Tag Archive | "Z3795"

Bargain, high-end Lenovo Thinkpad 8 (refresh) performance looks great.

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The Lenovo Thinkpad 8 was the only early 2014 Atom-based Windows 8 tablet that I didn’t do a deep-dive review on. It was, as it turned out, one of the best and with its 1920×1200 display and USB 3.0 quite unique. A recent update to the range saw the original Z3770 processor being replaced with a Z3795 CPU (1.59 Ghz – 2.39 Ghz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD and a true 64-bit Windows Pro build. The improvements in performance are easy to measure.

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Latest Dell Venue 11 Pro brings it close to Surface 3. Comparison.

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An updated Dell Venue 11 Pro 5150 (5130 in some areas) with a high-end Atom CPU, 64 Bit Windows and Full HD screen has appeared. This is the closest I’ve seen to the Microsoft Surface 3.

Dell Venue 11 Pro 515 with 64-bit Windows

The high-end Atom CPU is the Z3795 which has Turbo Boost to 2.4 Ghz, just as the Surface 3 does and seeing as the Atom X7 and Z3000 series have similar per-clock CPU power there shouldn’t be much difference in CPU-related benchmarks (<10% based on reports so far.) The X7 will probably pull clear with GPU benchmarks. SSD speeds will be close and there’s even a USB 3.0 port on the Dell. That’s rare for products based on the Z3000-series.

Click for the Dell USA sales page. [This is not an advert.]

64-bit Windows is important because it means the 64-bit bootloader is far more compatible with alternative Linux builds than the Z3xxx series products that only have 32-bit Windows bootloaders. It’s available, with a slim keyboard, for $499 in the USA – the price of the Surface 3 tablet, without keyboard. There’s a similar product available in Europe which also works out cheaper than the Surface 3.

Consider the following before ordering the Dell Venue 11 Pro 5150. Firstly I have requested a review sample of this product (and the Surface 3) so i’ll be able to update you on all the performance figures and answer questions with authority soon. In the meantime, consider the following:

  • 10.8 inch screen on Dell is the same ‘size’ as the Surface 3 but the Surface 3 is a 3:2 ratio screen with 1920 x 1280 resolution. 200 more pixels in the vertical (landscape mode.)
  • Keyboard options on the Dell mean you can get a power-keyboard that is lap-able and includes an extra battery (for about 50% more battery life.) The keyboard weighs as much as the tablet though. The Slim Keyboard option has a fixed angle and no backlight. It weighs 11 ounces taking the total weight of the product to about 2.2 pounds / 1 KG.
  • A docking station option is available for both. A folio case is also available for the Dell.
  • The stylus option for the Dell is cheaper than the stylus option for the Surface 3 but I can’t comment on pen performance as I haven’t tested the Dell stylus.
  • The Dell Venue 11 Pro 5000 has HDMI video output. The Surface 3 uses the DisplayPort standard, which is arguably better for multiple displays (Chaining.)
  • At 1.57 pounds 770 grams the Dell Venue 11 Pro 5000 tablet is much heavier than the Surface 3 and this could be the most important difference between the two. The Surface 3 tablet weighs just 1.37 pounds / 622 grams. You will notice this difference a lot when holding the tablet for long periods.
  • The Dell Venue 11 Pro 5000 does not include a year of Office 365 / 1TB storage upload. The Surface 3 does.
  • No AC Wifi on the Dell. AC Wifi on the Surface 3.
  • Screen quality on the Dell 5130 was reported to be good. It should compete with the good screen quality on the Surface 3.
  • The Dell has an NFC sensor. (The Surface 3 doesn’t.)
  • Graphics performance on the Surface 3 will beat the Dell by an estimated 30-50%.
  • The (removable) battery on the Dell is bigger than that in the Surface 3. (32 Wh vs 27 Wh) This explains a lot of the thickness and weight difference.
  • LTE options available on both Venue and Surface. (Location dependant.)
  • Micro SD card slot on Dell requires a pin to open. (It’s meant to be tidier and slightly more secure.)

Update: A summary comparison, including some benchmarks, is available Dell Venue 11 Pro vs Surface 3 comparison.

Dell Venue 11 Pro and keyboard.

The difference between the Surface 3 and the Venue 11 Pro 5000 is minimal. I like that there are 2 keyboard options on the Dell and at this point I lean towards the Dell as the better option. But that’s me, what are your thoughts? 3:2 vs 16:9 is a big discussion as is the tablet weight.

My colleagues at Notebookcheck have a full review of an older Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130 here and they are working on a Surface 3 review here (currently in German.)

8-inch Windows tablets get cheaper but ‘value’ models still not available.

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$214 for an Acer Iconia W4. $229 for a Dell Venue 8 Pro. $193 for a Toshiba Encore WT8. $220 for a Lenovo Miix 2 8. And that’s just the Amazon.com prices. The bargain though is the Acer Iconia W4 64GB at $259.

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We’ve seen some offers on 8–inch Windows tablets before but they were short-lived and mainly for hype-generation but it looks like prices have been pushed down permanently now as all the 8-inch tablets compete against each other. Prices at the Microsoft Store are also discounted but not as much as through some resellers at Amazon. The best deal I could find was the Acer Iconia W4 with 64GB sold by Amazon.com for $259.99. The Acer W4 has an HDMI port, good battery life, great screen and comes with a USB OTG adaptor cable so you can get going with USB accessories right out of the box. There’s a range of accessories too. Yeah, it’s not the thinnest or lightest but it’s very capable. For a thin and light solution either the Dell Venue 8 Pro or the Lenovo Miix 2 8. Given the slightly better screen and WiFi on the Dell, the $229 price for a 32GB version is still very good.

Windows 8 Tablets at Amazon.com

While prices for the current generation of tablets are good, where are the promised $99 tablets? The Onda V819i Android tablet running on a Z7935D at about $130 (local price conversion) is said to be getting a free Windows 8 ‘sidegrade’ but as yet I’ve seen nothing about availability although there is this demo video available. (Via)

Apart from this, clearly local information, there’s nothing to be seen in the US and European markets yet.

We’ll keep an eye on pricing and evidence of Z3795-based Windows 8 tablets. Right now it seems that the only action is with Android. The latest Tesco Hudle 2 could be one of them so keep an eye on pricing because the bill of materials for the Android and Windows versions are the same. The Hudle 2 is said to be coming in late Q3.

Lenovo Thinkpad 10 will be available in June for $599

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There’ll be a 4GB option too! Lenovo have launched the Thinkpad 10 along with a number of accessories. Based on the Intel Baytrail-T Z3795 the Thinkpad has almost all the specifications you could wish for. It’s targeted at the mobile workforce but the for ultra-mobile PCs fans this 60 gram, (1.31 pounds) PC is one to take a close look at. thinkpad-10-ultrabook-keyboard-600x370

The Thinkpad 10 is shown above with the Ultrabook’ keyboard, a $129 accessory that we don’t think has a battery inside but looks to offer a high quality working area. There’s a dock available too. (UBS 3.0 we believe) The digitizer is said to be optional so expect something in the region of $100 for that and the digitizer pen. 128GB and 4GB could take prices very high too. A fully loaded Windos 8.1 Pro model with Ultrabook keyboard is likely to be around $1000 but it could be the only PC some people will need. At under 600 grams it’s going to be a lot lighter than the Dell Venue 11 Pro (Baytrail) which is very important for a tablet. It will be fanless and with the USB3.0 port, microHDMI and separate charging port, very flexible in terms of connectivity and usage.

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Lenovo Thinkpad 10 specifications.

  • CPU: Intel Baytrail-T Z3795 (1.6Ghz – 2.4Ghz)
  • 10.1? 1920×1200 screen
  • 2/4GB RAM
  • 64/128GB emmc Flash
  • 802.11 abgn / BT 4.0/3G
  • 8MP rear camers. 2MP front camera.
  • Micro SD, full USB3.0, MicroHDMI, audio port.
  • Options: 3G/4G, digitizer, Windows 8 Pro.

Like all Windows 8 tablets on Baytrail it will have a TPM module inside, will support basic Bitlocker disk encryption, support InstantGo and, with the Windows 8 version, will come with free Microsoft Office Home and Student.

$99 Windows tablet specs and the mid-range refresh.

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The immediate worry about the $99-$129 entry-level Windows tablets is around the issue of quality. Low-cost Chinese ODM tablets won’t be the best tablets around but at least the performance won’t go down. You’ll still get Windows 8 on a Baytrail-T processor and because of that, the mid-range tablets at $200-$350 will have to get better. In this article we look at what could happen and the likely specifications.

The good news for everyone is that the Microsoft license cost for Windows has gone which means the $25-$50 charge (that we often get quoted by Windows tablet ODMs) falls away for all tablets in the 7-8-inch range. (10-inch tablets don’t get the advantage.) Intel is also enabling cost savings through improvements made in the new Baytrail-CR processors that save space (shown in this video) and board component count. That board-size reduction means you might see $100 tablets with a 7-inch screen so lets look in detail at the specifications you might get for $100.

  • Windows 8.1 Update (Not RT on Intel, yet.)
  • Minimum 1GB RAM, 16Gb eMMC storage (1-16 build enabled by the 60% reduction in image size for Windows 8.1 update.)
  • 7-inch screen allows cheaper components to be sourced from existing tablet markets and saves energy.
  • 1280×800 resolution likely based on last-gen 7-inch Android tablet screen availability.
  • Cost Reduced Baytrail-T. CPU-World reports on the new Baytrail-T parts. The Atom Z3735E is the budget offering running at current 1.33Ghz-1.8Ghz speeds but only supporting 1GB RAM and a 32-bit memory bus. CPU-World reports that this is only for Android so the next model up is the Atom Z3735D which looks perfect for the job. A single-channel memory controller supports up to 2GB of RAM and there’s a slightly lower processor burst speed. The non-D version supports dual-channel memory up to 4GB but there’s no need for that in the low-cost tablets.
  • Although 1GB RAM is the minimum required we might see a few manufacturers trying to differentiate with 2GB RAM.
  • In terms of ports expect only the minimum. 1 USB 2.0 port for charging and data along with a headphone jack.
  • MicroSD slots are a must-have when offering only 16GB of on-board storage but you might even see that missing on the cheapest tablets.
  • Rear cameras are going to be unlikely but a front-facing cam is probably going to be a (Microsoft+Skype) requirement.
  • In order to reduce costs in creating and testing images, a 64-bit CPU and image is likely.
  • Lower cost plastics are going to be obvious.
  • Finally, due to energy savings of having a 7-inch screen and a smaller board build it’s likely that battery size will drop. 13-16Wh (we currently have 16-20Wh) is likely.

In summary you’ll get a less rugged tablet with less battery life than some of the current models but it’s possible we’ll get smaller 7-inch tablets too which could be attractive to some. You’ll still be able to do this too…

 

Mid-Range differentiation

A $99 or even a $150 tablet creates a problem for the mid-range. Prices for current models will not be sustainable so two things will happen. We’ll see a price drop on devices that have todays specifications and because there needs to be a technical advantage over the low-end, the specs will be boosted. Intel has already told us that we can expect a 15% performance increase on CPU and GPU operations and taking a look at that CPU-World article again you can see the interesting Atom Z3775 with a 14.6-2.38 clock, boosted GPU and 4GB RAM capability sitting below the high-end Z3795 that we’ve already seen on the Elitepad 1000 G2, the first 64-bit Baytrail tablet to hit the market. The ‘Cost Reduction’ changes seen on the lower-end products are also likely to be there as a space-saving advantage which means either lower-cost or, more likely, more flexibility in size, ports and battery . USB3.0 might be used to differentiate the mid-range products if there’s no cost difference or port space issues.

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Naturally all the devices will be 64-bit to help OEMs and ODMs reduce the costs of creating and testing images and in some cases, but not all, we’ll probably see 4GB RAM which aligns the product with expectations on a ‘real’ PC.

HMDI ports will continue to appear on some models as manufacturers mix and match their options.

Finally, we’re hoping that we’ll see a 1080p 7-inch Windows tablet on a mid-range offering but it could be that the engineering and component requirements push this into the $300-plus ‘high-end’ space.

High-end

Screenshot (39)_editedPlently of options exist for high-end manufacturers that want to try and knock the Thinkpad 8 off its perch and Intel has already teased ‘New Experiences’ relating to security and immersive gaming. Given the fact that a dual-camera tablet was presented on video at IDF and that there’s going to be space available if the processor mainboard becomes smaller, it’s highly likely that security and immersive gaming are related to Realsense camera technology. See this article for demonstrations that Intel have already made with the Realsense technology.

Apart from Realsense, this is what OEMs have to play with…

  • High-end CPU (although thermal limits might prevent that in this generation of 8-inch tablets.)
  • Digitizer layer.
  • 1080p screens.
  • 4GB RAM.
  • Larger battery.
  • Best engineering and materials.
  • 3G
  • Business-focused accessories (although given the short lifetime of these products, accessories could be limited and/or expensive.)
  • Biometric security (possibly related to Realsense.)
  • USB3.1 and USB Power Delivery. (2015)

Given the costs of developing new hardware for this fast-moving market we don’t expect a huge number of products appearing in 2014. Waiting for 2015 and CherryTrail might be a better bet for high-end products. See you at CES 2015 for those but do keep an eye out in 2014 for a Lenovo Thinkpad 8 refresh. 4GB RAM, faster CPU and, if possible, a digitizer layer. We live in hope!