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First Bay Trail Windows 8.1 Convertible To Start At $349

timothy posted about a year ago | from the sounds-not-half-bad dept.

Windows 151

crookedvulture writes "Bay Trail has its first convertible design win. Intel's newest SoC will be available in Asus' Transformer Book T100, which combines a 10.1" Windows 8.1 tablet with a keyboard dock that includes a gesture-friendly touchpad and USB 3.0 connectivity. The tablet is powered by an Atom Z3740 processor with quad cores clocked at up to 1.8GHz—600MHz slower than the Z3770 chip benchmarked by the press. The screen has a relatively low 1366x768 resolution, but at least the IPS panel delivers wide viewing angles. Asus clearly intends the T100 to be an entry level device; the 32GB version is slated to sell for just $349, and the 64GB one will cost only 50 bucks more. Those prices include the keyboard dock and a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. They also bring Windows 8 convertibles down to truly budget territory, completing the collision between tablets and netbooks."

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Seems Pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829321)

Seems rather pricey for a 10" netbook.

Re:Seems Pricey (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44829407)

well at least it has 2 gigs of ram..

on more relevant note: it does make surface rt pricing a joke(this and probably next gen..).

Re:Seems Pricey (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44829475)

I don't know whether Surface RT was a genuine fuckup, or whether it was Microsoft reminding Intel that they've ported the NT kernel before and can do it again in the hopes of spurring them to get their shit together on the low-TDP side; but either way RT looks dead, dead, dead. Under interpretation one, Microsoft gimped it hard enough, either to protect other parts of their business or to push 'winRT'(the runtime not the OS) that it was pretty sick already and Intel just shoved a knife in it's back. Under interpretation two, Intel appears to have risen to the challenge, or at least close enough that full binary compatibility with all things Windows will be worth more (to anybody considering a Microsoft product at all) than an extra sliver of battery life.

Re:Seems Pricey (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44829651)

a billion dollars is a genuine fuckup.

it's easy to see why they took the risk as well. they wanted to see how a platform goes where people are forced to pay MS to pay for their software, a platform where MS has all installation statistics, a platform where MS controls what can be installed. They shoved hundreds of millions down ISV's throats too trying to get software for it.

it probably would have fared a little better if they had allowed other than metro sw on it though.. but they ran out of time to provision that, so they took the easy route. however I think why they did it then was that ballmer wanted to try it before leaving.. I mean, Metro was seriously half baked in other aspects as well when shipped out, just like windows phone(still is, there's still couple of ridiculous limitations limiting types of apps one can make.. and hell, you might get vpn sometime next year ;DD and ms approved vpn at that so probably not nsa proof).

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44829825)

The billion dollars was a 'we give up' payoff.

They most assuredly lost a lot of money before that too.

Re:Seems Pricey (2)

FunkyELF (609131) | about a year ago | (#44830689)

it probably would have fared a little better if they had allowed other than metro sw on it though.. but they ran out of time to provision that, so they took the easy route.

They should have modified Visual Studio to produce fat binaries that include both ARM and Intel binaries.
I think this is what Apple did to XCode during their PPC/x86 transition.

Or they could have tried to get Visual Studio to leverage LLVM and ship bitcode so things could be ever further future-proofed and extend to more than just 2 architectures.

They missed a great opportunity by not letting RT/ARM run desktop applications. And it was a arbitrary decision too, not a technical one as RT has been hacked to run in desktop mode.

Re:Seems Pricey (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44831003)

"Or they could have tried to get Visual Studio to leverage LLVM and ship bitcode so things could be ever further future-proofed and extend to more than just 2 architectures."

That's the humorous part of all this: Microsoft started work (more than a decade ago, if I recall) on the 'Common Language Runtime' and the 'Common Language Infrastructure', with the 'Common Intermediate Language' playing the part of architecture-independent bytecode representation. It's ostensibly a standard and whatnot; but basically Microsoft's ".NET" is the serious implementation.

The already have, in house, widely used, supported by their dev tools, an architecture independent mechanism. Loads of ISVs even use it fairly extensively.

Architecturally, they might actually have the best position among any major vendor to make cross-platform binaries happen; but they threw it all away to try to have a mandatory app store. Elegant, really.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44829715)

I don't think MS needed to tell Intel that. Apple's iPad sales alone would have done that. Apple is selling 15-20M iPads a quarter all of which don't use Atom. Then there are all those Android tablets. Apple has partnered with Intel many times before. There are rumors that the first iPad prototypes used Intel but battery life and heat were the two main factors that kept Apple from using Intel CPUs in iPads.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44830233)

I would think that Apple would much rather get parts from Intel than from Samsung.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44830581)

That's why Apple is getting parts from TSMC and possibly Global Foundries in the future. It makes sense from a logistical standpoint to have more than one supplier. Using Intel doesn't help in that regard. Long term Apple believes they need to design their own chips. So far it has worked out. The new A7 seems to be another step in a larger scheme. Some competitors decided multiple cores was the way to go while Apple thought 64 bit was the strategy.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44830997)

I think Microsoft had two motivations to release the RT: (1) to show that they are a player in the ARM space. (2) to muddy the waters in the non-Intel tablet field. There might have been a third motivation, to strong-arm Intel into releasing a more tablet-friendly architecture, but I suspect that was a bonus rather than an objective.

In any case, I agree with you -- the RT is dead. It was never meant to be a serious product.

a step away from the wrong direction (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#44829495)

holy crap , $349, with the keboard included ?!!! And it's a less crappy keyboard than the current crop of surface POSes.
This a real game-changer, it's almost not deludedly idiotic.

Any Atari 8-biters out there remember the dirty membrane keyboard peasants that could only afford the Atari 400 back in the day?

I remember the Timex Sinclair TS-1000.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829795)

that I had that had one....along with the zx80 and zx81 I saw in Radio-Electronics.

Re:a step away from the wrong direction (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44829953)

You mean the dirty membrane keyboard peasants that could only afford the Sinclair ZX-81? Those Atari people were minor barons at the very least.

Re:Seems Pricey (2)

cbope (130292) | about a year ago | (#44829721)

Really now? Show me a netbook with an IPS screen and 4 cores that sells for less than $349. What? Can't find one? Whoops...!

Here's Your Cup Of STFU! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830067)

Really now? Show me a netbook with an IPS screen and 4 cores that sells for less than $349. What? Can't find one? Whoops...!

See Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, S4, etc.

Re:Here's Your Cup Of STFU! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44830213)

Really now? Show me a netbook with an IPS screen and 4 cores that sells for less than $349. What? Can't find one? Whoops...!

See Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, S4, etc.

tab 3 is first of all arm(people wouldn't call it a netbook.. ), keyboard costs extra and it's base price is 400 and it's also just dual core at that and with just 1 gig of ram...

galaxy S4 on the other hand is definitely not a netbook and it's off contract price is somewhere around 580.

if they can get this to shops for 350 it's a steal.

Re:Here's Your Cup Of STFU! (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44830325)

Well, someone has a problem distinguishing tablets, transformers, phones, and netbooks.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | about a year ago | (#44830885)

And has a x64 processor to run win apps too.

Re:Seems Pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831339)

How long will people think that x86 and/or x64 instruction set compatibility is a selling point? Binary compatibility is way over rated.

In fact, the entrenchment of intel arch it is probably the only way that MS survives. There are many reasons why being able to port programs to different arches is advantageous. But MS has ignored those advantages to its determent. Funny how it will be a CPU arch that kills the worlds largest SW house.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

saihung (19097) | about a year ago | (#44831405)

Really? I use x86 DAW/Djing software and I've been looking for a tablet robust enough to run them on. If this will run my performance software reliably then I'm in for one, and it saves me several pounds on my travel rig. If you have a better way to run low-latency audio software then I'm curious to hear about it.

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44830285)

Good thing it's not a netbook!

Re:Seems Pricey (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44830937)

Seems rather pricey for a 10" netbook.

True. But significantly cheaper than the Surface Pro. At least, the prices are going in the right direction.

Still, Win8 would have to improve considerably before I'd ever consider one.

IO bottleneck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829327)

Lets hope ASUS will use fast nand chips, faster than in it's TF200 -TF700 family.

gesture friendly touchpad? (4, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#44829359)

Does a "gesture friendly touchpad" mean its one of those completely flat surfaces with no edges that randomly make shit flip down/out/over what I'm trying to work on because there's no way to tell when you're moving the pointer and when you're swiping the charms bar?

Or does it mean one where the damn gestures are turned off by default without having to install synaptic drivers and dig through their driver menus, or hunt around in the registry, or say fuck it and replace windows entirely [makeuseof.com] ?

Re:gesture friendly touchpad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829521)

I'd put my money on the former.

Re:gesture friendly touchpad? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44830531)

No. Is it that hard to look at pictures?

Nothing too exceptional. (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44829363)

Another windows 8 tablet. Quad core 1.8GHz, 1366x768 resolution. Meh.

Re:Nothing too exceptional. (1, Funny)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year ago | (#44829395)

Another windows 8 tablet. Quad core 1.8GHz, 1366x768 resolution. Lame.

FTFY

Re:Nothing too exceptional. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#44831259)

But does it have more space than a nomad?

Re:Nothing too exceptional. (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | about a year ago | (#44830813)

I have 1920x1080 on a 15.4 screen and it seems perfect for a laptop.
1366x768 at 10.1 is actually a higher DPI count but then you're lacking real estate.
The price seems right though for what you're getting. I'd just prefer to pay a little more, say $50, to get a 1600x900.

Yay slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829397)

Where is the linux angle? Not even a conversion coupon code?

Re:Yay slashvertisement (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44829531)

Where is the linux angle? Not even a conversion coupon code?

It isn't mentioned; but 'Windows RT's fairly clear demise, in favor of cheap-ass x86 devices, is almost certainly good news for Linux(Not 'This is the year of Linux on the Desktop!!!' news; but good).

Per Microsoft's secure boot requirements, ARM-based 'Windows RT' hardware Must Not allow (either out of the factory, or by user modification) signing keys for boot payloads other than Microsoft's own and cannot allow disabling 'secure boot', while x86 Win8 devices can.

It remains to be seen how many will actually be purchased for linuxization; but Windows RT devices are (short of breaking TPM-backed UEFI secure boot) 100% useless for Linux, or anything else that isn't blessed by Redmond. Wintel tablets, though, are just funny shaped wintels, and so only the questionable state of Linux touch GUIs stands between you and installation.

Re:Yay slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829873)

Wonder if Win8.1 devices don't fall under Win8 requirements.

I could see MSFT re-'securing' the boot payload for their own gains.

Yes but this isn't Windows RT (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830557)

As I understand it, this is a Win8.1 x86 device, so the obnoxiousnesses you and others mention about RT do not apply.

Re:Yes but this isn't Windows RT (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44830927)

Exactly, that's the 'linux' angle on the 'Intel finally delivering chips that should finish nailing the coffin shut on Windows RT' story.

There obviously isn't much stopping Microsoft from having another try at iOS-envy and mandatory app stores on x86 (the implementation on ARM, using UEFI secureboot and a restrictive SRP in the windows image, would be 100% doable on x86); but as previously implemented, that was a major distinction: Wintels would be more or less as they have always been, Win-ARM would be walled garden dystopia. Hence the general enthusiasm for the demise of the same.

Why won't 'HD' just hurry up and die? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44829415)

What I wouldn't give to be able to travel back in time and prevent 1366x768 or '720p' from being defined as 'HD' resolution. Ideally with some sort of plan that involves more explosions than a braindead summer action movie. What a pox upon the eyes of the world, especially with so many applications making poor use of extra horizontal space (so it's barely better than 1024x768, circa 15 years ago) and 768 pixels being pretty narrow for the 'well, just flip it 90 degrees' strategy that saves other widescreens for non-movie purposes.

Re:Why won't 'HD' just hurry up and die? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44829999)

640x480 = 307200
1280x720 = 921600
1920x1080 = 2073600

Remember that 720p TV was triple the pixels of NTSC and non-interlaced so a doubling there as well, sure for a computer monitor it wasn't much but for TV it was a huge change with six times the bandwidth. In fact unless you're watching 1080p24 content with pulldown I'd rather take 720p over 1080i (interlacing: die die die). And maybe finally now UltraHD will drive a new generation of monitors, even on 30" it's topped out at 2560x1600/1440.

Re:Why won't 'HD' just hurry up and die? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830361)

I'd rather take 720p over 1080i (interlacing: die die die).

You must have a really crappy deinterlacer. 60i looks as good if not better than 30p on my 120Hz TV, mostly because it appears smoother, and the TV does such a good job of frame interpolation that I can't remember the last time I saw interlacing artifacts.

That said, I was in the gym the other day, and I saw a ton of interlace artifacts on the TV's over the bikes. Maybe some cheap monitor manufactures have been skimping on the deinterlace logic, or the TV's are simply misconfigured.

Re:Why won't 'HD' just hurry up and die? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44830397)

Yes, and they had to make it all fit in MPEG2 over-the-air and the TV technology of the time was still CRT. They did a decent job given those constraints. If you designed the system today you might make different choices and you'd almost certainly use a different CODEC.

Re:Why won't 'HD' just hurry up and die? (2, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44830621)

15 years ago I was rolling with 1600x1200 on a monitor capable of even higher resolution than that. Now you have to pay premium coin just to get a modest improvement on that vertical resolution.

who voted for this Slashvertisement? (4, Insightful)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about a year ago | (#44829419)

seriously, everyone who voted for this "article" needs a spanking.

Re:who voted for this Slashvertisement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829537)

maybe I should remove adblock. I am thinking that if the slashvertisements are getting this bad and this overt and this frequent... I am part of the problem.

Re:who voted for this Slashvertisement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829693)

Around here, I suspect that the same round of first-bashers are the ones who promoted it as a story. Easy karma on Slashdot to decry Slashvertisements and mock Micro$oft, and I think you're smart enough to connect the rest of the dots.

Re:who voted for this Slashvertisement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829729)

seriously, everyone who voted for this "article" needs a spanking.

S-n-M fan? Your dominatrix Slashdot says enjoy your Slashvertisement-n-Marketing or taste the mod lash oblivion of -1!

Neat! (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#44829447)

Neat-o! Although, I don't understand why I wouldn't just use a full-featured, full-power laptop...

Re:Neat! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44829689)

You dont understand the need to look trendy. These are only being sold to up and coming executives that want to look like they are technology hip to senior execs... Sadly it makes them a laughingstock of the IT department.

Re:Neat! (4, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44831381)

I don't understand why I wouldn't just use a full-featured, full-power laptop...

I have a Surface Pro (NOT RT. Repeat after me NOT RT) tablet at work - and it works like a charm. It's a Core i5 running Metro + Win 8 pro. Runs full Office and has access to all network resources. At my desk it has its desktop extended to another monitor (try doing that with an iPad) with attached keyboard & mouse. Away from my desk it's got a detachable proper clicky keyboard and a nifty stylus.

If I'm "tableting" with it and I just want to check something I tap a metro tile's app and pull it up

If I need to do 'real' work I go to the Windows desktop.

All my colleagues carry two devices (iPad + Notebook) - I carry one. Every time I pull it out at a meeting or at the airport people say "oooh... what's *that*?" The RT noise is distracting people from what is otherwise a very cool machine.

You couldn't pay me to lug a laptop around anymore.

Keyboard... (2)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about a year ago | (#44829453)

Am I the only one who is sick of those right-shift-key-right-next-to-up-arrow keyboards?

Re:Keyboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829639)

No you are not.

Give it up already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829529)

Nobody wants Windows 8 so who cares ?.

More garbage chink hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829571)

lol Asus

More disposable crap for gadget kids who never grew up.

Re:More garbage chink hardware (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44830507)

Asus netbooks were awesome; the build quality on our Eee PC netbook is better than my laptop that cost nearly 4x the price. But the Android Transformers feel very delicate in comparison -- I've seen a number of people on web forums complaining that they cracked the screen when removing the tablet from the keyboard dock -- and this just looks like a Transformer with an Atom CPU instead of ARM.

And, of course, it will probably be even more horribly out of balance than the ARM Transformer as I'm guessing there'll be even more heavy stuff behind the screen where you don't want it.

MSFT is going to ruin tablets like netbooks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829595)

MSFT with their "golden touch" is poised to ruin tablets just like they did with netbooks. When netbooks were introduced, they had a lightweight version of Linux and no harddrive. MSFT made them into impractical laptops which ran XP. Now that ASUS is selling a Windows "tablet," I guess we can look forward to the same "innovation" that killed the netbook.

Re:MSFT is going to ruin tablets like netbooks (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44830441)

Ditto. If this wasn't a crappy 'Transformer' with a touch screen I'd buy one to replace our old netbook, but I don't want something that's a crappy tablet that also tries to be a crappy netbook.

Re:MSFT is going to ruin tablets like netbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830545)

Except that they could do that as the net-book manufactures also made laptops (at a higher margin) and both needed friendly windows licensing deals and wanted the low margin product to die, the tablets come from phone manufacturing companies (chasing higher margins than phones) that do not make PCs at all.

different motivations will make killing this hard.

Meh? Really? (5, Insightful)

snookerdoodle (123851) | about a year ago | (#44829623)

Ok, I don't get the "meh" posts. Touchscreen. Keyboard. $400 for 64 gb version. Real Windows (i.e.: Windows 8.1, not RT).

This is a pretty nice computer at a very nice price.

Re:Meh? Really? (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44829747)

Well most here are thinking that it's not an iPad or Android killer. They are probably right. It's a Surface RT killer.

Re:Meh? Really? (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44830479)

I don't get it, how is this not an iPad killer? For $429, you could get a 32 GB iPad mini with a 7.9" 1024x768 screen and no MicroSD slot and no keyboard. Or for $30 less, you could get a 64 G transformer with a 10.1" 1366x768 screen, a MicroSD slot, and a keyboard, that can serve as a tablet, or run any PC application out there. Seems pretty "killer" to me.

Re:Meh? Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830827)

Maybe. But it is running Windows. That kills it for me. Can you put Linux on it?

Re:Meh? Really? (0)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44831085)

I don't get it, how is this not an iPad killer?

It's not an ipad killer because Microsoft hasn't built up the mindshare that Apple has, and because Windows 8 is pants. Microsoft tried to sell the Surface at boutique prices, and that didn't work out as well as they'd hoped. This device is at least priced right, but that only fixes one problem to uncover several more. Not the least of which is, most people don't want Windows 8. Yes, it'll run Microsoft legacy apps, in a weird, Win8 kind of way. That's not as important as it used to be.

Re:Meh? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44831225)

Those things you list as benefits are actually detractors to the target audience of tablet users.
Tablet users don't want computers. They want easy to use appliance like devices that don't get malware. I agree that win8.1 has come a long way and it the "metro" interface will deliver a tablet-like experience in many regards. In fact I think this device may be an excellent compromise "hybrid" tablet/computing device and I'm excited to buy one. There have been moments when I've needed to have a bit of general-purpose computing need that was juuuust out of reach on my ipad or even nexus 7. Slap this thing in to it's keyboard, hotkey to desktop mode. Bam. Computer. Powershell, text editor, full fat webrowser with extensions, office suite. Everything.

But, as far as the average consumer is concerned, it's still no ipad. There's a reason apple sells ipads hand over fist, and no it's not some silly notion of obsessive brand loyalty. They really do just work. (If all of apple's customers were as obessive as some people claim we'd have bigger problems. Like California's secession and being renamed "Applestan")

Re:Meh? Really? (0)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44829753)

It has the same resolution as my phone, so I wouldn't want to use it for writing any code. That my use for a keyboard. 2 GB of ram and an atom processor means I probably wont be able to play Dwarf Fortress at a decent frame rate, so there goes my hardcore gaming angle. I already have a phone and its lighter, so my emailing, quick messaging, and Angry Birds fix is satiated. I don't really have any reason to get this.

Re:Meh? Really? (1)

snookerdoodle (123851) | about a year ago | (#44830859)

I think the fact that it has Windows (and not RT/iOS/Android) makes it different. If it ran OS-X, I'd be just as interested. There is software I (and, I believe, others) use that only runs on OS-X and Windows. That would be a reason for some to get this. I've wanted a tablet. There isn't an OS-X one and the other ones that run Windows (again, RT is not Windows) are much more expensive than this. Of course, if Apple ever comes out with an OS-X tablet, it's probably going to cost at least $1,500.

Re:Meh? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830709)

The "meh" part is when you realize how much of that 64Gb is left for storage of your own stuff. It's an interesting device, but for a real windows system it's going to be pretty cramped if you start installing a significant number of programs. I guess investing in removable storage will be a necessity. For media browsing functions, it should be fine, though.

Re:Meh? Really? (0)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year ago | (#44831007)

It's meh because it's essentially the same as the previous generation - except for the price.

Quad core - only 1.3GHz and still Atom (albeit with OoO execution) so pretty meh.
Still only 2GB RAM, so meh.
Only 32/64 gigs of slow-ass on-SoC eMMC pseudo-SSD storage, with even the 64gig version only providing about 30 gigs of usable space after you subtract the Windows 8 recovery partition and the space Windows 8 itself uses, so meh.
No active digitizer as far as I can tell, so meh...

If Bay Trail truly provides a substantial performance boost, this device may truly merit a "wow", but Atom has always been hyped up every new generation... and each and every time, it was just a miniscule improvement that kept netbooks in the way-low-end. And 2GB of RAM means it's constantly memory-starved anyway, so there isn't really a chance that the device will be very fast anyway... even a Haswell i7 will slow to a crawl with 2 gigs of RAM.

Re:Meh? Really? (-1, Flamebait)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44831053)

Ok, I don't get the "meh" posts. Touchscreen. Keyboard. $400 for 64 gb version. Real Windows (i.e.: Windows 8.1, not RT).

This is a pretty nice computer at a very nice price.

Windows 8. Meh.

one big flaw though (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44829683)

It has Windows 8 though so nobody wants it. Everything else they mentioned is great but if the user can't stand the OS's interface, they're not buying it.

Re:one big flaw though (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44829829)

Metro/Modern is actually a decent UI for tablets. The desktop is where it sucks. Maybe Win 9 will have a dual UI mode as 8.1 doesn't seem to fix this gap.

Re:one big flaw though (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44829887)

But you don't have to actually use Metro to get things done. The normal desktop is still there, and if you start typing in Metro, then what you are looking for quickly pops up in a search result.

I don't understand peoples' dismissal of Metro, considering it's not even the star of the OS. It's just a weird-looking box house that you can, for all intents and purposes, totally ignore and go on without really using. I only acknowledge its existence because I see it every time I go to start searching for something, like group policies.

And there's another thing: typing for what you want. A lot of people don't do that. There are tons of Windows users who still click through the control panel and then click through admin tools and then yada, yada. Well if you hit the windows key and start typing, what you want shows up pretty quickly.

Metro isn't any different. And I personally hated the Start Menu, it was slow to render and was a cluttered mess. Metro's a cluttered mess but at least it's immediately there when I ask for it.

Re:one big flaw though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829983)

Metro is dismissed because we don't fucking want it. End of discussion.

Re:one big flaw though (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44830563)

But you don't have to actually use Metro to get things done. The normal desktop is still there, and if you start typing in Metro, then what you are looking for quickly pops up in a search result.

If I wanted to type to run programs, I wouldn't be using a fscking GUI.

Re:one big flaw though (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44831181)

But you don't have to actually use Metro to get things done. The normal desktop is still there, and if you start typing in Metro, then what you are looking for quickly pops up in a search result.

If I wanted to type to run programs, I wouldn't be using a fscking GUI.

Mod up. This is a key point that Microsoft doesn't seem to get. If we're going to be typing the names of programs, why not just boot into a CLI? Why even bother with that garish refrigerator-door interface?

Re:one big flaw though (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44831167)

> But you don't have to actually use Metro to get things done. The normal desktop is still there, and if you start typing in Metro, then what you are looking for quickly pops up in a search result

Ok, agreed. Given that, why do you need touch?

Re:one big flaw though (1)

Saethan (2725367) | about a year ago | (#44830021)

Took me all of 5 minutes to find an app to give me a start menu in windows 8, and I use it purely in desktop mode on my laptop. Seems like a lot of Win 8 complaints are complaining for the sake of complaining. I daily switch between win 7 at work and win 8 at home with no issue.

Re:one big flaw though (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#44830173)

It works for you, great. Other people don't like Win 8 for a variety of reasons besides the Start Menu. Don't be so dismissive od other people.

Re:one big flaw though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830593)

Works great for me too, except I don't use a start menu replacement. I think the new design is awesome. People have been crying, complaining, and trolling about EVERY new release of Windows. The idiotic nature of people makes it inevitable. Fuck em'.

Re:one big flaw though (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44830547)

Took me all of 5 minutes to find an app to give me a start menu in windows 8, and I use it purely in desktop mode on my laptop.

So every time you use a Windows 8 PC at work, or while traveling, or at a friend's house, you're going to download new start menu software and install it on their PC to make it work something like it should have worked to begin with?

Re:one big flaw though (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44831151)

Metro/Modern is actually a decent UI for tablets. The desktop is where it sucks. Maybe Win 9 will have a dual UI mode as 8.1 doesn't seem to fix this gap.

As much as I dislike Apple (my work issued me an ipad; after a week I gave it back), they understand touch interface in a way that Microsoft probably never will. Yes, with diligence you can figure out how to make Win8 do most things, but it's not an OS you can just pick up and use, as you can any Apple device. Conveyance, I think someone said. They eye is not led to what the fingers should be doing. It's a major defect, and it may not be fixable.

Re:one big flaw though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830565)

It has Windows 8 though so nobody wants it.

Not the first time you've trolled with this exact same remark. I'm somebody who just bought Windows 8 a few weeks ago. I love it, start screen included. Then again, I'm not an Anti-MS zealot and have enjoyed ever release of Windows dating back to 95.

Real Convertibles for Real Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44829779)

I wish someone would make a proper high-resolution convertible for resembling performance capable of real workload that isn't a fragile piece of plastic and has the left Ctrl key in it's proper place, the extreme left corner!
Panasonic CF-AX3 [newnoteboo...ations.com]

will be available ... for Japan market

Well crap, and it has a Japanese keyboard too. Damn it.

Meh-be (1)

eyenot (102141) | about a year ago | (#44829819)

The roomie I just moved in with was appalled when I discovered for her that her newly purchased notebook was actually a slower and worse-off computer than the laptop she was hoping to "upgrade" from. So we sent it back and now she has the credit and wants me to shop for her.

She kept mentioning the RT and liking it, but I warned her away and told her that tablets are still a developing technology, that it's in its awkward stages and next year she'll have something worth picking up. She said "okay, maybe next year it would be a good idea" but still seemed lost.

I'd like to say she has some good news when she gets home today, but the tablet isn't much better than the notebook. There's no removable media, not even a full-size SD slot?

I see these things as glorified palmtops. They're just slightly larger, but they fit the same niche -- something to pull out of your backpack or Euro-wallet at the airport or cafe and use within serious constraints on time and space. It's a useful gadget to complement a fully functioning PC at home, but IMHO it doesn't really qualify as a principal or "base" PC.

But oh, look: it's priced like a PC.

Scratching my head / not catching on.

Re:Meh-be (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44830205)

It has a MicroSD slot, so how is the lack of a full-size SD slot a problem? A 32 GB micro SD is $20, just like a 32 GB non-micro, and normally include an adapter if you want to use it in a camera or something that needs full-size.

Unlike earlier Atom-based Windows tablets, these Bay Trail ones seem like they will not be horribly slow. Personally I would opt for a model with a better screen, but would expect to pay more for it.

Re: Meh-be (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#44830311)

It's priced like a pc only in the sense that it's less expensive than a tablet.

Re:Meh-be (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44830517)

How is microSD not removable media? microUSB on the tablet? USB3.0 on the keyboard?

Don't ruin your friends life by steering her away from something she likes and serves her purpose just because it doesn't serve YOUR purpose.

Re:Meh-be (1)

asliarun (636603) | about a year ago | (#44831143)

The roomie I just moved in with was appalled when I discovered for her that her newly purchased notebook was actually a slower and worse-off computer than the laptop she was hoping to "upgrade" from. So we sent it back and now she has the credit and wants me to shop for her.

She kept mentioning the RT and liking it, but I warned her away and told her that tablets are still a developing technology, that it's in its awkward stages and next year she'll have something worth picking up. She said "okay, maybe next year it would be a good idea" but still seemed lost.

I'd like to say she has some good news when she gets home today, but the tablet isn't much better than the notebook. There's no removable media, not even a full-size SD slot?

I see these things as glorified palmtops. They're just slightly larger, but they fit the same niche -- something to pull out of your backpack or Euro-wallet at the airport or cafe and use within serious constraints on time and space. It's a useful gadget to complement a fully functioning PC at home, but IMHO it doesn't really qualify as a principal or "base" PC.

But oh, look: it's priced like a PC.

Scratching my head / not catching on.

Very interesting - the way you put it. If you read Anand and Brian's analysis of Baytrail / Silivermont performance, it pretty much lands up at half the CPU and a third of the GPU performance of a typical Core i5 that you would find in a slim notebook (Ultrabook). The crucial difference is of course that Baytrail consumes dramatically less power - about 2-3 watts (compared to 10-15 watts for a regular notebook CPU/GPU).

Reference: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7314/intel-baytrail-preview-intel-atom-z3770-tested/2 [anandtech.com]

This power difference is crucial as it is low enough to be realistically used in a slate or iPad form factor. However, where it gets tricky is to determine if the performance tradeoff is worth it, especially if you are trying to do something meaningful - i.e. beyond simple surfing and answering emails.

There are two ways to look at this - firstly, Silvermont is about three times more powerful compared to the older Atom. So, if you are looking to replace an old Atom based Netbook, the answer is obvious - Silvermont will most certainly not suck in terms of netbook style usage, while still not heating up and keeping your family jewels safe. Personally, I think the best solution is a dual boot Silvermont that will boot Android and Windows 8.1 - it will let you use Android as a true tablet, and will let you use Windows 8.1 in a limited notebook way.

However, if you are looking at this as your primary computer replacement, I don't think Silvermont is going to cut it. You are better off with a Haswell. The dramatic power reduction in Haswell means that you can get a slim notebook that will still get you 8+ hours of battery life, almost rivaling an iPad. That is actually a game changer in itself if you think about it. This means that you can carry around a fairly lightweight and compact notebook with you and not bother lugging around chargers. In other words, you can carry it around like an iPad. Getting battery to last an entire work day or an entire school day is pretty cool! Something like the Macbook Air 13.

It would be super interesting if Intel came out with a version of Silvermont with beefier graphics (say, HD3000). I suspect that would be enough to support full HD meaningfully and to be a true viable notebook replacement.

Bye Windows RT (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year ago | (#44829881)

Hmmm, with mainstream Intel platforms approaching the power savings of SoCs, maybe Microsoft should drop the other shoe and kill off RT. If standard Windows will run acceptably on these devices, there's no reason to keep RT going!

This is what the Surface RT should have been (5, Insightful)

emblemparade (774653) | about a year ago | (#44830159)

I'll repeat my title: this is what the Surface RT should have been. I would be happy to trade in my netbook + Nexus 10 tablet for one of these. And the price is very right, especially as it includes basic MS Office capability.

The Windows 8 interface is perfectly fine for a tablet. Worse in some ways than Android, better than others. The real advantage over Android is that you have a full web browser, none of those dumbed-down mobile versions that can't handle standard web sites. If you're really wedded to the Android app-world it's probably not so good for you, but remember that there's so much free Windows software that would do the job just fine. Android has been wanting full VLC and smoothly working Flash for years...

And as a netbook, it's the real deal. You can install *any* Windows software on it, unlike the Surface RT. And Bay Trail makes it that much more capable that the netbooks of old, that cost about the same, couldn't turn into tablets, etc.

People complaining about this being "slashvertisement" need to chill. This is news for nerds: a new category of consumer device that could really shake things up.

Re:This is what the Surface RT should have been (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44830627)

I'll repeat my title: this is what the Surface RT should have been. I would be happy to trade in my netbook + Nexus 10 tablet for one of these. And the price is very right, especially as it includes basic MS Office capability.

We've already seen how small the market for netbooks is.

Re:This is what the Surface RT should have been (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year ago | (#44831083)

The Windows 8 interface is perfectly fine for a tablet. Worse in some ways than Android, better than others. The real advantage over Android is that you have a full web browser, none of those dumbed-down mobile versions that can't handle standard web sites. If you're really wedded to the Android app-world it's probably not so good for you, but remember that there's so much free Windows software that would do the job just fine. Android has been wanting full VLC and smoothly working Flash for years...

While this is all true, mentioning the full web browser in the same paragraph as the "perfectly fine for a tablet" interface is very misleading. I own a Windows 8 tablet, and while it runs Firefox and Chrome just fine in their full desktop versions, both these browsers are pretty much unusable for browsing via touch. Chrome spazzes out often, sometimes no longer accepting touch input on certain controls (pen and mouse continue to work in these cases, but forget closing a tab or accessing the location bar with your finger), and Firefox does things like selecting text when you're actually trying to scroll...

IE in Metro mode is surprisingly decent, but very very very feature-limited (Chrome on Android or even the stock Android browser both have many more features and settings) and doesn't seem to offer proper adblocking (the best I've found is an add-on that blocks about half of the ads ABP blocks)...

Re:This is what the Surface RT should have been (1)

emblemparade (774653) | about a year ago | (#44831207)

Yes, good point. But at least but they still render web sites properly, not something I can say about mobile Chrome. I would add a caveat, though, that browsing with touch is often a pain even with Android and iOS. So when I say "perfectly fine" I really mean "comparable," I'm looking forward to Metro support for Firefox coming soon, hopefully it won't be too dumbed down. I *need* AdBlock plus! Even mobile Firefox has a nice AdBlock add-on.

A step in the right direction (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year ago | (#44830259)

Finally someone has figured out how to build and sell a Windows 8 tablet. I think that $349 is a very attractive price point. Especially when you consider that it comes with Office, a physical keyboard, and an SD card slot for storage expansion. Ok, so the screen isn't going to set the world on fire but it's very usable. I could see something like this as a good note taking device for school/meetings. Maybe some light internet browsing or Netflix viewing.

The big mistake Microsoft has made is trying to compete head to head with Apple on price. The iPad is seen as a premium product. And the Surface? Well, it's a Microsoft product. If they would drop the price, like Asus has done, they could see a ton of them. Windows 8 on a tablet is actually not a bad OS.

Re:A step in the right direction (1)

xombo (628858) | about a year ago | (#44830355)

It's even more attractive if you can put Ubuntu on it.

However, I won't buy a tablet without LTE.

Re:A step in the right direction (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about a year ago | (#44830591)

Maybe someone will figure out how to boot from the SD card, like you can do on a Nook.

Thats great but... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#44830381)

windows sucks....

Android/Chromebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830415)

I'm thinking this would make a great Android/Chromebook device.

Upgrade? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44830539)

But can it be upgraded to Windows 7?

Not that I'd pay the MS tax (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44830653)

By "convertible", I assume you mean I can convert it to Android?

With the Bay Trail.. (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | about a year ago | (#44830663)

It's definitely more worth getting on around that price (could be a little lower) but still a lot better than the old crappy atom architecture we have now that needed an update for a long time.

Storage space? (4, Interesting)

yoda-dono (972385) | about a year ago | (#44831281)

How are Windows 8 AND Office supposed to fit comfortably (and be usable) on 64GB of storage, much less 32GB?

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