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  • faizoff - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    They look excellent. About time. Reply
  • Patflute - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    Apple will try to compete etc.

    Can't wait to see what Google comes up with at the end of the month.
    Reply
  • pxavierperez - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    There are already gazillions third party iPad cases that has a keyboard embedded on it. More like this is Microsoft attempt at competing with Apple.

    Either way, if this thing can run 3DMax, i'm sold. Love my Thinkpad but this could be a good replacement. No info on whether it has an IPS screen or not. I'm assuming it's the former.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    3DSMax

    - Windows RT = Nope.
    - Windows 8 = Possibly but that would be with the intel HD4000
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Not IPS
    3DMax on Intel integrated graphics (even the HD4000) is kind of funny.
    While RT's resolution sucks outright, the expensive one running Win8Pro is still stuck in 16x9 1080p-land. NOT suitable for a real work due to the letterboxiness of the screen.
    Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Maybe letterbox is bad if you're just typing a document, but for real work it's far superior as it allows an array of tools on the right and left of the screen while still displaying the entire document in the center. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Are you insane? Office tools are all stuck on a RIBBON across the top. Only a few select graphical tools put the tools to the side and I can guarantee that that $1000-2000 displays that graphic artists use are NEVER 16x9.

    The only thing that letterbox is good for is watching movies.
    Reply
  • agentbb007 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    You guarantee graphics artists don't use a 16x9 display? Want to put some money on that ;) because I know an entire studio who work entirely on Apple's cinema display which is 16x9... Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The mid 2010 27-inch LED Cinema Display, and mid 2011 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display are the only 16:9 aspect ratio standalone displays Apple has released. All the other Cinema Displays were 16:10 (or 25:16 in the case of the old 22-inch models). And to be honest, there's not a lot of panels out there that offer more than 1440 vertical pixels anyway, so the aspect ratio isn't really limiting your workflow. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Just rotate the Tablet in a 90 degree angle and use a USB keyboard? SUDDENLY you have 1920 pixel of vertical space. :D Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Plug in, with ease, an external monitor. Reply
  • Chudilo - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Definitely not IPS. It's pretty clear from some of the photos at an angle. Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The viewing angles have been reported as extremely good by sites. I'd say this is IPS. And i doubt they'd skimp on the display when they've put so much effort in to a high quality design/body. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    If it was IPS, they would say so. And yes, the photos in this article are clearly TN panels. Reply
  • Autisticgramma - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I'm sure your corp tech support LOVES you.

    Maybe we can also expect it to crack encryption, and run crysis.

    AND back up the entire internet.

    Tablets are toys, in a tool box. It might run netflix pretty well, while you do actual work on a desktop.

    -Gramma
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The Wind8 Pro will run Crysis although not at the greatest speeds. Reply
  • Steelblue - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Of course this is Microsoft attempting to compete with Apple - Apple currently dominate the tablet market and Microsoft are nowhere to be seen. However it's also useful to remember Microsoft still dominate the PC space.

    This isn't simply copying Apple; it's taking what Apple have proved works on an iPad and combining it with something totally extra.

    With the choice of touch, keyboard, trackpad, or any USB input device (mouse), in conjunction with the backing of a fully functional OS to manage files and data, these are devices for people who don't want the inconvenience or cost of having to own two devices. They can use a single device in multiple ways depending on the task in hand, rather than having to switch between tablet and laptop.
    Reply
  • Trevorhor - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    HD resolution is low compared to retina display. Its low for reading but good for movies. If the screen is poorer shouldn't the cost be lower than Apple? Isn't this overpriced for what is being delivered? Reply
  • Lonyo - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    You tell us, since you seem to know more than the rest of us.
    While we are sat here with vague indications of pricing ("comparable"), you seem to know that it's overpriced, indicating you know the actual pricing.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The 7" Nexus 7 has about the same number of pixels as this 10.6" screen on the RT. So yes, it will look pathetically low res compared to Apple and Google's latest.

    And yes, the integrated stand. And when it bends/breaks you will have to replace the entire unit for another $500-700. Good idea!

    Keyboard is interesting, but hardly a new idea.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    As this would be a very expensive "TOY", I suggest that you do not treat this as an Stretch Armstrong toy. If you feel it's inevitable that you will break it....don't buy it or learn to take better care of your items.

    It just astounds me the number of readers that overlook the focus and point of this product. It's not a toy to be tossed, so if you have butter fingers....don't buy it. If your work involves heavy computing or special software like CAD, then don't expect to do serious work on it. If your a hard core gamer...then don't buy this as its NOT designed as a gaming system. This device is designed to meet the needs of the largest group of consumers, who typically just check email, FB, surf the net, do some light work within the Office Suite. It will be fine as a net-book/laptop replacement for many. It WILL provide greater office productivity than the IPAD does, but it will not replace a desktop computer for anyone who uses software such as CAD, SQL Server, etc.

    People, Please be realistic in what this is intended to do....they are NOT intended to be work-stations, they are NOT designed to be toys for your 4 year old (Although many parents will). The are NOT designed to as durable as a Samsonite.

    I apologize for the tangent, but it's just Soooooo annoying how quick the whiners of the world jump in. I challenge all you whiners to design and build a better product while maintaining a competitive retail price. When you have a consumer ready product, then your bashing will have merit. Until then, your just an annoying fly in the room.

    Best wishes for everyone else.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    This item has one moving part, the hinge. And it is integrated. If it fails, good luck getting it repaired. Laptops do get abused and are generally sturdy. I'm not saying Surface needs to be a Toughbook, but I can see the hinge being a common point of failure.

    And yes, these are toys.
    Reply
  • JKflipflop98 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the detailed analysis of the one moving part. Since you seem to know so much more than the team of engineers that have been working on this thing for the last year or so, why don't you enlighten us all as to exactly which part is prone to failure?

    We'll pass that on to microsoft. In the meantime, you should probably heed the words of the guy you're replying to.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    After the RRoD, I trust Microsoft engineers about as far as I can throw them. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    The notion that any aspect of a future product is doomed to fail because former products have had problems is just plain ignorant.

    There will be a fair share of lemons when it comes to the hinge, but for the most part, it will work just fine. Let the first few hundred tablets come out, and we'll see how well it holds up.
    Reply
  • csroc - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    If they were selling just a screen, maybe it would be, maybe it wouldn't be. From what they've shown it's got some things the iPad doesn't, so should the iPad be cheaper then?

    There's not one killer feature but if this thing comes with a 600dpi pen like I've read then that alone is a big bonus. I don't have a tablet yet, nobody has hit the right enough of the right buttons yet but a pen is important to me if I'm spending more than a couple hundred bucks on it. Makes it much more useful for me than as strictly a consumption device. Those covers are rather brilliant as well.
    Reply
  • csroc - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    I should specify about the killer feature, I mean there's not one killer feature that sells me on one tablet over another. It's a combination of things.

    On another note though, on the UI side of things I've been intrigued by the things I've been reading about the Win 8 tablet UI. It seems like a more comprehensive and (hopefully) more effective tablet interface than IOS or Android.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Yeah, the 600dpi pen is for the Win8Pro model (which the scuttlebutt places at $1200 MSRP!). So, no, that is not an iPad competitor - it is an ultrabook competitor. Reply
  • pxavierperez - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    And if you think that an iPad is strictly a consumption device then it would be equally useless for you to buy Microsoft Surface with a stylus or not. A kindle would be perfect for you. People have been using the iPad to compose music, draw, edit photos, and write notes. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    No need to be so defensive, there. The point he made is that a decent stylus is what makes it a viable production device for *him*. I have a similar requirement, which is why I always found Apple's anti approach to active styluses a little disappointing. By analogy - I've seen the Mona Lisa drawn in MS Paint, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have no reason for wanting Photoshop. :) Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    What a stupid comment. Theres no comparison here. Almost anything my Win 7 PC can do the x86 Surface can do, and all my USB peripherals will also work with it. At work i could even connect a 30" 2560x1600 monitor to the Surface via its DP connector. The thought of using a useless iPad for real work is utterly ridiculous. Cant even process RAW images files on that thing. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    So all ipads < 3 were not good for reading? Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Not once you've seen the new ipad.

    Sort of like getting a SSD; sure, you've learned to live with standard HDD's for many years and you can theoretically do everything you need to do with it, but once you put that SSD in there's no going back.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Actually, I couldn't stand reading on the first two iPads - text just wasn't sharp enough. My iPad 3 though has turned into a glorified Kindle+iPod mashup, with occasional browsing. That's about it - I can't use it as a productivity device, so it usually just sits there unless I'm reading something.

    And going back to the original XGA iPad display after the iPad 3 is a legitimately painful experience. Once you see those individual pixels, it's difficult to unsee them.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    And the resolution on Surface RT is about the same as iPad1&2 - unusable for reading text. 1366x768 for 10.6" vs 1024x768 for 9.7". Reply
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The Surface RT is 155dpi. iPad 1&2 is 132dpi. Text should be plenty clear on it, and with the resolution-independent Metro UI, every app you run will take advantage. No searching out "retina" compatible apps and dealing with blocky pixel-doubling on others.

    Surface Pro is 218dpi. Sure, it's not quite up to the third-gen iPad, but it's a much more capable device.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    New iPad - 264
    Nexus 7 - ~190dpi

    Surface is inferior now. Imagine how inferior it will be when 1200p is the standard for 10" tablet in Q3/4?
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    And when the Surface RT is $300 and the iPad $500, I can predict which will sell better.

    I'm just hoping they can keep the Surface Pro under $1000. It would be a monster device at that price point.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    When has MS ever sold hardware for cheap? This is going to launch in 4Q at $600 and only the fanbois and their WP7 devices will care. Reply
  • RamarC - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "unusable for reading text"???

    i will venture to say that there are MILLIONS of windows laptops at 1366x768 and i'm sure all those users can READ TEXT! i hate that res but my company issues THOUSANDS of laptops at that res. those companies and those users are the target market for these devices.
    Reply
  • runner50783 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Although the iPad has a much higher res screen I believe is kind of an overkill... more pixels means less performance and even thus the iPad has the most powerful graphics processor on a tablet It can't really outperform the previous generation at native resolutions. With that, I will take an adequate resolution (going for the full HD version) which is more than sufficient for the purpose. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Agreed here. Apple's slavish adherence to quadrupling the pixels on a device when they upgrade resolution is absurd. 1024x768 was always a joke, but 2048x1536 is a joke in the other direction. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I am no Apple fan, but it looks amazing. And the GPU in the new iPad obliterates Tegra3. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Windows fan says: "Apple made the screen look *too good*.

    LOL!
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Who needs multitasking, color graphics and stereo sound? Thats for games, not for real computing. - reference of MSDOS compared to Amiga back in 1985.

    2048x1536 looks gorgeous. Its higher than the 24" display I'm using now... and yet I can see the individual pixels on my screen. When using less than 1.5 feet away, the pixels are obvious on a "standard" tablet display.

    When looking at photos with the iPad3, they become more "PHOTO-LIKE", no pixels. Text is crisper. It looks pretty damn good and the WHOLE industry is moving to catch up (for a reason) with desktops, notebooks, tablets and phones.

    So yeah, it DOES MATTER... and it'll help push 4K to come out quicker.
    Reply
  • kkwst2 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Well, I liked the iPad 2, and I like the new iPad 3, and agree the screen is more crisp and looks great. It makes pictures look moderately better and text marginally better.

    However, the people on here claiming that they can't use an iPad 2 for reading text now sound like those twits from the 80's constantly fuddling with their equalizer trying to "flatten out" 20 kHz when any objective audiology exam would suggest they couldn't hear anything above 15 kHz becaue of all the loud music they listened to.

    And the iPad is a mediocre device for reading text, easily outperformed by a $150 Nook SimpleTouch (or a $3 book). Pixel density is nice, but not everything.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Windows can't handle high res for text display. If you run 1080p on a 13" display the fonts would be unreadable, icons will be too small, changing the dpi destroys all legacy applications. it's not like Apple OSX, a closed system, which can and was patched to support high res displays by updating most applications in the ecosystem and the OS. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Windows 8 RT, which is what the lighter version of this will be running, is not going to suffer those problems re: DPI. Reply
  • BrooksT - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    Remember that surprising news that WinRT licensing was running $85/device? And the gnashing of teeth that no WinRT tablet could be price-competitive with iPad with that licensing cost?

    Well, guess what? Microsoft doesn't *want* any OEM tablet to be competitive. Sure, you can build an ARM-based Windows tablet, take a $85/device license, and then try to compete with Apple on one side and Microsoft on the other. Or maybe you just shouldn't, since Microsoft has bigger scale, deeper pockets, and won't be out that $85.

    Seems pretty clear that MS has decided to own the Windows tablet market, or at least the ARM-based tablet market. Combined with Metro and the Windows Store, this is a neck-snappingly quick adoption of Apple's vertical integration model.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    But time will tell if they will be successful with this new model. MS always seems to look promising when they leap into a new market, but it never seems to click. Aside from their titanic software business, their only clear success has been the Xbox. I don't mean that MS is financially unstable, only that they are not as agile as Apple. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    MS to partners: Screw you.

    Actually, I'm a bit surprised they didn't just do a deal with NOKIA.

    Lets see... ipad2 = $360~400. Android 3~4x = $300~400. MS-tablet-arm = $300~400.
    MS-partnet-sucker-ARM = $400~500.

    Keep in mind, these things may sell just before Christmas or Jan~FEB 2013 (if we survive 2012)... then around march comes the iPad4

    With Win8 PC sales tanking... people may not want to try it out.
    Love Nokia 800 / Wp7 interface... I use it everyday on my Android phone.

    @ImSpartacus : Microsoft makes 80% of their profit from Windows/Office... in which Windows is becoming nothing more than a support system for Office. So the Xbox line maybe bringing in about 8~10%?

    Also, why call stick on an XBOX LIVE tile on Windows8 *UNLESS* it can actually play all xbox games?
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    That $85 price was never proven to be from a reliable source. It also doesn't make sense at all, given that the big OEMs get Windows licenses now for about $5 per copy. I'd imagine the actual price for WinRT licenses to be about the same. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Wrong.

    The big OEMs pay between $25-40 for Windows. HOWEVER, RT includes full versions of Office too. $85 would actually be a huge price break.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    Since this is a "full PC" I expect it to be completely upgradable like a PC should be¡ Reply
  • Airwick - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    I guess that excludes most laptops and even some OEM desktops from qualifying in the "PC" category, then. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Most laptops can have memory upgraded and hard drives swapped/replaced (perhaps with an SSD!). Those with optical drives can swap it out for a thin BD drive. Reply
  • Spivonious - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The Surface tablets have torx screws on the bottom. They're clearly there in the images. I'd imagine you can upgrade memory and SSDs in these just like an ultrabook. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Keep on dreaming. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Maybe the battery, but didn't you look at the other pictures? Everything is soldered directly to the board. Reply
  • Airwick - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    He did say "completely upgradeable," though. That's just not going to happen--form factor becomes limiting at laptop sizes, let alone in a would-be tablet. Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Derp. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    You know... I don't see why not... Sure.

    All it needs it a cheap little ole Thunderbolt port... plug it into a Geforce GTXTR 790 TI to rock on.
    Reply
  • TareX - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    I don't doubt it's build quality... but the Pro version will be 13.5" thick (not thin at all), and over 900 gm in weight (not light).... It'll cost similar to an Ultrabook, if not more. It won't provide good reading experience, given the relatively low DPI.... The screen is not a SAMOLED, which means it won't be as dark as you'd like it to be when reading at night. All those factors make me think twice about getting it, after my initial TAKE MY MONEY reaction. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    13.5" thick? We going back to CRT's? Reply
  • Airwick - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    1080p on a 10.6" screen isn't "low-DPI" by any means. There's no pricing information available yet, only mentions that it will be "comparable." And while you do raise a valid point about the thickness of the device, please use the right units--it may be bigger, but it's definitely not a foot thick. (Comparing the thickness of a device running that kind of hardware to an ARM-using tablet isn't really a totally fair comparison either, but I suppose that's a matter of personal opinion.) Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The 1080p screen is on the Win8Pro (that is the most expensive Win8 version you can buy) which is going to be priced a bit higher than ultrabooks - so over a grand at least. Reply
  • Airwick - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    He's talking about the x86 version, though--hence the comments on thickness, weight, cost, and so on so forth. Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The Pro version is 14.5 mm thick (about 0.57 of an inch), not 13.5". It also does not have low dpi. It has a 1920x1080 resolution on 10.6", which translates to approximately 208 dpi. There is also no information of the type of the display. Reply
  • marcardar - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    The 22 degree angled camera is an interesting one, but no good if you do a lot of OCR/photos on documents lying on your desk. Reply
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    In which case you buy a scanner - they cost almost nothing these days. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't expect your scanner manufacture to have RT drivers out anytime soon. Reply
  • Airwick - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    And why would they? The RT version isn't going to replace your home PC, just like an iPad isn't going to. Reply
  • jvillaro - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    WTF? I thought I have seen it all. Really? That would be a negative point for how many users? Please tell me the truth, are you a spy? Do you normally go around scanning documents with your phone/tablet? Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I regularly use JotNot Pro to scan receipts with my phone, as do a lot of my co-workers. We travel quite a bit, and it makes expense reports easier. Not sure I'd use an ipad for that, though... Reply
  • marcardar - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Actually, yes I do. If you want to do live OCR (for example, reading foreign language text and auto-translating) then a smartphone is an excellent tool. Most of the time the text is on a page that is lying flat on a table. Reply
  • Odgregg - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Actually, flip the surface around 180 degrees (assuming the screen rotates in any direction) and you have an even better experience for scanning documents flat on a table as the surface will be tilted towards you 22 degrees.

    So in my mind that would be a better experience than with an iPad or other tablet as you'd basically have to stand up over the tablet to see the screen.
    Reply
  • marcardar - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Yes, if the 180 degrees rotation works then that would be perfect. Being 22 degrees (rather than 45 degrees) would means that in upside down mode the tablet would need to be nearer the horizontal which is better anyway because that would seem like a more natural angle when looking over a document on a flat surface. Reply
  • marcardar - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Not sure about all this in portrait mode though. Now that *would* take a lot of getting used to! Reply
  • bplewis24 - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    The Devil is in the Details, here. The announcement of two products with some crossover is exciting, until you realize just how different they are and what the sacrifices mean for the end user who thinks that initially they are getting an iPad design, ARM price:performance:power ratio, with desktop functionality. I have a feeling these will be far from that, respectively. You'll have to sacrifice 2 of those 3 if you go with the 8Pro version. Reply
  • Mike1111 - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    "Comparable" price means to me that Microsoft won't undercut it's OEMs in terms of pricing. Most likely that rules out anything under $399 for the Windows RT one (even though it only has mediocre hardware for Q4). I was really hoping that Microsoft was going loss-leader to push Windows RT (e.g. $299) or extreme high-end for a premium price. The covers sound more like a nice gimmick to me. IMHO Transformer-style keyboards make way more sense if you want a laptop-like setup (usable on your lap, extra battery, extra ports, better haptic, etc.) Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    $399 would put it in the iPad 2 category, $499 would mean they will get compared to a retina screen-equipped iPad 3. $299 would make it Kindle Fire territory.

    The question is—does Microsoft want that? Do they want to compete with the iPad or with premium Android tablets or do they want to compete with features/integration and just price it at whatever makes it profitable to them?

    I haven’t seen the presentation yet—does Surface have any Big Selling Points™ like GarageBand, iMovie, etc? Or are the "smart covers" pretty much it, along with Office?
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    In Q4, Kindle Fire will be $150, not $299. And iPad2 will likely be $300. The RT device is most similar to iPad2 (similar resolution, similar SoC capability). I just don't see MS launching this at $300. Their OEM partners have to cough-up $85 for the RT license - they will never get to $300. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I like how the $85 rumor has become fact for some people. -_- Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    $85 is super cheap. Remember, this is Windows 8 RT + Office 2012 included. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    For Q4 the RT version will be one entire year old (old screen, old SoC). Everybody wants to pay a premium price for year-old tech, right? Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Yeah those covers and stand require sitting at a table--Something I almost never do with my iPad.

    A keyboard like the newest Logitech iPad ultralight keyboard that is stiff like a laptop keyboard so you can actually use it on your lap while sitting on the couch is going to be a lot better in practice. Unless you are sitting at a desk all day.
    Reply
  • Holler - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    prolly the reason you never do it, is because its pretty cumbersome to do out of the box with an iPad. Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    That's why there are two option of keyboard cover: the touch cover and the type cover, which is a very low profile physical keyboard... Reply
  • kamrate - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - link

    Judging from the pictures here you can use the stand and keyboard on your lap.
    http://marypcb.livejournal.com/584807.html
    The author specifically wanted to see how the combination would work when sitting at a e.g. a press event with no table.

    My understanding is that the cover is soft as in smooth to the touch, not soft as in floppy blanket.
    Reply
  • Yuniverse - Monday, June 18, 2012 - link

    Real competition from Microsoft for iPad. Apple better get off their butt and innovate, otherwise MS may eat their lunch sooon. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I agree it looks like competition, but let's not get to hasty. They first have to compete with the iPad ecosystem and it's 250,000 dedicated tablet apps. Windows 8 RT is starting from scratch and the x86 hardware is more than twice as expensive as the cheapest brand new iPad. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    How about 3~4 times? Locally, they sell new iPad2s for $350 off the shelf... and the x86 will most likely be at least $1000+! And yet, still have lower screen resolution.

    Until I actually used the Win8 PR version on my desktop... I thought Win8 eco-system would destroy the iPad/iPhone market.

    I think this is going to be WindowsPhone 7, 2.0... stagnates at 5%.
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "I wasn't able to get a feel for how typing actually feels on it, so I can't comment on responsiveness or accuracy, but our friend Ben Reed at Microsoft Hardware swears he can top 50 words per minute on it any given day. I'm inclined to believe him, but I can't comment firsthand until I can actually play with a working unit. "

    So you don’t have any experience using one?

    "For the first time, I can really see a tablet replacing a notebook as my primary computing device. Before today, I couldn't say that with any real conviction - I tried it with the iPad on multiple occasions, and it just didn't work. I'm a writer, tablets aren't ideal for writing. Surface changes that in a big way. And that's really what Microsoft is going for here - a device that fits into your life as a versatile tool to do anything you want it to. Whether they'll succeed in capturing the market is a story that will be told after Surface launches alongside Windows 8 later this year, but for now, this is a very promising start."

    But you’re convinced it will be awesome and it’s a "promising start"? So tablets aren’t ideal for writing, but Surface is? In what way is Surface that much different than an iPad/Android tablet with a hardware keyboard accessory?

    This all reads like it was written by an enthusiastic little boy who really likes what Microsoft’s PR is selling.

    Don’t get me wrong—it does look like it could actually challenge the iPad more than any Android tablet can. But that’s assuming Microsoft doesn’t fuck up, assuming the price is good, assuming there are no trouble with the manufacturing, assuming there will be enough software and assuming it launches on time and without serious bugs.

    And what’s with the companies announcing stuff that will ship in half a year? It’s not as if the average customer will want to wait—and the geeks who will would likely have gotten one of those tablets anyway. Microsoft just blew it’s tablet PR load and by the time the hardware is out in the stores, people will already salivate about the next awesome Samsung, Acer, Apple, BrandX piece of hardware.
    Reply
  • Braumin - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    He just said he never got to type on it. Did you not read the article?

    "So tablets aren’t ideal for writing, but Surface is? In what way is Surface that much different than an iPad/Android tablet with a hardware keyboard accessory?"

    Um, it's pretty different, since when you actually dock it it's not some toy OS, but full fledged Windows. Real MS Office, Adobe, the ability to "print" if needed.
    Reply
  • xype - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "He just said he never got to type on it. Did you not read the article?"

    Sure I did. How can he pass judgement, then?

    "Um, it's pretty different, since when you actually dock it it's not some toy OS, but full fledged Windows. Real MS Office, Adobe, the ability to "print" if needed."

    Ah, ok. Yeah, that makes sense—it’s what made Windows tablets sell so well thus far. Adobe apps, especially, work great on a 16:9, 1366 x 768 pixel screens, I’ve heared. And the full Office with its ribbon UI? It can only be spectacumarvelous!

    In other words: How about we wait and see instead of parroting Microsoft PR?
    Reply
  • Orktane - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    What's with the attitude? Anyway, both the machines come with either DisplayPort or HDMI out, along with full-sized USB ports. So you can either dock it or connect it with external monitors and/or keyboards. However, given I have a 10" Windows 8 tablet, I presume the 10.6" screen would be perfectly usable for day-to-day concerns - browsing, e-mailing, media-playback etc.

    Also note the key-differentiator is that both the versions include the traditional desktop environment (with one offering backward compatibility), which IMO opens up the traditional way of use (including writing) in addition to the touch-first apps.

    Now, relax.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    So it was pretty easy to get typing feel on the Type Cover keyboard (the one with physical keys), and that one is pretty solid feeling. We weren't allowed to try out the Touch Cover on a working demo unit, but from a design standpoint it was ergonomically sound. I can't judge responsiveness or how steep the adjustment curve will be, but I've dealt with MS Hardware enough over the years to trust that it'll be decent at the very least, until I have some good reason not to believe that. Even taking a healthy skepticism to the Microsoft staffers talking up how great it is, it was relatively clear that a lot of effort went into making the Touch Cover a very usable keyboard.

    As for what makes Surface different - the keyboard covers are just a much more integrated version of the laptop dock idea. I personally felt like that was always too bulky in the Asus implementations (even the newer TF Prime and TF300 ones), turning what was a sleek tablet into something decidedly netbook-ish. The iPad ones are kind of garbage, I want something that's hardware connected, not Bluetooth. I don't want another separate piece with its own battery to worry about. I had two generations of Logitech's Keyboard Case, and while I could live with it, it wasn't an ideal solution. The Touch Cover is literally the same form factor as the iPad's Smart Cover, except you get a keyboard that's physically and electrically connected to the device. It's the same basic idea, taking a tablet and adding a peripheral keyboard accessory, but it's just something that seems to offer a more cohesive user experience. Hence, promising start. Because it's promising as a prototype, not because it's guaranteed to blow minds when it ships.

    Also, from what I've seen/used, IE10 Metro is far closer to a real desktop browsing environment than Safari Mobile and the ICS browser, even the Windows RT version of it.

    I don't know what prompted Microsoft to announce it now - I'm assuming if they got any farther in the manufacturing process, it'd leak and they'd lose the secrecy of it all. Something we've learned from the Apple leaks of the last few years is that once things go out to manufacturing in China, it's hard to keep stuff from slipping out of the plants and onto the net. As for why today specifically and why LA are two things I do not know the answer for.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    To further expand on the text input aspect, Microsoft is taking a very different philosophy. Apple intends for people to use the onscreen keyboard primarily, or the mostly afterthought keyboard dock. For a portable keyboard, you're either relying on the touchscreen or you have to go third party and deal with a subpar experience. Apple never focused on hardware text input as part of the iPad's core values. Same with Google. ASUS and others work around that with their laptop docks, but it's still pretty evident in a lot of situations that Android simply wasn't built for use with a hardware keyboard and mouse.

    Surface was designed with the assumption that some people actually want to use their tablets for writing. The two keyboard covers are an integral part of the design and experience, something Microsoft considers vital to what Surface is and how it functions. Onscreen keyboards aren't really ideal for tablets, and Microsoft clearly recognizes that. It also helps that Windows 8 was designed with the not-insignificant number of users with keyboards and mice, too. We're going to see a lot of blurring of the lines with Windows RT and Windows 8 devices - tablets behaving like notebooks, notebooks behaving like tablets, and all manner of weird form factors. This is just one example of that.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Good response, thanks for that. Hopefully the troll will be pacified! :) Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    What is the TROLL part? He had an opinion on the facts presented about the product.

    He is not impressed.

    I am not impressed that nobody was allowed to actually use said-keyboards. at least for a FEEL for them... after all, if the STAFF is using them them, why not the public?

    It can be understood if they are work-in-progress... since these are not final.

    VivekGowri - I agree with your viewpoint on this. I don't see any negatives with the concept of the keyboard-add ons covers (expect $40~80 each).

    But I don't see MS being able to SELL these unless the Windows 8 desktop is successful. I'm very happy with Windows 7, buying an iPad was based on buying a reliable quality product. Something that Android is struggling to do and Apple does quite well. MS should have made WP7 into a tablet version way back then.

    If Windows 8 crashes and burns the way Vista did, then these MS-tablets won't sell.

    HP touchpad: FAILED : Why? While the screen was equal to the iPad (yeah!), the rest of the device had a horrible cheap plastic back. Looked cheap, felt cheap.
    Its price was on par with the iPad2, but the size of an iPad1. Almost NO apps. A useless camera since there was no app to actually use it. Its multi-tasking and keyboard get high marks. It was a bit unstable and sometimes would NOT rotate. Sold out in hours at $99 price.

    RIM's Playbook: FAILING : Why? High Blackberry price for a 7" tablet with a fraction of the apps and a 1.0 software. Sure the iPad also had teething problems, but it has matured with the iPad2 & iOS updates... and that is what you are competing against. The quality of the product is fine... but still, the device was half baked with missing email & PDA apps until almost a year later with 2.0. It sells somewhat at the $200 (okay sold).
    You needed a blackberry phone in order to have email /calender / contacts - how stupid is that? RIM is a dying company. Their new BB10 OS is very late as their customers migrate to iPhone and Android.

    Android: Surviving: Why? stable OS that is free. But hardware is problematic because of the freedom Android gives them... Once the tablet is sold, the company is done with it.

    MS is trying to do both SELL Win8RT and be like Apple at the same time. Thus, very few partners will bother... with no profit... and higher retail price than Apple. OUCH!

    Microsoft NEEDS Windows8 to be a home-run for "Surface" to swim. But I'd say 10 to 1, Windows8 will be strike 3 and she'll sink. (Me / Vista are other strikes)
    Reply
  • PhoenixEnigma - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I find it a little hard to complain about tablets running a desktop-ish OS on a 1366x768 screen. Yes, they suck, no I don't want them, no I won't buy them, and yes and there should be a special circle of Hell for whoever decided they were a good idea. What they are is incredibly common (how many laptop reviews have people skipped here for the screen alone?). I'd be willing to bet they are the single most common resolution display sold to the general public*.

    If software developers can't make their programs work well on them, that's on their heads, not the hardware manufacture's. In a perfect world, sharing what is likely the worlds best selling display resolution would be a UI plus. Of course, we don't get either, so we can complain about everyone, but there's potential for a silver lining.

    *Note that I said general public and not enthusiasts. I imagine uptake here is substantially lower.
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    We usually spend a lot of time bitching about panel quality, and less about resolution. 150:1 or 200:1 contrast ratios on TN panels with terrible viewing angles and not inconsiderable backlight bleed, and that sort of thing. It's actually a lot more common than it should be, but it looks like Microsoft is emphasizing panel quality here, even though resolution on the WinRT version isn't so great. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Really, where does it say IPS panel?
    So the device they will launch in 6 months will have a letterboxy original iPad DPI screen without the IPS.

    All MS has shown is a nice tablet body and copycat keyboard and stand (both of those already exist as accessories for iPad).
    Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I didn't know there is a stand for ipad that magically integrates with it. Can you tell what spells did you cast? and of course apple have never ever copied anything form anyone else. /S Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Seriously? It's called the Smart Cover from 2011? Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Since when smart cover became an integral part of ipad. It's still an external accessory. Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    *I'm talking about the stand part. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    It can become a stand and what is the benefit of attaching the stand to the device. If it breaks, you have to replace the whole device. Making the cover also the stand works just fine since the cover is always present with the device. Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "what is the benefit of attaching the stand to the device."

    You can then have a cover that is also a thin and nice keyboard.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Blah blah blah blah blah. It reads like somebody genuinely interested in the first serious challenge to a market sector dominated by Apple, from a company who have been known to initially misjudge markets in the past and yet who rarely make a poor second entrance. Take your jaded misery elsewhere, please. Reply
  • faizoff - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I may have glossed this over but when are these tablets going to be available? Reply
  • Braumin - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    October for the Windows RT version (ARM) and a couple months later for the Intel. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Next year... So by then... Apple and Android tablets would be 2 generation ahead.

    Both of these are sub-standard compared to the latest Android and iPad3.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Wrong, wrong and speculative. But nice try. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    The RT will be almost 2 generations behind. Tegra 3 in Q4 will be a whole year old. With iPad3's resolution and Transformer Prime going 1920x1200, heck the Google Nexus 7 will have about the same resolution as Surface RT, but in a 7" package instead of a 10.6". Microsoft didn't anticipate the jump in resolution in 2012 and showed up ready to compete in the 2011 market. If Surface RT came out in 2011, it would be competitive - it just isn't in 2012. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Microsoft is often skating to where the puck is instead of where it's going. My hope is Windows 8 will be the OS where Ballmer *finally* gets canned and maybe Microsoft can rebound. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I hope not.

    MS has been a belligerent competitor in the market. The sooner they are gone, the better. I can totally imagine an MS-free world. Sadly, the Windows/Office monopoly allows them to dump billions toward nonsense and prop-up weak assets like Zune, Bing, and the X-Box (which only succeeded by sucking the life out of PC gaming and being sold at a loss for a long time).
    Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "I hope not.

    MS has been a belligerent competitor in the market. The sooner they are gone, the better. I can totally imagine an MS-free world. "

    And this throws away any credibility your comments had.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    So you don't think that Microsoft has grossly benefited from the Win/Office monopoly? Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Yes and no...

    I'd like to see Microsoft end up with 30% of the desktop market. Apple with 30% and Linux with 30%. (Amiga get 10%!!! whatever J/K)

    To have MS totally die would be a BAD thing. They are not great, but they did create a crappy but standard platform.
    Win8 breaks the standard quite a bit.

    MS cannot survive without OS/Office. If they are knocked down to 1/3rd their size... Windows will become cheaper... never cheaper than Linux, maybe Apple prices.

    MS did this to themselves when they KILL PC gaming. WTF do they bother putting "XBOX" as a Windows APP? IF it doesn't allow PCs to play 360 games, its all bullshit.

    No games = no need for $300~500 gaming cards.
    No games, no MS-Office, No Adobe CS... then you don't need Windows.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    That's simply not feasible.

    You're suggesting Apple would sell 1/3rd of the world's PCs. They already make more than 1/3rd of the world's profits in the PC market with about 7% going 4x as high would just be staggering considering how they market their machines.

    There are market segments where they might be able to do that but the majority of the world's PCs are not sold at $999 and above. They are cheap HW running Windows.

    As long as Apple prefers not to license their OS or go for unit market share over profit market share it's simply not going to happen.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    As of today: Mac OSX has 6.5% of the PC global market.

    XP = 44%
    Win7 = 40%
    Vista = 6.8% (HA HAH!)
    Linux - 1% (Any day now... I can feel it)

    In some countries, Mac sales would be higher... such as the USA and many European countries.

    The USA market of iOS is larger than the global avg. (66%) vs Android.

    I would love for Apple to sell a "non supported" - AS-IS with your hardware (but cannot sell with a Desktop) for $50~100. I'd buy that, put it on my desktop and be done with Windows. I like building my stuff.

    But yes, Apple can make enough computers... the same Foxconn that makes desktops and notebooks for other companies will just change their Assembly lines component (the case) - not hard.

    It would mean that Windows becomes the AMD (low-end) product line. Look back in the old days when intel sold their CPUs for 2-4x the price of AMD and yet had 80~90% of CPU sales with $300~800 CPUs.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    If Microsoft position this thing below Ultrabook prices then they're going to headbutt AMD... especially considering IB wouldn't ordinarily find itself in this sort of market. I find it quite strange that Microsoft didn't opt for Trinity models although we don't really know yet how it would perform as compared to 17W IB ULV... could be any reason, really. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Your analogy is correct.

    Gates is wrong sometimes, but I doubt he'd have made the mistakes that we've seen in the past few years.

    Ballmer can GO GO GO!

    I don't see Microsoft rebounding... Unless you need 100% MS Office compatibility, whole the hell needs Windows?
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Gates is the retard that killed Courier.

    His reasoning? It didn't have an email application built-in.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Isn't that one of the reasons the playbook failed? :-p Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    If systems were sold on specs, then the Transformer Prime should have outsold the iPad 2. It didn't. Heck, the Kindle Fire outsold the Prime!

    I care more about having a cohesive experience than specs. The ability to get content onto an iPad or Kindle Fire is why most Android tablets have failed in the market.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    true, for the most part. But even to this day. The iPad2 is the fastest gaming tablet. Asus doesn't have the public muscle of Apple... Imagine if HP sold the Transformer Prime? Remember HP is #2 seller of tablets... :)

    Fire is in a different demographic than the Transformer Prime.
    Its like comparing a Ford Focus to a Mustang GT.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    That is what I mean... like the WP7 phones that come out with out-dated tech.

    I'm in the market for a new phone... but my Carrier only has the stupid huge Lumia 900... (Why not the 800 too?).. but all of them are single core (no big deal) and 2009~2010 screen resolution.

    Also, WP8 doesn't make any advances in the metro interface that I get from my Android's WP7 Launcher... like custom colored individual titles and tile rotation.

    So with that, looks like I'll get another Android phone and run my WP7/8 emulation... If I can run a WP7/8 emulation on an iPhone...
    Reply
  • Dekker - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I have a sinking feeling that Microsoft will succeed in incorporating all of Windows' complexity into a tablet, rather than take the minimalistic mini-App route that the iPad has taken.

    There are a few things that concern me:
    - the 16:9 screen ratio is not easily put to good use on a tablet
    - with the stand and keyboard, the tablet looks like an Ultrabook without hinges. I prefer to have my Ultrabooks hinged and my tablets truly handholdable
    - having two different flavours seems a mistake because it splits the Microsoft ecosystem in two
    - no 16Gb version? hopefully that does not mean that windows 8 is a memory hog
    - ecosystem conflicts because Microsoft will be competiting with hardware manufacturers

    However, the design decisions make perfect sense if you believe that Windows compatibility is a killer feature in a tablet. We will soon find out whether it is.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Personally, I'm seeing this as a complete FUBAR situation.

    MS has had 'tablets" since 2001 with WindowsXP... they never sold well because they were $1500~3000 10" devices... their batteries lasted 2-3 hours and were 3-4lbs.

    Until Windows7, power management wasn't stable with a Windows platform.

    Apple made it simple, and somewhat cheap... $500 and up. Think about it, in 2 years, Apple has sold more $500 "toys" than the 360 which is 6 years old ($200~500).

    - I still don't LIKE 16:9 screen... great for MOVIES. That is IT. I don't even like 24" 16:9 screens, its already a downgrade from my old 24" 16:10 screen. I browse the web, read some books and watch a video every now and then (very rarely)... I even type articles here on my ipad1. I eye the ThinkPad ThinkTab design... but then I'm thinking "Android... ugh... 16:9... ugh". I'll wait for the iPad4... get the retina design but cooler and faster.

    - Tablets are not ultrabooks, but I do agree - this kind of config in the same price-range will means that Microsoft could be eating sales from Dell & HP. And since MS is selling them WIN8RT for $85 a pop... there is almost NO profit for anyone, other than MS. If I was Samsung or Acer, why would I bother making an MS tablet? It would cost more than an Android model by $80 and WHO is going to spend an extra $100~500 on a MS-branded tablet? if you want or need the hinge-flexibilty, stick with a notebook.

    - MS needs two different flavors... costs reasons. First, the market is already making notebook power tablets. If MS sells a $500 and a $1000 model, they will sell 1000 $500 models to every $1000 model. Also, the Full Win8 intel model means its running off a HD or SSD (more power), less battery life, more heat... slower boot times... my iPad comes on at the touch of a button, it'll be Internet ready in 3 seconds.
    A sleeping Win8Full may wake up in 2~5 seconds or spend 10~20 seconds cold booting. Ouch...

    - lack of 16GB version may hurt... depending on memory prices. To me, a 16GB device is still enough, and if you are using a cloud... more so. Also storage memory is not the same as OS memory.

    I love the metro interface for a phone... many people love the Nokia 800~900. well built, look great... easy to use interface. Yet, MS and Nokia are getting their asses kicked in the phone market after 2 years. I run a WP7 Launcher on my android phone - love it. But for the desktop... no, it blows.

    MS is trying to connect the Metro experience to all their products. If you LIKE Windows8, you'll buy a Win8 phone and or tablet. MS is banking on people will love Windows8. But if people HATE windows8... those same people will NOT buy said devices.

    I can live with a Windows desktop, an iPad tablet and an Android phone or WP7/8 phone. A Windows8 desktop? LOL!

    MS is offering a $15 upgrade to Win8 on new PCs. They should offer people $50 to install it.

    Alas, Win8 is soon going to RTM. I've yet to meet a single person in life who actually likes/wants it. The desktop interface in the preview looks quite nice, but its rumored that MS is going to make it bland (It could be a hoax) and ugly to match Metro (which looks fine). I think Win8 is going to backfire big time... worse than Vista.

    And if MS refuses to sell Win7 after Win8 hits the streets.... its going to be ugly.

    Also... having a launch party that is 4~6months before shipping product... not pretty, but not much that could be done about it.
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    They are trying to upstage Google I/O and the Nexus 7. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    And Microsoft SHOULD try to upstage Google and Apple, by all means.

    I was planning on it... I'm sick of Android problems but not really intrested in owning an iPhone (I'm cool with the iPad)... WindowsPhones are 2 years out-dated... so I'm not impressed by anyone.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Wow you really nailed it. Agree 100%. Reply
  • gostan - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Vivek, you need to cut your nail! Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "It's a pretty awesome idea, actually, taking the best parts of Apple's Smart Cover and ASUS' laptop dock and merging them together into one of the most innovative cases we've seen."

    yeah, that's what Microsoft usually does. they take other ideas, refine them, combine them when it makes sense (usually), and make it better.

    Let's be honest, that's not innovation. that's evolution. That is the way MS has done business for a long time. These guys work hard. I don't doubt that. They make good stuff, too. I've been please with most MS products. (OK, WinMe and Vista were absolutely horrible, but there are always some stumbling blocks.) However, have we really seen anything actually really new come from MS?
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    This isn't new. The keyboard, stand, and cover are all accessories currently available for iPads. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    None of them very good. Any keyboard for the iPad needs to be charged separately and doesn't automatically connect to the iPad itself. It's a clunky solution to a problem Apple didn't want to solve and would instead say: "type on glass, it's amazing!"

    Great for 5 minutes but not anything longer than that.
    Reply
  • eddman - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Show me a cover/stand/keyboard combo for ipad which is as thin and practical as surface's keyboards, can be folded backwards and doesn't need a separate power source. Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Well, Kinect is an example of innovation that came from them. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Microsoft bought the company that developed the connect hardware/software. Buying =/= innovation. Reply
  • TareX - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I was disappointed to not hear any mention of Microsoft's own "minimal touch latency" applied to this tablet... Here's the video, and it's such a huge loss:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    "The magnesium panels are finished with partial vapour deposition, a process that deposits a thin-film coating onto the panel using vacuum deposition (molecule-by-molecule deposits at sub-atmospheric pressure.)"

    Which is it, vacuum or just sub-atmospheric? More importantly, what kind of coating do they deposit? A noble metal? Some kind of oxide? Do they protect the panels from oxidizing in humid air, or are they just there for the feeling?

    "It gives the unit a distinctly premium feel, and one that's pretty different from most of the other metal-bodied systems out there particularly with the current trends towards anodization and brushed finishes."

    Maybe I am wrong, but aren't most of the other cases aluminium instead of magnesium, anyways?
    Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    From what I read in other sites, it protects the hardware from water and fingerprint. Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    And aluminum wouldn't?
    Magnesium is lighter, softer, more expensive, more reactive, and more insulating. Magnesium is good for SLR camera bodies, but not a good choice for a tablet. I think they picked it just to be different.

    Unless the magnesium is coated, the sweat in your hands will start to corrode the metal.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    When it is referred to as magnesium, it mean a magnesium alloy!. Not pure magnesium!. Pure mag will corrode as you said. Just wiki magnesium alloy and you can see the different variants used in aerospace, automotive and many industrial use. Depending on the exact mag alloy composition used, the stiffness can be measured and its weight per volume can be measured. But rough guess is 30% lighter than aluminium alloys. Reply
  • Autisticgramma - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Is the battery removable? This 'feature' which used to be a must (shoot, even if it wasn't included)

    If no, its a deal breaker. Tell me you can run windows with out a For Sure reboot now and then.
    Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I've run my Windows 7 HTPC for weeks without a reboot besides monthly OS updates. Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Don't count on a removable battery... I'm not seeing much of a need for it... other than 5-10 years later. Apple is using a more expensive battery thou... perhaps a longer life?

    Removable batteries = bigger tablet. Why? you need material between the guts and the battery area. The battery itsell must then be in its own "shell" to for its protection and the user. And then you have the cover. All that adds 3 additional layers.
    Reply
  • kenthaman - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    Didn't Microsoft already have a product called Surface...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_PixelSense

    Guess that would make this v3.0 :)
    Reply
  • r19578 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    felt like surface traps dirt and hard to clean, while leather is much easier to clean. Reply
  • Mumrik - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    We (won't) meet again.

    It makes no sense to me. Tablets are media heavy devices, why not hit 720P straight or go high like the competition? It's the same nonsense as bottom of the barrel discount HDTVs.
    Reply
  • B3an - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    1366x768 is the minimum res needed for all the Metro features to work. No Win 8/RT tablets will be lower than that res. And i'd rather have 1366x768 than 720p any day. Reply
  • mset - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    I read through all the comments. I never post in this section but decided to give you guys a view from a pure consumer. I'm not really a tech guy at all.

    1. My Mom uses the iPad as her primary computer - that is, she uses it for email and surfing the web. There are a ton of people out there who need this and only this, and for them, the tablet is going to be their primary computer going forward. Everyone who talks about 'productivity' is a member of a very small minority of retail users.

    2. My Mom couldn't care less about aspect ratio/fine distinctions in resolution. There will be millions of people whose decisions will be driven by price point, and fine distinctions in resolution won't matter.

    3. I hate the fact that I can't use an iPad to surf the internet. Okay, okay... that's kind of melodramatic, but you know what I mean. If I go to a webpage and I can't load it because I need Flash to run the video, I can't use that tablet. My Mom hates this too but puts up with it. If there's a tablet that will allow her to view any content she wants, she would switch in a heartbeat. Only you guys know if 'HTML 5' or whatever the Flash alternative is will be in widespread us in the next xx years.

    4. A lot of the comments here seem to be missing out on the main point - MSFT seems to be taking a page out of AAPL's successful playbook (Sorry, RIMM). That's what they're going for, and to me the lower priced RT version will be the one aimed at AAPL's core, to the extent that either of these units are aimed there. Again, 75% of the comments here which posit a failure by MSFT in this effort point to the screen and its resolution. I just don't believe that this is going to be that huge an issue for Joe and Jane Average.

    5. MSFT *knows* that $1000 isn't the price point that's going to bring them the kind of widespread market penetration that the iPad enjoys. They know this... don't they? I mean, they must. I see this as the first shot in a long game. In a sense, this is MSFT trying to reinvent itself. Time will tell if they're successful.

    6. That integrated keyboard/cover looks cool to me.
    Reply
  • drwho9437 - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    They will sell this thing at their cost or if they do so legally at a loss. Even though Apple has a large market cap people still think of one of the most closed companies in the world as saintly and MS as evil. But as the HP tablet proved if the price is right people will flock.

    Establishing a user base is more important than profit. Particularly for the ARM Window RT where the is no legacy applications to fall back upon.

    I'm sure it is great device, but it needs to be better than Apple and lower cost than Apple is likely to match. Apple has very deep pockets so it could survive a price war quite well.

    If I were MS I would wait until I had pretty good volume have a low intro price that makes that volume just sell out without too massive a backorder.

    I'll never understand who the biggest company by market cap is still the cool guy (and biggest by market share in music and tablets), we are suppose to be pulling for the underdog, for competition and in this case it is MS and Google strangely enough.
    Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    None of them are underdogs. Those 3 are about control, period... Sell your soul to MS, Google or Apple... there isn't much difference, so get the best of what you like.

    Examples of underdog (not the cartoon): RIM, AMD, Amiga, Opera, Libre Office.
    Reply
  • mutatio - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I'm not really impressed with the look of it. I would expect quite a bit more out of what was supposed to be such a major announcement. The keyboard cover is an interesting twist on Apple's covers. With that said, I can't imagine a whole lot of use being made out of the membrane based keyboard for any so called "serious work," which is what nerds are proclaiming this device to allow. The more traditional KB cover bumps up the thickness of the cover and easily moves this right into iPad+KB+stand case territory, which defeats the whole purpose of launching a supposedly ground breaking awesome tablet device. Having a high end clicking sound in your hinge doesn't mean it's not an industrial design disaster waiting to meet the real world. I'm sorry, the hinge is just plain dumb and MS will have a host of pissed off users with snapped off stands that effectively ruin their investment in an otherwise functional tablet. That's just so obvious it's effing ridiculously stupid.

    I'm still hoping MS makes some serious tweaks to the W8/RT OS. As it is, it still makes me want to gouge out my eyes. The OS metaphor makes sense from a touch based standpoint and I think MS is trying to be too slick in their efforts to have everything relate back to the touch interface. e.g., Just wait for a general consumer to be all psyched about a tablet, with KB and mouse/touchpad, and the latest Windows OS, only to find they can't operate in the usual windows environment for basic functions like shutting down, sleeping, etc. I'm open to having my mind changed when I see these in person but I continue to think that this will be a bag of hurt for MS. I do appreciate the touch based side of the OS but believe it is a clumsy and heavy handed approach to trying to integrate the touch and traditional elements of MS's operating systems. Only time will tell, however.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    MS seems to see a dire need to go into hardware just to push Win8 in a big way. I can see this with RT but for x86 legacy, it is just a minor evolution of the OS with a horrible looking UI at that.

    The hope was that RT could evolve to be different to X86 Win8 just for the more fact, that MS *can* afford to support to codebases as they have done more than 4 in the past!. On the Arm platform, there can be a lot of optimizations in time to bring their OS (maybe Win8 SP3) to a reasonably useful way to really compete with Android 5.x. As for ICS competition, I think they would be really lucky to even get 10% of the Android market much less a fair slice of the IOS market. From some of the sales data, we have seen some erosion of IOS sales due to lower priced Android devices.

    I think the Win8 Pro devices here will do well in the market just because they are a niched premium ultrabook with most of the trimmings (and some of the compromises). Only a detailed review will allow a proper comparison for buyers to choose. Good luck MS, nice to see you emulate Apple once again. This time without Jobs screaming at you.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Look at photo 2 with the kickstand open, the edges of the cover is NOT even above the 4 torque screws. The gap towards the right end is almost 3mm wide!. The cover panel is not even a perfect straight edge!. That is not the result of precision engineering.
    Maybe they can fix that in the final product.
    So no talk about battery life seems to indicate "bad news" on that aspect. At least for RT models, it would be decent. Ivy bridge models will have a hard time doing 4 hours.
    But that will pass ok for standard slim laptop users. Real tablet users needed 7 hours at the least!.
    Reply
  • rickcain2320 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Or are you stick in widescreen mode? Reply
  • rickcain2320 - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Microsoft still thinks a tablet is a glorified laptop. Ever try explaining physics to your dog? Well thats how hard it is to explain computing trends to Microsoft. Reply

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