HP Envy x2, WOA, SD835 discussion thread

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by JoeS, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Plus battery improvements of 30% in S845.
     
  2. Yao

    Yao Scribbler - Standard Member

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    i would love an 'always connected' 4g or 5g arm / snapdragon device.

    a 10 inch or 8 inch device with wacom EMR windows 10 arm snap dragon device. i will always carry that around with me everywhere i go!
     
  3. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    I wonder if this would be snappier or more sluggish than Android running the same ARM CPU? Trying to imagine how it would be for note taking, typing, browsing etc. Any examples of windows on ARM performance yet??
     
  4. thierryb

    thierryb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    In fact, the asus vivotab note 8 and the samsung galaxy book 10 was/is a device I carry with me every where I go, and was/is my main PC. It was/is always connected using my phone in my pocket. It had/has wacom emr.
    I can tell you that i prefer the 8'' format.
    I can tell you that there is wacom emr, samsung wacom emr. And there is big improvment between the first one and the second one.
    I was/am able to use it as my main pc, because I was/am able to connect it easily to a big screen, have a standard keyboard and a mouse, when i am at the office.
     
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  5. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    [Disclaimer: for those of you who haven't read my posts in the past, a warning - the gift of brevity eludes me! This post is really a story. If I cleaned it up it would be an article, at least a full-blown blog post. While the content below is largely the story of my amazing experience/awakening to what the late-2017 vintage of Chrome OS cum-Android does to transform the device/user experience for the vast majority of things I do on a laptop or convertible, it happens to be a very instructive perspective on what the advent of WOA is likely to bring, something far greater than the sum of it's parts, most significantly: Windows on an instant-on, light weight, long endurance device, which also can/should run Android apps and which will bring about a whole new class of devices to scramble the issue we wrestle with often in this forum: If you could only have one device, what would it look like? A corollary issue: What is the ideal device format and form factor for that quintessential "third device," which sits between the laptop and smart phone? There's a good bit more than meets the eye as to the transformative nature of a product like the WOA devices that have just been announced and which, I am suggesting, could very likely become a new "category killer" for the main "computing" device we use more than any other. My recent, largely serendipitous experience with a Samsung Chromebook Plus provides the backdrop and my reference point for the thesis, which applies to both where Chromebooks have evolved to and where WOA could well catapult this new device class into. Read on if this interests you, but be forewarned: I write in a rambly, uneconomical style when I get excited about a discovery or subject and I'm not writing for formal publication!

    I would like to volunteer some thoughts I have based on a recent experience I've been having, pretty much by accident and whim. On Black Friday I bought a Samsung Chromebook Pro. I had never really thought or learned much about the whole Chromebook "thing," but an article/video caught my eye and I quickly got the low down (down-low - never thought of the similarity :p) on CBs and particularly CBs now running Android apps - mostly. So I ventured $450, returnable through 1/31, on a 12.3" convertible device with an S Pen (Wacom EMR+, as thierryb correctly characterized it, but the "magic" is in the screen, not the pen, so the many wonderful Wacom EMR pens all work perfectly yet there is always a decent, if thin and function-less, S pen sitting in the silo), a wonderful, 400 nit, wide gamut, 2400 x 1600 screen device weighing in at 2.4 lbs with good (8 hrs) not great battery life and ultra fast charging. I've been smitten! I've learned that I can do about 80% of the work I do these days on a CB with Android and for the other 20% I need a good Windows machine, but there's no shortage of those in my stable (and I'm also smitten by the traits of the newest HP Spectre 13 - not x360, which is a candidate for replacing my stable of 10 laptops, as the Chromebook and hopefully in 6 months a WOA device will replace my convertible laptops.)

    So here's the point as it relates to WOA: I've learned to love an instant-on laptop with superb screen, lightening fast responses and the ability to use Android apps for certain tasks and web-based content/services for others, all in one very small and light form factor. Add-in the full (if not powerful) Windows capability and 15+ hr battery life we're told to expect from WOA devices and you've taken the CB experience I've found to be truly remarkable (you owe it to yourself to try either the CB+ or the Google Pixelbook - far more expensive, at $1,000, but even better, faster hardware and Macbook Pro-like design and production quality, with a track pad and keyboard reminiscent of MBP - pre-butterfly keys - as something of a preview of what to expect next Spring and Summer, when the "real thing" starts rolling off productions lines as WOA products.

    The Samsung CB+ has only a couple of weaknesses: 1) keyboard is too small, lacks both key travel and that activation "click" that makes so many modern short-throw laptop keyboards great to type-on once you get used to them; also lacks backlight. 2) It only comes with 32GB of eMMC storage, standard for a CB (and most tablets) but inadequate for large numbers of Android apps, which at this time in Chrome OS cannot be stored on SD card or cloud storage, both of which are available to the CB+. The problem of storage capacity, and a quantum improvement in ergonomics and styling (but not so much basic functionality) is found by doubling your investment from the excellent device you get for under $500 in a Samsung Chromebook Plus to truly remarkable Google Pixelbook, which adds amazing styling and kit quality, a Core i5/i7 ("Y"), 8GB - 16GB of RAM (vs. 4GB for the CB+) and 128GB SSD at base ($1,000) to 512 Pcie/Nvme SSD ($1,650 for top level) and makes the experience about as premium as any device I've ever used and significantly improves the speed and fluidity of a machine, the CB+, which I already find to be faster and more fluid than any convertible Windows laptop I've ever used (!). Perhaps most importantly, since much of the Android app data must be stored locally because, the biggest negative of all other Chromebooks, including the CB+ is ameliorated in the Pixelbook because it ups the storage ante well beyond most tablet options (except the iPad Pro series), by having so much fast storage on board.

    But the biggest downside of both of these surprising devices I've recently become familiar with, is that, well, they're Chromebooks! That means that, with all the amazing attributes they have, at the high end of the breed and in the era of Android on Chromebook, there are still certain things that you maddeningly can't do - eg, Photoshop, high end gaming - and several key things you just can't do well, such as complex Excel spreadsheets or much of what you want to do on One Note (think web or Android version of One Note) to name two that are important for me. There are Android/Chrome "OS" substitutes, including watered-down MS Office (which would be easy to fix, if MS decides it's in their interest) and Google Docs, Adobe Android apps, etc, and they really do fill the bill for, again, 80% of what you need, but I expect that WOA would bring that number to 95% or better. Yet, for even a modest power user as I am, I feel the limits every day, though I have found the need to move to a Windows machine only about every other day, and then only for a couple of hours. I go rushing back to the CB+ as soon as I'm done with the Windows tasks, because it's so much more pleasurable to use!

    So, to make my standard long story :oops: a little longer, by sheer coincidence I stumbled into this marvelous discovery of what a joy it is to use the late 2017 incarnation of the Chromebook for the vast majority of my computing tasks and it provides a perfect launchpad for what the WOA machines are nearly certain to bring: an even higher level of optimization, going from 80% to, I would guess, about 95% of all of my laptop needs and uses for what will probably cost as little as $600 but, at around $1,000 will enable the hardware to be as wonderful as the Pixelbook's but without the sacrifice of no Windows capability and with roughly double the battery life. I don't have to speculate how great this would work out because I've been "livin the dream" for the past two weeks and I know that every constraint I run into on this CB+ has amounted to: "if only I had Windows in this machine it would be perfect!" What is very hard to describe, and may be hard for you to imagine, is how exceptional the user experience is on a device that avoids the heavy lift with which running full blown Windows burdens the machine/user - whether it's weight, boot-up times, the lack of speediness and fluidity of response to inputs of all kinds, endurance or cost.

    My concerns about WOA vs. CB is that a good part of the latter's freedom from the aforementioned burdens is related to the absence of Windows. In particular, the absence of heavy security software, constant OS updates (in CB they happen entirely in background and are a virtual - sorry for the pun! - non-event) and the multitude of overhead tasks and that can slow down and even still occasionally crash a Windows 10 machine (just look at your task manager and observe how many tasks take up a great deal of RAM and cpu and disk i/o cycles; the Chrome OS task manager has many fewer such tasks but, more importantly, they take very little system resource to handle.) It's not clear to me how the WOA architecture would segregate the Windows overhead tasks from the ongoing user experience, particularly when using the web browser or Windows Store/Android apps. And that brings us to the elephant in the room: Windows 10S. I haven't read much about it, but I'm guessing 10S is Windows' answer to Chrome OS and I'm not clear as to whether it lightens up the overhead burdens in Windows the way Chrome OS does for both browser-based work and Android apps. Nor do I know whether there are acceptable Windows store versions of such Windows staples as Office, Photoshop or other specialized apps that Windows 10 with modern hardware runs with ease but which rob even the best W10 laptops of the indescribable fluidity and speed which make the Chrome OS experience, including with Android apps, so great.

    Sorry for such a long post - can't say I didn't warn you! I thought it was worth the detail to share my experience in that I have been obsessed with every minute detail of the user experience for desktop, laptop and tablet/convertible devices for years and this is the first time since, I would say, Windows 7, that I have come upon such a transformative technology/product as Chrome OS. That it happens to coincide with the approach of a second, perhaps more transformative technology in WOA made it seem important enough to share the contours and details of the experience. I had been planning on writing a piece like this just about Chrome OS, and the recent spate of announcements of WOA products has upped the ante.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  6. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    If you have the time/patience, check out my "essay" (just above) on Chromebooks as a precursor to the user experience WOA is likely to produce. I have some uncertainties as to what a Windows 10s experience is like when running Windows Office and other productivity and note-taking apps, but I can vouch for the fact that all of these operations are fast, fluid and in all respects as good or better with an ARM cpu in a Chromebook running web and Android apps as the experience doing any of those operations on a very fast, high end Windows convertible laptop.
     
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  7. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member

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    So, basically: you've found chromebooks do most of what you need, especially the everyday stuff. However you bought one with poor battery life.

    I disagree that they are much more lightweight in comparison to Windows machines. Windows machines don't need extra anti-virus protection if looked after properly. By using a chromebook, you do have more restrictions making it somewhat more secure and perhaps 'lighter'. You get that in exchange for a lack of some programs, and a fair amount of programs that are not optimised for large displays. The inherent online nature of Chrome OS also means that doing stuff offline can end up iffy.

    Back on topic though; WOA is not directly comparable, as it is 'emulated' Windows x86.

    I would too, but it's not really worth it until carriers can get themselves sorted out regarding multiple devices. I just want one account from which all my connected devices can run, with no extra fees (other than for more data usage, should I use more).
     
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  8. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Hey, thanks for the summary!! :D

    Supposedly Win10S is more power efficient because of the more aggressive power management of background UWP apps. If you use the free upgrade to full Win10 you'll lose some battery life. I'll be interested in seeing some real-world battery life tests on full Win10 on ARM systems, as opposed to Win10S on ARM systems.
     
  9. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Thanks for explaining what that post was, Joe [lmao :p]. I've got a lot to learn about brevity, if not reading comprehension.

    Indeed. There is something of a free-lunch essence to the battery claims. Also, as it's my present obsession, I'll be curious to see how smoothly Win10 on ARM performs, as compared to Win 10s.
     
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  10. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    1) Actually, WOA is directly comparable and on-topic with the subject I was discussing. As the creator of the story, I get to say what it was about :vbbiggrin:: user experience with alternative OS/hardware configurations. In that respect, WOA is functionally an alternative to Chrome OS + Android, one that promises fewer compromises but questionable performance and endurance running W10, the jury still being out. Current day CBs with better hardware come closer to the functionality of full OS systems, with better, faster, smoother operation with less resource drain - hardware, battery and financial. Remains to be seen how WOA will stack up on those dimensions, but looks promising given far greater capabilities at potentially similar cost and greater endurance. Can't imagine a better analogy.

    2) The Chromebook Pro gets 8 hrs (true) SOT battery life, easily a full work day for most people, with a 400 nit 2400 x 1600 wide gamut display. It may not be the best battery life of all Chrome, Windows or Mac machines, but it's far from "poor," by anyone's definition.

    You got a problem with my post? I wouldn't blame you for not finding it worth your time to read it, but if so perhaps you shouldn't read or comment on it. Friendly and light is how we roll in this forum. Lighten up, please. (Yes, I'm a little sensitive; and this has always been a "safe space" for me, lol :newpalm:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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