I’d thought I’d write an article on my thoughts of the Windows 8 and Windows Phone lineup. Generally I’m pleased with what I see that’s coming and to both platforms, there are some really nice hardware.
There are a few devices that certain companies are bringing out that I’m not liking very much though.
First I’ll start with Windows Phone devices because that’s the category with the fewest devices. I really don’t have anything bad to say about the Windows Phone devices though. They’re all nice looking and have great features.
I personally prefer the Nokia 920, not necessarily because of the look but the extra features Nokia brings to the table.
The better screen that you can use gloved or with another object, the camera takes good low light pictures and has good stabilization, Turn by Turn directions with Nokia Maps, Nokia music, and Nokia’s excellent build quality.
The HTC 8X and the Samsung Ativ are nice devices and the Ativ does bring to it one thing that the other two don’t and that’s SD card support, but the screen while bigger doesn’t have as nice resolution.
Both the HTC 8X and the Samsung Ativ are thinner and lighter than the Nokia 920 but I keep going back to the extra features that Nokia devices get and for me that’s more attractive than a little thinner and a little lighter.
Windows Phone 8 devices look pretty strong though.
The main issue I have is with Nokia and that is if they want to hit it in the US they really have to get the 920 to more carriers. Just having it on AT&T and some of their lesser phones with other carriers isn’t really a good plan. The 920 is their flagship phone that has all the bells and whistles and I don’t understand why they wouldn’t put it on at least Verizon as well.
Unless they have an agreement with AT&T, and if this is true how long is this agreement for?
The other problem I have is that Sprint (the carrier I’m with) isn’t listed as getting a Windows Phone 8 device. Hopefully in the first quarter of next year they will…I’m keeping my fingers crossed but not holding my breath.
On the bigger side of the Windows platform is Windows 8. Right now only Windows RT devices are out and most of them are nice. I’m looking more forward to the Windows 8 Pro devices though. There are some devices I love and some I’m not so crazy about. I’m not going to list my favorites and my least favorites.
I’ll start out with my favorites first.
1. The Surface.
I love the Surface, it looks great. I haven’t touched a Surface device yet myself, but from what I read it does have its faults.
- The cover doesn’t lock to the screen when you close it.
- It needs the kickstand to stay up when so it makes it difficult to use it on your lap.
- It doesn’t have GPS, which would have been nice. Yes we have GPS on our phones but sometimes you want a bigger screen.
- It doesn’t have NFC, this also would have been nice to make it easy to share between a phone with NFC and the Surface or between two surfaces.
Other than that I think Surface is a nice device and a good first generation device from Microsoft. We’ll have to see if they make any changes to the Pro devices. Since that probably omitted some of the features listed above to cut down on price they should add them to the Pro devices since they’re more high end.
2. The ASUS Vivo Tab.
From day one when I saw the Asus Transformer I hoped that they would make something like this for Windows 8, and they have. It’s $100 more than the Surface but it comes with GPS, NFC and the keyboard dock has an extended battery in it.
3. The HP Envy X2.
This looks similar to the Asus Vivo Tab. I’d have to see which of the two has the better connecter between tablet and keyboard to really make up my mind, but I do like ASUS products better than HP products at the moment. Also HP puts a lot of junkware on their PC’s and I’d have to see if they do the same with tablets and hybrids.
4. The Toshiba Satellite U920t.
The look and idea behind it is nice, I’d really have to look at the sliding mechanism to fully make up my mind. It might just be another thing to break if you’re not careful. Toshiba does make some pretty nice laptops though so we’ll see.
5. The Lenovo Ideatab Lynx.
This is similar to the Asus and HP devices listed above. Lenovo makes some really nice devices so I expect this to be one of them. The only negative aspect I see is that is going to use the Atom processor which I’m still down on. Maybe after using it, if it runs Windows programs and Tiled apps well I’ll change my mind.
6. The ThinkPad Twist.
Again I like Lenovo and even though this is an old design it’s not a bad one. The specs look nice on it too with a core i7 processor, a 12.5 inch IPS screen and up to 8 GB of ram. This could be a great convertible, and at 3.48 pounds it’s not too heavy.
7. Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T and 700T.
These you can get with or without the keyboard (I don’t know why anyone would buy one without the keyboard doc). The 500T uses the ATOM processor and the 700T uses a core i5 processor.
Those are some of the Windows 8 products I like.
Here are some of the ones I’m not too crazy about.
1. The Asus Taishi.
It looks nice, but with two screens, it just seems like something more to break. Also if you have both screen running at the same time it’ll waste battery faster (I’m guessing you can turn off the top screen when in laptop mode).
2. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 & 13.
Again while they’re looks neat, I’m not sure of the durability. The screen flips over so you have the keyboard on the bottom. I’m guessing that the keyboard and track pad turn off when in tablet mode, but still.
3. The Toshiba Satellite U920t.
I know I put it in the like area but I also have some reservations about the way it slides. If made well I really like the idea but slide mechanisms. I have the HTC Arrive and it’s a slide phone, and I haven’t had any issues, but it’s also a small form factor. I’d have to see the build quality of this device before I make up my mind fully so I put it on both lists.
4. The Dell XPS 12.
It looks neat but seems like something that can break easily. Also why didn’t they just make the screen bigger and detachable? Dell hasn’t been the best company in the past, so that’s another reason I’m a little leery about this device. Also like HP puts a lot of junkware on their computers, I’d have to see what they do with these form factors.
Then there are the touch laptops that are coming out from various companies. While I may be able to see a use for them in certain situations for certain people they’re not for me. If I’m going to buy a touch laptop, it only makes sense to me to get one with a detachable screen (and I think most other would thin the same way). I could be wrong though and these laptops may sell like hotcakes.
I’m also on the fence about all in one PC’s and desktops with touch screens. Right as I’m writing this I’m sitting back at my desk and my monitor is about 4 feet away from me. I just can’t see myself having to lean forward every time I want to touch the screen, I’d use the mouse all the time.
To my way of thinking a touch screen would just be an extra cost. I’ve always hated all in ones though. If the screen goes out, you’re out a computer while it’s being repaired. While its space saving it’s not worth it to me. That’s the same reason I wouldn’t use a laptop as my main computer.
I know people who do and some have no issues but the ones that do are unproductive while their computer is down. Also I’m a gamer and all in ones tend to be under powered in the graphics department (which is also something I have against most of not all the devices I listed above).
I’d love to see a company make a tablet with an i7 processor and high end graphics. Sure it would cost a lot, but gaming laptops already cost a lot. I’d only play games in laptop mode, or hooked up to my 22 inch monitor when I’m home but it would be nice to have the option to detach it and use it as a tablet.
One way they can fix the issue of battery though is to have an ARM or ATOM processor built in (or intel can make an 8 core processor and have 2 cores be ATOM) and when in tablet mode you can turn off the i5 cores and just use the ATOM cores. I hear AMD is working on something like this with their x86 processors by putting a couple of ARM cores in them.
Nice idea and if AMD is thinking the same idea I have, I’d be looking forward to seeing laptops with this processor.