Last week I sold A’s iPad Mini that was still less than 2 months old. The issue with iPad Mini, and iPad in general, is that it simply does not lend itself as a productivity device for someone who uses MS Office a lot. So A used to end up using her desktop that has Windows 8.1 for all the real work… using iPad only for reading eBooks. Then I decided I’ll get her a Windows 8.1 tablet hoping it’ll double up as a PC as well. Soon I bought Surface RT only to find out that it’s incapable to connect with our home office infrastructure particularly our Wireless Xerox Laser Printer. I also experienced slowness when it was connected to an external display. Really it wasn’t a very good choice to get Surface RT. Look wise it’s awesome but it just isn’t cut as a true productivity device. Surface Pro on the other hand is a totally different beast and also really expensive; out of our league for now. So I ended up returning Surface RT. Now I am back hunting for another Windows 8.1 Tablet. So far I think market has some really good new 8″ devices based on Intel Atom Bay Trail, and between $299-$350. 3 companies stick out: Dell with Venue Pro 8 ($299), Lenovo with Miix 2 ($299) and Toshiba with yet to be released Encore ($330). All 3 are 32GB and run a full Windows 8.1 environment. I kind of jumped the gun and bought Venue Pro but ended up cancelling the order as I think I am going to wait for Encore to be available. Encore has a microHDMI port in addition to a microUSB port, and really has a true potential to replace A’s desktop. With others like Dell’s Venue, I would need a USB Dock to be able to connect an external display, and a USB Dock is not very cheap. So, I think having the miniHDMI on Encore really sticks out to me as the most useful feature. Encore is available to pre-order on Amazon here. Until now, I haven’t been able to find out the release date. .
Dell Venue Pro 8
Lenovo Miix 2
Edit: Just found out there’s Acer Iconia W4 as well but it hasn’t been released yet. Specs are same as Toshiba Encore which means it also has the microHDMI port. Price seems to be the same also: $330. Now this is getting interesting.
Acer Iconia W4