Are Windows 8 tablets good for real work?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by printz, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. printz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    #1
    They sound attractive because they run full Windows. But what are the catches? Do they make it worthless or is it still a useful tool?

    Are these issues to consider?
    - finger touch inaccuracy (and slowness) compared to mouse input
    - high battery consumption and slow recharging
    - low RAM on affordable ones (just 2 GB)

    I'm really tempted to buy one so I can get it out of my backpack and do some work (even just a little) while commuting. In this situation I can't just take my laptop with me. But is it worth it? Surface Pro is out. It's expensive like a MBA.
     
  2. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #2
    In my opinion, and it is simply that, my opinion, the 8" Windows tablets are not very practical for "real work". Not enough screen space.

    I own a Surface RT. They're very inexpensive right now (easy to find one under $200). It includes a nearly full version of Office 2013. (Excel is lacking macro support)

    I use it fairly regularly (when I'm not using my iPad 4) and find it to be very usable for real work. But, again in my opinion, the keyboard covers (Type or Touch, I highly recommend the TypeCover 2) are a necessity.

    For ME, the more "limited" Surface RT (running Windows RT) is more useful than an 8" tablet running a full version of Windows.

    In theory, having full Windows available on a tablet sounds great, but in practice it isn't so great. Those legacy apps (which are only runable on full Windows) are not designed for touch, so trying to use them on an 8" tablet (or 10" for that matter) not so hot.

    Anyways, hope this helps.
     
  3. Rodster macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #3
    That's not just your opinion but a FACT !

    Stay away from any 8" Windows 8 tablets because it will lead to utter frustration. Any tablet 10" and above is a good size. As a matter of fact, if I were to buy a Windows 8.1 tablet, i'd look at a convertible notebook like the Lenovo Yoga Pro. Those things are really slick and fold up quite nicely.
     
  4. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #4
    They are DEFINITELY good for "real" work, but it depends on which variety of windows tablet you get and what you expect out of it.

    -finger touch accuracy is excellent, as good as mouse input. The only caveat are the very high resolution screens like the surface Pro 2, windows has poor scaling so you get tiny UI elements on the desktop which may be a pain to touch/click on. You would be surprised at how accurate it is to touch a tiny UI element, but it's still not optimal IMO.

    -battery consumption, I'd point you to the Atom powered windows tablet, all day (10+ hours) battery life.

    -RAM doesn't seem to be a problem with much I throw at my tablet, although I don't run high end stuff like Photoshop. Photoshop, for example does run, but I don't know how it would handle large graphics files and such.

    So it all depends. You say you cannot carry around a laptop, so what alternative do you have to get "work" done? I'd say your only alternative is a tablet, and in that arena IMO a windows tablet utterly trounces any other tablet out there. Of course YMMV and if you are only doing light word processing and consumption then any tablet would be good for you. I suppose it would be important to define what "work" means for you for us to give you suggestions. Are you a graphic designer, engineer, doctor, etc etc? What windows programs would you use on a laptop and would you rather have them natively on a windows tablet, or would you rather shoehorn them together on iOS or Android?

    In summary the Atom powered windows tablets are pretty amazing. You might want to look at the Asus T100 as a very cheap windows tablet which brings a clamshell keyboard to make it a laptop for when you need it and has the most modern Atom CPU. it also has lower resolution which is a plus IMO in terms of wi ndows awful scaling.

    The other thing that is nice about a windows tablet is y ou can dock it at home/office and have a FULL windows computer if you have a larger screen, keyboard, mouse, etc. No compromises.
     
  5. printz, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014

    printz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    #5
    I can carry a laptop, but I don't use it if I happen to sit on a bench in a crowded place. To be fair, I haven't seen people with 10" tablets in public transport either... mostly with 7" ones, reading e-books.

    I do programming, so I primarily want to use Visual Studio in order to do code modifications and test-compile my programs everywhere. I dislike when I have to wait till I get home in order to do programming.
     
  6. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #6
    As a programmer I would think a keyboard would be crucial to your needs. I don't know much about programming, I would think a w indows tablet would be able to function in that environment but I don't know if RAM would be a limitation, you would know better what kind of RAM you need for compiling and running your programs.

    If I had to guess, I'd say y ou would be fine. I did a perfunctory search on Google for Visual studio and Atom tablet and just a quick glance seems like people are running this with no issues. But as I said, you would know if RAM is a limiting factor but I don't think computing power would be.
     
  7. cmhsam macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #7
    Dell Venue 11 pro. Best windows 8 tablet on the market
     
  8. MuffCabbage macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    #8
    Are these issues to consider?
    - finger touch inaccuracy (and slowness) compared to mouse input
    - high battery consumption and slow recharging
    - low RAM on affordable ones (just 2 GB)

    No.
    No.
    No.

    Ive been using Surface 2 as my main (basically only) computer for several months now. I still have my gfs rMBP and an old laptop if I need them.
     
  9. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2013
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    #9
    False.. Surface Pro is
     

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