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QOTW: Apple Touch Bar or Microsoft Surface Dial?

by Parm Mann on 28 October 2016, 16:31

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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The rumours surrounding this week's product refreshes from Apple and Microsoft may have spoiled the surprise, but that doesn't detract from the lure of the new MacBook Pro and the innovative Surface Studio.

While pricing is high enough to make the eyes water, both systems are beautifully constructed and serve as a showcase of what the modern computing experience can offer in terms of design and implementation. What's perhaps most interesting, however, is that each system is attempting to introduce a new means of interaction to their respective customers.

Apple has revamped its popular MacBook Pro with the addition of the Touch Bar, while Microsoft has left us intrigued with a Surface Dial that's compatible with Surface Studio, Surface Book or Surface Pro 4. We're itching to get our hands on both to see how useful either input method can be, but these are early days and as so much will depend on software support, we're going to canvas early opinion by asking: Apple Touch Bar or Microsoft Surface Dial?

Check out the video overviews below, and taking budget out of the equation completely, let us know which of the two you believe would be most useful during your regular workflow.

HEXUS Forums :: 16 Comments

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i think it's it a thing of wait and see with both of these products.
p.s. i like both, but unless proven otherwise the touch bar seems more useful.
To me the dial is more ergonomic if you can do all the same features on the desk (I already use a 3D connexion device) as you can on the screen.

I feel the touch bar on the macbook pro isn't in a great place and it also requires you to physically look at what you're doing imo, while the MS dial doesn't, due to it just rotating, unless you are specifically selecting something.

Mind you both systems are excessively overpriced for what they offer.

Also it's funny how they're both aiming these at ‘creative’ people… must be the new buzz word for selling pc's this year. I'm their target market and I can't see a reason to get either, there are items out there that do what they offer already and I don't need to replace what I have already invested in.
Neither, 'nough said.
i think it's it a thing of wait and see with both of these products.
p.s. i like both, but unless proven otherwise the touch bar seems more useful.

Agreed. Although I think Microsoft would sell many more units if they had made a sort of Thunderbolt Display instead so those requiring more power can get all the nice features with any old Windows 10 PC. Hook that up to, for example, a Magnus EN1080 and you have a super portable, ultra-powerful setup. Why would Microsoft use a 980M anyway? That baffles me.

I thought the Surface Studio cost a lot, but a midrange MBP 15" is nearly that much. Yeesh, prices.
The thing is, neither are innovative - they are both just applications of existing, proven technology. I don't quite see the purpose of the “dial” for the mass market, but configurable keyboards are much more useful in that space. So if you ask me which one I would prefer, it's definitely adding configurable keys to a keyboard.

Like I say though neither are new or innovative; the fact we are talking about them just shows how powerful marketing can be.