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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Windows 8 tablets/hybrids/ultrabooks

    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 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.
    Last edited by Rii; 06-06-2012 at 01:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Well in my opinion...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    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.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mrpier's Avatar
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    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).

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpier View Post
    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.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mrpier's Avatar
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    I had heard of that, I just hoped they would not go through with it, it's such a mean-spirited move.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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...
    Last edited by Rii; 06-06-2012 at 01:49 PM.

  7. #7
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    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.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    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?

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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 (Ivy Bridge IGP) would be comparable too.
    Last edited by Rii; 20-06-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteCrunch View Post
    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...
    Last edited by Rii; 20-06-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  12. #12
    Hahahahaha, "ultrabook".



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

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    Hahahahaha, "ultrabook".



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

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Winged Nazgul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    The dual-screen Asus Taichi 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:


  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Nazgul View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Rii; 07-06-2012 at 03:57 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    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.
    Last edited by byteCrunch; 07-06-2012 at 10:46 AM.

  17. #17
    Lesser Hivemind Node Winged Nazgul's Avatar
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    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-...-50118072.html

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    Activated Node mlaskus's Avatar
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    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.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Anandtech seems quite taken 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.


    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    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...
    Last edited by Rii; 11-06-2012 at 02:36 PM.

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