back to article Ten Windows tablets

Twelve months ago the idea of compiling a list of Windows tablets that you would actually want to buy would have been as impossible to do as it would have been farcical to suggest. But with the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT all that has changed, and we are now faced with a bewildering array of fondleslabs all running …

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  1. Chicken Marengo

    Eadon along in 5... 4... 3.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Boo !

      Signed Eadon (not)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You lose

      Eadon wins : you've wasted the chance to be first to post something complimentary on Windows 8 in order to wind him up.

      1. Arctic fox
        Unhappy

        Re: " ...........in order to wind him up." You do not need to unfortunately..........

        ...........he will turn up without any invitation and wind everybody else up.

  2. Merchman

    Prices!

    Well, at least they're all competitive on price.

    /sarcasm

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overpriced.

    Sorry MS but it isn't 1999. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives around that do just the job thanks.

    1. hitmouse

      Re: Overpriced.

      Having real file-system access to external cards and drives makes the Surface devices more than competitive against an iPad. Each platform has its strengths, but ease of use with files is not one of iOS's.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Overpriced.

        Why are you blaming MS that companies are charging £6-800?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Overpriced.

          @JDX

          You need £600- £800 hardware to run W8 pro and for me the price does not justify any perceived benefits, WinRT is a non-starter.

          Yes there are some good reasons for Windows desktop but a lot of those evaporate when you shrink Windows to 10 inches or so, only a masochist uses office on 10 inches.

          You can buy a good 10inch droid tablet for £300 or less that will do 99% of what you would use a W8 tablet for and for the more technically minded can put on a Linux distro if you choose. Currently the pace of ARM development is breathtaking and as it stands MS is not best placed to exploit that potential as Linux ARM is currently light years ahead.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      And you Sir are so so predictable.

      It's got really boring now. Can you try a different angle maybe?

      A comedian has to keep it fresh.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        Sadly, not only will he be here all week, he's seemingly here forever...

        1. Tim Starling
          WTF?

          You can't have a picnic without ants

          And you can't have an internet community without trolls. What a troll wants is a rise, and obviously Eadon is doing pretty well provoking anger from the community here. He's not going to go away, but you could at least try not multiplying everything he says by 20, by posting offended replies to it. Just downvote and leave it at that. If an ant crawls on your picnic lunch, you flick it off, you don't burst into tears and then call the cops.

    2. Chicken Marengo
      Trollface

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      Oh, do pipe down you sniveling little maggot.

      We all get by now that you think Microsoft are responsible for all the ills of the world from the Black Death onwards. However, the simple fact is that Windows is there and many people are going to have to carefully evaluate Win 8 tablets for corporate deployment, whether they want to or not.

      So why don't you bugger off back under your bridge and leave them in peace.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        > from the Black Death onwards

        Blue death, surely?

    3. Ross K
      FAIL

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      Scores out of ten:

      1/10, 1/10, 1/10, 1/10, 1/10, 1/10, 1/10, 1/10, 1/10 and ... 1/10

      Conclusion - they all suck.

      Oh look, Eadon the sad little attention seeker has an opinion on Windows.

      Why don't you share your refreshing opinions with us? I've never heard someone slag off Windows before.

      When's The Reg going to give us an 'Ignore User' button?

      At least then the 95% of readers who don't find trolling amusing could go about their business without having every single discussion fucked up by someone with the social skills of a 5-year-old.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        Upvote on the "ignore user" button... I would actually *PAY* not to have to see Eadon's ramblings anymore in El Reg comments. If enough people get in on this, maybe El Reg can donate some of the proceeds to get Eadon a doctor, or a social life. Or a place to stay, so he can get out from under his bridge.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          Maybe we should just start hitting the 'Report Abuse' option on any of his posts as soon as we see them?

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          Upvote on the "ignore user" button... I would actually *PAY* not to have to see Eadon's ramblings 

          I'm sure it would be simple enough to implement using greasemonkey. I'd happily investigate for a fiver...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        Userscript to remove the parent element where Eadon appears is in the author come one people. 2013 etc.

        1. Steve Foster
          Happy

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          Ok, here's suitable userJS for Opera:

          // ==UserScript==

          // @include http://www.theregister.co.uk/forum/*

          // @include http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/*

          // ==/UserScript==

          function squashElement(e) {

          if ( e ) { e.outerHTML = '' };

          }

          function squashRegPostByAuthor(name) {

          var tmpDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('author');

          for( i in tmpDivs) {

          if( tmpDivs[i].outerText == name ) {

          squashElement( tmpDivs[i].parentNode );

          }

          }

          }

          window.addEventListener(

          'load',

          function () {

          squashRegPostByAuthor('Eadon');

          }, false

          );

          1. Flawless101
            Thumb Up

            Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

            Works in chrome, and by extension I assume Firefox with greasemonkey. Now just to tinker until it removes the whole discussion.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        @Ross K, I think maybe you have missed the point. Eadon may be having a dig at El Reg because there is no comparison evaluation rating between the units given, especially after there has been a clamour for just that.

        Now I suppose I will get voted down just because I APPEAR to be on Eadon's side rather than pointing out that one should engage brain before reacting.

        1. Ross K
          Happy

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          @Ross K, I think maybe you have missed the point. Eadon may be having a dig at El Reg...

          Now I suppose I will get voted down just because I APPEAR to be on Eadon's side...

          No, that's not how he works.

          I'll even upvote you to show I'm not as unreasonable as him when it comes to other points of view,

      4. phr0g
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        For Eadon they would do well to have a "Put user to bed with Milky bokkle" button.

      5. Arctic fox
        Windows

        @Ross K ".........with the social skills of a 5-year-old." Do you mind! I am aquainted with.......

        .......several 5-year-olds in my extended family (third generation and all that*) who are potty-trained.

        *Hence the aged and haggard look in my choice of icon.

      6. N2 Silver badge

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        Sir,

        How very well said, whilst Im no fan of Windows, I support it in a counter to Eadon's stream of shite.

        El Reg, a "fuck off" button to remove the like of Eadon, BigFatDumbGuy555 & the like. Please

        N

      7. turkey
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        I've developed a bad habit. I find myself now reading reg articles that I might otherwise have skipped over, just so that I can read the Eadon love-a-thon in the comments.

        It's like playboy. You know, buy it for the articles...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      0/10 for trolling.

      Do give it a rest.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          "though tongue in cheek" - now how the buggery are we supposed to know that when every other post by Eadon seems to be the same anti-MS slogans unleavened by any form of wit or drollery?

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          Alpha-geek rep.

          OK I'll give you some points that was quite funny.

        3. 1Rafayal
          FAIL

          Eadon, the apha-geek

          "... My point is far too close to the truth for some here, who seem very keen to shoot down my alpha-geek rep..."

          Eadon, you are not an "alpha-geek". You are a very silly, little man with far too much time on his hands.

    5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Unhappy

      It's not funny any more

      It's kind of sad now

      1. jason 7

        Re: It's not funny any more

        It's like watching someone have a mental breakdown in public.

        Never good.

        But it's true we really need an Ignore feature. Most forums in the 21st century offer that so adults can blot out the teens and mentally ill.

    6. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      Congratulations. By posting this, not only is it obvious that you have never used any of the aforementioned tablets, but it also then strongly suggests that you have never used anything related to the Windows 8 ecosystem - and possibly even anything outside your own personal little bubble.

      Personally, I don't care how much of a twat you make of yourself. However, consider this: open source is all about it's community. Now I for one would not want to be any part of a community that has no tolerance for people who do things differently to them - it would be like living in a block of flats where the guy upstairs plays loud music all night.

      In short - your bile and ranting will only serve to drive people away from Linux and the open source community.

      or in terms that you might understand:

      EADON LINUX COMMUNITY REPRESENTATION EPIC, EPIC MULTIVERSAL FAIL

      God, I feel unclean after typing that.

    7. Chika
      FAIL

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      *sigh*

      Would you like to give us a considered opinion before trotting this out? Have you tried any of them? Or perhaps you have an alternative device that you prefer? No?

      I'm not a fan of W8 either but I'm not going to condemn every bit of kit I see just because of that. All it does is bore the shite out of everyone.

      1. Dana W

        Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

        @Chica I have not eaten Casu marzu either, but from previous experience of its contents, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it.

        1. Chika
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

          You may have a point, but the whole problem here is that Eadon won't give a considered opinion either way. All he sees is W8 and suddenly "it's crap". At least you have something to base your opinion of the specific dairy goodness (or badness!)

    8. Maharg
      Windows

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      Guys don’t be so harsh, don’t you know Eadon’s wife ran off with Bill Gates?

      (Pic just to annoy)

    9. Homer 1
      Meh

      A more balanced review

      I'd give the Acer Iconia W700 7/10 for hardware design, dropping a point for using plastic instead of aluminium on the cradle, another for the big black bar around the screen, and one for the fact that the keyboard is too small, even if it is a very nice design.

      I'd also give it 3/10 for the hardware (not design), mainly for using an Intel CPU, which is power-hungry compared to the alternatives on the one hand, but ironically not really powerful enough to cope with "desktop" Windows on the other. Intel HD4000 graphics is also suboptimal compared to the alternatives. The lack of a gigabit ethernet port is also a problem, for me at least, and probably also in the workplace.

      By far its biggest problem is the OS, closely followed by the price. At half the price with more suitable components and a better OS, I might consider it.

      The other machines in this roundup are little better than "meh", barely even worth awarding any points to.

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: A more balanced review

        Is gigabit speed connection that important in a tablet situation?

      2. mmeier

        Re: A more balanced review

        Q: What tasks are you running that a core-i ULV can not handle? Be it the i3 in the Acer or the i7 units in the Sony?

        Granted, programming for Android is one that taxed my older EP121 (similar hardware) but I am not sure if it is memory (In that case the 8GB Sony should work) or CPU (in that case the non-ULV T-Series convertibles should - not doing Android on the T731)

        Q: What graphic requirements do you have that a HD4000 can not fulfill?

        FPS are about the only piece of software I can think off

        Gigabit Ethernet, if needed, is just a 20€ USB dongle away. The unit has USB3 after all

    10. Arctic fox
      Unhappy

      @JustaKOS "Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review"

      You see what I mean? He seems to enjoy being a...........no I cannot be bothered but you know what I mean.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        @Arctic fox - Re: @JustaKOS ... "You see what I mean?"

        Yes, there's no avoiding him. I counted 27 responses to just the one post by Eadon, taking over virtually the whole of the first page - that is awesome power. God-like, almost.

        Basically he enjoys the responses, so if you really don't want to give him that power, I suggest not responding.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Arctic fox - @JustaKOS ... "You see what I mean?"

          Indeed, best to ignore the tossser. The responses, even downvotes give him a hard on. El Reg would do well to have an ignore button as well as improving their archaic commenting system.

          1. Shagbag
            Thumb Up

            Eadon = El Reg Legend

            The guy writes one post and count the number of Replies.

            He's no Troll. He's a fucking Legend.

    11. Armando 123

      Re: Ten Windows Tablets - the Eadon Review

      "Rik, I don't want to say that you're predictable, but there are as-yet-undiscovered tribes in the Peruvian jungle who knew you were going to say that."

      OTOH, I can't see any of these as compelling. Mostly, they don't know whether they're tabs or laptops and therefore probably not great as either.

  5. CADmonkey
    Thumb Up

    Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

    Although we spent the best part of 2 months trying to find a decent UK stockist. Simply unavailable. Having full win8 AND an Atom processor appears to be a niche within a niche. Full win8 needed due to full desktop-Outlook requirement.

    Win8 on dedicated hardware is a completely different experience. Now it all makes sense, I tell ya! Haven't had time to check the battery(s) life yet, but will definately be making use of the ability to charge the phone from the keyboard.

    Cost lots, I grant you, but a beautiful piece of kit nonetheless.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. CADmonkey
        WTF?

        Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

        Gosh Eadon you really are a tit aren't you?

        This normal human is replacing a Samsung Q30 that has been worked to death for 4-5 years. This normal human has shopped long and hard for a suitable replacement. This normal human knows that simply saying that 'we needed to have Outlook' is not unambiguous these days. In fact full Outlook was the main deciding factor, bar none. Which is why I said it, because you know, it could confuse a stupid person.

        Every review I've found backed up the 19 hour battery life, so perhaps you mistook some dried spittle on your screen for a decimal point?

        Finally, I couldn't give a rat's arse if no-one else ever buys one. Your final paragraph requires me to be some sort of generic demographic representative in order to be even remotely accurate. Apple were actually in the running due to the aforementioned requirement for proper Outlook capability, but they weren't that beautiful and the screens were too small.

        1. 1Rafayal

          Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

          Its OK, I think Eadon just needs some time on the naughty step.

          Personally, I have just bought the Lenovo ThinkPad 2 (missing from this roundup?) and it works wonderfully.

          This was to replace my 10" android tablet, well sort of. I also got a 7" android tablet - but hey, I am the consumer after-all!!

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. CADmonkey
            Happy

            Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

            Eadon, you're not just a tit, you're a pair.

          2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

            "One born every minute."

            I refuse to believe that there are another 250+ Eadons in this world as of this post.

        3. Alan_Peery

          Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

          Where did you find it? The 19houra and a Wacom stylus sounds like a good machine for running Microsoft OneNote. I was using my Toshiba M400 with OneNote, and it was quite a nice pairing, but you had to be willing to put up with pretty heavy device.

          By any chance have you tried out OneNote? MS has a free trial download...

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

      I think full Windows 8 + Atom is the way forward for Windows tablets. Good power consumption, a touch interface but still the full power of a Windows desktop when you need it. I think I would still wait for an iteration of both the hardware and software though.

      On the other hand Windows RT is an unmitigated disaster. A gimped version of "Windows" with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Perhaps a 7" version might work better, especially if a proper metro native version of MS Office appeared. But as it is RT devices are too expensive, too limited and largely useless.

    3. Jah

      Re: Just had an Asus Vivo delivered (#2 on the list)

      Totally agree. Now have Windows 8 Pro on my Vivo Tab TF810. I normally get over 14 hours of battery life. Great portable laptop and versatile tablet with a Wacom digitiser all for £700! Bargain.

  6. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I hope Win 8 does well, just because of the 2 things I sometimes want in a tablet. Keyboard docks and stylus input. Don't always need them, but sometimes they're brilliant. Even better that keyboards come with more battery in them.

    Sadly Samsung seem to be charging a very large premium for their Galaxy Note tablets, over the normal ones. So the S Pen hasn't gone mainstream in Android, and no-one else seems to be doing stylusesusesuses (styli).

    1. Arctic fox
      Happy

      @I ain't Spartacus RE:"......just because of the 2 things I sometimes want in a tablet."

      I agree - indeed that is why I am waiting until the "Haswell" chippery comes out. Precisely because I want a proper os and the combination of processing/graphics power and battery life that those devices should give (plus a stylus) (unless of course Intel are totally bullshitting).

      1. mmeier

        Re: @I ain't Spartacus RE:"......just because of the 2 things I sometimes want in a tablet."

        Many are waiting for either Haswell, y-Series or (for lower powered devices) Baytrail

        Does not help sales that some units upgrades to those CPUs are between "solid rumor" (Sony, Helix) and "almost official" (Thinkpad Tablet 2).

        Even if Haswell just delivers more GPU power for the same endurance it will be an option for quite a few situations like replacing the add on (and power hungry) GPU card in some units. Same for Baytrail - just lifting the memory restriction and switching to HD4000 graphics will make this better than the current CTrail Atom

  7. al 3
    Thumb Up

    well actually...... some musings

    Dell sent me a Lat 10 in January to try out, I've been using an iPad for a year or so as a media consumption device,

    I was pleasantly surprised by the windows 8 fondleslab, once the metro(whatever) screen is despatched with a small add on and the start button reinstalled I found it comfortingly familiar, and pretty speedy too. And being full win 8 pro there are a gazillion apps (previously called software :-) which run on it , (I believe this isn't the case for the RT version though)

    everyone will have there own view, however, one area which the windows tablet absolutely slates (did ye see what I did there ? :-) the ipad is in the handwriting/notetaking business,

    The stylus is a wacom one with a little hard nylon tip and is a joy to use in comparison with apple's little rubbery

    tipped vague piece of uselessness (for this function at least)

    windows handwriting recognition is excellent, my south pawed scrawls were , for the most part, recognised near perfectly, and got better with use. I use this functionality more than anything else now...

    Another plus is that they plonk straight into the domain, this approach is probably sooo last week in our wonderful, 'cloud is the answer, now what's the question'... world... but as an infrastructure manager in a large enterprise ? I want life to be easy..

    I'm no big MS fan, but I just want a tool for the job... :-)

  8. Citizen Kaned
    Thumb Up

    i have a Acer Iconia W700 and be aware that they now come with a case & keyboard rather than the dock. oddly the case doesnt have a hole for the camera?!?!

    win8 really does need a keyboard in certain circumstances. with this being 1080p, desktop is a little fiddly unless you upscale it. i just wish windows could better handle when you set desktop items to be larger as it knackers some apps. i do use a wireless mouse for playing games (older games that arent touch enabled) and any more precise work but most of the time i just use touch.

    i would rather have this device than an ipad or android device. win8 is actually quite nice with touch. plus i can install steam on it and play some older games (currently playing C&C3) and even install photoshop on it. also works much better with NAS than android or iOS. considering its spec it is a nippy machine too.

    win8 needs some tweaks:

    metro picture viewer cannot scroll through photos (stupid decision)

    windows doesnt handle upscaling of desktop too well with all programs (metro apps are fine)

    and of course a small power brick isnt as user friendly as an apple charger or android one. but its much more powerful. i didnt want a useless little processor i wanted a laptop spec

    i wish i had the cash for the razer edge tablets. now they do look decent.

    @Eadon... awww. couldnt you afford a proper tablet? why the hate? my tablet can do anything an iOS or android tablet can do and much more. the number of apps in the app store isnt that great but i can just install any legacy app or write my own

    1. Elmer Phud

      "win8 really does need a keyboard in certain circumstances."

      I like the way that all three inputs tend to lend themselves to different circumstances.

      I find it easy to use the more natural (for me) input depending on what's going on - I don't have to think about it, I just end up using the more appropriate - whether it's click, type or prod.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        agreed. for general stuff touch is adequate and brilliant at certain things (there is a good cheap/free game called Armed! that is quite fun if a little basic compared to C&C AOE etc)

        i have tried to use a stylus but its not that great on my tablet. no digitiser? but i have a wacom tablet that i never use anyway :)

        the keyboard is useful but annoyingly with it being BT you cannot use it until windows boots meaning no safe mode or bios stuff. you need a USB/wireless keyboard for that.

        1. mmeier

          The Acer tablets (sadly) have no inductive (Wacom or Ntrig) digitizer so the can only do touch or capacitiye SAC (Sausage in condom) "pens"

          If you use desktop programs most of the time an inductive digitizer is a must for Windows. So the Samsung Ativ 500/700 or Lenovo Helix as the closest equivalent. And from long experience - there is a big difference between a Wacom "external tablet" and a "screen is the tablet" system

  9. JDX Gold badge

    Surface Pro

    I was hoping to see it included - has ER reviewed it yet?

  10. Greg D
    Megaphone

    The way I see it

    Win 8 Pro tabs = win

    Win 8 RT tabs = fail

    Purely cos with Pro, you have full fat Windows, unlocked so you can install ALL of your normal Windows software you've been using for the past 20 years. Couple that with the versatility of having a stylus, detatchable keyboard and improved interface, which is touch-centric AND the ability of using full-sized USB attachments (keyboard/mouse/anything) you've got a winner both in corporate terms and personal.

    Win 8 RT is an attempt at emulating the Apple closed environment, which is doomed to failure. Forcing users to obtain software (apps) via a moderated store rather than just getting a copy and running the installers yourself, which you've been doing since forever.

    In short, Microsoft NEED to push Win8 pro on all devices they can in order to win anyone over. Win8 RT has not got any fans and never will.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      Re: The way I see it

      do you mean surface pro as my tablet is home premium and its fine for what i need. the only thing pro has that i would like is ability to backup to NAS. not sure why that is a PRO feature annoyingly.

      i do agree that RT seems a total waste of space.

      i guess RT devices will be more stable as less likelihood of 3rd parts apps buggering up your system as RT is a walled garden isnt it? (correct me if im wrong).

      1. Greg D
        Thumb Up

        Re: The way I see it

        Actually I'm just getting across the point of having "full-fat" Windows on a tablet as opposed to 'RT'. Any flavour of full-fat, including Home and Pro, are covered. I just used Win8 Pro as an example, as that's the flavour I've been testing on my company's new Lenovo tabs.

        1. mmeier

          Re: The way I see it

          IIRC Win8 bascially has "Win8" and "Win8/Pro" for clients. The latter has Domain support, Encrypting File System etc. added. So for corporate use go for Pro, for privat use it depends on your needs

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    12 months ago

    "Twelve months ago the idea of compiling a list of Windows tablets that you would actually want to buy would have been as impossible to do as it would have been farcical to suggest. "

    Nothing has changed, certainly for home users, and business users if they want to maintain productivity would be best advised to stay clear too.

    No doubt a slew of Microsoft employees will be along to downvote me soon enough, but consumers and businesses have voted with their wallets already.

    1. Greg D
      Stop

      Re: 12 months ago

      You do realise MS tried to do this back in 2004?

      http://www.tabletpc2.com/Review-HPTC1100.htm

      Back then compiling a list of any other tablets would have yielded nothing but MS powered devices. They were ahead of their time and didnt sell. Now MS's efforts are seen as behind the time, despite pioneering the foray into tablet form factors!!

      I will agree that back in 2004, XP just didnt do enough to make tablet computing nice to use. But what gets me is people that go around praising Apple for bringing us the "first" PDA-like smartphones and tablets. THEY DIDNT. MICROSOFT DID. Their interface just sucked at the time.

    2. Citizen Kaned

      Re: 12 months ago

      i dont agree. 12 months ago little or no tablets were available that compared to an ipad. these days there are loads that pee all over ipads from a great height.

      my tablet maybe cost £150 more than a cheap laptop and its much more flexible. i can game on it. mrs does her H&S assignments on it. i can use photoshop, steam, office etc.

      the thing is, does business really need touch? i know all the execs want ipads but how many actually use them for anything other than email and web? they are also a pain to admin at times too.

      1. Greg D
        Boffin

        Re: 12 months ago

        Depends how you are defining a tablet...

        In 2004, there were real-world, commercially available devices that were rectangular, had rounded edges, a touchscreen (albeit resistive touch), stylus and keyboard dock. They ran Windows XP, which was able to run a multitude of software (apps) and consume many different forms of media.

        Hell, even the CPU ran at 1Ghz! Albeit a battery-sapping Wintel x86 CPU.

        How is that different from an iPad of today? The only thing Apple and Co. are doing differently is the OS is much nicer to use and a lot faster/smoother. And the guts of the things run on much more efficient architecture (ARM/Qualcomm/nVidia).

        1. mmeier

          Re: 12 months ago

          Actually most of the XP based units had a Wacom even back then and no touch. Only low end units used resistive (i.e Asus MT91 and MT101). That was what partially made the units costly (Shock absorbing mounts for the HDD and a high capacity battery - for the time - where others)

          Today the Atom based units can run rings around ARM and the ARM based OS are not running faster. Nor is the architecture more power efficient. To reach similar performance a brand new A15 ARM actually eats more power than the aging CTrail Atom.

          If we go into core-i territory the ARM is more power efficient but the core-i can simulate ARM in real time if needed...

          1. Greg D
            Thumb Up

            Re: 12 months ago

            I see your point :)

            What I meant was power efficiency. Back in 2004,. desktop CPU's were still more powerful than that of today's smart devices, just not power efficient. ARM's architecture was designed around low power consumption, whilst maintaining a decent level of performance. Not breaking records in either field, but something that made smartphones viable at the time!

            1. mmeier

              Re: 12 months ago

              Yes, back in 2004 power consumption was one of the two major problems for Tablet PC. Harddisks where the other - tablets are handled rougher than a notebook. Back then partially the Celeron and keeping with the PIII chips "solved" that, partially using higher performance (and much costlier) batteries. Both kept prices high. Only in the last 3 or so years did this get better.

              ARM is great for phones and useable for media tablets. OTOH Equinox in the Note 10.1 does reach it's limits in tasks like handwriting recognition, the Ativ500 is more fluent there using the same (SNote) software for testing.

              Samsung partially gets around that by forcing the user to switch modes (Letter entry, Number entry, spec char entry) on the HWR reducing some overhead for the engine but making use less fluid. They also deliver the units with a "fat" line strenght configured again making live easier for the HWR (Speed drops if you use the finest line)

    3. Jah

      Re: 12 months ago

      Suggest you checkout the Asus TF810. Great reviews at Amazon and always sold out.

  12. Fred M

    I stopped reading when I got the the phrase "End Of." because:

    a) It's the most annoying phrase in the world. (And fondleslab comes pretty close.)

    b) It was the end, wasn't it?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Annoying phrases

        "Fail" in capitals comes pretty close.....

  13. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Here we have the top ten Win 8 tablets out of a selection of...

    ... er, ten?

    1. mmeier

      Re: Here we have the top ten Win 8 tablets out of a selection of...

      Nope. Actually missing quite a few in that list. Ativ500/700, Dell Latitude 10, Lenovo TPT2, T732/T902 (If the Sony is a tablet so are those), Q702 and Q572....

  14. Neil Alexander

    Disappointed that the HP ElitePad 900 never seems to make it into these reviews. It is an excellent contender, even if it is a "business tablet", whatever that means.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just reviewed by the Reg....

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/08/review_hp_elitepad_900_windows_8_pro_tablet/

      probably why it didn't also get included in the Top 10

    2. stephajn

      What about the Lenovo Twist? (Or does that not qualify because it isn't a tablet by more of today's reckonings?

      Have sold a couple of those where I work. The customer's like it. Had a good balance between being like a netbook/notebook and being a tablet. Despite the fact that the screen in itself doesn't stand alone and sits atop a keyboard that it can swivel around and latch down onto....it was a nice piece of gear to use!

      1. mmeier

        They had the Sony Duo11 in the list - if one convertible counts, they all do

  15. Schultz

    Is it just me,

    or do those tablets increasingly resemble full-fledged notebooks?

    Welcome to the new form-factor, (almost the) same as the old form factor. Maybe it's got something to do with Windows being the dominant workplace OS.

  16. Dr_N Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Asus VivoTab

    To echo others who've purchased an Asus, I'm really quite impressed with the one I bought.

    The user experience is good with full Windows 8 (It's not Pro though) on a tablet with a keyboard dock/extra battery.

    The main benefits compared to my previous Asus Android tablet are that the ability to run Office and printer support.

    Touch/keyboard/mousepad + stylus combo works really well. Whatever you want to do, you have the configuration that suits the job.

    I don't understand the Win8 knockers. You have the "Metro" side of things for tablet mode and then bring up the desktop and dock it into the keyboard for a more traditional device. What's not to understand/like?

    Qudos to Asus for championing this format of device. Real world usable innovation.

  17. adnim Silver badge

    That's the way to do it

    Give attention to an attention seeker.

    As for the hardware nothing really impresses considering the prices. As for the OS well it's a bit like Marmite and I hate Marmite.

  18. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    "For your 700 quid you also get a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus"

    That just possibly killed Wacoms entry level digital display and pen, which last time I checked started at £800. Still not going to break the market for their high end screens, but for a whole "pc" that I can use a Wacom on (and HD screen at that), £700 seems reasonable. :)

  19. Herby Silver badge

    How does work with "necessities"?

    For the tablet to work successfully, it needs a couple of applications:

    1) Solitaire.

    2) (well, there really isn't any other application!).

    The biggest problem is that another pair of vendors (Apple's iOS, Google's Android) have significant market share. Windows on a fondleslab is a late arrival, and wants to make a big splash (look at the adverts Microsoft is running!). To penetrate the market, they need to be lower cost. With lower cost, comes lower margins, which discourages vendors. The problem is that to make use of W8 in a way people are accustomed to, requires a fancy keyboard, which also adds cost. If you are going to spend that much and use the applications on the platform, a small laptop is probably a better choice. This leads to the conclusion "why bother".

    In the end, a fondleslab is a different platform with different applications to be used (not Word/Excel/Outlook). Trying to make it work like a desktop appears to be an exercise in futility.

    Sure you can move furniture in the family car, but a truck works better on a day to day basis.

    1. mmeier

      Re: How does work with "necessities"?

      Having used all three, iOS the least, Android on tablets since A3 including the TPT1 and N80x0 penables as well as Windows since XP Tablet edition - there is a HUGE difference between a penable and a fingerprint gathering device like the iThingy.

      With a inductive stylus you can actually use Word etc. quite well for a large number of tasks, often better than mouse/keyboard combo. The current gen hybrids and/or "cheap" docks make dual use even more easy. For typing lengthy stuff - dock the tablet pc and type. For checking/correcting/annotation - use the pen.

      Using a tablet + pen during a presentation (WIDI connection to the beamer) and making annotations based on audience reaction is extremly useful. During talks with customer - just hand it over have him draw his ideas (OneNote or Journal, we even used ArtRage once) and immediatly after the meeting send the notes around in a editable, commentable format (Well for 92+ percent of PCs, Macs and that 1.4 percent system can't)

      Hybrids / Tablets with a good bookcase and BT keyboard / convertibles offer the "best of both worlds". As tablets they are light, portable "conference room" tools and in "notebook mode" they can do everything a similar powered notebook can do.

      IF and that is the important point IF they have a proper digititzer. Actually quite a few long term users would prefer a tablet pc WITHOUT touch - non-gloss screens and less difference between "point of contact" and "point of detection" for the digitizer

  20. Charles Manning

    Reg: Where did you find this writer?

    How can Microsoft be blamed for the price of these tablets? The price is set by the manufacturers - not Microsoft.

    1. Greg D

      Re: Reg: Where did you find this writer?

      Whilst primarily true, Microsoft do set out the minimum specs of devices their OS should run on. Whether directly or indirectly, that does have a bearing on the overall cost.

      Still a valid point.

    2. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: Reg: Where did you find this writer?

      Microsoft certainly had the power the price the RT Surface more aggressively and I have great difficulty in believing that it couldn't also have arranged a more aggressive price point with the various OEMs for entry level RT tablets in much the same way that Google has with it's Nexus range.

      I doubt the Nexus 4, 7 or 10 would retail for what they do had it been left to LG, Asus and Samsung.

  21. mickm

    Actually bought Win 8 tabs with my OWN money and like them!

    I've actually bought with my own money two Windows 8 tablets. An Asus me400c running Win 8 standard which costs £399, standard Atom tablet with an excellent battery life in excess of 10 hours and 64Gb of storage plus micro SD slot which I use as my couch surfing etc device.

    The other is the Acer Iconia W700 i5 128gb running Win 8 pro. Which after my good experience with the Atom tablet I took the plunge and replaced my laptop with it. I did buy a Microsoft Wedge key board and mouse to go with them.

    Obviously I'm stupid but I am actually very pleased with these devices.

    PS the replaced laptop is a 2011 MacBook Air

  22. John 120
    Thumb Up

    Right on time

    Been looking for some guidance with these tablets, I've been using the phone OS for a couple of years now and am actually quite impressed, so willing to give the tablet a try on that merit, it's also nice to be the black sheep once in a while, hearing how much people hate these things without ever actually booting one up and trying it for daily tasks. Reminds me of old debates lost in time! ;)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Need to make it easy too see if they are WinRT

    The reviews need to make it easy too see if they are WinRT devices or Win 8.

    I don't want to have to read most of the review in order to find out which it is; I'm not even sure they should be in the same list.

    1. Greg D

      Re: Need to make it easy too see if they are WinRT

      100% agree. Win RT is a waste of time from my point of view.

  24. Robert E A Harvey

    It's 2013

    No-one is getting /any/ money from me, /no matter what/ if it says 1366 x 768 on the box.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: It's 2013

      Yes absolutely. The 1024x768 iPad 2 I own suddenly stopped being usable when they made a version with double the resolution. Oh - wait it's just as nice as it ever was. You sir are the kind of number-driven purchaser the marketing teams are looking for.

  25. Ramazan
    WTF?

    Who is Asus? Who is HP? Who is Dell? Who is Acer?

    Why do your include that crap into the comparison? I'm not even sure that Samsung is qualified to be reviewed here at all. The only real contenders in MS market are MS and Sony (and Apple via BootCamp). Going further, Sony Win8 notebooks are crap (only once did they a good job -- with X505VP), but MS Surface is apparently OK (http://www.penny-arcade.com/2013/02/25/the-ms-surface-pro).

    1. hungee
      Thumb Down

      Re: Who is Asus? Who is HP? Who is Dell? Who is Acer?

      Never worked in an enterprise environment huh...

      DUMB.

      Sony is truly terrible. MS make software and apple don't actually... Well, bootcamp is stoopid and they don't make tablets/hybrids capable of touch win8.

    2. Al Taylor

      Re: Who is Asus? Who is HP? Who is Dell? Who is Acer?

      Not covering kit from Acer, Asus, Dell and HP would have made for a rather short and incomplete product round-up.

  26. bailey86

    Not sure what these are pitched at.

    Not sure what these are pitched at.

    If as netbooks then the Reg said that netbooks are dying out:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/12/netbooks_to_become_extinct_by_2015/

    If they're supposed to be laptops then the ten inch screen and atom processor mean they can't be serious laptops. How well would they be able to Netbeans for example or to compile stuff? So even if you can plug them into a decent screen etc when you get to your desk they are going to be seriously underpowered.

    And as to being tablets - the average cost of about £600 is too high when you can get a (I've got one and it's brilliant) Nexus 10 for £319.00.

    I suppose the advantage is that they can tie in to the MS ecosystem - instead of downvoting could others explain if these tablets can use Active Directory for logins and pick Group policy type stuff. And is it more efficient than using some sort of terminal client on iPads or Android?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Not sure what these are pitched at.

      Running netbeans is not a need for a "serious laptop" for 99% of users. Running Word is.

    2. Citizen Kaned

      Re: Not sure what these are pitched at.

      i was going to get a nexus 10 but after 3 weeks waiting for the larger HDD one i starting looking elsewhere.

      my issues with android is that its a clat to use NAS in the way i like. i also tried a samsung android tablet and it couldnt even handle my HD video without stuttering.

      of course any windows AD etc will work as long as you get windows Pro. i use NAS all the time at home and i just find it much nicer to use than ios or android. plus i much prefer to drag and drop music from NAS and IMO this is far superior to android or ios in this respect.

      in fairness each touch enabled OS has its annoyances and kwerks. its just picking the one that will allow you to work how you want.

      remember, a windows 8 (not RT) tablet isnt just a method to consume. you can have any normal windows software on it. i can even run mine as a webserver if i like. the mrs uses ours for her coursework too.

      for my parents i would say android or ios as its more basic and user friendly. for anyone wanting the most from a tablet i would say go win8. i find ios annoyingly locked down and i hate itunes with a passion. its just garbage. i know there are alternatives but i shouldnt have to fudge around to do the basics.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iconia

    The Iconia actually looks fairly decent... Hmmm.

    1. Al Taylor
      Thumb Up

      Re: Iconia

      For what it's worth a friend bought one last week on my recommendation (he got it for £529 from ebuyer) and he's as happy as a dog with two tails with it. He wanted something to replace his very old 13-inch Dell laptop but that would also work as a tablet for casual on-the-sofa use. Reckons the W700 does both jobs perfectly.

    2. Citizen Kaned

      Re: Iconia

      IMO the new case and keyboard is better than the dock too. oddly the case and dock are almost as heavy as the tablet though

      http://techcrash.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/13635_111.jpg

      me and the mrs certainly love ours.

  28. StuCom
    Megaphone

    Give RT a break! It works great for what it is!!

    I hate it when people slag off stuff they have never owned or probably even tried.

    **All tablets have compromises**

    I bought a Windows RT Tablet (Asus vivotab RT) a few weeks ago for £286 on eBay (they're typically going for between £230 and £350). It has 2 USB ports, BTW - there's an adapter in the box for the second port that you can use on either the tablet or dock. The combination of a really light tablet and a detachable keyboard with the extra battery is just awesome. I can work on it with the keyboard and trackpad (e.g. at work in meetings), then detach the screen and use it on the sofa or loo like a tablet.

    I have an iPad 1 (for the kids), iPad Mini (wife), Windows 8 tablet (main desktop PC) and I have tried everything else - 2x Android tabs, WebOS and even Blackberry for a bit. The Windows RT tab is *easily* the best so far for my needs. NO, it's not my main PC, but then I want a sofa surfer that can also do other stuff when needed. It's the tablet I go to first, carry around with me and use the most.

    I could write essays on the problems with them all, but basically what I like about RT (and 8) most is the UI. I love the swipey gestures for navigation - it feels very natural and fluid. The UI is always responsive and smooth (unlike Android, even with Jelly Bean). I think Microsoft have done a fine job.

    Windows RT is awesome for its market, (i.e. not a desktop/laptop replacement) and it is easily able to compete with the iPad while soundly beating every Android device I have tried.

    The main downside for me at the moment is a lower number of apps/games compared to IOS and Android. But app count is not what it seems!

    I can't really complain about IOS in this department because it's the clear leader in both quality and quantity of apps (although I can complain about the User Interface - so where's the innovation in the last 6 years?).

    The apps that Windows 8/RT do have beat your average Android experience hands-down:

    Android apps are often (usually? always?) not tablet optimised, so you get a scaled-up phone experience (try the eBay app on the iPad, Windows 8/RT and then any Android tab).

    Android apps sometimes don't work at all because the developer didn't know about, care, or was able to support all processors, screen sizes, memory configurations, etc. that the grossly fragmented ecosystem has to contend with. I have had 2 of the very best selling Android phones and 2 tablets with every version of the Android OS since Froyo and I have *never* gotten Sky Go to work.. Ever. Worked first time on the iPad, though.

    You're often unable to actually buy most Android apps.. Ad supported may cheer-up the free-tards thinking they're getting something for nothing, but I don't want to lose 20% of my screen to an ad banner flashing away continuously. I'd like to support the app developers a bit (the media says that Android developers don't earn much) but how can they compete when their app costs a quid next to someone else who "sells" it for nothing and people don't seem to care about the banner ads?..

    Ugh. I'll stop there. I'm starting that essay that on-one wants to read. Either go along with your life believing the haters, or go out and actively try stuff for yourself.

    You might be surprised.

  29. ffrankmccaffery

    Asus VivoTab Smart

    I'm quite surprised by this tablet exclusion as from what I've read about it so far it seems to be the most practical and affordable of this current batch. In addition to a lightweight and well-built body it crucially requires only a micro-USB cable to charge from - something appreciated by those who like me have to travel a lot.

    Also can everyone just ignore the resident twit with his sub-Slashdot scrawlings. As someone who's looking for a suitable tablet and searching for user feedback all I can see are replies to this plonker's ravings.

    1. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: Asus VivoTab Smart

      The Smart was covered in the Top Ten 10" Tablet round-up

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/12/review_roundup_ten_ten_inch_tablets/page3.html

  30. Glostermeteor

    The major problem with all these Windows-based tablets is price. Why on earth would I buy one of these when I can buy a fully functional laptop with better specs and touchscreen for £400?? I currently use an Asus Transformer TF300 but only because it was about the same price or cheaper than a laptop. Until the prices drop on these things they are not going to capture the market.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      i was looking but all the cheaper laptops are smaller resolutions.

      one of the reasons we went for the acer iconia was due to it being 1080p which i will use for remote play on PS4 when i get one. most laptops are much lower resolution

    2. mmeier

      Depends on "what do I need". If you have needs for a penable/convertible then the extra money is worth spending. If not - buy a notebook.

      I.e if not for the strong rumors of a Hawell based T90x late this/early next year I would have bought a T902. It is more costly than even the units it replaces but (Tower and Tablet) but would allow me to fill all my use cases with one device.

      For others (i.e my parents) an Atom+Dock would replace Notebook/Tower and tablet, I managed to keep them from buying an Android "it's cheap" tablet until Christmas by showing them that it is not "personal"(1). At that time the PIV tower needs a replacement anyway and they will get BayTrail convertible with dock (Or two, moms notebook isn't the freshest either)

      (1) Currently dad uses the tower with the bigger screen and mom a 14'' notebook

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