Replacement for current laptop

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by cfduarte, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. cfduarte

    cfduarte Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi,

    My current laptop (Core 2 Duo P7350) is starting to give me problems (battery just died) and I am planning on replacing it. On the other hand, I really could use with a replacement for paper pad and pen (preferably OneNote) for meetings and site visits. Ideally I would want a tablet with a non-fixed keyboard, that could be docked at the office and double as my workstation.

    Now for the questionnaire:

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?

    Don't have one.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?

    No.

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

    Replacement for main workstation with dock (large keyboard, mouse and monitor at desk). Must be Windows 8 Pro.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    •5 to7-inches
    •7.1 to 10-inches
    •10 to 13-inches
    •Above 13-inches

    Don't care

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

    Portugal / UK (or any other EU country as long as I can change the language on Windows)

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?

    No

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    3-5 is fine.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)

    Notetaking, MS Office work (Word / Excel mainly - some heavy spreadsheets)

    9. Do you have an OS preference? For example, do you own an iPhone and a Mac, or are you a Windows fan? Do you own an Android device and use Google services frequently?

    Windows


    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)

    MS Word, Excel.

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.

    No

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?

    No

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?

    No

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    Might need to.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig?

    Yes, for note taking / basic drawing (engineering schematics, P&ID diagrams, etc)

    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?

    At least 128 Gb. Expandable memory (via SD / MicroSD) is desirable.

    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?

    Not picky, as long as dock has enough USB and other ports.


    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?


    Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  2. Zero

    Zero Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If you need something powerful then you shouldn't buy a slate.
     
  3. meow9th

    meow9th Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Sounds like you need the full power of a Intel Core i-series processor (an Atom would be less powerful than your current Core 2 Duo), as well as the hybrid form factor since you want a detachable keyboard.

    • Fujitsu Stylistic Q702: Ntrig digitizer but battery in dock
    • Lenovo Thinkpad Helix: coming this 'spring', battery in dock, running at full voltage/overclocking in dock possible
    • Microsoft Surface Pro: no battery in dock, but elegant kickstand/Type/Touch Cover solution, not out in Europe yet
    • Samsung 700T: no battery in dock

    All Wacom digitizer instead of Fujitsu Q702. All offer 128 gb SSD option or higher. All Win 8 Pro. All 11.6" except for Microsoft Surface Pro (10.6"). All 1080p except Fujitsu Q702 (1366 x 768).

    If you are willing to consider convertibles (keyboard not detachable), you will have some additional choices. They are heavier, about 4 lbs instead of about 2 lbs.

    If you are willing to consider Atom tablets, you will have many other choices. While an Atom would be less powerful than your current processor, Atom tablets tend to be lighter (by about 0.5 lb) and have longer battery life (about double).
     
  4. cfduarte

    cfduarte Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I have two ways of doing it:

    1 - Replace my current laptop (that never leaves the desk!) with a desktop and purchase a Atom-based tablet for note taking and light, on the road, work. This would require synching, which I am not keen on.

    2- Buy a better tablet and use it as a workstation when at the desk and tablet "on the go". It will required a decent docking station, but will always be the preferred solution (I don't care for battery life - as long as it lasts 3-4 hours, it's fine).

    In terms of keyboard, I would prefer something light, because it won't get a lot of use (I cannot work for long periods with diminute keyboards and screens or without a proper full-sized mouse). Something like the Surface's covers would be ideal (the Samsung "slot in" type is cumbersome, on the other hand).

    The "ideal" dock would be something like the Iconias have (without keyboard, just a plain port replicator / expander).
     
  5. meow9th

    meow9th Scribbler - Standard Member

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    For option 2 you will need to stay away from Atom. Sounds like you prefer option 2 (I do too ;)).

    For a light keyboard, you can't beat the Surface Pro. In my book, the Type/Touch Cover is the most elegant and lightweight typing solution out there, a genius design. It is the product differentiator that adds unique value you can't get anywhere else. At your desk, yes, use a dock which will provide external display, full-size keyboard, full-size mouse, but on the road, take the Type/Touch Cover, a stand/cover/keyboard all-in-one that is slim, beautiful, light and surprisingly usable.

    Anything with a battery in the dock will obviously be much heavier (probably 1.5 lb to 2 lb), and especially since you don't care about the battery life ...

    The Samsung 700T keyboard dock is about as boring as you can get (I can't think of a single special thing about it), and is plagued with connection problems (users are prepared to return it over and over again until they get a good unit).

    As for a dock, while Microsoft doesn't offer a custom docking solution (as far as I'm aware), it is easy enough to get a USB dock, and get all your ports and peripherals that way. You may want to check the thread http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/microsoft/54867-whats-your-surface-pro-shopping-list.html to see if anybody put USB dock on their shopping list. You won't be locked into one choice, so you can pick what's right for you.

    Edit
    A plug for convertibles: they will be more powerful and offer better specs. The Fujitsu T902 offers top-of-the-line specs with full voltage Intel Core i7, up to 16 gb RAM, up to 256 gb SSD. 13.3" and lower resolution at 1600 x 900.

    So far the Surface Pro has been very fast and responsive, running what I want with no problems. But if you need that extra oomph from ULV to full-voltage, Core i5 to Core i7, 4 gb to 16 gb RAM, then you may want to think about the convertibles (though again, keyboard not detachable). Keyboards on convertibles are usually full-size, and I've never had problems using them as my primary keyboard (but I always had legendary Thinkpad keyboards).
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  6. SusanS

    SusanS Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Then of course you could still get that desktop (Mama Bear) and have Baby Bear (tablet) remote in if you need that for proprietary software reasons. That's what I'm planning on. So far I love Mama Bear (Samsung AIO with touch screen and Windows 8). And I can tell you from experience that the Samsung Ativ 500t was nice, but it just doesn't cut it for the Baby Bear role in my case. Currently awaiting Baby Bear Surface Pro 128 GB. I should probably rethink the nicknames--Mighty Baby Bear is more like it. :)
     
  7. cfduarte

    cfduarte Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, the Surface Pro would be my immediate choice - if it was available in Europe, but it isn't (thanks MSFT! Way to go!) - and since my laptop is marching at a steady pace to retirement, I would prefer to make a faster decision rather than wait 2-3 months.

    The Atom-powered tablets would be OK if their price was in the acceptable range, but they aren't. The ASUS Vivo Smart would fit the bill perfectly - except for being pen-less (capacitive pens don't count!). Both the Ativ 500 and Lenovo Tablet 2 start at 650 euro which is 150 euro above what I am willing to pay.

    If, on the other hand, I look at fully fledged systems (i3/i5) we would be talking 2x the price for "pure" tablets (not transformables), such as the ATIV 700 or the Stylistic Q702.

    *rant mode ON*

    This whole tablet debacle has left a very sour taste in my mouth, especially towards MSFT.

    Windows RT is a joke and makes very little sense once you consider the Atoms (unless units with RT come down to around or below the 300 euro / USD barrier), especially since they have NO PEN SUPPORT and thus invalidate what I would consider one of their main selling points - OneNote.

    Surface came late to the party (especially outsider the US) and they keep on pushing the non-Pro version, which is next to useless at that price range. The Pro version should have been launched with 128 Gb MINIMUM and possibly a 256 Gb option. And they should consider a port-replicator type dock as a complement to the covers.

    And don't get me started on Office 2013 not having a native Metro (or whatever they are calling it now!) mode...
     
  8. SusanS

    SusanS Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I"m sorry cfduarte. I probably didn't read fully enough. The Samsung ativ 500t was a nice little tablet and I was sad to return it actually. The pen silo was great. And the pen worked wonderfully. The 11.6 size was growing on me. This is going to be my first tablet and have to replace a laptop at the same time. Little Sam almost made it for me. But I *have* to remote in and run some big databases. So that was the deal breaker because I don't have time in my work to have it lag. I actually really liked Little Sam Ativ 500t, especially the monstrous battery life. But not the keyboard. There are other solutions for that though. I am a bit worried about the battery life of the SP but will have a second charger in my other location so that should help me. I'm crossing my fingers. Good luck and again, I am sorry I didn't read well enough. Meow9th has helped me a lot so when I saw what she said I wanted to put in my comment.
     
  9. cfduarte

    cfduarte Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Right... After some consideration, I decided to (probably) go with a Lenovo Tablet 2 and buy a desktop as my main PC, rather than wait for the Surface Pro or others.

    One question though: is it possible to change the OS language? I ask because the tablet is far cheaper in Germany but my German is very basic, so the ability to change to English or Portuguese is essential.

    Thanks all!
     
  10. SusanS

    SusanS Pen Pal - Newbie

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    i'm not the one to answer--I don't know...i do know that with all the Microsoft operating systems I have always used I have to set up my language at the start--so I would imagine you could. But don't rely on my answer.
     
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