Compare Windows Tablets
The following table compares Windows tablets on a variety of specifications, from screen size to processor speed. Clicking the name of the tablet takes you to our review of that model. Some tablets in this chart are dual boot (coming with Android built in), but most are pure Windows.
After the table is our article 'Is Windows 10 Good for Tablets?'
Is Windows 10 Good for Tablets?
Before we do, lets reflect on how exactly Microsoft changed their approach. We’re used to completely new versions of the Windows operating system getting released periodically, but it seems like the software giant is now going to stick to tweaking and improving the Windows 10 operating system.
This anniversary update will affect everyone, but what can tablet users expect from this update? We tested the newest version of Windows and you can read our concise first impression below.
The New Workspace
The new Windows Ink workspace includes a few features: Sticky Notes, a sketchpad and screen sketch. The Ink workspace is very easy to use and even the most inexperienced of users should grasp the basic concept quickly. A simple tap launches a tool that allows the user to select one of these new features.
Creating a sticky note is easy and requires a simple tap of the “+” icon. Notes can be moved around the screen and resized. It is possible to draw and write on these notes and drawings can be made with fingers, while written notes are meant to be made with the tablet’s pen.
The sketchpad application includes pencils and marker tools. 30 different ink colours are available, which makes this app pretty much perfect for simple drawings, but it is definitely not suitable for creating art and this software is, obviously, meant to be used with an active pen. Arguably the strongest point of this application is the straightedge, which is another nice addition that makes it easy to draw straight lines and angles.
Screen sketch is another useful app that makes working with screenshots and drawing on webpages very simple. This tool is the perfect example of where Microsoft is headed with their new update – they want to make things as easy and as user-friendly as possible.
Start Menu, Task Bar, Lock Screen and Notifications
When it comes to the Start Menu, which can be viewed in tablet and in desktop mode, Microsoft has certainly made significant improvements. It is a lot easier to view and browse the apps now and tapping on app icons is a lot more convenient.
The Taskbar is also slightly different and it can be hidden in laptop and tablet mode both, which is another nice addition that can potentially improve the user experience.
The Lock Screen has also been changed and improved. For example, tablet users can now control background music, without having to log in. Cortana digital assistant can also be used from the lock screen itself.
Notifications can be viewed by tapping on the right edge of the taskbar. This launches the convenient action centre, which shows alerts and notifies the user about updates and such.
Microsoft Edge deserves to be discussed separately from all the other updates, since this app has been more improved than anything else. The average tablet user certainly won’t mind using Edge as their primary browser – it is fast, easy to use and has a lot of useful extensions. The best thing about the new Edge, however, is significantly lowered power consumption.
Our tests have shown that Microsoft Edge uses about half the RAM Chrome uses and naturally draws a lot less power. Battery life and performance is what it’s all about for tablet users and the new improved Edge will certainly help prologue the battery life of most tablets. There is still room for improvement, but it’s safe to say that the new version of Microsoft Edge is a pleasant surprise.
Microsoft’s new approach seems to be working great for them and this reflects on tablet users and on Windows 10 performance on these mobile devices. Their efforts to bring the familiarity of the Windows 10 desktop interface to the average, casual tablet user is a great step forward and the updated version of Windows certainly proves that Microsoft knows what they’re doing. They’ve done a great job improving their operating system that it is no wonder others are starting to fall behind.
Windows 8 for Tablets
26th of October 2012, Microsoft entered into the mobile market by actively pursuing tablet customers using a couple of different operating systems. They released Windows 8, which is roughly analogous to Android 4.0 Honeycomb. It'll run on devices ranging from netbooks to tablets and everything in between. Unlike iOS, it's a device independent OS that provides a unified computing experience.
Features, Pros & Cons of Windows Tablets
The most obvious difference between previous, PC-based versions of Windows and the upcoming tablet-optimized variants of the operating system is the user interface. Windows 8 rely heavily on Metro, Windows' touch-capable UI scheme that revolves around tiles. Metro offers a clean interface, numerous usability enhancements for mobile consumers and quick start-up times. The biggest advantage of the upcoming Windows 8 is that it'll feature support for ARM CPUs as well as traditional multi-core x86 processors. Unlike Windows 7 for tablets, which only supports x86, Windows 8 will be able to run on practically any conceivable hardware.
Versions Windows 8 and RT
Two versions of Windows 8 are being produced. Joining the primary Windows 8 release will be Windows RT. While the two share much of their code, there are some significant differences. While Windows 8 will be available on a wide range of devices, Windows RT can only be used on devices based on ARM processors. Windows RT lacks legacy support, so installation of x86/64 programs is not supported. Because of its restrictions, as well added device encryption, it will only be available pre-installed on supported devices.
Hardware and Models
In keeping with a focus on minimal hardware, Windows RT support for ARM CPUs opens up a floodgate of possibilities for reaching users with a wide variety of tablets and phones. Unlike x86 processors, ARM models use less power and generally offer better battery life for mobile devices. Like the Android platform, Windows' tablet-optimized variants will come on a wide array of hardware, running on everything from 7" miniature tablets to full-sized 10" and up slates, converibles and detachables. Windows 8 will also enable users to switch between the Metro UI and a more traditional desktop setup, allowing any tablet to function as both a touch screen slate and a keyboard-less PC.
Software Availability and Options
The key lynchpin of every mobile operating system is software, and Windows 8 tablets will rely on the all-new Windows Store. Microsoft already boasts the Windows Phone Marketplace for smart phones, which is rapidly improving in terms of offerings and quality. Once Windows 8 tablets penetrate the market, users will have a wealth of options for applications and software for every purpose. Boasting greater revenue sharing for developers, Windows' app model should provide some much-needed competition to Apple's iTunes.
Prognosis and Future Developments
There's an ingrained belief that Windows can never compete with the likes of Android and iOS in the mobile sphere. Ultimately, there's a good chance that this notion will turn out to be false. Microsoft has been cautious in moving into the mobile sphere because they have a lot to lose if they make any major missteps. Contrary to public opinion, Windows 7 and 8 for tablets are a lot more stable and full-featured than most pundits would have you believe. By stripping out unnecessary elements and focusing on delivering a great experience on any mobile device, Windows 8 promise a bright future for Microsoft in the mobile market.