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Romier S

Microsoft Surface Tablet

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Out of curiosity I thought I'd go see what compares to that screen. Dell want £1,099 for a 32" 4k (so only 8.3 megapixel vs MS's 13.5MP) non-touchscreen display if you really must have that gamut, and I imagine you stand more chance of pulling a panel off the shelf cheaply if you want it at that standard resolution rather than 4,500 x 3,000. So I doubt you could build one yourself for much less, even if you could find someone selling that display.

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I think the dial is just going to pair as a standard bluetooth device, so using is as a rotation controller/button should work on anything.  They're saying "surface" now, probably because it's only going to support a few apps at launch, but I think I saw something about it being added to the standard SDKs.  It'll probably show up as a regular input device, so no reason that any windows 10 app shouldn't be able to take advantage of it on a desk (Arkanoid contoller for MAME?). As for the "on screen" stuff, I'm not really sure how that works at the moment.  NFC?  There's probably custom hardware in the monitor to allow for that.  I actually wondered if there might be other accessories that would use the same trick (rulers and other drafting tools), or if there's even any utility in that?  The old Surface tables had some of that tech in them, and there was a neat attraction we saw at Epcot a few years back where you could design roller coasters using things like the surface dial on a giant touchscreen (put the control on the screen and turn to modify the digital objects). 

 

Mike from Penny Arcade has a good writeup on the device here (

 

I'm interested in a big ass touchscreen as a digital whiteboard more than anything, so this is overkill, but that seems to be at least the trend for Microsoft.  It would not surprise me to see them selling specialized monitors (like the surface studio screen) that work with the stylus, but don't have the full "drafting table" mode available.  Possibly even something that's the same screen that's in the studio, but without anything in the base, so you could connect whatever PC you want. 

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Since they didn't unveil a Surface Pro 5 at the recent Surface event, I thought I'd give my quick thoughts on the Surface Pro 4 that I've had for a few months.

 

I previously had the Surface Pro 3 and had already upgraded it with the new Surface Pen (same one that comes with the SP4) and the new Surface Type Cover (with island-style keys and a larger trackpad). One of my pet peeves with the SP3 was the fan noise and heat. I had the i5 model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. When the SP3 got pushed (gaming, editing video, etc.), the fans would come on. While not loud, it was noticeable and the fans would stay on for awhile to cool the SP3 off. This would also reduce the battery life and when really pushed, throttling would occur. Because of this, when I bought the SP4, I went with the Core m3 (same RAM/SSD) and its fanless design. With the lower TDP of the Core m3, the SP4 stays cool under most conditions and when it does heat up (like when gaming), it rapidly cools down when the load is reduced. Unfortunately, there is no SKU with the Core m3 and more than 4GB of RAM (8GB should really be standard on all SP4s) and the RAM cannot be expanded later. The magnets on the side of the SP4 are really strong and hold the Surface Pen well. When transporting the SP4 in my bag though, I attach the Surface Pen to the groove in the Type Cover as the pen can get dislodged if I just leave it magnetically attached. I never used the Windows touch button on the bezel so I actually prefer that it isn't there to be accidentally touched.

 

One thing I miss from the SP3 is the USB port on the charger for charging things. The SP4 charger is a lot more compact though. Overall, I really have been impressed with the Surface Pro line and I hope Microsoft continues to release new models.

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Rumor is the Surface Pro 5 will release in early 2017, depending on Price/Specs/Battery Life I'm considering one to replace my aging IPad 3.

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Genuinely stunning. I love it. I'll be VERY interested to see where it is in two years time (it's not touched on above, but I have seen it in other videos that the pen flow is still no better than it is on other surface products. I really hope Microsoft improve that in the near future to at least bring it on par with the Apple pencil). 

 

I'm kind of into a standing workspace these days, which is encouraged by that screen tilt. 

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All joking aside, Sorry to hear that man. Can you roll back Win updates? Or maybe have a backup image for the Surface before the update rolled out? I haven't had any issues with the rotation on my work Surface but, to be honest it's almost never out of the dock.

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Have you ruled out damage to whatever internal sensor registers the rotation? Maybe download a level app to see if it's working fine?

 

 

 

Carlos.

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So there's a diagnostic tool from Microsoft for Surface books.  I ran it, and it turns out my accelerameter (and gyro sensor) are not installed.  WTF?  Google search is saying something about Kionix drivers.  Anybody know anything about that?

 

This is an obscure thing I found

http://www.surfaceforums.net/threads/autorotate-work-for-anyone-on-sp3-windows-10.18553/page-2

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Not sure about that, but does the accellerometer show up in the device manager (or any other unknown devices)?  You could try a factory restore with a surface image (at one time they offered surface-specific downloads), but it seems strange that it'd just disappear without it being a hardware issue. 

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I'd rather chalk up my experience to bad luck, but it's crazy I'm getting hit with everything all at once. I've had battery issues for months now (I shouldn't go from 20% to dead in a matter of minutes). My accelerometer is not even in my device manager. And my pen button won't even work after a battery change (those 319's are tiny as fuck). I've never had a device degrade so badly in a matter of months. And I pride myself on taking damn good care of my electronics. If after a nuclear option factory reset does not work, I am seriously reconsidering this product line. Initial quality is fantastic, but this is ridiculous.

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I went with the nuclear option, and everything is back to normal.  WTF?  I'll recheck on battery life, but my pen and screen rotation work now.

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So everything was running smoothly (battery is still an issue) until my Surface downloaded its first update.  It no longer rotates.  At this point I just kind of throw my up my arms in defeat.

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I have been getting the dreaded #flickergate on my SP4 (core m3, 4GB RAM)  the last couple of months when it starts to heat up after extended use (after the 1 year warranty expired, of course). It's really disappointing because I otherwise really have enjoyed using it (although, I would like more RAM).

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After having #flickergate issues every day on my SP4 for about a month straight, I switched back to my old SP3 for a couple of weeks (never experienced any #flickergate issues on the SP3). A couple of weeks ago (after I first posted about my #flickergate issues), I needed to switch back to my SP4 to do something for work and I haven't had any issues since. I don't know if Microsoft released a patch recently that fixed the issue for me but if they did, it didn't work for everybody (based on the #flickergate forums). I'm glad the issue seems to be resolved but I'll definitely keep my eye on it.

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MS is replacing SP4 units experiencing flickering.

 

Quote

Creating the best products and experiences for our customers is our top priority. We have heard your feedback and after careful examination, have determined that a small percentage of Surface Pro 4 devices are exhibiting a flickering or scrambled screen that cannot be addressed with a firmware or driver update. To support customers affected by this issue, we will replace eligible Surface Pro 4 devices for up to three years from the date of purchase, free of charge. 

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4230448/surface-pro-4-screen-flicker

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There are quite a few early Black Friday deals on the new Surface Pro 6.

 

For Costco members only, you can get the Surface Pro 6 base model (i5/8GB RAM/128GB SSD) with standard type cover (not the Alcantara one) and pen for $799 so you're basically getting the type cover, pen and $100 off of the regular cost of the tablet alone ($899). On the Microsoft website, they are selling the SP6 base model with standard type cover for $799 (no pen).

 

Yesterday, the Microsoft website was either having a glitch or a very good non-bundle deal (I checked just now and it's back to $899). They were selling the SP6 base model for $639. That's 29% off of a device they released just last month! It was too good of a deal (especially since I already have a type cover and pen from my SP4) so I bought one to replace my SP4 (I picked it up at the Microsoft store within an hour of ordering it before they could possibly cancel my order). The flicker issues on my SP4 are starting to come back after being dormant for months and I was always having issues with it only having 4GB of RAM.

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And my Surface Pro 3 is officially dead.  I don't care that the laptop was lagging like crazy in its final years, or that battery life off the charger was abysmal.  But if I can't even turn it on with it being plugged in, I will not consider anymore products from this line.

 

Any laptop should work on a charger as a bare minimum.

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