- 12-04-2012, 04:37 PM #1
I've been reading some troubling opinions here from people who say they would rather buy an RT. Admittedly I'm biased because I fail to even see the point of an RT at all.
"I don't want a fan cpu due to heating and less battery life / Atom sucks"
ok first, the new Clover Trail atom processor does not suck. In fact for most things it's better than the Tegra3 ARM processor. It's also fanless, and has battery life competitive with ARM processors. Anything you could throw at a Surface RT will run just as well if not better on a Clover Trail tablet without making any sacrifices win/win.
"The specs on those Atom based full windows 8 tablets are too low"
Ok let me get this straight - if you're thinking about an RT, then you're shopping for basically a media consumption tablet. If that's the case, let me assure you that tablets like the Samsung Ativ Smart PC play media, surf the web, email, and use pretty much all x86 full applications, including Office that aren't intensive (which you wouldn't be able to use on an RT either!) just as smoothly as an ARM tablet, and the x86 versions also have USB ports, and the ability to use any peripheral (like printers, large external hard drives, mouse etc) that you could use on a laptop. I should also point out that AFAIK, having both your tablet and desktop running Windows 8 means you don't have to pay twice for apps and applications.
Lastly considering you can pick up one of these full windows 8 tablets with a detachable keyboard, and all of the other benefits to having a real PC experience on a tablet for around $750. A surface RT with the same RAM/storage specs and the real keyboard (not that flat touch one) will cost you $730. I don't think I need to point out which one gives you more for your money here folks.
12-04-2012, 05:20 PM #2
- 127 Posts
I was one of these persons who couldn't decide between the Surface RT and win8 tablets...
One would also want to consider the build quality of the atom based vs arm based tablets when selecting their device.
I wanted the Samsung Smart PC 500T, was about to order it on Amazon for $750 with keyboard dock. Why did I choose the Surface RT over it? For my intended purposes I do not require a fully functioning laptop for my home tablet. Also, I didn't like the form factor of the Samsung with its 11.6" screen. It just felt too long in my opinion, I don't think weight is really a factor between them tho.
I also have my wife and my 2yr old using this device so I needed something versatile and something that was could take a little more abuse.
Also, I do not know if RT is as prone to getting spyware/viruses as a win8 OS tablet.
My reason for getting the Surface RT? I will only use it for browsing the internet, using it as a recipe/cook book as it takes up less counter space with built in kick stand (Surface RT), a media consumption device and the occasiaonal Angry Birds Star Wars session and that is all I expect of it. And I simply loved the build quality of the Surface RT, once I held both the Surface RT and the Samsung 500T, my mind was made up.
The real games I play won't run on the Atom based tablets and with my home PC I do all the big tasks with it.
But like you said, why buy RT over Win8? Its a hard decision to make, but you really have to decide for yourself what you need and want out of your tablet. Once you figure that out it gets more clear on what works for you.
Last edited by v10type-r; 12-04-2012 at 05:40 PM.
- 12-04-2012, 06:47 PM #6
The only reason I would look at a non RT device for a media consumption person is the face that you will be able to load plugins for some media sites on a full Windows 8 tablet. This could open the door to some applications or sites that need plugins that the built in IE doesn't have.
Other than that the RT version is a nice solution and there are apps in place for most of the things you will want to do on it.
- 12-04-2012, 11:14 PM #7
12-05-2012, 12:23 AM #8
- 24 Posts
For me there are a couple conditions in my search for a tablet - it needs to be at the base price of 500 dollars, and it needs to have at least acceptable build quality. Personally, I've narrowed it down to the Surface RT and the W510, but the latter gives me pause in regards to build quality.
Of course Atom is superior to ARM, and if there was a 500 dollar or maybe even a 600 dollar Clover Trail Surface I would get it in a heartbeat. But for me, and many others, there are other factors that come into play that may cause one to choose RT.
- 12-05-2012, 01:18 AM #9
I ended up spending a day off with nothing better to do combing the web for reviews on many of the $700+ Windows 8 x86 tablets and saw one common thread among them all. That they're just too dang big to use as handheld touchscreen tablets when taken off the keyboard, are best used on a flat tabletop of some kind like a regular laptop, and that if I'm going to buy one, I'm better off heading up higher into the $1000+ price point and getting the beefier models and using them as full out laptops. So consider me educated
I also didn't do my homework properly either because lo and behold I missed the fact that the RT has a USB 2.0 port for peripherals on my first look at it and then noticed it when I revisited the spec sheets today. Thanks for the replies all, it was partially some of your points that made me rethink my stance and take a closer inspection.
- 12-05-2012, 10:34 AM #10
See I've done the same research when my Surface was destroyed! I was trying to decide if i should get another one or get a Windows 8 hybrid. It really came down to this.
Because I was without my surface for an extended period of time, I was forced to use my laptop. While using my laptop for a couple weeks I noticed that the majority of the things I were doing on it, were things I could easily (sometimes easierly (if thats a word)) do on my Surface! The small things I couldnt do such as SSH Clients and oovoo were things that i could easily do with Remote PC or even just wait a short while until the app is released!
On top of that, the Surface is INCREDIBLY small compared to my laptop and I never needed to worry about bringing a power supply with me to school cause my surface would last all day! The surface even fit in my sweater pocket! (the one thats right at the belly button that you can put both your hands in and play patty cakes with cause its connected all the way through)
In some classes that were very quiet i am usually hesitant turning on my laptop cause the fans are incredibly loud and the whole class can hear. Sometimes my laptop will start screaming (you all know what i mean) but my surface was always silent and very low profile!
I dont typically need to photoshop or defuse bombs at school, i usually do that at home and i have a big rig desktop at home for that!
The Surface with RT is a great, nay, PERFECT match for me!
- 12-05-2012, 11:53 AM #11
The Acer W510, Lenovo Thinkpad 2, Dell Latitude 10 & Asus Vivo Tab Smart are all 10.1" and much better suited to handheld use. Problem is only the Acer is available now and that probably wont be the first choice for lots of people and the big attraction for the 11.6" at the moment is availability, increase screen real estate and the Wacom digitizer. When the Dell and the Lenovo in particular become available the size complaint will be resolved for many.
Personally my intended use for a tablet hybrid was as a tablet and full laptop replacement as my needs are not too intensive but I required a keyboard and my time with the 10.1" Vivo Tab RT and Acer W500 before that showed me that the accompanying keyboard size was too small for me. So I now have an 11.6" Vivo Tab and while its slightly bigger than optimal for a tablet its a worthwhile tradeoff for me.
When it comes to RT vs Atom/W8 tablets having the freedom to replace crap apps like Xbox Music with Zune is enough for me to prefer the full OS devices while losing nothing in battery life or Windows store app availability. However an RT device would be ideal for some of the less tech savvy people I know so I can agree that for some it will be the better choice.
12-05-2012, 12:35 PM #12
- 249 Posts
I am waiting for an i5 pro equivalent to have the same battery life and size of an RT, then I'll bite. For now, I am loving my Nexus 10.
I would have purchased the Surface RT at launch if it had a full HD screen though. I think MS really dropped the ball by limiting all RT tablets to that low resolution.
12-07-2012, 02:29 AM #14
- 204 Posts
Here are my 2 cents on this issue: I bought an Iconia W510 because I wanted both the tablet functionality as well as the ability to use x86 programs if I needed to. Why would I need to? Who knows. It's nice to have the flexibility, especially since it will be my only laptop and my 2nd computer besides my desktop. So, here's how my week has gone:
I was stuck in jury duty for a few days and was bored out of my mind until I actually got seated to a jury. What did I do to pass the time? Played on my tablet of course (tethered to my Lumia 920). Watched Youtube videos. Watched some NFL highlights. Etc. It was cool, it was silent, it was extremely portable and long-lived, and it functioned perfectly as a mindless entertainment consumption device (exactly as designed and advertised).
Cut to last night. What happened? The master boot record of my desktop decided to die. Great, now I had an unbootable computer. Good thing I had a 2nd computer to use to troubleshoot. But an RT tablet could have accomplished the same thing, right? It's just web crawling to find a solution. Maybe. How about when the partition table also decided to disappear and I needed to download and install a partition manager, and make a bootable DVD from an ISO image as well? When I dug my external DVD drive out of the closet I KNEW it would work (and it did of course). I have no idea if it's possible to burn an ISO image on a Windows RT device, or if it accepts external DVD drives, but tonight, as I'm typing on my desktop again, I'm very glad I didn't need to find out. Even if I most likely would have been ok with a Surface, there was never a doubt with the W510; it was one less uncertainty to deal with in the middle of a very large headache. In short, it functioned exactly as designed and advertised as a laptop replacement.
To me that is the real benefit of a Windows 8 device. One day I was using it casually as a tablet, literally the next I was using it to get real work done. I'm very happy with my decision.
- 12-09-2012, 09:43 PM #15
I purchased the Surface RT last week...after one week, I have to say, I am impressed with this thing. I do not understand the negative reviews, I guess the OS wasn't really ready to be reviewed at launch, and it skewed the iFan's view of the device.
I debated and debated whether to return the thing, and then I found out about remote desktop, and remote apps. As long as I have internet (which as long as there is cell service, I always have internet with tethered cell phone) I can run my x86 apps like AutoCAD, and Photoshop via RemoteApp, and they run with no lag. It also networks the drives between my remote desktop, and my Surface, so if I remotely run Utorrent, I can direct save to my Surface. The only thing that it cant do is stream music or video remotely - but you can copy and paste any file you want to play to your local drive. The Apps are lacking, but I think that its only a matter of months before all of the apps you are used to using on your other devices are available for RT/W8
I now see no reason to get the pro, unless you plan to take hand written notes with the digitizer - which, I can type 100 times faster than I could ever write, so I don't see much use - that is unless your an artist. Plus, the thing is 400$ more expensive, and will not get nearly the battery life of the RT. The Pro is basically a laptop...I think I am done with laptops - I will now buy desktop computers, that I remote control with my tablet.
Oh yea - forgot to mention that Surface RT comes with MS Office, while x86 tablets do not, and you will have to pay for Office - another plus for RT.
12-13-2012, 09:30 AM #17
- 36 Posts
I agree that the RT devices are more expensive than what I had hoped but for me getting a RT device was obvious from the beginning. From the reviews I have heard the full Windows 8 tablets in the same price range has shady (not all of them!) build quality and questionable performance. While I'd love to be able to access native windows apps on the tablet (specially as a Windows 8 developer) it's not a dealbreaker.
Here's a tip that might help some people decide. I almost always have access to an internet connection and my real desktop computer is always turned on so I have remote desktop running at all times which means I can connect and operate my regular Windows apps with ease. I also have a Windows Server 2012 installation with VMWare that's running as well so I can take advantage of RemoteApps (holy crapper is it nice) which allows me to boot up e.g Spotify as it was a native app without any real problems when it comes to performance.
- 12-23-2012, 11:04 AM #18
For whatever it is worth, IMO there is a third option if cost and functionality are important and the tablet form factor and battery life are relatively unimportant - buying a Windows 8 touchscreen laptop. Touchscreen, Windows 8 laptops can be had for as little as $500.
- 12-26-2012, 12:23 AM #19
You can use Plex to stream videos and music remotely.
The digitizer pen thing would be much better than typing if you want to write math, assuming the experience is close enough to actually writing on paper.
Also a 1080p screen would make the Surface RT perfect I think.
01-10-2013, 08:54 PM #20
- 257 Posts
At my job, people ask me this question all the time, what I say, and people might hate me for this, but I say think of a surface as a glorified iPad, its great for web browsing, movies, music, games, and office. Its a lighter use computer, for a lot of people all they want a computer for is email, web browsing, music, movies, and work (and a lot of people don't do work either on their computers). If that's it then Rt is good for you. But if you want any kind of classic application, whether you download a simple free application off the web, or you need something a lot of people use like quicken, for example, then go with win 8.
what I also mean by work is document writing/spreadsheets/notes, etc. If you need to do programming or have specialized work software then don't go with Rt. I'm an engineering student so I went with an atom because even though I don't plan on doing any heavy lifting on my tablet, I need to use a couple more applications than what's on Rt at the moment, like putty, visual studio, light matlab use, and office pro, like publisher.
Personally at the moment I don't really see much of a point in windows Rt when you can buy an atom for around the same price, for example Acer iconia w510 is 499$ for 32 gb, during the holidays it was 399$. I know that one of the huge benefits with Rt is that office home and student is included which usually costs 120$, but you can do so much more on x86. I think the main issue with Rt tablets Is the price, once they get 10" tablets down to about the 300$ price point, then I would consider it, but not when many of the atom units cost 100$ more. I'm pretty sure Rt tablets will drop in price quickly though because android had the exact same problem: most tablets were the same price as the iPad and now many of the very popular mid-range android tablets go for around 300$-350$, like the Asus transformer tf300 and the Samsung galaxy tab 2 10.1.
- 01-16-2013, 11:34 PM #21
- 01-17-2013, 12:11 AM #22
I want one... not sure which. I may be going with the Pro because I'd be able to do more things with it that I may eventually do. I'm not a media person and never even load music on my devices, except the ones I purchase from Zune (now called Xbox Music).
01-19-2013, 05:36 PM #23
- 797 Posts
In my humble opinion the Acer W510 is the best of the best hybrid notebook tablet in its price segment. Ok it is only an Intel Atom, but you get very long battery life, a package you can use as tablet or notebook with 32 or 64Gb plus 64Gb over microSD. This is Windows 8, so you can use a lot of desktop software package, DosBox etc. This with up to 7 to 11 hours of battery life!
Then if you want to go Windows 8 Pro and have the money, the Samsung Ativ S Smart PC T700 with an i5, 4Gb and from 64 to 256Gb SSD is fantastic.... but you also pay for this and get only 4-7 hours of battery life.
01-22-2013, 03:49 PM #25
- 257 Posts
yeah, all you need is the upgrade keycard which I think is around 80$, windows 8 and windows 8 pro run on the same hardware. I am not asking this to be rude or make an assumption that you aren't knowledgeable, but are you sure you need windows 8 pro? I mean the main thing it gives you is more remote access capabilities. I ask people this all the time when they say that they need windows 8 pro and most of the time they don't. Why waste money on features you will probably never use. The point I'm trying to make is buy it fi you need the advanced networking feature, bitlocker security encryption which works with TPM security modules for secure data encryption, or remote access. If you don't need those features then you don't need pro.
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