#1 Posted by xyzygy (9953 posts) -

I'm a little pissed because there are reports from news sites grudging the Surface Pro on it's battery life. It's supposed to be half of that of the Surface RT (which is around 10 hours, so 5), yet these journalists are STILL comparing it to an iPad. As if the iPad can do the same amount of stuff and has the same specs of a Surface Pro (Here's a hint - it doesn't even come close).

Here's an example.I feel that these types of articles are made by really butthurt iPad owners who see that the Surface Pro is a much more capable system. The title of the article says it all: calling the Surface Pro "truly terrible" based on it's battery life. The lower battery life of a much more capable and powerful system. Duh. I just don't get it.

What do you feel about the 5 hour battery life on the Surface Pro? Personally, I think it will suit me perfectly - I will use it to take notes in class, and outside of class it will be plugged in and used for basically everything else, and I'm never in class more than 3-4 hours a day. I don't see this being a problem for people in offices, schools, etc either because there are plugs available. Considering the power under its hood and the sheer amount of shit I can do with it, it's better than any laptop I will ever use and is more portable.

#2 Edited by Snail (8597 posts) -

The TechCrunch review clearly made a point to define the Surface RT as a laptop, albeit a very portable one, one of the main reasons being because you "needed" a keyboard to use it.

This product (particularly the Pro iteration) is hard to categorize. These criticisms stem from that issue: it really hasn't found its place in the market, people don't know what to call it, and expectations differ I guess. The Pro version is definitely closer to a laptop than anything else though, so I do think that this short of criticism is shortsighted and misguided. Five hours of battery life isn't that bad when you consider the Surface Pro's hardware specifications and dimensions.

#3 Edited by RecSpec (3806 posts) -

Well, to be fair, Microsoft considers the Surface Pro a tablet (they consistently refer to it as one), so they are as much to blame as anyone else. 
It looks like they decided to keep the keyboard separate so they could hit a low point of $900. That wouldn't be far off from the top of the line iPad. 
 
But yeah, this is pretty much a $1000 laptop. I was excited about it at first, but I really don't need a touch screen, which went from being a nice feature to being the reason to buy one.

#4 Edited by xyzygy (9953 posts) -

@Snail: Really? Just because you need a keyboard it is considered a laptop? If I'm not mistaken there are a couple types of touch keyboards built into the os, one is like the WP keyboards and another splits it in half. I assume that you wouldn't *need* the touch cover because these are included.

@RecSpec: But it's not the reason the buy one...? The touch cover has a trackpad on it as well, you don't have to even touch the screen if you don't want to.

#5 Posted by SharkEthic (1043 posts) -

My new laptop gets around 5 hours battery life which I'm very happy about.

But then again if it looks like a tablet and quacks like a tablet... all I'm saying is, I guess it'd bum me out if I had to carry a charger around for my "tablet".

#6 Edited by Snail (8597 posts) -

@xyzygy: "Need" as in "a physical keyboard provides an optimal experience", which isn't a very tablet like trait. The Windows 8 OS still relies a lot on a keyboard, probably moreso than its smartphone-born competitors due to its desktop-bound heritage, and the on-screen keyboard takes up way too much screen space (like, 4/5's or something) and the 16:9 form factor doesn't make it easy to type on. Apparently it's too long to easily type with both hands, while being too hefty to hold with just one - so you'll be wanting it laying on a desk for optimal use.

The guy who reviewed this on TechCrunch makes a good case for this argument, so you might want to read the review if you're that passionate about the Surface. By the way, I do like the Surface Pro and I kind of wish I could come up with a reason to legitimately feel like I should own one of these. It's really attractive and well-built, and I think that Windows 8 is at its best on a tablet device.

It's a gadget with a bit of an identity crisis. I guess I'd call it a hybrid. It's like a really tablet-like laptop. A laptop that's really thin, and easy to carry around, kinda like a book. My main issue with it, as I think is most anyone's, stems from the tragic shortage of "Modern UI apps" as of right now.

#7 Posted by Snail (8597 posts) -

@SharkEthic said:

My new laptop gets around 5 hours battery life which I'm very happy about.

But then again if it looks like a tablet and quacks like a tablet... all I'm saying is, I guess it'd bum me out if I had to carry a charger around for my "tablet".

Again, a very light, very portable laptop with a capacitive touch screen and an OS that works fine on a touch device. Add to that the smart covers and you've got yourself something very close to a tablet, but maybe not quite.

#8 Edited by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

I don't know, I think if I was spending that much money I'd get a cheaper more capable laptop and a cheaper, lighter tablet. I don't need my laptop to be that light and I don't want my tablet to be that heavy.

#9 Posted by SharkEthic (1043 posts) -

@Snail said:

@SharkEthic said:

My new laptop gets around 5 hours battery life which I'm very happy about.

But then again if it looks like a tablet and quacks like a tablet... all I'm saying is, I guess it'd bum me out if I had to carry a charger around for my "tablet".

Again, a very light, very portable laptop with a capacitive touch screen and an OS that works fine on a touch device. Add to that the smart covers and you've got yourself something very close to a tablet, but maybe not quite.

Yeah, I get that, even considered holding off buying my new laptop and wait for a Surface Pro. But like @zudthespud points out, you could just get a cheaper, more capable laptop and a separate tablet; which I did. Even despite of the touch cover, it's not as comfortable and fast to use as a laptop. Even though it's depicted as a laptop, having it in your lap and using the touch cover just doesn't work well at all. Even though it's also depicted as a tablet, it's too heavy for laying in bed reading. And now on top of that, there's the battery life situation. So when making my purchasing decision, there really wasn't a single usecase I could come up with, where the Surface seemed like the best choice.

#10 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I don't know who this thing is for, I would never buy it over a standard laptop or even think of replacing my MacBook Air with one.

5 hour battery life, well it's good for a laptop, which is what the Surface Pro is internally. As a tablet the Surface Pro is heavy, has a serious lack of apps designed for touch, has poor battery life and its touch cover doesn't even work well on your lap.

#11 Posted by Winternet (8015 posts) -

What's a Surface Pro? What's a battery life?

#12 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

You're right, they shouldn't compare the Surface to the iPad....Because that simply makes Microsoft look pathetic. The Surface will never be as good as the iPad.

#13 Posted by MAGZine (437 posts) -

@Sooty said:

I don't know who this thing is for, I would never buy it over a standard laptop or even think of replacing my MacBook Air with one.

5 hour battery life, well it's good for a laptop, which is what the Surface Pro is internally. As a tablet the Surface Pro is heavy, has a serious lack of apps designed for touch, has poor battery life and its touch cover doesn't even work well on your lap.

Compared to your macbook air:

  • Better screen (resolution + coating)
  • Comparable or better battery life (depending on 13" or 11"; the 11" is more comparable in physical size and cost)
  • Better portability (due to tablet formfactor with optional keyboard)
  • Better Wi-Fi Antenna
  • Lighter weight
  • Touch screen
  • Largest application library

Compared to your [maybe] iPad:

  • Better screen coating
  • Not uncomparable in price. 64 GB iPad w/ Smart Cover and possibly extra keyboard WILL NOT excede $899, but will get close (~$100 off?)
  • Better Wi-Fi Antenna
  • Largest application library (although not suited for touch)
  • Expandable storage
  • USB Host support (printers, external storage, Mice, Keyboard, Controllers, Cameras, etc)
  • Displayport out at a STANDARD resolution makes it viable as a business presentation/teaching product.

That's not to say it's the right selection for you, but the surface is really more pretty hefty chunk of hardware that people aren't really appraising fairly.

#14 Posted by SharkEthic (1043 posts) -

@jdh5153 said:

You're right, they shouldn't compare the Surface to the iPad....Because that simply makes Microsoft look pathetic. The Surface will never be as good as the iPad.

You know, I bet it's a better laptop than the iPad, which is kinda what we're discussing here. But thanks for playing!

#15 Edited by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

@MAGZine: I feel like your comparisons are valid, but you're only focusing on what makes the surface pro better. I think having a traditional physical keyboard and the form factor of a proper laptop is a big deal to most people, and I don't think the extra portability is that much of a gain against an Air. Similarly the battery life of the ipad is clearly a big deal to most people, and I don't think things like USB out for printers are that big of a deal either.

I think comparing it as a choice of an Air, an Ipad or a Surface is unfair because it's apple prices. If I had ~$1000 to spend I could buy a nexus 10 and an ultrabook. I think the simplest way to summarize it is that I'd rather have two optimised devices instead of one compromised device. Of course, it's not the same for everyone and maybe because I do work on my PC I would rather have a dedicated work machine, but that's just why I won't be buying a Surface Pro.

#16 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3859 posts) -
@jdh5153

You're right, they shouldn't compare the Surface to the iPad....Because that simply makes Microsoft look pathetic. The Surface will never be as good as the iPad.

It's actually much more capable then the iPad. That's kinda the point of the op, comparing a laptop strength device to an iPad is stupid. You can do way more on a Surface Pro then you can on an iPad.
#17 Edited by zombie2011 (4972 posts) -

I was gonna buy a Surface Pro, but i really didn't want to wait.

I ended up getting the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13 and it's fucking awesome. It also has a 5-6 hr battery life, but it has a quick charge port that fully charges the thing in about 45 minutes.

#18 Posted by jaycrockett (443 posts) -

Yeah I don't really get the Surface Pro, it just seems like a convertible Windows 8 laptop, just like the Lenovo, which is cool, but comes with it's own caveats.

#19 Edited by Karkarov (3081 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

@Snail: Really? Just because you need a keyboard it is considered a laptop? If I'm not mistaken there are a couple types of touch keyboards built into the os, one is like the WP keyboards and another splits it in half. I assume that you wouldn't *need* the touch cover because these are included.

@RecSpec: But it's not the reason the buy one...? The touch cover has a trackpad on it as well, you don't have to even touch the screen if you don't want to.

Just because you have a keyboard? Every commercial for the Surface shows people snapping on the keyboard, constantly. I almost never see it used in their marketing as a traditional tablet. Even in this weeks episode of Elementary when Sherlock busts one out on the john he still bothers to attach the keyboard before using it. They are clearly marketing it as more than "a tablet" but some next gen hybrid thing that has all the benefits of tablet and laptop. Problem is if I need a laptop .... I would rather just use a laptop... and if I need a tablet I would rather just use a tablet. There doesn't need to be a "best of both" device.

#20 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1568 posts) -

That's pretty shitty for a tablet. That's really good for a laptop, though. So considering it's basically a laptop with a tablet form-factor, that's still really good.

#21 Posted by Cameron (597 posts) -

It's not shipping with a keyboard in the box, so it's a tablet. Five hours of battery life is terrible for a tablet. Five hours of battery life isn't very good for a laptop either, but it's at least acceptable there. I understand that it is x86, but they should have figured out how to make the battery life comparable to other tablets or found a way to throw in the keyboard without increasing the price. For $1129 I could buy a much better ultrabook. I also understand that this product will be perfect for some people, but I think they are a minority and Microsoft needs the Surface to be a mass market product.

#22 Posted by zombie2011 (4972 posts) -

@jaycrockett said:

Yeah I don't really get the Surface Pro, it just seems like a convertible Windows 8 laptop, just like the Lenovo, which is cool, but comes with it's own caveats.

You pretty much get it, it's just a convertible ultra book. I wasn't sure about convertibles at first but i just got one and it's fucking awesome, windows 8 is really great on a touchscreen.

#23 Posted by triple07 (1196 posts) -

I seriously doubt any iPad owners are "butthurt" over the Surface Pro but I like how the internet turns everything into a crusade. Anyway I guess it depends on how you look at it as to whether you consider the battery life good or bad. Personally I find it kinda middling but that's because I like having my iPad without needed to charge it daily.

#24 Posted by MAGZine (437 posts) -

@zudthespud: oh absolutely I was. My point was to show that the surface outclasses both devices in different aspects. The USB host support is probably most interesting to people who travel/are on business trips/photographers, who can either export, modify, and post pictures quickly, or have their device dual as an entertainment/presentation device when on the road. External harddrives can store a lot of movies!

#25 Posted by Snail (8597 posts) -

@SharkEthic said:

@Snail said:

@SharkEthic said:

My new laptop gets around 5 hours battery life which I'm very happy about.

But then again if it looks like a tablet and quacks like a tablet... all I'm saying is, I guess it'd bum me out if I had to carry a charger around for my "tablet".

Again, a very light, very portable laptop with a capacitive touch screen and an OS that works fine on a touch device. Add to that the smart covers and you've got yourself something very close to a tablet, but maybe not quite.

Yeah, I get that, even considered holding off buying my new laptop and wait for a Surface Pro. But like @zudthespud points out, you could just get a cheaper, more capable laptop and a separate tablet; which I did. Even despite of the touch cover, it's not as comfortable and fast to use as a laptop. Even though it's depicted as a laptop, having it in your lap and using the touch cover just doesn't work well at all. Even though it's also depicted as a tablet, it's too heavy for laying in bed reading. And now on top of that, there's the battery life situation. So when making my purchasing decision, there really wasn't a single usecase I could come up with, where the Surface seemed like the best choice.

Yeah I agree with you. I went through a very similar thought process. I kind of wish I could come up with a reason to have one, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

#26 Posted by MikkaQ (10284 posts) -

Well why have a tablet if it just has laptop battery life? Kinda defeating one of the key benefits of having one over a laptop. The Surface Pro is so close to a laptop in fact that I don't see the point of it. Just buy a better laptop for the same amount of money.

#27 Posted by Veektarius (4785 posts) -

@Cameron said:

It's not shipping with a keyboard in the box, so it's a tablet. Five hours of battery life is terrible for a tablet. Five hours of battery life isn't very good for a laptop either, but it's at least acceptable there. I understand that it is x86, but they should have figured out how to make the battery life comparable to other tablets or found a way to throw in the keyboard without increasing the price. For $1129 I could buy a much better ultrabook. I also understand that this product will be perfect for some people, but I think they are a minority and Microsoft needs the Surface to be a mass market product.

How can it not ship with the keyboard? Didn't the RT ship with a keyboard?

#28 Posted by louiedog (2335 posts) -

The Surface RT is the iPad competitor. I see the Surface Pro as an ultrabook competitor. Similar specs, price, and market I imagine.

#29 Posted by SharkEthic (1043 posts) -

@Snail said:

@SharkEthic said:

@Snail said:

@SharkEthic said:

My new laptop gets around 5 hours battery life which I'm very happy about.

But then again if it looks like a tablet and quacks like a tablet... all I'm saying is, I guess it'd bum me out if I had to carry a charger around for my "tablet".

Again, a very light, very portable laptop with a capacitive touch screen and an OS that works fine on a touch device. Add to that the smart covers and you've got yourself something very close to a tablet, but maybe not quite.

Yeah, I get that, even considered holding off buying my new laptop and wait for a Surface Pro. But like @zudthespud points out, you could just get a cheaper, more capable laptop and a separate tablet; which I did. Even despite of the touch cover, it's not as comfortable and fast to use as a laptop. Even though it's depicted as a laptop, having it in your lap and using the touch cover just doesn't work well at all. Even though it's also depicted as a tablet, it's too heavy for laying in bed reading. And now on top of that, there's the battery life situation. So when making my purchasing decision, there really wasn't a single usecase I could come up with, where the Surface seemed like the best choice.

Yeah I agree with you. I went through a very similar thought process. I kind of wish I could come up with a reason to have one, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Thing is, it's kinda cool! The touch cover is an awesome idea, solid build quality and Windows 8 makes sense in this context. If I had gone ahead and bought one, I'm sure it'd found its place in my every day life. The perfect PC/tablet/whatever hybrid will happen, and we got a taste of what's to come in the Surface, but it's just not it.

#30 Posted by Cameron (597 posts) -

@Veektarius: Yeah, it's pretty dumb. Here's a source though: http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/29/technology/mobile/surface-pro-pricing/?npt=NP1

#31 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4339 posts) -

It's fine for what that device is going to be but I want more which is why I went ahead and got a macbook air over that thing.

#32 Posted by Athadam (687 posts) -

999 dollars for the Surface Pro, and 129-150 for the keyboard that you'll probably get. It's twice the price of an already expensive Apple product.

Seeing how the Surface RT launched and its reception, I would wait see if you really want a Surface Pro.

#33 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

A tablet with a i5 what did you expected, that thing is better than my huge 15.6in Lenovo laptop.

#34 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3149 posts) -

Surface Pro seems like its gonna be the Zune of this era. When compared, it's probably better than Apple's output, but Microsoft wont get behind it in any meaningful way.

#35 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3806 posts) -

@triple07 said:

I seriously doubt any iPad owners are "butthurt" over the Surface Pro but I like how the internet turns everything into a crusade. Anyway I guess it depends on how you look at it as to whether you consider the battery life good or bad. Personally I find it kinda middling but that's because I like having my iPad without needed to charge it daily.

I don't think they are "butthurt" but to me this is another example of people thinking Apple is perfection and flawless. It gets really tiring to me the way some people are just Apple drones.

@Apparatus_Unearth said:

Surface Pro seems like its gonna be the Zune of this era. When compared, it's probably better than Apple's output, but Microsoft wont get behind it in any meaningful way.

I wouldn't be surprised.

#36 Posted by triple07 (1196 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads: I think the people who think Apple products are flawless are in the minority these days but I may be wrong about that. There are certainly people who only look at Apple products and refuse to use anything else which I think is ridiculous despite the fact that I own an iPad and an iPhone.

#37 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3806 posts) -

@triple07 said:

@ArtisanBreads: I think the people who think Apple products are flawless are in the minority these days but I may be wrong about that. There are certainly people who only look at Apple products and refuse to use anything else which I think is ridiculous despite the fact that I own an iPad and an iPhone.

From my experience, those people aren't in the minority. The OP's link is a good example.

I think they do make good products for the most part and good to see you have an open mind. People just go overboard though worshiping them.

Sort of a round-a-bout and silly example, but I think it's hilarious how when Bill Burr poked fun at Steve Jobs some people were so offended. To me, it kind of shows the Apple hype at work. (4.18 in)