Windows Tablets

I am looking at getting a sub-$100 Windows Tablet to run Xojo Apps on. I know it has to run regular Windows and not Windows RT (or any of the other non-normal Windows). What other things should I look for (to have or for it not to have)?

Thanks for all your advice!

Dell Venue 8 Pro

HP Stream 7

The Dell looks good.

I have had an ASUS Transormer for a couple years. Great small machine ; I especially appreciate having a keyword when I need it, even if there is an on-screen keyword when the tablet is by itself.

There are several models :

Key features I would look for:

  • RAM: definitely nothing below 8 GB, preferably 16 if you are selecting a 64-bit Windows. 4gb if you go for 32-bit Windows, but I would skip models with 32-bit Windows.
  • Windows version: I always prefer Pro. Your mileage will vary depending on uses. Burt if you are going to use it in a corporate setting even as a consultant, then Pro is a must IMHO.
    -processor: nothing below core I5. 6th generation and up gives current technology.
  • SSD: A must. Preferably a M2 PCIE (M key), vastly faster than SATA or M2 SATA (B key). I made the mistake to select a device with only 128 GB. Clearly not enough once you install an office suite, Xojo, a bunch of business applications, etc. Not much space left for data. Enough, but you need to think and manage. 256 or even 512 GB is definitely nice to have.
  • USB 3.0, 3.1 with backwards compatibility to USB 2

Any brand, model etc. that meets these specs should be fine.

You may also consider ultrabookt laptops such as the lenovo Yoga 900 series, Thinkpad X1 series, etc. Many brands and models in the category. There are good ones from Dell, HP, Huawei (!!), ASUS, etc.

oh… I forgot. Preferably, the wifi will support the AC norm. most current hardware does, but definitely check.

Your price bracket probably rules out all of the criteria suggested by Louis

I have an (old) Acer Iconia W500. The installed Windows7 was damn slow, I removed it. Now it runs Ubuntu 32bit.

Marbles which you seem to have lost :stuck_out_tongue:
A < $100 tablet will be disappointing

Or did you mean a sub $1000 (thousand) dollar machine ?

That said make sure you adhere to the requirements we state on about x86 compatible CPU’s
CPU Compatibility
x86 CPUs require the SSE2 instruction set for the IDE and built applications. The vast majority of desktop CPUs in use support this, but some x86 single board computers may not.
Some really low end machines may use CPU’s that are NOT compatible but you’d have to scope out the CPU’s in use to know


It’s a bit dated now, but my blog post on the HP Stream 7 might be useful:

HP Stream 7 and Xojo

At the < $100 price you’re going to mostly find Atom CPUs (32-bit), limited RAM and limited storage. They should still be able to run Xojo apps, though. I’ve even updated my Stream to Windows 10.

It is sometimes good to have a low end machine, to make sure an app behaves correctly on your average joe’s equipment.

I systematically verify my PC programs work on the Asus T100 with its 2.8Ghz processor. Anything not optimized correctly will definitely look pitiful on that. But it is good. Helps maintains better software. About RAM, same observation : an end user program has to be able to accommodate 4 Gb. Of course I know there are people here hating end user programs.

At the risk of getting myself in even more trouble, I think a touch enabled machine can teach a developer a new approach of UI. Lest not forget that Microsoft has made the Surface Pro tablet today’s de facto standard in terms of end user machine. And it is really not your Grand Pa’s old IBM-PC.

I don’t think a less than $100 machine is quite enough, though. There are some, but the screen form factor will be very narrow, not at all the same as a PC screen, and the absence of keyboard is definitely not comfortable. I should add that I did get myself an Android tablet at less than $100, and the screen was so terrible I had to dispose of it.

For that price bracket it’s likely to be a <= 8" Chinese tablet. I’d advise staying away from Teclast, my youngest son has one and the wifi range is pitiful.

I have a Ployer Momo8 (not sure if they’re still around but it was < £60 from Aliexpress) which is a dual booting Windows 10 / Android 5 tablet. It’s surprisingly durable for such a cheapo device. I’ve never tried running a Xojo app on it but I’ve run scripts using pypy without problems.

I think tablets (iPads ) and smart phones, particularly the iPhone, did that much more than Surface did :slight_smile:

[quote=361980:@Michel Bujardet]And it is really not your Grand Pa’s old IBM-PC.
Right - it weights a few pounds less (the pc CPU only weighed about 30 pounds) :stuck_out_tongue:

My view on Ui is that it is a bit like religion. Each claims to have THE truth. We all know that only mine has THE absolute truth, of course. :wink:

In my religion, all answers are good, it depends on target audience, target market, specific use cases. The new UI paradigms (Apple and MS are gradually converging on “modern” or any other name UI. So is Android.) That fits certain use cases and target audiences. The old somewhat ugly win32 controls are perfectly acceptable in other use cases. Heck, thare are still cases for the good (bad?) old command line!

I take your comments on UI as you present them: younger people are growing up with phones. They are more likely to expect “modern by any name” interfaces. But in my view and in a business setting, anybody with knowledge of computers can learn to use one or another UI. It is only a question of change management and training. Consumer targeted apps are a whole different ball game. Choice abounds. You must offer an attractive (read familiar) and intuitive UI as an entry criterion. Failure and you are out.

I agree with @Norman Palardy that Surface is a lesser game changer, because Surface with Windows 10 caters to the “classic UI” users as well as icon-oriented users. Phones are the UI change drivers. I view convergence betwen IOS and Android in this regard, each being very careful to keep some differenciators, each copying features developed by the other. One has to protect the brand value, right? Fundamentally, they use the same paradigm. Refer to my point about religion and truth at this stage. :wink: 'nuff said about this. Getting back to work.

Precisely, I am kind of agnostic. I just mentioned the other day Microsoft UWP Apps UI Basics and got a brunt of lectures from people who hate anything that does not look like Windows 7 programs.

Indeed, the point that Windows 10 caters to both older and new populations is quite right. It runs just as well 10 years old apps, and brand new UWP apps.

Just like Windows 10, and because I have known and programmed on the IBM-PC since it’s inception, I know and appreciate just as well historic and new API. Maybe because I did a lot of web development, I became a lot more interested in touch UI, and sensitive to clean and well spaced interfaces. Which I believe is what the new generation will appreciate as well, since they will grow on it. About touch, it is amazing to go to any computer shop and look at Windows laptops : all have tons of finger marks, indicating clearly how many people consider natural to touch the screen nowadays.

Now I will stop because I am sure some proponents of the ancient world will again get on my back for embracing current Microsoft UI guidelines. Strangely enough this religion war does not seem to happen when one posts a link to Apple HIG…

Once, a long time ago, I had an original IBM keyboard that had a nice perfect little click when you pressed the key. I kept it for a long time until it got melted in storage on a very hot day. So sweet it was.

Are there tablets that you can plug in an external keyboard?

Sure. Most of them have an USB connector. Most often micro USB (unless Surface Pro which is full size), but you can find adapters on Amazon.

Everyone thanks for your input. I found an off brand table that was sub-$100 that ran windows home (not sure if 32-bit or 64-bit). It has an quad core Atom processor and had to do a lot of research to see which atom processor(s) supported SSE2 (like what @Norman Palardy mentioned it needed).

if the proof of concept works and if any of the clients like it, I will be a beefier/nicer table that supports Xojo apps.

Thanks for the advice! I did listen to all of you. I promise.


I’m glad for your … conversion … to a table … :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=362098:@Steve Kelepouris]Are there tablets that you can plug in an external keyboard?[/quote]Sure, just make sure you choose one with bluetooth support and then you can pair it with a keyboard and mouse.