1. Mitlov's Avatar
    HP Envy x2 (Intel Clover Trail) review: first look | PC Pro blog

    but I was able to run a sneaky browser benchmark [on the Atom-equipped HP Envy X2], establishing a SunSpider score for the unreleased 1.8GHz Intel Z2760 platform of 909 milliseconds. Thats well ahead of established ARM-based tablets such as the iPad (1,805ms) and the Asus Transformer Prime (2,340ms). For comparison, the Sandy Bridge MacBook Air Im writing this on scored 313ms.
    Kind of makes Windows RT look superfluous for everything but price, doesn't it? Never mind the awful old netbooks; it looks like current Atom processors outperform the best ARM processors while delivering equally-good battery life (and with a fanless design).

    Seems to me like Atom tablets like the HP Envy X2 and Lenovo Thinkpad 2 are going to be the best of the convertible tablets. Better compatibility (x86) and better performance than Windows RT tablets, with lower price points, better battery life, and thinner fanless designs than Ivy Bridge tablets. Awesome.
    09-12-2012 03:42 PM
  2. jhoff80's Avatar
    Atom's always been ahead of ARM on performance. It just can't get in the range of ARM on efficiency. You can't just assume 'equally-good battery life' because that just hasn't been demonstrated to be the case in the past. I'll believe that when I see it, because the fact is that any variant of Atom in the past, even when Intel says they've caught up to ARM or that the next version will catch up to ARM, just hasn't come close to matching ARM's power draw.

    Besides, with ARM you get things like smartphone-style instant on (namely because only the screen actually has to turn off), that you just can't do on x86 right now.

    And despite being thinner than Ivy Bridge, the Atom tablets are still thicker and heavier than the ARM varieties.

    I'd like to be proven wrong here just for the sake of competition (even though my tablet will definitely be Ivy Bridge) but I don't see it happening.
    09-12-2012 05:53 PM
  3. Mitlov's Avatar
    Atom's always been ahead of ARM on performance. It just can't get in the range of ARM on efficiency. You can't just assume 'equally-good battery life' because that just hasn't been demonstrated to be the case in the past. I'll believe that when I see it, because the fact is that any variant of Atom in the past, even when Intel says they've caught up to ARM or that the next version will catch up to ARM, just hasn't come close to matching ARM's power draw.

    Besides, with ARM you get things like smartphone-style instant on (namely because only the screen actually has to turn off), that you just can't do on x86 right now.

    And despite being thinner than Ivy Bridge, the Atom tablets are still thicker and heavier than the ARM varieties.

    I'd like to be proven wrong here just for the sake of competition (even though my tablet will definitely be Ivy Bridge) but I don't see it happening.
    Lenovo is claiming a 10-hour battery life for the Thinkpad Tablet 2, the same number that Apple claims for the iPad 3.

    The Thinkpad Tablet 2 is "less than 10 mm thick," and the iPad 3 is 9.4 mm thick.

    We'll see about wake-up times...hadn't thought of that aspect, but I'll bet ARM maintains a significant advantage there.

    http://lenovo.7eer.net/c/159229/2188...ad-tablet-2%2F

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/
    09-12-2012 06:20 PM
  4. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Atom's always been ahead of ARM on performance. It just can't get in the range of ARM on efficiency. You can't just assume 'equally-good battery life' because that just hasn't been demonstrated to be the case in the past. I'll believe that when I see it, because the fact is that any variant of Atom in the past, even when Intel says they've caught up to ARM or that the next version will catch up to ARM, just hasn't come close to matching ARM's power draw.

    Besides, with ARM you get things like smartphone-style instant on (namely because only the screen actually has to turn off), that you just can't do on x86 right now.

    And despite being thinner than Ivy Bridge, the Atom tablets are still thicker and heavier than the ARM varieties.

    I'd like to be proven wrong here just for the sake of competition (even though my tablet will definitely be Ivy Bridge) but I don't see it happening.
    If these new Atoms are as fast as the stated claims, wake-up times might be a distant memory. My exoPC has the N450 Pineview and with Windows 7 Ultimate on the SSD, waking up is nearly instantaneous. Even a full boot takes less than a minute.
    09-12-2012 06:45 PM
  5. Rallicat's Avatar
    I'm highly sceptical that the Intel Atom powered devices are going to match ARM on power-efficiency.

    One of the things that has helped keep Intel in business over the years is that PCs ran on the CPUs that it provides. Competitors have come and gone. Some, like AMD, have stuck around and continue to provide competition today. ARM has seen huge success in the arena of smartphones and tablets - exactly the arena where Microsoft is pushing Windows to compete, hence the ARM version of Windows. Cue what I'm sure were very hasty discussions at Intel about how they can stay relevant.

    Developing more power efficient 'System-on-Chip' CPUs will have been a big part of it, marketing will be another part of it. Of course they're going to claim they've caught up. I seriously doubt it though!

    I'll be planning to get a Surface RT tablet at launch, as I want a device that's going to provide a good level of battery life, and be as efficient as possible. If you're looking for a Windows tablet - you need to consider the RT models, and ask yourself what you really want from a tablet. If you're looking for something 'like an iPad' but is more capable and offers more 'computer like' functionality - then go for the RT tablets. If you're looking for something that's going to be essentially a highly portable alternative to a laptop, that can run /any/ software (and ask yourself whether you really really need that), then the Intel tablets and hybrids are likely to be for you.

    I've no doubt that Intel will catch up on this front, but I'll be more interested in future generation products than what's being shown off now.
    10-04-2012 11:19 AM
  6. jdevenberg's Avatar
    Atom processors are going to have to run legacy programs very well, not poorly as they do now, to justify the price increase over ARM chips. They will also need to match on battery life (which it looks like they will), and not have fans! Fans on a tablet are a deal breaker to me. If an RT tab costs $399 (pure speculation) and an Atom tab costs $599 (pure speculation) and the Atom runs legacy programs poorly so you won't want to use that ability, where is the advantage of Atom over ARM?

    Now, if legacy programs run well on Atom, they are just as sleek/fanless as ARM, and have good battery life, I'll seriously be interested. Price difference needs to be no more than $200 though, and closer to $100-$150 premium could really move some Atom units.
    10-04-2012 03:00 PM
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