A host of new tablets are emerging with the new Intel Core M processor – Toshiba Z20t, Motion F5m, Lenovo Helix 2 to name a few. I had heard that the Core M was not as powerful as the Intel Core i5 or i7 processors of the previous generation (as found in the Surface Pro 3), but I wondered how much of a difference it really makes.
The Core M processor is built for better battery life and fan-less tablets. Those are certainly good attributes to have on a tablet, but for a laptop replacement tablet you don’t strive for these at the cost of speed and performance.
I’m not a fan of benchmark scores and battery run tests since they usually don’t reflect real use. So I thought I’d run my own test to see how the Toshiba Z20t stacks up against the Surface Pro 3 that I currently use.
The questions I had was, “Could I really use the Toshiba Z20t with the Core M processor instead of the Surface Pro 3 with its Core i7?”
As you’ll see, the new Z20t with Core M booted up quite a bit quicker than the Surface. But when it came to a Photoshop test (opening the same RAW photograph) the Surface won the test.
This result would have been closer if I was using the y7 model of the Z20t.
However, the performance gap was close enough to live with. The upside to the Core M is as expected – far better battery life and no fan. The Z20t in tablet mode is also quite a bit lighter than the Surface (about 100 grams).
The Toshiba is a very impressive tablet. For now I’m sticking with the Surface because I prefer the keyboard (in particular its portability), but the lighter Z20t with 4G/ LTE is very compelling! Look out Surface! 😉