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Surface 2 to support active digitiser?

Omni

Active Member
Would defiantly like to see this feature enabled. Seems stupid it not been... the slimmer, lighter version not having pen input.... I have faith in you Microsoft to do the right thing eventually!
 

N1CK

New Member
In Western markets, styli are definitely most useful only for specialty purposes--illustration and design arts and certain engineering fields, for example. Limited audiences. In the Eastern markets, I expect styli/pen input is much more popular due to the two biggest non-alphabetic languages, Chinese (characters) and Japanese (kanji). No matter how fancy various keyboard inputs have evolved for those languages, nothing is faster than handwriting with smart conversion software.

That said, I read a little bit about how the Tegra non-digitizer tech works. It's definitely not an active digitizer as we know it. Looks interesting. I wonder what other issues are at stake when considering these technologies: Would enabling the Tegra4 cause greater power drain? An active digitizer is often licensed from Wacom--how much does that cost and does that affect power drain as well? How much did Sony spend to develop the tech on the Xperia Z Ultra?

On the plus side, the fact that Tegra4 has this capability built-in means MS didn't pay more for it above the actual processor already, so perhaps it will be a matter of time before the option is enabled.
Hey oion, have you seen the video demo on youtube?

Code:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjwgWXGlc-g
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Hey oion, have you seen the video demo on youtube?

Code:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjwgWXGlc-g
Interesting. Do apps need to be programmed a certain way to take advantage of this? Though it looks universal since it's processor-based and not a Wacom/active screen driver kinda thing. I doubt licensing cost itself is an issue since MS did buy Tegra 4, so why didn't MS decide to enable this? Perhaps not enough time to beta test capabilities? (I assume MS didn't install the required Direct Touch 2.0 software?)

From a marketing perspective, though, I can guess at the business decisions. If this passive tech isn't as accurate as active like Wacom's, then would users who don't understand the differences complain? Would even more users complain about the inability to install Photoshop on the WinRT machine to take advantage of this? The pen is one of the key differences between Surface Pro and Surface RT product lines; would adding a different pen capability to the RT line just further add confusion when MS marketing needs to better latch onto clear demarcation of product for use cases?

I'm not saying I agree or disagree with MS' decision not to enable the passive pen capabilities with Tegra4, but rather I think their approach to this is conservative. Perhaps they think it's better to err on the side of product demarcation during release with potential future offering than to muddy their triage efforts for an already muddied dual product line.
 

eddie.eddy

New Member
The Tegra4 supports the Stylus through physics, and I asked Panos Panay about it on Sunday, his reply that it isn't enabled as they were going for simple, but he didn't rule out enabling it in the future. I will say that the Surface 2 is an amazing machine, it is blazingly fast. I really enjoyed playing with it.
I cancelled my pre-order for Surface 2 when I saw that post. It does not make sense to me, if you are trying to make your product shine that you would not use all the capabilities of the product... The Tegra Note that will sells for 199.00 enabled the feature. Not that I would buy an Android tablet. I was really looking forward to the Surface 2, the hardware is very appealing... This will be my first tablet purchase. I already have a I7 laptop so I do not need a 900 dollar tablet. I am looking for something for web surfing, reading, taking notes and other lightweight operations that I know I do not need full blown windows for. Now I am looking toward a bay trail product that has palm detection. Hopefully they will release drivers for direct stylus I think it would increase the draw to the tablet.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
I cancelled my pre-order for Surface 2 when I saw that post. It does not make sense to me, if you are trying to make your product shine that you would not use all the capabilities of the product... The Tegra Note that will sells for 199.00 enabled the feature. Not that I would buy an Android tablet. I was really looking forward to the Surface 2, the hardware is very appealing... This will be my first tablet purchase. I already have a I7 laptop so I do not need a 900 dollar tablet. I am looking for something for web surfing, reading, taking notes and other lightweight operations that I know I do not need full blown windows for. Now I am looking toward a bay trail product that has palm detection. Hopefully they will release drivers for direct stylus I think it would increase the draw to the tablet.
You can't compare devices on a piecemeal basis like that. It's not smart consumerism. So Tegra Note is $200 with the passive stylus....and? It's Android, it can't multitask, doesn't have anything truly competitive with the MS Office suite, has a smaller screen, is plastic, no USB. Et cetera. Of course it's cheaper.

And enabling it in S2 certainly would increase "draw," but then try to think like a business. Why MS didn't enable for Surface 2 probably has more to do with trying to keep the separation from Pro, a premium product, more obvious (otherwise we'd get nitwits who'd complain that it's not a Wacom active blah blah blah). So for your first tablet purchase, look properly at all specs and choose one that fits what you need; that has nothing to do with the quality of another product that may not have what you want. That you canceled because you require a stylus is fine, but don't compare the Note to a Surface and think it's actually "better."


Edit: I take that back.
The fact that you should have known upon preordering the Surface 2 that it didn't have pen support and then canceled only after discovering this little technical tidbit shows you didn't care about the pen input to begin with. So... Yeah, I have no idea how you're going about your decision-making in this case, but you'd better thing longer and harder about a tablet purchase (in a truly holistic sense) if you're going about it like this.
 
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eddie.eddy

New Member
I was not comparing them side by side, just the fact that a 199.00 piece of hardware enabled a software feature that a 449.00 piece of hardware did not, thus far.

I pre-ordered the Surface 2 when I found out it had a Tegra 4 thinking that they would for sure have it enabled.
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
I was not comparing them side by side, just the fact that a 199.00 piece of hardware enabled a software feature that a 449.00 piece of hardware did not, thus far.
But that's my point. You're not shopping for whole devices. What does the $200 get you? Not much compared to the $450 except that one thing that you didn't even care about with the initial preorder. So why do you want a tablet again?
 

Tom T

New Member
I was not comparing them side by side, just the fact that a 199.00 piece of hardware enabled a software feature that a 449.00 piece of hardware did not, thus far.

I pre-ordered the Surface 2 when I found out it had a Tegra 4 thinking that they would for sure have it enabled.
I have to agree with you, and the reasoning that Microsoft would not enable a compelling feature intentionally to make sure the Surface wouldn't encroach on the superiority of the pro is just silly. Of course Microsoft has made some foolish moves in regards to marketing the Surface line. Still it seems far more reasonable that although the capability is there Microsoft couldn't yet build the proper support into RT. It simply might not play nice with the software. If they had enabled it, and even just for OneNote, I would be buying a Surface 2 in a heartbeat even knowing it won't yet compare to the Wacom technology. For now I don't see any compelling reason not to keep my original Surface.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
I have to agree with you, and the reasoning that Microsoft would not enable a compelling feature intentionally to make sure the Surface wouldn't encroach on the superiority of the pro is just silly. Of course Microsoft has made some foolish moves in regards to marketing the Surface line. Still it seems far more reasonable that although the capability is there Microsoft couldn't yet build the proper support into RT. It simply might not play nice with the software. If they had enabled it, and even just for OneNote, I would be buying a Surface 2 in a heartbeat even knowing it won't yet compare to the Wacom technology. For now I don't see any compelling reason not to keep my original Surface.
I don't disagree that enabling DirectStylus would be great (I'd certainly love it), but the poster's rationale that "cheap tablet has it and MS didn't enable, even though I didn't care about pen input when I preordered Surface 2, but now I will cancel" is extremely weak. If he actually made an error based on, for example, Microsoft's commercial that combined the two products and he wanted the pen, that's one thing, but the logic that went into his decision-making here is counter-intuitive and more symptomatic of poor consumer buying practices.

In other words, unless he originally WANTED pen input, then this situation doesn't matter at all for his use case. Buy into your use case--that's all that matters.
 
I don't disagree that enabling DirectStylus would be great (I'd certainly love it), but the poster's rationale that "cheap tablet has it and MS didn't enable, even though I didn't care about pen input when I preordered Surface 2, but now I will cancel" is extremely weak. If he actually made an error based on, for example, Microsoft's commercial that combined the two products and he wanted the pen, that's one thing, but the logic that went into his decision-making here is counter-intuitive and more symptomatic of poor consumer buying practices.

In other words, unless he originally WANTED pen input, then this situation doesn't matter at all for his use case. Buy into your use case--that's all that matters.
Sometimes it isn't the particular feature itself that is THE issue, but one of "the final straw"... Often times I'll buy a device that has many of the features I want. But there's always something missing. Sometimes it takes just "one more thing" to be the deal breaker.

Love the Surface RT. It does so many things extremely well and things that other tablets can't do. But the inability to use even a capacity stylus on it is really sad. (I know that you guys were talking about active stylus support) I really can't use the RT (or Surface 2) as a tablet for handwriting, drawing, diagraming.
 

oion

Well-Known Member
Sometimes it isn't the particular feature itself that is THE issue, but one of "the final straw"... Often times I'll buy a device that has many of the features I want. But there's always something missing. Sometimes it takes just "one more thing" to be the deal breaker.

Love the Surface RT. It does so many things extremely well and things that other tablets can't do. But the inability to use even a capacity stylus on it is really sad. (I know that you guys were talking about active stylus support) I really can't use the RT (or Surface 2) as a tablet for handwriting, drawing, diagraming.
Fair point, though if pen input is anywhere a priority for a buying decision, that should be taken into account carefully before a preorder. But there are other capacitive pens that work for Surface RT like with iPad/Android tablets--hit or miss depending on model and whatnot, naturally. All the speculative discussion on Tegra4's pen potential should be a reminder that MS may end up enabling it in the future as well; whether for marketing purposes or the inability to make it run perfectly (driver/device bugs, who knows), it simply stands that right now the Surface RT line doesn't have sensitive stylus input. (I personally suspect it'll appear in the next generation once MS figures out how to combine with Nokia's tech, but who knows. I mean, MS didn't enable everything in Tegra3 either.)
 
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