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pixysticks
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Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

[ Edited ]

So I saw a few people asking around the forums about a mobile platform capable of playing Second Life.  For the most part, while people have confirmed that it's possible to do, many have said devices would not run Second Life up to par and that the general experience would be a poor one.


I cringe when I see statements like that, as many of the newer systems today are completely overkill hardware wise for a game that's a decade old.  Even an Andriod cell phone can log into Second Life, albiet very poorly, but it's possible.

Well today I'd like to smash some of those accusations. :smileyhappy:

(EDIT: Just wanted to note this thread is not a personal attack on anybody who said SL from a mobile device is junk, before this tablet trying to SL from a netbook/tablet/phone was a poor experience but it doesn't need to be anymore.)

I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, which Microsoft has tried very hard to bridge the gap between laptops and mobile tablet devices.  In my opinion, for the first device of it's kind ever made, they have done well.

The specs:

3rd Gen i5 CPU with Intel integrated HD 4000 graphics

4GB DDR3 RAM

128GB SSD HD

Amazingly enough, the tablet runs Second Life nearly as good as my Dell Studio XPS 8100 Desktop which has better specs then the Microsoft Surface Pro.

I use both a bluetooth keyboard and mouse for my Surface Pro, turning the tablet into a full blown laptop.  Just standing around my somewhat empty skybox I averaged 70fps.  When I went to the ground level of my sim, which is fully decorated sim-wide, I averaged 25fps.  These are completely respectible numbers for Second Life.

The Surface Pro has a full installation of Windows 8 inside it, not a dumbed down version like the Surface RT versions, meaning you can run any application that works in Windows 7 including Microsoft Office, Gimp/Photoshop, Blender, etc.

Content creators who want to create on the fly and need a mobile way to access Second Life, but need the portability of a ultrabook have waited a long time for a device like the Surface Pro, and all I can say is this little tablet has exceeded all my expectations for it, including playing newer higher end games such as Neverwinter, Guild Wars 2, and even the new SimCity.

Below are two completely unedited and unaltered screenshots of my using the newest version of Firestorm to log into the grid.  One includes having the graphics tab of preferences open to show all the exact settings I'm running the viewer on with the Statistics window also open to see the framerates.

secondlife_on_surface_pro.jpg

And the second one...

secondlife_on_surface_pro2.jpg

 

So now you're probably kinda curious what the Surface Pro looks like.  Well, as I mentioned earlier, it's a tablet so it looks something akin to an iPad.

Surface Pro Press 2-580-90.jpg

 

P.S. Sorry for crappy screenshots, the resolution and coloring on my Surface Pro looks a lot better. :smileyhappy:  I've never been able to take pretty screenshots out of SL on any computer I've ever owned. :smileysad:

 

The Surface Pro did require a little bit of modifying to make work with Second Life, as the newest drivers for the Surface from Microsoft broke many OpenGL applications, however, if you're comfortable with installing drivers then you can obtain the official drivers from Intel and the Second Life viewer loads up without a hitch.

I totally had a nerdgasm when I bought this and unboxed it, I hope you guys found this info useful. :smileyhappy:

(EDIT: You can make this tablet mobile by using your Smartphone as a WiFi hotspot, provided your Smartphone supports such a feature.)

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Gadget Portal
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Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

Reply to pixysticks - view message

I said the Pro would do the job back when it was announced, and nobody believed me. It's not the same experience you'd get on a gaming rig, but it certainly does do the job.
Honored Resident
pixysticks
Posts: 31

Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

[ Edited ]

Reply to Gadget Portal - view message

Yeah, I mean, before buying it I did a lot of research about it.  I really did not have high expectations for it, I figured maybe 5-10fps in SL on lower end settings.  I didn't buy it specifically for gaming, so being able to SL from it is just an added perk. :smileyhappy:

So being able to get the frame rates out of it that I am getting on medium level graphic settings is just... awesome sauce all the way around lol.

Many people out there want to bang on the Surface Pro, it's opponents are comparing it to desktops and laptops which isn't fair at all.  It's a tablet with laptop hardware, which does not make it a laptop, it's still a tablet and in my opinion it's only fair to compare it to other tablets on the market.  That means it totally kills the iPad, all the way around.

I did make a comment in another thread somebody else had started about the Surface Pro when people started in on the integrated graphics of the tablet, and I mentioned....

There is a rival device to the Surface Pro, developed by the gaming company Razer.  If there were an individual out there wanting a tablet that has even more power then the Surface Pro, the Razer Edge Pro has the following specs:

Intel i7 CPU

8GB DDR3 RAM

2GB DISCRETE VIDEO

256 SSD HD

I did look at the Razer Edge Pro, and came very close to buying that model.  I didn't purchase it for a few reasons, many of the user reviews I read about it were unhappy comments by owners of the device, whereas nearly everybody who owned a Surface Pro said they loved it.  The Edge Pro is having driver compatibility issues with Windows 8 and for some people even experiencing a Win8 equivalence of a BSOD.

I'm sure after a few more weeks/months the driver compatibility issues of the Edge Pro will be worked out and that little tablet will be a total beast.  It's also several hundred dollars more then the Surface Pro.


What I find to be really cool about the Surface Pro and Edge Pro is the HDMI out (comes native on Surface Pro, accessory for Edge Pro), so you can seriously use these tablets to completely replace your desktop system.  Just keep your monitor and when you want to use it as a desktop plug it in via HDMI.  Work, be productive, even game, and then when the time comes for more work or travel which you can't do at home, simply grab the tablet unplug the HDMI and off you go!  Or heck, who needs to use a monitor anymore?  Plug these little guys up to your TV!  :smileyhappy:


P.S. The Edge Pro is sold out -everywhere- and backordered for weeks/months.  Also people are complaining that none of the accessories are really out for it yet (such as it's docking station/keypads etc).

(EDIT -> P.P.S -> Dear Phoenix Firestorm, please give me a touch capable viewer :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: lol.  Sell it on the Surface App store, I'd totally buy it!)

Orca Flotta
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Registered: ‎12-10-2009

Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

[ Edited ]

Reply to pixysticks - view message

many of the newer systems today are completely overkill hardware wise for a game that's a decade old. 

WRONG! SL might be losely based on game dynamics from a decade ago BUT ...

- SL isn't a game but a virtual world. That's a huge difference. SL has to deal with everchanging content which is fully made by amateurs.

- Contrary to the basic game SL is developing forward. Okay, I gotta admit even your tablet is more powerfullerer than the typical gaming PC from 2003 but even the most powerful hadware of nowadays struggles to keep up with SL's demands. And when I look at your graphics settings in pic 2, well, they are not that impressive. DD 128 meters, no shadows, only static reflections in water ...  pfff.

- Tablets are useless for most SL users for an entirely different reason, a more philosophical one: why use SL on the move anyway? Most of us are sitting at home and spending hours on end in world, we're not riding the bus/metro. And when we do we have better things to do than staring at  a small screen, for example we can look out the window and enjoy the real world. Also most of us need a keyboard and a mouse, things you gotta extra set up for your tablet and with that you're neglecting its most important feature: the mobility. Most people I know in SL are past 40, some of my friends are already in their 70s. We don't live in dorms, we have spacious housing, we have money, we have time. What we don't have is patience with the latest gadgety things.

 

Little protip for better visibility in photos: switch to midday (ctrl+shift+y). Oh, can't do it since you don't have a keyboard? Sorry. :matte-motes-evil-invert:

Orca's World is now »Thar She Blows!«
http://orcasl.blogspot.com/
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pixysticks
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Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

[ Edited ]

Reply to Orca Flotta - view message

Actually there is a touch keyboard.  Pairing the physical bluetooth keyboard and mouse took less then 30 seconds, also, and totally isn't required.  But you're going to hate on the tablet no matter what judging from your response. :smileyhappy:

Not everybody needs to walk around with ultra graphics on.  I certainly don't feel the need to go buy a top of the line gaming system merely to see prettier pixels in Second Life.

Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for other people.  Different strokes for different folks.

And why would a person want to use SL on the move?  Being able to provide adequate customer service if you're a creator is a pretty good reason. :smileyhappy:  Going on a long trip to see family?  Sure beats lugging around a laptop and all it's accessories.

If you don't like it don't buy it, and open that window for some fresh air while you're sitting at your computer spending hours on end in world. :smileyhappy:

Orca Flotta
Posts: 1,444
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Registered: ‎12-10-2009

Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

[ Edited ]

Reply to pixysticks - view message

Actually there is a touch keyboard.  Pairing the physical bluetooth keyboard and mouse took less then 30 seconds, also, and totally isn't required. 

Wotz dat? Do I need all that technical stuffz? Touch keyboard? Doesn't give me enough feedback, bad for extended typing. And I don't have a single Bluetooth enabled item, what's that good for?

 

But you're going to hate on the tablet no matter what judging from your response. **Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://secondlife.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif" border="0" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" />

No. I was even thinking about getting a tablet for quick internet access. But the decided against it since I really don't have a use for it. I don't even carry a cellphone when I leave the house.

 


Not everybody needs to walk around with ultra graphics on.  I certainly don't feel the need to go buy a top of the line gaming system merely to see prettier pixels in Second Life.

You said it yourself: different strokes for different folks. WhenI log into world I wanna get the best of it. No unnecéssary compromises for me.

 


Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for other people.  Different strokes for different folks.

Yesyes. And most folks, if they are hardcore SL users, have absolutely no stroke for tablets.

 


And why would a person want to use SL on the move?  Being able to provide adequate customer service if you're a creator is a pretty good reason. **Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://secondlife.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif" border="0" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" /> 

Could do that from their cellphone as well.

 

 

Going on a long trip to see family?  Sure beats lugging around a laptop and all it's accessories.

No, it doesn't. Since I only have it stowed somewhere in my luggage  and only unpack it again once I reached my family I prefer my good old and trusted lappy. And guess what, we usually even lug two of those around with us.

 


If you don't like it don't buy it, and open the window for some fresh air while you're sitting at your computer spending hours on end in world. **Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://secondlife.i.lithium.com/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif" border="0" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" />

I decided to not like it, so I didn't buy it. Simple as that. And no worries, my windows are almost always open here in sunny Africa, so I get some fresh sea breeze all the time. Wonderful. I think there's a time for everything.  A time for travel and a time for computing. Sorry, I don't mix them up.

Orca's World is now »Thar She Blows!«
http://orcasl.blogspot.com/
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pixysticks
Posts: 31

Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

Reply to Orca Flotta - view message

And you've made that very clear.  Thank you for your input about how you like to stay stationary in a thread about mobile Second Life. :smileyhappy:

Orca Flotta
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Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

Reply to pixysticks - view message

Oh yes, my 3rd point may have gotten a bit off-topic. But the rest are still game stoppers when it comes to SL. I don't wanna see your MIcrosoft tablet in about half a year, once you fried the integrated, not dedicated, graphics chip. Game over.

Orca's World is now »Thar She Blows!«
http://orcasl.blogspot.com/
Honored Resident
pixysticks
Posts: 31

Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

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I think I'll be just fine, just like all the other computers I've ever owned which had an integrated video card that lasted years.  Haters are always going to hate.

I see no need to continue this discussion it's already gone.

Orca Flotta
Posts: 1,444
Topics: 32
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Registered: ‎12-10-2009

Re: Truly Mobile Second Life -> The Geekgasm

[ Edited ]

Reply to pixysticks - view message

I think I'll be just fine, just like all the other computers I've ever owned which had an integrated video card that lasted years.

Yes, of course you'll be fine. My oldest still functional computer is a lappy from 2006, also with integrated graphics chip. And it's still going strong. I just won't play SL on it since the picture is too crappy, the fps is terribly bad and the fan is rotating on full speed. Apart from that it's still good for a couple more years.

 

Haters are always going to hate.

Aggro much? Else why would you totally ignore anything I said that sooooo won't make me a hater? Don't like reasoning? You must either be very young (say college or high school) or very old and haven't learned a thing. Anyhoo, I see a generation conflict in the making here

 

I see no need to continue this discussion it's already gone.

Fortunately it's not on biased self-important, overly self-assured people like you to decide if a discussion is over. There's a reason why LL decided nobody, not even the OP, can close/delete a thread. They leave that for their automaton/sock puppet mods.

Orca's World is now »Thar She Blows!«
http://orcasl.blogspot.com/