The futility of Surface and Windows RT: If only Microsoft had stuck with Intel

2013-Oct-30 | Tags: 81intelsurface-2versusx86

Windows on ARMOver the past week, I’ve had the fortune to play with both Microsoft’s Surface 2 and the Asus T100 Transformer Book. These are very similar devices — convertible laptops with detachable keyboards — except for one big and fundamentally life-altering difference: Where the Surface 2 is powered by Nvidia’s ARM-based Tegra 4 SoC, the Transformer Book has Intel’s x86 Bay Trail under the hood.

As a result, while the Surface 2 runs Windows RT, the T100 runs full Windows 8.1. Yes, every program and game that you use on your Windows desktop PC also works on the T100. Steam works on the T100. Team Fortress 2 works on the T100. Photoshop works (surprisingly well!) on the T100. Let that sink in for a moment, and then read on.

If it wasn’t enough to have a tablet-cum-laptop that can run the entire library of x86 games and programs, get this: The T100 gets the same or better battery life than the Surface 2, performance is about equal (better CPU performance; worse GPU), and you get the same amount of storage and micro SD card expansion...

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT