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Tablets with Wacom digitizer and stylus

News Recommended Links Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen Selected Free and Low Cost Android Apps Galaxy 10.1 S-pen Phablets
Microsoft Surface Pro Dell Venue 8 Pro Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T Asus Vivo Tab Prepaid Wireless Broadband Plans BlackBerry PlayBook
MiFi 3G frequency bands Tethering and Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots Prepaid Wireless Broadband Plans Telecom Industry push into two year contracts Danger of un-objective Amazon reviews
Android Windows 8 Android (in)security Java Humor

Etc


Introduction

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 reasonably well:

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 Samsung Galaxy 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 manufactures.

In this stampede of almost identical models it's better to demand something special from the model. The most attractive additional capabilities IMHO are:

Those 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 Bluetooth headset):

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. Wikipedia)  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):

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  iPad (requires buying active stylus such as iPen)

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/Google tablets with Wacom digitizer

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 Windows 8 tablets with Wacom digitizer and stylus

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 devices.


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

 

[Dec 16, 2013]  Tablet takedown: the best (and worst) of 2013 – video review

The Guardian

oldpeterwood

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.

WoWaddict

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.

sharpone23 WoWaddict

Stabbing your tablet isn't going to fix the issue. Might make you feel better though...

blossiekins s0larm4n

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.

Naime Bond

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?

manicsrevol00

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 at random.

jimblejamble

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.

jekyllandhyde

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.

ontracks

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.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook/379003208

I use one at home. (i am not a nook salesman)

Avro untergr33k

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.

blossiekins Avro

You can remove the crapware from Windows machines. You can't remove iOS native apps you don't use.

Geoffrey Gibbs

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.

Tablet Makers Gear Up for Latest Skirmish - NYTimes.com

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 research company.

“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 Research.

Apple has 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, according to 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.

 

[Oct 06, 2013] Sean H.'s review of Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (16GB, White)

Amazon.com

Think twice about Nexus 7 2013. Unresolved problems with touch screen, maybe hardware or software. Phantom touches, double touches, unpredictable zoom.

BlackBerry CEO Tablet Market Is Dying

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.
Slashdot

DogDude

I agree

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

mmcxii
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.

Chirs

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 this comment.
 

skine

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.

[Apr 03, 2013] Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 Pro 128 Gb Tablet Electronics

Amazon.com

WMJ "Tech Guy" (Washington DC)

Great Product - but I wouldn't pay MORE than list price for it..., February 26, 2013

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 6 months.

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 hurdle.

In summary, buy this device! It is without compare.

 

[Feb 24, 2013] Does your camera need a fast SD card?

PC Pro

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 read speed.

(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 Electronics)

[Feb 24, 2013]  Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 hands-on and first impressions by Eric Abent

An interesting and innovative alternative to tablet.
Nov 1, 2012 | SlashGear 

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.

Droshy :

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.

  1. 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.
  2. The build quality is excellent. I gave it to my 7 and 10 year old and they abused it and it is still excellent.
  3. 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

[Dec 07, 2012] Is Microsoft's Surface Pro Tablet DOA on Price Innovation Insights

Wired.com

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 January.

[Dec 07, 2012] Customer Reviews Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T (Tablet Only)

Amazon.com

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:

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 is superb

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 at 5.

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
Patrick Kelley (WI USA) Do the updates before you pull your hair out, December 6, 2012
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 it "behaved."

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).

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (32GB, Deep Grey) Computers & Accessories

"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."
Amazon.com

 E. 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 reviews.

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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