At an event in China today Ramos introduced three Windows 8.1 tablets. Two of these we’ve seen before but one is new. There’s also some information about the dual OS ability of the i10 Pro.
We’re expecting variants of these device specifications to appear over time but for today Ramos have pitched three devices are three different segments. The 8-inch i8 Pro runs the Z7340D CPU and comes with the basic Windows 8.1 tablet specifications. There’s a GPS on board but we’re expecting this to be a low-cost Windows 8 tablet. No availability or price has been given but when we spoke to Ramos last week they were indicating that it would come ‘next’ after the i10 Pro.
The Ramo i10 Pro is shown with 3G specifications and is the model with the Dual OS feature. Android 4.2.2 is on board with Windows 8.1. The FullHD screen sits above the same basic Windows tablet specifications of Z3740D, 2GB RAM and 32GB SSD. Some talk of 64-bit Windows in some sources leads us to believe that the CPU might get upgraded to the Baytrail-CR variants when they’re fully available. The i10 Pro will be available in 5 colours.
The 3G function is enabled with the Ultrastick 3G SD card from Huawei which we understand is bundled with the i10 Pro. Clearly that might not be the case in other regions.
Indications are that this is a dual-boot solution as we saw demonstrated at CeBIT although final confirmation has been given. A dual-boot solution might not cut across the Google Play non-fragmentation agreement but we wait to see just how much more than basic Android this build is.
The i10 Pro will be available in China from the 25th of March for 2699 Yuan which is $433. Our hands-on video is below.
The new model we haven’t seen before is the i10 Note which offers Windows 8.1 on a 1280×800 screen but with a pen. It’s not clear if this is a capacitive-only pen. Indications are that the product is still in development.
We’ll update you as soon as we have new information. We’ve already contacted Ramos for a review device.
After all the Clovertrail testing last week the plans to take a consumer tablet to MWC took a turn at the last minute. The Fujitsu Q702 turned up for testing and it bumped itself to the top of the list based on some amazing specs; the first and most important of which is a total 70Wh battery with 44Wh of that as a replaceable in the base. Hot-swap goodness!
Depending on your stance, this Fujitu Q702 is either a 11.6â€ ultra mobile PC â€“ a tablet that weighs 850gm and includes a full Core i5 platform, or an Ultrabook when docked.
At 1700 Euro this is not something you buy without thought but here are a few things that might tempt you.
Â Matt capacitive display with digitizer and pen (stowed on base)
3G (Sierra Wireless Gobi with GPS)
Fingerprint reader, VPro and TPM
Full SD, Full Gig E. Full HDMI, Full VGA, Four USB ports
The Acer Iconia Tab has been here for over a month now. Bought as a Clovertrail test device it has turned into a surprisingly usable and flexible ultra-mobile PC. The Acer W510 might be using the same Atom core as netbooks did but the package here is far more than that both in terms of computing and usage flexibility. Read on for the full review of the Acer Iconia W510 and a summary of where this ground-breaking style of smart and ultra mobile PC fits into the market.
I’ve never been a big fan of tablet PCs. A UMPC with 5-7â€ screen, yes but the classic tablet pc with digitizer and 11.6 or greater screen size was too awkward for me, Too heavy to hold in one hand, with poor battery life andÂ screen input limited to a pen with a focus on handwriting, was far from my idea of fun or productivity. The Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx, an 11.6â€ tablet PC is a completely different story however and is easily the best 11.6â€ tablet PC I’ve used, and that includes the original Samsung XE700, a well-crafted tablet PC with Core CPU and a digitizer. The Lenovo Ideatab runs Windows on an Intel Atom platform.
Now I’m not saying that the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx is the best 11.6â€ tablet and I know there’s a huge difference between this and a pro-level Core-based tablet with Digitizer and handwriting input. I must also say that I haven’t fully tested any of the new Core-based Win 8 tablets yet but the Lynx is working well for me and I feel it hits a very nice sweet-spot in the market. Weight, size, price, features, touch, OS. The Lynx is well-balanced and while it’s not going to be a winning consumer tablet, I bet it finds a lot of friends. The Lynx I have here is the 64GB/2GB model which is retailing in my locale for 55o Euro. I only picked it up yesterday but I’ve given it some serious testing over the last 24hrs.
The 11.6â€ tablet designÂ is very much a productivity-first design, especially when you can add a comfortable keyboard to the mix. At 635gm (1.4 pounds) it’s light enough to serve as a consumption device too though. In portrait mode it really feels like you’ve got the future of the newspaper in your hand. Seriously, if 11.6″ tablets hit 500gm I bet we’ll have another hot segment on our hands. This is the coffee-table tablet!
Is Atom good enough for the job of productivity? It depends on your definition of productivity but it’s fair to say that it’s not going to be good enough for most people as a daily drive for office-type activites. For me, however, there’s an exciting mix of capability here. As a blogger that writes, and writes, and edits sub-2MB images with the occasional YouTube video edit in 720p, this could really work for me, especially given the battery life and always-on capability. I’d add HSPDA for my ideal mobile blogging setup and a full-size SD card slot would be a dream but this could work out better than a 10â€ Windows 8 device. I can think of a lot more customers that would get good value out of the Lynx too, not least the long-distance traveler; Having Windows behind the entertaining Metro/Modern/Win 8 Store is perfect for that scenario.
Here’s how I’m using it right now (see image) because I haven’t got the keyboard dock yet. That comes next week.
Here’s a rundown of the device itself.
Screen. Bright, not incredibly punchy in terms of color but is IPS which is a must on a tablet. 1366×768 is OK for me but I know that many would expect more. For reading, there would be an advantage with 1600×900 of course.
Build. Strong. No flex. No creaks. Plastic back feels a bit cheap. One thing I must point out is that the edges are not smoothly chamfered which could have given the use a more comfortable experience. If the Lynx was any heavier it would have been a serious negative point.
Ports/features: No rear cam. Micro ports could be a pain (usb, hdmi, sd on the tablet.) Speakers are loud, not brilliant quality. Dual-array mic.Â There’s a micro-USB to USB converter included and you can plug in a micro-USB charger which seems strange considering it’s a host port. Check out the unboxing video, below,Â for a closer look at the ports.
Software: Apart from a Norton package (removed immediately) and a Sugar Sync service (Acer cloud sync) it’s refreshingly free of additional software.
As for performance, you shouldn’t expect much difference between Clovertrail tablets due to the high level of integration inside – due to Connected Standby requirements. (Always on.) The Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx does, however, beat the Acer W510 on PCMark7 purely because the eMMC write speeds are a little faster. On every other benchmark the two devices were almost exactly the same. The WiFi appears very slightly weaker on the Lynx which is a disappointment. It has the same Broadcom WiFi chipset as the Acer but I was hoping for better antenna design. In general the WiFi is relatively weak.
All Clovertrail Windows 8 tablets are always-on capable but this one has a nice little trick because the micro USB port on the underside can be used to charge the device. This also serves as the docking port so clearly the dock will charge the tablet whenever it is connected â€“ a battery-to-battery charging setup that wastes quite a bit of energy. I’ve just connected in a pocket USB charger which can deliver 1000mA and the device is just managing to charge at a very very slow rate. I doubt it’s pulling the full 1A available. This is the first time I’ve ever charged a PC from a smartphone power pack. You can also see I’m using a Bluetooth keyboard. Total cost was about 55 Euro for the charger and keyboard. The Lenovo Lynx keyboard costs 155 Euro! One other advantage to this charging setup is the extremely small and light charger which delivers 5.2V up to 2000ma, similar to some tablet chargers. I love this idea of Micro-USB charging.
I’m not sure you’d need this charger during a full day out though because battery life is as good as I’ve seen on the Acer W510. I’m sitting here typing with WiFi on, Bluetooth on and screen-on in about 2.5W of usage â€“ enough for about 10 hours typing from the tablet battery alone. Based on what I’ve measured on Clovertrail before, you’ll struggle to get less than 6hrs battery life from the tablet. Video playback with WiFi off should run for over 10hrs if I have my maths right.
A quick word on Clovertrail performance now. It’s Atom, as we know it. It’s not a powerful compute platform but it returns a full and accurate web experience faster than most Android tablets. The graphics performance has been pumped up a little over previous generatios too; I was surprised how smooth a game of Reckless Racing was from the Windows 8 store. Audio playback and video playback hardware is included along with accelerated video encode. You’ll get about 2X the render performance that you saw on Netbooks which brings short 720p clips into scope at around 1X real-time rendering.
The SSD is not a SATA drive on any of the Clovertrail tablets as Clovertrail only supports eMMC which is usually soldered-on just as it is on Android tablets and the iPad speeds aren’t stellar but it’s acceptable, rugged, silent and efficient. 75MB max read, 33MB max write (sequential.) Oh, on noise â€“ there isn’t any. No fan here!
I’ll leave it there for now and hand-over to you for questions. The keyboard dock will arrive some time next week and I’m really looking forward to that because if the keyboard is typical Lenovo style, I’m going to get on very well with it!
According to a couple of online source the HP Envy x2 should start shipping soon. An offer starting in Japan today promises delivery starting from the 27th December (some reports say 21st) and in Germany a couple of retailers have listed the same timeframe.
Hector, a guest poster and CloverTrail Windows 8 tablet owner has another post for us today. He’s been looking at navigation applications in Windows 8 on his Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500T. Don’t forget to subscribe to Hectors YouTube channel here. Follow him on Twitter here and check out his blog here. Thanks Hector!
This is the feature that we’ve been waiting for â€“ low power states in Windows that match what you might see on a smartphone. Always on! Personally I think it’s a feature that Intel haven’t promoted well enough, possibly because it makes Ultrabooks look a little old fashioned.
The new low power states have been available in hardware since Moorestown chipsets were available and you can experience them in action in Android tablets and smartphones running on Intel but in the world of Windows PCs, only the CloverTrail platform /Windows 8 offers this new level of of idle efficiency. It means you’ll get a big improvement in battery life and the possibility of always-on action.
In the last 24hrs I’ve had feedback from a user in Germany that proves it’s working.
Starting from 9th November in the US you’ll be able to buy a Windows 8 PC, a full Windows 8 PC, that weighs just 1.27lb / 658gm â€“ lighter than the good old handheld UMPC favorite, the Viliv X70EM and lighter than any full-size iPad.Â The Acer Iconia W510, part of the Acer Iconia W5 Series, runs a dual-core 1.5Ghz Clover Trail CPU with turbo boost to 1.8Ghz, a newer GPU, 32BG of solid-state storage, an optional keyboard dock, a claimed 9hrs of battery life and a 1366×768 IPS multitouch capacitive touchscreen. The Viliv X70EX started at about $600/ The Acer Iconia W510 starts at $499. In Europe you’ll get the dock thrown in for a total of 500 Euro.
Let’s take a closer look at the W510 and think about what it says about the state of ultra mobile PCs in 2012
Surface is out and the reviews are in. Most reviewers seem impressed; Many worry about the lack of apps.
From tomorrow you’ll be able to fill that app-gap with a product sector that I’m more excited about than a Chromebook on ARM, a Nexus 7 3G or a convertible Ultrabook.
Atom-based PCs don’t exactly bring up images of advanced computing but since the netbooks died a few important things have happened. A very new and very advanced power engine, a new operating system and a break-out from the rather restrictive specifications, prices constraints and designs of the simple netbook category.
I’ve read a lot of negative press about the Windows 8 user experience recently which seems to focus on a ‘problem’ created by having two user interfaces that will confuse users. I just don’t see that issue. Sure, there will be some new things to learn, every new system has a learning curve, but I don’t see huge barriers in Windows 8.
Today I’m working on a Windows 8 Tablet. I’m working, which means I’ve got a keyboard, a mouse and a large screen in front of me.
Windows booted quickly on this Atom-based tablet PC (ExoPC) and because I just wanted to do some Chrome work and write this post I went straight to the desktop by clicking ‘Desktop.’ It works like any laptop or desktop.
I’ve been in ‘desktop’ all the time I’ve had my bum on my seat (apart from taking a few images) and as you would expect, Metro is not causing me any problems. I can switch to it very easily by dragging the mouse to the top left, bottom left corner or pressing the Windows key, Alt-Tab and other methods that didn’t take me too long to work out. If you want to use Windows 8 like you used Windows 7 there’s no issue.
If you end up in Metro through inquisitiveness or accident you can either hit the ESC or Windows key to toggle to the last application, Alt-Tab to see a list of running programs, use the programs list accessed from pointing to the top-left corner of the screen or I can hit that big icon in front of me that says ‘Desktop.’
On my keyboard I even have an Alt-Tab button that looks like a set of Windows, a media button that starts Media Player (in the Desktop) or I can even just start typing â€œdesktopâ€ and I’ll be shown the shortcut to hit. If in doubt, press the Windows key and start typing. Word, Desktop, Mail, Photo, Music, Help. You can even type the name of a file or a setting. They all work! If you don’t have a keyboard, swipe from right and press the search button.
How simple do people actually need this to be to be convinced that if you want the Desktop it’s there and if you want to do stuff when you don’t have a keyboard, there’s a new interface that can really help. You can get going on day 1, and start discovering after you’ve read your email!
Windows 8 is not a Fischer Price toy or a gaming console, it’s a rich operating system that can help you get things done like few other operating systems can, either with keyboard and mouse or with a finger. Some people may take a few minutes to understand this idea but isn’t that just normal, and worth the time, for a rich operating system?
As I tool a look at the MSI booth at CeBIT yesterday I couldn’t stop myself from getting a little hands-on with the Windpad 110W. AMD Fusion-based and equiped with a nice optical mouse pointer and full SD card slot it’s a tablet design that could rally benefit from the next-gen OS and platforms.
The MSI rep nods and smiles and I talk about 1366×768 and Windows 8, as we discuss the reason for having a mouse pointer in a 1KG tablet and how Windows 8 + Clover Trail W with a fast SSD could really bring usable low-cost productive tablets to end-users.
MSI won’t say anything about new products but they’re clearly thinking about this. In tact, I got the impression that they’re more interested in Windows tablets than in Ultrabooks which they tell me are not going to be broguth to the market until they have taken a longer term look at the Ultrabook market.
It’s a blast from 2011 to play with the Windpad again but I think that we’re going to see more of this later this year. Tablets, convertibles and, my favorite, the detachable Atom-powered Win8/Android screen and Intel Core-driven keyboard base station, all in under 1.5KG!
Qualcomm gave us an update on Mirasol this morning. If you remember, Mirasol is a daylight-readable (transflective) display technology with color. The screen refresh rate and colour depth isn’t that good for video and photo experiences but for reading, it’s getting better every time I see it.
Power-saving, daylight readable and now with touch and sidelight. Here’s an video in which I give you an update about timescales for mass production. (Expect products in 2013.)