Cook on iPad mini canibalization, Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s position on tweener tablets

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 26, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook during yesterday’s conference call with Wall Street analysts briefly touched on Microsoft’s Surface tablet, which hit store shelves today, canibalization of its own products by the iPad mini and more. He also addressed his predecessor’s public dissing of smaller tablets two years ago, insisting that Apple’s position on the matter remains unchanged and stressing that the iPad mini, which has a 7.9-inch display, is “in a whole different league” than other seven inchers. Apple in fact, he said, “would never make” a seven-inch iPad… Read More


Microsoft’s Surface is here, high-tech ad proclaims

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 25, 2012

Look what just surfaced on Microsoft Surface team’s YouTube channel. This television commercial could be equally confusing to those who deemed the previous Movement ad too childish to begin with and perhaps over-the-top. One thing is certain: Microsoft is determined to make as much noise as possible about this tablet. The company today officially launched Windows 8 and will begin selling the Surface on Friday.

Apple the same day is scheduled to put its iPad mini on sale across 34 countries worldwide. Armchair estimates peg advertising expenditure for Windows 8 and Surface launches anywhere in the ballpark of $1-$2 billion.  I’ve also included a new making-of video for the Movement ad right below… Read More


Microsoft films its own Surface RT drop test

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 19, 2012

For today’s WTF moment, I present you this publicity stunt depicting the Surface RT falling from about 30 inches high and onto a hardwood floor, courtesy of Microsoft’s Surface Reliability Lab and straight via the Surface team’s official channel on YouTube. Unlike your ordinary drop test, this one has a twist to it, just watch. Spoiler: it survives the drop. Fortunately, Microsoft didn’t go as far to credit the gizmo’s vapor-deposited magnesium chassis for that.

Of course the clip is geeky – this is Microsoft, after all. The company is many things, but you can’t blame them from exploiting social media on a Friday to spread the word about their iPad contender. The Surface RT runs an ARM-based chip, it looks snappy, and its tile-based interface introduces a fresh new approach to tablet computing. I’ve also included another video that shows off some of the features, right past the fold… Read More


Expert laughs off Microsoft’s pre-emptive claim of Surface beating iPad 3 on screen sharpness

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 18, 2012

A Microsoft engineer in a Reddit thread made a bold claim that a 1,366-by-768 pixel resolution display on the Surface tablet is way sharper than the 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution Retina display on the iPad 3. The comment left some scratching their head, wondering if Microsoft found a way to bypass the laws of physics.

President of DisplayMate Technologies Raymond Soneira is an expert at these things: he previously dispelled Heatgate, recently rated the iPhone 5 as having the best display in a smartphone and now is back with a brief shootout concerning the Surface’s ClearType sub-pixel rendering allegedly improving display clarity beyond what Apple’s device offers… Read More


Microsoft’s Surface OS is a resource hog

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 18, 2012

We’ve been covering Microsoft’s Surface and other competing tablets quite extensively here at iDB because we believe Apple is not an isolated isle and it pays to keeping tabs on what your competition is doing. Now, a 32GB Surface RT matches a 16GB iPad 3 in terms of price, both costing $499. That said, Surface RT users will wind up having less storage space available because the operating system and bundled apps require a significant amount of storage. It almost comes close to installing a Windows on a PC… Read More


Microsoft: Surface screen outperforms the iPad Retina display

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 17, 2012

Microsoft is nothing if not an expert when it comes to spinning technology. Take for instance the software giant’s latest comments that its Surface tablet actually outperforms the iPad’s Retina display. You remember the Retina, the display with 3.9 million pixels and described by some as the best display ever for a mobile device?

Well, turns out the Surface’s 1,366-by-768 display is even better at something called “perceived resolution.” Microsoft engineer Steve Bathiche told a Reddit audience this week that the tablet’s ClearType technology can reduce the glare from reflected light. The Surface’s display reflects between 5.5 percent and 6.2 percent of light, compared to 9.9 for the iPad, according to the engineer… Read More


How the Surface was engineered

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2012

Following up on today’s Surface price list, pre-orders and a pretty nice commercial, Microsoft has also posted another interesting thingie which I think highlights how the engineering team went about designing  Microsoft’s iPad contender. Make no mistake about it: with the Surface, the Windows maker has raised the water line on its platform’s functionality. This tablet’s here to stay. It is at any rate refreshing to have a fresh approach to the tablet other than the boring iOS-Android duopoly. Microsoft also has a few other promo clips for the Surface, all included past the fold… Read More


Microsoft begins taking pre-orders for the Surface RT tablet, shipping October 26

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2012

A page briefly went online earlier this morning over at Microsoft’s online store, revealing possible prices for ARM-based Surface RT models. It wasn’t just a glitch in the system: Microsoft has officially announced it will begin taking pre-orders for the device later today at 12pm Eastern, 9pm Pacific. $499 buys you an entry-level Surface RT with 32 gigabytes of storage and a 10.6-inch display, but no Touch Cover – that’s an additional $119.

The Surface RT is initially available for pre-order in eight countries via Microsoft’s online store and is set to ship next Friday, October 26, alongside Windows 8 and three days after Apple’s rumored iPad mini keynoteRead More


Surface pricing revealed, 32GB base model to start at $499

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2012

As Microsoft is gearing up to launch its highly-anticipated Surface tablet next Friday, October 26 (just three days following Apple’s iPad mini keynote), the company began teasing the public with the first Surface commercial Cody told you about. And now, the Windows maker has officially revealed price points for the tablet: the ARM-based entry-level Surface RT will start at $499 for the 32GB model, the same asking price for Apple’s third-generation iPad with sixteen gigabytes of storage… Read More


Microsoft airs first Surface commercial

By Cody Lee on Oct 16, 2012

It seems like it’s been months since Microsoft first showed off the Surface tablet —the company’s first foray into the space. Actually, it’s been four months. But never fear, the long-awaited release date is almost here.

Microsoft is set to launch the tablet on October 26th, alongside the latest update to its operating system, Windows 8. And it kicked off its advertising blitz last night with a new TV ad entitled: The Surface Movement… Read More


Wall Street: Amazon’s new Kindle Fire unlikely to hurt iPad Sales

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 7, 2012

Should Apple be nervous following Amazon introducing the Kindle Fire HD Thursday? No, says Wall Street. However, Google and Microsoft could be sweating bullets, analysts are telling investors Friday.

Apple still rules the tablet world,” writes Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets. Indeed, the expected release of a 7.85-inch ‘iPad mini‘ will expand the the company’s customer base, “potentially even surpassing sales of the regular-sized iPad.” In short, Apple investors should relax… Read More


Report: Apple using MacBook supplier AU Optronics and LG Display for iPad mini display

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 31, 2012

As we get closer to the expected October launch of Apple’s “iPad mini,” details are emerging about how the Cupertino, Calif. company is reshaping its supplier base in the face of growing demand for handheld devices. AU Optronics, which made MacBook displays, is now building parts for the smaller iPad, Bloomberg reports Friday.

LG Display is also among the suppliers for the smaller tablet, according to Bloomberg. Read More


Acer warns against Surface, Microsoft already working on a sequel

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 7, 2012

Acer is the most vocal opponent of Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Its founder Stan Shih went on the record two days following the Surface’s announcement, opining that the gizmo was just a ploy to drive Windows 8 adoption.

Today, Acer CEO JT Wang drove the point home by begging Microsoft to “think twice” about the Surface because tablet making is is not something the Redmond company is good at. Meanwhile, Microsoft is speculated to be already at work on a Surface tablet sequel… Read More


Microsoft’s Surface tablet arriving on Friday, October 26

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 30, 2012

Microsoft revealed in its filing with the Security and Exchange Commission that come October 26 it will launch both Windows 8 operating system for consumers and the Surface tablet which was announced a month and half ago. Apple, of course, is expected to unveil a rumored cheaper, smaller iPad at a media event this fall (iLounge says in November) and launch a fourth-generation iPad some time during the first quarter of next year… Read More


Microsoft admits Surface competes with PC makers

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 27, 2012

In a surprising reversal of its position on competition related to the Surface tablet, Microsoft admits in an annual report its tablet competes with PC makers after all, going as far to note that the Surface might even hurt Windows 8 sales. Redmond has been criticized a lot for entering the hardware game to compete with vendors who make various Windows devices.

PC makers are unable to compete with Microsoft on level ground because their already thin margins are stretched even thinner as they must pay license fees to Microsoft to use Windows 8 on tablets, an added cost that makes their gadgets more expensive… Read More


The Woz speaks up on Microsoft’s Surface tablet

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2012

The outspoken Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak usually has an opinion on many things, be it Siri and her reliance on a network connection, Facebook IPO (he said he’d invest regardless of opening price), patent war fallout, the iPhone 4S battery life and Android march and what not.

His latest comment from a a press conference at Entel Summit in Chile last week concerns Microsoft’s Surface tablet, unveiled with much fanfare on June 18

Read More


Bill Gates on iPad, Surface and Microsoft’s original tablet vision

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 3, 2012

Bill Gates was on PBS’s Charlie Rose show tonight and he got peppered with questions concerning the iPad’s gigantic success and why Microsoft’s original tablet vision fell short. Now chairman of Microsoft and a philanthropist, Gates gave honest answers and didn’t seem jealous of Apple’s success with the iPad as his sidekick Steve Ballmer evidently had been when he laughed off the iPhone back in 2007. Here are your key takeaways… Read More


How far Apple’d gone to gain an edge for iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2012

The New York Times published a fascinating piece yesterday evening about Microsoft’s Surface tablet which contains a few interesting tidbits about Apple’s iPad and just how far Cupertino had gone to gain an edge on its products… Read More


WiFi Surface could cost nearly as much as 4G iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2012

Industry sources asserted that Microsoft’s Surface tablet will initially be offered only in WiFi version, even though analysts opine that its lack of cellular connectivity won’t be seen as a major limitation.

What could, however, likely be perceived as problematic is the Surface’s asking prices, allegedly set at $599. This would put the WiFi-only Surface just thirty bucks shy of Apple’s 16GB 4G iPad 3… Read More


Poll: should Apple hit the panic button because of Microsoft’s Surface?

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 20, 2012

The mobile landscape on Monday became a tad more interesting place with the announcement that Microsoft was going to enter the race with its own tablet product marketed under the Surface moniker.

We’re now less than an hour away until another major Microsoft presser, this one concerning Windows Phone. With that in mind, iDB thought it’d be interesting to gauge our readers’ opinion on the Surface vs. iPad dilemma… Read More