Reports: Microsoft Surface will be WiFi-only, will have a fairly weak battery life

by Doug Drinkwater

June 22 2012

Microsoft's Surface tablet has been tipped to compete with Apple's iPad
Microsoft's Surface tablet has been tipped to compete with Apple's iPad

It may be less than a week since the introduction of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, but members of the press are already reporting on the device's limitations when it comes to internet connectivity and battery life.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg claims that the tablet will be WIFi-only at first, as Microsoft looks to avoid the premium associated with 3G or 4G internet connectivity.

Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin agrees that the move could help Microsoft to keep costs down – a crucial factor if the Surface is to compete with the iPad – but has warned that the lack of 3G could become a problem in future for the Redmond giant.

“The way that Microsoft is positioning this product -- that it’s highly mobile but also has the functionality of a notebook -- that customer might be more interested in working from any location and not being bound by Wi-Fi,” said Bajarin.

Meanwhile, other worrying news came on the Surface’s battery life, with Computerworld estimating that the tablet’s battery will only be able to last for a meagre 7.5 hours at one time, a figure which is someway short of the ten hours offered by Apple’s iPad.

With the Surface set to debut later this year, Microsoft clearly faces a challenge not only in keeping its tablet OEM partners happy while promoting the Surface, but also in driving consumers to the new tablet.

Indeed, a recent report from CouponCodes4u revealed earlier this week that most tablet-owning Americans plan to shun Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet in favor of their iPad and Android tablets.

The poll tracked 1,578 Americans from the ages of 21 to 35, and found that 58% of these respondents owned a tablet. Of this figure, 55% said that they had an iPad, with Android (23%) and RIM's PlayBook (12%) back in second and third place.

Among these tablet-owning American consumers, more than half (59%) said that they would not be switching to the Microsoft Surface. Approximately 41% said that they wouldn’t switch because of brand loyalty, while 15% would not be purchasing the product because they didn’t yet know enough about the tablet.

However, the results were far more interesting when the same questions were asked of respondents who did not yet have a tablet. When asked what tablet they would buy going forward, 41% said an iPad and 28% said an Android tablet, with a more than reasonable 22% opting for the Microsoft Surface.

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  • bfrench
    2 years 4 months ago

    Good points @larry... But I note that the vast majority of your hardware requirements seem to suggest a good laptop would be better than a Surface device, eh?

  • Macrhino
    2 years 5 months ago

    Larry butler must have never user a tablet. Can you please explain what tabletS do not multitask?

    If Surface is depending on people who know nothing about the market, like Larry, then it is DOA. So far the only "advantages" I have seen have been listed by people like Larry who have never touched a table before. I have both an iPad and two different flavors of Android Froyo and 4.0.3 ics and they all multitask.

    I can't see this tablet going anywhere unless MS can get the price very low. And then of course it will still be a Microsft tablet and MS has no history of innovation.

    Probably another Playbook

  • larryw4csc
    2 years 5 months ago

    Wifi-only means sellphone companies won't be hobbling my new Surface Pro up with their malware and disabling its functions into another iPad.

  • larryw4csc
    2 years 5 months ago

    Just go ahead and send my Surface Pro along with its fully multitasking Windows 8 OS and massive i5 real Intel processor that will run ALL the apps I want SIMULTANEOUSLY, not just one at a time like an old clunker, without terminating anything while I do something else...just like real computers! I don't care how long it runs, compared to crapPad clunking along one-at-a-time that won't read my NTFS USB3 laptop drives or anything else off my desk, and STILL won't read common formatted videos, even after Jobs is dead.

    How refreshing it will be when NONE of the webpages thinks my huge tablet is a SELLPHONE, always sending me a WAP text page, instead of trying to force it to send me a real webpage.

    My Terabyte NTFS drive awaits delivery!
    Apple and Android can go suck eggs!

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