Sunday, 11 May 2014

Update on fully featured WIndows tablet alternatives

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3 Additional contenders

Since my last post a few days ago, there have been a couple of news worthy items in the WWAN capable Windows tablet space, plus, I realised my comparison table omitted one of the primary contenders which I had researched at that time, the HP™ ElitePad® 1000 G2. While somewhat pricey, it did at-least meet all my key requirements:
  • 9~11" Tablet
  • Around the 6~900g
  • Windows Pro (not RT)
  • Inbuilt WWAN (3G/4G/LTE)
  • Hosting USB (2 or better)
  • Video out (min VGA pref HDMI)
  • At least 64GB (pref 128)
  • SD card if poss

I also realised you could not get to the links I provided in the comparison table so this time I am providing a link to the actual spreadsheet so you can access the links and the hover-text information therein.

The update table looks like this now with my TWO favorites now being
  1. DELL Latitude 10
  2. HP ElitePad 1000 G2
The MS Surface 4G has just been announced in the UK but this article sums it up in my view:

Windows RT remains a half-baked OS, but Surface 2 is a decent tablet

The ElitePad is out in Europe Trusted Reviews / In Aust / Notebook Italia
And we are still waiting for Lenovo Thinkpad 10 /  Liliputing

Lets hope they find their way to Australia WITH the WWAN capability at an affordable price

Sunday, 4 May 2014

What do I replace my 3G Netbooks with - which tablet do I buy?

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XP™ is on the way out (some would even say dead).
I and many like me still have a fleet of XP™ machines we are still trying to work out how to replace most expediently.

Not the least of my issue is that I have three ASUS eeePC™ netbooks all on XP™ and with onboard 3G.
I have one old iPad 2™ that I'd like to move to Windows™ (for compatibility) and three XP™ desktops, two of which could happily be replaced by decent tablets .... if there was such a beast

After hours and hours of searching and even contacting ASUS™, HP™ and Dell™, I've all but given up in despair of getting a 9~11" Windows™ 8/8.1 replacement device with USB with SD card with WiFi with Bluetooth with video out and most of all with cellular!

There's Microsoft™ out there telling us how RT™ is wonderful (link) and a needed O/S that many people love and how it fills a need for many users ... despite its abysmal sales.
MS and other sites (link) tell us there is no need for Cellular connectivity because world wide sales figures indicate people don't want cellular and WiFi is good enough anyhow.
One brand offers USB but no cellular, another only cellular (one of the few who do) but then non-hosting (OTG) micro-USB
Most don't offer full 1080 HD even though their specs say "HD" ... its usually 720p or some other variant.
Most don't come any bigger than 64GB which after you install Windows™ there very little storage left!

I think the sales figures to-date indicate the sad lack of available good cellular options in half-decent sized mobile devices with half-decent operating systems - NOT that people don't want or try to use cellular!
As with may of the reviews I've read on many many forums, for me too, its a deal-breaker on buying replacements for five ASUS eeePC™ netbooks which all have 3G onboard ... there are virtually NO decent (aka 9~12") tablets with a decent O/S that allows wide-ranging integration.
Windows RT™ and its application options is a laughable "cripple" by comparison to even the iOS™ offerings.
You are almost FORCED to consider Android™ or iOS™ as viable alternatives to get the full mix of ... size, range of apps and connectivity such as cellular, wifi, bluetooth, NFC, HDMI and USB ... all key elements which many users probably DO want but can't get in any one tablet.

I often wonder if these companies ever think to ASK their customers which things are important rather than relying on post-sales stats to ASSESS what they THINK people have wanted.

Why not make a range that offers the various options and so-what if LTE adds $100~$150 to the price ... at least if its available, we the consumers can vote for-or-against by our choice of purchase.
At the moment we have little choice.

I could envisage a brand with an 8", 10" and 12" tablet range within which you could choose:
Full Windows™ or RT™; LTE(WWAN) as an option; USB as an option over micro USB; 16, 32, 64 and perhaps even 128GB options; SD reader could even be optional depending on the model.
Sure there are cost and battery runtime penalties, but at-least we could CHOOSE what we wanted/needed.  Reading a wide range of forums it seems to me its about 40/60 (maybe even 505/50) FOR wanting cellular in a decent tablet.
So I researched and researched and it finally came down to one viable option ... the Dell Latitude 10™

So next ... who sells them in Australia ... well  it seems not even Dell™ themselves do!
Their web page unhelpfully suggests ...

In which reality is a bigger, heavier, NON-cellular tablet a "comparable system"?

I can only find ONE seller with in Australia who still carries this Dell Latitude 10™ model Valuebasket
I've never dealt with them so the next thing will be to research and see how reliable they are.

As I said earlier in my tirade, I've all but given up in despair of getting a tablet with Windows™ 8/8.1; approx 10.1"; min 64GB; min 2GB RAM with USB2 or 3; with SD card; with WiFi; with Bluetooth v4; with video out and most of all with cellular (wwan)!

I'm starting to think Microsoft™ secretly doesn't want to sell it's O/S on tablets ...!?