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First Bay Trail Windows 8.1 Convertible To Start At $349 151

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-not-half-bad dept.
crookedvulture writes "Bay Trail has its first convertible design win. Intel's newest SoC will be available in Asus' Transformer Book T100, which combines a 10.1" Windows 8.1 tablet with a keyboard dock that includes a gesture-friendly touchpad and USB 3.0 connectivity. The tablet is powered by an Atom Z3740 processor with quad cores clocked at up to 1.8GHz—600MHz slower than the Z3770 chip benchmarked by the press. The screen has a relatively low 1366x768 resolution, but at least the IPS panel delivers wide viewing angles. Asus clearly intends the T100 to be an entry level device; the 32GB version is slated to sell for just $349, and the 64GB one will cost only 50 bucks more. Those prices include the keyboard dock and a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. They also bring Windows 8 convertibles down to truly budget territory, completing the collision between tablets and netbooks."
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First Bay Trail Windows 8.1 Convertible To Start At $349

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  • by Qzukk (229616) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @08:39AM (#44829359) Journal

    Does a "gesture friendly touchpad" mean its one of those completely flat surfaces with no edges that randomly make shit flip down/out/over what I'm trying to work on because there's no way to tell when you're moving the pointer and when you're swiping the charms bar?

    Or does it mean one where the damn gestures are turned off by default without having to install synaptic drivers and dig through their driver menus, or hunt around in the registry, or say fuck it and replace windows entirely [makeuseof.com]?

  • Another windows 8 tablet. Quad core 1.8GHz, 1366x768 resolution. Meh.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Noughmad (1044096)

      Another windows 8 tablet. Quad core 1.8GHz, 1366x768 resolution. Lame.

      FTFY

    • by FunkyELF (609131)

      I have 1920x1080 on a 15.4 screen and it seems perfect for a laptop.
      1366x768 at 10.1 is actually a higher DPI count but then you're lacking real estate.
      The price seems right though for what you're getting. I'd just prefer to pay a little more, say $50, to get a 1600x900.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @08:43AM (#44829415) Journal
    What I wouldn't give to be able to travel back in time and prevent 1366x768 or '720p' from being defined as 'HD' resolution. Ideally with some sort of plan that involves more explosions than a braindead summer action movie. What a pox upon the eyes of the world, especially with so many applications making poor use of extra horizontal space (so it's barely better than 1024x768, circa 15 years ago) and 768 pixels being pretty narrow for the 'well, just flip it 90 degrees' strategy that saves other widescreens for non-movie purposes.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      640x480 = 307200
      1280x720 = 921600
      1920x1080 = 2073600

      Remember that 720p TV was triple the pixels of NTSC and non-interlaced so a doubling there as well, sure for a computer monitor it wasn't much but for TV it was a huge change with six times the bandwidth. In fact unless you're watching 1080p24 content with pulldown I'd rather take 720p over 1080i (interlacing: die die die). And maybe finally now UltraHD will drive a new generation of monitors, even on 30" it's topped out at 2560x1600/1440.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Yes, and they had to make it all fit in MPEG2 over-the-air and the TV technology of the time was still CRT. They did a decent job given those constraints. If you designed the system today you might make different choices and you'd almost certainly use a different CODEC.

      • Oh, I don't doubt that the TV broadcast standards people had their reasons, they might even have been good ones from the perspective of the awful legacy tech they were dealing with. I just bitterly resent how they managed to smear their shit all over the computer market. Had it stayed confined to broadcast television, they could have done whatever they liked for all I care.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wiredlogic (135348)

      15 years ago I was rolling with 1600x1200 on a monitor capable of even higher resolution than that. Now you have to pay premium coin just to get a modest improvement on that vertical resolution.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        15 years ago I was rolling with 1600x1200 on a monitor capable of even higher resolution than that. Now you have to pay premium coin just to get a modest improvement on that vertical resolution.

        Agreed. If it's not 1200 high (minimum), I'm not interested. Admittedly, this makes it difficult (but not impossible) to find monitors.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      What I wouldn't give to be able to travel back in time and prevent 1366x768 or '720p' from being defined as 'HD' resolution. Ideally with some sort of plan that involves more explosions than a braindead summer action movie. What a pox upon the eyes of the world, especially with so many applications making poor use of extra horizontal space (so it's barely better than 1024x768, circa 15 years ago) and 768 pixels being pretty narrow for the 'well, just flip it 90 degrees' strategy that saves other widescreens

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @08:44AM (#44829419)

    seriously, everyone who voted for this "article" needs a spanking.

  • by DogDude (805747)
    Neat-o! Although, I don't understand why I wouldn't just use a full-featured, full-power laptop...
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      You dont understand the need to look trendy. These are only being sold to up and coming executives that want to look like they are technology hip to senior execs... Sadly it makes them a laughingstock of the IT department.

    • Re:Neat! (Score:5, Informative)

      by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @11:23AM (#44831381)

      I don't understand why I wouldn't just use a full-featured, full-power laptop...

      I have a Surface Pro (NOT RT. Repeat after me NOT RT) tablet at work - and it works like a charm. It's a Core i5 running Metro + Win 8 pro. Runs full Office and has access to all network resources. At my desk it has its desktop extended to another monitor (try doing that with an iPad) with attached keyboard & mouse. Away from my desk it's got a detachable proper clicky keyboard and a nifty stylus.

      If I'm "tableting" with it and I just want to check something I tap a metro tile's app and pull it up

      If I need to do 'real' work I go to the Windows desktop.

      All my colleagues carry two devices (iPad + Notebook) - I carry one. Every time I pull it out at a meeting or at the airport people say "oooh... what's *that*?" The RT noise is distracting people from what is otherwise a very cool machine.

      You couldn't pay me to lug a laptop around anymore.

  • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @08:46AM (#44829453) Homepage

    Am I the only one who is sick of those right-shift-key-right-next-to-up-arrow keyboards?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    MSFT with their "golden touch" is poised to ruin tablets just like they did with netbooks. When netbooks were introduced, they had a lightweight version of Linux and no harddrive. MSFT made them into impractical laptops which ran XP. Now that ASUS is selling a Windows "tablet," I guess we can look forward to the same "innovation" that killed the netbook.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Ditto. If this wasn't a crappy 'Transformer' with a touch screen I'd buy one to replace our old netbook, but I don't want something that's a crappy tablet that also tries to be a crappy netbook.

  • Meh? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snookerdoodle (123851) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @09:02AM (#44829623)

    Ok, I don't get the "meh" posts. Touchscreen. Keyboard. $400 for 64 gb version. Real Windows (i.e.: Windows 8.1, not RT).

    This is a pretty nice computer at a very nice price.

    • Re:Meh? Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @09:14AM (#44829747)
      Well most here are thinking that it's not an iPad or Android killer. They are probably right. It's a Surface RT killer.
      • Re:Meh? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timeOday (582209) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @10:10AM (#44830479)
        I don't get it, how is this not an iPad killer? For $429, you could get a 32 GB iPad mini with a 7.9" 1024x768 screen and no MicroSD slot and no keyboard. Or for $30 less, you could get a 64 G transformer with a 10.1" 1366x768 screen, a MicroSD slot, and a keyboard, that can serve as a tablet, or run any PC application out there. Seems pretty "killer" to me.
        • by roc97007 (608802)

          I don't get it, how is this not an iPad killer?

          It's not an ipad killer because Microsoft hasn't built up the mindshare that Apple has, and because Windows 8 is pants. Microsoft tried to sell the Surface at boutique prices, and that didn't work out as well as they'd hoped. This device is at least priced right, but that only fixes one problem to uncover several more. Not the least of which is, most people don't want Windows 8. Yes, it'll run Microsoft legacy apps, in a weird, Win8 kind of way. That's not as important as it used to be.

    • It has the same resolution as my phone, so I wouldn't want to use it for writing any code. That my use for a keyboard. 2 GB of ram and an atom processor means I probably wont be able to play Dwarf Fortress at a decent frame rate, so there goes my hardcore gaming angle. I already have a phone and its lighter, so my emailing, quick messaging, and Angry Birds fix is satiated. I don't really have any reason to get this.
      • I think the fact that it has Windows (and not RT/iOS/Android) makes it different. If it ran OS-X, I'd be just as interested. There is software I (and, I believe, others) use that only runs on OS-X and Windows. That would be a reason for some to get this. I've wanted a tablet. There isn't an OS-X one and the other ones that run Windows (again, RT is not Windows) are much more expensive than this. Of course, if Apple ever comes out with an OS-X tablet, it's probably going to cost at least $1,500.

      • It has the same resolution as my phone, so I wouldn't want to use it for writing any code.

        Well in fairness the pixels are quite a bit bigger. The problem with your phone is that the pixels are really tiny and thus you have to use a font that uses a lot of pixels per character to make out any words. As a result, it's difficult to fit much text on the 4" screen.

        This device uses much larger pixels, which, while making everything look blockier, has the advantage that you need less pixels to represent each c

    • It's meh because it's essentially the same as the previous generation - except for the price.

      Quad core - only 1.3GHz and still Atom (albeit with OoO execution) so pretty meh.
      Still only 2GB RAM, so meh.
      Only 32/64 gigs of slow-ass on-SoC eMMC pseudo-SSD storage, with even the 64gig version only providing about 30 gigs of usable space after you subtract the Windows 8 recovery partition and the space Windows 8 itself uses, so meh.
      No active digitizer as far as I can tell, so meh...

      If Bay Trail truly provides a s

  • by eyenot (102141)

    The roomie I just moved in with was appalled when I discovered for her that her newly purchased notebook was actually a slower and worse-off computer than the laptop she was hoping to "upgrade" from. So we sent it back and now she has the credit and wants me to shop for her.

    She kept mentioning the RT and liking it, but I warned her away and told her that tablets are still a developing technology, that it's in its awkward stages and next year she'll have something worth picking up. She said "okay, maybe next

    • by timeOday (582209)
      It has a MicroSD slot, so how is the lack of a full-size SD slot a problem? A 32 GB micro SD is $20, just like a 32 GB non-micro, and normally include an adapter if you want to use it in a camera or something that needs full-size.

      Unlike earlier Atom-based Windows tablets, these Bay Trail ones seem like they will not be horribly slow. Personally I would opt for a model with a better screen, but would expect to pay more for it.

    • It's priced like a pc only in the sense that it's less expensive than a tablet.

      • by eyenot (102141)

        Including the costs of a keyboard, a stand, a tiny piece of (potentially unreliable solid state) flash to make up for the "32GB" model really coming with 16GB of remaning capacity, the price point compares to a fairly decent, new, fully featured laptop.

        That doesn't include the cost of realistically including a large, cheap flatscreen monitor to view without having to slouch.

        I can't understand somebody like yourself who embraces new technological gimmicks without thought. The tablet isn't "the new PC", yet.

    • by Jmc23 (2353706)
      How is microSD not removable media? microUSB on the tablet? USB3.0 on the keyboard?

      Don't ruin your friends life by steering her away from something she likes and serves her purpose just because it doesn't serve YOUR purpose.

      • by eyenot (102141)

        I had mentally excluded microSD from the criteria of "removable media" because when I showed her what a microSD looks like, she said "forget it". So, sorry chum but sometimes size does matter. And I, for one, have to agree with her. I don't think anybody should be reliant on something so important being so small, let alone the profit-minded producers of tablets. There are numerous practical reasons why not to consider microSD for anything but cameras, ipods, and other tiny devices that you don't really inte

        • by Jmc23 (2353706)
          So basically your above post was garbage because you left out the most important part which is the ability to burn cds. Something which no tablet has and so your rant about microsofts tablet is stupid to say the least, because they do have external storage and don't have that thing that no other tablet has.

          Ok, so you're one of those people that lets their agenda get ahead of the truth. Nice to know.

    • by asliarun (636603)

      The roomie I just moved in with was appalled when I discovered for her that her newly purchased notebook was actually a slower and worse-off computer than the laptop she was hoping to "upgrade" from. So we sent it back and now she has the credit and wants me to shop for her.

      She kept mentioning the RT and liking it, but I warned her away and told her that tablets are still a developing technology, that it's in its awkward stages and next year she'll have something worth picking up. She said "okay, maybe next year it would be a good idea" but still seemed lost.

      I'd like to say she has some good news when she gets home today, but the tablet isn't much better than the notebook. There's no removable media, not even a full-size SD slot?

      I see these things as glorified palmtops. They're just slightly larger, but they fit the same niche -- something to pull out of your backpack or Euro-wallet at the airport or cafe and use within serious constraints on time and space. It's a useful gadget to complement a fully functioning PC at home, but IMHO it doesn't really qualify as a principal or "base" PC.

      But oh, look: it's priced like a PC.

      Scratching my head / not catching on.

      Very interesting - the way you put it. If you read Anand and Brian's analysis of Baytrail / Silivermont performance, it pretty much lands up at half the CPU and a third of the GPU performance of a typical Core i5 that you would find in a slim notebook (Ultrabook). The crucial difference is of course that Baytrail consumes dramatically less power - about 2-3 watts (compared to 10-15 watts for a regular notebook CPU/GPU).

      Reference: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7314/intel-baytrail-preview-intel-atom-z3770-tes [anandtech.com]

      • by eyenot (102141)

        It would be super interesting if Intel came out with a version of Silvermont with beefier graphics (say, HD3000). I suspect that would be enough to support full HD meaningfully and to be a true viable notebook replacement.

        As it turned out, the roomie's bad experience with purchasing her first ever brand-new computer online left a sour taste in her mouth about the whole idea of buying a computer online. It's hard to reason with superstition. And, since I'm not somebody she knows very well, I wasn't able to convince her to try any other online avenue. She was firmly set on the brick and mortar route, and was too impatient for me to call around to the almost a dozen local computer stores looking for a deal. So off we went to Be

  • Hmmm, with mainstream Intel platforms approaching the power savings of SoCs, maybe Microsoft should drop the other shoe and kill off RT. If standard Windows will run acceptably on these devices, there's no reason to keep RT going!

  • by emblemparade (774653) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @09:50AM (#44830159)

    I'll repeat my title: this is what the Surface RT should have been. I would be happy to trade in my netbook + Nexus 10 tablet for one of these. And the price is very right, especially as it includes basic MS Office capability.

    The Windows 8 interface is perfectly fine for a tablet. Worse in some ways than Android, better than others. The real advantage over Android is that you have a full web browser, none of those dumbed-down mobile versions that can't handle standard web sites. If you're really wedded to the Android app-world it's probably not so good for you, but remember that there's so much free Windows software that would do the job just fine. Android has been wanting full VLC and smoothly working Flash for years...

    And as a netbook, it's the real deal. You can install *any* Windows software on it, unlike the Surface RT. And Bay Trail makes it that much more capable that the netbooks of old, that cost about the same, couldn't turn into tablets, etc.

    People complaining about this being "slashvertisement" need to chill. This is news for nerds: a new category of consumer device that could really shake things up.

    • I'll repeat my title: this is what the Surface RT should have been. I would be happy to trade in my netbook + Nexus 10 tablet for one of these. And the price is very right, especially as it includes basic MS Office capability.

      We've already seen how small the market for netbooks is.

    • The Windows 8 interface is perfectly fine for a tablet. Worse in some ways than Android, better than others. The real advantage over Android is that you have a full web browser, none of those dumbed-down mobile versions that can't handle standard web sites. If you're really wedded to the Android app-world it's probably not so good for you, but remember that there's so much free Windows software that would do the job just fine. Android has been wanting full VLC and smoothly working Flash for years...

      While t

      • Yes, good point. But at least but they still render web sites properly, not something I can say about mobile Chrome. I would add a caveat, though, that browsing with touch is often a pain even with Android and iOS. So when I say "perfectly fine" I really mean "comparable," I'm looking forward to Metro support for Firefox coming soon, hopefully it won't be too dumbed down. I *need* AdBlock plus! Even mobile Firefox has a nice AdBlock add-on.
    • by Compuser (14899)

      Exactly. I posted before that Surface is 4X overpriced. I got a lot of flak. But here is a counterexample.
      They do need to bump up resolution to 1080p and put in a Wacom stylus but with that exception this is what I was hoping for with Surface (features and price-wise).

  • Finally someone has figured out how to build and sell a Windows 8 tablet. I think that $349 is a very attractive price point. Especially when you consider that it comes with Office, a physical keyboard, and an SD card slot for storage expansion. Ok, so the screen isn't going to set the world on fire but it's very usable. I could see something like this as a good note taking device for school/meetings. Maybe some light internet browsing or Netflix viewing.

    The big mistake Microsoft has made is trying to compe

  • windows sucks....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But can it be upgraded to Windows 7?

    • Even if it turns out that this tablet can't run Windows 7 well due to driver issues, you can still install a reasonable facsimile of Windows 7's UI inside Windows 8. Google classic shell and your Start menu will be back to how you remember it.
  • It's definitely more worth getting on around that price (could be a little lower) but still a lot better than the old crappy atom architecture we have now that needed an update for a long time.

  • Storage space? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yoda-dono (972385) on Thursday September 12, 2013 @11:15AM (#44831281)

    How are Windows 8 AND Office supposed to fit comfortably (and be usable) on 64GB of storage, much less 32GB?

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