HP Envy X2 Vs Microsoft Surface Pro: Should You Pick A Hybrid Or A Tablet?

Tech lovers are really loving this year, and not just because of the wide variety of smartphones and tablets out there. When Microsoft unveiled its latest Windows 8, everyone talked about how we can expect newer form factors, and yes, indeed the laptop has undergone a makeover since then. They’re turning just as portable as tablets, but with more computing power. So today, we’re looking at the HP Envy X2 and pitting it against the Microsoft Surface Pro to help you decide which of these you should invest in.

HP Envy X2: This one’s a true laptop-tablet hybrid, all thanks to its detachable keyboard. Get rid of the keyboard and carry it around like a tablet, and put it back on and you’ve got yourself a laptop in front of you. The Envy X2 comes with a 11.6-inch HD display with a resolution of 1366X768 pixels and is powered by a dual-core 1.8 GHz Intel Atom processor and 2 GB of RAM. It runs Windows 8 and has 64 GB SSD for storage. It’s also fitted with an 8 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front-facing one. Two USB 2.0 ports, and HDMI port and even a card reader make it as convenient as a regular laptop, but we do miss the optical drive. The Envy X2 weighs just over 3 pounds and comes with a price tag of $649.99.

Microsoft Surface Pro: Now this one’s more of a tablet than a hybrid in terms of form factor, but comes with a soft touch keyboard cover. It has a 10.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1920X1080 pixels and weighs just about 2 pounds. The Surface Pro is powered by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM and even has an Intel HD Graphics 4000 chipset. You get either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage space in the Surface Pro. There are two 720p cameras, a full-size USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and even a microsSDXC card slot in this device.… Read the rest

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Microsoft Surface Pro Vs Lenovo Think Pad Vs 128GB Apple iPad 4: Hail Microsoft, Laptops On Verge Of Extinction?

Notwithstanding its form factor, we don’t really feel like calling the Microsoft Surface Pro a tablet, given its amazing specs. At best we can call it a hybrid, and a damn good one at that. But, will its spectacular design give it enough strength to beat its competition and emerge as a runaway success?

For starters, it boasts of amazing features, and all in a really neat little package. You’ve got an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and Windows 8 Pro within a 10-inch screen tablet in the Surface Pro! With a 128 GB SSD drive within, it’s got ample storage space too. We also love its detachable keyboard, which is also extremely sleek and looks good.

However, we worry that the Intel Core i5 processor within the Surface Pro, despite its sheer power, could end up draining the device of its battery real quickly. On the other hand, some of the other hybrid devices like the Acer W510 and Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 are powered by the Intel Atom processor, which promise much better battery life. On the downside though, their prices in the $800 range don’t really make it a lot more cost-friendly than the $1100 Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro would also face competition from its similar Windows RT based tablets, like the Microsoft Surface. But, there are very few Windows RT tablets out in the market, which promise good battery performance and can also run Office. However, Windows RT can’t work as well as Windows 8 Pro and can only run limited apps. In all likelihood, consumers would prefer shelling out a little extra and going for a Surface Pro over the RT-based Surface.

Another new competition on the block is the upcoming iPad 4 with 128GB storage. The iPad has been around for a while, and even though the latest version wasn’t as well received, it still holds the top spot in the tablet world. With its vast variety of apps to choose from, the iPad is everyone’s best buddy – from the corporate employee, to the college student who loves his games. However, from a performance perspective, the Surface Pro is far more powerful, and could still be a more appealing pick.

The new iPad uses a flash drive for storage, which does make it more power efficient than the Surface Pro’s SSD. On the downside though, Microsoft’s Surface Pro will only have 83 GB of memory available for use since Windows 8 will take up quite a bit of the space. The iPad, on the other hand, could have more storage space available for use, since iOS wouldn’t be as memory-intensive an OS. However, we wonder if storage space would be as big an issue in this day and age of cloud services.

But if cost is a concern, consumers will do well to stick to 10-inch Android tablets instead, which are much more pocket-friendly, but not quite as powerful.

 … Read the rest

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Microsoft Hikes Windows 8 Price by $160 from February

microsoft windows 8 price hikeIf you have been planning to buy the new Windows 8, you might want to do it before 31 January. Microsoft has been heavily advertising their new operating system and selling it at a comfortable price of $ 39.99. However, from 1 February consumers will only be able to buy the Microsoft OS at $199.99. The OS is available in two versions—for Intel and AMD PCs as Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro respectively.

Windows 8 has received mixed reviews. To start with, it was a little confusing because of the use of touch screen, mouse and keyboard. Users of Windows 7 were happy with what they had. This made it difficult for people to move to the new OS. Surely, the look of Windows 8 is a winner. It is bright, easy and fun. It also has useful touch functionality. Windows 8 also has some tight security features with antivirus included, automatic PC updates and a new phishing filter. This makes it a good buy.

If you plan to switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8, be prepared to undergo a lot of learning. Both the systems offer different user experiences. So you will have to slowly learn the ropes on Windows 8 before you get comfortable using this colorful operating system. Say, there is no Start menu on the Windows 8. Instead, you have windows that take you places.

The trite and unique user interface of Windows 8 can irk new users. It not as intuitive as you would expect and it’s not equipped to boot your desktop. For users of Windows 7, who have been using these features extensively, this will come as a rude shock.

It’s important to note here that the Windows RT is also in the fray here. While the Windows 8 doesn’t have MS Office inbuilt, it is available with the Windows RT. You can install it on your system. Windows 8 is able to run the x86 apps, a facility not available with the Windows RT.

Plan whether you want to get yourself the Windows 8 before Microsoft hikes its price above the $150 mark.

Read more here: Windows 8 and RT Believed to Hit Off Only With High-quality Apps!Read the rest

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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Review: Flexible Computing in a Hybrid Form

Lenovo had announced the Yoga at CES 2012 and has finally launched two models in this series – the IdeaPad Yoga 11 and IdeaPad Yoga 13. Windows 8 has taken the concept of laptops and tablets and merged them together so beautifully, and the IdeaPad is a perfect example of this melee. Featuring a touchscreen display that can swivel 360 degrees, you can use this device as a tablet or as a laptop.

The IdeaPad Yoga 13 is powered by a third-generation Intel Core i-series processor and 4 GB of RAM. It has a 13.3-inch IPS display and 128 GB of SSD storage. Lenovo claims that this device can run for up to 8 hours on battery without charging, and it weighs just a little over 1.5 kg. The IdeaPad Yoga 13 starts from Rs 84,290 onwards.

The IdeaPad Yoga 11 has an 11.6-inch display with a resolution of 1366X768 pixels. Powering this device is an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and 2 GB of RAM, with a storage space of 64 GB SSD. It runs on Windows RT and is more affordable than the IdeaPad Yoga 13. The IdeaPad Yoga 11, according to Lenovo, has a battery life of up to 11 hours and weighs a mere 1.25 kg. It starts from Rs 61,790 onwards.

The best thing about the IdeaPad is that you can flip it into 4 positions – stand mode, laptop mode, tablet mode or tent mode. It’s ideal for those who are constantly on the move, and love to do their work while commuting.… Read the rest

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Microsoft Sales Down Despite Windows 8 October Launch: NPD

Microsoft launched its Windows 8 product in October this year. This has not helped increase sales for the technology giant. According to a report by The NPD Group, Windows PC sales are down by 21% since the launch and sales of Windows devices have also dipped significantly. Windows PC sales in the same period last year were higher.

NPD VP of industry analysis However Stephen Baker said that it was too early to blame the shortfall in sales on Windows 8 because the scenario could change around the holiday season. Microsoft recently made an announcement that they had sold more than 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far.

The research says that Windows 8 currently captures only 58% of computing devices sales, while this figure stood at 83% for Windows 7 post 4 weeks of its release. It’s notable that Microsoft Surface tablet has managed to stay afloat.

“It hasn’t made the market any worse, but it hasn’t stimulated things either… It hasn’t provided the impetus to sales everybody hoped for.” Baker said.… Read the rest

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Windows 8 Fails To Create Stir In The Market

Windows 8 has not able to create much stir in the market.  Sales of Windows 8-powered personal computers have fell by 21 % in the last month as per the figure released on Thursday.

People in industry predicted that Windows 8 might revive slack PC sales, but a report by NPD Group, which tracks computer sales weekly using data supplied by retailers, erased the hopes.

Microsoft has also announced its latest device Surface which has been brought in market to break apple monopoly in tablet market. It is offering the Surface tablet running the full version of Windows 8 from $899, pitching it somewhere between Apple’s latest iPad and MacBook Air laptop.

 

Since the launch of Windows 8 on October 26, Windows laptop sales have plummeted by 24 percent, while desktop sales have decreased by 9 percent compared with the same period last year, making an overall 21 percent dip, NPD Group said.… Read the rest

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Is Microsoft’s Windows Blue Inspired by Apple’s Mac OS X Playbook?

Microsoft expert Mary Jo Foley expects Microsoft’s latest offering to be called Windows Blue – an update that could be out sometime around mid-2013. Foley speculates that it could move Microsoft away from its traditional style of offering a new OS every 3-4 years and become more like Apple – providing evolutionary updates to its OS every year.

These annual releases would include both updates and changes to the user interface, but will be on a much smaller scale – something that users would find easier to adapt to. The way Windows 8 upgrades were priced also could be the norm – having each of these annual updates priced between $20 and $30, instead of an entire OS overhaul priced at over $100. Windows Blue will also bridge the gap between Windows Phone and the PC version of Windows, similar to what Microsoft has attempted to do with Windows 8.

Microsoft’s strategy to introduce a brand new OS update every few years is turning to be a risky option for the company – like the failure it experienced with the launch of Windows ME or Vista. It’s not just a good idea for Microsoft, but is a daunting task for its customers as well, particularly businesses. Enterprises end up spending millions of dollars upgrading their thousands of PCs, which takes up a lot of time and also involves considerable business risk. Apple’s point-release strategy has worked out better, both for Apple and its customers.… Read the rest

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Sony Unveils Vaio Duo 11 Tablet-Ultrabook Hybrid

It’s great time to be scouting the markets for a new computing device, especially now that the brilliant Windows 8 is finally here. Sony has just launched the Vaio Duo 11, a device that can be used as a laptop as well as a tablet, in the Indian market. The Vaio Duo 11 is essentially an Ultrabook which can also double up as a tablet by sliding its display.

The device features a unique surf-slider device to convert from a laptop to a tablet. All you need to do is to fold the display right on top of the keyboard to transform this laptop into a tablet. The Vaio Duo 11 has an 11.6-inch LED backlit TFT LCD display with capacitive touch capability. It is powered by an Intel Core i5 dual-core processor with a clock-speed of 1.5 GHz and turbo boost functionality that can take it up to a speed of 2.6 GHz if required.

The Vaio Duo 11 has 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of inbuilt storage space. It offers WiFi connectivity so that users can browse the internet even when on the move. It’s powered by Windows 8 – of course, and weighs just about 1.3 kg. But the coolest thing about the Vaio Duo 11 is the inclusion of two full HD cameras – one at the rear and one on the front, which can record videos at 1920X1080 pixel resolution. You can pick up a Vaio Duo 11 device from Sony India retailers for a price of Rs. 89,990 from December onwards.… Read the rest

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Sony Launches Special black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals on Windows 8 Vaio Laptops

If Thanksgiving didn’t bring as much cheer to you this year, there’s no reason to worry. Sony has just announced special Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on its Vaio range of laptops, even on the latest Windows 8 machines. There’s not too much of a price cut, but you do get free shipping on these special deals.

Sony is offering $50 price cuts on most of its models, including the 11.6-inch screen Vaio E Series with AMD dual-core processor, 4 GB RAM and 750 GB HDD. The cheaper E Series 14 and 15 have been announced with a $30 price cut. But if it’s the Ultrabook you’re lusting after, Sony’s offering $100 off on the Vaio T Series device, which is powered by Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB RAM and comes with 32 GB SSD and a 13.6-inch display. The T Series 14 Ultrabook, however, has only got a $50 price cut, which is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and has 500 GB HDD and 32 GB SSD.

The Vaio S Series 13 laptop powered by Core i7 processor is now available for $120 less, with 8 GB RAM, 750 GB HDD, NVidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics card, and of course Windows 8 Pro. You can also pick up the Vaio S Series 15 with a Core i7 processor, 12 GB RAM, 750 GB HDD and a Blu Ray drive for $140 less.

If you’re not too keen on picking up a Windows 8 system, you can also consider going in for the Windows 7 Z Series, which comes with a price cut in the range of $200 to $420 for the ultra-portable systems with SSD storage and Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors… Read the rest

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Steven Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft after the Release of Windows 8

Microsoft may have released Windows 8, but its launch has been followed by the departure of Steven Sinofsky from the company. Sinofsky took over the Windows and Windows Live division of Microsoft back in 2006, and has overseen some of the most radical changes to the world’s most popular operating system. He took over shortly after the launch of the not quite successful Windows Vista, and took the company to launch Windows 7 in 2009, and more recently, Windows 8.

Sources speculate that his exit could be driven by his frequent clashes with other senior executives at Microsoft, but the company’s release states his departure as a mutual decision. Julie-Larson Green will take on software and hardware engineering responsibilities of Sinofsky, while Tami Reller will take over the business of Windows 8. Reller is also the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft.

Sinofsky’s exit from Microsoft has come as a surprise to many, especially at a time when rumors of him taking over from Steve Ballmer as the CEO were doing the rounds. However, analysts agree that Sinofsky’s inability to coordinate with other Microsoft teams could have let do this move. A clear case of this was during the making of Microsoft Surface, which required collaboration across hardware, software, Office, Xbox, Bing, Skype, and other teams.… Read the rest

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