The problem with Windows convertible tablets

I’ve been spending a fair bit of time with Windows convertible tablets lately. I reviewed the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T last week, and I’ve had the Asus VivoTab RT kicking around in my benchmarking lair for a few weeks. I’m also currently testing an Atom-based tablet: the VivoTab Smart, which combines x86 support with the slender profile and long battery life you’d expect from an ARM-based device.

Oh, and I’ve tried both versions of Microsoft’s Surface. Not in my office, though—there was a Microsoft kiosk at the mall, and I stopped by while shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift. Yes, I’m that romantic.

Anyhow, the longer I spend with these devices, the more I grow convinced that convergence à la Microsoft is an ill-tasting recipe. I articulated some of my reservations in the Samsung 700T review, where I stated:

There seems to be little overlap between what people do on tablets, which is mainly content consumption, and what people need full-featured notebook PCs for, which is productivity. . . . So, why must we have both on one machine? What’s so compelling about having Facebook and Kindle apps on the same physical system as Office and Photoshop? Since the combination is fraught with compromise, why not get a great tablet and a great ultrabook rather than a less-than-great combination of the two?

TR’s own Geoff Gasior had a reasonable answer to this: because carrying one device is better than carrying two. And hey, I totally get that. My problem is that saving room in my backpack does me little good if I it means passing up the best tool for the job. From my experience so far, Windows convertible tablets are rarely—if ever—the best tools for the job.

 

Think about it. What do you want from a tablet? You want plenty of quality apps to choose from, including games. You want a great display, long battery life, and something that’s thin and light. You also want a device that’s both fast and easy to use, because content consumption is no fun if waiting and troubleshooting are involved.

Win8 and WinRT systems just don’t deliver there. Good Modern UI games and apps are still pitifully few in number. (There’s no Flipboard, Feedly, or Google Currents. No HBO GO or BBC iPlayer. No Yelp, and no official Facebook client.) The handful of Windows tablets that are thin, light, and endowed with long battery life—those with Atom and ARM-based processors—all seem to have ugly, low-resolution displays. (1366×768 is just downright sinful on a tablet screen.) As for speed and ease of use, WinRT slates take forever to launch apps, and while Atom tablets strike a passable balance between performance and power efficiency, ease of use remains a concern. One must still put up with the awkward marriage between Modern UI and the desktop, not to mention the questionable design choices within the Modern UI environment itself.

Okay, now what do you want from a good laptop? This is a system you’re going to be using for productivity, so you want it to be fast. You want a great keyboard and touchpad, because controlling Windows 8’s desktop environment with a touch screen is an exercise in frustration. If this is a productivity machine, chances are you want more than 11.6 inches of screen space. Don’t get me wrong; small, highly portable notebooks are great. Photo editing on a thimble-sized display, however, is not. Neither are the cramped keyboards and truncated touchpads that invariably accompany smaller screens.

Windows convertibles also fail to deliver in this department. For them to double as half-way decent tablets, convertibles must sacrifice desktop performance and capabilities in one way or another—either with plodding performance, like the Atom-based systems, or with a “let’s pretend” desktop courtesy of Windows RT. They must restrict themselves to 11.6″ or smaller screen sizes, as well, which inherently compromises the keyboard and touchpad arrangement. Worse, that compromise is often more dire than it ought to be. The Surface’s Touch Cover is just plain awful (try touch-typing on the thing, I dare you), and the Samsung 700T’s fickle and undependable touchpad really disappointed me.

Ideally, Windows convertible tablets should offer the best of laptops and tablets, all in a single device. They should, but they do not. Current offerings feel more like crappy tablets rolled into crappier notebooks—jacks of all trades, masters of none, with good design sense and usability discarded in the name of convergence.

What does that convergence get you?

Well, you can store all your music, photos, and personal files on a single device. That’s nice, I suppose. Then again, cloud storage is starting to make that convenience a little old-fashioned. I don’t carry very much music on my phone, for example, because I don’t have to. When I want to listen to something that’s absent from the device, I simply grab it through iCloud over the LTE connection. (And no, being an Apple-worshipping metrosexual isn’t a prerequisite. Google and Amazon run similar services.)

What else? We’ve already addressed the saving-space-in-your-backpack thing, and I think the downsides of convergence make that a lopsided bargain. That leaves one major advantage: cost. Buying a convertible tablet is cheaper than springing for a separate tablet and notebook, isn’t it? If you’re strapped for cash, convergence must be a pretty solid proposition.

The price difference isn’t as big as you’d expect, however. A Nexus 10 will set you back $400; an iPad, $500. An entry-level ultrabook can be had for $650, and a good one will cost about $1,000. Now look at Samsung’s ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T—a fine example of a Windows 8 convertible with ultrabook-class performance, which is precisely what you need if you aren’t buying a separate laptop. It costs almost $1,200 at Newegg. That’s $150 more than the Nexus 10 and the inexpensive ultrabook, and only $300 cheaper than the iPad and deluxe ultrabook combo.

Now, why on Earth would you settle for the worst of both worlds?

Don’t get me wrong; convergence can be done well. Smartphones are touch-based computers converged with mobile phones, and they’re are a great example of the concept taken to the right place. In that instance, though, convergence works because people don’t want their pockets weighed down with extra hardware. In your trouser pockets, every ounce and every cubic inch counts. That’s why nobody seems to mind that smartphones have pitiful battery life compared to basic cell phones. The benefits of convergence—having a little, Internet-connected computer, media player, and gaming console in your pocket—far outweigh the inconvenience of having to charge up every night.

I don’t think you can make a strong case for convergence between tablets and notebooks. You don’t carry those devices in your pocket. You carry them in a backpack, a briefcase, or a messenger bag, and so it doesn’t really matter whether you’re hefting a tablet and an ultrabook or a tablet and a removable keyboard dock. There’s a small weight and thickness difference, but it doesn’t amount to very much. The Samsung 700T weighs 3.54 lbs when docked. Put together, the iPad and deluxe ultrabook we talked about weigh 4.3 lbs. We’re talking about a 12-ounce disparity, which is nothing compared to the nuisance of having to carry both a phone and a PDA in your pockets.

Of course, none of this means successful notebook-tablet convergence is unachievable. Once the hardware delivers ultrabook-class performance in the power envelope of a Tegra 3, and once Modern UI is sufficiently polished, fine-tuned, and loaded with great third-party apps, then I expect we’ll see some excellent convertibles—devices good enough to make me ditch my iPad and my laptop. Perhaps all it will take is the next generation of processors—Haswell, Bay Trail, and Temash. Or maybe only Windows 9 and next year’s hardware innovations will bring us there.

Or maybe it will take even longer than that.

For now, though, I’ll keep watching Windows convertibles as I always have: with a mixture of curiosity and disappointment.

Comments closed
    • agrivas
    • 7 years ago

    I own both a tablet (Asus TF700) and windows convertible (Lenovo Yoga 13). After a few months I’ve been using them, I have to say that Yoga has won the battle. The reason is simple: most of the times I grab a device to surf the web, I end up needing either a proper keyboard or some application I can only have on a proper x86 machine (that’s usually MS office). Given the small difference of the devices in terms of weight and battery life, I prefer to carry only Yoga and cover all my bases, rather than bother with a separate device for each use. I start with the Yoga folded as a tablet and if things get serious, I just switch it to laptop mode. Battery life is indeed shorter than any ARM device, but I prefer to look for a plug every now and then, than carry an extra device. For me, the combination smartphone+ultrabook/macbook air makes a tablet redundant. Regardless my preference though, I have to admit that Windows 8 is an unfinished product.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 7 years ago

      Well put. End of the day I’m stuck needing windows not needing android or osx or ios so that has been the guiding force to my investment in the windows platform. But end of the day all the users who aren’t bound (70 or so percent of them) can migrate where they please and so Microsoft better overcome their current goofiness else they will continue to loose those customers while alienating old ones with all the changes and half baked ideas that are soiling the new user experience.

    • ShadowEyez
    • 7 years ago

    Good post here. This is one of those classic technology vs. application situations. We ideally want a portable device that’s good at both consumption AND production, with none of the (seemingly) inherent compromises.
    The biggest stumbling block/question in this whole mess is size. As the size gets smaller, it tends to mean the device is harder to work on and get stuff done (still ok for consumption) but easier to carry and move around.
    Technology will solve the speed and screen resolution problems of current devices (and already has in some cases – look at Apple’s retina screens) but solving the input problem seems to be harder. What we need is an innovative break through with speech or some way to get precise information into a small system. Touchpad works for consumption (ie; media playback, web browsing, checking email) but anything beyond basic input still works best on a real keyboard and mouse.

    • jessterman21
    • 7 years ago

    Great article. I’ve wondered about a lot of the drawbacks in these noteblets, especially when you guys at TR are constantly reviewing a new one… Glad to see we’re on the same page. I bought a netbook a few years ago because I needed to take Office 2010 on the go for school, and I just got a Nexus 7 for Christmas (I’ve got a dumbphone because it was free, and I believe in <$60 per month phone bills). Together they weigh about 4 lbs. and cover all my mobile needs. For real productivity and real gaming, I go to my desktop rig, but I get everything I want and all-day battery life out of $400-worth of electronics.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    The problem with the Windows convertible tablets isn’t the convertible concept. It’s the Windows part. Windows 8 is not finished. It’s incomplete. Microsoft did not finish the Metro UI in Windows 8 and fell back on having people use the Windows part to control the unfinished parts.

    It’s lazy and stupid, but it’s what they did. And those horrible screens are the cost cutting that’s done because MS has piss-poor scaling, so a lot of tablets would be too fine a resolution for too small a screen. PLUS using Atom means more money was spent for the underlying system, which meant costs must be cut elsewhere.

    But really the biggest problem in all the things you said seemed to be about Windows 8. Maybe Blue will fix all this crap. Somehow, I highly doubt it.

    Why do you think Samsung’s berating Microsoft ALOUD and in PUBLIC?

    That said, Windows PC’s have a long, horrible history of having ugly-ass screen technology. I had hoped the iPad and Android devices with better screens would trickle down to PC’s and this did seem to happen… but only at the high end.

    At the low end, a Windows PC still looks as hideous as Windows PC even if it’s a tablet.

    • jgateley
    • 7 years ago

    A 128GB iPad does not cost $500

    • moog
    • 7 years ago

    Screen resolution is not a problem on small screens. A well built screen with good contrast characteristics is going to look great on a 10″ 1366×768.

    [url<]http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57534066-75/microsoft-surface-beats-the-ipad-in-display-quality/[/url<] I would rather the device not waste battery life and performance to drive pixels which don't significantly enhance the experience. I'm happy browsing email, watching Netflix etc. on my Surface and haven't noticed any difference comparing to my wife's iPad 4. P.S. The jealousy on my wife's face as she continuously props up her iPad on her cover when watching movies feels pretty good too ;-). The kickstand is such a cheap thing, but I like some of the attention to detail of the Surface team.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      you’ll be downvoted for linking cnet, just so you know.

      • peartart
      • 7 years ago

      In that article: Microsoft employee says Surface has a better screen than an iPad. I’m convinced!

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Why would they lie? They told me Play4Sure was better than iTunes and I bought in. When it faded away, well, they said the third parties failed them. What could they do?

        Next, they told me Zune was more awesome than iPod, Zune HD was superior to the iPod Touch third gen, and that I should want to pay for Xbox Live Gold to watch Netflix.

        I trust everything Microsoft tells me. When they told me to go buy a Windows Phone 6.5, I did. When it was put to pasture early, I shrugged. When they released the Kin and Verizon began its firesale, I bought in. Microsoft would never let me down. The market was not ready for the awesome, though, so its support faded away in record time.

        When they told me to go buy a Windows Phone 7 because it would have a long, long life, I did. When it too was put to pasture early, I knew it was not because Microsoft had failed me. Clearly, I had failed Microsoft. They told me to buy a Windows Phone 8 and I did. They promised me that this time they won’t do what they did all those times before.

        I trust them.

        –posted from my iPhone

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          you never used play4sure. the zune was a superior PMP. not an app device, but a PMP. every reviewer gave it better sounding audio, and a nicer screen. it was also cheaper.

          wp7 hasn’t been put to pasture, they’ve confirmed additional updates, it’s just not the same kernal as 8. get your facts straight.

          you’re rabid anti-ms is as dumb as my rapid- pro ms.
          why you’d qq about the win 8 store while using an iphone is beyond me…

            • peartart
            • 7 years ago

            The problem with the Zune is that Microsoft was a late entry trying to split a market that was about to be destroyed by smartphones. If the market had stagnated around classic iPod style devices, eventually the things you mentioned could have gotten the Zune a reasonable market share and overcome the initial embarrassing press, but with the way things actually turned out it didn’t have a chance.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i don’t disagree. my point was that it was a solid device against the device it was targeted against. and they supported them for years. obviously they were too late.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    I’m a little disappointed that you really spent no significant time with the Surface Pro. A number of reviewers have claimed that it represents the best example of tablet + laptop. Seems like a significant omission. I don’t think spending time with one at a mall kiosk is the same as taking it home and using it for at least a few days or longer like you did with some of these others.

    • blaydes99
    • 7 years ago

    As far as tablets go, a Win8 tablet is as good as it’s going to get for productivity. Doing a full day’s work from an Android or iOS tablet isn’t a pleasant experience, but using a Win8 tablet is actually pretty effective.

    I would never replace my gaming laptop (meant for games!) with a “gaming tablet”. Gaming on any tablet has been a frustrating experience for me nearly every time. Touch controls are just terrible 95% of the time.

    As for your whining about 1366×768 being “downright sinful” on a tablet screen, I can’t disagree with you more. On a small 10″ screen this resolution looks and feels great. Super high resolutions don’t make sense on tiny screens!

    Sorry, but I can’t agree with much of what you’ve put in your “report” here Cyril. It’s entirely subjective and for the most part, intended to be negative. Use a tool for what it’s meant to be used.

      • PixelArmy
      • 7 years ago

      The issue with Cyril’s “report” is that he willfully confuses implementations of concepts with the concepts themselves. I can’t figure out if he’s railing against the concept or the just current offerings. I didn’t comment there, but his previous [url=https://techreport.com/blog/24229/on-the-marginalization-of-consumer-laptops<]post[/url<] does the same, the majority his complaints go away if your laptop was actually a permanently docked iPad, that is to say, his complaints are really about the current crop of cheap laptops sucking rather than the idea of a laptop being antiquated. Looking at the title, you'd think he had issue with the concept of a Windows convertible. He then details what he doesn't like about individual models as backing. Instead of focusing on those, he should expand on why "For them to double as half-way decent tablets, convertibles [i<]must[/i<] sacrifice desktop performance and capabilities in one way or another—either with plodding performance, like the Atom-based systems, or with a "let's pretend" desktop courtesy of Windows RT." is true. Of course, it isn't, that argument would only really hold up until Haswell, which he acknowledges at the end, negating that thought.

        • Voldenuit
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] Instead of focusing on those, he should expand on why "For them to double as half-way decent tablets, convertibles must sacrifice desktop performance and capabilities in one way or another—either with plodding performance, like the Atom-based systems, or with a "let's pretend" desktop courtesy of Windows RT." is true. Of course, it isn't, that argument would only really hold up until Haswell, which he acknowledges at the end, negating that thought.[/quote<] Haswell will not fix the top-heavy nature of many dockable tablets. Haswell will not fix the disconnect between ModernUI apps and win32 programs. Haswell will not fix the small touch targets of the desktop environment and traditional win32 programs. Haswell will not fix the migration of tablet users to smaller form form factors such as 7" tablets. The problems with windows 8 and windows RT tablets aren't technological, they're the result of Microsoft misreading market trends (scaling up smartphone OSes instead of scaling down desktop OSes). Some of WinRT/Win8's strengths are also its weaknesses (keyboard/mouse-centric usability and productivity) that will be magnified in a smaller device. For instance, once of WinRT's current strengths is the bundling of Office 2013, but the suit is only usable with the touch/type cover and unsited for touchscreen use. A 7" WinRT device would not be able to provide an adequate typing experience and would make the desktop environment even more unusable than it already is.

          • PixelArmy
          • 7 years ago

          While I may or may not agree with the validity of everything you wrote, [b<]my point is those things [i<]aren't[/i<] his complaints... [/b<] He has one sentence referring to that "disconnect" ("One must still put up with the awkward marriage between Modern UI and the desktop, not to mention the questionable design choices within the Modern UI environment itself.") and [b<]the rest are hardware complaints (keyboards, screen sizes, weight, price, etc).[/b<]

            • Voldenuit
            • 7 years ago

            Maybe Cyril is complaining that poor hardware implementations are an anchor around the neck of the albatross that is Windows 8. Even if you get rid of the anchor, though, you’re still stuck with the albatross.

            Consumers don’t want the current crop of convertible win8 tablets, but they don’t really want windows 8 either.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            not unless it has an apple on the back, or a cute little android!

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      It’s funny you say, “I would never replace my gaming laptop (meant for games!) with a ‘gaming tablet.'” How long ago was it then that you were saying, “I would never replace my gaming desktop (meant for games!) with a ‘gaming laptop?'” Because I’m old enough that I can remember lots and LOTS of people saying that very refrain exactly the way you said that about tablets, but instead about laptops.

      How long before people are saying, “I would never replace my gaming tablet (meant for games!) with a ‘gaming smartphone,” do you think? Five years? Ten?

      Myself, I’m still on the, “I would never replace my gaming desktop (meant for games!),” but that’s mostly because it’s so much cheaper and has so much of a performance lead on laptops. I like that you can upgrade piecemeal.

        • blaydes99
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, I see where you’re coming from as a gaming desktop is a wonderful thing. I didn’t hate gaming laptops back in the day but felt that they couldn’t keep up with desktops performance-wise.

        It wasn’t until we kind of hit this “performance plateau” that I was able to get a serious replacement for a gaming desktop. My laptop has a strong i7 CPU and high-end Radeon GPU, which is amazingly still fast enough to play all new PC games. I use an external mouse when I do serious gaming and I’m quite pleased with the setup.

        The three biggest qualifiers for me are performance, controls (keyboard + mouse), and compatibility (directx + legacy). If a device can provide all three of these at a good price, I’ll at least consider it.

    • Joel H.
    • 7 years ago

    I’m surprised by the dislike for 1366×768 on a 10.6″ tablet. PPI on a screen that says is 148 — much higher than what you get on a conventional desktop monitor.

    Is it iPad Retina class? Obviously not. But having used both Surface RT and a Surface Pro, the difference is a lot smaller than you might think. This is partly MS’s fault — the non-doubled resizing can actually make content look *worse* on Surface Pro in certain instances.

    Still, of all the problems with Surface RT / Clover Trail tablets, I think screen resolution and image clarity are really far down the list.

    • Halnerd
    • 7 years ago

    It seems that it would be a lot healthier perspective to focus on what these Windows Convertible Tablets DO offer, even if they corner themselves into a relatively small niche. I appreciate your perspective in the article, but I just can’t get behind it. The price premium is going to be high for early adoption of a new platform, that is just reality. Also, the hardware is maturing rapidly, to say the least. I think it is not going to be very long into the future when a device is produced that can attain a functional medium between consumption and creation, and size, portability, etc. I do agree that now may not be the time, if you have such rigid and broad expectations from a device such as this.

    I will say that I have a Nexus 7 tablet and a HP Win8 laptop, both of which I am very happy with. However, rarely a day goes by that I don’t wish my tablet could do some of the things, and have some of the hardware and software features of my laptop, and vice versa. That speaks to me about the legitimacy of Win8 convertibles in concept, if not in current practice.

    • peartart
    • 7 years ago

    I find the desktop/tablet hybrid that was mentioned the other day more interesting than the laptop/tablet hybrids. Laptops and tablets are too similar, combining them leaves you with compromises that makes noone happy.

    Giving an all-in-one desktop a detachable tablet screen, however, why not? It lets you more easily use your computer around the home, easily lay it flat so it can be used like a tablet is meant to be when you want a tablet interface, and you’ll never trick yourself into thinking you should take it outside.

    Look at Apple’s new iMacs. Their thin profile makes no sense as a desktop, but their size is a sign that we aren’t far off from being able to put a desktop in a (very large) tablet.

      • hamster
      • 7 years ago

      your point is right on.
      gotta love XPS 18.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    One of my managers got a windows phone(only one where I work with one), with the full anticipation of migration of many of our laptops to Windows RT/Surface Pro, since we’re mainly a Windows shop. He was pretty stoked using Windows phone (he was on iphone 4 before,) so he really hadn’t seen the iPhone 5/Galaxy SIII capabilities for comparison.

    Now a good 4 months in, he’s lost a lot of that enthusiasm. He thinks he made the wrong choice. The apps on WP haven’t met his approval, and don’t seem to be growing in numbers and with developer enthusiasm like he’d like. And the surface pro and other tablets have been tepid in reception in the industry. He has the first Windows 8 laptop (x1 Carbon) in the company, and we’ve had numerous issues with it (surprising for a Thinkpad, I thought they would be much better than HP.) They are gorgeous devices, but there are serious issues with the X1 that we never saw on HP’s business laptop side. It’s slow as molasses. Driver immaturity. Docking solution sucks *ss. It took 6 weeks for delivery on that X1, btw. We’re going back to HP. gasp, I know.

    Our iPad test earlier in the year was a disaster. We couldn’t replicate 40% of our work environment compared to a ultrabook.

    —–
    On a side-note Skydrive is crucial to Microsoft. Everything centers around people putting their data into it, to keep them on Microsoft.

    I’m quite surprised Microsoft just doesn’t offer 50-100GB space, or more. Pour all their money into it. It keeps people on their platform like nothing else will. Yep, even more than Office.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      Microsoft doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. I honestly think that, at this point, they’re copying everything that Apple and Google are doing. They’re not doing it [i<]terribly[/i<], but because they're also copying some of the negative aspects of both... they're losing it.

      • DPete27
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]I'm quite surprised Microsoft just doesn't offer 50-100GB space, or more. Pour all their money into it. It keeps people on their platform like nothing else will. Yep, even more than Office.[/quote<] +1 to THAT.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Like Google does with Chromebooks?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      his enthusiasm disappearing is unusual. if you’re really app obsessed, then maybe. enough people like it that it easily won pc mags peoples choice awards this week: [url<]http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2416520,00.asp[/url<]

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      You should tell your manager to jump ship to Blackberry. :p

      Also, what’s wrong with HP? Their Elitebooks and Probooks are pretty dang solid. Even their consumer grade stuff is really good. Easily besting the likes of Dell and Lenovo anyway.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        You were doing ok until the last two sentences. You might have gotten away with it if you hadn’t included Lenovo, and yes I see that you specifically mentioned consumer grade.

          • Sam125
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, I take back part of what I said. HP’s stuff is certainly a few notches above Dell and they’re about on par with Lenovo. Although a few years ago Lenovo’s stuff was noticeably more quality when they were still sporting IBM’s legacy, they went all-out consumer and now they just seem about on par with HP.

            • Chandalen
            • 7 years ago

            I’ll harp on it once again, but the lenovo g580 I’ve got is some of the worst kit I’ve ever used in computing. Maybe their higher end stuff is still well built, but this thing is a PoS pure and simple.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            I haven’t done a lot with any Lenovo consumer stuff that’s new within maybe 1.5 years, it’s possible they’ve dropped off severely in that time but I don’t think so.

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            No it’s not. HP’s business side stuff is pretty good. HP’s consumer side stuff… is awful. I would buy a Dell or a Lenovo consumer notebook well before I ever buy an HP. HP likes their business customers, and wants to keep them, so they make good business products. HP hates it’s consumer customers, and doesn’t care if they come or go, since HP is practically “the default” computer manufacturer for consumers these days anyways, and so they make terrible, flimsy, crap consumer stuff.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      I believe the issues with the X1 are now fixed with their updates. An office colleague got one of these and she claims it works without issues. I might get this one for myself too.

      It seems to be a good laptop and wins Editor’s Awards here and there
      [url<]http://notebooks.com/2012/08/15/thinkpad-x1-carbon-review-best-business-notebook-editors-choice/[/url<] I wish it had a touch screen as I'll be using Win8++.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        there is a touchscreen version, it’s just 150$ more expensive. [url<]http://gdgt.com/lenovo/thinkpad/x1-carbon/touch/[/url<]

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        The X1 does have a touch screen. You’ll never use it. Why would you want to put fingermarks on a laptop display?

        And yeah I read the reviews and it’s why I started to look at it. TR actually was the first one that inspired me.

        It is not a good laptop.

        – The docking solution requires you plug in 2-3 cables each dock: Power, USB3, (and DP/DVI/VGA if you have it..)

        – We had to place the USB3 docking station closer to the wireless mouse or there was too much delay. On our old HP docking stations this wasn’t an issue.

        – The docking station just adds really ugly cable clutter. There’s no way to make it pretty or manageable. You have DVI cords right next to USB ports. Meh.

        – There is obvious compression/artifacts on the display, randomly, when ported through USB3 docking station.

        – I still haven’t figured out the abyssmal ethernet performance when running through the USB3 docking station. Maxes out at 40 Mbps.

        – The laptop took [b<]7 weeks for delivery.[/b<] - For the first two weeks of that testing, I couldn't boot the laptop with the USB3 docking station connected. So it was fairly unusable. Have no idea how this one got fixed, It wasn't any changes I made in BIOS. -The laptop just feels [i<]slow[/i<]. I have HP 2570p's and they run laps around these Lenovos. The 7-zip scores are much better than the X1. (10,200 vs 4100.) Finally, the price? $1300 for the HP (refurbished. Means I get it in 3 days) decked out with accessories + warranty as we like it. The X1 was $2300. I'm sorry but this laptop ain't worth an extra $1000.

          • Voldenuit
          • 7 years ago

          Sounds like you bought the wrong lenovo.

          Firstly, you got $900 in options? You know that any OEM is going to overcharge you for upgrades, whether it be lenovo, dell or hp. I bought my wife a basic* Thinkpad X230T for $900 and added an extra 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB mSATA SSD myself for a fraction of the cost of upgrading it via lenovo.com.

          Secondly, you bought an X1 to use in a docked environment? That’s plainly the wrong system for the job. If you want a dockable laptop, the T430/s/u or X230/T have dedicated docking station ports and are a simple click-on docking attachment that you don’t need any extra cables for. I have a dock for the wife’s X230T hooked up to a monitor, keyboard/mouse and power plug. She just latches it on when she needs to (which is rarely, but we snagged one for free). USB3 docking is suboptimal on any laptop, not just lenovos.

          * with extended warranty and backlit keyboard/bluetooth/webcam options, since those were the components I couldn’t upgrade myself.

            • Choralone42
            • 7 years ago

            I will agree 100% with the USB dock statement. Every USB dock I’ve ever used had been marginal at best you’re giving up a LOT for that kind of “dock.” And that includes USB docks built for Lenovo, HP & other 3rd party laptops. Avoid them like the plague!

          • thecoldanddarkone
          • 7 years ago

          edited multiple times* I don’t know why the score is so low for the x1, even the Samsung Ativ Smart PC which uses a single channel as well scores above 7k. [url<]https://techreport.com/review/24429/samsung-ativ-smart-pc-pro-700t-convertible-tablet-reviewed/7[/url<]

            • Voldenuit
            • 7 years ago

            Digitaltrends benched the X1 at [url=http://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/lenovo-thinkpad-x1-carbon-touch-review/<]7,776 MIPS in 7-zip[/url<]* so there is something wrong with indeego's numbers. Most other review sites have posted scores for the x1 in line with its specs, so I don't know why he's having a problem. * Also using a single channel of RAM, so I can believe a dual channel setup would get near 10k. EDIT: Those scores are for the non-touch version, but all the reviews I've read have said that the performance of the X1 touch is similar to the older X1 model.

            • thecoldanddarkone
            • 7 years ago

            I’m not sure that bandwidth makes a big difference the 2570 runs standard notebook chips. Judging from my surface pro I get about 7400 or so. It’s probably just the differences in clocks from the ulv to standard notebook chips. His x1 doesn’t seem to be getting normal speeds. Yes I still like my surface pro :).

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Duh?

      Friends don’t let friends Windows Phone. Anyone with any common sense at all knows that Microsoft is NEVER going to make any impact on phones beyond a very tepid, very distant third place finish to Android and iOS.

      There’s a reason Microsoft has abandoned two prior platforms for Windows Phone and restarted the initiative time and again. Of course, the fact that they do this does not build any confidence in developers OR consumers, so really the sign that they are going to fail in phones is also a big part of the reason they fail in phones. If they’d just stuck with one of those two platforms (or at least thought it through before rushing into/away from either of them), perhaps developers wouldn’t look at them as a sick joke with a bad punchline.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        you’re aware that windows mobile had a 10 year run? are you mad that apple doesn’t support OS9?

          • BabelHuber
          • 7 years ago

          WM 6.X is incompatible to WP7.X which in turn is incompatible to WP8. MS’ is leaving its customers in the dust with every new generation.

          On the desktop, every Windows generation was compatible with its predecessors. Even DOS compatibility was a concern a long time.

          This is one reason why MS was so successfull 20 years ago.

          But no, in the smartphone business MS does the exact opposite, starting from scratch time and time again, making troubles for OEMs and developers alike.

          Together with some other stupid decisions, like creating a wallet garden a la iOS instead of being open like Android, led to market share in the low single digits (worldwide) for about three years now.

          As long as MS doesn’t change its strategy, this won’t change.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            wm6 was based on the pocketpc which came out in 2000. it was superseded by wp7 in 2010. that’s a decade. That’s a pretty long time. while I agree yay backwards compatibility, i don’t think i can fault them for a decade of support.
            wp7 is not upgradeable to to the nt kernel, but they haven’t abandoned the platform. it will continue to get updates, apps, and support. i agree it wasn’t ideal, but since the first one was a decade, and the second one is still (somewhat) supported, i think the qqing about mobile support is overblown. Obviously, i would have loved to get my focus to run wp8, but it wasn’t to be. when i picked up a new device, it worked just fine, and continued my experience. I think it’s a smaller deal than the people make, as most of the phones were already getting close to replacement time. most (read most, not all) of the wp users aren’t that annoyed about it (because we’re irrational fanboys), but the rest of the world (non users) seem to think it’s the biggest deal ever.

            I disagree that it won’t change. they’re increasing marketshare around the world, with the exception of NA, reasonably well, and the 920 and 8x all won a number of awards. enough people are interested that they can win user satisfaction contests repeatedly, and i think in the long run (years) they’ll carve out a decent third place. eventually, they might even take 2nd.

            • BabelHuber
            • 7 years ago

            Different verions of WM had their own compatibility problems. MS started messing up before WP7.

            Regarding the market share, no it does not increase. For years some MS fans have claimed that the future will be better than the past, and never every were they right.

            iOS and Google combined have ca. 90% market share. Then you have the rest, BB, BADA, WP.

            This is a failure of such epic proportions for MS that I fail to see any positive here. Fighting it out with BADA, what a success!

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            you’re aware sales have increased 400% in the past quarter (that means they sold 4 phones!)? it’s almost 20% in some european countries, and is over 6% now in UK. i realize it’s still low, and i wouldn’t classify it as anything but a struggling OS, but that has nothing to do with the charge they “drop support”.
            the support they provide is decent enough. it’s far beyond the support most android producers provide.

            • BabelHuber
            • 7 years ago

            So constantly having a market share below 5% is something good now for MS? Gimme a break!

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i never said that. what i said was that you’re creating a straw man. by saying “ms has low market share = no long term support. the facts suggest support has been decent, and market share has nothing to do with that.

            • BabelHuber
            • 7 years ago

            So what kind of ‘support’ are you talking about?

            Support is in my eyes when devices are upgradable, especially when the APIs are changed incompatibly.

            No Nokia 800 or 900 can be upgraded to WP8. My Samsung Galaxy S2 from 2011 currently runs Android 4.2. with a custom ROM.

            Can you do this with a WP7 phone, too? No, you do not get upgrades from MS, except for pointles crap like WP7.8. Furtunately the platform does not allow you to install an OS on your own.

            With this approach MS won’t have success.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            They will continue to update the OS. Its not finished. I’m not saying wp7 was perfect, it wasn’t. I’m saying that a decade of wm support, and somewhat tricky wp7 does not suggest their track record is as bad as many people act it is.

            • Zizy
            • 7 years ago

            True, MS support of old versions is crap. Unfortunately, only Apple knows how to support their things for more than a year. Android too often ends up being the same shit as WP, look at Samsung. At least MS has a semiplausible reason why they cannot put WP8 on the old hardware – it wouldnt run good enough. As even lowly 520 is getting 1GHz dualcore, this does sound true enough. The only big problem was why launch WP7 at all. The reason is simple – they needed something before it was ready. Fail to let that happen but whatever, it did.

            MS massively increased market share in EU, but they continue to fail elsewhere. We will see what happens in a year or two. I think MS has the potential for further gains, especially with cheap Lumias (520, 620). Its not like they have anywhere to fall 😀

    • raddude9
    • 7 years ago

    I pretty much agree, I don’t see the point of windows convertibles. They are overly expensive and the user experience is compromised.

    To start with I think 10 inch tablets are flawed. I know that many companies are chasing the 10-inch market because of the popularity of the iPad, but I think they are barking up the wrong tree. In a year or two the most popular tablets will be 7 or 8 inch ones, and for good reason, you can use them comfortably as tablets. Even the iPad, which is one of the lighter 10-inchers is too heavy to use as a tablet for more than a few minutes. And the 10-inch windows tablets are even thicker and heavier, so what’s the point, you can’t use them as a tablet, so why not save yourself a bunch of money and get a nice ultrabook, which also has the benefit of usually having a better keyboard and trackpad.

    I also blame the iPad for the awful windows 8 mess. Seriously, they couldn’t have left the boot-to-desktop option in there? and why not leave the Start button on the desktop while they’re at it. So now they’re ramming the Metro interface down peoples throats (despite all of Metro’s usability problems) just so microsoft can push tablets and convergence machines in an effort to compete with the iPad. What a waste of peoples time. They could simply have scaled up windows phone 8 to work and 7 and 8 inch tablets, and left Metro as an option on Windows 8 so they could have slowly built up a base of touch-oriented apps ready for when the hardware was up for it. Now they’ve shot themselves in the foot and Windows 8 is less popular than Vista.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      I wanted a 10″ tablet pretty badly. They had everything–cameras, memory slots, etc.–and I looked at all of them on the market. None of them pushed me over the edge into buying it. I decided to take a step back and buy a Nexus 7. I’m not glad that I never bought a 10″ tablet.

      Yes, I do think that a camera would be nice. The lack of a memory card slot does irk me from time to time. Not having an HDMI jack is similar, but less commonly annoying.

      But! I can put it in a jacket pocket. I can hold it with one hand for a long time without fatigue. I take it with me more places than I would or could a larger device (netbooks and laptops included). I find myself integrating it into my live more than I would if I didn’t have it with me and if it weren’t so easy to use.

      If I were out-and-about more, I’m pretty sure my phone/tablet would be a Samsung Galaxy Note (or II).

      10″ tablets that are expected to come out this summer/fall are finally passing up what my Nexus 7 can do (better screens, faster processors, etc.), so I’ll have to revisit this tradeoff, but who knows, maybe there’ll be a new 7″ device to compete with them. I still look at the 10″ devices when I’m in stores. I pick them up and ask myself “what would I do with this that I don’t do now with what I have?” The answer keeps being “I would use it less.” That’s not a good selling point.

      Not everyone will have my usage patterns, but I think enough will to make this segment dominant–until something big happens.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    For me, the ideal combination has been:
    Asus N56VZ 15″ Quad core / GT650m laptop for ass-kicking productivity. (Downgraded to a fresh, clean, productive Windows 7 installation, naturally)
    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 “phablet” for 5.5″ of blazing fast content-consumption.

    On the few occasions I want to consume larger content, it’s really no trouble to fire up the laptop.

    …can someone *please* come up with a better term than “phablet”? 😛

    • tbone8ty
    • 7 years ago

    Cyril needs a temash turbo dock stat 😉

    And microsoft needs to give us more apps and windows blue!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Is it just me or is windows RT pointless???

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      Windows 8 is largely pointless – It was designed to converge phone/tablet and the desktop. They’re two vastly different tools for vastly different jobs. Just like this article, Windows 8 is a compromise that infurates both ends of the scale.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 7 years ago

        I like win 8 with a few design exceptions. I mean it is overall better than the OS that came before it. There has yet to be a product that can really capture what win8 can do.

          • HisDivineOrder
          • 7 years ago

          Thank God. We don’t need any more OS’s that can “capture what win8 can do.” I think we need fewer OS’s that are a Frankenstein patchwork of Windows and tablet OS ideas, haphazardly slapped together and bound mostly by chewing gum and fervent prayer.

      • moog
      • 7 years ago

      Not if you appreciate better performance and battery life.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 7 years ago

        I’d like a mode for that in standard windows 8. No reason to turn off standard x86 compatibility. Ontop of that win8 rt has some serious issues as discussed above.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        The performance improvements from Windows 7 are mostly unnoticeable to the layman. As far as battery life, eh, I suspect not many are really upgrading to Windows 8 and going, “WOW! MY BATTERY LIFE IMPROVED BY LIKE FIVE WHOLE MINUTES!”

        Mostly, people seem to be responding to:

        1) Metro
        2) No start button
        3) Copy/Move File Transfer dialogue
        4) Task Manager
        5) Online Log in
        6) Having to reboot every fifteen minutes to get an update to fully apply and having annoying warnings for three days before the system goes ahead and does the reboot we all know it wants to do anyway.
        7) Metro can’t do everything in Metro, forcing the user back to the Windows desktop despite the fact the desktop is highly depreciated in its importance.
        8) You have to reboot in order to truly shut down the entire system without hibernation of select parts. No more powering down to do that since the system uses a special variant on hibernation to deceive users into thinking a full system start is MUCH faster.
        9) Windows App store
        10) Windows App store is missing so many obvious and necessary apps so as to be truly revealing on how far behind the curve Microsoft really is.
        11) Windows Apps cannot be used on the desktop alongside regular applications, essentially meaning they are worthless to the majority of systems running the OS (ie., the traditional desktop). This means that no one is buying or caring about apps from this core audience, which means this market cannot grow and expand the number of apps those people own to make them want to stay in the ecosystem to buy Windows tablets.
        12) The screens suck on Windows tablets that are more expensive than their iOS or Android equivalents.
        13) Windows 8 was cheap.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          half the things you complain about are good things and half of them are incorrect.

          the desktop is not deprecated at all. with the exception of the start menu, IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME. EXACTLY. you can’t count the start menu as 2 things. that’s cheating. the desktop is just as useful as it ever was, and if you think there was a change in importance, no wonder you hate it, you’re doing it wrong.

          patch schedule hasn’t changed. still patch tuesday. the warning is to give the user a headsup that one will be done, rather than the old method of just doing it.

          why do you care how it shuts down? it’s faster, and for the RARE time you need a true shutdown, you can still do it. quit being weird. for 99% of system starts, it is MUCH faster.

          the store itself isn’t a negative since you can still install whatever you want on an x86 system. it’s not a – to have an additional, easier way to get applications.

          yes the metro store needs more apps. it has 47k at the last count, and that’s since october. i realize we’d like more. i would too. they’ll come

          metro can be used with the desktop, not ON, but with. i often have rowi on the left side hand side of my screen to keep track of twitter, and the desktop on the rest of it.

          tablets need work. the surface pro screen has received excellent reviews, and anand says its the nicest tablet screen, beating the retina on a great many aspects.

      • Geistbar
      • 7 years ago

      Windows RT is probably a testing bed for ARM compatibility, without needing to provide support on the scale that would be expected under a normal scenario. I’d think it’s being used so that, come Win9, they’ll have Win9 x86 and Win9 ARM. With the end result being that the two versions are treated, from a sales perspective, about as differently as 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows are now.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      It’s not just you. For the consumer, it IS pointless.

      For Microsoft, it’s probably a good idea to have an ARM codebase out in the wild to get people accustomed to it. The problem is that they hobbled it by making it have a desktop, but NOT REALLY. That was incredibly stupid. They need to unchain the thing and let applications be installed if they are compiled for ARM.

      If they did that, over time it might pick up some acceptance. As it is, it’s going to remain dead in the water. It’ll probably remain dead in the water either way now.

      • Zizy
      • 7 years ago

      Well, WinRT is the same beast as WP7 and Modern UI part of Windows 8. A stopgap product, MS had to launch something before it was really ready. Unlike WP7 these will get updated and improved, not replaced by something new and better (or, at least, there are no technical reasons for replacement. The ways of marketing are strange)
      But what the WinRT shows is that MS is scrapping legacy stuff that is binding them to the old x86, thinking about cleaning API in the process and creating a massive mess in the end. End result can theoretically be very nice – consistent both user and dev experience, thing running on everything, stuff developed in Visual studio once and running on everything etc etc. However, this is a nice theory. Cruel reality is that stuff isnt there yet. Dev experience is lacking, user experience is lacking…

      TLDR: yes, for users it is quite pointless at the moment. But it shows MS direction and its results can potentially be of great use to MS, devs and consumers.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll tell you what is the #1 reason why I want a win8 tablet. Cross platform compatibility. I can run the entire office 2013 suite on one of these. NONE RUN ON ANDROID OR IOS! I use those for work. I don’t use some other third party solution anymore and because of that I don’t want to upkeep 3 different calender apps between my phone, tablet, work and home desktop computers. I know the platform is flawed, clearly it is in dire need of many things. But I cannot for work or home use a mac, and never will. I game at home and need to be cad capable at work. I used the google solution across all platforms for some time but work is making different demands on my life and while google drive and docs will remain a standby for me in many regards I cannot crux on it anymore. Its just not fully featured enough.

    I understand the merit of a device being the best at what it is. I really do. I also want a device that naturally plays nice with what else I have, doesn’t that count for something. The fact my phone only really works with windows media player is not a selling point. I use google listen anyways so as the save space on my device.

    Device convergence I don’t necessarily need. Uniform open platform for all devices with a suite of professional grade apps that work across all mater of devices. That I do need.

    • A_Pickle
    • 7 years ago

    Honestly, the [i<]only[/i<] thing that I've found Android and iOS tablets to be good at is surfing the web, and conning people into buying cloud storage because, apparently, it's now acceptable to ship an operating system without a damn file browser. I felt imprisoned on my girlfriend's Eee Pad Transformer. I could surf the web, but that was about it. I want a Windows hybrid because it gives me the ability to do everything I can already do on my PC, anywhere I go, AND gives me the fancy tablet experience.

      • BabelHuber
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]it's now acceptable to ship an operating system without a damn file browser. I felt imprisoned on my girlfriend's Eee Pad Transformer.[/quote<] The Transformers have installed a file brower per default. Also you can install a ton of other file browsers like Total Commander, ES Explorer etc. You can also sideload apps per default, you just need to enable this in the settings. Additionally, you can connect external HDDs per USB, use SD cards etc. Of course, if you want to be an admin, you have to root the device first. I personally feel imprisoned when using an iPad, but not with ANdroid.

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        While I agree that Android is significantly more flexible and open than an iPad, there are still limitations imposed by the OS (such as “just in time” compiling for better performance, or the rights of software applications to make virtual printers/network devices, etc). Android is more open to influence by third-party developers than is, say, iOS, but less so when compared against Windows with Win32. I’d argue that, without a WinARM counterpart to Win32, though, that Windows RT is a wimpy toy. It performs badly on ARM, doesn’t run Win32 apps, and has no library of Modern UI apps…

        I actually enjoyed using the iPad while I did. It was GREAT for web browsing, accessing and displaying data. Besides that, though? Not a terribly useful computer.

    • phez
    • 7 years ago

    The only thing disappointing about the Transformer Book is its price tag, which should retail for around $1500 as well. But then there isn’t much in competition for that machine, either. And I’m not sure about a 13″ tablet. But its there, and its beautiful.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    There is one point I disagree with – that the could is great for storing everything, including media. If you’re around WiFi enough, or have unlimited data plans, sure it’s great. I know you’re in Canada, I thought the carriers are even worse up there for plans, but until everyone has unlimited data (will it ever happen in the US?) local storage will still matter.

    • kj_tr
    • 7 years ago

    You make good points. I have to agree. I own an Acer win8 tablet and I find myself using a desktop/laptop for productivity. I have To say the 13×7 screen doesn’t bother me. I actually prefer the lower res. The one thing I do miss is native gps, native WAN support. I wish MS has required this. ATOM is definite competitor to ARM. Also if your Android user, desktop apps like blue-staks will get you halfway there.

    The more interesting thing isn’t Haswell/broadwell as those power envelopes will be high. Temash, bay trail is where it make most sense. Winrt is the future and win8+metro is the stop gap. Apps will arrive and I don’t think we will remember these days.

    Having used extensively Android, iOS and windows, windows tablets are the future, just a matter of time.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    I think phablets make more sense than these convertible doodads.

    I also don’t want the same os on my laptop (where I need to get things done) and my tablet (where I also need to get things done but in a more mobile way if that makes sense).

    Unless Blackberry wants to compete on the desktop/laptop arena (highly doubtful and may end up as much a kludge as Win 8) I’m not feeling it.

      • mutarasector
      • 7 years ago

      “I think phablets make more sense than these convertible doodads.”

      I quite agree, but not because of a general head-to-head form factor comparative sense, but in processor/software ecosystems. Convertibles still make sense to me in x86-space, but the idea of shoe-horning Windows 8 into anything smaller than 13.3″ (for me, 15.6″) totally escapes me exactly for the same reason Cyril stated – One doesn’t want a productivity machine to have a thimble-sized display, a cramped keyboards, or truncated touchpad.

      Personally, I think Asus’s AiO product, Sony’s VAIO AiO Tap 20, or Dell’s recently announced AiO make much more sense by scaling a touchUI up into an AiO device.

      As for Blackberry competing on the desktop/laptop arena, it would…no COULD never happen. As critical of Steve Jobs as I have been, I have to agree with him on this one: Blackberry(former RIM) simply has no tradition in computers. While they do have a worthy OS in QNX, they simply don’t have the backround, experience, or the right “DNA” to get into that game.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Start Menu! Ahmagerrrd

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      It is not. That. Bad.

      Seriously, I think Cyril made a few good points up there (namely the shittiness of hybrid keyboards and touchpads, which I just don’t understand). Besides that, I disagree with him, because he is wrong and hybrids are so awesome I pity him.

      But the start menu argument? Really? Hey, check it out, you want to go beat a dead horse?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        I thought the Ahmagerrrd would have made my sarcasm clear. Guess not 🙁 I have gotten into some pretty serious arguments over the ‘no Start Menu = fail’ people and I take the side of Windows 8 being better, so yeah…sarcasm.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          that’s why we’re getting married.

            • Mr. Eco
            • 7 years ago

            So you are SweatShopQueen?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            no. don’t get confused, i wear the pants. he’ll be madwomanoriginal. i’ll always be the king.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            I thought we agreed the roles would switch monthly 🙁

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            we agreed to change [i<] positions [/i<] monthly. maybe that confused you.

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          Well shoot. Mah bad.

    • cegras
    • 7 years ago

    A tablet’s primary function is to be a fast portal to the web. There is absolutely no point in downloading specific apps for things like news services or publications; the rush to push a website’s content into apps is a rush for no other reason than ill begotten momentum.

      • WasabiVengeance
      • 7 years ago

      Disagree. There are a lot of great news aggregation apps that greatly improve new reading. I use Pulse for one, and I wouldn’t even consider going to each individual website.

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      You know…

      THIS is the attitude about tablet aficionados that drives me up a wall. A [i<]tablet[/i<] is a computing device, and its "primary function" will be whatever the fuck I want it to be. Notebooks were just fine for using the web and consuming content -- I'd argue they offer several advantages over tablets in the "content consumption" league. I don't have to move my arm to surf on my notebook, I can just lazily use the scrolling regions on my touchpad to go up, down, and side-to-side. I don't have to hold my notebook, or find a stand for it in order to lay in bed and watch shows. And, if I want, I can open up any one of a million programs to do cool, interesting, and useful things with. Never mind the computing precedents that modern "tablets" -- the ones running various flavor of ARM processors and either Android or iOS -- set. Locked bootloaders? Absolutely! Root/Administrator access? Goodness no! You're a pathetic [i<]user[/i<], who knows, maybe you'll install something that'll [i<]blow up the ocean[/i<]! Cyril did it too, when he said: [quote<]What do you want from a tablet? You want plenty of quality apps to choose from, including games. You want a great display, long battery life, and something that's thin and light. You also want a device that's both fast and easy to use, because content consumption is no fun if waiting and troubleshooting are involved.[/quote<] Plenty of quality apps to choose from, including games. Okay... check. Maybe Angry Birds doesn't have a Modern UI version out yet... but uh... hi, my name is Win32, and I'm a very powerful, flexible, functional API for which hundreds upon hundreds of millions of apps (including games) have been made for. In fact, I'm arguably the single most adopted API in consumer computing history. There is. An abundance. Of high quality apps and games for Windows 8 PC's. [i<]PC's[/i<], not the half-assed gimmicks running Windows RT -- legitimate personal computers. Great display? Long battery life? Check, and check. Atom tablets last a long time, most have IPS displays, and at one time, 1024x768 was overlooked on the iPad. I'm not sure why 1366x768 is so hard to swallow when you're getting a goddamn PC as part of the deal, especially when that's 1366x768 of IPS goodness. If I can read the text and use the apps, I'm not going to cry because the guy with an iPad has some more pixel resolution that he can't even use. At least I can create a VPN with a virtual network port if I want to. Fast and easy to use? Well, I've got a method to my madness on Windows, and it works downright perfectly - and [b<]SINCE WIN32 STILL EXISTS AND ISN'T DEAD[/b<], that is the single biggest reason for me to avoid Android and iOS. I don't have to look for alternatives if I can just use the same stuff. Need to play any video file known to man? VLC. Need some badass visualizers for a party? Winamp. Want to play some casual games? League of Legends, Worms, Team Fortress 2, Audiosurf, Ace of Spades, Minecraft.

        • cegras
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]THIS is the attitude about tablet aficionados that drives me up a wall. A tablet is a computing device, and its "primary function" will be whatever the **** I want it to be. [/quote<] It's kinda ironic that you're pigeon-holing way more than I am, and the same goes with Cyril. The root of the matter is that a lot of content that apps provide is basically curated from the web anyways, from their parent web pages. I have apps for PDFs, dropbox, video and photo viewing, but I will never understand the point of getting apps that get content from the web. That whole craze about some ipad app that was supposed to offer a 'newstand reading experience' was a huge load of crock.

      • hiro_pro
      • 7 years ago

      it must be nice to live in a world of unlimited wifi. i have to take a subway to work, flights to various places, and follow my wife to awful places that don’t have wifi (haircut, clothing store, etc..). sometimes i just go to a park or camping. i like having my offline content. and have you looked at the price of 4g? try streaming some tv and see what happens to your phone bill.

        • cegras
        • 7 years ago

        There are probably only a few real apps you need then, besides however many games you want. A pdf reader, and a video viewer. iOS at least already has offline viewing and support for many tabs in the browser.

      • TheMonkeyKing
      • 7 years ago

      I agree to a point. I think a tablet is supposed to be a fast portal to a customized Internet as well as a customized toy. Let’s face it, all those commercials from all three camps (Microsoft, Android, and Apple) show wok being done but seriously folks, I’m not going to create presentations and write the Magna Charta on a touch screen. If I’m going to do real business work (and no, you hipsters do not really work), I want to set down to a computing workhorse with a big damn screen to fit multiple application views all at the same time.

      So offline, it’s a toy. You play with applications that are either game-based or visual recreation.

      Online, the applications you load deliver content. And if it is not their own content, then the aggregation comes at a cost to you in the form of advertisements or target specific content (no search for something different).

      I don’t think the rush to create apps is for momentum (that can be quickly lost), but more for the foothold into delivering ads (making money). Basically the majority of low cost (to the consumer) apps are subsidized.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    I agree that the current round of convertibles is unimpressive. However, I do feel that they are almost there. Haswell is the final piece of the puzzle to make ultrabooks what they were designed to be. Temash/Bay Trail should offer affordable alternatives and even longer battery life. I also really think you’ll want to look at x86 Windows if you are going to be replacing your laptop. You just can’t do a whole lot with Windows RT right now.

    I think it would be wiser to wait for 14nm Broadwell to further lower power requirements as well as Windows 9 to deliver a more mature ecosystem full of Metro apps and a more enticing tablet experience. I expect SSD prices to continue its downward trend as well. I know it’s an often discouraged attitude in this community to wait as there is always going to be something better on the horizon, but this market is still in its infancy.

      • Zizy
      • 7 years ago

      Wow so many edits. I mostly agree with you tho – current devices are meh, but the concept is fine.
      RT lacking apps, x86 lacking suitable tablet+laptop processors, modern UI stupidity (limitations, the concept is imo great). All of these will be heavily improved in a year. I dont think waiting to 14nm is needed. Haswell, Temash and Windows Blue will probably solve majority of the issues, only RT lacking apps might remain for a while (new XNA will help a lot here)

      ———–

      OK, what would you do with such a device then? Besides the mentioned – better carry one than two: you might want to read mail or check websites on the tablet, then you see you need to do a lengthy reply. Much better to just plug in the keyboard than to grab the laptop, navigate to the site/mail again and do the reply. You can use tablet to make notes during lecture, then just plug in the keyboard to organize them. Or, if you want to prepare an article where you need to draw a diagram, use keyboard to type the text, then grab a pen and use the tablet as a drawing pad for the diagram. It is probably also quicker to use touch to crudely rearrange stuff in presentation, while you want keyboard to actually write it.

      So, is there enough overlap to justify these? Well, most tablet functions except watching movies are enhanced with a keyboard. Many laptop functions also benefit from tablet capabilities, especially if you can use a pen.
      What about drawbacks then? You can make one part without drawbacks, but I dont see the way to make both perfect:
      a) Tablet+dock (or Surface cover) => Tablet is completely fine, but flexibility and sturdiness of the dock is problematic. Performance of the laptop might be problematic too, although one could add another chip in the dock.
      b) Laptop with flip screen => tablet part is seriously handicapped with extra weight, but laptop part can be uninjured.
      First one is a tablet upgrade, second is a laptop upgrade. Before considering cost of course.

        • BabelHuber
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]you might want to read mail or check websites on the tablet, then you see you need to do a lengthy reply. Much better to just plug in the keyboard than to grab the laptop[/quote<] This is exactly why I like the Asus Transformer Android-tablets. But I do not need/ want Windows for this. Android is fine for E-mailing. For Office etc. I rather use my notebook anyways. The only downside to the Asus TF-tablets is that the stock ROM is a joke. It gets laggy as soon as you do some multitasking. You hence need to woid the warranty and install a custom ROM, but then it is a difference like day and night.

    • WasabiVengeance
    • 7 years ago

    Don’t forget aspect ratio. iPad really got it right there. 4:3 is good in either orientation, and really not bad for media consumption. 16:9 *may* work for video, but it’s horrible for any amount of reading, and utterly useless in portrait orientation. Forcing both to 16:9 gives you a machine marginally better at one thing and tragic at pretty much everything else. MS mandating 16:9 for win8 pretty much guaranteed I would be sticking to used machines/apples until the PC world corrects this mistake.

    Tl;dr: 16:10 for laptops, 4:3 for tablets. Haven’t tried the 3:2 on the pixel yet, though I suspect I’ll approve.

      • mutarasector
      • 7 years ago

      “Don’t forget aspect ratio. iPad really got it right there. 4:3 is good in either orientation”

      Yeah, for wasting screenspace on HD content…

      “and really not bad for media consumption. 16:9 *may* work for video, but it’s horrible for any amount of reading, and utterly useless in portrait orientation.”

      I fail to see why. In portrait mode, the extra space not required for emulation of a magazine/book page can be located at the bottom of a screen in portrait mode and provide additional controls that are always available visually rather than having to employ unnecessary additional swipe gestures just to access those controls. Really, this bias against 16:9 is nothing more than tail-dog wagging, all in the name of a multiple orientation/gyro gimmickry.

      “Forcing both to 16:9 gives you a machine marginally better at one thing and tragic at pretty much everything else. MS mandating 16:9 for win8 pretty much guaranteed I would be sticking to used machines/apples until the PC world corrects this mistake.”

      *yawn*

      • obarthelemy
      • 7 years ago

      Honestly, reading on 16:10 or 16:9 is more a matter of habit. I’ve been doing it for ages, and I don’t mind anymore. 4:3 is better; but not by much, in the end. text reflows better than video :-p

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      I much rather have more pixels in “X”-direction than in “Y”-direction – makes it easier to read news (when the font is larger).

      16:9 is far better than 4:3, and slightly better than 16:10

      • cheesyking
      • 7 years ago

      don’t listen to these doubters.

      only 4:3 gives you a usable on screen keyboard AND allows you to still see a reasonable amount of screen while the keyboard is displayed.

      Fortunately if your main use for a tablet is email you can get a super cheapo 4:3 tablet from China running andriod.

      • Inverter
      • 7 years ago

      Not to forget that the square has the largest area of all rectangles with the same diagonal; a 4:3 has more area than a 16:9 or 16:10 if all have the same diagonal… Personally I think that 3:2 is a good compromise.

        • Zizy
        • 7 years ago

        Why is that relevant?
        Amount of info you can get is proportional to number of pixels, which is proportional to area. So, you care about area. Number of screens you can get from a wafer is proportional to area of a screen. So, manufacturers care about area as well. Are you concerned how are you going to carry 16:9 tablet vs same area of 4:3? Not really. Thus, area matters, not diagonal.

        So, why is 16:9 > anything else? Cause it is everywhere in computer world. There is no real advantage of other formats to justify them. If anything 16:9 is superior cause natural data is widescreen as well – horizon is more important than sky and ground.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    Right with you here Cyril. And your argument is bolstered IMO by the fact that if you have a decent Ultrabook you can do with a 7″ tablet. I think a Nexus 7 is a far better choice than the 10 for the fact that the bigger tablet isn’t really much smaller. But overall I think your points have merit.

    • Musafir_86
    • 7 years ago

    -My thoughts: Windows-based tablets/hybrids/convertibles (whatever) seem to be designed for landscape/horizontal handling and operating, while iOS & Android-based tablets are optimized (or at least, the [b<]1st[/b<] priority/preference) for portrait/vertical's, which is more practical for prolonged handling. Regards.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I think you’re right about Apple but big Android Tablets are also meant for landscape. Smaller devices like the Nexus 7 are meant for portrait, and in fact at first it didn’t support landscape on the launcher. That was recently fixed though.

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