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Microsoft Apple Hardware

Microsoft and Others Mean Stiff Competition For Apple iPad Pro 279

MojoKid writes: When Microsoft first announced the Surface Pro back in 2012, many Apple fans snickered. Here was Microsoft, releasing a somewhat thick and heavy tablet that not only had a kickstand, but also an odd cover that doubled as a keyboard. And to top things off, the device made use of a stylus. Steve Jobs famously said in 2010, "If you see a stylus, they blew it." But Microsoft forged ahead with the Surface Pro 2, and later with the Surface Pro 3. Not only were customers becoming more aware of the Surface but competitors were also taking note. We've seen Lenovo introduce the ideapad MIIX 700, which incorporates its own kickstand and an Intel Skylake-based Core m7 processor. And most recently, we've seen Apple pull a literal 180 on this design and platform approach, announcing the iPad Pro — a device that features a fabric keyboard cover similar in concept to the Surface Pro and a stylus. Dell and ASUS have also brought compelling offerings to the table as well. However, the big head-to-head competition will no doubt be between the Surface Pro 4, which is set to be unveiled early next month and Apple's iPad Pro when it finally goes on sale.
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Microsoft and Others Mean Stiff Competition For Apple iPad Pro

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  • It's not the size (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeMo ( 521697 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:02PM (#50557839)
    It's the software and OS it runs that matters.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Hardware too. Once you get used to wireless charging, for example, you don't want to go back.

    • It's the software and OS it runs that matters.

      Which means iPad Pro is double fucked, because it doesn't run a real OS.

  • From what I've seen and read the iPad Pro stylus uses the classic capacitive touch sensor of the sort used on all the iPads, maybe with a higher-definition capability. That that means the user can't rest their hand on the screen while drawing. All the videos I've seen of users demoing the iPad stylus show them being very careful not to let their hand get anywhere near the screen, holding the stylus in a rather unnatural fashion.

    The Surface Pro has a separate digitising screen for the stylus as well as the r

    • The iPad Pro does have a separate digitizer. However, the stylus lacks any buttons and no eraser functionality. Currently the suggested way to recharge the pen is to insert it into the charging port of the iPad Pro.
      • by nojayuk ( 567177 )

        The iPad Pro does have a separate digitizer.

        This is from the Apple website page describing the Apple Pencil:

        iPad Pro knows whether youâ(TM)re using your finger or Apple Pencil. When iPad Pro senses Apple Pencil, the subsystem scans its signal at an astounding 240 times per second, giving it twice the data points it normally collects with your finger. This data, combined with Appleâ'designed software, means that thereâ(TM)s only milliseconds between the image you have in your mind and the o

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          an astounding 240 times per second

          LOL, astounding like everyone else has been doing for years. It's been well known that to get good input from a stylus for things like handwriting and artwork you need at least 240 samples per second, preferably more, at higher DPI than the screen itself.

          Samsung and Wacom and anyone else who read a patent or academic paper about it has known this for over a decade, and implementations in consumer products have been around for at least five years.

          FWIW Samsung uses the standard capacitative touch layer. I dou

      • However, the stylus lacks any buttons and no eraser functionality.

        That isn't much of an issue when touch controls to adjust things can be anywhere on the screen.

        Currently the suggested way to recharge the pen is to insert it into the charging port of the iPad Pro.

        You left out the part where it takes just fifteen seconds to get 30 minutes of use from the Pencil, which doesn't seem like an impediment. Frankly it seems like the most convenient way to charge such a device other than some kind of charging dock

        • by nojayuk ( 567177 )

          The digitising system used in the Surface Pro 1 and 2 was a Wacom-based design, it's now an nTrig in the Surface Pro 3. Both of them have pens that are powered by near-field from the digitising surface so they don't need separate power or charging at all. Since Apple are relying on their passive capacitive digitiser to work with the Pencil they can't power it that way.

          Wacom provide a range of specialist stylii for artists such as an airbrush model, I'm not sure if nTrig do.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:18PM (#50557917)

      Even the basic product photos AND the demo showed the hand resting on the screen.

      If you weren't aware, you can rest your hand on an iPad today while drawing with your finger or stylus... Apple does input discrimination very well.

      The Surface Pro has a separate digitising screen for the stylus

      That is all very nice but the Apple Pencil looks to have much better latency which is what really matters.

      • Even the basic product photos AND the demo showed the hand resting on the screen.

        If you weren't aware, you can rest your hand on an iPad today while drawing with your finger or stylus... Apple does input discrimination very well.

        The Surface Pro has a separate digitising screen for the stylus

        That is all very nice but the Apple Pencil looks to have much better latency which is what really matters.

        No it doesn't.

    • by frnic ( 98517 )

      1. Apple has replied to various questions and you can lay your hand/arm/e.bow on the screen and continue using the Pencil.

      2. The system is NOT the standard Capacitive touch screen, but is a system designed specifically for the pencil and has much higher resolution (double?) and much higher input rates (double?) so, it can react faster and with resolution down to the pixel on a retina display.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:05PM (#50557855)

    In 2007, Jobs made the comment "If you see a stylus, they blew it", in regards to using a stylus on a phone. Back then (for those of us old enough to remember) phones like the Palm Treo had tiny touch targets and resistive screens that pretty much demanded the use of a stylus. Apple was the first manufacturer to ship a capacitive touchscreen with a large, touch-optimized UI that did not require a stylus for day to day use.

    *THAT* is what Jobs was referring to back then. If you're going to toss around the man's quotes, at least get the context right.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by lucm ( 889690 )

      There's always a fanboi to come out and defend the Prophet when the Church makes a 180 on his Sacred Word. Of course the point is always that the Word was misunderstood, not that everyone now, even in the Church, knows that it was stupid.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Small but important correction, Apple were not the first to do a usable touch interface with large targets for use with a finger. Various other phones did it earlier, but perhaps not with as much style and hype as the iPhone. In other words they had a good touch interface with large targets, gestures and so forth, they just didn't pitch it as "revolutionary" and the dawn of a new age, just an incremental improvement.

  • We get better tablet devices and tablet software much quicker than we would otherwise!

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:22PM (#50557943)

    The Surface competes far more against the Macbook than it does against the iPad Pro.

    The iPad Pro is all about touch input (still), while the Surface treats that as an extra.

    Also the Stylus comment was about requiring the stylus for input - which the iPad Pro does not, you only get the stylus if you need finer-grained input than a touch can give you.

    • Agreed. This isn't a competitor for the Surface 3 or Surface Pro 3, but rather for the Samsung Galaxy Note series.

  • We've deployed a few Surfaces at work. First thing the users ask for is a regular USB keyboard and a mouse to plug in while they're on campus. Second thing they ask for is a regular USB keyboard and mouse they can take home with them when they've got the Surfaces there. Nobody is willing to use the awful cover.

    • I'd ALWAYS rather use a USB keyboard and mouse to a touch screen or touch pad.
      • I'd ALWAYS rather use a USB keyboard and mouse to a touch screen or touch pad.

        even when you are on the subway?

      • Try a keyboard with a decent trackpoint... i.e. a Thinkpad. It's the only mobile input device that can hold a candle to a full desktop keyboard + mouse.

  • Nothing new (Score:2, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 )

    >" many Apple fans snickered. [...]Steve Jobs famously said in 2010, "If you see a stylus, they blew it." [...]And most recently, we've seen Apple pull a literal 180 on this design and platform approach,"

    This is nothing new. Apple and/or Apple fans tends to ridicule anything they don't have (note I didn't say "design", because MANY things were first to market in other devices... most notably in high-end Android phones.) Remember smart watches in 2013-2014? Remember notifications? Remember Google Wall

    • The difference was that you needed a stylus to use the smart phones before the iPhone. You still don't need a stylus to use the iPad Pro.

      The Surface running Windows 8 was poorly implemented. You couldn't do basic stuff easily with the Surface without a keyboard. Even Office worked better on an iPad without a keyboard than it did on Windows tablets.

      As far as smart watches before the Apple Watch, they were horrible geeky looking things that were far from fashionable.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      Totally agree. I clearly remember fanbois (here and in the Apple biased mass media) making fun of large screen Android phones. But when the iPhone with a big screen came out, it was suddenly the greatest thing in the world.

      There was also the "death of PC", which is now swept under the rug as Apple is making more money with laptops than with iPads.

      Apple was cool in 2008-2010. Now it's just like a former high school jock who ends up selling lawn-mowers and power tools at Home Depot, his glory days over.

      • by frnic ( 98517 )

        I am not sure how you define glory, Apple is a business, it's sole purpose is to make money. It is one of the most successful companies in history - financially, and continues to grow profits in an industry that is constantly losing money.

        You post sounds a lot like Wall Street after Apple Announced the most profitable quarter in their history and Wall Street yawned and Apple stock lost $20billion dollars. Because it wasn't enough to constantly grown faster than any other company in the industry, they had to

  • when apple innovates a *large step* that everyone lusts after, which they've done well for awhile, apple rules

    but when innovation is more iterative, *small steps*, what happens outside the walled garden is much more cutthroat and much more capable of producing something novel that people want

    there's also the issue that what was once state of the art extremely rapidly becomes just another commodity, it's brutal. and apple sits at the cutting edge of this game, and has to carefully stay there

    as long as it can surf that wave, apple will continue to do well. but the moment large innovative steps become out of reach due to technology coming up short on the bleeding edge, then apple stumbles, and their market passes outside of the walled garden into the realm of the commodities

    what amazes me is apple played its game in the 1980s. then in the 1990s apple began dying because there were no great leaps to achieve. it kind of eked out an existence on the edge as a fetish item. when the 2000s and 2010s came along, apple picked up the same game it played in the 1980s with a number of technological and design breakthroughs. which is a rather impressive achievement, to seize that position twice

    but the 2020s are coming, and if apple can't find that must have next leap, apple goes the way it did in the 1990s

    no steve jobs this time around though to save it in the 2030s

    unless their actual product in the 2030s is "steve jobs himself cloned for your desktop"

    • Apple almost died in the 90s for three reasons - classic MacOS was piss poor, Motorola and IBM couldn't keep up with Intel, and they had horrible logistics.

      • the 90s was also a period of no massive change

        the 1980s saw the rise of the pc

        the 2000s saw the mp3 player and the smartphone

        apple made its mark in by being on the cutting edge of all 3

        what was in the 1990s?

        cell phones. but cell phones weren't in the mass consumption computer world. yet

        nothing else. pcs and laptops really did not change from 1990 to 2000 (they got faster, more powerful, more capacity, but their use and design did not change). all apple could do is make some edgy cases:

        https://en.wikipedia.o [wikipedia.org]

        • what was in the 1990s?

          cell phones. but cell phones weren't in the mass consumption computer world. yet

          nothing else. pcs and laptops really did not change from 1990 to 2000 (they got faster, more powerful, more capacity, but their use and design did not change)

          Did you somehow miss the internet. How are you posting on slashdot without using the internet, which became a household thing in the 90s?

          • devices, jackass

            • devices, jackass

              You said use and design. I replied to the your use of the word "use". The use of desktop and laptops changed a lot during the 90s. First of all laptops became actually useful by the end of the decade, and internet became commonplace. Dumbass.

              • what are you arguing about? the topic is quite clear. you're changing the topic for the purposes of looking like a moron. the internet is not a hardware object you stupid fuck

      • by zkiwi34 ( 974563 )

        Reason 4 you seem oblivious to.

        It being that Microsoft (courtesy of IBM's entry into the market) had essentially locked up both business and home user market.

        Given that, what was the likely fate of Apple (and the other PC makers)? Well, going out of business was one, and switching to be (yet another) PC manufacturer was the other. Apple managed to survive by being Apple; partly luck, partly because they had enough Apple fans, and partly because they started doing some things right. Since the advent of the i

  • Samsung Galaxyu Note 10.1,
    Befrore that Lenovo made one. THinkpad it was called IIRC.

    I would rather have separate USB keyboard.

    Oh and the case I got for my Notge can act either as a landscape stand or a portrat stand.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @07:49PM (#50558401)

    One thing a lot of articles mulling over the acceptance of the iPad Pro miss, is how it has a very ready market already proven - that currently occupied by the Wacom Cintiq.

    Have any of you ever used one? I ordered on a year or two ago, and after day of use I returned it - the display is just OK, and it requires a lot of wires to attach.

    At least one article offers an even more informed opinion [cultofmac.com] espousing this same view.

    From that standpoint the iPad Pro is going to be successful, since theres a ready made market to absorb even without all of the other people angling to buy one.

    The interesting thing is, you could imagine Waccom making iPad Pro software that basically turned the iPad Pro into a Cintiq, using all of the same technology they have today to mirror over a display and forward touch input from the tablet...

  • MojoKid writes a free advertisement for MICROS~1 ..
  • by zkiwi34 ( 974563 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @08:54PM (#50558681)

    MIcrosoft is bleeding large amounts of money supporting Surface iterations. Apple, not so much, they deign to make a profit.

    Not to say iPad Pro doesn't suck or is marvellous, or merely average, but it is hard to see how Surface is going to even survive, let alone thrive unless Microsoft tosses orders of magnitude more money at Surface than they did/are at XBox. So, stiff competition? Well, it seems like those at Microsoft need to drink a few more shots of hard liquor to steady their nerves while flashing shedloads of money until they get to a point of some form of success or pass out drunk and broke under the table.

  • The key to VR and stylii, is that they have to be not just good enough, they have to be extraordinary. And when they are, they will change the market. Until then, people will think no body wants Stylii, or VR, but that's probably not the case, they just can't put up with not quite good enough yet.

  • iPad Pro is a touch first and foremost device. The keyboard is more of an afterthought and used for data heavy input (i.e. document creation), but for most tasks the keyboard should not be an advantage.

    The Surface comes at it the opposite way - it is primarily a computer that can be used in a tablet sort of way.... you would not generally buy it without the keyboard.

    Apple focuses more on a device for a given task, while Microsoft is trying to make one device do everything (not necessarily the best).
  • And to top things off, the device made use of a stylus. Steve Jobs famously said in 2010, "If you see a stylus, they blew it."

    Right... as if Jobs would ever have been against the idea of selling an overpriced accessory for the iPad.

    Any of you that have ever used a Palm Pilot, PocketPC, or Tablet PC knows deep down what he was really talking about, it wasn't general hatred of styluses.

    • I remember the palm pilot - and yes the use as stylus as the primary input device drove most who used those devices nuts. I doubt Steve Jobs ever was really against the stylus for use as what it was designed for -- drawing / diagramming etc. -- just not as the primary input device as the device - or having multiple confusing inputs where sometimes you use x and sometimes you use y (something Microsoft is famous for). I would love a good stylus with an iPad - but really only for electronic Whiteboard stuf

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