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I'd like to get a Windows Tablet: help me decide.

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After considering the new Surface Pro 3, I am intrigued by these tablets now.  Can we have a discussion about our experiences with windows tablets?  I'll start....

No RT nonsense; the full Windows package.
My female cousin has an original surface pro, I picked her brain about it.  She's not a techie at all.  She loves the thing.  For school, she says it's so much better than android tablets, ipads, etc.  Like by a longshot.  I played around with it, did some of the things she likes, and I gotta say, it's pretty nice.  The complaints in the press sound really weird after my experience.  The complaints don't make sense.  The tablet is fast, runs all windows programs, has a decent enough pen input where I'm not bothered much at all (I haven't tried Photoshop though).  Feels better than the Samsung pen input.  The only pen experience I've had personally that I like better is my actual wacom tablet.

With that big screen on the new Surface Pro, I am drooling about using it to read my books and digital magazines.  Being able to clip stuff like a windows computer, pictures, cropping, file management without any tortured procedures like in android/ios.  God I love having a fully featured file manager.
I'm excited about being able to sketch on it.  I'm excited about sharing files and windows programs with it.  I'm excited about some nifty things I may be able to do with music applications...remote midi control?  i dunno.

I mean, for us Windows power users, haven't we been waiting for something like this forever?! 

I've been using an Asus Transformer Book for just over a month now and, while it's not exactly what I was looking for, it's the closest thing to a perfect portable for me, it's still a compromise. Of course a portable PC is always a compromise, and it's definitely closer to ideal (for my purposes) than anything ever made for Win7.

That sort of sums up most of my advice for buying a Win8 tablet. You have a lot of flexibility to pick a device that's the best compromise for you. The cost may be significantly more time spent comparison shopping. I spent several hours comparison shopping, several more hours deciding what was or wasn't a deal breaker, and then back to the shopping until I ended up with something I actually dismissed out of hand initially.

Here's one thing that's certain. By getting a Win8 tablet you are settling for a portable, rather than mobile, device. Despite all the gains from re-engineering Windows to be more modular a la *nix, Windows 8 is still not capable of the energy efficiency you expect from a mobile device.

My 10 inch, Atom powered, tablet has great battery life for a relatively capable laptop. Definitely not acceptable if I were planning to leave it running for hours (even with the display off) between uses. Higher resolution displays and desktop processors are likely to bring that down to Earth. I suspect the combination would drag it down to good, but not great, for a mid-tier (performance-wise) laptop.

The keyboard dock is, frankly, lower quality than any standard laptop I've ever used. The touchpad buttons are crap because of being integrated into the pad. OTOH the additional Asus software provides interesting and useful gestures support. It also adds 500GB of storage and a USB 3 port.

I almost bought a HP, mostly because the quality of the dock - especially the dock connector - is higher quality, but also because I could have doubled the 2GB of RAM I ended up with. I'm sure I'll miss the RAM from time to time, but it hasn't happened yet. In the end, HP's price (I would have paid $100 - $200 more) and lack of a supplemental hard drive were the deciding factors. Keep in mind, though, that's comparing an Asus refurb to a new HP. Otherwise there wouldn't be much difference.

If you are going for one of the mega tablets, definitely give the Surface 3 a hard look. We need a better word for that. It's hard for me to even call them a tablet at all. Maybe slabtop would be a more accurate designation...

At any rate, I haven't used any generation of Surface Pro (or RT - but who really cares?), but my brother used one for a couple months when they first came out. He does ultra high level support for a multinational financial company; tech support for the admins really. His department uses it for on-call remote access sessions and he had nothing but good things to say about it. He likes the iPad and Logitech keyboard/stand even better on the whole, but he is basically using it as a dumb terminal.

Now that I've probably made things less clear than when you started (what can I say? It's a gift), feel free to pick my brain for whatever turd shaped nuggets of wisdom I may have lying around.

i was playing with the surface again yesterday.  Just from a practical standpoint, it feels so much better than ANY tablet I've ever tried.  The Windows 8 OS (Pro, not RT) is fantastic for a tablet.  Geez.  It's like light years difference from any other touch experience on the ipad or whatever.  it's soooooo much better.

MS is still such an abrasive company these days, you don't even want to buy their good stuff.  This is my dilemma.  I don't like what the company is doing at all, but this tablet is really great.  Reading pdf's on it is the greatest experience of reading pdf's on any device.

You know what I can't wait for?  The day when Linux starts being able to go on super-powered tablets.  That's going to destroy everything, and I would imagine google/apple/MS is terrified about that.  If I can go out, buy an i7 powered tablet with a 12" screen, install Linux on it...that's a huge game changer.

MS is still such an abrasive company these days, you don't even want to buy their good stuff.  This is my dilemma.  I don't like what the company is doing at all, but this tablet is really great.
-superboyac (July 21, 2014, 03:45 PM)
--- End quote ---

FWIW I wouldnt let that stop me. Good is good
(are Apple or Google any more attractive these days!? - dont answer that or we'll go completely off-topic :p)

Which would I buy?  After my experience recently... none.  I really wanted a windows tablet, especially because I could code for it universally with my skillset I already possess.  Purchased a Dell Venue 8.  Sold it after trying for a couple of months to do anything similar to the experience I get on the iPad.

It just doesn't do the mobile experience well, from experience when downloading and the tablet sleeps, to limitations in applications that don't have similar limitations on iPad, to even using system menus and options (anything that's not in the system charm?  don't try to use it- it will still be built for standard windows.  and definitely not in portrait mode, as most are widescreen).

Wanted to like it, but wasn't successful in that.


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