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Old 10-12-2012, 06:55 PM  
AustinChief AustinChief is offline
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The REAL tablet wars are about to start

Up until now the choices have actually been rather spartan when you compare the tablet market to the PC space. That is about to change in the next two months... and prices are going to reflect the change. (Though I doubt right away, it will take some time to shake it all out)


New tablets coming soon:

Windows 8 tablets: these are the most interesting due to the fact that they can double as a laptop and run x86 based programs. In theory these should dominate the market over time but in reality pricing will determine their adoption rate. Color me skeptical for now.

Windows RT: meh... basically windows version of an Android or iOS tablet, I see very limited potential here but who knows.

iPad Mini: Also will depend on pricing. If it isn't at least CLOSE to the $200 price point, I can't see any compelling reason to purchase one other than the typical Apple fan "have to have the cool new thing" factor. Of course, we know jack shite about their specs so I could be way off here... but it's always good to have more choices.

As for all the other Android tablets... I see a number of major price drops heading our way.. take a look at the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9 at $299 and the Nook HD+ at $269.. that's unreal. We are about to have quality tablets getting close to the $250 mark.

EDITED TO ADD RUMORS:

Google is supposedly releasing a $99 tablet and a 10.1" Nexus with REALLY high end specs (made by Samsung) both are rumored to start manufacturing in December.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by AustinChief; 10-12-2012 at 08:02 PM..
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:37 PM   #91
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #92
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Keep in mind that I'm still playing with this so don't have it 100% figured out, but I will do my best to answer your questions. And for the record, I have been using iPads since the first one came out. Answers will be in red.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
Watching some videos of Win8 generally makes this look like it lives in some weird reality where Apple went out of business years ago. Questions:

Windows 8 is a radical departure from the standard UI. It is more more based on the Windows phone UI, and is meant to be used on more of a touch screen environment. Mouse and keyboard work just fine, but since touch screen is where we are going as far as interface goes, this is the way the new OS's will be built Call it Apple-esque if you like, but it seems to me that Apple calls everything Apple-esque and that no one has had an original idea except Apple, ever. See patent lawsuits everywhere.

How's it work for things like streaming media out to external speakers or video receivers at your house? What do you use? Is there something built in? I'm guessing that if it is, then it requires an Xbox.

As for ports. There is a USB port for xferring data via external drive or flash drive, for mouse if you like, or full size keyboard, or for what ever else you have that uses USB. (Personal Note: This crushes iPad right here.) Second there is standard 3.5mm port for headphones and what not. Third there is a micro-HDMI port for all of your projecting/exporting to monitor/TV needs. In case you didn't know, HDMI carries sound as well. At least anything beyond the first model of HDMI.

Even though it's running on ARM, are you planning on running AV and Anti Malware software on there? That seems like a big problem with their Intel version of the Surface.

I played with an Asus RT tablet the other night at Microcenter and found working within Windows Explorer with my finger to be maddening. Do you find yourself punting to the smart cover when you need to make a new folder?

Let me get back to you on this, as I haven't gotten that far yet. It should also be noted that RT is not the full blown Win. 8 OS.

Does the start screen/metro portion of the OS make enough sense for touch that you think it was worth it for Msft to integrate it so deeply into the desktop OS?

Depends on the context. In a tablet sense like the RT, yes, it's really easy to use, and if you don't go all derp over how different it looks than a standard Win. OS, you can grasp it pretty easily. Using it say on a desktop, I could totally see how annoying it would be. There is however a patch that you can install that will make it look like a traditional Windows desktop.

I really want Windows 8 to be something cool and useful...something that could really replace XP running in a VM for those times I need it. Right now, I'm not seeing the love.

As for this, I don't know what to tell you. You should have left XP for 7. 7 killed anything and everything there was to love about it XP. 7 does anything XP does, better, faster, and a lot more securer. At this point it sounds like the problem of change is your issue, not the OS. Please understand I mean no offense, but that is the only thing that makes sense to me as why you wouldn't have changed. As for how 8 holds up, I will reserve my judgement till I actually get to use it for a little bit.

Oh...

- I'll never understand the "it has office it's for creation" comments in relation to the iPad since you can read and write in Doc format from Pages.

Unless your business soley revolves around the Apple environment, then Pages and the like are worthless. Plus, on the iPad, pages doesn't come with it. You have to buy it, and if I remember correctly, you have to buy Pages, Numbers and what ever the PowerPoint equivalent separately. The RT CAME with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote 2013 loaded. These are the beta versions, but once they go live, you get a free upgrade. On top of that, M$ Office is the most widely used programs of their nature. Apples version holds no real accountable percentage of the market on this. On top of that, I recommend on the iPad getting Quick Office as opposed to any of the other Apple products, at least you can trade documents with the rest of the world that way. Beyond that, have you ever tried to actually be productive on an iPad. I mean seriously productive, not just responding to an email. But making a whole spread sheet, or writing a report for a cost/saving analysis. It's a goddamn nightmare. As much as Apple tries to pimp the iPad as a production type of device, it just isn't, it is much more of a consumption device

- I'm a big fan of using the Apple Wireless Keyboard with the iPad. It's the same keyboard they give out with iMacs and can't be beat. Check it out if you end up ditching the surface.

Have one, used it, it's ok. This surface keyboard has a little more AWESOME to it, mainly cause it's touch. All in all though, it's a keyboard, and until one will bring me a beer and give me head while I'm typing out posts, their really isn't much to say about them. But check out a surface you, you will be surprised.


- You *really* would have thought that Microsoft would have avoided getting heat from the EU and DOJ by not jamming Bing down as a search provider.

I understand why they want to push Bing, it's their product. Just like on iPads they push Safari but my hope is that Google will make an app for both Chrome and Google search soon. Otherwise, I totally agree with you.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:21 PM   #93
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplin42 View Post
Keep in mind that I'm still playing with this so don't have it 100% figured out, but I will do my best to answer your questions. And for the record, I have been using iPads since the first one came out. Answers will be in red.
I agree with you on the UI.

Having used Consumer Preview for a few months on my regular old desktop, I felt like "WTF is this?"

Without a touchscreen, the UI doesn't seem to serve any real, useful purpose.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:37 PM   #94
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Pictures of the nexus 10 leaked. It looks very samsungy, which isn't a compliment. Boo
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:23 PM   #95
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Surface is lame, very unintuitive. iPad Mini is a ripoff. These "tablet wars" suck.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:17 AM   #96
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Unless your business soley revolves around the Apple environment, then Pages and the like are worthless. Plus, on the iPad, pages doesn't come with it. You have to buy it, and if I remember correctly, you have to buy Pages, Numbers and what ever the PowerPoint equivalent separately. The RT CAME with Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote 2013 loaded. These are the beta versions, but once they go live, you get a free upgrade. On top of that, M$ Office is the most widely used programs of their nature. Apples version holds no real accountable percentage of the market on this. On top of that, I recommend on the iPad getting Quick Office as opposed to any of the other Apple products, at least you can trade documents with the rest of the world that way. Beyond that, have you ever tried to actually be productive on an iPad. I mean seriously productive, not just responding to an email. But making a whole spread sheet, or writing a report for a cost/saving analysis. It's a goddamn nightmare. As much as Apple tries to pimp the iPad as a production type of device, it just isn't, it is much more of a consumption device
So you do know that Pages reads and writes in Microsoft Word format, right? Doesn't matter much for me. I stopped using word processors a while ago after getting burned on format changes. Everything I do is in plain text written with Markdown (in either SublimeText, Notesy or Byword) that gets exported into any number of formats including Word, but usually PDF.

I see where you might be coming from on Excel, but anything beyond what I would do with a calculator I do using Soulver. If it's too complex for that, I probably want a 10 key anyway so I'll wait until I get to a proper desktop.

PowerPoint is a disaster. I'll take Keynote any day of the week and I think that if you do a non-trivial amount of public speaking it's worth getting a Mac just so you can use it.

Quote:
As for this, I don't know what to tell you. You should have left XP for 7. 7 killed anything and everything there was to love about it XP. 7 does anything XP does, better, faster, and a lot more securer. At this point it sounds like the problem of change is your issue, not the OS. Please understand I mean no offense, but that is the only thing that makes sense to me as why you wouldn't have changed. As for how 8 holds up, I will reserve my judgement till I actually get to use it for a little bit.
I use XP very little at this point in my home environment. Just never got around to acquiring a license for 7. I use 7 on my big workstations and it's nice. Powershell seems like one step forward and two steps back, but that's my bias as someone who wants to do things like shell scripting and bash can't be beat in that regard. That's why I always install CYGWIN on the Windows boxes I use.

On my iPad if I really need to get into something on a Windows desktop, I've got a VM that lives in a datacenter so I can remote to it whenever. It's been months since I've needed that.

Quote:
As for ports. There is a USB port for xferring data via external drive or flash drive, for mouse if you like, or full size keyboard, or for what ever else you have that uses USB. (Personal Note: This crushes iPad right here.) Second there is standard 3.5mm port for headphones and what not. Third there is a micro-HDMI port for all of your projecting/exporting to monitor/TV needs. In case you didn't know, HDMI carries sound as well. At least anything beyond the first model of HDMI.
Sounds like lots of wires. I was wondering if Microsoft had anything that came close to competing with AirPlay and it doesn't sound like it. I soured on cable type solutions for this after snapping a motherboard in two when I had my laptop plugged into my stereo and stood up while my foot was on the cable. Guess this gets back to the whole ecosystem discussion.

Quote:
this is the way the new OS's will be built Call it Apple-esque if you like, but it seems to me that Apple calls everything Apple-esque and that no one has had an original idea except Apple, ever.
My short experience with that Win8 tablet leads me to say that nothing about it is Apple-esque and that's a really good thing. Metro is innovative and different...something that Microsoft needs. It's just unfortunate that they couldn't get everyone on the same page to release RT as a metro ONLY OS to push things a little harder.

By splitting the difference they're only going to discourage enterprises from upgrading depending on how much training they're obligated to give to their users.

Overall it sounds like the most compelling tablet to come out since the iPad that won't just disappear. I'm excited to play with the hardware, but I doubt that the stuff I use all the time will ever come over to that platform. Examples: OmniFocus, TextExpander, Instapaper, OmniOutliner. Each of those come from developers that have been focused on OS X for years. In the case of Omni, they were developers for NeXT.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:57 AM   #97
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Was doing some more reading on the surface and came across the software update process:

Quote:
For Windows RT Surface users, the update can be had by:

Head to the Control Panel version of Windows Update, not the Metro-accessible version that you use for more everyday settings changes.
Fire up a search for ‘Windows Update,’ and select ‘Install optional updates,’ instead of ‘Windows Update’ from the list of results.
If no updates are available, have the device run a check. If there are, then get going right away. The update is titled “Update for Microsoft Office Home & Student 201[3] RT Preview.”
Select it, and install.
Reboot.
Speaks for itself.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:15 AM   #98
kaplin42 kaplin42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
Was doing some more reading on the surface and came across the software update process:



Speaks for itself.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:23 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by L.A. Chieffan View Post
Surface is lame, very unintuitive. iPad Mini is a ripoff. These "tablet wars" suck.
Well, truth be told, they haven't really started yet... the BIG push is supposed to come from new stuff from Google and continued price drops... that isn't supposed to happen until next week. Keep your pants on!

As I stated in the OP, I felt both the iPad mini and Windows RT would be meh. Windows 8 tabs should be a huge deal but not until after the new year... and really only huge for enterprise customers (although I see them quickly making consumer inroads if the prices are manageable)
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:56 PM   #100
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I'd be very surprised if we saw any price drops. From all the leaks, Google is discontinuing the 8 gig model, and making the entry level 16 gigs. And the higher end will be 32.

And then launch a Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:05 AM   #101
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I'd be very surprised if we saw any price drops. From all the leaks, Google is discontinuing the 8 gig model, and making the entry level 16 gigs. And the higher end will be 32.

And then launch a Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.
Just to be clear, I'm not talking about prices of an existing tablet dropping. I'm talking about prices in general dropping. We have already seen this with the Nook HD+ at $269 for a full sized tablet.

I am holding out hope for Google to try to sell something decent in the $99 - $150 range... but even if they don't and instead only offer a badass Nexus 10 at a sub $350 price... that is a huge price drop from any other "premium" tablet on the market.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:33 AM   #102
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Well, truth be told, they haven't really started yet... the BIG push is supposed to come from new stuff from Google and continued price drops... that isn't supposed to happen until next week. Keep your pants on!

As I stated in the OP, I felt both the iPad mini and Windows RT would be meh. Windows 8 tabs should be a huge deal but not until after the new year... and really only huge for enterprise customers (although I see them quickly making consumer inroads if the prices are manageable)
The Surface Pro will be somewhere in the 1100-1500 price range if rumors hold true. Seems like a lot for a tablet until you consider that these will be full-blown laptop replacements. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on one of those.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #103
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The Surface Pro will be somewhere in the 1100-1500 price range if rumors hold true. Seems like a lot for a tablet until you consider that these will be full-blown laptop replacements. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on one of those.
The ASUS TaiChi gives me tech wood.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:27 PM   #104
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The Surface Pro will be somewhere in the 1100-1500 price range if rumors hold true. Seems like a lot for a tablet until you consider that these will be full-blown laptop replacements. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on one of those.
That's too much for a LAPTOP, let alone a tablet.

That price point is ridiculous.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
That's too much for a LAPTOP, let alone a tablet.

That price point is ridiculous.
Depends on the specs. I'm worried that you'll get "meh" specs and a $1200+ price. IF you get killer specs for $1000-$1200 for a device that replaces both a laptop and tablet.. well worth it to me. But it has to TRULY replace a laptop not just "sort of" replace one.

The cool part about this is that unlike Apple's bullshit, these prices won't be locked in. More and more hardware vendors will come online with this and drive prices down eventually. So even if these start at $2000.. who cares? The prices should drop fairly quickly.
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