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  • nerd1 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I totally disagree that the windows 8 is a misstep - it is GREAT for proper x86 tablets. Actually w8 is the ONLY fully functional OS that supports tablet form factor, and touch-only computing with w8 is actually quite good. (Browsing is magnitudes better too)

    Yes metro totally makes no sense for some form factors, then you can just live in desktop.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    You're welcome to disagree, but considering Windows is basically way behind iOS and Android in terms of tablet sales I'd have to say the market generally is of a different opinion. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Windows outsells OSX by 10:1 and android outsells IOS by 8:2. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Windows does, of course, but we're talking about TABLETS. How many people own a Windows 8 tablet? That means Surface, Surface Pro, VivoTab, etc. There are plenty of hybrids running Win8, but are they as numerous as the iPads and Android tablets? Not in my experience. Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    So based on your logic, Windows and androids are vastly superior to OSX and IOS. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Comparing only Windows 8 on tablets (not desktops or notebooks), iOS (not desktop or notebook OSX), and Android, the market has spoken quite clearly that Windows 8 tablets are not worth owning. Even with Windows 8 (RT) tablets getting under $400, traction has been disappointing. We have yet to be flooded with the really inexpensive (sub $300) Windows 8 tablets, so we'll see what the market says a year from now. Reply
  • gtquan - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    Need to compare apples to apples here. OSX has a relatively small market share compared to windows 7/8. Desktop PCs running full operating systems are declining across the board for a number of reasons. Windows RT/surface has been a disaster so far for microsoft vs iOS/IPAD which has been very successfull. Android tablets are catching up quickly to IPAD in sales.

    Microsoft is trying to create a more unified experience across desktop/laptop/tablet/phone though still early on in the process. Apple and android don't have anything that really competes against a full Windows 8 tablet but the public has shown that the market for these devices may be limited or the public is just plain confused now about what these devices do. Time will tell.

    I have a surface RT and do find it more functional for what I do compared to an Android tablet or IPAD but clearly I'm in the minority here.
    Reply
  • MikeLip - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    You're not alone in using a Windows tab. I have Android (Samsung Note 8) and and iPad 3 - but what I carry is a Lenovo ThinkPad 2. The Android and iOS tabs for me are fun toys, but the W8 tab is what gets work done. Reply
  • Jumpman23 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    No point in arguing with ignorance. Reply
  • GonzaloMin - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
    http://goo.gl/iOLRgI
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I own a Dell Latitude 10. The MD owns a Surface Pro. The sales guy has a HP Elitpad. The lady in Maastricht has a W510. The factory manager has an Asus Me400c. The Q&A guy has an Acer W500. Shall I go on?

    They might not be everywhere but statements such as, 'How many people own a Windows 8 tablet?' really do make you sound VERY foolish.
    Reply
  • thexile - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    You reply is also very foolish as well as. In total, what is overall percentage of the people you know who owns a Windows tablet? Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I know 3 people with windows 8 tablets and 1 person with a surface rt. But I know many more people with ipad's or android tablets (myself included). For me it's the hardware. Even at launch tegra 3 was dated. the current atom is embarrassing, ivy is too power hungry, and amd isn't performance/watt awesome either.

    I'm assuming with the 8.1 launch we'll see a haswell tablet and hopefully a snapdragon 800 rt device and I guess we can re-evaluate. Real breakthrough might be when the new atom comes out.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    and to be fair... if Surface rt had launched at $350 with outlook, it would have been an easy sell even with the dated hardware... Reply
  • Mint - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Win8 tablets were always only going to reach their real potential with Silvermont and Haswell. If they're still not selling one year from now, you'll have a point, but as of right now it's rather moot.

    Looking at Vivek's Air 11 review, even Haswell ULT can sip power better than an iPad4 for equal tasks. I fully expect ULX and ULY to come in hybrid form factors with the tablet part as light as the iPad4 with as good battery life. Silvermont should also cross that "good enough" threshold.

    That's when Win8 tablets become a completely non-compromise affair, and take over Android in computing functionality. Win8 was always about the long haul.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I don't really see them selling that well a year from now, as too many people have already bought iPads or Android tablets. I have an iPad2, and it works fine for email, web browsing, you tube, movies, etc... I'm not against the Surface or a windows tablet (or Android), but my money has already been spent, as well as many other people. And for people buying now, there are decent Android tablets (Nook HD+ or Fire) for much cheaper. I don't think Win8 tablets will reach their full potential until they get the hybrid work/tablet use down pat. It's moving the the right direction, but still not there. Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    It'll be there come Broadwell, no question. Reply
  • JNo - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Maybe but the $99 people spend on a Nook HD for example is more disposable i.e. it acts a stop gap and the real Win 8 tablets with Haswell/Silvermont will easily overtake them functionality wise. At this point the $99 spend on a cheap Android tablet can easily be dismissed and won't stop people upgrading eventually for something that is a superior tablet and can also be used as a full x86 workhorse, despite money invested. The cheaper tablets will always be useful for browsing on the sofa etc so won't be money down the drain. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    Too many people? You know that there are more than tens of millions of people on our planet, right? Tablets could potentially be as dominant as Netbooks were 5 years ago for the low-end computing devices. Though, I don't see iOS achieving that, and I doubt Android will wither, despite the aggressive subsidising campaign from Google and their Nexus devices. Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    *either Reply
  • max1001 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Considering Windows 8 tablets are only a year old, not really a fair comparison is it? Reply
  • Da W - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Most Android tablets are cheap ass Nexus 7 or Amazon kindle fire selling for Under 200$. Of course they sell, it doesn't mean it's better. With the same logic you could argue that McDonald outclasses every goddam 5 stars restaurants you can think of and that a Kraft Dinner and a Coke is the best meal on the planet a human can cook. Reply
  • Da W - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    And with Apple raking in 90% of smartphone/tablet profits, with only 15% of sales, one could argue Google is doing anticompetitive behavior called predatory pricing. They are flooding the market with a free OS and cheap hardware priced at cost, so that everybody uses Google advertising services in the future. At it's heart its illegal. The FTC/DOJ is far less effective than it used to be, but there have been many other firms that were proven guilty of comparable things back in the days, (when the bureaucrats actually worked...) Reply
  • fluxtatic - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Seriously? No, the difference is that Apple is a hardware company. That is, they don't really care about iOS or OSX except to the extent that it helps them sell hardware, which they make huge profits on. Google doesn't have the same model - they're an advertising company and if they want to sell hardware cheap in order to widen the market for their profit center (advertising), Apple can't cry to the DOJ about it.

    Remind me again, who was it that just lost a price-fixing lawsuit?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Doesn't Apply make more money on iTunes than they do on hardware? Reply
  • thesavvymage - Monday, August 19, 2013 - link

    That isnt predatory pricing. Predatory pricing is lowering your prices to sell at a loss when a competitor opens up nearby, driving them out of business QUICKLY, then raising your prices back up. Giving away a product for free or having cheap priced goods ALL the time (such as Walmart) is not predatory pricing. Reply
  • fluxtatic - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Dude, 17-year-old me would have told you a Coke and a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was the best meal. Reply
  • OoklaTheMok - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    You sir, are absolutely correct. So many android devices (phone & tablet) are disposable. No software support, poor durability... Etc. Comparing sales numbers only tells you a small part of the overall picture. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Try again - Apple sold 22.9 million iPads in Q4 of 2012, and the ENTIRE COMPUTING INDUSTRY only sold 134 million - that is desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets, including the iPad.

    That means in Q4 of 2012, the iPad alone was 16% of the "PC" market. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2415180,00.as...

    By some estimates, next year tablets will outsell conventional PCs.

    Yes, Windows outsells OS X by a huge margin, and Android outsells iOS by a large margin (8;2? Why not say 4:1?) But iPad still outsells all other tablets, and by itself the iPad outsells all of the next-highest-production non-phone computing COMPANY. (HP sells the most PCs worldwide - Apple sold more iPads than HP sold COMPUTERS in Q4 2012 per my previous link.)

    So if current trajectories hold, iOS will be the biggest OS in the world by 2015. Although I doubt those trajectories will hold, Android is starting to chip away at iOS' tablet market share. But even so, by 2016, the iPad may outsell all "PCs" combined.
    Reply
  • Sarav - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Hasn't Android tablet market share already overtaken iOS (Ipad's) market share? Granted Apple will most likely regain the lead again in Q4 this year, but Android phones outsell iOS based phones by such a margin that I just can't comprehend how iOS will be the largest OS in 2015. Reply
  • fluxtatic - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Right, because there is no such thing as market saturation when it comes to iPads. Matter of fact, when it comes time to replace this desktop I'm typing this on, I'll buy two iPads so I can leave one on the back of the toilet.

    God knows the iPhone continued to sell gangbusters and is now selling more than every other smartphone on the planet combined. Oh, wait...
    Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Dude, it is completely different market. Completely different product range. iOS and Android are useless for professionals. Ford sells more cars than Lamborghini, but that doesn't make ford cards better. Professional products is a smaller market. You are comparing apples to oranges.

    Not that I am a fan of M$ or windows, and not that I don't think windows 8 sucks in a terrible way but still..
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Everything touch-related about Windows 8 isn't screaming professional market, either. That you can use desktop applications on a tablet is vaguely useful, but for the most part when a company is going to have to make new versions of programs they've traditionally run on desktops/laptops on a tablet PC, they'll just go make an Android/iOS version instead of sticking with x86 only to make a Metro version.

    Bonus: They save money on Android devices when compared to Windows RT or 8 releases.
    Reply
  • JNo - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    But with a convertible tablet you have the *option* - use as a tablet or (for "professional market" use), stick it on to the keyboard part and use a no compromise laptop. It's a win either way. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Maybe Windows 8 is the first attempt to push sales. Heck MS had to create the Surface to push Oems into making suitable and acceptable devices. What do we have... The same old same old and at least Acer is trying (Albeit with a very poor W3 and acceptable W510/w700)

    I PREFER choice and the best choice for ME and others is Windows 8. It affords me access to all of the previous Windows apps along with the new streamlined 'apps'.
    Reply
  • rainking430 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Ummm, that's because they are infants in the mobile space, Jarred. Tablet sales are the way they are because these are 1.0 efforts and the majority of people are ok with what they have. Look at how long the others have been in the space and how much time they've had to hone their product over the years. It's an uphill climb for MS for sure, and Windows 8.0 was half-baked in a lot of ways, but I think MS is in this for the long haul and will eventually find their footing. Reply
  • SpartanJet - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Windows 8 is great for Tablets. I don't think judging an OS on sales is a good metric especially when Windows was last to the party and right now the entry cost is much higher. Windows has an enormous amount of REAL software to choose from not fart apps and microtransaction money grubbing apps like on Android and iOS. If we were talking about Windows RT you might have had a point.

    I'm going to make the jump once Windows gets a good tablet for under $600. I can't wait to leave Android behind.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    All of the "real software" for Windows is basically for desktop mode, which is not a good fit for tablet use in my experience. Every time I try to use the touchscreen on a laptop that has one and end up in a desktop app, I reach for the mouse or touchpad. Yes, you can use a tablet and touchscreen (usually), but it's not an optimal experience. It's basically this:

    Metro App = good for tablet/touchscreen
    Desktop = good for traditional PC/mouse and keyboard

    When I try to cross over and use a Metro App with keyboard and mouse, it's okay but not always great. When I go the other way and try to use a desktop app with only the touchscreen, however, it's far, far worse.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    There are only a few niggles before I'd shell out for a W8 tablet. I'm using Windows 8 on my desktop. If everyone brought their apps to the store already, I'd be even more satisified, but as it stands I'm a huge fan of every Modern component I use.

    Right now, my primary issues with W8 are my FN keys on my keyboard don't work, and there's no way to go to the start menu with the remaining space while I have an application snapped part-screen.
    Reply
  • lmcd - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Oh, and of course a better notification system would be brilliant. But that's not even too horrible. Reply
  • safcman84 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    If Acer had gone for Win RT, then you be fair to compare to tablets. However this hybrid-ultrabook isnt competing in the same market. This is not a consumer tablet device

    If Acer had gone for iOS or Android it wouldnt be able to run full desktop apps, and therefore would lose its appeal to the market it is aiming for.

    You wont see the full impact of Win8 for another year/year and a half. The company I work at (120k employees globally) is rolling out win8 next year and abandoning the iPads it started to roll out last year. Why? cos iOS cannot handle the applications that win8 can, and they want their workstations, laptops, phones, laptops etc to run the same ecosystem so business users dont have to learn how to use 3 seperate OSes
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Except, they'll still potentially have three different OSes:

    Windows 8.1 for desktops/laptops and expensive tablets
    Windows RT for inexpensive tablets, unable to run full Windows applications
    Windows Phone, which is another separate platform.

    So unless they only go with full Windows 8.1 devices, they'll still face a fragmented set of platforms, and the phones and RT devices will need new apps, and using RT and Phone is not the same as using Windows any more than iOS and OS X are the same.
    Reply
  • bearinthevalley - Friday, August 23, 2013 - link

    hmm then you should work at a better company. the one i work at with 70k employees allows its employees to choose any platform he/she wants. it's called "any device" or "bring your own device" concept. we don't live in an age where corporate IT has to heavyhandly force devices and platforms on its users, but rather empowering its employees to be efficient and productive in the platform/device/OS they personally prefer. it's proven that employees are far more productive and satisfied if they could choose their own devices. hence if you come to our office you will see a diverse ecosystem of devices coexisting, from thinkpad to ipad, from macbook air to retina pro, from surface to android, you can use anything and all our corporate apps will just work (ideally at least) Reply
  • gxtoast - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - link

    I think that it should be noted just how immature Windows 8 Metro is as an OS and as a platform for touch centric applications. I think, as an OS, it is pretty good and can certainly keep up with IOS and Android. However, usability is a key aspect in the new touch world and Microsoft is struggling to adopt this new requirement.

    If you take a look at Apple it becomes clear that they have made usability the centerpiece of their OSes. From this position they have encouraged, through marketing and culture, all of their developers to match or better any Apple usability innovation.

    It remains to be seen whether Microsoft can fully embrace and realize usability in their own applications and OS, and push their developers to do the same.

    I've been using Windows for a long time and have recently come back to the Apple eco-system looking for a range of apps. What I have discovered is that most Apple applications have a refinement and usability excellence that just isn't present in the majority of Windows apps. It is quite astounding, actually. Apple developers just seem to go deeply into usability and produce beautiful user interfaces that ooze fuctionality. Windows is very clearly playing catchup in this way.

    Another misstep that Microsoft has made, and I think it is a major one, is their INSISTENCE of a 16:9 display ratio for all Windows 8 devices. This is THE biggest reason why my next tablet will be an iPad and NOT a Windows tablet. Microsoft talks about Content Creation, but their insistence on 16:9 puts them squarely in the Content Consumption category. A big fail I think.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, August 24, 2013 - link

    But we're comparing the products here, not what the market thinks, don't we? Your task as a reviewer is not to say "people have not bought it in masses, so it can't be good" but rather "This and this are the strengths of the product, whereas these are weaknesses. It's worth buying in this and this scenario, but not in that one." Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    FWIW, I still have yet to meet anyone who uses the touchscreen on their laptop -and- runs Windows 8.

    Most professionals who need a touchscreen for their work don't benefit from Windows 8.
    Most (not all) consumers don't see the value proposition in paying more for it.
    Those consumers who do see the benefit of a touchscreen tend to just buy an Android/iOS
    tablet
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    This does not make sense. I've seen people using keyboards with their ipads and you'd bet that if they had a mouse they'd not be touching the screen. Think about it... . I have a Dell 24" touchscreen in front of me... Do I 'touch' the screen? No. Why buy it then? BECAUSE I CAN. Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Kinda confused by this post...

    Plenty of consumers use iPads as their primary computer device, so they end up buying a keyboard. This is cheaper, lighter, easier to use (for light consumer workloads) and has a lot more touch apps than a good lightweight touch Win8 laptop.

    Why would they use a mouse with it? Have you seen anyone use a mouse with an iPad? I haven't tried it, but with an Android tablet a mouse is a miserable experience - because everything's designed for touch.

    Buy a 24" touchscreen you don't touch "because you can"? Huh? Isn't that >2x the regular price for a feature you won't use?
    Reply
  • karasaj - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    To be fair the first year of android tablet sales weren't exactly spectacular. It wasn't until the kindle fire that they really began to catch on. And I think windows 8 is a better tablet OS than android was back then with its 6 android tablet optimized apps... So its quite possible 8.1 and $200 tablets could help a lot.

    Microsofts issue is charging $90 for an OS in a world where all of the other major competitors provide it for free. That eats into an OEMs margins, which either drives the price up or makes them unwilling to adopt. It HAS to be cheaper or free. Like, $10.
    Reply
  • nafhan - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I'm curious what you mean by "fully functional". Runs windows apps? Reply
  • mooncancook - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I tend to agree with you. I had been interested in convertible notebook and tried them out in store before, the experience was lacking. Then came Win8 and I tried the Sony Duo 11, I was intrigued, but I was turned off by the short battery life. Finally Haswell arrived, and I tried the new Sony Duo 13 and I was convinced and bought it. I love it so far. With traditional notebook, the only place that I use it is on a desk, but with a hybrid I start using it while lying on the couch or bed, and the touch browsing experience with IE is great. If I need more precise control I can use the Wacom-liked stylus or the built-in touchpad, and if I am seriously working on desktop mode I'd connect a BT mouse. It costs 4 times as much as a good tablet but it can be 10 times as useful. It is not for everyone but it opens new doors and new opportunities. On the other hand, I don't think a 15" hybrid that weighs over 5 lb is appealing. Overall I like what MS did to put serious touch capability into their new OS. Without Win8 and Haswell I would not have purchased a new hybrid notebook at all. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    This is obviously an opinion, but the Ezel hinge is a ridiculously stupid idea. Having the touchpad ABOVE the keyboard makes it basically useless (you are guaranteed to nudge keys with your wrists) and the ability to lay the open screen completely flat with the body of the machine doesn't exist. This is for a market that doesn't want a tablet, notebook, convertible, ultraportable, or DTR/powerhouse. Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I agree. I see the only really useful hybrid formfactor to be a totally detachable tablet. Maybe something like the HP Split, I think it is. Even some of the cool hinged designs, like the dell (I cant remember the name) or the Lenovo Yoga are still basically laptops, and you are stuck with hauling around the keyboard all the time, and they are too heavy and bulky to easily be used as a tablet, even when folded into tablet form.

    So ultimately, the only convertible option I would choose would either be a tablet with a dock, or a laptop with a totally detachable tablet portion. Actually, I suppose those two are basically the same thing.
    Reply
  • nerd1 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Actually the ezel hinge is the best option out there for convertible tablet, as it can be made quite sturdy, and can house the main logicboard (ativ Q does so). Vaio duo 13 uses the same architecture and managed to fit a small touchpad BELOW the keyboard to make it actually useful as a laptop. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    If they were going to put the logic board in there, then why not go all the way and make the screen detachable? Ohh, right, the battery. The whole implementation is poor. You get no real benefit over a laptop for double the price and a virtually unusable track pad. Reply
  • sheh - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    It seems the screen is 6-bit, without even FRC? Is there obvious dithering? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    The only places that say it's 6-bit are not really reliable sources. I'm guessing most assume 6-bit since that's what all TN panels use, but this isn't TN. Sadly, AUO's page doesn't say anything: http://www.auo.com/?sn=149&lang=en-US&c=34...

    AHVA is a high-end technology, though, basically in the same category as IPS, so I'd be surprised if it was actually only 6-bit. In fact, other sources say AHVA can do 10-bit, but they're no more reliable than the places saying 6-bit. In use, I didn't see any signs of dithering, but then even dithering on TN panels has become good enough that I don't notice.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Just thought you should know: You can also get IPS panels with 6-bit (the well-known, much-liked Dell U2412M comes to mind, source: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/dell_u2412m.ht... ).

    On that note, if you spend the money, you can get a damn good TN panel as well, as the 1920x1200 panel in my Dell E6500 shows. First time I powered it on, I mistook it for an MVA panel because it had rather good colour gamut (compared to my dual U2410 setup), with negligible colour shifting, little washout at 120° (60° each side).
    Reply
  • ViperV990 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I can't stand the fused enter/backslash key design Acer has been employing. Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    why did Microsoft even waste so much time and energy creating the Start Screen

    Because the Start Menu is actually complete rubbish. It's worthless, with only one redeeming feature (arriving in the much-maligned Windows Vista): Search.

    The Start Screen is an order of magnitude better at everything except search. For search it can either be much better or a bit worse. The things that actually do need criticism in Windows 8 are the (entirely optional) swipe-ins (on the desktop accessed by the hot corners) and metro apps (which suck on a desktop and should not be the default apps for anything). On tablets those things are actually pretty great (Windows 8 on a tablet is a very long way ahead of Android/OS in terms of user experience, despite being somewhat unfinished). On touchscreen notebooks they are somewhat useful, but still slower than keyboard shortcuts.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    If you're not on a tablet, what does the Start Screen do that's better than the Start Menu? The Start Menu has been a great tool for me since it was introduced, and Search made it even better. Yes, you can put icons on the desktop, but then your desktop looks cluttered and it's hard to find things if you're on someone else's PC. You can go through the Start Menu to find a shortcut and copy that straight to the desktop as well, it's alphabetized, and it doesn't take over the whole PC every time you use it. Tack on the way Win8 Apps are full screen affairs (or at least most of the screen if you snap them to a side), and it's no longer really multitasking. Win8 as a tablet OS is only faster and better than Android/iOS if you're running it on Ultrabook hardware; run it on Atom or similar and it's a dog. Applications load slowly, even simple ones like Photo or the Store, there are lots of things you can't find yet, and the only real benefit is backwards compatibility with x86...in desktop mode. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    " run it on Atom or similar and it's a dog"

    I'm sorry but you're simply just spouting rubbish again. I used, while my 8470p was away, my Dell Latitude 10 for two weeks for work use and although it wasn't as fast as a core i7 quad it was PERFECTLY acceptable and managed to undertake all my admin tasks apart from VM work.

    The latest Atom is, after all, quite close to a low voltage core 2 duo. You can read the review on Anandtech. Oh wait... .

    When you search for an App under windows 7 you press the windows key and then start typing. How, at this point, can you interact with your desktop view? you can't. The moment to click something else the start menu vanishes. the issue of the full screen view Modern UI is not really an issue.

    Your feelings regarding Windows 8 are clear so PLEASE stick to reviewing other hardware as your 'feelings' will taint the review.
    Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Ummm...everything?

    Putting links on your desktop is, as you say, sub optimal (my desktop is mostly free of things as anything you put there requires smashing your window hierarchy into the ground), but finding anything in the start menu (other than by searching, which works excellently, but certainly not as well as it does in Win 8.1 vanilla Win8 is better search in some ways, worse in others) is close enough to impossible. It's a HELL of a lot easier to find things on the Start Screen than to navigate through a bunch of folders to find something.

    The Start Screen doesn't "take over your whole PC" by the way - it covers up one of your screens. That's a GOOD thing. That's what makes the start screen not suck. It means you can load your most commonly used apps with muscle memory, rather than having to type in anything you ever want to use that doesn't fit on your taskbar.

    Win8 is ALWAYS better than Android/iOS (in terms of user experience of the OS, there's problems with the app store I'm told, although there's not that many apps I use myself), I'm not sure I'd describe it as faster though (although WinRT is faster than Android according to Anandtech on the same hardware, unfortunately there's not really any good tablets, but that's a hardware issue, not a software one).

    Metro apps are full screen (or split screen, which is genuine multi-tasking) and only really work on tablets. IMO they are almost completely worthless on desktop (with a few exceptions). Windows 8 supports a HELL of a lot of other apps. I barely even see metro apps on my desktop machines (I do make frequent use of the messaging app, but that's mostly it) and criticisms of metro apps (all 100% optional) are not valid criticisms of the operating system (on the desktop, if you want to argue that metro apps don't work on tablets, fair enough, as dumb as that would be).

    btw, you can send things from your start screen to your desktop as well.

    It seems like you don't like Windows 8 because you don't like Windows 8. All the tablet features are optional on the desktop and the desktop is mostly unnecessary on a tablet (a metro file browser would be nice though).

    Re: speed on an Atom, I can only assume you haven't actually tried it. It certainly doesn't run what I'd term "fast" - unless you stick to the metro stuff, which in fact runs quite fast. If you mean the desktop (where it's fairly slow) then you should compare it to Windows 7 (or Linux, Android might run on Atom, but it's hardly comparable to the Windows 8 desktop), where it runs quite noticeably zippier (much faster than the couple of distros of Linux I've tried too).

    Criticizing Windows 8 might be popular, but it is almost always entirely baseless. Windows 8 is better in almost all respects (there's two things that are not as good: search doesn't default to search all and ) on a desktop.

    It's got a comfortably superior UX on tablets* as well and is improved further with Win 8.1.

    *10ish" and above tablets I mean, Android works quite well on smaller tablets (still not as good, but there's less difference) and iOS was designed for phones in 2007 and still feels just like it - very dated.

    Win8 doesn't have any compelling hardware (unless the Surface Pro is your thing, but I suspect that's a very limited subset of people), that's why it's not selling.

    Only Microsoft built an acceptable quality tablet, but one was underpowered and too expensive (same internal hardware as the Nexus 7 for $500? lol @ Microsoft) and the Surface Pro arrived before anybody had figured out how to make the right CPU for it (I bought one anyway, but for me battery life is a non-issue and neither is thickness, wouldn't mind it lighter though). Haswell Surface Pro 2 should be interesting (probably buy one for my wife, I can't get my current Pro off her when we're home) and if Microsoft have got half a brain, there should be a $200 7-8" Surface RT (hell just get Asus to make more of the new Nexus 7s with WinRT on them instead) and a $300-$350 10" Surface RT or Surface Atom machine as well.
    Reply
  • MarcLeFou - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    The way I see it, Windows 8.1 actually gives you the best of both worlds : option to booth to desktop and the option to use the all apps screen by default with the start button.

    If you dislike the live tiles because you want to see more on screen, using the all apps menu brings back the alphabetized start menu some people miss with 2 differences : folders are collapsed (grouped under a title) instead of you having to choose and collapse them and it's a full screen menu compared to a 1/4 of the screen one.

    The first point is debatable whether its an improvement or not because it does save a click when going into a menu folder but the start screen can become crowded pretty quick when you have multiple folders. It is mitigated somewhat by the fact that you have full screen real estate to play with and having it collapsed is definitely a concession to touch where collapsing the folder would require precision.

    Having the menu full screen is however a definite improvement as you see more programs on screen at once and the fact that you can now default to the alphabetized list instead of the live tiles with the start button makes it an actual full screen start menu. And how often do you really need to watch your desktop at the same time as you open a program ? Users like to start calc to do calculations while watching a movie now ? I know I can't focus my attention on two areas at once so when I open a program, I open a program.

    These changes should however have been there from day 1, not starting with SP1 but MS rushed in order not to miss the tablet boom because they were missing the boat with W7. And they did succeed in bringing out a good OS for tablets. But there's also no reason the classic start menu should have been disabled. It would have been very easy for MS to add the classic start menu on the upper left corner (linux-style) and appease critics. But they're trying to move people away from the desktop into the metro environment so I get why they did it as they're deprecating the desktop but I feel they should have made that move in Windows 9 (removing the classic start menu option) and left the dual system in place for windows 8. And if deprecating the desktop is what you want to do, you need to have at least metro-style word, excel and powerpoint readers, if not the full fledged office suite. Windows RT should not have any desktop period in order for the transition to be complete since it can't run legacy software anyway.

    But they'll improve in SP2 and really make a splash with Windows 9 (and by then hopefully they actually get marketing right. their marketing is the worse I've ever seen. they always miss the mark). Metro screen sharing, more settings options in metro, improvement to the store, etc all make 8.1 what windows 8 should have been at launch and even then it still lacks polish. But its still a much better OS than iOS, Android, BB, etc. As we're concerned, the proof is in the pudding as we'll be moving our salesforce from Windows 7 laptop over to Surface RT as the laptops become obsolete and we've just started moving our Vista users (running 8.1, after a month of a successful trial with a test user). The commercial office license for RT is abut 75$ per device for those curious to know. You can buy it with an OpenLicense agreement.

    The new reduced pricepoint, portability, software library (dropbox, skydrive, adobe, office w outlook are the apps we need and are all available in the windows store or installed by default in 8.1), battery life, etc makes it the ideal device for our sales team (with touch cover). We'd never have gotten Windows 7 tablets but new desktops remain on Windows 7 to retain standardization between workstations. We'll move to the next OS version when MS drops extended support for 7 in 4-5 years.

    In Windows X, I wouldn't be surprised for the desktop as an app to be deprecated entirely (except on the pro versions to run commercial software and to automatically run and close with the launch of a program for legacy software like DOS programs today on the home side). Metro is the new windows and it'll improve with each release and major update. They'll get it right by the 3rd version! lol.
    Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Why search is much worse in Windows 8 (esp. on desktops:)

    Win8: * click BOTTOM LEFT corner (start 'region').
    * search bar pops up in TOP RIGHT! -> start typing and...
    * search results appear in TOP LEFT

    I now have to look at 3 of 4 corners of the screen. This is incredibly obnoxious on my 27" screen.

    Vista:
    * click bottom left (start button)
    * search bar pops up in bottom left, type and...
    * search results appear near bottom left. yay!
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Good point actually! Well said.

    Ideally I always pin something that I use more than 5+ times.
    Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    How do you fit them all on the Start Menu (spoiler alert: you can't)? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    You can change the Start Menu to allow far more than the default 10 most recently used apps, and on a 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 you can pin a lot of stuff. Just because you don't do it doesn't mean you can't. I get that some people like Win8's Start Screen, but there are just as many that hate it, at least on a real desktop or laptop. Metro makes perfect sense on a tablet and little sense when not on a tablet. Windows Metro isn't even Windows anymore, since you get full screen/shared screen apps and basically nothing else. Leave and go to the desktop for "real apps" and the UI basically requires a mouse or touchpad again, and whether you're on a tablet or desktop that change between worlds is lousy.

    My experience -- having used more than a few Windows 8 devices -- is that while scrolling around in the Metro screens is great in terms of being smooth, and performance is equal to Win7 or better in most areas, you still need to have faster hardware to get a good experience compared to iOS/Android, because of that whole desktop mode issue.

    What gets me is all the hyperbole and apologists hating on anyone that doesn't like everything about Windows 8. Every laptop I now test uses Windows 8, so it's not as though I haven't ever used the OS. But I continue to run Win7 on my own desktop/laptop because it simply makes more sense to me. I could switch and it wouldn't be the end of the world, but there's basically nothing in Metro that I need/use, so I live in the desktop mode...except for the Start Screen. Don't you see how annoying that is? And 8.1 doesn't fix this, as the Start Button in the bottom left does what? Oh, it shows the Start Screen! Start8 and Classic Shell have already solved the problem better than Microsoft. Why is that? Because MS doesn't want to admit that their new Metro UI is not for everyone.

    It's a dangerous game: you can't please everyone, but you force everyone to go one route in order to pave the way for the future. Except that route is not necessarily optimal in many cases, so you alienate some of your user base.

    A few final points about Metro apps. Photos is slower to launch and has a worse UI for mouse/keyboard than Windows Photo Viewer. Photos is for touchscreen use and Photo Viewer is for Mouse/Keyboard use. BTW, did you look at the fingerprints photo to get another idea of why a person might hate touchscreens? Second, Music is slower to launch, more limited in various ways, and more power hungry compared to playing music through Windows Media Player. Again, it has a UI designed for a touchscreen, and I get that. But when the UI is simplified and it still ends up using more power, isn't something wrong? I even did testing of this on an Acer S7; using our Medium battery life test, the only difference being playing audio in the Music App vs. WMP, I found that the Music app reduce battery life by 10%.

    I'm not saying everyone has to hate on Win8, but there are very real reasons to dislike elements of the "new and improved" experience. So when I say "Windows 8 feels more and more like a misstep to me", I mean exactly that: the more I use Win8, the more I think MS made some serious errors, and the more I start thinking about other alternatives.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Actual (hopefully) constructive criticism:

    > I'm not saying everyone has to hate on Win8, but there are very real reasons to dislike elements of the "new and improved" experience. So when I say "Windows 8 feels more and more like a misstep to me", I mean exactly that: the more I use Win8, the more I think MS made some serious errors, and the more I start thinking about other alternatives.

    At the end of the day, I feel you simply sent too much time dwelling on Windows 8's failings than the laptop itself. This is a hardware review, not a software review. While I agree software needs to be reviewed, OS review and comment simply has no place in a hardware review unless there are significant changes from the mainline OS.

    Basically, it works for Android smartphones, because everyone is running what is effectively their own Android-compatible OS. It also works in Linux laptops, since there is often custom machine specific code baked in, but even then that's at most 2-3 paragraphs, not half a page (I'm being generous to something that shouldn't even be here), or if there's a ridiculous amount of bloatware or similar.

    Now for some point rebuttals (because I'm a masochist with too much time):

    > You can change the Start Menu to allow far more than the default 10 most recently used apps, and on a 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 you can pin a lot of stuff.

    Been there, done that. Also applies to Win8, which shows even more.

    > you still need to have faster hardware to get a good experience compared to iOS/Android, because of that whole desktop mode issue.

    Agreed, but SoCs will only get better, not worse. If anything, it launched too early, on slow hardware. With the 2W SDP Intel parts as Bay Trail that can fit in a tablet with passive cooling, 8.1 will be far more interesting, not so much in itself, but more about the ecosystem catching up. And MS is finally going in the 7" market. With x86, 1920x1200/1080 and an open EFI, I'm all in!

    > Don't you see how annoying that is?

    Nope. I have no issues with constantly using the start screen on a variety of machines, from a 12.5" convertible tablet (X220 Tablet) right up to a monster triple-screen desktop (3 24", 1920x1200 screens). Well, apart from not being as customizaable as I'd like it to be, but then again, itys nothing compared to tweaking the hell out of KDE...

    > A few final points about Metro apps.

    Fair points. I never use them, even on the tablet. Interesting that music takes up more power though.. wonder how that slipped the net...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    The R7 was advertised as being fundamentally redesigned to bring the touchscreen experience to the fore and to be a better way of working with Windows 8. That's why the whole Windows 8 discussion is pertinent; I'm not going to talk a lot about Windows 8 on a typical laptop without a touchscreen, and even on something like the Acer V7 it's not a huge item, because that's just a regular laptop with a touchscreen. But with the R7, Acer created this newfangled Ezel hinge and pushed the touchpad back, all to try and make it a better Windows 8 laptop, and thus I have to ask, "WHY?"

    Honestly, if touchscreens are so great, why did Acer even include the touchpad? Oh, because someone probably tried using Windows 8 with just the touchscreen and realized that there are times where it just doesn't suffice. There are things you simply need the precision of a touchpad to accomplish (and yes, that seems sort of laughable to me as I consider touchpads to be a less precise device, with a mouse or good stylus being the way to go if you need precision). If they had ditched the touchpad, then they wouldn't have needed to have the keyboard shifted forward, and they could have at least avoided the problems there. But they didn't, because IMO they realized they couldn't.

    I've tried taking a Windows 8 tablet with me and using it as just a tablet, hiding the keyboard and touchpad. (This is the Dell XPS 12 Duo.) There are so many occasions where I end up flipping it open to expose the keyboard and touchpad, because the pure touchscreen experience isn't getting me what I want. With an Android tablet, the only thing I want a keyboard for is when I need to type a decent amount of text, not for just using the device. Maybe I just need to "try harder" to come to grips with Metro and the Start Screen, but part of the reason for the dislike you see in this review is because I have been using Win8 regularly for more than six months and I still keep finding things I dislike, and all that dislike builds up and needs to come out.
    Reply
  • andrejg - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    I think that you should divide Windows 8 criticism in two parts. One is metro and that one I can understand. The other one is the platform, kernel and everything beneath the UI, that is far better, faster, more optimized, smaller than any previous version of Windows.
    I did upgrade (in place over old install) my working horse (Core2duo E6400) to Windows 8 from windows 7, and it runs smoother and faster and it is an ancient HW. Also I run Windows 8 on my lattitude X2 with very slow Core 2 Duo SU9400 at 1,4Ghz and is much more fluid than Windows 7. I also upgraded my daughter's ancient HP with core2duo t5400 with 2Mb RAM and it shows...
    So, i guess you'd also benefit from upgrading, and with maybe Classic shell installed one can hardly know, he's running also Metro. And I will not even go to the hyper-v capabilities of Windows 8...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    I did mention in the article that the kernel improvements of Win8 are worthwhile and good, and it's mostly the mess that is Metro and Metro Apps (and the Store) that are my complaint. Reply
  • Braumin - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    I'll throw this in here too. You, as a power user, don't like the Start Screen. That's great, lots of people as you said have the same complaint.

    I, as a power user, love the Start Screen. When I'm in the desktop, I find myself missing features that are only available on the Metro Side - mostly Contracts, which are freaking amazing.

    However recently my grandparents needed a new computer. I took them shopping, and they bought an Asus all-in-one with a 23" touchscreen and Windows 8. Yes, it took a bit to teach them how to do things that they used to do in Windows XP, but they love the Start Screen. Everything they need is right there, and it's all pretty dead simple to use for someone who's not too computer savvy.

    You may ask why they didn't just get a tablet, but they needed something that could do more.
    Reply
  • snajk138 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    How about you using the start button that's on every keyboard to start the search? And why would you need to look at the search bar when the cursor's there already? For me it is no different from Vista/7. I hit the start button on the keyboard, start to type what I'm looking for and get the results to the left or just hit enter when I've typed enough.

    If you're at all worried about efficiency you shouldn't be doing this kind of thing with a mouse anyway...
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    That works great on a tablet too, doesn't it? How about this: type "Firewall" and see what you get. I can tell you of course: on Win7 if you hit Enter you get the advanced Firewall controls, which might not be what you wanted, but three items down is the normal Firewall option in the Control Panel. On Win8, do the same and you get "No apps match your search" (unless you have some non-standard app named Firewall...), so you arrow down twice to Settings (or click it in the top-right), and there's your Windows Firewall option. Which of course is a desktop mode window. Win 8.1 is supposed to improve this, sure, but it never should have been like this to begin with. Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    yes! yes! yes! Making you go -back- to the top right.

    Efficiency is important... but usability is a must.
    Reply
  • Braumin - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    OK I just tried it. I hit Start, typed Firewall, and the first thing to come up was Windows Firewall.

    I'll agree that with Windows 8, they screwed up by changing the search into Files/Settings/Apps, but that's been corrected in Windows 8.1. I know this laptop you reviewed isn't on 8.1 yet, but I think you'll find that it corrects a lot of the issues with 8.
    Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I just hit Ctrl+Esc :-) For power users, that's great. My relatives/friends don't use the start key at all, and my coworkers rarely do - most users don't use keyboard shortcuts AT ALL.

    On Windows 8 you often do need to look at the search bar. Why?

    There are different kinds of search results (Files, Applications, Settings) below the search bar (Top Right/Middle)... and I often need to choose what to search.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Good point, but for me: On WinVista (or XP if you replaced the start menu with one of the numerous Vista start menu clones) and up:

    1. Hit (physical) start button and type first 3-4 letters blindly (oh look, I condensed 2 of you steps into a single, faster, more comfortable one! I'm gonna have myself one cookie :D)
    2. Search results appear at top of start menu/screen

    Note on 2: If you use a vertical-left taskbar layout in Win7, the results also appear at the top-left. It simply always appear at the top-left of the menu. Win8 having a fullscreen "start menu", it remains at the top left.

    In addition, searching using few letters is so much easier since you have a ton of columns for programs to go side by side, and picking the correct one is easier because the hitboxes are about twice the size now (helps when your default sensitivity is 2400 dpi)

    Over and above that, you can pin significantly more stuff to the start screen, which is useful for shortcuts you use once in a while, but not all the time.
    Reply
  • althaz - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Not a bad point (you must sit mighty close to your monitor though). I guess I never thought about it because I mostly use the windows key for launching the start screen (and the glance from right-hand-side search bar to left-hand-side results is how things are supposed to be designed, people's eyes are amazing at glancing to the left - you can see this in the design of a horde of things and is a key principle in modern design). Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I sit 3-4 feet from my monitor depending (it's on an arm) - 27" 16:9 is quite wide, and not all that long ago a 27" monitor was unheard of for consumers :-)

    Can you show me some popular examples of this 'type search right -> glance left design' ? You
    may be right, but can't think of any programs I use that do this other than CTRL+F in web browsers.

    All programs I use:
    1. "annoying popup in middle of screen for search" (sigh)
    2. search bar along top/bottom

    I strongly prefer glancing up or down (like reading a page of text) to left/right (switching between two pages of a book?) - maybe that's just me.
    Reply
  • rainking430 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I upgraded from 7 to 8.0 on a non-touchscreen 27" monitor myself and hadn't been bothered as much about that difference. That said, have you used the 8.1 Preview? All search results show up in the search bar now. Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Haven't seen this, just looked up some screenshots. Thanks for the information!

    I'm still on Windows 7, that observation was from running Windows 8 in a VM. Might fire up 8.1 for fun.
    Reply
  • sheh - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I was checking at Panelook. Can't say how accurate they are, but they SEEM like they should be.

    If it is 6-bit and you can't see it, perhaps the DPI helps.
    Reply
  • themossie - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    pg. 2: *lion's share of the duty. Late or spellcheck failure :-)

    "It’s the other three modes that are going to pull the ***lines share of the duty, so let’s look at each of those."

    Thanks for the article!
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Actually, it was Dragon Naturally Speaking. I picked that back up and have used it for some of the dictation in some of my recent articles. Funny that they missed that one. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    "Also, grabbing smaller elements like scrollbars for the edge of a window to resize can be difficult with a touchscreen – there’s just not enough precision to pull it off properly." - Increase the DPI. Personally I don't see an issue.

    "this design revolution comes up a bit short – much like Windows 8 itself." - Please, just stop already, it's obvious that you, personally, do not like Windows 8.

    "Obviously, this is just one man's opinion on the subject, but if you scour the web you'll find many others with a similar take on Windows 8" - But as you suggested there's a whole load of people that DO like Windows 8.

    Certain sections of this article really do need to be changed as it's painfully obvious what the agenda is. If a reviewer doesn't like Windows 8 then just give the device to someone else to review.
    Reply
  • rainking430 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Agreed. This is labeled a review, not an opinion article. It's a shame really, because I've enjoyed Jarred's reviews up till now and thought he was doing a decent job. Hadn't noticed such extreme bashing before. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    All reviews are opinions, and when a laptop/device is very clearly designed around the idea of Windows 8, that's going to be a major part of the review. Increasing DPI doesn't address the Excel issue. Without going into a menu, make a cell bigger, using just a touchscreen. To do this, you have to adjust the column width or row height, but while you can double-tap to get the autosize option, you cannot actually press and drag to create a custom size. Period.

    The response is of course the Steve Jobs line: "You're doing it wrong! It's not what I do, so why would anyone else want to do that?"

    Anyway, I wasn't aware that we had any sacred cows in the computing industry. I'll make a note of the fact that any time I have an opinion that may ruffle some feathers, I should turn over a review to someone that doesn't have an opinion on the matter. Is that really what people need?

    I'm trying to bring up some hard questions, and other than a lot of "you're totally wrong", "you should just stop", and "you just need to give it a try without bias", no one is actually giving any real solution to the problem. The problem is that I and a lot of others don't like the Windows 8 Start Screen or Metro apps, specifically on a desktop or full laptop. What is the end game here, and how does it play out?

    I didn't love Vista at first blush, but I didn't find it horrible (other than driver support for some devices). Win7 was basically thumbs up from the start, and the same goes for Windows XP, 98, and even 95. (I left out WinME on purpose.) Windows 8 on the other hand is Windows 7 in so many ways, but then with the whole new world of Metro overlayed in ways that often frustrate. Get rid of Metro and it's fine, except when Metro tries to rise from the dead (like creating a new user account).

    I'm not a huge Apple fan, having never really enjoyed using OS X much, but I'll go on record and say that it may be years or even "never" before Apple tries to integrate touchscreens and iOS apps into OSX. Microsoft did something Apple has so far been unwilling to do (trying to combine two disparate OSes and apps into one unified whole). Until we get screens that don't smudge or scratch, and applications for everything (not just consumption) that are designed to work well with touchscreen input, I at least am not clamoring for touchscreens.
    Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    2 different 3D mark tests but not a single actual game? Does 3d mark synthetic performance tests favor intel's IGPs? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    At the bottom of all the charts: "Whew! That’s a lot of benchmarks, and there are even more results in Mobile Bench – like if you really want to know how the R7 handles our gaming suite, for example, it’s there!" Here's the direct link: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/979 Reply
  • ddriver - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Providing results on the side is not the same as including them in a direct comparison. I guess it just real gaming results didn't look as good as synthetic benches, and who on anand would want to make intel's top notch struggle with amd's puny parts... Surely, you can make the comparison for yourself using the charts, but the in-article charts are going to influence much more people. So why don't we make them better, or is it just a coincidence the included synthetic graphics results are in absolute contradiction to real world graphics? By doing such "selections", the article presents a graphically superior part which it isn't, which is technically bending the truth. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, August 17, 2013 - link

    Please. How about "this can't run games, I said as much, and why show graphs that merely reinforce the fact?" It's not like we haven't shown HD 4000 gaming performance before; no use beating a dead horse. Except, funny how HD 4000 isn't all that much slower than AMD's latest when you get right down to it. Both are "too slow" for many games. Hopefully Kaveri can fix that, but if the CPU is still a bottleneck it will only run some games well and others will struggle, just like with Trinity/Richland. Reply
  • cjb110 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    The problem with the current Windows 8 apps is I can't see many creation apps, they're all browsing, or light 'mobile'-esq usage...none of them are like traditional desktop apps. Even the media players are all basic barebones, little or no media management.

    Until someone, preferably MS shows that the Metro UI can also do complicated creation type apps, Windows 8 will always live in this weird schizo realm of sometimes mobile sometimes decades old desktop (with all the issues that MS's desktop apps have)
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    That's because they didn't. Here's the data and rationale behind all they did, and when you get down to it, it makes a lot of sense.

    https://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/03/evo...
    https://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/04/des...

    I originally disliked the start screen, but then I found out all my use cases were nicely covered and I stopped caring. I did kinda miss the start button though...

    Well, that and the fact that they won't let me change program icons... grr...
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    And some more hard data and rationale:

    https://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/18/des...
    https://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/10/11/ref...
    Reply
  • snajk138 - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Try OblyTile: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1... Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    But effort..... besides, I'm fine with it now.. its just more pactical :D Reply
  • rootheday - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    the key usage model I see for the ezel hinge is commercial air travel. You have the laptop on the tray but the seat in front of you is too close to let a normal laptop screen hinge tip far enough for good viewing (especially in economy, especially if the person in front reclines their seat) unless you slide the laptop so close to you that your elbows are sticking into the person on your right/left or out in the aisle.

    So you use the ezel hinge to raise the screen above the keyboard and forward and tipped way back (somewhere between "shifted forward" mode and "floating table" mode. Now you have a straight on view of the screen and your hands are below the screen on the keyboard. the keyboard itself is far enough in front of you that it isn't awkward to type.

    For people who travel a lot and need to type on a real keyboard with a decent sized screen, this form factor makes sense to me.
    Reply
  • jaydee - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    In the photo gallery, it really looks like a mini-DP port, not a mini-VGA on the left side next to the HDMI port, could you please confirm? Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    It does indeed. And so far, I haven't seen a single ultrabook with VGA (DIE VGA, DIE, TOGETHER WITH YOUR HATEFUL BROTHER, DVI!)

    Even projectors have moved on to miniDP/HDMI these days, with VGA firmly legacy, but of course, cheapskate business will try to save as usual, so you'll need an adapter for their 800x600 projector....
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I understand it might look like DisplayPort, but it's not. Here's a link to the data sheet, which I admit isn't as easy to find on Acer's site as you might expect:
    http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model-datashee...

    Note how it says, "VGA: Yes".
    Reply
  • jaydee - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I did actually go to the spec sheet on Acer's site before posting, but I still think it's incorrect. Compare the following images:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thum...

    http://www.uapple.com.ua/wp-content/uploads/2010/0...

    If it were mini-VGA, you should see the 7 individual pins in the bottom of the port, no?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    There is no standard for mini-VGA -- it's a proprietary thing, so how you implement is up to you. I think there might even be a mini-VGA to VGA cable with the R7. Reply
  • jaydee - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    After some googling, that port is actually called the "Acer Converter Port", and with proprietary cables, you can connect VGA, USB or ethernet to it. According to Acer's website, it is the exact same physical port as mini-DP. Hella-confusing if you ask me.

    http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3...
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    Just... why.... Why not just use Thunderbolt? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    From the page you linked:

    Can I connect my Aspire R7 series to a LAN or VGA port?
    To connect to a LAN or connect to a VGA monitor, you first have to connect the Acer Converter cable to the Acer Converter port on your computer. The Acer converter cable is a one-to-three cable that provides an Ethernet port, VGA port and an additional USB port.

    Can I connect a DisplayPort monitor to the Acer Converter Port?
    The Acer Converter Port uses the same physical port as a Mini DisplayPort, but is designed to connect to an Acer proprietary cable. If you connect a DisplayPort monitor, Acer cannot guarantee the functionality of the monitor. No damage should occur to either monitor or notebook by connecting a Mini DisplayPort cable."

    Ummm... so is it a DisplayPort connector, or is it just the same shape? Because if it's not DisplayPort it won't work at all, but if it is then it should always work. And of course, Thunderbolt also uses the same style of connector, right? I don't immediately see any Thunderbolt chips in the internal images, but perhaps the chip is on the other side of the motherboard. I'm guessing more likely is that it's not TB or DP but something altogether different.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    I don't like this machine Jarred, not one bit. I'll also agree with you that Win8 is a yin/yang affair for the moment; personally I'll give MS one more year before I judge Metro on a desktop - waiting for one more iteration of Win8 devices with the expected CPU improvements in the industry. Until then, ClassicStart only.

    Now Jarred, how about reviewing some Vaios, the S7(preferably the Euro version or both). I've yet to read a review on a Vaio(Pro and Duo) that actually dives into the Triluminous/Quantum Dot tech Sony has developed. Only Anandtech™ can do that.
    Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Thursday, August 15, 2013 - link

    Anandtech hasn't reviewed any Sony devices for the past year at least... I'm still waiting for an Xperia Z review myself (hint, hint Brian Klug!) Reply
  • djc208 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    True, but that's kind of like saying Ferrari isn't as good as Honda because how many people own Ferraris.

    The Surface Pro is a laptop without the keyboard, and priced similarly. Its not really competition for iPads and Android tablets at half the price and functionality. The surface RT looses the benfits of Windows 8, without the apps and ecosystem of either iOS or Android for the same or more money. Besides the confusion over what RT can and cannot do. And the Vivo was cheap crap that was still too expensive for what you got.

    I don't think Windows 8 is perfect, nor do I expect 8.1 to fix everything, but Microsoft has most of the pieces to bring people back to Windows devices, and as usual they just can't execute.
    Reply
  • mirinda - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - link

    I really found nothing to disagree. It's a great choice to me though I'm now using Dell Latitude 10. Reply
  • KaaaPow - Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - link

    Give us an AMD option like a Temash APU!!! Drop the price and watch them sell. Support AMD! We need them in the industry. Reply
  • Jorinternet - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Please!!!, do not buy this computer. The fanciness of the screen and the design make you want to buy it... I did. The touchscreen doesn't work to write text with stylus, i bought 5 different ones and it just doesn't work. The computer is slow with streaming videos.... Here comes the best part... My acer turns off randomly... The problem, apparently HW... Solution, 2 weeks wait to see what hapends. Acer doesn't pay for shiping. For a 1,000 dollar computer, i truly didn't expect this. Do something better with a 1,000 dollars. Never Acer again due to technology and service. Reply

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