This will be a rant, or some thoughts I have on tablets, Microsoft, Ram and Hard drives, and the direction Microsoft and others are going.
I'm a PC user, that doesn't own a smartphone or table either windows or android. I have been looking at windows tablets and android tablets in general to get ideas on what I want.
It started with the damn smartphones, then moved to android tablets, now Microsoft and the rest of the new PC tablet crowd are following suit with "cheap" windows tablets and they are dead wrong.
I'm talking about the ram and hard drive space. Whats wrong with it? Everything.
1st issue) Ram
A phone/tablet I'm looking at says 16 gigabytes of RAM. I have 8 gigabytes of ram in my laptop. I know what that does for me..
There is NO WAY this phone/tablet has 16 gigabytes of Ram power. I haven't found any conformation on this yet, so someone tell me.. whats the difference between this tablet ram and my laptop ram - i think it's some kinda scaled down mobile type of ram that's really not the same ram as my real PC. - But they don't tell you this at al when you are looking at the stats. Can anyone clear this up for me..
There has to be a good answer because there is no way I'm going to believe this 16 gigs of ram is real ram the same as in my desktop.
2nd issue) Hard drive space.
First off, the terminology is misleading because even large companies commonly use the WRONG terms for hard drive space. I have seen the terms RAM and MEMORY used to describe hard drive space - News flash kids - hard drive space is Never RAM nor is it ever MEMORY (which is also RAM). Ram or Memory should always used to denote capacity of the memory in terms of potential computing power ability.
I'd never buy from these companies, I'd never be able to trust if their customer service knows what they are talking about so poorly trained in PC terminology. Hard drive space is ALWAYS called " storage space" and denotes hard drive storage capacity. (If the company knows what it's doing)
The confusion comes in because the terms megabyte, gigabyte etc are used for both RAM and hard drive storage. They should have come up with new terms to denote the two which are not so similar but no one ever did and we are stuck with the mess. I'd expect newbies not to know the difference but it's unforgivable is a large company does it and even incorrectly advertises the product as such.
Anyway, so now we have SSD's (Solid State Drives) which are much faster than typical mechanical drives, but so much more expensive. Every new tablet I can find, windows or android, uses SSD's. and they aren't cheap. For the price of an arm and a leg for can get a 128 gigabyte hard drive though most come with the cheaper 64 gig SSD's.
PC users KNOW - you can't do nothing with 128 gigabytes of storage space. It's way too small and will fill up quickly. This is due to much larger apps on a windows PC. Android users won't need as much because a android tablet only plays android apps - not huge PC apps. Yet Microsoft and other windows tablet makers insist they use the new SSD's and Not the more practical mechanical drives - which are cheap - You can get a 500 gig for as little as 60 bucks.
It's a trade off. You are trading the storage space of the mechanical drive for the faster speeds and less space of the SSD. BUT - they don't even offer a mechanical drive model so you're screwed - and Microsoft's own product.. the Surface line, doesn't even have the ability to swap out it's hard drive !! How stupid is that?
I believe Microsoft is going down the wrong path here. Sure the surface 2 pro is not junk, but it might as well be a door stop because once you download a 25 gigabyte game and also install it to the drive - Poof, no storage space left. Sure, it can play that battlefield 4 just fine on medium settings (tested and working) but that's all it can do at this point. You then have to rely on a UBS external hard drive for more storage space - and also to use to install app to - run the apps directly from the external through the USB - otherwise you'll still run out of space just as fast.
Hey Microsoft.. why give PC users a windows based tablet pc that you have to sell your grandmother to buy and then it doesn't even last 3 months before you fill up the drive? I guess you guys really don't want people to actually USE the surface 2 pro huh?
It just makes no sense to me at all. I don't think they are smart enough to realize they will make more money with a larger mechanical drive as well as happier customers. I know the surface won't fit a mechanical drive because of it's thin form factor but thats Microsoft's blunder again. They should at least let you upgrade the SSD. This is why Surface sales are poor across the board. One would think after poor Surface 1 sales they would have learned not to make a unit thats so closed off you can't even upgrade it.
There is HOPE on the horizon however.
Microsoft's just never going to "get it" so we will have to look for other alternatives. Forget the Surface 2 pro doorstop (unless you can afforded it and it's really all you need and want for the price- even though that's Nutz IMO)
On E-bay for instance, you can get older Windows 7 tablets that have 2 or 4 gigabytes of system ram and have at least a 2.0 GHz dual core processor. One style is the laptop/tablet hybrid - this will let you use a large 500 gigabyte laptop sized mechanical drive with the computer. You can even have the windows 8 UI & full touchscreen functionality in windows 7 and also access the Windows 8 app store. Many of these are as cheap as 150 to 200 bucks then it's just a simple and cheap matter of upgrading the hard drive. As these get older, they will get cheaper and still have plenty of power and storage for your needs. You can also use a external drive via 3.0 USB for more permanent storage. You can get 3 terabytes of external USB storage now for only 100 dollars. (retail not from e-bay) Keep a sharp eye out.
USB 3.1 - better hope.
Enjoying your fast 3.0 USB with 5 gigabits per second transfer speeds? About summer of 2014, they will roll out the new 3.1 USB line which cruses at 10 gigabits per second, doubling your transfer speeds. This will allow you to use those external drives better because the transfer rates will let your programs run smoother from the external drive. ( assuming you actually installed the game or app to the external drive. I make a folder called Program Files on my external and install everything to it.) Of course you need a new 3.1 USB capable computer to do that but you should then be able to buy a cheap laptop or tablet with the 3.1 USB in it. This is how you get around the small drive limitations and do it nicely - even better if you can afford an SSD to use with the 3.1 USB. As of now, even running Battlefield 4 through a 3.0 USB works well on low to medium settings but the 3.1 USB will cause it to work as well as if it's on your desktop hard drive.
For these reasons, I'd suggest NOT getting a new Surface tablet (or other) for Christmas. . if you can, wait the 6 months until USB 3.1 is out - you'll be able to do so much more and it will not be a waste of money like a new surface pro 2 is with all it's restrictions.
Between these windows 7 tablets getting cheaper and the new USB 3.1 coming out, soon Microsoft's Surface restrictions will be a thing of the past. They will not be able to control the limits of the devices so they can make more money selling upgraded surface pro 2's. (instead of letting you upgrade the device, they want to always sell you a whole new upgraded device) The Surface pro 2 (and others like it) will really become a doorstop then. Microsoft will Lose money. Why they can't see this is beyond me. They need to shore up the relationship they have with customers now by making a better more user friendly tablet product that doesn't have the restrictions the surface pro 2 has.
Those are my thoughts. I hope someone gets something useful out of this.