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OMG Surface Pro 3

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mkwhater
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i wish they just waited for broadwell they probably could have made thinner
 
e.mote
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MS needs to sync its release cycle with Intel's. 1st-gen Surface & Pro also had the same problem, of using previous-gen SoC that makes them obsolete even before release. For premium devices, which the Surface lines aspire to be, the target audience is early adopters who expect to have the latest tech. Intel's Mountain Llama (the Broadwell reference design) was impressive in its Computex debut, and SP3 won't fare well in the inevitable comparison.

The kickstand + keyboard cover combo also hasn't fared well. One sign of a good design, aside from selling well, is when competitors copy it. I don't see any OEM copying the keyboard cover, preferring instead to stick to more conventional "detachable" design eg Asus' Transformer series, which works better for fast typing.

This latter has its own issue of being top-heavy, thus needing to add counterbalance weight to the keyboard dock and increasing overall weight. Intel's ref design avoids this by not putting the docking point at the edge of the dock, thereby creating an "outrigger" that prevents tip-over. Most aftermarket keyboard docks for iPad use this setup. Its other advantages: lighter than conventional detachable, more rigid than MS' design and being more "lapable," and works in portrait. One improvement would be to add an adjustable hinge.



I see SP3 having a short shelf life, and not just because of the obsoleted SoC. If MS sticks to its new spring release cycle for Windows as rumored, then Win9 should see a corresponding Surface launch, along with Office Touch, about 10 months from now. The i3 and i7 versions of SP3 won't ship until end of August, which gives them about a 7-month shelf life.
 
ChrisDDD
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Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
The kickstand + keyboard cover combo also hasn't fared well. One sign of a good design, aside from selling well, is when competitors copy it. I don't see any OEM copying the keyboard cover, preferring instead to stick to more conventional "detachable" design eg Asus' Transformer series, which works better for fast typing.
Agree on syncing new Surfaces to Intel's processor releases, but totally disagree on the kickstand and covers. I love being able to just flip the cover up to make more room on my desk, flip it down when I need to do some work, or use the tablet upright without a keyboard at all - keeping something up just for reference, watching a movie, etc.

I totally don't get all the focus people put on how the kickstand works (or doesn't) on the lap. In the past 20 years, I don't think I've used a laptop on my lap more than dozen times. On a desk, I'd take a kickstand over a traditional notebook any day. It's also nice that you get both a keyboard and cover in what? 3-4mm?

For people who prefer something closer to a traditional laptop, there's plenty of choices, I really the Surface retains the kickstand.

As for the Pro 3, I see it much the same as the original Pro - some nice features but just not enough to make me want to buy one. The processor has already been mentioned, the switch away from the Wacom pen, and I actually prefer the smaller screen on the Pro 1 and 2. I could be tempted by a Pro 4 or maybe 5, but my 2 is serving me perfectly well for now.
 
e.mote
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>totally disagree on the kickstand and covers. I love being able to just flip the cover up...In the past 20 years, I don't think I've used a laptop on my lap more than dozen times...

"I like it"/"works for me" isn't an argument.

>I totally don't get all the focus people put on how the kickstand works (or doesn't) on the lap

Lap use is one instance in the spectrum of computing use mobility. At one end of the spectrum is usage while walking, ie with a phone. Next is using the device while standing. After that, is sitting without a desk (ie lap use). Then, sitting with a desk. Finally, sitting with a desk in a pre-determined location (ie a desktop PC).

By not being able to use the device well while sitting and without a desk, the Surface is even less mobile than a laptop for high-speed typing. That's why MS was so persistent with the "lapability" argument, which was shot down by the majority of reviews of SP3, from journalists and bloggers who do need that mobility.

>It's also nice that you get both a keyboard and cover in what? 3-4mm?

Thinness is visually appealing and is a selling point, but ergonomically it doesn't matter. For a tablet, which is a handheld device, weight and shape are what counts. For a keyboard, thinness affects more important things, like key travel, which affects typing speed. The Surface type cover is an inferior keyboard for typing, even by the relatively low standard of laptop keyboards.

>I really the Surface retains the kickstand.

Archos tablets have had the kickstand for many years, and it was never a big deal (read: not a selling point). Anyway, it's not a matter of having or not having a kickstand, but how to have the display at a desired angle with the least hassle. For decades, the clamshell form was the least hassle. MS' kickstand design hasn't proven to be an adequate replacement. Of present designs, the one in the above pic is IMO the most efficient.
 
SixSixSevenSeven
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Of present designs, the one in the above pic is IMO the most efficient.
for once, and this is a rare occasion, I actually agree with you.

My laptop rarely if ever touches a desk. Had a guy round with his surface RT and frankly it was absolutely useless as a laptop replacement ergonomically (we'll ignore software) in the places I use my laptop.
 
ChrisDDD
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"I like it"/"works for me" isn't an argument.
I didn't *just* say "I like it", I gave specific examples of where the kickstand is adventitious.

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Lap use is one instance in the spectrum of computing use mobility. At one end of the spectrum is usage while walking, ie with a phone. Next is using the device while standing. After that, is sitting without a desk (ie lap use). Then, sitting with a desk. Finally, sitting with a desk in a pre-determined location (ie a desktop PC).
Ok, so what's your point? Every device trades some proficiency in one area to gain some in another. If an individual's use case requires a significant amount of "lap use", that should steer them in the direction of devices that prioritize that type of use. That doesn't make a device that prioritizes another area wrong, it simple makes it potentially the wrong device for that that person. And I say potentially because I've made a point of using my Surface on my lap to see what all the fuss is about, and I don't see the issue. Perhaps it doesn't work quite as well as a traditional hinged notebook with a rigid keyboard, but for all but the most demanding of needs, it works just fine.

Personally, the minor trade-off in proficiency for lap use is far outweighed by it's increased abilities elsewhere - as I mentioned, using it on a table/desk/counter/hood of a car/etc without the keyboard at all, being able to flip the cover up to save space while the device remains standing, etc. Again, if an individual can't accept that trade-off, then the Surface simply isn't the best device for their needs.

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By not being able to use the device well while sitting and without a desk, the Surface is even less mobile than a laptop for high-speed typing.
And by being able to use the device upright without a keyboard, the Surface is more useful than a tablet, so what's your point? If high-speed typing on one's lap is a primary concern, then they should be buying a dedicated notebook or a convertible that uses the hinged, clamshell design with a rigid keyboard. As I said in my previous post, I simply don't understand this mindset that says the Surface HAS to function AS WELL AS a traditional notebook. No, it doesn't. Thankfully, there's any number of other systems on the market that do prioritize that use case.

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Thinness is visually appealing and is a selling point, but ergonomically it doesn't matter. For a tablet, which is a handheld device, weight and shape are what counts. For a keyboard, thinness affects more important things, like key travel, which affects typing speed. The Surface type cover is an inferior keyboard for typing, even by the relatively low standard of laptop keyboards.
Thinness is directly related to weight and shape, so to say thinness is nice, but weight and shape are more important is just being disingenuous. And again you're laser focused on absolute typing performance, which is fine, but it simply makes the Surface not the right device for you, it doesn't make the Surface the wrong design for everyone.

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Archos tablets have had the kickstand for many years, and it was never a big deal (read: not a selling point).
I've had several Archos products over the years, and trust me, there's ample reasons their products weren't big sellers. I generally like their overall designs and concepts, but they have a knack for always undermining the whole device with one or two painfully sub-standard components, be it a terrible screen, resistive touch input as opposed to capacitive, etc.

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Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
Anyway, it's not a matter of having or not having a kickstand, but how to have the display at a desired angle with the least hassle. For decades, the clamshell form was the least hassle. MS' kickstand design hasn't proven to be an adequate replacement. Of present designs, the one in the above pic is IMO the most efficient.
I'll agree there, the original Pro's single angle was pretty restrictive, and the Pro 2's two angles is barely more than adequate. I haven't found it to be an issue, but I can see that some would. I think the only features of the Pro 3 that I find compelling are the new kickstand and the thinner/lighter design.

But returning to the actual design, I'll absolutely agree with everything you said as it pertains to making the device better for someone who needs A- absolute typing performance, and B- has the frequent need to use the device on their lap. Absolutely, a rigid keyboard with equal to greater weight to the display and a strong hinged design would make for a better lap typing experience. And I'll again say that there's any number of systems that offer exactly that - from dedicated laptops to convertibles that use the rigid clamshell design. None of this makes the Surface's design wrong, it simply makes it the wrong device for those individuals, just as dedicated notebooks and rigid, clamshell convertibles are the the wrong device for my needs.

The market is big enough for multiple form factors - not every device needs to share a single overall design, because not every person has precisely the same needs. The market already has countless rigid clamshell type devices, please let those of us who don't prioritize high-speed typing on our laps have our ONE device that best fits our needs, ok?
 
adamlee011
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Without having done a painful amount of digging, please allow me to butt in for a moment and ask, ate there any threads here dedicated to development or tweaking of the sp3? I just got the i7 512 model to use as the heart of a semi portable recording studio (a good amount of real-time number crunching) and was looking to get the most I can out of it. So far, with the little benchmarking and playing with Undervolting a little, I haven't seen this chip do any thermal throttling and haven't gotten any real increase in benchmark. It seems this thing is pretty damn efficient. I came across an article where people were getting major increase in benchmarks by Undervolting but with the i5. (less voltage, less heat, more time at "turbo" less fan noise - ideal for audio production) Well, hey before I REALLY start rambling, if anyone has any resources or suggestions I'd be much obliged.

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