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MS Surface Pro, who has them?


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Old 20-06-2013, 17:08
neo_wales
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Who else has gone for a Surface Pro and what's you opinions on it overall?
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Old 21-06-2013, 08:24
TheBigM
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Think it's just you and Ivan.

If it came out same time as USA, I'd have bought but now it doesn't make much sense to me with Haswell devices coming to market.
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Old 21-06-2013, 10:12
IvanIV
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Yes, Haswell would have been nice. It gets a bit warm after a while and a battery life is okayish, but if Haswell PR is true then it will improve things. Although I do wonder, I have Samsung S9 laptop with 3rd gen i7 and it does not get that warm. Maybe because it's aluminium and screen resolution is lower?

I do not regret buying the Surface Pro, I wanted to have it and I got it. I do not use it extensively and then mostly the Metro part, which is faster than on the RT, the screen is much nicer than on RT. But if I could not compare them, I'd be happy just with RT, too. RT has a better battery life, obviously, is slower and seldom runs warm. It is also lighter than the pro, so you can still hold it in one hand. The kickstand and the keyboard cover is a nice idea, but I usually use the tablet on my lap with the cover folded back and the kickstand closed. With my typing skills onscreen keyboard is fine.

I think ATM if you want W8 tablet and do not want to be restricted to Windows RT, get a Windows 8 one with Atom or wait for Haswell models.
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Old 22-06-2013, 17:19
neo_wales
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Much the same as you Ivan, I'm very happy the the Pro and its performance but its the Mk1 and others will improve on it in the near future.
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Old 22-06-2013, 18:28
IvanIV
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I am looking forward to installing W8.1 preview on it next week. It may not be that exciting for PCs, but there are some nice things in metro.
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Old 22-06-2013, 20:09
TheBigM
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I am looking forward to installing W8.1 preview on it next week. It may not be that exciting for PCs, but there are some nice things in metro.
50:50 snap is a biggie.
Plus some app improvements.
Multi-mon improvements.

Can't think of any other marquee features for the metro side off the top of my head.
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Old 25-06-2013, 01:08
neo_wales
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I'm in Cyprus when the preview becomes available but will install it when I get back. My little grandson loves the Pro and W8, he had no pre-conceived ideas regarding it as an OS and in no time at all was happily using it.
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Old 25-06-2013, 07:44
IvanIV
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Yes, Windows 8 tends to bring out people's inner drama queen. I am going to test the update for MS tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well. But I want to find out first how easy it will be to upgrade to final version. I do not want to play with backup/restore and re-do everything I did since the preview update.
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Old 25-06-2013, 08:20
niceguy1966
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Are there any published sales figures for the Pro? I can count the number of times I've seen a Surface in use on one hand, and that includes the RT and Pro.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:12
lettice
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Microsoft will broadcast the opening keynote of its BUILD developers conference tomorrow at 5pm uk time.

Yes, Just need to clarify if the preview will honour a clean/current upgrade to the final release.
The preview will only allow a MS logon, no local account is another rumour.

I will probably download the iso and run in a VM.

By the way, even though Ive been sceptical of the surface, I have a surface pro to play with for six months as one of the clients we support is looking at porting some apps.
Only had a few days, and finding it ok. Im not wowed by it, but then my enthusiasm sank when I saw the Samsung dual device, looks to be more fun.
It does stay rather hot though.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:15
TheBigM
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Yes, Windows 8 tends to bring out people's inner drama queen. I am going to test the update for MS tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well. But I want to find out first how easy it will be to upgrade to final version. I do not want to play with backup/restore and re-do everything I did since the preview update.
It's already confirmed, you will have to play with backup/restore if you want to preserve your applications.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:19
TheBigM
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Microsoft will broadcast the opening keynote of its BUILD developers conference tomorrow at 5pm uk time.

Yes, Just need to clarify if the preview will honour a clean/current upgrade to the final release.
The preview will only allow a MS logon, no local account is another rumour.

I will probably download the iso and run in a VM.

By the way, even though Ive been sceptical of the surface, I have a surface pro to play with for six months as one of the clients we support is looking at porting some apps.
Only had a few days, and finding it ok. Im not wowed by it, but then my enthusiasm sank when I saw the Samsung dual device, looks to be more fun.
It does stay rather hot though.
Mary Jo Foley seems quite certain you can't preserve your state in upgrading from preview to final version. I will take an image before installing then play around for a day and then roll back to the image.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:19
TheBigM
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The preview will only allow a MS logon, no local account is another rumour.
I read it only does this if you are online at the point of upgrade.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:20
IvanIV
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It's already confirmed, you will have to play with backup/restore if you want to preserve your applications.
Oh, in that case I will only try it on the RT. That should be easy, I only have my 2 apps sideloaded on it.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:20
TheBigM
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Microsoft will broadcast the opening keynote of its BUILD developers conference tomorrow at 5pm uk time.

Yes, Just need to clarify if the preview will honour a clean/current upgrade to the final release.
The preview will only allow a MS logon, no local account is another rumour.

I will probably download the iso and run in a VM.

By the way, even though Ive been sceptical of the surface, I have a surface pro to play with for six months as one of the clients we support is looking at porting some apps.
Only had a few days, and finding it ok. Im not wowed by it, but then my enthusiasm sank when I saw the Samsung dual device, looks to be more fun.
It does stay rather hot though.
Do you give your opinions on the Surface then? You don't like after having used it?

I was going to get one before but now thinking of the Dell XPS 12 instead as I don't think I could live with either the Type or Touch cover. But I do like the size/weight of the Surface Pro for laptop portability.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:24
IvanIV
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I read it only does this if you are online at the point of upgrade.
It will be available from marketplace and you need an MS account for that. But the preview not working with local accounts after it's installed actually means more work to accomplish it. So maybe it's just misunderstanding. We'll see soon enough.
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Old 25-06-2013, 09:49
lettice
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Do you give your opinions on the Surface then? You don't like after having used it?

I was going to get one before but now thinking of the Dell XPS 12 instead as I don't think I could live with either the Type or Touch cover. But I do like the size/weight of the Surface Pro for laptop portability.
The deal we have with this broadcaster is we port/test their apps to multiple platforms. They have been loyal to Apple for sometime and recently with the key device players on Android. Some of those Android devices are a pain sometimes and not always the cheaper ones.
So being device specific quite often, which is fun as you get to play with multiple devices. I did really enjoy the Nexus. I digress.
Not sure though that W8 works that way, but they said we could all have one, mainly for the touch screen capability so I said yes for our team. I may mention on our next dev call this Friday whether we can have an alternative w8 touch screen device

My team has not really been too enthused about it. The main comments are its awkward and heavier than we expected. The battery life is only about 3 hours of use, poor really.
The screen is of good spec though.

Anyone use the pen? we are all a bit bemused by that, a bit Galaxy Note which never really took off. It seems to be a bit inaccurate too.
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Old 25-06-2013, 15:33
IvanIV
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If you are building Windows RT app you should use the RT tablets, much lighter, much better battery life. It will also run on W8 tablets, be it Atom or i5
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Old 25-06-2013, 17:03
lettice
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If you are building Windows RT app you should use the RT tablets, much lighter, much better battery life. It will also run on W8 tablets, be it Atom or i5
At this stage its only to look at the concept, consultative.
We are nowhere near yet actually building any apps.
Have to work out if its financially viable too.
I would also be looking to advertise for a MS software developer, as my current ones turned their nose up to this task full-time. Im looking towards Autumn to take on two grads to our team, so might be a good fun opening for them.
As I said we have these for six weeks, so we will make that judgement based on our initial ideas.
Ive played with many Apps today and it does work smoother with the Surface than on my home desktop.
The current apps are really so uninspiring though, the UI plays an important part in that. Hopefully the dev call tomorrow will bring some more spark.

One thing I will say, tile Management is a breeze, its been a bugbear up to now for me with a mouse.
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Old 25-06-2013, 19:53
IvanIV
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It's very easy to consume web services in WinRT if that's what you need. Also a WPF programmer should be able to adjust to using WinRT in C# quickly. I like it now, but I was a bit frustrated at the time, because there was not enough documentation available. A minimalistic UI is easy to make somehow, but it takes more effort to make it really good.
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Old 26-06-2013, 08:13
TheBigM
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The deal we have with this broadcaster is we port/test their apps to multiple platforms. They have been loyal to Apple for sometime and recently with the key device players on Android. Some of those Android devices are a pain sometimes and not always the cheaper ones.
So being device specific quite often, which is fun as you get to play with multiple devices. I did really enjoy the Nexus. I digress.
Not sure though that W8 works that way, but they said we could all have one, mainly for the touch screen capability so I said yes for our team. I may mention on our next dev call this Friday whether we can have an alternative w8 touch screen device

My team has not really been too enthused about it. The main comments are its awkward and heavier than we expected. The battery life is only about 3 hours of use, poor really.
The screen is of good spec though.

Anyone use the pen? we are all a bit bemused by that, a bit Galaxy Note which never really took off. It seems to be a bit inaccurate too.
The pen is different in this device to most because it has a proper wacom pressure sensitive layer for using with the pen. Many illustrators etc have raved about it including Gabe of Penny Arcade. You may need to make sure you have the latest drivers for it which also enable use in Photoshop.

How is your team trying to use it? I recommend NOT thinking about it like an iPad or 'regular' tablet. It's suitable for desk use laptop-style and lap-use tablet style. It's also designed for two-handed holding (hence the edge swipe gestures).

"Not sure Windows 8 works that way" - what did you mean by this, I didn't get what it was in reference too?
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Old 26-06-2013, 19:08
IvanIV
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'The update is not applicable to this computer', bastards! I might have installed a language pack And I am not putting it on the pro or a laptop.
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Old 26-06-2013, 19:30
lettice
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The pen is different in this device to most because it has a proper wacom pressure sensitive layer for using with the pen. Many illustrators etc have raved about it including Gabe of Penny Arcade. You may need to make sure you have the latest drivers for it which also enable use in Photoshop.

How is your team trying to use it? I recommend NOT thinking about it like an iPad or 'regular' tablet. It's suitable for desk use laptop-style and lap-use tablet style. It's also designed for two-handed holding (hence the edge swipe gestures).

"Not sure Windows 8 works that way" - what did you mean by this, I didn't get what it was in reference too?
To be honest Im not sure what I meant by that statement Myself. I was writing some long reports and doing a lot of copy/paste then at the same time, so Ive probably put the crunch line in there in one of my reports I will sit in the bath tonight and review just in case.

As for the pen, you may be right as I did notice a pletora of updates earlier, I just used W8 that came installed on the device before. I will rebuild it later with the new 8.1 preview on it, more relevant for what we are doing.
I do paint in oil paints and am pretty good with pc artwork, but only for pleasure. Never much used a pen so may not be using it correctly.
I have by touch created some pretty amazing artwork on the ipad.

By the way Ubuntu and Linux Mint and Android x86 run a treat on this device, via usb, had to try.
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Old 26-06-2013, 19:34
lettice
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Having just watched the keynote, this surface is looking poor compared to other devices launching.
Im still not convinced a dual device is the way to go yet.
Even with the portability, I believe most people will want a dedicated laptop type device of power and a playful tablet to sit on lap, in the garden or travel.
It is also going to be a big leap for most users to jump ship to a Windows only solution which is what Balmer is selling.
Getting the Google/Android Apple/ios phone/tablet majority user to move to an all W8 solution really is going to be a struggle for MS. They are too late to the market and in catchup, but we will have to see. Windows Phone has a big part to play in that and Im not hearing good things there.
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Old 27-06-2013, 11:44
TheBigM
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Having just watched the keynote, this surface is looking poor compared to other devices launching.
Im still not convinced a dual device is the way to go yet.
Even with the portability, I believe most people will want a dedicated laptop type device of power and a playful tablet to sit on lap, in the garden or travel.
It is also going to be a big leap for most users to jump ship to a Windows only solution which is what Balmer is selling.
Getting the Google/Android Apple/ios phone/tablet majority user to move to an all W8 solution really is going to be a struggle for MS. They are too late to the market and in catchup, but we will have to see. Windows Phone has a big part to play in that and Im not hearing good things there.
The Surface looking poor next to other devices is a good thing in that it means the OEMs have finally woken up and are producing interesting designs compared to last year when they were selling bog standard non-touch laptops.

I wrote an article on another website. A hybrid/convertible doesn't need to mean replacing both your tablet and laptop. It can just be a laptop+. E.g. at the moment I am considering buying a Dell XPS 12 (the one with the rotating screen inside the frame) but I would continue using my iPad too for portability. But sometimes it might be nice to use the Dell in tablet-style mode on the sofa for browsing/watching videos but having the 1080p screen and the power and storage of a laptop.

As most people already use Windows PCs, replacing current PCs with new ones that still run desktop applications but also give you the touch stuff isn't a stretch for most people conceptually. Agree the phone side is more of a stretch but xbox, skydrive, office and other may convince people over time.

Windows Phone is generally held in high regard apart from the apps situation which is slowly being resolved.
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