Surface 3 Answers from Reddit Ask Me Anything

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by GreyFox7, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Selected questions and answers ...
    Note: you can ask anything but they don't have to answer :)
    Ref http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/31c0tu/we_are_panos_panay_and_the_surface_team_at/

    Q: about GPS
    A: yes, the LTE versions have a GPS chip.

    Q: about jittery lines when drawing slow.
    A: Hey this is StevieB, working on it… we noticed this happening in a very specific instance. Likely when you draw really slow and across the diagonal of the screen… so it is quote a specific instance specific. It is really hard to draw a straight line without the use of a ruler or the digitizer picking up the jitter in your hands… so that is why people use a ruler to do this test.. but the ruler messes up the signal as it capacitivly couples . Most touch sensors are oriented as a grid, when you draw across the diagonal the touch controller has to interpolate position of the pen and linearize its path. As for active capacitive digitizer we’re the best out there! But we can do better. One of the improvement just involves boosting the voltage of the pen. So I cannot give you a timeline, but just know things are in the hopper. Other digitizer techs have other artifacts and issues, they don’t do linearization as well, and have accuracy issues. Pen is really important to us, and our best people are really focused on making and maintaining it to be awesome and the most realistic digital pen experience in any tablet!

    Q: connecting multiple Bluetooth devices and how's wifi ... (more on this later)
    A: For sure you can connect all the Bluetooth devices you mention above at the same time.
    As for WiFi, no issues... People will get the same WiFi experience that Surface Pro 3 users are getting today.

    Q: What can you tell us about the Surface Pro 4
    A: Nothing!

    Q: Why did the team decide to ditch the Surface text logo for the Microsoft logo?
    A: We realized that a Surface contains all of what we as Microsoft has to offer. It is the physical extension of a software experience. To reflect that, we thought it was more appropriate to carry the Microsoft mark. And we all liked this idea :)

    Q: Can we convert the charging micro-USB port to a full-size USB port with an adapter, and then plug in any USB device to it?
    A: Yes! The micro-USB port charging port also handles USB data

    Q: Will there be a trade-in program for those loyal fans with orphan devices (RT/Surface 2)?
    A: they aren't orphans! they are great - my kids and my mom are still using them and love them. there will be an update from Windows for them and they will continue to work great.

    we'll definitely think about trade-ins. we don't have plans right now. will also see what retailers are thinking - those are often done by the retailers themselves.

    Q: Have you considered creating a Surface user voice to gather feedbacks from your customers :)
    A: Hey /u/NotCassin -- try the Surface App in the store. It has a place for you to give direct text feedback, and we read and value that feedback very much. We both have an automated system to pull out keywords/trends as well as we get the full text.

    Q: I’m interested in how the pressure sensitivity performs with Ntrig drivers for apps that need them on the new Surface 3. The community has been vocal about performance issues when drawing slowly. Output is wavy as opposed to straight lines.
    A: Hey this is StevieB, if I understand your question correctly what you are seeing is a linearization issue.. and has nothing to do with the pressure sensor. This artifact likely happens only when you draw really slow and across the diagonal. Most touch sensors are oriented as a grid, when you draw across the diagonal the touch controller has to interpolate position of the pen and linearize its path. As for active capacitive digitizer we do the best out there, but we can do better. We do so by boosting the signal from the Pen and the bettering the controller… Surface 3 takes a step in that direction. Other pen technologies have other artifacts that have their own issues.. every technique has a compromise.. Pen is really important to us, and our best people are really focused on making and maintaining it to be awesome and the most realistic digital pen experience in any tablet.
    Q: Thanks for that. So for those afflicted customers w/SP3's, there really is no "fix" since it is hardware related, correct?
    A: We can boost the signal and the pen to fix :) !! stay tuned :)

    Q: Will the Surface 3 be able to do InstantGo (Connected Standby)?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Will there be a surface pro 4 release in 2015?
    A: No mystery, we are always working on different products and we will not stop being relentless about it... I think we both know that we can't talk about what and when :)

    Q: Does the S3 support 4k displays at 60Hz?
    A: 4K at 30Hz with Intel X7 Gen8 engine.

    Q: Why micro/full sized USB over USB-C?
    A: micro USB ... enables charging through all the chargers out there today. Optimized for charger (13W) in box.
    Full size USB...no adapters needed for everything in market today.

    Q: Why did you release the Surface 3 now, instead of releasing it alongside Windows 10?
    A: really simple answer: it was ready and is great for students in particular. lots are looking at what to get now. the good news is that it's a free upgrade to Windows 10 so everyone that buys Surface 3 before then will still end up there.

    Q: Does Surface 3 support Always On Always Connected (Connected Standby)?
    A: Behavior is just like Surface Pro 3. 4 hours of connected standby, then into hibernate
    A: yes it does! Connected Standby first and then we do go to hibernate after 4 hours.

    Q: Do you have plans to release an LTE/3G version that is internationally unlocked?
    A:we are doing an unlocked LTE version. can't say where it will be available yet, but we hear you and in many markets we will have it available. stay tuned for more!

    Q: Why no continuous kickstand like SP3?
    A: This was a key decision for Surface 3 to keep the product affordable (and thin and light). We know from research the most important angles from Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and then we added the 3rd most shallow angle based on feedback from Surface Pro 3. Overall, keeping price as a priority while giving large range of angles was the goal.

    Q: Will the Surface 3 support two 1440p displays via daisy-chained DisplayPort connections?
    A:The Surface 3 does not support daisy chaining monitors over DisplayPort. The Pro line is great for folks who need this.

    Q: I was wondering whether the Surface 3 would be compatible with previous type covers?
    A: yes, previous covers work with Surface 3. the size is a little different, though with the new 3:2 aspect ratio, so if you use your Type cover 2 it just won't cover the whole screen.

    Q: Does abandoning the Surface RT feel anything like leaving a child to die in the snow?
    A: As a parent of 3, I am proud to say I have no idea what that would feel like...
    Windows has announced that there will be an update for 8.1, but want to set expectations that it definitely is not windows 10. there wont' be an upgrade path.

    Q: With the Surface 3, will we have to wait 7 months for a decent WiFi driver?
    A: We have taken the learnings from the Pro3 and applied them to the Surface 3. It has the same wifi/bt chip and the same driver, so all the work we did on the Pro3 directly applies to the Surface 3, on day 1.

    Q: Will the Surface 3 support virtualization so I can run the device emulators in Visual Studio Express?
    A:For virtualization recommendation is SP3. This is based on available memory & 8GB SKU

    Q: When are we going to see the next Surface Event? I'm eagerly waiting for the next one.
    A: It is all dependent on me being able to pick out the right shirt
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    Nuspieds and leeshor like this.
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff. The lack of monitor daisy chain in the S3 is a big surprise
     
  3. RémiM

    RémiM Active Member

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    Thank you @GreyFox7 for sharing. Really interesting.
     
  4. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It goes back to the Atom x7 SoC which only lists 1.1a under DisplayPort support.
    Another disappointment with the x7 is it doesn't have execute disable.

    Screenshot (1).png
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  5. leeshor

    leeshor Well-Known Member

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    Should have noted that, but still a disappointment. Wondering how many people will try then ask why it doesn't work.
     
  6. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh wait, there's more... (weird how the link to Reddit doesn't show everything)
    http://www.winbeta.org/news/everyth...t-surface-3-and-more-surface-teams-reddit-ama

    I don't know what's up with their Q numbering :)

    Q7 Does the Surface 3 have a thermal threshold for CPU cutoff like the SP3?
    A: Yes we do thermally throttle the CPU on the Surface 3. ... 3D Mark Cloud Gate, which shows Surface 3 at ~70% performance of the i3 Surface Pro 3.

    GF7: Pretty much every device throttles nowadays, because the alternative is to run everything S L O W.

    Q12 How is the eMMC performance in comparison to the SP3 SSD?
    A: Surface 3 eMMC is about 50% of SP3 SSD. If your workload involves heavy file transfers (like video editing), our recommendation is the SP3.

    Q6 In terms of performance, what limits with an IDE could I stretch the top end Surface 3 to, and should I instead be looking at getting the Surface Pro 3 or the next gen Surface?
    A: You'll be in great shape developing on Surface 3. IDE will work great. If you're doing big compiles or anything like that or have lots of plug-ins etc. then you should go with Surface Pro 3.

    Q8 Could I use the Surface 3 for video editing? I don't need to edit videos all the time, but if I do, I'd like to know if the Surface 3 is a good, affordable option to do it without having problems?
    A: Yes. x86 machine, so apps will run. Best reference point is PC Mark 8 Creative Benchmark which includes video editing performance that is 85% of SP3 i3.
     
  7. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing! Some great info.

    I was hopeful that SP4 would see USB-C, but I'm kind of doubting it now. Also I am positive, that some features (such as universal kickstand, as an example) would probably be hobbled on the S3 as a differentiator between the "light" and the "Pro" lines.
     
  8. Nuspieds

    Nuspieds Active Member

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    For me, I'd say mystery rather than surprise! It is like a vendor--in this day and age--releasing a PC that only supports USB 1.0 and nothing higher!

    Why in the world would they take a step backward with the DP port?! :rolleyes:
     
  9. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hard to say if the would or wouldn't at some point you have to look forward not back although maybe next year. However, the Atom x7 doesn't support USB 3.1 either so it would just be a cosmetic connector unless they were looking to drive a 100 w light bulb :)
     
  10. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well if the chipset or proc doesn't support, as you say with the S3, then yeah I completely understand that. Can't imagine there's any technical reason it couldn't work on the SP4 though. I'm not complaining. Like I said was just hopeful. It was exciting to see Apple do it on the new MB, and I'm hoping that spurs other OEM's to do it as well. NOT one single port, however. "One cable to rule them all" will be nice.
     
  11. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Adding a nugget here from WindowsCentral
    http://www.windowscentral.com/microsofts-surface-3-display-best-buy

    I swung by the local Best Buy to do a little window-shopping and stumbled upon the Microsoft Surface 3. It was a display unit for the 64GB version of the Surface 3, and it looked good.​

    As appearance goes, the Surface 3 looks and feels a lot like the Surface 2. You do have the obvious difference with the charging ports, but screen size, weight, thickness and the screen quality all seem in the same ballpark.​

    While handling the Surface 3 in a Best Buy is not the best way to spend hands-on time with a new device, I was impressed with the new device. The Surface 3 isn't blazingly fast but noticeably quicker than the Surface 2. The Atom processor has a bit more spunk than the Tegra processors of the Surface 2.

    Granted, the Atom processor isn't on the same level as the iCore processors of the Surface Pro series but for the more economically priced Surface 3 it seems to perform rather nicely.

    I would have liked to have seen how the model with 4GB of RAM performed, but the Surface 3 with 2GB's of RAM is a noticeable step up from the Surface 2 (in more ways than one). Speaking of, you can read our spec showdown between the Surface 2 and Surface 3 to get a better idea of what has changed. Also, don't forget to read yesterday's AMA with the Surface team about the new Surface 3 to learn some other facts about the new hybrid device.

    According to the sales crew, the Surface 3 should be available on display at all the Best Buy locations but you will need to go online at BestBuy.com to pre-order the device.

    "noticeably quicker than the Surface 2", "Noticeable step up from the Surface 2" are the kind of things I like to hear.

    I will be trolling the Best Buy in hopes of scoring my own personal preview in the very near future. :)
     
  12. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Another nugget from umpcportal:
    The storage will be eMMC based (Atom X7 doesn’t support SATA) so you won’t get the fast speeds of the SSD on the Surface Pro 3. It’s going to be fast enough for daily consumption use, but you never know the limits until you run the tests.​

    Clearly in deciding on the x7 Z8700 SoC many other decisions are also made as a result.

    I hope there's a bump when Intel releases follow-on chips especially if Intel adds some of the missing pieces like execute disable, USB 3.1, DP 1.2, SATA, etc.

    I really hope they release a Skylake Core-M version of the 10.8 Surface after Skylake comes out.. I think that would make for a really nice primo system.

    Surface Primo, Surface Core, Surface Soul, Surface Solo, Surface du Soleil... give it a name. Please.
     

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