Considering a tablet and clueless


May 20, 2012
1. Is This Your First Time Buying A Tablet? Yes / No.
2. Do you already have an operating system in mind? If so specify (iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Windows RT, Windows 8, etc)
I'm clinging to Windows 7 on my desktop and laptop; I do not care for the look of Windows 8
3. What screen size do you have in mind? And your preferred resolution (not required but helps)?
No preference currently
4. Preferred Brand(s) - (ex. Microsoft, Samsung, Asus, Apple)
5. Brands Not Preferred (specify why) (ex. Hannspree, Acer, etc.)
6. How much do you want to spend on your tablet?
Cost is open if it will do what I need
7. Do you have cellular service? Or do you want the tablet to be WiFi only?
No; WiFi - connection to my laptop
8. If you do have cellular service, who is your provider and how much data are you allowed per month?
9. Do you want the tablet to be a full laptop replacement?
No - just to extend my laptop
10. What existing apps do you use? What do you intend to do with this tablet?

Windows Office (Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint) 2010
CorelDraw Suite X6
Adobe Design and Web Premium CS6 (Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash)
Dabbling with: Adobe Premiere Pro and Prelude

Perhaps my conception of what a tablet can or cannot do is not clear - so feel free to tell me if my intent is just completely off base. I teach and need to be able to monitor/score/feedback while up and about my classroom - rather than constantly going back to my laptop and recording the data. (Typically the monitoring data is in excel). My thought is to have the mobility and still be able to add that data via a tablet. I read somewhere that a tablet can be set up to connect the laptop and pretty much work like a touch screen monitor for it. Tablet/stylus pen and off I go, maybe?

That's all it would be used for - untying me from my laptop or pen/paper. If I have to use a substitute app though or be transferring data between types of programs, then no time will be saved and I will continue as I am now.

Thanks for the input!

Purchase time table: between now and mid-summer, the 4-5 months


You're not going to find a tablet that runs those applications without going to a Windows tablet. Even if you don't like Windows 8, Windows 8.1 is a significant improvement over the previous version. The only tablet that would meet your needs would be something like a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 or a Dell Venue 11 Pro. Something like a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2014 Edition or iPad Air wouldn't cut it for those uses.
As mention above, based on your requirements you will need to buy a Windows 8.1 tablet since you are running Windows programs. The current Win tablets are pretty decent, however, I personally will not be buying one until at least the next generation. For me a Win tablet is nice to have, but not necessary.

From a hardware perspective I am avoiding the current generation because:

1. Buying later always mean better hardware. Specifically the CPU. Bay Trail is pretty good compared to the older Clover Trail Atom CPU. Since I don't need a tablet now I can wait until late summer to see how Cherry Trail compares to Bay Trail. Supposedly Willow Trail is supposed to be released by the end of the year, but it may just be an upgrade of the integrated graphics core.

2. Current Win tablets are limited to only 2GB of RAM due to the 32-bit Win 8.1 OS. Last I've read, MS is working on a few 64-bit driver issues before they release the 64-bit version which means they can address up to 4GB of RAM. RAM cannot be upgraded since it is soldered into the tablet's motherboard. Cherry Trail is supposed to be able to address up to 8GB of RAM.

The great thing about Win tablets is Microsoft includes the student version of Office 2013 for free.

Most of the Win tablets have active digitizer functions for example, the 8" Dell Venue 8 Pro uses Synaptics. An upcoming Asus Win tablet is supposedly using Wacom.