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Author Topic: Which Tablet PC??  (Read 6709 times)

Chris Johnson [UK]

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Which Tablet PC??
« on: April 30, 2013, 08:45:18 am »

Hey all,

So I'm in the market for a new tablet for work. Main use will be remoting to main laptop (smaart etc...) and running system control software (d&b R1, L'Acoustics Network Manager, etc...).

I've been using iPads and other non-PC tablets off and on for a while, but personally I find them too much of a compromise. You have to remote in to another PC/Mac to do anything, most have poor VNC/Remote desktop offerings compared to what I could do on a PC, they don't have good stylus support, etc...

So, I'd finally like to get something fit for purpose. I'll keep my main MBP for control/smaart duties, and my iPad Mini for personal use (read: watching movies, etc...). Here is my wishlist:

  • Needs to run Windows, so I can run control software natively and use peripherals
  • Must have good stylus input. That means no pure capacitative products. Needs a resistive layer or a wacom digitizer type deal...
  • Not too heavy. I don't need iPad lightness, but definitely <2kg. Ideally 1-1.5kg
  • Must have proper USB ports
  • Screen needs to be bright enough to be usable outdoors

So, what are you guys using?

I've thought about a surface pro, but they leave a little to be desired.
I also looked at the ToughBook CF-18/CF-19. Great features, super rugged, but 2.3kg is heavy!
The convertible Lenovos look ok...

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David Sturzenbecher

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Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 08:49:12 am »

What is your budget? Lenovos are going for $200-$300 for an X61 to  $1000-$2000 for an x230.

I personally have an x61 tablet and non-tablet combo...And will soon have a x230 non-tablet/tablet combo.

The x61 leaves a lot to be desired in outdoor brightness. The x230 is at 300nits which I find sufficient.
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 09:03:44 am »

Hi David,

No particular budget in mind. I'm happy to spend $1k+ if thats what it takes. The goal is to end up with a machine that can handle this specific role without always tying up my personal Mac (sometimes I need to leave sys control at FOH and go do some work backstage, etc...)

I had heard that about the X61. The Dell XT2 seems to have the same issue. The Toughbook has an advantage here with 1000nits of brightness...
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Bob Charest

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Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 10:09:48 am »

I use an ASUS Slate. Touch screen, stylus, Bluetooth keyboard. Works well.
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 10:28:35 am »

You might look at the Microsoft Surface Pro; I haven't used it but it looks nice. USB, stylus, capacitive multitouch, available keyboard cover, mini DisplayPort, and less than 1kg. I know if I was in the market for a Windows tablet it would be on my list of tablets to look at.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 10:37:56 am »

What is your budget? Lenovos are going for $200-$300 for an X61 to  $1000-$2000 for an x230.

I personally have an x61 tablet and non-tablet combo...And will soon have a x230 non-tablet/tablet combo.

The x61 leaves a lot to be desired in outdoor brightness. The x230 is at 300nits which I find sufficient.

I use the Lenovo X61 tablets. They work great. THere is an "outdoor" screen option, but none of mine have it so I can't say if it works or not....
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 11:03:15 am »

I use an ASUS Slate. Touch screen, stylus, Bluetooth keyboard. Works well.

Which one Bob? The EP121?

You might look at the Microsoft Surface Pro; I haven't used it but it looks nice. USB, stylus, capacitive multitouch, available keyboard cover, mini DisplayPort, and less than 1kg. I know if I was in the market for a Windows tablet it would be on my list of tablets to look at.

Yes, I will definitely look closer at it. I wonder about build quality though...

I use the Lenovo X61 tablets. They work great. THere is an "outdoor" screen option, but none of mine have it so I can't say if it works or not....

Yes, I'd looked at the X200/X220 offerings. Over here I can get hold of a refurbished X200 for like 250, which is pretty cheap.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 12:01:17 pm »

I had a Lenovo X200 that I really liked a lot. Before that, I had an X61 and yes, the screen was a problem outdoors. The X200 was a little better.

But if I get another Windows tablet, it will be the Motion Computing unit. They are made to be tablets, not convertibles. But they ain't cheap.

If you can't get the Motion unit, I  think the X series convertible would be the next best bet. The X200s are all over Ebay for good prices.

Geri O
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 12:04:16 pm »

I had a Lenovo X200 that I really liked a lot. Before that, I had an X61 and yes, the screen was a problem outdoors. The X200 was a little better.

But if I get another Windows tablet, it will be the Motion Computing unit. They are made to be tablets, not convertibles. But they ain't cheap.

If you can't get the Motion unit, I  think the X series convertible would be the next best bet. The X200s are all over Ebay for good prices.

Geri O

Get the Motion.  You can find used/refurb LE1700 with Core 2 Duo, a "view anywhere" screen and a decent size HD for <US$1000.
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Jeff Baumgartner

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2013, 12:11:29 pm »

I have a Lenovo X230T and for the most part, I love it.
Just used it outside this morning and was still able to see the screen.
I was upset with the preciseness of the stylus until I realized it was me.
If I held it at too severe of an angle, it would be way off. Hold it upright and its perfect.
My biggest gripe about it at the moment is the Wireless on/off switch on the side of it. I am constantly hitting it and losing my connection.
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 12:56:34 pm »

Thanks for all the replies so far.

I'll look more into the motion LE1700. I have had a quick look into them before, but not in depth.

One thing I like about the Thinkpad is that it is of course a regular laptop too. Its easy to go from sitting at a desk programming to wandering the room.

I suppose this is also the case with the motion and its keyboard dock though...

Thanks,

Chris
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 01:06:31 pm »


I've been using iPads and other non-PC tablets off and on for a while, but personally I find them too much of a compromise. You have to remote in to another PC/Mac to do anything, most have poor VNC/Remote desktop offerings compared to what I could do on a PC, they don't have good stylus support, etc...

If you haven't tried Splashtop 2 you should, it's the best Remote desktop app I've seen. On a local network it's very smooth; not necessarily a substitute for a PC tablet but it makes your iPad more useful. It's also available for Windows 8, Mac, and Android; the streamer app works with Windows and OSX. There is a "smooth" mode that allows it to handle full motion video at the expense of some crispness of text.
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 01:49:33 pm »

If you haven't tried Splashtop 2 you should, it's the best Remote desktop app I've seen. On a local network it's very smooth; not necessarily a substitute for a PC tablet but it makes your iPad more useful. It's also available for Windows 8, Mac, and Android; the streamer app works with Windows and OSX. There is a "smooth" mode that allows it to handle full motion video at the expense of some crispness of text.

Yes I had tried the older Splashtop, and after reading this and other forums, I tried splashtop 2 on my Ipad and Nexus 7.

To be honest, while its better than VNC, I still found it a pain, and had connection issues even on a simple test network at home.

Now I know lots of people have lots of success with it, but I personally would rather have the real deal. Since I mainly work with things like d&b R1 and LA Network Manager, I may as well have a tablet and run those apps directly. No remote desktop. Then I'm only RDP/VNCing for Smaart. I'll give splashtop another whirl for that.

Thanks,
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 03:36:29 pm »

Yes I had tried the older Splashtop, and after reading this and other forums, I tried splashtop 2 on my Ipad and Nexus 7.

To be honest, while its better than VNC, I still found it a pain, and had connection issues even on a simple test network at home.

Now I know lots of people have lots of success with it, but I personally would rather have the real deal. Since I mainly work with things like d&b R1 and LA Network Manager, I may as well have a tablet and run those apps directly. No remote desktop. Then I'm only RDP/VNCing for Smaart. I'll give splashtop another whirl for that.

Thanks,
Understood, I haven't had too many connection issues with it even when using it over the internet(connecting to my laptop at work from my iPad at home) but everyone's setup is different. I haven't tried it with any audio related apps so I don't doubt that it is a pain, the only things I've used it with are web browsers and normal computing tasks. Despite how good Splashtop is it isn't a substitute for the real thing; I do find the Mac app pretty useful for remote troubleshooting(I'm the family computer tech).
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 04:34:45 pm »

You might look at the Microsoft Surface Pro; I haven't used it but it looks nice. USB, stylus, capacitive multitouch, available keyboard cover, mini DisplayPort, and less than 1kg. I know if I was in the market for a Windows tablet it would be on my list of tablets to look at.

I have one as my backup computer and absolutely love it.  The construction is great and rugged, it has a standard USB port and great (as good as iPad) touch interface, and runs regular Windows programs very fast.  The keyboard cover makes it almost a real computer.
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 05:54:34 pm »

There's a rumor that keeps surfacing of a MacBook Pro tablet in the near future(from Apple, not the one that a company will convert for you for whatever you can carry in a wheelbarrow from the US mint). But it keeps being refuted by the folks close to Steve Jobs that claim he hated the idea of a full-featured tablet

The Mac folks can (kinda) hope, I guess.

Geri O
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Tommy Peel

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Re: Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 06:43:02 pm »

There's a rumor that keeps surfacing of a MacBook Pro tablet in the near future(from Apple, not the one that a company will convert for you for whatever you can carry in a wheelbarrow from the US mint). But it keeps being refuted by the folks close to Steve Jobs that claim he hated the idea of a full-featured tablet

The Mac folks can (kinda) hope, I guess.

Geri O

I'd rather see a more full featured iPad, OSX would take a major overhaul(and possibly unwelcome) to work with a touchscreen well enough for Apple to market it. A more powerful iPad with a better version of iOS seems more likely to me.

Anyway that's just my opinion; Apple could easily figure out the recipe for an OS that works equally well with a mouse and touchscreen.

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2

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Ryan McLeod

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 09:32:43 pm »

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Doug Johnson

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 11:09:12 pm »

As good as wireless networking has gotten I still can't get away from a hardwired computer/laptop and a tablet connected via remote desktop.  Windows remote desktop works so much better then any VNC client I have tried.  I have been using a Dell laptop hardwired and a Gateway tablet for about 5 years and it works fine.  Toshiba Toughbook tablets are the bomb (or at least bomb proof) but Motion Tablets are probably a more practical choice for the weight and price.  The Gateway tablet works for me mainly because every time I break, smash, or drown it I can get a replacement/parts one off of Ebay cheap.  The new Windows tablets look quite interesting and will probably be the way I would/will go in the future.  I have to admit I have never caught the Apple bug but, I have never had issues with Windows.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 11:15:56 pm by Doug Johnson »
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Bob Charest

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 11:30:49 pm »

Which one Bob? The EP121?
Hi Chris,

I have the B121. It seems to be the same as the EP121. I've been happy with it. I only run two things on it: Sonar executing a StudioWare panel I built in Cakewalk, and Adobe PDF Reader for my music scores.., admittedly a light load, but it works great.

Best regards,
Bob Charest
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2013, 03:31:47 am »

I have one as my backup computer and absolutely love it.  The construction is great and rugged, it has a standard USB port and great (as good as iPad) touch interface, and runs regular Windows programs very fast.  The keyboard cover makes it almost a real computer.

Thanks for the info Pete. I have read a few reviews and it does look good.
Do you find the stylus laggy at all? One of the big plus points for motion LE and J series is the very high end wacom screens which lead to very accurate stylus use.

Admittedly, I'm not doing drawing or anything like that, I just find most pieces of control software not at all conducive to finger touch usage.

There's a rumor that keeps surfacing of a MacBook Pro tablet in the near future(from Apple, not the one that a company will convert for you for whatever you can carry in a wheelbarrow from the US mint). But it keeps being refuted by the folks close to Steve Jobs that claim he hated the idea of a full-featured tablet

The Mac folks can (kinda) hope, I guess.

Geri O

Maybe.

Personally I'm not going to hold my breath, mainly because apple have increasingly shifted their attention away from professionals, onto consumers. The near disappearance of the Mac Pro, and the general direction of their pro apps, suggests that they realise that as nice as it might be to say you have the professional market, it doesn't account for anything like the revenue that consumers do.

And if you are just a normal computer user (internet, email, occasional documents, etc...) then an iPad already fills all those needs quite nicely

In my particular case though, the main issue is that I don't see d&b developing R1 for mac anytime soon. Same goes for London Architect and LANM. So a windows PC is a necessary evil.

I'm intrigued by this one:

http://m.futureshop.ca/?lang=en#/catalog/productdetails.aspx?ajax=true&sku=10225581&lang=en-CA



Me too! The Samsung ATIV pro, or even the Series 7 Slate look very interesting. Great form factor, good battery life, and nice compact dock all add up to an interesting product. They also, like the surface pro, have sensible processors (no intel Atom!) so they could actually run Smaart etc... natively if I wanted them to.

Hi Chris,

I have the B121. It seems to be the same as the EP121. I've been happy with it. I only run two things on it: Sonar executing a StudioWare panel I built in Cakewalk, and Adobe PDF Reader for my music scores.., admittedly a light load, but it works great.

Best regards,
Bob Charest

Thanks Bob.

------------


Here's a question for you all:

Screens.

One of my issues is that occasionally, I'll need whatever I buy to be daylight viewable. Now a lot of people talk about the Motion view anywhere screens, but looking at specs, they actually arent very bright.

As a baseline, my macbook air has a peak screen brightness of around 350 cd/m2 (cd/m2 = nits)

A Motion LE1700 has a peak brightness of only 190 cd/m2, whereas a lot of the new tablets (like the samsung) have a brightness of around 400 cd/m2. However, they all have glossy screens.

So, to those of you with 'proper' tablets: how do you find the screens outdoors? Does the Motion View Anywhere system (combination of increase in brightness and special coatings) really make it work?

I've found someone local selling an LE1700 w/ XGA view anywhere for 150.

Thanks!
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Stefan Maerz

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2013, 08:41:47 am »

As far as outdoors goes, a transreflective LCD screen can help out a bunch. Transrefelctive essentially means that sunlight is reflected back at you.

I've used them before and while it isn't like using a PC indoors, it is an upgrade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transflective_liquid_crystal_display

Just food for thought - it might be hard to find a TabletPC with such a screen, as it is kind of a niche market and the transflective is also niche - however I know other people have faced the issue of sunlight, so perhaps this technology is useful to them.
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Steve Payne

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2013, 08:54:59 am »


So, to those of you with 'proper' tablets: how do you find the screens outdoors? Does the Motion View Anywhere system (combination of increase in brightness and special coatings) really make it work?

I've found someone local selling an LE1700 w/ XGA view anywhere for 150.

Thanks!

Chris - I have a handfull of the older Motion Lab tablets that we use exclusively for running Lake Controller Software.  Some have the View Anywhere feature and some don't.  View Anywhere can be used in direct sunlight with some effort.  Standard screen is useless.  Also we have found that the current version of Lake runs much slower under Windows 7 than Windows Pro on the older Motion Lab processor.  Haven't tried Windows 8.  Overall, I think they are very robust and capable at a good price.  I haven't looked in the last six months, so there may be better options now.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 08:58:37 am by Steve Payne »
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2013, 10:03:35 am »

Hi Steve,

Thanks for that.

I'm currently chasing down either an LE1700 Motion (the one with the Core 2 Duo processor) or a Lenovo X200T with the outdoor screen.

Both of those will fit my needs well. The Motion is a better tablet, but the X200t is a better all rounder and has more easily upgradeable parts, so we'll see. Both come with full wacom digitizers
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Re: Which Tablet PC??
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2013, 10:03:35 am »


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