Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo, David

Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:01 pm

I am chewing over these choices for some time in January-February time frame:

Nexus 10, Galaxy Note 10, iPad Retina, or Lenovo Yoga. Granted the Yoga is really a laptop, but pretty compelling.

Uses: A little gaming, showing off pictures, E-mail, scheduling, remote into PC, meetings at work, browsing, occasional FB. The Yoga would obviously let me do some Win apps also, but really just a mobile companion to my main PC. Tired of being stuck in the home office while the other half is in front of the TV.

Some points: I see the Galaxy Note stylus being very useful with the Wacom touchscreen. Awesome for sketching, note-taking, and general goofing around.
The Yoga with Windows 8 would likely network into my windows network at home seamlessly.
iPad has a zillion mature apps.
Both Nexus and Galaxy are lacking mature 10" applications, which will probably change over a period of time, but by then price will have come down, or next generation will be out.

Any other opinions to share?

Thanks!
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:44 pm

Just bought my wife a lenovo Thinkpad X230T for christmas. Convertible tablet with pen input.

Pros:
IPS screen
Active digitizer stylus, not just a capacitative pen
Core i5
Good keyboard (though not as nice in my opinion as the keyboard on my X300) with backlight
User serviceable

Cons:
Touch and digitizer layer add an extra layer of glass to the screen, input is noticeably offset when viewing from extreme angles
Contrast and viewing angles not as good as I was expecting (but still much nicer than the lousy TN screen on my X300)
Measly 1366x768 resolution
Heavier than a dedicated tablet (~3.5 lbs)

I got her the X230T because she would benefit from the pen input (in school for interior design). Just installed a 128 GB crucial m4 mSATA SSD as her boot drive and relegated the 500 GB HDD to documents.

I think there's a case to be made for either a tablet (Android, Win8) or a convertible laptop, depending on usage scenario. From everything I've read, the Yoga makes a lousy tablet but a pretty good laptop and AIO/kiosk computer in tent mode. My pick for tablet device would be the Thinkpad Tablet 2, which runs full-fat Windows 8 (not RT) but it is limited by a slow processor (Atom), slow disk system (eMMC only) and 2 GB RAM limit. Definitely not a laptop/desktop replacement, but more versatile/powerful than a WinRT or Android/iOS tablet.

EDIT: Short version, if you want a full-on computing device or want to replace your existing laptop/desktop, get a convertible x86 laptop (be it the yoga or the dell XPS 12). If you're after a secondary device, get a WinRT/Android/iOS tablet.
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:18 pm

Arg, just looked at the "Surface" also. Compelling, but I think I will wait for the non-RT version if I do this.

However the Nexus-10 or iPad, and even the Note has displays/input methods that seem pretty nice. Played with the Note in BestBuy and I really like it, but am put off by the words of caution of low quantity of 10 inch apps for Android.

What I am looking for is a secondary device. The main boxen is what makes sense with the large IPS monitor for photography.
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:54 am

You mentioned a Windows home network, so you may want to consider the following:

For me, the one thing that can truly cripple an Android platform is Office (in)compatibility. If that might come up for you, you'll soon be wondering how hard it can possibly be to parse an XML document with correct...word wrapping, of all things. Don't even ask whether the document had footnotes that should be displaying; nobody knows. (Well, Mobisoft does, but their pagination and UI optimization is terrible in most other respects.) And even though some office-type apps are getting pretty good at following general formatting, not one of them can manage to replicate the font size and page margins exactly, hence the page breaks will not be in the same place as they are when opened in Word. If the Surface RT would come down to the $400 price point, I would buy one for this reason alone.

Also, do you need ActiveSync email? In general that works well enough on newer devices, but it can be broken on a whim by a security update. Outlook 2013, AFAIK, changed the remote administration requirements such that all Android 2.x, WebOS, and numerous older iOS devices were locked out by a single server update here at work. Some of the affected devices were as little as 18 months old and still have usable hardware life, but not the necessary software support.
He who laughs last, laughs first next time.
ludi
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5410
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:46 pm

Hmm, comparability is one of the concerns, though for the most part I will likely be doing remote desktop type stuff when it comes to work. I keep my work and play separate as much as possible, so no local Outlook clients here if I can get away with it. I primarily abuse Gmail now, so that is part of the reason to lean towards Android. My Smartphone is an Android and I love how contacts and all of the crud synchronize well.

I use OpenOrfice at home, cannot afford the real thing, and not about to run "free" software. If I can perform basic spreadsheet functions like doing work estimates, I am happy. Not often I print anything anyhow, and a tablet should reduce the need.

My big concern is accessing the other computer and remote hard disk through the network to get at media files without needing to install special client software and the like.

Thanks for the thoughts so far!
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:29 am

So I haven't purchased one yet, but getting closer since my wife destroyed her laptop:

Two choices I am am down to:
Google Nexus 10,
Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2.

Nexus 10:
Primary features I like:
Super high-res 4K display
Massive battery for long life
Lots of sensors and goodies
Google device so latest OS starting with Android 4.2
Beast of a CPU->Tegra
Things I don't like:
No digitizer pen
Android OS makes integration into home network non-intuitive.

Thinkpad Tablet 2:
I like:
Windows 8 device (non RT "real version")
10+ Hours of life
Digitizer pen
Easy app development with C# or VB
Integration with home network
Ability to use Adobe products for photography. I already have LR4 on the main box.
I dont like:
Relatively low res display (anything more would make icons too small)
Much memory sucked up with OS, though microSD saving grace.
Intel Atom kinda low-powered for image editing.

I wont be needing cell data on the device, so I don't care about that much. It would be nice if I could upgrade it in case I decide I need it.

I really like the idea of Windows 8 tablets and the digitizer pen. What is making it tough is the Nexus 10 is so compelling with the amazing display for viewing images. I will probably do most image editing on the main machine since it has a monster IPS display, and the tablet will be mostly used for consumption and note-taking. The tablet is also going to be used for managing my Cub Scout pack, making engineering notes, and sketching ideas, so quick note-taking is a must. I would prefer this input method than using an on-screen keyboard. My Smartphone is a royal PIA to do these things with. I thought it would work well, but it does not. Screen is simply too small.

A few questions:
Can Nexus 10 support a digitizer pen? I see no mention either way, so I doubt it. If it did, decision would be made.
Any rumors of better Windows 8 full tablets coming out?

And before anyone asks, No, I do NOT want an iPAD with a special dongle just to get at USB or microSD. I would loose the dongle at least once an hour.

So which of these two would you purchase and why?

Thanks for help!
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:55 am

Surface Pro at the moment has the best specs and stylus.
Core i7 4770K | eVGA GTX770 SC ACX | 16GB DDR3 2133mhz | Asus Z87-PLUS | Corsair HX650 | Fractal Define R4 | Samsung 840 Pro 256GB | Windows 8 x64
yogibbear
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:33 am

For Lightroom, I think the Thinkpad Tablet 2 might be a bit underpowered. Remember, the Atom SoC in it isn't just slow, it also lacks SATA controllers, and the eMMC interface it uses for its solid state drive is no faster than a SD card. And it only comes with 2G of non-upgradeable memory.

Have you looked at the (upcoming) Thinkpad Helix? It has a corei(5?) processor, proper SSD, 1080p IPS screen, active digitizer pen and a keyboard attachment with extra battery. It is, unfortunately, rather pricey (~$1400), although you could try to wait for sales and coupons. It has some cool abilities, like the reversible screen (for presentations/kiosk mode).

Surface Pro is another option. While it's still expensive, it's cheaper than the helix. Downsides are the low battery life (estimates range at 4 hrs) and I really don't like that there is no secure stow location for the pen. It attaches to the magsafe connector, but I'm worried that it would be easy to knock off and lose. Also, you have to remove it to charge the device, which means it could get left behind at home, at the office or at the coffee shop/airport kiosk.

Lastly, the sony vaio duo is another 11-inch 1080p convertible with a sliding keyboard and active digitizer. It's about the same price as the surface but with more RAM. Unfortunately, not only is there nowhere to stow the pen at all, the pen itself is not powered by the screen and instead uses batteries (AAA IIRC), so is thick and heavy.
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:50 am

yogibbear wrote:Surface Pro at the moment has the best specs and stylus.

Yeah, but that thing costs as much as a Laptop, may as well get a laptop then. However I have never been a fan of the grunge that gets packed into keyboards, so a tablet is attractive for that alone.
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:00 am

That will be a kill deal on the Tablets if they cannot make it a whole 8-10 hour day without a recharge. For me that is one of the most attractive features of tablets now: The 10+ hour battery life. This is one of the main reasons I want a Tablet vs. a laptop, it is not having to have it plugged in all the time. Ideally they would run even longer like my eReader, but that is expecting an awful lot. I just pick that thing up whenever I need it and it is there ready to be used. For entire vacations... without any power to charge it.

I never owned a laptop for myself since I hate the idea of the things running out of juice when you need them the most. At work plenty of guys carry around their laptop into meetings, and then have to run for the charger in the middle of the meeting.

Just like Microsoft to release a power-hog 4 hour laptop without a keyboard.
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:25 am

liquidsquid wrote:That will be a kill deal on the Tablets if they cannot make it a whole 8-10 hour day without a recharge. For me that is one of the most attractive features of tablets now: The 10+ hour battery life. This is one of the main reasons I want a Tablet vs. a laptop, it is not having to have it plugged in all the time. Ideally they would run even longer like my eReader, but that is expecting an awful lot. I just pick that thing up whenever I need it and it is there ready to be used. For entire vacations... without any power to charge it.


We get ~7 hrs on the X230T with the 6-cell battery, maybe a bit less if we're using something CPU intensive like photoshop. PCMag got 7.5 hrs our of it in their review.

Definitely not a tablet replacement (3.5 lbs), but a well engineered laptop, one that isn't chasing superficial design memes like thinness, are pretty power efficient with Ivy Bridge these days.
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2453
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:31 am

Ever consider Chinese tablets?

e.g. http://www.pandawill.com/onda-v972-quad ... 70627.html

The Nexus 10 wont have SD - you'll need a dongle for any removable media.

The barns and noble nook HD+ runs icecream sandwich, but is too heavily skinned to be of use - however, rooting it, and installing a proper launcher will give you a very powerful, high res, yet cheap tablet.
Beomagi
Gerbil
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:54 am

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:43 am

Dammit, missed the lack of SD on the Nexus. Retarded move IMHO.
liquidsquid
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2447
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 10:49 am
Location: New York

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:45 pm

i keep hearing abut the surface specs but has anyone successfully used a surface for more than a week? if so how doe sit hold up?
i7-930, GA-X58A-UD3R, Agility 2 240GB, 2 TB WD Black *2 mirror, ATI 5850 1 GB, 12GB (3*4GB)
hiro_pro
Gerbil
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:20 am
Location: DC

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:40 pm

liquidsquid wrote:So I haven't purchased one yet, but getting closer since my wife destroyed her laptop:
What is her replacement?

liquidsquid wrote:Nexus 10:
Beast of a CPU->Tegra
If it were a Tegra then I would worry. :)

I have to say the "home network integration" bit may be a bit overblown, as long as you are fine RDPing into your main box. I remember that you mentioned you will be just somewhere at home other than your desk, so a good RDP client should work from an Android tablet.
Image
The Model M is not for the faint of heart. You either like them or hate them.

Gerbils unite! Fold for UnitedGerbilNation, team 2630.
Flying Fox
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 24291
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 2:19 am

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:58 pm

I think you should consider some available capabilities as well.

While apple has "a billion mature apps" are they the apps you need?

Video playback was a BIG one for me. Android has several great players - bs player, mobo player, mx player, and they handle almost anything - mp4?? add mpeg2, mkv with subtitles, flv, web vp8, wmv, asf......
To my knowledge, apple doesn't have a parallel.

How about comics? CBR? CBZ? I know the free perfect viewer app works great on android, but I don't know apple - I think you may have to use itunes to import comics, and I'm not sure how that works.

I like the fact that I can open a file explorer and just browse my folders on android, or just swipe my thump to look at a widgets homescreen to glimpse the weather and messages.

If you go android, I'd suggest looking available root methods and gathering files to do so BEFORE the purchase.
Root is powerful - it's wonderful! From denying apps permissions to send data, to running SAMBA and turning your tablet into a file share to drag and drop files on there. I also need root to mount USB storage on my nexus 7 - i'll never forget the dongle, since I made it part of the case.
Beomagi
Gerbil
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:54 am

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:55 pm

Media playback on iPad is just as if not more capable than on the latest Android tablets and is normally more polished in usage. There are many free and capable CBR CBZ readers like Cloudreader which is what I've been using for years along with GoodReader and the free iBooks for PDF and EPUB files (although iBooks has issues on older devices). The free Dropbox has viewers for MS Office docs although for newer formats I got Google's QuickOffice (which is fine as a viewer although frustrating as an editor) and which is free with the latest Androids. Once Office for iOS comes out the iPad along with WinRT tablets will likely become the leading and for many the only productivity option worth considering for cheaper ARM tablets, so assess your needs accordingly.

Android's more open file system is far more flexible but just as with Windows its functional promiscuity is also its great weakness. Malware and browser exploits are legion on this ad platform unlike with locked-down iOS which suffers far less in the wild. Apple allows a few file managers like FileApp Pro to do transfers, packaging, and execution between the data silos of vetted apps like the those mentioned as well as the Safari browser and editors like Plaintext. Quick one-to-many transfers between nearby iOS devices are quickly done via NFC-ike apps such as Chirp. i guess these limits help Apple to scope exploit opportunities in iOS but the whitelisting scheme is likely not enough for a file junkie who wants to stress his tablet into something more like a laptop.

There have always been lots of free and great media players for the iPad to supplement iTunes which is somewhat limited. The apps I've used most over the years are the fine but deprecated VLC and the free CineXPlayer which does 720p mkv avi playback along with divx xvid mp4 aac dts ac3 decoding, opensubtitle.org integration, etc. Plus like iTunes it does easy streaming over Airplay and interoperates well with popular bluetooth audio and remotes. Apple devices are the standard for smooth UI and hassle-free wireless playback and control due to tight design and integration mandates by Apple.

Current Android 4.x tablets do not yet feature the equivalent WiDi/Miracast standard, and to achieve better right now one would require some rooting skills with all the frictional administrative issues and risks. The same could be said for jailbreaking iOS and then only up to 5.x which is the last I've heard. Even so, official iOS is far less prone to malware and security headaches, and this along with the iPad's traditional worry-free and fun advantages should better please those who prioritize security and availability above all. If you are willing to take on a more challenging and free-wheeling experience with WinXP-like flexibility but also XP-like issues and risks, it's wiser to look at the latest Android 4.1x tablets.
trackerben
Gerbil Elite
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 568
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:28 am

Re: Too many choices: 10inch Tablet or Convertable?

Postposted on Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:54 am

hiro_pro wrote:i keep hearing abut the surface specs but has anyone successfully used a surface for more than a week? if so how doe sit hold up?

I've had my Surface RT for a couple months now.

I don't much like tablets, but I use it occasionally for Netflix if my wife occupies the TV with a romcom or that sleeping aid known as Army Wives.

I find it useful for quick email checking and news reading. Sometimes the Pulse app slows down after scrolling through a few pages of news feeds. Maybe it's a poorly coded app. The app on my iPad doesn't have this problem.
moog
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 836
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 9:10 am
Location: Here


Return to Mobile Tech

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests