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Portable So I bought a Microsoft Surface RT...

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Nexxo, 5 Jan 2013.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Yup --extensively. Bought it there as well. I hope that this in some small way contributes to the message that Microsoft needs to hear: if you want this thing to sell, you have to put it out there for people to touch and play with. Steve Jobs understood that, and it was a key aspect in Apple's success.

    The iPad has the proportions of an A4 or Letter-sized sheet of paper, which makes it practical for most layouts and reassuringly familiar. But web pages are often a fixed width and scroll down to various lengths. In that respect a Surface in portrait mode accommodates such sites nicely.

    I think that an Atom CPU with PowerVR 545 would have been preferable, but the Surface design makes up for the compromise in many ways.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2013
  2. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    Which retailer had one on display?
     
  3. lm_wfc

    lm_wfc Minimodder

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    John Lewis has them - I played with one, touch cover is good, it doesnt work like a touch screen obviously, but if you tap as hard as yound would to type it works 100%
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    John Lewis. They also have the white and blue Touchcover, and the Typecover.
     
  5. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    Oh awesome, I will bet getting a Typecover when I do get one. What were your thoughts on it?
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I think you'd have to try for yourself. It's a Marmite thing. Some people (like myself) actually prefer the Touchcover. The lack of moving keys is not really a problem for me and the keys are spaced out better, preventing typo's. The Typecover feels less robust and the keys abut each other so it's easier to hit two by mistake.
     
  7. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    Hmmm, I want toe Surface Pro for my university work and looking at cat pictures. The only downside that I can see to the Touchcover is the lack of trackpad, I don't want to have to touch the screen when working so the Typecover seems to be the best bet.
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    The Touchcover has a trackpad. I can assure you that it is very precise and sensitive and supports the full range of multitouch gestures.
     
  9. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    Ohhh that is interesting, guess that I will just have to try them both next week.

    What made you take the jump so close to the Surface Pro release date?
     
  10. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    While I don't intend on buying any surface. If I were to buy one it would not be the pro. The simple reason being that, in my opinion, the tablet form factor doesn't benefit from the additional advantages of using a fully fledged windows install. For me the biggest advantages to a tablet is that it makes consuming media more portable and causal. Netflix, Forums, Web, youtube etc. I wouldnt need a full O/S to do those things. Coupled with the fact that for a tablet, the battery life of the pro is pants (yes I am aware that its more of an ultrabook than tablet) but if you want a tablet to do tablety things then its very helpful to have a tablety battery life as well.

    The things that I would need a full O/S for would also benefit from having a larger form factor (usual minimum would be a large screen ultra book, preferably a desktop.)

    Of course nexxo no doubt has his own reasons.
     
  11. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Nexxo does Onenote actually have handwriting on RT our is it like the Android version with only keyboard input? If so how does RT hold up to full fat windows? Is there anything missing from RT the x86 version would give our vise versa?

    Bindi, does Asus have an x86 tablet coming either atom or AMD?
     
  12. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    But I want it to do both, I don't want a fully fledged laptop and I also don't want just a tablet. The pro I can use to do university work with the keyboard cover and it will do nearly everything that a macbook would do albeit with a reduced battery life.

    I see it as a halfway house between the two, it would be stupid to expect it to be amazing at doing either job perfectly but for me it will be just right I think. I will try both but I think that I will settle on the Pro.
     
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I'd been thinking about it for a few months but I wanted to see the device first to answer a few of my questions that the rather subjective, and frankly sometimes strangely hostile reviews did not answer. But main consideration was battery life. Remember: I used to own a full Windows tablet, did the three hour lifespan thing, did the overheating thing, and already had the realisation that outside of Office and Paint.net there were not really many other programs I ran on it. Technology has moved on a lot so I expect the Pro to be much better, but I still did not see the point of all that CPU power with a five- to six-hour battery life max for something that would mainly be used for email, web browsing, media playback, light gaming and work and study related Office and e-reading stuff. The shadow2001 is right about that.

    However if you have no desktop PC at home and work mainly at locations with easily accessible power sockets, then the Pro does make a good device straddling tablet and ultrabook functions.

    It has handwriting like the x86 version does. You jot your writings down, then you select what you wrote with the lasso and tap and hold (the touch equivalent of right-click) for the context menu and select "convert ink to text". And it does.

    So far I have found no differences between RT and x86. You have the full control panel, file explorer, powershell, command line interface. It behaves exactly the same. I know that Office RT lacks some of the more demanding features in Excel, but have not bumped into them. Word even has WordArt, SmartArt and all the usual formatting and graphics options.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2013
  14. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    Very true, the Pro's app market will be bigger though and hopefully that means more support.

    I have been trying to use Board Express on my 920 but it does not let me post in most forums. I have contacted the site admins and they haven't even heard of Board Express! So I contacted Board Express but they just do not seem to care.

    I now have to view forums through the browser which is really not fun.

    Does the RT come with the office apps installed or do you have to buy them?
     
  15. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Nexxo are you a touch typist, or is your style more casual?

    Well it sounds like the pro is exactly what you want. But personally I'd hate to do reports and the like on the tiny 10" screen. I prefer something with a larger viewing area. That said apparently when people go to college they don't use a pen and paper to write notes any more. So it might be good for note taking (although now that I think of it the RT and its version of word might be just as a adequate at that job too)

    My other concern with the pro would be how well it handles pixel scaling
     
  16. longweight

    longweight Possibly Longbeard.

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    I would also like to work with a bigger screen but I do not want to be carrying a big heavy laptop around with me everyday. As I said it won't do either perfectly but it will hopefully do what I want without being a pain to transport.

    Why would you worry about pixel scaling?
     
  17. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Well, the surface pro is a 1080p resolution. On a 10" screen that res would make things really tiny. So you would need to scale it so that it displays the equivalent of something like 1366x768. Its possible this scaling could make a mess of program interfaces that are not designed to handle it.
     
  18. deathtaker27

    deathtaker27 Modder

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    Hey,

    From my knowledge it doesn't support the full range of powershell, could you confirm if this is true or not?
     
  19. Yslen

    Yslen Lord of the Twenty-Seventh Circle

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    I am personally mystified as to why MS bothered with ARM at all. If they'd made the cheaper surface run on a similarly specced x86 chip, I'd be very interested. The pro is more power than I need at the expensive of battery life and weight. The RT is not able to run the software I want to run. There's nothing wrong with my laptop, but I think they've missed an opportunity to make something really nice.
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Office is included in the RT; not in the Pro.

    As for screen size: the RT connects through microHDMI (with a £2,-- cable; you don't need Microsoft's $30,-- offering) to a second monitor, supporting up to 1920x1080 resolution without a hitch. It can both clone and extend desktops.

    I have no idea. How would I find out?
     

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