Microsoft's 'lapability' video is...interesting

Microsoft has put out a new video on its Surface YouTube channel that highlights the lapability of the new Pro 3. The video is 30 seconds long but it doesn't quite have that traditional Microsoft polish to it that we are used to seeing with these types of videos.

We performed our own lapability test when the Pro 3 was launched in the back of a cramped airplane and came away noting the marked improvements over the Surface 2. Sure, the device is still not perfect on your lap but it has improved its ergonomics over prior generations.

Microsoft has been the creator of lapability as this idea was never a benchmark prior to the Surface being introduced several years ago. Panos coined the term at the launch of the Surface 2 and Pro 2 back in October and since then, this has become a focal point for the device.

For those of you have a Surface Pro 3, expect Microsoft to push out a few enhancements next week when 'Patch Tuesday' arrives.

Source: YouTube

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Office Mix updated with new features

Next Story

Samsung updates the majority of its budget phones

57 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Why do they focus so much on the weakest feature instead of what the Surface Pro 3 can do, that almost no other device can do?

Even Chromebooks work great an a lap. So what is the point? And BTW the quality of this "ad" is disgusting. Video bloggers on YouTube create better videos.

It is just sad to see that even after releasing their 5th (!) Surface product, Microsoft has still not found a way to advertise them with a matching and consistent concept.

"Microsoft has released a 'lapability' video showing how you can use the Surface Pro 3 in various arrangements but it's a bit odd as the actors almost seem a bit uncomfortable in the video."

I'd be just a bit uncomfortable if I were a three-dimensional being living in a universe where everything else was two-dimensional.

Ian William said,
I'd be just a bit uncomfortable if I were a three-dimensional being living in a universe where everything else was two-dimensional.

That's why the 4D beings never come here lol.

Phouchg said,
I wish they'd stop inventing such new moronisms (of words like lapability - what the hell?) is all.

Such as "moronism"?

Phouchg said,
I wish they'd stop inventing such new moronisms (of words like lapability - what the hell?) is all.
+10000000000
http://unbounce.com/online-mar.../10-marketing-portmanteaus/
TMYW said,
Such as "moronism"?
*facepalm* That's the joke... Showing how moronic it is through demonstration by using the word "moron" to construct as similarly laughable a term as "lapability"

Edited by Geezy, Jul 1 2014, 3:12am :

Phouchg said,
I wish they'd stop inventing such new moronisms (of words like lapability - what the hell?) is all.

iPad = tablet, right?
iPod = MP3, right?
iPhone = Smartphone, right?
Macbook = Laptop, right?
iTunes = Online Store, right?

With exception of iPod being music player - yes, indeed. At Europe's side of the Pond Apple products didn't define the industry nearly as much... until recently, some years ago.

Not sure how did you draw that conclusion, though. Specific brands and product names such as these were not invented in the backroom marketing meetings. Just like, say, Windows, Thinkpad, Vaio and Galaxy.

I'm talking about the click-bait: "Microsoft has released a 'lapability' video showing how you can use the Surface Pro 3 in various arrangements but it's a bit odd as the actors almost seem a bit uncomfortable in the video"

They look like all other people who use their laptops on their lap.

This is nitpicking.

Edited by zhangm, Jun 30 2014, 9:48pm :

Jaxkesa said,
They look like they wish they bought an iPad and a laptop instead of the Surface.

Which one would they be using on their lap then? Because they sure as hell won't be using both...

Jaxkesa said,
They look like they wish they bought an iPad and a laptop instead of the Surface.

Then they would look like they just realized they spent twice as much than they should have, now have to lug around two devices and would want to go back to the Surface.

kingcon said,
i've never used a laptop on my lap before; do people do it for a long period of time?

My point exactly. How many of us actually use a laptop on our laps anymore? Sure there are some but the majority of users do have desks and tables available to them almost all the time. And when we don't, that's the perfect time to use the Surface as a tablet with the virtual keyboard just like any other tablet available today. Is that really so hard to comprehend?

i've never used a laptop on my lap before; do people do it for a long period of time?

It is not comfortable, thanks to the constraints of how the laptop balances on one or both legs, the fact that people often shift their sitting position to stay comfortable, and the amount of heat that many laptops produce. I think devices such as Lenovo's Yoga offer a better solution through more flexibility in how they can be set up, but overall, nothing is going to quite beat finding a decent table to set up on.

As far as using the Surface with attached keyboard, I don't think it will ever get better than a laptop, but I'm not convinced that it is doomed to be worse, and of course, it provides the option for use solely as a tablet - the compact design really helps out in more cramped spaces.

I guess you guys never leave your home. I mostly use my laptop on the road, while sitting in the train, bus, waiting room, airport, airplane, various other places. Many people use laptops on their lap. Get out once in a while.

kingcon said,
i've never used a laptop on my lap before; do people do it for a long period of time?
I guess it depends on where you live. I see it all the time. Especially on my days off when I take my daughter to the beach, park, or pool.

Gergel7077 said,

My point exactly. How many of us actually use a laptop on our laps anymore? Sure there are some but the majority of users do have desks and tables available to them almost all the time. And when we don't, that's the perfect time to use the Surface as a tablet with the virtual keyboard just like any other tablet available today. Is that really so hard to comprehend?

Students taking notes in lecture halls. Some rooms have those mini desks that are too small to fit a laptop on steadily, or if it fits, it's uncomfortable since it requires you to bend your wrists.

And good luck using a virtual keyboard in that case.

audioman said,
I guess you guys never leave your home. I mostly use my laptop on the road, while sitting in the train, bus, waiting room, airport, airplane, various other places. Many people use laptops on their lap. Get out once in a while.

I guess where you live, people are still stuck in the 90s? But then, even in the 90s PDAs were a thing among people who wanted to compose urgent emails or book meetings or finalize a report or presentation on their way to work. Now our phones can do much more, and with everything in the cloud, you know whatever you're doing will be accessible on that laptop in your bag and even your computer at work. Get on with modern times.

Denis W. said,

Students taking notes in lecture halls. Some rooms have those mini desks that are too small to fit a laptop on steadily, or if it fits, it's uncomfortable since it requires you to bend your wrists.

And good luck using a virtual keyboard in that case.


Again, not all of us are students. That is a limited use scenario.

Denis W. said,

Students taking notes in lecture halls. Some rooms have those mini desks that are too small to fit a laptop on steadily, or if it fits, it's uncomfortable since it requires you to bend your wrists.

And good luck using a virtual keyboard in that case.


BTW, I don't know the size of a mini-desk but do you really think a macbook air would fit any better?

kingcon said,
i've never used a laptop on my lap before; do people do it for a long period of time?

I've tried using my laptop on my lap - it doesn't work too well. Partly because I have short legs (they barely reach the ground).

The Surface RT is actually much nicer for me to use on my lap - it actually fits! I have to wonder how the Pro 3 would work for me, since it's larger.

Gergel7077 said,

BTW, I don't know the size of a mini-desk but do you really think a macbook air would fit any better?

A mini desk is probably enough to accommodate a 8.5x11 sheet of paper and your arm at best. And no a MBA wouldn't fare any better either, which is why here putting your laptop on your lap is the only option. One of the lecture halls in my studies didn't even have any form of support for writing or putting laptops on.

I acknowledge that not everyone is a student but students are a large consumer of laptops during their studies (which overwhelmingly tend to be Macs, but that's another matter).

AsherGZ said,
I guess where you live, people are still stuck in the 90s?

No, where I live, people get out of their homes and actually see other people. Get over yourself. People use laptops on their laps everywhere.

Denis W. said,

A mini desk is probably enough to accommodate a 8.5x11 sheet of paper and your arm at best. And no a MBA wouldn't fare any better either, which is why here putting your laptop on your lap is the only option. One of the lecture halls in my studies didn't even have any form of support for writing or putting laptops on.

I acknowledge that not everyone is a student but students are a large consumer of laptops during their studies (which overwhelmingly tend to be Macs, but that's another matter).


Thank you for detailing the dimensions of a mini-desk. And I would agree with everything that you said. But, I do need to point out one of the best features of the Surface over any other laptop or tablet. And that is the capability of using the Surface as a note pad with the included digital pen. So, for students wishing to take notes, it can be done writing their notes with the pen and using OneNote. No need for the keyboard, either physical or virtual, should the need arise. Laying the Surface flat on your lap just like an old school notebook would be comfortable and your notes are then saved to the OneDrive cloud service automatically.

Gergel7077 said,

Thank you for detailing the dimensions of a mini-desk. And I would agree with everything that you said. But, I do need to point out one of the best features of the Surface over any other laptop or tablet. And that is the capability of using the Surface as a note pad with the included digital pen. So, for students wishing to take notes, it can be done writing their notes with the pen and using OneNote. No need for the keyboard, either physical or virtual, should the need arise. Laying the Surface flat on your lap just like an old school notebook would be comfortable and your notes are then saved to the OneDrive cloud service automatically.

That I agree. The ability to take notes with a pen would've came really, really handy many times during my undergrad studies. Things like math classes or classes dealing with reasoning are a giant pain when I tried in vain to copy down equations as fast as possible via ALT+= (in the days of OneNote 2007, it didn't have equations).

But for more liberal arts classes, which tend to give a giant dump of information at once, learning to type quickly with a physical keyboard is key. Writing with a pen in those classes is too slow.

Denis W. said,

That I agree. The ability to take notes with a pen would've came really, really handy many times during my undergrad studies. Things like math classes or classes dealing with reasoning are a giant pain when I tried in vain to copy down equations as fast as possible via ALT+= (in the days of OneNote 2007, it didn't have equations).

But for more liberal arts classes, which tend to give a giant dump of information at once, learning to type quickly with a physical keyboard is key. Writing with a pen in those classes is too slow.


Agreed. Point being that the Surface gives users options that normal tablets\laptops can't give within one device. It really depends on the situation and how best to use the Type cover, virtual KB, or digital pen for the given situation.

I wish they would just make a Laptop, even as another SKU not as a replacement for the Surface Pro.

They came up with a good idea for the Tablet/Laptop hybrid but sometimes simple is just better for many people. A laptop with the build quality of the current Surfaces would be a dream come true.

Did you already tried the Surface 3 and the new cover?

Because I'm assuming you haven't. Don't you think you might be jumping to conclusions?

Not personally use a SP3, but seen the videos and reviews. A normal laptop still fits much better on a range of difference surfaces than the SP3. More surface area for a normal laptop to come in contact with and sit on.

techbeck said,
Still rather have a laptop style setup then the surface. Easier on the lap or uneven surfaces.

You know what I find strange is that I don't think I have seen anyone I know or anyone in parks, subways, restaurants etc. actually use laptops on their laps anymore. It's usually tablets I see now. It's truly a rare occurrence and something blown way out of proportion. And since the Surface is also a tablet, i really don't see where lap-ability is even an issue anymore. I know some of you will say "well what about journalists that seem to use it on their laps all the time?". A huge percentage of us are not journalists so it's a relatively small piece or the usage pie compared to other occupations where access to a desk or table is always available.

techbeck said,
Not personally use a SP3, but seen the videos and reviews. A normal laptop still fits much better on a range of difference surfaces than the SP3. More surface area for a normal laptop to come in contact with and sit on.

A laptop isn't also as versatile as a tablet. The second position in the video is really uncomfortable with a laptop.

I never got the whole "using a Surface on the lap is uncomfortable" argument. I can only assume that it has something to do with how people (or journalists!) are unfamiliar with the versatility of devices like the Surface.

The thing about the Surface and convertibles is that you can switch between tablet mode and laptop mode seamlessly, which allows you to switch between various positions when sitting. Think about it, how many people sit in exactly the same position for over an hour? They don't. And a laptop forces you to use a single position , because it has so much *rigid* surface area,

So really, Surface/Hybrid > Laptop in "lapability".

Source: Using hybrids/tablets since '05 in classrooms, conferences, reunions, etc.

I have to disagree. People that need to get work done, need a physical keyboard. This is especially true of touch typists. On airplanes I usually see laptop users doing work and iPad users relaxing with "consumption" apps. The iPad users responding to email look silly poking it out or have to resort to a physical keyboard.

What I wonder is what to do with the keyboard when I want a tablet? If I fold it to the backside, it's still active and I could accidently press keys, right? Is my only option to remove it and put it in a bag?

Seketh said,
snip

It is my preference. I have a tablet that I dont use very often and really do not have a need for a tablet in my personal life ATM. AT work, different story and I use my SP for meetings or if I have to walk around the plant.

willgill said,
I have to disagree. People that need to get work done, need a physical keyboard. This is especially true of touch typists. On airplanes I usually see laptop users doing work and iPad users relaxing with "consumption" apps. The iPad users responding to email look silly poking it out or have to resort to a physical keyboard.

What I wonder is what to do with the keyboard when I want a tablet? If I fold it to the backside, it's still active and I could accidently press keys, right? Is my only option to remove it and put it in a bag?

I disagree because I honestly believe the problem there is size, not design. A 12" laptop is just as comfortable (or not) as a 12" Surface 3.

Make a 14" Surface and presto, problem solved for serious typists. But then, it's too big for a tablet. You do have to compromise a little, and most journalists seem to agree that the Surface 3 handles this compromise very well.

Oh, and the Surface keyboard shuts down when you fold it, so wrong ;)

(You have to agree, the Surface is really well thought.)

techbeck said,

It is my preference. I have a tablet that I dont use very often and really do not have a need for a tablet in my personal life ATM. AT work, different story and I use my SP for meetings or if I have to walk around the plant.

Is it an Android tablet? ...It's an Android tablet, right? ; )

Seketh said,

Is it an Android tablet? ...It's an Android tablet, right? ; )

Yes, but doesn't matter if it was Windows or Android or Apple. I just prefer a normal laptop and really have not found much use for the tablet form factor.

That's because Android tablets are crap. Oversized phones.

Sorry for being rude, but it's what I really think, I find the user experience with Android tablets simply atrocious. They're fine if you're one of the following:

a) Kid
b) Just want a device to casually check your e-mail/skype/facebook once in a while.

Everyone I know with an Android tablet either got rid of it or only uses it for games. Work and Android tablets just don't match.

Sorry for the rant, but really try a Surface or a similar Windows tablet. Try an iPad! Some people think they don't have use for tablets. The truth is they just don't have use for an Android tablet.

Edited by Seketh, Jun 30 2014, 10:50pm :

Seketh said,

Sorry for the rant, but really try a Surface or a similar Windows tablet. Try an iPad! Some people think they don't have use for tablets. The truth is they just don't have use for an Android tablet.

If I dont use an Android tablet much, I doubt I will use an RT much either. And I have a normal laptop so dont need a Pro.

It isnt about tying something different and I will like it. I use a SP all the time at work when I am walking around the plant. Work fine, persona use... I have no use.

I have a lot of bad experiences with either the hinge or the frames on laptop screens breaking in some way. A tablet style screen with a touch cover seems a lot more stable, or at least more easily fixable if it were to break, even if I didn't care about the touch abilities.

techbeck said,
Still rather have a laptop style setup then the surface. Easier on the lap or uneven surfaces.

Agreed. I've tried a Surface device, and it's not nearly as good as an ultrabook/Macbook. And that's completely ignoring the software.

To be fair, it is very usable in the lap. I'd say the only con is the weight of the device itself plus the type cover really isn't that much lighter than an ultrabook today. If they continue to drive the weight down, it'll get more interesting.