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Handhelds Microsoft Upgrades Windows Hardware

Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2: Now With New Kickstand! 294

Posted by timothy
from the seeking-balance dept.
UnknowingFool writes "For consumers who had hoped that Microsoft would greatly upgrade their recent entries into the tablet market, leaks and rumors have said that both machines will receive modest hardware changes. Surface Pro 2 will sport new Haswell processors which will increase battery life to 7 hours. RAM is expected to increase from 4GB to 8GB. Surface (formerly RT) will get Tegra 4 processors. The only other confirmed change will be new kickstands that have 2 positions instead of one."
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Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2: Now With New Kickstand!

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  • OMG WOW (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:14AM (#44765319)

    Kickstands!!

  • by hawkinspeter (831501) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:14AM (#44765321)
    So, it has come to this.
  • by soup4you2 (571216) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:14AM (#44765325)
    I feel these manufactures are moving backwards. I don't want a small tablet, I would much prefer something more usable with a 15" or 17" screen. These things are just too small to really be useful.
    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:20AM (#44765401)

      How would you carry that around?
      How the hell would you hold it?

      At that point it might as well be on a stand, and we call those monitors.

      • Re:Size does matter. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rossdee (243626) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:44AM (#44765667)

        How about something the size of a magazine, you could still carry it in your briefcase or backpack with your lunch, and it would be easier to read things like magazines and newspapers on.

        And the stylus should have buttons and maybe a scroll gadget on, so you can do all the things you do with a mouse. Maybe even wired to the table so you don't lose it so easily. (Then you wouldnt need to have batteries in the stylus or worry about bluetooth.
        To save costs you could leaveout the camera(s) and microphone, you can always plug one in if you need it, and no fixed camera or mic means your privacy is a bit safer

        • Aren't magazines 8.5x11? That's 13.9"

        • I'll take something the size of a full sized (ie not "Reader's Digest") magazine if, and only if, you can roll it up and/or fold it like a real magazine.
          • by Spudley (171066)

            I'll take something the size of a full sized (ie not "Reader's Digest") magazine if, and only if, you can roll it up and/or fold it like a real magazine.

            You jest, but in all seriousness, the day someone releases a device that does that, it will be a game-changer.

            If it rolls up small enough to fit in the pocket or be used as a phone without looking like Dom Joly, but still has a screen big enough to make it worth using for web browsing, watching films or making video calls, then you will have a device that everyone will want.

            * Youtube link for those who didn't get the Dom Joly reference [youtube.com]

      • by HCase (533294)

        A specialized use case, but I would like one for digital art. It would be required to be fairly powerful, run a full PC operating system, and have a built in digitizer. Also, I would expect it to work well in a laptop format with a convertible/detachable/wireless keyboard.

        "How would you carry that around?"
        Carrying around is easy, put it an a backpack or messenger bag, 15-17" laptops are not a new thing.

        "How the hell would you hold it?"
        I normally wouldn't. As a laptop it would be used as any other laptop.

        • by HCase (533294)

          Replying to myself.
          Some of the just announced Sony Flips might work well. A little worried because I think Sony is building their own custom digitizer/pen.

      • perhaps attach a keyboard on a hinge at the bottom of the screen that you could type on it and adjust the screen to whatever angle you like. You could even use it sitting on your lap. perhaps call it a 'laptop' or something. Perhaps even running a full version of Windows or another OS on a x86-64 processor.
      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:27PM (#44766659)

        How would you carry that around?
        How the hell would you hold it?

        I'll take "Things you hope your new girlfriend will say!" for $200 Alex.

    • by Shoten (260439) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:22AM (#44765425)

      I feel these manufactures are moving backwards. I don't want a small tablet, I would much prefer something more usable with a 15" or 17" screen. These things are just too small to really be useful.

      Yeah, exactly...I would love a 17" tablet. Also, I would like it to have a better keyboard, and more ports. And a hard drive. A bigger battery would be nice. How about both a touchpad and a touchscreen? Maybe a little nub in the middle of the keyboard, for those who don't like touchpads, come to think of it, would be a good idea too. Oh, more RAM. And if it could run full Windows or OS X instead of RT, that would be handy too...

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Well if you don't have a use for one, then clearly they are useless~

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:27AM (#44765501)

      I have a 10" tablet. It's way too big and heavy, and I wish I'd bought a smaller one.

      I can't imagine how anyone could do anything useful with a 17" tablet which wouldn't be better with a 17" laptop.

      • by DrXym (126579)
        I find my 10" Asus to be a bit bulky to haul around as a tablet but with the keyboard plugged in, it's a little on the small side. I think if I bought a Windows (not RT) tablet, I would do so with one eye on using it as a PC with a desktop and desktop apps. So 10" would be a bare minimum and possibly 11" or 12" would be slightly more comfortable. I'm not sure why Microsoft even bothers with RT any more.
      • Reading comics. I could only find a 10' one and I wanted bigger. The weight is kind of bad but not worse than a big book and I mostly wanted to read on the bed so it wasn't a problem. The worst thing about it was handling, you have very little space to hold it without triggering something but that was just a metter of getting a handler or something.
        Different needs for different people. I actually can't find a reason for a tablet smaller than 10' since a smartphone can already cover this kind of usage.
  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:16AM (#44765343) Homepage Journal

    another billion dollars into the drain.. oh wait now they have a new devices guy onboard with proven track record so it'll be 3 billion down the drain.

    also: why the fuck would any other manufacturer get on-board botched-windows-on-arm rt? am I rt?

  • More? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:16AM (#44765353)

    Are they just trying to see how tall they can make a mountain of unsold Surfaces?

    • Im not clear why theyre not selling. I dont particularly need one (the touchscreen would be of no use to me, and the form factor only marginally so), but my experience with them in the store was that the pros were solid. Certainly the folks at Penny Arcade gave a glowing review of the pro, and IIRC the newer comics are being done on it due to its excellent built in wacom.

      Is it just the price point? $800 for an ultra-bookish laptop with an incredible touch screen seems pretty competitive to me....

      • Im not clear why theyre not selling. I dont particularly need one (the touchscreen would be of no use to me, and the form factor only marginally so), but my experience with them in the store was that the pros were solid. Certainly the folks at Penny Arcade gave a glowing review of the pro, and IIRC the newer comics are being done on it due to its excellent built in wacom.

        Is it just the price point? $800 for an ultra-bookish laptop with an incredible touch screen seems pretty competitive to me....

        Microsoft has fallen prey to it's own most powerful weapon - platform lockin - it's just this time the platform isn't owned by them. It's owned by Apple (and increasingly Google).

        Are the Redmond guys as dumb as they look, or did they not get the idea that Windows8 and Metro was in a seriously hampered position without the PC software chain behind it? ANd then they go cripping their existing desktop monopoly (and the Surface Pro) by forcing Metro on those, too.

        The hubris smells from hundreds of miles away.

  • Surface Pro (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cid Highwind (9258) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:22AM (#44765423) Homepage

    Is it still going to cost as much as a 10" Android tablet AND a low-end laptop, while offering neither the portability of the first nor the big screen and hard drive of the second?

    Yeah, I think I hear another billion dollar write-off coming...

    • Pricing not announced however, with Haswell processors, I don't expect Surface Pro 2 to be cheaper than Android. As for the Surface that really depends on the cost of Tegra 4.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      Personally I would much rather have one device that can do everything well, than two cheap devices that together can't even run PowerPoint decently.

      But is the Surface Pro 2 that device? Is it thinner and lighter than Surface Pro? It seemed like the technology wasn't quite there for an X86 tablet, but Haswell may complete the picture, by running on a smaller battery.

  • by bravecanadian (638315) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:22AM (#44765427)

    Notebook and tablet. Hello Surface Pro 2.

    Can't wait.

  • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:24AM (#44765449)
    If they want something that wins Sell me the 2560 x 1600 screen I want. SOLD. We need two. The google pixel cost too much for what or I'd have that.
  • Some people never learn.

    • No, no, it makes sense. If Microsoft can just get to version 4, then they'll start to have a halfway decent product. Of course, somewhere around version 6, it'll become a bloated piece of crap. Then around version 8, they'll force 'features' down your throat that you don't want.

      That's how it always works.

      • by TCQuad (537187)

        Then around version 8, they'll force 'features' down your throat that you don't want.

        "You got rid of the touch screen?"

        "Yup, now it's all eye gestures! Cameras on either side record and extrapolate, figuring out what you're looking at. Simply blink your left eye to left click, your right eye to right click and both of them to go back to the new and improved desktop replacement, the home tesseract!"

  • Holy cow!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:42AM (#44765649) Homepage

    The only other confirmed change will be new kickstands that have 2 positions instead of one.

    Holy crap ... a kickstand with 2 positions.

    Now that is innovation and market leadership.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Given they also have a new CPU, longer battery, and double the RAM, it just seems like trolling to emphasize the kickstand, as if they were leading with that. In saying this I am mainly criticizing the slashdot summary, although I was also interested to see how many commenters would fall for it.
  • by swschrad (312009) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:45AM (#44765689) Homepage Journal

    hey, honey, I'm taking down the retirement account and getting me two of them Surface 2s with the high-wattage kickstand! it has TWO positions! AND they have Windows 8.1 with the start button!
    .
    .
    .
    why are you packing everything? oh, it's only my stuff?

  • by midifarm (666278)
    Boring...
  • by alexhs (877055) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @10:56AM (#44765785) Homepage Journal

    I thought the Surface v1 kickstand already had two positions: opened and closed ? Wasn't it working as advertized ?

  • by clinko (232501) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:00AM (#44765823) Homepage Journal

    I want a _Surface_Tablet_ because ________.

    Examples, leaving iPad's out:
    I want _a_Tivo_ because _I_don't_like_my_Cable_DVR_.

    I want a _Honda_ because _I_trust_the_brand_based_on_past_experience_.

    My point is that the Surface doesn't fit anything for me.

    Based on Microsoft's own site http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/surface-with-windows-8-pro/ [microsoft.com]
    Microsoft believes our answers are :

    I want a _Surface_Tablet_ because _I_Need_Office_on_a_tablet_.

    I want a _Surface_Table_ because _I_need_a_neat_keyboard_on_a_tablet_.

    I want a _Surface_Table_ because _I_need_USB_Port_.

    I'm not the target market, but I don't know who is?

    • The funny thing about the USB port is that it is both a feature and necessity. Yes you can expand your storage, but because Windows 8 and Windows RT takes up 41GB and 16 GN respectively, you need the port just to compete with Android or iOS. While iOS and Android take up max about 3-4GB, they don't take up half of the device's storage space.
    • by Guppy06 (410832)

      I want a _Surface_Table_ because _I_need_a_neat_keyboard_on_a_tablet_.

      I want a _Surface_Table_ because _I_need_USB_Port_.

      Except I got an ASUS Transformer with both of those for half the price.

    • I want a _Surface_Tablet_ because _I_Need_Office_on_a_tablet_. I want a _Surface_Table_ because _I_need_a_neat_keyboard_on_a_tablet_. I want a _Surface_Table_ because _I_need_USB_Port_.

      You missed a few of the marketing points:

      I want a _Surface_Tablet_ because _I_Need_Performance_ -- Windows based tablets, from Microsoft or otherwise, come with vastly more powerful hardware compared to *any* Android or iOS based tablet. Aside from the obvious i5, Windows based tablets typically come paired with a full SSD instead of cheap eMMC storage. For anyone who doesn't understand what this means, typically you'll see 10x better transfer rates on the Surface Pro compared to a tablet like the 4th

  • Find the graveyard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@@@comcast...net> on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:04AM (#44765855)

    The more interesting question is where is the graveyard holding millions of unsold original Surface tablets? Were they dismantled in Asia? Were they buried next to ET? Were they lost in a warehouse and locked up only to be discovered in 2021? Have they been lost at sea along with the cargo ship necessary to hold them all?

    I find this question far more interesting than a new kickstand on a product that has failed before ever getting released.

    • I heard that MS will give them away to schools [informationweek.com]. It's a win-win for MS. They get the tax write-off and look like they are doing something for charity. Also they may get a generation used to using Surface when they wouldn't have purchased one.
      • by onyxruby (118189)

        They only gave away 10,000 of them and the rest were being dumped for $199 each. That still leaves them with a few million unsold Surface tablets by all accounts.

  • And what operating system will they run?

  • Ballmer will still be in charge, and this time will be real the "betting the company" on this one. Could be the final push for a company at the edge of the abyss.
  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:26AM (#44766057)
    Then again, it's not difficult to get confused about an MS product lineup these days. So do I understand that Surface RT is now just called Surface or Surface Pro while they then have the Surface Pro 2? Having Surface RT in the mix was confusing enough, but at least the RT implied something was different. Now they're both called Surface, dropping the RT on the ARM model? Huh? I can see this resulting in a lot of returns when people realize they purchased the wrong model the hard way. Or few returns since they aren't exactly selling. Did I RTFA too fast and miss something or what?
    • Surface RT (v2) will now be called Surface. Surface Pro (v2) will be Surface Pro 2. At least according to leaks and rumors. They may or may now be true. Heck MS could name them Surface One and Surface Pro One if they wanted.
    • by PingSpike (947548)

      This is by design. The goal is to get people stuck in Microsoft's crap store where they get a fat 30% cut of all software sales by trickery. That's why you had the Surface Pro...the flag ship product that could do it all and actually filled a niche. And then there's the Surface RT, the turd no one could love if they knew its dark secret...but its a Surface and it was cheap so whoops I bought it because I got confused like I was supposed to be.

      But the word is out RT means abomination now. So its time to go

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:31AM (#44766125)

    The community here is doing a good job of driving me away from Slashdot as a source for tech news. Every single story that mentions Microsoft turns into a circle jerk bashing the company. Few here seem capable of having a mature discussion about the topic with the level of cynicism going beyond any sense of reason. What makes anything Microsoft is doing inherently inferior to Google, Apple or Sony? Excluding, of course, the fact that Microsoft remains the company it's cool to hate. Nevermind everything they've enabled over the last few decades.

    It's one thing when the topic specifically discusses Microsoft's missteps, but this is getting ridiculous.

    More RAM and a better processor, which entails almost every single hardware update ever, for some reason paints a lackluster picture when Microsoft is behind it. Other than the stupid decision Microsoft made in offering the Surface RT, there was nothing wrong with the hardware. I'd be more concerned if they went with a totally new form factor.

    And what's with the fixation on the new kickstand? It looks to me like tech specs were leaked and some internet twat specifically brought up the kickstand to turn the news into yet another anti-Microsoft joke. They don't even know what the kickstand improvements entail, but that's what this writer chose to emphasize.

    The ironic thing here is that Infoworld even listed that kickstand as one of the 10 things Microsoft needed to improve. Microsoft has done so and now they're bashing them for it. But some of the stuff they're complaining about seems unreasonable because they tolerate worse from Apple. I don't think I've ever seen a single person complain about Apple charging $40 for a rubber cover embedded with a few magnets. Not to say I don't think the Surface Pro isn't expensive, but it's also far closer to being a proper laptop than the iPad.

    • Thank you! Mod parent up. There's no reason to go "Durr! Micro$oft! lolz" every time a Microsoft related story comes up.

      This might even be the most on-topic post in the thread :P
    • What makes anything Microsoft is doing inherently inferior to Google, Apple or Sony? Excluding, of course, the fact that Microsoft remains the company it's cool to hate.

      Bless You. I am a little tired of whiny fans of bemoaning the fact that others do not admire their favourite mega corporation as much as they do. Microsoft deserve hate, they are a vile company, whole abuses stretch across two decades...except this is not what is happening here. What is happening is Microsoft is a Loser. Windows has had 5 quarters drop in sales...and that is set to continue. Its flagship products Windows 8 and Office 365 are largely criticised and have real competition in the form of Chrome

    • More RAM and a better processor, which entails almost every single hardware update ever, for some reason paints a lackluster picture when Microsoft is behind it.

      No, it seems lackluster because ram and processing power are far from the main problems the surface has. The main problem being probably price and lack of anything that makes it stand out on a market tha already have a lot of options. Nobody bought the first version of Surface RT and if all the new features are more RAM and processing power they probably won't buy the second that's the point of all comments that are bashing it.

      It's one thing when the topic specifically discusses Microsoft's missteps

      Yes and this seem to be yet another mistep.

    • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:17PM (#44766589)

      The community here is doing a good job of driving me away from Slashdot as a source for tech news.

      It was never a source for tech news, it's always been a glorified comments section.

      Every single story that mentions Microsoft turns into a circle jerk bashing the company.

      I see, so criticism of incompetent action is a circle jerk of bashing?

      What makes anything Microsoft is doing inherently inferior to Google, Apple or Sony?

      The fact that Microsoft's grand Surface experiment was a net loss of money for them? I don't recall any of the others losing cash, and Sony and Apple have both received a shit-ton of (oft deserved) hate.

      Other than the stupid decision Microsoft made in offering the Surface RT

      Legendarily stupid, and they're going to continue with it as the article highlights. Maybe they'll lose less this time around by producing fewer.

      Not to say I don't think the Surface Pro isn't expensive, but it's also far closer to being a proper laptop than the iPad.

      Then buy a proper laptop.

      You seem annoyed that Microsoft is getting shit because they're moving on to the second iteration of a massive failure. Microsoft is going to be the butt of jokes for a while until they pull out of this dive.

    • Calling two very different products by the same name is incredibly stupid and confusing, and dropping "RT" does nothing to address the issue. Apple makes it almost impossible to confuse their Mac and iOS products, MS deserves to be bashed for failing to do so even on their second attempt. And the Windows 8/8.1 "F*ck U, no Start menu" debacle has hardly earned them any good will.
  • I am currently in Malaysia for business, Kuala Lumpur.
    Had planned to take a new tablet back; not for major work but minor stuff, reading mail, light gaming, when on the road.
    KL is a good place for such things.
    Saw a really beautiful RT. Sorry, I am a Linux person, an MS-hater, but it looked good to me. Smooth, bright. Nice keyboard. Nice build-quality. RM 1099. Could fit my bill. Nice to touch as well. Next to it a Surface. To me as a non-Windows person, the same as the RT (I know, I know, I know the differe

  • by chuckugly (2030942) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:06PM (#44766501)
    Microsoft "gave" me a Surface Pro a while back and it's actually a decent device, I use it a lot as a replacement for my old netbook, but it's not really a tablet so much as a new netbook with touch. The RT ... I am amazed anyone thought anything about that was a good idea. As far as I can see the RT is completely full of fail whereas the Pro is merely a bit overpriced.
  • (10:00am meeting somewhere in Redmond)

    CEO: We need to act quickly. With Balmer gone, and Elop a flop, the shareholders are getting nervous.
    Marketing Droid: Any way we can spin some spin on something to spin it?
    Manager: There isn't much left to spin.
    CEO: We need a new feature
    (silence)
    Marketing droid: How about a kickstand!?
    CEO: That might just work!

  • by houbou (1097327) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:28PM (#44766673) Journal
    Like anything else, I'm going to give Microsoft a pass on their tech until there are a few more iterations and improvements on their products. Don't feel like paying for a 'guinea' pig product.
  • by BLToday (1777712) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @12:40PM (#44766783)

    As one of the few Surface owners, I can say on a general level the hardware is solid but the software makes me want to start straggling some UI designers.

    Issues:
    * on screen keyboard is overlay, so some applications you can't see what you're typing.
    * some basic functions (ie. sleep timer) is on the Desktop interface, which makes no sense since MSFT is trying to push the Modern Interface. Plus, Desktop interface is a pain to use on a touchscreen
    * "Home" button is capacitive touch and if you use it in portrait mode you'll hit it accidentally very very often
    * factory reset takes 2 hours to complete. And then another hour or so to "update" the laptop. Makes me miss Apple's OTA updates.
    * to close an Internet Explorer (in Modern), sometimes its swipe up, click on the tab's "x", which switches the active tab to another tab, click "x" on that tab again. Other times its single click on the tab's "x" you want to close. No very consistent
    * on-screen keyboard pops always pop up when you want it, like when filling in text fields on a web page

    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      I love my Surface Pro. I have a Galaxy Tab 2 as well, which gets used for lighter stuff like Netflix or Facebook crap, but the Surface Pro is pretty awesome and being something I can *do* stuff on. It's pretty much replaced my Wacom Tablet for various art projects, and I can do a surprising amount of work on it through Google Docs.

      Yeah, Win 8 sucks balls, but the hardware is pretty great and the OS is at least only needed for the few seconds it takes to load up a program or browser.

      The biggest downside, a

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