Print 15 comment(s) - last by OoklaTheMok.. on May 29 at 5:44 PM

Microsoft extends the reach of its Surface Pro tablet

Microsoft's Surface RT and Surface Pro aren't exactly lighting up the sales charts, but that isn't stopping the software giant from expanding the latter's reach into new markets. Microsoft launched the Surface Pro (in 64GB and 128GB capacities) in the U.S. earlier this year, and Japanese buyers will now getting the opportunity to sample Microsoft's home-brewed tablet aimed at business users.
Starting June 8, potential customers in Japan will be able to purchase the familiar 64GB and 128GB Surface Pro models. In addition, a new 256GB SKU has been added to the mix and will be available for 119,800 yen ($1,175) -- this wouldn't be the first time that a company released a higher capacity model late in the a product's life cycle to extend its life a bit.

Microsoft is also being especially generous to Japanese customers by throwing in Office 2013 for free with all SKUs -- U.S. customers must purchase an Office 2013 license separately.

Sources: Engadget, AV Watch

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By mchentz on 5/29/2013 12:02:33 PM , Rating: 1
this Tablet is OK. I was going to purchase it until I found out its battery life is poor. I have Office 2013 so I did not need to purchase it but it sure would of been nice to get it also.

By Brandon Hill on 5/29/2013 12:05:14 PM , Rating: 5
Surface Pro 2 w/Haswell FTW?

By kleinma on 5/29/2013 1:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Battery life is actually really good on mine. I won't compare it to an iPad for battery life, but i also wouldn't compare an iPad to it for capabilities. If I use it constantly, I get about 5 hours on a charge. When the device is in sleep mode, it really does a great job saving battery. The native wacom digitizer seems like a gimic at first, and now I don't want to live without it. The touch keyboard is pretty much crap, but the type keyboard works well. The touchpad isn't great, although I don't like touchpads in general. The nice thing is the touchpad becomes less needed when you can use the pen or your finger to do many tasks. (I also have the wedge mouse which took some getting used to, but now feels fluid when I use it).

I do think haswell will bring a big boost to the surface. Graphics are supposed to be much better, and power consumption should be lower. Will be interesting to see if the pro 2 can go fanless and ventless, which would allow them to either pack in more battery and keep the same size, or make it thinner and lighter.

By Flunk on 5/29/2013 1:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
That battery life would be reasonable for a laptop. For example my Alienware m14x R2 gets similar battery life (Assuming you don't use the GPU). For a tablet, it's pretty bad battery life compared to the iPad's (claimed) 10 hour battery life.

It's really dependent if you think of the Surface Pro as a tablet, or a strange-looking laptop.

By kleinma on 5/29/2013 2:48:50 PM , Rating: 3
I look at it as whatever it needs to be at the moment I need to use it ;)

That is what I like about the device.

By OoklaTheMok on 5/29/2013 5:44:34 PM , Rating: 3
Comparing iPad and Surface Pro battery life is comparing... an apple and an orange (har har)

If you want to make that argument, then the inverse argument must also be made, that the iPad is a pathetically slow and limited tablet compared to a Surface Pro. You can only install programs from the Apple app store, it doesn't run Office, can't run Chrome/Firefox browsers... etc Heck, the iPad doesn't even support Flash... so much for watching those web only Hulu shows.

Also you compared the Surface Pro to your Alienware laptop, which happens to cost about 50% more than a Surface Pro, has a lower resolution display, doesn't have a touchscreen, nor a digitizer, and weighs more than 6lbs. How much you wanna bet that the battery is a big reason for the heft of your "comparable" laptop?

Wrong form factor
By Motoman on 5/29/2013 12:18:54 PM , Rating: 1
I just don't think the Surface docking form factor is the way to go. The convertible units where you just flip the screen around seem to be much better designs. Having to dock and undock the KB seems like a hassle and introduces opportunities to damage it and/or lose it.

RE: Wrong form factor
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 1:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
The keyboard is a cover. The expectation isn't really that you undock it. It's actually fairly ingenious.

RE: Wrong form factor
By kleinma on 5/29/2013 1:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. That and it is designed to not need to be removed if you don't want to. I have the thicker type pad cover, and I can easily fold it around the back of the surface like you would with an iPad case cover. The surface is smart enough to know the cover is folded back, and if you press a key by accident, it does nothing.

That and undocking it when you want to amounts to pulling the cover off from its magnetic hold. No wires to remove, eject buttons to press, etc.. like most common docks.

RE: Wrong form factor
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 1:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
I raved about this when it first came out.

Then I found out that the tablet has fans. lol. wtf. And pretty thick. I doubt Haswell will be fanless -- not mainstream implementations, anyway -- but I'd love to take a look at a Silvermont Surface.

That is, if a Haswell Surface is in fact not fanless. A fanless Haswell Surface Pro is basically a slam-dunk. And if they expanded the magnetic docking to include a desktop dock? Good God. I'll also be looking for Thunderbolt.

RE: Wrong form factor
By kleinma on 5/29/2013 2:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think it has a single fan on the CPU, and I have never been able to actually hear it going. My only fear is its lifespan. Beyond that it doesn't matter to me if there is a fan or not.

RE: Wrong form factor
By hughlle on 5/29/2013 3:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
With regard to it being pretty thick. I agree. Saw one in the shops today and i was2 rather taken aback. My personal opinion was that anything that required that kind of cpu power was not designed to be used in a tablet format. Most likely it is ignorance, but i can't think of anything i would want to run in that kidn of touch screen configuration that would require that kind of powre. Anything that did, would be much better suited with a keyboard and mouse. Given that it appeaed thicker than the ultrabooks with similar or same specs, i would personally just buy an ultrabook and have a nice light and slim tablet to go alongisde.

RE: Wrong form factor
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 4:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
That's what's so crazy about the Touch Cover for the Surface; it's no more obtrusive to your carry than the Smart Cover for the iPad. You still get the pointing interface, you still get the keyboard. Amazing.

The thing about touch is its just an interface. You use it because you have to, because you're moving around and movement disrupts the ergonomics of keyboard and pointer interface. Similarly, 'tablet' is just a form factor. The form gives you mobile ergonomics. It doesn't actually take away stationary ergonomics (assuming you have a desktop dock or at least a video out port), and a touch part doesn't take away your ability to use a mouse.

The interface is not really tied to the power of the machine, except the consideration that touch gives you less control [fewer controls] of whatever power the machine happens to have. To me, the question is more like "Do you want your tablet to be weak or powerful?" Well, powerful.

This is assuming of course that your "powerful" tablet isn't the same thickness as a folded ultrabook lol. Haswell (and Jaguar/Silvermont) should fix us up. We should start seeing product this Fall.

MS, please make a splash..
By DukeN on 5/29/2013 2:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
If they threw in Office 2013 with the 256GB version, they'd have a mega-seller on their hands instead of this anemic-sales version.

But no, they have to go the way of most companies trying to enter an established market. "We think our product is the best, so we'll charge the same as the market leader with a crappier experience".

OMG ---Epiphany
By Ramstark on 5/29/13, Rating: -1
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