Looking for a i5/i7 tablet or convertible with a removable battery

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Denverbuckeye, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Denverbuckeye

    Denverbuckeye Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    $1500

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Yes

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Prefer Windows 8 Pro tablet or convertible

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    10 to 13-inches

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    USA

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    Like: Dell, IBM and Gateway
    Dislike: Sony

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    4-5 hours per battery

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?
    Narrated presentations (powerpoint and video), project management (Project, Visio, Office), entertainment

    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Has to be Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run?
    Office 2010, Project 2010, Visio, Photoshop/Premiere Elements

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    Not really. It would be nice though to do an occasional WoW or Civ5 from the hotel

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    No

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    1368x768 or better (to use Windows 8 split screen)

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    Yes but not a primary consideration

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig?
    No

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    Would like to be able to upgrade my own RAM and drive.

    2. What sort of inputs do you require, if any? Would you like full-sized USB and SD card slots? Are microUSB and microSD ok? Do you require HDMI inputs?
    Any type of USB and SD card expansion works

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    I tested out the performance of the Atom processor and it just will not meet my needs. I need a full core i5 or i7 that I can use as a Windows 8 touchscreen tablet all the time (docked) or sometimes as a laptop for presentations. I'm willing to take the hit in battery like (4 hours or so) if I can buy extra batteries to swap out.

    Anything like that out there or planned?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. PhotoMuis

    PhotoMuis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  3. PhotoMuis

    PhotoMuis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The Samsung Ativ Smart PC "Pro" might also fit the bill, but am not sure if it has removable batteries (come to think of it, am not sure of that fact with the two I mentioned above either, I sorta kinda assumed that with the hybrid form factor it would be like a "normal" laptop where the battery is concerned, you'll have to look into that...)

    Samsung calling its dockable Windows 8 tablets ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro outside the US

    The removable battery issue might be a problem with many of the new, ultra-thin tablets, among the somewhat bulkier convertibles you have removable batteries (like the 12-inch Fujitsu T732 or T731 (older version of T732), or HP EliteBook 2760p, or on your budget you could even get one of the more "basic" models of the i5 13-inch Fujitsu T902), on the Fujitsus you can even add a second battery into the bay on the side. You probably won't be able to find the HP Elitebook with Windows 8, would have to install that yourself or get it installed, but the T732 is brand-new with Windows 8. I don't find the Lifebooks too bulky, but if you are looking for something as sleek and thin as the "media consumption" tablets out there, you will be disappointed. In essence they are first and foremost full-size laptops, with the ability to use them as tablets, not vice versa.

    http://www.fujitsu.com/hk/services/computing/pc/tablets/tseries/t732/index.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  4. Denverbuckeye

    Denverbuckeye Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I checked in to each of them but so far nothing matches.

    The search continues ...
     
  5. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    PhotoMuis, you're fired. How in the holy hell do you forget about ALL the convertibles that have removable batteries? There are like bazillion of them!

    Lenovo X230T and Fujitsu T732 have removal batteries and have 1366x768 LCDs capable of Windows 8 snap feature. T732 will ship with Windows 8. Lenovo X230T will ship with Windows 7, but you should be able to upgrade to Windows 8 for $15 before January.
     
  6. PhotoMuis

    PhotoMuis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Häh? Not "ALL", I did mention (some of) them, OK, I forgot the Lenovos (or rather did not know what is most current on that front)! My answer was split across several posts and edits, cause I was interrupted inbetween and only came back way later, but nevertheless it was already in there long before the OP's posting today that none of them fit! Had the impression from the OPs other thread post that something dockable in the sense of "removable keyboard" was preferred, but he did mention convertible would be considered, so would of course not hide them from his attention :)

    @Denverbuckeye: Care to share what exactly bothered you about the ones mentioned?
     
  7. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    ahh thats mean. PhotoMuis already posted convertibles on the second post, and even mentioned the T732. Just not the X230t... which is on sale a for a really smokin' deal right now. Most bang for your buck on that thing. Still, make sure to check out the respective forums for these things before you take the plunge, OP. All these machines have their quirks and setbacks. Pick your poison.
     
  8. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I hope you guys know I was just ribbing PhotoMuis, although I do sometimes forget I'm not Donald trump. ;)
     
  9. Denverbuckeye

    Denverbuckeye Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the solid input. I updated my post to include that I'm looking for a Windows 8 touchscreen tablet experience. I actually have an old brink of a Gateway convertible that I could probably load Window 8 on but that's not what I am looking for. I should have been more specific -- but it does bring up a good point: why did those old Window 7 i5/i7 convertibles have external batteries and not the newer ones? I can't imagine having Windows 8 or a touchscreen precludes that need.

    @Photomuis: I am one of the few I guess that really love Windows 8. I carry both a tablet and laptop in my bag -- one for relaxing content consumption, the other for productivity (work). My previous experience with convertibles was mixed. The stylus navigation/input method never really worked for me and they were so heavy they weren't conducive for a nice newspaper read on the light rail or to take to a restaurant to read. I was the first on board with an Asus EP121 and it's still my current favorite but the battery life won't get me through a work day.

    I demo'd a couple of Atom-based options recently at the Microsoft store and I was underwhelmed by they ability to multitask anything beyond the minimal demands. For example, I cued up a 720p Youtube video in the Windows 8 split screen and opened a couple Office apps and the video stuttered and lagged. This leads me to believe a Core i5 or i7 might be my only option.

    I don't know much about the Fujitsu line so I will look into it today (thanks). Also the X230T. If anyone is interested, I'll post my ideas here. I still am interested in anything that is coming out post-Window-8 release that meet those needs. Very odd to me that a business-class Windows 8 tablet with those features is not out there yet -- especially since they seem to be several Windows 7 options.

    UPDATE: Actually - while looking into the Fujitsu suggestions I came across the Stylistic Q702 which may be exactly what I am looking for.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  10. PhotoMuis

    PhotoMuis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    A lot of the older ones have touchscreens too and could thus be "retrofitted" with the Win8 experience, my Fujitsu T4410 is three years old now and I am happily touching away, but of course many things in Windows 7 are too small to reliably touch-navigate, but since I have the pen in the one hand most of the time anyway (Photoshop and such), that was never a problem. Yet I am sure if I were to install Windows 8 on it, it will be on par with any of the Windows 8 Atoms you described or better (provided I got all the driver issues fixed that installing Win8 on such an "outdated" model can bring with it.)

    I am outputting to three external monitors on it right now, with one streaming the an episode of a German TV show from the Internet via W-LAN with quality set to "high", which I guess means 720p since it looks too good for just SD but is probably not 1080p. The second monitor has some proprietary software of a company I do work for running on it, linked live to their server, as well as three Word documents and an Excel file open in the background, and the third has four PDFs (big ones with lots of images), three instances of Firefox and a myriad of tabs in Firefox open (I tend to forget to close documents and tabs I do not need any more). The T4410's built-in screen is disabled at the moment to enable output to two external monitors (1xVGA, 1xHDMI converted to DVI) and I have an external USB adapter box connected to run the third monitor. No lagging on either the video stream or on the files I am working with, and it is only an Intel Core Duo, no "i"-whatever. (If I disconnect or reconnect to the company's server, there is a short hiccup in the video, but as soon as the connection has been established it is fine again). During the recent "Space Jump" event, I did work on it in my home office with one external monitor and the laptop's own screen, while streaming the live broadcast to my boyfriend who was watching in the living room via 10 m HDMI cable but with the laptop's own screen also running the live stream so I could follow it too, i.e. also a three-monitor setup. There was the occasional lag/pause then, but as the commentators mentioned having problems with the stream as so many people joined in, the problem was not on my side. So for what you described, any of the touchscreen Lenovos, Fujitsus or HPs from the "business" category of the last two to three years will easily handle the tasks you need if you update them to Win8. The only times the T4410 folds is when I throw seriously heavy Photoshop stuff or HD video editing at it.

    The older models (T4xxxx) only have 2-point touchscreens (adequate for pinch-zoom and such, but not for four-finger gestures or similar), the newer ones support more touch points. I am also proud owner of a T902 since last week, with dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8, it is a truly lovely machine, yet beyond the budget you posted. Sadly I haven't truly taken the T902 for a spin yet, haven't had time to install all the software I need and the T4410 is "all geared to go" for most tasks, but I did a quick test with opening a gigantic 1.5 GB Photoshop file... It took 1:45 on the T4410's Core Duo and just 18 seconds on the T902's i7... :) Other tasks performed with the file, like resizing etc., had a similar ratio. The T732 is its smaller brother (13 inch vs. 12 inch), and sort of the younger brother of the T4410, it is sure to also fly. And it already ships with Windows 8. By and by the other manufacturers will surely start to ship with Windows 8, but as their production cycles and Microsoft's do not necessarily match up, the transition seems to be taking a bit of time. With Christmas coming up, I doubt if many new announcements will be made now, why ruin the Christmas business by having people say "oh, for that announced model I could wait till March, no hurry..."

    However, am sure the X230T or HP 2760p or T732 or one of their predecessors (T731, X220T, HP2750p) will offer an equally good touch experience with Windows 8 installed. They might be a bit too heavy for holding them in one hand on the train while reading a newspaper though, especially if it is a long commute, but that is the thing - you either have to compromise on weight or on power and performance. Those three manufacturers (HP, Lenovo, Fujitsu) have sort of led the field when it comes to powerful business tablet PCs over the past few years (at least where ones with Wacom inside are concerned, I don't know if others have the leading edge in the NTrig universe). Sadly most manufacturers are currently falling over their feet to get as much "consumer class" entertainment tablets as possible on the shelves, to grab a bit of the iPad cake, after they have succesfully hidden their great tablets in the business niche for many years, even though they were not always necessarily priced higher than some of the ordinary laptops standing around at the local brick&mortar stores. The downside of this rush is that the "full power" tablet PCs seem to be getting even less love from their creators than before - if you can sell a million 500 dollar units, why bother investing loads of effort for something that might sell a hundred thousand or fewer at 1500 dollars? And to get the tablets as sleek and thin as iPads and Samsung Galaxies, every millimeter counts and having a battery with its own casing that then has to fit into the tablet casing costs a millimeter or two. And also there is the matter of planned obsoleteness - if you can replace the battery easily, you are likely to use the unit for longer before replacing it with a newer model, or you might have to pay to get a new battery installed, either way they earn more money quicker. So it is customer-unfriendly but as long as there are not that many customers out there for whom a non-removable battery is a dealbreaker, they can basically do what they want. I think it is pretty unlikely that anything looking remotely like those Atom tablets and being equally light will be coming out with a removable battery, but I sincerely hope to be proven wrong (I also consider a non-removable battery a dealbreaker, an additional battery is always the first accessory I order for any tech toys I buy.)

    If battery life is so important to you, I do believe the modular bay on the Fujitsus is a great idea, it doubles your battery life (more or less), and if you really need loads of juice you could have several bay batteries and even hot swop them without shutting down anything (the computer continues to run on the remaining juice in the primary battery while you do so). But again you pay for that convenience, the currency in this case is weight and size. I think HP also had some solution with additional slice batteries that slid onto the bottom of the HP27xx series, but can't remember the details and don't know if Lenovo has similar concepts. But I know Shogmaster knows :hi2:

    @Shogmaster: No worries (I sorta assumed your reply was referring to my first one only and that you missed the second one). And you were right about the X230T being missing although it will fit the bill nicely in my opinion ;)
     
  11. PhotoMuis

    PhotoMuis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    You might want to take a look at this thread over in the hardware section as well, it tries to provide a summary of what is available at the moment, seems to be actively managed and updated.

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hardware/52592-list-windows-8-rt-tablets-convertibles-stylus.html

    The list there is focusing on ones with stylus, for non-penabled ones they offer a link to this site:

    Windows 8 Tablets/Laptops/Laplets Cross Shopping Thread of Most Confusing Launch |OT| - NeoGAF

    Since you said you do not need a pen, perhaps there is something on there that is of interest. Many of the regular visitors in this forum (including me) do not bother reading much further about a product once we discover the lack of a pen, so there might be some goodies we won't think of :) The battery infos are scant though, so you will in essence have to research each one separately.
     
  12. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Good old Fujitsu, leaving in SODIMM slot, m SATA drive bay, and removable batteries on a hybrid slate. If only it had a Wacom digitizer and better resolution LCD I would have bought it!

    They should totally offer a Q703 with 1600x900 LCD and Wacom pen. That would be worth weight in gold...
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
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