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Old 24-09-2013, 13:22
TheBigM
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Surface Pro 2 - the same as Surface Pro but faster, longer battery life.

The addition of the Power Cover takes battery life to over 10 hours and there is now an official dock for the device too.

I think this has now become an interesting laptop replacement device - it can be your desktop, laptop and tablet.

There are a number of niches that will like this, especially the active pen support but for mass consumers - those who use a separate work machine and want one purely for consumer purposes may also be tempted by this - proper desktop computing at a desk (with external keyboard, mouse and monitor) and a tablet machine for watching videos on the go.

Browsing with a core i5 is a totally different experience to browsing on an ARM-based tablet.
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Old 24-09-2013, 13:32
Stig
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Off you want a cheaper alternative, Dell Outlet has lots of the Latitude 10 tablets for less than 300. OK, they only have Atom processors, but are OK for light use.
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:01
IvanIV
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i5 is an overkill for browsing IMO. I have a Surface RT and I find the speed acceptable. And now with Tegra 4 they promise it to be 3-4x faster and with Full HD screen. I'd rather be tempted with Surface 2.
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:18
cnbcwatcher
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Doesn't the Surface Pro 2 have a Haswell chip now? Must say I really like the concept of the Surface Pro. It seems to be a far superior product to the iPad. It should really be compared to the 11" Macbook Air rather than the iPad. I like the idea that it's a tablet running a full desktop OS (I normally hate Windows 8 but it's great on a device like the Surface) that could run Windows 7 programs. My dad still wants one but he hasn't got one yet. He might even wait for the new one now.
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:31
IvanIV
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Doesn't the Surface Pro 2 have a Haswell chip now? Must say I really like the concept of the Surface Pro. It seems to be a far superior product to the iPad. It should really be compared to the 11" Macbook Air rather than the iPad. I like the idea that it's a tablet running a full desktop OS (I normally hate Windows 8 but it's great on a device like the Surface) that could run Windows 7 programs. My dad still wants one but he hasn't got one yet. He might even wait for the new one now.
Yes, Haswell i5 on board, MS is talking about 75% battery life increase. I have both Surface RT and Pro, but I never really got to use the Pro regularly as a laptop and for anything else RT is lighter and cooler. The screen on the Pro is superior of course, but Surface 2 will have the same resolution as Pro 1.
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Old 24-09-2013, 16:25
lettice
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Might be of interest is the on demand video from Microsoft of the Surface 2 Launch Event

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/...faceevent.aspx
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Old 24-09-2013, 20:32
cnbcwatcher
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Yes, Haswell i5 on board, MS is talking about 75% battery life increase. I have both Surface RT and Pro, but I never really got to use the Pro regularly as a laptop and for anything else RT is lighter and cooler. The screen on the Pro is superior of course, but Surface 2 will have the same resolution as Pro 1.
That sounds good How come you have both? My dad's only complaint with the Surface Pro when he played with it in John Lewis was the weight but it's a small sacrifice. It's a lot better than the iPad.
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Old 24-09-2013, 20:48
s2k
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I think this has now become an interesting laptop replacement device - it can be your desktop, laptop and tablet.
No, it really can't. Believe me I thought they looked decent too but when I used one recently my opinion changed completely. Complete and utter garbage.

It probably wouldn't be quite so bad as a standalone device but the main selling point of the Pro was domain support. Yes you can do this and yes you can run Windows apps, but the reality is the screen is too low resolution that many do not display correctly.

Domain integration is ropey at best. Unless you are running Server 2012 you need to mess around just to do basic tasks like deploy proxy settings to them. Joining the domain also renders a lot of the inbuilt apps as useless. Again this may have been due to not having a 2012 DC but bound to catch people out. These things also seem to make a right fuss about building a profile - I found it took up to 5mins for the first logon and even afterwards a number of items (such as a redirected desktops) dont appear until a few minutes later. Once the profile has been built the logon time is slightly quicker but certainly not a pick-up-and-go type system people tend to expect from tablets.

The mix of Windows 8 tabs and having to navigate to a desktop to do certain things is a convoluted mess, and trying to navigate a normal desktop environment is fiddly and frustrating. They give you a stylus but that doesnt help much, in fact it puts this annoying dot on the screen when you hold it like 5cm away. I guess its meant to make it more precise but it seems to just obstruct what you are trying to look at and its common to miss-tap as a result. The on-screen keyboard is good but in desktop mode it always seems to be obstructing whatever window you need to be either looking at or typing into so the addon keyboard is a must. This presumably wouldnt be an issue if you were working purely within the Metro interface.

There is 64gb of storage...but the OS and system data uses over half of that. Good news is that there is a USB port to save to a flash drive, or you could use as intended and save to a network share. If you were planning on using a lot of desktop apps on them then I would imagine you would seriously need to consider something like Citrix or App-V or you would run out of space in no time. Bear in mind that something like Office Pro Plus and your average antivirus package are going to be at least 5GB before you move onto extras.

The hardware spec is very good for a tablet - i5, 4GB RAM and for the most part navigating the main tabs etc the unit is quite snappy...try and do anything under the hood or run a desktop app and it grinds to a halt. This is the problem of trying to mix 2 completely different ecosystems together.

The unit itself is fairly heavy and while the magnetic power charger was a good intention (albeit not an original one) they made a hash of that too so it doesn't quite fit without fiddling. Don't get me wrong I would have loved this to have been an iPad-killer (since that has some annoying limitations too) but it just seems like in various areas they tried to contend with Apple but couldnt quite manage it so you end up with a compromise of some kind. The result is something that just isn't very elegant or pleasant to work with at all.
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Old 24-09-2013, 23:29
TheBigM
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No, it really can't. Believe me I thought they looked decent too but when I used one recently my opinion changed completely. Complete and utter garbage.

It probably wouldn't be quite so bad as a standalone device but the main selling point of the Pro was domain support. Yes you can do this and yes you can run Windows apps, but the reality is the screen is too low resolution that many do not display correctly.

Domain integration is ropey at best. Unless you are running Server 2012 you need to mess around just to do basic tasks like deploy proxy settings to them. Joining the domain also renders a lot of the inbuilt apps as useless. Again this may have been due to not having a 2012 DC but bound to catch people out. These things also seem to make a right fuss about building a profile - I found it took up to 5mins for the first logon and even afterwards a number of items (such as a redirected desktops) dont appear until a few minutes later. Once the profile has been built the logon time is slightly quicker but certainly not a pick-up-and-go type system people tend to expect from tablets.

The mix of Windows 8 tabs and having to navigate to a desktop to do certain things is a convoluted mess, and trying to navigate a normal desktop environment is fiddly and frustrating. They give you a stylus but that doesnt help much, in fact it puts this annoying dot on the screen when you hold it like 5cm away. I guess its meant to make it more precise but it seems to just obstruct what you are trying to look at and its common to miss-tap as a result. The on-screen keyboard is good but in desktop mode it always seems to be obstructing whatever window you need to be either looking at or typing into so the addon keyboard is a must. This presumably wouldnt be an issue if you were working purely within the Metro interface.

There is 64gb of storage...but the OS and system data uses over half of that. Good news is that there is a USB port to save to a flash drive, or you could use as intended and save to a network share. If you were planning on using a lot of desktop apps on them then I would imagine you would seriously need to consider something like Citrix or App-V or you would run out of space in no time. Bear in mind that something like Office Pro Plus and your average antivirus package are going to be at least 5GB before you move onto extras.

The hardware spec is very good for a tablet - i5, 4GB RAM and for the most part navigating the main tabs etc the unit is quite snappy...try and do anything under the hood or run a desktop app and it grinds to a halt. This is the problem of trying to mix 2 completely different ecosystems together.

The unit itself is fairly heavy and while the magnetic power charger was a good intention (albeit not an original one) they made a hash of that too so it doesn't quite fit without fiddling. Don't get me wrong I would have loved this to have been an iPad-killer (since that has some annoying limitations too) but it just seems like in various areas they tried to contend with Apple but couldnt quite manage it so you end up with a compromise of some kind. The result is something that just isn't very elegant or pleasant to work with at all.
This is sorta sounding like you're confusing it with the RT version?

The main selling point of the Pro was having a core i5 and Windows 8 Pro that could run x86 apps. I think the RT could do domain join not just the Pro?

Screen is too low resolution? It's a 1080p screen in a 10.6", other than HiDPI screens, they don't come much higher resolution than that.

You can't fairly compare a roaming profile Active Directory logon on to waking from sleep on an iPad. If you don't do that domain join, you'll have an instant wake from sleep with the Pro.

Internals spec-wise, the Pro competes with any ultrabook with Haswell i5, LPDDR3 RAM and mSATA SSD.

Regarding desktop being fiddly etc. It is assumed you have some intelligence and when using as a tablet, you'll stick mainly to metro and when using as a desktop (i.e. docked tablet) you will use the desktop.

Regarding storage, the options now range from 64GB up to 512GB. RAM has an 8GB option as well as a 4GB option. Most reports of desktop performance are similar to similarly specced ultrabooks, no one complained of performance on the Pro, they did however complain about performance on the RT.

The power adapter has also been tweaked for the new generation.

It does seem a bit unfair that you are denouncing the new generation based on issues you had with the previous generation although those issues are not fundamental conceptual issues for the Surface.
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Old 25-09-2013, 09:15
s2k
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The main selling point of the Pro was having a core i5 and Windows 8 Pro that could run x86 apps. I think the RT could do domain join not just the Pro?
The RT version lacked domain join since it was marketed as the consumer option.

Screen is too low resolution? It's a 1080p screen in a 10.6", other than HiDPI screens, they don't come much higher resolution than that.
Maybe its 1080p in Metro mode but there is certainly some kind of scaling-issue when running in desktop mode. To give you an idea, an app that was designed for 1024x768 does not correctly fit in its out-of-the-box state.

You can't fairly compare a roaming profile Active Directory logon on to waking from sleep on an iPad. If you don't do that domain join, you'll have an instant wake from sleep with the Pro.
Yeah I know, there are obviously going to be policies and processes that need to run as part of the startup. For the most part the unit remains in sleep mode unless the user specifically tells it to reboot or whatever. What I'm saying is that if people have come to expect a tablet to be a pickup-and-go thing they are going to be disapointed. This isn't a fault with the device per-se but the concept of trying to cram a fully-blown PC into a tablet.

I would certainly argue that there is an issue with profile creation. If its intended for an environment with a large number of users this is likely to be a problem.

Internals spec-wise, the Pro competes with any ultrabook with Haswell i5, LPDDR3 RAM and mSATA SSD.
Yes, I agree these are good specs. I just have no idea what they have done to it to make it perform so badly outside of the basic Metro UI.

Regarding desktop being fiddly etc. It is assumed you have some intelligence and when using as a tablet, you'll stick mainly to metro and when using as a desktop (i.e. docked tablet) you will use the desktop.
You still need to use the desktop for some admin functions as far as I could see. Depending on your network environment you may want the desktop mode for certain programs and links - in my case items that were on a shared desktop. Again, this is supposed to be one of the key selling points of this device and a lot of the Metro functionality also gets sacrificed when you join a domain.

It does seem a bit unfair that you are denouncing the new generation based on issues you had with the previous generation although those issues are not fundamental conceptual issues for the Surface.
My main issue with the surface Pro is that it is being touted as the tab to get if you want AD integration. Yes it does what it says but its just really badly implemented. If they can fix these issues cool, if not then your money would probably be better off on an iPad, the apple configurator tool and some other form of application delivery.
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Old 25-09-2013, 09:27
Stig
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Maybe its 1080p in Metro mode but there is certainly some kind of scaling-issue when running in desktop mode. To give you an idea, an app that was designed for 1024x768 does not correctly fit in its out-of-the-box state.
Unless you've used the Surface Pro 2, I'm guessing you are still talking about the previous version. They have done some more scaling tweaks to allow Windows programs to look better on either the touchscreen of an external monitor.
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Old 25-09-2013, 10:02
IvanIV
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That sounds good How come you have both? My dad's only complaint with the Surface Pro when he played with it in John Lewis was the weight but it's a small sacrifice. It's a lot better than the iPad.
The Pro even with a type cover is lighter than my 13'' Samsung S9 ultrabook, so it's not that bad. But yes, you see a tablet and expect something lighter. In the presentation above they claimed Pro 2 has more power than 95% laptops on the market at the moment. If I used my Pro more I would upgrade that one, but I am rather using the RT regularly, so I am going to upgrade that one and the old one goes to a (I hope) lucky family member. It could do with a bit more power, but what it does it does very well.
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Old 25-09-2013, 10:06
IvanIV
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Unless you've used the Surface Pro 2, I'm guessing you are still talking about the previous version. They have done some more scaling tweaks to allow Windows programs to look better on either the touchscreen of an external monitor.
How the app scales depends also very much on how it was programmed, how it resizes to fit the screen. My now three apps run perfectly on 1366x768, 1920x1080 , 1920x1200, and 1280x800 screens and react correctly to landscape/portrait changes and they snap correctly as well. One cannot blame MS for everything.
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