Lightning! et the Surface
Posted 10 November 2013 - 12:38 PM
Note: Old 'Wire...'
Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:30 AM
..........................Surface Pro 2..............................Surface 2
Size....................274.5 x 173 x 13.5 (mm).................274 x 171 x 8.9 (mm)
Screen..................10.6-inch ClearType HD.............10.6-inch ClearType Full HD
Resolution..............1920×1080 pixels....................1920×1080 pixels
OS......................Windows 8.1 Pro.........................Windows RT 8.1
Storage.................64, 128, 256, or 512GB..............32 or 64GB
SD Card Slot............Yes......................................Yes
Ports....................USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort............USB 3.0, HD video out
Processor..............Intel Core i5 (Haswell)..............Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4
RAM....................4 or 8GB.......................................2GB
Connectivity...........Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)...............Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
Camera.................Front 1.2MP, Rear 1.2MP...............Front 3.5MP, Rear 5MP
Bluetooth..............Yes, version 4.0...........................Yes, version 4.0
Battery................7-8 hours of use.............................10 hours of use
Charger................Micro USB..................................Micro USB
IMPORTANT: Surface Pro 2 runs Windows 8.1 Pro while Surface 2 runs Windows 8.1 RT; this means the Pro 2 can run Windows desktop applications, while the standard Surface 2 cannot.
I think Pro 2 has a great potential of being an AP tool for acquisition but will require docking... for devices needing USB2 ports; your thoughts?
Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:55 AM
Seems like a lightweight / portable solution for AP but a little pricey compared to a laptop with the same specs.
Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:59 AM
Could you explain why the dock is required? Seems like USB3 port would support a standard hub for all your USB2 devices.
Not required but there are situations where, e.g., some guide camera/PHD configurations, native USB2 port is required. In all my testing I have NOT been able to guide using USB3 port. For all other scenarios where USB2 is not a requirement, yes one can get by with onboard USB3 on Pro 2. Regards
Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:26 AM
Those resolutions pale in comparison to 3200x1800 QHD+ resolution of Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus. Although Book 9 Plus may be somewhat of a middle of the road between acquisition and processing machine, its light weight, stunning display, sleek design, and touch screen have some good uses for AP. ONE major drawback I see with Book 9 Plus is that it only has USB3 ports, somewhat of a show stopper as a guiding machine. Book 9 Plus comes in two flavors, 4GB/128GB/i5... and 8GB/256GB/i7.... Regards
Posted 24 November 2013 - 03:18 PM
Posted 02 December 2013 - 04:01 AM
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 may be a compact little thing but requires dock to avail USB2 ports needed for guiding which makes it a very bulky, almost un-manageable device by the mount-side. Screen resolution is also not that great at 1920×1080 pixels (in comparison to QHD+)
I have been looking at Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus but problem with that machine is that it only has USB3 ports. It has QHD+ at 3200x1800 pixels which is great. If Book 9 Plus had a USB2 port, it would have topped my list.
I didn't know much about Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro until Guy mentioned it. This one seems to have USB2 and USB3 ports with QHD+ at 3200x1800 pixels. This makes it a perfect contender for the mount-side so far.
I have also been looking at DELL/SONY tablets/convertibles for mount-side but they seem quite lackluster in comparison to all of the above.
Let me know your thoughts if there is anything more interesting that I have missed in this search? Regards
Note: One machine that fits a total different category and stands as its own is Apple iPad + SkySafari Pro combo for mount control; there just isn't anything I know of that can top this combo, although in addition to but NOT a replacement of, one of the above.
Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:47 AM
Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:30 PM
Posted 02 December 2013 - 02:54 PM
Posted 02 December 2013 - 05:59 PM
Posted 12 December 2013 - 05:35 AM
Pro: Has USB2 port for mount-side use with all the bells and whistles of a latest ultrabook with QHD+ display and beautiful color
Con: Construction materials don't feel as rugged and solid (feels like plastic) when compared to bit pricier Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus (which feels like metal) but then Samsung doesn't have USB2 port for field use; didn't much like the keyboard layout/style of Yoga (feels crammed) compared to typical/standard keyboard layout of ATIV or Dell
Posted 12 December 2013 - 02:20 PM
Initially I thought the keyboard in tablet mode would be an issue but it only took about a day of use before you get pass the fact that the keyboard is exposed.
The keyboard does feel cramped a bit but the layout is still very productive, I rarely press on the wrong key while typing.
The display... well that QHD+ is just crispy clear.
Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:18 PM
Mike I have recently purchased this Samsung Ultrabook. It is my new image capturing computer. The battery life is quite good and the speed is more than enough. You may want to have a look at it.
Sedat, at 1366x768 display, that's ancient in technology terms [QHD+ getting common/cheaper at 3200x1800]; plus that one is quite bulky for the field [again comparing with slimmer/lighter/faster alternatives]. Regards
Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:54 PM
The keyboard does feel cramped a bit but the layout is still very productive, I rarely press on the wrong key while typing.
Crammed/atypical Yoga keyboard is bit of a problem for power users in my opinion, most of 'em not opting for touch screen I mean; ATIV keyboard is standard/typical with very spacious mouse pad for power users. Regards
Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:06 PM
Newer ultrabooks/tablets (above...) are already there, in terms of 4K I mean, and external monitors are catching up. Difference is, e.g., a 13” ultrabook or 15" laptop packs QHD+ resolution in much smaller diagonal, while external monitors pack similar amount of resolution in much larger diagonals, in the order of 32” and beyond. I have been looking to find a compact size diagonal as an external monitor solution for my yet to be 15” QHD+ ultrabook/laptop as primary image processing machine. My search thus far as has led me here... as far the quality and pricing goes. Your thoughts on 4K systems, their impact on image processing, and any other good 4K external monitor options out there size/price wise (again, preference being relatively smaller diagonals to complement smaller form factor QHD+ laptops/ultrabooks)? Regards
Posted 21 December 2013 - 01:29 PM
1. Get Yoga 2 Pro 59394160... if you had $1000 to spend
2. Get ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K06US... if you had $1400 to spend
3. Get ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K04US... or NP940X3G-K05US... if you had $1800 to spend
Note: Yoga has USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports; ATIV has only USB 3.0 ports. SKU numbers listed will get you Windows 8.1 installed and stunning QHD+ display for all three; and SATA 3 SSDs on ATIVs. NP940X3G-K04US & NP940X3G-K05US seem best of the best ultrabooks out there today!
Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:33 PM
Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:50 AM
Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:06 AM
Pro: Aluminum all-metal chassis, full-size keyboard/mouse
Con: Expensive, no USB 2.0
Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:40 AM
Posted 23 December 2013 - 05:36 AM
What UEFI boils down to is you have to boot into Windows first before you can access BIOS in normal way. BIOS is still there, it is the boot options part that has to loop through Windows now; general purpose BIOS settings are still there in the BIOS. This also brings some consistency to Windows 8 computers; they’ll all have a consistent way of accessing the BIOS. Currently, different computers use different keys at start-up to invoke BIOS.
One of the ramifications is EFI System partition (ESP) that gets added to Windows 8.1 along with a plethora of new partitions.
Talking about partitions, Windows 7 used to have a 'System Partition' and a 'Boot Partition'; with Windows 8.1, it is not that simple anymore. Your new Windows 8.1 system may look like as follows:
Note: Image contains two samples; each from a different Windows 8.1 ultrabook!
Bit larger image here...
In short, what do you need to know and/or do when you get your new Ultrabook with Windows 8.1 preinstalled? Here it is:
1. In order to have your data on a separate partition than OS (Operating System), shrink your C: drive (containing Windows) to something that you think you might need for your future applications, e.g., 50GB. [On caveat will be that you may not be able to shrink it to your desired size depending upon how your system may have been built/written to the disk]
2. Create a D: (Data) drive on the space you are able to recover after shrinking C: [This will be your data drive, separate from the OS; benefits of doing so explained below...]
3. If you needed to get fancier, you may leave some space, e.g., 10GB (or more if you can afford to spare) as you create your D: drive; you may call this little drive, e.g., Z: and use it for offloading page file and/or ‘Temporary Internet Files’ from C:
4. Presuming this is your brand new ultrabook, create a pristine image of your base OS, i.e., C: drive, before you install anything or modify your OS too much; but DO configure your new operating system to your liking, making it look like the way you do so you don’t have to do those little changes every time you were to restore your OS. You may also run ‘Disk Cleanup’ to clean your C: drive before creating an image.
5. Go to desktop, right-click Start button and click ‘Control Panel’.
6. Switch ‘Control Panel’ to ‘Small icon’ view, and click ‘File History’. This is where Microsoft was sleeping when they developed ‘File History’; it will take a while for it to search drives and refresh, but it is not so obvious that Windows is doing anything at that time!
7. Click ‘System Image Backup’ in the lower left corner when it appears, which may take a while.
8. Select D: drive that you created above in the ‘On a hard disk’ drop down and click ‘Next’.
Note: This is one of the reasons you need to have a separate data partition. [This is presuming you were lucky to shrink C: drive to have adequate space available to put an OS image in D:]
9. Take the defaults [System, C:, and EFI selected] and click ‘Next’
10. Click ‘Stat Backup’; if all goes well, one finished, you would have a pristine image of your OS ready!
11. With ‘File History’ still open, click ‘Recovery’ in the lower left corner
12. Click ‘Create a recovery drive’ under ‘Advanced recovery tools’; click ‘Yes’ to UAC (User Access Control)
13. Click ‘Next’ with ‘Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive’ selected by default.
Note: This is where ‘Recovery Partition’ toward the end of your disk will be copied to a USB drive as a back-up and/or if you wanted to delete that partition to recover space [I would advise against deleting that partition]. This is the larger size, last partition in pic shown!
14. At this point insert a USB thumb drive that is at least 8GB and click ‘Next’
15. System should detect your USB thumb drive and click ‘Next’
16. Click ‘Create’.
IMPORTANT: Everything on the USB thumb drive will be deleted; if you have any personal files on that drive, make sure you’ve backed them up!
17. Once done, you’ll have a USB copy of your large ‘Recovery Partition’ at the end of your hard drive which contains source software of your factory OS install; beauty of this USB copy is that it is also a bootable USB drive that can be used for trouble shooting in addition to a backup of your OS source. Keep this USB in a safe place; you may never need it as source of this is still on your hard drive’s last partition [if you didn’t delete as you create the USB copy].
18. With ‘Recovery’ still open, as an added measure, create system restore point by clicking ‘Configure System Restore’ and clicking ‘Create’ with defaults [ONLY C: being ‘On’]
19. Provide a name, e.g., ‘BaseOS’, click ‘Create’ and click ‘Close’ once done.
Note: This restore point will be of no use if you were to restore your OS via the image that you created above; but it will be of value to restore your OS if you didn’t use image restore.
20. With ‘Recovery’ still open, click ‘If you’re experiencing problems with your PC, you can refresh it in PC settings’; now you’ll be transported to a whole different area called ‘Update and recovery’. This is where fun begins...
21. Here you can very powerful options; ‘Remove everything and reinstall Windows’ is a way to get back to the state when you first booted your computer upon unboxing; in other words it will restore you OS the factory state.
Note: Beauty of this re-install is if you don’t let it destroy the D: drive you created above, your D: drive data will be preserved. If you chose this option, you will get back to a state prior to your image creation above. Your image that you created above is still valid and can be used to get to a state little after opening the box.
22. Click ‘Restart now’ under ‘Advanced startup’ option; this is the ultimate fun part of UEFI I alluded to at the start.
23. Click ‘Troubleshoot’ under ‘Choose an option’
24. Click ‘Advanced options’
25. Click ‘System Image Recovery’
26. Computer will reboot at this time
27. Click your privileged/admin account under ‘System Image Recovery’
28. Enter your privileged/admin account password and click continue
29. Now you’ll be displayed ‘Select a system image backup’ with ‘Use the latest available system image (recommended) selected; click ‘Next’.
Note: This will be the same image you created on the D: drive in #7 above [verify the date and time to confirm]
30. With ‘Format and repartition disks’ grayed out and/or unchecked, click ‘Next’.
31. STOP: This being a learning exercise, you don’t need to click ‘Finish’; had it been an actual re-image, clicking finish will restore your OS to C: from the image you created in #7 above and which you placed in D:
32. That’s all folks for now... have fun with your Windows 8.1
Posted 25 December 2013 - 09:56 PM
Note: Windows 8.1 was configured with 'Extra Large - 200%' for following examples...
1. Photoshop [unable to scale, notice microscopic menus, icons/buttons, etc.]
2. ImagesPlus [unable to scale, notice microscopic menus, icons/buttons, etc.]
EDIT... 3. PixInsight [Scales somewhat better; button bar is still an issue as it is quite microscopic]
Up until such apps are re-written to be compatible with QHD+ format of Windows 8.1, scaling compatibility is hit and miss kind of deal for AP applications and utilities. Regards
Bit larger pic here...