Jul 9, 2013

2013 Windows 8 Convertible/Hybrid Tablets Worth Buying

There are many Win 8 tablets available in the market, and most of them are complete crap.  Many of them offer low computing power, and lack of or subpar digitizer input.  My Lenovo ThinkPad X230T, even though is a bit bulky, is still more powerful and useful than most Win 8 tablets.  But, I have to acknowledge that Win 8 systems are getting better.  Below is a list of several systems that I'm considering purchasing.

Samsung ATIV Q - 13.3"

The resolution on the Ativ Q is absolutely delicious, a whopping 3200 x 1800.  Such a resolution will prove useful to those that need to view and compare documents.

Android and Windows operating systems can run on this tablet.  This support for multiple OSs should be useful to developers, and for those that love Android specific apps.

S-Pen digitizer input is very similar to Wacom digitizer input, which in my opinion is the best.  N-Trig has too many issues that hinder fast inking.

Another good aspect of Samsung is their well integrated software.  When I used the Samsung Series 7 Slate the software bundled with the system proved to be useful.  However, if you hate the "bloatware" you may not like to have that extra software.

The system's size may be pushing it to the non-portable side.  If you are a student and carry books, notebooks, a convertible tablet and its power supply... well the 12.87"x8.57"x0.55" (LxWxH) may be pushing it.

While many will find the ATIV Q's power to be enough for their multimedia and document viewing... the hardcore gamer will be left out as this tablet does NOT offer discrete graphics.

Links: Samsung, not yet released.

Razer Edge Pro

The Razer Edge Pro is one of the very few tablets that offers Discrete graphics.  By having this 3D chip you can play and develop 3D games.  In a way having this capability means that you no longer have to carry mutliple systems in order to satisfy all needs.

Another good aspect of the Edge Pro is its support for accessories; you can connect a dedicated dock, a keyboard dock, and even a game controller.  The support for such accessories gives this system the flexibility to satisfy the needs of multiple lifestyles.

Portability is a double edge sword type feature, and many people will be happy with the small size of the Edge Pro.  However, this small size also means that the resolution will be limited, in fact it only has 1366x768.  Viewing and comparing documents is not something that will not be convenient when in mobile scenarios.

The tablet is touch only and does NOT support digitizer input.  The pen input is crucial for many of my needs, especially for doing sketches and math.  If Razer had proper Wacom digitizer input this tablet could be the most portable and useful tablet.

Links: Razer Zone, prices.

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

Lenovo is well known for ther excellent keyboards.  In fact I have not had a major complaint with their keyboards on the S10-3T, X201T, X220T, and X230T.  While I have not touched the Helix I have faith that it has the best keyboard among all Win 8 tablets.

Like many of Lenovo's system the digitizer is Wacom based.  The digitizer will allow people to write notes, draw sketches.

Like many Win 8 tablets the Helix does NOT offer discrete graphics, and therefore is not a complete solution for all computing needs.

Links: Lenovo, prices.

Microsoft Surface RT/Pro
First, do NOT buy the RT version as it's a content consumption device.  The Pro offers better specs and will be a better content creation device.  In my opinion the Surface Pro is an excellent mobile tablet that will satisfy the needs of millions.  But I can say that this neat portability is also a restriction for power users.  For extensive typing I would not like to type with that slim keyboard.  Now, the tablet does offer Wacom digitizer input which will satisfy note taking and some art programs.  And like most Win 8 tablets the Surface Pro lacks discrete graphics, which means that gamers and 3D apps will not perform that well.

Links: Microsoft, prices.

Sony VAIO Duo 11 and 13 Ultrabooks
What could be wrong with these?  They seem extremely sexy, they have a great resolution, a useful keyboard, and even decent specs.  Well, the N-Trig styled digitizer inputs are a a complete deal breaker.  Based on extensive experience I can say that Wacom input is superior.  Also, the Duo tablets do not have discrete graphics.

Links: Sony, prices.

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