The roomie I just moved in with was appalled when I discovered for her that her newly purchased notebook was actually a slower and worse-off computer than the laptop she was hoping to "upgrade" from. So we sent it back and now she has the credit and wants me to shop for her.
She kept mentioning the RT and liking it, but I warned her away and told her that tablets are still a developing technology, that it's in its awkward stages and next year she'll have something worth picking up. She said "okay, maybe next year it would be a good idea" but still seemed lost.
I'd like to say she has some good news when she gets home today, but the tablet isn't much better than the notebook. There's no removable media, not even a full-size SD slot?
I see these things as glorified palmtops. They're just slightly larger, but they fit the same niche -- something to pull out of your backpack or Euro-wallet at the airport or cafe and use within serious constraints on time and space. It's a useful gadget to complement a fully functioning PC at home, but IMHO it doesn't really qualify as a principal or "base" PC.
But oh, look: it's priced like a PC.
Scratching my head / not catching on.
Very interesting - the way you put it. If you read Anand and Brian's analysis of Baytrail / Silivermont performance, it pretty much lands up at half the CPU and a third of the GPU performance of a typical Core i5 that you would find in a slim notebook (Ultrabook). The crucial difference is of course that Baytrail consumes dramatically less power - about 2-3 watts (compared to 10-15 watts for a regular notebook CPU/GPU).
This power difference is crucial as it is low enough to be realistically used in a slate or iPad form factor. However, where it gets tricky is to determine if the performance tradeoff is worth it, especially if you are trying to do something meaningful - i.e. beyond simple surfing and answering emails.
There are two ways to look at this - firstly, Silvermont is about three times more powerful compared to the older Atom. So, if you are looking to replace an old Atom based Netbook, the answer is obvious - Silvermont will most certainly not suck in terms of netbook style usage, while still not heating up and keeping your family jewels safe. Personally, I think the best solution is a dual boot Silvermont that will boot Android and Windows 8.1 - it will let you use Android as a true tablet, and will let you use Windows 8.1 in a limited notebook way.
However, if you are looking at this as your primary computer replacement, I don't think Silvermont is going to cut it. You are better off with a Haswell. The dramatic power reduction in Haswell means that you can get a slim notebook that will still get you 8+ hours of battery life, almost rivaling an iPad. That is actually a game changer in itself if you think about it. This means that you can carry around a fairly lightweight and compact notebook with you and not bother lugging around chargers. In other words, you can carry it around like an iPad. Getting battery to last an entire work day or an entire school day is pretty cool! Something like the Macbook Air 13.
It would be super interesting if Intel came out with a version of Silvermont with beefier graphics (say, HD3000). I suspect that would be enough to support full HD meaningfully and to be a true viable notebook replacement.