Productivity Tablets with Keyboard Dock: Quick Review Roundup

Posted by B. Johnson
Productivity Tablets with Keyboard Dock: Quick Review RoundupHi guys, welcome back!

In the past few years, media-consumption tablet has been the most popular and best selling tablet category around the global tablet markets.

Led by Apple with its iPad and Samsung with its GALAXY tablets, these 2 giant companies always manage to ship million units of their homemade tablets to many consumers out there all across the world.

Every year, more and more people and even kids are starting to adopt this kind of touch screen gadget into their lives to do a lot stuff every day - like watching movies, browsing the web, listening to music, taking photos, reading digital books/magazines and even playing games.

However, amid the increase of sales on media-consumption tablet market, we should never forget about the existence of productivity tablets.

Even though this tablet category is not ‘on the same page’ with media-consumption tablet category – in terms of sales and market share -, there is still a lot of people around the world looking for productivity-dedicated tablets. .

Below, i would like to share you some of the productivity tablets that i’ve reviewed already on this website since last year.

Well, if you’re interested to find out more about these tablets, then here you go, my quick roundup of productivity-centric tablets.

Asus Transformer series

Asus Transformer seriesAround the tablet market, i think Asus is the only one manufacturer that has the biggest interest with productivity tablet category, unlike other rivals like Apple, Sony or Samsung that mostly are aiming the shares in media-consumption tablet market.

The great thing is, as a specialized productivity tablet maker, i think Asus has been doing such a great job especially in delivering great quality productivity tablets to consumers that don't suck.

One interesting fact about Asus Transformer series is, many of the tablets released by Asus in this series are mostly running on Android platform, not some Windows-dedicated devices – although Asus also has other tablets that ship with Microsoft Windows OS.

However, despite running on light-weight Android OS, Asus actually did a marvelous job on its Asus Transformer series, especially in making some great and useful productivity-related apps and features that come packed on all of its devices.

All of these tablets may not be able to run laptop or PC software, however, thanks to Android app developers, now there is a lot of apps that can literally replace or become good alternatives – if not the best – of the original software from Windows OS.

In this tablet series, Asus has been releasing a lot of models to the market globally.

In Asus Transformer Pad series, there are Asus Transformer Pad TF300, TF700KL and TF701T (which ships with Tegra 4 processor). Meanwhile, in Asus Transformer Prime family, there are Asus Transformer Prime TF700T, TF201 and TF101. All of these tablets are running on Android platform and they also ship with with keyboard dock (or sold separately).

Asus Padfone Series

Asus Padfone SeriesThe other interesting productivity tablet is also coming from Asus. And this one is Asus Padfone series.

However, unlike those Asus Transformer series aforementioned above, this tablet series is actually quite unique, especially in terms of design.

As i already mentioned a few times in my previous posts, Asus Padfone is actually a smartphone – a 4.5-inch regular Android smartphone.

But what makes this tablet special is actually how it can be transformed from a normal regular smartphone into a larger 7-inch tablet.

How can it be possible? Well, that's thanks to the device called Padfone Station.

Padfone Station is a 7-inch tablet device that comes with the Asus Padfone.

However, the whole system and specs of Asus Padfone are actually embedded inside the 4.5-inch smartphone, not in this tablet. So this Padfone Station is only used as a 'vessel' for the smartphone.

And if you lost the smartphone, this Padfone Station is no longer usable anymore and you probably would find it hard to sell it on the market.

Anyway, in order to transform that smartphone into a tablet, the 4.5-inch smartphone must be inserted first – or docked, if you would - into the port on the rear side of Padfone Station (similar just like inserting a removable battery into the tablet/phone).

And if that smartphone is successfully docked into the tablet, then voila.. the Asus Padfone has turned into a 7-inch tablet.

That’s actually not the only thing that makes this Asus Padfone unique and awesome and stand out compared to its rivals.

Besides that tablet vessel or Padfone Station, Asus interestingly also releases the keyboard dock specifically for this device, just like what it has been doing with Asus Transformer series.

So after docking the smartphone into the Padfone Station, you can also dock that 7-inch Padfone Station on the keyboard dock. Isn’t it awesome or what, huh?

Asus Padfone series actually consists in varied different models – the regular Asus Padfone series and the more expensive Asus Padfone infinity series, carrying more powerful specs and more premium brushed aluminum finish than the regular models.

Asus Padfone series has 2 models - Asus Padfone and Asus Padfone 2. As well as Asus Padfone Infinity that has 2 generation devices - Asus Padfone Infinity and Asus Padfone Infinity 2.

Besides these 2 series, Asus also has another different model that actually just launched a few months back.

And it is Asus Padfone X series, which is still ‘on the same page’ with the predecessors.

There is also Asus Padfone S, the real 'flagship' here, which brings an upgrade from the Snapdragon 800 processor inside Padfone X to Snapdragon 801 inside Padfone S.

Microsoft Surface series

Microsoft Surface 2.From all the productivity tablet you can find on the market right now, i think Microsoft Surface series is probably the most serious productivity tablet than most of its counterparts.

First of all, this tablet series is made by Microsoft – which we all know, is a really serious company making a serious laptop/PC platform, Windows OS.

And second of all, Microsoft Surface series – the Pro models – is equipped with 'laptop' quality specs, just like the ones found inside the real laptop.

This really contradicts with most of Android productivity tablets that are only equipped with the tablet quality hardware that is adequate only to handle Android platform, which obviously is light-weight compared to the full-fledged Windows OS.

The great thing about this Microsoft’s tablet is, Microsoft really nailed it even from the first-gen Surface tablets, which received a lot of great feedback and reviews from many people in tech industry.

Microsoft Surface series consists in 2 different variants – the heavy one and the lighter one.

The heavy one is called Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, carrying some high-grade laptop/PC hardware, not to mention, the full version of Windows 8 Pro OS.

Meanwhile, the lighter one is called Microsoft Surface RT, receiving some mid-grade hardware specs equal to tablet platform, Android OS.

However, both of these tablets come with the same keyboard case called ‘Smart Cover’, providing a full QWERTY experience on a paper-thin cover (of course, not as thin as a real paper, duh!).

As a productivity tablet, of course Microsoft needs to design its Surface series as a productivity device like laptop.

That’s why on the rear-bottom side of this tablet, there is the rear kickstand which can be opened to some specific degree in order to keep the tablet steady when used for typing with the keyboard cover.

However, the kickstand of the first-gen Microsoft Surface tablets are not as flexible as on the second-gen Microsoft Surface 2.

So if you’re looking for the better version of this Microsoft’s tablet, which provides a much better typing experience, i strongly recommend you to pick up the second-gen model or even the third-gen variant.

Acer Iconia W3

Acer Iconia W3
Many of Acer tablets are mostly dedicated as media-consumption devices.

And it’s really rare to see productivity tablets from this manufacturer, although Acer indeed has years of experience in productivity device category with its laptops and netbooks.

However, it’s really interesting to see how this company finally decides to jump to another bandwagon – productivity tablet category.

And i think Acer did a great job with one of its productivity-dedicated tablets - Acer Iconia W3.

Acer Iconia W3 is actually quite interesting, especially compared to other productivity tablets across the market.

It’s packing an 8.1-inch display, but it’s weirdly running on Microsoft’s full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS.

I know that Microsoft has agreed to provide many tablet manufacturers with its Windows 8 Pro OS in low price if the tablets are affordable tablets sold in developed countries - in order to broaden the reach of Windows 8 OS to even bigger markets.

And this Acer Iconia W3 is probably one of the tablets in that Microsoft’s program.

However, despite having a smaller 8.1-inch display than its counterparts – which mostly use 10.1-inch display or above, this Acer’s tablet interestingly still deserves to be positioned even alongside Microsoft’s Surface Pro series - of course in terms of platform, features, UI and compatibility with laptop/PC’s legacy software.

As a productivity tablet, Acer Iconia W3 also comes packed with its own keyboard dock.

Weirdly, the keyboard dock is really wide horizontally especially when compared to the small-screened 8.1-inch Acer Iconia W3, which leaves a huge gap on the left and right sides, making the tablet look really small when paired with the keyboard dock.

Acer Iconia W3 is definitely a great choice for those of you who are looking for a simple productivity and media-consumption tablet with Windows 8.1 Pro OS.

It’s great for doing works, editing documents, watching videos, listening to music, browsing the web, checking out photos and even playing some of your older legacy software from your laptop or PC.

But of course, don’t expect this tablet to be able to handle some latest graphics demanding games like Call of Duty: Ghost or GTA V because that’s not going to happen.

Its Intel Atom Z2760 processor, 2GB of RAM and and Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3650 are not adequate to run today’s next-gen PC games.

Archos Gen10 XS

Archos Gen10 XSBesides making some regular Android tablets plus pure gaming tablets (Archos GamePad series), Archos interestingly also aims at other market – productivity tablet category.

Through its Archos Gen10 XS, this company has high hopes that this tablet can be one of the great choices for those looking for productivity tablets on the market.

Archos Gen10 XS is running on Android platform, however.

So no wonder if this tablet is only equipped with some mid-grade hardware class like TI OMAP 4470 dual-core processor, PowerVR SGX544 GPU and 1GB of RAM, which are adequate only to handle Android OS and its 720p display.

So if you’re still on the street looking for an Android productivity tablet, you might want to check out this tablet.

It’s great for doing some simple productivity-related tasks like typing or editing documents, and it’s also great for many other things like watching movies, listening to music, reading books, browsing the web or playing some Android apps.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Asus Transformer Book TrioBesides Asus Transformer and Asus Padfone series, Asus also has another productivity-dedicated tablet series called Asus Transformer Book Trio.

The strongest point on this tablet is definitely its capability to handle 2 different platforms – Android and Windows 8 Pro – at the same time. So yes - Asus Transformer Book Trio is a dual-boot tablet, running on Android and Windows 8 Pro OS.

As a dual-boot tablet, it’s really obvious that Asus Transformer Book Trio needs to have 2 different types of hardware specs that will specifically handle each different platform.

So that’s why, inside this device, Asus decides to cram 2 different-class of specs in the tablet and the keyboard dock.

When deployed with Android platform, this device comes with a dual-core Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX 544 GPU.

Meanwhile, when used as a laptop with the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS, this device will be handled by some heavier laptop quality specs such as Intel Core i7 processor, Intel HD Graphics and 4GB of RAM, not to mention, 1TB of internal storage and much bigger battery on the keyboard dock.

So when the ‘Android OS’ is activated, this tablet is able to run all of your favorite Android apps.

On the other hand, when the ‘Windows 8 Pro OS’ is activated, the tablet is capable to handle some of your legacy software from your laptop/PC.

So Asus Transformer Book Trio can be quite interesting device, especially if you have a huge budget and you also are looking for a complete-package well-rounded tablet for many things, either for doing some productivity works, reading books, watching movies, listening to music, browsing the web, playing Android apps or even running some Windows legacy software.

Yes - you’re gonna get all of these in just one solid device.

Unfortunately, according to what i heard lately, Microsoft and Google both have warned all tablet manufacturers to not use their Windows OS and Android on the same one device with dual-boot capability.

So you’re probably not gonna find this Asus tablet anymore on the market right now.

Asus VivoTab RT

Asus VivoTab RTI think from all tablet manufacturers, Asus is the only one that is taking productivity tablet market seriously. You can see that clearly on how many of its devices – like Asus Transformer line, Asus Padfone series or Asus Transformer Book series – all are focused to provide consumers great choices of productivity tablets.

And this company is not stopping there as it still has another variant of its productivity tablet series.

This one is called Asus VivoTab RT, which obviously is running on Windows RT

Asus VivoTab RT is actually no different than any other Windows-installed productivity tablets out there.

It has the usual Windows RT UI – which looks and works almost similar with Windows 8 OS -, it has the keyboard dock and it resembles the design of other Windows RT tablets.

However, given its Windows RT platform – which is the light version of the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS -, this tablet is only armed with tablet quality hardware specs like Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 12-core GeForce ULP GPU and 2GB of RAM – similar just like the internals found inside the Microsoft Surface RT.

Thanks to its Tegra 3 quad-core processor, this tablet is more than capable to handle some of the latest graphics intense games especially the ones released in 2013.

However, the app catalog of Windows RT is not as huge as on Android or iOS, so there will be a lot of your favorite apps and games that are unavailable for the platform of this tablet, forcing you to find the alternatives that obviously will not be as great as the original apps.

But apart from its lacking of app catalog, i still think that Asus VivoTab RT is a decent quality tablet, especially if you’re still looking for a simple productivity tablet that’s also great for enjoying media contents.

Lenovo IdeaTab S series (S1 and S2)

Lenovo IdeaTab S2
Besides Asus, there is one other company that is now focused to deliver productivity tablets to consumers on the market.

It is Lenovo and one of its productivity-dedicated tablet is Lenovo IdeaTab S, which is a 10-inch tablet running on Android platform.

This tablet has already stepped on the second-generation - Lenovo IdeaTab S2 – but they both are still the same productivity tablets running on Android OS.

Compared to other productivity Android tablets, however, Lenovo IdeaTab S is actually quite interesting, especially in terms of UI and features.

Unlike other counterparts that mostly use stock Android UI, on Lenovo IdeaTab S, this Chinese-based manufacturer decides to fully-customize its Android UI – like the wallpaper, skins, icons, widgets, visual presentations, etc – probably in order to make it look more like a productivity tablet, instead of just regular Android tablet with keyboard dock.

And by the way – Yes -, Lenovo IdeaTab S also comes with keyboard dock.

Lenovo actually also has other productivity tablets under the Lenovo Yoga series. So if you’re not interested using the Android OS on this productivity tablet, you might want to switch to Lenovo Yoga tablets that ship with the full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS out of the box.

Nokia Lumia 2520

Nokia Lumia 2520Around the smartphone market, Nokia has been struggling really hard to survive in this fierce competition through its Lumia line. However, even though Nokia is currently out of business in smartphone market, this company actually still has some interest to jump to an entirely new bandwagon – tablet market.

Through its Nokia Lumia 2520, this company has high hopes that this tablet can be one of the best choices for consumers around the productivity tablet market.

Similar just like Surface RT from Microsoft, Nokia Lumia 2520 is also running on the same Windows RT.

But interestingly, unlike Microsoft’s tablet, Nokia Lumia 2520 is packing different type of hardware.

It comes with a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, as opposed to the Microsoft Surface RT 2 that is equipped with Tegra 4 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 72-core GeForce ULP GPU. But even so, they both are equally powerful, especially in handling games, any kind of games.

Unfortunately, just like other Windows RT tablets out there, Nokia Lumia 2520 is also plagued with the same issue.

And that is its lacking of app catalog. So if you decide to purchase this tablet near time soon, you must also accept the fact that many many of your favorite apps on Android or iOS, will not be available for this tablet.

Google Nexus 9

Google Nexus 9Google Nexus 9 actually is still a new fresh-released tablet. In fact, it just launched around few weeks ago.

But the thing that makes this tablet special is definitely its hardware specs. Google Nexus 9 is armed with NVIDIA’s latest and greatest Tegra K1 dual-core Denver processor with 64-bit architecture, accompanied with 192-core of Kepler GPU and 2GB of RAM.

So when it comes to gaming performance, it’s really obvious that this Google-branded tablet is gonna excel on that sector perfectly well.

Any games that you see today on Google Play Store, can all be played smoothly and in full graphics.

But today i’m not going to talk a lot about its gaming performance. I’m actually more interested to talk about its keyboard dock.

It’s quite surprising actually that Google officially releases the keyboard case specifically for this tablet especially because the previous-gen Google Nexus tablets are all intended as pure media-consumption tablets with no keyboard case/dock whatsoever.

So i think it will be interesting to see how this tablet goes in the near future especially around the productivity-tablet category.

Toshiba Excite Pure

Toshiba Excite PureThe last productivity tablet that i would like to include on this list is coming from Toshiba. This one is called Toshiba Excite Pure, a 10.1-inch productivity tablet running on Android platform. It’s actually quite rare to see productivity tablets from this company.

As far as i know, many of Toshiba Excite tablets are all intended as pure media-consumption tablets. So it’s great to see that Toshiba also has some interest to bring its products to this productivity tablet category.

Just like any other productivity Android tablets out there, Toshiba Excite Pure also comes pre-installed with the standard-looking UI of Android OS.

However, there are still some tweaks and changes that Toshiba made on the UI of this tablet, like the wallpaper, the icons, the pre-loaded apps, visual presentations, etc.

But even so, the UI of this tablet still looks and works similarly with its counterparts - which is an Android UI with homescreen, widget element, app drawer and many more.

As far as the performance goes, Toshiba Excite Pure can be considered as a good performer here. It’s equipped with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 12-core GeForce ULP GPU.

And thankfully, this tablet is only sporting 720p resolution on its 10.1-inch display, so the performance of this tablet will be as great and fast as other Tegra 3 tablets with 720p display.

So you can expect games like Modern Combat 4, Horn, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Dead Trigger or NOVA 3 to perform smoothly even in full highest graphics on this device.

Conclusion

Well, there you go, my quick roundup of all of the productivity tablets that i have reviewed already on this website.

Surely there will be more and more productivity tablets coming up in the next few months. But i’ll probably make another new review roundup for these new devices in the future.

Anyway guys, if you feel that this article is helpful and informative to you (and hopefully entertaining as well), then don’t forget to share it guys. I would really appreciate it a lot.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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