Still searching for that perfect tablet PC replacement

After years of using a Lenovo x201t tablet PC as my primary machine I finally moved on and replaced it with a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. I thought about upgrading the x201t, but decided against it for several reasons. Unfortunately none of the current line of pen-enabled Lenovo Windows 8 machines caught my eye. The Helix was close, but Lenovo needs to upgrade to the newest generation of Core processor before I’d be willing to part with my hard earned money; I want that extra battery life. The Thinkpad Yoga might seem like a perfect solution, but I had my reasons for not choosing it, the biggest being the folding mechanism for putting the machine into tablet mode. I much prefer the twist-style mechanism for folding a machine from laptop to tablet mode when I want to write with a pen. There’s a rant there that I’m not willing to put in writing.

The Yoga 2 Pro has been a good machine, but I really miss having an active digitizer. I hadn’t realized how often I used the pen until now.

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Why the Dell Venue 8 Pro is doomed to fail

I was in the Bay Area yesterday meeting with some people doing some cool stuff with Google Glass in healthcare. While I was there I read something that came through my Twitter feed about the original 128 GB Microsoft Surface Pro tablet being on sale at Best Buy for $499. That’s a great price, especially for what you get. I was interest enough that I did a quick search online at the Microsoft Store to see if they were offering the same deal; they usually do. Turns out they were, and I knew that there was a Microsoft Retail Store just 30 minutes from where I was. Following my meetings I hoped in the car and headed for the Microsoft Store to see if they had any 128 GB Surface Pro’s in stock. Turned out they didn’t, but they did have the Dell Venue 8 Pro on sale for $229 for the 32 GB model. That’s a phenomenal price for the Venue 8 Pro.

Dell Venue 8 Pro

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Perhaps the perfect tablet ecosystem: the 8-inch Windows 8 tablet

A friend saw me working on a spreadsheet with all the information that I could find on the most recent lot of Windows 8 tablets. He asked me what I was doing, so I told him. Then he asked why. Why does anyone do anything? I’m interested in 8-inch Windows 8 tablets and have been thinking about buying one, so I’m giving them the once over.

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Thoughts on my Black Friday Purchase, a 32GB Surface RT

So, I picked up a 32GB Surface RT tablet on Black Friday. I didn’t set out to get one, but you know how things go. I happened to walk into a Microsoft Store down in Los Angeles while visiting with my daughter at UCLA. I couldn’t help myself. I ended up with a Surface RT tablet and a red Touch Cover. I wanted a black Type Cover, but they were completely out. However, the nice young lady in the Microsoft Store let me know that if I purchased a Type Cover I would receive a Touch Cover for free. So I paid for the Type Cover, walked out of there with a red Touch Cover and told them to let me know when my Type Cover arrived; it already has, but I haven’t picked it up yet.


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ThinPad Helix convertible hybrid tablet

I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at the new array of Windows 8 tablets lately. It seems like there’s a new one popping up every week. That’s probably an exaggeration, but it sure feels that way. And I can say without hesitation, that if you’re looking for a Windows 8 tablet there’s something out there for you regardless of your taste or preference.

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Note taking and tablets [inforgraphic]

Here’s an interesting infographic from Livescribe that covers how users take notes with or without tablets.

Couple of things I find particularly interesting:

  • 54% of tablet owners take notes with pen and paper, i.e. not on their tablets. See my thoughts on that here.
  • Only 6% of tablet users take notes on their tablet with a stylus. I think this has more to do with the tablets that are out there and their uses, i.e. consumers are driving the tablet market.
  • Only 13% of users that purchased a stylus are happy with the experiecne. Two thoughts on this: 1) active digitizers rule, 2) the disconnect between writing on the screen and the appearance of “ink” on the screen is problematic. The new batch of tablets has improved this experience dramatically.

(infographic reproduced below with permission)

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My initial impression of Microsoft’s Surface RT Tablet

First and foremost I haven’t purchased a Surface RT tablet. While traveling this week for work I found an opportunity to stop by a Microsoft Retail store in the area and finally get my hands on one for about half an hour. There is no question about  it, Microsoft has done themselves proud with the Surface hardware. The tablet is beautiful from the kickstand to the angular features and even the touch cover, which is surprisingly nice to type with and gives the tablet a finished look when closed. The UI works great on the tablet and everything operates smoothly. I put it through its paces by opening as many programs as I could and just bouncing around from a Word document and SkyDrive to taking photos and video. I even spent time browsing the web from within the new IE. Everything worked as advertised.

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Microsoft Surface RT is a great looking tablet, but I’ll be holding off for now

“The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys” – unknown I had a Microsoft Surface RT tablet in the shopping cart. I was this close – holding my thumb and index finger very close to each other – to pulling the trigger. Had the trusty credit card out and permission from … Read more

Finally! A suitable replacement for my Lenovo x201t convertible tablet PC

Tablets, love ‘em. But I love having a keyboard, too. The hybrids that I’ve seen have me excited, but I’ve been hard pressed to find a tablet I like more than my trusty Lenovo x201t. The x201t was the first computer I ever ordered from Lenovo and I’ve been hooked since.

Convertible tablets used to be the norm, and were made by Compaq (had one), and later HP, Motion Computing (had one), Dell (had one) and of course Lenovo (have one). But the convertible tablet has been on a slow descent to extinction for the last couple of years. The explosion of the consumer tablet market brought on by the iPad has pretty much sealed their fate. The hybrid designs are a solid option to be sure, but I’ve always liked the convertible. I still use mine all the time. I wish it was thinner, had newer guts and even better battery life, but I think most people want those things not long after getting a new machine. It’s the evolution of things.

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