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  • snoozemode - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Microsoft should really focus on merging WRT and WP8, and that rather quickly. It's a strange idea to try have one OS for every device type when so much converging is going on in the hardware world. As it stands today it seems Microsoft is missing out on the big 5"+ 1080p wave going on in the Android world because of no support for that resolution and also missing out on the now popular 7" tablet format because WRT just doesn't seem made for that experience. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I agree, it's kind of odd. Android runs on both phones and tablets of all sizes, iOS runs on iPhones and two tablet sizes, why does Microsoft feel the need to have a completely separate phone OS and tablet OS? Sure, Windows Phone 8 moved to the newer Windows kernel and got a lot of the same APIs and such as regular Windows, but it's still a distinct OS from RT.
    One OS for both would increase the potential market for developers as well as make developing easier.
  • tipoo - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Besides that, I also believe that on tablets Windows x86 will become dominant over RT. Reply
  • Silent_Rage - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't be too sure of that: http://hal2020.com/2013/01/02/there-is-no-arm-in-w... Reply
  • ninjacut - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    The big advantage of RT over x86 is the lack of legacy application baggage that could bog down the experience plus the security.

    But to your point, x86 will be preferred choice if legacy applications and in general full compatibility is required.
  • B3an - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    You both forget that MS are the only company to have one single OS thats runs on both tablets and PC's. Apple, Linux or Google don't have this.

    Windows Phone is by far the best phone UI out there in my opinion partly because it's specifically made for smaller phones. The Win 8/RT UI wont scale down well for phones with small screens.

    But the Windows Blue update, released later this year, is meant to have support for smaller 7" tablets. It's inevitable that MS will support these at some point anyway. You have to remember they've been busy with the massive task of getting Windows to work well on tablets, porting Windows to ARM, and porting WP to the Windows 8 kernel. They just haven't had time for smaller tablet support yet.

    Being as WP and WIn 8/RT all have the same kernel and most of the same API's, including the same DirectX, then it's already pretty easy for most dev's to support all platforms. Things will be even more toughly integrated across platforms in future updates.
  • virtualx - Saturday, August 31, 2013 - link

    Ummm... Canonical have been making Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) for smartphones and tablets for quite some time now. And Debian has been available for ARM since ARM began existing. Microsoft has never been the first or only company to do anything.... Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    MS is busy spinning off part of their desktop OS as a tablet OS while keeping their existing phone OS. The goal of a unified interface across all three markets makes sense on paper but MS has to deal with the legacy desktop paradigm hampering their desktop initiatives.

    On the more positive side of things, MS looks to be merging the development side of desktop, tablet and phone rather well. It isn't perfect (unnecessary legacy desktop API's have crept into tablets) but clearly superior to having independent SDK's.

    As for lack of 1080p support in Windows 8/RT tablets, I think that that is more of an OEM issue than a software one on MS side. Atom based tablets should handle it (and the 10W Ivy Bridge ones due out shortly definitely can). There are GPU's on the ARM side that can handle such resolutions, though they would require Windows RT drivers etc.
  • snoozemode - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I completely agree that the unified user interface Microsoft is trying to force on to all device types (read desktop) is a bad idea, for example i now have 40 tabs open and 5 programs that i need to switch between to do work, would just be completely impossible to operate with touch and the metro interface. But what is even worse is that they are taking the unified user interface approach with the help of 3 separated operating systems. The best solution would obviously be the complete other way around, one operating system with different user interfaces for different screen sizes and user experiences. Like Anand wrote some time ago, they are doing what they did with Windows mobile, just in reverse.

    I'm quite sure WRT technically supports 1080p, but WP8 is definitely not. And when it comes to form factor it is clear that the user interface in WRT is designed for a ~10" horizontal device wheras WP8's user interface would work with smaller and vertically held tablets. But these are is just two small things why merging WRT and WP8 makes sense. The big things are obviously removal of duplicate developing, for Microsoft themselfs aswell as for developers, easier marketing, less confusion and easier adoption among consumers etc etc.
  • Silent_Rage - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I believe this is the general idea behind Windows Blue. It should have happened last year, but I got the distinct feeling (based on various news stories) that Sinofsky was somehow delaying this or playing hardball with the WP division. It has to happen SOONER rather than later, that's for sure. Reply
  • snoozemode - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Lets hope that is the case. But if that is what Blue is, what about current Windows RT devices? And WP8 devices? Will they too be left in the cold as WP7.5 devices? For me it feels like Microsoft has created this massive pile of mess that I'm not sure how long it will take before it's sorted out. I mean my Windows 8 computer still has two separated Internet explorers that doesn't sync favorites between eachother, and this is in year 2013. Reply
  • Silent_Rage - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    The current RT and WP8 devices will be upgraded to Blue as well. I'm positive of this since Blue is a smaller form of an update as compared to the usual cycle we've seen with Windows in the past. Windows Blue will be the first "annual" update to Windows and we will see granular changes to Windows RT. On the backend, we will see a shift to align the two OSs (RT and WP8) to share the same APIs, more so than what we're seeing today. Reply
  • ninjacut - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I actually prefer Microsoft approach of not using Phone OS on a tablet, firstly it simply becomes a more productive device and can handle content creation activity better than the Phone OS. Secondly, the way performance is improving in these SOC's the Phone OS will need to catch-up in features. This is already happening with Android doing multi-user and split screen like WRT and will continue to do so. Microsoft has a good advantage at this point.

    Regarding the 7inch form factor, WRT can perform well but certain features will make less sense such as the desktop. But its again advantage and not a disadvantage.

    The challenge is to release WRT 7inch tablet, at the right price asap!
  • snoozemode - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    My point is that the WRT UI could stay as it is, the OS would just change UI depending on screen size as Android did in ICS.

    Regarding desktop in WRT, can't really see the point of having it since you can't run any legacy programs anyway. It's basically there to run Office 2013. Make a Metro UI Office and remove Desktop.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    This sounds like a dumb question, but do Windows Phone 8 programs also run on Windows 8 and RT? P8 runs P7 stuff, and I've been assuming that RT and real Windows 8 can run Windows Phone 7 and 8 programs too, but not necessarily optimized for the display, iOS style...but I actually have no idea if that's the case.

    Also...I have no idea if it's even possible to back up metro programs. I'm not a huge fan of iOS, but one of the things it does right is let you back up programs to a PC, so you can manage them and don't have to redownload multiple GB onto a new device, or when you're juggling storage.

    Really disapointed Metro isn't open though...otherwise Windows 8 is what I've wanted since before the original iPad-a real PC that has an optional tablet interface...but to be a real PC it has to be OPEN...ironically Android is open (technically), Windows 8 as a desktop OS is open, but metro isn't :(
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    1080p 'real' resolution on a device like this would feature text so small you wouldn't be able to read. Increase the DPI? Might as well just drop straight to 1366x768.

  • DeciusStrabo - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Like Android Windows 8 is able to display Metro-Apps independently from the physical resolution, meaning they always use a logical resolution (which makes them look like Babbies first computer-Apps on my 27" screen, since all elements and letters are huge, not taking advantage of the space offered, simply making everything scale up.
    However the advantage is of course that this way they can use more pixels to display elements, making them look smoother (what Apple does with Retina, but more flexible as you aren't limited to multiples of their logical resolutions and the weird and resources intense offscreen rendering process).
    So 1080p would be great to have on Windows RT/WP8 devices too, as it just means smoother and more readable UI elements, not smaller UI elements (disadvantage on desktops, advantage on mobile devices).
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    It has Adreno225.
    How about NOOOO
  • killerclick - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Lol @ 1366x768
    Lol @ dead platform
    Lol @ available storage

    It's worth $350 at most (not even that if you don't need Office), although seeing how Metro devices are doing, they should be offering more for less.
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I'm not at all a huge fan of Windows RT devices since I just don't see the value added in limiting one's computing to a keyboard-less device or having to add a keyboard at additional cost to perform data entry at a reasonable speed, but tablets have their place as content consumption and entertainment devices. They're also the current wizbang thing to purchase, replacing other fads like 3D TV and netbooks.

    All that said, there's really nothing wrong with the screen's resolution given the 10 inch size. Yes, there's lots higher resolution devices available, but to make those devices usable, objects on screen must be scaled to a reasonable size, negating lots of the advantages while costing in battery life and platform performance managing pixels that are simply there to be checkbox specification for marketing.

    The platform isn't dead yet. It might go the way of Windows Mobile someday, but it's sort of early to assume such is the case.

    The device storage is pretty disappointing. Sure you can add memory via SD or an external devices, but it would be nice to be able to use more of what you're paying for OR for the cost of additional storage to be lower. One of the things that I don't care much for with RT (and 8-based tablets as well) is the large footprint of the OS. It hasn't gotten much worse since 7's launch, but the move from rotating hard disks to flash memory has certainly made getting lots of storage an expensive prospect. Power consumption and durability are nice, but vendors do make you pay if you want to keep much information on the device itself.
  • Tech-Curious - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Well said.

    All that said, there's really nothing wrong with the screen's resolution given the 10 inch size. Yes, there's lots higher resolution devices available, but to make those devices usable, objects on screen must be scaled to a reasonable size, negating lots of the advantages while costing in battery life and platform performance managing pixels that are simply there to be checkbox specification for marketing.

    Especially this bit.
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Actually, once you use a nice high-Res device, it is quite difficult to go back to a cheap panel. My vision is by no means great, but the difference between a TF300T and a TF700T is quite noticeable.

    More to the current weakness of Windows 8--they need to get auto-correct going. So far, the touch keyboard is just that. MS just seems behind on system-wide text entry advancements.
  • Tech-Curious - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    I'm not saying that a higher resolution can't improve your subjective experience on a very small screen -- but at the screen size we're discussing, the difference is nebulous, undefinable.

    (The high-res panel might also have better color fidelity or a better contrast ratio, for example. Resolution isn't the only determinant of image quality -- and by definition, resolution becomes less determinant as screen size dwindles.)

    High resolution is a luxury, and as BrokenCrayons points out, it's a costly luxury. To me, the benefit of a larger resolution is more than offset by the performance penalty. A tablet with a high-res screen will tend to cost more, and it will tend to age faster than a lower-res analogue. After all, your TF700T has to draw 222% more pixels than your TF300T. (2.28 million versus 1.024 million.)

    Do you really think the TF700T looks 222% better? If you'd never used the TF700T, would the display on the TF300T bother you at all? The inferior tablet in your example boasts a pixel density 10% higher than the pixel density of the perfectly serviceable desktop monitor on which I'm typing this post, BTW.

    As usual, the matter boils down to a value proposition. Of course a higher-resolution screen is better than a lower-resolution screen, all else being equal, but people on any kind of budget should consider how well a given resolution fits into their budget, both now and in the future. I say the same thing about desktop rigs; if you're a gamer, for example, and you get yourself accustomed to ultra-high-res and/or multi-monitor gaming, then you are signing yourself up for a very expensive hobby. You may only have to buy the monitor(s) once, but you're gonna have to keep shelling out for high-end video cards to accommodate it (them).

    On the other hand, someone who is accustomed to (and content with) lower-resolution gaming can wring an immense amount of value out of their computer hardware. Likewise, a consumer who's content with less-than-preposterous resolutions on a tablet will wring more value out of his tablets. He'll feel compelled to upgrade less often, which is probably the reason tablet manufacturers are pushing high-res screens so hard lately. ;)
  • Tech-Curious - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    (That should say, "your TF700T has to draw 122% more pixels than the TF300T." The former has 222% as many pixels as the latter, not 222% more pixels. :) Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    All of that said, and whether you think a high-res tablet display is worth it or not, I think we can agree that killerclick's original, disparaging comment ("LOL @ 1366x768") was unwarranted given the size of the screen we're discussing. Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    In my search to replace my Iconia A500, I tried a W510, TF300T, and the TF700T. I am normally a value shopper too, but the older I get, the more my definition of value changes. I used my last tablet every day, almost exclusively at home, and I don't play FPS games on a tablet. It's not IF the screen is some quantitative amount better, it is if the clearly better screen is worth the extra cost. Considering you also get faster internals and better build quality for an additional $70, I'd say it's worth it. I didn't find that much variation in battery life, and the TF700T lasts "all day" and charges in a couple hours. I used 5% of my battery in 40 minutes of web browsing this morning. Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. To clarify, it was never my intention to criticize the TF700T as a bad value in total. I'm actually a bit of an ASUS fanboy.

    As you point out, there's more to the product than just the screen's resolution. My only point is that high resolution is a burden on the rest of the system. Like BrokenCrayons, I question how much practical use the consumer gets out of 1900x1200 on a 10.1" screen.
  • ninjacut - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Its absolutely worth the price, considering it runs a full OS and not a Phone OS. If you compare the footprint, WP8 has same size has Android or iOS.

    Now add multi-user, desktop, office, file system, network share, with desktop grade utilities like power shell, explorer, task manager, disk manager, etc. etc. etc then obviously the footprint will be large.

    Is that too difficult to realize?
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Anand, both SunSpider and Kraken are outdated benchmarks. Browsers have optimisations for them, which doesnt translate into real world performance.
    The best benchmark is the "Google Octane". It consist of all real world tests.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Any idea when this will be finished? We've seen battery results a few weeks ago alongside the Acer 510 review; and you've added CPU/GPU numbers on it in this review. What's left to do before the writeup? Reply
  • kyuu - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    "I suspect that once we get to the next generation of SoCs we'll see a better story from all of the vendors (22nm Atom, Cortex A15 based Wayne, Krait 200/300 from Qualcomm)."

    You seem to have forgotten about AMD's upcoming Temash tablet SoC. That's the one I'm looking forward to the most. Heck, I'd take the AMD's Hondo Z-60 over Clover Trail even today, if there were any tablets actually using it.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    40nm Temash will be power hungry. It will probably have great GPU performance, but the battery life will be crappy. There is a limit on how many transistors you can add on 40nm. :( Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Anandtech said they will be 28nm, so unless things have changed (in which case a link would be nice) they should be competitive. Reply
  • OoklaTheMok - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Anand, the way you mentioned lack of a rotation lock on the ATIV Tab seems to indicate that there isn't a way to lock the screen rotation. Rotation lock is controlled via software @ Charms Bar > Settings > Screen. You likely know this already, but other readers may come away thinking that Win 8/RT lacks a rotation lock.

    Thank you for your great review as usual. I always love the details you provide.
  • powerarmour - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    So where are the Adreno GPU tests?, how do the drivers perform in DirectX...

    Talk about half a review!
  • Ananke - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Anything that cost equal or more than iPad is a marketing joke, and it wont sell well - it is that simple. I don't like Apple products at all, but once considering all the available applications, accessories, future support by even more applications, etc. there is no reason to spend the same money on something else than iPad. For the non-i fans there is Android already.
    RT is already dead dog, for retail. It did have its several months of prime time, but the time is gone now...
    Saying all of this while owning MS W8 desktops, laptops, and phones.
    My ex-MS developer friends, that are now all Android developers, say they no more are interested or intend to move back to MS - it is just not worth developing for a very limited user base. Overpricing of RT doesn't help either.
  • Visual - Thursday, January 10, 2013 - link

    It will sell if it runs Crysis. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    Page 2

    "This test uses using AES for security."
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, January 03, 2013 - link

    How is it when I run Kraken on my TF700T running Jelly Bean and Chrome, I score 22053? Is it hardware, Android or Chrome making the difference? That handily defeats all the Windows 8 tablets unless I'm missing something. Reply
  • Klimax - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    Benchmark specific optimisation in Chrome most probably. (After SunSpider IE team apparently stopped paying attention to them) Also those benches are often written by browser vendors themselves and for their internal usage and thus originally targeted at their own browser reducing value of that for other browsers. (Testdrive, Kraken, Octane,...)

    BTW: Comment form doesn't post under IE10 with compatibility mode off.
  • MonkeyPaw - Friday, January 04, 2013 - link

    I would love to see some cross-platform comparison. If my Tegra3 Android device produces that different of a result, I'd be interested to see just how different everything else might be. Reply
  • Relic74 - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    I just recently purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 and I have to say I'm really enjoying it. So much so that I'm selling my iPad. I tried to like the Apple, everyone has one, everyone seems to not be able to live without one, except me. Sure it's pretty, great hardware but the OS is so crippled and simplified it drives me crazy. The lack of media codecs, Flash, Java and something as simple as a file-manager doesn't help either, not to mention that the interface is boring and old. However for a while that was really the only viable tablet OS available, sure Android had the aforementioned but the UI is clunky, at times unstable and twitchy to say the least.

    Windows 8 though, finally a OS that is not only fast but is also capable of getting real work done. Even now in it's beginnings the OS wipes the floor with iOS. I'm not a Apple hater as I really like OSX, I own a Macbook Air and love it but iOS just drove me crazy.

    The Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet is one hell of a kit, it came down to that and the Asus 810c, I chose the Lenovo in the end because of the size plus I totally dug the look and feel. The little guy does everything I always wanted in a tablet; great battery, fast UI, nonrestrictive in what can and cannot be installed, a file-manager and a Mini SD slot. No Mini-SD card, who does that, Apple. I also don't want to have to plug my tablet into another computer and have to use a music player to transfer files across. Yes I know you can do it wireless. Skydrive is awesome, runs circles around iCloud not to mention I can sync certain folders because I have a file-manager, sorry as you can tell I have a real problem with sandboxing. I like it when my apps talk to each other, I like it when I'm in the photo manager and I can access the local drive or the many cloud services.

    Even though my Lenovo is running on a Atom CPU you would never know it as it's very, very peppy. The lack of apps is a little disconcerting at the moment but hopefully by the end of this year MS will be a little caught up, but hey at least there is Evernote and the Facebook app is pretty good. I'm very happy with MS, first time in a long time. I'm just so glad to finally have a tablet OS that is worth a damn, sure iOS has the apps but that damn system hasn't really changed in the last 2 years, their just playing catch up with Android now.

    On a side note stay away from RT for the time being, it really doesn't make sense right now as there isn't much that runs on it. The new HP 900 or Lenovo Tablet 2 are the way to go, even the Asus VivoTab 810c or Smart are superb machines.

    Windows 8 on a tablet just makes sense and I highly recommend anyone looking to buy a tablet in the near future to really give it chance, I promise you will not be disappointed.

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