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November 18th 2013 5:39 pm

Well defined desires for a device, confusing reviews, please HELP ME!

Help! I am so lost, I read engadget religiously, but the reviews of all the non apple tablets have come off as mediocre. I am either looking for an 10inch android tablet and stick with an old windows 7 laptop, or a full windows 8/8.1 device (but I am worried about the weak app selection).

-My budget is 400-500 for a strict tablet, and up to 900 for a full windows device.
-My device uses include Netflix (while in bed), Copious amounts of YouTube, Microsoft Word, Streaming media to a smart TV using Vierra TV app, browsing/shopping, torrenting
-I have traditionally owned Thinkpad Laptops and love the trackpoint
-I'd love to do it all from one device, but two will work (assuming the second is my old laptop)...I guess..

I am tempted to go with the nexus 10 for an android tablet, but the full review has a somewhat disappointing Wrap Up. -Is the review too critical?

I am tempted by the Surface Pro 2 but it seems to be a bit expensive with a mediocre review again by engadget
I love thinkpads for their keyboards and the dot/trackpoint navigation with middle-button-mouse click. Hence, the thinkpad tablet 2 seems interesting, but the summer tablet guide, it is given the description of lacking raw performance....

Someone please help me choose!

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8 replies

Hm, personally I've found the reviews of tablets fair. Maybe the iPads were unnecessarily glowing, but Android and Win8 reviews have been balanced.

I'm personally a big fan of Windows 8 on tablets. I have a Dell Latitude 10 and it works flawlessly as a tablet, or as a laptop when paired with a BT mouse and keyboard. At this point though, considering your budget and what you want to do with it, I'd recommend the Dell Venue 11 Pro. They start at 500 for a low power atom version, and scale up in price and performance through to a Haswell i5 processor. The price of the tablet alone maxes out at 850, though it goes up quickly when considering accessories like the available keyboard folio [think Surface], the laptop keyboard [think Asus Transformer tablets], and the desktop dock.

The problem with the Thinkpad Tablet 2 is that it's using an older processor, Clovertrail, that is as much as a quarter the power of the lowest power chip found in the Venue 11 Pro, the Baytrail Atom processor. Intel made some major performance improvements in this generation without sacrificing battery power.

Android is great [my phone OS of choice], but I've never been a big fan of it on larger tablets. It just seems limited to me for what a 10 inch device can do [also why I don't like the iPad]. On the other hand, one of my friends has a Nexus 10 and swears by the thing. The Nexus 10 is definitely the best 10 inch Android tablet I'm aware of, so if you go that route, it's a great choice. Admittedly, it is getting a bit long in the tooth, so there might be a refresh on the horizon [considering the update of the Nexus 7 and the release of the Nexus 5]. Something to look into and consider.

The one wild card in everything I've said is I don't know how or if streaming to a Viera TV works on either or both platforms. Definitely do research into that before buying anything. A quick search showed a MS Q&A forum talking about how Win8 killed the streaming ability because Viera TV's weren't 'certified' devices. It could be an old post though and it work fine now.

Hope this helps!
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I really appreciate the response. To clarify the 500 budget is only in relation to a strict Android tablet. If it's going to be a full Windows device I'd be willing to spend more (up to around 900). From my understand, you are recommending the Venue 11 Pro? I wish Lenovo had already refreshed the Thinkpad Tablet 2!

Also, does the lack of apps in the Windows ecosystem bother you? There is no YouTube app for example.
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I am indeed. From your explanation, the Atom version would probably suit you fine, but if you have the budget for more, I'd shoot for the i3 or i5 model, especially if this is going to be your primary computing device [I have a beast of a desktop, so I can get away with weaker secondary devices]. I'd also recommend springing for one of the keyboards they offer, which one you get depending on your needs.

The apps situation hasn't really affected me much. The store gets bigger every day [Flipboard just came out a few days ago], most things that don't have first party apps have third party apps [ie: I use Hyper for Youtube], and those that don't have THAT [which is few and far between] have desktop or web based versions [one of the benefits of getting this over an RT based device like the Surface 2, Nokia 2520, or now defunct XPS 11].
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I would wait on the Nexus 10 which should be out soon. If you don't want to wait though consider the Sony, the Note 8, or the Note 10.

If you get the Surface Pro 2 keep in mind that it is not a great form factor to use on the lap though ok on a table. I took mine back because I most often would use it on the couch or bed and it just doesn't work well in those locations with a keyboard. Also most of what I do in Windows is in the classic desktop which for me just doesn't translate well to a 10 inch display and touch is out of the question on the classic desktop.
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Thanks for the response! I'm curious as to why the Nexus 10 wasn't refreshed with the 5 and the 8
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As an aside, according to an article on Tom's Hardware there's a possibility they're refreshing the Nexus 10 as soon as November 22, so no harm in waiting a little before making any decisions.
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That's exciting to hear. Is there a Google event on the 22nd? I haven't heard of any such event at least via any Engadget postings.
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Currently it's just rumors, and Google doesn't have any events planned, but they've done quiet rollouts in the past. It can't hurt to wait til the end of the week.
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