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Microsoft Cuts Surface Pro Price By $100

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the slashing-prices dept.

Microsoft 341

SmartAboutThings writes "After discounting the Surface RT tablet worldwide by 30 percent, Microsoft is now cutting the price of its Surface Pro tablet by one hundred dollars. Steve Ballmer himself has recently declared that he was unhappy with the number of tablets Microsoft has managed to sell. The price cut offer is valid between August 4th and August 29th. It might continue or stop, according to the supply. The price cut is applicable to Surface Pro 64 GB & 128 GB models."

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341 comments

Hell Utah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472147)

Omg

Not enough (5, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year ago | (#44472155)

Sorry but that's not enough- not nearly enough.

Perhaps if they were between $350 and $550?

Otherwise, I can have a 10" tablet for $300 (or much less) or I can have a laptop for $450 (or much less).

The touch is okay but the price point isn't right.

Re:Not enough (4, Interesting)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472223)

The price cut lets it undercut every direct competitor by 100 bucks. This thing doesn't compete against a puny ARM tablet or even a puny $450 laptop. It competes against ultrabooks and especially ultrabook-tablet hybrids (Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro, Sony Vaio Duo...).

It has its niche - less money for the same product is always better, but it's by no means overpriced.

Re:Not enough (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | about a year ago | (#44472281)

If you never want to run apps on it, ever, then Windows 8 is apparently a nice interface for touch.

Re:Not enough (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44472491)

If you never want to run apps on it, ever, then Windows 8 is apparently a nice interface for touch.

That is pretty true of Surface 8 RT (although there are quite a few apps for it).

But Surface 8 Pro is a full fledged 64bit Windows (wintel) device that will run just about anything your desktop machine will run, and the performance is pretty amazing. Beats the hell out of my Android 10 inch tablet in terms of speed and responsiveness. It really is pretty nice hardware.

For my day job, (where I have to do Windows Development) I've had to travel with a monster laptop, but I've now got everything on a 128Gig Pro 8 with and additional 64gig MircroSD card for storage, and the click keyboard.
I have all my source code, compilers, linkers, IDEs and a complete replication of my work environment on the device.
I can even run VMware on it. Linux in virtual machines for supporting my other customers.

Yes, run time is not that great (although its way more than the 4 hours claimed because its battery saving strategy is very good).
Yes, Its heavier than my Android tablet, but nowhere near as heavy as even a small laptop).
And, IMHO, the touch interface is less than inspiring, but I spend most of my time working in an a software development environment (desktop) anyway do I don't notice.

Expensive! That's the only serious complaint. But as a business tax write-off, it didn't hurt much.

Hate on RT as you will, but Pro is a good product, and a pretty high price.

Re:Not enough (2)

Fishchip (1203964) | about a year ago | (#44472297)

It's kind of funny how many people assume the Pro has an ARM and it's an overpriced premium iPad competitor. I'd love to get one, or something similar, but can't justify the price. =) Of any of them.

Re:Not enough (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472391)

It competes against ultrabooks

Sure. it just doesn't compete successfully, that's all.

Re:Not enough (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#44472609)

It also competes favorably with hand warmers. Seriously. These things get hot. At least the one I played with did.

Re:Not enough (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year ago | (#44472849)

I get that.

But the sales are so low that there is no way 100 bucks is going to kickstart them.

What is it- like 150,000 total units sold world wide with a 20% return rate?

With 4,000,000 units unsold?

$100 bucks isn't enough.

I'm not bashing or hating on Microsoft. I'm just stating reality.

The "puny" units being sold for $450 are as powerful as my "top of the line unit" bought just a few years ago.

Sure-- some power junkies might even need (not just want) the surface- but it's exceptional overkill for most people. They don't need the extra power so they are not going to pay for it. Very similar to the "lisa" mistake Apple made decades ago.

Perhaps they'll cut $100 now, then another $100 in October and another $100 in December-- trying to find the price point where the product starts selling. But every month they put off price cuts just means the technological advantage of the surface machines is decaying relative to other machines.

Re:Not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472951)

The price cut lets it undercut every direct competitor by 100 bucks. This thing doesn't compete against a puny ARM tablet or even a puny $450 laptop. It competes against ultrabooks and especially ultrabook-tablet hybrids (Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro, Sony Vaio Duo...).

It has its niche - less money for the same product is always better, but it's by no means overpriced.

Ultrabooks and Ultrabook/tablet hybrids may be competitors to Surface Pro, but not Surface RT. Surface RT is useless junk, that does not run Windows applications, has no apps ecosystem and is locked down. The only thing MS can do with its pile of Surface RTs is to find a recycling company that is not going to charge them arm and leg.

Re:Not enough (2)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about a year ago | (#44472967)

This thing doesn't compete against a puny ARM tablet or even a puny $450 laptop. It competes against ultrabooks and especially ultrabook-tablet hybrids

Nope. It competes against iPads, as per Microsoft's own advertising. To repeat: Microsoft just spent a metric assload of money to tell the world that the Surface is a better iPad. Some units in the company might think that they're competing against ultrabooks and hybrids, but their marketing department has said clearly that it's competing against Apple tablets.

Re:Not enough (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44472273)

well surface pro is x86 and has digitizer input..

but it's still a year old design at this point. they should have bundled it with both soft and hard keyboards, to make it compete with laptops properly.

Re:Not enough (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44472543)

well surface pro is x86 and has digitizer input..

but it's still a year old design at this point. they should have bundled it with both soft and hard keyboards, to make it compete with laptops properly.

Yeah, the keyboard being extra is a bummer, because the touch screen one works fine, but takes way too much space.
And the softkey one is not worth the price. This machine really shines with the Click Keyboard.

But its actually x86_64, a full 64bit quad-core Core-i5. Boots in 7 seconds flat.

Re:Not enough (1)

CanadianMacFan (1900244) | about a year ago | (#44472957)

Why does everyone care about how long it takes a computer to boot? They should really care about a system that doesn't need to reboot so the boot time becomes irrelevant. I don't care how long my Linux server takes to reboot because I rarely have to reboot it. Same thing with my Mac desktop and iPhone.

Re:Not enough (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472305)

The pen makes it absolutely worth it. It's a professional Wacom digitizer pen with 1024 levels of sensitivity. Drawing right on the tablet screen is awesome. The pen also works with desktop apps like Illustrator, Photoshop, SketchPad Pro, etc.

Re:Not enough (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44472561)

The pen makes it absolutely worth it. It's a professional Wacom digitizer pen with 1024 levels of sensitivity. Drawing right on the tablet screen is awesome. The pen also works with desktop apps like Illustrator, Photoshop, SketchPad Pro, etc.

Odd, I haven't found a single use for the pen, but would never invest in this tablet without the Click Keyboard (not the cheesy touch keyboard)

All my artistic skills would fit on the head of a pin, so its not a mystery why I don't use the pen.

Re:Not enough (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#44472857)

Now that's the kind of info I like to see. Sure it may not be as good as the latest Wacom Cintiq but certainly good enough for my needs.

Re:Not enough (1)

patm1987 (773851) | about a year ago | (#44472383)

You're responding about the wrong Surface. The Pro's (and the Windows 8 Pro tablets) are the only ones you can find that can actually self-host their entire development environment. That's why I carry around a Surface and a Kindle Fire (soon to be replaced with a Nexus 7), if the 7 could run Eclipse or Android Studio then I'd be singing a different tune (or if the iPad could run XCode, the Windows RT tablets Visual Studio). I still go to a full setup at home/work. But I don't want to be cooped up inside all the time (and since I'm too cheap to upgrade my desktop to an SSD, I often just plug the surface into a monitor and keyboard/mouse as it takes less time to boot to a usable interface).

Re:Not enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472405)

If this was a Linux x86 tablet and you were comparing it to a iPad you'd be modded down for the flub. You're wrong on every level imaginable. Get a clue as to what a tablet is compared to an ultra portable. When it was the HP TC series doing what the surface did it was acceptable to call it a tablet, today this kind of machine no longer fits the description of what is marketed as a tablet.

Re:Not enough (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#44472549)

Wait for the Woot.

Re:Not enough (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#44472789)

Wait for the Woot.

Then at Big Lot's.

Excellent (1)

EraseEraseMe (167638) | about a year ago | (#44472159)

I really enjoy mine and the more people that use it the more developers can start taking advantage of some of the half-tablet half-laptop features that make it a damn good travel companion - aside from battery consumption.

Re:Excellent (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44472189)

It's not our duty to improve your experience. You bought a tablet with little third party developer support, so suck it up.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472277)

It is the surface pro. It is Windows Pro on it not RT. It therefore has probably the largest developer support base of any desktop platform.

Re:Excellent (1, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44472371)

It therefore has probably the largest developer support base of any desktop platform.

Which might be good, if it wasn't a tablet that tries to be a crappy laptop.

Re:Excellent (4, Interesting)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472283)

Little third-party developer support? You must live in some fantasy world where Windows 95-Windows 8 never existed. A tablet that runs every 32-bit (and 64-bit) application ever written for the world's most popular OS since the mid-90's does not have "little third party developer support".

Re:Excellent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472381)

Ever tried using any "application for most popular OS since mid-90's" on a touchscreen? Keyboard and mouse oriented interfaces *suck* on a 10" touchscreen.

Re:Excellent (2)

InsGadget (2092854) | about a year ago | (#44472449)

Ever tried using any "application for most popular OS since mid-90's" on a touchscreen? Keyboard and mouse oriented interfaces *suck* on a 10" touchscreen.

Well, then, hook up a keyboard and mouse. Touch is optional.

Re:Excellent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472509)

It's called l-a-p-t-o-p, or n-o-t-e-b-o-o-k P-C. You might want to look it up.

If touch is just a useless gimmick, then why not simply get a cheaper and/or better specced notebook?

Re:Excellent (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#44472813)

Ever tried using any "application for most popular OS since mid-90's" on a touchscreen? Keyboard and mouse oriented interfaces *suck* on a 10" touchscreen.

Well, then, hook up a keyboard and mouse. Touch is optional.

I really love it when people keep moving the goalposts.

Re:Excellent (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472567)

You'd be amazed by how easy most stuff is to use. There's plenty of stuff that works awfully without a keyboard (pen makes for a decent makeshift mouse), but you wouldn't use most of it away from a desk, would you?

Re:Excellent (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472423)

Little third-party developer support? You must live in some fantasy world where Windows 95-Windows 8 never existed.

You've clearly never used one if you think that Windows software is mostly practical on a tablet. If it was then there wouldn't have been any need to develop Metro. Of course, you can use it as a half-assed laptop, but an actual laptop would be cheaper and better so why bother?

Re:Excellent (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472583)

I have. Most software that you'd use in a setting where a tablet makes sense works relatively well. The rest can just use mouse and keyboard, since you'll be doing it at a desk anyway.

Re:Excellent (1, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44472611)

Little third-party developer support? You must live in some fantasy world where Windows 95-Windows 8 never existed. A tablet that runs every 32-bit (and 64-bit) application ever written for the world's most popular OS since the mid-90's does not have "little third party developer support".

Exactly!
There is an entire world of people who still don't understand that Surface Pro is radically different than RT.

Its actually x86_64, a full 64bit quad-core Core-i5. Boots in 7 seconds flat. And its performance is amazing, and the
interface is well thought out.

When they give me my start bar back I'll be far less fumble fingered, and I'll probably stop smudging the screen at all.! ;-)

Re:Excellent (3, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#44472323)

Seriously you are saying windows X86/X64 has little third party support? seriously?? like it or hate it, it is perhaps the single most supported platform by third parties on the planet.

Re:Excellent (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472433)

Congratulations, you've won the bronze in the "Miss the fucking point completely" competition!

Hint: most desktop apps from "most supported platform on the planet" are mostly useless when running on small touchscreen. There's a reason tablet computers didn't really catch on until iOS - and not for the lack of tablets with "most supported platform on the planet". There was even Windows XP Tablet Edition, which still didn't help a bit.

Re:Excellent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472705)

You mean Windows 3.1 For Pen edition.

Re:Excellent (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year ago | (#44472927)

There's a reason tablet computers didn't really catch on until iOS - and not for the lack of tablets with "most supported platform on the planet".

The main reason was because of the form factor and weight. Early tablet PCs were not comfortable to use, especially for extended periods. Plus the lack instant on/off meant that you couldn't quickly look something up then resume a low power state - which is the way people want to use a portable device.

The technology just wasn't ready in the early Pen For Windows days.

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472335)

Little support for third party developers of what? Linux? FYI, the Surface Pro is running Windows 8 Pro so yeah - you can install any third party software that you want?

Poor (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44472233)

aside from battery consumption.

...Low Storage Space; Need a table; Heavy; Poor connectivity options(Lacks LETE,3G, or 4G); Pen Attached through Power connector; None Upgradable.

Ooooh Look Google have just released the Nexus 7 version 2

Re:Poor (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472303)

Easily expandable storage via USB, works like any tablet, not too heavy, sure - 3G would be great, it doesn't have to be, what is these days?

Re:Poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472517)

Easily expandable storage via USB

Yeah with read and write speeds in the single digit MB/sec. Oooh impressive!

Re:Poor (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#44472547)

Storage drives are not meant to be impressive in terms of speed. That's what you have SSD for.

Your comment is about as smart as raging that a delivery truck isn't as fast as a racing car.

Re:Poor (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44472635)

USB 3 drives that are not generic junk can easily copy at speeds up to 30 megs a second! Not the junk you see on sale at Walgreens that has hurt the reputation of them.

Re:Poor (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472375)

Actually, there's plenty of storage space, I never need a table, I don't want another monthly mobile device bill and the pen is awesome. It's one of the best things about the whole product!

I bet you haven't even used this product.

Re:Poor (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44472711)

...Low Storage Space; Need a table; Heavy; Poor connectivity options(Lacks LETE,3G, or 4G); Pen Attached through Power connector; None Upgradable.

Storage is available up to 128GIG. (How much did that Nexus 7 max out at? 32gig?)
Then you can add a MicroSD card for as much as you want. (Sounds like upgrade-able to me). Nexus 7? No MicroSD slot?
Don't need a table. Nice to have, because it has a built in fold-out stand. Nexus 7?
Heavy. Got me there.
Poor connectivity options? Has WIFI.
      (I'm not buying carrier service for a tablet. (Seriously, who does that). I have a wifi tether in my pocket for those rare time I want to
        use my tablet while sleeping under a bridge.)
Pen, Someone uses the pen? Nexus 7 Pen?

Re:Excellent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472245)

"I really enjoy mine "

You must be the prop guy from 'Under the dome', the only place where I saw one.

Re:Excellent (2)

Even (22602) | about a year ago | (#44472315)

ASUS Transformer Pad..
I travel with it, it is light, has a nice keyboard, good apps and developers (android). :)

1080p instead of the inflight movies, priceless....... for everything else there is bitcoin

Re:Excellent (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472467)

Surface Pro is just as doomed as Surface RT:

It's a shitty tablet: low res screen, a ridiculously short battery life, with just as little tablet useful and good quality apps (they're the same ones as Windows RT) i.e. apps with a touch UI, to most people, to a lot of people, being a "standard x86 computer" (but with touch) also means dealing with the problems they've had for years with their Windows PCs (malware and what not). The OS takes far too much of the SSD, and it's bloody overpriced compared to an ipad. It just doesn't have any advantages at being a tablet over iPads or Android-based tablets.

It's a shitty laptop: the overpriced keyboard sucks, the screen is too damn tiny (and not very high res), the screen angle doesn't adjust well like a laptop, it has less options for connecting it. Want to plug it to this external display or an ethernet port? That requires a proprietary overpriced cable!

For the price of a Surface Pro with the keyboard cover and the necessary cables, I can get an ipad that's a far better tablet in every way, and a "good enough" laptop (better than a Surface Pro at anything I'll do on it) that'll last me 5 years.

Sure, the Surface Pro "replaces" both but all-around in a very sub-par way, and that's only a real gain if you're travelling. I don't mind leaving the laptop somewhere else in the house if I go read an ebook elsewhere with the ipad, nor that it bothers me to have the ipad lying elsewhere if I'm working on the laptop.

The Surface Pro is truly the worst of both worlds, and it's not exactly cheap either.

Re: Excellent (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472649)

Oh rubbish. I own a MacBook retina, a retina ipad, and a surface pro.

The screen isn't retina level, but it's not far off. It's a different screen to the surface RT and certainly not "low res" for a 10" device.

Apps? Sure the ecosystem for Metro apps isn't as big as AppStore or Play. But it's not tiny, either. And if there's no app for something, well, I can boot up Chrome or worst case, a native win64 application.

The display adaptor? It's a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI. Can get them anywhere. I'm using a spare Apple one. You can get them from china dirt cheap.

Keyboard? $10 USB keyboard when working. On screen keyboard is great and accurate when disconnected. Any Bluetooth keyboard or mouse you prefer.

But when you ACTUALLY USE ONE every day you realise that MS are on to something, even if it's not the perfect mix yet. I can can do design work using Adobe's full suite, and then later I can disconnect it from the desk and use the metro touch apps to surf while watching tv or out and about.

It might be "doomed" but not for the reasons you list.

Re: Excellent (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44472791)

But when you ACTUALLY USE ONE every day you realise that MS are on to something, even if it's not the perfect mix yet.

People have been saying that about Windows tablets since about 2001.

Re:Excellent (1)

PoiBoy (525770) | about a year ago | (#44472847)

Agree. Honestly, I'm not a MSFT shill, but I do own a Surface Pro. It's replaced both an Android tablet and a netbook. With the clicky keyboard I've even used it to write code and geeky stuff, but as soon as you rip the keyboard off you're left with a fine (if not a bit heavy) tablet for watching Netflix and surfing the web. Nice little machine.

Great now I will really buy one! (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#44472171)

I can finally run Fred and Mike's apps with me and the other guy who own them.

NOT

Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44472215)

At that price, the Surface Pro is more or less even with the Wacom stylus-input displays (of similar size, larger ones are substantially more expensive) that don't have a computer attached to them...

Unless the pen input is totally gimped, this seems like it would be a serious competitor to those for everyone except people whose photoshopping is serious enough that the Surface's specs can't handle it. Especially if your demands are at all mobile, it's hard to justify buying the Wacom when you could get the screen and stylus input with the laptop thrown in for free. It's a pity that the Surface can't act as a monitor/input device (optionally, while charging at your desk, for example, it could go from a waste of space to an extra monitor) for more powerful computers.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472337)

Problem is that windows 8 pen input is gimped. Windows 7 has much better pen integration (see link below).

That said, there are a few programs designed to mirror input from one computer to the other but the problem with those is that they perform a weird smoothing (or lack there-of) pattern to the cursor so you get stepped lines instead of a straight one. Remote desktop is another option, but I can't see running photoshop using it.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-desktop/why-doesnt-the-tablet-input-panel-in-windows-8/2150317a-6d60-43f6-8052-d80038b83281
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hardware/14016-using-tablet-pc-input-device-desktop.html#9

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about a year ago | (#44472347)

This. I think what is lacking in the tablet world is hardware diversity. What about a tablet that can act as a second monitor while charging (per above), or has cores that are idle when used as a tablet but activate when plugged in so that it can act as the main CPU source and work with a larger 2nd monitor? Or that will act as a stylus-input device and a monitor when plugged in to a desktop?

Maybe some tablet have one of the above features or the other, but what about all of them?

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472417)

Automatic seamless clustering of resources and rerouting hardware inputs across computers? An awesome dream and a whole new security nightmare.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472357)

Samsung's competitor has excellent pen input, so the Surface Pro should be just as good. The drivers were a bit problematic at first on the Surface Pro, but I think they fixed that.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1, Informative)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about a year ago | (#44472421)

The pen input IS far, far worse than the Wacom's. The Surface pen input is touching or not touching, the Wacom's pens detect pressure, angle, and have some buttons on the pen to allow mode/brush changes. A Surface pen is like a ball-point with one pressure, while a Wacom pen is like a nib pen. They're very different tools. The Surface's pen is essentially just a mouse that's held differently, so there's not much advantage to an artist.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472511)

re: no pressure support
That is false. See http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/10/4317986/surface-pro-pressure-sensitive-wacom-driver-download

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472639)

Wrong. Very, very wrong. It is a Wacom digitizer. It most certainly detects pressure, the pen has buttons and eraser (and you can use another wacom pen). Dunno about angle since I don't use software that could use it.

It might not be as good as the high-end Wacom dedicated digitizer tablets, but it's good enough for a lot of people and probably cheaper.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472571)

It's about the same price as a Cintiq13, but, just off the top of my head:
-the cintiq13 is ~3" or ~30% bigger which is a very big deal by itself
-the cintiq supports other really useful things, like pen tilt and rotation, whereas the surface only does pressure sensitivity
-the cintiq supports 2048 pressure levels vs 1024 for the surface pro
-the cintiq has nice controls on the tablet that you can configure to do anything you want (very useful)
-the cintiq supports a large range of very nice pens which the surface doesn't (and you can even get replacement parts like nibs for them)
-wacom has a good reputation of providing drivers for older *and* newer versions of Windows *and* Macs too -- it'll still be supported well 10 years from now. Good luck running anything else than Win8 on the Surface Pro, and it might soon be as well supported as the Zune...
-the wacom tablets are also known to work well with loads other software than photoshop (corel painter, manga studio, maya, lightroom, artrage studio, etc)

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | about a year ago | (#44472575)

The Pen is a Wacom Digitizer, and a very good one at that once the Wintab drivers were updated.

Now for the record, I don't draw, but I do own a Surface Pro and I've set up a Surface Pro for Photoshop. The owner had an older class Cintiq and I couldn't tell the difference but he said he could, but barely. He also said it may have been due to the smaller screen of the surface however (his Cintiq was the 17' model)

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

trillion (246465) | about a year ago | (#44472603)

it doesn't seem to have the fine grained precision of a wacom, however.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#44472691)

It's a pity that the Surface can't act as a monitor/input device

. . . why can't it . . . albeit, with a hard hack . . . ?

When the price goes down to $99.95, I might buy one as a monitor for my Raspberry Pi.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44472851)

The ghastly-little-soldering has been dissuading me; but apparently the move toward eDisplayPort (rather than LVDS) in recent iPads means that you can successfully connect [blogspot.ca] their screens to ordinary DisplayPort sources, given a suitable physical adapter and a power supply for the backlight.

I don't know if the same is true of the Surface Pro or not. If it's an LVDS panel, the conversion hardware isn't wildly expensive (but the ebay cheapy boards aren't nearly small enough to fit neatly); if it's eDP, some moderately heroic soldering and a custom flexPCB might actually make it happen...

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

Spikeles (972972) | about a year ago | (#44472811)

It's a pity that the Surface can't act as a monitor/input device (optionally, while charging at your desk, for example, it could go from a waste of space to an extra monitor) for more powerful computers.

With the right kind of software [edgerunner.com] and a little help from Reddit [reddit.com] , anything is possible.

Re:Pity it doesn't work as a peripheral... (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#44472859)

Thanks! I was looking at a Wacom digitizer earlier this year, but the price was a showstopper. The kind with the built in display (which is what would help the most for the kind of work I'm trying to do) were > $1K. If I can get one that not only does digitizing but can be my tablet, that's sounding like a bargain.

I think I'll get one and play with it before I commit to selling the iPad, though.

Nice but not quite nice enough (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year ago | (#44472261)

The Surface Pro is actually a really nice device. But at it's price point why would you get it over similar devices that have the haswell chips in them or the devices from Lenovo/Asus/Acer/Sony which each have differing advantages ranging from lighter, longer battery life, better screens or more powerful. I like the device but if you want a windows device their are better value/performance options.

Re:Nice but not quite nice enough (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year ago | (#44472403)

Lenovo's is much more expensive, IIRC.

Asus' don't have pen input and may be a lot more expensive.

Acer's quality isn't very good, in my experience.

Sony loves to try anti-consumer tactics (poor construction, don't cover damage when said poor construction fails, unless it's blatantly obvious).

Additionally, Samsung has a poor build, horrid quality assurance and somewhat unstable software.

That leaves the Surface Pro as a decent compromise with good build quality and reasonable specs.

The Haswells for this class of device aren't available yet, but they'll make this form factor even better.

Again... (4, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44472267)

Not interested. Won't buy it. No use for it. Wouldn't take one as a door prize if was bacon wrapped, dipped in milk chocolate and came with a free weekend on Martha's Vineyard with Warren Buffet's Gold Card. I'm confident that even if they were pulled back and sent to the crusher, the crusher wouldn't want them either. Ballmer isn't going to learn until losses like this start coming out of his lily white hide. Let the lesson begin...

Re:Again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472523)

Why the fuck does stupid, unsubstantiated, ad-hominem-riddled shit like this get upmodded?

Re:Again... (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#44472785)

It was modded up funny, not insightful

Re:Again... (1)

antdude (79039) | about a year ago | (#44472841)

Ditto and that's the same for all tablets including iPads.

Still useless (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44472269)

Quick question:

I have a pile of bricks for sale. You're building a wood house. If I cut the price of the pile of bricks, does that make you more interested in buying them?

Of course not; You still have no use for a pile of bricks.

Re:Still useless (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44472307)

Well, I could use them for a faux-brick facade or something. How cheap are those bricks again?

Re:Still useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472901)

Quick question:

I have a pile of bricks for sale. You're building a wood house.

Not that I disagree with your point, but I think you have chosen the wrong argument.

You'd have to determine the reason you are buying a wood house first. If you are building a wood house because the price per value you get from wood is higher than brick, cutting the price of brick could indeed interest the consumer.

Success or Failure (3, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44472287)

Much ink has been spilled about the failure of the unloved RT model...One that other than it being severely crippled with Secure Boot was ARM, something I liked a lot...the pro has a fan! I don't see what is compelling about another Windows 8 Ultrabook (Pen input aside...that is great)

What we do know is that the $900m writedown was related to Surface RT only, but the $853m revenue figure includes sales of Surface RT and Surface Pro combined. Microsoft upped its sales and marketing budget for the Windows Division in 2013 by a jaw-dropping $1bn, which included an $898m increase in advertising costs "associated primarily with Windows 8 and Surface.

Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472289)

The Surface Pro is actually a good product, for what it is (the world's only high powered tablet). Was hoping for a Surface Pro 2 that's lighter and with better battery life.

Re:Huh (1)

geoskd (321194) | about a year ago | (#44472805)

Was hoping for a Surface Pro 2 that's lighter and with better battery life.

Not likely, that performance has a wight and power penalty that you simply cant avoid.

"Unhappy" is the new strategy? (5, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year ago | (#44472325)

Steve Ballmer himself has recently declared that he was unhappy with the number of tablets Microsoft has managed to sell.

Can someone please pass the message on to Steve Ballmer that being unhappy isn't a strategy for business growth?

Re:"Unhappy" is the new strategy? (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44472401)

Steve Ballmer himself has recently declared that he was unhappy with the number of tablets Microsoft has managed to sell.

Can someone please pass the message on to Steve Ballmer that being unhappy isn't a strategy for business growth?

To be fair, Ballmer has been unhappy, about most things, for a long time. I doubt a plush La-z-boy recliner that gave hand-jobs would put a smile on his face - besides, it would be too heavy to throw...

How will it all end? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44472369)

Where do you expect this Windows 8 and Surface fiasco will ultimately take Microsoft? What will happen?

Re:How will it all end? (4, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44472389)

Where do you expect this Windows 8 and Surface fiasco will ultimately take Microsoft? What will happen?

Windows 9 will be 'The best Windows ever! Now with NEW mouse and Start Menu support!'

Desktop Edition? (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44472447)

Windows 9 will be 'The best Windows ever! Now with NEW mouse and Start Menu support!'

Why would you think that? Windows 8.1's is an example that Microsoft doubling down on its strategy(start screen seriously) of creating a self styled ecosystem, alienating its traditional users.

Re:Desktop Edition? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44472665)

There's only so long you can 'double down' on a losing strategy before you have to admit defeat and fix it. Or go bust.

Grrr... M$ Grrr... (1, Offtopic)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44472393)

As much as I have been fairly anti-MS over the years (except their backend stuff, that's decent), they have been such a staple of nerd\geek culture over these many years that I find myself saddened and feeling quite bad for them as I watch them make such huge, and possibly in the long term, suicidal mistakes. It is only as I watch them die a slow death that I realize I have had an affection for them all along.

Sorry, nothing insightful or informative to mod up here. I just wanted to say my piece.

Retroactive? (2, Insightful)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year ago | (#44472493)

So is this retroactive? Will Microsoft be sending a $100 check to the two dozen know-nothings in the Pacific Northwest who bought one of these?

If I'm asked, should I tell them to return the things to the Office Depot or Staples store where they bought them? Every single one would qualify for a return as "unfit for purpose". Hell, most of them would qualify under the store's "no questions asked if returned in 60 days" policies. Then if they really wanted to, they could buy another at the lower price.

How much? (1)

dbraden (214956) | about a year ago | (#44472497)

The summary nor the article itself mention how much these things cost. Does the $100 discount bring it down to $90? $900? I have no idea. /shrug

windows rt tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472507)

handy wheel chock....just saying

Worth it if it had Haswell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472525)

These devices came out about a year too early in my opinion. If these had has well ultra chips, the battery life would be incredible and even the original price would have been a steal. I would already have one.

Yup - price drop was already overdue (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44472595)

Somebody needs to remind MS that they are not Apple, and can't get away with charging full price for the entire lifecycle of the item. Unlike Apple, which has no direct competition in the OSX/iOS hardware market, the surface is actively competing with other tablet/convertible units out there, and now that Haswell is on the street all the Ivy Bridge units are being discounted to get them out of the way. MS is trailing on this one.

high end Windows tablets are not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472617)

This is just a sale before the fire sale on these high end Windows touch tablets since they have tons of them collecting dust and need move them or write off lots more money.

I think Mr Ballmer thought that because Apple and Google were selling lots of tablets that if they once again tried marketing a Windows tablet that the mainstream would like it. Wrong. As stated in the subject line, there have been high end Windows tablets for about 20 years and they are used in small dedicated areas where full blown Microsoft Windows OS APIs were needed or picked. They never took over the mass market back then because they were heavy, high priced, and battery life was not something a general user would be willing to deal with. Putting lipstick on this pig didn't change the markets perception Steve and deciding that Windows RT was going to be bastard Windows child for either technical reasons or marketing reasons was a mistake.

Watch out now too because the incoming gravy train from desktop and server Windows is slowing and you have yet to come up with anything else to replace that slowed growth or these losses.

Re:high end Windows tablets are not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472659)

I remember Bill Gates showing me a Windows XP tablet more than a decade ago and telling me it was the future of computing.

So much for that.

There's long been a market for tablets that ran the full deskop Windows on an x86 chip. But it's always been a tiny market, because most people were much better off with a laptop.

insert Steve Jobs' quote (2, Interesting)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year ago | (#44472695)

"If you can only sell on price, you have nothing worth selling."

for as good as the surface pro is, i'd rather have a Windows 7 laptop for half the price.

my fucking horrible samsung windows 8 laptop (NP550P5C-A01UB, catchy name, no?) types wherever the hell the cursor is, not necessarily where i had intended to type. fuck windows 8.

keyboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44472741)

So does the Surface pro use the same keyboard as the RT?

if so, no price drop will make it worth anything. It literally can't accept keyboard input.

Not enough (1)

jebus187 (1629435) | about a year ago | (#44472845)

Better start cutting the price back some more. This isn't gonna cut it.
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