1. jrodgers3's Avatar
    My choices due to price are currently:
    Surface RT 1 - about $225
    Dell Venue 8 Pro - $200 refirb or $240ish new
    Toshiba Encore - $280 new or $250 used

    I understand the differences between RT and Full windows, and have a 17" laptop with win 8.1 I use for school and work. I don't think I care about what version of windows the tab has because RT should fit my needs and full 8.1 is just a bonus. I'm selling my Galaxy Note 10.1 to pay for a new device. I'm leaving in a minute to look at the 8" tabs in person (hoping they have working modes at BestBuy)

    1. Have any of you switched from a 10" tab to an 8"? It's always hard to tell if it's big enough to be a bother in the store because the noise and environment are so different. Anything you guys can tell me about the switch that would be good or bad?

    2. I don't have cable TV and want to mirror the tab to my TV either through Roku or HDMI so I can watch online episodes of Big Bang, Walking Dead, etc... Is this possible with these? Any better than others? I think I remember reading that one cant be charging while plugged into HDMI which would suck if I wanted to watch TV for a few episodes and didn't have a fully charged tab.

    3. Is getting content or files onto the devises the same for all, or is there something here I should be aware of? I have about 45 GB of music and several GB of pics. I will be adding an SD card.

    4. I like to watch TED talks, youtube, lectures, and stuff like that. My concern is the speakers and 8" screen size, both are also hard to evaluate in the store. Sometimes videos have low volume. Will these all suffice? I have a Jambox for music via Bluetooth so that's not too big of a concern, but I don't want to hook it up just for watching a TED talk. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for the info guys, It's much appreciated.
    If the Dell had Windows RT and was even cheaper I would go for it, I THINK....damn screen size problem is killing me.
    02-26-2014 11:21 AM
  2. Awhispersecho's Avatar
    As someone who also has a 17" as well as a 18" laptop. I would recommend the Surface. Going from a 17" to a 8" screen would be too jarring. Surface screen is a good size, Hdmi to TV or through Xbox to TV works well. And the battery life is plenty long enough to watch multiple episodes of whatever show you want to watch. Combine that with the ability to attach more storage via USB and I think the Surface would be the way to go.
    02-26-2014 11:31 AM
  3. AndyCalling's Avatar
    1) It is hard to tell you what size to get as it is a very individual thing. 8 inch is perfect for me. 10 like the Surface I tried is too much, 7 feel too small.

    2) The Toshiba has an HDMI port which is great, but you need a mouse to control it properly with a monitor/tv. If you want mains power as well that'll need to be a Bluetooth mouse. Power blocks the USB, not HDMI. You can then run with both HDMI and power. Dell Venue has no HDMI. With the Roku Media Player app (in the Roku store) you can stream from any Win8.1 device, but it will not transcode so make sure your media is in a format your Roku likes. Works great on my Roku One in the UK.

    3) This is a PC. It'll join your Homegroup, or you can transfer files any other normal way. Get a USB OTG cable and you can connect any USB drive you like. No power issues for USB on my Toshiba, can power a portable HDD easily. Hell, it can even power my scanner.

    4) Speakers are alright. Loud enough, but rather tinny (like all tablets). Bluetooth speakers are a good idea. Built in is fine for speech though.

    It is hard to regret getting an 8 inch tab. It feels the ideal size for me. Just get a Toshiba Encore if you want HDMI as few 8 inchers have that. You can plug in a mouse to start your film playing then swap out for power (power blocks the USB, not the HDMI), but a Bluetooth mouse avoids even that small inconvenience. I don't use a Bluetooth mouse and it doesn't bother me.
    02-26-2014 11:34 AM
  4. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    1. Have any of you switched from a 10" tab to an 8"? It's always hard to tell if it's big enough to be a bother in the store because the noise and environment are so different. Anything you guys can tell me about the switch that would be good or bad?
    The following is obviously my opinion....

    I have a variety of tablets ranging in sizes from 7" to 10.6". 7-8" is too small to do anything other than consume media.



    2. I don't have cable TV and want to mirror the tab to my TV either through Roku or HDMI so I can watch online episodes of Big Bang, Walking Dead, etc... Is this possible with these? Any better than others? I think I remember reading that one cant be charging while plugged into HDMI which would suck if I wanted to watch TV for a few episodes and didn't have a fully charged tab.
    I have repeatedly used my Surface RT to watch videos on my 60" HDTV using HDMI. Since the RT has a dedicated microHDMI port, you can charge the RT while simultaneously viewing video. But the battery life of the RT when viewing videos is outstanding... I can easily get over 6 hours watching videos (on the RT screen or via HDMI)


    3. Is getting content or files onto the devises the same for all, or is there something here I should be aware of? I have about 45 GB of music and several GB of pics. I will be adding an SD card.
    Transferring data via microSD cards is straightforward on the RT.


    4. I like to watch TED talks, youtube, lectures, and stuff like that. My concern is the speakers and 8" screen size, both are also hard to evaluate in the store. Sometimes videos have low volume. Will these all suffice? I have a Jambox for music via Bluetooth so that's not too big of a concern, but I don't want to hook it up just for watching a TED talk. Any thoughts?
    Watching videos on the Surface RT screen are a pleasure. Sound volume of the internal speakers is more than adequate for private viewing.

    Based on my research, the Dell Venue 8 Pro has quite a few limitations that would prevent it from being an enjoyable device to own. Maybe the next generation will improve the situation. I've heard good things about the Toshiba Encore and nearly bought one when it went on sale at Staples a few weeks ago. But the more I considered how I would use it, the ability to run legacy Windows apps sounded better in theory than in practice. And so I'm sticking with the RT for another generation.
    02-26-2014 12:17 PM
  5. AndyCalling's Avatar
    I'm not sure if an RT device can stream video over DLNA. You may want to check that out if you start thinking down those lines.
    02-26-2014 12:44 PM
  6. josipogo's Avatar
    I am decide couple days ago to invest money from my pocket to Toshiba Encore, beside 17" laptop and Lumia 920 and I must said that I am not regret on that decision.
    Previously I needed to take laptop back home for entertainment (PLEX Media Server is on it) or for doing unfinished work at business premise. Or to connect on laptop via TeamViever from Lumia 920 for doing same tasks.
    Now with Encore, what to say, perfect, awesome. Unfinished business tasks I can done much easily than via TeamVievew from Lumia since all necessary business apps are now on Encore. For entertainment, Plex for Windows 8.1 is awesome on Encore, stream from laptop, watch on Encore or on big screen via build-in m-hdmi, excellent.
    I have a wish to try miracast functionality, project screen of Encore to big screen via WiFi, but in Bosnia I cannot find Miracast adapter. If someone has experience of projecting screen, how it work, would be nice to share it.
    That is.
    02-26-2014 01:05 PM
  7. T Moore's Avatar
    It is a breeze getting SD content to the RT libraries now. Create your music, picture, video and document folders on the card, get your data in the folders, right click a folder, 'include in library', select which library. It wasn't this easy until 8.1
    The RT screen is useable for browsing and video. I wouldn't want to try with an 8 inch screen.
    I have had my RT for three weeks and I think it is great.
    Very shortly the RT app store and the phone app store will be unified. That is one of my reasons for going with an RT. More apps.
    02-26-2014 01:12 PM
  8. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Josi, you don't need any adapter on the Toshiba to use Miracast, it is now built in to Windows. You just need a Miracast compatible display. I'm hoping Roku add Miracast soon, as my TV doesn't have it. There is a rumor...
    02-26-2014 01:31 PM
  9. josipogo's Avatar
    Josi, you don't need any adapter on the Toshiba to use Miracast, it is now built in to Windows. You just need a Miracast compatible display. I'm hoping Roku add Miracast soon, as my TV doesn't have it. There is a rumor...
    I know that I do not need any kind of adapter for Encore, I need for TV, as yours my TV do not support Miracast. Netgear company it has one but they do not ship unit to Bosnia. There are some via ebay, cheap one, which are promote mainly for Android, I do not know ate they useful in our scenario.

    What I am forget to mention previous, now Lumia 920 mainly used as mobile phone and to write post on WP Central forum, it is much easier than via IE on Encore. I am hoping that guys that standing behind WP Central project will see it this post and add forum feature to their WP Central app for Windows 8.1.
    Cheers.
    02-26-2014 01:43 PM
  10. jrodgers3's Avatar
    Wow, thanks for the quick responses everyone! I just got back from a couple stores looking things over. I stayed in one store for over an hour trying to acclimate to the feel of the 8" devices. They have better screens than the Surface and are much snappier in execution, but I decided I just can't do it. They're too small. If I was buying an android device, I think it would be good, just because the layout of home screens and icons seems better, but Windows isn't made for small screens in my opinion. I did like the Lenovo Miix 2-8 the best out of all the 8" tabs though.

    I have a few impressions from the surface rt. The speakers SUCK! I played youtube videos, Pandora, etc and I had to have everything at 100% volume to even understand the words. I was severely disappointed...almost enough that I'm thinking of the Asus T100. I HATE that the Asus doesn't have a Windows button, but the speakers were so much better than everything else, but it's weird that they face the opposite direction of the viewer! It was pretty light too. The Encore felt cheap to me. The color was rubbed off the edges from people using it too. If I had to make a decision today I would pick the Asus T100. Geez, I've been spoiled by the awesome speakers of my Galaxy Note 10.1. I want to love the Surface...I think it comes down to what I can find for a good price now, which will prob be the Surface. Thanks so much guys.
    02-26-2014 04:16 PM

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