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Old Feb 10, 2013, 10:52 PM   #76
MuffCabbage
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Originally Posted by SlCKB0Y View Post
I think you're missing the point.

Many people in this thread are making the argument that the Surface Pro is compromising both the tablet experience and laptop experience to such a point that they would prefer these functions be handled by two different devices.
I think thats when you chalk it up to different strokes for different folks.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 12:10 AM   #77
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I think thats when you chalk it up to different strokes for different folks.
You've also got to remember that folks haven't really lived with the device yet.

I'm happy for the owner, being pleased with his purchase and all. We'll see how happy he is in a few months, or when it comes time to buy a new tablet or laptop (since he sold his MBA to get one - gutsy move IMO).

My personal opinion is that it'll be an irritating device to use every day. Yes, you can technically run "full" Windows apps on the device, but it'll be awkward to use unless you use it like a laptop.

Basically, the best argument I've heard in favour of getting one is that it's a thin and lightweight laptop that can also be a tablet when you're travelling with it. The problem with that (and probably the reason Apple hasn't also done something like that) is that it forces you to make huge compromises.

When you are using it as a tablet, you get 4 hours of battery and fans blasting hot air at your hands as you hold it (you might not have noticed it yet, but my impression is that it'll be something that you notice over time). You've got a lackluster library of touch software, and a library of more awkward-to-use mouse software.

Software developers are lazy. If you give them a business requirement (e.g. "make our apps work on Windows 8 tablets"), they'll go with the route of least work. I'm not sure how enthusiastic they'll be about writing touch apps when the most popular Windows 8 tablet is this x86 one that can run mouse apps scaled up. To run on an iOS device, you need to rewrite your UI to use touch controls; no way around it.

It doesn't interest me because I think they made a lot of poor decisions that are going to make it a poor product in the short/medium-term even. I'm interested to hear people's reactions and see how it is though.

One thing I do envy is the pen support. Microsoft Research has been doing amazing work on this for decades (and touch and voice input too), with relatively little consumer adoption to show for it. Pens (and the interplay of multiple input devices in general) can/will/should be the next big thing after touch.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:21 AM   #78
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How are you expecting tablets running windows and intel processors to exceed 5 hours of battery life, baring putting in a bigger battery? The ipad is able to manage 10 hours because it uses a mobile OS and arm processors.

The laptops I have experience with average 4-5 hours max on light usage.
That's why I wouldn't call it a tablet. People expect more than 4 hours battery life with their tablets.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 03:15 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by SlCKB0Y View Post
I think you're missing the point.

Many people in this thread are making the argument that the Surface Pro is compromising both the tablet experience and laptop experience to such a point that they would prefer these functions be handled by two different devices.
No i get the point. The point is that the surface tries to fill two purposes in one device. I am not arguing whether there is a compromise of the experience.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 04:42 AM   #80
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I've been really enjoying my Pro. I got 6 hours on it yesterday just doing light browsing and heavy inking. The killer app for me is onenote 2013. I can take all my notes by hand while naturally resting my palm on the screen. If apple created a device with a built in active digitizer, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I am still keeping my ipad around for media consumption since it is good for reading and watching movies.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 06:28 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by SlCKB0Y View Post
I think you're missing the point.

Many people in this thread are making the argument that the Surface Pro is compromising both the tablet experience and laptop experience to such a point that they would prefer these functions be handled by two different devices.
But that point is so obvious and beaten to death. I just wanted to post up details about my purchase and if anyone had any questions, but sure enough the "it's not good enough" crowd has to jump in and make their technology experience evident.

Everything is a compromise. NEWS FLASH, the ipad is a compromise. Your laptop is a compromise. Your desktop is a compromise, etc etc. Here's one for the captain obvious' of the crowd, having a laptop and a tablet is a compromise as well.

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Originally Posted by thetruth1985 View Post
I've been really enjoying my Pro. I got 6 hours on it yesterday just doing light browsing and heavy inking. The killer app for me is onenote 2013. I can take all my notes by hand while naturally resting my palm on the screen. If apple created a device with a built in active digitizer, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I am still keeping my ipad around for media consumption since it is good for reading and watching movies.
I've also been getting 6 hours out of mine, mainly web browsing and some light video streaming. At first I only got 4.5 hours, but with each successive discharge and charge cycle that has improved. I don't think it will get any better than 6 hours, but I'm fairly satisfied with that.

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Originally Posted by Saladinos View Post
You've also got to remember that folks haven't really lived with the device yet.

I'm happy for the owner, being pleased with his purchase and all. We'll see how happy he is in a few months, or when it comes time to buy a new tablet or laptop (since he sold his MBA to get one - gutsy move IMO).

My personal opinion is that it'll be an irritating device to use every day. Yes, you can technically run "full" Windows apps on the device, but it'll be awkward to use unless you use it like a laptop.

Basically, the best argument I've heard in favour of getting one is that it's a thin and lightweight laptop that can also be a tablet when you're travelling with it. The problem with that (and probably the reason Apple hasn't also done something like that) is that it forces you to make huge compromises.

When you are using it as a tablet, you get 4 hours of battery and fans blasting hot air at your hands as you hold it (you might not have noticed it yet, but my impression is that it'll be something that you notice over time). You've got a lackluster library of touch software, and a library of more awkward-to-use mouse software.

Software developers are lazy. If you give them a business requirement (e.g. "make our apps work on Windows 8 tablets"), they'll go with the route of least work. I'm not sure how enthusiastic they'll be about writing touch apps when the most popular Windows 8 tablet is this x86 one that can run mouse apps scaled up. To run on an iOS device, you need to rewrite your UI to use touch controls; no way around it.

It doesn't interest me because I think they made a lot of poor decisions that are going to make it a poor product in the short/medium-term even. I'm interested to hear people's reactions and see how it is though.

One thing I do envy is the pen support. Microsoft Research has been doing amazing work on this for decades (and touch and voice input too), with relatively little consumer adoption to show for it. Pens (and the interplay of multiple input devices in general) can/will/should be the next big thing after touch.
It's tough to espouse an opinion without actually having real experience to back it up. The Pro should get 5 hours of use, but in my experience (key word) I've been getting closer to 6 hours, but that's not pushing it very hard, web browsing and light video streaming for now. Also NO hot air, none, nada. The way the Pro handles heat there is no hot air, it's very very hard to get the fans to kick on, you have to be doing something very intensive like playing a modern game, and even when they do kick on you can barely hear them unless you hold the tablet up to your ear.

As for compromises, everything is compromises, throw any hardware combination out there and I can guarantee you it has compromises of some sort, maybe not for you, or me, but for someone it will be compromised.

I do agree that MS has made a ton of mistakes, I don't think anyone is really defending MS in that regard. Windows tablets in general could have gone SO much farther if MS had just made some different basic decisions. Will MS marketing keep windows tablets as a niche product, that is very likely and a darn shame.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:07 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by spinedoc77 View Post
But that point is so obvious and beaten to death. I just wanted to post up details about my purchase and if anyone had any questions, but sure enough the "it's not good enough" crowd has to jump in and make their technology experience evident.

Everything is a compromise. NEWS FLASH, the ipad is a compromise. Your laptop is a compromise. Your desktop is a compromise, etc etc. Here's one for the captain obvious' of the crowd, having a laptop and a tablet is a compromise as well.

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I've also been getting 6 hours out of mine, mainly web browsing and some light video streaming. At first I only got 4.5 hours, but with each successive discharge and charge cycle that has improved. I don't think it will get any better than 6 hours, but I'm fairly satisfied with that.

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It's tough to espouse an opinion without actually having real experience to back it up. The Pro should get 5 hours of use, but in my experience (key word) I've been getting closer to 6 hours, but that's not pushing it very hard, web browsing and light video streaming for now. Also NO hot air, none, nada. The way the Pro handles heat there is no hot air, it's very very hard to get the fans to kick on, you have to be doing something very intensive like playing a modern game, and even when they do kick on you can barely hear them unless you hold the tablet up to your ear.

As for compromises, everything is compromises, throw any hardware combination out there and I can guarantee you it has compromises of some sort, maybe not for you, or me, but for someone it will be compromised.

I do agree that MS has made a ton of mistakes, I don't think anyone is really defending MS in that regard. Windows tablets in general could have gone SO much farther if MS had just made some different basic decisions. Will MS marketing keep windows tablets as a niche product, that is very likely and a darn shame.
Six hours is pretty good. How do you set screen brightness?

How many hours do you gey with screen brightness set to 100%?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:13 AM   #83
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Why didn't MS simply skip the iPad/Android tablet form factor and produce a Surface that uses a more common screen size so that it is, or could be, a direct alternative to a laptop or desktop? Their decision to go widescreen, combined with their text rendering issues in portrait orientation, make the SP an awkward handheld device (supported by their own ads that mostly show the device on table tops).

I've often looked at my 13" mba screen and wondered what it would be like as a tablet. Not that I want a desktop experience on a tablet, but the size is something I would be very interested in (if weight could be managed).
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:36 AM   #84
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Spinedoc77 if possible could you test out two games for me. Civilization 5 and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. I've run those both on my work laptop which has the same HD4000 and the same CPU (But M instead of ULV). They run with playable FPS on low settings and at 720p on it but again it is with a M instead of ULV.

Chiv is a rather obscure game so you might have to obtain it with other means for... ahem testing purposes!

Also Civilization 5 has full Windows 8 touch support and can be played entirely without a KB/M.

Could you let me know how the FPS hold up, the loading and how much heat/noise is generated from the fans. If you can I would be greatly appreciative.

Also, patiently awaiting someone to try OS X on this... :P
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:59 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by skaertus View Post
Six hours is pretty good. How do you set screen brightness?

How many hours do you gey with screen brightness set to 100%?
I had been using about 50-60% brightness and getting about 5 hours. At around 30-40% brightness I can get very close to 6 hours, but I've only tested this cycle a couple of times, I haven't had it long enough to really test it in different circumstances. 100% brightness I wouldn't be very confident in in all honesty.

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Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post
Why didn't MS simply skip the iPad/Android tablet form factor and produce a Surface that uses a more common screen size so that it is, or could be, a direct alternative to a laptop or desktop? Their decision to go widescreen, combined with their text rendering issues in portrait orientation, make the SP an awkward handheld device (supported by their own ads that mostly show the device on table tops).

I've often looked at my 13" mba screen and wondered what it would be like as a tablet. Not that I want a desktop experience on a tablet, but the size is something I would be very interested in (if weight could be managed).
Yeah I can't argue much with that. In landscape mode I like the surface Pro's ratio better than the ipad, it's more widescreen so you can fit in more windows, this isn't an issue on the ipad because it doesn't have multitasking. In portrait mode the surface' aspect ratio is a mixed bag, both good and bad. It being very narrow it's terrible for web browsing, but it's actually very good for reading documents, working in Word, OneNote, marking up stuff with the stylus, etc. It all depends on the user as always. The ipad does have a nice balance of it all though and I wouldn't have criticized MS in the least if they copied that form factor.

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Originally Posted by TheHateMachine View Post
Spinedoc77 if possible could you test out two games for me. Civilization 5 and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. I've run those both on my work laptop which has the same HD4000 and the same CPU (But M instead of ULV). They run with playable FPS on low settings and at 720p on it but again it is with a M instead of ULV.

Chiv is a rather obscure game so you might have to obtain it with other means for... ahem testing purposes!

Also Civilization 5 has full Windows 8 touch support and can be played entirely without a KB/M.

Could you let me know how the FPS hold up, the loading and how much heat/noise is generated from the fans. If you can I would be greatly appreciative.

Also, patiently awaiting someone to try OS X on this... :P
I don't have those games, sorry. I did try The Secret World, it didn't run very well maybe 5 fps. I don't have as much high hopes for gaming as I did before I bought it, but I still have yet to try any other games and I've seen youtube videos of the HD4000 running modern games pretty decently. I'll have to play around with it. I have a copy of Guild Wars 2 I can test when I get time, those are pretty much the only modernish games I have.

As for OSx, I have a hackintosh setup on my desktop so I'm willing to try to hackintosh the surface Pro. All my computer stuff is in storage including my hackintosh disks and usb drive so it may have to wait. From what I've seen in the BIOS I don't see why a hackintosh couldn't run, but sometimes it can be very difficult to get those things to run and I'm not sure what would happen with the touchscreen drivers, or lack of them.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:47 AM   #86
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Doesn't 150% DPI mess up how Windows looks?
150% DPI will break many legacy apps. I've even seen it break .Net WinForms apps (that's an API that Microsoft has abandoned but isn't really that old). However, if you don't run any of those apps that break, I guess it's fine.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:49 AM   #87
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I had been using about 50-60% brightness and getting about 5 hours. At around 30-40% brightness I can get very close to 6 hours, but I've only tested this cycle a couple of times, I haven't had it long enough to really test it in different circumstances. 100% brightness I wouldn't be very confident in in all honesty.

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Yeah I can't argue much with that. In landscape mode I like the surface Pro's ratio better than the ipad, it's more widescreen so you can fit in more windows, this isn't an issue on the ipad because it doesn't have multitasking. In portrait mode the surface' aspect ratio is a mixed bag, both good and bad. It being very narrow it's terrible for web browsing, but it's actually very good for reading documents, working in Word, OneNote, marking up stuff with the stylus, etc. It all depends on the user as always. The ipad does have a nice balance of it all though and I wouldn't have criticized MS in the least if they copied that form factor.

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I don't have those games, sorry. I did try The Secret World, it didn't run very well maybe 5 fps. I don't have as much high hopes for gaming as I did before I bought it, but I still have yet to try any other games and I've seen youtube videos of the HD4000 running modern games pretty decently. I'll have to play around with it. I have a copy of Guild Wars 2 I can test when I get time, those are pretty much the only modernish games I have.

As for OSx, I have a hackintosh setup on my desktop so I'm willing to try to hackintosh the surface Pro. All my computer stuff is in storage including my hackintosh disks and usb drive so it may have to wait. From what I've seen in the BIOS I don't see why a hackintosh couldn't run, but sometimes it can be very difficult to get those things to run and I'm not sure what would happen with the touchscreen drivers, or lack of them.
I remember running GW2 on a 2nd gen i5 and a HD3000 and it pulled about 20 FPS at 720p with low settings. Considering the HD4000 is almost double the speed and the 3rd gen i5 is slightly faster is should be playable as long as there aren't tons of people or you aren't trying to do stuff at the Mists. That said though... GW2 is horrendously un optimized and relies heavily on the proc so a ULV might make its performance terrible.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 01:42 PM   #88
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I had a chance to play the Pro today at a local Best Buy. It really is a nice device. I just wish the screen was slightly bigger. The sales rep showed me the XPS-12 which is also nice and then he suggested the Lenovo Yoga 13 which hits the sweet spot @ $999 with a 1600x900 rez.

The only NEGATIVE about the Yoga 13 is no damn MicroSD Slot. You have got to be kidding me.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:38 PM   #89
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The only NEGATIVE about the Yoga 13 is no damn MicroSD Slot. You have got to be kidding me.
The biggest negative for me is no onscreen digitizer. If Lenovo were to throw one of those in, I'd roll out and buy one right this second.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 06:38 PM   #90
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Just got home and unboxed my shiny new 128GB surface Pro, this thing is freakin SICK. I know there is a strong undercurrent on here of people who don't like it, I don't care and please don't sully up this thread with how much you hate Microsoft and the surface Pro.

But if anyone else has any questions about it feel free to ask. First impressions, sleek, doesn't feel much heavier than my ipad with it's full cover, nor much thicker. Screen is insanely nice, but had to set DPI to 150%. Type keyboard is extremely useful, the keyboard itself is easy to get used to and I don't feel like I'm compromising from say a MacBook air except the touchpad is a bit inaccurate and small, but that's my only gripe. 89.4gb free hard drive space out of the box, but I plan on getting my 8gb back by moving the partition to a usb drive.

I also got an added bundle, I got the type cover, 1 year Office 365, 2 years accidental damage protection, a nice sleeve, and a screen protector for $200.
i like the Surface thin keyboard alot, has a fantastic feel to it, lmao id play World of Warcraft on that dam Surface Pro, would be so sick
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:02 PM   #91
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I would like to hear more about your experiences actually doing work on it.

From what I have read online (from engadget at least), the keyboard and trackpad aren't particularly responsive, the current apps (mostly inherited from windows7 era) aren't optimised for a touchscreen interface anyways, and my own personal experience tells me that a stylus can be quite slow and cumbersome to use (although it is great for tasks requiring some degree of precision, like annotating on a document).

That seems like a disaster brewing when a device promises 4 different modes of input, yet none seem to work properly. Conversely, the macbook's trackpad is great to use, and the reason why the ipad has such touch-optimised apps is exactly because it supports mainly touch (which in turn "forces" developers to build around that interface).

What incentive is there for win8 programmers to completely overhaul their products, when worst come to worse, users can just go back to the home screen and use it like win7?
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:23 PM   #92
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I would like to hear more about your experiences actually doing work on it.

From what I have read online (from engadget at least), the keyboard and trackpad aren't particularly responsive, the current apps (mostly inherited from windows7 era) aren't optimised for a touchscreen interface anyways, and my own personal experience tells me that a stylus can be quite slow and cumbersome to use (although it is great for tasks requiring some degree of precision, like annotating on a document).

That seems like a disaster brewing when a device promises 4 different modes of input, yet none seem to work properly. Conversely, the macbook's trackpad is great to use, and the reason why the ipad has such touch-optimised apps is exactly because it supports mainly touch (which in turn "forces" developers to build around that interface).

What incentive is there for win8 programmers to completely overhaul their products, when worst come to worse, users can just go back to the home screen and use it like win7?
The macbooks trackpad is better overall, but having had a MacBook air I found myself rarely using the trackpad, it's just hard on my hand and seems like a lot more minutiae than just using a mouse, but that's just me. The surface Pro's trackpad, specifically on the type cover, is adequate but nothing to write home about. The type keyboard is fabulous, I can type just as fast as any other similar sized keyboard on an ultrabook.

Touch optimization is a mixed bag. My main experience is on the Atom tablets which have a much lower resolution, but because of that all the UI elements on the desktop carry over to touch much better. The higher resolution of the Pro, while beautiful, is a detriment IMO and it's precisely because MS is being lazy in updating the desktop UI and elements to match the DPI with the resolution. This is an area that the ipad had excelled in, but we are still talking apples to oranges IMO with no desktop or real computing ability on the ipad. Still, MS NEEDS to make this a priority, this will be a huge Achilles heel for them, even more so than the battery IMO once consumers get a hold of these.

I'm still loving it, but I'm not sure I am keeping it mainly because it has no WWAN, and I plan on going to a prepaid plan so I won't be able to tether anymore. I'm also disappointed with it's gaming performance and I figure if I'm giving up battery life it better play some games, but it doesn't really. I may go back to an Atom windows tablet. It really baffles me why there isn't a Surface with an Atom CPU. I'm really torn though. Just this discharge round my battery is at 46% and I've been running for 3 1/2 hours, I'm curious if I will actually get 7 hours or if it's just windows wonky battery reporting and it will die in 2 hours.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 07:50 PM   #93
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I'm curious. What tablet-optimized apps have been developed specifically for the Surface Pro that you forsee making it to the level of "killer app" status?

Office, to me, is no longer a killer app. But even if it was, its not necessarily Surface-optimized as much as its simply Windows optimized.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 09:23 PM   #94
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I'm still loving it, but I'm not sure I am keeping it mainly because it has no WWAN, and I plan on going to a prepaid plan so I won't be able to tether anymore. I'm also disappointed with it's gaming performance and I figure if I'm giving up battery life it better play some games, but it doesn't really. I may go back to an Atom windows tablet. It really baffles me why there isn't a Surface with an Atom CPU. I'm really torn though. Just this discharge round my battery is at 46% and I've been running for 3 1/2 hours, I'm curious if I will actually get 7 hours or if it's just windows wonky battery reporting and it will die in 2 hours.
This is why initial impressions of a new product don't mean a lot. Once the novelty wears off, its usability comes into play. Another poster intimated about this. I, too, was hoping for more.

Of the two Surface commercials (that I have seen), the emphasis on the keyboard is poor marketing. If it's so integral, it should not be an expensive accessory.

Also, for those that call the Pro a full-fledge pc, I don't consider a 10" screen full-fledged. Using it to work on excel sheets seems a bit of a challenge.

The pen input looks very well done.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:22 AM   #95
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What MS only needed to do was make a ipad equivalent that could run full blown MS office.

That is all they needed with a price point around that of the RT. The pro is too expensive and not nice enough to replace a Samsung series 9 or MBA.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:54 AM   #96
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I'm still loving it, but I'm not sure I am keeping it mainly because it has no WWAN, and I plan on going to a prepaid plan so I won't be able to tether anymore. I'm also disappointed with it's gaming performance and I figure if I'm giving up battery life it better play some games, but it doesn't really. I may go back to an Atom windows tablet. It really baffles me why there isn't a Surface with an Atom CPU. I'm really torn though. Just this discharge round my battery is at 46% and I've been running for 3 1/2 hours, I'm curious if I will actually get 7 hours or if it's just windows wonky battery reporting and it will die in 2 hours.
Sounds like next year's model with Haswell will nail it. It's a shame about the timing of generation one.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 09:35 AM   #97
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I had a chance to play the Pro today at a local Best Buy. It really is a nice device. ....... then he suggested the Lenovo Yoga 13 which hits the sweet spot @ $999 with a 1600x900 rez.

The only NEGATIVE about the Yoga 13 is no damn MicroSD Slot. You have got to be kidding me.
The Yoga has an SD slot. I have a 128GB SDXC 45MB/s in mine. So far I have ~ 80GBs of photos and music on it. http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Extrem...779443-5883946
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:24 PM   #98
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What MS only needed to do was make a ipad equivalent that could run full blown MS office.

That is all they needed with a price point around that of the RT. The pro is too expensive and not nice enough to replace a Samsung series 9 or MBA.
Isnt that exactly what Surface RT is?

It runs full blown Office, compares with the iPad, and is at its price point naturally.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:11 PM   #99
spinedoc77
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Isnt that exactly what Surface RT is?

It runs full blown Office, compares with the iPad, and is at its price point naturally.
Yeah definitely, but you can even take it one step further and look at the Atom powered windows tablets which do all that AND run all legacy programs. But MS has not produced an in house one yet, which continues to baffle me as these tablets absolutely trounce all over the ipad.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:41 PM   #100
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Yeah definitely, but you can even take it one step further and look at the Atom powered windows tablets which do all that AND run all legacy programs. But MS has not produced an in house one yet, which continues to baffle me as these tablets absolutely trounce all over the ipad.
Yeah, we own a Samsung 500T. Great battery, decent performance, and desktop apps.
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