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Old 09-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #46
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The app is on all platforms, I already checked.
What does "all platforms" really mean in this case? Are you CERTAIN there is a version that does what she needs for iOS, Android, and the Surface? I'm suspicious that an actual design app will work well on "all platforms."
Not much precision stylus drawing on Android tablets, for example.

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Now, my daughter is fairly technologically challenged. Her brother has to routinely confiscate her laptop to remove the crud she has gotten on there and has no idea about. [. . .] but figure the Windows wouldn't be so bad because she uses Windows computers all the time.
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so if your daughter's used Windows before she'd have no problems.
Sounds like she has misused Windows before.

How subject is the Surface to the same sort of insidious bloat and malware that Windows PCs suffer? Will her Surface be uselessly bogged down with toolbars and search hijacks the first time she blunders onto the Internet?

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Old 09-26-2013, 10:00 AM   #47
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How subject is the Surface to the same sort of insidious bloat and malware that Windows PCs suffer? Will her Surface be uselessly bogged down with toolbars and search hijacks the first time she blunders onto the Internet?

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The Surface Pro is a Windows PC, so it's subject to exactly the same potential for "getting messed up" that any other Windows PC is.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:07 AM   #48
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I've always liked the surface hardware but the whole Windows 8 tile thing just isn't for me, unless theres a good customisable start menu (not button) and an option to never have to see those tiles I just couldn't bring myself to ever consider one.

The hardware itself is very sleek though.
Win 8.1 provides an "all programs" view. I find that suitable enough on the Surface RT. There are also a few additional options for customizing the Live Tile screen.

As a total package (not focusing on any one spec) I find the RT hardware superior to my iPad 4.

The things that impress me about the RT:
  • Full USB 2.0 slot - mice, keyboards, drives, thumbsticks, Blue Yeti mic, etc. all just work.
  • Printing - The RT was able to find the printers on the network, install drivers, and print. (something that I stopped thinking about since regularly using an iPad with no AirPrint-capable printers around)
  • microSD card - additional/removable storage is very handy.
  • TouchCover - I find that I can type more quickly on it that I would've expected. The multi-touch trackpad is a nice bonus.
  • The near seamless switching of using the RT as a touch device or keyboard/mouse device. Some usage is simply better by touch (like reading blogs) than keyboard and mouse. And all it takes is folding the TouchCover back behind the RT.
  • Support for Bluetooth mice - I'm a mouse guy. I can use a touchpad but prefer a mouse. I can use the RT with the TouchCover for typing and use a Bluetooth mouse for navigation… it is a very natural-feeling configuration for me.
  • ClearType - I find ClearType on the RT to be an effective equivalent to a retina-type display. The clarity and vibrancy of the RT screen display photos and videos wonderfully. ClearType helps text appear to be hi-res.
  • Microsoft Office (w/Outlook) - After spending years with devices that had "office apps" that weren't even as function as MS Works, it is a pleasant experience to have a nearly full-functioned version of Office to use.

What continues to be lacking for the RT are quality apps for things that people coming from other platforms are accustomed to. It isn't too bad for me as for others because I had already limited my usage to apps that had versions for iOS/Android/OSX.

8.1 brings some improvements to the RT with regard to performance, free space, and functionality. Totally worth $199 or $249 that RT/TouchCover bundles have been selling for on eBay. But spending $349 for the RT alone... that's a tougher decision. Spending $449 for the RT2 alone makes no sense to me (even when factoring in the spec-bump and "valuable" freebies).
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #49
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SO what about when it runs up to $1200 for a Surface Pro 2? Add to that the different peripherals and we are starting to look at some serious dough. Granted the Surface series is more flexible du to its configuration, but it seems to me you can get the same specs for a lot less, and this has me miffed.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:23 AM   #50
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SO what about when it runs up to $1200 for a Surface Pro 2? Add to that the different peripherals and we are starting to look at some serious dough. Granted the Surface series is more flexible du to its configuration, but it seems to me you can get the same specs for a lot less, and this has me miffed.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand. The Surface Pro and RT are not simply different price points in the same scale. They are different devices that look very very similar and can share the same peripherals.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #51
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SO what about when it runs up to $1200 for a Surface Pro 2? Add to that the different peripherals and we are starting to look at some serious dough. Granted the Surface series is more flexible du to its configuration, but it seems to me you can get the same specs for a lot less, and this has me miffed.
If you think it's too expensive, the simple answer would seem to be to buy one of the alternatives.

I bought my Surface from a Microsoft Store in the US on a trip there. The store had lots of different Windows 8 laptops, ultrabooks, pure tablets, and convertible tablets on display. I looked at them all, but decided that the Surface Pro was the one for me. It wasn't the cheapest (there were a number of Intel Atom-based devices available for rather less), but it certainly wasn't the most expensive, either. I'd class it as mid-priced for devices in that category.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:25 AM   #52
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I'm sorry, but I don't understand. The Surface Pro and RT are not simply different price points in the same scale. They are different devices that look very very similar and can share the same peripherals.
Agreed. The Surface Pro is a "real" PC. The Surface RT is a competitor for the iPad or an Android tablet (or even a Chromebook). Different devices. Different markets.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:28 AM   #53
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I've always liked the surface hardware but the whole Windows 8 tile thing just isn't for me, unless theres a good customisable start menu (not button) and an option to never have to see those tiles I just couldn't bring myself to ever consider one.
There are multiple start menu programs out there, some of which imitate the Windows 7 start menu and some of which try to improve upon it.

The other option is to just deal with the start screen. It is possible to remove all of the tiles for the Windows 8 specific stuff and leave behind tiles for the desktop applications. It is a bit disruptive since you have to switch to the start screen to launch programs, but you'd probably want to do that on a touch device anyhow (since small targets can be hard to hit).
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:31 AM   #54
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There are multiple start menu programs out there, some of which imitate the Windows 7 start menu and some of which try to improve upon it.

The other option is to just deal with the start screen. It is possible to remove all of the tiles for the Windows 8 specific stuff and leave behind tiles for the desktop applications. It is a bit disruptive since you have to switch to the start screen to launch programs, but you'd probably want to do that on a touch device anyhow (since small targets can be hard to hit).
On a big desktop monitor, a "Start" menu would be nice. On a 10" tablet like the Surface Pro, the "Metro" tile touchscreen works extremely well - a "standard" menu is a bit small to comfortably use with your fingers (although it works very well with the stylus).
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #55
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How subject is the Surface to the same sort of insidious bloat and malware that Windows PCs suffer? Will her Surface be uselessly bogged down with toolbars and search hijacks the first time she blunders onto the Internet?

ApK
That's a big feature of RT. It looks and runs just like Windows 8 without that potential. Additional software can ONLY be installed via the curated Windows Store.

That said, even in full Windows it is a simple matter to set up a monitored Family Safety account.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:39 AM   #56
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SO what about when it runs up to $1200 for a Surface Pro 2? Add to that the different peripherals and we are starting to look at some serious dough. Granted the Surface series is more flexible du to its configuration, but it seems to me you can get the same specs for a lot less, and this has me miffed.
You can't get the same specs in the same form factor for a lot less. That's key. Smaller lighter components cost a lot more.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:52 AM   #57
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I'm sorry, but I don't understand. The Surface Pro and RT are not simply different price points in the same scale. They are different devices that look very very similar and can share the same peripherals.
Yes, I know that. I started out looking for something to be able to do inking in OneNote, that requires the Pro with its Wacom digitizer. So from the beginning we are at a different price point than the RT (which will likely disappear when the Surface 2 is released). I can't really justify a Surface Pro simply for inking in OneNote, hence if I want to buy such a machine, I'll need to get rid of some of the stuff it would replace, like my HP laptop, Envy x2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. But in order to replace all that, I will need a fair amount of the available peripherals, docking station, Power Cover, Touch Cover and suddenly we are looking at close to $3000.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:01 AM   #58
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Is there any equivalent of Onenote available for Android? If so, perhaps an Android tablet with a Wacom digitiser (eg the Galaxy Note 10") might be a possibility for you?
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:09 AM   #59
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Is there any equivalent of Onenote available for Android? If so, perhaps an Android tablet with a Wacom digitiser (eg the Galaxy Note 10") might be a possibility for you?
Unfortunately the OneNote app for Android doesn't support inking.
I use other apps on my Galaxy Note 10.1, but then there isn't anything compatible on my PC, so it is a real conundrum.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #60
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Yes, I know that. I started out looking for something to be able to do inking in OneNote, that requires the Pro with its Wacom digitizer. So from the beginning we are at a different price point than the RT (which will likely disappear when the Surface 2 is released). I can't really justify a Surface Pro simply for inking in OneNote, hence if I want to buy such a machine, I'll need to get rid of some of the stuff it would replace, like my HP laptop, Envy x2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. But in order to replace all that, I will need a fair amount of the available peripherals, docking station, Power Cover, Touch Cover and suddenly we are looking at close to $3000.
Ah, thanks for the clarification.
The RT is not going away when the Surface 2 is released. At least not until the existing RT inventory is depleted. I'll run a test on my RT to see what kind of inking is available in OneNote and report back. Maybe it will be sufficient for your needs.
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