This completes my assessment of every single 8-inch Windows tablet out there today. I’ve fully reviewed the Toshiba Encore WT8, the ASUS Vivotab Note 8 and am currently reviewing the Dell Venue 8 Pro. At MWC last week I got hold of the Lenovo Thinkpad 8, the Lenovo Miix 2 8 and the Acer W4 to complete the flush. I spent as much time as I could trying to work out where they fit and sure enough they all have their position. All three devices I tested at MWC are good tablets but the Thinkpad 8 is definitely the more advanced of the three with its impressive 8.3-inch 1920×1200 screen and light weight. The Lenovo Miix 2 8 is a good looking tablet and offers all the basics in a lightweight and smooth-edged unit but it was the Acer W4 I was most surprised at. With a 19Wh battery, 3G (option), HDMI, two keyboard accessories and a very good IPS screen it seems to have pulled together an impressive product.
Lenovo just launched a Thinkpad 8 Tablet on Baytrail Z3770 (up to 2.4Ghz), a MicroUBS3.0 port and FHD 1920×1200 screen. SSD options go up to 128GB but there’s a max of 2GB RAM and, as far as we can see, no digitizer layer. There’s a 3G/4G/LTE option.
Until WiGig docks take off next year the only thing Ultrabook users can use are the USB3.0 docks that are available from Toshiba, Lenovo and others. The problem with those is that they were designed for bigger laptops and assume you’ve already got a DVD drive. The ASUS VariDrive solves that problem.
Gigabit Ethernet, Dual display outputs, USB3.0 hub and DVD drive in one. The only thing that is missing is an analogue audio in and out port for those Skype headphones.
Thunderbolt docks: expensive. WiGig docks: Not until 2013. Proprietary docks: Seldom seen on consumer laptops. USB3.0 solutions – cheap and available.
If you want to use your Ultrabook, or any recent laptop on the desk, there’s a lot of options talked about, but not much available. You’re left with plugging in that HDMI, the keyboard and mouse, DVD drive, network cable and speakers every morning. Every time you want to use the laptop away form the desk you have to go through the same procedure. It costs time, is annoying and kills those connectors. Following up from my review of the Toshiba Dynadock U3, a USB3.0 docking system, I thought I’d try to build the same myself for USB3.0 components. Here’s the modular USB3.0 docking station…
Thinking of upgrading a desktop PC? Upgrading a Netbook. A 10″ Tablet? Now that Ivy Bridge 2nd-Generation Ultrabooks are here and we’re heading into a period of marketing and competition it’s the perfect time to consider converging to an Ultrabook.
A few weeks ago I turned off my desktop PC. It’s the first time it’s been shut down and disconnected for the 3.5 years that I’ve had it. In it’s place is nothing, until I plug my Ultrabook in. The reason I’m doing this is simple; The Ultrabook is better than the desktop for all but a few use cases.