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Tablets forum: Are Windows 8 Convertibles Being Given a Fair Chance?

by: ajtrek April 14, 2013 5:30 PM PDT

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Are Windows 8 Convertibles Being Given a Fair Chance?

by ajtrek - 4/14/13 5:30 PM

Before I begin let me say that I use both Mac and Windows products.

This question/discussion is not one entirely of my own conception. It was inspired by a CNET article posted on April 12th entitled "Hardware vs. Software: Playing the PC sales blame game" by Dan Ackerman and Scott Stein. In the article they try to shed some light as to why Windows 8 PC sales are stalling at least in the first quarter of 2013. Is it due to the Windows 8 OS, the confusing hardware question (for consumers) to decide between a traditional laptop vs. convertible or all of the aforementioned?

I'd like to narrow the question to the convertible selection. Convertible in this case means a Windows 8 device that has a screen size of 13 inches or less and has the ability to function as both a pseudo laptop and tablet. Personally, I've found that a convertible above 11 inches in screen size is too awkward. The sweet spot for me is 11 inches (no pun intended).

IMO reviewers of these new convertibles have been a little too critical. Case in point the Lenovo Yoga in 13 inch category, HP Envy X2, Surface Pro and Sony Vaio Duo 11 all in the 11 inch category. The Yoga and the HP Envy X2 both garnered CNET 4 and 3.5 Stars respectively while the Surface Pro and Sony Vaio Duo 11 garnered CNET 3.5 and 3 Stars respectively.

The Lenovo Yoga was the clear winner. However, the exposed key board of the Yoga in tablet mode is a downer for me as CNET questioned as well. The HP Envy X2 is under powered with its Atom processor which leaves the Surface Pro and Sony Vaio Duo 11 as comparison models.

Let me say that I do respect the opinions given by the professionals at CNET and use them to temper my buying as probably many do. Having said that...the opinions given by CNET (and other Tech Reviewers) can determine the success of a product. I would venture to say that the influence imposed upon buyers (buy the experts) is at least 80 percent. I myself given the liberal return policies of at least 30 days will still try a product before I write it off. At the very least I'll play with the device at my local tech retailer when available.

So where am I going with this....I purchased a Sony Vaio Duo 11 with i7 processor and 8GB ram. I've been quite pleased with my purchase. In fact I'm typing this post with it. The only short coming that I whole-heartedly agree with the reviewers on is the lack of a traditional track pad. That being said the Surface Pro with its detachable key pad/cover does have a traditional track pad. I still chose the Sony Vaio Duo 11 over the Surface Pro because of connectivity options of which the Surface Pro is severely lacking.

I think that many of the experts are trying too hard to pigeon hole these new devices to be what they want them to be and therefore they fail to make the mark. This new breed of convertibles are still products in development. Most of the criticism (that I have read) has been about design and not performance. So that suggests to me that the devices by enlarge are stable even though consumers may not be comfortable with Windows 8 as it is today...which may change with the release of Windows Blue.

"What are your thoughts about the Windows 8 convertible machines are they being given a fair chance?"

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