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 Post subject: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, SurfacePro
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:49 pm 
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Mobile Convergence: Windows 8 Convertibles Samsung ATIV 500T, MS Surface Pro

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:44 pm 
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It'll be interesting to watch how smartphone/tablet/laptops converge/diverge over the next few years. For consumption, you really don't need much more horsepower in a tablet than what's in the current gen of smartphones - other than more oomph to push more pixels. So, MS throwing a 17W IVB CPU into their tablet is kinda overkill. I wonder if the convertible tablet-> tablet+keyboard will pan out or just be another few year fad, like net tops? I'll take a laptop for content creation any day.

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:33 am 
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The trend I do not like about this convergence is the lock-down of what you'll be able to do with your hardware/software. App stores as the only software source, mandatory secure boot, etc. And if your provider of choice decides that your device has come to term, a simple software update (or the lack of software updates) can turn it obsolete.


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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:57 am 
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Cistron wrote:
The trend I do not like about this convergence is the lock-down of what you'll be able to do with your hardware/software. App stores as the only software source, mandatory secure boot, etc. And if your provider of choice decides that your device has come to term, a simple software update (or the lack of software updates) can turn it obsolete.

This describes the current situation for tablets a bit more than convertibles, though I don't know of any early iPads or Android tablets that made defunct by manufacturers' "updates", except maybe by accident or user error. With the Win 8 convertibles, it's far less likely -- Win 8 convertibles run native Windows x86/x64 software, just about anything that runs now on your Windows 7 machine -- as well as MS tablet "apps" -- one of the main points of my article. As I wrote, the main current weakness of such machines is that as tablets, they fall behind iOS and Android machines due to the huge lead in Apps available for them. The MS store lags far behind with apps... it really has been running for only 4 mos. In an ideal world, all the apps we came to love on Androids or iPads would miraculously work on W8 convertibles.

There's something like this, actually, in Bluestacks, an Android OS emulator that allows Android apps to be run on W8.

Here is a good overview of why the Window 8 tablet apps are so important for MS.

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:27 am 
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MikeC wrote:
This describes the current situation for tablets a bit more than convertibles, though I don't know of any early iPads or Android tablets that made defunct by manufacturers' "updates", except maybe by accident or user error. With the Win 8 convertibles, it's far less likely -- Win 8 convertibles run native Windows x86/x64 software, just about anything that runs now on your Windows 7 machine -- as well as MS tablet "apps" -- one of the main points of my article. As I wrote, the main current weakness of such machines is that as tablets, they fall behind iOS and Android machines due to the huge lead in Apps available for them. The MS store lags far behind with apps... it really has been running for only 4 mos. In an ideal world, all the apps we came to love on Androids or iPads would miraculously work on W8 convertibles.

Here is a good overview of why the Window 8 tablet apps are so important for MS.
You are right, usually updates do not turn a device defunct, but they certainly can make it less enjoyable or take away functionality (planned obsolescence). Such as my--admittedly aged--iPhone 3G, which now cannot use most apps as they require iOS 4.3. In the Android world, phones and tablets that aren't part of the Nexus schema are not likely to be supplied with software updates for a long time. In this case the hardware is perfectly powerful enough, but a software-led inflation causes the device to lose value. Google just pumps out the Android versions very quickly, and I suspect there is an economical reason behind this.

I understand that Windows 8 (unlike RT) allows you to install any software. Now this may sound like a lunatic's conspiracy theory, but I suspect that MS plans to have the app store as the sole software distribution point, or impose further restrictions in the name of consumer safety. Apple is likely to be moving in a similar direction, as they also introduced an app store for the desktop OS. The restrictions of the system are one reason why Valve ported Steam to Linux (link).

As I said, this is what I dislike. I would love to have a combination of a 500g tablet with a 500g keyboard dock that combines the best of both worlds, but there are still teething problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:01 am 
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What's interesting to me is: how little power does it take to provide basic, yet snappy, PC performance?

Scaling down: Will it be Intel x86 based? You can see Intel's direction with what's been shown for Haswell.
- IVB's 17W TDP dual core evolves into Haswell's ~10W.
- Haswell is focusing on power management, with lower idle power, a deeper sleep state and more aggressive movement between states.

Scaling up: Will it be ARM based and a derivative of the Smartphone space?
- There's a Tegra-based linux run PC that consumes 5W. I'd expect it to be very slooow.
- Samsung's Chromebook comes in ARM and Intel flavors.
- mostly at the 28nm node now vs Intel's 22nm.

For 8 hours of runtime:
- 4oz smartphone
- 3/4 lb 8" tablet
- 1.5 lb 10" tablet
- 2.5 lb 13" IVB laptop

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:51 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
What's interesting to me is: how little power does it take to provide basic, yet snappy, PC performance?

yes, same for me.
Quote:
Scaling down: Will it be Intel x86 based? You can see Intel's direction with what's been shown for Haswell.
- IVB's 17W TDP dual core evolves into Haswell's ~10W.
- Haswell is focusing on power management, with lower idle power, a deeper sleep state and more aggressive movement between states.

For tablet/notebook convergence, x86/64 is mandatory, and Intel is king here. Haswell should bring 8hr life to the likes of Surface Pro and Samsung 700T.
Quote:
Scaling up: Will it be ARM based and a derivative of the Smartphone space?

Only if Android/iOS apps move way up in scale, and I don't see that happening any time soon. No incentive for app developers.
Quote:
For 8 hours of runtime:
- 4oz smartphone
- 3/4 lb 8" tablet
- 1.5 lb 10" tablet
- 2.5 lb 13" IVB laptop

Most 13" IVB laptops less than ~3lbs don't make 8 hrs, afaik. More like 6. (based on my readings/experience -- but perhaps you have contrary sources?) Ultrabooks >3.5 lbs make 8 hrs. At the lower weight, the battery just doesn't have enough W/hr yet; or conversely, the hardware still sucks too much juice. Haswell should make 13" 2.5lb laptops hit 8 hrs.

The 14 nm shrink of Haswell -- Broadwell -- 18~24 mos from now should see 10 hr life from x86 1.5 lb 10~12" tablet/notebooks. I look forward to that!

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Your favorite supplier was used for all of the battery run times. :) Current gen iPhone, iPad Mini, iPad, and Mac Air. No wacky must-be-a-touch-screen-to-be-called-an-Ultrabook here.

Regarding ARM and scaling up...I think Samsung's Exynos 5 based Chromebook is an early indicator of where ARM can go...not so much for the Chrome OS side...but for performance/Watt. Techreport shows 7 hours of web browsing and 3.9 hours for 720p video. That's an average of 4.3W to web browse and 7.7W for video playback. Performance-wise, it's been pegged on the CPU side as somewhere between Atom and SNB Celeron. I believe Apple's iPad A5X SOC is built in the same 28nm process. With it's higher rez screen, it averages 4.5W for wifi web browsing.

So, ARM performance is between Atom and Celeron and 4W system draw for lightweight CPU use at 28nm node. Intel is headed toward 10W for just the CPU at 22nm and can blow the pants off ARM for performance. I think ARM has a shot at taking a bite out of the lower end general use laptop market (especially below 28nm) - it really boils down to how well Microsoft supports ARM with Win8 and beyond.

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:06 am 
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Correction for first page:
Quote:
The basic problem with either Apple or Android tablets is that they don't run a full-fledged operating.

Missing a "system" after operating.


To the topic: as a tach savvy and long-time (from around 2008?) user of a wacom stylus equipped tablet PC, I was waiting for the Pro. No other manufacturer had the right combo (wacom pen, 4 or more gigs of ram, ssd, seriously no Atom CPU, detachable keyboard, ~5h+ battery life) for me so far.


My main problem is that first, testes show that it can only make 4.5-5h, and the battery is integrated. My 2008 Fujitsu Stylistic ST5112 can better than that, and I also have a replacement battery, for 10h total.

My second problem is of course Windows 8, which I abhorr from the moment I tried it on my home PC. The best word I can use to describe it is scyzophrenic. One hand does not know what the other does, and the dual-GUI is just pure madness.

Still, a nice package, apart from its problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:59 pm 
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nagi wrote:
My second problem is of course Windows 8, which I abhorr from the moment I tried it on my home PC. The best word I can use to describe it is scyzophrenic. One hand does not know what the other does, and the dual-GUI is just pure madness.

I had the same reaction to a W8 desktop, but the tablet-notebook swicheroo makes a whole lot more sense. I'm really looking forward to the 700T, which someone tested to have 6.5 hrs of battery run time. That's way better than the Surface Pro. The S Pen on it, according to some descriptions, has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity -- same as the Surface Pro. We'll see; I will try to get a SP sample at the same time as the 700T.

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:37 am 
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MikeC wrote:
nagi wrote:
My second problem is of course Windows 8, which I abhorr from the moment I tried it on my home PC. The best word I can use to describe it is scyzophrenic. One hand does not know what the other does, and the dual-GUI is just pure madness.

I had the same reaction to a W8 desktop, but the tablet-notebook swicheroo makes a whole lot more sense. I'm really looking forward to the 700T, which someone tested to have 6.5 hrs of battery run time. That's way better than the Surface Pro. The S Pen on it, according to some descriptions, has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity -- same as the Surface Pro. We'll see; I will try to get a SP sample at the same time as the 700T.

Well, yeah, the tablet form factor could very well be the mitigating factor, we'll see.

Looking forward to that test! :)


edit: well, the S Pen in the Galaxy Note series is from Wacom, so it could be the S Pen in the 700T is nothing more then the same wacom digitizer package that is in the Surface Pro, just rebranded.

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:40 am 
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A couple of days ago i had the opportunity to test one for about 30 minutes, it might be called a hands on.

I too found the Win8 experience with touch a pleasant one, whereas my first tries with Win8 (just inside a VM in fullscreen) with mouse and keyboard lead to the conclusion it wouldn't make it on any corporate business desktop anywhere.

What did disturb me was the quality of the text input. It works well enough, don't get me wrong, but the easy way of typing on an iPad is clearly not achieved. It felt slower, less responsiv and somehow clumsy... or it is me not being used to ;)

But my personal conclusion is: This is a really useable and useful tablet and makes me wishing for the next, more refined versions to come.

€: I forgot: You have flash on a tablet without any hustle :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:37 am 
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I'm in the same camp, Mike, regarding the usage as a travel companion that must play nice with a DSLR, and without a regular size SD-slot, that just isn't going to cut it. I'm keeping my eyes on Asus, though. If they release something with the form factor of the VivoTab Smart with the solid keyboard dock of the vanilla VivoTab running low-voltage haswell/skylake then I will probably get one. At the moment I have a TF300 and I like the screen and form factor, but the reliance on "apps" makes for a user experience that's one compromise after another, and at the end of the day, just isn't good enough. x86 is the only way to go for me. I hope that tablet/convertible makers read these kinds of reviews and take the criticisms into consideration when designing the updates to these devices.

On a side note, I find it funny that what's happening with these 500T-class devices is that they're basically selling netbooks with a detachable keyboard with 1 extra gig of RAM, some eMMC SSDs that perform worse than USB-thumb drives, and a nicer screen (that probably costs only $10-20 more than the 1024x600 junk), and yet they're charging ~3x the cost of a netbook!

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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:13 am 
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I highly doubt you'll get a touch display AND higher resolution for a mere 20 $ extra.


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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:49 pm 
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The 700T does have 1 x usb 3.0 and 2 x usb 2.0


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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:54 am 
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These tablets only make sense to me with the Intel Atom SoC based chips which can run fanless. The core i series require fans, so they don't make sense to use in thin tablets.

Anyone tried out the ASUS VivoTab? (the regular Windows 8 VivoTab, not the Smart)
It appears to be the best of these convertibles.

Quote:
I highly doubt you'll get a touch display AND higher resolution for a mere 20 $ extra.
Not only that, but on the ASUS VivoTab you're getting Corning glass and Super IPS+ 400 nits. The displays and CPUs on these are so much better than the previous gen Atom based netbooks. The weak CPU and display on those is what kept me from getting one. This new convertible form factor with all the heat-generating components behind the screen and away from the keyboard, and running fanless is a very attractive proposition to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Mobile Convergence: W8 Convertibles Samsung 500T, Surfac
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:23 pm 
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General question... does anyone predict this convertible form factor and fanless Atom SoC getting into anything larger than an 11.6" device?

I ask for those who don't really like the mini keyboards as typing on them can be error-prone.


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