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Microsoft announces Surface Windows tablets

Microsoft announces Surface Windows tablets

Microsoft's Surface tablets, available in Windows RT and Windows 8 flavours, include a clever Touch Cover or Type Cover with integrated keyboard and trackpad.

Microsoft has officially entered the tablet market, launching a pair of own-brand devices based around the upcoming Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems.

Unveiled at a Hollywood press event late last night, the move is a major shift for Microsoft: excluding its Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles and a popular side-line in keyboards, mice and gaming controllers, the company has eschewed the hardware market in favour of making obscene profits on software. That's always been the case for Microsoft: back when it sold QDOS, rebadged as MS-DOS, to IBM, Microsoft made sure to negotiate the right to sell the fledgling operating system to other manufacturers - a deal which set Microsoft on the road to becoming one of the biggest companies of the modern age.

Under the leadership of Steve Ballmer now, Microsoft is clearly taking a different tack. Having seen the phenomenal success of Apple's iPad tablet - a device on which the fruit-themed company controls both the hardware and software - Microsoft wants a slice of the pie, and is hoping its Surface project will provide just that.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of Microsoft's announcement, some clarification: Surface was once Microsoft Research's project to combine projectors with infra-red sensors to create a touch-sensitive table. The hardware work would later be farmed out to Samsung, who took the concept and reimagined it as a touch-screen liquid-crystal display on legs while retaining the central concept of an integrated multi-touch user interface with RFID connectivity.

This Microsoft Surface is not that Microsoft Surface: the multi-touch table effort has since been rebranded PixelSense, while the Surface trademark is being co-opted for use in Microsoft's new tablet computing venture.

Microsoft's plan for this Surface brand is to launch a pair of tablets, externally similar but differentiated under the hood in both hardware and software. The first device, Surface for Windows RT, packs an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and a copy of Microsoft's Windows RT operating system; the second, Surface for Windows 8 Pro, swaps the ARM-based Tegra chip for an Intel x86 version and drops Windows RT for the full-fat Windows 8 Pro.

Both models feature a clever metal casing constructed using a mechanism called VaporMG. Magnesium alloy-based, the system allows the casing to be as thin as 0.65mm in places while retaining its strength. The case also includes a kickstand in the rear, used to prop the device up when used on a table - and it's in this latter mode that a clever invention comes to the fore: the Touch Cover.

Borrowing heavily from Apple's magnet-lined Smart Cover, the Touch Cover is designed to provide protection for the 10.6" multi-touch display when not in use - but also doubles as a text-entry device. With the kickstand engaged and the cover laid out in front of the tablet, the 3mm Touch Cover provides a trackpad-style area along with a full QWERTY keyboard. For those who prefer tactile feedback, a Type Cover is to be made available as an optional upgrade. Thicker at 5mm, the Type Cover adds moving keys to the Touch Cover's Sinclair ZX81-style touch-sensitive surface. Additionally, the Surface for Windows 8 Pro model includes a stylus with palm-insensitive pen input support.

The extra features - and significantly larger battery - of the Windows 8 Pro Surface model mean an increase in size: while both editions have a 10.6" display, the Surface for Windows 8 Pro measures 13.5mm thick to the Surface for Windows RT's 9.3mm and weighs 903g to 676g. The storage capacity of the Windows RT model is to max out at 64GB, while the Windows 8 Pro version will hit 128GB.

UK pricing and availability on the Surface tablets has yet to be confirmed.

81 Comments

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Harlequin 19th June 2012, 10:13 Quote
awesome - the question is , what will Apple make of this new ` clone` - it looks awefully like an ipad ;)
Shirty 19th June 2012, 10:15 Quote
This looks very tasty - I hope it's affordable.

As for Apple, I agree that they will raise at least one eyebrow at this, but how else are tablets supposed to look in reality?
desertstalker 19th June 2012, 10:17 Quote
Its a box with a screen on the front, how else do you design a tablet?
Guinevere 19th June 2012, 10:23 Quote
Other than 'being a tablet' I'd say it doesn't look like an iPad. 16x9, horizontal by default. Kickstand. Flat non alu back.

Quite like the idea of the keyboard covers, they're accepting that people want to type on a tablet while at the same time Apple won't even release a rich text editing component for iOS!
faugusztin 19th June 2012, 10:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
awesome - the question is , what will Apple make of this new ` clone` - it looks awefully like an ipad ;)

Nothing. In case they would try to throw a punch towards Microsoft, the next thing they would notice would be a bulldozer (not from AMD) running through them.

Plus not sure about it, but wasn't part of $150m bailout from MS helping Apple at the end of '90s a cross-licencing agreement ?
Snips 19th June 2012, 10:32 Quote
Noice!

Can't wait to pick one of these bad boys up. At last, a proper tablet!
steveo_mcg 19th June 2012, 10:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
Nothing. In case they would try to throw a punch towards Microsoft, the next thing they would notice would be a bulldozer (not from AMD) running through them.

Plus not sure about it, but wasn't part of $150m bailout from MS helping Apple at the end of '90s a cross-licencing agreement ?


Isn't Apple a larger (richer) company than MS these days? It would be fun to watch these two go at it.

I agree though there isn't much to differentiate the design in tablets. I suppose the exact position, shape and function of any buttons which is what they tried to get Samsung on last year.
Snips 19th June 2012, 10:44 Quote
They won't be going at it.
Optimaximal 19th June 2012, 10:46 Quote
Most of Apple's tablet litigation was the veiled holy war against Android - they only really went after the Samsung tabs with broad community designs when they could very easily have taken on the Playbook, TouchPad (had it ever had a chance) or even the Kindles & Nooks, but didn't.

They won't worry too much about Microsoft since they're *slightly* different demographics (although there is cross over).
Bauul 19th June 2012, 10:47 Quote
I'm actually quite impressed with this. Combining a magnetic clip on case with a slim-line keyboard is clever thinking, it might actually be nearly as useful as a proper laptop in this way.

Judging by the fact it's the first tablet I might actually consider buying, I'd say MS are onto a winner.
Nexxo 19th June 2012, 10:55 Quote
Finally, a Microsoft tablet that works.

Looks like they had to do it the Apple way:

1. Create a really good GUI for small screen, low power touch devices;
2. Create an ecosystem to back it up;
3. Scale up to larger mobile devices.

Got there in the end. I fell good about this; I can see Metro only getting better while iOS 6 shows stagnation. Glad that Microsoft acknowledges that the OS and hardware need to be finely balanced to the demands and constraints of mobile devices.
Harlequin 19th June 2012, 11:01 Quote
interesting that they are going nvidia..... will this push AMD faster towards ARM?
runadumb 19th June 2012, 11:09 Quote
I will join the This-is-the-first-tablet-I-would-buy brigade for the X86 version but really, am I going to buy one (or something similar) or buy a cheap last gen <13 laptop that's "good enough"?

99% of my use cases for a tablet/laptop are
Using it on the sofa
Using it in bed
For everything else I have my bitchin desktop PC or my phone. I would guess many people already allured by current tablets are in a similar boat. I guess it just comes down to what you personally feel is the option with the most value.

Up to this point I wouldn't even consider an Ipad or Android tablet over a netbook
Jehla 19th June 2012, 11:24 Quote
File system, USB port and being able to run two apps side by side. As long as it feels nice to use this may be my upgrade from the original iPad.
Paradigm Shifter 19th June 2012, 11:49 Quote
What's held me back from buying an Android tablet are silly limitations on what you can and can't do. OK, for some of them people have come up with clever workarounds, but usually the workarounds have issues.

If a Win 8 tablet is a) reasonably priced and b) a decent OS which doesn't artificially restrict what you can do... it'll be on my 'to buy' list. Possibly.

It sounds like Microsoft may have got it right - now, can they gather the mindshare necessary for it to become a success in a market already close to saturation? I doubt the fashionistas and Apple enthusiasts will even contemplate switching from an iPad, and I'm sure a fair number of people will have similar feelings about Android. Microsoft may find themselves caught in the middle between two well established heavyweights in the tablet market. Still, being in that situation is arguably better than just abandoning the tablet market silently and handing the win to a competitor without ever having tried...
oasked 19th June 2012, 12:14 Quote
Looks pretty good to me - I just hope that this finally offers some proper competition to Apple's dominance in this sector. The vast majority of previous attempts were pretty poor and far too expensive!
TMhat 19th June 2012, 12:16 Quote
It's a shame they didn't detail the pricing and battery life of either product. Could be a win if they manage to price it competitively, hopefully their hardware partners don't force it up.
IvanIvanovich 19th June 2012, 12:32 Quote
I hope it fails, very very very hard. I want MS to stay far away from the hardware side. I really don't want to see them try to become a 'solution' company like apple. Before you know it there are no more real computer, just information appliances that are black box that you can't change in any way.
FuzzyOne 19th June 2012, 12:34 Quote
I want the i5 Pro version, I'm not even fussed about the price.

This is perfect, I hope to god it does dual displays.
FuzzyOne 19th June 2012, 12:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
I hope it fails, very very very hard. I want MS to stay far away from the hardware side. I really don't want to see them try to become a 'solution' company like apple. Before you know it there are no more real computer, just information appliances that are black box that you can't change in any way.

Had you watched the speech, Balmer said that next year targets are for OEM's to ship 375+ Million PC's, the largest year ever, I doubt that the PC is going anywhere soon.
Nexxo 19th June 2012, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
I hope it fails, very very very hard. I want MS to stay far away from the hardware side. I really don't want to see them try to become a 'solution' company like apple. Before you know it there are no more real computer, just information appliances that are black box that you can't change in any way.

Catastrophise much?

Any hardware that Microsoft has released in the past has been nothing short of excellent (barring perhaps those overheating X-Boxes). Nevertheless this has never stopped other manufacturers such as Logitech from bringing out equally excellent hardware. And if you think that other manufacturers are not going the proprietary black-box route, think again: HP, Dell, Asus, Sony (especially Sony) and now Vizio are all releasing laptops and all-in-one devices with no user serviceable parts inside. It's the future, I'm afraid, as with anything that becomes a mainstream product used by mainstream consumers.
fdbh96 19th June 2012, 12:53 Quote
Not sure about the casing being 0.65mm thick in some places, as surely a badly placed scratch will just go straight through :/
Snips 19th June 2012, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyOne
I want the i5 Pro version, I'm not even fussed about the price.

This is perfect, I hope to god it does dual displays.

it does have an optical output using display port but whether it actually allows dual displays I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Snips 19th June 2012, 13:07 Quote
please remove
Jehla 19th June 2012, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Not sure about the casing being 0.65mm thick in some places, as surely a badly placed scratch will just go straight through :/

That would be one hell of a scratch.
Nexxo 19th June 2012, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Not sure about the casing being 0.65mm thick in some places, as surely a badly placed scratch will just go straight through :/

0.65mm of badass titanium, dude.
Bauul 19th June 2012, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
0.65mm of badass titanium, dude.

That line HAS to go on the official spec sheet!
Nikumba 19th June 2012, 14:26 Quote
I thought it was made of magnesium alloy and not titanium?

Also do want
jrs77 19th June 2012, 14:51 Quote
Let me think about it for a second...

A tablet with an attached keyboard and possibly a full blown version of Win8...

Oh wait... It's an ultrabook with a touchscreen :facepalm:

Seriously. The full blown Win8-version with i5-CPU will have a very low battery-life and it only makes sense with the keyboard attached, especially if you want to do some work.
In that case an ultrabook will make moch more sense though, as it'll beat the performance of the tablet any day without being much bigger.

A tablet is a mobile multimedia-device, that needs to offer as much as battery-life as possible, while being small and light imho and keyborads and x86-CPUs are counterproductive here.
yakyb 19th June 2012, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
I hope it fails, very very very hard. I want MS to stay far away from the hardware side. I really don't want to see them try to become a 'solution' company like apple. Before you know it there are no more real computer, just information appliances that are black box that you can't change in any way.


PC is going no-where

Developers, artists and the like all require different builds with multi monitors with many many GB of Ram

and PC Gaming is far from dead whatever many people may say.
yakyb 19th June 2012, 16:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Let me think about it for a second...

A tablet with an attached keyboard and possibly a full blown version of Win8...

Oh wait... It's an ultrabook with a touchscreen :facepalm:

Seriously. The full blown Win8-version with i5-CPU will have a very low battery-life and it only makes sense with the keyboard attached, especially if you want to do some work.
In that case an ultrabook will make moch more sense though, as it'll beat the performance of the tablet any day without being much bigger.

A tablet is a mobile multimedia-device, that needs to offer as much as battery-life as possible, while being small and light imho and keyborads and x86-CPUs are counterproductive here.


depends on how well it handles low power usage scenarios. and whether it is possible to switch power profiles easily.

I'm really looking forward to a system i can fire up Visual studio / Office on, and then firing up metro when i want to use some of the apps that will be available or watching a movie (or for that matter connecting to a television so i can watch a movie held on a home server)

personally I will be buying one, and probably on release day.
faugusztin 19th June 2012, 22:15 Quote
The Core i5 version will probably have similar battery life as any other Ivy Bridge Core i5 ultrabook - that means ~6-7 hours of web browsing. I am pretty sure i will buy one (not the RT version).

What i dislike is Balmer speaking :D
ervY6As5OcI
Nexxo 20th June 2012, 08:26 Quote
Nice to see them doing an Apple. :D

Still: iPad killer, right there.
BLC 20th June 2012, 09:55 Quote
I watched the full keynote yesterday, and I have to say that I'm very damn impressed with these devices - particularly the keyboard covers. The ARM version doesn't look like much to write home about - aside from the fact that it runs Windows 8 RT - but the x86 could be a killer. *IF* the battery life holds up and *IF* they don't set a stratospheric price tag, that is...

The key questions are still: what does it cost, when will it be available and what is the battery life? I don't necessarily think that having two different versions will be much of a problem - ARM version for consumers, the "Pro" model for the more tech-savvy/those who want more power/enterprise customers - but the problem will be convincing the average consumer that they need this over an iPad.

I can easily see the x86 version taking off in the enterprise market. Sure there are enterprises that use iPads already, but it likely involves additional software and/or licensing to do so. The Surface however runs Windows, so in theory you have enterprise compatibility straight out of the box.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
awesome - the question is , what will Apple make of this new ` clone` - it looks awefully like an ipad ;)

Apple did not invent the tablet/slate form factor; it's been around for 10/11 years now. They may have popularised it, but it doesn't belong to them. If you want to throw the word "clone" around, then throw it at Apple: they are suing other companies for having products with a similar form factor to their own product, when their own product was based on earlier designs and concepts from other companies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysol
I hope it fails, very very very hard. I want MS to stay far away from the hardware side. I really don't want to see them try to become a 'solution' company like apple. Before you know it there are no more real computer, just information appliances that are black box that you can't change in any way.

How very short-sighted.

In any case, Microsoft are already very much a hardware company as well as software. Perhaps you missed the Xbox/Xbox 360? The 360 is now 7 years old, by the way.
Unicorn 20th June 2012, 10:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Noice!

Can't wait to pick one of these bad boys up. At last, a proper tablet!

Have you been an Apple hater long, or is it a recent thing?

/sarcasm

Seriously though, you do realize that none of us would be using Kindles, touchscreen smartphones or tablets if Apple hadn't given the industry a kick up the ass in 2007 and released the first iPhone, right? You can't turn around and say "At last, a proper tablet" and mean it. There is a good chance we'd all still be walking around with PDAs and dumbphones or Blackberrys if Apple hadn't made the advances they have in the past 5 or 6 years. BLC is right, Apple don't own the concept of a tablet computer, but Apple were the first company to make it a success - to put technology in it that actually worked in the tablet form factor. If you're saying "at last, a proper tablet" in general, you're wrong. Apple beat them to it. If anything, you should be saying "at last, a proper Windows tablet".
faugusztin 20th June 2012, 10:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
The key questions are still: what does it cost, when will it be available and what is the battery life? I don't necessarily think that having two different versions will be much of a problem - ARM version for consumers, the "Pro" model for the more tech-savvy/those who want more power/enterprise customers - but the problem will be convincing the average consumer that they need this over an iPad.

As they said - priced as ultrabooks, that means 600-1300€ range for , i personally expect it to be around 800-1000€.

When is a more important question - 3 months after Windows 8 release. So depending on when will be W8 released, it is going to be next December-February. But note how they talked about US only, which is what i fear most. US only launch at start, with rest of the world delayed by months :'(.
steveo_mcg 20th June 2012, 10:27 Quote
Say what you like about Apple but when they launch a product the months you have to wait are usually down to it selling out rather than being an attempt at at a hype inducing soft launch.
BLC 20th June 2012, 10:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
Have you been an Apple hater long, or is it a recent thing?

/sarcasm

Seriously though, you do realize that none of us would be using Kindles, touchscreen smartphones or tablets if Apple hadn't given the industry a kick up the ass in 2007 and released the first iPhone, right? You can't turn around and say "At last, a proper tablet" and mean it. There is a good chance we'd all still be walking around with PDAs and dumbphones or Blackberrys if Apple hadn't made the advances they have in the past 5 or 6 years. BLC is right, Apple don't own the concept of a tablet computer, but Apple were the first company to make it a success - to put technology in it that actually worked in the tablet form factor. If you're saying "at last, a proper tablet" in general, you're wrong. Apple beat them to it. If anything, you should be saying "at last, a proper Windows tablet".

Have you been an Apple fanboy long, or is it a recent thing? :p

(That was obviously a joke!)

My point was more that, while Apple have undoubtedly done an awful lot to further tablets (and indeed smartphones), they haven't really done anything truly revolutionary. Long before the iPhone launched I had a touchscreen HTC smartphone - once the biggest smartphone manufacturer that you'd never heard of - and they'd been around for a long while... They weren't as "slick" as the iPhone, but they were still there.

My biggest problem with Apple is with their litigious attempts to stifle competition, and their use of software patents as a brute-force legal weapon. Attempting to get an injunction to ban the sale of the 10.1" Galaxy Tab because it has a similar form factor to the iPad really was the straw that broke the camel's back. How the hell can one company possibly claim to "own" a form factor?! Maybe I should give Stanley Kubrick or IBM a call and get them to sue all modern tablet manufacturers; after all, 2001: A Space Odyssey featured devices very similar to modern tablet computers (IBM provided computing consultancy for 2001)

If the Surface does truly start to challenge the iPad, you can almost guarantee that Apple will try and take a swipe at it one way or another. I'm betting that Microsoft would not shy from the challenge either.
Harlequin 20th June 2012, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
IApple did not invent the tablet/slate form factor; it's been around for 10/11 years now. They may have popularised it, but it doesn't belong to them. If you want to throw the word "clone" around, then throw it at Apple: they are suing other companies for having products with a similar form factor to their own product, when their own product was based on earlier designs and concepts from other companies.

Problem is though APPLE ar doing exactly that - and winning; therefore if they want to take on MS then it will get messy ; and if they dont that gives google (and samsung etc) ammo in the cases against APPLE , may even overturn the ` it looks like ours` ones.
faugusztin 20th June 2012, 11:02 Quote
@Harlequin: there is a small issue with Apple vs MS thing - crosslicencing.
BLC 20th June 2012, 11:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
Problem is though APPLE ar doing exactly that - and winning; therefore if they want to take on MS then it will get messy ; and if they dont that gives google (and samsung etc) ammo in the cases against APPLE , may even overturn the ` it looks like ours` ones.

I know, and it's one of the things that p***es me off about them: they swagger from court to court claiming that someone is ripping off their ideas, when in fact their ideas where based on the ideas of others in the first place!

A legal battle between Apple and Microsoft over the Surface would be very interesting. I can't see how Apple could come out of it without a bloody nose either; Microsoft was there at the start of the "tablet/slate" computing world all those years ago. Hell, "Tablet PC" was a term pushed by Microsoft in the first place and WinXP Tablet Edition was first seen (albeit only bundled with tablet devices) in 2002!
Harlequin 20th June 2012, 11:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
@Harlequin: there is a small issue with Apple vs MS thing - crosslicencing.

theres also a small issue on patenting a design - that hasnt stopped APPLE though has it...., the recent MBP design patent and sony comes to mind
Unicorn 20th June 2012, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Have you been an Apple fanboy long, or is it a recent thing? :p

(That was obviously a joke!)

Aha, ISWYDT :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
My point was more that, while Apple have undoubtedly done an awful lot to further tablets (and indeed smartphones), they haven't really done anything truly revolutionary. Long before the iPhone launched I had a touchscreen HTC smartphone - once the biggest smartphone manufacturer that you'd never heard of - and they'd been around for a long while... They weren't as "slick" as the iPhone, but they were still there.

My biggest problem with Apple is with their litigious attempts to stifle competition, and their use of software patents as a brute-force legal weapon. Attempting to get an injunction to ban the sale of the 10.1" Galaxy Tab because it has a similar form factor to the iPad really was the straw that broke the camel's back. How the hell can one company possibly claim to "own" a form factor?! Maybe I should give Stanley Kubrick or IBM a call and get them to sue all modern tablet manufacturers; after all, 2001: A Space Odyssey featured devices very similar to modern tablet computers (IBM provided computing consultancy for 2001)

If the Surface does truly start to challenge the iPad, you can almost guarantee that Apple will try and take a swipe at it one way or another. I'm betting that Microsoft would not shy from the challenge either.

I do have to agree with you on the Apple litigation though - despite being a fan of their work and generally someone who supports them both by buying their products (iPhones & peripherals, no tablets or Macs here... yet ) and by using their software and generally someone who likes the company for what it is, the massive legal assault on anyone in the industry who tries to challenge them is something that I dislike. The way they handled the entire iPhone 4 leak situation was bully behaviour, and I thought a lot less of them that day. Similarly, the fact that they've tried to claim ownership of the 10.1" tablet form factor is downright ludicrous.

I genuinely hope the Surface tablet is a success and I may even buy one in the future, because I've seen Microsoft plough inconceivable amounts of money into researching and even producing some mobile devices and their mobile device software that have and have not been a success in the past 5 years - I've mentioned before that until the iPhone came along in '07, I was rocking a WM5 PDA and LG "dumbphone" for more than a year. The Axim was the best PDA that money could buy at the time and still had a lot of limitations, but you could tell that they were trying hard. I hope this is the start of long term success in the mobile device market for Microsoft. A tablet that interfaces more easily with a Windows desktop computer is something that I'm all for. Yes, I'd still like an iPad for digital media, email, couch browsing etc and part of me even wants one just for the pretty thing that it is, but if the Microsoft tablet does all those things as well as the iPad and can interface better with my W7 desktop computers, I'm pretty sure I know which one I'll be getting.
Paradigm Shifter 20th June 2012, 13:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
The Axim was the best PDA that money could buy at the time and still had a lot of limitations, but you could tell that they were trying hard.
Dell X51v?

Best. PDA. Ever.

Mine has just reached the point where it's not really usable any more - several of the buttons work 'best out of five' and it turns on and off randomly depending on how you wiggle the battery cover. But I don't think it's done badly - six years of excellent service. For all of the hate on WinMo (usually "Oh, buttons are too fiddly for fingers" - I've got large hands and never once had a problem, besides, that's what the stylus is for) I found it to be largely a stable, reasonably fast and capable OS. About the only time I ever had problems was with trying to view pictures that were >1MB, or Word documents >2MB, which would either be really, really slow, or fail with 'out of memory' errors if I had other programs running.

The directional pad on the X51v is something I wish more of these modern touchscreen phones would have. If you're reading page-by-page, scrolling isn't always accurate.
Unicorn 20th June 2012, 17:16 Quote
Yep, an Axim X51v. Best PDA I ever had as well, out of two X51v's - One went faulty a month after I got it and had to go back :) Mine is still in perfect working order. It's been treated like a child its whole life and there's hardly a mark on it. I messed it up a couple of months ago with a WM 6.5 ROM from XDA Developers - a ROM that requires an upgraded X51v to run properly. Mine has the stock 64MB of RAM, but WM 6.5 requires one with an added 64 to make 128 in total. I'm still looking for a WM 5 (Dell original) ROM to put back onto it. At the moment it's not usable at all, it just locks up after you turn it on and touch the start menu.
Paradigm Shifter 20th June 2012, 20:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
Yep, an Axim X51v. Best PDA I ever had as well, out of two X51v's - One went faulty a month after I got it and had to go back :) Mine is still in perfect working order. It's been treated like a child its whole life and there's hardly a mark on it. I messed it up a couple of months ago with a WM 6.5 ROM from XDA Developers - a ROM that requires an upgraded X51v to run properly. Mine has the stock 64MB of RAM, but WM 6.5 requires one with an added 64 to make 128 in total. I'm still looking for a WM 5 (Dell original) ROM to put back onto it. At the moment it's not usable at all, it just locks up after you turn it on and touch the start menu.

I treated mine with care, too, but eventually things just wear out. It's had daily use as... well, a PDA and HTML/txt/doc/text PDF reader since I got it in June 2006! I did think about buying a refurbished one as it does what I want and recent smartphones tend to try to be a bit too clever for their own good and end up making things complicated in the process. I didn't realise you could upgrade the RAM... :)

If it wasn't for the battery cover issue, I'd still be using mine. As it is, it's sitting in a drawer waiting for me to have the time to investigate the battery cover issue more closely. After all, if I can fix it... :)
Unicorn 20th June 2012, 21:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
I didn't realise you could upgrade the RAM... :)

It's not a "module out, module in" job like with a laptop or PC. It's soldered to the board and is a BGA chip, so it has to be sent away and have the board modified. They desolder the small chip and solder a 128 MB one in its place. There are no companies offering that service any more though. If I could get my hands on the appropriate chip I could have it replaced at a moments notice, but the difficult part is finding a 128 MB memory chip of the correct type.
Paradigm Shifter 20th June 2012, 22:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
It's not a "module out, module in" job like with a laptop or PC. It's soldered to the board and is a BGA chip, so it has to be sent away and have the board modified. They desolder the small chip and solder a 128 MB one in its place. There are no companies offering that service any more though. If I could get my hands on the appropriate chip I could have it replaced at a moments notice, but the difficult part is finding a 128 MB memory chip of the correct type.
Hm. Sounds interesting. But as you said, depends on finding the right RAM chip. I'd all but given up on giving my X51v any further life, but I will have to do some looking around now...

Well, anyway, given that Dell has given up on their excellent PDA range, looks like 'Surface' is the only way to go. I'll just have to cross my fingers that the 'pro' version isn't a) too expensive and b) too power hungry. That said, if it'll last 5-7 hours with the screen on near-minimal brightness, I'll take that as OK. I'd get ~12 hours out of the X51v with extended battery, and ~6 with the normal one. It will depend on the screen resolution as well, of course - low res screens are horrible... it's one of the reasons I was enthusiastic about some of the Ultrabooks - 1920x1080 on a 13" screen? Yes, please - the 1366x768 of my Acer ultraportable is agony.
lovemikaelataylor 20th June 2012, 22:44 Quote
I remembered when Tim Cook said something about these combination devices. He compared them to to a fused toaster and fridge - something that is feasible but will never work as either product individually.

But this is Microsoft we're talking about. My only concern is that they will now go head to head with the very companies that support Windows 8.
GAVI 21st June 2012, 18:35 Quote
I think it's a great tablet, just what I've been waiting for.

"Full/Proper" OS made for touch and ink - excellent for use with OneNote another great MS product I like to use.

Battery life, the way I see it, for use doing the sorts of things people do on an iPad it could be close or maybe even better. For anything more intensive, it may have a relatively low battery life but I'd say for such things you'd likly be in a position to plug the thing in and who could complain anyway.
Nexxo 21st June 2012, 21:46 Quote
I don't see the Pro version outlasting or even matching the iPad in battery life, no matter what you do. The RT version, perhaps. And speaking as an owner of a 2002 Microsoft Windows tablet, a 3-hour battery life blows chunky giblets.
impar 26th July 2012, 11:41 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft Surface price outed on Swedish retail website?
...
The Swedish site has the ARM-based Windows RT tablet with 32GBs of space priced at £648 ($1000) – this model is meant to be the cheaper model. However, there are explanations for the unusually high price point; for one, Sweden’s tax costs are higher for electronic devices, which means that we could be expecting to see the device at £599, which is also the price of the iPad’s higher-end model – but despite that, do you feel the price is right for Microsoft’s new tablet?

The price for the higher-end, non-ARM-based Windows 8 pro tablet is £1,500 ($2,300) for the 128GB model and £1,200 ($1,900) for the 64GB version according to Webhallen. It does feel like we’re spending a lot more just to stay in relevance with the latest applications and features, rather than for hardware and peripherals, so you could say that we could be overpaying for the experience surface will give us.
faugusztin 26th July 2012, 21:18 Quote
Preorder prices are sometimes crazy, especially at the opportunistic sites.

For example Nexus 7 is for preorder in one shop for €249 (correct price) and in the other for €390 (not a typo, three hundred ninety euros). That swedish shop is probably from the group like the €390 N7 guys :).
impar 30th July 2012, 08:51 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft Acknowledges Partners May be Harmed by Surface Tablet
By outcompeting its partners, Microsoft is endangering them

"[O]ur Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform," writes Microsoft Corp. on the fourteenth page of its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

As noted by The New York Times, the quote represents Microsoft's most forthright comment regarding the fact that the media and public has largely perceived Microsoft's first-party Windows 8 tablet as superior to rival designs from OEM partners.
fdbh96 7th August 2012, 13:18 Quote
Quote:

Thats them not being confident enough to think that they could make a better tablet. The surface is a benchmark that all the 3rd party manufacturers should be aiming to beat.
Bokeh 7th August 2012, 17:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Thats them not being confident enough to think that they could make a better tablet. The surface is a benchmark that all the 3rd party manufacturers should be aiming to beat.

Did you see the Windows tablets Acer brought to the conventions earlier this year? There wasn't anything ground breaking or even mildly exciting. The models they were showing looked like, the more moderate, Asus model rip-offs (I'm sure they aren't in reality) and this is coming from a company that wanted to get away from the lower-end market and refocus their efforts on the (near-)leading edge bracket, or so they claim.

I don't really look into laptops all that often but are Acer still a decent power in that area? The number I see friend owning has waned somewhat over the past 2 or 3 years...maybe they are just getting desperate, and hitting out against MS as it is more of a threat to them than their competitors like Asus/HP.
impar 8th August 2012, 21:44 Quote
impar 10th August 2012, 23:01 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Apple patent filing looks a lot like Microsoft Surface
...
Apple applied for the patent on Aug. 11, 2011, but it wasn’t made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until today. Microsoft announced the Surface in June of this year, and the device is slated for release in October.
...
http://i.imgur.com/xpkly.png
fdbh96 11th August 2012, 09:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

Of course it looks the same its a tablet (which cant be any other shape than rectangular) with a keyboard on. Why should anyone be allowed to patent that? :/
impar 13th August 2012, 09:36 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Why should anyone be allowed to patent that? :/
You havent been following Apple vs. Samsung?
Beasteh 13th August 2012, 19:24 Quote
You'd think that a tablet with a keyboard wouldn't be patentable since there's prior art. Just look at the first iPad accessories - keyboards, keyboards everywhere. Microsoft doesn't have much to worry about there.

The real meat of the patent is stuff that MS doesn't infringe upon - the display and touchpads incorporated into the cover. Neat feature, but I doubt we'll see it on any future Apple products in its current form.
impar 13th August 2012, 22:01 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft licensed design patents at issue in Apple v. Samsung, Surface lovers breathe sigh of relief

Last week, we found out about Apple's offer to license a bundle of IP -- including its iPhone and iPad design patents -- to Samsung back in 2010. Today, Reuters reports that Apple proposed a similar deal to Microsoft, and the folks in Redmond took them up on the offer. Details of the license itself are scarce, but the deal did, naturally, include an provision expressly prohibiting iDevice copies. So, for folks figuring that Microsoft might face a litigious future similar to Samsung's, think again.
fdbh96 13th August 2012, 22:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

You havent been following Apple vs. Samsung?

I know they have done, but I don't think they should have been able to do it in the first place. If only apple can make a rectangular tablet, they won't advance as fast as 100+ manufacturers making tablets. And all consumers want is better tablets.
faugusztin 13th August 2012, 23:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

I am pretty sure the issue with the licensing agreement between Apple and Samsung failed only because the insane amount Apple asked - $40 per device is way too much. Microsoft asks $15 for all of their relevant patents, and that is only if the manufacturer (HTC, Samsung) wouldn't make Windows Phone 7 phones. And i am pretty sure that the Apple/MS agreement wasn't priced at $40 per device either.
impar 17th August 2012, 13:08 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Windows 8 RT tablets to sell for $300 less then Intel-based counterparts, says Lenovo exec
...
David Schmoock, Senior VP of Lenovo's North American division, said that full-on Windows 8 tablets would ring up between $600 and $700, noting that ARM-based Windows RT slates would sell for $200 to $300 less. "RT will play in consumer and retail at very aggressive price points," he said.
...
Saturate the market with RT, then leave desktop as legacy and collect 20-30% of app sales.
Profit.
Nexxo 19th August 2012, 10:55 Quote
Not legacy, professional (as the moniker "Pro" suggests).

Look, the ordinary muggles, you know: the Facebookers, The casual web browsers and emailers, the twenty-to-fortysomethings who are always on their mobiles or laptops without actually having a clue of what's inside those things (that informative little sticker stating Intel Inside notwithstanding) will be happy with Metro apps. RT is just the ticket for them --they want nothing more.

For those who need full-blown productivity applications there is the good ol' desktop. Pro is for them.

Two levels for two different consumer targets. Makes sense, no? In the long run these two will converge. I already have an idea of how they are going to meld the desktop and Metro together. It makes sense. Will solve a bunch of problems.
faugusztin 19th August 2012, 13:45 Quote
Honestly, Surface Pro for 700€ would make me very happy, because i expected them to be sold around 1000€. Surface Pro is ideal for my use case - i rarely need a portable device, but when i need it, i need something which can run generic Windows apps (Eclipse/JDownloader). Sure, it will be a bit uncomfortable to use it on 10" display, but i will rather be a bit uncomfortable once in a time than to drag a 13-15" laptop everywhere.
impar 3rd December 2012, 21:40 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Surface Pro: Overpriced tablet, half an Ultrabook, or yet another Tablet PC?
The price says Ultrabook, the form factor says tablet—neither fits well.
...
The end result is a product that does a big chunk of what a tablet can do and a big chunk of what a PC can do, but it's not a perfect replacement for either.
...
Richiy 5th December 2012, 06:35 Quote
Looking forward to that gadget..........
Nexxo 8th December 2012, 18:08 Quote
Microsoft may finally be tweaking on to the notion that distribution and availability matter to sales.

Then again other analysts suggest that Microsoft never aimed to sell four million units in the first few months (Paul Thurrot suggests the same), but to primarily generate awareness of and interest in the whole Windows 8/WP8/XBox ecosystem. Surface is part of a very long game, that we are only just seeing the start of.
impar 10th December 2012, 12:36 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Better realise that "if potential customers cant purchase a device they wont buy it" late than ever?
Nexxo 10th December 2012, 18:49 Quote
There has been some interesting responsiveness by Microsoft lately. Some reorganisation is going on...
impar 12th December 2012, 00:12 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft building more Surfaces, adding non-Microsoft retailers
Retail stores in the US and Australia will sell the tablets from mid-December.
impar 16th December 2012, 23:05 Quote
impar 10th January 2013, 10:44 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft Surface Pro previews reveal more differences with Surface RT

ZDNet reports that the MicroSD card slot, which is located on the back of the built-in kickstand on the Surface RT tablet, has now been moved to one of the tablet's sides for the Surface Pro. The Verge adds that the kickstand's angle for the Surface Pro has been changed to 26 degrees versus just 22 degrees for the Surface RT. The articles also mention a new ventilation strip that goes around the tablet in order to keep it from heating up. The charging cable for the Surface Pro is reportedly longer as well, and will also add in a port so people can charge up a smartphone at the same time.
Both articles also say that this pre-production version of the Surface Pro uses a third generation Intel Core i5 processor.

http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-surface-pro-previews-reveal-more-differences-with-surface-rt
sandys 6th February 2013, 10:07 Quote
Once the get it into the thickness and weight of the lower power stuff I am picking one up, it's just a bit heavy at the mo.
impar 31st March 2013, 22:47 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Microsoft Surface Takes On the Enterprise
Hopefully it will have better sales there than in the consumer market
...
“Surface RT was designed as a tablet first,” Panay said. “I want to be super-clear on what we designed Pro for. Very easy to understand. This should be the fastest PC you pick up. Period. People get confused because of the form factor. … It was designed as a PC. We often get judged as designing a heavier tablet and not enough battery life. Be very clear: What we designed was a PC.”
...
http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Surface+Takes+On+the+Enterprise/article30238.htm
impar 10th April 2013, 22:23 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Closer Look: How Microsoft made the Surface display less reflective

http://www.neowin.net/news/closer-look-how-microsoft-made-the-surface-display-less-reflective
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