Would you rather have a Windows 8 tablet or Laptop?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Billy95Tech, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Billy95Tech, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015

    Billy95Tech Suspended

    Apr 18, 2014
    I would rather have a lightweight, portable 10.1 inch Windows 8 tablet over a bulky heavy Windows 8 laptop.

    And plus some of the Windows 8 tablets have a I5,7 CPU so you can have a very powerful(desktop like) Windows 8 tablet at the palm of your hands and can do some very heavy tasks like Video editing, Photoshop.

    I seen reviews and heard the Baytrail Atom powered Windows 8 tablets are very good and the new Atom CPU are way better than the old Atom Netbooks and have very good battery life as well.

    I really think tablets especially Windows 8 tablets have really killed of netbooks.

    I have a powerful 11.6 inch Windows 8 tablet Acer Iconia W700 with a I5 Core with 4GB of RAM and i am very happy with it and it is very good at heavy tasks like Video editing, Photoshop and it has pretty much replaced my laptop for everything and it is more light weight and way more portable than my laptop.

    It has completely replaced my laptop!

    And a 11 inch Windows 8 tablet or any tablet is still more portable than a 11 inch Laptop because of you have to have 2 hands to hold the laptop while standing up and walking around because of the bit that has a keyboard/CPU/Battery and the laptop sceen so it is more cumbersome to carry it around than a tablet.

    So what is better Windows 8 tablet or Windows 8 laptop?

    Would you rather have a Windows 8 tablet or laptop as your main computer?

    For me personally i prefer and rather have a Windows 8 tablet over a Windows 8 laptop because it is way more portable, Lightweight easy to take around than the laptop and you can do heavy tasks(depending on the CPU) like Video editing, Photoshop on it.

    And i also think some people seem to forget there are Windows 8 tablets out there because i have seen on many topics on the internet that people are only considering a Android tablet or a IPAD over a Windows 8 tablet as there main computer or to replace there desktop or laptop.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I struggled with this very decision when the SP3 was announced. In the end, after obsessing over this endlessly and doing lots of research for my needs a laptop is the best.

    I do too much content creation, and managing servers, something that works well with a laptop, not so much with a tablet - including the SP3 with the type cover.
  3. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Laptop. I find screens under 13" too small for work.

    I have considered getting a surface pro and then plugging into an external monitor when at home or the office, but I still find I want a larger screen when out and about.
  4. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    That's a pretty contrived choice.
    Why must it be a bulky heavy Windows 8 laptop? There are light (relatively speaking) Windows 8 notebooks that can have the same or similar specs to the lightweight portable Windows tablet... and can be portable as well.

    I've owned 2 Windows tablets. They worked pretty well as netbooks and notebooks, but were pretty poor tablets. Windows tablets still have all of the issues with troublesome updates and drivers that Windows notebooks of 5 years ago experienced. In contrast, current Windows 8 notebooks are quite stable in that regard.

    There is also the issue of touch-optimized apps. Apple helped define tablets to be portable, instant-on, quick, and touch optimized. Windows tablets are portable, but the instant-on and touch optimized aspects are sorely lacking. Microsoft is still working out the bugs and kinks in "connected standby" of Windows 8.x after 2 years.

    There are plenty of Modern UI apps in the App store. But most of them are basic and buggy. Based on how I use my iPad tablet, I find Windows tablets sorely lacking because of the lack of quality apps for the functions that I need. (if the apps that are available work for you then that's terrific)

    In the end, I ended up with an Asus X200MA notebook to replace my Surface tablets. It handles my portable notebook needs better than the Surface, and went back to using my iPad for my tablet.
  5. xraydoc, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    So despite the fact that I'm predominantly a Mac user, I find the Windows versions of MS Office better than their Mac counterparts. Plus, there are several work-related reasons why a Windows machine is nice to have.

    Edit: additionally, as I take a lot of handwritten notes with my iPad and a stylus now, I've been very interested in the Samsung Note devices (and I do own a Note 8.0 which hasn't seen too much use lately since 3rd party app support with cross-platform ability (OneNote, Evernote, etc.) for the pen has been lacking). The pen digitizer in the SP3 with OneNote support interests me a great deal.

    I use Parallels with Windows 8.1 on the Mac at the office and on the iMac at home, but I've been interested in the Surface Pro 3 since seeing it in person several weeks ago.

    Two days ago, I bought the i5/8GB/256 model from my local Microsoft store. I've been trying to use it exclusively over the last 48 hrs. to get a sense of how well it could replace both laptop and iPad.

    I bought the keyboard cover too, but I've been trying to use the onscreen keyboard as much as possible as well to see if its a viable alternative (otherwise, if the keyboard is always necessary, why spend the extra money for the Surface; I could save money if I just bought a conventional laptop).

    As a tablet, it's big, but my 45 year old eyes are thanking me for not having to squint to see a full page PDF. The shift between modern "tablet" mode apps and traditional Windows desktop-style apps is jarring, but then again I did buy this so I could have one device instead of two. My goal is to use modern tablet-style apps unless I'm doing something necessitating a traditional Windows machine.

    I'm not sure I've spent enough time with it yet to render a verdict, but it is a compelling, well-assembled device. I'll continue to post if anyone else is interested in my thoughts.
  6. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Assuming it's a high-end tablet like the SP3, I'd go for it. It's more flexible and lets for doing some unique stuff via the stylus.
  7. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I prefer to look at something directly when drawing with a stylus. It just flows better IMO. I don't think about anything, I just draw. Using a Wacom tablet for me is like using a keyboard. My hands know what to press to do certain things, and I found that drawing on a Tablet PC screen directly was a nightmare.

    I don't do note taking that much anymore, and when I draw I work with thousands of images in one file, and the software matters more for that reason.
  8. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    The only advantages to a laptop IMO are the keyboard and price, and even those are quite relative. Laptop keyboards are not that much better than the SP3 keyboard IMO, still the same relative size and all you really gain is some key travel. Once you get used to the SP3 keyboard you realize it's virtually as good as any similar sized laptop keyboard.

    Price can also be a differentiator, you can probably save a couple hundred and get a fairly cheap laptop.

    On the flip side the advantages to a tablet are numerous. Having a stylus and being able to write/draw/annotate is HUGE. Being able to detach the keyboard and use it as a true tablet. Much lighter weight, thickness, etc especially when you factor in that you are carrying 2 devices in one, no need to have a laptop AND a tablet, plus worrying about security, syncing, carrying, charging, etc 2 devices. If you get a windows one there is no worry about not having a program available such as iOS/ipad which obviously makes an extremely poor laptop and a somewhat poor tablet, you have millions of programs and apps to choose from which are full featured and not watered down.

    Laptops to me are yesterdays technology, similar to how we viewed desktops when laptops came out.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I disagree. I find creating work on my laptop to be much better with a laptop over a tablet. The SP3 for example has its weight on the screen, making for an awkward situation on your lap, where as the laptop is much more stable. Additionally,

    I think you're in the minority in stating that the keyboard is just about as good as a laptop. All of the reviews I've read so far seemed to to say while the Type cover has improved from previous incarnations, its still no where as good as a laptop.

    to each his own, but I think a laptop is a better tool for many tasks, where as tablets are suited different tasks.
  10. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Yeah it sounds like a laptop is better for your needs for sure. I don't disagree with you, but I have found a different experience. I've found the SP3 keyboard virtually as good as any laptop keyboard on any similar sized ultrabook I've used, the only difference on a laptop is slightly longer keypress travel, that's it. Now if we are comparing this to a full sized 15" laptop then yes of course the keyboard is better, and that may suit someone's needs better. Keep in mind, and I stated this in my post above, I'm talking about a comparison like a MBA versus the SP3, which is what Microsoft directly refers to in it's marketing and what the vast majority of reviewers are latching onto.
    I'll tell you what, it still seems more efficient to carry a SP3 and a separate full Bluetooth keyboard than a bulky full sized laptop, but that's just me. I don't miss the days of carrying around a 5lb laptop, a 1lb power brick and a 1 to 1.5 lb. tablet.

    As for content creation, I suppose it depends what content you create. An artist may find a laptop seriously lacking for his needs, for example.
  11. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    To those of you lauding the SP3 or other high-res, small-screen Windows devices:

    When doing productivity tasks requiring multiple windows (e.g. a document and a spreadhseet open side-by-side), do you not find the screen size too small?

    I previously used a 12.5" laptop for a while which I found extremely annoying, although that had a 1366 x 768 screen from 2011, so maybe the sharp, high res screen of SP3 helps here.

    But do you not have issues with improper scaling of desktop apps?
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I spent a long time mulling over a possible SP3 purchase, even going so far as pre-ordering it, but at the end of the day, I felt I was giving up too much.

    I have a quad core Ivy Bridge rMBP, with 16GB of ram, and a 15" display. It just so much, plus I really didn't want to walk away from OS X, even though I work in Windows, I still use OS X in my off hours.

    As for content creation, its mostly work related stuff, spreadsheets and documents, dealing with servers but I do use Lightroom and edit/tweak my photos - again I think my laptop is better in that function, i.e., keyboard and mouse.


    I like Windows 8 scaling ability, while I don't use the SP3, in my research, adjusting the scaling was sufficient for most of my needs, but I understand your point and that was one concern of mine.

    Going from a 15" to a 12" display - how would the apps I use to remote into servers render the screen - too small for my old eyes to comfortably use? In testing I thought that was borderline ok. Not great but not bad.
  13. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Yes it can be too small, but I don't find much use comparing a 12" laptop-like tablet, or even a 12" vanilla laptop to a 15"laptop, they are 2 very different categories IMO, that extra screen real estate really sets them apart and dictates why a consumer would buy one over the other.

    As for scaling, I've been highly impressed with windows scaling. I have my SP3 set to 200% and everything looks great, even in desktop mode I have absolutely no issues clicking on things. Anything made by MS is also wonderful, such as Office. There are legacy programs which don't behave, although it's been a long time since I've seen a misbehaving program. What you see more often is scaling that leaves some stuff way too small, such as Photoshop where the icons are much too small to be reasonable to use in touch mode. Devs are catching on though, for example Photoshop does have a finger friendly version in beta which anyone can access and I'm sure will be the full production version.

    Screen size is definitely a trade off, but it's obviously not inherent to the SP3. Any 12" screen will be some sort of compromise depending on your needs, of which a need for portability may factor in there.
  14. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    Laptop by far. I can't live without a real keyboard, optical drive, and ethernet port.
  15. jwalker99 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2006
    I've been using the SP3 for a couple weeks now and feel pretty confident it is going to replace my 3 year old MBA 11" and iPad 3. In my experience, while the trackpad can't compete with the MBA's, i find the keyboard itself to be excellent. And while i do agree that using the Surface isn't as stable as a LAPtop (typing with the keyboard in your actual lap), the reality (for me at least) is that 99% of the time i'm not at a desk or a table, i don't really need a keyboard anyway, which then makes the tablet option a superior experience.

    While i've long been Windows at work and OS X at home, i find that the cloud has greatly reduced my dependency on either operating system - especially for home use. So like spinedoc, i prefer the convenience of one ultra portable device that can act as desktop, notebook and tablet.
  16. jhtrico1850 macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2007
    I need Office and Tableau and Chrome. Laptop.
  17. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020


    Jan 25, 2009
    It depends on what applications you use, and whether they are available on both platforms for me. For recreational and light uses, a Surface tablet would probably be the best choice if one is willing to accept a smaller screen estate, compared to a fully fledged computer that can handle some professional applications, sacrificing some bulkyness.

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