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B...
Apr 22, 2013, 02:28 PM
The Microsoft Surface seems to be trying to take on both the iPad and the MacBook Air (with the Pro version). I have recently been looking into the Surface, probably not Pro but not necessarily, and would like to hear opinions from people who have used all the above devices, or just opinions from people who have tried it out.

Is it an iPad killer or an Air killer? What do you think about Windows 8?

I would love to hear all viewpoints and sides of this argument.



spinedoc77
Apr 22, 2013, 05:39 PM
The surface Pro, IMO, is more of an Air killer than an ipad killer. The Atom powered windows 8 tablets are more of the ipad killers, and they kill the ipad quite nicely. The Surface Pro just has too many handicaps in terms of battery life and form factor/size/weight to be an ipad killer. But IMO it's certainly an Air killer, same weight/form factor as the 11" air, same price, slightly worse keyboard but the incredible (IMO) option to detach it and make it a tablet. They both run a "real" OS so at that point it's about preference, although the Air has the advantage where you can run both OS', not sure if the Surface Pro has OSx hacked onto it yet.

AC Rempt
Apr 22, 2013, 05:45 PM
I am thinking very hard about the Surface Pro, and the real killer feature for me that is rarely brought up, is the Wacom pen and pressure sensitivity. This adds a whole other dimension to the SP that both the MBA and iPad lack. Yes, you can get a pressure-sensitive pen for the iPad, but the SP can run PhotoShop and SketchBook Pro as well as store large image files.

So the SP can challenge the MBA, make a run at the iPad, and on top of all this, it can be a graphics tablet.

Very tempting.

The cons remain the weight and the battery life. I also find the aspect ratio odd.

But I'm still thinking about it.

Lindsford
Apr 22, 2013, 05:54 PM
My first instinct was to say Macbook Air, however I have an iPad and MBA, and use the iPad 95% of the time.

MuffCabbage
Apr 22, 2013, 06:46 PM
I am thinking very hard about the Surface Pro, and the real killer feature for me that is rarely brought up, is the Wacom pen and pressure sensitivity. This adds a whole other dimension to the SP that both the MBA and iPad lack. Yes, you can get a pressure-sensitive pen for the iPad, but the SP can run PhotoShop and SketchBook Pro as well as store large image files.

So the SP can challenge the MBA, make a run at the iPad, and on top of all this, it can be a graphics tablet.

Very tempting.

The cons remain the weight and the battery life. I also find the aspect ratio odd.

But I'm still thinking about it.

I have the Samsung Ativ 500T which has a keyboard dock and digitizer. I love it for school. OneNote with the digitizer is awesome for my lectures and keeping everything together since Im engineering so its a lot of writing/drawing vs typing in class.

It gets about 10 hours of real battery life, but really I would wait until the next round of Intel Atom tablets before jumping on any convertibles.

One thing I dont love about it is the aspect ratio being 16:9 but it's okay. Just kind of long for pure consumption tablet use which I use it for least often actually.

I attached a PDF of my notes today in class which was a lot of matrices and done on my Win8 convertible with digitizer. I have access to all my OneNote notes on my computer, 2 tablets (Android and Win8), and my phone as well so I can review or add to my notes using my phone on the bus for example. The iPad just cant reach the level of accuracy at the speeds required for taking notes when compared to a tablet with a digitizer. And if you are looking to do artistic stuff, its not even a question how much better a digitizer is.

The Macbook Air and iPad cant really do what I want them to do even together. The Surface Pro could, but its hampered by being bulkier and getting lower battery life than my Atom tablet. The Surface RT dos not have a digitizer.

spinedoc77
Apr 22, 2013, 06:59 PM
I have the Samsung Ativ 500T which has a keyboard dock and digitizer. I love it for school. OneNote with the digitizer is awesome for my lectures and keeping everything together since Im engineering so its a lot of writing/drawing vs typing in class.

It gets about 10 hours of real battery life, but really I would wait until the next round of Intel Atom tablets before jumping on any convertibles.

One thing I dont love about it is the aspect ratio being 16:9 but it's okay. Just kind of long for pure consumption tablet use which I use it for least often actually.

I attached a PDF of my notes today in class which was a lot of matrices and done on my Win8 convertible with digitizer. I have access to all my OneNote notes on my computer, 2 tablets (Android and Win8), and my phone as well so I can review or add to my notes using my phone on the bus for example. The iPad just cant reach the level of accuracy at the speeds required for taking notes when compared to a tablet with a digitizer. And if you are looking to do artistic stuff, its not even a question how much better a digitizer is.

The Macbook Air and iPad cant really do what I want them to do even together. The Surface Pro could, but its hampered by being bulkier and getting lower battery life than my Atom tablet. The Surface RT dos not have a digitizer.

Yeah the atom tablets have much more functionality than the surface pro. Against the iPad they completely blow it away IMO.

somsoc
Apr 22, 2013, 08:17 PM
Been reading these forums for years and just now joined because of this post. I have owned an Air, an iPad 1, 3 and 4. I used all of them extensively but no longer own any of them because I now have a Surface Pro. Had it for about a month now. I am absolutely blown away by it. My reasons: I decided that a tablet is the best form factor for me. I don't always need a keyboard and I prefer touch interface most of the time. But when I want to do photo editing/management or real productivity work I want a mouse, keyboard and plenty of processing power. I love Apple products but I just got so tired of the limitations of iOS. That's all gone now. I can do ANYTHING I want now. Even use my CAD software. All my files are always with me. Not just synced or in the cloud, they actually live on the Pro. I am not committed to any platform and generally just go with what works best. Windows 8 took a bit of getting used to, but now with some real world usage under my belt, I like it a lot. Very smooth and easy to get around. The snap feature is very useful. Anyway, not really trying to criticize Apple, just saying the Surface Pro is everything I've always wanted.

maxosx
Apr 22, 2013, 08:22 PM
My MacBook Air is my favorite in that list.

As much as I enjoy my iPad mini & iPad 4, I'm still a laptop guy. The iPads are a nice relaxing way to surf the web & consume other entertainment. I just can't get enthused about using one for anything else.

But to be fair I do resource intense engineering & design work that no tablet could perform.

johnjefferson
Apr 22, 2013, 08:43 PM
My first instinct was to say Macbook Air, however I have an iPad and MBA, and use the iPad 95% of the time.

Same here. Either is better than the Surface. $700 for a tablet with a keyboard? LOL. If you are a Windows user, you can get a much nicer laptop for half the price.

Kashsystems
Apr 22, 2013, 09:07 PM
Yeah the atom tablets have much more functionality than the surface pro. Against the iPad they completely blow it away IMO.

The Surface Pro is a full i7 processor, it is not going to be a slower/weaker experience. The Pro is meant to be more of a laptop replacement, did you mean the regular surface?

----------

I would like a touchscreen base osx system, a Macbook Air built like the Surface Pro. I prefer OSX over Windows.

AC Rempt
Apr 22, 2013, 10:28 PM
The SP actually uses an i5, and it kills Atom-based systems at the cost of the battery.

What appeals to me is the idea that the SP can do the laptop thing and the tablet thing. Okay, so maybe it doesn't do either as well as a dedicated tablet or dedicated laptop, but it does them well enough to work as the only device you need to carry versus carrying two devices.

I wish it were about $300 cheaper . . .

spinedoc77
Apr 23, 2013, 06:48 AM
The Surface Pro is a full i7 processor, it is not going to be a slower/weaker experience. The Pro is meant to be more of a laptop replacement, did you mean the regular surface?

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I would like a touchscreen base osx system, a Macbook Air built like the Surface Pro. I prefer OSX over Windows.

It depends on the user, certainly. For me the surface Pro was a MUCH weaker experience. Why? Simple, the i5 power was simply unused in the vast majority of functions I performed on it, ie: I could do the same functions on my Atom powered tablet including Photoshop, MS Office, etc etc. There was virtually no difference in those programs, or inking speed, etc etc. The only difference I noticed was write speed, which is much faster on the Pro. That doesn't mean there aren't users out there who will use the i5 power, but IMO they will be few because many would rather just use a desktop or a larger screened laptop.

But besides the real world non difference in cpu power (relative to how the tablet is used) the Pro just had several severe achilles heels which made it functionally far inferior to the Atom tablets, the most glaring ones being the battery life and the weight/thickness.

I like the Pro, I really do, I owned one for a couple of weeks. But IMO it's just a tech enthusiast computer until they can figure out the form factor and battery life. The Atom tablets are not perfect either, but they fill out the role of a "tablet" quite nicely and do pretty well as a "laptop" as well. The Pro does neither of those jobs very well.

Liquorpuki
Apr 24, 2013, 01:39 PM
I own a Pro and an iPad. Used a MBA plenty of times.

The Pro is a converged device, the first of its kind, disrupting a bunch of different markets. You got a device that acts like an iPad, a MBA, and a Mac Mini all rolled into one. It's like when the first smartphones came out and disrupted phones, PDA's, cameras, etc. Notice the first smartphones also didn't do these tasks as well as the devices they disrupted. Yet they're everywhere now.

It's not gonna kill either market any time soon but it's a welcome paradigm shift that could become a gold standard in a few years, especially because Intel's roadmap is set to make midrange x86 chips extremely viable on mobile and because MS is currently laying the groundwork in creating a singular mobile/desktop OS.

There are a lot of tablet benefits to using the Surface Pro. For one, it uses Win 8 instead your typical mobile OS. With a full desktop OS, you don't have to wait for things like ARM based apps for web services (IE Yelp, Tumblr, etc) to hit app stores - you can just pin the actual website and get full functionality. You also have a blazing fast SSD instead of slow flash memory. You can immediately tell the difference doing everything from browsing the net to using it as an E-reader.

Far as an Win8 Atom tablet vs the Pro, you wanna play a game or use something that requires processing power, you're gonna need that i5. I'm running Sim City and Guild Wars 2 on my Pro. Those games would slideshow on an Atom device.

Something that's not talked about a lot is you can also use it as a small form factor PC like a Mac Mini. When I bring it home, I stick it on my desk and hook it up to an HDMI monitor and the touchscreen basically becomes a huge trackpad.

All I use the iPad for nowadays is clicking on mines in Clash of Clans once a week.

spinedoc77
Apr 24, 2013, 03:29 PM
I own a Pro and an iPad. Used a MBA plenty of times.

The Pro is a converged device, the first of its kind, disrupting a bunch of different markets. You got a device that acts like an iPad, a MBA, and a Mac Mini all rolled into one. It's like when the first smartphones came out and disrupted phones, PDA's, cameras, etc. Notice the first smartphones also didn't do these tasks as well as the devices they disrupted. Yet they're everywhere now.

It's not gonna kill either market any time soon but it's a welcome paradigm shift that could become a gold standard in a few years, especially because Intel's roadmap is set to make midrange x86 chips extremely viable on mobile and because MS is currently laying the groundwork in creating a singular mobile/desktop OS.

There are a lot of tablet benefits to using the Surface Pro. For one, it uses Win 8 instead your typical mobile OS. With a full desktop OS, you don't have to wait for things like ARM based apps for web services (IE Yelp, Tumblr, etc) to hit app stores - you can just pin the actual website and get full functionality. You also have a blazing fast SSD instead of slow flash memory. You can immediately tell the difference doing everything from browsing the net to using it as an E-reader.

Far as an Win8 Atom tablet vs the Pro, you wanna play a game or use something that requires processing power, you're gonna need that i5. I'm running Sim City and Guild Wars 2 on my Pro. Those games would slideshow on an Atom device.

Something that's not talked about a lot is you can also use it as a small form factor PC like a Mac Mini. When I bring it home, I stick it on my desk and hook it up to an HDMI monitor and the touchscreen basically becomes a huge trackpad.

All I use the iPad for nowadays is clicking on mines in Clash of Clans once a week.

Hmm, about gaming I didn't have much luck with gaming on the Surface Pro I had for a couple of weeks. I actually did load up Guild Wars 2 and it ran at like 2 fps and was unplayable to say the least (I think I got 10-15 fps with everything turned down, playable I suppose but not enjoyable IMO), if I could have made games work on it then I would have considered keeping it if only as a novelty. I tried many games and no relatively modern game I tried was playable, the HD4000 GPU while having some power isn't regarded very highly as a mobile gaming solution.

Gaming is one aspect where the iPad trounces the windows tablets and IMO is one area where MS really needs to beef up their product.

Liquorpuki
Apr 24, 2013, 04:39 PM
Hmm, about gaming I didn't have much luck with gaming on the Surface Pro I had for a couple of weeks. I actually did load up Guild Wars 2 and it ran at like 2 fps and was unplayable to say the least (I think I got 10-15 fps with everything turned down, playable I suppose but not enjoyable IMO), if I could have made games work on it then I would have considered keeping it if only as a novelty. I tried many games and no relatively modern game I tried was playable, the HD4000 GPU while having some power isn't regarded very highly as a mobile gaming solution.

Gaming is one aspect where the iPad trounces the windows tablets and IMO is one area where MS really needs to beef up their product.

I get above 30 fps on GW2 at x768 resolution with occasional framerate dips. You should be getting higher than 10-15 because that's what people were getting on an HD3000 and the HD4000 is leaps and bounds better. I don't max out settings on the games I've tried but they're totally playable for me.

The iPad might have a larger budget library but the HD4000 easily outperforms the iPad's GPU. You can't really compare a laptop grade GPU with a mobile GPU that needs feature stripped API's to compensate for lower processing power.

adder7712
Apr 24, 2013, 05:14 PM
MacBook Air.

Why? It's a full but lightweight computer.

MuffCabbage
Apr 24, 2013, 05:59 PM
MacBook Air.

Why? It's a full but lightweight computer.

But what if you want more than a computer? Theres no touchscreen, no digitizer, and no ability to use it like a tablet.

I can say that I use my Win8 convertible's touchscreen A LOT in laptop mode and its great.

watchthisspace
Apr 25, 2013, 07:36 AM
For me, at this present time:

iPad or Surface = iPad. The bigger range of apps and mobile browser support sway me. I have enjoyed using an Acer Windows RT tablet though.

Macbook Air or Surface Pro = I couldn't give an answer. I would first have to have a good play with a Surface Pro before hand. I've used a 11" and 13" Air, great wee laptops!

ChristianJapan
Apr 25, 2013, 08:05 AM
I'm have all animals from that zoo, kind of. MBA, iPad and an Acer W700 (also an i5 tablet, W8 nonPro, no Wacom;else close to SP).
I got the Acer to "touch" Win 8 in real tablet environment plus for some native Windows app and because MS don't sell SP in Japan yet.
Once you leave the funny Metro UI and end up in regular desktop (e.g. for Excel or Access) it gets a bit difficult with touch screen and without mouse/trackpad.
But that is also the big advantage: it just runs all Windows software.

Overall it's kind of fun to play with Win 8 tablet but I still prefer Mac OSX. That why I clicked "others": I want a native Mac OS X Tablet :D

YourAvgUser
Apr 25, 2013, 10:31 AM
But what if you want more than a computer? Theres no touchscreen, no digitizer, and no ability to use it like a tablet.

I can say that I use my Win8 convertible's touchscreen A LOT in laptop mode and its great.

You're correct that Mac is not compatible w/ a digitizer. But a touch screen does not make the Surface Pro more functional than a MBA. W/o peripherals, Surface Pro functions as a tablet and computer, but not too well in each category. I agree w/ previous posts though, one thing it brings is the ability to dock and expand that experience on a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

spinedoc77
Apr 25, 2013, 05:58 PM
I get above 30 fps on GW2 at x768 resolution with occasional framerate dips. You should be getting higher than 10-15 because that's what people were getting on an HD3000 and the HD4000 is leaps and bounds better. I don't max out settings on the games I've tried but they're totally playable for me.

The iPad might have a larger budget library but the HD4000 easily outperforms the iPad's GPU. You can't really compare a laptop grade GPU with a mobile GPU that needs feature stripped API's to compensate for lower processing power.

I agree with you on a specs basis, but from a gaming consumers point of view the ipad trounces the surface pro in gaming. The ipad has some great titles which are optimized for touch tablets, including the control schemes. The pro has zero games optimized for it, although you can shoehorn regular PC games into it by reducing the settings and also adding a mouse and realistically having to use a desk or flat surface to play them, and even with the games handicapped by settings I don't think many games work with the Pro.

Hopefully in the future MS will integrate Xbox more into the tablets like they are starting to do with the Pro, but at the moment gaming is kind of pitiful.

----------

You're correct that Mac is not compatible w/ a digitizer. But a touch screen does not make the Surface Pro more functional than a MBA. W/o peripherals, Surface Pro functions as a tablet and computer, but not too well in each category. I agree w/ previous posts though, one thing it brings is the ability to dock and expand that experience on a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

It depends on use, for me it makes it HUGELY more functional than a macbook, but then again I don't use a Pro because of the battery life. It does not function well as a tablet due to battery life and weight.

AC Rempt
Apr 25, 2013, 07:44 PM
You're correct that Mac is not compatible w/ a digitizer. But a touch screen does not make the Surface Pro more functional than a MBA. W/o peripherals, Surface Pro functions as a tablet and computer, but not too well in each category. I agree w/ previous posts though, one thing it brings is the ability to dock and expand that experience on a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Touch screen, maybe not, but the digitizer might end up closing the deal for me. While there's a pressure sensitive pen for the iPad, you can't run CS6 on an iPad while you can on the Pro. That makes it a great deal more functional than either the iPad or the MBA for the likes of me.

GoSh4rks
Apr 26, 2013, 05:36 AM
I agree with you on a specs basis, but from a gaming consumers point of view the ipad trounces the surface pro in gaming. The ipad has some great titles which are optimized for touch tablets, including the control schemes. The pro has zero games optimized for it, although you can shoehorn regular PC games into it by reducing the settings and also adding a mouse and realistically having to use a desk or flat surface to play them, and even with the games handicapped by settings I don't think many games work with the Pro.

Tablet games vs desktop games. Entirely different animals. Nothing can compare to the back-catalog of PC games that will run extremely well on the Pro.

spinedoc77
Apr 26, 2013, 01:46 PM
Tablet games vs desktop games. Entirely different animals. Nothing can compare to the back-catalog of PC games that will run extremely well on the Pro.

Yeah it's all subjective of course, but you still have the control scheme to deal with, none of that back catalog is touch compatible so you are going to have to find a flat surface and a mouse, plus the awful battery life will be that much more awful, the Pro might then only get an hour compared to the ipad's 3 or 4 hours with gaming. I'd be curious if anyone did a round up of which games play well on the Surface Pro, at what resolution/settings/frame rate, etc and if they really made sense or were kinda useless which is what I suspect is the case.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a windows tablet supporter, I threw out my iPad as a FAR inferior device a long time ago and I use a windows tablet daily. But I'm just making the point that when it comes to gaming the surface Pro, and really any current windows tablet are woeful at best and any solution is pretty much shoehorned. I'd rather play a modern touch optimized game on the ipad than a 5 year old PC desktop game on low settings on a tablet forced to use a mouse.

ucfgrad93
Apr 26, 2013, 02:26 PM
MacBook Air.

Why? It's a full but lightweight computer.

I would also choose a MBA for the same reason.

jamezr
Apr 27, 2013, 09:01 AM
I own a Pro and an iPad. Used a MBA plenty of times.

The Pro is a converged device, the first of its kind, disrupting a bunch of different markets. You got a device that acts like an iPad, a MBA, and a Mac Mini all rolled into one. It's like when the first smartphones came out and disrupted phones, PDA's, cameras, etc. Notice the first smartphones also didn't do these tasks as well as the devices they disrupted. Yet they're everywhere now.

It's not gonna kill either market any time soon but it's a welcome paradigm shift that could become a gold standard in a few years, especially because Intel's roadmap is set to make midrange x86 chips extremely viable on mobile and because MS is currently laying the groundwork in creating a singular mobile/desktop OS.

There are a lot of tablet benefits to using the Surface Pro. For one, it uses Win 8 instead your typical mobile OS. With a full desktop OS, you don't have to wait for things like ARM based apps for web services (IE Yelp, Tumblr, etc) to hit app stores - you can just pin the actual website and get full functionality. You also have a blazing fast SSD instead of slow flash memory. You can immediately tell the difference doing everything from browsing the net to using it as an E-reader.

Far as an Win8 Atom tablet vs the Pro, you wanna play a game or use something that requires processing power, you're gonna need that i5. I'm running Sim City and Guild Wars 2 on my Pro. Those games would slideshow on an Atom device.

Something that's not talked about a lot is you can also use it as a small form factor PC like a Mac Mini. When I bring it home, I stick it on my desk and hook it up to an HDMI monitor and the touchscreen basically becomes a huge trackpad.

All I use the iPad for nowadays is clicking on mines in Clash of Clans once a week.
Nice write up on the Surface Pro! What kind of battery life are you getting on the Pro?

Vegastouch
Apr 28, 2013, 03:30 PM
I was really impressed with the Surface Pro. I think ill get one at some point and maybe a Nexus 7 II as well...hopefully it will be a Nexus 8 with the device staying the same size.

Technarchy
Apr 29, 2013, 01:15 AM
I voted Macbook Air.

Liquorpuki
Apr 29, 2013, 10:24 AM
Nice write up on the Surface Pro! What kind of battery life are you getting on the Pro?

If I'm doing something processor heavy where the fans ramp up and kick in full blast, the battery is gone in 3 hours. If I'm just surfing the net on and off, it'll last a day. I took my Pro to Hawaii last weekend and it lasted from surfing the net at LAX 6 in the morning until I got to the condo at night. OTOH if I play Civ 5 for 3 hours straight, battery is dead.

I tell people if battery is a dealbreaker, wait for the Haswell iteration because the lower TDP and sleep states should make a big difference. Me, I've always kept one charger at work and one at home (not just for the Surface, but for every phone I've owned as well as my iPad) so it's not a big deal for me.

lordofthereef
May 14, 2013, 06:25 PM
I voted other, because I am really waiting to see what kind of battery life the surface pro can pull with the next gen cpus that are supposedly just around the corner. If they can get 6+ hours (8 would be amazing, but I am trying to be realistic) I feel that it will be the better product overall.

thejadedmonkey
May 14, 2013, 06:34 PM
I voted for the surface too. the iPad is just too limited in what it can do, even compared to the RT. And Windows 8 on a touch screen absolutely blows iOS out of the water.

B...
Jun 3, 2013, 09:00 AM
What are your hopes for the next generation Surface, Surface Pro, MacBook Air and iPad? We know almost for sure the iPad is going to get thinner and lighter, but will Apple endorse a keyboard attachment? Better processor? Lighter Air?

Liquorpuki
Jun 3, 2013, 11:50 AM
What are your hopes for the next generation Surface, Surface Pro, MacBook Air and iPad? We know almost for sure the iPad is going to get thinner and lighter, but will Apple endorse a keyboard attachment? Better processor? Lighter Air?

Surface RT - I'll never buy

Surface Pro - Haswell, type cover with a better trackpad, 256-512gb storage, official dock

MBA - Haswell and a $100-200 pricedrop

IPad - for Apple to raise the pricepoint of software on its iOS ecosystem so better apps can be developed. IOS 7 revamp

durant35
Jun 3, 2013, 12:31 PM
I have both an iPad mini and an Air. I use the mini for web browsing and the Air for actual work.

Night Spring
Jun 3, 2013, 01:58 PM
Can't realy answer without knowing *for what.*

The iPad and the iPad mini are the devices I use the most, as in the number of hours I spend on them. And I would be really, really sad if I didn't have at least one iPad. But I need the MacBook Air for my job. So I can't really pick between the Air and the iPad, I need them both for different things. I could do without the mini, however.

As for the Surface, just no. It's not as good a laptop as the Air, and it's not as good a tablet as the iPad.

Southernboyj
Jun 3, 2013, 07:35 PM
Although I use my iPad much more than my MBP, this is mainly because I have an iMac. However, given your choices.. I'd take a MacBook. I find the MacBook Air's screen to be terrible with bad viewing angles though. I use a retina MBP but I find even the non-retina 13"'s 1280x800 display to be overall better than the 1440x900 MBA.

Essenar
Jun 4, 2013, 05:03 PM
Yeah the atom tablets have much more functionality than the surface pro. Against the iPad they completely blow it away IMO.

Sorry, I have to disagree here.

Have you USED an Atom powered Windows tablet? I mean REALLY used it?

I picked one up from my friend who's a Geek Squad manager. He wanted me to try it out and let him know what I think about tweaking it. I asked him why and he said it's been getting returned a LOT.

It turns out the VivoTab runs like crap. Reviewers powder it by giving GeekBench scores and saying very subtle things like "it runs very great but don't expect PC performance". They're being VERY conservative with that statement. What they should say is, "it gets good benchmark scores but don't expect smooth performance".

It's choppy and noticeably so. I tried to de-bloat it and I was only able to notice a slight difference in performance. The iPad Retina has maybe 40% of the features that a full Windows 8 OS tablet offers, but the iPad opens apps ON demand. You hit the icon and bam, the app is up and you're running.

On the VivoTab, I probably opened up 5 or 6 of them, and with ALL of them, Word took nearly minutes to open. Nothing opened quickly and saving or writing data was always a waiting game. Having more than 3 or 4 tabs open on Chrome overwhelmed the hardware. HD videos didn't run smoothly for the most part. I had to lower the resolution. And forget gaming. The GMA graphics that it comes with isn't enough for much beyond maybe Source based games. And due to the fact that it's a desktop OS with a touch overlay, don't expect on screen digital controls for games. You would have to emulate a mouse with on screen gestures which means no movement mapped keys.

When I tried to play games, I had to run a mouse through a USB port and at that point, the tablet turned into a huge bag of accessories I had to carry around. Gaming required, at MINIMUM, a mouse and keyboard dongled with a USB hub.

Remember that performance is all 'relative'. The iPad technically has an inferior processor to the Nexus 7 and other tablets, but due to OS optimizations, it runs quicker than other competing tablets. I would say, if you do pick up a VivoTab or similar, try it out first. Because there's a reason it has the highest return rate of any tablet at stores like Best Buy.

sectime
Jun 4, 2013, 05:53 PM
I'm one week into having a Surface Pro. The steep learning curve is beginning to flatten out. Heat , battery life, and important to me, lack of a lighted keyboard option are reasons our relationship might not last. I work in low light rooms, studios and live venues. I'm using a USB light but it sucks compared to my Mac Air.
I use Parallels with Windows 8 on my MacMini, using it on the SP is so much better experience. Had to endure the jokes about lucky charms from mac coworkers :cool:

Vegastouch
Jun 4, 2013, 11:07 PM
Sorry, I have to disagree here.

Have you USED an Atom powered Windows tablet? I mean REALLY used it?

I picked one up from my friend who's a Geek Squad manager. He wanted me to try it out and let him know what I think about tweaking it. I asked him why and he said it's been getting returned a LOT.

It turns out the VivoTab runs like crap. Reviewers powder it by giving GeekBench scores and saying very subtle things like "it runs very great but don't expect PC performance". They're being VERY conservative with that statement. What they should say is, "it gets good benchmark scores but don't expect smooth performance".

It's choppy and noticeably so. I tried to de-bloat it and I was only able to notice a slight difference in performance. The iPad Retina has maybe 40% of the features that a full Windows 8 OS tablet offers, but the iPad opens apps ON demand. You hit the icon and bam, the app is up and you're running.

On the VivoTab, I probably opened up 5 or 6 of them, and with ALL of them, Word took nearly minutes to open. Nothing opened quickly and saving or writing data was always a waiting game. Having more than 3 or 4 tabs open on Chrome overwhelmed the hardware. HD videos didn't run smoothly for the most part. I had to lower the resolution. And forget gaming. The GMA graphics that it comes with isn't enough for much beyond maybe Source based games. And due to the fact that it's a desktop OS with a touch overlay, don't expect on screen digital controls for games. You would have to emulate a mouse with on screen gestures which means no movement mapped keys.

When I tried to play games, I had to run a mouse through a USB port and at that point, the tablet turned into a huge bag of accessories I had to carry around. Gaming required, at MINIMUM, a mouse and keyboard dongled with a USB hub.

Remember that performance is all 'relative'. The iPad technically has an inferior processor to the Nexus 7 and other tablets, but due to OS optimizations, it runs quicker than other competing tablets. I would say, if you do pick up a VivoTab or similar, try it out first. Because there's a reason it has the highest return rate of any tablet at stores like Best Buy.

So your are talking about atom computers. Does the surface pro use one? I don't know what a vivotab is so im a bit confused.

Essenar
Jun 5, 2013, 04:00 AM
So your are talking about atom computers. Does the surface pro use one? I don't know what a vivotab is so im a bit confused.

Really expensive Surface Pro uses a better processor but they cost upwards of $ 1000 or mere with the keyboard cover and you still have to deal with atrocious battery life and heat issues.

I will say this though, these "Desktop" style tablets with full x86 operating systems adapted for touch ARE the future without a doubt but the Surface Pro is the Alpha of what they should be and I think it's better for you to make a 3-4 year investment into a proven platform and jump puts Surface or Osx based tablet PC's in a few years when they're matured.

spinedoc77
Jun 5, 2013, 05:59 AM
Sorry, I have to disagree here.

Have you USED an Atom powered Windows tablet? I mean REALLY used it?

I picked one up from my friend who's a Geek Squad manager. He wanted me to try it out and let him know what I think about tweaking it. I asked him why and he said it's been getting returned a LOT.

It turns out the VivoTab runs like crap. Reviewers powder it by giving GeekBench scores and saying very subtle things like "it runs very great but don't expect PC performance". They're being VERY conservative with that statement. What they should say is, "it gets good benchmark scores but don't expect smooth performance".

It's choppy and noticeably so. I tried to de-bloat it and I was only able to notice a slight difference in performance. The iPad Retina has maybe 40% of the features that a full Windows 8 OS tablet offers, but the iPad opens apps ON demand. You hit the icon and bam, the app is up and you're running.

On the VivoTab, I probably opened up 5 or 6 of them, and with ALL of them, Word took nearly minutes to open. Nothing opened quickly and saving or writing data was always a waiting game. Having more than 3 or 4 tabs open on Chrome overwhelmed the hardware. HD videos didn't run smoothly for the most part. I had to lower the resolution. And forget gaming. The GMA graphics that it comes with isn't enough for much beyond maybe Source based games. And due to the fact that it's a desktop OS with a touch overlay, don't expect on screen digital controls for games. You would have to emulate a mouse with on screen gestures which means no movement mapped keys.

When I tried to play games, I had to run a mouse through a USB port and at that point, the tablet turned into a huge bag of accessories I had to carry around. Gaming required, at MINIMUM, a mouse and keyboard dongled with a USB hub.

Remember that performance is all 'relative'. The iPad technically has an inferior processor to the Nexus 7 and other tablets, but due to OS optimizations, it runs quicker than other competing tablets. I would say, if you do pick up a VivoTab or similar, try it out first. Because there's a reason it has the highest return rate of any tablet at stores like Best Buy.

I would honestly have to ask you if YOU have really used an atom tablet, I mean really used it. Here has been my experience:

Samsung Ativ S, owned 2 of them, one for 2 weeks the other for a month.
Asus VivoTab smart, owned one for 30 days.
Acer W510 owned 2 of them, each for 2 weeks.
Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 owned 2 of them one for 30 days, the other for about 2 months and is the one I've kept.
Surface Pro (not an atom tablet, but for comparison) owned for 2 weeks.

I'd say I'm pretty qualified to comment on the day to day performance of an Atom powered windows tablet. I'd hardly say they run like "crap", that's a huge exaggeration and a disservice to your fellow forum members who may rely on you for reviews and helpful buying information.

I can honestly say that it was rare for my atom tablets to slow down, and they ran everything I threw at them smoothly including biggies like Photoshop and Office. I would have to assume you had a flawed or broken tablet. Things like open tabs and your performance are a HUGE mystery to me, I regularly run IE10 with 10+ tabs open and I can minimize it and run the desktop with NO slowdown anywhere, sometimes I even have 2 IE10 windows open each with a bunch of tabs, for web browsing these are pretty potent machines. Contrast that with my wifes ipad3 which CHOKES badly on 3 or 4 tabs, usually it doesn't even get to choke, as it usually just force quits as it runs out of memory. Worse is if it doesn't choke it will load the pages very slowly, as you scroll down the ipad is still loading pages, so as you scroll down all you see is checkerboard for several seconds until its loaded, then again when you scroll down again. You get no such nonsense on an atom tablet. Now granted a more fair comparison would be the ipad 4, but honestly I haven't tried one out. Other than the horrible internet browsing performance on the ipad3, I can't say it lagged much though in most everything else I did, although it did have this annoying habit of just force quitting programs at times which I would assume was it just simply running out of memory. Let's not even bring up things like Flash on the internet, which my atom tablet ran with aplomb, no stutters or slowdowns, the ipad can't even run these websites at all.

As for gaming performance, you are 100% correct, the atom tablets SUCK at games, no ifs or buts about it. Hopefully this will improve, but certainly the ipad and android tablets trounce it in this regard. New chips with new video power are coming though, but hardware isn't the full answer and developers and MS have to step up to the plate. If you buy your tablets for gaming then the Atom ones are not for you, but I do mostly web browsing and business on mine so it's perfect for me, I wish I had the time for games. :( I'm still amazed on a daily basis that I can run things like Photoshop and Office, that I have a "REAL" computer with 10-12 hour battery life and in a package as small/thin/light as an ipad, something that ran the internet as it was meant to be, ie: Flash, etc. Once again though for anyone thinking about Atom, WAIT until the new chips come out, either baytrail, or haswell and make your purchase then. But I bought my first Atom tablet about 6 months ago in December and have enjoyed them enormously since then, I'm looking forward to the hardware revisions.

BTW Chrome sucks, IMO it sucks on a regular desktop, but the Atom version of Chrome is horrendous. IE10 is really quite nice, it zooms in / out incredibly smoothly for example, and it can run a ton of tabs and is pretty light on memory. I'm talking about the desktop version of IE10 btw, as I don't run the garbage Metro IE10 ever.

Night Spring
Jun 5, 2013, 08:35 AM
Contrast that with my wifes ipad3 which CHOKES badly on 3 or 4 tabs, usually it doesn't even get to choke, as it usually just force quits as it runs out of memory. Worse is if it doesn't choke it will load the pages very slowly, as you scroll down the ipad is still loading pages, so as you scroll down all you see is checkerboard for several seconds until its loaded, then again when you scroll down again.

That sounds like an iPad 1. I've used all iPads 1-3 (skipped the 4 because all it had over the 3 was speed, and I didn't need more speed). Even with the 2, which I still occasionally use, I haven't noticed the problems you describe. I can open much more than 3-4 tabs without any slow down, I experience a force quit once so often, probably like once a week, at the most once every few days, and I can't remember the last time I saw the checkerboard effect.

Does your wife visit particularly graphic intensive websites? Or ones that run weird scripts? (I gave up on a website the other day after it kept crashing Safari on my iPad -- unfortunately, I don't remember which one it was.) Perhaps you have a slower Internet connection than I do?

spinedoc77
Jun 5, 2013, 10:33 AM
That sounds like an iPad 1. I've used all iPads 1-3 (skipped the 4 because all it had over the 3 was speed, and I didn't need more speed). Even with the 2, which I still occasionally use, I haven't noticed the problems you describe. I can open much more than 3-4 tabs without any slow down, I experience a force quit once so often, probably like once a week, at the most once every few days, and I can't remember the last time I saw the checkerboard effect.

Does your wife visit particularly graphic intensive websites? Or ones that run weird scripts? (I gave up on a website the other day after it kept crashing Safari on my iPad -- unfortunately, I don't remember which one it was.) Perhaps you have a slower Internet connection than I do?

To be more specific my wifes ipad is an ipad 2, I owned an ipad 3 but sold it a while ago. I may be mixing up my memory between the 2 ipads though, but I can't remember the ipad 3 being particularly smooth when web browsing. I know the 2 is horrible and I try not to use it unless it's an emergency and my windows tablet isn't around. In all honestly it wouldn't force quit until I hit maybe half a dozen tabs, and of course it depended on what websites I was on. Contrast with my windows tablets I can have multiple Flash enabled sites on multiple tabs and even be playing video on some of them and still runs smooth. No compromises.

Night Spring
Jun 5, 2013, 11:04 AM
To be more specific my wifes ipad is an ipad 2, I owned an ipad 3 but sold it a while ago. I may be mixing up my memory between the 2 ipads though, but I can't remember the ipad 3 being particularly smooth when web browsing. I know the 2 is horrible and I try not to use it unless it's an emergency and my windows tablet isn't around. In all honestly it wouldn't force quit until I hit maybe half a dozen tabs, and of course it depended on what websites I was on. Contrast with my windows tablets I can have multiple Flash enabled sites on multiple tabs and even be playing video on some of them and still runs smooth. No compromises.

Which sites do you visit that still use Flash? I can't remember the last time I came upon a site that had Flash content I cared about.

Anyway, even on my iPad 2, I used to come to macrumors every morning and open up all threads I wanted to read, anything from 6-9 tabs, and they all opened without a problem. On the 2, I think some of the tabs would have to reload when I opened too many, but on the 3, they all stay open and I rarely have to wait for any of them to reload. Of course, this is macrumors, so most of the pages are just text.

lordofthereef
Jun 5, 2013, 04:21 PM
I would honestly have to ask you if YOU have really used an atom tablet, I mean really used it. Here has been my experience:

Samsung Ativ S, owned 2 of them, one for 2 weeks the other for a month.
Asus VivoTab smart, owned one for 30 days.
Acer W510 owned 2 of them, each for 2 weeks.
Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 owned 2 of them one for 30 days, the other for about 2 months and is the one I've kept.
Surface Pro (not an atom tablet, but for comparison) owned for 2 weeks.



Don't take this the wrong way, but why did you blow through so many of them? Was there something you were looking for that just wasn't there? Or do you really like trying everything there is to try? Honestly curious, because I've never come across a person who has cycled through that many tablets.

MuffCabbage
Jun 5, 2013, 04:30 PM
As far as the Atom tables, they are fine in my experience. I use an Atom tablet every day as my portable computer and I love it. It does so many more things than the iPad could, that work well for me as a student. Plus it has Flash and a desktop browser so it works as a regular computer too.

Active Digitizer + OneNote + Detachable Keyboard = Dream system for notes
Performance is bearable. It runs most stuff fine and IE10/Metro apps are very responsive to touch. Load times are fine for the most part.
Chrome/Opera scrolling/touch is not great, but IE10 is iPad good with touch/smoothness.
Office is a great selling point for me as I use it with SkyDrive every day.

I actually spend most of my time in Desktop using touch and trackpad together except for using a few Metro apps like Hulu and Mail.

People love to say the iPad has more apps, but the desktop browser and flash fills most holes people need the apps for. In the end I have no desire for iPads anymore.

Night Spring
Jun 5, 2013, 04:51 PM
Don't take this the wrong way, but why did you blow through so many of them? Was there something you were looking for that just wasn't there? Or do you really like trying everything there is to try? Honestly curious, because I've never come across a person who has cycled through that many tablets.

As I recall (there's a thread or two somewhere around here where he discussed his Win8 tablet saga), it wasn't any one thing. It was early days for Win8 devices, and every few weeks new tablets would be released with some feature that made them better than the one he had now. I remember following along until he was disappointed with the Surface Pro, but I hadn't realized he'd gone back to the Lenovo.

spinedoc77
Jun 5, 2013, 08:25 PM
Don't take this the wrong way, but why did you blow through so many of them? Was there something you were looking for that just wasn't there? Or do you really like trying everything there is to try? Honestly curious, because I've never come across a person who has cycled through that many tablets.

No it's a very legitimate question. The Samsungs had hardware issues, both of them, I'm not a big believer in Samsung quality. The Acer and Asus I loved, both very nice quality tablets, but they didn't have the digitizer/pen. The Thinkpad tablet 2 was my favorite, the first one I got had no 3g because it was not available at first, I returned it and eventually got a digitizer/pen one with 3G cellular data on it and I've settled into that one quite nicely until the new cpu's come out.

I also like to try stuff out a lot, it's a sickness. During that same time I also owned an ipad mini, a nexus 7, and various smartphones including a Note 2.

----------

As I recall (there's a thread or two somewhere around here where he discussed his Win8 tablet saga), it wasn't any one thing. It was early days for Win8 devices, and every few weeks new tablets would be released with some feature that made them better than the one he had now. I remember following along until he was disappointed with the Surface Pro, but I hadn't realized he'd gone back to the Lenovo.

Lol, I like how you put it, it certainly was and is a "saga". :p. I think I bounced thru tablets a lot waiting for the surface pro, but that was so disappointing I returned it and finally settled on an atom tablet.

cnev3
Jun 5, 2013, 08:27 PM
I spent a good amount of time with the Surface Pro. To me it's filling a niche that I don't need. I would much rather have a laptop for it's larger screen, physical keyboard, mouse, and ability to run all software.

When using a tablet for casual things like netflix, games, web browsing, the iPad is more than capable enough.

But that's just my opinion. There are users who enjoy and use the Surface a lot.

Vegastouch
Jun 5, 2013, 09:34 PM
I like the surface Pro. I just think they are over priced since you have to buy the keyboard separately. The next laptop i get will have a touchscreen though.
I also really like the Note 8.0 but would rather have a full computer capable device.

B...
Jul 28, 2013, 07:49 PM
So, the MacBook Air now has iPad league battery life and the new Surfaces are reportedly in the works for later this year/early next year. Hopefully the dramatic increase with the MBA will also be possible with the Surface Pro. Meanwhile, the price cuts (abt. 30%) are making the RT pretty appealing. Talk me out of it, MR! :)