Little update…

Guess I’ve just done craziest things in my life… relatively craziest. First, I moved into a new place where I can’t communicate with others effectively. Second, I study new language in my current living place. And third, which doesn’t make sense at all (at least to me), I’ve just bought my 3rd Windows 8 tablet PC within a year, even it uses last year CPU. Doesn’t make sense at all, right?

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So… let me share something about my habit on using these computers. From left to right, they’re Microsoft Surface Pro (256GB), a touch-only 128GB flash 2GB RAM AMD-Z60 tablet pc from Mouse Computer, and Sony Vaio Duo 11 (i7 8GB RAM 256GB SSD).

Since Sony Vaio Duo 11 is the fastest tablet PC in here, I usually use it for photo managing (Lightroom 4), digital illustration, and often photo/video sharing. I was once use it to play Bioshock Infinite, but being dragged away by a game that I wanted to review. (speaking of gaming, Duo 11 doesn’t run quite smoothly on higher setting, but it does give me good impression, and hope for future Intel Graphics)

So, about this new but old Microsoft Surface Pro… TV watching and recording, which was the AMD-Z60 tablet’s old job; Note taking, which was Duo 11’s old job, but since Surface Pro has greater responsiveness stylus, it’s better suited for quick notes; Web browsing if I forbid myself to use MacBook Pro; And digital illustration, which… I will do deeper comparison once I have time, but right now it feels like having worse accuracy than Duo 11, and has more tendency get hot from digital illustration.

And that AMD-Z60 tablet PC from mouse computer, which is touch only tablet pc… I hardly find opportunity to use it. Because it’s touch only, I can’t use it for any productive for any kind. I was hoping to use it to record TV program, but it turns out that it might miss, hang, or get very hot for recording TV, which gives me an excuse to buy another tablet pc. It does have nice graphic ability, but its slow CPU basically prevent itself doing anything effectively, and its touch-only, non-dockable limits its use further. However, it does saves me from the days that my Duo 11 was down (probably Duo 11’s SSD was burnt during a TV recording but exact reason is unknown other than the SSD is lost)

That’s all for now. Originally I want to review a game first, but looks like I still haven’t gotten any time to write anything worth a page. And… I might need to change this blog’s name because I talked to much about tablet PC. I remembered that you can create more than one blog in wordpress, right?

btw I’m a bit disappointed by Sony Duo 13 design, wish I have time to explain why. It simply missed what makes Duo 11 a great tablet PC as well as ultrabook.

Microsoft Surface Pro VS Sony Vaio Duo 11 comparison links

Microsoft Surface Pro VS Sony Vaio Duo 11 comparison (link, not by me)

A nice comparison between Microsoft Surface Pro and Sony Vaio Duo 11 found in a forum. Those who interested should take a look. Good that the comparison also point out Surface’s initial design problems I found at first sight. Thanks pagugu for doing this comparison! I wish I could do this comparison but none of my friend nor I plan to buy Surface Pro. Personally I prefer Vaio Duo 11 because I also do photography aside from illustration, that I could make good use of 256GB SSD and SD Card Reader (no, not microSD), as well as 2 USBs for file transferring, interface expand/adapt, and more.Would be great if pagugu or someone else do a video comparison. More like, Microsoft Surface Pro vs Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro vs Asus Taichi 21 vs Sony Vaio Duo 11. Stylus plays major key.

EDIT: Few extra notes, according to few sites that did benchmarks on both tablet PCs, Core i5 Vaio Duo 11 can run faster and last longer than Microsoft Surface Pro a bit, not significant enough for user to notice the differences. But Vaio Duo 11 has in-factory upgradable option for extra o.4 kg. 512GB SSD too, if you actually need it. A bit faster Core i7, they got it too.

Update: I found a video comparison. Mostly good, but I want a video comparison that actually put both computers into daily life situations. Should had update this as soon as I found this video but I’ve got too many things to do lately.

6/13 Update: This might sounds stupid to Americans and power users who always look for newest gadget, I actually bought Microsoft Surface Pro (256GB version) recently to fill up my thirst for researching 10 inch tablet PC, so I might able to do comparison on my own from now. Hope this can be written within weeks. All thanks to the special offer I get for buying Surface Pro (Free Office 2013) and news regarding minor CPU speed improvement on Intel Haswell CPU.
Here’s my quick impression: The Surface Pro indeed has more natural feeling on drawing and faster responsiveness for stylus, but it also has more tendency to get hot (41.5 degree celcius, i.e. hotter than Duo 11 when it’s being stressed by Adobe Lightroom 4) while doing digital illustration, and less accuracy than Duo 11, leaving digital illustration in favorable question (for now). Because it only has 1 USB, it does have potential problem in general use. Also, it requires more depth to become desktop mode, docked with cover that requires extra purchase, and unable to use comfortably (or at all) on lap because of its design (which I predicted long time ago). However, it’s easier to keep (but not use) in cramped place, and probably it’s a better presentation computer in some cases (which I hope I can explore more). What I said is my quick impression and hopefully will update as soon as I experience enough scenarios with Surface Pro.

6/15 Update:  Another quick insight comparison by myself, once again, not final, and might not be accurate, but I will take my time to do a deeper comparison, even without benchmark softwares or hardwares.

Vaio Duo 11:                                                              Microsoft Surface Pro:

+Accurate Stylus* (H±≤4px V±≤3px)                      +Responsive Stylus
+Relatively High Performance Ultrabook             +Full PC experience packed in small factor
+Vast Connectivity                                                   +Minor Bloatware, if not none
+High resolution screen                                          +High resolution screen result high dpi
+Stay cool while doing basic work                         +Easy keyboard cover connecting
+Easy tablet/laptop conversion                              +Superior palm rejection for stylus

-Unresponsive Stylus ruins its accuracy             -Inaccurate stylus* (H±≤7px V±≤7px)
-Easy Image Persistence                                       -Easy to get hot
-Relatively Large and Heavy for its screen size  -Unable to use on lap in most case
-No HDCP on built-in display (2012 model)        -Bad standing position (Worse than Duo 11)

*Duo 11 stylus accuracy is very constant while Surface Pro stylus accuracy is not constant, meaning the cursor position error will have noticeable difference in different section of screen, even if the section is next to another section.

6/16 Update: About the temperature… forgot something rather important. The Surface Pro temperature was measured in room temperature 32 degree Celsius. Today I used both computer for hand writing revision. The room temperature was 32 degree Celsius again, and the Surface Pro external temperature racked up to 41.5 degrees within 15 minutes, while Duo 11 reached to 36.5 degrees after using around half hour of Windows Journal. As for CPU temperature, both built up to 64 degrees, but Duo 11 dropped back to 54 degrees shortly after I stop writing, and 45 degrees within a minute, while Surface Pro dropped steadily to 51 degrees within 1.5 minutes. After 5 minutes of idle (not sleep), the external temperature of Surface Pro dropped from 41.5 degrees to 38 degrees, while Duo 11 dropped from 36.5 to 34.0 after 5 minutes of typing. May do another temperature test with lower room temperature soon, but my impression was even in room temperature 25 degrees Surface can get pretty hot.

Windows 8 tablet pc quick buying guide

It might be strange to start a blog with a buying guide, but since Christmas is coming I think I should share what I think about possible gift. Or present. Or deal. I don’t know which fits, yet I think Windows 8 tablet PC could be the one.

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(Left: Asus EP121 with ArtRage 3.5.5, Right: Sony Vaio Duo 11 with Photoshop CS5)

Before you buy Windows tablet PC you should first consider two things:

Are you going to drop notes with tablet PC?

Are you going to draw digital illustration on the go?

If none of the above questions is yes, you might shouldn’t consider buying a windows tablet pc. If you take yes to drop notes only, you can consider to buy a tablet PC, but Samsung galaxy note 10.1 is a better choice in this case. If you take yes to digital illustration on the go, you may consider to buy windows tablet PC. While 2nd generation of Atom and 3rd generation of core i3 has enough processing power for basic digital illustration, you may consider tablet PC with better CPU for more versatile daily use.

This buying guide introduces only tablet pc with stylus because without stylus it’s not worth to buy a computer with extra cost on touch screen. Well, this is my opinion anyway.

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