Windows 8 Pro Tablet/Laptops











I recently had the chance to trial a Samsung Ativ Smart PC for about two weeks.  Of all of the new Windows 8 Pro tablet/laptops I’ve seen so far (including the Lenovo Yoga 13), I believe I liked the form factor of this model the best.  Unlike the others, it had a true tablet feel when detached from its keyboard/laptop base.  Compared to my iPad, I really liked the 16×9 aspect ratio screen and the full Microsoft Office.  Many features of the “Metro” style touch interface began to make sense (the tile interface), and I really liked reading email and web pages with the tablet in portrait orientation.  Plugged into the keyboard base, the tablet became a laptop with a standard hinge arrangement but thin and light (similar to a MacBook Air).

All that said, I still sent it back after the trial.  The things I didn’t like about it were primarily related to the current status of the Window Pro operating system, and not the hardware.  For example, the free “start menu restorer” program for bringing back the Windows 7 Start menu broke and I was too cheap to pay for the commercial one.  Office 2013 was fun, but Outlook didn’t work correctly with our version of Zimbra yet (but it should when we upgrade Zimbra to version 8 this summer).  Also, I didn’t see if the Veracross client software worked on Windows Pro yet, which would be essential.

So, it was fun to see a device that could be both a regular laptop and a creative tablet and e-Textbook reader in the future.  I’m tempted to buy a Surface Pro tablet when I’m in the US for NAIS in February, since its build quality is getting good reviews (but it may have the lingering operating system issues).

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