What Windows Tablet Should I buy?

Feb 3, 2010
General Questions.

1. What is your budget? $400-750, less is better, but budget is flexible

2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished? Yes

3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible? Windows that can run regular Windows programs (not the RT)

4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
5 to7-inches
7.1 to 10-inches
10 to 13-inches <-----
Above 13-inches

5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]? USA (am near a Microcenter)

6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes? I love my Beats by Dre. lol jk, no pref.

7. How many hours battery life do you require? Average

8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc). Mobile computing, ie. email, internet, some MS Office stuff, Netflix, etc

9. Do you have an OS preference? For example, do you own an iPhone and a Mac, or are you a Windows fan? Do you own an Android device and use Google services frequently? Windows

10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc). Nothing too heavy. An Atom Z2760 CPU may work just fine actually

11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list. Yes, but not Steam games, rather browser based board games (play-agricola, boardgaming-online, etc..).

12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system? No

Screen Specifics

1. Any preference on screen resolution? The more the merrier. 1680x1050 or 1920x1200 I suppose if I were to design one myself

2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun? Rarely
See the above linked FAQ for guidance

3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig? Yes. With sensitivity I suppose (not sure). Not sure of the difference between the two technologies. I did see a youtube video of the Wacom pen digitizer on a ThinkPad X230T and that looks awesome.
See the above linked FAQ for guidance

Component Specifics

1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory? At least 64GB. 128 is nice to have. Yes on microSD expandable. 2GB should be fine, 4 of course is nice to have

2. What sort of inputs do you require, if any? Would you like full-sized USB and SD card slots? Are microUSB and microSD ok? Do you require HDMI inputs? micro is fine, but inputs are needed.

1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above? A convertible tablet like the Surface Pro is what got me looking to begin with, so I was originally looking at ones with a detachable keyboard, then realized any bluetooth keyboard would work. Then I saw an IdeaPad Lynx on newegg cheap but it didn't have a pen. Then the Samsung 500T Ativ which looked pretty nice at it's price, but I don't really know what kind of pen it has (is it just a plain stylus with no right click?). But I'd like opinions because this is new territory for me... obviously the pen thing is very confusing

2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration? Since this is a first for me, I'd rather get something I can sell if I decide ultimately I don't like it - (with this in mind I don't expect to get an i5 1080p model, but something more popular - I guess is a way of looking at it, and also why I am okay right now with only 2GB RAM, intel Atom, etc... ) And also that way I can upgrade later if I do like it.
Well for a Windows tablet at those specs you really dont have too many options (unless you lower the res to 720p range) other than a Surface Pro...either used/refurbed if you can find it..or with the price drop get new. The Atom CPUs are in lower rest tablets....
If you can wait a couple of months we should start seeing Bay Trail and ULV Haswell tablets. If you have to have one now Clover Trail Atoms can be had a pretty good prices but they are all 1366x768 which at larger size screens when used with a keyboard dock isn't a bad resolution. The performance may not be there which is why I would suggest waiting, I think this round of tablets is going to be much nicer.
it does not fit all your needs but of the tablets that are out now running W8 on the atom CPU the thinkpad tablet 2 is the best IMO. I bought one after lots of research and got one with 64gb and the active digitizer here used for $400

the intel atom does fine with OneNote, web browsing, slingbox viewing, and it is super thin/light as well as getting great battery life.

I am a high school biology teacher and I use it to manage my classroom student computers as well as connecting to a wireless projector (IP based)

now the current gen intel atom CPUs are great with battery life but it does bog down with the new Halo W8 game and the eMMC rather than SSD limits transfer speeds.

obviosuly the new Atom CPUs or a i3 with a real SSD would be better.... but for thin/light and a companion to a laptop or desktop you already own the TPT2 is great
Thanks for the responses. I ended up getting a Samsung Ativ 500t on eBay at a good price (open box). Decided it seems popular enough I can sell later should I choose to upgrade or don't like the concept after all. Boo on Microcenter for having so many tablets to choose from yet only having 3 or 4 on display, also they seemed to push the Surface Pro kind of hard, not sure why after telling them it's not in my budget or what I want at the moment, and esp. after seeing how fine the 1080p display on it is. Why they don't have 1600x900 or something in between is kind of dumb. This was a nice realization to have, seeing in person that 1368x768 isn't bad at all for an 11.6" tablet, and that 1080p is pretty much overkill.

Total spent = $370 shipped on Ativ 500t + $50 on 64GB microsdxc + $15 on Poetic case = $435 :)

Only issues I am currently having are: Tablet seems to stay awake, even after putting into sleep mode, when closing the cover on the case... very annoying and I am having a hard time finding a solution besides shutting it down every time.
2. Screen brightness auto-adjusting, not sure it this is a defect or what. I disabled the auto-adjust brightness in the settings yet I think it's continuing to do it (or I'm going crazy) .. hopefully there is a fix otherwise I'll have to return it.
3. Typical Win 8 gripes. Actually not as bad as I thought it would be, but have to figure out again how to change settings to how I want them. Some little features like the new Task Manager are a nice improvement.
4. I have big hands and the s-pen is very small, like one of those mini-pencils you get when playing golf or filling out a lotto ticket. It's nice that it tucks into the tablet, but something more "normal-sized" would be nice, and I'll look into that perhaps
Good choice! Have you run all of the updates through the software updater? I had this problem as well but an update a few months back took care of it.
How do you like the Ativ 500t?

I love mine, not the fastest thing obviously but has little issue running Office, the pen works very well and the battery life is great, a solid 9 to 10 hours of continuous runtime doing pretty much anything. The only issue I have with mine is that it needs to be restarted once a day otherwise it starts to get sluggish, I'm hoping that 8.1 will solve that.
So far it's nice. I have really just been updating Windows and drivers on it in my spare time the last day or two, so can't give you much of an idea. Installation is quite slow, unfortunately, I had to make a new power plan for it so it wouldn't go to sleep during updates and installation and keep the brightness down in the meantime. But good news is the sleep/wake function of the Poetic case works well now, no issues there anymore. Can't comment on the brightness issue at the moment. Java was easy to install, putting OpenOffice on it right now, and hope to move the recovery partition to a flash drive to free up some room. I wasn't aware the s-pen does not have an eraser function or pressure-sensitive drawing (at least from using Samsung's pen app), I don't care about those features but some might. I had a hard time finding info like that before my purchase, of course if you want to know anything about the new iPad there are resources everywhere for that lol.
I'll post again a bit later after I get some applications installed and get some actual use on it. I'm also wanting to try Dosbox for some old stuff, if it supports Win 8, and see if the xbox 360 controller works with it through an emulator or maybe an indie steam game with low requirements. Should be fun!
The 500T does support an eraser and pressure sensitivity, you just need to get any of a number of Wacom pens.