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Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab S4 should really run Windows 10

Android just isn't that good on tablets. It really isn't. I've dabbled with them since the god-awful days of Honeycomb, Google's first attempt at "properly" getting its mobile OS onto larger screens.

Android tablets have never been as good as the iPad, and that's still the case today. But nowadays you also have Windows 10 tablets, which, also aren't really as good as the iPad, at least in some ways. But Windows 10 puts a full PC onboard, so it certainly has its benefits.

Enter Samsung, again, with another attempt at a premium Android tablet. The Galaxy Tab S4 has just been announced and there is one overriding point I cannot shake: It would have been good with Windows 10 on it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 hands-on at Android Central

Windows 10 on ARM-ready specs

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

I haven't actually seen this tablet yet first-hand, for that you'll need to hit the link above to check out Android Central's excellent coverage. But on paper, the Galaxy Tab S4 meets all the basic requirements for Windows 10 on ARM.

It runs a Snapdragon 835 processor, it's got 4GB of RAM, and either 64GB or 256GB of internal storage. It's got superb speakers, a gorgeous display, support for a digital pen, and LTE.

The Snapdragon 835 might not be the best for Windows 10 on ARM with the dedicated Snapdragon 850 on the way, but the current crop of devices are all using it.

Samsung is also clearly positioning the Tab S4 as something you can use like a laptop. The $150 Book Cover adds a keyboard, it supports a mouse and even Samsung's desktop like DeX mode which automatically launches when you're using the keyboard.

There's no denying it's a premium tablet, but it's a premium tablet that's limited.

Why would you spend $650 on an Android tablet?

Galaxy Tab S4

Why buy this at $650 over even the lowest priced iPad or something like the Surface Go? I think you'd be foolish, too, frankly. And our pal Daniel Bader, managing editor over at Android Central, words it perfectly:

Here, you're at the mercy of whether Android developers have optimized their apps for the big screen, and chances are, given the state of Android tablets these past few years, they haven't. Even if they have, unless the app is made by Samsung, Microsoft, or Google (or had money thrown at it by Samsung or Google), the feature set of the average tablet-optimized app may not compare to its iOS or Windows counterpart.

Toss in the keyboard cover (albeit not totally necessary) to go full Surface-like, and you're in for $800. That's an obscene amount of money for a device that is hampered by the software it uses.

Amazon's Android tablets are an easy recommendation because they're cheap, and they're good value for using in tablet-friendly cases like consuming media. The Tab S4 could very well compete with the iPad or Surface, or other similarly priced Chromebooks or Windows laptops/2-in-1s, but it's pretty easy to imagine it won't.

I've owned a Galaxy Tab in the past and will happily admit to liking quite a bit of what Samsung does. But outside of Samsung, Google and big players like Microsoft, tablet apps on Android are a disaster.

The Surface Go starts at $399

Surface Go

If you're attracted to the idea of a tablet you can also use like a little laptop, there's really only one way to go: Windows. The iPad doesn't even support mouse input! Samsung has put out some nice Windows 2-in-1s in recent years, too. Both the Galaxy TabPro S and Galaxy Book were really nice tablets running Windows 10 and offering keyboard and pen support.

It's also a coincidence that Microsoft's Surface Go has just gone on sale, which is both a premium tablet and a little laptop. And even with the more expensive model and a keyboard, it's still less than the comparable price of the Galaxy Tab S4. Spending potentially $800 on an Android tablet with a keyboard is foolish. If you shop around you can probably get the Galaxy Book for that!

Meanwhile you have the Surface Go which is properly useful and small. And a fair bit cheaper.

See at Microsoft

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

86 Comments
  • People have been paying $600+ for premium Samsung tablets for a long time. This shouldn't shock anyone. It's mostly about the screen - which I'm willing to bet beats any screen out there, as was the case with the Tab S3, the Tab S2, the Tab S 10.5, the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2013), the Galaxy Note 10.1 (2012) ...
  • I think you are absolutely right - the price tag is attached to that AMOLED panel and the electronics are free. Whether there are people willing to pay for that screen or not remains to be seen, but I would not be surprised that more than a few are.
  • morons will still buy the crap
  • I have an S3 as for my work I need Google services access, but on the whole I have been with Microsoft since 1985 and with all there is to wish for, their services are the most comprehensive and integrated and having quality hardware nowadays. Within my family we are likely to get some Surface Go tablets, the top model with pen, no keyboard.
  • Well, the price is ridiculous,,,,, but it does have apps, and the apps that most people use for fun, smart home, and consumption, which is what most people buying a tablet are looking for.... And, it doesn't have that obnoxious Apple trademark on it.
  • It does indeed have apps but how many of them are DeX optimised? This is the key, if developers won't support DeX by optimising their apps for it then it will essentially be the Samsung version of Windows RT.
  • 🤔🤔🤔🤔 Good point, Sir.
  • Will those apps still work, though?
  • Apps that aren't DeX optimised will still run but they will only run in a window.
  • When I tried Dex with my S8, there were quite some productivity apps supported like MS Office, Google office and what not and that was almost a year ago. There's an app called max Dex that enables you to make other apps compatible with Dex also.
  • Yes, but it still depends on developers making their apps compatible with DeX. It's good to know that there are apps available though.
  • Hmm maybe it's because there are tons of apps for it. Or maybe it has a touch friendly UI. You know, things that are actually important for the non-tech user.
  • It's also $650 just for the tablet. There are plenty of much more affordable tablets that still have the same apps and touch friendly UI. And if all that's important is having a great tablet...the iPad 9.7 is literally half the cost of this tablet, while being just as fast, with better touch UI and apps, and also having an amazing screen.
  • It's also about the brand too. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean people won't buy it. There's a reason why people buy BMW's and others buy Prius'.
  • Those same apps are already had on the phone though...why would someone spend this much money on a tablet just for the same apps their phone can get...
  • Because watching a video or reading a book on a phone is not a good experience due to the tiny screen. You're right about the 'this much money' part because I wouldn't pay $600 for anything Android. The logic works both ways as in - Why would I pay $600 for a phone that runs the same apps as my $200, 8" tablet?
  • The UI isn't that great. It's mostly about touching buttons and just a few gestures. The only real good tablet UI has iOS and that's sad.
  • A lack of tablet optimised apps, is something the average user feels. When you go onto the bigger screen, and your apps are still limited in functionality to smartphone levels, with oversized UI that scale poorly, you notice. This is why android tablets are the fastest shrinking tablet market. Samsung is only holding on by a thread because of their brand power, but are still losing sales. ChromeOS would have been a much better choice if you wanted to stay with google. At least that is getting Linux emulation, and also has chrome apps and a proper desktop grade browser.
  • But for that you would buy a cheaper Samsung tablet (eg Tab A, which also has a similar screen I believe). The pro part of the S does not seem to add much which would be really useful in practice (could change of course if DeX mode gets more supported).
  • This is my thoughts as well. The author talks like windows is so better for touch. In reality there are more Android apps that work with this tablet regardless if they are fully optimized to run on a tablet.
  • The Costco variant of the Surface Go is the best spec compromise for me.
  • Could a user not just install Windows on it? It would still be too expensive for what it is, but there should be no reason to expect it wouldn't work well with a Windows clean install. Unless, of course, there's some driver issue? I'm sure the driver availability for WoA is likely a bit limited right now.
  • Considering it has a Snapdragon 835 in it Windows 10 is not going to work and WoA is not publicly available.
  • But it is available. That's why they were able to boot it on the Lumia 950 XL. But the whole process is not that easy without drivers.
  • But only to manufacturers, how someone managed to get hold of it I don't know.
  • Windows ISOs are available for download from Microsoft.
  • Not for Windows on ARM, only x86 and x64.
  • Here can u download Windows on ARM iso: https://uup.rg-adguard.net/index.php Read also: https://withinrafael.com/2018/02/11/boot-arm64-builds-of-windows-10-in-q... For those who have problems by installing QEMU. I found a ready to run image with Windows pre-installed:
    https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2018/03/22/windows-10-arm64-on-qemu/
  • Or Chrome OS... Really, looking at Chrome Tab from Acer, I think Chrome OS is better compared to Android (on larger screen). Sure Windows 10 is good. But the legacy support is still taking too much storage compared to Chrome OS. Windows Core OS might have better chance tackling this issue if executed correctly.
  • Why don't they mKe it dual boot. I have an S3 and a Linx1010. Carrying them both is fine, but a pain. Samsung even registered a patent for hot swap Android/Windows device in the days of Windows 8. So Windows on Arm and Android, hot swappable, that's a device I'd go for.
  • That price is rediculous. I would consider one if it was closer to iPad prices.
  • That 835 is ridiculous too! Didn't you just attack Microsoft for always using old tech? Now here we are with Samsung's latest flagship and it's rocking an 835 with 4Gigs of ram??? For that price??? And an optimized OS that doesn't fully take advantage of landscape and weak PC like features??? $800 for a 2n1 that can't even run professional software 🤦🏾
  • Yep. Not as big a deal on Android, SD835 is more than enough, but for $650 it should have the SD845. Also, this might be the first Android tablet I have seen with the SD835. High end Android tablets are non-existent today.
  • Look at the mediapad M5 from Huawei. It is priced better than this. Cost $359, and you can get a pen/keyboard for it if so desired. The m5 has a Kirin 960 in it that is close to an core m3.
  • I have the Mediapad M3 8". I got mine for $220. I love my Android tablet, but I don't try to use it as a laptop.
  • Well, I'm divided between Windows and Android. iOS was never my cup of tea, for many reasons. Basically I prefer Windows by a long shot, but I can't live without a lot of quality apps that are not available at the Microsoft Store. It's not about missing a million stupid games, but I like to read books, listen to music and watch movies and the only way I can do that on Windows is being forced to use the one or two apps that are available or through the browser. In my country there are no books in the MS Store, and there is no Kindle app. But more than this: if I want to access my bank account, transfer funds, acces public services in my country digitally I can only do so through my Android tablet or phone. And for some services the screen size of a phone is just not sufficient. I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 on a daily basis, and it's a highly competent device, the screen is magnificent and the S-pen can be used for a lot more than the Surface pen. Android apps adapts to the tablet format without any problems at all in my experience. In my view it's just a myth that apps on an Android tablet are horrible. But I also have a Surface, I love the hardware which by far exceeds the Samsung Galaxy, I love the OS and Office, I only use the Surface for productivity, but for media and services I could not live without the Samsung Tab S3. So I expect to buy the Surface Go, for mobile productivity and creativity, and to enjoy the magnificent hardware, but I will still have to use my Samsung tablet for alle the media and services that are not available at the MS store. Google can be blamed for many things, but in my small country I can read all books in my language in the Google Play Books service. I can't even read books in english in the MS Store! MS dropped the Groove music service, but Google Play Music makes available all music composed and performed by artists in my country. So my point is: outside of the US Microsoft seems to loose interest, leaving the scene to Google and others. I really wish this was not so, but given the facts I am gratefull that others are ready to fill the void. I perfectly understand that for US citizens this is very different.
  • But banking etc you can also do on your phone right? With ebooks I just download them as .epub through the browser (you can pin the site to the startscreen with Edge), and personally put them on my e-reader (cause of the paper-like/e-ink screen and amazing batterylife) but there should be quite a bit of choices/apps to read epub files on Windows (perhaps this link will help -> https://windowsreport.com/best-windows-10-epub-readers/ ).
    Concerning music there is a spotify app on the windows store though I don't know if it is any good.
    And yeah Microsoft tends to ignore non-America a bit too much (while ironically that is where they sometimes are most popular, e.g. a few years back with Windows phone in Italy).
  • Plain old bookviewer is a decent book reader. It has a bookshelf, bookmarks and reads pretty fast.
  • I do not know how good the Snap dragon 850 will run Windows 10 on ARMs CPU
    software but I think Samsung probably is waiting to use the 850 CPU to run a
    Windows version of the Galaxy S4 . The Performance of the snapdragon 835 running
    Windows 10 on ARMs software has not been that great. Personally I am waiting for
    the Qualcomm snap dragon 1000 CPU to run Windows 10 on ARMs software before
    I even consider buying an A Windows 10 on ARM CPU device
  • Price aside what will make or break this device is whether Samsung can persuade developers to optimise their apps for DeX.
  • I don't think it's bad, I think is a really awesome tablet! Although I do agree it's over priced for sure. I'd say $649 with the keyboard bundled would have been what the price should have been! Or $499 without keyboard. Although $800 is crazy. Although I disagree with the comment that iOS on iPad would be better option than this. Android OS in general just has more functionality than iOS in general. Sure theres definitely more 'tablet optimized' apps on iOS, but just because an app isnt visually redesigned to make best use of the tablet form doesn't mean it's not productive. This tablet certainly has WAYYY more productivity and function than any Android phone. So it does accomplish being more functional with productivity than Android on a phone, which is it's main goal. More so than Windows 10S? No way. More so than iOS? In my opinion, yes. Who knows... maybe we will get 850 snapdragon version later, maybe that's why they didn't release windows with it just yet, cause they're waiting on 850.
  • Yeah, the Surface Go is hampered by (let's be honest) PROBLEMATIC APP SUPPORT when compared to iOS and even Android. And it's not like the Surface Go would be able to run legacy apps and games as well as comparable $650 full-sized laptops (a couple of Dells and Lenovos)
  • Admitedly you can get more powerful laptops, but if you buy a hybrid you are buying a compromise for flexibility. A Pentium gold can still run most legacy apps fine, and most users needs will be covered by UWPs. You might buy an ipad if you want more of the tablet side, or a windows device for more of the laptop side, but android really doesn't offer anything better on a tablet or a laptop. They'd have been better to go with chromeOS at least. Because that runs android apps, chrome apps, AND is getting Linux emulation. Far more useful in a 2 in 1 configuration.
  • That pentium gold is not going to be running many games that is for sure. With the Android device you have many games that are built for touch. No having to get a mouse and keyboard looking for a flat surface. Just use the screen and go. The Galaxy book is better if you want the portability and windows.
  • There's a heck of a lot of games in windows (it is after all the biggest software platform), quite a lot of them run on lower spec'd hardware. If you can run GTA V on a kaby lake, doom on an x7 atom, and the Pentium gold is between that and an atom then that does actually leave quite a lot of less demanding games on the table. 95% of android games are honestly trash - games with no quality, no depth and no entertainment in them, and there's just as many quality touch game titles for windows IMO (or at least if there is less, the really high quality ones compensate)- pretty much if anything is truely big in mobile gaming, it'll be on all three platforms. Plus there's desktop titles that run touch only. And loads that work with only a pen (for mouse only games). If I had a surface gold, I'd have an SD card packed with games, personally. I'd probably use adobe illustrator quite a lot too. I'd also probably not bother with the keyboard - I don't want to type of fiddle on the go, or casually. I'd save that for the desktop. If you wanted a casual device with lots of touch games (quality ones), and no ability to run desktop games or power software, you'd pick an ipad, not an android. People buy android tablets because they are cheap. They don't buy premium any more (well except for Samsung, but even they have been on the decline for at least 5 years).
  • Then you don't know Android. There are plenty of games. I don't even know where to begin or end for quality games. Android has majority of the same games as iPad, so saying that they are trash tells me you just don't know. Touch only go doesn't sound like a good experience either, keyboard would be required for the go.
    Android fell off the map once the iPad became affordable. After all why buy an Android tablet when a premium iPad is going for $330. Android premium tablets were few and now overpriced compared to the iPad. In my opinion there is only 1 modern premium Android tablet that competes with the iPad on price, specs and performance, and that is the M5. The tab s4 is overpriced, and older ones have worse performance.
  • Why the hate? I applaud Samsung for still making premium Android tablets. I don't know why people have so much hate for Android... Multitasking works fine since Nougat, battery management is good, it has all the apps including (FREE!!11) Office apps and best of all it can be customized. I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 with the book cover keyboard, and its a very capable device. On par with the iPad in opinion. THe screen is absolutely stunning, and with the Microsoft launcher installed and all the Office apps in combination with Office 365 and Onedrive a very productive machine as well.
  • Isn't this tablet to big for free Office? (>10 inch), or is the the Office version limited? (/as in not the full 365 version?)
  • You can get a surface pro and keyboard for $800
  • Agreed. They should have least gone over to google's better tablet/laptop OS, chromeOS. Android on tablets is the fastest shrinking market in tablets. They need to adapt.
  • I understand what are they thinking. Chrome OS is still as useless as Android for a full-fledged computer but Chrome OS get more strict control by Google (OEM device procedure / Material Design UI rather than Samsung Experience) so that's why they decided to choose Android with their own desktop environment. Also now there is a trend of PWA which obviously has a brighter future than UWP and even Microsoft - king of customer abandons (WP,RT,Kinect,Kin,etc.) - encourage developer for this.
    So when PWA is a real future , why pay Microsoft for Windows 10 license when Android is capable for that too.
  • ChromeOS runs android apps, chrome apps AND is getting Linux emulation soon (in next year). How is that as useless as android for a full fledged computer? PWA is still in it's infancy, and users can hardly count on that right now, as a make up app system. Maybe in a few years, but certainly not now. And of course, PWA actually deflates the android ecosystem long term - the one thing PWA's can't do is run power hungry apps, something windows does a lot of, and android does very little of. You defeat the entire point of most android apps with PWA (which is probably why google is embracing it, because they wish to move over to chromeOS on tablets at least, or at least make some kind of path to a hybrid OS). I mean, if PWA was the future, you wouldn't need android at all - you could run your own custom OS, with a PWA capable browser interface and that'd be it. The only point of difference between an OS at that point would be the interface and the level of power software available. And if google is using Linux, which is free, you could add that too. Literally no need for a google OS at all. Anyone could make their own OS that would be similar to chrome or android (but not windows, because it has it's own power software, and to a lesser degree not ios, because it has _some_ limited power software). All that's really happening here is sort of an automatic process. Despite massive drops in android tablet sales, Samsung still does alright. ChromeOS on tablets has only just begun and hasn't caught on yet. And Samsung also makes windows devices for that market (and windows core isn't out yet, and they'll probably wait to 850 to make an arm device). Samsung is a sort of "fingers in every pie" company. They don't like dependence on google or anyone else. If they had it there way, they'd have their own OS. They probably started work on this new device before chromeOS on a tablet was even a software/hardware possibility - it's only gotten touch and pen input quite recently. But them releasing an android tablet is no more of an 'investment in the future of' than them investing in any other OS - literally if PWA was huge, and all chrome and android had was PWA+linux - they'd make their own OS.
  • I don't think ChromeOS is useless either. I wish this and the mediapad were running ChromeOS.
  • "why pay Microsoft for Windows 10 license when Android is capable for that too."
    Because fanboys will always buy any junk coming from MS regardless of its usefulness
  • Again, you literally don't need android for PWAs either. You don't need any OS, just a browser. You could build out an html 5 OS based on an open source browser, and you wouldn't need to pay google for licensing or try to get compliance with them either. The whole argument that "PWAs are the future", even if it were relevant to the present, isn't an argument for android, it's an argument against it. There is almost nothing a normal user does (probably actually nothing, TBH), that can't be done via a PWA app on android, whereas with windows there's a crap tonne of stuff that actually needs and uses the local processor power (like for example, kodi's excellent use of graphics chip supported video rendering).
  • Running Snapdragon 835 and android, far too overpriced. Should be nearer the 350 price range... unless they have a WoA variant in the works? If the latter is true, than given the price range of the HP envy x2 with ARM and Asus's NovaGo the price range of $650 can be justified. Reasonable? That's another matter entirely and heavily dependent on perception.
  • Would be interesting to see how Android + DeX mode will compete with e.g. ChromeOS (since they both support or will support Android apps and a desktop mode).
  • It is very expensive, but having Android makes it a better tablet than having WoA (not sure about WoA licensing costs). Also better for platform continuity if one is heavily invested in Android ecosystem. The screen is likely to be better than the competition. Certainly, not a device for me.
  • “Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab S4 should really run Windows 10” Why? Do you actually think Windows is a better tablet OS than Android? I realize this is Windows Central, but get real. “We're still laughing at the asking price for this latest Android tablet.” The rest of us are laughing at a “tablet” running Windows on an Intel Pentium(?!) cpu with fans. “The iPad doesn't even support mouse input!” It does not have serial and parallel ports either. All are relics of the past.
  • You just made anything you said look more ridiculous when you said "mouse input is a thing of the past". That's just lol.
  • The comparison should not be as a tablet but as 2-1. If you want an Android tablet there are generally better choices than this (except for maybe the screen). This with the keyboard and DeX mode is supposed to be a 2-1 (semi tablet and semi productivity/laptop-like). It is yet to be seen if DeX mode will be useful enough (Windows Continuum sort of flopped, maybe this will be different, maybe not). And for productivity mouse support can be very important, as well as keyboard shortcuts, unless you want to handicap yourself. Generally the bigger the screen (>12 inch etc), the further away your are going to place it (better for the eyes anyway) and the less you are going to use touch and more the touchpad (or external mouse).
  • Huawei mediapad m5 also goes into a knockoff desktop mode when the keyboard is attached. I like the m5 keyboard or any keyboard with a touchpad because i find it more useful than having to touch the screen. I like windows for my desktop PC, but for mobile I prefer ChromeOS because i like the quick reliable reponsiveness of the OS. I find the using this tab s4 or m5 good enough for me when I need to quickly get something done like type an email or edit something in office.
  • Yeah that is understandable since the mediapad is a lot better priced. The tab s4 does not run on ChromeOS though right?
  • I can see Samsung doing one with the 850 inside. However, they will have to bring the price down or use better specs. And that keyboard needs work...a trackpad would have to be added.
  • I think you still don't get it! Why do you want a small tablet if you can't use modern apps?
    Android sucks but Windows 10 on ARM is almost useless.
  • Most people use a very small number of basic apps on their phone. Small enough a number, a well designed feature phone could handle their needs. Windows has all the apps that most users would use on a tablet - Netflix, spotify, iTunes, a browser, FB/Instagram, twitter, some casual gaming etc. And some basic useful tablet apps that aren't as rich on other platforms, like the browser, or email applications or the windows version of kodi. The main thing is that those basic apps scale well to the tablet screen size, and offer more UI functionality than smartphone apps. I think it could be argued back and forth a bit, which platforms are better there. The UI on windows and ipad is certainly more tuned to bigger screens (windows slightly less polished in terms of gestures), but in some cases android has more functionality, some cases ipad, some cases windows. Generally I don't think android has a great showing there. I think where windows genuinely lacks for the average user as a tablet, is smart things - it's range of support is narrower (not that most users have smart things). But android is superbly supported on that level. At least in a tablet useage there ae various pro's and cons. We are however not talking about a tablet, but a hybrid, so the device should perform well as a laptop too, and that title clearly goes to windows and the others aren't even close. Windows supports a vast range of peripherals and power user software - everything from office, adobe products, full desktop browser etc. ipad and android aren't even in that game. Chrome, at least when Linux support might be considered to be dipping it's toes in that game, but android not at all.
  • You can perfectly use about all Office apps on a 10 inch device (preferably 3:2 or 4:3 for the much needed vertical space) for on the go. Same goes for many art and note apps (which they are plenty for Windows 10). For those times when do you want to multitask more or a bigger screen, use connect a 2nd monitor.
    Besides that most basic apps are covered and the browsers choice is the best on Windows 10.
    Few weaknesses:
    - local apps and banking/payment apps. Though most people do this on their phones anyway. Or use the browser.
    - Maps app. This is indeed a bit lacking though you could use your phone or the browser.
    - mobile games. Some are covered on Windows 10 (win store, gog, steam) but of course many not, however you do get access to many indie and older games with many playable on smaller screens too (you already have a keyboard anyway this tablet).
    - smart home apps. Only a bit covered on Windows 10 (however sometimes you can use the browser I think), though I doubt many people use this.
  • I find the mobile gaming experience richer on a windows tablet, even without the keyboard attached. First you get all the gameloft, and other big hit stuff, like leo's fortune. Then you get microsofts earlier contributions tied to the xbox - that's not quite as many as on android, but they are all quality titles as opposed to often junk. Then you get the handful of touch based desktop teir games like trine 2, witcher 3, sims 3, civilisation. The ipad has a better touch gaming platform, but the windows tablet is really quite good for touch based games (especially factoring in those you can play with a stylus, like basically every top down rpg and strategy game, and those with the keyboard or controller- older fps and racing gamesl and when you count those, it's the best gaming platform period, even on slower chipsets ) - it's just that some of them you have to find across gog, steam etc. Also on the maps app, I use it all the time. Unless I want street view/satellite, it's good. In general though, totally agree, apart from a few weak areas nobody uses like smart home devices, for most common applications windows 10 is sweet as a pure touch tablet OS.
  • What? Windows is not good for touch based games at all. You are limited by those low powered intel 620 gpu. Unless it is a gaming desktop or laptop you will have a subpar experience. I just bought a laptop with amd ryzen in it and this at least is alittle better for gaming as it has performance closer to 150mx, which means it can run games from a few years ago decently. You still have to hook up a mouse, use the keyboard, probably leave it plugged in for best performance. In android you just need the screen. Massively larger library of mobile based games. The windows store doesn't even sniff what android has. Try running xcom on the surface go base model and see how that goes. There is an android version that is not 30 GB and designed for touch. You could run some older AAA games on the windows devices but again they are not designed for touch and ruin the concept of mobile when you have to sit at a desk to play them. You could pick a category in the play store and find something you are into. In windows...good luck. I have a huge steam library only a handful do touch justice.
  • I sell tablets for a job. I've used a lot of android, and a lot of windows. The vast majority of games on android are freemium, ad and microtransaction based and of very poor quality. Those that aren't, most of them are on windows (all the go games, all the gameloft games, leo's fortune, room series, machinarium, poly and the marble maze, banner saga, tiny troopers etc). And then ontop of that you have microsoft's own gaming house contributions (call of duty:heroes for eg), and a handful of full blown desktop teir games that run full touch (witcher 3, sims 3, all the shadowrun games, civilisation games from V onwards, trine 2, legend of grimlock games, calvino noir, enhanced icewind dale and torment - admittedly those last two are on android). I've played some great games on an ATOM processor (such as trine 2, need for speed most wanted, tyranny, doom), so you most certainly CAN play legacy desktop games on a windows tablet with a modern processor, especially considering the latest intel series is actually pretty good for an integrated processor (for example I've seen them handling GTA V on say, the kaby lakes- lowest settings, playable frames, but nothing amazing - but still). Even before you add keyboard, controller, and pen I'd take windows over android any day (but ipad before either, if I was looking at purely touch based). Once you even just add the pen, you've got all the games that just use mouse, which is a vast quantity of RTS, RPG etc (anything with mouse only control, but needs mouse over - which is A LOT of legacy games). The fact that you can add the keyboard as well or a controller and play a whole backcatalogue of deep quality games, just seals the deal (and you can easily play newer titles this way, such as tyranny or tides of numenera, even as I say if your CPU has beef, GTA V). Keep in mind, I'm talking about QUALITY here, not quantity, and there is a dozen or so great games on android too (primarily ports, mind). But android would definately not be my pick for quality touch games or indeed gaming in general. It's not a terrible gaming platform, and there are some great ones worth playing but.. My order would go 1) ipad (has a lot of desktop conversions, many of which android never got, and these have well designed touch UIs that aren't available on any other platforms - apple users also pay for apps, so some of the ios only mobile games are decent). The total dominance of the ipad in the tablet market so far, combined with the bigger pockets of apple users has created a touch based gaming platform nothing else can really touch. 2) Windows. Has most of the big quality mobile titles that are on both android and ios (not all but also...) + it's own unique selection of desktop games with inbuilt touch UI which are far and away WAY more detailed and quality than the majority of touch games (plus, such as in the beamdog enhanced edition games, the touch UI is actually better on PC), as well as a handful of unique mobile ones from Microsoft studios + the ability to go deep with a pen, controller or keyboard on a load of other titles not available on either of the other platforms. Maybe you could argue this, maybe you could say "x game is on android, and it's good quality, therefor android is better for touch games". But it's certainly NOT clear cut IMO. My experience paying for a huge catalogue of games on both platforms (specifically for touch, I love bed gaming and couch gaming), was that I'd much rather use windows. 3) Android (Mostly for it's ports, tbh, rather than anything actually specifically written for android - there's very little in terms of DEEP gaming on android, that's actually unique to android - for example you can play some of the earlier enhanced edition beamdog games, but you can also play those on the ipad, you can play the later ones on windows, and the interface is kind of terrible. Same with same GTA 4 - also on ipad, also can be played with keyboard and mouse on a windows device, and the touch interface is pretty poor). I mean, maybe some amazing deep quality games have come out in the last year, that are unique to android, but if everything is the same as they last time I checked about a year or so ago, what exists on android is most of it is primarily crap from any sort of end user experience, or game design POV - when you strip it down to "the very best", the list for windows for touch is competitive, if not, and IMO, better. Android has an "empty glossy but cheap dross" problem. Both in games and their software in general, that neither ios nor windows has. That often leads users to claiming the software platform is better than it is, because it has quantity. But you and I both know you don't want to play 95 or even 99 percent of those games. The bad thing about windows, is that as a less used primary touch system, with a number of gaming stores, you kind of have to know about this stuff to even know it runs touch only, let alone which place to find it in (it's not all in the windows store). For example you need to go to steam for the touch version of trine 2, and the windows store for the touch version of machinarium - and only recently has there been any way to easily get touch based games in the store, and still isn't in steam. THAT is way less than ideal - good gaming platform, but products so scattered that many users won't even find them. A lot of the desktop class games that included touch, never advertised it much, and some of them require that you select a "tablet mode" in the opening menu before they are playable (which if you don't know about, and don't know where to get them, you'll never find). Honestly I find this infuriating. I've written time and time again to steam and to Microsoft to try to get them to correct this. But they just don't see touch only users as a significant market next to the huge PC gaming market. Critique the platform for that, it deserves it. People should know whats touch friendly and whats not, and it should be easy to find everything that is. At least in the windows store you can now search for true UWPs by searching things that work on all devices. But that's not nearly good enough. Maybe just me though, because I'd rather play leo's fortune than candy crush, or trine 2 than dungeon hunter - I really, super super hate freemium games with no depth and constant ads and microtransactions - that's just death to me - I'm a pay once, pay upfront, happy to support you guy -but I really don't think android is best in class, in terms of quality mobile gaming (or indeed quality apps in general). And most of that isn't because its a poorly supported platform - it's actually the biggest user base in touch -it's because android users are software cheapskates and both windows and ios users pay for apps and games. Studies have shown they are twice as likely to pay money. Hence why anyone still even bothers developing for windows despite lower touch users. Hence the vast majority of it on android is designed to lure users in and trick them into paying money, rather than just entertaining them. They certainly have that quantity down! So much so, it's almost as hard finding the good ones in the google play store is it is finding touch games in steam or gog.
  • Where is Real Racing 3 on windows? Where is Simcity build it? where is Vainglory, Darkness Rises, Infinity Blade etc? So spare me with winstore touch based games that are barely a few, almost none of the major titles. Oh, you do have Asphalt 9, wow, 1 game that works with touch.
  • I have no idea how you can say windows has mobile games superior to Android. I know steam and I know how to search for touch enabled games, there just isn't many. Look at all the soccer games for Android then go to windows. Look at rpg then head over to windows. Racing? Off the top of my head I think civilization series is the only touch enable game you have for windows that Android does not have. I'm not talking about some low framerate mess using the weak Intel 620 either.
  • Wow well thought out comment, you definitely raise good points and it is a good thing that you sell tablets so you can share your knowledge. :)
    The critique I also have with Windows 10 touch is that touch games (especially filtered by genre) are indeed not easy to find, especially e.g. on GOG where touch isn't even a choose-able filter (or perhaps a hidden one). But than again, just as you say with Android you have to navigate through all the freemium garbage titles which in the end might cost you the same of amount of time.
  • I agree on the comparison over the ipad, but with the Surface Go? Seriously? 😂😂 This tablet, while kind of overpriced has a proper touch optimized OS and proper apps usable on a touch screen. What does the SGo have besides the same junk OS with zero touch UI optimizations and mediocre specs?
  • You've clearly never used a windows 10 tablet for any amount of time or spent much time in the windows store. Either that or your level of exaggerated hyperbole tends to border on outright lies.
  • I've used plenty of windows devices and mmgn is right. I have used recently on the 2 in 1 front, the acer switch v, surface pro 2017. Neither are great or what I would consider good tablets. Those devices are purely hybrids. Windows store is also barren. When is the last time you where in the play store?
    I guess I don't understand in what way would a 10 inch windows device would be better than android or ios. Outside some professionals that have a puely windows environment. I was one of the few that liked windows rt and wish windows would have continued on with it and grown their store to be closer to android or ios. Having a locked down touch focus device for screens 10 inch and under and then keep everything above running regular windows.
    Now using windows on a small mobile device can be frustrating. Running updates in the background chewing performance, update fails, can't run this program because you need windows version xx. When I pickup a mobile device i just want it to run. I don't want to fiddle with it or wait on it. I also don't want to be required to use a keyboard just to use a program either.
  • Well I think the main POD, within windows, for the surface go, is that it's actually sized like a tablet. Ie you can confortably hold it, and use it touch only for any decent amount of time. Unlike most of those, for tablets, oversized hybrids. The inclusion of a top of class pen, and soon, LTE, makes some difference towards making the experience something you'd actually WANT to use without a keyboard, and take portably around with you. There are other 10 inch tablets, but without that top teir pen, the LTE, the great screen, decent battery life etc, it's not so compelling. Okay as an experience sure. Plus I think the aspect ratio surface products use is very compelling for windows. Good for consumption, and productivity. There's still some ways to go for windows - it does need to become "windows core", which will be lighter weight, UWP and PWA focused, and packaged in a slightly less flexible manner. For me, I'd still use the full version of windows on arm, I love legacy software on my all touch tablet, that's what makes it better than mobile OSes. But for the every day user, some of your complaints are valid. Lack of instant on. Some level of maintainance. I haven't been to the play store in over a year or so - and by that I mean in any substantial depth. I left the google platform entirely, personally, fed up by ads, low quality software and freemium microtransactions. When I first got into android I was really excited. Seemed like there was so much software but it's 90-95 percent dross. Maybe it's gotten higher quality since then, and android users as a whole have become willing to pay for software and services upfront like ios and windows users, but it seems unlikely. I mean I do have to semi keep up with android for my work, as well as windows, so I don't think I'm entirely out of the loop there. I mean I don't personally use the devices, but I have to pick one up now and again. Certainly if windows on tablets didn't exist, for all my loathe of apple, i'd so be using an ipad. Some quality software on that platform - almost desktop teir. I certainly hated using windows on 8 inches, and never really understood why all the popular hybrids were too big to comfortably use as tablets but I've never had any issues using my 9.7 ipad sized windows tablet, and 9-10 inches seems about perfect to me, both for using windows comfortably, and the tablet experience in general. At about 8.9 or 9 inches current windows UI becomes useable comfortably with scaling. That could be improved with cshell, and eventually will, so that smaller devices are possible with the OS, but for tablets people prefer around 9-10 anyway. It's a big viewing experience that close, and you can comfortably hold it on one hand, or rest it on a lap, whilst tapping with the other. Eight to 8.9 inches is actually better for one handed holding, but the screen is pretty small, and that's closer to a smartphone. Anything over 10 inches, and it's not a tablet, it's a sometimes tablet. The form factor itself makes it more of a more portable laptop with touch screen capability. Useful, but not really a tablet anyone wants to use as a tablet, if they had a choice. I also can't think of a single app I've wanted that isn't in the windows store, but then again, I don't use a lot of obscure stuff. Just stuff like speedtest, treesize, facebook, twitter, instragram, some photo editing, spotify, bookviewer for comics and mags, kodi for local media, Netflix, skype, edge, a host of games. Occasionally I'll write music on my tablet as fruity loops has a touch friendly interface now, and at one point I used adobe illustrator for some sketches. But that's about as niche as I usually get. I do however use my tablet entirely touch - pen, no mouse, no keyboard and I've never any stresses. I just learnt that some really old legacy apps would scale weird and not work, so I avoid them. Those same apps dont exist on android or ios anyway so at least if I want to use them, I could plug in and do it. I don't use tablet mode either. Just scaled up desktop UI with full screen start. The only thing I feel like that's really missing is instant on. Hibernation works okay, but I will be glad when windows on arm gets faster, as that will be nice to have. As for updates, well google's more lightweight operating system also has those, they are also required to run certain apps, and you don't by default get them when they are released - you need particularly hardware. To me that's more frustrating - oh, your device is useless, get a new one, it can't run x. I can run windows 10 on a decade old PC platform, and get it running "that app than needs update x". Even ios/apple seems more forgiving on supporting older hardware. The key to now being require to use a keyboard to use a program - don't use them. lol. You can't get those same apps on android, or ios. This is literally just a thing in your head. You want everything in the world to be touch friendly, for when you use it, and it isn't yet. But you don't gain anything there by using android instead - it can't suddenly run windows legacy software. All you do by using another platform there is lock it out. It's like putting a padlock on your own fridge. Just control your fingers and brain - run software that runs nicely with touch, just like you would on android instead of trying to get to a Linux commandline lol.
  • I don't want legacy software on my tablet that is the point I'm getting at. 12 inches it is fine because that is when you can use it as both. I don't do apple but I will take my Android/chromeos tablet any day over a windows tablet just because it is a better user experience.
  • What do you mean with legacy software? All software that only runs of Intel procs or just outdated software? Cause of the former I can run a lot of it just fine on my 10/11 inch windows tablet/2-1 (including but not limited to Indie games).
    Anyway if you prefer Android, than by all means stick to it, people's preferences differ from each other anyway.
  • Yes, Windows 8.1 had a good start in tablet UI and UX.
  • Just wanted to mention here that the Surface Go is the first Windows tablet that actually is on the same level as the current or earlier Ipads (/the weight, pen, screen etc), there is no other Windows tablet than comes near the usability to the Surface Go. For example, 2-1/convertibles are generally very clumsy as a tablet (even the xps, yoga 920 etc). Also when you have a fast wifi chip and a ssd as both are in the Surface Go, updates etc should not be a problem and everything should be butter smooth.
    As for the interface, open source GestureSign helps to add some much needed gestures and tablet mode and scaling for bigger buttons etc.
  • I am after the tablet because of DeX only. I use a Windows Phone. So I don't have ready access to Android apps with no services for Windows and web and emulators suck. So I wish to have this tablet because Android is a good mobile OS compared to Desktop focused Windows. I may think of Chrome OS, but that's not my favorite. Hope future versions of Windows 10 will improve tablet friendly features.
  • There's not a vast difference between the windows tablet experience and windows 10 mobile unless you start using outdated legacy apps. Start menu/tablet mode, gestures for task switching, action centre etc. Actually I think it might be slightly easier to navigate windows 10 desktop on a touch device (like for example, on the phone to switch tasks you have to swipe, and then long press to access previous tasks, and then select the task - three steps, on the full desktop OS, it's two without any long press either). A lot of modern android seems convoluted too, like the multiple screens to access toggles, notifications and settings - personally I find the action centre easier. Mind you I find browsers much the same - edge is simple as when it comes to the UI, chrome is harder to get to the things you want.
  • (or if you keep the task bar up, you can just tap the tab - which is easier than android)
  • Windows 10 is pretty ok as a tablet OS. Just some small issues but Tablet mode fixes a few I think (issues with the onscreen keyboard) and stuff like open source GestureSign also allows you to add more handy gestures. Scaling is also important for bigger buttons etc. Auto-hide taskbar for more screen estate. Firefox auto fullscreen plugin is also nice. Also the regular/big Windows 10 onscreen keyboard now supports swipe typing. :)
  • I would not spend that much money on an Android tablet. If they were to refresh the Galaxy Book running Windows 10, then yeah. If they made a Galaxy Book that can dual-boot Windows 10 and Android, even better.