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Old 01-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #26
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A fan... on a tablet...

I will never spend money on such a device, ever.


That's what happens when you're not using some dinky ARM processor.



This thing sounds better than I was thinking it was going to be. I'll have to see some final reviews on it and see where the actual prices come out at.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:04 AM   #27
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Seeing the Vivo Tab from Asus that uses an Atom processor instead of an i5, it makes me wonder, do we really need an i5 in the Surface? I guess if you have to install some kind of heavy editing software, but other than that?
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:13 AM   #28
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Great, now make this thing less than $800 and I'd think about picking one up...
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:27 AM   #29
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Seeing the Vivo Tab from Asus that uses an Atom processor instead of an i5, it makes me wonder, do we really need an i5 in the Surface? I guess if you have to install some kind of heavy editing software, but other than that?
Yes. I can't wait. Photoshop.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:41 AM   #30
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Seeing the Vivo Tab from Asus that uses an Atom processor instead of an i5, it makes me wonder, do we really need an i5 in the Surface? I guess if you have to install some kind of heavy editing software, but other than that?
As long as you aren't planning on using photoshop I think that is a valid question. Atom is clearly superior to Tegra 3 for tabets so it should be fine for most of the stuff people use their tablets for. I've played with the Vivotab RT before and getting a real x86 system with that form factor is very appealing to me even if it is only Atom.

The more I use Windows 8 the more I think I would like it as a tablet os, the selection of modern apps is still fairly limited but the ones that are available are generally well designed and the included MS apps work very well and cover the social/email/web basics most people require and x86 compatibility has you covered for those times that you need to do some more advanced task that won't have a suitable tablet app.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:51 AM   #31
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Bad thing about the Atom is the CPU might be faster than a Tegra 3, I'm not so sure about the GPU. It really struggles with a lot of 1080p videos that Tegra 3 tablets have no problem with. Maybe it's just the drivers, I dunno. But I'm pretty disappointed with the video playback on my Atom based Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T. Though overall I still like the Atom, because of the great battery life, it stays cool, and has no fans, and is lighter.

Though I'm uncertain the 11.6 inch size with keyboard was the best choice. It makes a nice netbook, but a bit on the heavy and awkward side when you undock it and use as a tablet.

I'm undecided still but I'm thinking about returning it for an ASUS Vivotab Smart, the 10.1 inch Atom tablet they have coming, soon hopefully.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:01 AM   #32
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The memory/RAM on this is most likely soldered on right? And it tops out at 4GB? I really wanted to get this but I just feel like a full-fledged x86 PC should have 8GB minimum for my use (example, it'd be pretty slick to load some VMs on this while on-the-go for testing etc. 4GB wouldn't really cut it for that).
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #33
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The memory/RAM on this is most likely soldered on right? And it tops out at 4GB? I really wanted to get this but I just feel like a full-fledged x86 PC should have 8GB minimum for my use (example, it'd be pretty slick to load some VMs on this while on-the-go for testing etc. 4GB wouldn't really cut it for that).
Yeah, Surface Pro and pretty much all tablets now are non-upgradable.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #34
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Seeing the Vivo Tab from Asus that uses an Atom processor instead of an i5, it makes me wonder, do we really need an i5 in the Surface? I guess if you have to install some kind of heavy editing software, but other than that?
Word/ onenote
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:53 AM   #35
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Word/ onenote
You need an i5 for Word?
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:58 AM   #36
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I agree, 8GB would be ideal for this kind of tablet.

I'm waiting for Haswell and improved iGPU performance before pulling the trigger.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #37
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Seeing the Vivo Tab from Asus that uses an Atom processor instead of an i5, it makes me wonder, do we really need an i5 in the Surface? I guess if you have to install some kind of heavy editing software, but other than that?
I wouldn't want to run applications written for normal Windows 8 PCs on an Atom tablet. I'd rather have applications that target ARM or have a more powerful processor like an i5.

I don't trust Windows applications not to get slower and slower with every release just like they've always done.

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #38
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I wouldn't want to run applications written for normal Windows 8 PCs on an Atom tablet. I'd rather have applications that target ARM or have a more powerful processor like an i5.

I don't trust Windows applications not to get slower and slower with every release just like they've always done.
The applications you run on Windows RT are the same ones you run on Windows 8, the only difference is they are faster on Atom than Tegra 3 and you have the option to use x86 apps as well.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #39
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You need an i5 for Word?
Yeah, Office 2010 runs surprisingly well on the Atom.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:57 PM   #40
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You need an i5 for Word?
I would most certainly take as much processing power as I could =P
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:18 PM   #41
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I agree, 8GB would be ideal for this kind of tablet.

I'm waiting for Haswell and improved iGPU performance before pulling the trigger.
Yea, I just googled the specs to confirm and 4GB . If they have a "higher-end" model with 8GB I might buy it to try it out but if not, I'll wait for Gen2 with Haswell and hopefully 8GB+ RAM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #42
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Bad thing about the Atom is the CPU might be faster than a Tegra 3, I'm not so sure about the GPU. It really struggles with a lot of 1080p videos that Tegra 3 tablets have no problem with. Maybe it's just the drivers, I dunno. But I'm pretty disappointed with the video playback on my Atom based Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T. Though overall I still like the Atom, because of the great battery life, it stays cool, and has no fans, and is lighter.

Though I'm uncertain the 11.6 inch size with keyboard was the best choice. It makes a nice netbook, but a bit on the heavy and awkward side when you undock it and use as a tablet.

I'm undecided still but I'm thinking about returning it for an ASUS Vivotab Smart, the 10.1 inch Atom tablet they have coming, soon hopefully.
That's a good point, Tegra 3 is pretty good when it comes to video playback while Atom has been pretty hit or miss in my experience. I would have though the newer PowerVR gpus would have solved that problem but given their very poor Windows drivers it might not be a hardware issue.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:37 PM   #43
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How bad is the keyboard (feel, key spacing)?
Spacing was fine for me. I hated the touch cover (the default fuzzy one). It's possibly a learning thing but the problem is that it has the same feedback as an on screen keyboard (basically none) and it's not as sensitive as a capacitive screen. At least typing on the phone the feedback is "if you touch the screen, then you know the key was pressed". For this, it's more of a "if you touch the keyboard and push at a minimum amount of force" then you'll know the key was pressed. Again, it's probably a learning curve.

But for idiots like me that don't want to learn... I'm probably going to opt for the type cover. It worked better for me.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #44
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Spacing was fine for me. I hated the touch cover (the default fuzzy one). It's possibly a learning thing but the problem is that it has the same feedback as an on screen keyboard (basically none) and it's not as sensitive as a capacitive screen. At least typing on the phone the feedback is "if you touch the screen, then you know the key was pressed". For this, it's more of a "if you touch the keyboard and push at a minimum amount of force" then you'll know the key was pressed. Again, it's probably a learning curve.

But for idiots like me that don't want to learn... I'm probably going to opt for the type cover. It worked better for me.
I agree with all of the above.

Key size and spacing isn't a problem, but the lack of tactile feedback means it isn't pleasant using the touch cover. While I could get used to it as far as speed goes, I much prefer the ease of a keyboard with even some "press" to the keys. I haven't used the Type Cover, but it isn't supposed to be significantly thicker, so aside from the additional price and lack of color options, there's no big reason to get the Touch version over the Type.

The Touch Cover is still much better than any on-screen keyboard and acceptable for short periods of typing once in a while. There isn't a Pro with Touch Cover bundle this time around, so if you do need to type regularly then it's worth it to get the Type Cover.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #45
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Might find this comparison of the covers worth a read.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:45 PM   #46
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drop it to price of the RT and skip the camera and I'd be happy.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:00 PM   #47
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Seeing the Vivo Tab from Asus that uses an Atom processor instead of an i5, it makes me wonder, do we really need an i5 in the Surface? I guess if you have to install some kind of heavy editing software, but other than that?
Besides the huge difference in CPU speed between an i5 an the Atom I think they real reason why the Surface Pro is going to be significantly better then an Atom tablet is the much better I/O performance. The Surface RT (Tegra 3) and VivoTab (Atom) both use eMMC storage while Surface Pro will be using a proper SSD as storage. If I recall correctly one of the things the Surface RT review mentioned was how long it took for some programs to initially start up which ruined the overall fluidity experience. This leads me to believe that the bottleneck is the eMMC controller (which are generally terrible) since the review also says once the program is load switch back and fourth between programs is fine (since it's probably in RAM). I believe the eMMC storage on these devices were rated at around 10-20MB/s sequential read speeds and sub 1 MB/s random 4k write speed, we know that even the slowest SSD controller produces numbers 10-20x that.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #48
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drop it to price of the RT and skip the camera and I'd be happy.
Yep, we'd all like something for nothing, but it's not going to happen.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:52 PM   #49
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Besides the huge difference in CPU speed between an i5 an the Atom I think they real reason why the Surface Pro is going to be significantly better then an Atom tablet is the much better I/O performance. The Surface RT (Tegra 3) and VivoTab (Atom) both use eMMC storage while Surface Pro will be using a proper SSD as storage. If I recall correctly one of the things the Surface RT review mentioned was how long it took for some programs to initially start up which ruined the overall fluidity experience. This leads me to believe that the bottleneck is the eMMC controller (which are generally terrible) since the review also says once the program is load switch back and fourth between programs is fine (since it's probably in RAM). I believe the eMMC storage on these devices were rated at around 10-20MB/s sequential read speeds and sub 1 MB/s random 4k write speed, we know that even the slowest SSD controller produces numbers 10-20x that.
I didn't think about the storage performance, that makes sense.

I just feel like this thing is one year too early. The next gen will be the "real" pro.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #50
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I just feel like this thing is one year too early. The next gen will be the "real" pro.
It will also be the "real" RT, though Samsung dumping on the platform isn't a great sign.
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