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Surface Pro as Laptop/Desktop replacement

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  • Sven Groot

    , evildictait​or wrote

    Maybe this just isn't obvious enough, but The Surface Is Not A Laptop. It is a Tablet.

    Buying a Surface Pro to be your main development machine is nearly as silly as buying an Android Phone or an iPad to be your main development machine.

    Which to me means I have no reason to buy one. The only reason I was interested in the Surface Pro is because I thought it might be a full fletched laptop replacement that could also be a tablet when the need arose.

    My laptop is my primary work machine. At work, I connect it to an external keyboard and monitor, and I don't have another computer there. I use it on the go as well, but I rarely actually code on it that way because even a 13" screen is too small for that. I also use it at conferences for e-mail etc., and on flights to watch movies.

    Those last two occasions are the only situations in which I think it'd be nicer if I had a tablet. However, they don't pop up often enough for me to want to own a separate tablet. I already have a laptop, smartphone and Kindle, so why would I want yet another device to carry around with such a limited range of usage scenarios? I'd never use a tablet at home, because I have my desktop PC and since I live in Tokyo I'm never more than 4 metres away from it while inside my house. I'd never use it at work, because that's what my laptop is for and it's not a productivity device. I wouldn't use it while commuting because I read during that time and e-Ink is vastly superior to any LCD screen for that.

    So I don't own a tablet, because if I did buy one it'd be nothing more than a toy that would rarely see any real use.

    The Surface Pro piqued my interest because it sounded like it could take over the job my laptop did (dock at work as my primary machine, occasional on the go work) and also be a tablet for simple e-mail or video stuff when I needed that.

    But it sounds like the Surface Pro will be too limited in capabilities to stand in for my laptop, which is a shame. Hopefully its successor will be better, or a third party OEM will make something better suiting my needs.

    It's s shame, because this is a unique opportunity. It's something no other tablet can do. To me this is much more interesting than having a separate tablet, and furthermore it's something only Windows 8 can do. No other PC OS can also be used on tablets. No other tablet OS can also be used for real work. MS should really try to capitalize on that more.

  • Charles

    I'd say we should let the device speak for itself before claiming that it's not fit for X of Y scenario based on a few articles in the pop tech press.

    Outside of this, given the physical dimensions, it could be that some won't want to code full time on it, for example (though from a power and performance perspective, it's certainly possible. The device is not lacking in the computing capability department).

    C

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , Charles wrote

    I'd say we should let the device speak for itself before claiming that it's not fit for X of Y scenario based on a few articles in the pop tech press.

    Sure, why not... Surface RT was given a chance to speak for itself. Let's give Surface Pro the same chance too.

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • evildictait​or

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    Sure, why not... Surface RT was given a chance to speak for itself. Let's give Surface Pro the same chance too.

    What's that supposed to mean? Have you tried using a Surface RT?

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    What's that supposed to mean? Have you tried using a Surface RT?

    Indeed I have. Don't you remember my report?

    What does that mean? Isn't it obvious? If an appliance store sold a toaster-oven with a picture on the box of a microwave and the store clerk tells you "no, no it really can cook food fast" it's well like duh that isn't the same but you buy it anyway because to you it's the "micro-toaster". If in that same store they have a microwave that has a picture of a oven on the box and the store clerk affirms "no, no, you really can bake a delicious cake in it" it's well like duh that would make a pretty lousy cake but you by it anyway because to you it's the "micro-oven". You would think only an idiot would buy something based on a picture or the word of someone trying to sell it. Then again if it's got the right brand on the box people will justify purchasing about anything -- even people who think they are intelligent.

    I can't wait to hear what Surface Pro has to say...

    If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
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  • evildictait​or

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    Indeed I have. Don't you remember my report?

    That report says that you saw a Surface RT in a Best Buy and that you outsmarted some Best Buy employees because (surprise surprise) Best Buy employees don't necessarily know a whole lot about the products they are selling.

    As I said before. Have you actually used a Surface RT?

  • RLO

    Ok, just a thought here.  Maybe thinking outside of the box is what is needed.

    Let's just take consumer pricing, wouldn't it behoove Microsoft to include a recovery USB Key.  A 16gb memory stick is about 15 dollars now.  With volume pricing it would be even less than that.

    Originally OEM's included a recovery disc, wouldn't it be progressive and cost effective for Microsoft to do the same thing with modern tech.

    As is, I couldn't even think about purchasing a 64gb Surface with that much storage restriction.  Especially with the known issues with integrating a microsd card as part of the storage.  (Bring on the Windows Home Server Storage Pool, thank you very much.)

     

     

  • Sven Groot

    On a somewhat related note, I was walking through Bic Camera (enormous electronics store) again recently, and the situation hasn't improved much. They have exactly one Windows RT and one Windows 8 tablet for sale (Surface is not available here of course; the RT one was the Asus VivoTab iirc), and they do not stand out at all amidst the scores of Android tablets on display.

    Furthermore, on that same floor every single mobile provider in Japan (Softbank, AU, DoCoMo, etc.) has their own displays with various model iPads, and you can't swing a cat on that floor without hitting an iPhone 5. I looked very hard, but none of them had even a single Windows Phone on display, even though they are apparently sold here (I say apparently; I have never seen one). Meanwhile, iPhone and Android have done a great job cracking open the previously thought to be saturated Japanese mobile phone market.

  • evildictait​or

    , RLO wrote

    Originally OEM's included a recovery disc, wouldn't it be progressive and cost effective for Microsoft to do the same thing with modern tech.

    They do - it's just that instead of shipping a USB key with it on, you can just do it directly from inside the OS: http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-US/support/surface-with-windows-RT/warranty-service-and-recovery/how-do-i-refresh-or-reset-surface

  • JoshRoss

    I'm just going to buy it for the clicky sound it makes. Besides, I hear teenagers think it's cool. Anyways, this is part of Microsofts Gandhi strategy.  First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. The thing is, I'm not sure what stage we are at. Did people ignore or laugh at RT? If the later, then they are going to fight Surface Pro. But, if they just ignored RT, then they are just going to laugh at Pro. At some point, there has to be a fight and someone will win. I just hope, it will be me. Whatever that means.

    Expressionless 

    -Josh

  • evildictait​or

    , JoshRoss wrote

    I'm just going to buy it for the clicky sound it makes. Besides, I hear teenagers think it's cool. 

    Cheevo unlocked!

  • JoshRoss

    Maybe the price is too low. How much it would cost to make something that is better than an iPad and a MacBook Air? $1200 for the 13 inch / 128GB air + $700 for the 64GB iPad is about $1900.

    Starting at $1900, what could you do with a Surface? You could put two processors in it, ARM + Intel, and 192 GB of flash. The ARM could be used when it could, so that you get better battery life. People are buying both right now.

    This all started with the idea that you could put both devices in the same box. That is where the value is. I don't see why Microsoft thinks that it has to compete with a $1000 handicap. Make the thing $2200, and compete on utility.

    -Josh

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    , evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    That report says that you saw a Surface RT in a Best Buy and that you outsmarted some Best Buy employees because (surprise surprise) Best Buy employees don't necessarily know a whole lot about the products they are selling.

    As I said before. Have you actually used a Surface RT?

    Let's see... I said

    I had to correct misinformation that people were given by the Microsoft reps that were there.

    There were two Microsoft reps there handing out questionable information at best. One of them had a Yoga that he was very proud of. Of course it was running Windows 8 Pro and not RT. He knew he was basing a lot of what he said on Windows 8 Pro when he was speaking about Surface RT. I suppose since I don't have names nor Microsoft badge numbers this is something you'd assume I made up. I mean you really invested yourself in what I wrote and it shows Perplexed  so why should you believe anything I say here? 

    I spent two hours at Best Buy using all of the Windows 8 laptops, tablets, etc. trying to find something for my daughter. I spent all least 30 minutes with Surface RT alone trying to find something to like about it, trying to justify why it would work for my daughter. I suppose since I didn't walk away with one and really try and integrate it into my life that my opinion of the experience isn't worth a red cent to you. Then of course that would make me pretty stupid buying something that doesn't have the value I think it should after 30 minutes of use.

  • Sven Groot

    , JoshRoss wrote

    Starting at $1900, what could you do with a Surface? You could put two processors in it, ARM + Intel, and 192 GB of flash. The ARM could be used when it could, so that you get better battery life. People are buying both right now.

    Yeah... that would require a completely custom motherboard (or having two motherboards). I don't think there's any hardware right now capable of handling having two CPUs of completely different architectures in the same machine. If you want them to share memory and other peripherals, we're talking a completely new kind of north/southbridge architecture that would have to be developed just for this device. Just waiting for Intel to make more power efficient CPUs will probably faster than starting this kind of project from scratch.

    Then you'd need to have two operating systems. Windows RT can't run on Intel, and Windows 8 can't run on ARM, so you'd have to dual-boot. This takes twice as much storage space, and you require a reboot every time you want to switch; not exactly user-friendly. And even if you can somehow sync which apps are installed and start screen layout etc. between the two, you'd still need to install them twice (since ARM and Intel apps can use different binaries), again wasting more disk space.

    It's a nice idea, but actually doing it in a practical fashion is pretty much impossible without a complete and utter redesign of both hardware and Windows itself.

  • evildictait​or

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    There were two Microsoft reps there handing out questionable information at best. One of them had a Yoga that he was very proud of. Of course it was running Windows 8 Pro and not RT. He knew he was basing a lot of what he said on Windows 8 Pro when he was speaking about Surface RT. I suppose since I don't have names nor Microsoft badge numbers this is something you'd assume I made up. I mean you really invested yourself in what I wrote and it shows Perplexed  so why should you believe anything I say here?

    I'm sure you outsmarted those Best Buy employees. Give yourself a pat on the back. I'm not sure how you outsmarting a couple of minimum wage workers in a Best Buy says anything (positive or negative) about Windows RT though.

    I spent two hours at Best Buy using all of the Windows 8 laptops, tablets, etc. trying to find something for my daughter. I spent all least 30 minutes with Surface RT alone trying to find something to like about it, trying to justify why it would work for my daughter. I suppose since I didn't walk away with one and really try and integrate it into my life that my opinion of the experience isn't worth a red cent to you. Then of course that would make me pretty stupid buying something that doesn't have the value I think it should after 30 minutes of use.

    So you've poked a couple of apps on a Windows RT device in a store. You've never actually tried to properly use one. You've never tried writing an actual document in desktop Office, nor have you tried actually browsing the Internet like you would at home.

    What I'm getting at is that all of your negativity towards Windows RT is almost entirely based on what you've read about it on websites that you frequent. You've never actually bothered to try it and give it a fair test.

  • Sven Groot

    @evildictaitor: I hate to say it, but DeathByVisualStudio does kind of have a point here. If the average consumer doesn't end up loving the device within 10 minutes of trying it out in a store, they probably won't buy it. And if they read the same websites that DBVS does, they'll come in with the same expectations.

    It may not say much about the actual long-term usability of Windows RT, but it definitely does say something about its chances of succeeding commercially.

  • evildictait​or

    , Sven Groot wrote

    @evildictaitor: I hate to say it, but DeathByVisualStudio does kind of have a point here. If the average consumer doesn't end up loving the device within 10 minutes of trying it out in a store, they probably won't buy it. And if they read the same websites that DBVS does, they'll come in with the same expectations.

    It may not say much about the actual long-term usability of Windows RT, but it definitely does say something about its chances of succeeding commercially.

    Let's not pretend that DBVS is an average consumer or that he went into that store to buy a Windows RT tablet. By the sounds of it, he went into the store to mock the staff's lack of knowledge of Windows RT.

    Let's be honest. DBVS and WTWF weren't ever going to buy Windows RT tablets. But then you're probably not going to sell a steak to a vegetarian or a Ford car to the CEO of Toyota. That doesn't mean that the steak isn't juicy or that the Ford car isn't better. It's that when you're trying to sell something to someone who's already chosen not to want your product, you're not going to be able to convince them otherwise, no matter what you do.

  • wkempf

    , DeathBy​VisualStudio wrote

    *snip*

    And so now I'm a moron? And people wonder how these threads go so negative so quickly.

    Hmmm... I'd say you're reply came much closer to calling me a moron than his post did you. So, I'm going to agree with what you just said, but suggest you think about what you said a bit.

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