What do you think about Microsoft's dream to kill the tablet?
Microsoft seems dead set on killing the need for both a laptop and a tablet with their latest announcement. With the same weight, more power, and a refined design, Microsoft might just have a winner on their hands.
On the other hand, I think I speak for everyone when I express intense desire to do crosswords on my super expensive piece of high-tech machinery.
The original Surface hardware was great and it's getting better with each iteration: better screen, more flexible kickstand, and thinness/lightness. I could definitely use this as a laptop or a tablet based on hardware alone.
The main issue here is Windows 8. The OS has a learning curve from edge gestures to jumping back and forth between desktop mode and metro. The Windows team needs to figure out how to make Windows 8 adaptable in desktop and tablet mode. On top of that, there's still a lack of tablet-friendly apps and using touch on desktop apps is a terrible experience.
There are people out there who use iPads like a laptop by connecting bluetooth keyboards and while most apps aren't really optimized for that, it's ok because it's a tablet OS. If the Surface wants to be the best of both worlds, both the hardware AND software need to be up to snuff.
It kills me that they're still trying to make a machine aimed at the tablet market, even though that market is flattening out and people seem content to work on lightweight laptops like the Macbook Air (and use their phones for browsing and media consumption). If Microsoft made an actual lightweight laptop, then I'd probably be more excited to see what they'd do with that.
Microsoft would do well to continue the way its going and even look into killing the desk top. If they would make a better keyboard for it, it would be great and handy laptop for those needs when a well laid out keyboard is necessary, and they do exist, any college student, author and gamer can tell you that. The tablet has had seriously limited uses since its inspection, which was why Microsoft was laughed out of the market in 2002. Apple just seems to fill that need with the Ipad. Let's be honest though, without accurate hand writing recognition and no keyboard it isn't useful in meetings or class, its great for reading and playing silly games, and video chatting but otherwise a tablet in its current form is a gimmick we've been fooled into thinking is great. If the cost was less, the accessories more numerous and cost effective, I could see people (myself being among that them) latching on to it. A tablet for quick notes and reading (if they get handwriting recognition down some creative drawing/ video editing), attach a small functional keyboard (different styles depending on your needs as the consumer) you have a laptop for on the go computer mobility and continuous full screen visibility, and finally when you get home snap it into a docking station for fully expandable comfort of a desk top, a full size keyboard, mouse, larger monitor, unlimited hard drive space, ect. Microsoft just needs better marketing and better 3rd party accessory support. Logitech makes dozens of mice for different needs, we just haven't realized it for the modular ultrabook yet. The price needs to be right for the computer inside though, if they can't justify that, then the whole concept is useless.
The growth of Cloud desktop solutions like Amazon Workspaces, Vmware Horizon and also Windows Azure Monro, desktop solutions will become more and more tablet independent. This combined with solutions like Dock2Office, which enable mouse and keyboard use on every tablet (also Ipad and Android), transforming a tablet into laptop will be just a case of tablet display formfactor.
I would prefer if a tablet can work like a laptop when needed and that's the same reason I bought a macbook air. For most times, I use my computer just like a tablet, I don't need very powerful function for heavy work, and I need more power storage for a tablet so it will late longer than a laptop. But if a tablet can switch into a laptop, it will be helpful, so I won't have to buy both of them. But a computer like Surface Pro must be 12 inch screen so that my eyes will feel better; the same weight as iPad air, or at least less than the weight of a 11 inch macbook air; 9-12 hour battery when working as a laptop and more as a tablet; quite like a tablet when working as a laptop, noise level of a tablet or at least the level of macbook pro and Thinkpad X seres; a laptop level powerful hardware with i5 cpu or i7 with very low power consumption. And the keyboard must be good to use.
It is clear that MS has identified users' need for the laptop to evolve and capture some of the features of the tablet. Convertible, touchscreen laptops with nearly instant on functionality, for example, are a distinct improvement over the older model. I would choose a touchscreen Yoga over a macbook air, any day.
But, as a tablet replacement? I certainly hope that was what NOT what MS had in mind when they came up with the Surface.
The tablet is here to stay, but not to carry with you on a business trip. Lugging around a laptop and tablet, no matter how lightweight they may be, is a pain, and doesn't make any sense.
"But, as a tablet replacement?" .... Microsoft never said that the Surface Pro 3 will replace the tablets. Finally Microsoft is improving their products based on users preferences and market trends, on Surface Pro 3 lauch Microsoft said that the Surface Pro 3 will replace the laptop not tablets, you can clearly read it on their publicity.
By the way, Intel have developed a new line of CPU's that can make laptops more thinner than an iPad, so the trend for portable devices whether laptops, ultrabooks or hybrid devices is going to be more and more thinner and efficient, so we will see sooner disappear laptops, and it will be tablets so powerful that we can run whatever we want, maybe the Surface Pro 4, 5, 6..... will be the first powerfull tablet on the market in the next years like it or not, and the other brands will do the same.
Surface Pro 3 looks great. I just wish they would make a clamshell style keyboard dock like ASUS always has. That would really make it a laptop when you need it and tablet when you want it. Might as well use full travel keys and throw in a battery for extended runtime and better balance.