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Win 10 Tablet Query

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by phigmov, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Hi all,
    Quick question - does anyone have experience with the new range of budget Windows 10 tablets ?

    I picked up an HP Android Slate to play around with and while it was functional it was fairly slow (even running cut-down things like Opera Mini). Annoyingly, Cyanogenmod support was also non-existent so I couldn't try alternatives to the stock OS install.

    HP (and many others) also make budget Windows 8 & 10 tablets - do they suffer the same performance issues ? Various Youtube reviews of the Windows tablets seem to indicate they perform quite well for light-weight tasks (basic web-browsing with a few tabs, youtube viewing etc) on the Atom processors these seem to ship with (you can also get Centrino M chips in some, as well as real iSeries processors in the pricier Surface-y tablets).

    The alternative I've been pondering is a used i5 HP 2760p tablet (I'd swap the disk for an SSD) - much chunkier, heavier, lower battery-life but a decent complement of ports and it could be used for real 'work' (incl running multiple operating systems).

    Up until now the 2760p was the front-runner, but when I went poking around it looks like processors have really come a long way - particularly the Core M Broadwells starting to appear in budget tablets and laptops (the misleadingly named Cube i7 Stylus comes to mind). Intel even have a comparison (its like they read my mind) - Intel® Core™ M-5Y70 processor vs. Intel® Core™ i5-520UM processor

    My use-cases - arm-chair web-browsing, youtube-ing, occasional reading (comics mostly)
    Edge-cases - trying alternate operating systems (linux, bsd) either on bare-metal or in VM's
    Budget - pref <$300USD
    IT Skills - reasonable (already got a xeon workstation, several macs, ipad mini + next-station, sgi o2 and cobalt cube . . . last 3 in various states of disrepair ;-)

    Any thoughts ?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I've just replaced my aging iPad 2 with a Lenovo Yoga 2 Windows 10.1" tablet. Performance for browsing, mail, YouTube etc is outstanding, especially after the iPad 2 which had the reached the point of being unusable with iOS 9.2. It's a 1.3 GHz latest gen Atom with a burst mode to 1.8GHz. It'll even run LR 5.7.1 for emergency use. It came with Win 8, but the upgrade to Win 10 was pretty smooth. I'm quite impressed with Win 10 actually.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. coffeecat

    coffeecat Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    SW England
    Can't really answer your actual question, but have had a Surface 3 (non-pro) 4GB RAM +Windows 10 for a month and absolutely love it. Has been stable, and very snappy in use. My use cases are similar to yours, plus a bit of Lightroom now and then. Not tried any VMs on it (might for a laugh one day). Don't know if this helps (unsure of its spec relative to the cheaper tablets you are referring to). I realise the Surface is anything but cheap.

  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The Yoga is sub $300 BTW.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I've had a Surface 3 since September and have used it for fee proposals, threat/risk assessments and generating work documents while travelling. It runs reasonably well, works great for web browsing and was my only computer in the office for 2 weeks while my primary PC was in the shop having some major repairs and upgrades done. Apart from the small screen size and having to plug in a USB hub to let me use a wireless mouse and memory sticks simultaneously, it worked like a charm. I really hate the bundled Office 365 and will uninstall it and switch to LibreOffice when the free 1-year subscription is up.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I've been using a Dell Venue 8 Pro (8", 32gb primary storage, 2gb RAM, 32gb mSD card as second drive, Win8.1) for over a year and a half an find it quite functional for the primary chores the OP lists. I also run PS/CS2 occasionally along with Lr4 and, as long as you use a mouse or mouse substitute (e.g. TouchMousePointer, ...), they run fine. I've even used it to run my work PowerMac remotely via TeamViewer. My primary daily use has been web browsing, email, reading ebooks, and watching videos, both local files and online (YouTube, PBS, ...).

    Alternate OSs might be a bit of an issue on tablets as the specialized hardware drivers may be an issue. Also, if you intend to use a VM for the alternate OS you need to avoid the less expensive tablets with only 1gb RAM, even 2gb RAM might be an issue.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  7. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thanks guys - it sounds like the wave of budget tablets should fit the bill quite nicely. Will update the thread when I pick up something.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. jo45800

    jo45800 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 23, 2013
    You might want to look a xiaomi tablet especially the new mi pad 2 with Windows 10. Xiaomi has the reputation to make quality product at a cheaper price. The only drawback is that you have to import it from China. (Right now only accessory by diatomic are sold in the us)
    • Like Like x 1
  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    I've had an Asus t100 transformer tablet w\ Win8 for over 2 yrs now and it is just fine for my use. bluetooth mouse frees up a usb port. fast 64gb micro sd in the slot. 2tb USB3 WD Elements when traveling. Runs all of my windoze work stuff in the field when at home.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Dell, Samsung, and LG announced new tablets at CES, fwiw.

    I just got a Windows 8 tablet (a friend's Surface 2), and am finding usability to be frustrating even in Metro apps (comparing against Android & iOS)... Opening links in new browser tabs is annoyingly harder for example, and Tapatalk is harder to use.
    Outside of Metro, font sizes are too inconsistent and frequently are too small for me.
    Hopefully Win10 & the apps will continue to improve.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    IMHO windows 10 is much better on tablets than 8 ever was. The metro interface works consistently with all apps, and doesn't drop you out to the desktop when you use an alternative browser subch as Chrome. Plus the "tablet" mode (i.e. full screen metro, rather than it just being a start menu as it is on the "desktop" mode) can be made to activate automatically when you remove the keyboard. The only fly in the ointment is the god-awful Edge browser which is barely functional most of the time, but then I just treat it the same way as IE, which is not to use it if I can avoid it! :laugh:
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I had one of the original ThinkPad 10 unit a while back (swapped to an Android Tablet). It worked well enough for the small stuff (docs/email/web). The ThinkPad had a really solid feel, didn't seem cheap in any way. The latest chips have only a slight improvement on the CPU (Atom X7 Z8700 Vs Atom Z3775 ). BUT the GPU is a lot better.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. String

    String Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2012
    After 2 iPads (an original and an air which got stolen) I decided to get an MS Surface Pro 4. I wanted something for more than just email/surfing but didnt want to carry a full laptop with me. I've had it for about a month so far and find its an absolutely brilliant piece of hardware. It runs LR/PS (CC) great and the screen calibrated very nicely. I plug a slim external USB 3 drive in that has a copy of my LR catalogue and it works great. My only problem is my Nik plugins on the high DPI screen... so far they are so small as to be unuseable but still working on a solution.

    The Surface Pro isn't cheap but it is certainly much more usefull (to me) than an iPad.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Coming late to the thread, but another data point.

    I wanted some means to back up photos on a long trip, without lugging a full PC. iPads aren't really suitable for this, partly because of limited storage, but also because the file system is obscured by iOS. So I turned up at the local brick-and-mortar Microsoft store and asked for a demo of the Surface range of products. The guy who helped me was very knowledgeable and not at all pushy.

    In the end I bought the entry-level Surface 3 (not pro), and I'm very happy with it. There was quite a learning curve for Windows 10, but now I have things how I want them, it's a great success. As a tablet it's just as good as an iPad in most respects, better in some. And then you also have a 'real' computer, with a standard operating system, when you need that.

    I will say that running Lightroom is an exercise in patience. No doubt more capable devices in the Surface range will be much faster. But it does run, and it's certainly usable for light edits. Routine e-mail, web browsing, photo viewing, etc., is fine. You can also stream HD video providing you have a decent internet connection.

    Well done Microsoft. It was about time!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. longviewer

    longviewer Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    SW Washington (Longview area)
    Jim R
    I grabbed a clearance model T100ta over a year ago, and took the Win10 freebie. It works well enough for Office 10 and general use - but it spent a year doing nothing as the Wifi stopped working. :eek:  I opened a ticket to ASUS and monitored forums, where complaints about this were frequent. Last week I found a forum with a link to the older, Win8-happy Broadcomm SDIO driver and overwrote the 'update' and all is well again! Now I just have to remember to say no when certain 'updates' are downloaded; I have the two .BIN files ready to copy to \drivers when it breaks again. :cautious:

    Other than that rather big issue, no complaints. I have not tried image work with it though, maybe I'll stick an older program on there & give it a spin. The microSD port is compatible with what I use now in all my cameras.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Thanks for the tip on the drivers. So far W8 is fine for me. It ain't broke so I won't try to "fix" it. :)  Still, I would appreciate a link to those drivers just in case...

    As to images, I mainly just use Faststone on the road and do serious stuff when I get home. MS ICE also runs fine if a bit slowly. I do have a copy of Zoner loaded but rarely use it. I don't go on vacation to sit in a hotel room and fart around on a computer. Basically any low overhead program is OK.
  17. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I've had a similar issue with Win8.1 on my Dell Venue 8 Pro. MS has twice now updated the Intel driver for the tablet's cameras. When this happens you get a BSD (Blue Screen of Death) when you access the camera app. It's a simple fix. You simply use Device Manager to roll back the driver, which is left on the machine by the update. I keep a small text doc with the steps and the version number of the good driver. From my searching on forums, this seems to be a chronic issue with the Dell V8p with no good way to prevent further occurrences.
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