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Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
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ShayneH319
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ShayneH319,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/8/2013 | 12:54:29 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
you're talking about taking these tablets out in the field, what i'm interested in is a heavy duty case that hangs around your neck that allows you to have two hands free to measure a space then record the information....have you seen them have anything like that? The "Motion" Tablet has this kit.
kubitguy
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kubitguy,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/4/2013 | 4:48:08 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Hi All... I did go ahead with the purchase of the Surface Pro and so far i am quite pleased. Yes, it is an Ultrabook with a bit higher price tag. Intel core i5, 128gb solid state drive, very portable, full Windows OS, 4GB RAM. So far i am impressed. I did load full AutoCAD 2013 on the machine (not LT) and have tested some basic surveying to CAD software for the field. All is well.

Obviously we have to be realistic, this is not a machine for heavy 3D models, Revit, 3D Studio, point clouds, etc. but as far as field review, walkthroughs, isometrics, etc. this machine is functioning quite well. Programs such as AutoCAD WS are also working well when heavier 3D review is needed in the field. I still leave the heavy design/point clouds for the desktop.

The Surface is allowing me to travel light (my shoulders thank me) and have access to all of my normal PC programs minus heavy design (which i would do in the office anyway). I am sure we will see much more power soon (the Lenovo Helix looks interesting) but I am not sure we will accomplish lightweight/mobile, robust 3D in the field until these devices can support dedicated video cards or faster, real time cloud computing (power being fed from server/desktop machine via virtual desktops).

This is not IPad or Android comparable; it is a full ultrabook PC crunched into tablet size. I think there is a definite need for this niche but it will be interesting to see how big of a need. Most people either do not need this kind of power on the go (thus the need for Android/IPad) or would desire even more power (work now done in the office). If the niche remains small, the price will remain higher. If the demand increases, this will force the price down as it goes mainstream. Either way, i am a happy guy. Nice article.. thanks for the read.
OMEGATALON
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OMEGATALON,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/2/2013 | 1:01:42 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Apple's iPad wouldn't be capable of running CAD software either as it's processor is little better than Intel's Atom processor; but there are ways of dropping the cost of the Surface Pro like switching from an Intel Core i5 processor to something like AMD's A8 Quad Core as such a Surface Pro would be faster and cheaper and one thing to remember is that portability is expensive as smaller subnotebooks are more expensive than their larger brothers.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2013 | 3:47:05 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Thanks for your post. It appears that your company is an excellant example of how Surface will meet your requirements.

No one device fits all needs... as the author pointed out. However, I am not quite sure what the real objective of the article was aiming for...
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2013 | 3:36:43 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Ok, so now we know that Surface isn't for everyone. What a surprise.

How about another article on one use case that is suitable?

Fair and balanced you know...

EDIT: Actually, I just found another article in favor of Surface. Apology offered.
loweg2000
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loweg2000,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2013 | 9:59:54 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
I'm a field service manager for a communication technology manufacturing company and the Surface Pro or many of the Windows 8 Pro Hybrid tablets would be suitable our field service technicians. First it runs legacy software x86 and x64 which is convenient for our proprietary software. Second it has the capability of legacy ports. We use network, RS232 and DVI ports on our laptops to repair our equipment. All these can be had using the USB and HDMI/video ports. Third windows runs office which we use daily. Fourth Surface Pro would be idea with the right app for field service to receive and log service calls, read technical manuals, order parts and get service tickets signed off by customers in tablet mode.

To do number four our CFO tried to get us to use iPads to integrate with the upcoming company wide software not realizing what all of our needs were. I was already ordering Windows 7 notebooks for our techs. The officers were taken aback that we did more than surf the web and check emails with our notebooks. You could say they were out of touch what was really needed. They were thinking we would look cool carrying iPads.

The one drawback about surface is the price. However I must say it is inline with a comparable i5 ultrabook.
Andrew Hornback
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Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2013 | 1:42:35 AM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Just to be a contrarian, there is a scenario where tablets would work for an organization that required heavy duty computing power to be deployed for each user. But, it requires a little more than just buying tablets and deploying software.

Simply put, virtualize the users' desktops and configure the tablet to connect back to the virtualized system. At that point, the only computing power needed in the hands of the users is for rendering the video output from the virtual desktop. Depending on the security profile of the organization, this could actually make a great solution - no more need to lug around client data or other information that needs to be highly secured.

Other than that, I have to agree with the assessment - there's not really a place in the enterprise for an over-priced Ultrabook competitor, especially when there's so much focus on cutting costs.

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
pcbackup
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pcbackup,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/26/2013 | 8:14:41 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
I don't think this was a crappy review! On the contrary, it's a very reasonable summary of the evaluation a typical buyer performs when considering any of various technology purchases - or at least should perform.

The revelation isn't that CAD will not run on some particular system, but instead what it says about the process of comparing features and cost against needs. Organizations must consider each user's needs and whether the features of each device justifies its cost. In this particular instance (mileage may vary, of course), the needs of this set of users did not justify the Surface Pro's cost, and that's the real revelation! Other situations may drive different conclusions, but we need more of this type of technology coverage in place of the spec comparisons and vendor hype we get now (who's screen is sharper, who's CPU is faster, who has more RAM, etc.).

Thank you for the real-world example, Kevin.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/26/2013 | 6:23:33 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Thanks for interviewing a real-world person, with real use cases. The breathless evangelists of a "tablet only, post-PC world" would brush off this person and the value that they bring to their business. Not all users are created equal.
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
2/26/2013 | 6:23:11 PM
re: Microsoft Surface Pro: Why One SMB Says No
Did I miss someithng in the article? The Surface Pro is not an ultrabook. It's a tablet like PC, or a PC like tablet. Very suitable for my needs, but too expensive. I can get an ultrabook with better specs for less $$, or a notebook. Price needs to be $600-700 max to be competitive.
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