10 reasons to buy a Windows tablet instead of the iPad or Android

10 reasons to buy a Windows tablet instead of the iPad or Android

Summary: Tablets are all the rage, and those who haven't gotten one already may be considering a purchase. Windows tablets may not be the first slates that come to mind, but these reasons point out why they should be in the running.

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  • It's all about choice

    Having options available is always a good thing for tablet shoppers, and Windows has them. While other platforms running tablets have only one (Apple) or a few brands (Samsung, Google, etc.) to choose from, that's not the case with Windows tablets.

    Nearly every major PC maker now has one or more tablets in its line, and there's a good selection to choose from. All of the major PC brands are on store shelves: HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Sony, Samsung, and Acer, to name a few. It's a shopper's paradise as favorite brands are likely represented in tablet form.

    The growing selection of tablets brings choice in the form of size. Windows tablets are available with screen sizes from eight to thirteen inches. Buyers can get a tablet with a size to best fit the expected use.

    Cheap Windows tablets
    Couple of low-priced Windows tablets (Images: Dell, Acer)

    Choice isn't limited to just brand or size, the big selection also yields a highly competitive environment. That means there are tablets available in a range of prices to fit buyers' budgets. At the time of this publication there are Windows tablets priced as low as $250.

    Even hybrids can be found for reasonable prices. The Asus Transformer Book T100 (see ZDNet review) comes with the tablet and laptop dock for around $300. The model below is only $350 and it is not the lowest hardware configuration.

    Cheap Windows hybrid
    (Image: Asus)

     

  • Plug it in

    Windows tablets are full PCs with a thin slate form. Most can do anything that their bigger siblings can do, and that includes letting owners plug peripherals in to do stuff. These include (but aren't limited to) keyboards, mice, external hard drives, and DVD drives.

    If you can plug something into your PC, you can almost certainly plug it into your Windows tablet. You can also plug external monitors into the tablet to form a desktop system, and in most cases plug it into that big-screen TV in the living room.

    It's true plug and play, and plug and work when appropriate.

  • Keeps getting better

    Windows 8 wasn't that great on tablets when first introduced, but that's a thing of the past. Microsoft has quickly added features and modified others to make the tablet user experience pretty darn good. 

    See related: Most significant mobile tech of 2013: Windows 8.1

    The Windows 8.1 update really makes using tablets a good experience. It adds lots of useful features that makes using Windows by touch a great thing.

    Windows 8.1 Update 1 is getting ready to roll out, and while most new features are aimed at mouse and keyboard users, they should also work well on touch tablets. That will especially be a benefit for those using a Windows tablet as a laptop, as highlighted in the next slide.

    (Image: Ed Bott/ZDNet)

     

Topics: Mobility, Tablets, Windows 8

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  • Indeed… but I am still looking for a 12-incher

    Yes, there is choice indeed. I am a bit frustrated though by the 16:9 screen ratio in most of the larger tablets (the 8-inch space is seeing some nice 16:10 screens). With perhaps the notable exception of the HP Elitepad 900, all 10+ inchers are 16:9. I would LOVE to see a 12-inch with a 16:10 Windows 8+ tablet, with the form factor of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

    Thanks for the article.
    miralles
    • +1

      I'm sold on the windows 8+ tablet. I've wanted it for over a year.

      Trouble is, i can't find one. I'm really hopibg this changes with the introduction of surface 2pro with lte...

      All i've wanted for a long time now is basically something that can replace my ipad with windows. Good aspect ratio as you say, atom chip, not an icore, and most inportabtly 3g/lte. Small, compact, go anware. What i understand a tablet to be. So many times i keep running into half ***ed win tablets that afent sure if they're laptops, or are relegated to infamy by the letters RT and its very frustrating.
      MarknWill
      • An excellent product

        I have had the original Surface Pro for over a year now and am very satisfied... I have just two issues. First, I have some occasional issues with the slate recognizing that the keyboard is attached... I have to sometimes mess with it... disconnect.. wait... reconnect... but it will then find it. Second, battery life... but I just pre-ordered the Power Cover which I am hoping will address this issue... and potentially the first issue...

        I also recently converted from an iPhone 4s to a Nokia 920 do I am all in and enjoying the seamless data exchange between all systems and OneDrive.

        In the end, I use my Surface Pro regularly. I run Office 2013 Professional on it, use the Skype app, and ... it rocks. If I did not have a beefy desktop system, I would by the accessories and make my Surface Pro the only system I run.
        David@...
        • Number 11

          Flash.
          onefussyone
          • this maybe true but....

            flash will eventually be replaced by html5 and many sites have that already. Also there are apps to play flash in android not to mention flash 11.1 is still downloadable and working. I am sure lightspark or another flash replacement will come along. but for now you are right but only a little. This is a common Microsoft trick when they want to sell their OS, adobe pulls flash from all others, it has happened before.
            vanquishedangel
    • Typical Microsoft Fan

      Loves the products just doesn't buy them, always waiting for next thing.
      Retterdyne
    • Win a tablet!

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      Tip Expert
  • slides #1 and #2 are valid for any tablet.

    #3 is the first one actually in favor of the Windows tablet but even it is borderline.

    #4 ok.

    #5 ok

    #6 ok... unless you get one of the ARM versions with its reduced capability, and license restrictions - making you have to buy two office licenses...

    #7 applies to all tablets, depending on what you define "real work" to be.

    #8 only applies to the Intel versions... You can't install many applications to RT versions.

    #9 again only applies to the Intel versions.

    #10 can apply to any tablet... It just depends on the size of the screen. The Samsung S4 has been doing that for about a year...
    jessepollard
    • Thanks for pointing out the obvious

      Bottom line is that Windows 8 Pro tablets can outperform iPad and Android easily. No compromises.

      #11. Many Windows Tablets now come with docking stations so you can use it as a desktop workstation as well.
      Sean Foley
      • I'm sure you can find "10 reasons to buy a tablet" for any

        In the end it's a matter of preferences, so far iPads and andoid devices seem to fit the preferences of more people... a lot more people.
        AleMartin
        • Since you asked...

          10 reasons to buy an iPad:

          #1. The 4:3 screen is so retro.
          #2. I like the black bars above and below my movie when I watch.
          #3. iPad 2 takes me back to 2011 era and makes me feel younger.
          #4. I want to be cool.
          #5. I have no idea what computers are.
          #6. I want to use less functional mobile instead of the full functional web apps.
          #7. I like the new lightning connector.
          #8. My iPod was too small.
          #9. I work for Apple.
          #10. I want to support Apple because they offer excellent product bargains, they stay out of the courts whenever possible, and they always pay their full share of company taxes.
          Sean Foley
          • Price

            I believe the price difference between the iPad and the surface is $50.
            But the iPad beats surface in many aspects:
            - Lighter, around 50% less!
            - Much higher resolution - 50% better
            - Faster processor - can't really quantify
            - Better measured battery life
            - Camera of the IPad wins most of comparison tests.
            - There are more options for the iPad (memory, LTE, ...)
            - There are many more peripherals made for the iPad
            ...

            I know surface have advantages, but $450 vs $500 doesn't make any of them a bargain.
            AleMartin
          • Functionality

            I don't know if the iPad can do any of this but this type of functionality is what made the Surface 2 the better buy for me.

            - All Surface models have built-in kickstands that seamlessly integrainto the body of the device.

            - All Surface models can share or port an activity to an XBox e.g. if I’m watching a video on my Surface, I can continue watching that same video on my TV with a few gestures in just seconds. Same goes for music and its all wireless.

            - All Surface models can multitask e.g. I can watch a flick in one window while reading or commenting on that same flick in another window.

            - All Surface models include a USB port allowing users to plug in anything they want even connecting to a larger monitor, hard drive, printer etc. and can still run two apps at a time.

            - All Surface 2 models can be operated via voice with built in Windows Speech Recognition. I haven't jused this much but it works pretty well.
            NPGMBR
          • Voice operation on the iPad

            Is light-years ahead of anything in Windows 8. Hopefully this will change with Cortana.
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • speech recognition

            The speech recognition on Apple products, and Android, I find to be much better. Windows, once trained, may be OK.

            Surface 2 at around $299 to better compete with Chromebooks, would make more sense.

            Surface 2 is a better notebook than is the iPad, which is a tablet. Each is better in its own way.
            mytake4this
          • Android already has had all that for years

            Yep android has all that, not sure about the xbox part but all others are there.
            vanquishedangel
          • People buy iPads for what they are.

            People buy Windows tablets (and the like) for what they can do. That's what the article is about. The specs for the iPad may be better but that means nothing for those wanting greater flexibility and more options.
            omahapianist
          • Netbooks

            They really want a Netbook, if you see the list of what is better with Windows so-called tablets. Really, they are neat looking, shall we say cool, portable devices. They do what a laptop can do, if you get a Win 8.1 or what a Chromebook can do, if you get the Win8RT versions of these different devices. The iPad is a tablet, for better or worse -- depends on what you really are looking for. Full PC and keyboard? --Apple has a laptop for that -- Macbook Air.
            mytake4this
          • Re Netbooks

            And what is the Windows 8 touch experience like on a MacBook Air?

            Whilst I am happy with my current W7 laptop I can definitely see the appeal of a hybrid device that has an active digitiser and allows the editing of images in tablet mode using a fully featured editing program such as photoshop.

            I can't do that on a laptop, an ipad or a Mac
            imaginarynumber
          • 50% better resolution?

            Surface 2 (450$) is 1920 by 1080. How is 2048 by 1536 is not 50% higher.
            Michael Alan Goff