To RT or to not RT?

16. May 2013 13:11 by Chris in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I got into a bit of a Twitter conversation with a chap from Dell today (@stephenjatdell) who asked the question "Great UK deal on XPS10 tablet" Except I'm not sure he actually meant it to be a question as I received the impression subsequently that he was pretty sure it was a good deal! I was less convinced. In fact I retweeted with my follow up question: '(still too expensive for RT to compete?)' The conversation continued but, that aside, let's look at this in a little more detail.

I will precursor with the fact that I don't understand why anyone buys an iPad - it's an overpriced toy as far as I'm concerned. Currently tablets attract a premium as the 'new thing' but when you compare the hardware with a fairly standard laptop the pricing does not stand this sort of analysis? I did buy a Nexus 7 in the end - a slightly less overpriced toy which I only use because the Welsh dictionary app isn't available for my phone (Windows Phone). I share the Nexus with my wife (OK, it's her's really!) and the big issue is the lack of 3G connectivity which I'll return to shortly. I am fully aware that Nexus 7 versions with 3G are now on the market.

Back to the Dell 'deal'. It is/ was for a Dell XPS 10 tablet running Windows RT. The 32GB version costs £249 with a whopping £120 more for the keyboard/ dock, though I am aware of the silly prices for laptop docking stations so this was no great surprise. Presumably you can add a USB keyboard and mouse for productivity in the supplied Office applications (should be a big plus for RT over competing OSs though I've not played with), though I guess you'd need to prop up the tablet in another way! No 3G on the tablet by the way with the base product - options were mentioned on the page but I received the impression the info had erroneously found it's way to the UK site from the US.

Talking of matters erroneous: at is stated 'The new XPS 10 tablet comes with Windows RT, built-in security and flexible docking options that give you full PC functionality when you need it.' This is entirely misleading. This is Windows RT not full Windows so you do not get 'full PC functionality'. This is poor from Dell, even in the context of the confusing marketing from Microsoft in this area.

So for £249 you get a well engineered (though see review link below) 10" tablet, with probably the best touch OS on the market, 32GB of RAM and the RT version of Office. Wireless, no 3G unfortunately. Compared to the 16GB iPad (albeit with retina display - 2048x1536 compared to 1366x768) and it's £400 price tab this is pretty good. Of course apps are going to be lacking so if this is important to you are likely to have issues.

Back to my comment 'still too expensive for RT to compete'? What do you think? I'm coming from the angle here while I'm sure the hardware is great (like the Surface itself which, for comparison, is £400 with keyboard currently), RT has a lot of catching up to do and it may require some minimal profit margins to be in place for a while.

Hmmm, maybe I should buy one of these Dells 'for the wife';) Or maybe no:

Though, anyway, what I really need is the Surface Pro (also overpriced!).

What is ... WebP?

9. May 2013 13:52 by Chris in What is ...  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

What is .... WebP?

Scott Hanselman mentioned WebP in a tweet which immediately prompted my question 'what is that?' The normal answer might be 'yet another web related technology or product that Microsoft has just released'. In this instance, as you'll see from the link, it is a new image format for websites care of Google. They are smaller for the same quality so great; but support for them isn't 'there' yet so my advice, which I'm following, would be to make a mental note and keep an eye on to see if they break into the mainstream.

Another link

See also, though I have no plan to pronounce erroneously as 'weppy'!



About the author

I am Dr Christopher Sully (MCPD, MCSD) and I am a Cardiff, UK based IT Consultant/ Developer and have been involved in the industry since 1996 though I started programming considerably earlier than that. During the intervening period I've worked mainly on web application projects utilising Microsoft products and technologies: principally ASP.NET and SQL Server and working on all phases of the project lifecycle. If you might like to utilise some of the aforementioned experience I would strongly recommend that you contact me. I am also trying to improve my Welsh so am likely to blog about this as well as IT matters.

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