Festivus Grievance Airing: I Want More Windows Tablets

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


What do you want for Christmas this year?

What I want is a nice Windows tablet. I already have an iPad and an Android tab, and a Windows device would round out my collection nicely. And although Windows haters are gonna hate, I’d personally find it pretty handy to have a tablet that can do tablet stuff but can also do real computer stuff when I need it to. In fact, even for tablet-type stuff, it would be really nice to have a full-featured web browser instead of the junky cut-down stuff that’s designed for mobile phones and then hastily modified for tablet use.

But the tablet manufacturers of the world have disappointed me. After years of promising that their next generation of processors would really and for suresies be great for tablets, Intel has finally delivered. I’ve played with several tablets using Intel’s new Atom 3770 SOC, and they’re great. Performance is snappy, web pages load as fast as they do on my desktop, and if the specs are to be believed, its power consumption is miserly enough to produce 9-10 hours of battery life. And by all accounts, Windows 8.1 is finally pretty usable too.

So the technology is finally in good shape. But where are all the tablets? Microsoft screwed up its Surface 2 Pro by opting for Intel’s top-of-the-line Haswell processors, which are overkill for anyone but a serious gamer or Photoshop fanatic and make the S2P thick, heavy, and short-lived. The ordinary Surface, which uses an ARM processor, is Windows RT only, which is a joke. By my estimate, the Surface 2 line is just about the most ill-conceived collection of product design decisions since New Coke.

No real surprise there, I suppose. But what about the rest of the tablet world? It turns out there are surprisingly few 3770-based devices. Asus has one, but it’s cheap and has crappy resolution. HP’s Omni 10 looks fairly decent, but it has limited memory and an uncertain future. The Dell Venue 11 had me drooling a bit when I first read about it (11-inch screen! Full-size USB port!), but they cheaped out just a little too much on the screen, which has only OK resolution. (I’m a bug on pixel density. As far as I’m concerned, the first real tablet in the world was the iPad 3, with its Retina display. I won’t use anything with much less resolution than that.) Sharp has a super high-res Mebius device for sale in Japan, but it’s not likely to be available in the US anytime soon, if ever.

And that’s pretty much it. Here in America, there are a grand total of four devices to choose from. I want more! Santa’s elves have badly let me down this year.

POSTSCRIPT: Sophisticated readers will understand that the real point of this post is to prompt hundreds of comments telling me why I’m an idiot for wanting a Windows tablet, since there can be no possible legitimate reason for wanting one. So have at it! This is my Christmas gift to you.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

Wow.

And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate