the manufacturers APART from Apple doing this ? DO they think keen photographers want to lug something else around to lose, or break or damage a USB port ??

  52. Matt_payne666

    Almost perfect....

    I REALLY want one of these... for the past 4 years I have been using laptops in the 12-13" category - Dell Latitude E63 & E62xx models... the current one is an i7 with 16GB ram and large SSD - I run several VM's and a remote desktop sessions... so whilst I have the horse power, I certainly don't have the screen realestate - the SP3 has power and screen....

    The latitude docks and plays nice with the external monitors at home too.

    I also use a Surface RT - this is my main drag about, research and light weight RDPing. Combinig both would save bag space.

    Yes the thing isn't cheap... nothing with good specs and build is, but its not silly money... I look forward to getting hold of one in the next few months

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