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Microsoft Surface Pro 3: What's Missing
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anon8051217333
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anon8051217333,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 4:33:17 PM
It's more portable than a Macbook Air.
Surface Pro, as repeated again and again, is much more appropriately compared with the Macbook Air. Similar screen size and both running full desktop OS. 

The Surface Pro 3 is MUCH lighter than the Macbook Air, even with the keyboard cover included. It also has better display both in terms of resolution and the availability of touch. These two alone would cost 200+ extra on any laptop. There's no question about it being more portable than a Macbook Air, which as Panos Panay pointed out is always carried with an iPad. 
anon1530418813
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anon1530418813,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 4:56:28 PM
Re: It's more portable than a Macbook Air.
The article is almost myopic in its misunderstandings.  This is a hybrid device.  It does function, with a high definition pen, as a laptop that can have tablet characteristics.

 

The author is so obtuse as to be laughable.  A complete red-herring of muck raking jounalism.
telle quelle
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telle quelle,
User Rank: Strategist
5/20/2014 | 5:13:33 PM
Re: It's more portable than a Macbook Air.
If I had an extra grand right now I'd buy the new Surface in a heartbeat. As it is I'm gonna have to Crowdsource it ;-)
anon1598859806
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anon1598859806,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 5:42:29 PM
Re: New Hybrid
Another innovative tablet and the first Windows 8.1 - Android Hybrid also launches this week -- the Ramos i10 Pro ($399) is the first Dual-boot hybrid on the market and makes it easy to switch between using the two operating systems and offers a 10-inch, full HD display, an Intel Bay Trail 64-bit processor, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 8000 mAh battery with 9 hours battery life.

One of the first sources with details on the new Ramos i10 Pro is -- iProTablet
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 12:34:37 PM
Re: It's more portable than a Macbook Air.
There is no 12" Macbook Air, its either 11" or 13", however its Microsoft that keeps compairing the Surface 3 to the Macbook Pro which still doesn't have a 12" model only 13" so direct comparison is kind of pointless,
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 5:08:43 PM
Re: It's more portable than a Macbook Air.
Interestingly, rumors have insisted for the last few months that Apple will launch some kind of 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution screen, and possibly (and this sounds interesting/questionable, if true) an ARM-based processor. Apple's invested a bunch in sensors, so who knows... but it would be interesting.

As it is currently, I see your point about direct comparisons, but I think a number of people will end up choosing between the Surface Pro 3 and some kind of MacBook just because of marketing and similar pricing. So the comparison is also unavoidable. The Surface Pro 3 scales content such that you see 6% more on its 12-inch screen than you do on a 13-inch MacBook, and whereas I frankly find the 11-inch MacBook Air too small, the 12-inch Pro 3 seems fine. So I don't think screen size is necessarily a reason to invalidate comparisons.

But the comparisons are difficult for other reasons because the devices overlap and diverge in so many ways. The Surface Pro 3 will be awesome for certain use cases, especially with the pen, and can certainly function as a laptop. But for general users who don't care about convergence and just want a kickass laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Air is an excellent machine. If you're looking at the Surface as a light, thin laptop, rather than some kind of hybrid, it's very nice. But the high-end model costs as much as a MacBook Pro, and I don't think the Surface will match any of the MPs in power. The Pro 3's computing muscle compares better with the Air's, but again, if you're focused on laptop use, rather than hybridity, you have to think about OS X vs. Windows 8.1 too. The Surface has touch, but the MacBook's Track Pad provides a pretty great tactile experience. And so on.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 5:49:07 PM
Re: It's more portable than a Macbook Air.
When going through the tablet verses laptop decision processes of course these products will be compared including Android and Chrome books just as you stated based on predominance of use.  Particularly since the MacBooks run MS Office, the usage comparisons will be made.  But the Surface Pro 3 will also be competing against other ultrabooks and tablets where a better comparison can be made.  Microsoft's real competition for the Surface Pro 3 is not Apple.  If Apple does bring to market a 12" product most likely I think it will be an iPad, then the Surface to iPad comparison can be made right on.
DonaldD113
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DonaldD113,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 4:42:14 PM
Just a nonsensical hit piece
Heh...  Talk about grasping at straws.  Show me another device, anywhere, that offers the portability, quality build and productivity of this one.  Did you expect it to be cheap??
sparklaca@gmail.com
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sparklaca@gmail.com,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 5:03:09 PM
Only a few hours for the first lame review....go figure.
Did this reviewer too quickly go off the rail or what here. Unless he has some hidden agenda or is perhaps impaired, he would not write such petty commentary. It almost reads as though he was a paranoid iPad user clutching his cup of Starbucks coffee nervously looking about the room.

Adding cellular capability, as was done on an earlier model, is likely forthcoming and quite frankly, no deal breaker for most who would benefit from this clear and first ever, laptop replacement product.

And whining about price of expansion options as a "features" issue? Give us all a break. Just ask any "Apple drone" out there that enthusiacally waits in long lines at the Apple Store convinced that there is so much value in getting their hands on the latest gadget there that price or their individual time actually matters; nonsense.

If one where to actually add up the value of this drone's 2 year contract cost of their iPhone, cost of the iPad, cost of their useless apps they "impulse purchased" and most of all, the cost of all the abandoned Apple products lying about their dwelling for which they also stood in line, your grand total would be stunningly pathetic.

Sure, Microsoft is slower and not as flashy about getting innovative products into our hands, but knowing that you are using more than an over-sized entertainment oriented "Gameboy" and can actually make money with these gadgets is all anyone should be concerned with. 

Enough of the blather of the lame critics.

 
telle quelle
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telle quelle,
User Rank: Strategist
5/20/2014 | 5:11:15 PM
Mo' better
The author complains about the price, compared to the iPad, saying a 128gb Surface is $990 but a comparable 128gb iPad is, wait for it.....$930!

They're both around $1000, how is the iPad better than the Surface 3 at that price???

Concerning the lack of 3G/4G, who cares?! Ever heard of Wifi tethering? Everyone's doing it, it's all the rage. At least in Europe, where the market is huge.

And then his conclusion that "according Apple's latest commericals, the iPad is great," clinches it, lol.
mcsnert
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mcsnert,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 5:47:40 PM
Office Apps for iPad, Surface Pro and Azure RemoteApps
Microsoft's vision appears to be so 'clouded', I get more and more confused with each announcement Deadmond (sorry:Redmond) makes.

During the last month, Microsoft has announced the introduction of Office for the iPad followed a week or two later by the announcement of Microsoft RemoteApps from the Azure cloud (office apps delivered by remote desktop by Microsoft from their Azure cloud). Why would Microsoft offer an Internet connection dependent application platform and then not offer cell connectivity for it on their latest and greatest hardware? Who's guiding this ship?

Microsoft also introduced a few months back a new remote desktop client. This client took the place of the most popular remote desktop client for the Mac and iPad, which they either bought or may have actually owned already. This new client is excellent, and the latest iteration includes a built-in connection to Microsoft RemoteApps in the Azure cloud. This last little bit is another nail in the coffin for companies which already host Microsoft applications as a service. Of note is the fact that the first iteration of this new remote desktop client was significantly easier to configure on an iPad or Mac when connecting to remote apps than the ability of Windows to do the same thing. The latest iteration levels the playing field by making the iPad and Mac configuration as difficult as Windows.  For those not familiar with connecting to RemoteApp resources, this is done through the remote desktop web gateway using a rather long URL in the form of https://gateway.yourdomain.com/rdweb/feed/webfeed.aspx. This entire string is necessary in the RemoteApps and Desktops configuration in Windows. The previous version of the remote desktop client for Macs and iPads required only the https://gateway.yourdomain.com, something much easier to pass along to users when they are trying to do this on their own. The new client for Macs and iPads now requires the entire string! Imagine that! Instead of making the Windows interface easier, they made the Mac one more difficult! Way to go Deadmond.

Another confusion with all of the new metro interfaces is the name Windows. It is no longer valid.  The name "Windows" came from the ability to open multiple applications in unlimited discreet, resizable and movable windows on your desktop. This was what made "Windows" the great OS it was. This no longer exists.  As such, the name Windows is dead. The namesake of the most successful software company the world has ever seen has been abandoned. I wonder what they're smoking out there in Deadmond?

Is anyone else confused.  Steve Ballmer isn't retiring.  He's taking his money and running and abandoning this ship of fools.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/20/2014 | 5:57:47 PM
Surface Pro 3 missing pieces
I think the Surface Pro 3 is by far the most compelling tablet Microsoft has yet produced, and the most intriguing Windows tablet I've seen, period. But Eric brings up valid points. Microsoft is basically positioning the Surface Pro 3 as a competitor to not only the iPad, but also the MacBook Air and even 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Pro 3's marketed uniqueness is going to invite all kinds of comparisons, especially with the price. It might be the tablet that replaces a laptop, but it's definitely priced the like the latter.  Here's my take on the missing pieces Eric pointed out:

1. Definitely. A mobile device isn't truly mobile if it can't get online whenever you need it to. Really wish they'd included this. Maybe later, like Microsoft did with Surface 2.

2. I'd feel okay about the prices if Microsoft would include the damn keyboard—as Eric said, the Pro 3's been priced like a laptop, and to me, that means Microsoft should include the keyboard. Even so, of all the Surface models, the Pro 3 does the best job justifying its entry high cost. When you compare what you'd get for your money today to what Microsoft wanted for the Surface RT a couple years ago, it's a pretty big leap.

3. See above.

4. We'll see about this. I'm gonna get a chance tomorrow to check out the tablet. I've talked to some people who say it handles surprisingly well. I'm curious. The Surface 2 was light, but still awkward in portrait mode. And both of the first two Pro models were pretty lousy as tablets, which made their size-related shortcomings as laptops all the more glaring. I'll be curious to see how the new aspect ratio, thinness and form factor balance out for handheld use. That said, between the Pro 3's improved laptop capabilities and pen functions, it doesn't need to match the iPad's pure tablet experience. Earlier Surfaces were too compromised, and even though this one surely has its drawbacks too, I think Microsoft has more effectively calculated where to draw lines. It's not gonna make consumers drop their iPads, but I bet business users will like it, and that Microsoft can build respectable share. Even a comparatively modest amount of enterprise market share would offer better margins than all those cheap Android devices combined.

All of the above said, if the pen delivers as advertised, I think these concerns are mitigated.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
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5/20/2014 | 6:45:07 PM
Re: Surface Pro 3 missing pieces
Ok, I missed the part about not including the keyboard. Due to that fact I agree with the author about the price point. If you are going to charge that much for it include the keyboard.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 12:43:57 PM
Re: Surface Pro 3 missing pieces
Agreed but what still remains is if Microsoft can deliver the product.  My business would have liked a Surface Pro 2 256GB version but none have ever been available since release and still waiting.  Not about to preorder the Surface Pro 3 256GB version when MS hasn't delivred the Surface Pro 2 version as yet.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
5/28/2014 | 4:38:35 PM
Re: Surface Pro 3 missing pieces
@DDURBIN1

That's a good point. Microsoft produced more first-generation Surfaces than it could sell, to paraphrase Steve Ballmer. I wonder if Microsoft, after taking that big write-down, pivoted to a much more cautious approach for second-gen orders. This shift in strategy, along with the inevitable supply chain growing pains Microsoft had to undergo, might have left some would-be customers high and dry. You're not the only person who wanted a premium Surface Pro 2 but couldn't order one. At face value, that suggests high demand. But the revenue numbers don't suggest Microsoft sold an overwhelming number of units. So either they're having supply chain problems, or they've deliberately constrained production in order to avoid earlier losses, or some combination of both? In any case, they just absorbed a bunch of manufacturing expertise with Nokia, which should lead to at least some economies of scale that benefit Surface.

Microsoft announced some Surface Pro 3 customers at launch, so they'll need to hit the ground running with their first shipment, unless they want average consumers to deal with three-month wait times. But I think Microsoft knows its has a better product this time, so hopefully they're prepared to deal with it.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 5:28:59 PM
Re: Surface Pro 3 missing pieces
It's quite hard to understand Microsoft's decision process of late.  Everything has a value based on features verses cost.  Microsoft's price points have not been in line with customers' value point (Win8 or Surface) making it hard for Microsoft to properly "guess" the market.  Very strange considering Microsoft trail blazed the marketing and product development processes for technology products.  They are running out of time to get it right at least on the hardware end.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 6:38:29 PM
Price point

I'm not sure why it is pointed out a few times that the Surface Pro 3 is a tablet at a laptops price point. You can use it as a tablet or a laptop so I don't see anything wrong with the price. The high end model has the hardware to back up the price in the form of a tablet. You can't do the same things on an iPad that you can do on a Surface Pro. That is a fact. I can see Apple is trying to spin that discussion in their favor but I'm not buying it.

PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2014 | 6:41:58 PM
LTE

Is LTE really such an issue? Not everyone that gets the Surface will need or want it. Almost all smart phones can be used as mobile hotspots so I don't see this as a big issue.

khodson98
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khodson98,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/20/2014 | 11:31:46 PM
Microsoft's new strategy.
Microsoft is like a person going through a midlife crisis. They said the word "Apple", "iPad", and "MacBook" way more than they even talked about the surface. I also thought it was hilarious that the whole front row (and probably every row) had a glowing Apple sign. How uncomfortable could that have been for the executives??? Also, I noticed on the Surface's website that Microsoft was comparing the new Surface to the clunky old MacBook Pro not the MacBook Pro with Retina display and the comparisons weren't even accurate (guess that's just marketing). I love the look of the new surface but when there's no apps to get things done (besides photoshop lol) it's kind of pointless. I also noticed there little video about inspiring people with the surface and found it strikingly similar to Apple's current "What will your verse be?" campaign. It even had the same Myriad Pro typography. Windows Store has absolutely no app selection whatsoever. Honestly everyone hates Windows 8, but I kind of like it's looks (not the app selection). However I'm a die hard Apple fan if you couldn't already tell and would never buy anything Microsoft. Don't put any hate comments I already know I'm a fanboy.
telle quelle
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telle quelle,
User Rank: Strategist
5/21/2014 | 4:19:59 AM
Re: Microsoft's new strategy.
khodson, newsflash! The Surface OS is a full-blown Windows 8.1, you don't need to rely just on "apps" from the app store. But I think you knew that already. You just like trolling for red herrings, eh?
anon7006321113
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anon7006321113,
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5/21/2014 | 11:50:39 PM
Re: New Tablets
Another innovative tablet to launch this week is the Ramos i10 Pro ($399) which offers the first Dual-boot tablet on the market that makes it easy to use both Windows software and Android Apps.

The Ramos i10 Pro first premiered at CeBit 2014 at the Intel Showcase and offers a 10-inch, Full HD display, an Intel BayTrail 64-bit processor, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and a 8000 mAh battery with 9 hours battery life.

One source with more on the new Ramos i10 Pro multimedia device is -- i P r o T a b l et
JFTechnologist
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JFTechnologist,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/22/2014 | 11:31:51 AM
Lost Credibility
This author lost all credibility with me at the affordability complaint.  This is not an iPad.  We are not talking about cortex A9 chips and a watered down app ecosystem.  This is a full Windows laptop stuffed into a tablet form factor. The $799 i3 model alone is more powerful than the latest iPad. Different devcies, different usecases, invalid comparison.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2014 | 11:25:44 AM
Re: Lost Credibility

Actually Microsoft is the one doing the comparisons (so your credibility loss is with Microsoft not the author) while this author answers this with spot on deficiencies.



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