Tablets with Wacom digitizer and stylus
First of all let's understand that tablet is first of all a convenient media consumption device.
A very good eBook reader. Also 7" tablets with 2G/3G can (and should) give smartphones a run for the money.
That's why the casual users (browser + music + video type) who never
needed the full power of a PC moved to tablets and smartphones.
In very few other areas "pure" touch interface provide experience that is superior to
regular PC or laptop. Touch is not intuitive, nor it is natural. But stylus is
both intuitive and natural. Without stylus in most cases as soon as
task became non-trivial PC or laptop still has a distinct edge. Among the tasks that tablets perform
- A quick look at particular Web site. For example
- Looking for weather or other "fixed information" sites such as pages
with stock prices. (but even this simple task is obscured by touch
interface as touching not always recognized by the device)
- Reading the content of certain web pages, such as NYT. Drilling
down from the page involved problems with hitting the right link, as links
are often tiny. They typical workaround is to enlarge the text first and
only then click.
- Reading email via Web mail portal like Hotmail, Yahoo mail or Gmail (Google screwed Gmail
but overselling Google+, and forcing integration with it, even for users
that suspect the Google is a department of NSA, but still for some reason it is popular). Please note that everything on
those email portals is also read by friendly NSA analysts and probably
stored indefinitely in your electronic dossier (hello
Stasi) , at least to emails
outside the country ;-) .
- eReader functions. And regular 10" tablet beats Kindle for this
purpose by wide margin. Please note that the list of eBooks that you buy is
also stored somewhere by three letter agencies. So it is probably a bad
ides to buy a eBook like
CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys How and Why US Agents Conspired
to Assassinate JFK and RFK. But still it is quote usable for:
- Reading textbooks
- Reading novels (many are free in eBook format, see
Electronic book libraries )
- Reading Web subscription to newspapers and magazines such as PC magazine.
- Browsing newspaper and favorite magazines Websites. It is not very convenient
in comparison with a regular PC with 19" screen, as small screen hamper the experience, but touch interface is more
or less adequate, especially with stylus.
- Serving as a "super expensive" organizer (generally requires
a stylus to be more flexible, like in Samsung
ATIV Smart PC 500T, Samsung
Galaxy Note 10.1 or Microsoft Surface
- 7" tablets can be used as car navigator with static maps,
or with live traffic data if they have 3G connection or a bridge via
- As supersized smartphone. You can use Skype and similar programs
via WiFi and 3G (if table has 3G/4Gi interface or USB port where you can put
an adapter such as Microsoft Surface
For more complex tasks tablets are a source of frustration, not so much the source
of help, unless you have a regular keyboard. Working with documents in Microsoft
Office on laptop
beats tablet without keyboard by such a wide margin, that using tablet if you have laptop just does
not make sense. Even in simplified, basic form (and capabilities) represented by
"Chromebooks", netbooks (see
Acer - Aspire 11.6 Laptop) and "transformers" (such as ASUS transformer, Dell Insprion i3147,
etc) traditional laptop form factor gives tablet a run for the money if we are talking about working
with spreadsheets, documents and moving files around.
The key problem with tablet is that pure touch interface provides poor or very poor user experience,
especially in case of unresponsive touch screens typical for many tablets
(including some very expensive models). In this
sense this is typical "buyer beware" situation and without clear ideas
of how you will use it and your couple of own half-hour testing sessions in the
shop you should never buy a particular model of a tablet, no matter what glowing reviews it has.
This idea that owning iPad makes you more productive is bogus but selling it
brought Apple billions (which probably can be used more productively instead).
Please remember that even for tasks that tablet performs well, the small size
of the screen is a serious limitation and even 12"-14" laptop
provides a distinct edge.
Also it's very difficult to find tablet with a reasonably sensitive touch screen.
And clicking two or three times on the same tiny link quickly became annoying.
Again, for some reason even on expensive tablets and "best of the breed" models
like Samsung Notes 10.1) sometime you need to click two-three time before
link starts loading.
On the other hand smartphones with large screen ("Phablets") such as
Note (Display Size: 5.3”) are closing the gap of functionality with 7" tablets and have a tremendous
advantage that they are always with you, no matter where you go. Often they have
better camera capable of working OK in low light conditions (Samsung Galaxy 4 is
an good example here) That's why Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones put such a strong pressure on iPhone.
with less the 5" screens, iPhones are less suitable for browsing no matter how
many pixels Apple can pack in the screen. It is just a very effective "more pixels -- better phone"
marketing campaign for simpletons (which many lemming bought at face value). And too many pixels are
killing the battery life in the process.
Also right now the tablet market, especially for 7" tablets, is close to saturation. So prices are now became
rock bottom and even this does not entice buyers. So instead of buying $500
smartphone people can well buy $300 tablet with 3G and use it via Skype or
similar applications as a phone too: "Pure data" plans are a little bit
cheaper then data+voice plans.
In any case saturation of the market is now high and that creates a rush to the bottom for
In this stampede of almost identical models it's better to demand something special
from the model. The most
attractive additional capabilities IMHO are:
- Integration of cell phone capabilities -- it became
Phablet. Eventually 6.3" phablets might put a pressure on 7" tablets market,
but only if the price drops below current $400-$600 range.
- A stylus with
an active digitizer. Stylus provides a more national interface that
"pure touch" with your fingers (which I would call Apple style touch) and
due to it a tablet becomes more functional within typical range of tasks as
well as to perform some additional tasks (annotating photos, maps, etc is
- The ability to use the tablet with a standard desktop OS. Windows 8 tablets which provide regular MS Office and other major desktop programs.
In this case you can reuse your Windows 8 knowledge on the tablet instead of
learning yet another OS (Android).
I think new Windows 8 tablet, such as Dell Venue 8 Pro
will put a strong pressure on Android tablets, just because they can do so
much more for the same
price (unless you are an Android specialist as Android is pretty capable OS
if you know the internals too).
categories are not mutually exclusive as some of tablets with stylus and Wacom digitizer run Windows
8 (Dell Venue 8 Pro,
Microsoft Surface Pro II and models expected at the fall of 2014). Also some Android tablets can be either bought with 3G/4G, or even
contain 2G in addition to 3G and can be used as a
phone without Skype or similar application (you are probably better off with
Fonepad It exists in 7" and 6" version
running on Atom CPU. The Fonepad has a narrow frame so 7"
device still fits in the jeans pocket (4.76 x 7.76 x 0.43"). It
supports GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1,800/1,900MHz, W-CDMA(HSPA+):
- Lenovo A3000
phablet with 2G 3G and Dual SIMs
These models compete with phablets like Samsung Galaxy Notes 3, Samsung Galaxy Mega, etc which
are priced much higher but provide especially the same functionality.
Tablets with stylus and digitizer
Let's discuss tablets with pen and digitizer. First they were produced
as Windows organizers (for example quite popular model was
Dell Axim; The first model, the Axim X5, was introduced in 2002, while the
final model, the Axim X51, was discontinued on April 9, 2007.
Modern stylus enabled tablets were launched for Android first as Steve Jobs was
allergic to the idea of stylus (which was pretty illogical
idiosyncrasy on his part, as it can be
considered a variant on one button mouse which he loved so much ;-)
There are several major types of tablets with pen and digitizer
on the market. Not all popular tablets have a digitizer, so you need to
carefully check the capabilities of the model you like. Among most popular
models with stylus are:
All have the principal advantage that other tablets lack: Watcom digitizer pen
support, meaning you have the option to use a pen to write notes and perform other
operations, very similar to using mouse. The Watcom pen is more accurate than a regular
capacitive stylus and provides
capabilities that are unique and can't be replicated on other tablets.
|S-Pen is much better for clicking links and selecting the text in Android. Selecting
and copy/paste operation in Android without S-pen (or generally stylus) is a torture.
In this sense
I think Steve Jobs missed the boat and it might well be that iPad dominance will
be short lived, as it became Apple principle not to include stylus with it.
Among unique capability that pen provides and first and foremost is the capability to use handwriting input
and annotate photos.
Actually Microsoft managed to do this thing right long ago with first organizer
like Dell Axim. And before Microsoft was Palm Pilot which used special script to
ensure 100% recognition. But neither Palm, nor Microsoft were able to develop this
technical success into stable market share. Here marketing genius of Steve Jobs
made the difference. All talk about iPad as "the first" is just nonsense. IOn each and every area,
expect the ability to get a market share, iPad was "the second". I remember that Microsoft
handwriting recognition software did tremendously impressive job even on those underpowered
CPUs in Dell Axim.
In other words the most innovative aspect of tablets outside their role as media
consumption devices (the role that propelled Apple iPad to the dominant market share,
despite rather limited functionality of the device) is new functionality provided
by the stylus and active digitizer.
The first tablet that recognized and implemented this capability on mass scale
was Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen
launched in August 2012 on the base of huge success of a similar Samsung phone. In
order to accommodate S-Pen input, the touch screen uses a Wacom W8008 digitizer,
with Atmel mXT1664S as the touch screen controller. 16 GB version of
the tablet (with WiFi only) can be bought for around $400, so pricewise it is very
competitive with iPads. It is very well built, very impressive tablet.
Similar tablets with digitizers running Windows 8 in Intel chips (which is great for application
compatibility) are also very impressive (and Dell Venue 8 Pro
is cheaper then many Android tablets):
Dell Venue 8 Pro. This 0.35" (9mm) thick $299
tablet (216 x 130 x 9 mm) is a new kid on the block and so far beats most of the competition.
It has 1,280x800 pixels IPS screen. Uses
Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740D with 32GB storage (2MB Cache, up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core),
2GB Single Channel DDR3L-RS 1600MHz,
Intel® HD Graphics,
8.0 inch IPS Display with HD (WXGA 1280 x 800)
resolution with 10-pt capacitive touch,
Dell Wireless 1538 Dual-Band 2x2 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth® 4.0,
Integrated 1.2MP HD Webcam (front) / 5MP (back),
1 x Micro-AB USB2.0 (for trickle charging
and data transfer), 1 x Headphone and microphone combojack, 1 x 3FF micro-SIM slot (optional)
Samsung ATIV . There are several variants of this tablet, which is very similar to Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
ASUS VivoTab Expensive proposition. Models with 64 GB of SSD and 2 GB of memory are around
$800. Keyboard is extra. That means that they are approximately twice more expensive
then Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.
Like the latter it has the Wacom Active Digitizer which is a step beyond a normal
touch screen because it offers pressure sensitivity so when you're handwriting
or painting, the amount of pressure directly correlates to the width of the
line, so what you see on screen looks just like what you would see when writing
or painting on paper. You can even rest your hand on the screen while you're
writing because the tablet can discern between the pen and your hand. If is
reasonably light weight: an iPad 2 weighs 1.35 lbs and the VivoTab weighs 1.5
Microsoft's Surface Pro. This is a unique in its power tablet that runs
desktop-class OS. No no other tablet comes even close for the spectrum of tasks
it can perform. For example dictation on this tablet using
Dragon Naturally Speaking is pretty accurate and can be used in day-to-day
business and reseach.
Some models have 3G capabilities and a SIM
slot. Ideally for AT&T you need the tablet to support UMTS/HSPA 3G and for T-Mobile 1700MHz or
1900MHz band for 3G. See 3G frequency bands.
Manifactures overcharge for this capability and you can get the same effect cheaper using a 3G modem
that convert 3G/4G into Wi-Fi. See MiFi
There are three dominant brands of tablet on the market that can be used with
stylus and several minor players:
Apple tablets are very good entry level devices. iPad is a beautiful tablet,
which defined the modern tablet appearance and features. They have up to 10 hour
battery life and beautiful screen. They are OK for entry level users and users that
are oriented on entertainment and media consumption. Bad for everybody else.
But they not have digitizer and stylus
which put them again into entry level users category and are not discussed here
in detail other then as a reference implementation that grabbed lion share of entry
level tablets space. It is not recommended for advanced user. The essence of this
type of device is "a media consumption devices for a regular user", especially those
who want "small luxuries" as for pure media consumption they are almost twice more
expensive then Android alternatives. At the same time they have a very
closed ecosystem, that might well reflects the egomaniac nature of Steve Jobs and
which that I hate.
The other the problem with the iPad is that Steve Jobs rejected the very existence
and need of a stylus, and now for good or bad it is now became kind of official
Apple tablet philosophy. Will we ever see an official intelligent stylus for iPad
releases by Apple? I don’t think so. Still there are some attempts to make iPad
more "stylus friendly". iPen for iPen is one such attempt
(iPen the first active stylus for iPad! by Cregle Inc. — Kickstarter:)
The Cregle iPen transforms the iPad into a content creation device, not just
a content consumption device. iPen is the first active digitizer stylus that
allows you to write with precision directly on the iPad.
Unlike the passive digitizer used in the typical
iPad stylus, iPen writes like a real pen with accurate positioning and palm
rejection features that passive products simply cannot achieve.
With the Cregle iPen’s active digitizer, the attached receiver picks up the
iPen’s signal and its precise position as it hovers above the screen (whereas
a passive stylus can be located only when the user touches the screen). This
crucial advantage allows iPen to actively transmit 60 samples per second to
pinpoint the pen’s exact location.
Android tablets emerged as Apple iPad challengers. They have an advantage of
a more open ecosystem. But unlike Android phones Android tablet met much less acceptance
in among the users due to low quality of applications (most of which was created
for phones with much less screen resolutions that tablet have) and serious defects
in interface design. Most of them, including such leading tablet as
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen
look and behave more like oversized phones. Interface is pretty crude for a 10"
tablet. It definitely has phone flavor.
Each application has its own interface. In other words it's kind of Linux style
interface SNAFU. You can get used to it and learn the ropes (people who have an
Android phone can do it quicker then those who like me have Blackberry.
The most affordable Android tablet with stylus such as
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen
beat in functionality iPads. For approximately $400 the price of this tablet is
competitive with iPad. Still they are adequate for people like me who use tablet
mainly as super-expensive organizer. I actually started with Palm and progressed
slowly to Dell Axim, then to
Blackberry playbook and only then to Android. Now in view of Prizm revelations I
probably need to repeat this sequence in reverse order. Paper now regained attraction
to me as in no way in can be transmitted via wire without my knowledge ;-)
|One advantage of the Note 10.1 is you can read Kindle books and have
S-Pen note taking available on a split screen.
The other important advantage is that you can use stylus to click
on links and for cut and paste operations. The latter are a torture without
stylus on Android
Microsoft tablets with Windows 8 are a challenger of established status quo
on high end of tablet market with iPad as dominant player and Android as a minor
player. But it represents a formidable force mainly in 10"-11" tablet market.
In 7"-8" tablet market Android dominates (although Apple did well with $300 8" miniPad).
As such they pack a lot of functionality in the tablet. But they are way too expensive:
currently the minimum price for a Intel-based Windows 8 tablet with a digitizer
is around $550 (Samsung
ATIV Smart PC 500T)
Still those tablets are first really laptop class devises with dominant laptop
OS preinstalled and Windows 8 essentially wipes out competitors advantages. Google
got pretty good kick in a chin, as Windows 8 expose a lot of dirt in Android interface.
A lot of things that are thought out well or never though out at all. Due to the
brilliant idea to use wakeup instead of full start Windows 8 on tablets is actually
boots very fast. Microsoft game plan is to try to exploit defects in Android
tablets interface design on one hand and limited functionality of iPads of the other.
I think they do not want to attack Apple closed ecosystem, as they gradually adopt
something close, but still in a millio0on ways Microsoft ecosystem is more open
and attack happens whether Microsoft wants it or not.
The only real problem with Windows 8 tablets which might prevent them to kick
Apple off the feet is that they are expensive. Pro version are almost twice more
expensive then entry level iPads 2
But some of them have digitizer and stylus built-in and as such they should grab
lion share of advanced users. Microsoft is a software king so arrival of Microsoft
tablet instantly changed landscape and put Apple on the defensive. After arrival
of Microsoft tablets Apple does not have any real chance to penetrate enterprise.
The window of opportunity that exited for several years is now closed. Pro version
of Microsoft Surface tablet has an i5 CPU which puts it in the class of Ultrabooks
not iPad class. Windows 8 is a better designed OS the iPad OS, has Office and will
benefit from compatibility with Windows 7 applications. In a way the game for Apple
should be over, but marketplace is unpredictable by definition. One problem is the
Windows 8 tablet are priced on the level of iPad. With keyboard any of those can
be used like of a regular laptop but the total cost is over $1K. In any case the
level compatibility with the office is simply unachievable for any other type
of tablet and that means that for enterprise usage those tablets will became preferable
Call me a simpleton in these matters, but I bought a Lenovo 10.1" S6000 for
£189, and I think it is excellent. It never seems to get mentioned by these know-all gurus.
I just got a Nexus 7 (2013). Would be a good tablet except for one thing, it
has horrendous touchscreen problems. If you're left stabbing your tablet in frustration
because it won't do what you want, well then it's not nice to use.
Google have acknowledged the issue and have been trying to fix it in recent software
updates, but so far with little success. There are suggestions that it is in fact a
manufacturing/design issue (certain patterns on the screen cause interference in the
touchscreen circuitry), so software changes may not be able to rectify it.
Stabbing your tablet isn't going to fix the issue. Might make you feel better
The aspect ratio of the N7 is why I use my iPad Mini as my chuck-in-handbag
device rather than my N7, which my dad now has and adores (he's an old IBMer; wrote code in
Assembler, can't stand Apple devices because he can't tinker with them).
I'm probably going to treat myself to one of the 8" Bay Trail Windows tablets -
just a matter of deciding which one. I'm pretty fed up with the iPad Mini: it's slow and
limiting - though I do love its smart cover.
He nailed it when he took 'emotion' and 'go with the herd mentality' out of the
equation, and said he liked the Nexus because it's tied to google and he used google apps
etc. for the majority of his work and productivity.
If you have money to burn - it really doesn't matter.
But if the over priced Apple gadgets make you more productive and gets you 'home' sooner or
helps you to do your job better and faster than the rest of the herd, then that's what you
should invest in - otherwise, treat these gadgets for they are - toys.
When I travel to and from work, I don't even turn on my 'gadgets' - but I constantly spy on
all the lemmings using theirs, and overwhelmingly it's women looking at shopping sites or
people watching silly videos and movies or playing games or engaging in silly texting. "Just
go up." "I'm on the train."
JonathanCR Naime Bond
I'm sure you get a lot of satisfaction out of sneering at all those saddoes
wasting time on their devices, but I can't help feeling that your attitude would be a little
more legitimate if you were using your own commute to read great works of literature, get
productive work done, produce works of art, etc., and not just watching other people wasting
time on their devices. Is watching a silly video really a greater waste of time than
watching someone else watching one?
How many was that - six? No space for Sony, Kindle, Nook, or Samsung, but two
Apple devices. Bit odd. Did you not ask their PR people to send you one to show off? Or if
you did and they declined (unlikely), would have been worth mentioning.
And no mention of each tablet's processing power, storage, memory card slot, camera quality
for Skype etc.
This was not the 'best and worst' tablets of 2013, this was a quick chat about a few chosen
Watching this video reminds me of when I was a young chap, nervously sitting
next to my set-in-his-ways boss in meetings, itching to tell him there is a better way than
clinging to the certainties of seasons past; my nervous glances betraying how hard it is to
find that form of words that wouldn't gratuitously upset him.
I got bored as soon as I realised that I was watching the Apple fanclub. This
is so boring. Where are the Samsung and Sony devices? This is farsical.
There is the little known tablet called Nook.
It's a great one. perfect for kids and reasonable priced. Light and android free Apps make
it easier to use.
I use one at home. (i am not a nook salesman)
If nothing else, at least on a Win machine, you can remove the crapware that
shouldn't be there in the first place. Try that on an iAnything
The crapware shouldn't be on the Windows machine in the first place.
iDevices don't come with crapware.
You can remove the crapware from Windows machines. You can't remove iOS
native apps you don't use.
What an awful video review. The Nokia Tablet trashed due to it not being able
to play iTunes or run Chrome. I'd say that makes it a selling point.
The Surface Pro review was glib. It is bad because it has the power of a laptop with a
removable keyboard? Could you not mention the lack of the walled garden, the usb expansion,
the memory expansion port... you knock the Nokia tablet as it doesn't have support of the
Windows OS yet this is a bad tablet because it does?
How do you both justify being paid to create rubbish like this?
Dell kicks the butt of competitors with $300 Windows 8 tablet.
Market reached saturation point. Apple is now in deep trouble as it
can't compete with cheaper and more capable rivals. All this "dirty tricks" with
super high resolution displays at one point stop working and this point might
already has been reached.
About 120 million
tablets were shipped in 2012, nearly seven
times as many as in 2010, when the Apple
iPad was first released and generated wide
interest, according to Gartner, a market
“Getting on an
airplane it’s amazing the number of iPads
that you now see that used to be either
notebooks or portable DVD players,” along
with smaller tablets and e-book readers that
are replacing books and magazines, said Ross
Rubin, an independent analyst for Reticle
maintained a clear lead, but with the
tablet offerings from manufacturers
almost as abundant as those for smartphones,
the market has become more fractured.
In the second
quarter, iPads had the largest share of the
worldwide tablet market, with 32 percent,
IDC. Samsung, the No. 2 tablet maker, is
quickly gaining traction, with 18 percent of
the market in the second quarter, up from
7.6 percent in the period a year earlier.
Apple is expected
to announce significantly upgraded versions
of its iPad and iPad Mini devices on
Tuesday. The iPad Mini is expected to have a
higher-resolution display, while the bigger
iPad is expected to have a slimmer design,
weighing about a pound. Both iPads will also
most likely get Apple’s new processors, but
not the fingerprint sensor that is in the
latest high-end iPhone.
On the same day,
Microsoft will release new versions of its
Surface tablets. Nokia, the mobile device
maker Microsoft is in the process of buying
much of, is expected to introduce a new
tablet in Abu Dhabi.
Think twice about Nexus 7 2013. Unresolved problems with touch
screen, maybe hardware or software. Phantom touches, double touches, unpredictable
So far tablets were successful only as media consumption device. That's not
enough for sustained success as laptops hybrid with touch screen are more functional.
I agree completely. Tablets are a fad. The form factor is terrible and
the functionality is lacking. I think that most people are going to continue
using phones and laptops
Re:I agree (Score:4, Insightful)
The major issue is that tablets are great
content consumption devices for watching video or reading but piss poor
content creation devices.
This is like comparing the number of people who own music versus the
number of people who play music. "Content creation" hasn't been on the radar
of most people since pre-recorded media has been made available at a good
price point. I remember being about 12 or 13 years old with a Commodore
64. Of the 6 other kids I knew at the time who owned computers about 5 of
us could code simple games and such. That's roughly 85%. How many kids can
code today? The difference is that for a 12 year old pre-recorded media
was too expensive and my parents weren't shelling out 20 dollars for the
latest SSI title every other week.
are you kidding?
I'd say they're okay for creation at best...at least the
kind that I do.
Given the choice I'd *far* rather use a full-sized keyboard/mouse
and big monitor (1920x1200 but I want to go bigger) for just about anything
creative--writing code, retouching photos, editing video, or even just writing
Are tablets going to go away?
Of course the tablet market isn't dying.
It could possibly be described as a bubble at the moment, but that doesn't
mean that that sales are going to disappear within the next five years.
The issue is more that tablets are essentially as powerful as they'll
need to be for the next five years, if not longer. They're designed to be
highly portable devices that can access the internet and be used as ebook
readers, but are large enough to be easier to read from than a smartphone.
Aside from the people who need to have the new shiny, most people who own
or are thinking of buying a tablet will only upgrade when it can no longer
handle their needs, much like Windows XP computers.
WMJ "Tech Guy" (Washington DC)
Great Product - but I wouldn't pay MORE than list price for it..., February
I own three Surface Pro 128s. I love the product. For me, iPads and Droid
tablets have been fun for consuming apps, but not very suitable for office
productivity. The Surface Pro 128 has plenty of horsepower for virtually
all applications that you would run on it. Plan on having only about 85
GB left after the operating system and Office is installed - but you can
also add a micro card for additional storage. Battery life could be better,
but it's adequate at between 3 and 5 hours depending on what's running.
The Surface Pro is fast, reasonably light, excellent, and a welcome change
from the iPad and Droid tablets...
The only reason that I'm dinging this listing by a few stars is that the
list price of a surface pro 128 is $999. They are hard to come by - but
you can find them at the list price - I've found 3. As well, there should
be new inventory hitting the market within a matter of a week or two - at
the lsit price.
B. Hill (Reston, VA USA, 7 reviews)
Without compare! Very close to one-device nirvana, even for a power
user, February 16, 2013
I do a lot of web development and graphic design work, as well
as financial reporting and general writing. I'm on the web constantly. I've
tried iOS, I carried an Android tablet for a while, and I've been using
a nice Win8 laptop with a super-fast SSD drive and 8GB of RAM for the past
My goal was simple: can I ditch the tablet and laptop, and get 1 device
to really support all of my needs?
The Surface Pro delivers in a near-perfect way.
I travel from desk-to-desk; the only time I'm on battery is for occasional
meetings or short day trips. I'm never more than a few hours without access
to a plug. Yes I'd love to see better battery life, but that complaint doesn't
really impact my personal situation.
I use a large 2nd monitor, and contrary to what I feared from other reviews,
the TEXT LOOKS GREAT AND MONITOR SCALING HAS NOT BEEN A PROBLEM.
PROS: - system is highly portable - it runs ALL apps and software. The
first time I connected to my work VPN, connected to SQL server, and remote
desktops, all from a tablet-sized machine? AWE. SOME. - type cover is great,
I can type full speed with no problem - USB port means that any peripheral
works great; I normally use either a mouse or a USB hub for extra devices
- everyone comments that the screen looks brilliant and crisp - I have never
heard any fan noise at all, the thing is completely silent - I set up multiple
user accounts for my kids, with Family Safety turned on. One tablet not
just for my needs, but it also works well with my kids - The C drive has
118GB of usable space. This is after I created an external recovery drive
(on a microSD card), which allowed me to delete the recovery partition that
ships with the device.
CONS: - would love 1 extra USB 3 port - extra power supply (which I did
buy) is too expensive - needs about a 1-week learning/comfort curve for
anyone who is new to Windows 8. I've now trained a handful of average users
who have moved over from Windows 7. They all love it, after the initial
In summary, buy this device! It is without compare.
With these installed, the camera was able to completely empty its buffer,
ready to start shooting again, only six seconds after we took our finger off
the shutter. Other cards were much slower: the class 4 SanDisk card took 25
seconds to catch up. Copying the shots off the card was faster too.
There isn’t a perfect correlation between write and read speeds, but
by using a USB 3 SD card reader, we were able to copy files from the Kingston
233X card (Kingston
Digital, Inc. 32 GB Flash Memory Card SDHA1-32GB)
at an average of 70MB/sec, while other cards offered less than a third of that
(I wonder if what would be the speed of
SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card 95MB-s SDSDXPA-032G-AFFP
An interesting and innovative alternative to tablet.
If you couldn’t already tell, I haven’t used very many convertibles. I was
never really sold on the idea of a tablet/laptop hybrid, but with what I’ve
seen of the IdeaPad Yoga 13, I might be singing a different tune by the time
everything is said and done. The Yoga 13 impresses right out of the box – the
silver chassis looks sleek, and I was actually surprised by how light it is.
I was certainly expecting heavier than 3.3 pounds, though with that weight,
the Yoga 13 still has some heft that you won’t find in traditional ultrabooks.
The screen is really nice as well, though again a little unconventional as
far as ultrabook screens go. Instead of running at the 1366×768 resolution we’re
all so bored with, the Yoga 13′s touch screen is running at 1600×900 resolution.
It’s an odd resolution that we don’t see to often in notebooks, but it’s a welcome
change. The visuals are sharp and touch is responsive. This plays hand-in-hand
with the touch-friendly tiles in Windows 8; even when using the Yoga 13 in notebook
mode, I’m finding myself using the touch screen instead of the track pad. I
said in my Windows 8 review that the operating system was clearly geared toward
touch screens, and the Yoga 13 backs that assertion up.
I am using the yoga more than a week and I am just amazed with the product
and annoyed with all the reviews missing out some key points.
- The cold boot up and total shutdown of the system is Max. 4 second.
I repeat, from total cold (not hibernate or sleep mode) the boot time
is 4 sec. I couldn't believed it and I tested but it was never more
than 4 sec. Even iPad needs 35 sec from cold boot up.
- The build quality is excellent. I gave it to my 7 and 10 year old
and they abused it and it is still excellent.
- The trackpad us great. Especially that you can do charm call (swipe
on the right) on the mouse pad. It is really usefull.
The size seems a bit bigger than you say to be comfortable tablet use
but it is amazingly wonderfull enjoying the bigger tablet mode.
The only note I have that if it would 2-3 mm thinner and a little bit
less wait this could be the best PC ever.
I also think it is CHEAP for the value you are getting
Microsoft has announced the availability and pricing of its Surface Pro tablet,
the Windows 8 pro-packin’ big brother to its Surface RT tablet, and reaction
has been tepid given they start at $899 for the 64GB version — without keyboard
(but with a stylus). Add 64GB and the price is $999. It will be available in
Holsen I WANT TO LOVE IT, December 7, 2012
I have been very excited about Samsung Smart PC (and The Pro version) so
when I finally saw them back in stock I bought two of them. 1 for me and
1 for my wife. Tablets (Convertibles) all the way back to Win XP so I am
very familiar with their form and function. They both arrived on the same
day and I was very pleased. The Long and the short is this: One works perfectly
and the other is plagued keyboard disconnect issues mentioned in several
reviews. I'll try to be completely objective and want to give a fair review
here from the perspective of the machine that works:
Patrick Kelley (WI USA) Do the updates before you pull your hair
out, December 6, 2012
SCREEN: In a word it's beautiful. Several people have complained that they'd
rather have the Full HD Screen but in truth it's very difficult to see the
difference in resolution on the screens between the Smart PC 500T and the
Smart PC Pro 700T in making the decision to buy this unit I went to a future
shop in Vancouver where they had both units on display and put them side
by side viewing the same pictures and the same sites and neither me no the
sales rep could see any difference in the picture quality. The 1366 x 768
Keyboard: The one that works, works flawlessly. It's comfortable and the
materials feel great. The keys are precise and I have no problem that it's
made of plastic. The plastic keep the weight down and it's high grade with
a very good look and feel to it.
TABLET MATERIAL: There have been many comments also about the plastic the
tablet itself is encased in. Again I think the complaints are unfounded.
In my opinion it looks great, feels great and hides the finger prints well
not mention the fact that it also keeps the weight down.
PROCESSOR: I was very sceptical about the ATOM processor but based on reviews
and tech specs decided to take a chance on it. Honestly it's a very capable
processor. I mean I know it's not designed for video editing and bought
it knowing this. BUT for a having a versatile, lightweight Email, word doc,
powerpoint machine - it's perfect.
Had I not bought two of these, and only ended up with a good unit, I would
have given it 5 stars for doing what it's designed to do. Unfortunately
I do have two units the second one is so unreliable that I am giving an
over all three. I would rate the 1st unit as 1 star and the second unit
I think the real problem is in the latch on the keyboard dock, on the one
unit it sounds like it clicks / locks into place but it constanly loses
its connection and I get USB Recognition Errors. The working dock seems
to lock in the same manner but I don't experience any of the errors. I hope
this helps somebody. I'm keeping the working unit, and sending back the
other. The question is whether I take a chance on a Samsung Replacement
or spend the extra money for the Asus Vivo Tab
The reviews on this tablet--with the keyboard (as such I have) have been
mixed. And I believe--from personal experience--it comes down to installing
the updates. This includes the SW (samsung) and windows 8 ones. SW will
install some critical windows 8 updates, but not necessarily all of them.
Updates are everything to your enjoyment (or torture) of this device. When
I first got this and fired it up, I was ready to send it straight back.
Like others have mentioned there were issues with the keyboard constantly
disconnecting and the WiFi being flaky. But, once I did all the updates
Assuming you do the updates, and everything is working well for you for
me, it earns the 4-star rating I have ultimately given it (without the updates,
were are seriously talking 2--if I'm generous--because without the vital
updates this tablet with the keyboard is all but useless). As a side note,
I would deduct one more star for some of the shortcomings of windows 8,
but that's not Samsung's fault or its hardware.
The only other area of disappointment for me
was the cheap digitizer pen that is included. Honestly it
looks and feels like something you get out of a gumball machine as a novelty
prize. As a long-time user of Fujitsu tablet
PCs and laptops, I do expect a bit more out of the digitizer pen, both in
quality and functionality. But it serves it purpose (if you
can manage to get it out of its silo/dock).
An active digitizer is superior to capacitive tough in accuracy, especially
if you want to take notes or work with graphics (such as PhotoShop).
[2012/12/07] Since I so critical of the digitizer pen, I thought it was
fair to mention one other area I found the tablet to shine. That would be
the speakers. Not only are they forward facing, unlike many others that
are side or even rear mounted, they sound surprisingly good (for a tablet--still
no bone rattling bass or anything =P).
"I strongly recommend you to watch all SAMSUNGmobile's YouTube videos to utilize
Galaxy to its full potential. You will see why I think no other tablets can even
compete with Galaxy Note."
Yu It's Samsung time now September 15, 2012
I am a long time Apple guy who currently owns 2012 Retina Macbook Pro, 27
inch iMac, iPad3, & iPhone 4S. I stay with Apple products mainly because
Mac does the best for what I do. However, I never have been 100% satisfied
with iPhone & iPad due to their unnecessary restrictions and limitations.
I just couldn't find alternatives - I love Android in terms of features
and potential, but the execution(overall user experience) has been lagging.
I guess that the time has come. Galaxy Note
10.1 made big step forward and turned the potential into reality.
Just after 48 hours learning and playing around,
I am convinced this is the device I want to use everyday.
It is the first tablet that actually helps my productivity, no more frustration
with restricted toy. So iPad goes to my mom now.
I won't relist pros and
cons, since all reviewers already listed them. But I just want to correct
a few misconceptions that some biased online reviewers manufactured.
1. Some people lie about build quality and
they claim it makes squeaky sound when they grap it. Either
they got the defect or it is downright lie. It feels solid and much better
material for everyday use. Aluminum on my iPad may "look" better, but not
practical without cover or case. I always had to use cover for my iPad to
prevent scratches. But if you have to use case to cover, what's the point?
It covers "beautiful" aluminum anyway. I don't even use cover/case for Galaxy
Note and it feels just right in many hours use. Again, this two tone design(mine
is white-silver) looks beautiful, very comfortable for many hours. This
tablet is designed to work, not just look.
2. Screen - screen resolution is one of the reasons I was hesitant to try
Galaxy Note. All I can say is just go try it yourself.
This screen is beautiful! Yes
you heard this from the owner who use Retina Macbbok Pro and 27 iMac everyday.
Do not fall into john doe's resolution comparison, just go check it yourself!
Sure 1920 would be nice, but I'd take Galaxy's 1280 with S-Pen any day.
3. Some say it's expensive. Do you know how
much it cost to buy wacom device with this size and feature alone?
Most importantly, this tablet is so fast and responsive and delivers
many things in my wish list "today". No more compromising and stuck with
iPad. S-Pen, true multitasking (yes limited as of now, but it's already
very powerful and useful), and microSD support (I
feel like a prisoner who just escaped from Alcatraz!). I
suggest you to check this device yourself and never fall into some online
Don't get me wrong. I still love Apple products and I will stay with Mac
unless I see something better for my life and work. I just wanted to share
my experience with Galaxy Note 10.1 because there are so many false reviews
from Apple or Android fan boys and girls.
*** I strongly recommend you to watch all SAMSUNGmobile's
YouTube videos to utilize Galaxy to its full potential. You will see why
I think no other tablets can even compete with Galaxy Note. ***
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