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TechCrunch and Others On the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 136

TechCrunch's video introduction (not intended as a full review) to the recently introduced Microsoft Surface Pro 3 has mostly good things to say about the device. Reviewer Alex Wilhelm compares it to his MacBook Air, and though he's not sure that the Surface is a better fit for all-day typing than the 11" Air (slightly larger, slightly heavier than the Surface), he says the Surface does a good job of integrating input options (both finger and stylus input) that the Air -- and most laptops -- just don't have. The Washington Post's Hayley Tsukayama also compares the Surface to the Air, rather than to an Android or Apple tablet, writing, "It's heavy for a tablet, sure, but light for a laptop at 1.7 pounds. And while it doesn't have the array of ports that laptops do, you can make do with the two that it does have, a mini-display port that's good for presentations and a USB 3.0 that's good for, well, everything else. You will probably need a hub to get everything you want of this, though. (Or you could go to using Bluetooth accessories, which the Surface Pro 3 will also support.)" Ars Technica has an informative hands-on review as well, but one which parts from these by emphatically describing the Surface as a tablet, not a laptop; Ars reviewer Peter Bright gives high marks for many aspects of the design and materials, though he says his experience with the included pressure-sensitive pen was "problematic." (His initial sample pen had to be replaced, and even when it did work, it lacks tilt sensing.) Troubling for anyone who would prefer to use it as a laptop, Bright says the Surface 3 is better than its forebears but still an awkward fit for using on an actual lap, and that despite the improvements Microsoft's made it therefore isn't quite the system he's looking for.
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TechCrunch and Others On the Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:02PM (#47085249)

    Costs more than the laptop and tablet it is supposed to replace and not actually better than having seperate units.

    I give it credit for the improvements that is has made, but the price is too damn high!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:08PM (#47085269)

    When you've driven a product name into the ground, it's probably time to pick a new name. And no, I don't mean "Surface Pro 3 GOLD" :-)

    I know how shitty the old ones were, I won't consider buying anything from Microsoft called "Surface" -- ever. Pick a new name if you want me to consider buying one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:09PM (#47085277)

    Stop it, Microsoft. It's sad.

  • Tilt Support? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:14PM (#47085303)

    From TFA:

    "The pen doesn't include the tilt/orientation support that the high-end Wacom pens support. In this regard, it's no different from the previous Surface Pros, as they didn't appear to have tilt support either. If this is a feature you want in a tablet, you'll have to fork out for one of Wacom's extraordinarily expensive Cintiq devices."

    Anyone expected pressure-senility and tilt support for under $2k?

  • I beg to differ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:20PM (#47085325)

    It's an improvement upon the SP2, and we have not one, but TWO developers using them here as their primary desktop.

    8GB ram, Core i5, reasonable (if limited in variety) connectivity options. These guys are developing significant C++ code (~1.4mil lines of code over 30 or so projects with a total build time for ~3 hours from scratch, ironically they're compiling everything from scratch in closer to 2 hours, SSD in the SP vs SAS RAID5 our normal workstations use I guess) without any productivity loss, same desktop monitors as their old PCs, same keyboard/mouse, just running on a small tablet.

    The only real issue is lack of storage (we do machine learning / computer vision, our test sets are about 3TB worth of video/images/annotations) which can't be stored on these tablets for obvious reasons.

    These are plenty usable as replacements for laptops, and in some cases even desktops - if you don't have the need for a high powered GPU.

  • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @09:22PM (#47085335)

    Wow. Is the NAME that important?
    I don't care if it's called Zhiang Zhun Chi or Apple iMcProAir. I care about whether it's solidly built, has good battery life and allows me to use the same software I use on my laptop. I also couldn't care less if the brand name has a history of unfortunate releases. Maybe they learned from their mistakes. if reviews are good and I like it during the 30 days I am allowed to return it, why not keep it?

    Shunning a product simply because you don't like the name is retarded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @10:02PM (#47085467)

    Not logging in since I got a security certificate warning ...

    My wife's Surface Pro is an odd beast. It's fast. Well made. (Largely) free of bloatware (and what little there was, like the Expedia app, was easily defenestrated).

    But she rarely uses it as a tablet (says she likes Metro, but doesn't like Windows' habit of bouncing her between Work and Play UIs [Office user], so in went Start8 and ModernMix so she can do her thing exclusively in Work mode). Refuses to use the stylus. If she wants to randomly surf the web she grabs either her phone or an actual tablet. Metro and the touch interface got so in the way of what she needs to do (work away from the office) that she's unlikely to ever willingly use Metro; I don't think she's alone in this. And, for better or worse, Metro is how MS pitched the Surface.

    Microsoft faces an uphill battle to get people to work past these entrenched habits and odd (OS-related) design choices.

    FWIW, I think MS would've had an easier time with market acceptance of the Surface Pro if the launch of Win 8 / Metro had been better handled. It's very hard to take a tool designed for production (specced and priced like an ultrabook) seriously if it boots into a UI designed for consumption which makes it look like an expensive, chunky iPad. And the situation wasn't helped much with naming confusion with the Surface which is (was?) an iPad competitor.

  • Re:I beg to differ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arkh89 ( 2870391 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @10:18PM (#47085523)

    I beg to differ too. For the same (top of the line) price you can get a laptop with a Core I7, 16GB of RAM (if not 32GB), 1TB HDD + MSATA SSD (expandable to a RAID0) and a REAL DEDICATED GPU.

    Where is the advantage in having a tablet if they are just leaving it on their desks?

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @10:24PM (#47085541)

    So a netbook with a touchscreen?

    At five times the price.

  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Saturday May 24, 2014 @10:30PM (#47085563)

    Let's just get this out of the way:


    It's Microsoft, it suxers. It jus sux. in every way it suxxx. it's microsoft, right? it sux right? it sux. Suxxxxeeeerrrr. Sux, right?


  • by plover ( 150551 ) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @11:27PM (#47085689) Homepage Journal

    They have the RT, and it's pretty much the crappy machine you should expect if you're cheap. Having a decent processor makes a huge difference.

  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @10:11AM (#47087049) Journal

    Let's just get this out of the way:


    It's Microsoft, it suxers. It jus sux. in every way it suxxx. it's microsoft, right? it sux right? it sux. Suxxxxeeeerrrr. Sux, right?


    It looks like a nice piece of hardware. I'd be tempted to get one. But, like you say, it's Microsoft. Once trust is gone, no argument can bring it back.

    It is trivial to install Ubuntu on these, everything (including touch support and the pen) 'just works'. So no worries about committing to Windows with these ...
    I've owned a Surface Pro 2 for a couple of years, and been very satisfied with the hardware. I've played with a Surface Pro 3, and the hardware feels even better - thinner and lighter (CPU/GPU are identical to the Pro2).

    Price is an issue, but as noted endlessly, these are 'tweeners' - much more powerful than any tablet, not quite a full laptop replacement. The 12" screen helps, 10" was definitely not 'laptop-like' ...

    That really doesn't matter. It's not about liking or not liking Windows. It's about holding myself responsible for the part I play in empowering companies by giving them my business. Business decisions are the only meaningful political decisions left. I'll travel three times as far and pay twice as much to avoid doing business with people I don't like, and I'll stop at the businesses that I don't like, show them my money, tell them explicitly why they can't have it and leave, just out of spite. That's how I roll.

    It's not about efficiency. It's not about who does the job the best. It's not about price. It's about supporting the decent, civic minded people and diminishing the selfish, decadent and exploitative ones.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen