Android 6.0 Marshmallow arrives next week, bringing Nexus phones, Chromecast devices, and hints of a Pixel tablet. Here's a peek at what was revealed during the company's preview event in San Francisco.
Google on Tuesday previewed an Android tablet called the Pixel C that embodies the identity crisis confronting the computer industry. The "C" stands for "convertible," meaning the device can be separated from its keyboard, so it can operate either as a tablet or notebook. It promises the best of both worlds -- the productivity of keyboard-driven interaction and the simple immediacy of touch-based engagement.
Tablets and smartphones offer a great entertainment experience and work well for a variety of different apps. But they haven't won people over as devices for lengthy writing, programming, or applications that benefit from the precise interaction enabled by a mouse. Touchscreen typing is fine for light email and text messaging, but it can't compete with a keyboard for extended text input or detailed data entry. The ergonomics are wrong. A notebook with a physical keyboard, at a properly configured desk and chair, tends to help us be more productive and more comfortable.
Apple has just unveiled its most sophisticated and most powerful flagship devices, the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, and early benchmark tests back the company's claims. Preliminary results show the iPhone 6s is nearly two times faster than the rest of the devices in the industry.
The iPhone 6s, according to the results, is so blazingly fast that it tops the iPhone 6 in speed tests and surpasses the iPad Air 2 along with other Android devices currently offered in the market.
Tech gurus at AnandTech pointed out that GPU improvements made by Apple's engineers would probably be the reason why the iPhone 6s performed almost twice as fast as the rest of the industry, thanks to the A9 chip which is responsible in delivering a more impressive performance.
Dell's stab at dethroning the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is picking up pace after yet more details emerged about its upcoming XPS 12 4K slate.
First reported by WinFuture.de, the latest details on Dell's 12.5-inch 2-in-1 tablet-PC hybrid point to two different keyboard options for buyers, a more affordable 1080p screen and various details on the memory options being readied.
The 1080p screen option is in addition to the previously rumored 4K display that will benefit from a 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution, thus giving it a significant leg-up in the display department compared to Apple's iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 3. That's unless Microsoft decides to pull a 4K rabbit out of the hat for its heavily rumored Surface Pro 4.
Windows 10 is still in its very early days, but with adoption of the new operating system crushing that of Windows 8, Microsoft is now ready to show off some of its hardware built to take full advantage of the new operating system.
Microsoft will unveil its new range of hardware at an event in New York City on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m. ET that will be attended by the company’s top executives, including CEO Satya Nadella. The Redmond, Washington-based company is giving little away about what's in store, simply saying: “We have some exciting news to share about Windows 10 devices.” But we have a pretty good idea what to expect, from reliable rumors and things Microsoft itself has said in the past.
Microsoft is widely expected to unveil the latest version of its Surface Pro range, with the Surface Pro 4 replacing the Surface Pro 3 which was launched in May last year.
Microsoft is unlikely to significantly change the external appearance of the Surface Pro 4, with the company last year committing to keeping the same charging ports in future devices in order to support businesses which have invested in the Surface platform and accompanying accessories.
There are a lot of rumor floating about that Microsoft will release a larger version of the Surface Pro, with a 14-inch screen with a higher 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and potentially up to 1TB of storage alongside up to 16GB of RAM.
This sounds like a pretty powerful machine and would suit a lot of Windows 10 features like Snap which allows for more powerful multi-tasking.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is allegedly coming this October which basically means that the device is getting released one month after the iPad Pro. This is interesting because it deepens the competitive stage on the tablet market between the two devices, and it will be interesting to see which one will win the hearts of the consumers.
October the 6th is the purported announcement date for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 although we don’t know when the device will become available. The tech company still refuses to discuss this device which is interesting because it’s coated in a shroud of mystery even though the press has been throwing speculations around for quite a
Meticulously crafted and ultra-thin, Surface Book is the ultimate device for powering your ideas. It's13.5-inch PixelSense™ rivals the printed page with a resolution of 3000 x 2000, and features an integrated backlit keyboard, optional graphics, and responsive glass trackpad. Go beyond the laptop and detach the screen to use like a clipboard, or rotate and reattach to use like a canvas. It weighs just 3.48 pounds (1576 grams) and has a battery life of 12 hours5 for all day use.
The new 13.5-inch Surface Book is the ultimate laptop. The full punch of a high performance laptop with unprecedented versatility of a tablet. This is the future of laptop computing.
13.5-inch PixelSense™ touchscreen display (3000 x 2000) resolution
Windows 10 Pro operating system
Incredibly mobile at 3.48 pounds (1576 grams)
Surface Pen included
Starting at $1499.00
Incredibly powerful and light, Surface Pro 4 handles the toughest tasks with ease. It weighs a mere 1.73 pounds (786g) and has a stunning 12.3-inch PixelSense™ with extremely high contrast and low glare to reduce eye strain. Its battery lasts 9 hours4 for all-day use , and it delivers the ultimate in laptop comfort and productivity with its multi-position Kickstand, improved Keyboard2, and included Surface Pen.
Ralf Groene and his design team at Microsoft first conceived of the recently revealed Surface Book while working on the Surface Pro. Like the Pro, the Surface Book would function as either a laptop or a tablet. But, significantly, the new Book would be a laptop first—not a tablet with a kickstand. “We had the idea of people starting out with that laptop architecture, going about their business, and then transforming it into something more personal,” Groene says.
That insight won Microsoft a lot of love yesterday, but Groene, who serves as creative director on the Surface, wanted what he calls “clipboard mode”—i.e. the use case in which the screen is plugged into the keyboard base—to be great. And great, in this context, has a lot to do with screen size, processor size, and battery life. Groene didn’t want to compromise on any of those, which led to a structural engineering dilemma: To convert into clipboard mode, the display would need to balance at the edge of the keyboard base. But to do that, and do it sturdily, the base would need to be bigger than the display, which would add considerably to the device’s weight.
Enter the hinge. Or, as Microsoft dubbed it, the dynamic fulcrum hinge. The connective tissue between the Surface Book’s base and display is an isopod-like piece of aluminum that flexes back and forth thanks to four rotational points. It’s “almost like a carpet that rolls out,” Groene says
When Apple introduced its new iPad Pro tablet along with the Apple Pencil, the company waxed eloquent on how the device and the stylus would make life easier for designers.
Now the company has let artists in Walt Disney's Feature Animation studio test out the designing capabilities of the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.
The designers at Disney spent a day trying out the 12.9-inch tablet, using it to sketch several popular characters such as Mickey Mouse and Frozen's lovable snowman Olaf. The Apple Pencil with its position and pressure sensing abilities was also used to recreate the classic characters, which are synonymous with Disney.
The team used apps such as Paper and Pro Create which are optimized for both the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro.
So what did the Disney artists think of the iPad Pro? Animator Jeff Ranjo revealed in a Periscope stream that the iPad Pro's screen had a slight "tooth" i.e., textured roughness which made tactile feedback possible when using the Pencil. At the launch, Apple had lauded the fact that it was offering the closest thing to the feeling of drawing on paper with its iPad Pro and Pencil.
Log into your Surface Pro 4 with one simple tap using the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID. No more wasted time. Store all of your passwords in one place with Microsoft Passport and use your fingertip to perform actions like purchasing an app from the Windows Store, all thanks to the convenience and security of Windows Hello.
Microsoft did not hold back on releasing various new products at an event today, including both new smartphones and the Surface Pro 4. But, just as the event was wrapping up, the company released its newest product: the Surface Book, the company's first-ever laptop. Read ahead for more details.
Screen Size: 13.5 inches
Weight: 1.6 pounds in tablet mode
Resolution: 6 million pixels
Memory: 8 GB or 16 GB
Battery life: 12 hours
Camera: 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and 5 megapixel front-facing camera
Keyboard improvements: A backlight keyboard that promises to be supersilent
Price points: $1,499 for the 128 GB, Core Intel i5 model; $1,699 for the 256 GB, Core Intel i5 model to start
However, the Surface Book doesn't just stop at these specifications. Its screen is detachable from the keyboard, so you can use it in a tablet mode. It also has a "dynamic fulcrum hinge," which lets the display bend and become more flexible for different types of usage. The Surface Book will also work with the Surface Pen and Surface Pro dock.
Keep reading to see the other details and photos that will surely make you want to try the Surface Book, which is available for preorders on Oct. 7 and out on Oct. 26.
Microsoft has unveiled its first ever laptop in the form of the Surface Book, which sits alongside the Surface Pro 4 in the line-up
The Surface Book is a totally new product in Microsoft's range, representing the first laptop the company has ever made. The new but more familiar Surface Pro 4, which launched alongside the Surface Book on 6 October, is designed to be tablet first, laptop second, while the Surface Book takes a laptop first, tablet second approach with a 13in detachable touchscreen and a full-size, sturdy keyboard. Here's our hands-on review with the Surface Book from Adobe Max 2015 in Los Angeles.
Prices start at $1499 for the low-end Surface Book with 128GB of storage, a Core i5 Skylake processor and 8GB RAM, ranging up to 512GB of storage, a Core i7 chip, 16GB of RAM and a separate graphics card situated in the keyboard portion of the laptop, which'll cost you $2,699. And unlike with the Surface Pro, that price includes the Surface Pen and of course the keyboard.
The Surface Book has been designed around the form factor of a piece of A4 paper, which looks and feels like an ideal shape and size for a laptop. It measures 312 x 232mm and is 13mm at its thinnest point, 23mm at its thickest. If you're considering just the tablet, you'll find that it's an impressive 7.7mm thick and weighs 728g. In total, the weight including the keyboard is 1.5kg.
The screen size of the Surface Book is 13.5in, but you'll be surprised at how incredibly light and manageable it is to use as a tablet when detached from the keyboard – I could imagine using it one handed, perhaps in a presentation for example, without any problems at all.
One can argue that in today's world of crossover and hybrid computers, the only thing that really separates a portable PC from a non-portable one is the battery. If it has one, then it's a smartphone, phablet, tablet or a laptop; if it doesn't, it's some flavor of desktop PC.
On Monday, at a company event in Taipei, Acer destroyed that notion by launching the Z3-700, an all-in-one PC that comes with a battery.
The 17.3-inch, Windows 10 computer comes with either an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor, has up to 8GB of RAM and an HDD or an SSD for storage. Its multi-touch screen supports a stylus and has full HD (1,920x1,080 pixel) resolution. And if you're on the go, the Z3-700's battery will give you five hours of productivity.
A PC with a battery? Fine. But one look at the the Z3-700, and you'll realize it looks exactly like a big tablet, except for the foldable kickstand on the back which makes it more practical for desk usage. So what's the difference between an all-in-one with a battery and a tablet? Acer itself seems unsure; in its press release, the company says that the Z3-700 works like a "jumbo tablet" when flat.
So why doesn’t Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book include a USB-C port?
For starters, USB-C is more forward-leaning than anything, as none of us actually have any USB-C peripherals. Instead, what we have are USB 2 and USB 3 peripherals, which use a larger and non-reversible plug. If you’re using a system with a USB-C plug (like the 2015 MacBook), you will need to pay for and travel with a separate USB-C converter to use these peripherals, and pray you don’t lose it. On a Pixel Chromebook, Google offers both kinds of ports, which I think is the right choice.
With Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, Microsoft is offering a single USB 3 port, as with previous Surface Pro devices. But the new Surface Dock doesn’t offer USB-C either.
Part of the reason for the omission that it doesn’t need USB-C to power Surface: Microsoft uses a proprietary power connector, now called Surface Connect, which also acts as an expansion bus for the devices. On Surface Pro 4, the Surface Connect port is used for power, using the same power connector that debuted with Surface Pro 3. And it is used to connect Surface Pro 4 to the Surface Dock. With Surface Book, the Surface Connect does triple-duty: It is how the tablet/screen part of the device connects to the keyboard/battery base. It is for power, via the keyboard base (using the same power plug as Surface Pro 3/4). And it can be used to connect to Surface Dock.
Because of Surface Connect, a big piece of the USB-C solution stack is not necessary on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. And even USB-C-based devices, like Lumia 950 and 950 XL, will still connect to either Surface just fine, because those devices ship with USB-C to USB 2/3 cables; the USB-C to USB-C cable for the Continuum dock is specific to that peripheral (and comes with it).
Toshiba has unveiled a new 2-in-1 notebook built to take advantage of Windows 10.
Dubbed the DynaPad, the new device comes with a detachable keyboard, so it can function as both a traditional laptop as well as a standalone tablet. The 12-inch screen packs in 1,920x1,280 pixels and offers both anti-reflection and anti-fingerprint coating. The DynaPad won't be a powerhouse as it will come with an Atom processor and just 4 gigabytes of memory. But its greatest appeal may be its ability to function as a digital note taker and image creator.
At its Windows 10 device event on October 6, Microsoft attempted to set the bar for what a Windows 10 notebook should be with the debut of its Surface Book. The 13-inch thin, light laptop/tablet includes a detachable keyboard, Windows Hello facial recognition and a pen for writing notes and drawing on the screen. Now it's up to other laptop makers to rise to Microsoft's challenge by creating devices to convince consumers that a new Windows 10 PC is worth buying. And that's just what Toshiba is trying to do.
The DynaPad comes with an ultra-thin keyboard dock and a high-precision pen, "so it's designed to replicate the natural feeling of writing with a pen on paper," according to a Microsoft blog posted late Monday. The pen offers 2,048 levels of pressure, which means that it provides extreme accuracy whether you're writing or drawing. And it works equally as well with users who are right handed or left handed.
Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4 isn't the only productivity-focused tablet set to hit the market this fall. As we approach the Oct. 24 release of the Surface Pro 4, Apple is readying its iPad Pro for a November release. Like the latest Surface, it will pair with a keyboard and stylus to help you do your job.
But although these devices look similar, they have some big differences. Here's a look at how the Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro can help you with your work.
The Surface Pro 4 offers much faster performance than the iPad Pro in its pricier configurations, but both platforms provide plenty of speed for everyday work tasks.
The Surface Pro 4 can be purchased with your choice of an Intel Core m3, i5 or i7 processor. The baseline unit is zippy, but the higher-end models are practically necessary for processor-intensive tasks like video editing or heavy spreadsheet computation.
The iPad Pro runs on Apple's new A9X chip, which Apple says is nearly twice as fast as the processor in last year's iPad Air 2. Expect snappy multitasking and very good performance for productivity tasks like editing documents and managing your email inbox.
Both the Surface Pro 4 and the iPad Pro offer excellent stylus support, which is handy for taking digital notes right on your device's screen.
The Surface Pro 4 pen, which comes included in the box, improves upon last year's Surface Pro 3 pen in a few key ways. It offers better pressure sensitivity, has a digital eraser nub built into the back of the pen and snaps magnetically (and securely) to the side of the tablet when it's not in use.
The iPad Pro pen, dubbed the Apple Pencil, is sold separately for $100. It provide pressure sensitivity comparable to what you get on Microsoft's tablet, though there's no place on the device to stow the pen when it's not in use.
Finding new accessories for your new Surface Pro 4 tablet can be an uphill battle. Compared with the plethora of new cases that debuted in the hours and days after the latest iPads were announced, there seem to be fewer options for the new Surface. We’ve rounded up a few of the best options. Need a way to protect and store your new Surface? Here are the best Surface Pro 4 cases on the market right now. Our list includes the best cases, sleeves, and bags for protecting your new Surface.
It took a few iterations, but Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface business can safely be called a success. During Microsoft's fiscal fourth quarter, Surface generated $888 million in sales, and the back-to-school and holiday seasons should help drive Surface revenue even higher. While its phone business is struggling, Microsoft has found a niche with its Surface tablets.
During an event earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 4, an update that was widely expected. What wasn't expected, though, was the Surface Book, Microsoft's first foray into building an honest-to-goodness laptop. The Surface Book has a detachable screen, but the keyboard acts as an actual dock, making it a laptop that's also a tablet, instead of a tablet that's also a laptop.
Because the Surface Book is so expensive, it doesn't really compete all that much with devices from OEMs. A customer who has already decided to buy a Windows laptop would get more bang for their buck going with a comparable model from HP or Dell, likely saving a few hundred dollars. But for someone considering a MacBook Pro, the Surface Book provides a well-defined alternative. Instead of the decision being between a MacBook Pro and a slew of devices with various specs and prices from multiple manufacturers, the choice is now between a MacBook Pro and the Surface Book, the best that Windows has to offer.
The Surface Book has the potential to draw users back to Windows, and that benefits all PC manufacturers. The price is high enough that OEMs shouldn't feel all that pressured by Microsoft's new laptop, and I suspect that the benefits of the Surface Book, strengthening Windows, will ultimately outweigh any negative effects from the additional competition.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 vs. Surface Book: Which one is better buy? With Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, Surface buyers may have a tough time choosing between the two. If you are a surface buyer, here are some features and specs of both the devices.
The new Surface Book is 15 percent taller and 7 percent wider than the Surface Pro 4. When the keyboard is added, the thickness jumps up to either 13.2 mm thick (with the fingerprint sensor Type Cover) or 13.4 mm thick (standard SP4 Type Cover). Adding the fingerprint sensor Type Cover to the Surface Pro 4, it comes out to 31 percent lighter than the Surface Book. Both devices have magnesium builds, though the Surface Book is entirely made up of magnesium.
The Surface Pro 4 is a tablet, but it also has an "optional" keyboard cover accessory that's sold separately. The new Surface Book is like a traditional laptop, but you can also pull its screen off. They both have large, glass trackpads. The SP4 can be personalized with your own favorite keyboard color, but the devices themselves are both silver-colored.
The Surface Book's screen is about 21 percent bigger than the Surface Pro 4's 12.3-incher. Both new Surfaces include the Pen in the box. Both devices also support the facial recognition portion of Windows 10's Hello feature.
Users have several processor configurations to choose from for both PCs, with the entry-level (Core m3) Surface Pro 4 being the least powerful. Till now, Surfaces have always used integrated Intel graphics, but if you go for for one of the more expensive Surface Books, you get a discrete Nvidia GeForce graphics card.
The Lenovo Yoga line has been a perennial favorite for 2-in-1 hybrid fans, and the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro is easily among the best lightweight products the company offers. The Windows-based Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro boasts Intel's Core M processor and up to a 512GB solid-state drive. Lenovo's major sales pitch is the Yoga's portability, touting that it's "thinner than a pencil" and weighs 2.6 pounds with the keyboard attached.
There's been a flurry of activity in the last few weeks in the market for 2-in-1 hybrid PCs—lightweight notebooks with detachable keyboards that can be converted into tablets. Microsoft, Dell and other PC makers have introduced a new crop of hybrids. However, Microsoft has been among the most active companies, showing off its brand-new Surface Book hybrid alongside the Surface Pro 4.
The increasing presence of hybrids in the market reflects evolving customer interest in this device type. It wasn't long ago that desktops and notebooks dominated the PC market. But, then, tablets started to seize market share from notebooks. Then, tablet sales slowed, and the hybrids have swooped in to grab market share. In an attempt to capitalize on this market shift, PC vendors large and small are offering up hybrid models. It's a strategy that seems to be working for now, and it's giving PC buyers an ample selection of models from which to choose. This slide show covers some of the currently available 2-in-1 hybrids.
A respectable mid-size Android tablet aimed at business people, with the useful ability to wirelessly receive notes written on paper with a special pen.
HP has targeted the Pro Slate 8 at businesspeople, and gave this mid-size Android tablet a high resolution display, dual front facing speakers, and a price that starts at $449.
What sets it apart from the pack is a stylus that can be used not just on the tablet’s screen but also to write and draw on paper and have the ink wirelessly transferred to the Pro Slate 8.
The Pro Slate 8 is one of the few tablets to come with a stylus, and one with a unique trick at that: The Duet Pen can be used on this computer’s touchscreen like any stylus, but it can also be used to write on paper, and have the writing appear on the tablet’s display in an application called HP Note.
This function doesn’t require the Pro Slate 8 Paper Folio, but this $69 add-on makes it easier, as the accessory holds the paper at the right distance from the tablet.
October 16, 2015
Apple Fanboy in Crisis
over Microsoft Surface Book
A real Apple-fanboy in conflict over the new Microsoft Surface Book.
With the launch of Toughpad FZ-Y1, Panasonic now has the world's first tablet with the highest resolution display. The 20-inch tablet PC, which was first showcased at CES 2013, is targeted at professionals in the fields where the work requires visual clarity and collaboration. The 4K tablet PC has a resolution of 3840 x 2560 pixels that translates to 230ppi. It comes with a scratch resistant glass that can withstand drop resistance up to 76 cm. It has a glass fibre chassis and can be converted into desktop mode with the cradle accessory. The tablet PC has a 15:10 aspect ratio and runs on Windows 8.1.
Toughpad FZ-Y1 is powered by fifth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and also packs Intel HD graphics. It can be configured with up to 8GB RAM and 256GB solid-state storage. The tablet PC measures 12.5 mm in thickness and weighs 2.41 kg, which is actually not bad for a device that comes with a large 20-inch screen and a rugged construction.
Microsoft invited the media to New York earlier this month to unveil an array of new hardware, including the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones, and the Microsoft Band 2 fitness wearable. One of the most exciting things that Microsoft announced, though, was an accessory for the Surface tablet line—the new Surface Dock.
Let’s start by taking a look at the new Surface Dock. It’s a rectangular black box—a little more than 5 inches long by almost two and half inches wide, and just over an inch tall. At 1.21 pounds it’s a tad hefty for its size, but it packs a lot of power. The Surface Dock has 2 mini DisplayPorts, 4 USB 3.0 ports, an audio out port, and a gigabit Ethernet port. It has a power port to connect the external power supply and it docks to the compatible Surface tablet models using the SurfaceConnect power port on the device.
What makes the Surface Dock awesome is that it’s compatible with both the new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 even though they’re different size devices, and it’s even backwards compatible with the Surface Pro 3. That’s a significant change from the short yet chaotic history of past Surface tablet docks.
Microsoft will introduce in early 2016 a new warranty called Microsoft Complete for Enterprise. Complete for Enterprise is a business-focused complement to Microsoft's existing $150 Complete warranty for Surface users. (Microsoft officials said the company will go public with Complete for Enterprise pricing closer to availability.)
Complete for Enterprise -- a three-year warranty that includes coverage for accidental damage-- will allow customers to pool warranty claims by company, versus by individual devices. It will allow replace claims for devices that can no longer boot, which is useful when sensitive information cannot be recovered and requires on-premises destruction of hard drives. The business warranty also includes next-day air for fast device replacement and on-boarding support, via which Microsoft will assist IT staff and employees with initial training.
Microsoft also is adding a new, permanent trade-in program focused on business users, the Business Devices Trade-in Program, to its line-up. Via this program, which will go live "in the coming weeks," Microsoft will allow business customers to trade in older devices and apply the value of those devices toward purchase of new Surface Pro 4 units. The trade-in prices will vary. Devices that can be traded in include but are not limited to Surfaces; other PCs and tablets are applicable, as well.
Why carry around a MacBook Air or even an iPad Pro with a keyboard when you could stick two iPads together and make one of them a keyboard?
Apple has now been granted a patent for its take on the concept of a super-strong magnetic stand that is sturdier and more versatile than the traditional foldable iPad covers.
According to the patent granted today, the iPad's magnetic attachment points have been used nearly exclusively for foldable iPad covers. But they're not that useful as a mount, say, for the car or a stationary exercise unit.
"This issue can be overcome by designing a more rigid attachment accessory configured to match up with the magnets built into the tablet device," the patent notes.
Here’s a crazy one. In the progression of gadgets to crawl from the primordial pool, Microsoft’s ambitious Surface Book feels like a punctuation mark. It’s a turn from the expected, and for me at least, it’s a computer so enticing, and habit changing, that I’m thinking—Hey, what about Windows?
Microsoft’s first ever laptop. It’s got clever design, which enables its 13.5-inch, 3000 x 2000 display (267 dpi) display to detach from the rigid keyboard base so that you can wield the display as a mondo tablet. The base model ships with the latest Intel Skylake Core i5 processor for $1500—it’s basically a Surface Pro 4 with much fancier industrial design. You can upgrade it to a Core i5 with a discrete Nvidia GeForce graphics processor starting at $1700, and from there, you can climb the specification ladder to an i7 with Nvidia GPU and 1TB of storage for $3200.
The bulk of this review refers to the base $1500 configuration, however, we did some testing with a souped-up $2100 Core i7 model with Nvidia graphics as well.
The Surface Book’s announcement sent a tense shiver of surprise into the world of consumer electronics, but it didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. Microsoft has been trying to turn itself around for years. The Surface Book’s premium price and meticulous design seems to be an outright acknowledgement that great hardware is just as critical as software.
During its Windows 10 Devices event in New York City last October 6th, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 4, the next generation of the ultimate tablet that can replace your laptop. This is the latest version of the most popular device built by the software giant that brings many improvements over the Surface Pro 3, and even more over the Surface Pro 2. Are you thinking of updating your tablet to the much-improved Surface Pro 4?
Making a choice can be somewhat difficult when you have many different options and price points to choose from. Adding to the mix that you probably already own a Surface tablet, it can make the decision a little more complicated. As such, today, we are taking a closer look at the new improvements and benefits of the new Surface Pro 4 to try to figure out if it's worth the upgrade for Surface Pro 2 or Surface Pro 3 owners.
The advantage of being the same size also helps with compatibility, as Surface Pro 3 customers can save some money by using the same Type Cover, dock station, and power port, which technically could make the upgrade a bit cheaper.
Besides the new display, the Surface Pro 4 comes with many improvements and refinements. The new tablet, features Intel's latest 6th generation processors, including the options of Core M3, Core i5, and Core i7 that offers boost on performance and battery life, helps to generate less heat, and offers large improvements on graphics.
Overall, Surface Pro 4 is 30 percent faster than Surface Pro 3.
With the new Surface Pro 4, typing on a Microsoft tablet finally feels like typing on a regular laptop.
Although Microsoft has tried hard to sell the Surface as a laptop replacement, its keyboard has felt flimsy — something to tolerate when a real laptop isn’t available. The keyboard attaches magnetically and has to be thin enough to fold over like a book cover. Consequently, it has felt like typing on cardboard over my lap.
Microsoft says the Pro 4 keyboard cover is 20 per cent stiffer, so it no longer feels like cardboard. Each key is slightly taller, too, giving it a more natural feel. More room on the cover is devoted to the keys and the touchpad rather than dead space. Microsoft keeps the cover’s weight and thickness about the same as before by turning to different materials.
All this translates to a keyboard that’s enjoyable rather than tolerable. I made it my primary computer for two weeks, including travels through upstate New York and Ontario, Canada. The Pro 4 felt comfortable whether I was in a hotel bed, a friend’s living room or the tasting room of a winery.
BEYOND THE KEYBOARD
Now that Windows 10 is available, the Pro 4 is the first Surface I can wholeheartedly recommend. The cardboard-like keyboard wasn’t my only gripe. Windows 8 felt like using two machines at once, with the system constantly kicking you to the one you didn’t want. Microsoft’s free Windows 10 update in July addresses the bulk of my frustrations.
Microsoft's new Surface Book is different. It's a legitimately innovative gadget that could finally break the laptop out of its tired mold.
When used as a standard laptop, Surface Book is crazy powerful — if it's not the best laptop on the market, it's in the running. Its 13.5-inch screen has a higher resolution than the Retina display on the MacBook Pro. It's lighter, faster and has a better graphics processor too. And it's beautifully designed with a hinge that rolls out like a carpet when you lift up the screen.
But unlike typical laptops, which put all the computing guts under the keyboard, most of the Surface Book's computing power happens behind its screen. That lets you use the Surface Book in three transformative ways.
-- You can hold down a button to separate the screen from its base, transforming the Surface Book into a surprisingly lightweight and very powerful tablet.
-- You can turn the screen around and fold it down over the keyboard, making it a canvas for an artist.
-- You can pop the screen back into its base and take advantage of the powerful graphics processor and additional battery living under the keyboard. "Laptop mode" lets you do advanced video editing with a crazy 12 hours of battery life.
"Our goal is to show people what can be done," said Panos Panay, Microsoft's design guru who leads the Surface team. "The laptop can be so much more than a laptop."
Overall, tablets are no longer able to win the hearts of users as there are many alternatives in the form of Phablets and even smartphones with bigger screens. Based on this claim, many reports show how tablet market has lost its share among other gadgets on the market. However, Apple and Samsung are really close to disprove this claim by introducing their new devices. Packed with high-end specifications and some new remarkable features, both tablets are extremely competitive and have attracted many users' attention.
As Tab S2 was released first, it clearly enjoys a larger market share due to early availability. But it does not make it a better one, rather a simple comparison between both devices' offerings state which one has an edge over the other.
iPad Pro's sleek and shiny aluminum body evidently makes it more attractive. Since design has always been the primary focus of Apple, this tablet with just 6.9mm thickness is one of the slimmest tablets of this size, available on the market. Moreover, it is not only thin but also extremely lightweight with only 1.6 pounds, which makes it easier to carry. With a 12.9-inch screen the tablet is really easy to use due to its light weight and premium body design.
On the other hand, Tab S2's design is not as appealing as iPad Pro, because there is nothing new about the design as Samsung used the same polycarbonate material used in its earlier models. With a 9.7-inch screen size the device weighs even less than a pound, 0.396 grams exactly. It shows the device is fairly lighter than iPad Pro, which is due to smaller screen size and lesser components packed within the device. The smaller size makes Tab S2 more convenient for users to work and carry for longer time period compared to iPad Pro.
Here's what he said about Apple, according to a transcript of the interview provided to Tech Insider:
"Microsoft will give them a good run for their money. Nobody else has really tried to compete with them anymore really seriously in hardware. I mean who's really going after the Mac? Who's really going after the iPad? You could basically say Microsoft and Samsung. And Microsoft really is the only one that's got a software and a hardware capability. So if there's going to be any competition at all for Apple it will come from Microsoft."
There's also the Surface Pro 4 that Microsoft announced during the same event, which is designed more like a tablet but still works very much like a full computer. It's forcing Apple to alter its iPad strategy by releasing the large, productivity-driven iPad Pro because the Surface Pro tablets are posing a real threat to Apple.
The new Windows 10 update adds more than meets the eye, but Windows Hello is one of the most important features that it brings forth. Microsoft incorporates facial recognition technology in the cameras of the Surface Book, Microsoft Lumia 950 and Surface Pro 4. The Surface Pro 4’s type cover has an added fingerprint sensor, which you can also use on the Surface Pro 3. The hardware is there, but until today, Windows Hello was not available on these devices. Starting today, however, people will have the ability to set up biometric security on their convertible machines and Lumia smartphone.
Windows Hello has been a long anticipated feature Microsoft first announced a couple of months ago. With the built-in biometric security app, the Windows 10 update adds a new dimension to the Windows 10 security features and builds upon the features that were already in place. With Windows Hello on board, users can just open their Surface Book and its camera will perform a facial recognition scan that will log the user into the operating system without much hassle. The same thing goes for the fingerprint reader on the Surface Pro 4 type cover. Once you start the device up, placing your set finger on the fingerprint sensor will unlock the device through Windows Hello.
This week Microsoft's newest devices from their Surface line will become widely available as the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book hit retail shelves and the doorsteps of enthusiasts thanks to pre-orders over the last few weeks.
These devices are already running Windows 10 so there are likely some updates available when they come out of the box and get setup by their new owners.
Although every user will not need the entire package of firmware and hardware drivers the day their new device arrives, updates will be available on Windows Update, these packages from Microsoft can be handy as backups or for those who may be imaging the new Surface devices for their company.
If that is the case then these two new downloads are worth bookmarking.
There's so much to learn about your new toy. We'll give you a head start, with 11 subtle or well-hidden features you might otherwise miss. Did we overlook anything good? Let us know in the comments.
11. Customize the pressure sensitivity
The new Surface devices have 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity that can be tuned for your style. To do that though, you’ll need an app from the Microsoft store. Yes, that means you’ll need to set up an account with the store, but the app itself is free.
9. There’s a hidden button
The Surface Pen doesn’t look like it has any buttons besides the “eraser” at the top. At the very end of the plastic strip just above where your finger would rest when using it, however, there’s a hidden button that acts as right mouse click.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 breaks a number of tablet display performance records, including consuming a surprisingly meager amount of power for its size, display expert Ray Soneira says.
The SP4 also improves considerably over the Surface Pro 3, which also had a well-regarded display, in almost every way, Soniera concluded in a report released on Tuesday. It also has the most accurate on-screen colors of any tablet display that he has ever measured, he wrote:
“[T]he Surface Pro 4 has one of the very best and most accurate displays available on any mobile platform and OS. It joins near the top of a small set of tablets that have excellent top tier displays – ideal for professionals that need a very accurate high performance display for their work, and for consumers that want and appreciate a really nice and beautiful display.”
Why this matters: Your eye can usually tell you what makes for a pleasing display, even if you might not be able to put your finger on what, if anything, is lacking. The fact that the SP4’s display is quite color-accurate should reassure graphics professionals looking for a tablet to take on the road. As we noted in our Surface Pro 4 review, however, we would have still liked the SP4’s battery life to have improved over the previous generation, especially given the display’s lower power consumption.
The much-speculated Samsung Galaxy View has finally been revealed in images, thanks to the serial leaker EVleaks. The first glimpse of the tablet surfaced at IFA 2015 in the form of a teaser video. The Galaxy View comes with a massive 18.4-inch full HD display, which is bigger than any other tablet on the market aside from some PC all-in-ones that double as tablets. Samsung is clearly pushing boundaries here, though.
It’s not the first time a company has pitched a tablet with such a big display. For example, Alcatel unveiled the OneTouch Go Play with a screen size of 17.3 inches. Interestingly, in the above image, you can see a stand behind the device; it seems to resemble the Microsoft Surface‘s stand. The Galaxy View had also appeared on several third-party seller websites with a price tag of $600 for the 32GB variant, along with some additional specifications and availability info. The listings were removed as soon as the leak went viral, though.
A separate report from GSM Arena suggests the device will come powered by an Exynos 758 chipset, 2GB RAM, and 32GB of storage that’s expandable to 128GB. It will come in two variants: One with Wi-Fi support and the other with 3G/4G LTE, the latter of which will cost more, of course. The base model, at $600, undercuts the iPad Pro, so it’s reasonable to assume the entire range will also undercut Apple’s larger tablet in similar configurations. And if you want a large-screen tablet for media consumption, at least, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can’t touch an 18.4-inch display.
No matter what you think of the Galaxy View, it’s generating some buzz since it’s almost three times the size of the average tablet. It looks like Samsung is indeed trying to pitch the device as something that falls between a tablet and a television, instead of a tablet and a PC
The market for 2-in-1-hybrids—portable PCs that can serve as both laptops and tablets—is proving extremely popular. According to research firm IDC, hybrids are expected to see shipments worldwide rise by a whopping 86.5 percent in 2015—and that in a PC industry that's ailing in terms of sales. The research firm also noted in a statement in August that the success of hybrid systems has prompted companies far and wide to build new devices that attempt to deliver some of the finer aspects of notebooks and tablets.
Such competition, however, means that makers of these devices have needed to step up their game. In just the last few weeks, Microsoft, in its first genuine laptop release, rolled out a new high-end hybrid, the Surface Book$1,899.00 at Microsoft Store. (Its previous Surface releases were decidedly tablets first.) And Dell unveiled its own cheaper alternative, a detachable-screen reworking of the Dell XPS 12. (Hit the links for previews of both.) Meanwhile, most of the other usual suspects in the laptop and tablet worlds are vying for consumer attention with hybrids, including Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and the subject of our review here today, Acer.
The Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book have just been released and yet those who picked up their units are already reporting problems. Most of the complaints pertain to the flickering screen of the devices, which Microsoft is yet to permanently address. But worry not for there is a temporary fix.
"Exact same thing here. (i7, 8gb, 256gb, nvidia). It doesn't seem to do it when the screen is attached in laptop mode, but flipping the screen around makes the flicker like crazy," JohnnyLocust affirmed Jarem's problem. "Spent about 2 hours with tech support on the phone. All we did was a complete factory reset and reinstall the latest firmware and drivers. One hour later, the flicker started right back up."
Meanwhile, some of the buyers found a way to temporarily fix the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book's flickering screen thanks to keen observers who noticed that the issue started after the Hyper-V feature was enabled. The problem's roots were determined and it was indeed Hyper-V that was causing the issue.
"The Windows logs also show complaints from Hyper-V that the 'GPUs are not compatible and this configuration isn't supported'," wrote nick.karasev, another member of the Microsoft community.
To disable Hyper-V, simply type: CMD into search bar. Once located, right-click on it and run it as administrator. This should bring up the command prompt. Proceed to typing the following command: dism.exe /Online /Disable-Feature:Microsoft-Hyper-V.
That should solve the problem. The fix turtorial is based on plost99's post on the same thread.
For precision doodles, the Surface Pro 4 comes with a new Surface Pen, which is great given that it was an optional add-on for the Surface 3. The pen has 1024 pressure levels and clips onto the side of the Surface Pro 4 magnetically.
The pen is powered by an AAAA disposable battery which, according to Microsoft, will last a full year and the magnetic clip mechanism helps extend the battery life by turning the pen off once it is connected to the Surface Pro 4.
So why does the Surface Pen still use disposable batteries? Because, creativity. That’s according to Microsoft Surface marketing manager Markus Weickenmeier.
“Ideas can come into your head that you’ll want to commit to paper or a screen,” he told Lifehacker Australia at a Surface press event. “With rechargeable batteries, you’re assuming you are going to have time to charge it before you use it. For us, we believe creativity will strike at any moment and you’ll want to know your pen is going to work without having to plug it in to charge it first.”
Samsung was rated slightly higher than Apple and Amazon in J.D. Power's 2015 tablet satisfaction study.
The rankings show Samsung at No. 1 with Amazon and Apple tied for No. 2. On a 1,000-point scale, Samsung scored 827 with Amazon and Apple ranking second with 825.
J.D. Power's rankings look at performance, ease of operation, features, design and cost. Samsung fared well across all five factors. Amazon did well on cost and Apple shined on ease of use and performance.
The Tablet PC is a fully functioning mobile computer that runs Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition which includes new, advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities that enable the creation, storage, and transmission of handwritten notes and voice input. Tablet PCs come in three styles, Convertible, Slate and Hybrid.