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  • silenceisgolden - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I'm afraid I can't provide a good use case, but I do question why a person would buy a tablet over an ultrabook or even a convertible ultrabook (or even MBA). The only reason why I would think a person (or company) would buy an iPad is to get a larger iOS device. Reply
  • hackguy - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    10 inches are (I believe) almost perfect, maybe 9 or 9.5 inch tablets would be better for carrying, but I'm sticking with 10. Display resolutions should start leaning north of 1080p. Processor can stick around with 4 cores, which are still a bit of overkill, while graphics must develop further. For storage, I was thinking about something upgradeable, like a mSATA SSD, or at least two memory cards (yeah, I'm unique like that). Batteries should be as big as possible, while the device itself must be light and thin enough to be able to be carried in one hand. Also, I'd like to say something about touchscreens. If I would be designing a tablet, I would rather pay 20€ more and choose a touchscreen that has really low input latency and pen input than a normal, laggy piece of plastic. That was my 2 cents. Reply
  • Aegrum - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I support a few hundred users in a hospital IT environment. I use an iPad with a Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for doing tickets/sysadmin tasks, and it's just about exactly the right device for me to do this work on. For tasks I need Windows for (AD, GPO), I use it to connect to a VM via the VMware View app, running on a blade server, so it essentially turns the iPad into an Ultrabook, though the battery life is far better than what I'd get on most Ultrabooks (IVB era).

    Many of the doctors we support prefer the iPad mini size, as it almost perfectly fits into a lab coat. We have them set up with a virtual clinical environment (again through VMware View) where they run their clinical apps.

    For hardware improvements, the only improvements I would hope for would a slimmer bezel (which seems to be coming) and WAY better wireless strength. We're constantly having clinicians complain about dropping their connections as they walk around the hospital, even though we have extensive 802.11N Cisco AP coverage.

    For software, anything that improves our ability to manage the mobile device remotely in a meaningful sense. Everything in our environment is heading towards BYOD, and not being able to control what our users access via their tablets is a security concern, especially from a HIPAA standpoint. We use the VMs because its far easier to manage and secure, but there's still a concern of someone loading their work email on a device, and not being able to properly sandbox that. There are plenty of tools that claim to offer this, but nothing we've evaluated has met all our criteria.
  • Aegrum - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Oh - and I will add - we evaluated the ElitePad (still are) and while having full blown Windows seemed to offer some benefits, the app support just kills it. x86 Windows apps (like VMware View) aren't nearly touch friendly enough yet. Reply
  • eszklar - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I have to admit I like the iPad/iPad mini User case here - not everyone needs x86 tablet hardware. Reply
  • apertotes - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Did those doctors prefer a Nexus 7 before, or are they forced to use iOS hardware? Reply
  • Aegrum - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Yes - iOS is greatly preferred by most of the clinical people I've interfaced with. It's just more comfortable to them. Also, the aspect ratio and resolution on an iPad Mini lends itself better to a virtual desktop clinical app environment than the Nexus 7. Most apps are developed at a 1024x768 resolution standard, so it looks more accurate than when they're running on a wider, but thinner, 1280x800 resolution. Basically it's almost an extra inch wide, with the same vertical, which lets you display more horizontal content on screen when its upright, or more vertical content when its horizontal. Reply
  • apertotes - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I do not think that you are right about resolutions. 1280x800 has more pixels than 1024x768 anyway you look at it. If anything, Nexus 7 should show at least the same information than the ipad mini, if not more.

    So doctors prefer a cumbersome regular ipad with iOS than a more convenient and portable Nexus 7 with Android. I hope that it boils down to apps availability and not simple elitism.
  • MonkeyPaw - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    It might be more pixels, but the way the Nexus 7 formats the UI, it can actually feel cramped, especially now that 4.2 split the notification and button bars. I don't have much experience with iPad mini, but my guess is the aspect rations narrow top bar make it feel more spacious.

    That said, I love my XPS10 enough that I just sold my Nexus 7. 10" works great for Office use. I have yet to handle an 8" Windows tab, so I can't say how well it would do. I get the feeling that content would seem really small unless they do some scaling, which would make the screen seem too small again.
  • mr_tawan - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    It's probably the physical dimension. Reply
  • dsf9h2f - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    You do not have to be an elitist to prefer one device over another - as Aegrum said both in his original post AND the reply, most of the clinical people preferred the iPad. Otherwise, you too would be an elitist as you clearly show your preference for Android/Nexus. Reply
  • kascollet - Monday, July 15, 2013 - link

    The ipad Mini's screen is just much bigger, mostly because of the 4:3 ratio.
    Of course, resolution is great but on these small devices, effective screen estate is more important.
  • fteoath64 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    iPad Mini form factor and weight plus a 1600X 1200 resolution screen and a multi-dock for docking base for use at the desktop (24 inch LCD keyb mouse, sound). It is all one need fo work mostly as it is portable if it has the same 9 hours of battery. Undock it you are free to move around with wifi Cloud as the sharing mechanism. Laptops are going out because of this since its screen is not big enough for long-term desktop use and too clumsy for portable use. Reply
  • A4i - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    Mine personal experience is almost the same, except that Windows stuff. I had browser enabled medical&ERP software, that was compatible with all HTML 5 platforms. Also medical personnel in my clinic were inclined towards MackBook hardware. Also they had additional imaging software on their IPad tablets. Wi-Fi coverage was a problem too. Regular iPad is almost perfect for that use. Some enhancement are welcomed though, such as slimmer bezel and weight reduction. A first party bumper case will be nice to, because nowadays Apple accessories don't provide adequate drop protection. Reply
  • p1esk - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I don't see a use for tablets in the workspace.
    Ultrabooks aren't much heavier or larger, but are easier to type on, and have enough processing power to do almost all tasks.
    Oh, and they have a more comfortable screen size to look at (13" vs 10" or less).
    I only wish they would stop that nonsense of putting touchscreens on ultrabooks.
  • FlyBri - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    I think you are probably a bit narrow in your scope and are only thinking of a regular office workspace in terms of your comment about not seeing a use for tablets in the workspace. I'm almost positive there are certain work environments in which tablets make sense, especially if they are mobile around the office and building, and also need something that has stylus/writing capabilities. And now with Haswell chips out, the increase in battery life along with being able to make slightly thinner tablet PC's, I think we'll see rather soon good quality, thinner tablet convertibles w/ better battery life that connect to keyboard docks of great quality. In essence, I think there will be more tablet/ultrabook convertible options that will truly offer the best of both worlds. And I'm sorry, but it's not nonsense of putting touchscreens on ultrabooks. If you have read many reviews of touchscreen ultrabooks running Windows 8, many reviewers thought the touchscreen made sense after using it with Windows 8 after awhile. I myself prefer a matte screen, and right now, there are no matte screens that are also touch capable. That doesn't mean that touchscreen ultrabooks are nonsense though -- they definitely have their place. I would personally just like to see more matte screen options available. Reply
  • manders2600 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The ideas shown by Intel with a 12-13 inch convertible screen that then reduces to 10 inches when detached from its keyboard dock are perfect for business usage. The ultra-light, battery-efficient nature of current ARM-based tablets is absolutely necessary for use without a keyboard, but the larger screen size is needed for extended periods of stationary use. Having the bevel "adjust" itself depending on usage/orientation is a tremendous idea, allowing the user to have the best of both words. Storage space needs to get to a point where no one cares about SD cards (at least 128 GB) and RAM needs to hit the 4 GB mark. The SoC needs to be a bit more powerful, since multitasking is going to remain a need, but we are getting close to "good enough" for most business needs. Wireless/inductive charging integrated with NFC is an absolute must-have for tablets, keyboard docks, and phones moving forward, as will be the ability to quickly and wirelessly "plug in" to display and input devices wherever these devices are going to be used. Reply
  • zaddie63 - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Wirelessly charging a ~2000 mA battery in a cellular phone takes a while to do. I am not sure wirelessly charging an ~4000mA battery in a tablet would be practical? You might as well plug it in. Unless you plan on doing this only at night. Reply
  • manders2600 - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    It wouldn't really be for "filling up" the device, per se, but rather just keeping it charged. So the idea would be that NFC/Qi combos should allow you to drop your phone or tablet on the pad, and immediately connect to your BT keyboard, mouse, headset, mount a network share, etc and start Miracasting its video signal to your Monitor (the next evolutionary step from plugging your laptop into a dock with a fan and external monitor/keyoard/mouse hookups). Reply
  • Rictorhell - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The shame of it, for me, as a person with a lot of media files, photos, videos, songs, etcetera, is that I have to do a lot of compromising when it comes to mobile devices in order to have everything at hand that I both need and want.

    The cloud has received a lot of hype and attention lately and if you are a person with constant, convenient, and affordable internet service, I'm sure it's great, but I don't like to rely on whether or not internet access is available in order for me to get my personal files and my personal information.

    I have an iPaq 210 that is several years old and extremely underpowered that I use now mostly as an mp3 player and because that device has both a compact flash slot and an sd card slot, in many ways, storage wise, it's more capable then many of the newer devices that are available right now, at least when I have no internet access and I need my files.

    There is this big emphasis being placed on having the thinnest and trendiest devices but I value having the amount of local storage that I need and want, without compromise, and I can't seem to get that with many modern devices.

    I have an Acer w700 that has a fair sized ssd, but only because I replaced the 64gb option that came with it and installed my own msata drive. There was the option for a 128gb drive as well, but for me, and probably others, that's just not enough storage for a Windows 8 device.

    If I can purchase a tablet, preferably something that has a 10" or larger screen, with a user replaceable battery and ssd, and even an sd card slot, at the bare minimum, I think that is worth the sacrifice of a few extra millimeters in thickness.

    A cutting edge device with barely enough storage space and no expandable storage is a device with a built-in expiration date and a guarantee of more profits for certain manufacturers. No offense meant, manufacturers :)

    From my point of view, if you give customers the ability to customize their products to meet their needs and desires, and you build a high quality device, you're going to get their future business anyway, regardless. We all know that no single device is going to last forever.
  • trane - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    In terms of form factor, I have to say, Aspire P3 is already there. <10mm Z-height, ~750g, 11.6 inch. Plop Haswell ULX into it and it will be good for 8+ hours. Personally, I would prefer a 11.0/11.1 inch device. Surface Pro isn't too bad at 10.6 either. But it's not a huge deal, anything between 10.6 and 11.6 is fine by me. Pretty sure Haswell will bump Surface Pro 2 down to similar ~10mm / 750g specs. Metro already scaled pretty well, and now Desktop is finally getting good in 8.1, so I'll go for a 2560x1440 IPS display. Scaled to 200% it gives just the right balance between touch targets and real estate. Obviously what is most appealing is hot plugging in one of these to my dual 27 inch monitor setup. Or to a keyboard dock. In 8.1 monitors have independent scaling too. Desktop, tablet, notebook all in one, finally possible with Haswell and Windows 8.1. Reply
  • eszklar - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I'm very partial to the Microsoft Surface Pro form factor myself, especially a Haswell based version hopefully with the Surface Pro 2. I'm interested in the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix for a slightly bigger tablet than the Surface Pro 2. On the smaller size I like the Acer W3 form factor but hopefully then next generation will be more robust - I think an 8" Windows 8 Pro tablet has potential. Reply
  • Da W - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Surface Pro + typecover + a 20$ wireless logitech mouse + office 2013. It's as good as it gets.

    Could only wish for a lower price, thinner, lighter form factor, better graphics, better camera and longer battery life, may be with Haswell or Broadwell. And Windows 8.1. But these would be marginal improvements, Surface Pro is the revolution for work, it has all it needs. Alas not many people tryied it.
  • zaddie63 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I use a 10.1 inch Windows 8 tablet and I find that is good size for me. 10.6 I think would be the limit. I'd like a dual core processor @ 1.8 -2.2 Ghz with Intel HD 4000 level graphics. I don't do any graphics work on my tablet. If I was going to graphics work I'd probably get a laptop or desktop with discrete video. WIFI, Bluetooth.

    Ports - 2 Full sized USB 3.0, full sized SDHC/UHS1, any HDMI, 3G/4G optional. SATA 3 or mSATA SSD. 720p front camera at least. Ethernet would be necessary for my work but I acknowledge a lot of people don't think it is necessary.

    Weight should be no more than 800 grams.
    Screen Resolution 1440x900 minimum, 400 nits, AMOLED screen.
    No fans.
    Stereo speakers 1.5 -2 watts
    Price : $700 USD maximum

    Optional Dock which has
    4 USB/Thunderbolt
  • zaddie63 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    4GB of the fastest possible RAM in a single memory slot, to help the GPU.
    The SoC should be in the 3-4watt area so that the batter can give 8+ hours of run time. Which is why I asked for a dual core rather than a quad core CPU. If a hyper threaded dual core will draw less power than a quad core then do that. But I would not want a quad core at the expense of run time.
  • eaanders22 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The Samsung Ativ Q comes the closest of any device yet to meeting the needs of someone that needs Windows but also uses a lot of Google software and apps. Hi-Res display, Core i5, 4 Gb, 128 SSD, Haswell, fairly light for a convertible, cpu and ports in the hinge for better cooling, and many display configurations for lap, desk, and stand-up presentation. I think they've hit the sweetspot. I'm waiting for your review. Reply
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    This device does look very promising, but we all will need some serious hands-on reviews before biting the bullet and buying one. I expect them to be pricey. Right now it is at the top of my list of likely purchases this year, but only if the implementation pays off as well as the tradeshow videos make it appear. Reply
  • zaddie63 - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Too big; Too heavy. Would make a great laptop though. Reply
  • blackjag - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Make the screen size the same dimensions as a 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. In most industries and in school, having a tablet where papers and textbooks can be displayed without having to reflow and reformat the data would be huge. This works out to a 13.9" screen, which is pretty big but the benefits vastly outweigh the size. Every grad student I know would buy one. The absolute killer feature would be leveraging flexible screens to have the tablet fold in half for storage. I think this form factor would be a huge seller as an Android tablet mainly for reading and taking notes. It would need a solid digitizer though for writing notes. If the screen size is too unwieldy, removing .5" margins around the edges to bring it down to 7.5" x 10" (12.5" screen) would work, since every paper more or less has margins at least that big. The drive towards digitizing everything has been slowed by the need to create apps to fit the new form factors. If we reused the letter format, most existing paper based content could simply be digitized and displayed full size. Reply
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Yes yes yes! I have been begging for such a device for years now!
    The problem, in part, is that at the 16:10 ratio of many tablets to get 8.5" wide you need a 16" screen that gets you 13.6" tall. What we would need is a 4:3 ratio, at 14", which gets you almost exactly 8.5x11 display area. Now if we lop off some margins and go down to 13" at 4:3 ratio we get 7.8x10.4 -- so that may be the sweet spot. If someone made that, we would be damned close to a sheet of paper.
  • euskalzabe - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I use a 10" Asus VivoTab RT right now which is quite good size wise for MS Office work and the battery is crazy good of course. Performance is acceptable. After working with this machine for months now, I've found that my next hybrid should be a) around 11.6" like the Surface and at least a quad Cortex A15 (though if possible I'll wait for the A57s to bring performance up a notch again). Reply
  • vLsL2VnDmWjoTByaVLxb - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I work for a law firm, and we've been testing out various tablets for workflow. You'd think our work environment would be perfect, lets of documents, lots of redaction, approval, editing. Mobile is perfect, we have attorneys out to client sites, court, CLEs, etc.

    And yet nothing compares to a good laptop. The software of tablets are hobbled. The speed is hobbled. Battery life? about 20-40% better, for sure, but just working on the devices is pretty painful compared to full-featured laptops. This frustrates our attorneys, because they really think that tablets can and will be the solution, but it's just not close to being a mature solution, yet. They are too much hassle for anything content creation+ professional and time sensitive.

    Anyone else have experience in the professional realm? PDF editing, on the level of Acrobat Pro, is mandatory. I'd love to find better solutions for them. Apparently weight and battery life are very important to them.
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I do similar work, but often with graphics work thrown in. What I have been using so far are convertible laptops in the 12-13" range. Battery life ends up a bit mediocre and they tend to be heavy and clunky, but I get full laptop cpu power, can use swappable batteries, and have a tablet/digitizer screen for doing markup work. I am praying the new haswell tablets finally get these to the battery life and weight I have been dreaming of. Reply
  • miahshodan - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    For something simple like sales you might get by with less, but for something where you will be doing substantial work on a tablet I would say:
    ~10 screen, but with a 16:10 resolution, like the 1920x1200 one on the nook hd+
    windows 8 x86 on Haswell with a detachable keyboard that can be used like a laptop
    docking station that connects to a larger monitor, Ethernet, better keyboard and mouse, etc.
    128GB or larger SSD
    6-8 GB ram

    to me anything less than 8" is not much better than a 4.5-5" phone that I will be carrying anyway.
  • Decaff - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Personally, I believe the perfect form factor is the detachable. But it should go a step further than most designs (a keyboard with battery) and provide a complete docking solution which would allow me to use it as a Workstation. Having a Surface cover available as well would just be the icing on the cake.

    I am still hoping to see some of the Intel tech that allowed the screen to change size depending on whether it was docked or in tablet mode, by introducing black bars when in tablet mode, in order to enable gestures. That would allow for a 10-11" tablet, which could scale to 12-13" in laptop mode by extending the display almost to the edge of the frame. So far, it has only been demo'ed in prototypes, which is really a shame IMO. I really like the concept and hope to see it commercialized soon. Naturally, the screen should come with a proper resolution like 1080p. The time for low res displays should really come to an end by now! No need to go overboard in Retina like resolution as it just sucks down battery driving and lighting all those pixels.

    Spec wise, I think a Bay Trail based design would be sufficient, combined with 4 GB of RAM (perhaps with the option of 8 GB) and a 256 GB SSD (maybe a 128 GB variant). Atom would be to keep price down while hopefully providing enough performance for normal desktop tasks. I often find 256 GB to be the sweet spot, unless you need to carry many video and other large files with you often.

    Naturally, money not being an issue, a low power Haswell would be awesome. Yet, personally I seriously doubt that it would provide enough added benefits for my own usage. The Bay Trail Atoms seem to hit the new sweet spot in computing performance for me. The new AMD Temash processors also look interesting and may also be quite viable.

    For me, the tablet must be thin and light (iPad is the gold standard) while providing suffecient battery life. Those are the primary concerns, as long as the system is "good enough" to run everything else.
    I really don't think many people have much use of a fullblown Haswell processor anymore. The computing landscape is changing rapidly, and raw compute power is not just that important anymore for most users. The parameters are changing, and the manufacturers better get with the times. Classical Innovator's Dilemma really.
  • yougotkicked - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Personally, if I were using a tablet as part of my desktop work environment, I would want at least a 10" display. Using it as a note taking tool and web browser as I currently do, I think 7" is about perfect, I just wish the majority of websites and apps made more efficient use of the display space, in my experience many sites don't have mobile-friendly CSS rules at all, and those that do still sometimes include floating nav-bars and menus that waste screen space.

    I really wish tablets would come with a good system for mounting accessories to them. I ultimately just want a good tilt-stand for my tablet, and I hate the Ipad style covers. Rather than ship tablets with stands built into them (which I'm sure would be awful) I think a simple fastener to which stands, speakers, etc. could be mounted to would be perfect. The example that comes to mind is the near universal screw-on fastener cameras & tripods use.

    I definitely think we need to start seeing USB3 ports on tablets more often, not being able to connect your mobile storage device to your mobile computing device is absurd.

    This last one is a bit greedy, and there have been some good efforts towards it already, but I really would like to see a more effective way for tablets to communicate directly between one another. NFC is too slow for anything but sharing contact info, bluetooth is better but still not quite good enough. Ideally we would see wi-fi adapters with mesh networking protocols allowing tablets to set up a meshed WLAN. This would make file transfers between tablets at reasonable speeds possible, and make tablets much more reasonable replacements for printed handouts and such.
  • StormyParis - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The question makes no sense: it depends on your work. I know you're a white collar spending the day in an office... a blue collar, a peripatetic worker, a field engineer... will have totally different needs regarding for example:
    - Windows
    - Battery life
    - one-handed usability
    - screen legibility outside
    - ruggedness
    - pen support
    - ...
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I think it really depends on what the device is meant to do.

    If it's for carrying around constantly and not for doing anything computationally demanding locally (like in that hospital example) the tablet has to be light and small foremost. There's probably a market for 7" and 10" here, maybe also a bit higher if it's still light. Such devices probably won't differ much from "consumer" offerings, all they'd need to be "enterprise" would be the software to make it all work seamless. Which is.. quite a challenge and a huge investment.

    And then there are devices which should replace current PCs / laptops in conjunction with docking stations and other periphery. Here the mobility provided by the tablet form factor would be more a "nice to have", but performance and features are critical:
    - can we fit 28 W CPUs in there?
    - storage options like having a large HDD in the keyboard dock, msata slots etc.
    - convertible form factors
    - IPS screen or better, otherwise the "let me show you.." just doesn't work well
    - I don't think you need to go crazy with resolutions, despite this being very hip, especially since there are going to be legacy applications in business
  • nunomoreira10 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Ideally the Samsung active tab but for 300 dollars less.
    and an oled screen if possible.
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    In the private healthcare setting, if you were to replace the admin/patient file laptop computers with tablets, you would at least need:
    X86 support
    Fast, responsive UI
    VM capabilities (I'm assuming windows would be fine)
    Docking options (thunderbolt being the most ideal, as USB 3.0 can't daisy chain that many peripherals at once, including video) - TB would also give you options for cord adapters, say Ethernet for the clinics with wireless Internet concerns
    At least one USB3.0 port
    Detachable keyboard to go from one place or another, or a thin BT keyboard
    10" form factor would be okay, as it would be usable on a portable area (house calls) or at the office.
    Cellular connectivity
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    For the physicians running around,
    7-8" factor is fine, anything larger and it becomes more of a hassle than not. I honestly prefer the mini in my lab coat. No need for x86 support, as you have remote options and VPN access, and cellular for house calls. It has fast, responsive UI, doesn't hang, it's vertical integration with my personal computer and for BYOD hospitals. Long battery life, and it's light weight.

    For the administration side... I personally would need 128 GB usable space, after OS install (surface kinda screwed that one up)

    As for security concerns... In my area, the only problems we have are the non-health workers, like the secretaries etc. but they're not privy to a tablet in the work place, the nurses we have and physicians are generally pretty good about that kinda stuff (crosses fingers)
  • Drazick - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    For me the perfect would be a 10" with resolution of 3840 x 2160 (16:9 ratio).
    I'd like it to have the fastest ARM based CPU around + Fastest GPU.
    I want it to run Windows RT and have a touch pen.

    That would be the perfect Tablet for me.
  • chaos215bar2 - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Would you like a pony with that? Reply
  • Drazick - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    It doesn't have the touch...
  • Gadgety - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    There isn't ONE ideal form factor because it depends on the context. Main thing for me, there's a balance between portability and utility. For portability, ideally it should go into my suit jacket inner pocket, in 65% of the cases. I could use a foldable keyboard to bring with me. For collective work, or presentations I need it to hook up to a projector. For 35% of the work I need a slightly larger screen than what a pocketable device brings. Oh, and I need Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Haswell is bringing a lot of potential as it will provide sufficient power with frugality. Reply
  • locowolf - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    I use a tablet in neuroscience research to take notes and read and annotate academic journal articles. I've made due with a Galaxy Note 10.1, but the journal article pdf's are a tad small, in my opinion. I would love a tablet that had the same dimensions of a standard 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper for which the tablet is an effective replacement. Most tablets that use the 16:9 aspect ratio are too long and narrow in portrait mode. I think this is something that tablets featuring styluses should keep in mind. Reply
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Completely agree! A 13" in 4:3 ratio would be much better suited for these purposes and something I have been waiting and hoping to see come out in a nice device. Reply
  • Kill16by9TN - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    First, whoever brought the 16:9 digital TV form factor madness into the world of computing, should be hanged, quartered , put on a stake, burnt and drowned, in no particular order. The same goes for those, still trying to peddle lousy (S)TN LCD displays these days.

    The 4:3 (=1.33) screen ratio already perfectly covers the predominant A4/A5 paper sizes used outside of North America ( with its sqrt(2):1 aspect. Given that printed paper almost always has a decent white margin left around, 16:10 (=1.6) also still works sufficiently well, but certainly not that dimwit 16:9 (=1.78) TV screen format.

    On a notebook I don't want to have to reach across the keyboard and smear around the screen with my fingers, but instead very much prefer a sound touchpad like the Synaptics Clickpad 2.0, possible supplemented by a TrackPoint.

    As for tablets, as a mobile companion it has to still fit in coat or jacket pockets with a screen luminance high enough for outdoor use on a sunny day. It also should have a digitizer and a port to park the pen to allow being used like a regular paper notepad.
    For more stationary, in- or around-house/building use, I prefer something bigger in the 9.6...11" range.
    For all cases the screen should have a sensible anti-glare coating, since I loathe those mirror screen displays and high gloss bezel and body surfaces. I do have a bathroom mirror, if I want to look at my face.

    The current Ultrabook craziness: thin, thinner, useless also fails to excite me. Thin is good, but only as long as there are no shortcomings in terms of connectivity and thermal management resulting of it and we seem to already have passed a critical threshold in this area.
    Btw. why does no one come up with a convertible, where you can relase the display, turn it by 180° around its vertical axis and plug it back in? This way, there is a regular notebook when needed and a tablet when wanted, without exposing the keyboard or needing weird hinge constructions or touchpads sitting behind the keyboard and such.

    In terms of docking station/connectivity I'd like to see AMD’s 'Dock Port', formerly known as 'Lightning Bolt' to take root, instead of Intel's limited and overpriced proprietary Thunderbolt (2).
  • Kill16by9TN - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Forget something very important:
    instead of annoying touch screens, I want built-in "Leap Motion" instead, solving the greasy paw smudge problem once and for all.
  • zendragon6 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    They do, it's called the Thinkpad Helix. Reply
  • DrCheap - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    Alright, you asked for it. I have been using business tablets or convertibles for some years now and none of them are perfect. My hope is the coming generation will get it right. I do mountains of document and image work all over the country (rarely overseas) ranging from markup on PDF copy to processing images from camera into PDF, etc.

    Here's the ideal specs for my usage, in order of priority:

    Digitizer pen with excellent palm rejection, good precision, and (close to) no lag. This is an absolute deal breaker. Without this, I will not buy.

    Windows 8 Pro x64 (NOT RT) (must be some version of Windows 8 or later)

    128gb ssd or larger (I might be able to like with 80gb but that would be the bare minimum)

    8+ hr battery life regular usage, 20 hrs standby in tablet mode -- without any dock, slice, or detachable keyboard (more is better for sure, but if it cannot do this then it's no dice)

    Keyboard in some kind of form (detachable or convertible either works)

    Screen size of 12-13 inches. A 13" 4:3 ratio, odd as it may sound, is almost 8.5x11 inches, the size of a regular sheet of paper. That would be perfect for my uses, but since I will probably never see that, I would settle for 13 inches at 16:10. 10.1" screens have been too small. 11" is even really too small, with 12" being about the smallest I have used that worked well.

    At least an i5 or equivalent processor. Needs to handle Acrobat Pro, GIMP, etc., with ease and with very large color documents and images.

    Bare minimum 4gb ram. Would seriously LOVE to have 8gb.

    SD or MicroSD slot

    Under 3 pounds. Bonus if under 2 pounds in tablet mode.

    USB 3.0

    HDMI out (vga or dp also a bonus)

    Decent rear camera with 720p (1080p preferred) recording with mic. Front camera Skype-capable.

    Separate headphone and mic jacks

    3yr warranty (bare minimum 1 year)

    Dual-boot to Android (nice but not essential)

    VERIZON LTE 4g card (never ever again will I have a device on ATT)
  • gxtoast - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    I have a similar requirement to DrCheap's. I want a tablet that can be effective for Active Reading/Study/Learning using PDFs of technical books. For most active reading, 13.3" is the absolute minimum, and a 16:10 ratio is much preferred over 16:9. Microsoft says their tablets are for content creation, yet they mandate a form factor based on how good it is to consume movies? What the hell are they doing making their display ratios good for movies at the sacrifice of everything else? Talk about a contradiction!

    I need to be able to view two pages of a technical PDF (Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, etc) and be able to annotate and create notes on the side. Actually, at 16:9 the height of the tablet while in landscape is still not ideal for viewing pages. A 15.6" tablet would really be required to do that well.
  • Ytterbium - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The best size tablet I ever used was Compaq TC1100, 10.1" 4:3.

    I agree with others, for business 16:9 isn't great.

    I love the comments about the doctors, they run windows apps on an iPad. I think we'd be in the same situation, all our apps are windows only and the cost to re-develop them is too much.
  • iwod - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    The Original iPad size was great, actually i would even want the screen size of the iPad to stretch to the edge, making the screen so slightly bigger rather then the current trend of cutting down in size.

    My Problem isn't so much about size. Is the weight.

    From my experience around me, it was too heavy especially for female who could but iPad mini in their bags and doesn't hurt their shoulder.
    There is also problem with one hand operation, holding a bigger iPad one hand the weight will pivot through and it "feels" a lot heavier.

    Being Apple sided I agree spec doesn't matter as much. You could have software feeling super snappy even if the hardware isn't top of the line. It is how much software engineering you put in. And it is not like our silicon tech are limiting the performance of tablet. It is the battery and heat dissipation that is limiting us. And we can put a super big and thin battery in as well, it will cost and it is technically possible, but it is going to weight a lot heavier, which goes back to my original concern of weight.

    We need a battery that improves the Energy Density / Weight / Volume in big ways. That is what is currently limiting us.
  • ZeDestructor - Wednesday, June 26, 2013 - link

    My use cases:

    7-8-inch tablet: eReader usage, pure tablet, "reduced" OS with finger/touch-only stuff.
    12-13-inch tablet: Everything and the kitchen sink usage. Classic convertible laptop with rotating hinge. Full laptop capabilities with x86 architecture, SecureBoot optional, preferably intel(+optional nvidia GPU) platform for proper Linux support.
  • mr_tawan - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    My workplace forbid using any kind of tablet or other IT devices (probably due to security policy), a little bit disappointing.

    Anyway I think the tablet for enterprise should be/have, or rather this is what I want :P.
    * a little bit oversized (11"-12", or maybe A4 size display)
    * sturdy but lightweight (carbon fiber/magnesium alloy chasis?)
    * >2GB RAM. 128GB SSD.
    * Pen enabled. 2 USB ports.
    * TPM, fingerprint reader.
    * VMWare View, Citrix XenApp client, RDP client, etc.
    * A good Email client.

    But putting that together may be too expensive for the company ;-)
  • mr_tawan - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Oh, I forgot, I want to use the tablet as an external monitor too. Reply
  • SanX - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Yes, A4, like most journals have. Size will be as with current 11" Windows tablets if use almost zero 5mm maximum bezel. Make smart virtual bezel you moronic developers which separates the area you are using for handling the screen from areas you are selecting something, what, are you waiting for Apple will guide you ? Reply
  • amrs - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Matte display would be on my wish list. I've tried to use my Nexus 7 at work but with the kind of overhead lights we have in the office it seems impossible to avoid annoying reflections on the screen. It's pretty hard with my 4.6" phone already. Maybe if I crawled under my desk...

    Other than that, well, engineering software isn't available much on tablets. I could do some of my work by turning a tablet into a text terminal and connecting to a Linux server like that one software developer Mark O'Connor did with his Ipad.
  • ruzveh - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Atleast a 10 to 12" is required if u want to work comfortably for hours on it Reply
  • 7keypad - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Design of Tablet with touchpad+7keypad at Reply
  • addverma - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    The following would be characteristics that I would look for.
    1) 10 inch IPS Panel with resolution of 1280X800 or higher. Anything beyond this becomes crumbsome to carry and use on the move.
    2) 2 GB RAM
    3) Capability to Dock it, just like ASUS Transformer Pad TF300TG so that we get extra battery life, keyboard and ports.
    4) Lots of internal storage, 32GB or higher. I do not foresee IT departments allowing employees to put work data on a removable Micro SD cards.

    Apart from this the following would be desirable characteristics
    1) Ability to do video chat using tablets. This would require upgrading existing Work Wi-fi setups to the 802.11n or possibly 802.11ac specifications.
    2) Ability to use office peripherals like scanner, printer, etc. from my tablets.
  • zaddie63 - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    All of this is available today. Reply
  • JasonIT - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    Ideal Specs for the business sector? Easy, needs to be x86 supported for legacy applications, enough performance to handle multitasking. 1.6 Ghz Quad core cpu that can power down un-used cores, 2-4GB ram, 128GB storage base /w expandable MicroSD, usb 3.0, user replaceable battery, 7"-10" screen options, Wi-Fi + 3G/4G and Wi-Fi only models, Bluetooth, WiDi, 1920x1080 ~320 ppi.

    Needs to have a Docking station/cradle (not usb3.0 port replicator) for desktop replacement, also will need a Laptop style Docking station that can hinge open and closed like a laptop with actual keys (not touch keyboard as seen in Surface).

    If Tablets are to ever succeed in the business market, they need the agility to meet business needs. Tablet for presentation and media consumption, Desktop replacement for office productivity, and Laptop replacement for traveling productivity.

    Users do not want to be burdened by having to synch their files to the cloud or use offline files. They want their data when they want it and not have multiple sets outside of backup purposes. So having their data on one device that can go from tablet to laptop or tablet to desktop would be the optimal solution.
  • SteveNYC - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    As someone else previously mentioned, I too thought the HP TC1100 was a fantastic piece of kit. I was sorry to let that one go.

    Right now, I have my eye set on the Samsung ATIV Tab 3 coming out in a few months. I've worked with a lot of devices over the last several years including the old Tablet PCs and UMPC lineups and none of them really got my interest. The iPads and Nexus tablets are all good, but not for legacy access.

    Saying something is for business misses the point of "what kind of business". Much of what I do is executive oriented. I take a ton of notes and need some access to spreadsheets and word processing. While I believe the iPad remains the lead device for businesses that have no legacy systems, the many that do would be well suited to a Windows based device. I know my old job required it.

    My goal has always been OneNote in a portable setup. I've always thought of OneNote as the single best application for an executive (or a student) that I have ever seen. But getting the horsepower to run that application has been the problem. If I were a silly dreamer, I would say give me an iPad with a Wacom digitizer and allow me to run OneNote (the full version). Silly, I know. It's mixing apples and oranges. But it's true. I've worked on the ThinkPad Tablet 2 and it's too unwieldy with an 11.6" screen on a 16:9 ratio. This is not something I want to carry. The Surface Pro is too heavy at 2lbs. The original Thinkpad Tablet running Android was very good, but it lacked the legacy access element (but was still my favorite) and the keyboard was "meh". The cellular connectivity is a must have. Tethering is for kids, not business.

    A business tablet needs to have X86 compatibility for legacy apps and SSL VPN connectivity. It needs to weight less than an iPad and have at least as good battery life. I like the idea of the Transformer hybrid style and would enjoy seeing a more full featured keyboard with additional battery life for a tablet. Ultimately the keyboard is a tough sell. I've never seen one on a 10.1 unit that was very good. 11.6"... yes, but not 10.1" The ThinkPad's was ok and the old Dell Mini 10 had a decent keyboard. But ultimately the keyboard is deep secondary. If I "need" that, then I "need" a laptop of a bigger hybrid. But a tablet can't exceed 10.1", or it's just not a tablet.

    We'll see how this Samsung ATIV Tab 3 works out. I'm surprised at how much I'm looking forward to purchasing it. I really had given up on Windows up to this point. But it "could" be a turning point.
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    No need for a tablet. We do heavy data handling and statistical analysis. Anything a tablet can do a laptop or desktop can do cheaper, easier, and faster. Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, June 27, 2013 - link

    More important to me than form factor and absolute performance (some is necessary of course), is the ability to run most of the day without a recharge. So, 8-10 hours ideally without needing a charge with the display and internals at use intermittently throughout in active and standby.

    Size, slimness and weight are also important, I really like the Surface RT's form factor overall but want the power and flexibility of the Surface Pro.
  • madpiyal - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    I want a 10''/8'' tablet with a core i3 or i5 new haswell y series processor because it will assure 8-10 hours of battery life. It should be better than net-books used to be. And I want a full blown windows or a lot better version of windows rt. I don't want dual boot because people will misuse it(as BYOD is normal if you want to use Android use in your own device). Storage is a big issue and I think removable storage will be a huge plus. I don't mind low resolution at this screen size because its for work not for content consumption. It should have 3G radio built in for mobile sim to work and it should not have rear camera(we already have lots of camera around us and its a waste of company money). Reply
  • sasopu - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    The answer mostly depends on the definition of work for said person. In my example, work is something with CAD software, so anything short of an i7/i5 machine can not be considered a work machine.
    But for a person that just needs to show his clients something that does not need big modifications on the go (a pdf catalogue comes to mind), a tablet is a way better option,
    From where I'm sitting, there's no way a tablet can be used or even justified as a purchase for "work". I doubt the z2670 and such processors can handle things like CATIA, so the only viable tablet option is probably the surface pro, or any other i5/i7 tablet.
  • Streamlined - Friday, June 28, 2013 - link

    As an accountant who uses his ipad to look at spreadsheets I'd say that NOTHING smaller than the full-sized ipad is gonna work. And only the retina quality screen makes the small 9.7" work. Optimal may be an 11" screen but the size is less important than the weight. I'll take a lighter 9.7" tablet over a heavier 11" but if weight was the same, I'd take the 11". And extremely high screen definition is a must when crunching spreadsheets with lots of small numbers. Reply
  • Ytterbium - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    I use a Fujitsu Stylistic ST 5112 at work today, since my company hasn't moved from XP yet it's still going strong, I upgraded it to 2GB and put X-25V SSD in it. The things that bug me are the weight and the battery life, I generally leave it plug in all the time as it just doesn't last more than 3hrs.

    It's a 12.1" with 1024x768, I couldn't live with less than 768 as the app I use the most use that width easily and I could do with a bit more width, height wise I'm good.

    It's got a Core Duo U2500 which is enough CPU power, the disk at 40GB is fine, everything I have is on the corporate network.
  • Black March - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    Honestly I think the new Ativ Tablet is by a far the most optimal form factor I've seen this far. It manages to be a true tablet, while at the same time beeing a highly functional laptop. Quite amazing IMO Reply
  • zendragon6 - Saturday, June 29, 2013 - link

    A 4:3 or 16:10 Surface Pro with that brilliant type cover, Matte Screen, 600 nits, user replaceable battery, storage dock for the pen instead of magnet clipped to the side, throwing Haswell in for some better battery life and graphics performance.

    If it's 16:9, there's no way I'm buying it, no matter how good everything else looks.
  • loki1725 - Sunday, June 30, 2013 - link

    For me, a tablet would be a replacement for my notebook. As an engineer I do a lot note taking, brainstorming, math and sketching. I was using convertible notebooks and OneNote for this but my new company doesn't offer this. I'm back to engineering notepads and pens. A tablet would a replacement for this notepad, and maybe be useful for a second screen when looking at documents and such. Primarily though, I would want something that I could take to meetings or brainstorming sessions and replace paper with.

    For me, a 15" screen size in 4:3 is minimum. The bigger the better as I want to be able to write and draw with the least amount of restrictions. I would love a 17" in tablet! This would need to be coupled with a digitizer with good palm rejections and very low lag. A passive pen is also ideal, and the pen needs to store inside the tablet (looking at you SurfacePro).

    For software, my number one need would be full blown OneNote, or a note taking program as powerful. This would mean the ability to do audio recording while note taking and having them sync. I used this constantly as it was a great way to keep diagrams in sync with conversations while we're spit balling concepts.

    For the rest of the hardware, really good WiFi, fully encryptable hard drives, and a decent battery. Getting 5+ hours of life is probably fine for my usage. And weight doesn't really matter. My bag weighs nearly 6 pounds empty, so the difference between a 4lb and 6lb tablet wouldn't change things enough to notice.

    Oh, and I don't want a camera on it. Anywhere. For security reasons I can't take cameras into a majority of the facility I work at. This means my cell phone is left at the door. If my tablet had a camera, I wouldn't be able to use it. (For those curious, the webcam on my laptop had its lens drilled out and filled with epoxy. My webcam won't turn on anymore but some of my friends can get theirs on, and it's solid black.)

    I know this is probably an outlier use case, but it's what I would buy.
  • finbarqs - Monday, July 01, 2013 - link

    20" windows 8.1 that sports a wacom digitizer with tilt and rotation abilities. I'll settle for a 1920x1080 resolution Reply
  • TheBlueberry - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    The HP Envy X2 tablet was darn close to perfect but to small and underpowered. The Surface Pro is not lap friendly and the flimsy keyboard and small screen still turn me off. Although I know plenty of IT pros who are beginning to push them. Biggest business gripe is 10" just isn't going to do it for a laptop and computer replacement. Lets face it, executives love their hair. At one point it was who had the tiniest cell phone. Now its going to be, my tablet is bigger than yours.

    My perfect tablet would have the same detachable keyboard and tablet integration of the HP envy x2 only in a 15 inch form. I would like a backlit keyboard. I like the rubbery feel of the Lenovo P500 incorporated into the design so to allow for a surer grip of the tablet. Windows 8 pro. I would also like to see an core i5 or better. 8 GB memory. Intel 5000 graphics or better. 256 GB SSD. Must have a fantastic screen brightness and clarity. Resolution is not that big a point, lets face it I would need a magnifying glass for 1080p on a small screen anyway. 720p would be ok, especially since my finger will do most of the work and they are quite big. HDMI, all the other bells for being able to connect to anything and adapt and expand. Front and rear cameras, lets face it Skype and Lync are awesome. Add the cell phone in to and wa'la'. and must have a 8 hour battery life so we can make it through a flight, do our presentation, make it to the hotel to plug it up. All this with a $500.00 price tag. LOL

    I think whatever the manufactures decide to throw at us, we will still be making sacrifices in choices as they continue to make an appliance for everything and every category. Until they are realistic about price points and licensing fees from Microsoft, the market will still be overpriced and Android and Apple will continue to make end roads over the Microsoft world most of us live in.
  • 2disbetter - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    HP already had a good thing going with their Slate tablet (8" incher atom based win 7 device). 11-10" seems to be the sweet spot for most people. However, a smaller 9-7" tablet would work as well and would be preferred by many, myself included. Haswell would be ideal, and anywhere from 4-8gb of ram would be appreciated. Solid state drives are a given. Battery life should be at least 6 hours, but the more the merrier in this regard. For me work requires data entry and as such a good keyboard is essential. I have found that the sliders are the ideal solution to this. They don't require extra items be carried, and are always available. They also allow standard laptop use (unlike the Surface pro in a lap). Screen quality needs to be good. IPS is a minimum. And while the screen is smaller, it is better to have higher resolutions with good DPI scaling. People don't want to squint on the norm, but sometimes work requires access larger files, and the ability to view them makes up for the inconvenience of having to squint. Pen input (wacom) is also very useful, mainly as a consequence of the smaller screen and to help with working with some smaller UI elements. The screen itself should also be capacitive and allow for at least 5 finger touch. User removable battery would be ideal as well. Size is one issue that is not so essential. Folks looking for tablets for work will deal with a thicker device if it includes all of the things they require. User removeable batteries, RAM accessible, and even hdd being accessible all warrant thickness. Build qaulity is essential as well. Even though metal and aluminum might drive up weight it is needed. And finally do not back your design into a corner because you're trying to reach a certain price point to stay appealing to a market. Work devices are for work and should demand a premium if they offer more. Reply
  • mk1212 - Saturday, July 13, 2013 - link

    for work it is necessary that you can look at it from arm's length and beyond
    also it should not be too big... so a4 paper size should be ideal...font size and distance should correspond to sufficient real estate for data and texts while not constraining eyes.
    at arm's length ipad texts become too tiny to discern without zooming. i think we should minimize the zooming action.
    processor: there cant be upper limit but current generation processors are sufficient for available apps/soft.
    no bezel beyond 1 cm
    4:3 aspect ratio preferably
    carbon fiber to reduce weight. 200 to 400 grams overall weight
    processor should be cool running.
    hot swapping of battery
    500 gb ssd
    rugged enough to withstand few bumps
    max available screen resolution
    pen/stylus support
  • Thornik - Monday, July 15, 2013 - link

    Everything depends from "mobility" of the job. For doctors, stock managers, etc better to carry small tablet. But if you use tablet for longer than 10 min and sitting on ass, it's better to have even 15".
    In any case, tablets are most used for ENTERTAINMENT, not the job! So tendency is simple: bigger is better. But manufacturers wanna sell their sh*ty small panels, keeping almost the same price. Let's see when this hype collapse and tablet will cost reasonable $100.

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