The end of last year saw the roll out of many new Cherry trail, and a few new Core-M chipsets. There are a variety of new possibilities, but the new chipsets are not without their issues.
Whether is a premium high end tablet, or a budget one, there are heat design issues with the Cherry Trails, they are hard to cool, and thus often throttle. There is a new intel revision coming out soon, that most likely will address this, as well as adding slightly to burst speeds.
The z8300 chipset, the most common to be found in the new generation of tablets can operate graphics 30% faster, and can utilize usb 3 speeds both for external ports, or for the microSD slot. Both pretty desireable advantages. As a CPU however, on benchmarks it tends to rank about the same as the old standard Baytrail z3735F, which did have a few superior chipsets such as the z3736F – with .3 Ghz higher burst speed than the z8300. The z8300 is also capable of 4gb of RAM, but only in single channel, which blunts much of the performance advantage.
The faster 8500, and 8700 chipsets offer some real possibilities in terms of speed, and dual channel RAM. Some of the existing releases are very good experiences – however they also fall prey to the heating issues, and can throttle and get hot if you push them.
The surface uses very advanced cooling methods to power their Cherry Trail tablet. One should hope between more advanced cooling and the new revision, that we will see more smaller 8500, and 8700 tablets very soon without throttling.
And the core m’s while ahead in power, and in the expandability of RAM, and the potential to use SSD – are still floating at a price that makes it trickier for consumers.
However, all this is what makes this an exciting time. You see, usb 3.1 as a standard, is capable of powering an external GPU. It’s powerful bandwidth. And core M is bound to slowly come down, as 8500 and 8700 based chipsets become used without throttling in smaller tablets.
All this means tablets with more powerful chips, better connectivity and more RAM – offering us the potential of a true “3 in 1”. A tablet that can operate effectively as a netbook or laptop, a tablet, and a computer. Not strictly leaning towards any particular one – capable of full desktop tasks like sound engineering, video rendering, games, databasing etc, but in a form factor that can be held in one hand. And fortunately we already have a true all in one OS, Windows 10, to power it.
One device to rule them all, is getting much closer.