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Microsoft Surface Pro 2


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29 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 12:11 AM

So I'm reading volumes, most of it negative, about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 even though it appears nobody really has one, when it suddenly dawns on this old computer nerd that the word "apps" - as in Apple has hundreds of thousands more apps - really means "software." Now I knew this, but I'm a little slow in my old age and I do know that those hundreds of thousands more iPad apps are useless to me.

 

It was then that I realized the Surface Pro 2, with the keyboard of course, might actually let me use a tablet for virtually everything I do on my computer, and without the keyboard virtually everything I do on my iPad. I don't know why I didn't realize that possibility sooner. And it may be conceivable that I might never upgrade to a Windows 8 desktop or laptop computer. And while I don't have some enterprise with hundreds of employees using Windows computers, I "work" like I do.

 

It's weird. I have all the various Kindle and Amazon software and iTunes elements on my Windows computer. I assume that all will run on a Surface Pro 2 and so I can use it to read books just like my iPad. I can watch video from Amazon and Netflix and my Slingbox and virtually any video source on the web, including iTunes, on my Windows computer. I assume that will run on a Surface Pro 2. I can play music from "the cloud", whether it's Amazon or iTunes.

 

I cannot do well on my iPad Excel spreadsheets or use WordPerfect or Corel Paintshop Pro or a host of other stuff I do on my computer, but maybe I can do those on a Surface Pro 2? And run Firefox with Java and Flash and run Thunderbird so I wouldn't have to drag my laptop along if I go somewhere?

 

So the question is for those of you who have a Surface Pro, does the Surface Pro v.1 essentially run most Windows software reasonably well? And why, again, would I upgrade to an iPad 2 or later, which is nifty but so, so limited, if I can comfortably read a Kindle book, post here, get my mail, do my books on Quicken, etc. etc.

 

How would having a Surface Pro 2 - instead of a laptop and a tablet running a different OS - not be a better idea? The only real downside I see is that it is heavier than my iPad which might be a problem for reading in bed. Yes, I know it's more expensive than other tablets, but if I don't need my computer.....

 

I would appreciate any serious thoughts.


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#2 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 05:20 AM

Honestly, I don't know why so many are negative on it. There is a lot of hate for the Windows 8 GUI, but it actually makes some sense for a touch interface.


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#3 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 05:55 AM

The Windows 8 GUI sucks if you DON'T have a touchscreen.


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#4 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 06:24 AM

The Windows 8 GUI sucks if you DON'T have a touchscreen.

 

4.99 for start 8 and you are rid of the interface, or wait for 8.1 which will bring the start button back



#5 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 09:17 AM

The Windows 8 GUI sucks if you DON'T have a touchscreen.

Yeah, that's why I haven't gone forward to upgrade from 7. And it's why I'm inquiring about the Surface Pro 2, hardware which seems to allow for the best of all worlds for someone who uses Windows software (or apps, if you prefer)..


"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
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#6 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:19 AM

With the docking station, it might be the last desktop that I'd need. . . not that I'm going anywhere, I just think desktops are on the way out.

 

Kinda pricey with all the accessories.



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#7 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 05:07 PM

The Windows 8 GUI sucks if you DON'T have a touchscreen.

I've been using Windows 8 since June and have been very happy with it. I boot to the desktop already but I have used a couple of the tiled apps too. There are a fair number of keyboard shortcuts that help considerably, but I don't really miss not having the touch interface. My keyboard has a sleep button and I have a shut-down button on my desktop. HP has a Quick Start program that acts as a reasonable substitute for Windows Start menu.

 

I have owned an iPod Touch for three years now and am quite familiar with touch gestures on that device.

 

Windows Secrets recommends a large Logitech TouchPad for use with Windows 8 if you really want to use the touch interface with a desktop machine.


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#8 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 06:08 PM

4.99 for start 8 and you are rid of the interface, or wait for 8.1 which will bring the start button back

 

8.1 brings back a start button, not the old Windows start menu. That is what most people really want, and what Start 8 gets you.



#9 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:37 AM

or wait for 8.1 which will bring the start button back

 

Only sorta... 


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#10 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:38 AM

8.1 brings back a start button, not the old Windows start menu. That is what most people really want, and what Start 8 gets you.

 

If you right click you get some of the old start menu options.


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#11 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:05 AM

So I'm reading volumes, most of it negative, about the Microsoft Surface Pro 2 even though it appears nobody really has one, when it suddenly dawns on this old computer nerd that the word "apps" - as in Apple has hundreds of thousands more apps - really means "software." Now I knew this, but I'm a little slow in my old age and I do know that those hundreds of thousands more iPad apps are useless to me.

You're not alone.

 

Surface shares the same "Sesame Street user interface" as it's simpler cousin WIN8. UGH.

 

That said, I absolutely love the new side-by-side Surface tablet commercials with the Siri-speaking iPad confessing to all the major shortcomings in the iPad.

 

You have another alternative to both Surface/WIN8 and iOS.iPad - Android. In terms of your concerns on MS Surface apps - there are now more than 150,000 Android apps. Just an FYI to consider.


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#12 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:29 AM

You're not alone.

 

Surface shares the same "Sesame Street user interface" as it's simpler cousin WIN8. UGH.

 

That said, I absolutely love the new side-by-side Surface tablet commercials with the Siri-speaking iPad confessing to all the major shortcomings in the iPad.

 

You have another alternative to both Surface/WIN8 and iOS.iPad - Android. In terms of your concerns on MS Surface apps - there are now more than 150,000 Android apps. Just an FYI to consider.

I like those ads but I had just ignored them in terms of having meaning for me. It wasn't until I started looking at reviews and specs of the Surface Pro 2 that I realized it might actually function as a Windows 8.1 OS computer. The information is not as clear as I would like, but apparently it has an HD-out, an audio out, can connect to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and offers USB drive connectivity. My old befuddled brain started thinking that before my Windows 7 over-powered computer fails, as it inevitably will someday, I might transition to a Surface Pro 2 replacing both my computer and my iPAD 1 making me actually and fully computer mobile using a tablet.

 

I was hoping someone who uses the Surface Pro 1 might reflect on the reality of that thought.


Edited by phrelin, 28 September 2013 - 11:32 AM.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
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#13 OFFLINE   RasputinAXP

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:50 AM

Chalk it up to Microsoft's lousy marketing. The pro and pro 2 are full fledged windows 8 laptops without keyboards. Other than the minuscule screen they're great.

I have the original surface rt and it's merely okay.

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#14 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:14 PM

Isn't the new 'Pro' just a relabeled RT and won't run regular Windows applications.  That's what I got out of a couple of articles I found.



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#15 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

No, Pro is full Windows. the Surface 2 is RT, Surface Pro 2 is not. They basically dropped the RT from the product name.



#16 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:54 PM

Here's a link to the PDF spec sheet I downloaded from Microsoft. I'd like more details but I can't seem to find such a sheet.

 

The reviews have been very misleading because they aren't very careful to distinguish between the Surface, which IMHO is clearly a "tablet" depending on "apps", and the Surface Pro, which is clearly a "computer" in tablet format which runs "software" and "apps."


Edited by phrelin, 28 September 2013 - 03:57 PM.

"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
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My AV Setup
My Slingbox Pro HD Experience
My Blog: The Redwood Guardian


#17 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:13 PM

I saw that same pdf and until I see more than it runs 'Office', I'd be very wary.

 

Or take some app (on a usb stick) and see if it'll install.



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#18 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:01 PM

I saw that same pdf and until I see more than it runs 'Office', I'd be very wary.

 

Or take some app (on a usb stick) and see if it'll install.

Actually, that spec sheet is for the Pro and it says:

 

Runs Windows 8 Pro and uses the apps available in the Windows Store. Also runs applications from Windows 7 desktop and integrates with your existing enterprise management infrastructure.

 

I'm "wary" but hopeful. I think this review is the typical confusing review Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2: Impressive hardware specs, but meaningless without the software ecosystem :
 

...The tablets themselves, except for a beautiful 1080p display on the Surface 2, introduce almost no new features. Instead, new functionality is provided by a variety of new attachments, such as the Power Cover, which will increase battery life by around 50%, and a Docking Station, which makes it much easier to use your Surface Pro 2 as a desktop replacement....

 

The Docking Station, which looks really weird (cool) and has an awesome mechanism for locking your Surface in place, is basically a port replicator (and extender) for your Surface Pro 2. The idea is that you use your Surface Pro 2 while on the move, and then plug into the Docking Station once you get home or to the office. The Docking Station has four USB ports, one Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio in and out sockets, and an Ethernet socket. Some sites are reporting that the Surface Pro can drive two external displays via the Docking Station, but we can’t confirm that.

 

Curiously, there’s also a wireless adapter for the Surface keyboards, which allows you to use the keyboard without it being attached to the tablet. All of these interesting keyboards/peripherals, incidentally, are coming “early 2014,” rather than at launch.

 

But then he gets to the point of comparing and he tellingly confuses the Surface with the Surface Pro and in two sentences negates the entire review:

 

Microsoft pointed out that the Windows Store now has 100,000 apps — up from 10,000 this time last year, when the Surface RT launched — but, tellingly, very little time was actually spent showing off killer apps… because there are none. Without a powerful software ecosystem, the Surface tablets are nothing more than massively overpowered digital photo frames.

 

I don't get the "killer app" thing. If it turns out one can run every piece of software that will run in the Windows 8.1 environment, what are the "killer" apps I just couldn't live without since I will still have my iPhone fastened to my belt when away from home? I know exactly how the lack of truly usable software comparable to and effectively compatible with what's on my desktop computer keeps me from buying any new tablet beyond my iPad 1.


"In a hundred years there'll be a whole new set of people."
"Always poke the bears. They sleep too much for their own good."

"If you're good enough, they'll talk about you." - Tom Harmon
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My AV Setup
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My Blog: The Redwood Guardian


#19 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

I based my comments on that Extreme Tech article and an equally confusing one from CNet.  I'm not sure why no one can say that it runs anything from Windows that you can throw at it.   I want things like the DOS Visual Basic to run.



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#20 ONLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:28 PM

Can you use a mouse with the SP2? My disability limits me to using a mouse and not able to use touchscreens.


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