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Rii
06-06-2012, 04:13 AM
So there've been a whole pack of Windows 8 tablets, hybrids, and both touch-enabled and 'traditional' ultrabooks running on everything from ARM to Atom to Ivy Bridge announced in the last week or so, a trend which will probably continue in the months ahead. Trying to sift the wheat from the chaff can be exhausting, hence this thread. Has anything particularly interesting caught your eye?

The dual-screen Asus Taichi (http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/4/3062240/asus-taichi-computex-announcement-pictures) is perhaps the most interesting announcement I've come across so far, but I'm unconvinced as to the practicality and economics of the arrangement.

Oh and if we can leave the "Windows 8 eats babies" stuff for another thread, that'd be great.

soldant
06-06-2012, 04:17 AM
Well in my opinion...


Oh and if we can leave the "Windows 8 eats babies" stuff for another thread, that'd be great.
...well, never mind then.

Or to be more constructive, the Windows 8 tablets do look good but I won't buy into the 1st gen. Okay well probably won't. I'll wait for Asus and friends to get their first attempts out and then pick up the following generation which will no doubt solve a bunch of problems arising from the first lot. Win8 looks great for a tablet.

But still not pleased with Metro on desktop SORRY CAN'T RESIST.

mrpier
06-06-2012, 06:41 AM
I've had my eye on the Transformer-series of android-tablets with detachable keyboards from Asus, I'm very interested in this if they get the same style (and can run some flavour of linux).

soldant
06-06-2012, 07:16 AM
I've had my eye on the Transformer-series of android-tablets with detachable keyboards from Asus, I'm very interested in this if they get the same style (and can run some flavour of linux).
If it's an ARM device you're looking at you won't be able to do that since Microsoft are making it mandatory for Secure Boot to be enabled preventing installing a different OS than Win8. Even the new x86-64 devices with UEFI will have to have secure boot enabled though you can add custom signatures to allow a different OS to boot.

mrpier
06-06-2012, 08:46 AM
I had heard of that, I just hoped they would not go through with it, it's such a mean-spirited move.

Rii
06-06-2012, 01:13 PM
Or to be more constructive, the Windows 8 tablets do look good but I won't buy into the 1st gen. Okay well probably won't. I'll wait for Asus and friends to get their first attempts out and then pick up the following generation which will no doubt solve a bunch of problems arising from the first lot. Win8 looks great for a tablet.

I'm looking at the x86 and hybrid side of things. My main concern is whether Ivy Bridge is up to the task or if it would be better to wait for Haswell with all its refinements in terms of power/thermal management -- that is to say, whether Ivy Bridge can deliver the performance necessary to run PC games in the class of Torchlight, Frozen Synapse, Bastion, CS:GO, etc. in a platform that is still satisfying as a tablet.

The Asus Taichi -- for an announced example that, given Asus' general record, and the fact that it is built off of their established and recently refined Zenbook platform, probably represents the best we're going to see with this first generation of devices -- weighs roughly twice as much as the latest-generation iPad so clearly one-handed use is out. The weight difference is justifiable in terms of the Taichi having an inbuilt keyboard, larger screen(s), an array of useful ports and a fully-functional OS, the question is whether it's satisfying to use...

djbriandamage
06-06-2012, 03:11 PM
I definitely won't invest in a first-gen Win8 handheld device but it will certainly be on my radar. My experiences with the Developer, Consumer, and Release Previews were overwhelmingly positive (aside from immature drivers) and it's effortless to see the benefits of running the same OS and applications on all the platforms I use.

I think it's going to take some school-of-hard-knocks testing and iteration to work out the kinks of the hardware, though. I plan to get the OS for my desktop PC as soon as it's released, but I always hesitate to invest in expensive first-generation hardware.

soldant
06-06-2012, 03:12 PM
Torchlight, Frozen Synapse, Bastion, CS:GO, etc. in a platform that is still satisfying as a tablet.
I doubt Bastion would be much of a problem, but I can't imagine something like CS:GO being particularly enjoyable unless it had a decent GPU... which I highly doubt they're going to get into a tablet at any sort of form factor or battery life which makes the tablet still satisfying as a tablet.

Unless you want to play at 640x480... then maybe it might work?

Rii
06-06-2012, 04:33 PM
I doubt Bastion would be much of a problem, but I can't imagine something like CS:GO being particularly enjoyable unless it had a decent GPU... which I highly doubt they're going to get into a tablet at any sort of form factor or battery life which makes the tablet still satisfying as a tablet.

Unless you want to play at 640x480... then maybe it might work?

Asus seems to be describing the Taichi as basically a Zenbook Prime with a second screen, so I'm hoping the graphics performance (http://www.anandtech.com/show/5843/asus-zenbook-prime-ux21a-review/6) (Ivy Bridge IGP) would be comparable too.

byteCrunch
06-06-2012, 05:28 PM
I won't deny the Taichi is intriguing, certainly one of the more interesting hybrid approaches, but I can't help be feel it will be incredibly expensive, that combined with it's rather tiny screen and the battery life is probably going to take a hit.

I wonder if it will be possible to switch OS on the fly, changing between OS seemlessly when in tablet vs desktop.

Rii
06-06-2012, 11:31 PM
I won't deny the Taichi is intriguing, certainly one of the more interesting hybrid approaches, but I can't help be feel it will be incredibly expensive, that combined with it's rather tiny screen and the battery life is probably going to take a hit.

I wonder if it will be possible to switch OS on the fly, changing between OS seemlessly when in tablet vs desktop.

I think you're thinking of another product? The Taichi has 11" or 13" screens and only one OS -- Windows 8. The battery life is going to suck compared to ARM-based tablets like the iPad, Android tabs and WindowsRT tabs, but unless you're running both screens simultaneously (which I envision as being only very occasionally useful) it should be comparable to the Zenbook line of Ultrabooks.

But yeah the economic practicality of the thing is questionable. From an engineering perspective it's a a simple solution to the problem of how2laptop+tablet that avoids mechanical solutions with the design compromises and points of failure that they bring, but the cost...

zookeeper
07-06-2012, 12:15 AM
Hahahahaha, "ultrabook".



Wait, this is an actual thing?
And people use that term?

soldant
07-06-2012, 03:00 AM
Hahahahaha, "ultrabook".



Wait, this is an actual thing?
And people use that term?
According to Intel, yes... where have you been?

Winged Nazgul
07-06-2012, 03:18 AM
The dual-screen Asus Taichi (http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/4/3062240/asus-taichi-computex-announcement-pictures) is perhaps the most interesting announcement I've come across so far, but I'm unconvinced as to the practicality and economics of the arrangement.

I think I prefer the Lenova Yoga form factor to the dual-screen of the Taichi:


http://youtu.be/n6jnrRRAcZc

Rii
07-06-2012, 03:47 AM
I think I prefer the Lenova Yoga form factor to the dual-screen of the Taichi

Yeah. I guess my only concern there, beyond wondering about the solidity of the hinge, is that in tablet mode you're resting it on the keyboard or at least the palm rest. Of course with the Taichi the "lid" is far more vulnerable to scratches and the like than your average ultrabook or the Yoga arrangement. Swings and roundabouts.

I guess my other reason for focusing on the Taichi is that, well, it's from Asus, who arguably have the most consistently Apple-like record in the PC industry in terms of design elegance, build quality, etc. and this is their x86 hybrid form-factor offering. That's not to say that Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, etc. can't produce something as good or even better, but in perusing the options at a level before reviewers get stuck into the machines and can report on the finer details, Asus has the provisional tick vs. the question mark attached to the others.

Relatedly, the reason I haven't even bothered to look at what AMD is planning to bring to the table is because whatever they do will be coming in at the cheaper end of the market, and sacrifices will be made there in terms of build and display quality.

byteCrunch
07-06-2012, 10:33 AM
I think you're thinking of another product? I'd be interested to know what it is tho. The Taichi has 11" or 13" screens and only one OS -- Windows 8. The battery life is going to suck compared to ARM-based tablets like the iPad, Android tabs and WindowsRT tabs, but unless you're running both screens simultaneously (which I envision as being only very occasionally useful) it should be comparable to the Zenbook line of Ultrabooks.

But yeah the economic practicality of the thing is questionable. From an engineering perspective it's a a simple solution to the problem of how2laptop+tablet that avoids mechanical solutions with the design compromises and points of failure that they bring, but the cost...

No I know exactly what I am refering to, just a 13" screen really isn't enough for alot of people, including myself, and I do not want to run Windows 8 in a desktop/laptop enviroment, hence it would be interesting if I could run 7 on the main screen, than have it boot to Android or maybe Windows 8 when using the tablet.

Edit: I know Asus has this tech, they showed it off, think it was called the AiO or something along those lines, switched on the fly between Windows 8 and Android.

Having two IPS monitors is seriously going to skyrocket the cost of this, even if IPS is now rather cheap, but I preffer that the Taichi is a laptop with the functionality of a tablet, rather than a tablet with a keyboard attachment.

Edit: Just seen the Yoga, I actually think the way the hinge works is a bit stupid, unless you have it on a flat surface there is an easy risk you are going to start mashing the keys whilst handling it, would be better if it worked more like old tablet-laptops, where it rotates fully then folds down on top the keyboard.

Winged Nazgul
07-06-2012, 10:52 AM
The Yoga has taken the key-mashing into effect. It deactivates the keyboard automatically when it is folded into certain positions. It also has padded rests along the sides to protect the keypad when it lies on that surface.

http://cnettv.cnet.com/hands-lenovo-ideapad-yoga/9742-1_53-50118072.html

zookeeper
07-06-2012, 08:15 PM
According to Intel, yes... where have you been?

Yikes. Sounds like a marketers wet dream come to life. ("It's not a station wagon... it's an ULTRACAR.")


Unless I'm in the market for something I don't usually follow hardware very closely. Sometimes I amaze myself at how much slips by me.

mlaskus
07-06-2012, 08:39 PM
There is a pretty strict definition of what can be called an ultrabook. It's a label that allows you to quickly identify laptops with certain specifications and features. Vendors can't call their laptops ultrabooks if they don't fall into Intel's definition.

Rii
11-06-2012, 02:32 PM
Anandtech seems quite taken (http://www.anandtech.com/show/5968/acers-iconia-w700-tablet-windows-8) with Acer's IVB-based tablet, or rather what it represents: the possibility of a tablet replacing both notebook and desktop PC.

Personally I agree with the long-term potential of x86-based 'tablet+' platforms to supplant the majority of the current notebook and desktop markets, but I'm less convinced of the wisdom of trying it in 2012 with Ivy Bridge and/or the current in-order Atom architecture.



Hahahahaha, "ultrabook".

Wait, this is an actual thing?
And people use that term?

Just wait till you hear about Apple's new female hygeine accessory, or Microsoft's 'xbox' or...

djbriandamage
11-06-2012, 09:34 PM
Just wait till you hear about Apple's new female hygeine accessory

They should call it iPad. No, wait...

Winged Nazgul
19-06-2012, 12:41 PM
A new contender appears:


http://youtu.be/IddNI1kU5ek

soldant
19-06-2012, 01:01 PM
Worst tech video... um... in the last 4 weeks.

But apart from that, this is a very interesting device.

Moraven
19-06-2012, 03:00 PM
Yikes. Sounds like a marketers wet dream come to life. ("It's not a station wagon... it's an ULTRACAR.")


Unless I'm in the market for something I don't usually follow hardware very closely. Sometimes I amaze myself at how much slips by me.

When the netbook craze was dying out due to the iPad they had to come with something else. And also to compete against the Macbook Air.

djbriandamage
19-06-2012, 04:12 PM
When the netbook craze was dying out due to the iPad they had to come with something else. And also to compete against the Macbook Air.

Pretty interesting that they're making a device to compete with both. I like that it solves the problem of having either a tablet or a laptop with you and wishing you had brought the other. It looks a little big and heavy and there's no way I'll buy the first generation product but I have high hopes for this thing.

Kadayi
19-06-2012, 08:16 PM
But apart from that, this is a very interesting device.

Could be interesting. Certainly looks like it's going to be a lot more functional than the Ipad, and I like the inclusion of the thin keyboard as standard, and the fact that it fully supports stylus input.

djbriandamage
19-06-2012, 09:20 PM
Could be interesting. Certainly looks like it's going to be a lot more functional than the Ipad, and I like the inclusion of the thin keyboard as standard, and the fact that it fully supports stylus input.

Stylus, touch, and keyboard are a powerful combination. Presumably a USB or bluetooth mouse ought to be an option as well.

My first thought when I saw the keyboard was how much easier it would be to play games on DOSbox since it has function keys, arrow keys, etc. A portable DOS arcade would seriously float my boat.

Kadayi
19-06-2012, 09:36 PM
Stylus, touch, and keyboard are a powerful combination. Presumably a USB or bluetooth mouse ought to be an option as well.

I'm sure it will support a USB mouse as well.

soldant
20-06-2012, 01:31 AM
I'm sure it will support a USB mouse as well.
Dunno about the RT version but the "Pro" (read: x86 BUT NAMES ARE FUN HEH HEH) version definitely would, given that it's a full Win8 system.

That said typing on that thing looks like it'd be pretty bad. Better than typing on the tablet itself, but not up to even the crappiest of chiclet keyboards.

Rii
20-06-2012, 05:09 AM
It's funny how the reaction on the internets has basically validated Microsoft's decision to venture into hardware already.

Dozens of WinRT/Win8 tablets/hybrids announced at Computex et al. = *crickets*
Microsoft announces same thing = internets explodes.


That said typing on that thing looks like it'd be pretty bad. Better than typing on the tablet itself, but not up to even the crappiest of chiclet keyboards.

Yeah. And given that you have to combine it with a kickstand it doesn't even seem notably more convenient compared to other solutions like Asus' keyboard dock which holds the tablet upright itself and also adds more battery (and in future incarnations possibly ports and even GPU horsepower) too.

Not much to see here I think. Personally I want to see what Nokia brings to the table -- a 7" Lumia style tablet would be very interesting. Alternatively a Windows Phone 8/Windows RT version of the Samsung Galaxy Note II would be nice...

soldant
20-06-2012, 05:31 AM
Dozens of WinRT/Win8 tablets/hybrids announced at Computex et al. = *crickets*
Microsoft announces same thing = internets explodes.
The thing is though that a lot of the other offerings are still uncomfortably close to the old style tablet computers with an attached bulky keyboard. By comparison the Surface keyboard is designed to unobtrusively fold over the tablet; it doesn't add much in the way of bulk at all. It's not as good as the other tablet keyboards but it's a lot thinner.

Microsoft have approached it from a touch-centric perspective where the keyboard is a secondary element. Everybody else is looking at it as if the keyboard is a must have addition which acts as a dock in many cases. They're missing the point. Plus the Surface has a fairly nice design, everything else looks... well, like a netbook to be honest. And in a plastic-y/pointless metal kind of way.

Rii
20-06-2012, 05:55 AM
The thing is though that a lot of the other offerings are still uncomfortably close to the old style tablet computers with an attached bulky keyboard. By comparison the Surface keyboard is designed to unobtrusively fold over the tablet; it doesn't add much in the way of bulk at all. It's not as good as the other tablet keyboards but it's a lot thinner.

As I see it if you don't need to type much then the tablet itself is fine to type on. And if you do then you'll want either a proper keyboard in the form of a more traditional dock or to buy a hybrid/ultrabook platform instead. Microsoft's solution is an interesting compromise which may suit some, but I'm not sure why so many folks are almost cumming over it.


Microsoft have approached it from a touch-centric perspective where the keyboard is a secondary element. Everybody else is looking at it as if the keyboard is a must have addition which acts as a dock in many cases.

I honestly don't know where you're getting this impression from. Frankly, if anything else it seems to be the other way around, what with so much emphasis here being on the keyboard.


Plus the Surface has a fairly nice design, everything else looks... well, like a netbook to be honest. And in a plastic-y/pointless metal kind of way.

Yeah, it looks good. Maybe, matters of trade-off/taste like docks/keyboards/etc. aside, they'll even be the best tablets in their respective classes on release. But that's (1) far from a given and (2) a matter of 1-percenters. I don't dismiss the importance of such 1-percenters -- such things are why Asus is out ahead on the Ultrabook front from my perspective -- but they don't explain such wild adulation and chatter re: this tablet compared to all the others that've been announced, and those still to come.

Space Indaver
20-06-2012, 07:08 AM
It's a sexy version of an Asus Transformer, with a full version of Windows. If the price is right, I'm there. Big 'if' though.

soldant
20-06-2012, 08:00 AM
As I see it if you don't need to type much then the tablet itself is fine to type on. And if you do then you'll want either a proper keyboard in the form of a more traditional dock or to buy a hybrid/ultrabook platform instead. Microsoft's solution is an interesting compromise which may suit some, but I'm not sure why so many folks are almost cumming over it.
That's my point actually - the keyboard is an adjunct to the tablet, it's not treated as an integral part of it. It's a flimsy flip thing which works better than tapping on the tablet. I'm not really criticising it in saying that; it clearly isn't going to have the tactile feedback of typing on a rubber dome keyboard, but it's better than tapping on the tablet itself. The approach of Asus and similar groups is to provide that higher quality keyboard which is great, but it's unnecessary and adds to the bulk. The iPad for example is designed without a keyboard. The Asus and similar presentations push the keyboard as an integral part of the thing.


I honestly don't know where you're getting this impression from. Frankly, if anything else it seems to be the other way around, what with so much emphasis here being on the keyboard.
If the emphasis is on the keyboard, why is it such a thin membrane one? I think you misread what I said - the general public are focusing on the Surface because it includes a keyboard, as does everybody else. But the point here is that Microsoft have put in a very thin keyboard which just folds over the device. Everybody else is focusing on larger keyboards which often double up as a dock. More pleasant to type on but they add more bulk (and Win8 tabs are already pretty bulky, particularly the x86 ones compared with the iPad for instance) and look like the old tablet concept where a screen folded around a keyboard.

Everybody else has apparently missed the point - if people want a full blown keyboard they'll put it in a dock on a desktop. The kind of keyboard Microsoft are pushing is perfect - it's better than typing on a tablet but it's incredibly portable and unobtrusive. People are excited about the Surface because Asus and friends seem to lack direction when it comes to Win8; they're trying some hybrid netbook tablet thing which doesn't work. Microsoft clearly understand that a tablet is either a highly portable device without extra crap attached, or it's in a dock with extra crap attached. The other tablets look... well, dated like they just took a netbook, broke the hinge (or sometimes not even that), and added a touch screen.

byteCrunch
20-06-2012, 09:37 AM
Well I have personally completely dismissed the regular Surface model, being ARM it doesn't leverage Microsoft's advantages and your essentially better of with an Android tablet or an iPad.
Though I do not see the Pro being great either, all I see is sever heating issues and non-existent battery life. Microsoft really needs to start convincing their OEMs if they want this to be a success.


Dozens of WinRT/Win8 tablets/hybrids announced at Computex et al. = *crickets*
Microsoft announces same thing = internets explodes.

I think a lot of it simply comes out of it being Microsoft making it, we all expect Asus to be churning these things out, but the fact Microsoft has had to do it apparently makes it interesting.

I guess people have forgotten the last time Microsoft tried to make their own hardware, Zune anyone?

More interested by the Vizio laptops to be honest, they do look rather nice.

Rii
20-06-2012, 10:40 AM
That's my point actually - the keyboard is an adjunct to the tablet, it's not treated as an integral part of it. It's a flimsy flip thing which works better than tapping on the tablet. I'm not really criticising it in saying that; it clearly isn't going to have the tactile feedback of typing on a rubber dome keyboard, but it's better than tapping on the tablet itself.

Sure, but also more inconvenient ... you have to flip it out on a desk and set the kickstand up. If you're going to do that, why not use a real keyboard? Hell, looking at the amount of room the whole assembly takes up (cbf finding an image to post) my first thought was actually "why not buy a laptop if you're gonna do that?"

Personally I'll take a combination of maximum convenience (tapping on the tab) and maximum capability (real keyboard + other features) over the combination of maximum convenience and moderately less convenience for a moderately-better-but-still-not-very-good capability that Microsoft's solution offers. I can understand that others might have different priorities that lead them to different conclusions, but hailing this as a revolution ... not so much.


The iPad for example is designed without a keyboard. The Asus and similar presentations push the keyboard as an integral part of the thing.

I don't get the impression at all. The keyboard is an extension of the hardware if you need it -- and if you do need it, not only will it provide a half-reasonable typing experience, but it can also (potentially) offer additional features such as more runtime, ports, or GPU horsepower for playing games. If you don't see yourself needing to type much, then don't buy it ... at least with Asus' Transformer line the tablet and dock are sold separately.

I think it's understandable -- almost critical, even -- for Windows RT/8 tabs to offer such capabilities, as the flexibility of Windows 8 is one of the things that sets it apart from iOS and, to a lesser extent, Android, in the marketplace. But you need to offer the hardware features to take advantage of that flexibility.


and Win8 tabs are already pretty bulky, particularly the x86 ones compared with the iPad for instance) and look like the old tablet concept where a screen folded around a keyboard.

I don't think that ARM or Atom-based tabs are any bulkier than their iOS/Android equivalents?


Well I have personally completely dismissed the regular Surface model, being ARM it doesn't leverage Microsoft's advantages and your essentially better of with an Android tablet or an iPad.

Well the main advantage of WindowsRT to my eyes is that it doesn't look like it came out of 1996 like iOS/Android do. The other advantage for RT (over Windows 8 too) is that it ships with Office 15. I could see myself going in for a small Windows ARM-based tablet/phablet if the price/design/feature combination is right. C'mon Nokia.


Though I do not see the Pro being great either, all I see is sever heating issues and non-existent battery life.

If the x86 tab is Ivy Bridge-based it'll need a fan, yeah, like the Acer. In fact I think that'll be the case forever and ever and thus that the reign of 'full x86' in a simple tablet (as opposed to a tabtop hybrid, say) will be quite short-lived: until the new Atom architecture gets off the ground next year. Going forward Atom is meant to handle 1-10W and the Core architectures from 10W-100W.


More interested by the Vizio laptops to be honest, they do look rather nice.

Yeah they do look good. Alas I doubt they'll come down this part of the planet.

In the trad ultrabook arena Asus' UX32VD (upspecced to 1080p IPS) seems closest to my needs, at least once it gets refreshed with Windows 8 and a touchscreen. I was initially pretty sceptical about the value of such a low-end GPU as the Geforce 620M when compared to HD 4000, but in reading reviews of ULV IVB-based Ultrabooks it seems that gaming performance is actually thermally limited, i.e. the IGP and and CPU end up limiting each other, with neither being able to stretch to full clocks in real gaming circumstances (as opposed to theoretical tests stressing only CPU or IGP/GPU individually) The UX32, being slightly thicker and with separate locations (and fans) for CPU and GPU should therefore give each more headroom with thus a surprisingly large improvements in gaming performance. I saw benchmarks reinforcing this somewhere a couple days ago but can't seem to find them now. =/

soldant
20-06-2012, 01:00 PM
I guess people have forgotten the last time Microsoft tried to make their own hardware, Zune anyone?
Nobody's forgotten. Xbox 360 anyone? Microsoft essentially broke up Nintendo and Sony's two-way battle for the console market. The Zune was a failure, but the 360 certainly isn't. Part of the issue with Zune is that it's going up against an ecosystem that Apple established with iTunes. Windows x86 tabs effectively own the majority of the app ecosystem out there and Apple is the poor app market. The situation changes with ARM devices since it's going up against the walled-garden iPad sector, but in the x86 sector Microsoft could easily win. And even if their own hardware design doesn't take off, they'll still be powering all the other tablets out there, so they can't lose unless Win8 as a platform does.


Sure, but also more inconvenient ... you have to flip it out on a desk and set the kickstand up. If you're going to do that, why not use a real keyboard? Hell, looking at the amount of room the whole assembly takes up (cbf finding an image to post) my first thought was actually "why not buy a laptop if you're gonna do that?"
That applies to all of the designs though... except this flip design is less obtrusive and less bulky than the others.


but it can also (potentially) offer additional features such as more runtime, ports, or GPU horsepower for playing games.
It stops being as portable though, and effectively turns it into a dock... and a dock isn't convenient to carry everywhere, so it's not worth making it integral to the device's design.


I think it's understandable -- almost critical, even -- for Windows RT/8 tabs to offer such capabilities, as the flexibility of Windows 8 is one of the things that sets it apart from iOS and, to a lesser extent, Android, in the marketplace. But you need to offer the hardware features to take advantage of that flexibility.
Which this does, but it's doing a better job than the Asus or other versions. Their keyboard thing doubling as a cover is effectively like those terrible iPad flip covers except it actually has a purpose. The Asus/Acer etc designs are somewhat backwards in that they're basically netbooks without hinges. Most people are taking notice of the thin membrane keyboard because it's extremely portable and just sits there as a cover, as opposed to the other designs which seem a little behind the times by comparison.

Also why are you getting so touchy about Win8 and other tablet manufacturers? Every thread about Win8 and you jump in on a crusade. It's like you're afraid of the criticism or something.

byteCrunch
20-06-2012, 03:27 PM
Nobody's forgotten. Xbox 360 anyone? Microsoft essentially broke up Nintendo and Sony's two-way battle for the console market. The Zune was a failure, but the 360 certainly isn't. Part of the issue with Zune is that it's going up against an ecosystem that Apple established with iTunes. Windows x86 tabs effectively own the majority of the app ecosystem out there and Apple is the poor app market. The situation changes with ARM devices since it's going up against the walled-garden iPad sector, but in the x86 sector Microsoft could easily win. And even if their own hardware design doesn't take off, they'll still be powering all the other tablets out there, so they can't lose unless Win8 as a platform does.


The 360 isn't exactly a good point of comparison to the PC/laptop/tablet market, and it took Microsoft two attempts to break into the console market, the original Xbox was hardly a massive success, the 360 took off mostly because it was first, and it has hardly taken a ran away with its advantage, the 360 is only just out selling the PS3, and the Wii trounces all in terms of sales figures. Whilst the Zune is actually a somewhat relevant device to this area of the market.

The iPad is now synonymous with the word tablet, and currently has a massive slice of the market, iPad is to tablets what Windows is to desktops.
Microsoft only has one advantage and that is leveraging x86 and it's current software library, but as it seems Microsoft is having a hard time convincing its OEMs to produce tablets, that's the only reason the Surface devices exist (which aren't going to see a second gen they are one off).

That combined with x86 tablets really aren't in a position to compete with ARM-based tablets at the moment on things such as price, battery life etc. Until x86 tablets can stand toe-to-toe with ARM tablets (outside of the high-end market), ARM tablets are going to continue to dominate, and the advantage x86 offers to Microsoft is meaningless.

Shark
20-06-2012, 06:12 PM
The Asus/Acer etc designs are somewhat backwards in that they're basically netbooks without hinges.
Except Asus' tabs do have hinges.

Also, on the whole ARM vs. x86 argument, Intel's Medfield is surprisingly battery efficient.

SirKicksalot
20-06-2012, 06:40 PM
Wasn't Zune a very good device that failed because it was never launched outside the US?

As for Surface's battery life, 10 days ago ACER revealed a tablet powered by an i5 Ivy Bridge wih over 8 hours of battery life.

Lastly, the Surface doesn't seem to exist right now. All devices shown were prototypes, none had working keyboards etc. (http://www.winsupersite.com/article/paul-thurrotts-wininfo/surface-tablet-microsoft-takes-apple-mimics-google-143481)
I suppose the announcement was rushed because Google is expected to reveal its own tablet a week from now. Rumour is it's already being shipped to retailers.

Vague-rant
20-06-2012, 07:09 PM
Might be tempted to get a hybrid next year, simply because I'd feel like I was shortchanging myself using Windows 8 without a touchscreen. Acer have a few interesting hybrids in the works- the S7 13 and 11 inch varieties. They're pretty much just laptops with touchscreens, no twisty or flippy screen cleverness, but there is a Thunderbolt port so I can hook up an eGPU for gaming- I'm pretty much betting on this being the future.

In any case, I'm clinging on to my current laptop until it dies, 3 years and its still going strong! Boots in about 45s... Just out of curiousity anyone know the average life expectancy for hard used laptops? (Its an old Vaio if that helps, used every day for basically everything from gaming to work.)

Kadayi
20-06-2012, 07:26 PM
Assuming it runs well I think Microsoft are potentially onto a winner with Surface tbh. Albeit Apple have a history of making great products their approach has very much been about telling you what you need but not always necessarily delivering on what people want. Ipads are great devices, but the lack of a direct USB port 3 generations in despite that being something people have clamoured for since the 1st Ipad is a good example of Apple just not listening. It's all well and good at the inception stage of a product to come up with that singular vision, but once something is out in the real world, you should be listening to the concerns of your user base and assessing the metrics. The Ipad is a touchpad, Surface however (especially the Pro version) is shaping up to be a portable computing solution that's likely going to be more attractive to consumers who want something that easily adapts to their needs.

soldant
21-06-2012, 01:59 AM
Except Asus' tabs do have hinges.
I was under the impression the tab separated completely from the keyboard part. But if it doesn't... then it's a freakin' netbook with a touch screen. Or at best an old-style tablet which nobody liked.


Whilst the Zune is actually a somewhat relevant device to this area of the market.
Except for the fact that it's an MP3 player versus ARM or x86 tablets, an entirely different device. But the point I was making was that Microsoft clearly do know how to make hardware which can be a success, the Zune on its own was definitely a failure but clearly not the indicator that MS will fail with the Surface.


The iPad is now synonymous with the word tablet, and currently has a massive slice of the market, iPad is to tablets what Windows is to desktops.
True. But as you say below, MS has a significant advantage in its x86 library... and such a device can realistically become a laptop replacement. The most common complaints I hear from the technologically illiterate with tablets is that they can't easily edit their Word documents etc on them. They can't easily move files across to them. They expect some aspects to operate similar to a desktop when it comes to moving files across and doing basic editing tasks. If they could just carry Office with them and plug in a USB drive, it'd be a lot easier and more popular. Hell if things go right they can do that on an ARM tablet since it's Office which is a key point here.

Apple are still the underdog (an expensive one at that) with their desktop market though they are the giant with the mobile market, you're 100% correct about that, and not even Android tablets have captured the market in a significant way (probably because they're all pretty bad by comparison, particularly with software). But Microsoft are converging the underlying aspects of the mobile and desktop worlds into one OS which would make things a lot easier for people to move between the two. I don't agree with unifying the platforms in terms of UI because that's a really dumb idea, but at a base level it's a brilliant move that Apple have taken baby steps towards and pretty much screwed up. If Microsoft beat them to the punch, they could very well win the tablet war, either by OS or device.


Microsoft is having a hard time convincing its OEMs to produce tablets, that's the only reason the Surface devices exist (which aren't going to see a second gen they are one off).
Source?

Rii
21-06-2012, 02:34 AM
Their keyboard thing doubling as a cover is effectively like those terrible iPad flip covers except it actually has a purpose.

The iPad covers serve a purpose too: like docks they can support the tab, whereas Microsoft's floppy keyboards can't and require a kick-stand on the tab itself. It's swings and roundabouts.


Most people are taking notice of the thin membrane keyboard because it's extremely portable and just sits there as a cover, as opposed to the other designs which seem a little behind the times by comparison.

If Microsoft are relying on an easily-duplicated $5-10 bit of plastic to differentiate their device from all the others, they're in trouble.

Fortunately we both know that that's not what they're relying on and not the real reason the internets have exploded about this tab either: it's the brand muscle that Microsoft brings to the table that's making most of the difference here. Hell, it even showed up on RPS despite bringing absolutely nothing new (in terms of relevance to PC gaming and over all the other products announced in recent weeks and over what's been known re: Windows 8 for at least the last 12 months) to the table!


Also why are you getting so touchy about Win8 and other tablet manufacturers? Every thread about Win8 and you jump in on a crusade. It's like you're afraid of the criticism or something.

I don't have a problem with folks offering reasonable criticisms like "I don't like Metro" or "I don't think Windows 8 brings anything to the table for my personal computing needs" or "[insert manufacturer here]'s product doesn't do it for me", that's fine. But you're right, FUD about Windows 8 irks me, and people lauding one particular Windows 8 tab over all the other tablets/hybrids (including those yet to be announced) irks me as well. Both things reflect population-level reactions that have nothing to do with an informed, rational, personal assessment of costs/benefits. I haven't even looked at the comments on RPS' 'Surface' story for fear of damaging my brain.


The iPad is now synonymous with the word tablet, and currently has a massive slice of the market, iPad is to tablets what Windows is to desktops.

No it isn't. The tablet market is still young, comparatively small, and undeveloped, which is why it is still possible for Windows (dragging the PC along with it, although Microsoft aren't taking their chances on that score) to disrupt the market and emerge as a serious third-player in the ecosystem that will become increasingly synonymous with 'personal computing' over the next decade. The inverse is not true -- the dominance of x86 (or Intel, even) and Windows in the PC space is not open to similar challenge. Indeed Apple's greatest problem in that respect is that iOS is not OSX. In the room I'm posting this from at Uni all but a couple of the three dozen Windows workstations are occupied, compared to three of the one dozen iMacs.

Microsoft has the superior strategy here, all they need to do is (1) execute it right and (2) hope that Apple remains too stuck in the 'Steve Jobs is God' mindset to react in time.


That combined with x86 tablets really aren't in a position to compete with ARM-based tablets at the moment on things such as price, battery life etc. Until x86 tablets can stand toe-to-toe with ARM tablets (outside of the high-end market), ARM tablets are going to continue to dominate, and the advantage x86 offers to Microsoft is meaningless

Atom says 'hi'.

Space Indaver
21-06-2012, 02:52 AM
I think the Transformer has a hinge and the keyboard can be detached? Not sure why the two need to be mutually exclusive.

soldant
21-06-2012, 03:27 AM
The iPad covers serve a purpose too: like docks they can support the tab, whereas Microsoft's floppy keyboards can't and require a kick-stand on the tab itself. It's swings and roundabouts.
It's designed as a keyboard, obviously it's not designed as a stand...


If Microsoft are relying on an easily-duplicated $5-10 bit of plastic to differentiate their device from all the others, they're in trouble.
But it shows that it's a tablet first and foremost, which is ultimately what people want. A confused netbook/tablet hybrid thing looks ridiculous and lacks direction. Win8 was clearly built as a tablet OS in terms of UI, yet a lot of the efforts from Asus and Acer etc seem to treat it like a netbook.


I don't have a problem with folks offering reasonable criticisms like "I don't like Metro"
You've shouted down pretty much everyone who doesn't like Metro, and you're claiming it's here to usher us into a new world of big UI elements that take up half the screen for no good reason. My issue is that people have very legitimate concerns regarding Metro on a desktop which you quickly dismiss. My point being that the people who think Metro UI on the desktop is a good thing are in the minority here; it doesn't work for a mouse. Yet you fire ze missilez whenever anybody points something like that out. I don't think you are accepting of reasonable criticisms at all.


Atom says 'hi'.
Atom netbooks are terrible.

Rii
21-06-2012, 03:59 AM
But it shows that it's a tablet first and foremost, which is ultimately what people want.

Exactly: so why is it so important to have a keyboard at all? After all, it's not like you can use it without planting the thing on a desk, which rather seems to miss the point of a tablet.


A confused netbook/tablet hybrid thing looks ridiculous and lacks direction. Win8 was clearly built as a tablet OS in terms of UI, yet a lot of the efforts from Asus and Acer etc seem to treat it like a netbook.

This is sheer nonsense. That in some promotional pics Asus et al. show their tablets with their keyboards/docks attached suggests no less dedication to the tablet ideal than the fact that most pics I've seen of the Windows 'Surface' tabs show them planted on a desk does. Both merely demonstrate the potentialities of the devices over and above the basic and obvious functionality of a tablet.


You've shouted down pretty much everyone who doesn't like Metro, and you're claiming it's here to usher us into a new world of big UI elements that take up half the screen for no good reason.

The reason is a very good one, it just doesn't have anything to do with the user who will, indeed, 'have' to put up with a minor inconvenience. Y'know, if they choose to do so.

As for "shouting down" people who don't like Metro, I'd like a link please, particularly since I distinctly recall not doing that here (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1234-Smartphones/page2) and don't recall addressing the topic anywhere else. Mostly because there's not much to address: you either like it or you don't.


Atom netbooks are terrible.

A processor doesn't become terrible when it's moved from a phone into a tablet, and the Medfield benchmarks are comparable (http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/14/3078078/orange-san-diego-intel-medfield-review) to ARM offerings, although (astonishingly) they prove not to be up to the standards of the Exynos Galaxy S3 at triple the price. =/

Of course there's still room to improve, which is probably why Intel is introducing a brand new in-order Atom architecture next year, marking the most significant evolution of the platform since its release in 2008.

soldant
21-06-2012, 04:25 AM
The reason is a very good one, it just doesn't have anything to do with the user who will, indeed, 'have' to put up with a minor inconvenience. Y'know, if they choose to do so.

As for "shouting down" people who don't like Metro, I'd like a link please, particularly since I distinctly recall not doing that here (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1234-Smartphones/page2) and don't recall addressing the topic anywhere else. Mostly because there's not much to address: you either like it or you don't.
Look at your link, it sums up your attitude entirely - "why doesn't anybody like Metro, I just can't understand it." Whenever anyone criticises Metro you crop up to fight them off. You seem entirely incapable of understanding that a touch-based UI with huge UI elements looks ridiculous on a high resolution desktop display in a mouse-driven environment. Even something as simple as shutting down the system is a pain in the arse; on Win7 I can get to it right from the Start menu. On Win8 I have to go to the right corner, slide down, hit Settings, then hit the power button, and then select power off. That's fine for a touch screen, ridiculous for a mouse. The same goes for the massive full-screen apps. I wouldn't have an issue with them but they waste an absurd amount of screen real-estate for absolutely no reason at all.

Metro has been incorporated as an integral part of the Win8 environment, so whether you like it or not, if you're going to use Win8 you have to use it at least in part. Which is a shame, because the rest of Win8 is fantastic. An easy fix for the Metro UI would be to have it scale properly on high res displays. It'd fix the issues most people have with it. Forcing a UI designed for an entirely different input method onto another one is absurd. By analogy: PC gamers get pissed when console ports don't properly support M+KB controllers, applying ridiculous mouse acceleration settings and nonsense like that. That's pretty much what's happening here.

And yes, I'm using Win8 on a regular basis on my laptop. The UI is bearable on my laptop since it isn't a full HD display, so the larger UI elements aren't that much of an issue. But when I've used it on my desktop it just makes things a lot more difficult to accomplish.

byteCrunch
21-06-2012, 09:21 AM
Atom says 'hi'.

Are Atom processors now more efficient per clock cycle than an ARM.


Source?

Which part?

If you mean Microsoft being unable to convince it's OEMs that part is easy, the fact the Surface and the Pro exist, they were built for that exact purpose. Also despite the fact Windows 8 probably isn't that far away now we still haven't seen all of the big OEMs like Dell step up with anything yet, and those that have only had 1 or 2 to coming to market.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/20/3098441/microsoft-surface-pc-makers-no-comment

Acer thinks the Surface won't even see the light of day, again just a device to push manufacturers.

soldant
21-06-2012, 10:37 AM
Which part?
All of it, since you've just presented speculation as fact.

djbriandamage
21-06-2012, 03:58 PM
I think a hybrid tablet\laptop is a masterstroke. It's the missing link that reveals why Win8 was designed as an otherwise apparently kludgey hybrid. Having Metro as well as legacy applications at your disposal, and portable, seems like the best of all possible worlds to me.

Metro isn't today what it will be tomorrow. The apps aren't there yet - the OS isn't released yet, after all. Metro is significant because it can be run on phones, tablets, and PCs. If you have a Microsoft model of all those devices your cross-platform experience will be quite seamless, allowing you to do the same tasks using the same commands in the same software regardless of device. For a hybrid tablet/notebook you're not limited to Metro - you can use old MSDOS software if you really want to.

This is exactly why I've always loved Microsoft OSes over the years - innovation but with legacy support. No other gaming platform lets you play 30-year-old games on the latest hardware. With the Surface device you can use touch, keyboard, mouse, trackball, headtracker, foot pedals, gamepads, or whatever you want because all it is is a PC with a flexible form factor.

I love this idea.

soldant
21-06-2012, 04:11 PM
This is exactly why I've always loved Microsoft OSes over the years - innovation but with legacy support.
Are you serious? Most legacy 'support' is via emulation taking advantage of the considerable processing power on the PC. XP broke a lot of compatibility when upgrading from Win98 because it was an NT kernel. Vista broke compatibility again being a brand new kernel. x64 versions completely lack 16-bit support.

Abandoning legacy support is a necessary part of progression. Any 'support' is due to third parties taking advantage of the fact that you can emulate a DOS or Win9x environment reasonably smoothly.

djbriandamage
21-06-2012, 04:41 PM
You're right, soldant. I should have said it's the legacy support in addition to the openness of the platform which allows for third-party emulators and such. My overall point was that this tablet will be running a desktop OS and thus can run any software a PC can.

byteCrunch
21-06-2012, 05:06 PM
You're right, soldant. I should have said it's the legacy support in addition to the openness of the platform which allows for third-party emulators and such. My overall point was that this tablet will be running a desktop OS and thus can run any software a PC can.

Well no, it has to have an x86 architecture to run the software a PC can, though alot of the hybrids we have seen are sporting i5s and i7s.

I wonder when AMD is going to strike back, their APUs are actually really good and very power efficient, they aren't as low as the Atoms yet but they certainly seem to a lot more powerful, the dual-core Trinity's are running at about 17w, and they are only the second generation AMD APUs, combined with the built-in GPU that certainly trounces anything Intel offers at this power band, though I doubt they out perform Intel CPUs per core.

Along with AMDs plan to integrate ARM processors into their APU line up, we could see some interesting things from then.

Tei
21-06-2012, 06:45 PM
Wen I want a computer with keyboard, I use a desktop computer with all the power and a huge screen.

Wen I want to browse from the bed or similar, I use a tablet, with a iPad I have billion of apps gratis, and million of games.

This microsoft thing will compete with no-iPad tablets and Apple-ultrabook, and these are small niches.

djbriandamage
21-06-2012, 07:01 PM
Well no, it has to have an x86 architecture to run the software a PC can, though alot of the hybrids we have seen are sporting i5s and i7s.

The first model of Surface will only have an ARM processor but the second model, coming 3 months later, will have a full fledged Intel CPU capable of running Windows non-Metro software.

Rii
23-06-2012, 12:27 AM
I think a hybrid tablet\laptop is a masterstroke. It's the missing link that reveals why Win8 was designed as an otherwise apparently kludgey hybrid.

Yep. Although it wasn't so much a missing link as a link that most people had simply missed.

Metro is an inferior interface on the desktop, nobody denies that. But Microsoft is far more concerned with giving developers a boot up the arse and leveraging the power of an integrated ecosystem (which includes a unified brand and therefore user experience: look out for Metro on Xbox) to fight off Apple and Google than they are on catering to the interests of what will in future constitute an increasingly insignificant segment of the market. Microsoft totally knows what they're doing here.

Desktop users don't have to like Metro, but then they don't have to buy it either. It's not like their PCs and all their applications are going to stop working because they don't have the OS with the highest number, or that they won't be able to buy a new desktop PC with 7 instead of 8, or even (in the vast majority of cases and for the foreseeable future) that future programs, games, etc. won't be compatible with 7. Some people seem to be under the impression that the relation of Microsoft Corporation to the desktop PC is akin to that of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the Geneva Conventions. It is really quite bizarre.

Kadayi
23-06-2012, 12:56 AM
Tested did quite a lengthy podcast today about the Surface and the implications of it, as well as the Windows 8 phone announcement . Definitely worth a listen (though be aware they were recording at Norms house as they are between studios).: -

http://www.tested.com/podcasts/

Rii
23-06-2012, 01:06 AM
Tested did quite a lengthy podcast today about the Surface and the implications of it, as well as the Windows 8 phone announcement . Definitely worth a listen (though be aware they were recording at Norms house as they are between studios).: -

http://www.tested.com/podcasts/

By 'implications' I hope they mean of Microsoft choosing to enter the hardware market to compete with Apple and Google directly, and of what it could mean for the relationship between Microsoft and OEMs going forth and the implications of that for consumers.

Because if it's yet another (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-microsoft-surface-spec-analysis) piece that acts like Surface is the first and/or only Windows 8 tablet I think I might have to stab someone.

soldant
23-06-2012, 01:27 AM
Desktop users don't have to like Metro, but then they don't have to buy it either. It's not like their PCs and all their applications are going to stop working because they don't have the OS with the highest number, or that they won't be able to buy a new desktop PC with 7 instead of 8, or even (in the vast majority of cases and for the foreseeable future) that future programs, games, etc. won't be compatible with 7.
You are of course correct, but none of that changes the fact that Metro is still unsuitable for a desktop. It's the anti-thesis to a mouse-driven GUI because it's designed to be jabbed at with fingers.

Rii
23-06-2012, 08:11 AM
You are of course correct, but none of that changes the fact that Metro is still unsuitable for a desktop. It's the anti-thesis to a mouse-driven GUI because it's designed to be jabbed at with fingers.

It's definitely a downgrade for desktop users, but I have difficulty getting too upset about that for the simple reason that the current system isn't very good either. The current Start Menu layout is very laborious, about its only positive feature being the 'one button and then start typing to search and one more button to run' thing that was introduced with the reviled Windows Vista and notably does not require the mouse. And there's nothing very fast about hunting for small icons on a big desktop either (the best thing I ever did back when I had a desktop running a pair of 24" monitors and an MX Revolution mouse was to map 'open the folder with all my shit' to one mouse button, 'clear to desktop' to another, and 'open new Google Chrome window' to a third). You mention the laborious process of shutting down via Metro. That strikes me as an example of shithouse design that is (1) also a flaw in the current system and (2) can be addressed without throwing out Metro. My Metro-based phone, for example, is a lot easier to shut down than that even though it almost never is.

A final reason for my cynicism on this issue is the suspicion is that even if Metro was actually an improvement over the current system on the desktop, most of the folks who're complaining about it now would still be complaining about it. A simple fear/dislike of change and the fact that this change unambiguously reflects Microsoft's view that the desktop is no longer the centre of the personal computing universe is providing the emotional underpinning for most of the backlash here I think.

To summarise my position on the matter in point form:
- This is the right thing for Microsoft to be doing from its perspective (in response to the "omg are they insane???" criticism ... they're not insane, it is merely that their priorities are not necessarily your priorities)
- yes, it's a downgrade on the desktop (on a touch-enabled notebook I'd actually consider it an upgrade cos of the decreased need for a mouse)
- desktop users *can* work with Metro nonetheless, i.e. it does not render their tasks unmanageable.
- the current system is pretty awful on both desktops and notebooks too
- those desktop users who aren't willing to make the change (in exchange for the other benefits of Windows 8) don't have to. Windows 7 will be supported for at least the next five years (and probably longer) if only because the corporate/business world just made the transition to from XP to 7 and likely won't pick up 8 to any significant degree.

Kadayi
23-06-2012, 09:51 AM
By 'implications' I hope they mean of Microsoft choosing to enter the hardware market to compete with Apple and Google directly, and of what it could mean for the relationship between Microsoft and OEMs going forth and the implications of that for consumers.

Because if it's yet another (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-microsoft-surface-spec-analysis) piece that acts like Surface is the first and/or only Windows 8 tablet I think I might have to stab someone.

How about you give it a listen.

Rii
23-06-2012, 10:06 AM
How about you give it a listen.

I listened for 10 minutes and they didn't say anything.

soldant
23-06-2012, 10:28 AM
The current Start Menu layout is very laborious, about its only positive feature being the 'one button and then start typing to search and one more button to run' thing that was introduced with the reviled Windows Vista and notably does not require the mouse.
True, but it is cleaner than Metro (which functionally is sort of similar) in that it doesn't need to take up the whole screen to operate. Metro doesn't improve on this in any way; in fact, it's a step backwards because it hides a bunch of apps and just keeps adding bulky tiles to the list by default. The Start menu is a mess, but Metro is even worse.


And there's nothing very fast about hunting for small icons on a big desktop either
Except that I can display a LOT more things on a high res display. I don't need to scroll everywhere just to find something. Also I can plausibly fit more UI elements onto the screen without relying on hidden menus that require additional keypresses or gestures to open. "Click the button there" is easier than "Go over here, slide down, then click this, then click that" to accomplish the same task.


A simple fear/dislike of change and the fact that this change unambiguously reflects Microsoft's view that the desktop is no longer the centre of the personal computing universe is providing the emotional underpinning for most of the backlash here I think.
I don't think that's the case at all, given that most of us are still using desktops for most productivity things because they're still much better and more powerful than tablets, and likely to remain so for some time. Even then if someone's going to sit at a desk to type (which they are, they're not going to balance it on their lap, it's not comfortable) they're also likely to dock it onto a high res screen... which basically raises the same criticisms as it becomes a mouse-driven interface. The touch screen is in no danger of turning the mouse obsolete. Have tablets changed things? Yes. But the optimistic view that the desktop is dead is incorrect.


- the current system is pretty awful on both desktops and notebooks too
There are some things that are, but by and large general opinion disagrees with you. I have a large, hi-res display. There's no reason why my mail client has to take up the ENTIRE screen to the point where I can't do anything except minimise it. There's no reason why buttons have to be hidden behind a pop-up menu, particularly when they're important like a Settings button. The big, massive UI which is designed for fingers to tap has no reason to be there from a usability perspective. It's just a lot more mousing around which doesn't need to happen. I can hide all my books in my drawer, but if I'm constantly referring to them and I have a bunch of space on my desk, it makes a lot more sense to just leave them on my desk. The same applies to Metro on the desktop. I have a LOT of space on my screen. Use it. It's what it's there for!

Rii
23-06-2012, 03:55 PM
Are Atom processors now more efficient per clock cycle than an ARM.

The holistic assessment is that a current single-core Atom SoC will handily beat an equivalently-clocked dual-core ARM-based SoC on most multi-threaded CPU benchmarks. Atom tends to have slightly higher active power consumption, but better idle characteristics.

The take-home message is that Atom has arrived as a viable contender to ARM in the mobile and tablet market space. There are questions as to the economics of Atom vs. ARM, but frankly I don't think it matters very much, if only because Intel has an enormous warchest and won't hesitate to subsidise Atom with PC profits (courtesy of AMD's lethargy) in order to gain market traction.

Several Atom-based Windows 8 tablets have already been announced for those who want full x86 Windows compatibility coupled with fanless design and iPad-esque battery life, such as the Acer Iconia W510 and Asus Tablet 800.

Incidentally, it's pretty astonishing how bullish Intel themselves are on the subject:

ExtremeTech - Intel dismisses 'x86 tax'; sees no future for ARM or any of its competitors (http://www.extremetech.com/computing/130552-intel-dismisses-x86-tax-sees-no-future-for-arm-or-any-of-its-competitors)

“Moving forward, it will be difficult for anyone who doesn’t have an end-to-end capability to keep up with us. I took it for granted before I joined Intel, but this really is rocket science. When you see people working on 9nm — I see the guys in their bunny suits, doing the mask generation for the chips — you realize this is probably one of the most difficult industries I’ve ever seen. There are very few companies on Earth who have the capabilities we’ve talked about, and going forward I don’t think anyone will be able to match us.”

byteCrunch
23-06-2012, 05:10 PM
Intel as arrogant as always, Intel are going to hit a wall if they think they can keep die-shrinking. I do hope AMD pulls something out of the bag, as I mentioned earlier in the thread their APUs are very promising (couple of tablets announced with them), though not quite as power efficient as the Atom yet. Get die-shrinking those APUs AMD, Intel need competition.

Rii
23-06-2012, 05:36 PM
AMD's problem for me is that nobody's putting their hardware to good use as they are with Intel's. I'm perfectly willing to trade CPU for GPU performance, but there's just nothing out there. HP's Sleekbook is about the best ultrathin solution I've seen, but even that has no 1080p IPS display, no SSD...

Frankly I think Intel should reverse their priorities and make Atom the leader so far as process technology is concerned. They can afford to languish (relatively speaking) at the higher end...

Kadayi
23-06-2012, 06:53 PM
I listened for 10 minutes and they didn't say anything.

It's a 2 hour podcast.

Rii
24-06-2012, 12:56 AM
It's a 2 hour podcast.

Time is life.

soldant
24-06-2012, 02:26 AM
Time is life.
True but you can skip parts of it, it's not like you have to watch everything.


I'd be more inclined to use AMD again if they matched Intel, but thus far they've still behind the 8-ball. Kind of ironic given that there was a time when they kicked Intel out of the top spot. Regarding Atom v ARM... well, I don't think it really matters too much in the end since a lot of the ultrabooks and x86 tablets are using Ivy Bridge CPUs. Atom CPUs seem like they're going to be irrelevant.

Rii
24-06-2012, 06:32 AM
True but you can skip parts of it, it's not like you have to watch everything.

It's not the length, if it was interesting or informative it would be fine. But I gave it 10 solid minutes and it failed to be either. Why should I (or anyone) continue to invest even more time on the off-chance that it might get better when there are any number of other things I could be doing with that time instead?

One of the problems with podcasts compared to text is that it's much harder to skim and to discern whether it warrants deeper reading. Given that, podcasters should be attempting to engage the audience from the word 'go'.


I'd be more inclined to use AMD again if they matched Intel, but thus far they've still behind the 8-ball. Kind of ironic given that there was a time when they kicked Intel out of the top spot.

Yeah, was a time when I had three AMD systems in a row. Times gone by...


Regarding Atom v ARM... well, I don't think it really matters too much in the end since a lot of the ultrabooks and x86 tablets are using Ivy Bridge CPUs. Atom CPUs seem like they're going to be irrelevant.

Motorola is going to be rolling out (probably Google-branded) Atom-based Android hardware in 2013 and beyond: both phones and tabs. There's stuff going on in China too.

In the Windows tablet space Atom is competing against ARM, not the Core architectures which are targeted at a higher power envelope and need to be fan-cooled, which limits them to 10" (and larger) tabs and limits their battery life and also means they can't be as svelte as ARM or Atom-based tabs. Atom can run regular Windows 8 instead of Windows RT, but I skeptical as to the value of that. When I think of the advantages of running regular Windows 8 over Windows RT, the kinds of x86 apps that come to mind are the heavy lifters: games, Photoshop, etc. and Atom is going to struggle with a lot of that stuff. But I'm sure it'll find a niche.

soldant
24-06-2012, 08:45 AM
But I'm sure it'll find a niche.
I'm not sure exactly for the reasons you just listed. Netbooks are barely adequate for web browsing and not much else. An ARM tablet can do that. The benefits of an x86 architecture are that you can run desktop apps, but as you've already said Atom CPUs aren't particularly good at that. The Atom line of CPUs aren't particularly good, there's no way of getting around that. It's useless being able to run desktop apps if the CPU is so underpowered that it's like watching paint dry.

roryok
27-06-2012, 06:02 PM
The dual-screen Asus Taichi (http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/4/3062240/asus-taichi-computex-announcement-pictures) is perhaps the most interesting announcement I've come across so far, but I'm unconvinced as to the practicality and economics of the arrangement.


I have my eye on a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which looks a bit better than the Taichi I think. The screen folds around 360 degrees to the back of the laptop. Very good spec too, 8GB ram with an i5 or i7, and probably kepler graphics (although that's not revealed yet)

byteCrunch
28-06-2012, 10:38 AM
Google have announced their new Google Nexus 7 tablet, and I must say it's the first time I have been tempted by a tablet, though that is mostly because of the price point, 159 for a Tegra 3, 1gb of RAM, HD screen etc, not bad at all.

Rii
28-06-2012, 11:39 AM
Google have announced their new Google Nexus 7 tablet, and I must say it's the first time I have been tempted by a tablet, though that is mostly because of the price point, 159 for a Tegra 3, 1gb of RAM, HD screen etc, not bad at all.

New thread I think.

byteCrunch
28-06-2012, 12:12 PM
New thread I think.

Didn't really see the point (if you think it requires one make one, instead of making pointless suggestions), thought I would just mention it as this is Google's real play for the tablet market, much like Windows 8 tablets are for Microsoft.

Especially when you consider this basically competes with the Surface ARM model in terms of performance, but 250 less.

Rii
28-06-2012, 01:25 PM
The thread is about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks. Pretty simple really.

Winged Nazgul
28-06-2012, 01:36 PM
The thread is about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks. Pretty simple really.

Point. Set. Match.

byteCrunch
28-06-2012, 01:47 PM
The thread is about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks. Pretty simple really.

Except for the discussion hasn't just been about Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks, more people complaining about Windows 8, then you decrying their difference of opinion.

I'll reiterate Rii, if you think it needs one, make one. I didn't see the point of a thread for a single tablet.

gernalen
10-07-2012, 05:55 PM
Re: Windows 8 tablets / hybrids / ultrabooks (http://www.squidoo.com/ivy-bridge-ultrabook)
I have my eye on a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, which looks a bit better than the Taichi I think. The screen folds around 360 degrees to the back of the laptop. Very good spec too, 8GB ram with an i5 or i7, and probably kepler graphics (although that's not revealed yet)
This is such an exciting time for ultrabooks and hybrids. Not sure why anyone would be interested with a touchscreen ultrabook though if there's already a keyboard...

rifflepapel
26-03-2013, 09:22 AM
I won't deny the Taichi is intriguing, certainly one of the more interesting hybrid approaches, but I can't help be feel it will be incredibly expensive, that combined with it's rather tiny screen and the battery life is probably going to take a hit.

I wonder if it will be possible to switch OS on the fly, changing between OS seemlessly when in android tablet (http://www.robustbuy.com/laptops-tablets-android-tablets-c-551_1107.html) vs desktop.


What OS does Taichi fits..