Interesting Information On New Surface Devices From Reddit AmA, Part-2

Microsoft Surface team today did a Reddit AmA on new Surface devices. I’ve collected some interesting information from the whole discussion.

Read the part 1 of the same here.

Part 2 content,

  • Whether Surface Pro 2 just has updated CPU from Intel ? – To get the full benefit, it’s not just a case of switching out the CPU. For Surface Pro 2, we complexly redesigned the motherboard, performed system level tuning, upgraded to LPDDR3 RAM & low power SSD, and tuned the firmware and drivers.
  • Touch Cover pressure sensitive nature – Hey this is StevieB. the touchcover 2 pressure sensors have 1024 pressure levels as well. But currently we do not pass the pressure data on to the operating system. All the processing is done inside touchcover.. We will try to post a demo video of how the pressure levels look.. it is pretty coo. to see (done via a special electrical interface rig we built).
  • How backlit keyboard is made – Hey this is StevieB, we invented one of the thinnest backlights.. It is 0.2mm thin. The light couples in via edge lit LEDs (4 of them), guides inside via a principle of total internal reflection. and then scatters out via light couplers. To save power we also added a proximity sensor to the keyboard so when your hands get near they turn on. All this and both touch and type are thinner than previous gen and it is also more rigid. We made these keyboards more rigid by gluing all the layers together… essentially taking really think layers, laminating them together and making the whole thing really rigid.
  • Sensors in Surface – With the ambient light sensor in Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 the display will automatically adjust to variously lit environments for improved display readability.
  • Regarding camera – Hey this is StevieB, yes, the cameras in surface 2 have greatly improved. The rear camera went from 1 to 5 mp and the sensor area grew 3x! The front sensor is unprecedented though 1/3″ sensor size.. and which grew the front sensor 5 times! If you saw Panos give a demo on stage you saw him do a Skype video message with the lights turned down/off in the studio.. The front sensor is the biggest sensor of any tablet front sensor I know of..
  • Regarding Ads – Definitely true – some people love our ads, and some people really don’t like them.  Our new ads will launch shortly and highlight some of the great ways people love to use Surface.  We hope you like them! Our original ads were meant to drive breakthrough for a new brand.  We did hear the feedback and you will see our new campaign shortly – it shows some of the favorite ways our customers use Surface today.
  • On possibility of Intel Atom CPUs – We don’t ignore.  Intel is a great partner to us, and we continue to look at all roadmap options to bring you the best products possible.  We are excited about the current products, and we think they meet the needs they were designed for.  We will continue to evaluate options for the future.
    Julie and Panos
  • How come the MacBook Air can run for over 10 hours with a corei5 and surface can’t? – The 13″ MBA has a 54Whr. Surface Pro 2 has a 42Whr battery. We do this to balance thickness and weight with performance. With Power Cover, which has a 30Whr battery, you will get comfortably more than 10 hours. Worth adding, that MacBook air is lower screen resolution and lower DPI..
  • LTE version of Surface 2 will have GPS in it.
  • Bluetooth Support –  Bluetooth 4.0 low energy
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