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  1. #41
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    Might be tempted to get a hybrid next year, simply because I'd feel like I was shortchanging myself using Windows 8 without a touchscreen. Acer have a few interesting hybrids in the works- the S7 13 and 11 inch varieties. They're pretty much just laptops with touchscreens, no twisty or flippy screen cleverness, but there is a Thunderbolt port so I can hook up an eGPU for gaming- I'm pretty much betting on this being the future.

    In any case, I'm clinging on to my current laptop until it dies, 3 years and its still going strong! Boots in about 45s... Just out of curiousity anyone know the average life expectancy for hard used laptops? (Its an old Vaio if that helps, used every day for basically everything from gaming to work.)

  2. #42
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Assuming it runs well I think Microsoft are potentially onto a winner with Surface tbh. Albeit Apple have a history of making great products their approach has very much been about telling you what you need but not always necessarily delivering on what people want. Ipads are great devices, but the lack of a direct USB port 3 generations in despite that being something people have clamoured for since the 1st Ipad is a good example of Apple just not listening. It's all well and good at the inception stage of a product to come up with that singular vision, but once something is out in the real world, you should be listening to the concerns of your user base and assessing the metrics. The Ipad is a touchpad, Surface however (especially the Pro version) is shaping up to be a portable computing solution that's likely going to be more attractive to consumers who want something that easily adapts to their needs.
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  3. #43
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Except Asus' tabs do have hinges.
    I was under the impression the tab separated completely from the keyboard part. But if it doesn't... then it's a freakin' netbook with a touch screen. Or at best an old-style tablet which nobody liked.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Whilst the Zune is actually a somewhat relevant device to this area of the market.
    Except for the fact that it's an MP3 player versus ARM or x86 tablets, an entirely different device. But the point I was making was that Microsoft clearly do know how to make hardware which can be a success, the Zune on its own was definitely a failure but clearly not the indicator that MS will fail with the Surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    The iPad is now synonymous with the word tablet, and currently has a massive slice of the market, iPad is to tablets what Windows is to desktops.
    True. But as you say below, MS has a significant advantage in its x86 library... and such a device can realistically become a laptop replacement. The most common complaints I hear from the technologically illiterate with tablets is that they can't easily edit their Word documents etc on them. They can't easily move files across to them. They expect some aspects to operate similar to a desktop when it comes to moving files across and doing basic editing tasks. If they could just carry Office with them and plug in a USB drive, it'd be a lot easier and more popular. Hell if things go right they can do that on an ARM tablet since it's Office which is a key point here.

    Apple are still the underdog (an expensive one at that) with their desktop market though they are the giant with the mobile market, you're 100% correct about that, and not even Android tablets have captured the market in a significant way (probably because they're all pretty bad by comparison, particularly with software). But Microsoft are converging the underlying aspects of the mobile and desktop worlds into one OS which would make things a lot easier for people to move between the two. I don't agree with unifying the platforms in terms of UI because that's a really dumb idea, but at a base level it's a brilliant move that Apple have taken baby steps towards and pretty much screwed up. If Microsoft beat them to the punch, they could very well win the tablet war, either by OS or device.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Microsoft is having a hard time convincing its OEMs to produce tablets, that's the only reason the Surface devices exist (which aren't going to see a second gen they are one off).
    Source?

  4. #44
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Their keyboard thing doubling as a cover is effectively like those terrible iPad flip covers except it actually has a purpose.
    The iPad covers serve a purpose too: like docks they can support the tab, whereas Microsoft's floppy keyboards can't and require a kick-stand on the tab itself. It's swings and roundabouts.

    Most people are taking notice of the thin membrane keyboard because it's extremely portable and just sits there as a cover, as opposed to the other designs which seem a little behind the times by comparison.
    If Microsoft are relying on an easily-duplicated $5-10 bit of plastic to differentiate their device from all the others, they're in trouble.

    Fortunately we both know that that's not what they're relying on and not the real reason the internets have exploded about this tab either: it's the brand muscle that Microsoft brings to the table that's making most of the difference here. Hell, it even showed up on RPS despite bringing absolutely nothing new (in terms of relevance to PC gaming and over all the other products announced in recent weeks and over what's been known re: Windows 8 for at least the last 12 months) to the table!

    Also why are you getting so touchy about Win8 and other tablet manufacturers? Every thread about Win8 and you jump in on a crusade. It's like you're afraid of the criticism or something.
    I don't have a problem with folks offering reasonable criticisms like "I don't like Metro" or "I don't think Windows 8 brings anything to the table for my personal computing needs" or "[insert manufacturer here]'s product doesn't do it for me", that's fine. But you're right, FUD about Windows 8 irks me, and people lauding one particular Windows 8 tab over all the other tablets/hybrids (including those yet to be announced) irks me as well. Both things reflect population-level reactions that have nothing to do with an informed, rational, personal assessment of costs/benefits. I haven't even looked at the comments on RPS' 'Surface' story for fear of damaging my brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    The iPad is now synonymous with the word tablet, and currently has a massive slice of the market, iPad is to tablets what Windows is to desktops.
    No it isn't. The tablet market is still young, comparatively small, and undeveloped, which is why it is still possible for Windows (dragging the PC along with it, although Microsoft aren't taking their chances on that score) to disrupt the market and emerge as a serious third-player in the ecosystem that will become increasingly synonymous with 'personal computing' over the next decade. The inverse is not true -- the dominance of x86 (or Intel, even) and Windows in the PC space is not open to similar challenge. Indeed Apple's greatest problem in that respect is that iOS is not OSX. In the room I'm posting this from at Uni all but a couple of the three dozen Windows workstations are occupied, compared to three of the one dozen iMacs.

    Microsoft has the superior strategy here, all they need to do is (1) execute it right and (2) hope that Apple remains too stuck in the 'Steve Jobs is God' mindset to react in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    That combined with x86 tablets really aren't in a position to compete with ARM-based tablets at the moment on things such as price, battery life etc. Until x86 tablets can stand toe-to-toe with ARM tablets (outside of the high-end market), ARM tablets are going to continue to dominate, and the advantage x86 offers to Microsoft is meaningless
    Atom says 'hi'.
    Last edited by Rii; 21-06-2012 at 03:04 AM.

  5. #45
    Network Hub Space Indaver's Avatar
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    I think the Transformer has a hinge and the keyboard can be detached? Not sure why the two need to be mutually exclusive.

  6. #46
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The iPad covers serve a purpose too: like docks they can support the tab, whereas Microsoft's floppy keyboards can't and require a kick-stand on the tab itself. It's swings and roundabouts.
    It's designed as a keyboard, obviously it's not designed as a stand...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    If Microsoft are relying on an easily-duplicated $5-10 bit of plastic to differentiate their device from all the others, they're in trouble.
    But it shows that it's a tablet first and foremost, which is ultimately what people want. A confused netbook/tablet hybrid thing looks ridiculous and lacks direction. Win8 was clearly built as a tablet OS in terms of UI, yet a lot of the efforts from Asus and Acer etc seem to treat it like a netbook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I don't have a problem with folks offering reasonable criticisms like "I don't like Metro"
    You've shouted down pretty much everyone who doesn't like Metro, and you're claiming it's here to usher us into a new world of big UI elements that take up half the screen for no good reason. My issue is that people have very legitimate concerns regarding Metro on a desktop which you quickly dismiss. My point being that the people who think Metro UI on the desktop is a good thing are in the minority here; it doesn't work for a mouse. Yet you fire ze missilez whenever anybody points something like that out. I don't think you are accepting of reasonable criticisms at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Atom says 'hi'.
    Atom netbooks are terrible.

  7. #47
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But it shows that it's a tablet first and foremost, which is ultimately what people want.
    Exactly: so why is it so important to have a keyboard at all? After all, it's not like you can use it without planting the thing on a desk, which rather seems to miss the point of a tablet.

    A confused netbook/tablet hybrid thing looks ridiculous and lacks direction. Win8 was clearly built as a tablet OS in terms of UI, yet a lot of the efforts from Asus and Acer etc seem to treat it like a netbook.
    This is sheer nonsense. That in some promotional pics Asus et al. show their tablets with their keyboards/docks attached suggests no less dedication to the tablet ideal than the fact that most pics I've seen of the Windows 'Surface' tabs show them planted on a desk does. Both merely demonstrate the potentialities of the devices over and above the basic and obvious functionality of a tablet.

    You've shouted down pretty much everyone who doesn't like Metro, and you're claiming it's here to usher us into a new world of big UI elements that take up half the screen for no good reason.
    The reason is a very good one, it just doesn't have anything to do with the user who will, indeed, 'have' to put up with a minor inconvenience. Y'know, if they choose to do so.

    As for "shouting down" people who don't like Metro, I'd like a link please, particularly since I distinctly recall not doing that here and don't recall addressing the topic anywhere else. Mostly because there's not much to address: you either like it or you don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Atom netbooks are terrible.
    A processor doesn't become terrible when it's moved from a phone into a tablet, and the Medfield benchmarks are comparable to ARM offerings, although (astonishingly) they prove not to be up to the standards of the Exynos Galaxy S3 at triple the price. =/

    Of course there's still room to improve, which is probably why Intel is introducing a brand new in-order Atom architecture next year, marking the most significant evolution of the platform since its release in 2008.
    Last edited by Rii; 21-06-2012 at 04:28 AM.

  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The reason is a very good one, it just doesn't have anything to do with the user who will, indeed, 'have' to put up with a minor inconvenience. Y'know, if they choose to do so.

    As for "shouting down" people who don't like Metro, I'd like a link please, particularly since I distinctly recall not doing that here and don't recall addressing the topic anywhere else. Mostly because there's not much to address: you either like it or you don't.
    Look at your link, it sums up your attitude entirely - "why doesn't anybody like Metro, I just can't understand it." Whenever anyone criticises Metro you crop up to fight them off. You seem entirely incapable of understanding that a touch-based UI with huge UI elements looks ridiculous on a high resolution desktop display in a mouse-driven environment. Even something as simple as shutting down the system is a pain in the arse; on Win7 I can get to it right from the Start menu. On Win8 I have to go to the right corner, slide down, hit Settings, then hit the power button, and then select power off. That's fine for a touch screen, ridiculous for a mouse. The same goes for the massive full-screen apps. I wouldn't have an issue with them but they waste an absurd amount of screen real-estate for absolutely no reason at all.

    Metro has been incorporated as an integral part of the Win8 environment, so whether you like it or not, if you're going to use Win8 you have to use it at least in part. Which is a shame, because the rest of Win8 is fantastic. An easy fix for the Metro UI would be to have it scale properly on high res displays. It'd fix the issues most people have with it. Forcing a UI designed for an entirely different input method onto another one is absurd. By analogy: PC gamers get pissed when console ports don't properly support M+KB controllers, applying ridiculous mouse acceleration settings and nonsense like that. That's pretty much what's happening here.

    And yes, I'm using Win8 on a regular basis on my laptop. The UI is bearable on my laptop since it isn't a full HD display, so the larger UI elements aren't that much of an issue. But when I've used it on my desktop it just makes things a lot more difficult to accomplish.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii
    Atom says 'hi'.
    Are Atom processors now more efficient per clock cycle than an ARM.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant
    Source?
    Which part?

    If you mean Microsoft being unable to convince it's OEMs that part is easy, the fact the Surface and the Pro exist, they were built for that exact purpose. Also despite the fact Windows 8 probably isn't that far away now we still haven't seen all of the big OEMs like Dell step up with anything yet, and those that have only had 1 or 2 to coming to market.

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/20/30...ers-no-comment

    Acer thinks the Surface won't even see the light of day, again just a device to push manufacturers.

  10. #50
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Which part?
    All of it, since you've just presented speculation as fact.

  11. #51
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    I think a hybrid tablet\laptop is a masterstroke. It's the missing link that reveals why Win8 was designed as an otherwise apparently kludgey hybrid. Having Metro as well as legacy applications at your disposal, and portable, seems like the best of all possible worlds to me.

    Metro isn't today what it will be tomorrow. The apps aren't there yet - the OS isn't released yet, after all. Metro is significant because it can be run on phones, tablets, and PCs. If you have a Microsoft model of all those devices your cross-platform experience will be quite seamless, allowing you to do the same tasks using the same commands in the same software regardless of device. For a hybrid tablet/notebook you're not limited to Metro - you can use old MSDOS software if you really want to.

    This is exactly why I've always loved Microsoft OSes over the years - innovation but with legacy support. No other gaming platform lets you play 30-year-old games on the latest hardware. With the Surface device you can use touch, keyboard, mouse, trackball, headtracker, foot pedals, gamepads, or whatever you want because all it is is a PC with a flexible form factor.

    I love this idea.

  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    This is exactly why I've always loved Microsoft OSes over the years - innovation but with legacy support.
    Are you serious? Most legacy 'support' is via emulation taking advantage of the considerable processing power on the PC. XP broke a lot of compatibility when upgrading from Win98 because it was an NT kernel. Vista broke compatibility again being a brand new kernel. x64 versions completely lack 16-bit support.

    Abandoning legacy support is a necessary part of progression. Any 'support' is due to third parties taking advantage of the fact that you can emulate a DOS or Win9x environment reasonably smoothly.

  13. #53
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    You're right, soldant. I should have said it's the legacy support in addition to the openness of the platform which allows for third-party emulators and such. My overall point was that this tablet will be running a desktop OS and thus can run any software a PC can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    You're right, soldant. I should have said it's the legacy support in addition to the openness of the platform which allows for third-party emulators and such. My overall point was that this tablet will be running a desktop OS and thus can run any software a PC can.
    Well no, it has to have an x86 architecture to run the software a PC can, though alot of the hybrids we have seen are sporting i5s and i7s.

    I wonder when AMD is going to strike back, their APUs are actually really good and very power efficient, they aren't as low as the Atoms yet but they certainly seem to a lot more powerful, the dual-core Trinity's are running at about 17w, and they are only the second generation AMD APUs, combined with the built-in GPU that certainly trounces anything Intel offers at this power band, though I doubt they out perform Intel CPUs per core.

    Along with AMDs plan to integrate ARM processors into their APU line up, we could see some interesting things from then.

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    Wen I want a computer with keyboard, I use a desktop computer with all the power and a huge screen.

    Wen I want to browse from the bed or similar, I use a tablet, with a iPad I have billion of apps gratis, and million of games.

    This microsoft thing will compete with no-iPad tablets and Apple-ultrabook, and these are small niches.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    Well no, it has to have an x86 architecture to run the software a PC can, though alot of the hybrids we have seen are sporting i5s and i7s.
    The first model of Surface will only have an ARM processor but the second model, coming 3 months later, will have a full fledged Intel CPU capable of running Windows non-Metro software.

  17. #57
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    I think a hybrid tablet\laptop is a masterstroke. It's the missing link that reveals why Win8 was designed as an otherwise apparently kludgey hybrid.
    Yep. Although it wasn't so much a missing link as a link that most people had simply missed.

    Metro is an inferior interface on the desktop, nobody denies that. But Microsoft is far more concerned with giving developers a boot up the arse and leveraging the power of an integrated ecosystem (which includes a unified brand and therefore user experience: look out for Metro on Xbox) to fight off Apple and Google than they are on catering to the interests of what will in future constitute an increasingly insignificant segment of the market. Microsoft totally knows what they're doing here.

    Desktop users don't have to like Metro, but then they don't have to buy it either. It's not like their PCs and all their applications are going to stop working because they don't have the OS with the highest number, or that they won't be able to buy a new desktop PC with 7 instead of 8, or even (in the vast majority of cases and for the foreseeable future) that future programs, games, etc. won't be compatible with 7. Some people seem to be under the impression that the relation of Microsoft Corporation to the desktop PC is akin to that of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the Geneva Conventions. It is really quite bizarre.
    Last edited by Rii; 23-06-2012 at 01:14 AM.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Tested did quite a lengthy podcast today about the Surface and the implications of it, as well as the Windows 8 phone announcement . Definitely worth a listen (though be aware they were recording at Norms house as they are between studios).: -

    http://www.tested.com/podcasts/
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  19. #59
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Tested did quite a lengthy podcast today about the Surface and the implications of it, as well as the Windows 8 phone announcement . Definitely worth a listen (though be aware they were recording at Norms house as they are between studios).: -

    http://www.tested.com/podcasts/
    By 'implications' I hope they mean of Microsoft choosing to enter the hardware market to compete with Apple and Google directly, and of what it could mean for the relationship between Microsoft and OEMs going forth and the implications of that for consumers.

    Because if it's yet another piece that acts like Surface is the first and/or only Windows 8 tablet I think I might have to stab someone.
    Last edited by Rii; 23-06-2012 at 01:17 AM.

  20. #60
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Desktop users don't have to like Metro, but then they don't have to buy it either. It's not like their PCs and all their applications are going to stop working because they don't have the OS with the highest number, or that they won't be able to buy a new desktop PC with 7 instead of 8, or even (in the vast majority of cases and for the foreseeable future) that future programs, games, etc. won't be compatible with 7.
    You are of course correct, but none of that changes the fact that Metro is still unsuitable for a desktop. It's the anti-thesis to a mouse-driven GUI because it's designed to be jabbed at with fingers.

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