Can a £139 Windows Tablet replace your Laptop? – Part 1

Part 1 – Setting the Scene

Come around the winter fire kids! Let me tell you a story, this particular story is about my search for a work device without breaking the bank.

I am an unashamed tech geek, I love things all bright and shiny. I love playing around without the newest tech. In addition, I am always on the hunt for the best device for my particular needs and wants. Whether that be smartphone, tablet, laptop etc.

I also on the other hand have a wife and family, this means that I can’t always get the stuff that I want and have to make more practical decisions so that a) my wife doesn’t kill me and b) I can still pay my mortgage (in that order).

Technology now plays a part in everybody’s professional life and mine is no different. The healthcare sector isn’t immune to this. Yes we aren’t doing video-editing, coding or sys-admin work in hospitals (well frontline healthcare staff aren’t anyway). But medical notes, clinic letters, email communication, presentations, governance meetings all need a good computing device. However, the healthcare sector is far behind the private and commercial industries. I work for an organisation which has rudimentary (at best) computing facilities. I mean, we’ve just had our office computers upgraded to Windows 7 from XP!

You may say that the answer to this is easy. Get a reasonably-specced Ultrabook of whatever variety. And frankly you’d be right. However I came across a few articles on the web. Firstly Winbeta report that “Microsoft assumes the mantle of best-selling tablet maker in terms of online sales in October”. Around the same time, business analysts were saying “Strategy Analytics believes that Windows is fast becoming a premium OS for higher-ASP tablets. Windows will allegedly gradually grab market share away from dirt-cheap Android tablets…Windows could get almost 1/5 of annual tablet sales by 2019.” Considering that at the moment that share is 1/7%, that’s one hell of growth.

Can a £139 Windows Tablet replace your Laptop?   Part 1

Reading through the reports it seems the strategy is working at the two ends of the market and not by directly competing with the iPad. The High-End is where the Surfaces do well. I think it is safe to assume that this prompted Apple to launch their iPad Pro. The customer here is fundamentally a tech-geek often with money and knows what they want. The low-end, traditionally dominated by a variety of android slates, is the other place of growth. This is a sector where more casual consumers look to bag a bargain. Here the “Windows” brand has more recognition and value. One of the Microsoft’s ploys has been the not charging OEMs a licence fee for certain sizes of tablets.

Getting back to me, I wondered whether I could capitalise on this in order to get an effective work machine, and not have to rob a bank to do so. This is technically termed “being a cheapskate” but after all a “reasonably specced Ultrabook” would easily be over a grand. Could I use cheap Windows Tablet instead?

So I went and bought a Lenovo Miix 3 from ebay for £139. 

Check out Part 2 where I review the device and see if being a cheapskate worked out!