So Much For Small Windows Tablets?

Same-day update: See end of post.

Americans don’t want small Windows tablets, says largest PC maker

Of course I saw the news in China first — because I read China right after checking Comments for this blog in the morning — but I’ve linked to an American source because it’s the American market affected.

I don’t exactly know how to parse this. Lenovo’s ThinkPad 8 was significantly more expensive that their Miix 2 and the Dell Venue 8 Pro. But they’re also stopping sales of the Miix 2 as well.

What hurt both the Dell Venue 8 Pro and the Miix 2 were the contortions people had to go through to use them with something like the Plugable dock or just cabled to a monitor. Their USB ports did double-duty for AC charging as well as video-out. There was no separate HDMI-out port — except on the massively more expensive ThinkPad 8. And while using a monitor could be done wirelessly, it introduced latency that could be frustrating sometimes.

Size, lack of HDMI-out, price — just one thing or two or all three contributing to people avoiding them?

I’d add a fourth variable too: Where the hell could people try them? They’re not carried in any brick and mortar stores. I had to try the Venue 8 Pro at a Dell pop-up store — and then the Miix 2 was at an Intel pop-up store. You can’t create a market based on pop-up stores (even though Amazon is trying in China).

This makes me wonder if Dell will stop the Venue 8 Pro too.

If they do, that’d leave people ordering eight-inch tablets from China. Unless there’s actually no demand for these things to support a market in America.

It’s going to be interesting to see how many people buy the Teclast X89HD Windows edition.

And what happens later this year when HP introduces its seven-inch Windows tablet for US$99 (prediction: total failure; par for the course for HP).

Same-day update: Clarification on Lenovo Statement on Sales of Small Screen Windows-Based Tablets

We will continue to bring new Windows devices to market across different screen sizes, including a new 8-inch tablet and 10-inch tablet coming this holiday. Our model mix changes as per customer demand, and although we are no longer selling ThinkPad 8 in the U.S., and we have sold out of Miix 8-inch, we are not getting out of the small-screen Windows tablet business as was reported by the media. In short, we will continue to sell both 8 and 10 inch Windows tablets in both the U.S. and non-U.S markets.

So WTF? Was someone screwily misquoted or is Lenovo backtracking? Summon Mulder and Scully.


Filed under Windows Tablets

3 responses to “So Much For Small Windows Tablets?

  1. I’ve had my Dell Venue Pro 8 since last November and it’s my daily go-to tablet. It performs fast enough for most tasks, has a full web browser with Flash support, and the Win8 software store is starting to have enough interesting and unique titles to be interesting to me. I tend to not use it much for document creation productivity; instead mainly casual gaming, web browsing, news feed reading, and e-book reading. However, I’ve used OneNote on it from time to time and found that working quite well.

    Yes, Dell has undermarketed it, but the refurb units starting to show up at the $130 price point are great deals, IMO.

    (And I’ve never even thought of hooking it up to a monitor or keyboard by cable… I’ve used it successfully with a Chromecast for TV support, and that’s good enough for me.)

    • yeahman45

      using legacy apps on an 8″ screen does feel right imo … this needs video out… miracast and usb/video adapters are fine for office work but are too laggy for stuff like gaming…. so hdmi remains the ideal solution. I find these win 8.1 8″ tablets interesting. Metro UI for tablet usage(portable as they are not too big) and desktop mode for netbook/notebook usage with a dock (but you need hdmi for best use).

  2. Robert

    So I have the TPT2. Got it because I was under the impression that wacom digitizers were good enough for writing down.
    Well not for lefties like me and not around the edges and not when u change to portrait mode. The tech isn’t there yet.

    Now if I take out the pen thing the problem is the smaller the tablet gets the harder it is to use the non-metro part of windows. A precise capacitive stylus is prolly needed until windows 9 I think.

    Next problem is, these Dell/Lenovo etc big maker tablets are so far behind in terms of design/price there’s not much room for maneuvering. This comment that the US market is not interested in small windows tablets is prolly because the only well designed tablet is the Surface Pro.

    Here come in the ipad air/mini windows tablets for cheap from china, and we are finally getting there. Aside from the people that visit blogs like these nobody knows of their existence.

    In conclusion, Lenovo’s comment was unresearched, and we just have to give it time and people who make and believe comments like these will eat their words.

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