Surface Pro Anticipation

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by Grentz, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Digital Viper-X-

    Digital Viper-X- [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,683
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
    are there any rumored specs?
    The real reason I see XT fading away is that x86 chips will soon overtake ARM in perf/watt.
     
  2. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Rumored specs of the Surface Pro? Expected to be a 1.7 or 1.8 GHz 17W i5 part. All the rest is basically a known quantity, apart from RAM and SSD particulars.
     
  3. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Actually I would argue that alot of the BS we put up with is easily solved by an extended battery. And its down right silly how many people oppose that then do something stupid like say, my iPhone does not last all day so I carry an iPod or iPad too.

    I drop an extended battery on my phone and it makes it thicker but then it lasts a full hard day and sometimes up to 4 normal days.

    The reason companies do not do this is because it cost more as well as makes it harder to sell the phone to the first impression customers who are only wowed by thin phones.

    If the watts fall down to half and the performance doubles the other problem is, well we dont gain any actual performance. Since the CPU is only 1 part of the system its not going to double the battery life and not going to save surface. But simply making a thicker battery could have saved it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  4. Webhead

    Webhead Gawd

    Messages:
    562
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    I think I'm leaning toward the Lenovo Helix. It costs more, but at least it comes with a slot for the pen. ;)
     
  5. Deinos

    Deinos Gawd

    Messages:
    556
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Same here. The possibility of extended battery life and more ports with the base is really nice. Also, pretty sure that the pen is Wacom based with multiple pressure points. My only worry is how durable that connection is between the dock. Watching videos of them clicking and ripping makes me wonder. That is a lot of wear and tear clicking over and over. Also, no hint at solid release date atm. I just hope Helix is available at a brick and mortar like Office Max or Staples to check it out. No where local to check out Lenovo products unfortunately, and Lenovo charges restocking fee, so no real way to try it out without losing :(
     
  6. The Lurker

    The Lurker [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,013
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    The whole machine with extended battery weighs 3.5lbs. (zenbook prime weights 3lbs). If you take off the extended battery for the standard, it has the same battery life as a zenbook and weighs less.

    The point I was making was that regardless of the progress that has occurred, battery life has not gotten any better. I understand that the new machines are a quarter of the size, but it also has half the battery life. IMHO at the end of the day the size of a machine is irrelevant if you cannot use it.

    How sure are you that the processor will have the same performance per watt as the current version at the same loads? Its not 10w consumption at all loads, its 10w idle ( I THINK )
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  7. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    *sigh*
     
  8. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    So given the numbers you're stating here battery life has actually doubled. While 5 hours of battery life isn't great that's still over half a standard business day arid has plenty of use.
     
  9. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    The thing is that companies have used all progress on battery savings to cut weight and cost not to actually increase battery time. Think about netbooks where they had these tiny atom cpus and what did they do ? The average battery was cut in half form 6 to 3 cells.

    As he and I said it would have been much better to just increase the battery size and people would have been getting full days out of batteries. Will weight increase? Yes but it wont double the weight of a device with the exception of phones there are lots of heavy parts like the heat sink, chassis and so on in most devices.

    I could get 5 hours of battery life out of a laptop 8 years ago. And the average laptop still sits right around that 4-7 hour mark today. People have been duped into buying less as more.
     
  10. The Lurker

    The Lurker [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,013
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Rudy explains what I am trying to convey better than I can.

    Yes absolutely. The numbers support exactly what you say, but the reality is much different.

    However, 5 hours is not enough for the fully mobile user. I know that it was not enough for me. When I was on the move all day and almost every day, I carried around 2 batteries.
     
  11. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Two pounds really is at the upper extreme of acceptable weight for a tablet, which is what the Surface Pro weighs with its current battery and with the current size of its case. Two pounds is nothing for a laptop — and you can push laptops to four or five pounds before it becomes a sizable problem — but this isn't a laptop we're talking about.

    Note, also, that the Surface has a fairly oblong 16:9 display, and even the lighter, thinner Surface RT has been described by many as being unwieldy to hold in portrait orientation (too top-heavy, and the Surface actually has fairly even weight distribution). Adding battery mass will only make the unwieldiness more severe.
     
  12. The Lurker

    The Lurker [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,013
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    This is from the Haswell Wiki.


    Which supports what Rudy said.
     
  13. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    An average text book weighs more than 4lbs, binder, metal pad, etc.. The 2 lb limit is based on nothing, acceptable weight is not based on any reasonable measure its just people thinking that the iPad determines usability based on its weight and comparing everything to the iPad.

    This is the main point most people are not logical thinkers about things, they take everything in relation to something they already know and never actually think about what it really means. The industry will always push less weight because in the end for them it means lower cost, less box, less packaging, more devices in an container coming from China, cheaper shipping to the customer etc...

    A prime example of this is how malls and most stores will put a high MSRP on a product then charge people less, to try to push their frame of reference to get them to buy. If people thought logically about things this would never work or even matter.

    That said at the end of the day we have to live in a world full of people thinking like this and most of us, even these people suffer because of it.
     
  14. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Oops.
     
  15. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    The weight, thickness, battery life and heat generation of tablets have long been considered before the iPad, Windows tablet folks have been discussing these issues for a decade now. I don't know of any formal studies done on the subject of nominal tablet weight but I would think that a number of companies must have done some research on it, surely Apple and Microsoft have looked into it.

    I've had a number of x86 tablets over the years and I don't think the 2 lbs. number is as arbitrary as you think. I have two x86 tablets that under two pounds and one that's at about 2.5 lbs and there's a big difference in those 8 ounces. I have a convertible at 4 lbs. and that device simply cannot be comfortably manipulated compared to the under 2 lbs. devices. Try reaching out and grabbing with one hand something that weighs 1.7 lbs. versus something that weighs 4 lbs. Big difference.
     
  16. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    There is always a big difference in percentage of weight, but why did you never say gee I wish this text book or any other device you had was lighter? Because you didnt have a frame of reference for it. You just accepted more pages weigh more. Why is it always a penis waving match to make your tablet thinner / smaller? If 2lbs really was some magic number why wouldnt they all just say OK we hit it, now we stay there and just make batteries last longer? We have pushed tablets to the point they are thinner and lighter than just about ANY other physical object we encounter in real life in such a manor, so why do we keep pushing? Are we becoming weaker every 18 months?

    The point is your average human can easily pick up and move a 4 lb text book without any problem we have been dong it for decades and in various businesses they were doing it with think pads, they can can hold it for hours. But by buying into the market hype on thin + light and coming up with arbitrary numbers while disregarding other things we are used to we corner ourselves into low battery life and lack of features.

    But hey I know I cant change peoples minds so have fun buying multiple devices and lugging around twice the weight and 3x as many devices because you cant handle any extra 2 lbs. The companies that sell the stuff certainly have no problem selling you extra devices.
     
  17. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    What rudy said and what's actually being discussed are two entirely different things.

    Didn't stop you from trying.
     
  18. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    I've had this thought plenty of times with books and Tablet PCs that I've had over the years. As for frame of reference, none is needed when one realizes that it would be easier to manipulate and use something if it were lighter. Again, it's a subject that Tablet PCs users have long understood long before the existence of the iPad.

    In the x86, we are only recently getting to the sub 2 lbs. with devices under $1000. Intel simply wasn't as interested in power consumption before the tablet and smart phone era as it is now and is playing catch up, to the point that it's attacking the tablet problem form two fronts, Atom and Core. Atom has great battery life now in under 2 lbs. but not great performance. Core is the reverse. But Intel in upping Atom performance and improving Core battery life.

    In some ways I guess I used to think like this but the more I've used tablets the more I appreciate less weight. And yes, I also appreciate more battery life but 3 and 4 lbs. x86 purse tablets just aren't going to sell. I wouldn't buy one at this point even if it had fantastic battery life, I just get a laptop at that weight.

    The way one uses a tablet versus a text book are quite different. You hold a tablet with one and control it with the other in many cases for long periods of time. A person no matter how strong they are cannot manipulate a heavier object as long as they can a lighter one, that's just the laws of physics and biology.

    Well that's kind of the point of Windows 8 hybrid devices. One device that can be transformed between a laptop and a tablet. When you add a keyboard that does add weight but if one doesn't need the keyboard it can me left at one or detached when a tablet form factor is more desirable. With current x86 technology one does have to choose between performance (Core) or battery life and weight (Atom) but that's why Intel is scrambling in to different directions to increase Atom performance and increase Core battery life.
     
  19. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    18,650
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    True, indeed, though when you're talking 2lbs vs. 3lbs it just isn't enough in absolute terms to exhaust a person any appreciable amount sooner from holding it. That said, hybrids that have detachable keyboards are quite fancy and practical. Personally, I just got an X230 Tablet (as you know, convertible on rotating hinge with pressure sensitivity by Wacom and an IPS screen + ssd) for business purposes and it will double as a personal device somewhat.

    It basically will replace all of my mobile devices but for my phone (which will provide a wifi-tethered connection when I'm not at a secured wifi spot for myself), and even the phone won't be something I rely on as much. In one fell swoop it'll take on the functionality of a Cintiq, digitizer tablet, notebook, tablet, and portable video viewer for me all in one powerful device (Ivy i5 3320m w/ full hd4000 graphics, 8gb ram). I'd rather have the slightly larger/heavier device, than have to deal with attachments and shedding a scrap of weight that doesn't matter to me. Heck, if I ran my gaming at 1920x1080, I could practically hook up a ViDock and not even really use a desktop.... just plop down the unit into a docking area at my desk, and take it with me when I'm moving.

    It's like the difference between paying five cents, or seven cents, for a small candy... sure, it's almost 50% more on the higher number, but the absolute difference is so tiny it really isn't very important. I think the market is too obsessed with "THIN!!!! FEATHER LIGHT!!!! 20 MILLION HOUR BATTERY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!" at the expense of a lot of money, worse performance, less functionality, and having to shuttle multiple devices around.
     
  20. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Congrats! I assume you'll put Windows 8 on it? I don't think it can be sold with Windows 8 by Lenovo because the x230t is fully Windows 8 compliant because it doesn't have a 5 point touch screen which I think is the minimum for Windows 8 compliance with a touch screen. I have the x220t (i7, HD 3000, 512 GB SSD) and love it with Windows 8, but the track pad is a bit small.

    I understand where you're coming from, having it all in one device is great. However if I want something other than my phone to take around or out of the house and don't need to write code I just pick up my Samsung Ativ 500T. Sure, nowhere near the performance of something like the x230t but is' so much lighter and easier to carry and I never have to worry about the battery, thought the case I have for it is much bulkier than I'd like for out of the house use. Just depends on what one needs. Thin and light has a price premium now at the expense of performance but I admit, for something that I'm always moving and carrying as long as it's fast enough I'll take thin and light.
     
  21. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    18,650
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    True, as always, there is such a thing as overkill ;), I personally haven't found the difference to be enough to warrant an extra device normally, but I can understand why some people like it: it's more like carrying a magazine than a device.

    As far as my X230t, yeah, Windows 8 is going right on it (I already have purchased the five upgrades that I was allowed for my computers and have the keys, for $15 each). The small trackpad is the sole complaint I'd consider "major" that I have seen echoed, but it's not a huge deal to me as I figure if it isn't comfortable for me I can use the trackpoint nub in the keyboard (I used to use notebooks with them for awhile). I was kind of wondering why it didn't have Win8 preloaded, but now I know (the multitouch points) eh? I already grabbed a small USB number pad to use when it's in tablet mode so I have a few hard keys while painting/sculpting/etc.... I'm actually sort of excited to get to work with this thing.
     
  22. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Don't get me wrong. I've been a huge fan of the convertible design and still think it's great, but with the current weight of the these devices it they don't make great, as you put it, magazine tablets. Perfectly fine though when on a surface for both touch and pen and the performance of even my old Sandy Bridge device is great, even plays a good number of PC games decently. You should get better GPU performance with the Ivy Bridge and HD 4000 though I don't know what the difference would be between a Sandy i7 and an Ivy i5, still you'll fly through most stuff especially with 8 and an SSD. I really can't wait to see flip convertibles that hit say 2.5 lbs with current levels of performance and 10 or so hours of battery life. I think that many Windows 8 haters are not thinking about future hardware. Mobile PC hardware is just going to take of over the next two years and be nothing anything that's out today.

    It is kind of odd that Windows 8 can be officially sold on devices with no touchscreen but not with touchscreens with less than 5 touch points, especially since there are no touch gestures in the Windows 8 UI that require more than two points with pinch and semantic zoom. Of course apps can use up to 10 if they want, which is the limit in 8.

    The track pad actually works quite well in 8, better than 7 up to the point where I left 7. I would recommend using this driver from Synaptics over the one on the Lenovo site, it is a little newer. I use it on my x220t and it works with the x230t as well: http://www.synaptics.com/resources/drivers

    It should be pretty easy to get Windows 8 installed, just install the drivers from the Lenovo site. The only thing I never got working was screen rotation, I think there's a power management driver I don't have setup, but the rotation button works so I just use that.

    So you paid $650 for your kit? That's a great price for a convertible of this power and capability. Good luck and enjoy.;)
     
  23. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    18,650
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Yeah, I gather the difference is around 40-50% with dual-channel memory slotted in between the ivy bridge i5 HD4000 in this, and the sandy bridge i7 HD3000. I was pretty surprised to see they performed so well in reviews where they specified that they were slotting in two modules. Gaming's hardly the main goal here but it's nice it can run some, and it'll be a good testbed for integrated targeting as well.

    I imagine we'll see some pretty crazy designs over the next couple of years with the new tech around and coming... should be interesting. The X230t offers exactly what I wanted, bar perhaps weight (which personally I don't think is a big deal), so I hopped in while I could at this kind of price. I also needed to get the device in soon(tm) for dev work.

    I'm planning on doing the in-place Windows 8 upgrade, so hopefully I can avoid some of the driver reinstalls that way. Still, it's not a big deal either way, as a one-time thing.

    Thanks.... I paid $664 with free shipping + tax, which made it about 700. I think it'll be an excellent workhorse for me and should be quite enjoyable to work with productivity-wise and actual usage.
     
  24. Erasmus354

    Erasmus354 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,394
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Hahahaha, you are just shoving your foot in your mouth right now. When people refer to a part being a 10W part that is how much power consumption it consumes while under LOAD, not idle. The reason why parts are specced this way is so the cooling can be made to spec.
     
  25. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
  26. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    What about spare space? Spare space on an SSD will be different for different sizes was that ruled out in the calculation. Shit 45GB is more than any windows install I have ever had even vista ultimate with all the live wall papers and stuff.
     
  27. TechHead

    TechHead 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,870
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Or just format the drive and reinstall using a USB stick.. you'll have ~110GB free then.
     
  28. Steelgrave

    Steelgrave Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    I think the point they're trying to make is they shouldn't have too. Yea people on this forum generally can (and likely will), but why should we have to when we pay that much for a device?:rolleyes:
     
  29. Agenesis

    Agenesis [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,422
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/29/3929110/surface-pro-disk-space-windows-8


    It's just the compromise between convenience. With no recovery partition people will be complaining how it doesn't have a DVD drive and that they have to go out of their way and clean install and everything. With this they can't complain and freeing up space is just a few buttons away.
     
  30. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Seems like a USB restore key would've been the more sensible way to go. 16GB of cheap NAND is like $10. Instead, they're sucking out ~15GB of the already-limited storage on the 64GB model for the sake of an occasional minor convenience that many users may never even experience.

    Can't say that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to me.
     
  31. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    So its the recovery partition, I agree MS needs to move past that and get to a point where recovery can be done online through their secure servers if they want to be pushing low capacity SSDs. I guess this has me thinking how much space does such a system take up on your typical smart phone?
     
  32. anthrex

    anthrex [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    They still don't understand how complicated their type of recovery is for the average user.
     
  33. rudy

    rudy [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    8,580
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Well I would not say its complicated, OEMs usually say exactly what key to press in the bios screen, so there is no guess work, once you press it, it steps you through the rest, anyone could do it. The bigger problem here is that it is wasting space on an SSD. The recovery partition does work, and does not need an internet connection but that is something that may need to be compromised on when you are dealing with something as small as a 64GB SSD. On hard drives its no loss they are so big.

    The bigger issue we are going to see is just that consumers are not going to think about any of that, they are just going to say why is there so lilttle space? Then again 128GB covers most people for using windows unless they start getting into keeping large files like movies or tons of raw images.

    Hard to tell I have noticed that the last several years of computing has seen essentially zero movement on the storage space front for phones or tablets. Laptops have also been a net wash, while hard drives move up, SSDs bring the average down. Yet most of these people seem to be getting along just fine.
     
  34. MrCrispy

    MrCrispy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,944
    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    99% of users won't have a clue about what a recovery partition is, how to restore from recovery, or how to create a bootable usb disk. Windows doesn't make any of these obvious or easy to do, although its a lot better than it used to be.

    This is just MS thinking like a tech company instead of being user focused.
     
  35. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    In PC Settings there are options that refresh and restore a PC that use the recovery partition and they are easily accessible.
     
  36. Andyk5

    Andyk5 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,154
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    The implementation of the pen input is going to either make it or break it for me. So far I have tried the Motion Computing LE 1700 ( 5 year old enterprise tablet), X230t and the Ativ 700 and the only satisfactory one was the motion computing sadly. Motion computing gets less than one hour of battery life, heavy and slow so it is out of the question. If surface pro nails it like motion computing did ( Motion computing is the company that makes the check out tablets at the microsoft, they know what they are doing when it comes to tablets) then I will buy this thing in a heart beat.
     
  37. wonderfield

    wonderfield [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    I suspect Microsoft believes their target demographic will prefer it this way. And they may actually be right: for large deployments, you may want to have a dedicated recovery partition. Still, I think there are several much better roads they could have taken with this than to suck up 35-64% of the advertised storage space, and to be extraordinarily vague about the amount users have access to in their promotional material.
     
  38. GoldenTiger

    GoldenTiger [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    18,650
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    What did you not like about pen input with the x230t? It also has multi touch by default as well.
     
  39. Andyk5

    Andyk5 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,154
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Touch is not my priority, almost everyone seems to get it right. It is the feel of the pen input that i am worried about. As far as the 230t, it was better than Ativ and all forms of capacitive solution however in many cases, it was not precise and accurate enough for my liking. I am not sure what kind of digitizer and pen technology motion computing tablets used but the difference was night and day to me and my friend who owns the 230t.
     
  40. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    44,157
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    The Ativ 500,700 and x230t all use Wacom pen digitizer technology. I have the x220t and there was an issue that many experienced with accuracy around the edges of the screen, a common issue with Wacom pens. There's was a firmware fix issued for the x220t that did resolve most of the issue for me though still not quite perfect in my opinion. The Ativ 500T I have I think is quite excellent with pen accuracy, I've certainly not noticed any issues with mine.

    The Surface Pro uses Microsoft's own optical pen digitizer and there are a lot of people including myself that are curious as to how well it will work. Considering that this is big selling point for this device I would hope that it works well for Microsoft's sake. Big issues with the pen will kill it in the market that it has the best chance in.