I don’t normally think much of clones, but the Remix Ultra from Jide is intriguing.
Let’s get it out of the way: it’s basically a rip-off of the Surface, right down to the aesthetics, adjustable kickstand, thin detachable keyboard cover, location of SD card and ports, etc. Even the software looks the same.
Fortunately, there are two key differences that can validate the Remix Ultra’s existence. The first is that the tablet is based on Android and with a custom launcher that’s designed for productivity. The second is price.
I’m in the middle of testing a Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 Tablet and, there’s no sugar coating it, Android is terrible for tablets right now and especially for productivity use cases.
Remix OS is an attempt to correct this by adding a Windows-styled taskbar and multi-window support. It even has its own version of Windows 10’s Continuum, where users transition from touch mode to keyboard mode at the tap of a button.
When you’re in full screen, tap the Jide logo on the lower right to view apps in smaller windows. I’m not sure if these are resizeable, but they essentially become the apps’ smartphone versions.
If it’s just a hackneyed clone of the Surface Pro and Windows, then why bother?
While the Surface Pro has an endless number of keyboard and mouse applications, it doesn’t have many great touch-based apps. The Remix OS brings Android’s vast library to a potentially capable converged device. I’ll have to get my hands on one to know how well it really works.
The second thing the Remix Ultra Tablet does right is the price. The plan is for the 16 GB model to sell for $350 and the 64 GB model for $450 — I assume these prices include the keyboard.
The tablet sports an 11.6-inch, 1080P display, 2 GB of RAM and a Tegra processor. If Jide is smart, the tablet should weigh less than 1.5 pounds.
While the Surface Pro does a lot of things right, one thing it doesn’t have is an accessible price. The Remix Ultra has the chance to replicate what Microsoft is trying to do with the benefit of the Android ecosystem, all at a mass market price.
That’s not Windows you’re looking at