Surface RT tablet pricing announce

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Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:39 am

Microsoft has released pricing for the Surface RT tablets. They are basically set the same as the equivalent iPad which to my thinking is disappointing. Trying to break into an existing established market with an unknown, un-reviewed device but asking the same money seems like a pretty "brave" move to me.
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msa ... .257917600

An interesting point though is the price difference between Oz and the US isn't as great as tech products seem to be, however there is still a difference
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/16 ... e_pricing/

On the business front, there is now a question of whether or not you are even *allowed* to use the RT in a work environment (BYOD or company supplied). Turns out the Home/Student license that is included isn't licensed for use in a commercial environment. I'd expect MS will make some sort of special exception for the license on RT because you can't chop/change it anyway, but at the moment it seems if you want to be properly licensed, then you need to get an Office365 license as well... not a smart move on this point.
http://www.zdnet.com/businesses-cant-us ... 000005882/

On the advertising front, they do seem to be doing some pretty catchy ads, so maybe people will notice? No idea what will be shown in Australia, but my kids love both of these ones. My daughter has already "decided" that she's getting one for Christmas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpzu3HM2CIo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mSckyoAMHg

An interesting counter-point though is for Windows 8 in general. The most heard "discussions" are around the lack of the start menu or shutdown options. The new charms and hot-corner navigation is cool... Once you've been shown how to do it. How long did it take before you worked out how to close a Metr.. New UI app (or maybe you haven't even worked that out yet?)

A quick 10 minute demo for someone can give them all the info they need to get started, but what about the majority of "real" users who will sit down in front of a new computer on their own and be expected to work it out themselves? Why Microsoft refused to add even a lite-classic start button menu system still confuses me (and many others I suspect). It could have been a simple option to turn on/off.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4boTbv9_nU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxmIsv88xO4

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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby KRaM » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:53 pm

Are these just like mini PCs in a tablet form - so any programme that can run on Win 8 on the desktop can run on the tablet? It would be good to have a tablet that offers the flexibility of a PC.

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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:40 pm

These "Surface RT" tablets are the "Lite" version, so more like an iPad where you get the functionality from the Apps. However Surface RT does have the full Office product with them (Word/Excel) which could be a the key differentiator from iPad/Android. Yes, Microsoft are in danger of confusing their market with their chosen naming system.

The full "mini PC" style tablet are coming early next year. They will be priced more around the Ultrabook price though most likely, however they will be capable of running as a fully fledged PC, so stick it in a dock with monitors and keyboard attached at work and you're in business.

Some of the guys at work are using the Samsung Slate with Windows 8 on it so it's basically the same thing. They have a doc with 3 monitors, keyboard, mouse etc all hanging off it no problems.
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:27 am

Just noticed this page talking specifically about the Office 2013 on RT

http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/home- ... 10361.aspx

Can I use Office Home & Student 2013 RT for work or business?
No – Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview and the final edition are not for use in commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities.

And looking through the list of "What Office Home & Student 2013 features are unavailable in Office Home & Student 2013 RT?" is pretty disappointing. No Outlook, No "send as attachment", No Macros/add-ins.

Also noticed the black cover is not optional on 64GB model, so if you want the Type cover, or another colour it is *extra*, not instead of.
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Brad » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:33 pm

I'd be assuming that the functionality of outlook is built into the default apps, or otherwise they are really starting behind the 8-ball. In any case, at this pricing I can't see it blowing the ipad out of the water.

It is strange to not bundle the keyboard with all the models - it is the major hardware positive that microsoft has going for it.

Interesting also that Windows 8 plus office takes up 12Gb or so. No wonder there is no 16Gb version.

The comments floating around about the screen trade-offs are interesting as well - they chose the lower res screen (vs the ipad) as a trade off on battery life vs image quality. Given the ipad gets 10+ hours and the surface RT is aiming for 8 hours of run time, windows is chewing through the power much more than iOS. I realise Windows is going to be a much more powerful environment but you obviously pay for it in power consumption.

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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:30 am

Win8 has a Mail app which will work fine as a replacement for Outlook in the tablet world, but think of it as the way mail, calendars, contacts etc tend to be different apps on your phone, rather than an integrated thing like Outlook. If you've used a Windows Phone then you'll understand that it actually works really well because of the way the People and Messaging hubs function to "join" apps that service those functions.

Only the most basic model comes with a "no keyboard" option. The reason I'm surprised they don't all have that is because if you don't want a black keyboard, then the colour one is extra. So if you buy the higher model one, you then pay extra for a colour keyboard. Mind you, at the prices they are asking the black keyboard on the 64GB model is effectively "free". I'm really keen to see what the "Type" keyboard is like. I've heard some pretty amazing reviews about it.

I dunno how much space they take up, keeping in mind these are "Lite" versions of both Windows and Office. As for power, I don't think there would be much difference between Windows and iOS in that respect, nearly the entire drain on a battery is the screen and then any GPU heavy processing you do. HD Video processing is going to require the same grunt regardless of the OS. However nobody has had a chance to actually review the Surface battery life for real, so it might be better, might be worse. Does the iPad *really* get the claimed 10 hours of life though?
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Brad » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:00 pm

I read the comment about the size in a review somewhere - the 32Gb model will have about 20Gb of storage actually free.

As to battery life - I use my ipad pretty constantly during the day (totally against the apple intentions, I use it as a notepad with a stylus) and after 12 hours of on-off use, I rarely see the battery below 50%. The 10+ hours feels pretty realistic to me. It might be slightly less if you were playing video constantly, and I'd be surprised if it was over 8 hours playing a processor intensive games. For just reading or web surfing I'd expect 12+ hours. (There were plenty of tests done at the time the iPad 3 came out - the backlight is the biggest variable in how long these things run. If you turn it down as much as possible, you can get a 20-30% benefit in battery life.)

When Apple moved to the high res screen, they almost doubled the size of the battery for the iPad 3, which is why the ipad 3 is actually heavier than the ipad 2. The new screens use more power, the graphics system is working harder and there is more active ram required to deal with the screen.

After all this I was quite surprised a the MS comments around the trade-off they chose - using a lower res screen to give better battery life. I'm not surehow the weight compares between iPad and Surface, but it seems strange that they would end up with slightly shorter battery life (assuming they are roughly comparable testing - big assumption) after they had chosen a much lower res screen.

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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:32 pm

It will all be interesting to see how they really perform. MS has a lot riding on this, so even if it doesn't "kill the iPad", it still needs to make a pretty decent dent.

Either way, I'm waiting to see the reviews and what the OEMs bring out before I rush to get one. I'm really keen, but it's still a lot of money for something I don't *have* to have.
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby KRaM » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:40 am

Either way, I'm waiting to see the reviews and what the OEMs bring out before I rush to get one. I'm really keen, but it's still a lot of money for something I don't *have* to have.


Thats my take on it too - for some reason laptops seem to be scarce at my current workplace and its bugging the hell out of me (especially coming from CBA where wireless laptops are standard). A tablet that I could use for personal/business use does appeal but I want the flexibility of my PC with the convenience/usability of the iPad. Man it sucks being a white male in the first world!

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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:23 pm

More products are starting to be announced. Not a lot in the way of "pure" tablets that are much different from the Surface, but some of the other form factor devices are starting to make an appearance.

The Asus Taichi for one looks like an interesting approach
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DNQc9rgV9A
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Piers » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:52 pm

It's getting a caning in the reviews...
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:49 pm

Which reviews are you reading? I'm seeing a lot which seem to quite like it. There are a lot of bad reviews for Win8 itself rather than the surface, but most people I've spoke to in the real world that don't earn a living as "technology writers" are actually quite keen on Win8.

Here the video of the Microsoft Surface keynote - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3kHpk7oRjg Check out the "drop" around 13:30. Would love to see Apple tempt fate like that!
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby DJDrDamage » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:56 pm

i like the form factor.
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Mort » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:40 pm

I had a play with a Sony today. Had a sort of flip up screen with the keyboard underneath. The mechanism seemed a bit overly complex, but it was much lighter than I expected and was running a full version of Windows. I'd probably prefer a Surface Pro with the Type cover though. http://www.cnet.com/laptops/sony-vaio-d ... 77656.html
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Re: Surface RT tablet pricing announce

Postby Piers » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:41 pm

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/10/24/ ... w-roundup/

http://www.techspot.com/news/50592-surf ... -apps.html

The reviews I saw on Flipboard were mostly negative - lots of apps crash all the time and the device is overpriced.
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