9 Baytrail Tablets and 2-in-1 PCs Ready To Go

Posted on 04 October 2013 by

Baytrail was officially launched as the Z3000-series Atom processor a month ago and we’ve already seen a good range of devices launched that will be using it. Here’s an overview of the platform, the products launched so far and with some though about what could come over the next months.

Platform background

Intel Atom Z3000-series is aimed at both Android and Windows tablets (Chrome OS would fit too.) It’s a small, low-cost, low-power system-on-chip based on a new Atom architecture that not only improves the performance (approx 2X) over the previous Clovertrail platform but improves on power control and Intel Burst Technology. Baytrail-T only supports eMMC storage, not SATA so disk speeds will be ‘good’ rather than ‘groundbreaking.’

There are four processors in the range:

Processors with the D marking are limited to 2GB RAM and smaller screen sizes (1920×1200.) The others can use up to 4GB RAM, have a bigger memory bus and  support 2560×1600 max screen size.  These non-D variants are the ‘best’ in terms of mobility.

You’ll see these appear in low-cost Android tablets but you’ll also see these appear in low-cost Windows tablets and thanks to some help from the Microsoft Small Screen Touch program you’ll see products at lower cost than the Clovertrail variants of last year. The SST program also includes an Office Home and Student license. So far we’ve seen prices starting at $299.

The Baytrail Tablets (so far)

 

ASUS Transformer Book T100

ASUS T100In our opinion one of the most interesting products to launch so far because it’s a 2-in-1 for $349 that also uses the successful ASUS Transformer brand. The 2-in-1 segment is going to get a big push from Intel and Microsoft over the next quarter and at this price you’ll see a lot of interest, news and sales. Profits are another matter but for Microsoft right now, numbers are more important than profits if they want to really boost the economics of developing those important high-quality apps for the Modern UI. We’ve got a hands-on video with the Transformer Book T100 here with full specifications and more information here.

Venue8Pro_family-2 (1)Dell Venue 8 Pro

Two Dell tablets were launched this week but we got a sneak preview of the Dell Venue 8 at IDF. The Venue 8 offers a digitzer and is clearly aimed at the pro market. Or is it? The $299 entry-level model is clearly aimed at consumers, just like the other 8-inch tablets. It’s one of the first of the 8-inch tablets that we’ve had detailed specifications for and it’s interesting to see the battery size. 18Wh is a very small battery indeed (we remember 2 hours of battery life on 7-inch Windows XP tablets that have batteries twice that size) so the first battery life tests are going to be something to watch-out for. We suspect a minimum of 3hrs in heavy use and up to about 8 hours of tablet-style usage. Remember this is an always-on Windows product though so with screen-off, you’ll probably be able to get through a day of basic tablet use. Don’t expect battery life records to be broken with the Venue 8 but because it’s under 400 grams in weight Dell have a product that will be very mobile indeed. There’s no video output port but it looks like you’ve got WiDi/Miracast for a potential full-HD output. That’s good enough for putting videos on a large screen, basic web-working and powerpoint presentations as long as you buy a $50 WiDi adaptor. [Intel should really be encouraging OEMs to make a $30 Chromecast-style adaptor. When I asked at IDF in Sept. they couldn’t give me an answer.] There’s a range of accesories but we’ll have to wait to see how much those, and the digitizer-enabled version are priced. Full specifications here. Our hands-on video here.

Venue11Pro_keyboardDell Venue 11 Pro

The Dell Venue 11 Pro is a 10.8-inch FullHD tablet (not 11.6-inch) with matching keyboard and case accessories that make it look like the Surface Pro or Tap 11. One of those keyboards includes a battery so you’ve got a product that spans a range of uses. The 726 gram tablet should be light enough, like the Sony Tap 11, for casual sofa-based usage but should also be big enough to provide a quality table-based productivity experience. There’s a digitizer (this could be an option as on the Venue 8 Pro.) The tablet, without any included keyboard, will start at $499 so anyone looking at the Surface Pro 2 should also be considering this, especially as Dell are offering slightly thicker, heavier and more expensive versions with Pentium and Core CPU options. The battery in the tablet is rated at 30Wh which is similar to the the battery in the ASUS Transformer Book T100. ASUS are saying that you’ll get 11 hours out of that. Full specifications here.

Encore_Beauty_StandingOnTipToshiba Encore WT8

The second of the 8-inch Windows tablet options in this list is the Toshiba Encore WT8. With its dual-array mics it’s going to be a good contender for a quality Skype experience but apart from that it’s much the same as the other Windows 8 tablets.  The 349 Euro 64GB version is likely to be a better seller than the 299 Euro entry-level 32GB version. It’s slightly heavier than the Dell Venue 8 Pro but it does have an HDMI-out port. A full version of Office is included. Full specifications and further links, including our video overview, can be found in our database.

Acer Iconia W4

Acer were the first to launch an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet. The Acer Iconia W3 was available earlier this year and it used the Clovertrail platform. The product was pretty good and well-priced but it has a poor screen and wasn’t treated well in reviews. The W4 should fix that screen problem, add more performance and ride on Windows 8.1 improvements. Again, there’s not much difference in specifications compared to the other 8-inch offerings but there’s an HDMI port and Acer may also carry over their low-cost keyboard/case option from the W3. Pricing is unconfirmed but Acer were always competitive in that area so keep an eye on it.  More information, including a video, in this article.

omni-10-hero

HP Omni 10

With a slant toward business and education the Omni 10 brings 1900×1200 to Baytrail in a 10-inch screen. An optional digitizer (not officially confirmed) and 3G/4G modem option makes it attractive for on-the-road work. There’s a Bluetooth keyboard and stand/charging station too. HP are saying this will run for 9 hours. The price is an interesting 399 Euro (32GB version) and there’s a 31Wh battery inside. Weight is 650 grams. The HP Omni 10 will be available in November. All specifications here.

pavilion-x2-hero_tcm_245_1489417HP Pavilion 11 X2

A fanless, detachable 11.6-inch tablet  powered by the ‘latest’ Intel BayTrail SOC. It’s going to enter at $599. A 1366×768 screen isn’t that impressive but should be comfortable for work on the 11-inch screen. 4GB RAM will be an option with 64 or 128GB of eMMC storage, unless this is a Baytrail-M device in which case it could be a more exciting SATA drive. 500GB of drive in the keyboard along with an extra battery sounds too good to be true for the price but let’s wait to see exactly what the $599 is going to bring. Availability is said to be Nov 17th 2013 for the US market with three colors: Pearl White, Flyer Red and Sparkling Black.

mebius-pad22Sharp Mebius Pad

This one is unlikely to be a global product but it got a very interesting set of specifications. Using an IGZO screen it offers 2560×1600 resolution on 10-inches! For some desktop apps that will be a problem; The  GPU will have to work extra hard too. Yes we think it’s overkill but if it works, and if IGZO brings promised battery life advantages then let’s give it a chance. It’s due in early 2014.

Lenovo Miix 8

Update: This has now been announced as the Miix2.

Finally, a Baytrail tablet from Lenovo that hasn’t been launched yet. Intel held up the Miix 8 at Computex this year and then again at Intel’s IDF event. (Mike Cane has a good set of screen grabs here.) It’s an 8-inch tablet and that’s all we know right now but we’re fully expecting this one to launch in the next few weeks so stay tuned for more information.

More coming?

We’re expecting LG to launch something soon and Samsung have been suspiciously quiet with Windows tablet announcements too. Sony have already launched the Tap 11 which uses a Haswell CPU so although there’s space in their portfolio for a Baytrail 10 or 8-inch tablet, we’re not expecting it in 2013.

Baytrail-M devices could be on the horizon but it doesn’t look like that will happen in 2013. For an overview of what’s possible with Baytrail-M, see this article.

8, 10 or 11-inch devices are ready to ship when Windows 8.1 launches on the 18th October and you’ll have a choice starting at $299. The first 2-in-1 devices start at just $349 and it looks like we’re going to get something for productive table-top fans with the Dell Venue Pro 11 and HP Pavilion 11 X2. Windows and touch have been available for a year now but it’s devices  like these, at prices like these, that will start to change the numbers in the important consumer segment. It’s a great line-up for Q3 2013. Which one have you got your eyes on?

  • Wow. I hadn’t even considered the battery life of the Dell Venue 8 Pro.

    I also wonder how much of the 32GBs of storage will be left after Windows 8.1 chews through it.

    All of these Intel CPU designations just confuse me. Can you give the bottom line on the performance improvement of the CPU in the Venue 8 Pro over the Atom in the 10″ Acer tablet you were using? Is it 2x, 3x, or more?

    • chippy

      2x would be a ball-part figure for perf tests on cpu and gpu.

    • James

      Installation includes a free copy of MS Office Home & Student 2013 for devices 10.8″ and smaller… So the remaining free space is pretty limited, enough for updates and a couple small apps but not much else.

      Though, you can make use of the MicroSD card slot to have some space dedicated for storage needs.

      And you can probably free up a few GB by eliminating anything you don’t need… Along with whatever cloud storage you set up as well…

      For performance, the Silvermont architecture is around 50% better than the previous Penwell… So, along with up to double the max number of cores, means over 2x the performance…

      While the GPU is apparently a 3x improvement… Intel demonstrated things like playing 4K video files, which the older Clover Trail choked on for a direct comparison… along with game demonstrations like Torchlight 2 at 1080P, a few Android games at 2560×1600, and Team Fortress 2 has at least been shown to run well…

      Btw, since the GMA is based on the same architecture as the Ivy Bridge HD4000 (just scaled down and optimized for mobile use), the Bay Trail GMA also supports features like Intel Quick Sync…

      • DavidC1

        It’s 50% faster PER clock, so with Boost clocks you can easily reach 2x in single thread and 3x in multi-thread.

        I don’t believe Bay Trail will get QuickSync though. At least the game compatibility would be a LOT better since it uses the driver developments.

        • John T.

          How do you calculate that “easily reach 2x in single thread” number?

          Intel’s page says they support Quick Sync.

        • James

          Bay Trail definitely has Quick Sync, it has been demonstrated already with video editing tests… It may have two less execution units than the Intel HD GMA but they didn’t cripple the features like they did for the HD GMA…

          While the Burst Clock only goes up to around 2.4GHz and that’s not high enough to double the single thread performance as Clover Trail+ went up to a pretty close 2GHz but the .4GHz difference would definitely boost that 50% better performance a fair bit, just not 2x.

  • TF100
    Dell Venues
    Miix 8

    My current drool list. :) A bit early to drool after the Miix, though as we barely know anything about it.

  • Hildy J

    It’s all about the weight (it’s got to beat my Thinkpad Tablet 2 at 585 grams) and how good the digitizer is for handwriting. So far the Dell Venue 8 Pro is in the lead by default. I’ll be interested to see the Lenovo specs. What I’m really hoping for is an 8″ Thinkpad Tablet 3 Mini.

    • What sort of usage scenarios do you have Hildy?

      • Hildy J

        I use my TPT2 as a supplement to my office desktop for meetings and such. I also use it at home to connect to our office telework site. It’s great for sitting on the back porch, smoking a cigar, and suffering through interminable web teleconferences.

        I also use it as a personal tablet – checking email and RSS feeds), general surfing, reading books and magazines, and some short video (I’d rather use the DVR for movies and TV shows).

        I use the stylus for MS Office and Adobe markups (it’s leaps beyond a laser pointer for presentation) and for text input of more than a few lines. It’s amazing how much of my chicken scratching Windows can recognize.

        BTW, as updates come in, please repost the entire article so we have everything in one place.

        As one who has been following UMPCPortal since my OQO 02 days, thanks for your great work.

        • Thanks Hildy. I’m always interested in peoples use-cases. Keep us posted.

  • Mors

    Where’s the OQO slider refresh :)? Bigger screen and the same or even smaller casing! With Bay Trail, a keyboard and mouse, it’ll be excellent for a mobile Linux device that’s not running a gimped Android OS.

    Hope some of the smaller companies come out with something different. All these 8″ tablets are pretty much the same. At least add a mouse like the never released Viliv X70. Or maybe all full sized USB, SD, video, etc. ports.

    • It would be great if the smaller companies brought new ideas. Thumbs up/Like!
      Chippy

    • latie

      Won’t happen … not only were those terrible idea’s back then, they are even worse now. Running the Windows desktop on small screen devices will never be a mainstream success. On top of that Windows Metro is far more “gimped” than Android in functionality/ecosystem. Until MS decides to give Windows away for free & lose 1/3 of their income then they are going to continue to be overlooked by manufactures in favor of Android.

      • guy

        I’d rather have an OQO slider with current specs and a slightly bigger screen (if they can allow for the same or smaller case) than any Android tablet. Of course, what I’d (emphasis here) do with such a device would make the slider more useful than any Android tablet. For a slider with a mouse, I’d install a Linux distro for, again, my needs.

        I’d also rather have a Windows 8 tablet with a mouse on the bezel like the X70 than any other tablet with any OS and with or without an active digitizer. Again, this is for my use case where I don’t ink nor do I draw. I don’t need video out either while I’m at it.

        I know you’re talking about the mainstream but as Mors said, maybe the smaller companies will cater to the non-mainstream like they usually do.

      • Mors

        @latie
        Hence, the “smaller companies” part. They often go outside the norm. Of course, I’ll expect prices higher than the norm as well. I’m either going to spend $0 or a lot. Another Android device other than my phone isn’t worth buying. Heck, If I was given one for free, it’ll spend it’s time collecting dust in a drawer somewhere. Oh wait, I did get a Nexus 7 as a present and I don’t even remember where I put it.

        • crishau

          Except all those smaller companies back then like Viliv have since gone out of business. Now the new versions of those type of companies make Android devices specifically for the Asian markets. That wont change unless Windows goes free & that might not matter anymore now that Android has established dominance.

          I have fond memories of those old days as well but we live in a new world now. Microsoft is in big big trouble as all their major franchises (Windows, Office, X-box) are being attacked by multiple companies like Apple, Google, Sony, Valve.

          I also wouldn’t count on mice in bezels making a big comeback either ;)

        • linh

          @crishau

          Ya, that’s the typical argument to make at any given point in time. The same was said about Windows Mobile, then Blackberry, then iOS and now Android (ignoring iOS devices are from a single company). The same was said when Xbox came into the console wars. It’s an easy argument to make. Business and financial analysts are more often wrong than right and people like us commenting on blogs are probably wrong more often than them.

          I can make another typical argument and say that the dominance of Android has made it a saturated market where everyone is putting out the same thing. That’s when small and/or new companies (ie. Viliv during the UMPC days) will come out with something different. That different thing may or may not be good but it’ll be different. It may even satisfy some niche markets.

          Dominance/saturation or not, I’m interested in seeing what the small guys (small to the market and not necessarily a small company) come out with to make themselves stand out. I may even buy something one of these days.

  • Vyacheslav Lanovets

    Those are not proper tablets!

    Neither one has a built-in holster for electromagnetic digitizer pen. (I really hope that Lenovo makes ThinkPad Tablet 3).

    Most have stupid 16:9 screen ratio intended only for video, not for reading or web. Only Panasonic once planned to do screen ratio 2:3 – “The Toughpad 4K”.

    If Lenovo does not make TPT3 or makes it with 16:9 screen, then 16:10 HP Omnia 10 with a cover, that features some place to hold a small pen, will be the best option.

  • Would be great to see someone try a Nokia N900 form factor. Even better if it dual boots Windows and Android. Looking for a full Windows device that I can use while standing in the train, on the way to and from work

  • Shane

    So, are these much better options than the Surface Pro 2?
    I was also considering Surface 2 (but mainly for different usage).

  • Perry

    For me, I am looking for mobility and ease of use, which means longest battery life possible (daily charging not a problem, but the device should be able to support a full day that includes, for instance, a long plane trip with airport delays) and wireless charging (I really think that looking for a cable and sticking it in a small charging port, often in the darkness, should become a thing of the past).

    I must admit that I do not know by how much the weight of the device would be increased by building wireless charging capabilities into it.

    • osiris

      I don’t think the weight would increase that much more the cost…seems to be a real focus on lower spec low cost tablets this gen.

      I also don’t see any viable contenders except the Dell and maybe the sharp (if it gets a launch outside of japan) to replace peoples Tpt2, samsing 500t or asus810c’s

    • Elmstrom

      Wireless charging should not add much, you can buy DIY solutions on ebay.

  • mrwed

    I was especially interested in the Venue 8 until I saw it has no HDMI out. I wonder if it will have some other means of hooking up with a monitor or TV. Like many others I’m waiting to hear from Lenovo–an 8″ or 10″ Thinkpad Tablet 3 with a good digitizer could be just what I’m looking for.

    • mrwed

      Just saw your mention of Wi-Di/Miracast…I’m sure it would be fine for videos, but I was thinking of playing light video games using a TV as a monitor and am a little skeptical of wireless video connections for that purpose.

      • For most video games the lag is goingbto be too much although there is a low latency mode. For videos the latency isnt a problem so you just need to ensure a good wifi channel between laptop and reciever. Busy appartment blocks could be a problem.

        • mrwed

          Thanks Chippy. It seems crazy to me they didn’t include a mini-hdmi port…I can’t be the only one who wants to use a full windows tablet with a larger display! (Btw, it was your use of that 5″ Fujitsu that got me interested in this usage scenario. Today’s tablets are what I dreamt of back then!)

        • Damian

          Not having a video out is a critical oversight IMHO. HOw many workplaces are setup for Wi-Di? Virtually none I’d say. Most don’t even have HDMI for the meeting room projectors. So a mini-hdmi to VGA is a must have accessory.

  • Damian

    I’ve personally always struggled with the attachable keyboard transformer style devices. You end up leaving the keyboard on 90% of the time and the times you have tablet only you end up needing the keyboard. So you basically end up carrying around a fairly thick, heavy-ish, lower powered ultrabook, in which case you should just get an ultrabook. I like the slider concept but then they are heavier. Is anyone going to do a slider Baytrail I wonder?

    • wow

      ASUS baytrail is lighter than IPAD 4

      • Shane

        Amazing contribution right there… >.>

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