Windows RT versus Windows 8: Is RT Worthwhile?

We hear it time and time again, Windows RT isn’t doing all that great, largely because people can buy ATOM-based Windows 8 devices for the same price.

With ARM, you only get Windows Store apps and the only major positive is that you get slightly better battery life than ATOM. With Intel ATOM devices you will get slightly weaker battery life (very slightly in many cases), but you will also get Windows Store apps, alongside the full compatibility of Windows legacy apps thanks to a full-blow version of x86 Windows 8.

One of the arguments I hear often is that x86 shouldn’t matter though, because these legacy apps don’t run well (or sometimes at all) with touch. This is a very good point. Still– think of it this way.

X86 Is A Freebie, So Why Not?

You are going to drop $500-$700. You can get the same feature set and similar looks with Windows 8 as you do with Windows RT tablets. There are few real differences.

Why not get the “bonus feature” of legacy apps then, even if you never use it?

Best of all, Windows 8 tablets could prove great in a pinch. Your desktop/laptop crashed/broke and you need something to use as a temporary PC? Plug in a keyboard and mouse and you are ready to go. If there is HDMI out, you can even hook it up to many modern monitors.

Windows RT can do the same, but again, you don’t have the legacy apps that you might need in this kind of scenario.

Convertibles Make A Big Difference, Too

With many of Windows tablets having keyboard attachments or full-out convertible/hybrid designs, the whole “legacy doesn’t matter because it doesn’t work with touch” argument becomes less relevant. True, you won’t use legacy when you are sitting around on the couch or on your bed. You probably won’t use it on the road or on the plane.

You WILL probably use it when you hook it to your keyboard dock and want a full productivity and even gaming experience.

While I think Windows RT still has potential to be a great deal, right now there just isn’t enough reasons to convince us. Lower the price, bring out some “WOW FACTOR” that’s exclusive to RT. Maybe a special consumption service only for RT devices?

Until Microsoft really works hard to prove Windows RT is special, there just doesn’t seem to be a reason to buy it. The ONLY reason is if you have you heart set on a Surface and don’t want/need a Core processor.

The Surface doesn’t currently have an ATOM version, so the only lower-cost Surface is the RT model. This could certainly change in the future though.

Now keep in mind, this is my opinion. Windows RT isn’t bad, I just feel that it isn’t ENOUGH to win us over to ARM processors for Windows devices– this could change in the future though. What do you think, do you agree that Windows RT just isn’t compelling enough to buy or do you feel that you wouldn’t use the legacy aspects of X86 in any condition and would rather get the battery boost found with RT? Share your thoughts below.

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  1. theprawn
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