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In Surface Pro 3 Reddit AMA, users protest lack of GPU, bundled Type Covers

Mark Hachman | May 28, 2014
A bundled Type Cover and some sort of GPU acceleration top consumer wish lists for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, if a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session is any indication.

A bundled Type Cover and some sort of GPU acceleration top consumer wish lists for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, if a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session is any indication.

Microsoft released the Surface Pro 3 last week, and the first reviews of Microsoft's tablet are already posting. Consumers, meanwhile, had their first chance to ask their own questions about the Surface Pro 3 on the Reddit site, to Surface chief Panos Panay and the rest of the Surface team.

Unfortunately, the tone followed most recent AMAs conducted by tech companies: consumers asked questions or asked for improvements, and the company in question duly noted the requests, promising nothing. 

In terms of feedback, potential Surface buyers focused on three things: the lack of a discrete battery inside the Surface line (and the cost to replace it); the lack of a discrete GPU chip; and the perennial complaint for a bundled keyboard cover, which Microsoft has positioned as one of the selling points of the new tablet.

Where's our bundled Type Cover?

Of the three, the latter objection seemed to be the most on point: elsewhere in the AMA, Microsoft executives touted the Surface Pro 3 as the tablet that could replace your laptop. Unlike a notebook PC, however, you'll still need to buy the Surface Pro 3's keyboard separately. 

"How is it possible to call the Surface Pro 3 a laptop killer when the device does not come with a keyboard?" user "SeiRyuSeijin" complained. "The keyboard is an "optional" accessory that is marketed as vital to the the Surface experience (to which I agree), but it makes no sense to charge so much extra for it."

Microsoft responded that users wanted choice. "When we first launched Surface, we sold it only in a bundle format," the team replied. "The top feedback we got was that people loved the color covers and wanted full choice (but stores wouldn't sell all color bundles) and some people definitely wanted to buy without [a] cover."

And to that, users suggested a $100 discount when purchased together. Microsoft did not reply.

Users also complained that the concept of the Surface "blades," or specialized covers for various tasks, had largely disappeared. 

GPUs for "serious work"

When Microsoft and Adobe showed off a touch-centric version of Adobe Photoshop at the Surface Pro 3 launch, representatives from neither company mentioned what running that software on a Surface tablet assumed: a powerful GPU to drive the scene. Users didn't.

"What would make the surface Pro 3 perfect for every utilization would be an external GPU to put on the desktop," "NotCassim" wrote. "With that i could replace my laptop, my tablet and my desktop by a single device, the Surface Pro 3. Have you ever considered it?"

 

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