Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

Windows 8 Tablet

After recently seeing my iPad break (again) from the lightest little ding to a corner, I’d had enough. As stated in my previous post, I love the iPad from a functionality perspective, but its hardware is far too brittle for my uses. I have five kids and between their game play and my work as a consultant, the iPad was bounced around too much to withstand the beating. Yes, I had a case on it during the last breakage, but the corner got dinged, which misaligned the button and power connection and I’m not spending another $100 on that thing.

So in looking at other tablets, I decided I wanted to move to Windows 8, which I’ve been happily running on my three year old laptop. The Surface RT is out because if I’m going to a Win8 tablet, I want the full OS. I’m not sure if Windows RT will survive, but it was probably important for MS to at least figure out ARM and its possibilities. The Surface Pro is a nice piece of hardware, but there are flaws. The battery life alone knocks it out of contention. If I’m going to buy a tablet, I expect better battery life than a standard laptop.

I ended up purchasing the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T. I think there’s a new name for it now and that’s probably a good thing. Samsung really needs to get a better naming strategy. They’re far too verbose for consumer products.

The ATIV 700T comes with a dockable keyboard and unlike nearly any other Win8 convertible offering, the keyboard is pretty solid. It’s not as nice as a mac keyboard, but it’s better than either of the attachable keyboards that come with the Surface and it’s better than any of the crappy iPad keyboards you can purchase.

I’ve had this machine for two weeks and my usage varies in several ways. On the train I will undock and use it to watch Netflix or to do design work. Using OneNote and the stylus is really amazing. I can draw out my website and mobile application thoughts far more easily than with any other tool combination. There’s nothing close to this capability on either Android or iOS.


No, I’m not by nature a designer. These are just thoughts for an idea I’ve been tinkering with lately. I’d hire a real designer to make it truly workable. But as you can see, being able to just rip through ideas with a stylus in OneNote is great. There’s an eraser that you can change to act like a normal pencil eraser or you can erase strokes, which is really convenient. OneNote is one of the best tablet applications you could ever use. I’ve started using it for meetings at work and will probably adopt it as a normal practice going forward.

Watching Netflix on the wide 10″ screen is significantly better than an iPad. You wouldn’t notice it if you stuck to the iPad, but having switched, viewing shows and movies is more like watching things on a big screen TV.

When I have the tablet docked in the keyboard (as I have it right now), it’s just like having a netbook computer. The main difference is that I’m running Windows 8 Pro and I’m still getting nearly 8 hours of battery life.

After finishing up this blog entry I plan to write some code and since I have Visual Studio 2012 installed, that’s just a matter of switching applications.

If you’re thinking of picking up a tablet or convertible, I highly recommend the Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T or whatever they renamed it.