Tablets that can dual boot Windows 8 and Google Android are nothing new… but dual-booting tablets with Bay Trail chips are. Chinese device maker Weu Yan’s Surge Tab PH-101 is a 10 inch tablet that runs both Windows 8 Pro and Google Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

It’s powered by an Intel Celeron N2910 processor, based on Intel’s low-power Bay Trail designs.

surge tab ph101

The Celeron N2910 is a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor with a TDP of 7.5 watts and a 4.5 watt SDP. In other words, it uses more power than an Intel Atom chip typically found in a tablet… but not much more power.

It should be able to provide decent performance for common Windows activities including web surfing, editing documents, viewing movies, or playing casual games — and it should be more than powerful enough to offer a decent Android experience.

The Surge Tab PH101 will be available with 2GB to 4GB of RAM, and 32GB to 64GB of solid state storage.

It’s expected to launch in October in China, where it’ll be offered with support for Chinese 3G wireless networks. The tablet is expected to sell for around $440 or less.

While it’s unlikely that we’ll see this particular model outside of China anytime soon, it does show that Intel’s new Celeron chips are starting to find their way into tablets. While most of the Bay Trail-powered tablets announced for launch in the US and Europe this fall feature Atom processors, perhaps we’ll start to see models with more powerful Celeron and Pentium chips soon.


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15 replies on “Surge Tab PH-101 Bay Trail tablet dual boots Windows, Android”

  1. I’ve been waiting for a decent device to dual-boot Android and Windows. All the other ones i could find had 1 GB of RAM, and dual-booted Windows 7 HP and Android 2.2.
    Also, do we have any word on screen resolution?

    1. It’s suppose to be a 10.1″ IPS with 1280×800 resolution and 10 point multi-touch screen… most their ARM tablets also have low resolution, so that’s not surprising… also this model only appears to have 7000mAh battery that they claim will provide about 6 hours of battery life… not too bad considering it’s a higher TDP SoC than the usual mobile versions and you’ll probably get a bit more performance out of it for the trade off…

      1. 1200×800 isn’t super large for this size, but it’s decent. It could have been lower. But a 7000 mAh battery? That’s huge!

        1. The mAh isn’t a really accurate measure of battery capacity as it also depends on what the voltage rating is for the actual capacity measure… WHr is much more accurate…

          For example, there are phone extended battery/cases with up to 7000 mAh rating but that doesn’t mean it’s the same capacity as say a 7000mAh battery for a laptop as the voltages are different for those two device ranges, resulting in different total capacities.

          And OEMs have been known to fudge the math in favor of making the specs sound better than they really are…

          But to get 6 hours is still pretty decent for a higher than mobile TDP rated SoC… The N2910 is as Brad stated a 7.5W max TDP SoC with a 4.5W SDP…

          This compares to the highest end tablet optimized Bay Trail T, the Z3770, which has a closer to 4W TDP and a SDP of only 2W… averaging about 1W to 2.5W under load for the CPU power usage…

          Upcoming products, like the Asus T100, uses a slightly lower clocked version for the Z3740 but the 31WHr battery lets it claim a 11 hour battery life in comparison, and it is also a 10.1″ tablet but with 1366×768 screen and keyboard dock included but it only comes with Windows 8… Priced $349 for the 32GB model and $399 for the 64GB model but only 2GB of RAM offered…

          To give a better idea of how this Surge Tab should compare…

          As to the resolution… for Windows the desktop usage is still not optimal for small screens with high resolutions, especially if using the touch screen most of the time.

          So a lower resolution could be considered better in that regard, preventing the desktop from scaling too small for example… but Windows 8 features also scale with the resolution…

          1024×768 is the minimum required for Windows 8 ModernUI and 1366×768 is what’s required for features like side by side snap view to be enabled.

          Though, 8.1 eases the feature support requirements a bit and scales up to a snap view of up to 4 apps views at the same time with really high resolution screens.

          So there’s some trade offs to consider…

    1. This is only a tablet… a small 10″ model at that… You can’t really expect large capacities for such a small device. Maybe 128GB at most but it’ll be awhile before something in this size and price range will offer more.

      Besides, you can just add more storage via the card reader or USB port… Otherwise look for a higher priced and larger device solution instead!

      1. Yes, you can stick a USB flash drive onto the USB port, but I don’t think people will walk around with USB flash drives hanging off their devices. For one thing, it’s an open invitation to a broken device USB connector, personal injury, or other disaster .

        It’d be nice to see Android support for SDXC/microSDXC up to at least 128 GB. The internal storage could also be made accessible for end users to replace, as in laptops. Seagate recently announced a 500 GB platter hard disk for tablets. Perhaps this hard disk could persuade manufacturers to make tablets’ internal mass storage user-replaceable.

        1. Walking around may pose some additional limitations but there’s always wireless hard drives, or cloud storage… cluster a couple of services and the combined capacities can easily equal a couple of hundred GB for free and a lot more if you pay for subscription…

          While Windows 8.1 supports automatic VPN… So you can always just set up your own network options you can access on the go and Bay Trail will support both the latest WiFi options and LTE… Though a little harder to automatically set up with Android but still an option there as well…

          For high capacity cards, the latest Android devices should support 128GB… the main thing to be wary of is the type Class for the card as the newer UHS specification for high speed adds an additional pin to the pinout and the first physical difference since SDHC cards were introduced.

          Mind that while a HDD can provide a lot more capacity, it comes at the cost of performance and reliability. A physical mechanical drive is far more vulnerable to impacts, shakes, etc. and can’t access or transfer data as fast as solid state storage.

          1. Manufacturers incorporating the Seagate hard disk in tablets but making it user-replaceable could be the Trojan Horse that lets end users replace it with an aftermarket SSDs.

            As far as USB flash drives, tablets could incorporate a silo, similar to that used for an active digitizer stylus, for a full-size USB port, so people can actually walk around with a USB flash drive attached “inside” the tablet. The silo is such a no-brainer that when it occurred to me, I asked myself why it hasn’t been done before. The silo could be at one corner of the tablet, with a rubber cap, so it’s straightforward to insert and remove the USB flash drive.

          2. Doubtful on the user replace-ability idea, tablets are usually fully sealed designs and most people wouldn’t go through the trouble of voiding warranty to disassemble the tablet just to reach the drive…

            As for the Silo idea, it’s actually been done before (Archos 80 G9 for example) but usually for something like a Cellular modem USB dongle (usually designed to be form fitting and that tends to exclude some designs) but storage could be easily an option too…

  2. Dual boot sounds like a great idea until you realize there’s precious little storage available, which now must be shared between these 2 operating systems. Windows has no problem with high capacity external storage in SDXC form (I just popped a 64 GB SDXC into my laptop’s SD card reader, accessing the SDXC card was no problem).

    I wonder whether Android can handle SDXC cards (I know Samsung Galaxy Note tablets can handle microSDXC cards but only up to a certain size). If not, then having to remove the SDXC and replace it with an SDHC (max 32 GB capacity) is a pain in the behind.

    Ideally, an ARM SoC should have been used for the Android CPU. The only problem with an Atom CPU is incompatibility of Android apps that are written for ARM. I wonder how big a problem this is. I think Brad may have mentioned sometime ago that enough problems existed with Android ARM apps running on Android x86 as to make Android x86 practically useless.

    1. Since Google starting providing official support for Android on Intel ATOMs and other x86 processors… The compatibility issue is far less now than it was a year ago. Since, developers have long since been given the tools to easily provide support for both platforms.

      Basically, you can expect well over 90% compatibility these days… It helps that most Android apps are hardware agnostic and all of that is assuming Intel didn’t add the Binary Translation layer they use on their Medfield and Clover Trail+ ATOMs to this new ATOM too, as that helps provide some native ARM app support, apps would just perform about 1/5 as well because of the emulation overhead but would bring compatibility pretty close to full…

    2. My Motorola Droid 4 suports SDXC. I have a 64 GB micro SDXC card in it. It doesn’t support the faster speeds of SDXC though.

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