MS think they're at least as good as Apple and can therefore charge an apple-like tax? Alas no one else thinks that. $7.99 shurley?
Lovers of USB-C who have had a Surface device inflicted upon them may soon find their long wait for dongle-based delight is at an end, according to reports. USB-C is notable by its absence from Microsoft's current line-up of Surface tablets. Only the Surface Book 2 has been blessed by the wonder-connector. The Surface Laptop …
Microsoft hasn't decided if they want to be Apple or Google. The "let's be Apple" camp is pushing Surface, which can go up to $3000 or so, and the "let's be Google" camp is pushing all the data collection built into Windows 10. The only thing clear from this is that whatever Microsoft ends up as, they obviously no longer want to be Microsoft!
At least they don't seem to have a "let's be Uber" camp!
The mini-DP port is absolutely standard, and so can connect to most monitors without any form of dongle, using cheap cables. I'm typing this on an SP4 connected to an HDMI monitor with a cable that cost about £8, from memory.
Personally, as a highly mobile user, I find the SP4 the best mobile computer I've ever owned, to the extent that I've had it for over two years and have felt no urge whatsoever to replace it. I have also stopped using a separate desktop PC in the office, replaced with a docking station for the SP4 with a big screen, and keyboard and mouse. Loses some CPU grunt, of course, but there's always AWS or Azure if I need some temporary big processing power - thus far I haven't needed that.
<iPersonally, as a highly mobile user, I find the SP4 the best mobile computer I've ever owned, ... I have also stopped using a separate desktop PC in the office, replaced with a docking station for the SP4 with a big screen, and keyboard and mouse.</i>
As "a highly mobile user", I'm a little surprised you are in "the office" enough to warrant having a desk (and desktop computer) of your own. The last time I had a dedicated desk in "the office" was back in 1997 (giving this up was a cathartic experience); I had given up the desktop computer a few years previously, after getting my first laptop (a 386 running WfWg).
About the only times, my laptop gets plugged into anything other than the power supply is when I'm doing a presentation or dumping to external HDD.
I spend most of my weekdays on customer site one way or another, normally juggling 3-4 clients at any given time. I sometimes get customers I can work on from my (home) office, in which I have a dedicated desk.
Then I get to spend the weekends working on company admin, speculative development, and so on. Not every weekend, of course, but enough to be noticeable.
I sometimes get customers I can work on from my (home) office, in which I have a dedicated desk.
Thanks for the clarification. I've largely given up on the home office desktop, not because I don't try and use it, just that I have to slot in around the teenagers doing homework...
Ah, one of my non-negotiable requirements when we bought this place (back in the late Jurassic some time) was a spare bedroom that I could convert into a dedicated office, which I've been very careful to keep devoid of any stuff other family members might want to come in and use.
Also, our teenagers are just moving out. It's amazing how quite the place just became...
I had a surface laptop, only for a month because they're absolutely useless because of this. 1 usb, and a display port which always requires a dongle. That's it.
OK I realise that "absolutely useless" is hyperbole but the level of management and sales that lust after them in this office really don't give a shit about ports.
I dont have a Surface. I do have an HP Spectre though and USB-C is the dog's dangly bits.
HP Spectre also usefully has a normal USB-3 connector on the other side, with charge on sleep.
So you can charge your phone, or use a USB powered peripheral from the 'normal' USB port.
I can laso say that the Hyperdrive adapter I have is lovely. USB-C to the laptop. Then you get an HDMI graphics port out, two USBs and a USB-C charging port.
I have a HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2 tablet, and no USB-C is a mixed blessing. I also have the USB sleep-and-charge port.
When I saw the article I was like, "Heck, if I could find that on eBay, then I get USB-C!" Turns out to use bloody Surface Connect.
But don't you find the Sleep-and-Charge port slow (as in charges a phone slowly)?
Wish I had something like the Hyperdrive! I have to do with a dock (gives a bunch of USB ports, VGA, HDMI, power).
The Surface Laptop has all the advantages of a laptop. The Pro doesn't need a keyboard as it is a tablet (albeit with a proper CPU and memory). The Book is a high end portable workstation which can also become a notepad for meetings.
If you'd ever used Hangouts you would be glad of a Skype for Business installation!
I hate Google Hangouts... but I find Google Meetings far more reliable than Webex, GTM and Skype for Business. Just for the simple reason its only relies upon the browser, I've only ever had 1 person unable to use it and that happened because he did not have a Chromium-based browser installed!
"cause why would you ever need a keyboard, if you can type on the screen, lol."
If you need a real keyboard but the Surface Laptop, a tablet form factor may not be for you. If not, the Pro is an exceptionally capable tablet with a "good enough" keyboard cover and screen keyboard
"If you'd ever used Hangouts you would be glad of a Skype for Business installation!"
I use both every day. Hangouts isn't great by any means, but Skype for Business is an abomination; the UI is all over the place. Folks at work hate it with a passion but lazy IT bods don't know any better so that's what gets rolled out. I don't even know how a diehard Microsoft fan can see much merit in it.
So reviewers complain when laptops only have USB-C because there are no actual accessories, and complain when only USB3 (the exact same speed but a universally compatible port)?
I have a Surface Book and a Surface Laptop. They are the best laptops I've ever owned including my Macbook Pro. I use Bluetooth and wireless to connect accessories these days. The only thing I even own that needs a USB port is a storage stick, and that's old USB. I'm curious what it is that you're all plugging in in 2018 that's worth getting so upset about?
"A mouse? A keyboard? A headset?"
Uh, it's a LAPTOP. It has a keyboard and mouse, and there's one USB port if you need a headset. The dock has 4 USB ports so for desk use you can leave a keyboard, mouse, two monitors, a webcam and speakers set up permanently. The power supply also has USB built in so you don't even need the dock if you don't want it.
I realise that the Reg tries to look cool by bashing MS, but this is trying a bit too hard.
And external USB hard drives in 2018? It's 2018! At least get a NAS if you're not ready for cloud yet. Although I assume given your legacy requirements you also store local VMs. Sigh.
"And external USB hard drives in 2018? It's 2018! At least get a NAS if you're not ready for cloud yet."
Yeah, and in 2018 external drives are pretty sweet for a good price! They also require NO internet connection, are worlds faster than anyone's streaming rate, and won't eat into a data allowance moving files around. Encrypted for security, immune to cloud provider hacking, can be stored in a safe. Good luck putting your NAS in your pocket!
Is it the millennials? There's a huge lack of perspective in these forums. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's better, or that it will totally replace something that was working fine already. I can list a dozen things that were proclaimed dead and obsolete, but inconveniently insist on sticking around being useful.
most laptop "mice" (i.e. fondle-pad) SUCK (especially when you're trying to type and your thumb causes 'tap-click' to activate all of the time) and so an external mouse and "shut that damn thing off" on the mouse pad is THE option when you wanna get work done. And I need a USB port for the mouse. And speakers/headphones need a proper WIRED jack, especially if you're sitting in an airport etc..
people who design the Surface should be DAMNED into HAVING TO USE the thing, ALL OF THE TIME. And no special treatment, either.
It's like the fastest way to streamline your manual system: assign a programmer to "operate" it. Out of pure frustration he'll streamline the process so that it starts running at 0-dark-thirty on monday, such that by the time he arrives at 10AM or so, it's "all done" for teh week, and he can do fun stuff for the additional 4.9 days. [back in the late 80's, that was ME, and I actually DID that].
Similarly, MAKE the engineers that design the surface ACTUALLY USE IT.
"people who design the Surface should be DAMNED into HAVING TO USE the thing, ALL OF THE TIME. And no special treatment, either"
Every employee at MS gets a surface these days. We have a choice between Book, Pro and Laptop. I don't know anyone who has issues other than the weight on the Book, but even that is kind of OK given the spec and the 17 hour battery life.
people who design the Surface should be DAMNED into HAVING TO USE the thing, ALL OF THE TIME. And no special treatment, either.
I'm on my second Surface Pro and I absolutely love it. At home I use the superb SP keyboard, on the sofa it becomes my favorite tablet and in the office a powered USB3 hub connects a decent keyboard, mouse, ethernet, DVD burner & printer effortlessly, plus a decent monitor plugged into the display port.
When shopping around to replace the SP3 I looked at many, many options, then stuck with the Surface, it's a beautiful piece of engineering.
On topic, USB C - meh, don't need it, my phone has wireless charging and MS are taking the piss a bit with that price, but their Surface Dock is also over priced for what it does (IMHO).
"How much does the dock cost, smart guy?"
Smart guys get them for free because their company buy them. For everyone else? No idea, don't really care. The Surface book my work got me is £3k so the dock is basically irrelevant in terms of cost, as is the pen and Bluetooth surface arc mouse and all the other toys they gave me. For the Surface Laptop I bought with my own money in shiny shiny blue...I use the accessories work paid for and swap one cable to change to "
pornhome mode" from " El Regwork Mode".
Very few tablets/ultralights come with a plethora of ports. If you need to plug in a large number of accessories then this isn't the form factor for you. Given that then by far the best choice of port is USB3 due to being compatible with just about every accessory out there.
Yeah this dongle's expensive but that will be partly because Microsoft knows no-one will buy it since it serves no purpose whatsoever. Want to only carry a single charger to charge your tablet and mobile? Well carry the surface charger and charge your mobile off the tablet. You wouldn't be able to charge both devices at the same time from the USBC charger anyway.
Lusty, I agree. If you need a USB storage drive they have USB-C connectors now, and if I am not wrong some models have both that and normal USB.
If you need to use normal USB peripherals buy a USB-C hub which is the size of a packet of chewing gum. My Hperdrive adapter is for all intents and pusrposes a desktop docking station, which you can happily carry with you in the laptop case.
Wireless mouse = batteries
Wireless headset = batteries
Wireless keyboard = batteries
Connecting all these to your laptop means more drain on your battery, or you plug in the little dongle and that draws power.
All of that means charging stuff up. And cost if you don't use a rechargeable battery.
Bluetooth and WIFI signals can get interference from all kinds of sources depending on quality of build and location. Other frequencies getting in the way, Microwaves, brick walls, hot air, phase of the moon sometimes. (it can be the oddest things)
Wired means none of the above (I am not aware of power drain in a wired mouse, presume there is a fractional one).
Why do I increasingly feel like modern day version of Batman with a ruck sack (utility belt) full of little adaptors and dongles to make the simple things I want to interface with talk to my nice new shiny machine.
How about making the machine a little bit bigger and stuffing all the hardware in the box, so I don't need to worry in the first place.
Yep, but its the same on the phone, laptop or tablets, form over function.
Take for example Apple - On Macbooks, thou shalt have UCB-C, but on the phone, its got to be lightning, then they don't even make an adapter to plug in your headphones on Lightning to the Mac, hence forcing people to use an array of adapters or go to their fancy bluetooth headphones - that use yet another cable to go from Lightning to UCB C to charge. Then you hit the lack of sockets problem and have to get yet another adapter to increase port count or put back the connectors that should have been there in the first place. The net effect is that the machine looks a mess on the desk, not an art form. Design fail !!
At least on older style Laptops there was PCMCIA / CardBus to allow you to plug in virtually everything.
I don't get why you'd especially need a USB-C port on a laptop, handy perhaps but not essential.
With the exception of a handful of USB memory sticks (most sticks that have C have an A at the other end) most devices you're likely to want to connect such as phones or USB HDDs/SSDs are going to be a USB-C socket on them not a plug, so a USB A to USB-C cable will work just fine. Further I have yet to see a device such as a phone or USB HDD that has a C socket that comes with only a C to C not an A to C cable.
Phil, USB-C handles not only the serial signalling. It handles power input, with various power profiles for different devices.
10 Gbps Ethernet
HDMI graphics up to 4K AFAIK
So you can have a lightweight laptop which plugs into an external full feature GPU (or indeed any other PCI Express card)
USB-C can do those things but in my experience rarely does all of them, or often any of them. The majority of USB-C implementations I've seen on laptops and even desktop PCs are actually just plain old USB connections and don't support any of those things, in fact some of them weren't even USB 3.x they were just USB 2.
Frankly the whole one port to rule them all philosophy seems like a waste of time and effort to me, especially if that port isn't always going to do all of the things it can be used for. The whole point of USB is that it's Universal so that generally speaking if you see a USB socket you know you can plug in a USB device and it's likely to work, USB-C may as well be RSOUFSB (Random Subset Of Unlabeled Features Serial Bus)
>Frankly the whole one port to rule them all philosophy seems like a waste of time and effort to me, especially if that port isn't always going to do all of the things it can be used for.
On the MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3/USB-C makes sense, it satisfies Apple's minimalist ethos: it effectively means they can provide a single port that users can use in whatever way suits them. The only catch currently is ensuring that things can easily connect together, thus, for example, you really need an HDMI or Displayport, compatible monitor - not one with SVGA/DVI.
Also USB-C can be used as a replacement for the proprietary docking station connector found on many Windows laptops. In the Apple scenario, the docking station gets re-imaged into something elegant https://eu.hengedocks.com/pages/vertical-macbook-pro-2016
But in this case does it really...
The people who would be interested or use this can just replace their charging unit with this and thus are carrying around the same amount/size of clutter.
Quote from the source article: "The actual connector itself is rather large, with similar dimensions to a standard Surface charger."
The last two companies I have worked at have banned any further purchases of MS Surfaces. One of these companies actually does work for Microsoft. The MS Surfaces are so unreliable (constant blue screens) and unrepairable that it was a waste of employee's time and the company's money.
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