Lenovo Helix falls victim to Core-M. What other active pen W8 tablet will follow?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Shogmaster, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I buy Windows 8 tablets with active pen for one reason only. To do digital art and design. Towards that goal. Windows 8 platform is the only real option for professionals because both the software and hardware has the necessary power to deliver optimal minimal lag experience. All other platforms lack one or both to do the job right.

    But now are faced with OEMs abandoning hardware power for the sake of thin and light. Core-M (Broadwell Y) processor has claimed it's first victim: The Lenovo Helix. It's the first active pen equipped Windows 8 tablet to only offer Core-M as it's processor. The reasoning is simple: Thinner form factor.

    But with that form factor comes guaranteed drop in performance. A significant drop to be sure. Going from 15W to 4.5W in a "tock" cadence upgrade will be a disaster in performance terms (Haswell to Broadwell). Even though Helix is going from a 17W Ivy Bridge part to a 4.5W Broadwell part, his still scratches off the Helix from anyone who wants a professional art device.

    I fully expect this to be just the beginning, and brace myself for most 11~13" form factors fall to Core-M's promise of thinness and fanless-ness.

    Dark days ahead for W8 tablet digital artists/designers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
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  2. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Maybe we should wait and see what performance is actually like before declaring that the sky is falling?
     
  3. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I expect marginal gain in performance over top end Baytrail.
     
  4. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

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    If these are the 'Core M' and 'Celeron' varients of the Atom chip then I agree 100%. Epic fail. I am glad I bought a used Helix 1 machine!
     
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  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    This isn't some radical future where we can bend physics. Artists need power in more than just bursts.
    4.5 watts is waaaaaaay under powered.

    Power in this form factor will now be so niche it will cost artists more than just buying a desktop and cintiq. Case in point, easily the most powerful tabletPC to ever be built, and also the most expensive by a loooong shot: The Modbook Pro X.

    We are doomed. In fact for me as an animator, the sky fell a couple years back when Lenovo and Fujitsu stopped using full voltage chips.
     
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  6. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I would blame device-convergence mentality, which has been around since the introduction of the iPhone. Many photographers feel the introduction of cellphone cameras drastically impacted the point-and-shoot industry, driving DSLR photography further into a niche.

    I can see the same thing happening with tablet PCs, where once performance-focused enterprise devices liked the Fujitsu T902, get neutered into the 'mainstream' form-factor T904. A true tablet workstation may now be obsolete.

    However, we have to weight this against the pros of the consumer driven tablet market. None of us really think much of iPad as a productivity device, but you have admit it was the major impetus for Tablet PC manufacturers to refresh and introduce new tablet PC lines.

    So you have to ask ourselves would we rather be still in dark ages where a new tablet PC might be introduced every 3 years and cost $2-3k+, or the 'new, modern' age where there are tons of tablet PCs, but almost none which fit the bill as a digital workstation?

    Ah the woes of being tablet PC enthusiast... :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
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  7. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    You are also forgetting the Fujitsu T734, which is still full voltage and Haswell based.
     
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  8. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    It's not. It is Broadwell on a tight thermal leash (and some other power saving improvements).

    Personally, I'm pretty confident Core M will fit my needs nicely, but I feel for those that need more mobile power and the ever decreasing array of options. I'm definitely feeling Intel's lack of attention to high end desktop parts.
     
  9. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    I remember the discussions here, years ago, when I first came to these forums....

    For every new Tablet PC released, there was a wave of excitement about the new cutting-edge CPUs and (dedicated) GPUs being deployed on the new devices. All people cared about was: "But can it play Crysis?" Back then, the only real reservation -- and it was a modest one -- was "heat". However, the standard was much lower. Anything below 100 F was acceptable and regarded as a luxury. "As long as I can play Crysis!", we used to say. [sigh] Interesting times.... :D

    Oh, well. Back from the time-tunnel! Back to the new reality of paper-thin and light -- to the detriment of all else, including, silos and I/O ports. Because what we truly needed all this time (and we didn't even know it!) was a tablet with which we could play, do work and shave our legs....

    The talk on CNBC is: "Short Gillette"!
     
  10. testplayer

    testplayer Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If microsoft really want to implement digitizer passthrough via remote desktop, then any thin-and-light tablet PC can act as a 2-in-1 device like cintiq hybrid. Then you can always connect your device to a powerful quad core mobile workstation, and you can also use it as a mobile device when taking note in classroom, etc. You shouldn't expect a thin-and-light device to have a mobile workstation like performance, but if it can do what ever cintiq hybrid can do, then that's enough.
     
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