1. Robinator's Avatar
    The title says it all.

    I have a L650 phone which I really like. I run Windows 10 on the desktop + a bit of Linux (I have been on Mac for the past 10 years) but wonder what to do now as far as moving forward is concerned.

    Why? Because I am on the lookout for a tablet and have for a while considered getting a SP4.

    Problem is, with the state of W10 Mobile I can really see little point in staying under Microsoft's umbrella any more. I am being forced to exit the Mobile space thanks to Microsoft's mobile decisions, so if I am forced out, and I'm NOT returning to Apple, then Android is the only other option.

    But if my next phone has to be Android, then why would I buy a Surface tablet to stay under Microsoft's umbrella? Word, Excel, Logos Bible software, Python, Hugo, Kindle, Arduino etc. can all be run on Android.

    What advantage is there really in buying a SP4 or other Windows 10 tablet any more?

    Edited: I should add that the app gap has never been relevant to me because I don't care about Snapchat and Messenger. But when it comes to tablets and UWP, the app gap is a big problem because I am suddenly forced to use desktop-only non store apps rather than apps designed specifically for tablets. Or go for an Android tablet with proper mobile apps.
    Last edited by Robinator; 04-30-2017 at 03:56 AM.
    04-30-2017 03:33 AM
  2. Robinator's Avatar
    One other comment. Given that the latest $$$ for Surface have shown a 26% yoy decrease in income for Microsoft, why should I trust Microsoft to keep supporting a SP4? They could decide that this is a loser for them and forfeit again to the competition, and I would be left with an expensive device that only receives bug fixes at best (as per Mobile).
    04-30-2017 04:00 AM
  3. Drael646464's Avatar
    Well as a huge tablet person, someone who follows the market really close, who has used many OSes and many form factors, I would say the reason is very obvious.

    Windows 10 on a tablet, is full windows 10. Android on a tablet, is a big smartphone.

    You can run win32 apps on a tablet, you can real-time multi-task, snap windows, run a full featured browser with html5 webapps and extensions. Even for the average consumer, the desktop OS windows 10 offers noteable "power of software and function of OS" advantages over android.

    Windows is the fastest growing segment of tablets, the only other one apart from budget devices. Samsung and apple are both losing growth and have been for years now.

    The surface with you point out is lost growth, _this last quarter_ is two years old and was only made to lead the way for the other, honestly a lot more affordable contributions from their hardware partners like Lenovo (and many others), for whom business is fantastic. The surface is also pretty pricey given current market conditions. Even apple released a midteir ipad recently.

    There should be no deep reflection on the surface line, which by MS own words are only designed to lead the way for their hardware partners - which is exactly what has happened.

    A windows tablet can do a lot more than either an android device, or windows 10 mobile. Its a full PC. It can run the 12 million or so win32 apps, which are generally much better funded development wise than mobile apps are. And I run plenty of them on my windows tablet, with scaled up UI, they generally work well. I've never felt any need for a stylus, or found them awkward.

    Occasionally they may scale incorrectly at worst. That's not an insurmountable issue. And its actually pretty rare and can fixed by compatibility settings (which have been expanded quite a bit).

    People will spend over a hundred dollars on a windows game. They will spend hundreds on professional databasing software, music composition software, video editing software and so on. Even regular users will happily shell out more money for desktop software.

    People are relunctant to spend 4 dollars for an android or ios app. And that huge magnitude of development money, is why you get deep and powerful software for desktop, but only puddle deep applications on mobile.

    And the feature set, such as real-time multi-tasking and optimisation for more powerful software, and also a vast library of drivers for connected peripherals. You can for example, easily use your tablet as a full desktop - plug in anything you like, and it will work. I've run a full office set-up with my tablet, printer and scanner, external webcam etc etc.

    The driver compatibility of android is pretty poor. It scales poorly to larger screens, and the software is 99% written for smartphones making the experience largely pretty poor, overly simple and smartphone like. By and large things scale down, better than they scale up.

    The app gap, really here is larger for android. Nobody really writes for tablet in android. Whereas in UWPs tablet is pretty strong, and for win32's, anything larger than 9 inches (under which you can use a stylus) , win32's work well. And those win32 are also getting converted into UWAs, for example there's a great video editing suite in the windows store.

    The area UWPs are growing the most in, is areas specific to tablet. For example, an art program - you'll find AAA leading examples of art programs in the windows store. There's not really anything in android to match. UWPs suffer under mobile, in mobile specific applications - gps databasing tools, messaging and so on. Outside of those applications, the windows store is growing fast.

    If you want to just use your tablet for watching Netflix, and looking at a browser, android is a good choice.

    But if you have any kind of productivity interests, or power user leanings, the difference between the platforms is pretty night and day. And windows 10 has some features to intergrate with android these days, if you go for an android phone. More than just contact syncing, things like notification syncing.

    There is also no real sense in which an android tablet, and android phone "pair". They aren't designed for that kind of use, they more or less operate as separate entities. The services are shared, but you wont get for example notifications for one device on the other. Or the ability to continue editing a document from one device to another. These are really MS domains.

    Interopability and continuum etc are really windows specific tools.

    Tablets are absolutely _not_ a "loser for ms", not even in the ballpark, they are a huge success for MS, and MS is investing even more in them with a new surface expected this year, and the release of windows on arm, and windows cloud. MS has realistic ambitions to take over the tablet space.

    This is what I have learnt by working with these devices, both android and windows on tablet. I don't even really see them as comparable. I see a windows tablet as a PC, and an android tablet as a big smartphone.

    It's pretty hard to know what to recommend in a tablet though without knowing a lot more about your useage habits. Do you travel a lot. Do you generally carry a bag when you do. Do you type a lot, or write emails, blogs etc. Do you make a lot of paper notes. Are you the type of person to use a device for a shorter period, or intensively for hours. Would you read a book on one, or a magazine. What kind of software do you use on PC, that you might use on a desktop. Ditto with a smartphone.....

    Even I were to say "always go with windows" (Which I actually might baring a few specific exceptions for those who "simply don't have the need") there are a lot of different forms and sizes of tablet, and they all have their own strengths. It takes a person using a lot of different kinds, to figure out on their own what works.

    Coming from the other end of MS, desktop, notebook and tablet, I see a thriving company with a energetic and strategic vision for the future.

    And actually I see a commitment to mobile that I doubt any other company would have replicated in the circumstances. Android OEMs and google don't give feature updates to older phones. Blackberry dumped bb10 with zero feature updates literally one year after the release of some bb10 phones. From where I am standing, as someone who's been involved in mobile devices in a broader sense, MSs stance on a dwindling mobile market and a mobile company who generated massive losses, seems "generous" (although really its not, its just part of a more long term play to unify devices and try and continue to expand in to new spaces, mobile included)
    Last edited by Drael646464; 04-30-2017 at 05:20 AM.
    04-30-2017 04:47 AM
  4. Drael646464's Avatar
    TLDR:

    1) Windows tablets are a very fast growing segment. The fastest. Look at any breakdown of year on year in the tablet segment (beware some count 2 in 1's as notebooks, so you may have to look at a few to get a picture). In that there is no comparison between mobile and tablet

    2) Windows tablets are full PCs. In that there is no comparison between windows tablets and other tablets

    3) Things like interopability (devices sharing details with each other, interacting), are mainly windows features. Don't expect them on android devices. The services may share but the devices will not. An android tablet will pair better with a smartwatch or smartscale than it will an android phone, in terms of direct information sharing - that's actually one area alone with social and gps based apps, they excel, apps for smart devices. OS based interopability is not.

    4) If you want an actual device recommend, I'd need to know a lot more about your habits. There are a very wide array of tablet forms, at differing budgets. What will ultimately "fit" is a sort of tailored thing that its hard to communicate without experience. These differences are bigger than in phones. Everything from lifestyle (like travel, or being around the office or home), to specific applications on desktop and smartphone. I'd be happy to recommend an android or ios tablet if you'd prefer. Personally if I had to pick one of those, I'd probably go ipad rather than android. Apps are _slightly_ higher quality.
    Robinator likes this.
    04-30-2017 05:26 AM
  5. Robinator's Avatar
    Wow, that's a great answer. Thanks!

    I have a desktop i7 with 16 gigs of RAM and like to use it as my primary machine. Often I prefer to be around the family and out of my office space so would prefer to use a tablet. But it is hard to justify the high cost of a SP4 for that sort of use, so perhaps the new SD835 processors will power the new breed of Windows 10 tablets and force the prices down a lot.

    If the new breed is ARM based, then existing x86 and x64 apps will not run natively, so the gazillions of apps that currently run on Windows 10 will need to be emulated. This is far from ideal as it adds another layer of slow and bulk and bugs that nobody really wants.

    Good points about Android tablets. I have almost zero experience with Android as I have little interest in malwared software and fragmentation and all the other stuff that goes with many free apps.

    The worst thing about the current state of play is that Microsoft are showing zero leadership. They have not come clean about mobile and who knows where the new SP devices are. We really could do with some direction and good news :-)

    Thanks again !
    Drael646464 likes this.
    04-30-2017 05:30 AM
  6. Drael646464's Avatar
    Wow, that's a great answer. Thanks!

    I have a desktop i7 with 16 gigs of RAM and like to use it as my primary machine. Often I prefer to be around the family and out of my office space so would prefer to use a tablet. But it is hard to justify the high cost of a SP4 for that sort of use, so perhaps the new SD835 processors will power the new breed of Windows 10 tablets and force the prices down a lot.

    If the new breed is ARM based, then existing x86 and x64 apps will not run natively, so the gazillions of apps that currently run on Windows 10 will need to be emulated. This is far from ideal as it adds another layer of slow and bulk and bugs that nobody really wants.

    Good points about Android tablets. I have almost zero experience with Android as I have little interest in malwared software and fragmentation and all the other stuff that goes with many free apps.

    The worst thing about the current state of play is that Microsoft are showing zero leadership. They have not come clean about mobile and who knows where the new SP devices are. We really could do with some direction and good news :-)

    Thanks again !
    I know many people are curious about the new windows on arms performance with win32 apps. Myself included. But be aware its not just a software emulation, QUALCOMM have modified the chipset to aid the affair. Between that and running 32 apps on a 64 bit processor, I think they have probably found ways to make the performance difference slim.

    There is little doubt that a lot of the strategy here is price - I expect two versions of the next surface, a pro with intel, and a regular with arm, signalling the entering into budget tablet space.

    If your using your tablet for getting out of the office, you'll want some form of hybrid most likely.

    You can get some cheaper alternatives from many of MS hardware partners HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus (chromeOS), Samsung also have a window hybrid (TabPro S). And you can get some even cheaper alternatives from china, noteably Teclast and Chuwi. There's a review on one of the chuwis on the front page.

    As much as performance junkies will talk up m cores, and I series in tablets, actually a cherry trail does fine, even in desktop mode, so long as it had 4gb of ram. I have just such a device, and in a pinch I used it as a desktop for several months whilst living out of a suitcase. I even played games on it :P

    And if your mostly doing work, a stylus might be nice, but not nessasarily needed. You could probably get something that suits you for quarter of the price of a surface. Whether you would need LTE or not is another factor. If your mostly at home, or the office, under wifi, it can be done without.

    If you want midtier id probably say Lenovo is a good place to check out (like yoga 710) or dell have a similar flip ultrabook. Their Miix series is also cheaper. If you want something like a surface but a lot cheaper -

    Teclast x3 plus - https://techtablets.com/2017/04/tecl...review-online/
    Chuwi Hi13 - https://techtablets.com/chuwi-hi13/review/

    And the earlier Chuwi hi12 with cherry trail is perfectly decent too. Also has stylus support, although obviously not as premium build or close to the surface, its sure a penny saver, and a decent user experience (Note the chuwi hi12 has more ram and higher specs than the cheapest Lenovo miix). I'd happily use the hi12, or the x3 or hi13. (Another review of the hi13 as I mentioned on this site). In fact those last two are by most standards/reviews pretty decent - great screens, stylus input. The hi13's trackpad ain't so good, and the x3 doesn't have wireless ac (but it does have an SSD slot, and 6gb of ram - ssd slot is rare in these cheaper models), there is the odd point of compromise, but bang for buck these companies cannot be rivalled really.
    Last edited by Drael646464; 04-30-2017 at 06:20 AM.
    Robinator likes this.
    04-30-2017 06:00 AM
  7. Drael646464's Avatar
    OR you could wait for windows on arm late this year. But its a wee bit of a wait. I wouldn't. I'd just do some research on something capable and decent but cheaper than the surface and pull the trigger. Who wants to be away from their family, that's a pretty big motivator!
    Robinator likes this.
    04-30-2017 06:08 AM
  8. Drael646464's Avatar
    MS have been busy as heck on a few things. Windows on arm, windows cloud, Cortana skills api, the invoke, scorpio, the cshell etc - all supposed to come this year.

    I expect they have been keeping very quite on specifics to avoid competition reacting, and also want to create a bit of a stir now things have come together. After all, all those releases, one after the other are bound to create some press momentum and a bit of public interest.

    I also wish they had made clear their plans with mobile. I can see why they can't. But most likely we will hear soon (ie within two weeks) about whether mobile will be getting cshell, Cortana api intergration etc soon (I expect they will as part and parcel of everyone else getting it). Because they have the spring event, AND build 2017, and both those were supposed to come soon.

    Those will be advances if mobile gets them (and again, I expect they will), and pretty darn good ones (it'll improve Cortana significantly and continuum).
    Robinator likes this.
    04-30-2017 06:14 AM
  9. Robinator's Avatar
    I have looked long and hard at the SP4 range but have always given up due to the huge price jump between 4 and 8 gigs of RAM. Problem is that for Windows, 4 GB is too marginal for lots of stuff that I do, and 8 GB is way more expensive.

    Interestingly the Apple iPad devices have a mere 2 GB for the highest end model (I think). Of course the apps made for these devices are not likely to be as bulky as full Windows apps that are written for the desktop so they can get away with lower memory requirements.

    In New Zealand the lowest prices are as follows:

    SP4, i5, 128 GB, 4 GB, $1,173.88

    SP4, i5, 256 GB, 8 GB, $1,537.88

    Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 12.0 SM-W703 128 GB, 4 GB, $1,099.99
    05-01-2017 03:27 AM
  10. Drael646464's Avatar
    I have looked long and hard at the SP4 range but have always given up due to the huge price jump between 4 and 8 gigs of RAM. Problem is that for Windows, 4 GB is too marginal for lots of stuff that I do, and 8 GB is way more expensive.

    Interestingly the Apple iPad devices have a mere 2 GB for the highest end model (I think). Of course the apps made for these devices are not likely to be as bulky as full Windows apps that are written for the desktop so they can get away with lower memory requirements.

    In New Zealand the lowest prices are as follows:

    SP4, i5, 128 GB, 4 GB, $1,173.88

    SP4, i5, 256 GB, 8 GB, $1,537.88

    Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 12.0 SM-W703 128 GB, 4 GB, $1,099.99
    I know those are pricey, ain't they?

    This is why I am a fan of Chinese midteir manufacturers. Tablets, and smartphones, while it is changing is still a premium focused market. And that doesn't always mean the highest spec either, a lot of tablets even in the western midteir max out at 4gb despite their reasonably high pricetags.

    Agreed that 4gb is marginal for some applications. On my desktop, as I added ram, I found about 6gb is where things get smoother for multitasking, and many browser tabs etc. On my tablet, I use it primarily for gaming and net/entertainment in general, so there 4gb suits me fine.

    Teclast x3 plus has 6gb. The stylus according the review is crappy, but you wouldn't need it.
    Also the teclast x5 pro might be up your alley -

    https://techtablets.com/teclast-x5-pro/review/

    Teclast have been regularly beating out the other Chinese players on ram for awhile.

    I won't say that these cheaper offerings don't come with compromises, but if you research and watch online reviews, you'll know whether those particular shortcomings matter to you or not.

    My tablet had quiet tinny audio, but I found a sound processor software that helped, even added some depth.

    You can get these from china, via "aliexpress". Advise DHL shipping for something pricey like this. Aliexpress is an escrow system, so they hold the money back from the sellers and arbitrate (so it ends up being a bit like paypal).

    As for apple, well mobile OSes, don't have real time multi-tasking. When you switch tasks, the app doesn't keep just doing its thing. It does to a limited degree in android, but for productivity focused people they'll notice that thing they wanted done while there were doing something else, isn't. This saves ram and battery on a smartphone, and its why ios and android can run pretty smoothly with just 2gb - depending on resolution, and the application. It absolutely is the light software, and the light OS, but its also because when you switch tasks, things essentially get frozen.

    Apple devices have seemed underspec'd for a long time. But they actually perform pretty well next to their closest peers, android, in benchmarks. Partly even less realtime multi-tasking (android is semi rt, via the ram management service), and partly good coding (part of me dies inside when I admit apple does some things well, lol).

    BTW, I am also a kiwi.
    05-01-2017 05:12 AM
  11. Drael646464's Avatar
    Oh and the Lenovo Miix 720 comes out soon. That has options up to 16gb, and that's their "budget" (ie midtier) range.

    I can't say if it'll be cheaper than the sp4, or the same, but it might fit the bill in terms of price/power, you'd have to wait and see.
    05-01-2017 05:18 AM
  12. ruthietootie's Avatar
    If you're not going Apple (who has the best tablet experience), then go with a Windows tablet. There are many options out there, not only Microsoft. I would stay away from Android because many of their tablets don't get updated with new o/s. With Apple and Windows, the support is guaranteed for much longer, which gives more value for $.

    The only issue I have with Windows tablets is the absence of apps. Even though you can install programs outside of the store, these programs aren't optimized for tablet usage. Android has the same optimization problem, except apps are less functional than the full program version so the experience would be even worse compared to Windows.

    Really Apple has the best tablet experience. The problem with their products though is the $ (overpriced really for what you get hw wise) and the lack of external storage
    05-01-2017 11:36 AM
  13. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    I have a Samsung Tab S2 and a Surface Pro 3, the Surface is the overall superior device.

    Android is nice, has some good apps, but it's a mobile OS and doesn't compare to carrying something that can do anything my desktop does. I don't use many apps on my surface, it's basically an ultra portable laptop.
    TgeekB likes this.
    05-01-2017 12:18 PM
  14. worldspy99's Avatar
    I have a Samsung Tab S2 and a Surface Pro 3, the Surface is the overall superior device.

    Android is nice, has some good apps, but it's a mobile OS and doesn't compare to carrying something that can do anything my desktop does. I don't use many apps on my surface, it's basically an ultra portable laptop.
    I have the same two devices and I use the Tab S2 for entertainment and I use the SP3 for productivity.
    I also backed Eve V on Indiegogo, can't wait to get that device to replace my almost two year old SP3.
    05-01-2017 12:32 PM
  15. Wbutchart1's Avatar
    Gotta be windows tablet. I get the frustration with windows mobile, but a lot it is negative speculation, it has not been cancelled, it is still being developed, phones are still getting updated (although not as big a range as we would like). Sure some decisions have been really annoying and the lack of clarity is frustrating, but none of this needs to force us to move, we move because think the grass is greener.

    Tablet wise, windows beats both iOS and android in my opinion. It has the flexibility of tablet and full windows mode, split screen, win 32 apps, regularly updated, good multitasking, all of this makes windows better if productivity and use ability are key things

    I have a Linx tablet, it's old, underpowered, started on windows 8, 2gb ram and a terrible processor, still runs almost all of windows 10 great, still gets updated (is on creators update), still does all I need it to. The only frustration is edge exposes the rubbish processor as it struggles to load high image sites quickly.
    05-01-2017 01:32 PM
  16. kaktus1389's Avatar
    Now Windows tablet is a whole another story than Windows 10 Mobile, because it has full Windows 10, not the mobile version and that that changes a lot.

    Windows tablets can run Win32 apps and Windows Store apps, which means that's whole different story from Apple and Android tablets. If you buy, say a Surface Pro 4, you basically buy a PC in 2-in-1 form factor. Windows tablets are way more powerful than other tablets and are all round unlike what the competition has to offer. 2-in-1 market share is constantly growing so I would not worry too much about it.

    If you are planning to use Win32 apps on your tablet, like Photoshop or Visual Studio or even some light gaming, Windows tablet is what you're looking for. If you however only need App Store or Google Play store apps like Snapchat and whatsoever (overall non-pro and light usage of tablets) then you should be looking for competitors' tablets.
    TgeekB likes this.
    05-01-2017 03:58 PM
  17. Ray Picone's Avatar
    Now if they can get mobile to run the 32-bit apps you may start having the return to Windows Mobile. If you can then run Amazon Video, Hulu, Vudu with full browser capabilities like you can on Windows 10 desktop then there is no reason to have an Android phone. Then you can get Windows apps again for some programs that can use the camera for scanning barcodes.
    05-01-2017 08:37 PM
  18. meattray's Avatar
    Yeah I guess it really depends on what your full needs are. I use my SP4 for business needs as well as personal needs. I'll be honest I use it more as a laptop throughout the business day and then it gets converted to a tablet for media consumption etc at night.
    05-03-2017 11:55 AM
  19. CollinWood's Avatar
    The title says it all.

    I have a L650 phone which I really like. I run Windows 10 on the desktop + a bit of Linux (I have been on Mac for the past 10 years) but wonder what to do now as far as moving forward is concerned.

    Why? Because I am on the lookout for a tablet and have for a while considered getting a SP4.

    Problem is, with the state of W10 Mobile I can really see little point in staying under Microsoft's umbrella any more. I am being forced to exit the Mobile space thanks to Microsoft's mobile decisions, so if I am forced out, and I'm NOT returning to Apple, then Android is the only other option.

    But if my next phone has to be Android, then why would I buy a Surface tablet to stay under Microsoft's umbrella? Word, Excel, Logos Bible software, Python, Hugo, Kindle, Arduino etc. can all be run on Android.

    What advantage is there really in buying a SP4 or other Windows 10 tablet any more?

    Edited: I should add that the app gap has never been relevant to me because I don't care about Snapchat and Messenger. But when it comes to tablets and UWP, the app gap is a big problem because I am suddenly forced to use desktop-only non store apps rather than apps designed specifically for tablets. Or go for an Android tablet with proper mobile apps.
    I mean it seems like if a windows tablet meets all your needs....what more reason would you need?
    05-11-2017 09:31 PM

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