(junior member)
04/30/13 04:34 PM
High-end tablet or convertible ultrabook

Hi, I love the in-depth reviews Lisa does here and thought this would be a great place to get some advice.

I currently have a Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500t (the Atom processor one) and it's just too underpowered for my needs, plus the keyboard dock is pretty flaky. Love the battery life and the stylus though.

The "perfect" device for me looks like the Lenovo Helix, but it's priced out of reach so I need to set my sights a little lower.

My usage: work and play. Note taking in meetings, SQL Server Management Studio, Visual Studio, MS Office suite, remote desktop sessions, etc. Movies (usually 720p), light gaming (older games and modern turn-based or strategy games - low expectations from Intel graphics.)

What I need:
  • CPU: Core i5 or better
  • Form Factor: Tablet with keyboard dock or convertible ultrabook
  • OS: Windows 8 x64 standard or pro
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: Touchscreen with better than 1368x768
  • Price: Around $1000 USD

What I'd also like to have:
  • Stylus Pen: Wacom not n-trig or general capacitive ones
  • IPS screen
  • Battery Life: longer than 4-5 hours (usually requires extra battery in the keyboard)
  • Great Build Quality

The 3 devices currently at the top of my list are:
  • Surface Pro - fantastic hardware, little small, good keyboard, but mostly needs a hard surface to use it on.
  • Sony Vaio Duo 11 - all the right specs, but I heard the battery life may be the worst of the bunch and I'm unsure about that fixed slider screen/keyboard
  • Lenovo Yoga 13 - clearly a different sort of device, but solid specs except no digitizer for pen use and I'm undecided on the exposed keyboard in tablet mode.

I was almost set on the Surface Pro with the Type cover keyboard, but then did some more research and found I can get the Lenovo Yoga 13 for $740 from their outlet store. That's a fantastic price compared to the $1130+ for the Surface Pro with keyboard. The trade-offs are no pen, no detachable keyboard for pure tablet mode (read: heavier all the time).

Wow that was longer than I expected - if you made it this far thanks for reading! What do you think? I'm very tempted by that refurb Yoga 13 deal. Any reason *not* to do that? Anything I haven't thought of?

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

(Head Honcho)
04/30/13 09:08 PM
Re: High-end tablet or convertible ultrabook

How about the Samsung ATIV 700T, which is the Core i5 version of the 500T you have. Granted, the keyboard connection might still be flakey, but I think Samsung may have worked that out now. It does have somewhat better battery life than other Core i5 tablets and even some convertibles like the Duo 11. Still comes with that great Wacom pen. Here's our review: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/notebooks/Samsung-ATIV-700T.htm

(junior member)
05/01/13 02:56 AM
Re: High-end tablet or convertible ultrabook

Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately I just don't trust that Samsung has everything in order, particularly with the keyboard. I really don't like their software update service on the 500t and I know it's similar for the 700t from forums I've checked. Not trying to just shoot down your suggestion. Just thinking it through here.

With the 500t, when I got it back in November it was by far the cheapest full Windows 8 device I could find and I was willing to sacrifice some hardware design for the lower price. At around the $1000 price point I would like to see better materials and design than what Samsung has done. Microsoft and Lenovo products are more appealing have seem to have generally better support from what I've read from other owners.

I looked at your full review of the Acer Iconia tablet and if it just had proper pen support I might go with that one. Being the only tablet of the Windows 8 bunch with no dockable keyboard it needs a pen even more than the others I think.

(Head Honcho)
05/01/13 05:45 PM
Re: High-end tablet or convertible ultrabook

Samsung's software update on the ATIV 700T and their laptops is actually a pleasure to use, and is much different from the Atom experience. But I can completely understand you might not be thrilled after a weak experience with the 500T. And yes, if only the Iconia tablet had a pen and a dockable keyboard!

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