Pragmatic 29: You Can't Fight Physics

15 July, 2014


The Surface Pro 3 claims to be the best of both a laptop and tablet experience but in trying to compromise for both, new issues about its optimisation for either use case become evident. Myke Hurley joins John to dissect the Tablet Laptop category.

Transcript available
Welcome to pragmatic pragmatic as a weekly discussion circle deploying the practical application technology exploring real-world trade-offs with great ideas are transformed into products and services that can change our lives is episode sponsored by light and life expelled LIF for more information to take advantage of a special discount on their amazing LED Smart involves exclusively pragmatic lessons on your host John Geagea and I'm joined today by a guest host Mike Kelly made a very good so thanks have me back thanks are coming back much appreciated are the daylight saving episode was a lot of funds of the modernised to to get you back and talk about something else that I'm not sure that you find as irritating as I do but is as I wanted to let tablet laptops I'm pretty sure that there aren't many topics that you confront me that I would find more annoying than daylight savings time anyway and okay fair enough well the thing is what a tablet laptops you do you know I'm sort of referring to a nicer tablet laptops is in its tablet and a laptop every manager doesn't her like yoga yet you familiar with the yoga pad I think it's a little Lenovo the one that lay in his spins around and guarantee that that sort of stuff you add that the idea isn't near it's been around for a decade or more where you had reversible you buy a computer without was usually a resistive screen at that point and you flip the keyboard out away and these things are the mechanical nightmares because the other hinges would break in you it would all run Windows which is also tragedy but the they will these are Microsoft's first foray into the tablets I remember this this will may be kinder put into perspective for podcast listeners I remember it like twit like episode like and like before number 10 episode or something like that of the show and they were recording the video live from a bar and Leo had bought himself a Windows tablet and was using that for the show and he was talking about how much he loved it within body and to show everyone including him was kinda saying how terrible it was obvious as walkway before the iPad like 2005 was something like Santa Maria sweats up select is in like the 300s or something and seen probably the earlier I remember living on or near it's yes it is yet accurate they have been around the been around a while and are all the geeky people are saying this is a fantastic but are Apple looked at it and they should be had said no one thing is in a work in his iPad are and only made the keyboard for it are for the first model and animate again so they clearly decided that the idea of a tablet like a laptop is just not this is not a work but I like the thing is a goes back and forth an unsinkable debate this I wrote an article about this are about a year ago and is linked in the show notes are called tab laptops you can't fight the physics and I guess I just want to do an episode of pragmatic address that in a limo actually a lot more depth than I did in that article so will see how we go so all right arm obviously perhaps not obviously I want to tackle this from to use cases so there is a laptop use case and as the handheld tablet use case that the same principles talk about will apply to both cases just in different ways so I got my hand up and physical state that I have not use a service by three armed they are still relatively new and whilst I am gonna refer the service pro three is during the show is not specifically about the surface it just this observer is simply the latest example of of the company are becoming try to push this idea and the idea hasn't done so well and I just give you my theories as to what anyway but I have played with a surface to that was a few months ago I had a friend worker had one thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and I also messed around them in different shops over the last year or so and you so I have played with them so you know I got to handle another service pro three saga, head up and admit upfront you seem like a live I have played in the service pro freebie just in like a inner like a UK equivalent of like a Best Buy so I was not really cool myself even nearly like an authority on the subject yet and I only guess if you if if that sort of thing is an issue then you stop listening out of the bottom line is that this is not specifically about arm the software that runs on it this is just purely about the hardware and the physics that all interested in so many respects it doesn't actually matter all that much but anyway so will get that okay so first of all our again just to refresh Saddam the memories of people are I'm actually on electrical engineer I'm not a mechanical engineer and almost everything on the talk about is episode has to do with mechanics some of first year uni I did we covered our statics and dynamics Ashley nothing dynamics of second year because we needed some of the more advanced mathematics to do that dynamics and is I hated them as a subject I had both of them are I did kind of okay at them but really I was glad I was doing lecture engineering appoint visible amenities that said it so it sort of stood me in the insert of goods debt over the years because that little bit of knowledge is sort of helps a little bit and is oddly enough and it would have thought when I was learning is back 20 years ago that I'd ever be talking about but here we go again so have you heard any called turning moment not tackle arm is a little weird name actually when I had my mice I thought instantly of the the day a day the doctor guess is that that big box uses to it was and is to destroy everybody arm is called the moment subtle outing that less conical and I was not a boxer can destroy stuff so arm that may be laptop PCs are the link boxes they can destroy things destroy well perhaps to but yes after a lot given long enough their not that bad that you are okay on its own energy in ascertaining moments are also referred to as a moment to moment of force are and talk so the bottom line is that you have a load you have a fulcrum which is also referred to as a pivot point are any of force so the forces you're applying but essentially a turning moment with the word turning proper giveaways about an angular twisting force so fun pushing up against the wall with my hand on that's a linear force in pushing against that wall but if I'm turning a doorknob with my wrist that an angular twisting force and the measurement of that force is what is referred to as a turning moment so why go about turning moment as well if you consider a tablet without a keyboard and sitting in your hand on the lower edge and using your fingers disorder prop up the back of see holding up towards you facing you arm that's a lot easier if it's in line in your hand and landscape along along the upper long edge versus along a shortage because while it just minor say it just is but for reasons that will become clearer minute so if it cites it as I was alongside it's not as tall and therefore when use of resting a palmy hand propping up your fingers behind it the actual amount of turning moment pushing against your fingers that's going to be significantly less simply because of the height so the whole idea of a turning moment is that if you have our line I just think of a ruler is the simplest way of doing it a rule sorry rule ruler couple and that to our and you want to turn you want your Ashley pushed one side of that ruler down guys are such a bad example Australia a better example a seesaw there ago our seesaw and North America is called ART to totter you around the playground you are minute weekly seesaws but your court by Michael Severin of Magnusson steatite is and do as opposed to tater tots which is amicably different but anyway arm that the mind I know why I thought it was similar so the idea is your pivot is right in the middle such perfectly balanced ago an equal amount of weight distribution across that plank and as you push on one end because it is relevant it should be well-balanced it takes very little amount of force in order to push down one side if you pushing from the end if you walk towards the middle whether pivot point is new trying pushed out take significantly more force in order to actually push that swing that that here totter that that seesaw to push it down and it simply because the distance that you are away from your pivot point will proportionally reduce the amount of force required to move what is your trying to move so when it comes to weight distribution if you're using this are using a tablet laptop as a laptop then your propping up the tablet and it's the masses abuse within a tablet is all within the tablet and is hardly anything within the keyboard so the keyboard is relatively light the tablet is relatively heavy so what that means is that it's pivot point which is the joint between the keyboard and this and the tablet itself that pivot point is, why tend to fall backwards or forwards because you want mainly backwards because you are tilted backwards to look at the screen if you're looking down on your lap or if your desk is your up and above it you need to tell the backwards slightly and what can happen is because that weight distribution for a tablet is designed for a tablet sitting on the desk like that it's going to want to fall backwards so your propping up and it's going to try and forgo further goal talk about centre of gravity so the idea of the centre of gravity is that if you perfectly balanced something you have an equal load distribution within within your debt within your tablet so your rectangular box there is a point usually roughly what hope in the middle of the back where if you propping up on your finger it'll balance beautifully and that and the centre of gravity is simply you all about while all of the different corners and all the different parts of the tablet are falling at the same rate therefore all of the individual forces cancel out to give you a turning moment of zero so the idea is that yours you can bounce on centre of gravity on on a point in the men's usually wanted to be in the middle of the device if your propping up on one edge and you can even weight distribution then your centre of gravity is not make that wonderful backwards because you it's not balanced so that's the gist of where we start with turning moments and will come back to them later so little about the weights and I wanted to compare it to an 11 inch MacBook Air because if your service pro three the screen and the substrate three is up to about 12 inches now whereas a filler MacBook Air will go the 11 inch MacBook Air are because it is closer in physical size although the screen is slightly smaller rather than a 13 inch but in any case the point is that study comparing trust and the differences arm mio the service pro three does not have a full size keyboard elimination MacBook Air does have a full-size keyboard I was accused exact the same size as you would get on a desktop keyboard same spacing everything my service pro three is not quite there is closer subtly little bit more crap it's not too bad even so is not technically full-size chronograph full-size base close enough a comparison table next to each other can be very similar in dimensions so I did a lot of digging to try and find out the individual weights and surprisingly hard to find actually are made are looking the wrong places and listeners know the actual nonetheless model please tell me but I can only find 2008 MacBook Air screen weight as a way so that the weight of the screen in specifically the removable component that is the screen so and got is one from my fix and that she has an eight MacBook Air screen weight 465 g the total 2008 MacBook Air weighed our 1360 g or 1.36 kg so one of done just for the purposes of this comparison to compare it to the current 11 inch MacBook Air spec and I realise this is a little bit fluffy but I well I've assumed that the ratio of weight between the screen and the base of the MacBook Air has remained the same such that now the overall weight of the MacBook Air is down to 1080 g or 1.08 kg therefore earning a proportional reduction in the screen weight should be around about 370 g well that's actually correct or not it probably isn't gonna be exactly right was close enough for the purposes of comparison okay now on the service pro three the tablet itself weighs 800 g the keyboard itself is 255 g and is I'm basing that again because oddly the information for the for the keyboard is not out there that I could find I I've Saigon based on the fact that it's in very very similar to the service pro to Type II keyboard which you information is out is a 255 g X in the service pro to Type II keyboard arm because I can find the details of the third-generation one in the energetic differences between teams models is going to be minimal at best anyway link you can be looking at tens of grams at the very most I think the differences between these model revisions and the absolute basics and I think further for the sake of just comparison that the actual individual weights of model to model I don't think is too much of an issue you yet that you now that absolutely right and complete completely agree are I just want to make sure that I'm honest and upfront they were unaware of the numbers from the less people will come back in and yell at me which they may do anyway because some have the numbers in ISO and MSA on notice 1955 g is 256.3 g account dammit but anyway so at yet but you're absolutely right for the purposes of comparison it's close enough so the overall mass of a service pro three with its accompanying a service pro type III keyboard or thereabouts is up 1055 g or 1.055 kg so it when you compare that that's within 25 g or thereabouts 11 inch MacBook Air so I think that they are very equally comparable so not just in the size the screen besides the keyboards are they are essentially no he is Apple's laptop and his Microsoft laptop by the way can also pull the keyboard off and make it into a tablet and that's their pitch it's both we can give you both so… Quickly look at pricing it's also really similar because you can get a service pro three for the model that I looked I think was the entry level I think was $979 I think hundred $50 for the keyboard brings it to $1129 SUS of course and the elements MacBook Air sky sitting at $1099 so that's within $30 so within about 30 g within about $30 so is all very very close and that's why I specifically chose that model because they they compare nicely but if you have a look now that we've gone through all the numbers and think about getting back to the turning moments in the pivots and everything so with with the surface pro you've got 800 g of mass that you're trying to support and all you've got is a counterweight to the bottom is to a 55 g so that if you had a row if you manage to get that to connect and you had as very stiff hinge on it like they've got on the R 11 H MacBook Air only the MacBook models for that matter MacBook Air MacBook Pro and that they will have a friction fit hinge such that that it has enough friction at such that you can lift up with a little bit of force within a holding position and you can do that because the screen only weighs about 370 g and the bottom of the laptop Yahweh is more about 700 g so this clearly far more weight on the bottom than there is in the top whereas the service pro it's the other way round and but is even more exaggerated so they have no choice they have to have a kickstand to the kickstand then of course supports all of that though the desire for it to push over and that then creates a new problem it works fine on a desk it works fine on a flat surface I say fine I mean yea works okay how just abilities is debatable whether or not you are comfortable with it or not but you know it works it's it's less adjustable in the angle then the adjustment you would have on a laptop's laptop so essentially got an infinite number of angles of adjustments within the viewing range based on the viewing angle of the screen so you could argue that you could put it anywhere from you only just creaking open by about 2030° all the way to as far back flat as it could go for different viewing heights and that's that's very handy and laptop but you don't have that luxury are with a surface so that kickstand is the reason why because I've had to put the kickstand in arm because it simply not enough mass in the base if they had a friction fit on the hinge it would simply fall over because once you got past just pass vertical maybe 10° paths vertical the centre of gravity would pull the whole thing backwards so you never be able to reach a good viewing angle for the screen without the kickstand and a problem that creates then is only as in my lap it's a laptop release vehicle laptop some people call notebooks but whatever your court are I guess I'm used to calling on laptops because it was original use case nonuser laptop and a desk you laptops we use in your lap but as times are changed costs come down people now take a laptop not plugged into an external monitor an external keyboard sometimes and I use that their desktop packet up take home the user home and at my use case right there actually that's at the point is that I am on the train I will use the laptop in my lap and there are certain meetings I've been to where there is no desk space because the table this is a big meeting as lots of people in there and there is no room left on the desk for exam is not a laptop but you you've got yours but you can't use because no desk space left so-so committing room for six people in these 10 people in the room what can I do is laptop on your lap out of my head up and say fine that so not the most common use case these days however trying to use one of these things on your lap which I tried with a surface pro are to was ridiculous the ideas I could not get it to balance properly no matter what I tried and a few reviews that I've read so fun service pro three the subtly different mechanism for which it uses to 1 for which it uses to how I describe the site when you when you flip it up part of the keyboard itself also shall fold back and propped up bottom and lifts at least the keyboard up to create a slight angle are with the keyboard and that sort of you using that you have you know you mean now when you do the kickstand motion the keyboard kind of makes a wedge shape yet where a young Australia is a good way describing and that that if they say improve the stability and the a few reviews that I've read about it have confirmed that yet a little bit better but yelling is a ladder but is still fundamentally flawed like it's yes answer is just a better version of still not right yet so exactly and what what what what I'm basically getting to because I to much more to say about the laptop use case the problem I've got fundamentally is why would you pay the same amount of money for a laptop that you can't use your lap you you're essentially saying while I am I'm going to invest my use case then that's fine but most people have a laptop want to have the flexibility to use in the lab if they want to and is not is because it is well not on a plane and it is some of those are table trays sometimes it's easier to work your lap and is to try and work on a table tray that start you whether not you believe that use case not because of gamma you different people say I want a plan I was put in my lap or you fix me personally I don't accept a malevolent plane always use the table tray but some no matter how you choose to slice it you are taking a reduction in its its functionality and is it it's one less use case that you can use it for so why would you do it and I guess the ultimate answer is well the fact that it's a tablet and that's the real me a greater tablet to but I also have issues now with where they're going with this and I guess it's an external talk about before I do talk about them is what quickly took better sponsor for this episode and that's life acts and expelled ally fracture and is a smart lightbulb and gives you previously unheard of control your lighting each white body speech lightbulbs Wi-Fi enabled can give you light whatever colouring they want and is an energy efficient LED lightbulb that you can control your smart phone you got over a thousand lumens at your disposal is incredibly bright Bernie consumes 18 W of power maximum the most rooms only use about half of that controlling the brightest colour in a range of different cool effect is really easy and your smart phone and a life acts mobile is made the last it's rated for about 27 years and at four hours a day that's equivalent to 40,000 hours you can be moving house before you need to change that lightbulb survive expelled support bystanders and screw-in banner connectors and a workable 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will yield the moon and I think most people would actually respond at my arm but I presume that you it's necessary to respond that way to me but still feel free to say that run out your okay because you look at like arm was worse like holding something or RSI and is there what was the difference between innovative RSI when using one of these machines to using a laptop that has a fixed position for the keyboard it is flat to the desk and you got a little ridge there were maybe the touch type cover is more angle to the desk which might be that of the rest I don't know so well fair enough that I asked actually so maybe maybe once a Ayako carved up another parody not so look here's the thing go out there and try and find studies that have actually looking specifically for tablets because is a very smooth different use case and its pricing are defined by did find one and Islington are shown item is definitely well worth a read and they they did an exhaustive study on this but they did this looking at tablets into size ranges one was between 6 to 8 inches and 10 inches so the current surface pro three has a 12 inch screen so it is slightly bigger than the tenant use case and for this we get to that the results of that young in a minute it's the funny thing is you think it's all about the weight but it isn't all just about the weight it's also about the way that the mass is distributed and because on larger screens it's a longer distance than that's gonna create a much larger turning moment as we saw talk about very early on the show is that if you have a way the same amount of weight and is approximately eight and instead of that wiping should have a six-inch area is now steward over 10 inch hour or 12 inch area then the one the mass that is furthest away is gonna cause more turning moment on your wrist is your trying to hold it than the smaller tablet simply because while that's mechanics so the mass of a plane any kind of planning I can aeroplane me like a flat plane are whether mass is uniformly distributed uniform industry is really sometimes referred to as a laminar site is no specific formula that exists to calculate that generically because it shake dependent so if we understand the basics of the ER it's just it's a rectangle to rectangular you prism for the want of a better way of putting it that's predominantly wide and are high and not very deep so if we make the assumption Eleanor make of all the methods about to follow I'm going to make the assumption I should say mathematics is gonna follow make the assumption that everything is uniformly distributed okay it isn't but let's assume that it is so you know because the battery is going to be predominant one side and gave the screen may well be uniform weight distribution but you connectors and so-and-so for this can have a different matter must be exactly uniform but let's assume it is for the purposes of this discussion so telegrams are all expressed in in newtons and newtons is a measurement of force so are one Newton's 1 kg metre per second squared and if we assume again is uniformly distributed and we assume that our gravity is constant which you okay it isn't that the service of the earth where most of us are located that's 9.1 m/s squared so we can convert mass into newtons of force by multiplying that through by the acceleration of gravity so are I'm only gonna consider force in longitudinal axis and not I'm not looking at because technically the turning moments into axes or maybe even three active naturally to access so you've got the tell you if you holding it in the bottom left corner of the screen you have one turning mail which is turning it arm from right to left behind the hand as you twist your hand around in a sort of a clockwise motion and then you're also going to have the turning moment from the front to back as it as it pushes your wrist backwards so I'm only really looking at the one is pushing your wrist backwards but honestly note it's a simplification and again it's meant to illustrate the problem not necessarily to give you the definitive final this is the number of how much force is going into my wrist so again more caveats to Aristotle caveats otherwise people will go complain and that is it assumes that everyone is gonna hold the device in one hand at the bottom obviously people have different sized hands they have different strengths of petite person with small hands will experience more fatigue most likely than someone who is me a big and surly has larger hands you and that's this that's a function of the fact that you have a different musculature and all that stuff in a biomechanics notwithstanding again not the point of this discussion but yes we I acknowledge that in a causality wheeze there tablets with two hands however a lot of the convenience of using a tablet is to use one hand I think that's that's still a very common use case and as the one I want to consider one-handed use again let's run through the numbers gneiss numbers joint numbers might not not really my willingness occasion thank you for making an exception for me okay so there are five models I quickly run off a major -5 but I do I will anyway arm will go to about iPad one iPad mini Ratner iPad Air in America surface pro to surface pro three so the dimensions arm was because only concern longitudinal axis were earning a focus on the overall maximum height of the sort depends they were thing a height that you mean that the maximum dimension of all of them say iPad one is 243 m long and weighs about six and 80 g as the Wi-Fi model so all these comparisons will be Wi-Fi models because of your why have the compare apples to apples as much as possible apples thing anyway the ownership of bingo okay so that works out to about 6.67 N of force and that converts into a turning moment of hundred 97 Millie Newton metres and assembly metres because yes Millie is acting quite a small amount turning moment but then again most attainment calculations are done on things like big buildings and civil structures that everything is referenced in kilonewtons killer killer metres but not whittle out Millie Newton mean assessor that's okay to still your hand holding it so thereafter I've had many Ratner ~Miller metres long and that works out at only 65 million m the iPad Air 240 mm long and that works out hundred and 32 million m so all of the iPads as the iPad one is urgent naturally assuming higher as more forces was fully correct yes absolutely right so you want a smaller number is possible so the iPad all the iPads even the original iPad were all 200 million mean metres or less are based on the assumptions that I've made based on just looking it up in longitudinal axis so you nestle worst-case scenario so again I don't think it was designed with that in mind necessarily but for comparative purposes it is interesting especially now we compare and contrast that with a surface to surface pro to which have a larger screen is 275 long which is already longer than the previously biggest iPad which was the iPad one and that as a direct result also it weighs 900 g it was also much heavier than the original iPad one that I will obviously never works out at 334 Millie Newton metres which is a good hundred and 30 or so hundred 40 or so new menu metres more than the iPad one and the surface pro three 290 Miller metres long and that works out at 330 million m is almost identical to the surface pro to so what they do and what they achieve that is even though it's longer has larger screen it's also hundred grams lighter so you when you win a bit you lose it so please let me acknowledge the fact of getting a bigger screen have to make it lighter and hundred grams is quite significant when you consider the technology it's you that's is quite substantial saving and weight so it's quite impressive really tempted to be honest what they've managed to achieve but even so 330 is a good go not quite double but it's it's more than 50 is about 60% 58% whatever it is more than the work the most the heaviest iPad and and that hasn't been built in years so the current top was set up a lightbulb current iPad model iPad Air is only hundred and 32 so it is more than double the current model for the surface pro three in terms of the turning moment so I thought it might be fun because well this highest-rated your fun arm that what would happen if you want to achieve the iPad Air's turning moment that was your goal then how much would the surface have two-way in order for it to match it in terms of you to to get the same result of intensive wrist fatigue just out of those conditions and I work out backwards are currently weighs 800 g for the surface pro three in order to match that same turning moment is the iPad Air you have to stripped that back to 484 g and that's our almost exactly were not quite the same weight as the iPad Air slant they would have to go it would with a 12 inch sized mio screen despite the significant reduction in weight is nearly half what are currently weighs not quite but nearly so that's arm those numbers just to sort of chew on a little bit because and illustrates the problem which is that it's not just about the weight it's about how the weight is distributed and it's about how big this thing is if you hold something in your hand there is a limit to how big it can be and that's the bottom line so what Microsoft have done as I said okay we want to have the best tablet laptop that we can get people aren't using it so much as a laptop but we want to be other uses a laptop so make the screen bigger but in so doing what you do is done is you've made it hard to hold and more painful to hold in your wrist so yes go bigger screen bit it's going to make your wrist or much more fatigued as a direct result of that size even if you have trim back the weight you haven't in the back nearly enough in order to make as comfortable as iPad Air and certainly arm down iPad retina mini which is what I've got and it's a massive gap to get down that sort of size and you know I don't think it's unless I made just out of the glass and the glass was the only mass in the thing and only maybe someday in the future W to get to that point where it so thin and lights on and so on that none of that matters rather turning mother-to-be at such a point where they can get down to 480 g and 12 inch screen and all this discussion will be a moot point but until that happens if I were to pick up the two of them I would last a lot longer holding in iPad Air than I would the service pro three so what are they achieve they which they've improved that the laptop use case by giving a bigger screen at the expense of its usability as a tablet so when is at levers I guess other than frustrated is it illustrates I think the problem with this device is it fundamentally it is a compromise device and Microsoft had this mantra for ages now Windows everywhere you and I just I get this feeling that they're obsessed with this idea of you we wants one brands and Windows everywhere is the solution to all your problems and the surface of the solution to all your computing needs because now you have the best of a tablet and the best of a laptop and the whole idea is just doesn't work because Apple of Avenue have illustrated quite perfectly with the iPad that you you've actually can take something designed specifically for touch still make an interoperable with your desktop platform through your iCloud and synchronising and you optimise interfaces for both of those and it's okay to have more than one device because you can refine and you can make each device specifically so very good at that that specific use case that that becomes more compelling than I can save a few dollars and get one device that does everything because ultimately you can end up with compromises in all of the use cases for that device you discount when you can't fight physics at the problem is you and I think Apple figured that out in Microsoft aren't stupid I'm not suggesting that they haven't figured this out mean an end the thought occurs to me is if I was working for Microsoft and I got some a lot of smart people work and that they know all this nothing I've said in any of this is rocket science just isn't it's it in many respects is almost obvious as we numbers on the obvious so why would they continue to make such a product and that I just keep coming back to the fact that that has been there mantra the matter is this is the one device that you need is all we need and I just don't think that's possible what you've what you want your thoughts mark arm I think in some instances it is all the people need because you see people just using iPads in our own when people don't have computers and they're able to get most of what they want done with within iPad I guess if you looked at those same people implement a business scenario the may be that the surface could could we now but now they've got office on the iPad you need the kind of earth destroyed their own competitive advantage of this was the thing made that that made the surface and a product you want to get arm because as well like you know especially if you look at one Microsoft going even today like that they have at the conference going on today arm talking to developers in Lincoln and that there they're still promoting their like they want Windows apps to run the same on all devices now arm so they kind of like is removing the need for even the surface to be a full PC because it can just be a tablet and use the the Metro interface instead of needing to to worry about being full on desktop PCs while arm I think that for me personally I can't imagine wanting to use a device like that full-time because I like to be able to have a laptop and I use my laptop on my desk mainly arm but I also like the ability that I take anywhere can use anywhere and in honour I watch like the videos like The Verge does when they review these surface tablets and definitely the surface three looks better than two or one in in the way that you can sit on lap the EC are like David Pearce from the Virginie taps on top of that the surface and falls over arm because of the weight distribution as he sat an inner and indefinite looks like the Gartner batter and I think as time goes on the continue to but is always going to be science preventing them from being able to wait the thing up properly which is why all of the heavy stuff is in the base of the laptop instead of on the screen at the laptop link that has been worked out a long time ago the thick part is the bottom because it awaits the whole thing to the point where it it won't fall in even here it does all of that and when not tapping the screens even in the understanding that there is an understanding that the centre of gravity needs to be on the base and that's what keeps things stable so I I am very happy to have an iPad and a laptop in my life that I don't even use a keyboard with the iPad I type on the iPad screen and use like a smart cover but even then they lit this mark covers is even are fundamentally flawed in some regards a Q can't stand that iPad up on the smart cover arm and try and tap anything on it without having to ever be super gentle or you'll knock it down in if it stand out and is that the covers is free from supporting it but that's not the end like that's not meant to be a constant use system or like angle of the device like they show the smoker being used there when you're watching a movie or something and supporting itself in a really supposed to then go about and use the device with with in a keyboard or even to like that Apple don't show that way and I don't think that they're in it the intention of the smart cover is to to promote that but that is exactly what Microsoft are promoting with the surface is to have the case have the attached Discover first is to stand up and you're also supposed to that is the primary use case that is not even just for video something that is the primary use case of a surface three is to use the device that way yes sanctions ultimate between the two companies and the way they're pretty inappropriate things absolutely and ultimately just the point is that you said just before that the service prior to was better than the one in the substrate three is better to an absent is definitely in evolution and improvement going on but ultimately you can never get that much better and because you know you can't beatnik a fight physics in any ultimately ultimately I just wonder how long ago persist with the concept there will be people that say yes this is the right thing to do is the right way to go but the other thing is if you're if you're working primarily out of descant primarily the same desk and a lot of people in offices are eureka have a screen there so you can have a screen sitting there like a big 24 inch screen at 22 in screens like that you if you have a screen you have a mouse to plug-in you keyboard a plug-in because while their cheapest chips and the priority got them so yet why would you go to a slightly smaller keyboard that's you know it is only one of them you can use on the surface if any like a gay choose that one as the attachment now why would you do that why wouldn't you just use an external keyboard and monitor because of this a better experience because it's full-size it's you can pick whatever keyboard you want or you know if you're stuck with the company's Dell you keyboard or whatever but yet I would argue that even a better experience than typing on you that iPad cover so ultimately if that's your use case then I I don't understand why you would give up what you've already got which has already been highly refined to work with you that the attack the trackpad on a on a smaller crowd keyboard just to save got the one device I dusted the 2 m doesn't make any sense but then made obvious been doing this for too long and is I'm used to that refinement and there are a lot of people out there have got you special clicky keyboards they really like and you got these special mice they really like an ergonomic mouse or whatever and the ad then of people like that in Microsoft we see this we shake ahead maybe average person looking at this and not sure what an average person looks like but apparently they exist in the average person may say IK great well the service meets all of my needs but I would I would argue that if you sat them down are with the two devices in iPad and a MacBook Air with all of the different advantages of both of those that ultimately they would choose that as a solution in the end and I think that's more the point for me anyway is that the more you use this stuff and we realise that each of them is optimised for a certain use case and if you fit that use case then you you're gonna be gravitated towards the best the optimum solution for each of those as opposed to a compromise solution for both of those and down yet that's it but you also having said all that might I still apply with one a lot of violent blonde gigawatt so they would not I think that like I look at it unlike I would mind trying like adding a sub that is the thing about us by now I would never do it okay I think that about a lot of of devices and I buy them but I have I I haven't got that much of an inclination to want to actually buy surface three or service of any kind yellow to borrow one you say like an unhappily like try one out for a period of time not more than that's the problem is I just can't get past that the lap use case and on the Manama people have that use case I mean I'd I don't know if it even possible to do that on the tube on assume not I've heard I've heard to me sardine 10 are references and comparisons to suggest that doing anything on your lap sitting down on the tube during rush hour would be impossible anyway would you could you comment on that I think it will be a new chassis people using laptops on the tube so that it does happen and people tend to use those sort of devices on longer trains are supposed that you so even to be on the train for like 45 minutes an hour something people will pull up those does trains are set very differently there like the rows of two seats in undersides illness and they also got little tables on them so think those dozens are built little bit more arm below a bit more for that and also they have like power and the meaning you can get the power socket parallels but only assume you net you never see you and it is very rare that you see somebody using a laptop is something that you mean achieves mainly standing room only right and that there are seats but the majority of people be standing where as opposed to like national rail train or something like that that there will be a way around this majority seated yet our guy come from a little neo-little country town he really got like one half million people in Brisbane so you trains are all just them or like the national rail style train that you're describing whereby you have more seats those few sit down and although you can reach a point when the trains are packed where you have roughly equal number of people standing a sitting are if you get in early enough the new display seats and you can you plan your laptop and I tend to get on at a station where a train originates which means that your pick of the seats so that the trail come fresh out of younger that the magic part of the train tracks whether another people and an empty train comes up you like our empty train I get my pick of the seats and you that's great but people further down the line don't have that luxury in the work and neither do you when you're in your home while this the thing is I say nicely catch it on the way home I catch a train from its originating station so I catch Maria train originates from a station ROI for you and on your way to way to and from while I know I live at the extremes of one of the line saying I'd I live down on the Caboolture line which is that you sign the 55 km out of the city arm which is someone 30 miles whatever is sensitive in the new Cisco IAG did didn't know how far it was yet a 30 miles and it would you consider 30 miles out of the CBD of London to be a fair distance or is that like nothing to you Mr and Mrs adjourning SSS a real commute part of me doesn't like it arm because it kills so much of my time I used to have a train ran super express icicle super express because it would run express bus and like 18 train stations might yes that's awesome I do the whole thing in my 40 minutes on the train which was great as my commute was like an hour and 10 minutes each way to but then then because as a non-bypass lines Mavis another topic for another show that because I'm on my bypass like the dam track in the northern segment you end up having to clear the track in front of you of the trains in front of you in order for the trains behind to run express and it creates a big gap in some people get Gail Shetty and I say well I want to go down for stops but I now have to wait 25 minutes while we clear out the touchstone express can run before we get the next door stations train them and have a big cry about 78 introduced trains don't run as express but they still call them and express because they run past five stations are my collapse is not good enough to know my commute is gone up to an hour and 1/2 each ways has three hours of commuting every day and that's is a big chunk of my life and that's when I get annoyed as I'm at the mercy of the yet of their timetable changes here how well I just love this far out one assaulted by Mike maybe photo surface pro three reading will be fine anyway only word and I imagine it's improve your life absolutely arm that is on endorsement or recommendation letting out a gate well I have to adjust the sale that so might we might do and she was the senior Sean Adam wrapped up their shorter night I am in pretty much think the premodern agreement and I think it's it's interesting to see how people use these devices at the moment I think that a surface may be isn't necessarily the best thing because of the way that Microsoft push that use of the device and if they sold the keyboard as well maybe you wouldn't be able to criticise it so heavily arm neuropsychology also has a keyboard but they really promote the keyboard use because also that the form factor of that the tablet laptop is in such a way that it promotes you know because it's widescreen arm so has a keyboard attached to where you you maybe say that the iPads are not necessarily made for the mean Apple don't sell their own typing cover or anything like that so they may be pushing less in that route because Microsoft very clearly seeing this is how we think she is device thank opens up to criticising that way yet it's a good point and I agree with you and honestly arm if they are trying because of metabolite gliders I do wonder how it would go because you know they're saying here is are a tablet that is significantly heavier than the heaviest iPad are so much bigger screen and is about all we can say about you so if you want a big screen that's great but see if they were pushing as a tablet is a tablet then sell a smaller version now you got all this lightness and thinness and you managed to get an 800 g and a 12 inch form factor which is is pretty impressive I will dive I said that nice standby that that's impressive just imagine what you could do you wither with an 8 inch screen you money nothing could be lighter than a retina iPad many natural for all I know if if they were to make such a device but yet it is our lesser how they sell is not helping the court because so best thing you want and 70 next year I think it's obvious to see if they backtrack and change their change their angle of attack so I guess Wednesday so the doctors who are talk more about this you can reach me on Twitter at John Gigi H NCH IDG EY and check out my writing attack it likes any feedback please use the feedback from the website and as we also find shards of this episode under pod casts magmatic unified pragmatic show on Twitter to see show announcements and other related materials but also like to thank my guest host Mike Hurley for joining me today and what's the best way for people to get in touch with you Mike and your new endeavour and the moment arm because I am between the cost homes pretty much arm you component Twitter I'm I Mike I am wakey go to Mike is in Waikiki heat you are L EY.and just for those listeners that don't realise that the Mike Hurley Hussar is going and starting his own arm in pod casts very much an empire senior empires get I can play with us from Empire Empire Italian Empire go great and it will be launching very soon so please keep track of what Mike is up to and down Dolby announcements are in due course so I keep keep your eyes out to open for that so were also I think our life thanks again for sponsoring pragmatic if you're looking for a great LED goblets energy-efficient rally controllable colourful and just plain fun to use remember specifically to visit this URL life access.LIF and use the coupon code pragmatic 50% of the total price of your order getting now while the offer lasts and down thanks are listening and thanks again for coming alike always pleasureďż˝
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Myke Hurley

Myke Hurley

Myke co-runs the popular podcast network and also writes occasionally at his blog.

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.