I’ve been wanting to try out a Windows tablet for quite a while now. I even once spent several hours at a local Microsoft store with every intention of buying one of their Surface tablets – and then just couldn’t do it after spending a few hours trying them out.
I’ve owned and used a couple generations of Kindle Fire, the sadly short-lived TouchPad Pro that ran webOS, a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, and both the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7 – so a Windows tablet is one of the few mainstream (ish) types I haven’t had a chance to get to know.
This week I’ve found a Windows tablet that looks like a better fit for me – the Dell Venue 8 Pro. It’s a better fit for me partly because it’s an 8 inch tablet and I am now solidly a fan of the more ‘mini’ tablet form factor. I also like that it is priced much more attractively than the Surface line.
Since I’m now back at work as an IT consultant as my ‘day job’ I’ve been using a laptop running Windows 8 for a few months now. The Dell Venue 8 Pro runs Windows 8.1 – so it will be interesting to see whether this tablet can help be more productive and where it might fit in my work routine.
I won’t bore you with further detail here, since this site is all about the iPad, but I do plan to write up some first impressions and other thoughts as I spend time with the Dell Venue 8 Pro. If you have any interest in seeing those, check out my little baby site, Tech & Nonsense.
Oh boy – if The Verge’s recent video demo of Windows RT is anything to go by, Microsoft’s upcoming tablets are going to be a flat out disaster. Ross Miller took a tour around a tablet running what they reckon to be a final build of Windows RT and it makes for horror movie style viewing – all that’s missing is a scary soundtrack.
Miller struggles during large parts of the demo to get much of anything done easily with the supposedly touch interface of the tablet – including when trying to use the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet app. From early on in the demo he mentions things like …
Clearly it’s more optimized for keyboard and mouse.
The touch menus are really not suitable for touch.
Those are always good things to hear when working with a supposedly touch-based tablet.
The tablet has no accelerometer and changing the orientation via a tiny menu item looks like far from a barrel of laughs – you can check that out at about the 2:10 – 2:40 section of the video.
Dear God I hope there’s an easier way of doing it …
Miller repeatedly gets switched to ‘classic mode’ when trying to do something and concludes that if you’re going to do anything even pseudo-serious you’re going to need a mouse and keyboard.
Check out the video (linked above) and see what you think. I think unless RT tablets are going to be near 100% different to this by release time then they’re going to be yet another huge failure for Microsoft in the mobile arena.
Microsoft has announced that there are a number of their hardware partners planning to release Windows RT based PCs/tablets, in the same class as their own Surface RT device.Here’s a slice of their article titled ‘Collaborating to deliver Windows RT PCs’:
If you are following Windows RT, perhaps you have taken note of the Asus Tablet 600 (Windows RT) announcement or Microsoft’s own Surface RT™ news. Along with Asus, we are excited to share that there will be ARM-based PC designs from Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung running Windows RT.
You will need to stay tuned for more details; PC manufacturers will be unveiling their products as we approach the Windows 8 and Windows RT launch. What I can say is the spectrum of form factors and peripherals being developed to meet each unique customer’s computing needs is unique in the industry.
A couple of things are interesting to me here. One is that, as ever, there are no release timeframes for any of these – just the mention above that manufacturers will be ‘unveiling’ their products. Of course we still don’t know release dates or pricing for Microsoft’s own Surface devices.
Even more interesting to me is that Microsoft seems to be emphasizing PC more and tablet less when talking about these upcoming RT devices. I think this reflects their thought that there’s really no such thing as the Post-PC era. And my gut feeling is that if their RT class of devices is more PC than tablet that’s not going to be a recipe for success.
Having said that, I’m still very keen to take a look at a Surface device, if and when they ever release one. :)
Spotted this news via: Gizmodo
Of all the nonsense I’ve seen written about how the iPad is a device only for consuming content, a post by Nathan Brookwood at Tech.pinions takes the cake. Here’s his reasoning for why his next tablet will run Windows 8:
Android and iOS tablets do a yeoman’s job when it comes to consuming content, but lack the software tools and hardware features needed to create content. Windows-based tablets, which have been around since 2002, have always included the features needed for content creation, but lacked the easy to use interfaces needed for content consumption. The Metro User Interface in Windows 8 supplies these missing elements, and thus positions Win 8-based tablets as the only ones suitable for those who want to both create and consume content on a single device.
So much to love in there. More than anything, the idea that Windows 8 based tablets are best positioned for those who want to create content, not just consume it. Say what? They’re not best positioned for content creation, or consumption, or any other use at all – because they do not exist yet. They’re due, or more like way overdue, late this year. They’re going to run some Frankentablet mixture of Windows 8 and the Metro UI, which sounds ever so promising. Great call then. You’ll be much more productive in your content creation on your invisible tablet than on the iPad or an Android tablet.