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Microsoft – Surface Pro will be available before end of May in The Netherlands and many other countries

By the end of June, the Surface RT will be available in 29 countries and the Surface pro will be available in 25 countries.

It’s a pity we often have to wait for new products like the Surface Pro, but at least it’s coming to the Netherlands. And the waiting will also be over pretty soon, since it will be available before the end of May.

Personally I’m not a big fan of Windows RT, but I really love Windows 8 tablets. Since I’ve gotten my Windows 8 tablet, I have been using it as my main device. And apparently I’m not the only one as you can read in this great article:
“Two months with the Surface Pro and how it replaced my notebook”.

If you’re considering a tablet and are not yet sure if a Windows RT, Windows 8, Android or Apple tablet best meets your needs, read the comparison from one my previous blog posts.

 
 

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Review – Acer Iconia Tab W700 tablet – NT.L0EEH.002

Beware: It seems there are different models of the Acer Iconia Tab W700 in different regions around the world, so pricing and specs may differ. This article covers the NT.L0EEH.002 model with an I3 processor as sold in the Netherlands.

Click the image for a slide show

Click the image for a slide show

First of all, for me it was obvious my type of use would require a Windows 8 tablet. An iPad, Android or Windows RT tablet would not meet my needs. For more information about differences, please read my previous post.

Since I was looking for a Windows 8 tablet, I’ve tried many different ones intended either for consumers or companies/professionals. My favorite among all these tablets was the new Samsung Series 7 slate with a i5 processor and a S-pen for digital note taking/writing.

Still I decided to order an Acer Iconia Tab W700 tablet (NT.L0EEH.002) because of the specifications, price and all the included extras:

+Full Windows 8 (not Windows RT).
+Good specs (i3 CPU with Intel HD Graphics 3000, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 11.6″ screen, 1920*1080 resolution).
+Dock, keyboard and proper brown cover are included.
+No other Windows 8 tablet with similar specs and peripherals comes even close to its price (599 euros at the time I bought it).
+Micro HDMI.
+Included adapter Micro HDMI to VGA-out.
+Charges quickly.
+No proprietary stuff.

There are however some compromises I accepted as well:

-CPU is not an i5 or i7 CPU.
-No GPS.
-No built-in 3G (can use USB dongle though).
-No memory card slot (can use USB flash drive / USB disk though).
-No digitizer in the screen / pen support.
-Keyboard is separate Bluetooth device (not a docking, and therefore also no additional battery life and more difficult to carry around).
-The tablet can become warm to the touch. Not noticeable when using the included cover.
-It is not fanless and if you listen very good, you can hear the fan sometimes.
-It might be a bit on the thick and heavy side for some.
-The plastic dock is a nice extra, but the build quality could’ve been better.
-Screen is reflective (as most devices nowadays)
-The power adapter is relatively big.
-Boot from USB flash drive doesn’t seem to be supported. Reinstall requires USB CD/DVD drive.

Even though I don’t need it yet, I would have really enjoyed to be able to expand the storage using a memory card slot. I would also have liked the digitizer/pen, because this would make life easier sometimes when I have to do some stuff in the regular Windows 8 interface.

Besides the specs, I can also say that it’s not just specs. The device feels solid, looks great, boots quickly, has a beautiful screen, has a responsive touch screen and the battery life is good as well (6-10 hours depending on the use). All in all it just works great and it’s a very complete package, so you don’t need to buy any additional stuff.

After using it for about 1,5 months I can honestly say that I don’t want to be without a Windows 8 tablet anymore, because it gives me much more freedom to do stuff when and where I want.

I personally use it mainly in tablet mode to:

  • Browse the internet (mainly Facebook, Twitter, Tweakers.net but also other websites)
  • Watch video learning online / live seminars (some require flash or Silverlight, which other tablets do not support).
  • Watch 720p and 1080p movies and TV series (MKV x264).
  • Check and send e-mails.
  • Play games.
  • Chat.
  • RDP to other systems.

I also have a good desktop and laptop, but if you don’t have either … this tablet can be used as a replacement. You might however want to attach a bigger screen of course.

You might also want to check out other reviews of the Acer Iconia Tab W700. The only one of the same model I have is in Dutch: http://www.tabletguide.nl/review/acer-iconia-tab-w700-review/

You could also check these international reviews, but once again keep in mind that they review different models with another CPU, a different size SSD and also a different price:

If you still have any questions, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Hardware, ICT, Microsoft, Tablet, Windows, Windows 8

 

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Microsoft – Surface Pro 128GB sold out in many places despite the not overly positive reviews

Today Microsoft has released its Surface Pro and despite the not overly positive reviews, the 128GB model has apparently sold out in many places.

I personally really like the Windows 8 tablets (I own an Acer W700), but I think the pricing for the Surface Pro is still too steep at the moment for the majority of people. Still it should be enough to get people to think about all the great possibilities with Windows 8 tablets.

So let’s wait and see what 3rd parties will do and what will happen to prices over time. I do expect businesses to adopt Windows 8 tablets quite quickly though. Especially since the sales of regular PC’s aren’t doing that well.

For now, I will leave you with links to a couple of reviews so you can see what other people think:

 
 

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Microsoft Surface Pro coming in early 2013. Starting at $899

Microsoft just released some more information regarding the Microsoft Surface Pro. It is coming in early 2013 and its price is starting at $899 for the 64GB standalone version with a pen, but without a Touch Cover ($120) or Type Cover($130). The standalone 128GB version will be $999.

For more information about the Surface Pro, check the Microsoft website and this blog post:

If you want to know more about Windows RT tablets (b.e. Microsoft Surface) and Windows 8 tablets (b.e. Microsoft Surface Pro) read my previous blog post. It describes how both differ from each other, but also how they differ from Android and iOS (Apple) tablets.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Hardware, ICT, Microsoft, Tablet, Windows 8, Windows RT

 

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Windows 8 – Why I chose to buy a Windows 8 based Acer Iconia Tab W700 tablet

First of all, for me it was obvious my type of use would require a Windows 8 tablet. An iPad, Android or Windows RT tablet would not meet my needs. For more information about differences, please read my previous post.

At the Microsoft Objectives 2012 event that was held at the 25th of October in Amsterdam, I was able to test numerous new devices from companies like Sony, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Fujitsu and Acer. This included all-in-ones, tablets, convertibles, ultraportables and notebooks. The approach/design choices of the companies differs greatly. To get a better idea of the different types and models and these differences, check out the Windows website.

Since I was looking for a Windows 8 tablet, I’ve tried many different ones intended either for consumers or companies/professionals. My favourite among all these tablets was the new Samsung Series 7 slate with a i5 processor and a S-pen for digital note taking/writing.

Since I saw all these great devices and Windows 8 would be released the day after, I went to multiple stores on launch day and ultimately came back home disappointed because there were no Windows 8 tablets in the stores yet.

Still I decided to order an Acer Iconia Tab W700 tablet (NT.L0EEH.002) because:

+Full Windows 8 version (not Windows RT).
+Good specs (i3 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 11.6″ screen, 1920*1080 resolution).
+MicroSD Memory card slot.
+Dock and keyboard included.
+No other Windows 8 tablet with similar specs and peripherals comes even close to its price (599 euros at the time I bought it, but now it is 699 euros which could make other alternatives viable).
+Available relatively quickly (November 8th , November 23rd, November 28th).

There are however compromises as well:

-Not an i5 CPU.
-No GPS
-No built-in 3G (can use USB dongle though).
-No memory card slot (can use USB flashdrive / USB disk though).
-No digitizer in the screen / pen support.
-Keyboard is seperate (not a docking, and therefore also no additional battery).
-Previous experiences with Acer with regards to build quality and warranty leave much to desire.
-It is a bit unclear whether the tablet will have a 10.1″ or 11.6″ screen because of contradicting specs on different websites. I assumed it will be 10.1″ because of the price, but I hope I’m wrong :)

I chose to accept these compromises because it meets my needs and because I expect a lot of better and cheaper Windows 8 tablets in the near future (including AMD Hono CPU with better integrated graphics). By then I will probably get a new Windows 8 tablet and sell or repurpose this one.

Beware: It seems there are different models of the Acer Iconia Tab W700 in different regions around the world, so pricing and specs may differ. Once again, this article is regarding the NT.L0EEH.002 model.

[UPDATE 09-11-2012]

  • Apparently the Acer is expected to be available from November 23rd from Dixons instead of the previously advertised November 8th.
  • Screen will be 11.6 inch.

[UPDATE 24-11-2012]

  • New expected delivery is 28th of November :(
  • Acoording to specs, there will be a MicroSD memory card.
 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Hardware, ICT, Microsoft, Tablet, Windows, Windows 8

 

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Windows 8 available today, check out limited time offers including free stuff

Introduction

Even though Windows 8 has been available for quite some time for IT pros and developers, it is now available for the general public as well.

Microsoft has also released its own Windows RT based tablet (Microsoft Surface) in some countries and is expected to release a Windows 8 based tablet (Microsoft Surface Pro) within the next three months. For more information about Windows tablets and the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8, read my previous blog post.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in ICT, Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

 

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Windows 8 tablet considerations including Windows RT and Windows 8 comparison

[Update 14-12-2013]

It’s been more than a year since my initial post, so here are some updates from my point of view:

  • Tablets and ultrabooks are coming closer together due to all the available form factors. Tablet, clam shell, slider, convertible, dockable / detachable, etc. This provides more choice, but makes it also harder for people to choose the device that is most appropriate for them.
  • Cheaper Windows 8.1 based tablets (based on the new Intel Atom processors) have become available that make it a more viable alternative to Android and iOS based tablets.
  • Windows tablets based on AMD processors seemed interesting to me last year because of their added graphical power, but they didn’t seem to get any traction up until now.
  • High end Windows based tablets (Intel Core i5/i7 based) are still relatively expensive.
  • Many companies that previously produced Windows RT tablets, stopped making them (Asus, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, HTC. The only companies that are still producting Windows RT tablets are Microsoft, Nokia (largely backed by Microsoft) and Dell.
  • Rumours are floating around that Microsoft will be reducing the number of Windows versions and in my opinion it would make sense to get rid of Windows RT.
  • The new and improved Intel Atom (quad core processors) are making ARM based Windows RT devices even less interesting because they provide better performance and use less energy than the previous versions while allowing people to run x86 programs.
  • Windows tablets have become available in smaller sizes (8 inch) and Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have updated to better work with this.
  • Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have been released and many minor adjustments made it more tablet optimized.
  • Most major apps have been released as a “Metro”/Modern app for Windows 8 / Windows RT, but it’s still lagging behind Google’s Play Store and the Apple App Store.
  • The graphical performance included in processors is increasing, reducing the need for seperate GPUs for generic use and bringing more options for apps.
  • Google Android based tablets are still going strong and provide a lot of bang for buck. Also the Android OS is still getting many useful updates. Security and OS version sprawl is still an issue though, especially in the enterprise. Also there’s a big gap in user experience because there are still very cheap tablets with lots of disadvantages, while the normal and high end models are very good in general.
  • The Apple iPad (hardware) and operating system (iOS) received updates and they’re still doing very well what they’ve always done while providing great stability and improving battery time and performance. To me however it’s more of the same without much added value over previous versions. I’m curious to see if, how and when Apple will make their devices more popular for people that want to be able to do more. Maybe some kind power tablet running OS X with touch and iOS options ?

If you have something to add or if you think something that’s incorrect, please leave a comment.

[Update 14-12-2013]

Since I’m seriously considering buying a Windows based tablet, I’ve been very closely following all developments. Even though a lot of information has become available, it’s often spread across many different websites and articles and is often incomplete in my opinion. Since the Microsoft Surface RT tablet is available for pre-order and will be sold when Windows 8 will be available on the 26th of October I decided to write this article.And even though a lot of people have complained about this on various sites, most sites don’t have one article that covers all the things to look out for. In this post I try to do just that. One of the most useful resources I’ve used are the articles from Paul Thurrott on his website supersite for windows.

Also it’s not just consumers that are having trouble understanding / explaining the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets though, Microsoft employees are also still being trained to properly handle questions.

In this post it’s important to realize that Microsoft Surface RT is not the same as Windows RT, Microsoft Surface RT is a tablet from Microsoft (hardware) that runs Windows RT (software). Microsoft Surface Pro is another tablet from Microsoft (hardware) that runs Windows 8 (software).

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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