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 Post subject: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:57 am 
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There's news of it all over the web so I wont bother to repeat it all here.

To be honest I haven't dug down into the detail yet, but this is the first thing I've seen MS do recently that I think has a chance at denting Apple. And this is where Windows 8 makes perfect sense.

There are two models, a cut down ARM one and a higher end one using and Ivy Bridge i5. So it should be competitive to a laptop or mid range desktop.

Concentrating more on the higher end model, I think it could do well as it isn't just doing something like an iPad, but goes way beyond that. You can use it as a touchscreen. You get a detachable keyboard if you want. You can also use it as a pen input device. Plus you can run your desktop programs on it.

Possible drawbacks? Obviously you can't get it yet, and the hint is it will be available with Win8, which I think is later this year. Also no one knows what it's going to cost. It'll have to be affordable, competitive, and good value. Extending touch to desktop apps will only get you so far until software is updated to make better use of it, and then you get the split between the dedicated apps vs. traditional desktop ones.

In my opinion, this could be the best all round tablet. Now just get it out there!

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:58 pm 
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It certainly does have the potential to be very good. I am still not sure if it will catch on though. I think it will all depend on availability of software/apps. The app store has built up such a vast catalogue that there is pretty much everything you could wish for on there. I reckon Microsoft will have to do something special in terms of advertising to beat apples attractive adverts if they want it to be successful. The use of desktop software is something exciting but it might be limited to Microsoft programs! The accessories look very appealing as well, especially the keyboard. Apples only answer to that is the keyboard dock which is not very portable. I guess only time will tell if we have a new iPad contendor :D

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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:53 pm 
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There's quite a nice write up at Redmond Pie. But if you need a keyboard/trackpad and stylus, and for any significant content creation I don't think they are optional, my belief is that any Tablet is a very poor second best to an ultra-book. Good for Microsoft for including the functionality but think carefully before blowing the budget on a toy instead of a nice new lens. :D

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Thanks for the link Bob. It looks a bit like a rip off of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Unless is does something really special I don't think I'll buy it. I'll stick with the iPad and focus on getting new camera gear :D

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Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:11 pm 
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I think the high end model is essentially an ultrabook with tablet extras, without a size cost. The only unknown is what did they do for the CPU? Both are similarly form factor constrained so I think they'll be in a very similar power envelope. If MS don't totally screw up somewhere, I could see this replacing my laptop. I couldn't say that for any current tablet.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:26 pm 
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I agree with you Popo that it could replace the laptop. It could be used for general everyday tasks and then your main home desktop for more intensive tasks such as photo editing. I suspect it will have a reasonably powerful CPU. Tablets and even phones are starting to get more and more powerful and quad cores are creeping there way in :D

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Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Hi popo,

Out of interest what is the most complex or computationally demanding software you expect to use on such a device? Will such software require intensive hand/eye coordination? Pretty obvious why I ask but those questions go to the heart of the matter.

Bob.

P.S. I've been relying solely on my PlayBook for over a week. Takes me five times longer to do even the simplest things, including typing this post and correcting typos! Moderating the forum has been impractical. :evil:

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:20 pm 
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In processing terms, the most demanding things I use my current laptop for would be batch raw processing, general image editing and occasional gaming, although not so much of the latter these days. Even putting aside gaming, which I don't think would be a major issue as current Intel GFX is reaching usable levels, the key thing is I'd have the ability to use the x86 software I already have. Maybe I'm getting old, but I am rather particular to FireFox with my selection of plugins that just can't be replicated with Chrome or IE, and my power surfing is high up on the usage list. Doing the same on a playbook, iphone... just isn't the same. The touch capabilities I think could supplement things, and the dedicated tablet apps would be something to grow over time but not initially that important. Guess the way I look at it, it is a laptop and tablet in one. Of course I'm mainly considering the higher model here.

If those thoughts sound a bit random, they probably are. I'm imagining using something that you can't buy yet and we don't know the spec of. Or even entirely what it will do. Just hope my imagination isn't getting too far ahead of me. If it turns out not to be what I expect, I wouldn't have lost anything other than a little time considering it.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:59 pm 
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I am not sure any tablet will be able to get anywhere near laptops/desktops for tasks like processing photos for at least a few more years. I know that you are able to use software that you already own but how would this work? Would you have to download it from the internet like you would on a normal computer or will there be some form of an app store? I think it could be a laptop/tablet all in one IF the processor they have put in it is reasonably powerful. I would expect something that is not too far of laptops of that price. It should have a quad core if Microsoft have played their cards right!

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Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:04 pm 
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In one write up it was said the Pro version of the tablet will have an Ivy Bridge i5 in it. It wasn't revealed what clock it runs at, and we can't rule out the possibility it will be clock reduced to extend power, but you can't say the technology is out of date.

Remember all the fuss about Windows 8 on desktop? Well, this tablet is what it was made for. I'd assume you'd still get the "desktop mode" on it for running traditional programs.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Oh wow I didn't realise it was running the desktop version of Windows 8 I must have read that wrong :D That would be pretty cool. An Ivy Bridge i5 would be good. Although like you said I reckon it would be clocked down or battery life would be bad. Overall I am quite excited about this although don't think I will buy one since I opted for a powerful laptop (MBP 17inch) rather than a desktop. It's portable enough to take where ever I plan on doing anything power intensive. Thats not to say I won't switch from iPad to MS Surface but probably not this generation.

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Camera: Canon 550D with battery grip
Lenses: Canon 24-105mm f/4L, Canon 50mm f1.4, Canon 18-55mm, Tamron 70-300mm,
Accessories: Manfrotto 055XPROB with 808RC4 head, Canon 430ex II speedlite, Lowepro Nova 180AW and Lowepro Pro Runner 450AW


Oh that is so lame, every hot girl who can aim a camera thinks she’s a photographer -Stewie Griffin


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:01 am 
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In today's market, you need much more than good specs to launch a successful tablet, something I fear Microsoft might learn the hard way.

Imagine if a camera manufacturer would make a 500 megapixel camera with 1080p and 8k video, which can go up to 4 billion ISO with no grain, and can take up to 10 million frames per second, and somehow magically fit everything on a standard SD card, with a price tag of 250$.

Now what if I told you that the only lens that camera could work with is the Canon 75-300mm III non-USM version (which can't handle 18 megapixels let alone 500), and that there's no possibility of making any lens mounts or anything to make any other lenses compatible with it.

That's the challenge Microsoft will have to face.

Apps devs invest tons of money in Android and iOS apps because there is a large market for such apps. Most currently skipped the windows mobile and windows 7 mobile platforms. If Microsoft can convince the apps devs that win 8 will be worth it, it'll take off. If not, it'll be an expensive digital picture frame with wi-fi and a keyboard.

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Cameras: Canon EOS 6D, Canon EOS Rebel T3i, Canon EOS Rebel T2i, Canon S90
Lenses: Tamron: SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Rokinon: 8mm Fisheye cine, Canon: EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III, and EF 50mm f/1.8 II
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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:34 am 
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There's two perspectives on viewing the surface. The lower model will certainly be compared to the iPad, and will rise or fall on the app support MS is able to summon. I think MS are big enough to get a foothold even at this late stage in the game, more so than Blackberry can for example.

The upper model is different. You can use it like a "laptop plus" as well as a tablet. While not strictly a new category, no one has managed to make that stick in the past. I see that as a possible evolution of laptops and desktops, and that would drag the tablet centric side along with it.

There's an old saying, you don't win in business by doing exactly the same as your competitors. Android devices are keeping up with their Apple equivalents, but they're not radically different. MS have gone the extra step here. This is not the same battle.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Oh joy of joys - after 10 days away in the Lake District I'm reunited with my workstation and can relegate the PlayBook to light and trivial duties. :)

As a result I've been able to do a few comparisons. The Core i5 version of the Surface has a 10.6" display, is just over half an inch thick and weighs about 2 lb. The iPad 3 has a very slightly smaller screen at 9.7", albeit one with more pixels so far as I can tell, is just over 1/3rd of an inch thick and weighs about 1.5 lbs. The Lenovo ThinkPad X230t Convertible Tablet has a bigger screen at 12.5" but rather less pixels at 1366x768, is about 1" thick and weighs in at, for a "tablet", a rather portly 3.7 lb. The only reason I've chosen the X230t as an example is that it has a touch screen - if a touch screen isn't needed then there's a ton of ultra-books out there to choose from.

The point? The Surface (Windows Pro version) seems to fall uncomfortably between two stools. It's too big and heavy to be a true tablet but decidedly underweight if it's to be considered a notebook replacement. There's a (not entirely complimentary) review up at Hot Hardware of the X230t - the review model sported a Core i5-3320M, 4GB DDR3, 320GB HDD and cost $1249 as tested. Compare those specs with what we already know about the Surface and you'll see why I consider the Surface a toy. I'm tempted to suggest that the Surface is for Suckers but that would be undiplomatic. :twisted: There'll be some for whom it will work well but I'm firmly of the opinion that something the size of the Galaxy Tab (or a PlayBook if you already own a BlackBerry phone) is far better if portability is the priority. But if you want to do serious work then the Surface will frustrate and one would be far better off with an ultra-book. And if you must have a touch screen/stylus input then get an X230t or equivalent...

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject: Re: MS Surface
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:41 am 
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Way I see it, size/weight wise the Surface compared to the iPad is close enough, that the extra capability of the Surface easily "wins" over. One thing I never really got, and that is why is there an obsession with "thin"? That to me is the dimension of least worry. Weight remains a consideration and I don't think there to be a major issue here. No, it wont be the choice if you do need ultimate portability, but for example the Playbook to me isn't really usable as a serious productivity device. Different use.

Note sure I see any current reason why the Sufrace will be bad as a laptop. Also bear in mind it will have an OS that is more touch-centric than the X230t with windows 7 is, but of course it remains to be seen how that really works in practice.

I find it kinda amusing this could almost be a parallel to the DSLR vs. mirrorless debate... but who is in which role?

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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