The ASUS Vivotab Note 8 is now available in the US Microsoft Store [Update: Now out of stock] and that’s great news because the ASUS Vivotab Note 8 is turning out to be one of the best 8-inch Windows tablets there is.
The Lenovo Miix 2 10 is now available in Europe and, lucky for us, in stock near the UMPCPortal office. Here’s an unboxing of the little fella which, so far, seems to be excellent value for money. An 18-minute unboxing and overview demo is available below.
I paid 369 469 Euros at Conrad in Bonn and got the 64GB version with 1090×1200 screen, keyboard dock and Z3740 CPU and so far everything is working nicely. For those that know the Acer W510, a popular 2-in-1 based on Clovertrail in 2014, this beats it in most areas,most notably in browsing speed.
Total weight is 2.3 pounds. The tablet weighs about the same as the W510 at 606 grams / 1.34 pounds. Battery capacity is 24Wh, not much compared to the Acer W510 but good enough for 6 hours of Web work by my reckoning.
As for the keyboard dock it seems OK. There’s a slightly abnormal layout due to the lack of a function key row and it’s going to need some time to get used to but the keys seem to be accurate. The mousepad is OK but there’s no multi-touch. I’m writing this article on the Miix 2 10 right now.
Screen angles are good but the screen could be a little flat in terms of color. Auto-brightness works but it doesn’t seem to be that bright at max settings. 1920×1200 is a very high density that could catch you out in desktop mode with some programs. The attachment to the base is easy to use but of course, only at one angle.
Charging is via USB or power port on the tablet. The dock has two USB2.0 ports.
The speakers are loud and accurate on the tablet and the additional speaker on the dock adds a little bit of lower-end range, but not much. It’s not what I’d call Bass.
That’s it for now. I’ll get to work on the full review so stay tuned. Feel free to ask questions below.
I’ve tested a number of Baytrail devices and, as always with a new platform, there’s potentially a difference between the over-excited experience at the launch event and real-life usage; Sometimes it’s disappointing. In this case, I’m extremely excited because the experience is better than I thought. I’ve just received the Toshiba Encore WT8 (bought for UMPCPortal) and spent 2 hours unboxing and testing in front of cameras. My first impressions in blog-form will take a few days but if you’ve got time to watch through this 40 minute testing video, you’ll see why I’m excited. That’s all I’m saying for now. Your questions are, as always, welcome.
I’m looking back on UMPCPortal to see how long it’s been since we’ve had hands-on with a 1KG, â‰¤ 10â€Â PCâ€¦..In Sept 2011 we covered the MSI Windpad 120W which didn’t make it to market. There was also the Fujitsu TH40/D which also doesn’t seem to have made it to the market. I also had some hands-on with the new Gigabyte S1081 Windows tablet at CES (which I forgot to post here, sorry â€“ here’s the video.)Â I know I’ve missed a few in between (for example the Viewsonic Viewpad 10 Pro) but you can’t deny that times are tough for the Windows road-warrior.
How stimulating it is to have the Kupa X11 [details] here for testing!
In terms of specs the Kupa X11 looks good. Yes, there’s a 1.5Ghz Atom inside which won’t impress anyone looking for CPU specifications but it’s turning in 1800ms on Sunspider and has been coupled with a PowerVRÂ SGX 535,Â 64GB SSD and 2GB of RAM so it’s not exactly lagging in the current tablet space.
There’s a dual-mode screen (capacitive and digitiser) and a huge battery which I’ll mention again below. The screen is a good, 1366×768 resolution which is enough for Windows 8 Metro usage. You won’t find many Tablet PC’s with a 10â€ screen and this resolution today although in 6 months, it could be a different story. In this ‘Pro’ version, there’s a 3G module too. You don’t get a VGA port, USB3 port, docking port or stand though.
Obviously the Kupa X11, at 1KG in weight, is focused towards the pro-mobile user but the packaging is very much consumer-oriented. The build quality matches the packaging too with good plastics and metal and a solid feel. It’s a little dense for a 10â€ tablet but that’s mainly because the ARM-based tablets I’ve used recently are around 30% lighter. For a Windows tablet, it’s not bad; especially when you see the battery size. 52Wh is huge, and it shows in battery life. In a 2hr browsing test this evening (low light) I was seeing a consistent 10hr battery life. I’m confident of 8hrs productivity at this stage.
4.6W average drain for a 10â€ device is excellent. It’s class-leading and showing that the screen and WiFi components are well matched. This test was done with Windows 7 though, I’m expecting an improvement on that with Windows 8 and I’ll be testing that later this week.
It appears to be fan-less. At least during my 2hr test in a silent room I didn’t hear any noise. There was minimal heat too which is a really good sign.
Pressure sensitive digitiser not tested yet.
Matt screen cover was included. (I believe this is an optional extra.)
720p YouTube works OK. 720p local H.264 playback tested OK. 1080p not tested yet although I’m expecting it to work OK through the GMA600 GPU.
The Windows 7 build was pre-optimized for touch. (Scroll-bars enlarged etc.)
Application startup time seems reasonable for a 1.5Ghz Atom-based device.
Resume from standby is about 5 seconds. (I will be testing to see how long standby works â€“ Kupa are quoting 30 days standby although this could be in hibernation mode.)
Frame buttons help with navigation and include a secondary brightness function although the buttons are hard to press.
In the video below I mention a micro-SD slot. It isn’t a micro-SD slot, it’s a SIM card slot. There’s no removable SD storage on the Kupa X11
I haven’t found a way to lock the auto-rotation yet.
Capacitive touch is 2-point multi-touch.
2.0Mp front and 3.0MP rear cam not tested yet.
Fingerprint reader not tested yet.
SSD speed not tested yet.
Here’s the unboxing and overview video. As it’s effectively a first boot on this video (I had booted it briefly once before but for no more than 5 minutes) Windows 7 was doing a lot of work in the background during this demo so the applications don’t look that good but subsequent tests were much quicker.
Check back for more information coming later this week. If Windows 8 testing goes well I’ll arrange a live session for you too.
Don’t forget that we’re doing a Live Review of the Flyer on Wednesday evening at 2100 CEST (your timezone here) where we do a detailed, 2hr review of the HTC Flyer with you in the chat session asking questions and steering the testing. It’s free, fun, detailed and interactive and likely to give you all the answers you need.
In the meantime, here’s the unboxing and overview video. I’ve got no comments at the moment apart from saying that the start-up sequence was smooth and that I’m a little bit underwhelmed by the pen input. Annotations seem OK but this is nothing that competes with the pen input capabilities of Windows 7, even on mobile PC devices.
The HTC Flyer I ordered on Friday has literally just arrived at the door andÂ Im looking forward to ripping this open and seeing how it compares to the Galaxy Tab which is currently the most popular 7″ tablet on the market and has been a very good companion to me for over 6 months now. Expect an unboxing video soon. The Live Review will be held on Wednesday evening at 2100 CEST (Berlin.)
In terms of features, there are definitely a few to talk about and some that are unique to the Flyer ensuring at least some sales. The #1 feature is theÂ digitizerÂ input layer and active pen that integrates with a special input mode on the Flyer. Annotations and notes.made though this layer can be captured into the Evernote cloud storage, OCR and search application. It’s a well known and well trusted application and the integration will carry a lot of value. I hope a full EvernoteÂ licenseÂ is included for offline notes.
There’s also the 1.5Ghz CPU to consider. It should provide a noticeable jump in performance over the Galaxy Tab.
There are two major issues to consider and either of these could be show-stoppers. Firstly, assuming you want to use a 7″ tablet for pen input (something I’ve never been a big fan of over the years that I’ve been reporting about tablets) you’ve got to remember to take the pen with you. There’s no integrated.storage which is really quite an issue. I’ll have to test that all-important palm rejection too.
Then there’s the price. As i write this, the Flyer 16Gb WiFi version is â‚¬499. The Galaxy Tab WiFi is available for â‚¬269. This issue will reduce over time as margins reduce but it may never catch up with the price of the Tab due to the screen technology used. You’ve got to be a pen-input fan that remembers to take the pen or someone that really really needs the extra CPU power.
Or are the other features worth considering? It’s true that not many tablets offer video content for download and streaming so HTC Watch will be an important service to check out. If the content and price is good, it’s a great feature. OnLive-CloudGaming is also a feature to check out. Dual-location on-frame buttons (that enable and disable depending on rotation) Skype video and HTC Sense are also unique features.I’ll also be interested in the ‘HD’ video recording Â support and other hidden features that are sure to crop up.
On the downside, it looks like there’s no voice stack (I assume that includes SMS, MMS and Video calling (over UMTS) support. Its something I use a lot on the Galaxy Tab thatnks to Multi-SIM. I get the same number on my Tab and my smartphone.
Is there enough to entices people here? As time goes by and the price comes down into the same range as the Galaxy Tab and Acer Iconia Tab A100, I think there will.
I’m happy to see that the Flyer includes a good-looking case. It’s been far too long since I’ve seen any decent included accessories in today’s tablet-world.
Chris’s video will take you through the box and into the software for a brief look at the totally new HTC Sense and you’ll see some stylus action.
I’m really disappointed to see that the stylus doesn’t work system-wide. As you’ll see in the video, there are times where the stylus can be used for some things, but the finger has to be used for others. I’ve seen such issues before on the Nokia N810; it creates a bothersome disconnect between finger/stylus input usage for the end-user. This could likely be fixed through software, but it’s going to cause some annoyance for people who are interested in using the stylus.
Sometimes gadget purchases go from zero to ‘own’ in a very short time. That’s how it was today as I assessed devices for the Ultra Mobile Video Editing series and checked out the Acer Aspire One 522. It’s an AMD Fusion device running on the C-50 APU at 1Ghz. CPU performance, as we’ve already determined, is lower than the dual-core Atom N550 CPU but there’s a trick or two up its sleeve when it comes to video playback and 3D graphics performance because the processing platform includes a Radeon HD6250 GPU. The whole AMD Fusion package is also tuned for low power consumption making it compete in the netbook power envelope but with better capability.
I’m not convinced the Aspire One 522 will help me achieve my goal of 720p editing on a lightweight, low cost computer but at â‚¬299 and with a need to research what AMD are doing with Fusion it makes sense to buy it. When your local store has it in stock and there aren’t many reviews out there already, it adds up to a must-buy for this blogger! Update: Liliputing is also testing the 522 right now.
Acer aren’t regarded as a high-end product builder as they tend to build to a price. Quality does suffer and I’ve experienced it first hand. Others will report similar experiences but out of the box, the Acer Aspire One 522 appears to be an absolute bargain. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever had this much computing power in my hand for so little money and it looks good and feels good too. It even weighs under 1.2KG which, for a netbook with a 6-cell battery, is class-leading. 1080p playback? No problem (*1). A hi-res 720P screen (1280×720) is included too. Long battery life? You’ll clearly have trouble getting less than 5 hours out of this and I’m sitting here now with 43% battery left after 4 hours of on-and-off testing. 3D performance will blow any Intel-based netbook out of the water. Even the build quality seems better that you’d expect for this money.
As I write this, I’ve had no showstoppers so far. BUT – I’m only into the 7th hour of ownership here so beware, there could be issues. Don’t get over-excited about the CPU or GPU power too. It’s good for a netbook but nothing like a low-end notebook. A 3D Mark 2001SE score of 5959 is good for a netbook but I seem to remember that my 5-year old Ti4200 graphics card would pull in 12K on that test. For 300gm and 200 Euro more you can get something much, much more powerful.
A glossy screen with less than 768 pixels in the vertical (important for some software installs) a fan (barely audible) and a disk that, like other netbooks, seems to slow down applications load times are the only things I want to complain about so far. In reality, that’s not a bad hit-list and I’m feeling confident that when I put this through our live, open review, it will come out looking good.
LIVE OPEN REVIEWof the Acer Aspire One 522 is planned for Tuesday 8th March at 2100 Berlin Time [Other times here].Â Join us at UMPCPortal.com/live for video, chat and your chance to ask questions and watch everything happen live. Nothing is covered-up!
We’ve mentioned the other day that we had an Enspert E201 [tracking page] inbound for testing, and it has arrived. I had to chase the FedEx truck several blocks down to get the box yesterday, and I did it all for you, dear readers! The Enspert E201 (which is available soon, exclusively from Dynamism) is being branded as the Identity Tab, here in the US.
I’m really surprised with the build-quality of the Identity Tab so far. It looks just like an iPad and I’m dreading the â€œhey is that a mini-iPad?â€ questions that I’ll get when I’m using it out of the house; they may have copied the aesthetic, but they were fortunately also able to nail the build-quality. I’m really digging the physical buttons on the Identity Tab. The last three Android devices that I’ve tested (and numerous ones that I’ve covered) all use capacitive Android buttons (the Home, Back, Hidden-Menu, and Search buttons). The Identity Tab (though it might be lacking the search button) actually has physical clickable buttons, and I love it! The feedback on them is great, I don’t have to guess whether or not I’ve actually pressed them.
As I mention in the video, the Identity Tab is running Android 2.1 at the moment, but will be updated to 2.2 before shipping to customers. I think this is much better than promising a 2.2 download at some point later because companies sometimes don’t come through (*cough*Samsung*cough*), and even if they do, the process isn’t always easy! The device will also have official Android Market access when Android 2.2 comes through (we’ll have it on the device in about a week) and that will enable us to do much more with it. Stay tuned for more to come from the Identity Tab over the next week or two.
Over at Notion Ink’s official blog Rohan Shravan (CEO) has posted pictures of the shipping progress and several photos of the Adam being unboxed. They’ve done something neat here and actually put a bit of thought into the box that the Adam comes in. The box can function as a simple stand for the device which I think is a great idea. I always find it a shame when companies use nice materials for the boxes of their products, but in the end you can’t do much with it once you take your device out of it. I hope that Notion Ink’s little stand/box idea finds its way to other companies. Check out the unboxing below: