Surface Duo Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by JoeS, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...Microsoft still has the separate apps in the store as an alternative option...>>

    Office and I have always had a contentious relationship. For some reason, I always end up with multiple instances of Office getting installed on my new machines during start-up. The last device was the worst; somehow, I ended up with English, French and Spanish versions all installed. I HATE the Office installation process!

    So there will be no redundant installations of Office apps on my Duo. Now that I know where to find them, I'm satisfied; not happy, mind you, just... satisfied.
     
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  3. franzander

    franzander Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One might think so, but I don't really get the impression that Amazon has much interest in innovation in their Kindle lineup (anymore?). Foldable E-ink displays have been demoed since at least 2017 and so far I haven't even heard rumours of any actual products. And while there has been a notable increase in offers of larger screen ereaders (8-13 inch) over the last 3 years or so, Amazon hasn't seemed to care much about that either (apart from adding one measly inch to their highest priced device). Full disclosure, I don't care much for Kindle as ereaders, the available Android offerings are just so much more versatile.

    Tldr; I wouldn't expect foldable Kindles to compete with the Duo any time soon.
     
  4. franzander

    franzander Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This sounds a lot like the practicality issue many people had with the Planet Computer Gemini (https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&sour...FjAAegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw3Q38q6teh20dpT1afVrrpw), a sort of clamshell smartphone with full keyboard. I found it offered a decent typing experience, but the lack of an external screen meant that it was quite cumbersome to get to notifications and people suggested that having a SmartWatch was the best way to alleviate the issue. Planet Computers have been trying to address this usability issue in their subsequent Cosmo Communicator and in the Astro Slide currently in crowdfunding, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft tried to address this in their next iteration of the Duo (assuming that there will be one).
     
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  5. negative1

    negative1 Retro Surface fan

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    for developers:
    https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/...el-source-code-developers-start-your-engines/

    Microsoft releases Surface Duo kernel source code — developers, start your engines
    The company has also published a handy guide for compiling the source yourself

    After much anticipation, Microsoft launched its very first Android device last month. In Corbin's review, he called it a phone for enthusiasts, and that's something Microsoft seems to be embracing. Microsoft has released the Surface Duo's kernel source, which will assist third-party developers in building custom ROMs and kernels for the unique device.


    Since Android devices are built around Linux kernels distributed under an open-source license, manufacturers are required to release the underlying code upon request. Needless to say, some are better at it than others. Microsoft publishing the kernel early on will help the Android development community create custom ROMs and kernel tweaks for the device that much faster.

    later
    -1
     
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  6. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Unless their is a major breakthrough in the way e-ink works, you won't see a foldable kindle anytime soon. Stated simply, e-ink screens have to be flat or they don't function, unlike the tech in LCDs which have "some" torsional flexibility.
     
  7. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Well the reviews are in, and the answer is.. yes! You should. :) The battery life turns out to be unexpectedly good, and the major downsides to the device (not great camera, no NFC, so-so single speaker, no wireless charging) don't seem to be a problem in your scenario. In the demos you see that when in "book mode" you can have all your OneNote notebooks and tabs on the left, and the actual note page on the right. It looks perfect for what you need. And all of that for the low price of $1500 for the 256GB version. :thumbsup:
     
  8. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    For those who still haven't had their fill of reviews and demos, this Jenna lady gives a nice thorough walkthrough and answers a bunch of questions. Even having already seen quite a few videos, I like this one, probably because well produced and.. it's more positive about the device. :cool:
     
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  9. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    So after having spent the day with the duo I think it's worthwhile to revisit the "it's not a phone" argument and perhaps pour a bit of cold water reality on some of the rosier comments I've seen here

    In some sense I agree, especially since some of the ways you use it to accomplish certain tasks is either more toward tablets, or laptops or in some cases a new class of device. And in fact MS obviously spent some time with design with the idea of it being a new class of device..

    BUT.....

    For those that argue the "not a phone" idea, what's the actual role here then? Is it yet another device that I should carry? My standard pack as it were, is 90% of the time my laptop and my smartphone. Occasionally I can substitute my iPad Pro for the laptop for something like a day trip. Conversely for extended trips I often bring my laptop, phone and tablet (or my kindle if a lot of reading is anticipated)

    In all cases though, my phone is always there. And the Duo is an even poorer substitute for a regular tablet or even the kindle (though the kindle app on the duo is really impressive) than it is a for a phone.

    So it comes back to, do I really want o carry yet another device? I haven't answered that question myself yet, though I'm strongly leaning towards no.

    Please dont mistake this as anti Duo. The Duo is easily one of the nicest, best designed pieces of hardware that has come to market in a good while from any vendor.

    In many ways, I'm the type of customer that MS would seem to be targeting and want and yet I haven't seen anything from them that either defines the role or convinces me to switch. And I think there are many like me.

    Lastly, for me, it comes down to a basic functionality issue which is that you have to open it to do anything. I think if it had even the most basic screen on the front for just say notifications and answering/making calls I'd be a lot more comfortable with it.

    I have no issues with the mediocre camera or some of the other things I've seen online. I don't even fault the software as it's by far one of the best 1.0 devices ever to hit the market, though I wish 3rd party support were at least a bit more common .

    So at this point, I'm on the fence as to keeping it. If it was a $600 device, I could possibly see this as stake in the what I most definitely see as the mobile device future. But at $1400 which is MORE than my top end iPhone, the value proposition seems a lot more tenuous .

    my $.02 for the morning
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
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  10. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I haven't seen too many people making the "it's not a phone" argument. If I understand you correctly, I'd agree that you shouldn't get this device if you feel it can't replace your phone. If you need an amazing and convenient camera and NFC, don't get it, keep your phone.

    As for the outside screen, I totally agree although it would mess up the clean outside look. I wonder if they can make the outsides an e-ink display that would look exactly like the current outside when off. Side benefit, it would make it an even better outdoor reader. Probably impossible to add in 4.8mm thickness though, but it would be sweet.
     
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