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Astrophotography and Sketching >> DSLR & Digital Camera Astro Imaging & Processing

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mmalik
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Lightning! et the Surface
      #6186513 - 11/10/13 12:38 PM

New 'Wire...' for SkySafari is out; I wish a Windows version of SkySafari is made as well. I like Microsoft Surface... better than Apple iPad; and the new dock... for Surface is rock solid with USB2, USB3, Ethernet, & more ports.... Regards


Note: Old 'Wire...'


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6192010 - 11/13/13 02:30 AM

New Surfaces at a glance:

..........................Surface Pro 2..............................Surface 2
Size....................274.5 x 173 x 13.5 (mm).................274 x 171 x 8.9 (mm)
Weight..................907g........................................680g
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
Price.....................$900+.......................................$450+

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?


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Thirteen
sage


Reged: 07/12/13

Loc: Milford, Michigan
Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6192206 - 11/13/13 08:55 AM

I have recently considered the pro2 surface instead of a laptop for AP. Since it runs the full version of 8.1, it leads me to believe it would support all the software. Could you explain why the dock is required? Seems like USB3 port would support a standard hub for all your USB2 devices.

Seems like a lightweight / portable solution for AP but a little pricey compared to a laptop with the same specs.


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: Thirteen]
      #6192431 - 11/13/13 10:59 AM

Quote:

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


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6212565 - 11/24/13 03:26 AM

Retina display of iPad and Surface Pro 2 have display resolution of 2048x1536 and 1920x1080, respectively.

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


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guyroch
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6213476 - 11/24/13 03:18 PM

I just got the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 with 8 GIG of memory and 512 GIG SSD. It has a 3200x1800 resolution as well. Awesome little beast. Windows 8 really starts to make sense when you have a touch screen.

Guylain


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: guyroch]
      #6213601 - 11/24/13 04:50 PM

Congrats; according to specs..., Yoga 2 Pro has 1xUSB3 and 1xUSB2 which is great as it makes it even better/cheaper acquisition contender than Book 9 Plus. Regards

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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: guyroch]
      #6228375 - 12/02/13 04:01 AM

Well, my quest for a decent mount-side acquisition machine has been shaping up like as follows:

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.


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Mr Greybush
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Reged: 05/16/13

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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6228422 - 12/02/13 05:47 AM

Mike the only issue I have using an iPad is the battery life because you run something like Safari and the battery needs recharged then your out using the pad + it takes iPads a long time compared to LP's and other tablets. I love skisafari I wished I had pay more attention to Southern Stars because I bought the regular adapter for the iPad instead of the new one for the 5c but that's fine with me I can steal the other halves iPad and use it just the same

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Markovich
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Reged: 05/22/07

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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: Mr Greybush]
      #6229282 - 12/02/13 02:30 PM

Not sure what your experiences have been, but the iPad has excellent battery performance. I use an original iPad running Sky Safari Pro interfacing with an AstroDevices Nexus to provide "push -to " for my Obsession. Have never experienced any issues with the battery.

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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: Mr Greybush]
      #6229345 - 12/02/13 02:54 PM

I would concur; I have iPad (3rd gen) and have never run out of battery while in the field. What I do as a precautionary measure as well as a light contamination prevention measure is to shut the iPad screen off once done going to the target. FYI: I use iPad for planning/pointing/navigating/aligning/framing, etc. Regards

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Markovich
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6229819 - 12/02/13 05:59 PM

I never do that, I turn down the brightness ( to reduce glare, not to save power) and nothing else. I leave the screen on most of the time. It generates just enough heat to keep it dew free. Granted, it is in an Otterbox Defender case!

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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: Markovich]
      #6248354 - 12/12/13 05:35 AM

A look at Yoga 2 Pro/59394160/Clementine Orange ($999/i5/4GB/128GB/3200x1800/USB2/USB3/HDMI/Backlit/Touch/8.1)

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

Top:


Bottom:


Right-USB2


Left-USB3/HDMI


Front


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bilgebay
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6248369 - 12/12/13 06:21 AM

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.

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guyroch
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Reged: 01/22/08

Loc: Under the clouds!
Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: bilgebay]
      #6249191 - 12/12/13 02:20 PM

Mike, I have the Yogo 2 Pro and love it. I got the 512GB SSD + 8GB RAM + i7 CPU.

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.

Guylain


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: bilgebay]
      #6251243 - 12/13/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

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


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: guyroch]
      #6251302 - 12/13/13 04:54 PM Attachment (2 downloads)

Quote:

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


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface new [Re: mmalik]
      #6255446 - 12/15/13 11:06 PM Attachment (3 downloads)

1080p was about 2000 (2K) vertical lines of resolution. Various permutations of UHD/QHD+ are about 4K vertical; quite revolutionary in terms of AP processing tool… get ready for lot of our processing flaws getting revealed . Such 4K systems are going to be a necessary aid to serious image processing.

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


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mmalik
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Re: Lightning! et the Surface [Re: mmalik]
      #6265299 - 12/21/13 01:29 PM

My sum total of mount-side ultrabooks as follows, barring any USB 3.0 issues you might run into with guiding:

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!


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akulapanam
super member


Reged: 08/27/12

Re: Lightning! et the Surface [Re: mmalik]
      #6266071 - 12/21/13 09:33 PM

I have a surface pro which I use for astrophotography. After a lot of messing around I managed to get it to run the SSAG autoguider and it obviously works just fine with my Canon T3. One of the challenges with that I have is that it only has one USB port so I had to get a USB hub but this was not a big issue. You will want to buy one with a large SSD because it is not good for the life of an SSD to run it close to max capacity.

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