back to article Review: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet and dock

Windows RT: unholy fondleslab abomination or clever integration of a grown-up desktop and touch-friendly tablet UI? Opinions veer wildly and violently between one and the other extreme. The newest and first non-Nvidia Tegra 3 receptacle for Microsoft’s alleged problem child is Dell’s Asus Transformer-esque XPS 10. On paper, and …

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Is there a reason you've totally hidden the "comments" box?

On topic, I'd quite like one of these. I'd like one even more if MS had been good enough to compile an ARM port of VS2012 I could download, or even buy if necessary.

However, if I have to buy my productivity software or if (as now) it simply doesn't exist, £699 is too much money.

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"Is there a reason you've totally hidden the "comments" box?"

Top left. So that those who want to make reactionary uninformed comments without reading the article don't have to scroll to the bottom :)

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For half the price, you can buy an Asus Transformer Prime, or a Nexus 10 and a bluetooth keyboard case. I'm struggling to understand what this give you over those. It's got partial Office, perhaps a bit better than the solutions available on Android, but other than that, I'm coming up blank.

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Maybe it's less crashy and malware-prone than Android?

(Note - not saying it is, just that it may be).

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Pint

Thanks dogged, I was feeling terrible today, I needed a good laugh.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @dogged

@Eadon how many times do you need to be told to stop accusing people of being shills?

Please stop it. It's immature and drags the whole site down with your level of discourse.

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@Eadon Re "- Microsoft are paying you well for your ill-informed FUD, I trust?"

Ah yes Eadon. You are at it yet again are you not hmm? Anyone who says something you don't like is a villain or a shill. You expose your own pathetic bigotry with everything you post.

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WTF?

Re: @Eadon Re "- Microsoft are paying you well for your ill-informed FUD, I trust?"

What amuses me is nine downvotes (and counting) for suggesting a possibility.

Not an opinion, a possibility.

Either a) people can't read and simply assume

or b) at least nine people have an entirely different reason to downvote anything which even suggests that Android may be less than perfect.

I can't think of reason. Eadon almost certainly could.

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Spend half of that money on a Nexus 10 & the other half on i5 Inspiron laptop. Job done.

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Wam

RT or Not RT

There's no doubt that I'd prefer the full Windows 8 on a tablet - cum laptop combo rather than RT. But the battery life just isn't good enough for me. Sure, a normal ultrabook (windows or Mac) has less life than a tablet / i-thing, so a full windows tablet is no worse than these.

But still, I want tablet battery life with laptop capability. Too much to ask at present I guess

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This is subjective but the UI - the UI is FUGLY FAIL!

Surely something that fails at being fugly, looks really rather good?

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Seems strange to brand this as an XPS, I thought that was their performance brand.

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It was, until they bought Alienware. XPS is more the 'Premium' brand rather than performance nowadays.

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I might buy one in 6 months time when they cut the price in half to the sort of price it should be at now as i doubt they are going to sell many at that price.

Are DELL just putting out a Windows RT device to keep the new partial owners happy and make it look like they think Windows RT is not gonna fail?

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Battery usage

The way that the Dell Tablet + keyboard drains the tablet's battery first is not unique...the Asus Transformer Infinity does the exact same thing, which flies totally in the face of what the venerable old TF101 would do (which was to keep the tablet charged above all). The first time I used my TF700 I thought it was defective. It's stupid behaviour and I have to wonder why they changed it (and why Dell did the same thing).

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Am I missing something about the price of RT devices

Even factoring in the fact that someone like Dell needs to make a profit on hardware, the cost of the first gen RT devices seems absurdly silly. Granted, you can run real, actual Office out of the box (an area where Android seems particularly weak) but it's a big premium to pay for it.

OTOH, this is the most compelling looking RT device I've seen.

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Boffin

Re: Am I missing something about the price of RT devices

Granted, you can run real, actual Office out of the box (an area where Android seems particularly weak) but it's a big premium to pay for it.

Except that it's not "real, actual Office" at all... is it.

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Re: Am I missing something about the price of RT devices

Yes, it is real, actual Office. The following are missing according to http://blogs.office.com/b/office-next/archive/2012/09/13/building-office-for-windows-rt.aspx :

•Macros, add-ins, and features that rely on ActiveX controls or 3rd party code such as the PowerPoint Slide Library ActiveX control and Flash Video Playback

•Certain legacy features such as playing older media formats in PowerPoint (upgrade to modern formats and they will play) and editing equations written in Equation Editor 3.0, which was used in older versions of Office (viewing works fine)

•Certain email sending features, since Windows RT does not support Outlook or other desktop mail applications (opening a mail app, such as the mail app that comes with Windows RT devices, and inserting your Office content works fine)

•Creating a Data Model in Excel 2013 RT (PivotTables, QueryTables, Pivot Charts work fine)

•Recording narrations in PowerPoint 2013 RT

•Searching embedded audio/video files, recording audio/video notes, and importing from an attached scanner with OneNote 2013 RT (inserting audio/video notes or scanned images from another program works fine)

That's compared to the x86 version of Office Home & Student 2013. The common theme is largely code that was written in x86 assembly - VBA macros had to be cut from Office:Mac x86 originally, for exactly this reason. See http://www.schwieb.com/blog/2006/08/08/saying-goodbye-to-visual-basic/ for more on that and the technical challenges they faced. I would anticipate that, just as happened on the Mac, VBA will be back in a later release of Office RT.

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My next machine will be a hybrid, or a damn good tablet. One thing it must have for me is proper multi-user support. I even went through the pain of "upgrading" my current Samsung Galaxy 8.9 to Android 4.2, and Google have blown it with that. Multi-user,yes, but other users cannot use the same apps unless you use the main accounts gmail, which kind of defeats the object. So, can anyone tell me if RT works the same way as WIndows proper in that all apps can be available to all users? If so then that's the path I'll take.

XPS 10, 12, Lenovo Yoga...dunno. I'll wait a bit.

Price. Reasonable really if you compare to apple.

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APJ
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Multi User

For me the multi-user capability is the main selling point for RT (I have a Surface). Each member of the family has their own login, with picture password, not the greatest in security terms, but easy for a 4 yr old...

Microsoft Family Safety controls what the youngsters can access on the web and in the MS Marketplace/Store/whatever it's called. For free apps the kids can just install age appropriate stuff, for paid for apps it prompts for a password for my Passport (or whatever it's called) account. For me, this works really well.

The multi user stuff allows each person to have their own app set, if an app has been purchased in one profile it's free to "install" again for a second profile as we use the same Store (OWIC) account.

I agree that the desktop vs Metro implementation is weak, that Office doesn't work brilliantly with touch (I tend to use a BT mouse for the occasional use of this), but to say that the Office environment is not complete is a bit of a stretch, the lack of Outlook is pretty bad, though I can imagine the interface being awful with touch on a relatively small screen, but the rest of the Office elements work well. The Metro Mail app is woeful though, OWA for me for now.

APJ

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FAIL

Shit screen

NEXT...

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Stop

953 which is better than either the Surface or Asus’ VivoPad RT

Huh? Am I reading this right?

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Anonymous Coward

Awful product

We've got one of these at work, as well as a Surface... And this awful Dell thing is worse in every way than the surface. The screen is worse, the case is plastic, flimsy and cheap, and has stickers all over the back. Huge laptop style power adapter, no USB port, only micro USB...

And the screen glass is coming away from the body. We've just had it sat on the desk, not exactly "tough usage".

Same price as the Surface too. I usually like Dell, but this is a very poor show.

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Joke

Junk

I telephoned Dell, and they tried to offer me this as a replacement for a netbook, at £600 without the keyboard.

I laughed at them. This really is a joke of a product.

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Anonymous Coward

Confused about the bars diagram

If longer is better then this device is only better than the iPad ... who would have guessed a computer being better than a leap pad style toy.

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Re: Confused about the bars diagram

Shorter is better - less time taken. The latest versions of Safari still outperform IE 10 on this particular microbenchmark. Microsoft continue to claim that this microbenchmark is not really representative of anything much, and that they focus their optimization efforts more on whole scenarios than on these microbenchmarks.

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I bought the Asus WIndows RT Tablet instead.

For years I was the one always power hungry for the full deal but today I do not always need that power and I found what I needed in the quad core Asus Windows RT.

If all you do is email, watch netflix and message boards and angry birds then Windows RT is just perfect for you!

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