Windows 8.1 on a tablet is actually kind of nice

Discussion in 'Mobile and Portable' started by pbassjunk, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. pbassjunk

    pbassjunk MDL Novice

    Apr 20, 2009
    Bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro today to replace my Nook HD+ (kids where really abusing it (3 & 5) and finally the screen cracked / touch stopped working). I'd been looking at the Dell 7 as a replacement Android tablet but on a (moderately researched) whim I decided to get the Venue 8 instead.

    It's not bad! I really like the gestures (mostly) in a small tablet ui. Accessing app settings is a bit confusing, not because it's particularly hard to get to but it seems like a bit of an after thought with MS sticking each apps settings in a main Start/Settings screen, rather than integrating into the app itself (works fine, but it's a methodology inconsistency).

    After a few initial growing pains I really like the onscreen keyboard much more than stock Android keyboard. The onlly thing really lacking would be swype style functionality, but the prediction makes up for it - seems much smarter than Android, appears to guess based on content in addition to characters, and gives you more correcting selections vs KK keyboard autoguessing 1 entry.

    Not as many apps obviously, but the important small screen exes are there for me: web/mail, kindle, google stuff, onedrive stuff, etc. And I haven't played with it much yet, but I'm really appreciating the full windows. I've already hooked up usb/otg + my guitar preamp + asio and gotten quite acceptable results. Makes a great little practice/songsketching setup.

    I'm playing right now with Visual Studio Express. One leg up Venue8 has over Eclipse/JDK/ADK/IntelliJ/etc is ease of dev tool setup. ADB is flakey once you start working with more than one device (at least for me, I've got 6 different ADB installs). VSE seems more or less plug n play w/ the Dell.

    I've always looked at the start screen/apps stuff as the MS version of souping up the OSX Launchpad and widgets, so metro never really bothered me much. But I really did not like the forced gestures nor emasculating of Control Panel/SettingsviaModernUI (especially) + all the normal griped about desktop-getting-boned stuff. However, couple all of that badness for the desktop it with the intended user interface, it makes a lot of sense and does indeed work well.

    Also, battery life appears to be fantastic. My nook hd (6ah) was just barely breaking the 3hr screen-on mark, which is fairly abysmal IMO considering my One provides similar w/ a 2.3ah battery (though pretty disappointed w/ that too.. not much better than my GS2 which only had a 1.6ah). Reviews give the Venue 10-11 hours of screen on battery life. Still have 80% battery after all of the stuff I've done today (audio, updates, VSE, general goofing around w/ a few Store games, etc).

    If you're looking for a tablet and can find one cheap, Venue8/Windows8 is fairly slick. I'm less than 24hrs in but very happy with it.

    And it has a touch based uefi bios (larf) that actually lets you adjust a few things.. wonder if there's a double or triple boot w/ Android or a Linux distro..
  2. theclamp

    theclamp MDL Novice

    Oct 13, 2009
    :)Howdy Just received my Venu8 win8.1 tablet. it works great. and you are right it take some getting used to! I reset my MS password only because I could not remember the old one but when I go to the app store to download it asks for it again and it say its incorrect...I will figure it out soon. but it is a nice tablet!!