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Acer is the most vocal opponent of Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Its founder Stan Shih went on the record two days following the Surface’s announcement, opining that the gizmo was just a ploy to drive Windows 8 adoption.

Today, Acer CEO JT Wang drove the point home by begging Microsoft to “think twice” about the Surface because tablet making is is not something the Redmond company is good at. Meanwhile, Microsoft is speculated to be already at work on a Surface tablet sequel…

As for Acer’s take on the Surface, CEO JT Wang was interviewed by Robert Budden and Sarah Mishkin for The Financial Times.

As the authors note, Wang is the first head of a big PC maker to criticize Microsoft’s move publicly, here’s what came out of him:

We have said [to Microsoft] think it over. Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice.

I imagine Steve Ballmer must be throwing a chair in his Redmond office (Ballmer’s chair-throwing attitude about competition has been well-documented).

It’s understandable that Microsoft feels compelled to take matters into its own hands: July IDC data painted Apple as the leading PC vendor (if you count tablets as PCs), with the iPad growing its market share to 68 percent in Q2 2012 at the expense of not just netbooks (who remembers these?), but also notebook and desktop machines.

So Wang, what should Microsoft do then?

Leave tablet making to the big boys?

Exactly that, as Wang suspects that Microsoft entering the tablet game will antagonize its OEM partners, who don’t get the price benefit of creating both hardware and software under the same roof and are required to pay license fees to use Windows 8 on tablets, which means they’re unable to compete with their software provider on a level ground.

Oliver Ahrens, Acer’s senior vice president and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters that Microsoft is heading up for a failure:

I don’t think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products. Microsoft is working with two dozen PC vendors worldwide, including the local guys, whereas Apple is alone, it can more or less do what it wants.

Interesting enough, it was reported today that Microsoft’s own Office 2013 RT for Windows RT tablets will ship as public preview, lacking macros and other features.

Another Acer exec, Campbell Kan, is concerned about unfair competition from Microsoft:

If Microsoft is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?

The only other viable choice is of course Google’s Android software which with the release of Jelly Bean that powers Google’s Nexus 7 tablet has proven a very capable alternative to both Windows 8 and Apple’s iOS.

Needles to say, Steve Ballmer is defensive of his company’s tablet gamble. The outspoken CEO recently reassured that “the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish” because of Surface.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission debunks Ballmer’s words as it clearly states that Microsoft could find it “more difficult to attract applications developers to our platforms” should the Surface prove popular.

And Wang doesn’t think that Microsoft’s PC-Plus strategy with Windows 8, which marries mouse and keyboard to touch input, is the way to go.

The keyboard is still a necessity but touch is becoming a fashion and necessary feature. Windows combines the touch and the keyboard. If you don’t have touch you are antique.

Apple’s boss Tim Cook noted as much, recently likening Microsoft’s approach to a convergence between a toaster and a refrigeratorthat wasn’t going to be pleasing to the user.

Microsoft recently acquired the maker of big screen multitouch surfaces Perceptive Pixel in order to bolster up its multitouch technology portfolio.

Microsoft will begin selling the Surface on Friday, October 26 at its twenty retail stores built across the country (and usually right across Apple’s high-profile brick-and-mortar outlets). The Windows maker is slated to open ten additional stores this year.


Microsoft has yet to announce price points for the Surface, though the company’s executives said during the unveiling that it’ll be priced comparably to notebooks, which many deciphered as at least $1,000 – the same price point analysts had floated in the months leading up to the iPad announcement.

A lengthy Variety piece titled “Microsoft’s Lost Decade” offers a no-bullshit critique of Microsoft’s failed products and missed opportunities, an effort to explain why Microsoft lost its mojo after 2000.

In our little non-scientific poll, more than half the respondents thought Apple should either pay notice or wait and see how receptive customers will be of the Surface.

Would you consider a Surface tablet for yourself?

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Keypad Not Working On Acer Laptop? – 5 Troubleshooting Steps

Owners of Acer Aspire laptops can encounter a bothersome issue which is that their keypad suddenly stops working. Different Acer online communities have been harping about this issue including their official forum board.

But instead of visiting these sites for a solution, we are going to walk you through five troubleshooting steps that will help you when your Acer keypad is not working. This way, you can do something about the problem before you decide to throw away your laptop.

Table of Contents

Disable Filter Keys

One cause could be the Filter Keys. This feature allows your keyboard to ignore repeated or brief strokes. This feature is helpful for people with involuntary tendencies to repeat keystrokes, but if this does not describe you, you need to disable the feature.

Press the Windows key and launch Settings.

Select Ease of Access from the options.

There, go to the Interaction section and choose Keyboard.

Find the Use Filter Keyssection. Then turn them off.

Update Keypad Driver

If you’re using an outdated keyboard driver, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your keypad will eventually stop working. Therefore, a straightforward solution is to update them.

To start the updates, press the Windows key and launch Device Manager.

There, expand Keyboards.

Select a

You can also do this with Driver Easy. Just download it from its website and set it up.

the installation process.Then launch the program.

First, allow it to do a Scan. This will make the program analyze your keyboard. Performing a scan is important to know if you’re using the right keyboard driver. If you have the wrong one, the program will uninstall the keyboard driver. Remember, even if your driver is up-to-date, a wrong keyboard driver can also be the cause of a non-responsive keypad.

Then automatically update your keyboard’s drivers for you.

Use Pinhole Reset

The root of a problematic keypad could also be something in your system. So a way to fix it would be to reset it.

Find the pinhole reset button on your Acer laptop. On the S13 Core i7, it comes with a picture of what seems to be a battery from a cradle. For other Acer Aspire units, you might find it someplace else.

Not every model is designed with a pinhole reset. So if it’s not there, don’t worry about it. But if you see it there, press this button. Then hold it for about 5 seconds.

Pressing this button will start an internal battery reset.

Reboot Laptop

Rebooting the laptop is another easy fix to

To start the process, just press and hold your laptop’s power button. Don’t let go until your laptop is completely off.

Then unplug its power cable and remove its battery.

For about five seconds, leave your laptop as it is. Then plug back in your laptop’s power cable and return its battery.

Now turn on your laptop.

Check For Hardware Issues

It’s also possible that hardware issues are the culprit if your keyboard suddenly stops working. But it’s a problem you can resolve as long as you’re careful.

Just remove your laptop’s cover. Then adjust the screws in your laptop using a screwdriver. If you don’t think you can do this well, it’s recommended to let an expert come in.

Inform them of the problem. Tell them they

5 Surface Pen Alternatives For Microsoft Surface Devices

One accessory that is considered quite essential for exploiting the full potential of Microsoft Surface devices is Surface Pen. It is an incredible writing implement for the hardware it supports, but its growing pricing problem keeps many interested buyers away. We have rounded up a few Surface Pen alternatives that can give you the same feel, albeit at a reasonable price.

Best Surface Pen alternatives

While the cost of any Surface Pen ranges from anywhere between $ 110- $ 150, there are few good alternatives that can be pocket-friendly.

Dell Premium Active Pen (PN579X)

Wacom Bamboo Ink Smart Stylus

HP Pen

Adoint Ink

Tesha Surface Stylus

Apart from the affordable price range, these stylus brands will feel good in the hand.

1] Dell Premium Active Pen (PN579X)

Dell Premium Active Pen (PN579X) offers an easy way to launch OneNote. A simple tap on the top button opens the app to let you write notes (even on a locked screen), capture a screenshot, or activate Cortana. Moreover, you can customize buttons to your needs by installing Windows Ink Workspace. The magnetic pen supports Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity with a worry-free with 12-month battery life and a 1year limited hardware warranty. A downside of the Premium Dell pen is it lacks a pocket clip and does not come in multiple color options. Interested in purchasing Dell Premium Active?

2] Wacom Bamboo Ink

The Bamboo Ink stylus connects to your Surface via Bluetooth and feels more durable than its predecessor. The second generation of the stylus features Tilt support that makes strokes look more authentic by detecting if the pen is held at a natural angle. This ability makes the stylus better suited for digital art than its predecessor. Buy Wacom Bamboo Ink Smart Stylus. It costs approximately 38$.

3] HP Pen

The HP pen guarantees a natural, true-to-life feel. It’s precision tip and pressure sensitivity give you complete control and are capable of working with a range of apps for anything from drawing to computing. Apart from the above, the HP accessory features enhanced N-trig technology that helps it score a hardware win over its rivals. The technology helps computer users create on-screen digital ink in addition to touch so that you can draw or compute with precision. Upgrade your productivity with the HP Pen. Download the HP Pen Control app if it is not preinstalled on your computer. Use HP Pen Control to change the settings on your HP Pen using the instructions in this document. It’s priced at $ 50.

4] Adoint Ink

Adonit Ink – Surface Pen is Microsoft Pen Protocol and Microsoft hlk Certified product. It’s also Cortana enabled, so; you can use voice commands with your stylus to unleash the convenience of your digital assistant. By simply varying the applied pressure, you can change the line thickness and rest your palm comfortably on the screen while you write. It is palm rejection enabled, so you don’t have to worry about stray lines. Check out Adoint Ink Stylus

5] Tesha Surface Stylus

Tesha Surface Stylus is compatible with Surface Studio, Surface Pro 2023, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3 and Surface Laptop.

Which one do you use?

Best Microsoft Surface Products 2023

Specs and price range from budget devices to high-powered professional workstations, so whatever you need, the surface range likely has you covered. To help you find the best surface product for you, we’ve drawn up our list of the best Microsoft Surface products in 2023.

Surface Pro 8

Key Features

Tablet appearance

Active cooling

Can be paired with a Surface Pro keyboard or Signature keyboard


Intel Evo Core i5 (11th Gen)



The Surface Pro 8 is the latest generation of Surface Pro and features a significantly upgraded screen. Rather than the classic large bezels and the 60 Hz refresh rate, the screen now has modern narrow bezels and a 120Hz refresh rate, though you’ll need to enable it in the settings. The tablet form factor is the classic Surface approach, with the sturdy metal kickstand letting you angle the screen as required.

While there are plenty of options, we feel that the i5, 8GB RAM model with the 512GB SSD is likely the best choice for most people. It’s worth noting that the 128GB and 256GB SSD models have a replaceable SSD where the larger models do not, though this likely won’t be too much of a concern.

Suppose you want to use the tablet as a regular laptop at any point. In that case, you’ll probably want to get a Surface Pro keyboard, which doubles up as an excellent way to protect your screen. Unfortunately, these are entirely extra. To some degree, this makes sense. If you already have a functional one, you don’t need another. But it’s an additional $100 or $300 depending on whether you get the Signature model with the Slim Pen 2.


Compatible with the Surface Slim Pen 2

Narrow bezels

120Hz screen


Keyboard costs extra

Slim Pen 2 costs extra

Weak but acceptable cameras

Surface Laptop 4

Key Features

15 inch or 13.5 inch screen

Some options offer an Alcantara interior

2496×1664 resolution


AMD Ryzen 7 4980U



The Surface Laptop 4 takes a traditional laptop format which is more convenient in some scenarios than a tablet with a kickstand. It’s available with a 13.5-inch or 15-inch screen with an Intel or AMD CPU. The configuration we’d recommend for most people is the 15-inch AMD 16GB RAM model with 512GB SSD. The screen is large and has an appropriately high resolution. However, it is limited to just 60Hz.

Connectivity is minimalistic, but at least there’s both USB-A and USB-C, though it would have been nice to see some extra ports. Wi-Fi6 is supported for high-speed home networking. The battery life is also pretty solid, with Microsoft claiming more than 16 hours under normal usage. Unfortunately, the charging speed isn’t particularly compelling, though that’s likely a good sign for the battery’s longevity. The computer fans are often quite loud, which may get annoying.


USB-A and USB-C port

Good battery life

Wi-Fi6 support


Only 60Hz

Slow to charge

Fans are often loud

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Key Features

14.4-inch screen

2400 x 1600 resolution

3 in 1


Intel i7 + Nvidia RTX 3050 TI



The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is designed primarily for creative professionals. It looks like it has a standard laptop form factor. However, the screen can be hinged forward to sit between the keyboard and touchpad or laid flat on the bottom part entirely for a more tablet-like experience. It features a 14.4-inch screen with an appropriately high resolution and refresh rate.

The model we’d recommend for professionals needing the performance is the maxed-out one with an intel i7 CPU, a discrete Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics chip, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD. Though the price makes this configuration a hard sell to standard consumers. The webcam is high quality, offering 1080p resolution. The dual USB-C ports both support Thunderbolt 4. However, these are the only connectivity ports, so you may need an adaptor. Another thing to note is that it is pretty heavy, especially on the higher-spec models. This should be kept in mind if you’re planning on primarily using it as a tablet you carry around with you.


USB-C supports Thunderbolt 4

1080p webcam

120Hz refresh rate


Only 2 USB-C ports



Surface Laptop Go 2

Key Features

12.4 inch screen

1536 x 1024 resolution

Thin bezels


Intel i5



The Surface Laptop Go 2 is a budget-orientated laptop primarily aimed at students. While it starts at just $599, that model has just 4GB of RAM, which will likely cause performance issues. Our recommended configuration is the mid-range model with an Intel i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The 12.4-inch screen has a 3:2 resolution of 1536 x 1024, which means it is sub 1080p. It is also limited to 60Hz.

An excellent 720p webcam and a fingerprint sensor are integrated into the power button. This power button is the only backlit key on the keyboard, making typing in darker environments significantly more difficult unless you’re a confident touch typist. There is a single USB-A and USB-C port, so you may want to invest in a multi-port adaptor. Despite the mid-range CPU, the cooling fan comes on fairly often and is quite loud, though it does an ok job at cooling the laptop.


720p webcam


Fingerprint sensor


No backlit keyboard

Lower than 1080p resolution

Cooling fan is loud

That was our roundup of the best Microsoft Surface products in 2023. Have you recently bought a Microsoft Surface product? What sold you on it, and what has your experience been with it so far? Let us know down below.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 Hands

Aside from the new 12th-gen Core chips inside the new Surface Laptop 5 and the addition of Thunderbolt 4, the only real change is a few admittedly gorgeous new colors. There are some key technical and design tweaks to know, though. Here’s what we discovered during hands-on time with the Surface Laptop 5 from Microsoft’s event.

I’ve heard this song before

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. 12th-gen Intel chips are the bees’ knees, unless you’re looking for the better integrated graphical power of AMD’s mobile chips. You’ll have to step up to the Laptop Studio if you want that extra oomph, because even the quite roomy 15-inch model has to settle for Intel’s Xe graphics. Maybe next year we’ll have an Arc version? Who can say. 

The Surface Laptop 5 in Sage, chilling with my Pixel 5, which Google calls Sorta Sage.

Michael Crider/IDG

Externally, the Surface Laptop 5 is as sleek as it ever was, whether you choose the 13.5-inch or 15-inch model. The screens are the same resolution as the previous models, but adds Dolby Vision HQ for HDR… which I can’t say made a huge difference. The excellent and quiet keyboard is unchanged, and comes with either an anodized aluminum deck or the eye-catching Alcantara soft-touch finish. Sadly that’s only on the smaller model, which also gets the gorgeous new Sage green color option. (Man, green gadgets really are in, aren’t they?)

On the left side of the keyboard deck you get one USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port, a new addition that can handle up to two 4K monitors via a single cable. The handy USB-A port for older gadgets returns, as does a headphone jack, and on the right is the venerable and proprietary Surface Connect port. Dual speakers utilize gaps in the keyboard to redirect sound up to the user, and the 3:2 screen (slightly higher-res on the 15-inch model) is a divisive choice which nevertheless fits in with the rest of the Surface line. 

Michael Crider/IDG

Sleek as ever, now in Sage

As for the user experience, well, it’s a Surface Laptop. If you liked the previous models, you’ll like this one (unless you were attached to that AMD hardware). And if you didn’t, there’s nothing here that will change your mind. Microsoft’s style remains beautifully understated, and it includes features that show off the best of Windows’ capabilities, like Hello face unlock and compatibility with the Surface Pen. If you’re careful, you can replace the internal SSD, which is becoming a rare option for ultra-portable machines in this sleek design class. 

Michael Crider/IDG

Microsoft claims 18 hours of life for the 13.5-inch model, and oddly “only” 17 hours for the 15-inch version. Both are roughly in line with last year’s models — any differences you spot are likely to come down to how hard you push the hardware. But it’s worth pointing out once again that, at least on paper, the older AMD versions beat out the new Intel chips for longevity.

Michael Crider/IDG

The 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 5 starts at $999.99 with a Core i5-1235U and an okay 256GB SSD, but an unfortunately stingy 8GB of RAM. It can be had in grey, black, or the much more appealing Sandstone gold-ish and new Sage green. (Seriously, see that green version in person before you pull the trigger on a purchase.) It tops out at $1699.99 with an i7-1255U and 16GB/512GB. 

The 15-inch model is unfortunately limited to grey and black, starting at $1299.99 for the i5/8GB/256GB model and going up to $2399.99 for an i7 and a more beefy 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Both models will be released on October 25th, along with the new Surface Pro 9.

Some Microsoft Surface 2 Tablets Sold Out—Barely

Microsoft warned potential buyers last week that its second-generation Surface tablets were close to selling out, at least at its own online Microsoft Store. On Monday, the company’s prediction appears to be coming true, at least in some small part.

Not to worry, however. So far, it appears only the more expensive versions of the next-gen Surface tablets are affected, and the delays are minimal—just a few days to a week. It’s also not clear whether the same devices being sold at Best Buy and other retailers are also back-ordered. And if you really want a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, try visiting a brick-and-mortar Microsoft Store on launch day, Microsoft has said—they may have them in stock.

In any event, Microsoft may be able to make the “sold-out” claim to win some positive PR—if it chooses to.

Microsoft launched the next-generation Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro at an event in New York City on Sept 23, pairing them with a number of new covers and other accessories designed to enhance the functionality of the basic Surface experience.

One preliminary benchmark test indicated that the Surface Pro 2 provided a marginal 9 percent improvement over the original Surface Pro; in our brief time with the new Type Cover, we felt that it was a step back from the previous version.

Microsoft has made it clear, however, that it hopes the Surface Pro 2 could eventually replace both the desktop and the mobile PC with its innovative Power Cover and a forthcoming docking station, due early next year.

Microsoft has said that the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets will be available on Oct. 22. (For some items, Microsoft has said that delivery will take place after Oct. 22.) Nevertheless, Microsoft representatives told PCWorld that if the order page is showing a week’s delay, those products are back-ordered, including some next-gen Surface tablets and accessories. That appears to be the case.

A quick rundown of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 availability, as of Monday:

$449 Surface 2 (32GB): Ships by Oct. 25

$549 Surface 2 (64GB): Ships by Oct. 21

$899 Surface Pro 2 (64GB): Ships by Oct. 25

$999 Surface Pro 2 (128GB): Ships by Oct. 25

$1,299 Surface Pro 2 (256GB): Ships by Oct. 29

$1,799 Surface Pro 2 (512GB): Ships by Oct. 29

Using Microsoft’s logic, then, the Surface Pro 2 256GB and 512GB versions are sold out.

Microsoft said last week that the Type Cover 2 and the Touch Cover 2 were also sold out; the Microsoft Store ship dates reflect that, with a shipping date of Oct. 29 for both. The Surface Wireless Adapter is still scheduled to ship on Oct. 21.

So far, it’s not clear whether or not retailers like Best Buy have backordered the high-end Surface Pro 2 tablets as well; the site is not currently providing a ship date for the new Surface tablets. Moreover, Best Buy currently does not offer a ship-to-store option for the next-gen Surface tablets.

Theoretically, Microosft could use the availability scenario to make the claim that its new Surface 2 and Pro 2 tablets are “sold out,” a trigger phrase that usually provokes additional interest. (That’s a problem that Microsoft didn’t have with the first-gen Surface, which was discounted after it couldn’t sell enough of them.)

But, without knowing the available supply (or demand) or Microsoft’s new tablets, it’s a dodgy proposition. The best metrics for Microsoft’s success will probably be analyst data or Microsoft’s own numbers, if it discloses them.

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