Windows 8 Pro at CES 2013

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    Tim Marcum

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    Join date : 2012-12-31
    Age : 55

    Windows 8 Pro at CES 2013

    Post by Tim Marcum on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:20 pm

    As predicted, there wasn't nearly as much tablet news this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Supposedly, most announcements will come in March in Barcelona, Spain at the Mobile World Congress. However, there were some things announced about Windows 8 Pro tablets.

    First, although Microsoft did not have a booth at CES, they did have a presence and showed off their Surface Pro to numerous tech journalists. They got brief views and not enough time to fully review the device, especially on key issues like battery life, but their first impressions were generally positive. The tablet weighed 2 pounds, but was shaped and textured so holding it did not seem particularly wearing. They also said it did not get hot and the two fans did not seem noisy. I like the Microsoft Surface Pro for several reasons. First, since it is from Microsoft, you would think they want to get it right. Second, with their clout, more accessories will be designed specifically for it. Third, I want at least an i5 processor and the Surface Pro has that when most announced Windows 8 tablets still just have Atom processors. Its only downsides are that it only has one USB port, albeit version 3.0, that it has a 10 inch screen, and that it has a DisplayPort rather than an HDMI or mini-HDMI port. I have a projector that uses a full-size HDMI port and right now I can simply use a mini-to-HDMI cable to attach my EXOPC to it. I am not sure if there is a converter for Display port to HDMI, but regardless, that would be another dongle to carry around.

    Visio also announced two Windows 8 Pro tablets, a consumer version and a business version. Reading the specs, I really couldn't tell much difference between the two. The other problem was they didn't announce pricing or availability. I have liked the all-in-one PCs Visio has produced in recent months and sold in outlets like Walmart at very reasonable pricing. Viso's models will have full-HD 11.6" screens, no fans, and in a really strnge departure, an AMD Z-60 processor (one of the only Windows tablets to ever use a non-Intel processor). They will have a micro-HDMI port and, somewhat confusingly, a micro-USB port (does a regular USB port take that much room?).

    The biggest news on the Windows 8 Pro tablet front came from Panasonic. They introduced a 20", 4K resolution tablet. It sported an i5 processor (i7 will be an option by production time). They envision it for high-end graphics work, like professional Photoshop and architectural drawings. It weighs 5 pounds and the battery lasts 2 hours (on a dare).

    Acer offers the Iconia series with a variety of options and price points. They have from the Iconia W510 which has a 10.1" 1366 x 768 screen and an Atom processor to the Iconia W700 with an 11.6" IPS display with 1,920 x 1,080 full HD resolution and either an i3 or i5 processor. It has a matching Bluetooth keyboard included, a hardware switch to lock screen orientation, a 3.0 USB port, a full size HDMI port, and an optional docking cradle with three more 3.0 USB ports. This is the machine I am leaning toward myself right now. I am waiting for a few more reviews (and maybe a couple of dollars in my pocket) first.
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    Dreamcat
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    Re: Windows 8 Pro at CES 2013

    Post by Dreamcat on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:48 pm

    A great write-up Tim, thanks!

    The Vizio tablets really got my attention with their high quality 11.6 inch displays.
    I'm looking forward to pricing, and also the battery life vs performance with those AMD chips.

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