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  • bpost34 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Really the only potentially redeeming form factor of the crop was left out of the discussion here - the ASUS Taichi. With that, you get the best of both worlds (whether in laptop, or tablet mode) and the added benefit of a secondary screen while in laptop mode for presentation. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Updated -- thanks for the reminder! :-) Reply
  • TrackSmart - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Worth mentioning?: The internal screen on the Taichi is not a touchscreen, so in regular "laptop mode" you miss out on Windows 8's touch features. I'm okay with that compromise, but for some people that may be a deal breaker.

    The real deal breaker on the Taichi, for me, is the short battery life (reported as ~3 hrs in normal use). That's just unacceptable in an ultraportable laptop and even more unacceptable by tablet standards.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Is that with both screens active in mirror mode? I'd estimate most LCDs use around 1.5-2.5W (depending on brightness and resolution), so having two active displays will definitely kill the battery life. Reply
  • fabarati - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Notebookcheck reviewed the Taichi. Battery life was quite bad.

    It's still the coolest computer to come out in years. Many years.
  • new-paradigm - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I have a problem with the Taichi. It is a cool concept, but the lack of touchscreen on the laptop side is, for me, a deal breaker. Windows 8 was built with touchscreen navigation in mind. Having played with a few win 8 laptops in stores I can honestly say those with touchscreens were much more pleasant to use as navigating the win 8 UI feels MUCH easier via touchscreen than trackpad. To have a touchscreen on a multi use device, yet not be able to actually use it to navigate in laptop mode is a bit of a buzz kill.

    This inequality between screens also kills some of the potential for using the dual screens for interactive applications between two people.

    I'm sure for some people this isn't an issue, but it's one that bugs me too much to let me buy the Taichi.
  • AmdInside - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Detachable screen is my preference also. I played with the Yoga and holding the in tablet mode feels uncomfortable. The Dell flip screen models have always had a cheap toy look to them. I own an Asus VIVO RT with keyboard and love it. Just wish it had better mouse touchpad built into the keyboard. Reply
  • This Guy - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Touch screens on traditional laptops make a huge difference. Far easier than a mouse with a good UI. Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    You must be kidding. Reply
  • This Guy - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    Which is eaiser on a laptop:
    a) Touch what you want; or
    b) Make a few circles to find pointer, move pointer to element then click.

    I was skeptical too. The only reason I had the device is because I won it. But after a few weeks I found it far eaiser than using a mouse for every thing other than closing tabs in Chrome and selecting files in Explorer in detailed mode (And both are still a pain close to two years on).
  • bplewis24 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Not sure if serious. Reply
  • ironargonaut - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Bought a Ultrabook w/touch for the spouse for Christmas. She uses the touch screen more then she uses the keyboard. I even see her sometimes pullup the touchscreen keyboard and use it.

    Frankly, I have found that what I like as a geek and what the consuming masses want are usually quite different. So, IMHO this is not a joke and you will find many who are used to the touch phone interface, (my phone has a keyboard and touch, hers only touch) will want and use the touch more. When using her computer I use the mouse and keyboard mostly, but I have never been "normal". :)

    She loves the computer and the touch interface of Win8. Win8 is driving me nuts, but probably because I have to learn and get used to their interface.

    We may well be surprised at how much people want a traditional laptop with touch.
  • iamezza - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    lol, good one Reply
  • andrewaggb - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    it's a detachable style, with a core i5/i7, extra storage in the dock, a real size (13" is much more usable than 10-11)

    But even 13" might be too small unless it has a docking station for external monitors,keyboard/mouse, etc. I'm not doing serious work on a 13" screen.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    The tablet has mini-HDMI (not sure what max resolution that can drive in this build) and the dock has mDP. Reply
  • Lonyo - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I do serious work on a 12" screen and have done for the past 15 months, while at home I have a 24" and 20" screen.
    You can do it and get used to it.
  • Homeles - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I recieved an ASUS Vivobook S400CA for Christmas, and I'm loving it. It fits in your "traditional laptop" category, as the screen does nothing fancy.

    As a student, the fact that I can switch between educational touch-style apps and traditional software with ease is going to make this semester a piece of cake. Graphing calculator apps are awesome -- goodbye TI-83. I've only begun to scratch the surface of what apps are out there, and I'm sure that I'll only be more happy as the Windows 8 app ecosystem grows.

    I loved Windows 8 on the desktop. The fludity of the UI, shutdown and boot times, and ease of accessing adminstrative functions already made a home run with me. Being able to mount ISOs as a built in function of Windows Explorer is neat, although I don't play around with ISOs much anymore.

    As a computer service technician, it's also much easier/faster to repair corrupt Windows 8 installations. And antivirus software comes built in.

    But now with my ASUS, I have access to full screen applications designed for touch. There's, essentially, a whole new OS to explore. I wanted to wait until Haswell, but I desperately needed a laptop. So while I may be missing out on a lot of graphics horsepower and battery life, I'm still getting the great aesthetics and light weight of an ultrabook.

    The laptop does have its flaws, primarily with battery life and a dim, bland screen. In spite of this, I couldn't be much happier with my gift.
  • Cygni - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Hinges, folds, and slides will break. They just will. So they are all out.

    Detachables drastically compromise performance to stick everything in the screen portion, and we end up with bad tablets that are also bad laptops. Swiss army knife computing devices fail, as will these. So they are out.

    Sticking a touchscreen in a traditional laptop is fine. It gives people who want to paw at their screen like a mind-dead cat the ability to do so, and people who will never ever use it the ability to ignore it completely.
  • Hyper72 - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    Why the exclusive or, I can imagine some people launching apps by poking and using the pointer for other stuff.

    Granted, I can't imagine myself straying from the mouse but I can easily imagine many would enjoy hybrid usage.
  • marc1000 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    My preference is the cheapest one. I like the Asus Vivo Book, but the hardware inside it is too weak. If it used the cheapest of i3 i would buy one. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    They are all just so damn unbelievably expensive that it is highly irrelevent to debate their merits. Even the ones that pack an atom are so far beyond the price of an ipad, which is in itself an overpriced item. That tegra 3 piece of trash should be selling for $299, tops, with $250 being a good sale price target. They are jsut way way whacked out of their minds to think anyone is going to plunk down 5-10 bones for this crap. Reply
  • jjj - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    The real problem is price and if you want, the trend is similar to what happen with desktop vs notebook. Most of the world doesn't like to waste money on what they don't need so price (and convenience) wins.
    Just a couple of days ago someone noticed that the 250$ A15 base Chromebook is the best selling laptop on Amazon , nothing new here it's been there before and it doesn't mean much. But, if you dig a little bit you'll notice that on Google Trends "Chromebook" is doing better that "Microsoft Surface" in the US and reading comments on Amazon helps in understanding why the device is doing surprisingly well.
    Next year maybe Ubuntu manages to give us desktop mode on phones, could be quite interesting with quad A15 on 20nm SoCs.
    So, it's about time to just not give a damn about Win 8 touch laptops :P
    For option 2 , the one that you prefer , the problem is the center of gravity ,Asus went one way, M$ another but there is no perfect option.
  • ironargonaut - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    bought $699 WIN8 touch with Corei5. Ipad two is about the same price. Can use office etc efficently on the ultrabook can't do that on an ipad. She get her apps for touch Angry birds etc. and can write her book on it also.

    Not sure why if people are buying 9in screen Ipad2s, why a laptop w/touch for the same price is unreasonable.
  • kmmatney - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    You can get an 4th gen iPad at Microcenter for $459, and a 3rd generation (with Retina display) for $399. Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I know right? What are some of these people on? And the Nexus 10 is also $399.

    I mean, with that guy's #s maybe W8 had a chance!
  • trane - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I think the Iconia W700 is not really a convertible laptop but more of a mini all-in-one. Its dock is unlike the transformer-style keyboard/touchpad but rather a dock which expands connectivity and holds it up by a kickstand. The keyboard is a wireless one. So it is never really going to be a laptop. But it's a very attractive prospect - a tablet which you can hook up to your big monitor and other peripherals to give a nifty dual screen desktop for maximum productivity. When you are moving out of house, simply detach it from the dock and carry your system.

    As for the number 2, I would say Samsung Ativ Smart PC (and Pro) fits the description better, the dock converts it into a laptop, Transformer style.

    The Surface Pro is somewhere in the middle, but closer to the Transformer style.

    Something worth remembering is that these devices have primary and secondary uses. For example, Ideapad Yoga is first and foremost a laptop. Secondly, a mini all-in-one (in tent mode) like the W700. And thirdly, a tablet. Yes, the keyboard of the flip side can be iffy, but let's take it as a bonus, shall we? We aren't forced to use it that way (anyone wanting a tablet primarly should look at something else) and for the occasional use, it's just fine. Similarly, I am sure many are going to look at Surface Pro and point out how it is poor value compared to iPad for what they use the iPad for, but let's remember the primary usage scenario of this.

    Exciting times, for sure. Each of these devices have their unique offerings and permutations and ultimately it's going to come down to personal usage scenarios. It's a true challenge for reviewers, and I do think what is missing in the reviews for Windows 8 devices so far is a broad consideration of all kinds of usage scenarios.
  • jeffkibuule - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Pre-Haswell, I'd go with option #1 and strongly recommend everyone check out the ASUS UX31A Touch at Best Buy, probably the best Windows 8 Ultrabook there is (far less slippery than the Acer Aspire S7) v

    Post-Haswell, I could see option #2 taking off assuming battery life, performance and gear characteristics are favorable for a thin, light chassis. It depends a lot more on design chops of the OEM as something like the ATIV Smart PC Pro from Samsung fails because its way to top heavy.

    The other options may gain some traction but I don't see them being the majority of laptops. And I think every laptop will have a touchscreen in a year or two. Building a Windows 8 laptop without it makes no sense.
  • guidryp - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Convertibles are always a compromise.

    I prefer a regular laptop and separate 7"-8" tablet.

    Both perfected for their respective roles, instead of compromised crammed together solution.
  • KPOM - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    For now, I tend to agree with this assessment, and that is certainly the bet Apple is making (resisting the touchscreen notebook concept entirely even though most of the rest of their product line is touchscreen driven).

    I used to think we would gravitate to some sort of "docking" solution once the technology progressed, such as an iPad Mini-like device that slots into a notebook/desktop shell for a bigger screen and added power. However, Motorola tried that concept and it didn't catch on. The current detachables suffer from the compromise of being too big for a tablet.

    However, with the cloud becoming more and more important, I think we'll just go back to having separate devices. I can see Option 1 becoming prevalent, if for nothing else but to ensure UI consistency. But the more our data is converged the less our devices need to be.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I think the problem with the Motorola device was that it was too soon. Right now, tablets and Smartphones are improving performance by 2x or more year-to-year, and yet they're still about 1/5 the speed of Ultrabook processors at best. In a few years when we have 14nm process nodes, I think we'll see performance of even basic smartphones reach the level where dockable becomes feasible. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    This is where I'm at right now. But there's lots of times I grab the ipad to do something, get frustrated, and grab my laptop.

    Particularly online shopping....
  • KPOM - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    I use a tablet and notebook for different things. The iPad mini is great for reading a newspaper on the train or casual browsing. The notebook is great for producing content or typing for long stretches.

    If anything, I think what will happen is that the tablet will gravitate toward the 7-8" devices, which are significantly lighter and more portable than the 9-10" versions, and notebooks will settle into the 13" Ultrabook size. Apart from the 11.6" MacBook Air, 11.6" notebooks haven't fared well, and even they are a bit big for tablet usage (even assuming we could cram everything into the screen portion).

    Maybe a "dockable" solution in the future, where an iPad mini-sized device slots into a notebook for more power will work, but then again, it may be beside the point. If in the future we are relying on the cloud for data storage, then why not just have 2 devices?

    On paper it sounds nice to have "one device," particularly if you are a road warrior, but that "one device" will always have compromises. A tablet that is thin and light likely won't have a big enough screen for comfortable all-day usage. A touchscreen notebook with a big enough screen for all-day usage will be heavier and bulkier to use in places where a small tablet is a breeze. Maybe foldable screens will change that, but are we truly that close to commercially feasible foldable screens? If we are, then I could envision a device the size of the screen portion of an 11.6" MacBook Air that folds in half. Or perhaps something like the Asus dual-screen notebook that adapts based on how it is folded.
  • ananduser - Sunday, January 06, 2013 - link

    "Apart from the 11.6" MacBook Air, 11.6" notebooks haven't fared well" ...
    The fact is that the 11'6" MBA is the cheapest entry into Apple's portable computers. You don't have any other choice of an OSX system than the 11" MBA. People are buying it because of being the 999$ OSX laptop and not because it is a 11" portable. Every other OEM positions ultrabooks as niche items within their own lineups so you always have a cheaper(but thicker) choice.

    Regarding the rest of your reasoning; you have only justified Tim Cook's fridge/toaster analogy. Being an Apple user you'll always believe and adjust your computing needs around Apple's offers. Why ? Because Apple doesn't offer you any other choice and decides it's sparse lineup very carefully as to no overlap across the other wares it offers.
  • robinthakur - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    There's no need to be so biased against Apple. Apple have certainly been in the driving seat when it comes to laptops and Ultrabooks for a while now in case you haven't noticed. Some in my team of developers buy them and then just run Windows on them either in Bootcamp or using VMware Fusion simply because they are way better built than the equivalent Dells or HP's.

    Apple did thin wedge shaped ultrabooks in the shape of the MBA long before these pretenders were available and the MBPro is the go to laptop for a decently specced, well built, well designed machine for the professional market for a decade.

    Apple pay attention to things like the screen quality and always have, unlke Acer whose attempt at a premium design will always sit uncomfortably next to their bargain basement offerings or their CEO saying they need to be a lot more like Apple. Dream on Acer: If I'm paying Macbook prices it better be at least a good as a Macbook or I'm not going to even consider it.
  • Impulses - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    I'm strictly a Windows/Android user and I don't see anything wrong with his logic (last and only Apple device I've owned is a 2nd gen IPod touch). For a lot of people it makes sense, for others the one device hybrid might make more sense...

    I think ultimately it's gonna be the usage cases and software that determines what camp you gravitate towards.

    With today's software/hardware and with my current usage case, I'd rather have a larger more comfortable 13-14" laptop with a matte screen for work and a smaller 7-8.9" Android tablet for reading and the occasional casual game. That's just me tho...

    Currently I actually have a netbook that barely gets any use anymore and the first ASUS Transformer, which I do like, but I've come to realize that Android isn't an ideal OS for the form factor and I'd rather have a smaller/lighter device for browsing anyway.

    The other big factor at play here is what other devices people have, which sorta fits in with their usage cases. Those of us still clinging to our desktops are more likely to favor a 13" ultrabook than a 15" laptop with a discrete GPU. Galaxy Note users are more than likely gonna look at a 7" tablet as irrelevant, etc etc.

    I don't think there's any one approach or combination of devices that ultimately wins out... If anything that's where Apple's biggest blind spot lies right now, but their MacOS lineup has always been about cultivating a niche market anyway.
  • bradcollins - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I love laptops with docking stations. For most people that don't require a massive amount of power, I think that most of the point behind windows 8 is allowing people to just have one device (in an office environment, not a gamer or whatever) That can be a tablet, notebook and connected to a docking station.

    Something like the Acer W510 style and shape with an 11.6" 1366x768 or 1600x900 screen, a 17w Ivy Bridge CPU with i3 3217U to i7 3667U options, 64gb-256gb SSD options and a detachable keyboard with touchpad and a larger battery. To keep the main device light and slim the internal battery isn't going to be huge. It would be able to support offline charging, ie after a meeting connect it into the keyboard in the car and the main battery automatically gets recharged.

    Then finally have a docking station on it so when the person gets home or back to the office it can be connected in a second to a large desktop monitor, keyboard etc.
  • tmok2008 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    To me, all I want is a light weight, solidly built, 13 or 14 inch laptop (think 13" MacBook Pro) with a touch screen (Option #1), preferably with a 1,920x1,200 IPS panel and Ivy Bridge CPU. I guess I am a traditional kind of guy. Either that or there is no better alternative out there.

    I do see a potential problem with Option #2. While it is fine for the Asus Transformer, it may not work as well for Windows 8 Pro. To have any real power, the Windows 8 Pro tablet is going to be a bit thicker (and heavier) than the traditional ARM-based tablets. In Option #2, it will make the whole thing top heavy. To prevent it from tipping over, you will need a keyboard dock that has some weight to it, which makes the whole package overly heavy.

    The Dell XPS 12 approach is great, providing that they can make the hinge reliable. Even though the Dell is quite thick, I don't believe it has to be that way. I can't wait to see another iteration based on this design.

    The Slider design is no good, because there is usually very limited tilting angle. And, there is usually no room for a touch pad.

    Could there be an 8th Option here? Why doesn't someone design a hybrid tablet/dock that has two CPUs? When used un-docked, it will run on low power ARM based CPU, has reduced RAM, and battery. When docked with the keyboard dock, it will switch over to use the full blown CPU/GPU, additional RAM, and battery that are built into the keyboard dock. This will be the best of both worlds.
  • michal1980 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    haven't returned it.

    not perfect. But imho the best of the compromise if tablet mode is the lest used.

    for 'working' I use it as a laptop.

    for browsing/playing simple games, I have the keyboard down, and the screen up, brings it a bit closer then in standard laptop mode.

    and if I'm reading something long, I'll use the tablet mode.
  • ThomasS31 - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I think there will be serious consequences of using these in an "office" desktop mode. Until now you could have finger, wrist pains for prolonged use of mouse and laptop keypads... now consider your shoulders if you move your whole arms for some functions.

    I seriously doubt that this will work in a desktop/work enviroment. And partially this interface is a very bad decision from Microsofts side to bring do "desktop" environments/usage.

    On the other hands when used as a "tablet" and hold it in your arms, or rest in your laps... etc and you use it only to consume multi media or simple chat. It could work and be comfy... maybe...

    Just my 2 cents. :)
  • nevertell - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    A few years back, Samsung or some other asian company boasted that they had a transparent screen working, they even had a laptop made out of it. I believe this would be the best way to incorporate a touchscreen on a notebook- have the same screen draw an image on both sides, at least leave the option to do so. I honestly couldn't find any other use for a transparrent screen. Reply
  • FairGlow - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I like the idea with a transparent screen, which can be used from both sides, but I don't know if it is practical. The screen needs to be both sturdy and thin, which may be difficult to achieve.
    It also must have the possibility to shut out light from the "wrong" side to be usable, at least for movies and pictures and such, unless the oled can handle black, as well. I don't know, can it be black?
  • Houdani - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    A Surface Pro with great battery life would just about hit the spot. Maybe the Haswell version will make a good choice sometime in the future.

    But the Type Cover really needs to be included at the price point they've announced. If they want to upsell me on a cover, then how about a cover that extends the battery life?
  • Lonyo - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    "give me a Core i5 Ivy Bridge or Haswell processor with a detachable screen and I’d give it serious thought—especially if it’s a 1080p IPS display."

    It's already out, and has been for a while?
    I got my Samsung 700T about a month and a half ago, i5 3317u, 1080p IPS, 11.6", Digitiser, optional keyboard dock.

    Surprising that AT haven't managed to get any hardware in house to do many Win 8 device tests.
  • JNo - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Was keen on the Acer W510 (although a bit underpowered) till I realised they use eMMC memory and not replaceable/upgradable SSDs.

    The Samsung Ativ PC Pro seems awesome - i5, SSD, high res *and* wacom stylus - but it's not cheap (is their a wacom premium or something?)
    Also for something with mediocre-at-best battery life, seems like Sammy missed a trick not having more battery in the dock/keyboard (so top heavy too?).

    Asus transformer book is last hope but not out yet. Will it have a wacom stylus though like Ativ Pro? Does it have a battery in the keyboard or not? However, putting a 500GB storage HDD in the dock whilst maintaining a 128GB SSD in the tablet part was genius. I don't expect it to be cheap either though...
  • JNo - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    *there* not their duh Reply
  • Voldenuit - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    To me, a touch notebook is not complete without pen input.

    Got my wife a Thinkpad X230T for school this xmas, and she's loving it.

    The X230T, hp convertible, Thinkpad Tablet 2, Sony Vaio Duo 11 and Surface Pro seem to be the only serious ocntenders in this space (Fujitsu has a Brazos-powered slate+pen, but at $1,000+ it's severely overpriced).
  • nrn - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I owned the Asus Vivotab (tf810c) briefly - was forced to return it as it came with a blown left speaker. But in my limited couple of days usage, I am convinced this is the form factor that will thrive, but not with the current Atom SoC. It absolutely needs Haswell. Another critical factor, in my view / experience, is the digitizer. On a detachable screen (ideally 11.6"), the ability to take notes is incredible. I used the Vivotab for one meeting and i realized how ideal it will be for me to have everything in OneNote, automatically synced to my Skydrive account and read them from any of my other devices. To sum it up, I think Windows 8 is ready, but the hardware it needs to make the overall product successful, is simply not available at this moment. Reply
  • davidwess - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I would not buy a notebook without a touchscreen. In fact, I find the only reason for upgrading to Windows 8 is the touch screen. I have played with Win8 touchscreen notebooks and really like the user experience.

    Problem is, there are very few touch screen notebooks around. I went into my local Staples this evening and found none available, which the salesperson confirmed. In my local Best Buy, there are at best 3-4 out of a total of about 20 notebooks.

    Another good use for the touchscreen is an all-in-one, but I know only one person who owns one, and she has it in her kitchen.

    Where are all the touch screen notebooks? Am I the only person who sees the value in this item?
  • twin - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    It just got fcc approval. 12" tablet/dock with 1080p screen, up to i7 Ivy ulv, and 256GB msata ssd. There's a digitizer w/silo, wan support and supposedly up to 10hours battery life w/ dock. The tablet can be inserted facing either way in to the dock as well.

    There's quite a few pictures floating around of it and a video from back in October. I'm sure more info is coming at CES, and it'd be nice to get a review ;)
  • NetSoerfer - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    I agree. If the connection (tablet <-> keyboard) is stable enough, it would appear to fix everything that's wrong with the current touch screen convertibles at the moment.

    One thing that I wish it had is the new Lenovo One Link Connector that Lenovo demonstrated at CES, but it seems like it doesn't. It's a shame - that way it would've gone all the way from tablet to desktop replacement.

    Thoughts on this, and eventually a review, would be greatly appreciated!
  • Padders1980 - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    I picked up the HP envy X2 and it's really nice if a little expensive. I'd certainly put that one up there as the best tablet hybrid I#ve played with as it really feels like a notebook style laptop when it's docked.

    As for windows 8, took a few days but I love it now, it feels much more useable than either android or iOS.
  • kedesh83 - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    I used to have a Transformer prime but too many flaws motivated me to sell it. Now i am in the market for a touchscreen laptop or an x86 tablet with better performance then the new atoms.

    I really like the Asus X202e. it seems almost perfect for what i want it for. mobility, school, quick browsing, some gaming. preferably something that might play WoW with decent frames for checking AH's and maybe some PvP. the current models have the i3 low powered chip with intel HD 4000. what i would REALLY like to see is an AMD equivalent in the same chassis with a radeon card such as what is in the HP sleekbook's. my budget is only around 600 dollars because i just don't need that much power when i have a superb gaming machine at home.

    I was thinking of waiting it out untill maybe summer or a hardware refresh. because i know once i buy it, it will either drop, or an i5 model will come out.

    I was also thinking about acers tablets like the w700 with a dock but, i played with one at Microcenter and it just felt so cheep for the price. And i doubt it would play WoW, or Diablo 3 very well. maybe if it was below $600 but for that price you get the atom model and it's very under powered for what i do. i doubt it would do Autocad in the field.
  • Acerus - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    What about Microsoft Surface? It doesn't really fit into "2", but has a detachable keyboard. Reply
  • m2inor - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    Typing this on a Twist in tablet mode.

    I still have a Toshiba Windows tablet purchased years ago that has the same center pivot twist and it never gave me a problem. Still works well today.

    The Lenovo Twist construction seems a lot more robust, so I'm not expecting any problems.

    Also have the Acer M514"Aspire with touch screen. This is the more conventional laptop form factor. I'm preferring the Lenovo.

    Major challenge: finding suitable Windows 8 apps for things like Gmail and Google Reader that truly implement the Touch interface well.

    The Lenovo Yogi and Sony slider seemed kludgy to me. Never had a chance to see the Dell XPS for myself.

    Will have to see what CES reveals next week. Seems like the year has passed quickly.
  • account - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    Obviously not a current option but whats to stop transparent OLED tech from becoming a single display on both sides? Open the lid you have the same display you use when you close it to become a tablet on the other side.

    Here is a link to one of Samsung's prototypes shown at CES. No it doesn't allow for both sides but honestly whats so hard about inverting the image shown on the other side when you close the lid.
  • account - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link Reply
  • Bobsmon - Sunday, January 06, 2013 - link

    My company has been selling the Lenovo line of convertible laptops for over 6 years. In that time I have never seen a hinge failure. While almost everyone who first sees it worries over the hinge, it is not a problem. I have just replaced my ancient x60 (with a still working hinge) with the Twist and am very happy with it. Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Sunday, January 06, 2013 - link

    After weighing up the different options I decided to go for the Vaio Duo 11 for a few reasons and it's worked out better in practice than I expected. My reason for choosing the machine was I didn't really see the point in a 7-10in tablet as I have a Galaxy Note and the tablets seem to be too big for the functionality they offer. So I was looking for an ultralight laptop that would function as a tablet which I think the Vaio Duo 11 offers a pretty good balance with.

    The Surface Pro looks very clever but it only seems suitable for use on a solid surface and when folded out with the keyboard it has a large footprint. The Dell XPS 12 and Lenovo Yoga I think are really too big and heavy for use as a tablet.

    The Vaio sits in between them, it's definitely pushing the limits for use as a tablet but it's better in that area than the Dell or the Lenovo. The screen is fixed but it does offer a few advantages, the footprint it takes up is very small so it makes it easy to use in small spaces and because the screen's base is just at the top of the keyboard (there's no gap as there normally is on a laptop) it makes it convenient to use the touchscreen.

    Whenever such a design is discussed it's always claimed the moving mechanism will prematurely fail and never last but I don't find that in practice as I've seen various devices which were claimed would not last and seen them endure just fine. The hinges on the Vaio Duo 11 feel solid and while there are two cables exposed they're not anywhere near where anything will catch.

    The trackpoint isn't as good as touchpad but I have no issues using it as I have a Lenovo X200 as a laptop so used to it. The keyboard is a weak point although I don't think it's a design issue as I've used other keyboards this small and have found I could type at a good speed on them, the feel and travel on the Vaio Duo 11 keys is a bit odd and doesn't work as well as it could.

  • oolzie - Sunday, February 03, 2013 - link

    So far I have owned or have used a Surface, a vivotab RT, an acer W700, a Samsung 500, Dell xps and latitude 10's and touchscreen ultrabooks from (I think) Acer and Asus.

    First off, IMO, a touchscreen is mandatory on portable computers now. I find going from screen to touchpad to keyboard to be seamless and almost unbearable to not have after using these devices for a while. There are a large number of things, even in desktop apps, that just flow better by touching the screen. Tapping ok buttons, moving windows, flipping to scroll up and down pages, I could go on and on. It just feels natural to me.

    anyway, on to my favorite. So far it's the surface with touchcover. It's the only one that really feels like a true evolution of a tablet into a usable computer. The perfect blend of portability and usability. As listed above, I've tried several systems with the attachable keyboard docks and they're nice, nothing wrong with them at all, they just feel like netbooks to me and netbooks didn't click with me the first time. With that said, the surface does require some compromise, RT aside. I do find times where using the surface doesn't work and I will grab the Dell XPS 10 or Samsung with keyboard dock. Kicking back on the sofa, the surface works, it will stay upright on your lap with the touchcover out, but it's not stable enough for typing out anything of length. It's better than a tablet w/ on-screen only, but still short of something with a hard-hinged keyboard for overall ultra-casual use. For overall work usability, for me, the surface is about perfect. I do most of my work in email, browser or RDP/Citrix and being able to go all day and then some with a 1.5lb device that does all my laptop did is about as good as it can get. Being able to fold back the touchcover and have a normal tablet-y experience, hand it to my kid to play games, just adds to it.

    My second would be the Acer W700 (i3 model). It's a nice little system that only really suffers because it doesn't have an attachable keyboard option. It makes it something hard to take out away from the house. As an in the house type system or desktop replacement for non-gamers, I think it's pretty solid, but the first time you need to be on the go and potentially typing, it slips. I do use it a good bit though. I'm looking forward to their 2nd generation offering.

    I'm also in for a surface pro at launch and I think it will be the "the one". IMO, the only thing it's lacking is a desktop dock and dual monitor capability. Give me the ability to dock it and make a desktop out of it easily, charge it, etc and then grab the touchcover on my way out an I think I'll have everything most would need for anything short of high-end gaming use.

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