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Lenovo Halts Sales of Small-Screen Windows 8.1 Tablets Due To "Lack of Interest"

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the do-not-want dept.

Businesses 125

DroidJason1 writes Microsoft has attempted to compete in the small-screen tablet market with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT, but it looks like the growing adoption of small-screen Android tablets are just too much for Lenovo to handle. Lenovo has slammed the brakes on sales of small screen Windows tablets in the United States, citing a lack of interest from consumers. In fact, Lenovo has stopped selling the 8-inch ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. Fortunately, these small-screen Windows tablets have seen some success in Brazil, China, and Japan, so Lenovo will focus on efforts there. Microsoft also recently scrapped plans for the rumored Surface Mini.

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Same here (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481025)

I halted buying of Windows 8x machines through lack of interest as well. That and disgust at how diabolical the UI is.

Same here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481063) []

Re:Same here (5, Insightful)

Zuriel (1760072) | about 2 months ago | (#47481867)

The thing that bothers me the most about Windows 8 is that Microsoft didn't include the Metro UI because they thought it was better than the old UI.

Everyone can point at an OS which changed its UI in a way they don't like. The thing is, those changes usually happen because the developers genuinely believe that the new UI is better than the old one. Sometimes the developers are right, sometimes they're not. They might make a mistake, but they're trying to improve their product.

Windows 8's Metro UI, on the other hand, isn't there because anyone at Microsoft thought Windows 8 users would like it. That's what bugs me. It's there to build familiarity with that UI, in the hopes that people will go out and buy Windows phones. That's why you can't just turn it off - Microsoft management wants Metro in your face so you'll then go and buy a phone or tablet with that familiar UI that you already know how to use.

It's about using dominance over one market to elbow their way into a different market.

Re:Same here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47482083)

It's about using dominance over one market to elbow their way into a different market.

And to guarantee everyone will want to upgrade to Windows 9. Planned obsolescence never looked so clever.

Re:Same here (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 months ago | (#47483493)

That would be diabolical - like people who claim that "New Coke" was just marketing. They can sell Win 7 and Win 8 at the same time, get a bunch of pent up demand for 9, and then release something usable to rave reviews and have a blockbuster quarter. :)

Re: Same here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47483735)

you mean like apple forcing you to give full control of what you can install on your phone and how you use it, just so it can move that control over to their computers and you won't even notice?

Re:Same here (1)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | about 2 months ago | (#47486687)

How do you know that Metro is there to get people to familiarize themselves with the UI so they can buy Windows phones? Unless I see a leaked memo or something, to me it makes more sense to assume (not saying I know) that MS wanted to create their own approach to touch screens that can coexist with a full-blown OS, so they can offer hybrid devices -- touch-only in one situations, full-blown laptop in another -- and make money from the market segment that thinks hybrid is the way to go.

Re:Same here (1)

bingoUV (1066850) | about a month ago | (#47488201)

Do you think the post you two replied to was made by someone rather than triggered by cosmic rays and solar flares ? Probably common sense? Same common sense helps people know the real reason for metro UI.

Re:Same here (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 months ago | (#47485429)

I bought a Windows 8 laptop, pulled the HDD, tossed it back in the box, pugged in an SSD, and installed Mint.

I converted it to PC-BSD (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 months ago | (#47491461)

I halted buying of Windows 8x machines through lack of interest as well. That and disgust at how diabolical the UI is.

I bought a Windows 8 laptop as well - a rather large Dell Inspiron 17. One w/ a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of hard disk. Installed Classic shell & tried it out. Problem was that even when I went into the desktop and was working on an application there, the Charms bar would just pop out of nowhere. Also, despite being the latest & greatest, from the Metro screen, there was no way of starting multiple desktops, each w/ 1-2 apps, so that I could avoid clutter. Oh, and also, the trackpad was getting in my way.

Finally, I took the trouble of trying to Install PC-BSD. At first, the UEFI kept ensuring that it kept going to Windows only, so finally I hit F2 and disabled UEFI. The first few times, the PC-BSD seemed to be in a permanent loop, but after hitting F12 to select the boot from device and selecting the DVD, the installation happened. Unfortunately, it failed to recognize the Wi-Fi, so I had to keep it connected to the router w/ the ethernet cable. Also, adding another user was tricky, and PC-BSD doesn't install root as a loggable user, despite prompting one to create a root password during install. So addition of another user had to be done via the CLI.

Finally, I had the thing completely set up w/ PC-BSD. It does what I need, so I'm liking it. Yeah, it has some rough edges, but nowhere near as ugly as Windows 8. Also, I'm using Lumina - KDE still has Akonadi running in the background, and sometimes KLaunch doesn't work, whereby the Logout doesn't work.

So for now, PC-BSD and Lumina is it for me.

Miami Vice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481049)

Looks like Microsoft may have a second spring in the developing world (and Japan?), where western culture arrives slightly delayed. Hammer time!

Re:Miami Vice (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 months ago | (#47481913)

Your own argument about western culture arriving slightly delayed in the developing world should have caused you to conclude that the developing would would think something like:
1. If westerners aren't buying this Windows 8 crap, then why are they sending it to us?
2. If westerners are using non-Windows tablets, then we should be too (but perhaps just a bit delayed)

Yes, it's hammer time. For Microsoft. And it's about time.

Not usable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481061)

No way to touch the little boxes on the desktop so no way to use one of those with a typical made-for-desktop+mouse program. Dell has an 8 with a stylus. It should COME with a stylus. Period. It only then could be used. But these are on-the-cheap and Dell can make a nice profit on upselling you a stylus ($1 to make and $40 to buy).

Re: Not usable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481351)

Windows RT can't run desktop apps

Re: Not usable (3, Insightful)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 months ago | (#47481935)

And Microsoft seems to just love, and perhaps even encourage this particular confusion. In fact their poor branding would seem to have been deliberately designed to cause confusion leading to people buying an RT device and then discovering that it doesn't really run Windows apps. It only runs the tiny library of Windows 8 RT apps.

Re: Not usable (1) (245670) | about 2 months ago | (#47482669)

This has nothing to do with RT so I don't know what point you're trying to make. The devices referenced run Windows 8.1.

Re: Not usable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47488761)

Yes it does.

Atom = worthless (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481111)

The reason why I don't have one is because of the processor. I'm still clinging to my 5 year old x200T despite the fact that it runs hot, is heavy, and has a 35w TDP processor (more than modern mobile GPU/CPU/APUs use combined) because when push comes to shove, content creation on an atom processor is a joke.

They could have been the cheap alternative to a cintaq, or the road-warrior-note-taker's dream, but I wouldn't try to run any scripts or plugins. I wonder if it'll even run the latest version of onenote smoothly. (not that you would want to use the current version's tragedy of an interface)

That's not even getting into the fact that windows 8 officially dropped digitizer/pen support (I tried to find the press release to this, but I think they pulled it when they announced the surface, this is the best I could find) []

A gimped device, with half-assed pen support, of course they don't sell.

Re:Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481133)

It also would have been cool to be able to run a DAW off a windows tablet and have full tracking control at a live event without the need of a laptop. But with the atom, guess what? No dice. A surface pro, running an i3 or i5 could do it, but those cost the same a full laptop. These tablets are trying to get into the same market that netbooks once occupied. We all know what happened to those...

The only reason to get a windows tablet is to be able to get flash content without fighting through the current android-sideload-flash workaround. Is flash support worth $300?

Chromebook = Scroogled (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47486965)

These tablets are trying to get into the same market that netbooks once occupied. We all know what happened to those...

Yeah, they were gone in 2013, but in 2014, Microsoft's OEM partners brought them back when it wanted to paint Chromebook users as having been Scroogled [] .

Re:Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481379)

Atom is stupidly underpowered. Unfortunately Cintiq-class hardware requires a full Intel i5/i7 and 16GB of RAM. Microsoft then screwed the pooch with the Surface Pro 3 by switching from Wacom to N-Trig just to make the thing lighter. Dammit Microsoft, you had something nearly perfect with the Surface Pro 2 and then wrecked it.

There is this stupid disconnect between "what people need" and "what people will use"

What people need is a full-featured digitizer, but these cheaper digitizers can't license all the wacom tech, so they go with these crappier alternatives.

Re:Atom = worthless (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 2 months ago | (#47481957)

Dammit Microsoft, you had something nearly perfect with the Surface Pro 2 and then wrecked it.

Mod +5 Funny

Re: Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481381)

You can't find a press release because they never officially dropped digitiser support. Heck, the Surface Pro comes with one.

Re: Atom = worthless (1)

ogdenk (712300) | about 2 months ago | (#47483639)

Correct. We have several Lenovo ThinkPad 2 tablets running Win8.1 and the input panel is right on the taskbar. These came with Wacom touch/pen digitizer screens. My only complaint is that the digitizer needs recalibration every so often.

The newer dual-core atoms are no power house but I wouldn't say they are useless. Stuff like OneNote works great. Basic stuff in GIMP it does ok with. Haven't tried Photoshop. It runs Office quite nicely. For a cheap business tablet with good battery life they do the job well. They are nice and responsive but they are certainly not "workstation-class". If you want performance, get an i5/i7 based tablet and enjoy the heat and poor battery life.

We handed them out to district supervisors for our retail stores and gave them docking stations here at the office. It's worked out well. They spend most of their time in Desktop mode vs. running Metro apps. The only metro app they use is the fairly crippled metro version of onenote for taking quick notes.

The atom tablets are a good compromise if you need x86 software but want power efficiency and cheap solid state storage more like ARM tablets. If you have folks that aren't doing real CPU-intensive work, they are fine. Most administrative staff usually are not. The Lenovo TPT2 is cheaper than an iPad these days and far more useful in a business environment.

Re: Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47484815)

OneNote is the one program more suited for Metro/touch interface

Re: Atom = worthless (1)

ogdenk (712300) | about 2 months ago | (#47485073)

Yeah, if they'd implement the Ink->Text functionality in the Metro version, it would suck a lot less. That's my only real gripe with it.

Apple Newton-style drawing touch-up would be nice too.... like turning crappy circles into nice ones, etc. I miss my Newton :-( It spanked OneNote in terms of functionality.

Re: Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47484985)

Did you actually read the link? Pen input went backwards from 7 to 8. Plain and simple. Sure it's in the taskbar, but it's a far cry from the auto-popup input panel that auto-recognized text fields. And if you're trying to maximize screen real estate on a tablet, autohiding the taskbar means that the input panel breaks workflow.

I'm using 8 on my x200T. Have been for over a year. I also used XP touch for a month, vista for a year, and windows 7 for 3. Have you stepped through every single mainsteam pen-enabled microsoft OS? If you had, you'd know that handwriting input panel peaked in 7 and the recognition engine somewhere between vista and 7.

Re:Atom = worthless (1, Redundant)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about 2 months ago | (#47481747)

Have you tried any of the new Bay Trail Atom models?

Re:Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47485217)

Someone above compared the newest atoms to an i3. Not quite. But they are more powerful than I gave them credit. Might actually be able to out perform the old x200T workhorse.

passmark []

Re:Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47485281)

I take it back. No-one is using the top of the line atom. The other live around 1000 points passmark [] , so less than the core2duo. I rest my case.

Re:Atom = worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47484565)

Not the latest Atoms, they are a beast. Same performance as my two generation old i3 sandy bridge notebook.

Atom = worthless (1)

tmach (886393) | about 2 months ago | (#47485501)

I have to disagree about the Atom part, at least. I (briefly) had a Win8.1 tablet from Asus that had one of the later (but not the latest) Atom processors. It ran surprisingly well. I wouldn't have tried any video production on it, but for running Office-like software and games of Hearthstone it did fine. Also surprising: the Metro interface (which I thought I'd like on a tablet although I avoid it like the plague on a desktop) was okay at best. Still, I was getting used to it.

The only reason I sent it back was half the time it would refuse to come out of deep sleep without a reboot, and three times it went into endless crash/recovery cycles after those reboots that required a complete factory reset to solve. It was a refurb model so maybe it wasn't refurbed very well. Either way, my next tablet will probably be another Android.

Why and how is it "fortunate"? (5, Funny)

demon driver (1046738) | about 2 months ago | (#47481121)

That those less usable tablets have had "some success in Brazil, China, and Japan"? Do you hate the Brazilians, the Chinese, the Japanese?

Re:Why and how is it "fortunate"? (4, Funny)

paiute (550198) | about 2 months ago | (#47481213)

That those less usable tablets have had "some success in Brazil, China, and Japan"? Do you hate the Brazilians, the Chinese, the Japanese?

Studies have shown that these three countries have a high number of tables with uneven legs.

Re: Why and how is it "fortunate"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481363)

It means that they can firesale the devices elsewhere rather than just scrapping existing stock

Re: Why and how is it "fortunate"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481421)

It means that they can firesale the devices elsewhere rather than just scrapping existing stock

You mean find some sap willing to deal with the hardware.

I believe P.T. Barnum said it best here..

Re: Why and how is it "fortunate"? (4, Funny)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 months ago | (#47481949)

They have to firesale those devices in developing countries. In the US, the EPA isn't going to let them just bury them in a big hole in the ground. The Windows 8 software might leak into the soil causing a massive ecological disaster.

I think Russia just developed an app for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47484627)

They have a big hole in the ground app for just this purpose.

Re:Why and how is it "fortunate"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47482207)

Need Windows table for KanColle [] .

Re:Why and how is it "fortunate"? (1)

luctimm (3631263) | about 2 months ago | (#47482859)

Well, I'm brazilian, I live in Brazil and many local "specialized" blogs and websites are always saying that Windows 8/8.1 is "da best Windows eva". Reality says otherwise, and in general, everyone hates it. In fact we have a lot of marketing for 7 and 8 inches tablets, but all of them runs Android. I'm not sure where Lenovo got this conclusion from, but end-users do not use Windows 8 in either computers or 8/10 inches tablets.

Why should Lenovo support their main competitor? (5, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | about 2 months ago | (#47481217)

With Surface, it seems Microsoft is a bigger threat to Lenovo than Dell, HP, IBM, etc.

With that in mind, I can't imagine why they'd support any Windows platforms.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (2)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 2 months ago | (#47481323)

Yeah, the second MS announced their Surface devices, the first thing I thought of was "well, that's every single PC maker now in competition with MS, and MS doesn't play well with others if history is anything to go by" Got a Dell Venue Pro when it first came out cheap, to have a play. And after a few bios upgrades, 8.1 upgrade, constant windows updates, driver upgrades, it's almost workable. Pick it up, let it install the updates, and in 10minutes or so after powering up and eventually locking onto the local network signal (that the very last update seemed to fix), it's good to go! And then... Even skipping the horrendous UI, that's clunky on the small screen, it simply doesn't feel as 'quality' as the Nexus7 I also use. Windows, use it on the laptops/desktops/servers, it works and works well, but for tablets, it's still stuck in that odd twilight of functionality that means it's not perfect for anything. Ok, there's going to be some sales for people who want to access MS Office files on a tablet? No, I don't think there really will be that many. And if you DID want that functionality, the 'safe' choice is going to be a MS laptop/Surface device. So I totally get why Win tablet sales are next to non-existent, and why makers of these devices are going to flee the platform and follow the rush to the bottom of other Android maker devices.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (4, Insightful)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 2 months ago | (#47481445)

The Surface line is no threat. I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air") that makes a Surface Pro look like total garbage and is almost the same physical size. Laptops continue to be the king of "I actually have work to get done" portable computing larger than a smartphone. Tablets trying to be laptops are just plain junk, especially when you drop the "Pro" and just get a Surface that can't run anything useful at all other than a browser.

I'm waiting for the Surface thing to fade away. I'm surprised it sticks around at all; it's about time for an HP TouchPad-style fire sale. *stares at watch*

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 months ago | (#47482653)

Macbook display quality is about a thousand times better, and there's literally no comparison in the trackpads and keyboards either. What you have is a vastly inferior Macbook Air,, but at a great price. I'm sure for the money it's a great little laptop, but the Air is a far superior machine.

Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47483093)

That's very funny. Tell me about your Air and its Ethernet port, multiple USB ports, and cheaply available replacement parts for when the screen that certainly isn't too thin happens to break. What's that? All those things are missing? Well, at least you have a nice status symbol.

Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47483423)

I wasn't aware that the screens were breaking so much on *any* traditional clamshell laptop. Or are you just making that up to console yourself with that genuinely horrible screen, mediocre battery life, and hard to find power adapters?

Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47484509)

My anecdotal evidence, as silly as that is. We only have 4 Macbooks a couple are Airs and about 300 HP/Lenovo/Dell laptops and a few other brands. We have had seven repairs on Apples laptop screen and five for non Apple in the past 4 years. Cracks and dead pixels mainly.

Now I don't know anything about the Asus, but according to their specs it has a Res of 1366x768. The Macbook Air has a screen res of 1366x768, I haven't actually looked up the manufacture of either screen. I'm sure the Macbook does have better colour, but that is really up the the user to see if they care, some of our people care, most can't tell the difference when we hand out equipment.

Now I really want to like Macs. I used to love them long ago.

Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 2 months ago | (#47485435)

I'm not sure about the Macbook Air (the 11" model at least) having better color. The LCD panel in this Asus is much better than I'd have expected in a ~$450 ultraportable laptop. I wouldn't be surprised if the Air uses the exact same panel and the exact same quality. Another thing to consider about the S200E (and its near-twin, the X202E) is that it's an older release than the most 2014 Haswell Macbook Air, so comparing those isn't exactly apples-to-apples (no pun intended) in the first place. I found it interesting that the latest Air incarnation offers a sub-$999 model though; that's a step in the right direction, but they're still too thin and they still lack a network socket or HDMI, two things that are very important to me in a laptop. No, Thunderbolt isn't an acceptable substitute for HDMI, but thanks.

Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47485359)

Well, I for one operate a PC repair shop that sees plenty of Airs come in with busted screens. The things are too damned thin; there's just not enough aluminum to hold it together when something stresses it. Since the whole top half is a glued-together disaster and the front glass tends to break as well as the LCD panel, not to mention that the aluminum is sometimes warped, the repair involves replacing the entire top half. If you have an old Air, you might get away with a $200 used part, but newer Airs? LOL, yeah, hope you have $500 for that replacement part. That's what happens in the pursuit of ever-decreasing thinness. Structural support just is not there.

Re: Why should Lenovo support their main competito (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about a month ago | (#47488821)

The S200E power adapter is easily found. Replacement adapters are $10 or less on eBay. The rest of your statements are subjective and/or workload-dependent and therefore irrelevant.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47485863)

Macbook display quality is about a thousand times better...

The Reality Distortion Field is strong in this one.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (1)

redback (15527) | about 2 months ago | (#47486935)

i agree about the keyboard and trackpad.

apple keyboards are horrid, and all trackpads suck so it doesnt matter.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (1)

Teckla (630646) | about 2 months ago | (#47486265)

I'm typing this on an Asus Vivobook S200E ultraportable (i3-3217U, 4GB, 11.6", aluminum chassis, USB 3.0, $430 new + $80 more for a nice SATA-III SSD to upgrade with; basically what I call a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air")

I only took a quick glance, but it looks like the MacBook Air is half the weight, has a better CPU, better graphics, more USB 3.0 ports, much better battery life, lots of useful built-in apps, etc.

Exactly how did you compute that your Asus Vivobook S200E "ultraportable" is a "better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air"?

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (1)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about a month ago | (#47488797)

You're looking at the Early 2014 Haswell 11" Macbook Air. The S200E has been out for over a year now; you're not even comparing apples to apples. I'm going to roll with the mid-2013 Air [] even though that's still newer than the S200E and thus is still not quite fair.

How is my S200E better than a mid-2013 Macbook Air?
Price: $510 ($430 for the S200E + $80 for a 120GB SSD) vs. $899 = I paid $389 less. I can buy another S200E base unit for that price today.
Physical attributes: S200E is thicker and heavier than the Air but is still a solid aluminum chassis (other than the rubberized bottom) that doesn't tweak, crack, and break as easily as the Air; the rubberized bottom also makes the unit much less slippery overall. Servicing the S200E is also very easy. The Air might be a little lighter, but in a backpack full of other stuff, why complain about an extra half a pound, especially when it means a much sturdier unit?
CPU: The Air is a Haswell i5-4250U; the S200E is an Ivy Bridge i3-3217U; this obviously makes the Air's CPU more powerful (PassMark: 3419 [] ) than the S200E's CPU (Passmark: 2292 [] ). However, my purchase was partly based on picking a low power consumption laptop to attach to a set of solar panels, not on maximum CPU performance; that i5 is 15W TDP while the i3 is 10W TDP (1/3 lower). I don't feel bad about paying $389 less for the slower CPU though.
Storage: The S200E came with a 7mm 500GB hard drive. I upgraded it to a 120GB SATA-III SSD. My final price includes the part cost for that SSD. Its 8GB less than the Air's 128GB PCIe SSD and the performance between the two in real-world usage is probably identical (though the PCIe SSD shows better raw read speeds in simple benchmarks). Ultimately, the SSD differences are insignificant. The S200E comes with a portable slim USB 2.0 DVD-RW drive; the Air doesn't have an optical drive at all.
Ports: Both have SD card slots. Air has 2x USB 3.0 ports and I wouldn't mind having that on my S200E, but the S200E has 3 total USB ports, so I can plug in my mouse and USB 2.0 microphone and still have my USB 3.0 port free for my USB 3.0 external hard drive or flash drive when needed. Other than having more USB 3.0 ports, the Air clearly loses on ports vs. the S200E: no HDMI, no ethernet, no VGA, one less USB port. Sure, it has Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt is useless without expensive stuff to plug into it (remember that $389 I saved? Tack on a $29 Thunderbolt network adapter add-on to that if you like.) My HDTV and 28" monitor have HDMI; does your HDTV have Thunderbolt? Nope. Does your sub-$300 28" monitor have Thunderbolt? Nope.
Input: ah, yes, Mac users love their trackpads...I hate to tell you this, but it's just a Synaptics ClickPad. The S200E has an ElanTech version of the exact same thing, and guess what? It works just as well. It detects when you're pushing to click and doesn't go haywire and move your pointer while clicking (as early PC ClickPads tended to do), it has a heap of multi-touch gestures from the factory and those gestures are all configurable, and it tracks wonderfully. The keyboard has great tactile response and even looks like it was taken directly from a Macbook Air, save the lack of cloverleaf and apple keys. The two computers are on equal footing regarding input devices. The S200E has a touchscreen as well, but fuck touchscreens.
Display: The panels in use are apparently identical; I doubt there are many choices for a thin glossy 11.6" LED LCD at 1366x768.
Conclusion: I paid $389 less. I sacrificed 1/3 of the CPU power but got 1/3 the CPU wattage back in exchange. I only got one USB 3.0 port but I still have more USB ports. I have HDMI and VGA outputs. I have an equivalent keyboard and touchpad experience, an equivalent 11.6" display, and I can actually plug a network cable in without buying an external adapter. I got a free USB DVD-RW with the S200E. I don't have to worry about the S200E being damaged just because the cat decided to walk on top of it while closed or because I set down the backpack a little too fast. This truly is a better MacBook Air than a MacBook Air.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (4, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 months ago | (#47482053)

Yeah, I'm actually kind of surprised that companies like Lenovo, Dell, and HP haven't made any kind of overt move toward doing what Apple does-- taking a FOSS OS and building their own distro/OS off of it, customized to their marketing needs. If I were running one of these companies, the announcement of the Surface would have been a real shot-across-the-bow that would have me rethinking my whole relationship with Microsoft.

Luckily the Surface was kind of a flop too. If it were not a flop, though, I would expect Microsoft to eventually move toward making laptop/desktop models, as they saw a marketing opportunity, and maybe network/server hardware. With Microsoft producing the Surface and buying Nokia, also selling the XBox, it's looking increasingly like Microsoft wants to go the Apple route of selling integrated hardware/software solutions instead of selling a commodity OS to run on other vendors' hardware.

A couple years ago, I actually predicted that we'd see something like a Dell/Microsoft merger within 10 years, which would then have a vertical market containing everything that businesses need for computing. Between those two companies, you have phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, switches, routers, servers, and the software to run it all. We've seen no movement toward that, and I personally think it's a bad idea, but I think that's where Microsoft wants to go.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 2 months ago | (#47482601)

Easy. Because they all still have big businesses selling Windows desktops and laptops - and don't dare piss Microsoft off too much. That plus the fact that Linux lacks 3rd party app support - but so does the Mac to some extent. Essentially, though, there's not a big enough market for such a thing - certainly not big enough to invest in the capability to offer phone support. Between Windows desktops/laptops, Macs, iPhones/iPads, Android phones and tablets and Chromebooks, there's a lot of competition out there for a new platform. And they can still sell their hardware to Linux fans. Unfortunately, that means Linux fans still have to pay the Microsoft tax.

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47482953)

> And they can still sell their hardware to Linux fans. Unfortunately, that means Linux fans still have to pay the Microsoft tax.

Sorry to disagree. Someone (source not included) even bothered to warn Linux fellows that the same notebook model offered with Windows and Linux had two different minor hardware details which made the Windows version crippled if used with Linux (props to him for being considerate toward others instead of being selfish).

Though I certainly can tweak hardware to work with Linux, whenever possible, at my age I have other things to worry myself. I only buy Linux pre-installed hardware. I can even pay someone to build a machine which works perfectly with Linux. I even can afford the Microsoft tax; I won't pay:

a) out of principle;

b) to avoid helping them sustaining a vicious monopoly and, primarily,

c) to avoid any intentional compatibility problem.

That said, I'm in the market for two things (running Linux from factory):

a) a tablet 7" to 10", with at least 1280x800 and/or
b) a light notebook (1Kg max), 12" minimum, 1280x800 minimum (preferably 1920x1080).

Both things could be done with time and dedication, starting from a Windows-loaded product. I don't have the time nor the patience.

Tweaking KDE already occupies my entire day. 8-)

Re:Why should Lenovo support their main competitor (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 2 months ago | (#47483071)

Because they all still have big businesses selling Windows desktops and laptops - and don't dare piss Microsoft off too much.

Yeah, that's kind of my point. They've spent decades being Microsoft's bitch, afraid to piss Microsoft off. And then finally Microsoft starts competing with them directly? If I were in their shoes, I'd be looking for some kind of leverage to balance the power out again. I'd grab Shuttleworth and some of the CEOs of my competitors, saying, "we need to collaborate on a viable alternative before we're totally fucked."

Especially as FOSS has grown and more applications have been pushed to the web, the 3rd party app lock-in isn't what it once was.

Between Windows desktops/laptops, Macs, iPhones/iPads, Android phones and tablets and Chromebooks, there's a lot of competition out there for a new platform.

And among that "competition", you also have Linux clients with the potential for some level of compatibility. If you count Chromebooks as a success story, then you can't say that Linux is doomed to fail because of a lack of 3rd party apps.

Linux support (2)

stooo (2202012) | about 2 months ago | (#47484121)

>> That plus the fact that Linux lacks 3rd party app support

3rd party apps lack linux support.

Was it worth it? (2)

satuon (1822492) | about 2 months ago | (#47481247)

It seems that adding Metro UI to Windows 8 has resulted in their tablets and phones going from 1% to 2%. Was the whole exercise worth it?

Re:Was it worth it? (3, Funny)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 months ago | (#47481293)

Or, was half the remaining Blackberry customer base simply tricked into buying something else that sucks?

Never liked small screens with any OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481261)

I just do not think Windows was a small screen OS. Yea, the 10 inch or bigger is OK but I think any of the smaller tablets are worthless. I had a Nexus 7 which I thought was too small to really be a media consumption device. I got pretty frustrated with it fast. I bought a Surface RT for my wife which I thought was too small for running on the classic desktop side with Office. It was pretty hard using touch screen and using menus and opening and closing Windows. I thought to myself that Microsoft should have skipped Classic desktop altogether for the Surface. I think a lot of what PC makers were doing is trying to compete on price with Android tablets. So making smaller devices was the end result of that. For me, I could easily survive with a decent notebook in the 13 to 14" range and have my smartphone for any mobile needs. I really doubt today I would buy a tablet and if I did it would be a 2 in 1 notebook/tablet or a bigger tablet that could replace a notebook/laptop. The Surface Pro 3 is interesting but rather pricey.

Re:Never liked small screens with any OS (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 months ago | (#47481987)

It's not the size of your screen, it's how you use it.

But I guess that line is only said by people with small screens.

A tale of 2 Windows (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 months ago | (#47491577)

I don't quite get you. I've used Windows 8 in 2 environments - a Lumia and the laptop that I described above. In fact, I used the phone first. The experience of the 2 was totally different.

I had a Lumia 520, which I loved. OneNote alone demonstrated to me how handy that phone was - I could make shopping lists that I never forgot, or travel plans. Nokia's HERE was perfect for finding places. Above all, the typing experience on a Lumia was superior to both that of an iPhone as well as an Android. I currently have an iPhone and a Kindle - a Verizon deal that I got that included both - and while I like both of them, the typing on them ain't as smooth as the Lumia was. Also, Lumia's touch experience was fantastic - the entire phone seemed to vibrate when you touched it. Anyway, those 2, plus a few more apps - things like unit converters, currency converters and some other utilities really made that phone handy. I gave that as a gift to my neice before my job brought me back to the US.

Now, as I described above, I bought a new Dell Inspiron 17. It had a keyboard wide enough like the old classic keyboards, complete w/ a backlit numeric keypad. The trackpad is huge. As described above, I started using it out of the box. The first thing that I saw ticked me off. Unlike in Windows 7 or XP or 95, it forced me to either log into a Microsoft account (Hotmail/Live/Outlook) or create one - something I never had to do previously. Since I already had my Live account from my phone, I just used that and got in.

That was just the beginning. The Windows Start button threw up a lot of icons, and I used a few which I had used on the phone, like Contacts. Do these morons really think that everybody will use their laptops to make calls? One only has Skype sessions when needed. Otherwise, if I want to see my relatives, I use FaceTime. Even the other apps - like the news - has preselected channels, and doesn't let you exclude all and just use the websites you like. My other grudge.

I then decided to play about w/ their App Store. I downloaded their version of FreeCiv, one of my favorite games. Boy, does it suck - the native Windows 8 version! Yeah, yeah, I know, the Android version on my tablet sucked as well, which is why I deleted it, and I did the same w/ the one I got from the Windows 8 store, instead going to the FreeCiv website and downloading it. Then played w/ it a bit.

However, both when I was playing, as well as when I was working, the charms bar would sometimes appear w/o warning, sometimes threatening to totally disrupt my work. I had had enough. I painstakingly sat down one weekend, put in the PC-BSD disk and finally, deleted the Windows 8 partition from the laptop. I was done.

In short, Windows Phone 8.1 is great. Only shortcoming - a market one - is the lack of apps like the Apple or the Play Store. But aside from that, if you don't have to have the latest & greatest games, then Windows Phone 8.1 is great. However, even if you have that experience w/ the phone and go to a PC/laptop, w/ experiences of both Windows 7 in the past, and Windows Phone 8.1, you'll find that Windows 8.1 still sucks. (Granted, I had a non-touch screen, but guess what? When I pay $800 for a toy, I really don't want to smidge the screen. My kindle already looks pretty bad, despite having a screenguard.)

On a tablet, I suppose Windows 8.1 could be okay, if you are not forced to deal w/ crippled apps from the store, but manage to use original applications written for Windows 7 and installed via disk or zipped files.

backdoor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481273)

Perhaps people don't trust lenovo?

Re:backdoor (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 months ago | (#47481299)

Yeah, because some web site posted vague information about a rumored product ban by unspecific intelligence agencies for the possibility of a rumored back door, with no information whatsoever.

Probably not.

To be fair... (2)

Junta (36770) | about 2 months ago | (#47482135)

The closest thing to concrete data about that whole situation could accurately describe:
-Agency plugs in lenovo laptop with preload intact
-Agency notes that a TCP SYN packet was sent to China, but not allowed to actually get there.
-Agency says 'screw it' and bans it without further analysis

This could be nefarious or it could be checking for firmware or driver updates. There's no way to guess what really happened without details of any investigation coming to light.

Keep in mind that it was likely an activity driven by some agenda. Notably, these agencies start from a perspective of 'distrust china' and consider it their job to prevent that vendor selling into agencies. So they seek the flimsiest reason to hold up to impose a ban, which no one really objects too hard to since it's politically better to not source from China anyway. The agencies may not have detected a real threat, but they likely presume a real threat is a significant possibility that they have no way of practically detecting, so they run with this.

If there was an unambiguous backdoor seen, you bet your ass the agencies would be shouting from the rooftops. Instead, they are doing enough to keep it away from sensitive areas, but not so much to invite much scrutiny.

Finally, if China *really* wants backdoors, they don't need to actually have even slight ownership of the company. All the big companies gleefully hand over pretty much full control of their manufacturing and much of their hardware design, software, and firmware development to China anyway. The nationality of the CEO means approximately nothing in the scheme of state sponsored espionage.

Does it run Linux? (2)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 2 months ago | (#47481279)

How well do they run Linux and when will they be selling them at 80% off?

Re:Does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481305)

It's not a computer, it's a "tablet". They are locked down in hardware to only run the OS they shipped it with.

Re:Does it run Linux? (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 months ago | (#47481487)

Jusy like phones, right?

Re: Does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481683)

Not if it's x86, which some of them are. To get Windows certification on x86 it needs to be unlockable.

Re:Does it run Linux? (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 2 months ago | (#47482119)

It's not a computer, it's a "tablet". They are locked down in hardware to only run the OS they shipped it with.


For a Surface Pro 3: []

For other tablets []

I've already installed Linux Mint on my wife's W8 Touch screen laptop. She just stopped using it under W8.1 because the experience was so awful. Under Mint, she's happy. But I digress.

There's just a few things you have to change. If you want a dual boot, there is a little more to do, because when you enable the device to see another OS, it won't see W8. In my case, it didn't matter, because I had no intention of ever booting into W8 again. Overall, installing and using Linux is pretty easy.

I have a Miix 2 11.6" (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 months ago | (#47481341)

It's a really good device packing an i5 CPU, lots of storage and quite a bit cheaper than a comparable Surface 3 (e.g. the price includes a decent keyboard attachment).

I think some of the smaller Miix and similar devices are less useful for some clear reasons:

  1. Metro doesn't have as many apps as it should. The situation is getting better it must be said but it's nowhere near as comparable to Android / iPad. This in itself must be a major reason people are turned off these devices
  2. The screen is too small to use as a desktop and the form factor is all wrong. Yeah you could poke away with a stylus or something but most desktop apps are designed for and expect a keyboard and mouse. These tablets should really come with a keyboard and stand.
  3. They don't have much performance or storage. They're packed with some low power atom processor and the 32GB is half eaten up with Windows OS and crapware.
  4. The cost similar to Android devices like the Nexus 7 which come with better screens, more apps and are better designed for that size
  5. Windows 8 has gotten a bad rap although 8.1 with the service update is actually quite good (except for the missing start menu)

I think Windows tablet / hybrids or 10, 11 or 12 sizes are far more viable, particularly for people who have to actually do work on the go but appreciate being able to flip their sideways and use them as a tablet for some mindless browsing or whatever.

The Pot Farmer vs Cannabis Nursery no tablets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481525)

Ahh Grasshopper, you have no need of that small screen tablet.

For when you discover new and exciting things about cannabis products and people's health what do you see?

You see the corporate news stream shall publish scientific respect as nursery who has proven as a master of cannabis, or "break through science" across the news stream. Besides everything microscopic and important runs on those 8 core dell 690's anyway

Yet Grasshopper, when your small tablet lighting assembly improperly hacked up to control the lighting, burns down the the structure, nearby forest and 200 plus homes you shall be known by the corporate news and local police as the indicted illegal pot farmer. Sadly with all the oath breakers running around, This small tablet is the first thing to be confiscated, searched, and used against you.

So you see Grasshopper, you have no need of that small screen tablet. You really want a Heathkit and and a CannaBeer Grasshopper

Now please go back home and wait.

It's because (1, Informative)

kilodelta (843627) | about 2 months ago | (#47481611)

Windows 8 is a flaming piece of excrement. Even Microsoft sort of admits it by the rumor that support for Windows 7 ends in six months. That's to try to push people to upgrade to Windows 8. It's gonna be egg on their faces because this is now at least 4 times MS has done this to a user community.

And I've seen the sneak shots for Windows 9. The Start button is back bitches!

Re:It's because (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 months ago | (#47481813)

So what? It's Microsoft, people will whine and cry about it then bend over for another screwing when Windows 9 or whatever comes next.

Lenovo is overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47481633)

Chinese makers offer the same tablets for half the price.

Re:Lenovo is overpriced (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 months ago | (#47481833)

Isn't Lenovo a Chinese company?

Re:Lenovo is overpriced (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 months ago | (#47482427)

But it is headquartered in America, has factories in America, and is run like a real independent stock company. Not giving it a complete pass but let us try to put things in perspective.

Re:Lenovo is overpriced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47484417)

regardless, it is still majority-owned by elements of communist china's government.

Re:Lenovo is overpriced (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 months ago | (#47485773)

If we use a broad defention of "elements of communist china's government" you get 1/3. 60% of the stock is firmly in the public market.

Re:Lenovo is overpriced (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 months ago | (#47482003)

Lenovo is a Chinese maker.

And they are offering these at low prices -- in the developing world -- because nobody in the western world wants this Windows 8 crap.

Charging, screen, connectivity and battery issues (1)

emgarf (727623) | about 2 months ago | (#47481763)

From one of the linked articles: "But it was also riddled with charging, screen, connectivity and battery issues." Yes, I also have a lack of interest in those.

Re:Charging, screen, connectivity and battery issu (1)

afidel (530433) | about 2 months ago | (#47482111)

Not to mention it's $200 more expensive than the Dell Venue 8 Pro, it's not a Surface competitor so it needs to be targeted at the price range of the Venue and the 7-8" Android tablets, not at the ipad mini.

Sorry to hear - I have a Miix 2 and love it. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 months ago | (#47481837)

My company's VPN was incompatible with Android and I didn't want to spend much on a piece of gear for work, so I picked up the Lenovo Miix 2 for about $200 this year. Paired with a bluetooth keyboard, it's been an awesome companion - I gave up my bulky company laptop months ago and haven't looked back. (My primary workstation is the typical multi-monitor dev monster; I just remote in to that from the Miix.)

Win8 tablets suck (3, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 months ago | (#47482055)

Speaking from personal experience in a smallish IT shop, non-RT Windows 8 tablets suck. Mainly this is because Microsoft hasn't figured out how to make updates really easy like on Android and iOS - it's basically the same updating experience as on a Win8 desktop, so every Patch Tuesday you've got several individual patches to download and install. Contrast this to how Android and iOS do it: downloading and installing one big update in the background and then prompting the user to reboot.

The problem is that our users don't install the updates. For example, I have three with Win8 tablets (only 3, thank $DEITY) purchased about a year ago. To modernize them, I had to download and install about 130 updates, reboot, go to the Store and tell it to install the upgrade to 8.1, reboot, install another 36 updates, reboot, and then upgrade a few desktop-type programs individually, reboot, and then I'm finally done. Yes, these tablets are on Active Directory, and no, I don't know why they're not getting updates from our WSUS server; my guess is that the tablets are used just a few hours a month for several minutes at a time. Anyway, the point is that keeping Windows 8 updated on a tablet is far more tedious and annoying than on a proper tablet OS.

Developers, Developers, Developers! (1)

OpenGLFan (56206) | about 2 months ago | (#47482131)

The biggest problem with Windows 8.1 tablets is the total lack of decent apps. Not "applications", which they have plenty of, but "apps" that make content consumption easier.

I've got a Surface Pro 2. It's a pretty good ultrabook, even if the keyboard is a bit flimsy for that application, but it's a complete failure as a tablet. For casual browsing on the couch, it's miserable. There are no decent apps, and the desktop versions of most applications don't appreciate being occasionally resized for a keyboard. Even the professionally-backed apps, like the Kindle App, is miserably bad.

Developers make apps for Apple because there's an established user base, even if there's a barrier to entry (Apple Developer Program.) Hobbyists make reasonably good one-off apps for Android to scratch their individual itch because there's almost no barrier to entry. Windows apps aren't made, because there's no user base, and the barrier to entry for Windows Metro App development is still unreasonably high.

Microsoft needs to revive it's "Developers, Developers, Developers" chant.

8" is a bad form factor that's why (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 months ago | (#47482527)

It's neither fish nor fowl. It's too small to use for more than 5 minutes and it's too big to be easily portable unless you're a woman with a handbag. The only plausible good use to put to an 8" tablet is an industry or business specific app designed for a single purpose. Think, ticket sales, restaurant management, TSA security checks, mobile cash register, that sort of thing. Where the app is designed to one thing.

Bummer (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#47482561)

They should send them to the cast of 'under the dome', that's the only place where you see people using them.

Never watched it (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 2 months ago | (#47484717)

Do the dome people have internet? What is allowed through, under the dome, and what isnt?

what a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47482969)

I kinda like the tablet PCs that run Windows 8.1. Decent battery life, I can use Gimp and

At least other tablet PCs are available. I might buy a Microsoft Surface but it is a bit pricy. Come to think of it, the Android tablets are slightly cheaper than tablet PCs running Windows 8.

Fortunately..? (1)

TranceThrust (1391831) | about 2 months ago | (#47483421)

Why fortunately? Is this a Microsoft press release? Windows tablets are crap. I've played with one recently, and Windows without a keyboard is indescribably awkward: all use cases I was trying (starting notepad, type something in it, browsing apps, looking for the configuration screens/system info) go forward in snail speed. That's less than turtle. Even the salesperson standing next to me had nothing to say in defense.

Lack of interest? Lack of availability, I'd say! (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 2 months ago | (#47484581)

I was looking forward to buy the Lenovo Miix 2 8" with 64 GB and WWAN.
But Lenovo decided that people in my market (Germany) don't need it.

So I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro 64GB/WWAN.

To those who say that the modern UI sucks: On laptops and desktops, I absolutely agree with you. But on a device with real touch support it works, if you're willing to give it a chance. It doesn't work if you immediately start installing desktop apps.

To those that say 8" is a bad size: I disagree. In my opinion, a 10" or 11" tablet is too close to laptop size to make sense, but 8" are about half way between a 4" smartphone and a 12"/13" laptop.

Re:Lack of interest? Lack of availability, I'd say (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 months ago | (#47485245)

Modern UI sucks on the Venue 8 pro as well. The main problem is that desktop apps dont talk to metro apps. So clicking OneNote in desktop is different than clicking OneNote on Metro. They act as if they are 2 separate apps glued together by OneDrive. ON a single system that is plain retarded. Metro is pointless and uselss. Even on the 8" screen i would rather deal with KNOWN desktop apps with the pen than shitty metro apps with my finger..

Re:Lack of interest? Lack of availability, I'd say (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about 2 months ago | (#47485595)

I have to agree. I have the same tablet (minus the WWAN, WiFi only) and I love it. The apps (not the desktop applications, but the windows 8.1 store "apps") are lacking when compared to other tablets, but having a tablet that can also run any x86 Windows app and gets decent battery life rocks. The price was great and the baytrail atom processor keeps up with most light duty web/office work without issue. I was kind of shocked how well it works considering the price point for them.

Win 8 tablets as shims (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 months ago | (#47485219)

I bought my Dell Venue 8 Pro for one reason only, to act as a shim when i get roadblocked by something 'on mobile'. Its a full x86 machine that presents as a regular computer to the web. If not for that i would have NEVER bought it.

MS and Lenovo are missing the uses-cases (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 2 months ago | (#47485685)

From what I have gathered when talking with people the big point of getting a x86 tablet is to be able to connect peripherals and devices when you need them but avoid the space when you don't.
Some people I know prefer to use better external small keyboards and don't want to lug around on a laptop keyboard they don't use. The "keyboard covers" that have been offered are worse than most laptop keyboards.
People also want to connect devices such as their DSLR camera for doing some light image editing on the go, and that requires also a good pointing device such as a mouse or light-pen.

The x86 tablets from Microsoft have only one single USB port making the use of non-bluetooth peripherals difficult. The 8" Lenovo tablets have no USB ports on the tablets themselves. The Miix 2 has one only on the keyboard dock which is not made to be carrying around.
And no 8" windows tablet that I have seen so far has had a digitizer pen included - on the form factor where it makes the most sense, as evidenced by the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Change of plans (1)

BogenDorpher (2008682) | about 2 months ago | (#47486523)

Lenovo is NOT backing out of the small-screen Windows 8.1 tablet business. They have clarified their stance today. See here: []

so when will the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47490565)

come under $400? windows 8 should pay me $400 to use the thing.

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