Capacitive 'START' button location --- awkward?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by TheCudder, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. TheCudder

    TheCudder Member

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    Of course with the Surface Pro 3, our friends at Microsoft decided to relocate the capacitive 'Start' button to the right hand side of the device? Can anyone make sense of this decision?

    My thoughts?

    -I figured it was due to the new way they TypeCover Pro "docks" to the lower portion of the screen, which would cover the button when its used in such as way. But I noticed you really don't need it there, because you would have a 'Start' button on the keyboard and the Charms bar.
    -Maybe they couldn't have added this feature with a capacitive button on the bottom? But why not just make the portions next to the capacitive button magnetized instead of one long strip across the entire tablet?
    -Then I figured it was moved for the notepad like usability, but that would only be an issue if you were a lefty & held the surface in hand while resting the tablet on your right forearm when writing. But it seems like your hand would actually grip the tablet slightly above the 'Start' button even then.
    -So then I thought I figured it out. For portrait use! But then why is the Windows logo still in landscape orientation? When you rotate into portrait view, the logo is side ways?!

    I don't understand the reasoning. The main reason I hate it is became I'm still reaching to the bottom of the screen to hit 'Start' and when I try and swipe out the charms menu, I hit the capacitive button and the charms menu fails to swipe out. Not to mention that it seems really odd to swipe out the Charms bar only to see another Start button next to it.

    /end rant

    Your thoughts on the location?
     
  2. ipaq_101

    ipaq_101 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You get use to it, really there is no perfect place. Anywhere they put it someone will complain, using it in landscape and portrait makes it a challenge, but its nice you can use it in multiple ways.

    I never found it much of an issue.
     
  3. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Granted I don't have the thing yet, but just sat here with my nexus 10, I know it won't be an issue when holding (not that any instance where I'd hold it won't be replaced due to kickstand) but on nexus 10, smaller, the way I hold it my thumbs do not reach the middle of the right bezel, so with sp3 it should be fine. I typically hold tablets with bottom corners in palm of hands supported by fingers behind, things just along the edge, not front of display. Using the pen would be the only small instance where I might hit it, but I'm sure I could adapt, as we do with everything.
     
  4. CreativeLemming

    CreativeLemming Active Member

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    Let's ask Ralf Groene, the guy who designed the SP3:

    “Moving the Windows button was an ergonomic for something we call actuation avoidance. When you scale to 12 inches and you’re typing [on a Type Cover] for example, you have to lift your whole arm and press the centre button [if it's in the same place it was on the Surface Pro 2]. But we find that with a centre button halfway up the device, you only have to lift your thumb to press it while you’re typing."

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/06/the-why-of-design-building-the-surface-pro-3/

    (not sure I quite understand why you'd even need to move your hand in the first place when using a keyboard that has a windows button on it, but that's the rationale straight from the horses mouth...)
     
  5. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Probably because it's entirely possible you'd be using the SP3 at some point with a random Bluetooth or USB keyboard, that doesn't have a Windows key on it.
     
  6. cdf3

    cdf3 Active Member

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    The Windows Button was moved because the keyboard magnetically attaches to the bottom bezel. I’m glad they added this feature because it reduces the distance between the screen and the edge of the keyboard closest to you. The Type Cover is larger than the one for the SP1 & SP2, due to the increase in the trackpad. When I extend the kickstand while using it in my lap, I’m able to shave off nearly an inch by attaching the keyboard to the bottom bezel. If not, the edge of the TypeCover would be too close to my stomach. You can very well use the Windows Button on the keyboard, but you’d lose the ability to take screen shots by using Windows Button + Volume Down Button, as well as Windows Button + Volume Up, which I use to open the advanced On Screen Keyboard. This keyboard can be setup through the Control Panel’s Ease of Access settings.
     
  7. TheCudder

    TheCudder Member

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    I don't understand. There is already a 'Start' button there within the charms menu.

    [​IMG]

    It makes more sense in the original spot when you have it laying flat or using it to draw with the kickstand at the 150 degree angle imo.
     
  8. cdf3

    cdf3 Active Member

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    The Windows Button in the Charms Menu is built into the operating system. You’ll pretty much see that for any computer running Windows 8. The one that Microsoft added on the bezel of the Surface Pro has additional features, such as the ability to take screen shots. You can’t take screen shots using the Windows Button in the Charms Menu, nor from the one on the keyboard.
     
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  9. cdf3

    cdf3 Active Member

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    Not only can Itake screen shots using the Capacitive Windows Button on the Surface Pro, but I also use it to bring up the Ease of Access keyboard. It allows me to use the Home, End, and other useful keys when I'm not using the TypeCover. Has more functionality than the default touch screen keyboard.
    I have it setup to appear when I press the Capacitive Windows Button + Volume Up button.
    I'd loose this functionality if they didn't have the Capacitive Windows Button.

    Screenshot (3).png
     
  10. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

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    I have found the capacitive button somewhat inconvenient when using the pen in landscape mode. I also found myself hitting the button when using the SP3 as a tablet in landscape mode. While I appreciate the fact that there may be specialized functions that can be associated with the capacitive button - like how "cdf3" posted above - most users, I suspect, would not pay much attention to this capability. To them, the capacitive button in the current location will remain a bit of an issue. It is indeed a perplexing issue despite the clarification issued by Ralph Groene as posted by "creative lemming".
     
  11. grumpy

    grumpy Active Member

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    I think that the primary motivation in moving the start button was to mimic the iPad.
     
  12. cdf3

    cdf3 Active Member

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    They should offer a way to disable it for those that do not have the need for it.
     

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