Skip to comments.Microsoft Surface Tablet: 10 Coolest Features
Posted on 06/25/2012 8:17:09 AM PDT by SmokingJoe
Microsoft believes a stand should be an integral part of a tablet's design. (Take that, iPad!) The Surface's built-in kickstand is made of the same sturdy VaporMg material--more on this later--that encases the slate. "The hinge design is like that of the finest luxury car," said Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, sounding a bit like a car salesman. The stand does look ideal for landscape-mode viewing. But how well will it work in portrait mode?
You've gotta be thin to compete with the iPad. The Surface for Windows RT is 9.3 millimeters thick--or "thin," as the marketing folks are fond of saying. That's 0.1 millimeters thinner than the new iPad, not that you'll notice the difference. The Surface's edges are beveled back at 22 degrees, making the slate appear even slimmer than its specs might suggest. Surface is the first PC with a full magnesium case, making it light yet rigid, Redmond says.
Cover + Keyboard: The Surface's coolest feature isn't its 10.6-inch display or ultra-thin design, but rather the clever Touch Cover that's both a screen protector and a multi-touch keyboard. Just 3 millimeters thick--the Surface with Touch Cover attached measures a still-svelte 12 millimeters--the cover has a magnetic connector that secures it to the tablet.
The keyboard doubles as a track pad with left and right buttons, and has special keys for Windows 8's Metro interface. "On average, typing is twice as efficient as typing on glass," said Sinofsky. True? We'll have to wait a bit longer to find out.
(Excerpt) Read more at informationweek.com ...
These “list” articles where you have to click a new page for every item are getting tiresome.
I hope Information Week recorded that I hit the first page and then left the site.
I don’t mind a few ads, but lately it’s getting ridiculous. Perhaps those paying for their ads on pages 2-10 will reconsider their buys.
I liked that. As a whole, consumers are pretty stupid and will just shop price. (Remember back in the day when Cyrix sold souped up 386 CPUs and called them 486DLCs?)
Thanks chrisser for the warning.
Perhaps someone with more patience than I will summarize the list?
I agree. I gave up trying to read the article. I’m weary of playing these multi-page games.
Part of the function of any tablet, is it’s portablility. These are primarily LEISURE devices, like reading a book on a plane, train, in bed - where you neither have space, nor a flat surface. When deployed, the Surface takes up about the same real estate as a laptop.
It seems like MSFT is again attemptiong a “1-size fits all” solution. And as such, I do not predict a succesful launch. The “Pro” version utilizes a 140 watta chipset - and with the form factor, this will be a screaming machine - for about 20 minutes. It has top venting (hint: you do not want excess heat in a highly mobile device).
There is a reason they did not release resolution and/or battery life - these are not strong selling points.
Part of any wise professional’s skill set is knowing when to use the right tool for the right job. Laptops/Netbooks/Ultrabooks are great productivity tools - they are not the same thing as conventional Tablet. Tablets are handy LEISURE tools, they are great for movies, music, games, books - in bed, on vacation, on a plane/train - and with ~10-100+ hr battery life (iPad, Kindle etc) they work very well for this purpose.
Ads? What ads? I read the whole thing and didn’t get hit with a single ad. Of course I’m running Noscript and Adblocker.
I’m this close to never clicking on a Breitbart page again because of the ads that take over your page with no option to skip until the full ad is done. I kill the page completely when those ads take over the page and never go back to read the story.
It doesn’t take up anymore space than the iPad, that keyboard is the cover so it can be configured to be out of the way, it’s a 10” tablet the RT version is thinner and weighs roughly the same as the iPad.
The Pro version does not use a 140 watt chipset. In fact the i5 being used draws less than 17 watts. Built around the ultrabook platform which draws very little power.
Where are you getting your FUD?
The i7 chipset I got from a tech review; which seemed outrageous amounts of power for a portable device. This site is claiming 42 Watts; which is still incredably high.
Make sure when you buy one....buy a back up
then it is dead before it gets here.
does anyone have verification of the prices?
Those prices match up with the earlier PR. The RT version is designed/priced to compete with tablets and the Pro version is designed/priced to compete with ultrabooks.
Not that bad and is in line with most ultrabooks, even better than most actually. BTW the iPad 3 is 42.5 watt hour. However as I am sure you know when you list watts you use the maximum consumption, the real consumption tends to be far less.For instance the innards for the RT version are inline with the Transformer Prime which has about 10 hours of life while watching video. If the pro uses a 6-cell battery(with it’s added weight I think it will) it can go 9 hours.
On an added note, MS hasn’t listed prices on these devices and I doubt they will price themselves so high.
I know..I mean Apple never has any issues..
This unit looks pretty cool - and I’m an iPad addict. That said, I would definitely consider switching platforms if Microsoft announced that they would manufacture these things somewhere other than a slave labor camp like Foxconn. Better yet, they should make them right here in America.
There's an old joke about a woman who was married three times and was still a virgin. When a friend asked her how this could be, she explained:
"My first husband was injured in an accident on our wedding day, and unfortunately he was unable to perform.
"My second husband turned out to be gay.
"And my third husband was a salesman."
The friend asked, "What was the problem with him?"
The woman answered, "He never actually did it. He just sat on the edge of the bed every night, telling me over and over in detail how good it was going to be."
Just sayin'... :)
Vaporware? What is the screen resolution? There is too much missing info to take the product seriously yet.
We are still months away from actually seeing one. In my opinion, Microsoft made a blunder by announcing it so soon. Now Apple has a 5-month window to design their own version of the kickstand, keyboard cover, etc., and they might even get it out sooner.
That's a lot of heat to dissipate. Hopefully, they copied Apple's feature of having a heat sensor in the iPad that warns you of high temps (for when you use the machine at the beach in 100 degree sunshine). With the Surface Pro, highly unlikely you will even attempt using it at the beach.
No need. Apple released a cover with their iPad 2 that has magnetic catches (which Microsoft demonstrated that will be available for the Surface). I have found the magnetic catch system very useful on my iPad. The iPad cover folds into a triangle to support the iPad in landscape mode. Detach it by pulling the magnetic catches away, then lay the iPad on the triangle support in portrait position. Kudos to Microsoft for building in the kickstand; however, it won't help when you want to position the Surface in portrait mode at an easy angle. There are many external keyboard solutions already available for the iPad, even keyboard covers available from non-Apple sources.
That was caused by overloaded WIFI: 570 base stations operating in the room of press and audience reporting the event to others outside... not a failure of the hardware. Big difference again.
And you know what happened with the Surface tablet? I mean, since the other issue wasn’t apples fault obviously and the other issue is obviously going to be the baseline for every surface tablet...tell me how I was wrong? Did Apple have a problem or not? Did I say it was an issue with the iPhone? Did I? Again you are quick to defend Apple at every given turn.
Except that 140 watt is exceedingly false. He was basing that off of a standard i7 processor, not the i5 mobility core which is rated at 17 watts.
That’s a rather unfair comparison picture. For one...how many laptops are as thin and lightweight as the surface? That picture suggests that the Surface is no thinner or thicker than any laptop which is ludicrous.
At an easy angle? Whats that even mean? As far as the keyboard/cover thing goes..it’s designed with the surface and not secondary to it. In fact you won’t need a dongle or anything because the magnetic clip part is also a data and power port..Apple does not have that..and the keyboard attachments I have seen for the iPad aren’t really that impressive.
It means a slight angle. Flat down on a table top may be uncomfortable for viewing in portrait mode. The Surface, with the kickstand out, would sit at an uncomfortable 90 degrees in portrait mode. With the removable magnetic catch iPad 2 cover, you simply detach it from the iPad, rotate the iPad to portrait position and set it on the detached triangular iPad cover. It sits at perhaps 15 to 20 degrees angle off a table top. Makes for easy operating. I have both docking, and bluetooth keyboards, rarely use them as I find the touchscreen keyboard sufficient for 95 percent of activity. So okay, the Microsoft keyboard has a connection port. Bluetooth suffices for me most of the time, and is convenient for wireless keyboarding.
Where are you getting the 90 angle stuff from? MS stand kicks it at a 22 degree offset. Which is why they made the camera able to adjust to that 22 degree offset.
Not a single picture of the device in kickstand mode shows it at 90 degrees. That’s simply FUD.
The surface completely locked up. The device was totally non-responsive. Your implication was that Apple had a similar equipment failure. In the Apple demo two different iPhone could not connect to WIFI because of an overloaded network. The problem was solved by having the audience turn their devices off so the demo could proceed. Again no equipment failure occurred. I merely set the record straight, correcting your innuendo with facts for those who did not bother to follow the link.
You just don’t get it. I figured you were muddled with your Apple worshipping but geeze. The point was demos have problems, especially when they are live. You need to stop getting so butt hurt. We know, and everyone knows, that you are simply an Apple troll, but lets be honest here THIS is a thread about a MS product with Apple TROLLS looking to bad mouth the product. You had to specifically search for this topic(it was hours ago when it first posted) which means you were actively working on behalf of Apple to downplay this. How much do they pay you?
And there the MIcrosoft supporter starts in with the ad homenem attacks. I did not attack you personally, but you attack me personally. I did not search this thread out. I am not "butt hurt" as you so crudely and insultinly put it. It was pointed out to me by a fellow Freeper, but you jump to conclusions and build a house of ad hominem accusation cards against me rebutting your innuendo about Apple having equipment failure issues at product announcements when they do not.
Lighten up francis.
You blatantly accused me of something,and wouldn’t drop it.No dice hack. If you don’t want an ad hominem attack then don’t present such an easy target. I am such a MS supporter that I bought my brain-damaged niece an iPad, her sister an android tablet, myself an android tablet and use an HTC Evo phone. I doubt you’ve ever looked past Apple ecosystem.
FUD? Read what I wrote three times and concentrate. Portrait mode is where the short side is the base. All pictures have shown the kickstand out with the long side of the Surface as the base. There is no practical way of standing the Surface on the short side, with the kickstand out, that would achieve anything other than a 90 degree angle of the screen to the table top. Darn uncomfortable viewing. Why people cast out the FUD statement before concentrating on what is written, is simply their own use of FUD!
Incidentally, a shortcoming of the Surface keyboard cover is that it only works in landscape mode. There are times when one wishes to type while in portrait mode. If you don't know what that is, it is where the short side of the Surface is down and the long sides are left and right of the viewing area. This is where a wireless keyboard comes in handy, as it can be used in either orientation.
I’m very happy with my Samsung Galaxy 10.1” tab... excellent device.
I agree. Found it pretty tiresome too.
Just did a erach on iPhone and iPad at FR going back...a heck of a lot of posts(or advertsiong as you call it. Just a cursey look so far, but I am yet t see you call any of the countless iPad/iPhone boosting posts at Fr as advertsisng...Just saying.
Meanwhile, you know of course that you are free to read or not read whatever you like at FR don't you?
Last time I looked, no one has out a gun to your head and ordered you to read posts on Microsoft surface.
“A product that does not exist cannot have “cool features”. “
True. Like a car that travels at 10,000 miles per hour does not exist. However, the Surface tablet DOES exist. Some of the top tech journalists(including those from Wired) have actually had hands on with it.
In order to exist as a real product, a device must a) have a price, and b) be available for purchase.”
Ummm no. Plenty of items exist that you can't buy if you wanted to buy it/one. For example, the Mona Lisa certainly exists, but then you still couldn't buy it if you had all the money in the world.
In the video games console industry, Nintendo first showed the Wii to the press, demoing plenty of upcoming Wii games, etc, but never mentioned specs, price or release date. The Wii then went on to become one of the most successful video game consoles ever.
Same thing with the PS2 and PS3 announcements from Sony. They fisrt announce/demo it(usually at the huge E3 exposition or the Tokyo Game show), with no price or release date, then announce the ice and release date much closer to launch. Nothing wrong with any of that. The PS2 went on to become the top selling video game console of all time despite that preannouncement.
Just this month, Nintendo announced(and demoed) their new gee whiz new console, the Wii U, which will go on sale this coming holidays. was there any mention of price/shipping date or specs? Nope. Does it mean the Wii U is vaporware that Nintendo will not ship? Nope. Everyone expects the Wii U to be available in the shops this coming holidays, as usual. .
Back to your little rant, if you don't like a subject/thread/company, DON'T READ IT.
There are plenty of threads on FR that I don't read. Time is too limited.
Spot on statement. This is my third year using iPads, from when they first came out. Definitely a great leisure tool. Easy web browsing on the go anywhere, not just from room to room in the house. One goes with me on every plane flight (just got back yesterday on a 4 hour flight, whizzes by with this tool). Loaded up with books, movies, photos, music and apps. Quickly slides away in the seat back storage on a plane. I use it every day to listen to radio broadcasts over the internet while I'm working. Thousands of radio stations around the world.
For non-leisure use: Definitely handy for taking snapshots or movies with the camera for documenting purposes. Viewing PDFs and schematic diagrams. Taking it next to my workshop tools for reading manuals or watching how-to video tutorials. There's no way I'll leave my laptop next to dusty sawtables or drillpress with metal shavings flying around, or next to greasy auto parts.
It's not just the portability, but also the ruggedness and ease of use of the tablet versus laptop that make it a great tool to have. Regardless of what brand you buy.
Summary of remaining 7
The Surface's keyboard has a few more tricks up its sleeve. You can rest your hands on top of the keys, something you generally can't do with an onscreen keyboard. Microsoft invented a fast, pressure-sensitive digitizer that enables this feature; an algorithm helps determine whether you meant to press a key or not. Microsoft calls this feature “tap detection.”
Surface Pro For Power Users
The iPad and other tablets are targeted primarily at consumers, but Microsoft is casting a wider net. While the Windows RT-based consumer model uses an ARM processor, the powerful Surface for Windows 8 Professional is designed for power users and enterprises. Featuring a 3rd-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, the Pro model runs Windows desktop apps, has full HD (1080p) graphics, supports digital ink for pen input, and even has a nifty magnetic-charging connector for a stylus.
Microsoft is very proud of its VaporMg manufacturing process that enables the Surface's sturdy shell, smooth finish, sleek design, and intricate angles. The complex procedure begins with an ingot of magnesium, which is melted down to a molten state and molded to 0.65 millimeters thick; by comparison, a credit card is 0.75 inches thick. The resulting VaporMg case is thin yet strong
Full-Sized USB Port
The Surface may be ultra-thin, but it's thick enough for a full-sized USB port. Surface for Windows RT supports USB 2.0, while Surface for Windows 8 Pro supports the speedier USB 3.0 spec. The benefit here, of course, is that you won't have to cough up more cash for an overpriced proprietary cable to connect your USB-based peripherals. Are you listening, Apple?
Tuned For Skype
Keeping It Cool
The Surface for Windows 8 Pro, powered by a speedy Intel Core i5 CPU, can run demanding Windows desktop apps that generate a lot of heat. So how does Surface stay cool? Microsoft's solution is “perimeter venting,” a groove that extends around the outside of the case. The design allows air to be uniformly distributed across the entire tablet. Your hands won't block the airflow, either.
The 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a wide viewing angle. Its optically-bonded design benefits stylus users by eliminating layers between the cover glass and the screen. “It feels like you're inking right on the page,” said Angiulo. “The distance between the stylus and where I see the ink is only 0.7 millimeters. That's the thinnest and closest distance of any tablet PC—any inking tablet—ever.” Good digital-ink capabilities will help Surface Pro’s chances in the enterprise.
Since most productive/creative work is done in landscape mode(as in normal laptops and desktops), that is not a shortcoming.
“There are times when one wishes to type while in portrait mode”
On rare occasions maybe.
This is where a wireless keyboard comes in handy, as it can be used in either orientation
The surface comes with a full USB port, you could plug in a full keyboard/mouse and use it in portrait mode if you like. You don't have to use the 3 mm Microsoft provided cover/keyboard if you'd prefer a “normal” keyboard or use any of the doubtless plenty of 3rd party special “tablet keyboards” that will no doubt appear for/launch with Windows 8 hybrids/tablets.
Thanks, some of those look like some pretty good features.
Bizarre reply. A shortcoming is a deficiency in ability - look it up. Just because sometimes one will work in landscape mode, and not always in portrait mode, does not relegate a need for the keyboard to exile. There are many publishing houses that require editing in portrait mode. A lack of a keyboard for them is definitely a shortcoming. I do a lot of edits in portrait mode. Same with one of my daughters, who is a magazine editor. Sure you can plug in a secondary keyboard and edit in portrait mode. However, the built-in keyboard cover would then be proven to not being up to the task, and is therefore a shortcoming.
Your fervent love affair with the Surface has clouded your ability to see facts, and has caused you to spew nonsense.
You see, I LIKE what I've heard about Surface. I'm frankly very interested in its proposed characteristics, especially since as the Director of System Admin at my company which makes its living writing software for Windows-based (and other) devices, the likelihood that I'll get to work with a bunch of the MS tablets is pretty much 100%, and probably as soon as anybody not actually working directly for Microsoft. It's very much in my interest to get ahead of this particular juggernaut before it hits.
Personally, I'm very pleased that Microsoft is finally taking the bull by the horns and making a product whose hardware design isn't driven by the bottom-feeder PC hardware market where lowest-price is all that matters. I have been a computer hardware system design engineer for nearly 40 years, including some aerospace flight and industrial gear, and I like to see good hardware design appear on the consumer market. Apple has held the design high ground for a long time, and it's good for all, that they get challenged by more than their own occasional missteps.
But I'm burning out already on the deluge of substance-challenged Surface hype. In the absence of new information, the same few proposed characteristics are being beaten to smithereens. It's almost (note: almost) as bad as the barrage of silly speculation that always precedes a product announcement, usually from Apple, but in this case Microsoft as well. (The only thing sillier than hyping a device which you've seen but can't purchase, is wild-ass guessing about a device you haven't even been told about yet.)
BTW, when I call something "vaporware" I don't mean it doesn't exist as a prototype or engineering model. I've designed devices intended for commercial markets, where the prototype run was also the final run, because somebody in marketing changed their mind or thought better of it later. Those devices, promised to customers and then canceled, were "vaporware" as products even though some hardware existed for a time.
Anyway, the only real point of my little rant was that I hope the excitement about Surface doesn't burn itself out in the 3-6 months before devices are actually available for purchase and customers can find out whether they like them or not. I'd like this product to succeed, and compete well against the iPad. That competition will do all parties -- and especially the consumers -- a lot of good.
So post whatever you like, and I'll probably give it a look, and a solid read-through if it looks like it's got some substance. And I'll hold a hope that the buying public retains some interest for when Surface appears in reality later this year.
Silly, but still funny! If you rotate the Surface to portrait mode, I guess that picture is pretty accurate. Anyway, reading and typing regular correspondence is one such use. Letter documents are generally 8-1/2 inches by 11 inches. Portrait mode allows one to see a full page document, and to type away with more of the text visible. It's just nice having the luxury to switch between landscape and portrait mode, as needed, and not limit your options.
> Those devices, promised to customers and then canceled, were "vaporware" as products even though some hardware existed for a time.
And even if the product was NOT canceled, it was still "vaporware" while in prototype/demo phase. It's not "product" until the customer can buy it. That's the definition of what a product it.
By your definition, "Duke Nukem Forever" was a "product" for the 15 years it took to develop it. There was plenty of code written, tested, and played with during that time; presumably there were demos and so forth. Yet until it was released for sale, it was the very definition of "vaporware". Surely you remember that.
So you can save yourself some embarrassment, if you wish. Allow Surface to become a product when it's released for sale. Until then, it's a neat prototype, suitable for demos and generating buzz. In other words, vaporware. That's not a pejorative -- it's just what it is, until it's a product.