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Old 11-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #1
pcsavvy
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Default So many choices in (OS) tablets now, what to choose?

Ok, I know the Ipad is the best if you have the budget for it. But now there is not only Android but Windows 8 and Windows 8 Rt tablets for sale.
I realize Windows 8 tablets are the "new" kids on the block but I was wondering if they are viable option especially if you are on a low to medium budget? It would seem Windows 8 RT would be ok for a college student needing a lightweight portable that can handle Office fairly well.
I see that Dell is offering a Windows 8 rt tablet and Windows 8 pro tablet. In reading the descriptions of the specs, it seems Windows RT is geared more for general consumer use vs the full Windows 8 which seems geared more to the business/professional power user.
I am trying to find more objective reviews and opinions about Windows RT as a viable tablet option.
Is Windows RT a viable option or a flash in the pan? Or should one wait 6-9 months to see if it catches on? Or should one leap in and support Microsoft in it's tablet endeavors?
Or should one shuck it all go laptop?


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Old 11-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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Well, in your case, one real nice thing about Windows RT is that it comes with Office RT.

What apps do you normally use? Win RT is ARM only, so no compatibility with x86 desktop applications you'd normally install. Were I a student and could only get one machine, I'd probably get a Surface Pro (which is basically an ultrabook in tablet form) and just use LibreOffice.

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Old 11-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #3
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Which tablet is best depends entirely on what your intended use with it will be. If you absolutely need a quality keyboard and plan on doing a lot of typing then no tablet is best and you should get a laptop.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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I currently own an Ipad 64 GB first generation and Sony Vaio 13.3 inch laptop with Core2dual that I got a couple years ago. I find currently I usually end up taking not only the Ipad but my laptop with me when I commute to work. That gets heavy after awhile and the laptop is not so great on the bus checking stuff online like the Ipad is.
It seems I need the laptop to access some of the websites, like Vizanime for instance to check on the latest anime video. Or if I need to check in with an online class.
I recently injured my right elbow, golfer's and tennis elbow at the same time. So I am looking to lighten the load of mobile electronics I carry around. I just get so excited about new technology that I want to jump in and try it out first. Common sense says check those reviews and ask around before blindly leaping in.
With my Ipad, I use Hulu Plus, some games, Vizmanga, Kindle, weather channel, and news and check emails. With my laptop, I send emails, check into my online classes, and Skype or IM.
So I was wondering if Windows RT tablet would be a viable option to carrying around a laptop + an Ipad? Would the specs handle some of the stuff I mentioned?


edit: Also it would be nice to have a semi-powerful mobile device that could fit in a medium-large manbag or medium-large purse with some ease without taking a ton of accessories with you.
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Last edited by pcsavvy; 11-06-2012 at 12:05 PM. Reason: add in some more info
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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Windows RT tablets start at $500 for the Surface and the cheapest Windows 8 tablet I've seen is $650 so far. So if you don't consider the iPad to be a budget tablet, then the Surface is definitely not one either. And Windows RT has far fewer apps.

For budget tablets Android still seems to be the only choice. Hard to beat something like a $200 Nexus 7 or a $400 Nexus 10.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
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And Windows RT has far fewer apps.
...for now. Since Metro is now a core piece of Windows 8, I expect this to be remedied in fairly short order.

But yeah, if the iPad isn't budget friendly, then neither are the Windows Tablets. I agree the Nexus 7 makes for the best low-budget option.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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I'm going to wait for the second gen win8pro tablets. A haswell based tablet with win8 pro and a thunderbolt port would be pretty damn awesome and punch almost all of the spec tickets.

For now though Nexus7 and Nexus10 are both impossible to beat.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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Based on what I'm reading, getting something that would work for your online course is the top priority. If Android or WinRT can't run it, forget about it. Look into a full fledged ultrabook PC with Win8 with instant-on or something.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
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I have a Nexus 7 and love it. Wouldn't get Windows 8 tablet yet.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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I don't think RT is very useful because of the whole ARM incompatiblity with x86. You can only install apps form the store. I think I will wait for Surface Pro. Best of both worlds, tablet and laptop.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:32 PM   #11
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I checked around and Nexus 7 is really inexpensive compared to Ipad and Windows RT. And I saw that the Nexus 7 32 Gb is for sale at lot of sites already. That would probably be a good buy, that way I can store a couple of movies or tv shows when I am away from WiFi service.
I have tendency to load up on stuff. Had to get a least a 16 Gb memory card for my phone or else I would keep running out of memory.

I guess I have champagne tastes on a soda budget.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by pcsavvy View Post
I checked around and Nexus 7 is really inexpensive compared to Ipad and Windows RT. And I saw that the Nexus 7 32 Gb is for sale at lot of sites already. That would probably be a good buy, that way I can store a couple of movies or tv shows when I am away from WiFi service.
I have tendency to load up on stuff. Had to get a least a 16 Gb memory card for my phone or else I would keep running out of memory.

I guess I have champagne tastes on a soda budget.
What about your class work? Won't you be stuck carrying a tablet and laptop again?
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #13
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Too many just from Microsoft. They now have Windows Phone, Windows RT, Windows 8, and now they are also going to be making a Windows Xbox Tablet OS. So that four operating systems just from MS.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:33 PM   #14
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Based on your requirements there isn't a really easy answer you may find an RT device too limited like the ipad or android device. if you are having problems with browser addons for classes on an ipad you'll probably have the same problem on windows rt.

What will fulfill everything is one of the new windows 8 tablets but they are all a bit expensive for what is essentially a netbook with a good touch screen. I'm finding it difficult to justify 800 for a windows 8 tablet with a keyboard attachment over a much more powerful Lenovo Yoga for 999 (even though its bigger and heavier). Or on the other side over a nexus 7 for way less.

We seem to be getting closer to a point where a hybrid tablet could replace laptops for mainstream users, but I don't think this will happen until we get another generation of the devices.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #15
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Which tablet is best depends entirely on what your intended use with it will be. If you absolutely need a quality keyboard and plan on doing a lot of typing then no tablet is best and you should get a laptop.
I had a friend recently get a Lenovo Yoga that he likes. It provides a pretty good mix between the two, but isn't really all that portable. You could also look at the ASUS Transformers which have the keyboard dock and are detachable, but you don't get the same level of office or productivity apps.

ASUS really needs to release a Windows RT version of the Transformer. That would probably be perfect for a lot of people.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #16
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ASUS really needs to release a Windows RT version of the Transformer. That would probably be perfect for a lot of people.
Isn't that exactly what the Vivotab RT is?
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:27 PM   #17
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So hard to know what to get at this point. The Nexus 7 is inexpensive but won't really solve some of the problems I have. I can get Dell XPS 10 with a keyboard dock and extended warranty on a payment plan so that it is why I am so tempted to push the button(buy). But I don't want to buy something and then find it doesn't work out. There are parts of the Ipad I really like but then it is somewhat limited in doing stuff. Toting a 4-5 pound laptop everyday gets old too.
So a tablet form seems the best compromise at this point. If I can combine what I like about the Ipad--portability and fun stuff with the ability to access websites and do word documents maybe I should give the Windows RT a second look.
I am not a power user by any stretch but I do like to get the latest and greatest if I can afford it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:38 PM   #18
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Isn't that exactly what the Vivotab RT is?
I think this looks like a perfect solution for light weight and school work. The browser on Windows RT will be able to do everything a laptop can do, it just might be slower. I wish you could get the $500 Asus Transformer Pad Infinity with Windows RT, that would be the ideal RT device to replace an iPad and laptop. That said, the lower res and plastic Vivio Tab RT will be able to do the same work, just without the nice screen and metal finish. I tried one out at the store and it is super light with a slightly smaller screen than a surface and a proper laptop keyboard dock that similar to a netbook for typing. $600 is a good price if it replaces two devices.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:42 PM   #19
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I think this looks like a perfect solution for light weight and school work. The browser on Windows RT will be able to do everything a laptop can do, it just might be slower. I wish you could get the $500 Asus Transformer Pad Infinity with Windows RT, that would be the ideal RT device to replace an iPad and laptop. That said, the lower res and plastic Vivio Tab RT will be able to do the same work, just without the nice screen and metal finish. I tried one out at the store and it is super light with a slightly smaller screen than a surface and a proper laptop keyboard dock that similar to a netbook for typing. $600 is a good price if it replaces two devices.
I think the HP Envy X2 for $849 is a lot better for students. A tablet with great design and good build quality, the keyboard isn't super cramped because of the 10.1" screen, and since it's running Intel's Clover Trail x86 chip, you get full compatibility with all of your old Windows apps.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #20
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I think the HP Envy X2 for $849 is a lot better for students. A tablet with great design and good build quality, the keyboard isn't super cramped because of the 10.1" screen, and since it's running Intel's Clover Trail x86 chip, you get full compatibility with all of your old Windows apps.
Depends on your budget but I don't think it is worth $250 more to many people. None of the things mentioned here need a desktop application and the bigger screen is still low res. Battery life could also be bad but we will have to see because HP won't say. The keyboard could be a big benefit if writing is a major part of your day but the cost is noticeably more weight which can be problem when holding a 10" (or 11.6") tablet one handed.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:43 PM   #21
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My university uses Moodle which you access through Windows browser. I am not taking any graphics intensive courses at the moment. But I do know that the University Library is talking about going to ebooks and online stuff and downsizing on the number of books it has on the shelf. I think the plan is to eventually go all wireless, no desktops for students to use, just check out a laptop to use in the library for research.
So if Windows RT can handle that type of stuff then it maybe a cheaper solution then Windows pro.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:55 PM   #22
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By the way, here is the link for the Dell XPS 10 http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-10-tablet/pd.aspx?

And here is the Dell Latitude
http://www.dell.com/us/p/latitude-10-tablet/pd.aspx?

Just FYI
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:18 PM   #23
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FYI, if you can't make do with Pages, Number and Keynote on your iPad, then you won't get much more functionality out of Office RT.

In fact, Office RT runs much slower than the iWork apps I mentioned. It truly feels like Microsoft was lazy in porting it over. As soon as you start using some of the more advanced functionalities, it kneels over and cries.

And forget about viewing special class websites on RT. In fact, it's even more limited than iPad. In terms of browser compatibility, I think Android > iPad > IE10 on RT. If you can't use your iPad to access your class website, then RT is not even an option at all.

And multimedia-wise, it's far behind iPad and Android due to lack of apps.

That's the most subjective I can be with RT. It shows potential, but you really can't take it and compare to market leaders. It's a firstborn.

I think the ultimate solution to your problem is an Ultrabook. Try refurb MacBook Air 11.6" for $750. It's 2.3lbs, the trackpad supports multitouch panning and zooming much like you would do with an iPad, and it can run anything you can run on any x86 laptop.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
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I think the HP Envy X2 for $849 is a lot better for students. A tablet with great design and good build quality, the keyboard isn't super cramped because of the 10.1" screen, and since it's running Intel's Clover Trail x86 chip, you get full compatibility with all of your old Windows apps.
I like the envy x2 it appears to have the best latching mechanism for these hybrids, but at 849 i'd still bump up to a yoga for 999 sure it is heftier but its still very thin and has a real ssd versus emmc, and a real core i5 not atom.

Honestly I keep going in circles many of the devices are interesting, though non have a "wow" factor. The "cheap" windows tablets are still too expensive, and the expensive one's are just strange ultrabooks. I'm trying to wait for next gen to see what haswell soc can bring to the hybrid market, next gen atom is even further out, like a full year at best.

just have to wait for some reliable reviews of a clovertrail device, I know Anand is working on his review of the Samsung variant, although the build quality on that looks bad imo, but at least I could get a better idea of performance. If I had a pressing need I think I would get a Yoga 13, but I really don't want a new laptop without a backlit keyboard again. I made that mistake last time and I regret it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:45 PM   #25
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FYI, if you can't make do with Pages, Number and Keynote on your iPad, then you won't get much more functionality out of Office RT.

In fact, Office RT runs much slower than the iWork apps I mentioned. It truly feels like Microsoft was lazy in porting it over. As soon as you start using some of the more advanced functionalities, it kneels over and cries.

And forget about viewing special class websites on RT. In fact, it's even more limited than iPad. In terms of browser compatibility, I think Android > iPad > IE10 on RT. If you can't use your iPad to access your class website, then RT is not even an option at all.

And multimedia-wise, it's far behind iPad and Android due to lack of apps.

That's the most subjective I can be with RT. It shows potential, but you really can't take it and compare to market leaders. It's a firstborn.

I think the ultimate solution to your problem is an Ultrabook. Try refurb MacBook Air 11.6" for $750. It's 2.3lbs, the trackpad supports multitouch panning and zooming much like you would do with an iPad, and it can run anything you can run on any x86 laptop.
I agree with everything,, except the air, I'd say go for the Lenovo Yoga, larger screen still under 3lbs and touchscreen.
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