As you would expect we have been testing Windows 8 on a number of tablets for many months now. Such a radical change to the way we work is not easy to take, but the change to Windows 8 has been rewarding.
It is an amazing operating system for tablets and it competes very well with both iOS and Android. In fact we are sure that you’ll find it a lot easier to use as you’ll see in the video:
Here’s a rough video transcript:
Windows 8 and Tablets – Why it will change the way you use your tablet!
Windows 8 appears to be a radical change and to be honest I’ve been a little bit slow to warm to it. As I use it more and more though, it has become the tablet of choice for me at home over the Android and iOS tablets that I have.
Now, let me just clear this first, I’m not going to talk here at all about the Windows RT tablets . That’s Tablets like the Microsoft Surface and ASUS RT that are built on the same types of low spec ARM processor hardware that is found in the Android and iPad tablets.
Those Windows RT tablets are just as limited as those tablets in terms of performance and capability, and I personally would not bother with them, although for the sake of cost, you might look at them for home use only.
With Windows 8, Microsoft has brought to the PC that consumer friendly consumption, touch environment made desirable by the iPad. Microsoft has done a good job of this with Windows 8.
But let’s face it this touch environment is 99% designed to waste your time. It’s entertainment. Last I checked on iPad 47 or the top 50 apps were games. The other three had no practical value to your life!
So Windows 8 introduces a touch friendly platform for entertainment, watching movies, checking Facebook, twitter and reading web pages, blogs and books.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all important things. I’ve personally learnt an enormous amount from time spent trawling the web on a tablet and all three of these platforms iOS, Android and Windows 8 do this well.
Because of the fluid interface and the powerful web browser, Windows 8 has found its place in the home for me. I don’t personally have an Xbox, but if you see the Xbox Smartglass functionality in action, you’ll be hooked on the Windows tablet as a home entertainment device too.
It’s not all entertainment though because the other benefit of the touch friendly “app” style environment is that it is very easy to use.
As a result, many companies have packaged up simple web based software into touch friendly apps for iOS and Android and they deploy this style of tablet to their employees to fill in forms and collect data. So now we also have this simple app interface on Windows and that is what many companies have been waiting for.
And as far as simplicity goes, I have to say having spent years now with an iPad, and a couple of years on Android, Microsoft have nailed the Windows 8 “Modern” interface. It is by far the easiest to use on a tablet.
It’s very fluid, simple and easy to use. Getting around the system is a pleasure.
Now the real benefit of Windows 8 on a Tablet is that it is a full operating system. You’re not just trapped in the consumer friendly touch environment! You actually have the desktop operating system at your disposal.
So you’ve got the choice of a full browser or a touch browser, and while these consumer tablets are limited about how many browser windows you can open at once, the Windows 8 Pro tablets will just keep on going. They are vastly more powerful…
You can run the exact same software on here that you run on your laptop! And you can use the Active Digitizer Pen to control it, finger touch or you could plug in a keyboard and mouse, connect them with Bluetooth or you could get a tablet like the Fujitsu Q702 or Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro and just clip one on like this!
So this is where we can get really productive on tablets. Because I can run real software on this Tablet PC, I was able to use the incredibly powerful Intel Core i7 processor and 16Gb of RAM in my rugged tablet here to produce this High Definition video. It’s not practically possible to do on ARM hardware.
Then there’s the word documents and excel spread sheets that you deal with on a daily basis. On the Windows tablet, we don’t have a dumbed down try hard version of excel… We have excel. We’ve got all the formulas, the macros and the pivot tables built right in.
Same with word and power point. Full power software. You also can have outlook with its powerful collaboration capabilities. You want to compare your calendar with someone else’s? It’s built right into outlook and exchange.
You’ll never ever be stuck… You’ll never have to go back to your PC to get things done with a Windows 8 tablet.
And as I’ve shown many times before, you also have the advanced power of inking in programs like Microsoft office and Bluebeam Revu to give you an enormous boost in productivity
That simply allows you to speed up your response to information.
There are a couple of negatives about Windows 8 though.
First of all, Microsoft’s Windows team have dumbed down a couple of things about the desktop that I really depended on in Windows 7.
Touch flicks have been removed on the desktop. They still work with pen, but no longer with touch. Flicks are one of those advanced features that should not have been turned on out of the box anyway. It’s something that you have to learn, but it is extremely powerful. Rather than removing this altogether, Microsoft should have left their many intelligent and advanced users with the ability to turn them on for both pen and touch.
Unfortunately in their pursuit of the simpletons switching to iPad, Microsoft have run rough shod over the power user. Here’s another example where we could previously right click with two fingers like this, now in Windows 8 we have to wait. When you do this 100 times a day it sucks.
Also, the tablet input panel still has it’s handwriting recognition, by far the most advanced on any device. But the interface has been dumbed down again, forcing us into a mould that is not as usable as it was in Windows 7. That said, the keyboard options in general are far better than they ever were in Windows 7. In windows 8 you can select a full keyboard like this one rather than the frustrating dumbed down keyboard that you have to put up with in iOS.
Lastly, the app store is still very bare when compared to the two alternatives. There’s plenty there though, and I know that the reason that millions of business users in particular will select one of many Windows 8 Pro tablets is the desktop. The app store is just a bonus.
Now of course, a Windows 8 pro tablet costs more that than the iPad and Android tablets. But when you have to buy your staff a laptop and an iPad, that’ll cost you much more than a Windows tablet. On top of that, having only one device to manage will save your IT people (not to mention you) hundreds of hours and it all adds up to a much operating cost.
Not only that, but your life is so much easier only having one device! No synchronising, iTunes, no jumping through hoops to get hold of data. Don’t have a connection, doesn’t matter! All your stuff is stored locally, probably on a 256Gb Solid State Drive. Of course you can have it in the cloud too… I do, and those cloud storage apps like drop box just work so much easier on a PC than they do on an iPad!
So I can confidently say that windows 8 has the best touch OS out of these three by a long way. It’s easier to use, it’s faster, it’s more powerful. When you throw in the desktop environment and some awesome hardware like any of these tablets you have a winner.
Its not for everyone though, and this is no iPad killer. Not by a long shot. It is a powerful tablet platform that will spawn a new era of productivity in tablet computing.
They seem to “get” Tablet PCs in Germany. Here is a great product review of the Fujitsu Lifebook T900 from Fujitsu in Germany. Katrin really shows off some of the key features of Tablet PC productivity like Pen Flicks and inking on office documents.
Switching from a laptop to the Fujitsu Lifebook T900 convertible Tablet PC
In our opinion, the Lifebook T900 is the top of the range convertible Tablet PC with it’s 13.3” screen and Intel Core i7 processor. It’s not as portable as a slate Tablet PC, but it comes with the convenience of both a powerful laptop and the input flexibility of Wacom Touch / Active Digitizer Tablet PC.
We now have the entire Fujitsu Lifebook range available for demonstrations all over Australia. That includes the Lifebook T900, TH700 and TH550. Call us for a time on 03 9999 1601.
Our latest YouTube video shows how good windows 7 really is on a touch screen tablet like the Motion Computing J3500.
Touch on windows 7 is regularly bagged in the mainstream IT media, but the real experience of windows 7 and a good touch tablet is actually very good. It may be that this perception is a hangover from the early windows touch devices which left a lot to be desired.
Right now in 2010 and we have exceptional touch tablets like the Motion Computing J3500 with the touch friendly windows 7 user interface combining to bring us tablets that are not just fun and easy to use, but tablets that are real work horses that will make you more mobile and productive.
This latest generation of Windows touch tablets have made the mobile, paperless office a reality!
We came across a Viliv S5UMPC user who posted a series of Videos on YouTube showing how he uses the S5.
Note that he has Windows XP Tablet PC edition installed on the system. The Viliv comes out of the box with the Windows XP Home and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is not available direct to the general public. If you like the idea of using the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) on the Viliv S5 you can run Windows 7 on it. It is tricky to install windows 7 on the S5, so if you aren’t an advanced user we recommend using professionals (like us).
This series of videos will give you some ideas of how you can use the S5.
Viliv S5 showing Tablet PC Edition Features (Not part of standard package)
Viliv S5 showing Tablet PC Edition Features (Not part of standard package) – Part II
Viliv S5 hooked up to home theatre system
Viliv S5 hooked up to car stereo
In Australia we have 2 models of the S5 available. One with inbuilt HSPA Mobile Broadband / 3G (Next G compatible at 7.2mbps) for $1459 inc GST, one without Mobile Broadband for $1289 Inc GST.
All Viliv S5 models include:
Windows XP Home Edition (No Tablet PC Input Panel as shown in video above)
On board SirfStar III GPS (You will need software for in car navigation)
Intel Atom Processor
Full range of accessories available including Car Kit (12V charger and mount), leather case, VGA connector, composite connector, spare batteries and styli.
We can upgrade these to Windows 7 for you. We can also ship with software such as Microsoft Office 2007 pre-installed. Contact us for an all inclusive quote.
We carry only Australian stock with an Australian warranty. Whilst you will find that some companies will in ship direct from overseas, there is no local warranty support available for them. The cost of shipping the unit back and forth overseas if you have any issues will soon suck up any savings that you might make. So do yourself a favour and buy locally from us.
Making the decision to switch to a Tablet PC is not easy for some people. Will you really use the tablet and pen features? It’s hard to know until you really get to use one for a decent period of time. It’s a leap of faith…
If you decide that a digital pen is not for you, then you could be left with an expensive machine that you don’t use to the full. For the same money you could have bought an awesome laptop.
Fortunately, Toshiba have produced a Tablet PC for people with commitment issues!
It’s the M700 convertible Tablet PC with a built in DVD burner. It’s really built to be a small portable notebook, and the Tablet PC features are an added bonus.
So with the M700, even if you never use the Tablet features, you will be left with a powerful and capable laptop.
The Toshiba M700 is definitely not as sexy as the R400, but it is a little more practical. For instance, the M700 does away with the R400s glossy screen. This screen has a matte finish to reduce glare.
It’s a little bit chunkier than the R400 due to the inclusion of the DVD drive. But it is remarkably light considering its size.
So if you’re looking to make the jump to a Tablet, but you’re not quite sure, this may be the Tablet PC to get you over the line.
Tablet PC Australia offer the full range of
business grade Tablet PC hardware and software solutions.
Our specialist knowledge will help you to choose the best Tablet PC for your specific needs, so call us on 03 9999 1601 or email email@example.com.