wowowow Surface Pro review

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices & Gadgets' started by Ns1, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Nintendesert

    Nintendesert Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    7,761
    Likes Received:
    3


    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.
     
  2. Red Storm

    Red Storm Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    70
    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?
     
  3. PowerYoga

    PowerYoga Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2001
    Messages:
    4,603
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great, now make this thing less than $800 and I'd think about picking one up...
     
  4. foghorn67

    foghorn67 Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    11,848
    Likes Received:
    41
    Yes. I can't wait. Photoshop.
     
  5. Puddle Jumper

    Puddle Jumper Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,835
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
  6. Ravynmagi

    Ravynmagi Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  7. hellfire88

    hellfire88 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    7,796
    Likes Received:
    2
    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).
     
  8. Ravynmagi

    Ravynmagi Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, Surface Pro and pretty much all tablets now are non-upgradable.
     
  9. Ns1

    Ns1 No Lifer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    53,936
    Likes Received:
    784
    Word/ onenote
     
  10. Red Storm

    Red Storm Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    70
    You need an i5 for Word?
     
  11. OneOfTheseDays

    OneOfTheseDays Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2000
    Messages:
    7,052
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, 8GB would be ideal for this kind of tablet.

    I'm waiting for Haswell and improved iGPU performance before pulling the trigger.
     
  12. deathBOB

    deathBOB Senior member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    27
    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.
     
    #37 deathBOB, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  13. Puddle Jumper

    Puddle Jumper Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,835
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
  14. Ravynmagi

    Ravynmagi Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,949
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, Office 2010 runs surprisingly well on the Atom.
     
  15. Ns1

    Ns1 No Lifer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    53,936
    Likes Received:
    784
    I would most certainly take as much processing power as I could =P
     
  16. hellfire88

    hellfire88 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    7,796
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.
     
  17. Puddle Jumper

    Puddle Jumper Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,835
    Likes Received:
    1
    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.
     
  18. TuxDave

    TuxDave Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    10,577
    Likes Received:
    3
    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.
     
  19. Crono

    Crono Lifer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Messages:
    23,039
    Likes Received:
    1,048
    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.
     
    #44 Crono, Jan 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  20. Charles Kozierok

    Charles Kozierok Elite Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6,762
    Likes Received:
    0
  21. lupi

    lupi Lifer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2001
    Messages:
    31,922
    Likes Received:
    188
    drop it to price of the RT and skip the camera and I'd be happy.
     
  22. 386DX

    386DX Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  23. blurredvision

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    17,864
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, we'd all like something for nothing, but it's not going to happen.
     
  24. Red Storm

    Red Storm Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    13,661
    Likes Received:
    70
    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.
     
  25. s44

    s44 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,361
    Likes Received:
    5
    It will also be the "real" RT, though Samsung dumping on the platform isn't a great sign.