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Microsoft finally gets it right with the Surface 3


RV_

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For those not familiar with the Microsoft Tablets and laptop replacements, prior to today there were only two.

 

1. The Surface Pro 3 which is a thin and light full featured computer in a mobile tablet with type cover or not. It runs Windows 8.1 full version and can load any programs that any laptop can essentially making it a different animal than all previous Android and Apple tablets which are limited to cell phone OS' and Processors used in cell phones. The Android and Apple tablets cannot load any Windows PC applications/programs, or OSX PC applications/programs, only Apps made for them by Apple developers, Windows developers, and Android developers. For the purpose of this discussion Apps are tiny handy things or games for phones, tablets, and even Windows 8.1 full PCs.

 

2. Originally the Surface (no Pro after it) was made to compete with the limited tablets made with cellphone OS' and limited in computing power. It too could not load PC programs, only the Apps made for it. Those Apps could also run on Windows computers including the Surface Pro tablet. The original Surface and Surface 2 used cellphone processors and was a limited OS called Windows RT, like the Apple tablets and phones and the Android tablets and phones.

 

So before, only a Surface tablet could run full Windows 8 and 8.1 OS only if it had Pro after it, e.g. Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and now the Surface Pro 3.

 

Today's announcement makes it clear that the old RT Surface is being discontinued. Because they are now making the Surface line the economy Atom Processor/SoC powered line up like my Dell Venue 11 Pro and My T200TA ASUS tablets. This is great news as now the Surface lineup will all be full Windows computers in a much lower price tier than the Surface Pro tablets using the i3, 5, and 7.

 

This article is must reading for anyone running Windows who wants to know what the hubbub is about.

 

Excerpt:

 

"The new Surface 3 from Microsoft delivers a solid compromise between power and price that hits the sweet spot for many consumers.

 

Microsoft unveiled the new Surface 3 tablet yesterday rather than the Surface Pro 4 everyone was expecting. The new Surface 3 dumps the ARM processor and Windows RT to deliver an economical Surface tablet that still has the power and capabilities users need. It looks like Microsoft has finally hit the nail on the head.

 

The Surface 3 will be the device that finally drives serious mass adoption of the Microsoft tablet. Surface RT and Surface 2 are cheaper Surface tablets but never really caught on, because they run on an ARM processors and Windows RT. The Surface Pro line has a traditional Intel architecture and runs the full Windows operating system, but the cost has placed it out of reach for many consumers. The Surface 3 looks to deliver the power and capabilities of the Surface Pro line with the affordability of the Surface RT line. This is a win-win combination.

 

I was a fan of the Surface Pro 2. I thought it included all of the improvements it needed to deliver a better hybrid tablet / PC experience than the original Surface Pro. I was blown away when Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3, because it was better than the Surface Pro 2 in virtually every way. I have used the Surface Pro 3 as my primary PC since it launched, and I highly recommend the Surface Pro 3--but it's not cheap.

 

A recent survey asked consumers what they were hoping for in the expected Surface Pro 4. Lower cost and better battery life were the top requested features. Thinner, lighter, better cameras, and 4G / LTE connectivity also received a fair amount of votes. When forced to choose just one element as most important, lower cost was the dominant winner... by a long shot.

 

Surface 3 delivers on lower cost. The entry-level model is only $500 (USD) and comes with 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB SSD storage capacity. For another $100, you can double both of those to 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD. It also has better battery life, plus it's thinner, lighter, and has better front- and rear-facing cameras. The Surface 3 even offers optional 4G / LTE functionality

 

At $500, the Surface 3 is still on the high end of what people are willing to pay for a tablet. As a computer, though, the $500 and $600 Surface 3 models fall well within the $500 to $1,000 most people plan to spend on their next PC. When you consider that the Surface 3 is both a tablet and a PC, $500 is a ridiculously affordable price to pay.

 

Do you need more incentive? Microsoft is including a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal with the purchase of the Surface 3--a $70 value that effectively makes the Surface 3 just $430. Office 365 Personal gives you Office 2013 Professional (and Office 2016 Professional, once it's launched) along with other perks and benefits like Skype calling minutes and unlimited OneDrive storage.

 

The Surface 3 is affordable, powerful, versatile, and flexible. It isn't an engineering or gaming machine, but for the vast majority of Windows PC users, the Surface 3 seems to offer an ideal combination of features and functionality at the right price. It looks like Microsoft finally got it right with the Surface 3."

 

The full article with feedbacks at the bottom and pics is here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/microsoft-finally-gets-it-right-with-the-surface-3/?tag=nl.e101&s_cid=e101&ttag=e101&ftag=TRE684d531

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More from one of my favorite insider Microsoft tech writers Mary Jo Foley:

 

Excerpt:

 

"Microsoft's coming Surface 3, an Intel Atom x7-based Surface, is the new little sister to the Surface Pro 3.

 

Microsoft is adding a new Surface tablet to its line-up -- one aimed at students, families and anyone who finds the current Surface Pro 3's $799 starting price a bit too steep.

 

The new Surface 3 is a 64-bit Intel Atom x7 (Cherry Trail)-based tablet that's the new little sister to Microsoft's flagship Surface Pro 3.

 

A Surface 3 tablet with 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, minus the add-on keyboard, starts at $499. It ships with Windows 8.1, but will freely upgradable by consumers to Windows 10 for one year following Windows 10's general availability (a period which will start some time this summer). The Surface 3 will begin shipping on May 5 through a variety of retailers and resellers in 26 markets worldwide.

 

The Surface 3 has a 10.8-inch 1920 X 1280 ClearType HD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. There will be both a WiFi-only and a 4G LTE-ready version that initially will be available through T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in the U.S. some time "later this year."

 

I had a chance to see and hold a Surface 3 device recently, but Microsoft isn't providing review units of the device until early April, so I don't have any real hands-on experience with the device at this point.

 

On the good news front, the Surface 3 is quite light and thin, weighing in at 1.37 pounds and .34 inches thick. It has better (Dolby-Audio-enhanced) speakers, and two cameras, an 8 megapixel rear-facing one and a 3.5 megapixel front-facing one. The device is fanless. It includes a full-size USB 3.0 port, Mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader and Micro USB charging port, which works with both dedicated Surface chargers or any generic USB phone charger.

 

Because it is Intel-, rather than ARM-based -- like the Surface RT and Surface 2 were -- the Surface 3 can run Win32 apps. It also ships with a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal (usually priced at $70 per year) for free.

 

Microsoft seems to have fixed some of its Surface pipeline/distribution channel issues. Pre-orders for Surface 3 start today, March 31 through microsoftstore.com, Microsoft brick-and-mortar stores and select partner retailers in the following markets: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

 

On the not-so-good news front, the Surface 3 is just as lappable (or, in my case, non-lappable) as previous Surfaces. Though not everyone wants or needs to type on their laps for extended periods of time, I do, and the Surface 3 is not stable enough for me to do so.

 

Because the new 10.8 inch screen size is different from previous Surface screens (the Surface RT was 10.6, and the Surface Pro 3 is 12), the existing keyboard covers and docking stations don't work well, or in the case of the dock, at all, with the new Surface 3. (Existing keyboard covers can connect, but don't fully cover the tablet screen when closed.)

 

Those who want to use a pen with the Surface 3 can use the existing Surface Pro 3 pen. Or they can purchase new pens, available starting May 5, in four colors: silver, blue, black and red, that cost $50 each. The new Surface 3 Type covers will cost an additional $130, and be available in the usual Bright Blue/Cyan, Blue/Navy, Purple, Black, Red, a new "Bright Red" (a k a orange)."

 

The whole article is here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-new-atom-based-surface-3-starting-at-499-to-hit-in-may/?tag=nl.e541&s_cid=e541&ttag=e541&ftag=TRE7ce1dc9

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Really was impressed with the build of the 1st generation of Surface, not so much the software and execution/performance. (It was free to me, and after a week of trying it, i returned it to the nice person, and suggested they donate it.) Went with an Apple Air Laptop (So far, like it very much. But admittedly much more $.).

 

That being said, I'm very interested in how '10' rolls out. Like the direction MS is going in cross platform software, and the quality of the hardware they bring to market. The DW's Laptop is the next to be replaced, and I'll let '10' and Surface Pro's simmer for a bit before this next transition.

 

Good reading all around, Thx's for sharing,

Smitty

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YW Smitty!

 

Hey Popeye,

That is the new gen. We are selling our first gen Windows tablets and sticking with our gen two and three tablets. But all will be upgraded to 10.

 

Dennis,

I've ben seeing those sales too. I think I'll pass on the Spam. The "old school" just posted some. :lol:

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Where was it that I have seen this same story so many times in the past? Most recently it was W8..... :huh:

Facts are facts. Just take a look at the hardware and software of the latest Surface products and you will see that they are an exceptional piece of hardware. You can argue with the software (Windows 8.1) but the hardware is pretty good). Those who do not like Windows will never like a MS product, no matter how Windows evolves.

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Microsoft has a long history of less than stellar management decisions from a reliability and security viewpoint and they have left the current management with a tough row to hoe. The new crew really seem to be taking up the challenge and making an effort to clean up the mess. It is not going to be a fast process and will likely bring pain to both the company and users as long needed changes are implemented. Still getting things better is going to be well worth the effort and in today's security environment MS has to get better or folks will opt for other options.

 

The ill will caused by their past business tactics is going to linger too, some folks won't get over that and will never trust them again. Another challenge for management but like any other similar situation all you can do is "better today and in the future" and hope that minds are changed by your better behavior.

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Yeppers!

 

Jack, check these out:

 

Intel's new Atom SoCs are called Cherry Trail using Broadwell microarchitecture nano manufacturing. The first device known to use it will be shipping very soon, the Surface 3!

http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2015/01/05/the-5th-generation-intel-core-family-of-processors-arrive-to-transform-computing-experiences-cherry-trail-shipping?wapkw=cherry+trail

 

So what are these and what are they called? The Surface 3 uses the Quad Core Intel® Atom™ x7-Z8700 processor (2MB Cache, 1.6GHz with Intel Burst™ technology up to 2.4GHz)

 

How do they stack up? Go to this Wiki and scroll down about halfway down to the Cloverview group. These were the series for the first Windows 8 tablets. My HPx2 and Lynn's Lenovo Lynx are both Z2760 1.8 dual core SoCs. You and I both currently have Bay Trail T quad cores, you a Z3740 and I both a Z3770 Venue 11 Pro, and a Z3795 ASUS T200TA hybrid that has 4GB of RAM - AND IS A 64 BIT SYSTEM, NOT 32 BIT. The upcoming Surface 3 has great weight and specs and uses the top tier Cherry Trail X7 Z8700.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Atom_microprocessors

 

Here is the pre order page. OK, I will let the first ones come out, but I'll have to get the one with 4GB of RAM, and sell my ASUS T200 11.6" with the Z3795 and 4 GB RAM. Why? It is .40 pounds lighter than my smaller 10.8" Venue 11, full HD, better graphics, and full size USB 3 on board. I don't use a keyboard with my tablets, many do. I can hook the Surface to a hub and use it like a desktop, and use my regular full size keyboards and mice, wired or wireless. I have one wired and three wireless spare sets.

 

So it has everything I want, at a doable price after selling my T200 and Lynn's Lenovo Lynx as she wants the Venue 11 Pro, which warranty I just extended two year.

 

Check out the Surface 3 here:

http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/products/surface-3?SEMID=1&WT.srch=1&ocid=ONECONSTABS3_SEM_GOO_BRAND_Surface-3_ACT_en-US_surface%203%20pre%20order&wt.mc_id=ONECONSTABS3_SEM_GOO_BRAND_Surface-3_ACT_en-US_surface%203%20pre%20order

 

1.37 pounds???? Woo Hoo!

 

On edit:

The upcoming Surface 3 is a 64 bit Windows system. My ASUS T200TA is also 64bit, and has a second 2.5" hard drive bay in the bottom of the keyboard. Almost every other Windows Atom tablet is 32 bit.

 

I don't use keyboards. We also prefer the leatherette folio covers from Amazon that have the magnets for open and closing the screens like the surface covers have. We will likely sell the Venue and keep the ASUS T200. Get a Surface 3 but no cover just a stylus, and settle down for a few years with two 64 bit, 4GB of RAM, USB 3 full size ports, and fast processor tablets.

 

BTW, this is not the shot in the dark the original Surface and Surface Pro tablets were. Nor is anyone dealing with an unknown new OS like we did with Win 8/8.1. Nor is this Surface an RT tablet but a full Windows Tablet. In 8.1 We will all have one year to decide if we want Windows 10 or not for free. After one year of its debut, you have to pay for it.

 

MS has a winner in the high end with the Surface Pro, and now I predict a winner in the mid range. MS is as of today leaving the low end tablet market to their other manufacturers, where there is plenty of money to be made. Apple can't because they don't allow OSX on other hardware. And despite being free, Linux has yet to get any traction with significant consumer desktop or tablet market share.

 

Also the lower end full Windows tablets have a terrific track record of adoption by many in the second and third year after they came out with Windows tablets in October of 2012. Everyone now knows what they do, and what they are getting. Or not if they have personal issues with MS, or loyalty to separate tablets and PCs with Apple tablets that don't run OSX. Everybody gets to vote with their wallet for their preferences because folks, let's face it, they all work. If I'd been using Apple for the 30 years I've been using MSDOS - 8.1, or the 23 years since the first release of Linux, I'd not switch to a Windows product either. BTW, Apple has been available since 1976 when the first Apple I went on sale, 39 years ago.

 

MS is finally getting back in the game.

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Jack, as a long time supporter of MS and their system and going back I was even a part of the customer support side of things way back in teh days of DOS. But eventually I began to tire of the constant excuses and finger pointing coming from MS. Then when Windows was first introduced I, like so many others, I jumped in with both feet. But eventually one tires of being lied to and since I no longer have any need or desire to stay on the bleeding edge of the latest technology in computers, I just want something stable and reliable which will do the jobs that I use it for. I run quite a few "off the shelf" programs and manage my website and such as that, but I have moved on from any interest in the constant need to have the latest of the electronic products.

The ill will caused by their past business tactics is going to linger too, some folks won't get over that and will never trust them again. Another challenge for management but like any other similar situation all you can do is "better today and in the future" and hope that minds are changed by your better behavior.

Stanley puts it very well. I am at a point in life where it just isn't worth the effort. I am presently using both a Mac & a W8.1 laptop and the Mac, while a hand-me-down from my son that is quite a bit older than the HP/MS team I have, is much more stable and reliable. If I were 10 years younger I would probably be more interested in the hot product line, but now that I look back on 70+ years I just am not interested. I have much better ways to spend my time. ^_^

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RV

I know ,new gen , I was just reading the press release before you started this thread , BUT as we both know , when the gen after this gen comes out ,, you'll have to have that gen , and , as this gen is the first tablet that will do for me , I'll have to have this gen , but can wait for it to be last gen.

Oh my goshk!! that's a lot of gens in one sentence , I think I might have over gen'd . Skuh kuh kuh kuh kuh

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It is all a matter of personal preference. More than any other element. I know people that have Mac systems that have repeated problems. I know one that is about to throw the entire system out. And Apple support is not very friendly from his experience. And the "Genius" people are apparently not so "genius".

 

I, for one, HATE my Windows 8.0 installation on my Acer. It is totally screwed up. But to be fair, I "could" correct it by scratching the hard drive and starting over with W8.1. My W8.1 machines have not had a SINGLE freeze or reboot since we have owned them. Not ONE! That is a pretty good track record.

 

I look forward to W10. I think it will be a great system if it lives up to its potential. Potential shown by the public beta.

 

I have nothing against Apple. I even have an iPad and an Ipod. The iPad is not really a very good tablet from a software perspective. Way too restrictive of a UI and OS. IMO. See.....personal preference.

 

I doubt I would ever own a Mac. They don't have a whole lot to offer me, since I do not buy high-priced/high end machines. I'd be far more inclined to meet my needs going the other direction - a low cost/low end machine. Maybe even a Chromebook (GASP!!) for just web browsing, email, research. I have plenty of data to support it with my current Verizon plan.

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What would you recommend? I just miss excel spreadsheet so much and word, and I've a ton of spreadsheet stuff to compile for reporting so need to make a decision asap.

 

Mac numbers sucks for ease of use compared to my old Excel and pages isn't a patch on word for me. Seriously tried embracing the Mac for over 18 months, love internet use and note pad on it, plus nice to answer iMessages on it instead of on iPhone which I've never liked touchscreen, but everything else really haven't enjoyed more than my old windows system.

 

Have current 5 to 8 year old Dell Laptop with I think Windows XP on it and old copy of MS office loaded on it but it's acting very very unstable and oh so slow for past year or so and concerned it's going to die and leave me stranded altogether especially from Excel point of view.

 

Would like to get away with paying as little as possible naturally, but want something that will work good and most importantly last = don't like changing every five minutes for the next latest and greatest thing.

 

Surface 3 writes ups sound fabulous but so do lots of things until they are out and in public use largely so sceptical somewhat of anything new to market. Price of that and add on the keyboard puts it up there a bit especially in Canadian bucks.

 

How good/easy to use is parallel to add to the Mac and remain stable = would that be best option?

 

Any suggestions on the best laptop Windows deal that's stable and effective that would do for me now (have birthday coming up 1st May so kids want an idea what to buy)?

 

Value any suggestions. If Surface 3 will really make all the difference happy to wait and if need to pay that high a price with the keyboard, but I don't play games or anything on confusers, just type lots and create spreadsheets and publisher documents. Basically I would use it for business and tracking for the most part.

 

Thanks for your input folks which is always appreciated on machine, OS, software etc.

 

Helen.

 

PS: Happy Easter :)

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Helen, I would not recommend the Surface for your described use. The screen is going to be too small. At least it would be for me performing those functions. I would look for a 15" screen. As to the specific brand and specs, probably I'd look in Sams or Costco for what their latest decent price point machine is. They sell a lot of HP machines with decent specs. For your work you do not need a high end machine unless you have VERY complex spreadsheets that would benefit from a higher end processor. But even my more complex spreadsheets - full of complex macros - run fine on my i3 processor. So I would say that is not a concern unless you have specific needs not identified here.

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Helen - I can sympathize. I used Word and Excel a lot.

 

I moved to "Open Office" as a substitute. That has "issues" and a learning curve. I see they have a new release out, but I haven't tried it - https://www.openoffice.org/

 

Currently using "Libre" and it seems to be doing well. https://www.libreoffice.org/

 

2 free MS Office replacements

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Thanks Jack, good point I do tend to prefer the bigger screens for spreadsheets, and no I don't do anything fandangled on them, just sorting and sums for submissions to accountants, tax man if needed and monitoring/comparisons for self. You nailed it on the head that I just want it for basic functions as mentioned only.

 

Bill encouraging to hear I am not alone in my assessment on Mac, and as for Apple service, that sucks too, genius bar was a joke as well and total waste of our time. I genuinely have tried using Pages, Numbers etc on the Mac Pro I have (client from Apple got me set up on that and iPhone from being a BB & Win user), but it really isn't as user friendly for sure for large spreadsheet inputs and the like.

 

So should I be looking for a specific platform ie; have XP now, read windows 8 has lots of issues. I'm not very techy, so just want something that I can open and start with no frustrating shut downs, unstable etc. Should I be waiting for windows 10 to come out? Also read about Libre and OpenOffice but would I be better off still paying for MS Office and if so like my old discs from years ago of it can it be put on future machines or is it a rebuy each time on line only now to download?

 

Thanks again, you guys have always given me the best guidance on everything :)

 

Helen.

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I also considered the Surface Pro 3 when I purchased our new convertible laptops (Asus TP500) but decided the screen size just would not work for my fat fingers and older eyesight. The 12 inch screen just seemed too small for me. The Asus screens on our PCs are 15 inches. Plus the Pro 3 prices were somewhat of a turnoff. My wife could easily use the new Surface 3 for her needs, but again the screen size might be an issue.

 

I know my younger brother loves his Surface Pro 3. I just could not get around the size factor for me.

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Helen,

Are you going to use it in your lap, or desk primarily? When using Office now with your laptop, do you use it on a table/desk, or in your lap primarily? Do you like the idea of a hybrid tablet and laptop, tablet and desktop, or do you always sit at a tabletop/desk when using your laptop like a desktop?

 

The Surface line in both the 10.8" Surface, and the more expensive 12" Surface pro, like some of the top heavy 10.1" hybrid tablets aren't the best for use in your lap, but excellent on a table or desk. Heavier tablet laptop systems like my 11.6" ASUS T200TA are good both ways, as the screen is held by the weight of the keyboard (kb) when attached, and is an average weight 11.6" tablet when used without the kb.

 

I never used a laptop in my lap. Hated typing there and the weight would get wearing in time. And the heat in the old days was uncomfortable enough to me that I even used a TV tray or table to use my old days 2007 8" screen netbook.

 

How you used to use your old laptop is key. Tell us.

 

Second. You should wait regardless of whether you end up with the Surface or not. Here's why. For the first time in my memory, rather than an annual debut of Intel processor lines, they are débuting the newest Atom quad core Cherry Trail SoCs powered devices next month, just months after the last Bay Trail iteration. In other words they have two lines of SoCs in devices stepping on the debut of the last devices with older SoCs. SoCs = Systems on a Chip - they have combined graphics cards and many other motherboard functions in the processors themselves, thus the new term and acronym.

 

Today the focus is on smaller, cooler, faster, more powerful mobile device processors. So with both the new devices being made obsolete before they are sold, and the really impressive new leap in Atom capabilities and speeds, the middle end is in severe overstock.

 

The result is that starting in May with the release of the Surface, all the Atom Z3700 Bay Trail processors are obsolete because the X7 Z3800 series are cooler and faster, run longer per charge, and can use 4GB of RAM instead of the 2 GB all but one of the Z3700 series were limited to. But the biggest improvement in the new series is the graphics handling, which affects excel displays too.

 

So, in May, we should see a rush to clearance their old devices at fire sale prices before the general public realizes the differences.

 

You might want the Surface. It can handle MS Office just fine. Just be sure to get 4GB of RAM. See if you can try a Surface and Surface Pro the way you use your laptop, in your lap and/or on a desk/table. Some folks hate the Surface kb in their laps but love them on the table.

 

Me, I have three desktops at my disposal, mine, hers, and my spare that is sync'd with my main desktop. So I use my hybrids as only a tablet and left the kb in a sleeve for the last two years since I bought my first gen hybrid HP x2 Atom dual core Z2760 system. Now too slow for us and sold. I have MS Office 2010 installed on all three of our current tablets soon to be two as my wife's much used and lived 11.6" Lenovo Lynx first gen Atom Z2760 is sold and she takes over the Venue11 10.8", the same size as the upcoming Surface 3.

 

I take issue with the claims of tablet screens being too small. Below I've included links to pictures where you can use a stand to use a tablet like a desktop. I use my tablet on my diaphragm in my recliner mostly. Look at my pics. Big keyboards mice and a stand at a desk station for desktop duty.

 

I see no problem in running any MS Office Application alone on any Windows tablet. If you want 5 programs open and dual screens with kb only then perhaps an All In One (AIO) would be better. They even have some with batteries and an 18" screen. I have a giant AIO for my main desktop. I've often thought I could make do with the much smaller, and portable Dell XPS 18" AIO. It just happens to be on sale today on Woot. Do look today just to see as Woot sells out pretty fast. God deal at $550. Click here: http://computers.woot.com/offers/dell-18-full-hd-portable-aio-touch-desktop?ref=cnt_dly_img

 

So let us know how you use it, in your lap or table/tray/desk. See you could leave the kb base as a dock where you would normally use the laptop for MS Office. You could even have a USB 3 powered hub there to use a USB second larger screen, full size kb and mouse, whatever. Funny but for me the screen size of 11.6" is fine as is the 10.8. 10.1 is too small for us. However, for an RVr or home user check out how far they've come with external monitors! Here is one on Amazon that's 16" and is powered by USB only. It is light and can be used with a powered hub at a tablet docking station with it, and a full size kb and mouse, watch the video if you can: http://www.amazon.com/AOC-E1649FWU-USB-Powered-Portable-Monitor/dp/B005SEZR0G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428166778&sr=8-1&keywords=usb+monitor

 

Or if like me you actually like a touchpad, just not where you can cause it to mess up with the heel of your hand I bought the K-400 Logitech originally for HTPC use before smart TVs. Now I use it on my backup desktop. The left mouse button is at the top right and the touchpad off to the left so no awkward two thumbs in a tiny space needed when working in my lap. It is wireless : http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Wireless-Keyboard-Multi-Touch-Touchpad/dp/B005DKZTMG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428167449&sr=8-1&keywords=logitech+k400

 

I like Windows tablets and touch AIOs. Most folks think of tablets as limited to setting down on a table or lap. I think of them, and must have a full size USB port for this, as the same as a desktop when plugged into a hub and using a wireless kb/mouse AND a stand to lift it up! see regular PC wireless kbps and mice use one USB receiver and need no Bluetooth pairing, connection, and lagging issues. Just plug and play on Windows tablets. I bought a $29 tablet stand, fully adjustable, that attaches to any camera tripod or mount. Go here to see: http://s1359.photobucket.com/user/RV_Roadie/library/Tablet%20Stands?sort=3&page=1

 

I'd advise you to wait at least until the Surface 3 comes out to the stores and you can see one and play with it a bit. In the meantime go play with 12" Surface Pro tablets in the stores, as well a the Venue 11 Pro tablets which are the same size as the Surface 3s will be, 10.8".

 

By waiting you can confirm the size you like, and in May, after the Surface with the new Atom quad core X7-Z8700 is in the stores, the old Atom Z3700 quad cores will sell at fire sale prices. I am keeping my Z3770 Venue 11 & my ASUS T200TA Atom quad Z3795 4GB of RAM tablets. At least until May.

 

Hope that helped ya!

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Thanks RV. I tend to spend most of the time with it on my lap but occasionally when going through hoards of input sheets do work at my desk with it but yes LAP would be the main. Of late I spend most time on the Mac on my lap and when doing excel or word go into my office desk and do it on that on the old Dell.

 

Keep in mind RV that I am not into playing games etc with it, just want something simple to work well for word and excel without crashing every five minutes, and I do tend to like the bigger screen to view the spreadsheets on hence why I went with the 15in Mac (daughter's 11inch I don't enjoy at all, sorry RV I'm with Jack on liking the bigger screens). Don't need anything that shakes it's hips like Elvis or to make a cuppa tea so to speak, just to effectively do Excel and Word and maybe if possible Publisher but the latter I have learned to live without and do that stuff now on the Mac to a much lesser degree.

 

Thanks as always Yaw'll.

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YW Helen,

You initially asked about the Surface.

 

Did you go to the pictures on my Photobucket I linked to?

 

I did that answer for everyone wondering, not just you. I have another conversation from here going on in email asking about the tablets too. So this is for that friend and you and any other folks that are cornfused about the tablets.

 

If you have never used touch screens that apparently is a steep learning curve for some because it is not instant. There is an art to touch screens that takes more than one evening to learn. Like our first smart phones and Apple or Android tablets, usually a couple weeks until we feel we can do some things we wanted to do.

 

But for a laptop in the lap person the Surface 3 and the Surface Pro 3 arte not great lap keyboards. I had laptops until February/March 2013 when I was sure the HP x2 tablet was my laptop replacement. I never used them in my lap, really. too heavy and too hot, never mind blocking the vents. But you and many others all got over those hurdles that I chose not to. I even used a desktop after 2000 in my RV once I knew the y2k bug wasn't causing the end of the world as we know it! Like 2012 and the Mayan calendar we just got by that one. ;):blink:

 

But lappers definitely need something that is heavy enough to keep from falling over backwards. Any Surface 3 owners out there care to chime in? I don't own one of those yet.

 

I do no games either Helen. If I have time to burn waiting in a doc's office or in the evening I will curl up with my Kindle and read or even get an analog reader that has each screen page prepainted and never needs charging. :)

 

Safe travels!

 

As for Jack, he is into the small screens for tablets. 7 or 8" and 10.1 inches. Jack you've not had a larger tablet yet have you? I am into big screens too on desktops. I'm at my desktop now and it is 27" and touch. No way it can go in my lap however.

 

Glad you asked first.

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I have a variety of tablet sizes and hybrid available to me - from 7" to 10.1". Nothing larger. In the tablets (pure tablet) I PERSONALLY find the 8.4 to be the best size if you only have one available. Easy to hold and big enough to have enough screen space to be useful.

 

In actual production machines -meaning I'm producing or working with content - not just viewing something....I find a minimum 13" to be the most useful. Danielle has an Ultra W8.1 touch 13" and it works well for me for content creation for everything but web design. There I like a larger screen and stick to my 17" laptop. I also prefer the 17" for LARGE and complicated spreadsheets - but frankly,they work fine on the 13" - you just have to scroll a little and using touch makes that easy.

 

For what OS to get - definately get 8.1 if buying now....you will have little choice, anyway. It is rock solid. Then upgrade to 10 when it comes out.....wait a little while for it to "settle in". That is my plan, at least.

 

For what you are doing pretty much any mid-level spec machine will function well. Personally I'd look at an i5 or a lower end i7 processor. It will last longer for you. But my attitude these days about these machines is that they are pretty much "done" after 3 years and I buy by price as much as anything (meeting minimum specs). I aim in the $500 range and just toss it when it breaks.....they usually last 3-5 years then it is time for a new one. Mainly because of technology changes. On my personal (main) machine I run a 17" display, but I'm likely going to go to a 15" for the next one. Just what I do and find to be most useful for me.

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