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Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 00:58
by Johnmcl7
Here it is:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=24957

X86 with a small size and physical slide out keyboard actually sounds pretty appealing.

John

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 09:27
by scarbunny
I quite like the look of that, well the "Pro" one any way. My only concern is there seems to be no mention of battery life, memory or pricing. Looks like it is not really aiming for the iPad market, which is smart I could see that being a nice option for a lot of people, I would like to try one out for doing building surveys straight into AutoCAD using the stylus.

The RT model doesn't appeal from what I have seen, seems like a direct iPad/Android Tablet competitor but I think they are too late to that party and most people that want a tablet of this type have made their ecosystem choice. Although if its priced very competitively there might be some room for them

But it kind of shows why Windows 8 is like it is, seems that MS have created an OS for this device and then decided to push it to all other devices, regardless if they are suitable or not.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 09:58
by raith_rovers_fan
scarbunny wrote:I would like to try one out for doing building surveys straight into AutoCAD using the stylus.


Seriously? lol

AutoCAD would need a radical overhaul to usable without keyboard and mouse and tbh i think that until we have prometheus style 3D mapping system a laser tape measure and pen paper will be the best way.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 11:24
by Tappy
I think it's brilliant - honestly!

Okay, I know their phone OS has made me a bit of an MS fanboy (or more a "not-like-Google-or-Apple-so-only-MS-is-left"boy) but if the the RT version runs as smoothly as Windows Phone does, then it really appeals to me. And what better way to ensure it runs as it's supposed to than having the software manufacturer make the hardware to go with it (and make it pretty sweet looking at the same time).

The Intel Surface, I'm not fully sold on, because it is a laptop in a tablet form, and I feel there's always a compromise somewhere. But they're not aiming that one at me, it's not really for playing WoW on and downloading pr0n, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised at that.

And the marketing video is kinda nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpzu3HM2CIo

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 13:33
by scarbunny
raith_rovers_fan wrote:
scarbunny wrote:I would like to try one out for doing building surveys straight into AutoCAD using the stylus.


Seriously? lol

AutoCAD would need a radical overhaul to usable without keyboard and mouse and tbh i think that until we have prometheus style 3D mapping system a laser tape measure and pen paper will be the best way.



I wouldn't drop everything and swap straight away but I'd give it a good go. The only thing stopping me trying out AutoCAD WS on iOS is the difficulty in inputting numbers. What I actually want for AutoDesk to implement the "Sketch" feature from Inventor where you rough out your design and then assign distances after, although thinking about it that might be an alternative, use Inventor for the survey save as a dwg open into AutoCAD. Having a lightweight x86 tablet would let you experiment at least, depending on RAM and battery.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 13:59
by robbo
Tappy wrote:And the marketing video is kinda nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpzu3HM2CIo


I thought it was cool!! :D

Daily Tech link isn't loading for me at the moment but read through the BBC article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18500954

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 16:05
by Tappy
Hey what does the BBC mean by, "...and are housed in magnesium cases - which the company described as the first of their kind."? That's not the journalism I've come to expect, I want comments like, "Apple have invented the smart phone, which is the first time anyone has thought of this, let alone made it magical."

I'd like some more information on it now. A proper hands-on review to hear how they both run will be great. And it better be available in the UK. Also want to know what's in the pipeline for WP8, since Google and Apple are getting some good synergy going between their product line-ups at the moment, I want some of that.

In the meantime, I think I will watch the video again...

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 16:50
by Fodder
Hmmm, does look nice. Would consider replacing my X220 tablet with the Pro version, if anyone ever produces a medical note taking software that is quicker or as quick as the shorthand I use.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 18:53
by Replicant
We all know that no technology exists until Apple invents it about a year after everyone else has had it.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 19:18
by Johnmcl7
Tappy wrote:Hey what does the BBC mean by, "...and are housed in magnesium cases - which the company described as the first of their kind."? That's not the journalism I've come to expect, I want comments like, "Apple have invented the smart phone, which is the first time anyone has thought of this, let alone made it magical."


Anandtech have more specific information about this:

Post-announcement, Microsoft took us to a backroom in Milk Studios to give us hands on experience with the Surface. They weren't lying, even the preproduction units feel awesome in hand. The magnesium panels are finished with partial vapour deposition, a process that deposits a thin-film coating onto the panel using vacuum deposition (molecule-by-molecule deposits at sub-atmospheric pressure.) It gives the unit a distinctly premium feel, and one that's pretty different from most of the other metal-bodied systems out there particularly with the current trends towards anodization and brushed finishes.


http://www.anandtech.com/show/6016/micr ... o-hands-on

I assume this process is what is unique about the Microsoft tablet and differs from others using magnesium casing.

In terms of how well an Ivy Bridge tablet can work, this article on the upcoming Acer W700 may be of interest:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5968/acer ... -windows-8

Ivy Bridge doesn't seem suitable for a tablet machine as previous Windows tablets have largely failed on having very underpowered X86 processors that still weren't power efficient enough leading to very slow tablets with poor batterylife and too bulky. ARM processors have in turn allowed for thin and light tablets with much better batterylife and still reasonable performance. However it looks like Ivy Bridge may be able to do better bearing in mind the main focus in its manufacture is power efficiency, it's been a disappointed refresh in terms of no affordable hex core processors, poor overclocking and not many 35W quad core options but the power consumption on the standard units seems to be pretty good.

I assume there's still going to be tradeoffs as the RT version is surely going to be smaller and better batterylife with the Ivy Bridge version bulkier with poor batterylife but as long the battery lasts a reasonable amount of time it sounds like it could be a useful tool. What I like about what I've seen so far is they seem to be giving people the choice to get the system they want with both ARM and X86 versions, touch and physical keyboards rather than offering a single option and like it or lump it.

As mentioned above there's a lot of questions to answer on batterylife, size, weight and cost but I'm definitely interested and will probably hold off on an ultralight machine to see what the Windows machine offers. It's particularly the integrated keyboard design which I like the look of, the other machine which caught my eye at the moment is the new 11in Zenbook prime which offers an 11in 1080p IPS panel which could be a good replacement for the now very old Sony TX1HP I have.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 19:45
by Southwestwall
It looks lost somewhere between my two preferred form factors, too small and feeble to be a permanent computer, far too big to be a faithful pocket companion.

Like many fashionable devices of recent years, there will be an inevitable market amongst its admirers and I hope they find a real use for their investment. I know of quite a few existing tablets, that if the owners are honest, are relegated to weighing down mail.

Is it me, or does that name sound like a brand of kitchen cleaner? :lol:

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 19 Jun 2012, 20:02
by Johnmcl7
Having used an ultralight Vaio for years, I don't think this is too small and with the Ivy Bridge processor it shouldn't be a slouch either. I wouldn't expect anything in this class to be a permanent PC as you have to make some compromises for size.

This doesn't look to be a fashion device at all instead unlike most tablets it seems well thought out with productivity in mind with a clever kick stand and keyboard design which along with an X86 processor resolves most of the issues I have with current tablets. TIme will tell if they've got the balance right or not but initial impressions from previews sound promising.

Surface was the name Microsoft used for their multi-touch table/operating system which has been on the go for a long time which is what I think of when they say surface.

John

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 00:06
by raith_rovers_fan
Replicant wrote:We all know that no technology exists until Apple invents it about a year after everyone else has had it.


lol :mrgreen:

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 20 Jun 2012, 21:47
by UKIan
Fodder wrote:Hmmm, does look nice. Would consider replacing my X220 tablet with the Pro version, if anyone ever produces a medical note taking software that is quicker or as quick as the shorthand I use.


Tell more, I am always looking for a note taking system that would work with a tablet that doesn't suck.

I would get one, but it will have to be sufficiently well specced to run all the PC software (other than games) that I run on a laptop. There's no real incentive if it won't act as a laptop in the same way my laptop does. It is just an ipad then, i.e. incompatible.

Re: Microsoft announce their own tablet

Posted: 21 Jun 2012, 09:21
by Fodder
Well, medical notes tend to have to contain several criteria and be secure. The problem comes with the sheer variation and volume of information that may be in the notes. Most software publishers in this area work on a 'tree' system for the selection of criteria. So, for instance, if I apply "static traction to the lumbar and cervical spine", I would note "S.T.-lsp,csp". The note software would require me to navigate the tree to 'lsp' then 'technique' then 'static traction'. I would then repeat for the 'csp' branch. All of this before I have even defined the position I have applied the technique in (which I use a subscript letter for, IE p+s for prone and supine).

Also, most of the software uses the 'patient diary' to hold everything together. This means you can only book the patients on the machine with the database on it that you are also using for note taking. Unless you pay them extra for another seat for the receptionist and even more for 'web access' so you can book from anywhere on your phone (if their dodgy web interface works on a phone browser that is). All in all a bit poor in practice but great on paper (HA! no pun intended).

The only thing I have found that comes close to the input method I would like is supernote on my Asus TF101 with a stylus. Unfortunately, following Asus's spectactular screw up of ICS which they still haven't fixed, I would never ever use their kit for anything 'mission critical'.