So it’s Christmas and so the Coca Cola van (yes, one out of the ‘Holidays are Coming’ adverts) made its approach to town where I live. My buddy was delighted, whilst I was rather undecided, but I went along anyway to keep them company. The bus ride was a solid 30 – 35 minutes away, so we settled in for the journey by sitting in the front of a double decker’s top floor (my favourite seat since childhood).
Somehow, a man next to me overheard our discussion and, apropos of nothing, decided to take part (at full, ear splitting, volume). Rumor has it that, it was not enough that I had to talk to him, the entire bus had to listen to him as well. He did not talk so much as publicize himself all over the place, especially when making statements like “this bus service is sh*t!” at the top of his voice.
Our new friend seemed inordinately joyful when the topic of Windows 8 came up and smugly (and loudly) introduced that he had built his own computer and downloaded Microsoft’s new platform for free. He was very glad about that exact fact.
Never one to miss a chance, I asked the local bus-banshee how he felt about Windows 8. Unsurprisingly, he loved it on his desktop, but had the same doubts everybody else does about Windows on a tablet pc. After that, we got on quite well in fact. The loud man noisily wished us both a Merry Christmas and we wished him good luck with his impending move (one he had been broadcasting about). I resisted the urge to apologise to the bus driver when we came to our destination, (his bus service had not been sh*t in the slightest).
Far be it from me to employ the testimony of this mad man I met on the bus as a tool for judging the triumph of a multi million Dollar information technology endeavor, We have asked a number of other, less mad, people as well. They all say a similar thing.
It appears that Windows RT would be the real judge, jury and possible executioner for Microsoft’s latest venture. In the meantime, if you’d like a Microsoft window 8 tablet, but are somewhat put off by the assorted reception, here is our roundup of the Microsoft window 8 tablets thus far:
The Microsoft Surface, despite lots of media attention and high expectations, is a mixed bag. The overall consensus seems to be that the hardware is superb and very well developed, but Windows 8 just doesn’t hold up to close inspection. Frankly, the largest error Microsoft have made here is to compete with a apple ipad on price. If the tablet was a bit cheaper, they would have an increased-spec, viable alternative to Apple’s world-beater. Instead, they’ve a pc tablet that costs as much as the apple ipad, but isn’t nearly as user friendly or universally praised. It’s massive, however it’s not quite the flagship product that its parent company was expecting.
The Asus Vivo Tab, the next out of the gate, was another assorted bag. Windows RT does it a number of favours, however it doesn’t come anyplace near the Surface in hardware terms and, consequently, does feel a little bit overpriced.
Elsewhere, the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga is kind of pleasant. Although it’s nowhere near fast enough for difficult functions like gaming, the Ideapad is relatively affordable, has an awesome display and then the keyboard can switch happily between ‘tablet’ and ‘PC’ modes with total ease. The Yoga is a good decision for somebody who likes laptop computers but still wants to get a tablet pc.
The Samsung Ativ is good, but the price, quite frankly, may be a joke (and not an particularly funny one either). Elsewhere, the Acer Iconia 700 is probably the perfect all rounder on this list, but it can be ridiculously costly (although not compared to its upcoming rivals, several of which may very well scrape the dizzying heights of £900+). It also suffers noticeably from having no SD card slot.
All told, we are still waiting for the first ‘classic’ Windows 8 pc tablet. Microsoft should see the materialization of that pc tablet that brings out one of the best in their new software. Fundamentally, they need the model that makes it all worthwhile.
Now, I can’t help them design their dream machine, but if they have someone who can put a computer together (with Microsoft window 8 thrown in for free), I’m sure I’d know a guy…