I've had my first experience with a Windows 8 tablet.
The overall experience has been a bit of disappointment for me. It is obvious that these tablets (and the operating system) are immature and trying to play grown up. Windows 8 is definitely not a tablet OS, even on a tablet. Given enough time they might mature, but due to the nature of Windows that's going to be a long haul. The one notable positive thing is that it appears that a good percentage, if not all, of the features of Windows are there (such as SAMBA networking, sound control, etc).
The tablet I chose was the HP Stream 8. That's an 8" tablet with a quad core atom CPU running at 1.8ghz. It has 1gb of RAM and 32gb of storage. It also has, when you take the back cover off, a slot for another up to 32gb flash card (why the size is limited makes me wonder). Speakers are there too. It has a microphone. It has front and rear facing cameras. The screen is bright and clear enough to see and works adequately.
HP doesn't appear to provide you with a device that's charged when you get it (unlike my Google Nexus 7 which was charged when I bought it), so you must wait for it to charge before first use. I noticed this right off. I figured I could plug it in and have it partially charged by the time I got back to the shop, so I plugged it into my truck's USB based lighter charger. I noticed that it wasn't charging. The included charger provides 5V 2A. This means that you can't just plug the into a car lighter based USB charger (nor into the USB port on your computer) and have it charge. I guess I'm going to have to search for a lighter based USB charger that provides 5V 2A. This tablet also doesn't support Qi charging, and though I haven't tested it I'm sure it doesn't support the HP touchpad wireless charging device.
My experience with networking wasn't 100%. The device doesn't see all the computers on the network as Windows 7 does even though I've put the tablet into the same workgroup as my network. It seems to still insist on only showing computers on the LAN that are the the "workgroup" workgroup.
Copying a few files across the network was incredibly slow. I also experienced having the copy process stop repeatedly for no reason. Of course, I was copying from flash card to a server hard drive to back up some pictures that were on a flash card that I'd inserted -- before formatting it to NTFS. When copying files from a server on the LAN to an NTFS formatted flash card it copied about 8 files before stopping telling me that I didn't have permissions to copy the next file. It created the folder and copied 8 files then stops.
I also noticed that from an updated driver (during system updates) that they may have tied the networking component (chip) into the USB. I'm sure some of you have seen those USB based Ethernet adapters. This is what they do on the Raspberry Pi and it has caused nothing but frustration and dissatisfaction for the Raspberry Pi owners. Anything on the USB port competes with the Ethernet for bandwidth. This slows down both. If you attach an external HDD (or in this case a USB flash card) on the same bus as the Ethernet it slows down both devices.
The screen appears to be brighter on the left and right (top and bottom depending on how you hold it). I'm not sure HP chose the best supplier, because I've noticed it to be lighter at the edges and darker as you move in and then lighter again near the middle. I also noticed some small circular areas where it is brighter in random locations on the dispaly. This issue isn't really noticeable in general use, but once you know it is there it annoys you.
Removing the back to insert a flash card causes one to fear breaking the cheap plastic clips. This concern is there when both taking it off and putting it back on. I was worried that taking it off would break one or more of the clips, and I was concerned when putting it back on that the same thing would happen because it didn't appear to snap back into place easily. As these devices age the plastic will become brittle giving greater cause for concern. The good thing is that you likely won't be removing it often.
The front and rear facing cameras work but the quality is poor. Along with the fact that it's missing a camera flash your pictures come out dark and grainy.
It is missing a GPS which is pretty much found in every Android device. It is also missing a video out port, a blinking notification light, and a ambient light sensor. It appears that HP is just trying to make a cheap laptop in a tablet form factor.
Due to the lack of RAM (which can't be upgraded) using Win 8 on the tablet causes, at times, an intolerable delay when reacting to input. For instance, when long pressing to bring up a pop up menu you'll have to wait till it responds and of course if you aren't patient you will try again and again before it does respond. The same goes for executing a program. You might wait for a while before you realize that it has actually responded to your touch and launched it. This is frustrated even more by the fact that you have to double tap to launch, so, if you think you didn't double tap right you try again.
I consider Metro to be a non-starter. It is confusing, hard to organize, and lacks anything even remotely resembling widgets. One annoying thing that happened to me was that as I was using the tablet I chose to empty the trash a couple times and when I went to the metro interface I noticed that the trash can was being pinned to it. I'd remove it from metro. If I emptied the trash again the trash bind would show up on the metro interface again.
The software keyboard is incredibly frustrating. It isn't the digitizer nor fat fingers syndrome that's at the heart of it. If you type incredibly slowly, and you watch each key you press, you'll get through typing a word maybe with one error. Typing fast isn't going to work at all as you'll get so many errors that you have to constantly go back and retype the whole word. This really is a keyboard issue. Much of this is exacerbated by there being no auto correct nor a feature to offer the word it thinks you might have intended to type.
They do try to mimic some of the features of the Android soft keyboard offerings, however they made some poor decisions. For instance, you can split the keyboard. Certain keys are on the left and others on the right with a number pad in the middle. The issue that I have is that the number pad is too big and the letter keys are too small and that adds to the inaccuracy in typing. The number pad should be shrunk and the letters increased in size.
They keyboard won't pop up automatically when you enter a text field and when you want it to go away you effectively have to tap it twice (or locate the X to close it, as I noticed after a bit of frustration).
One feature of the keyboard is that it has an option to give you two different sizes. One of them divides the screen (shrinking the viewport) -- you scroll in a smaller window. The other allows the window to scroll behind the keyboard, however because the screen resolution is so low it can be impossible at times to view the contents of the field that you are typing into. This adds a lot of time when using the keyboard to do simple typing tasks.
The speakers are somewhat weak. You pretty much have to have the volume maxed in order to get an adequate amount of sound. This isn't a Windows issue.
The resolution is a bit low, but they've made up for it with small fonts. This makes it harder to read at times and some of the fonts to render poorly. The digitizer software is sort of weak. You'll get some warnings that due to the low resolution some things can't be fully displayed on the screen.
Touch is problematic. You might be used Android and find that touch on this device can be a burden. It is annoying that it takes multiple taps just to make something happen. It is abundantly clear from a device like this that Windows 8 is definitely NOT an adequate OS for touch computers. If you've only had a Windows 8 tablet you might not understand the frustration that an Android or iOS user has with touch on these devices. This is a Windows issue and it demonstrates that Windows is not sufficiently suitable as a touch based OS. It makes me feel as if Microsoft appears to be shoehorning many of these technologies into place.
All the menu entries and lists of any kind need to have more space between them to make selecting a menu or list item easier. With all too much frequency I find that I select the wrong item (menu/list). This means that I have to wait, undo what I did, and try again. Very annoying.
One other feature that bothers me is that when I turn off the display by pressing the power button all network activity ceases. I tried it with the Steam installer and when copying files. Android on the other hand will continue the process while the display is off. Granted I haven't had long enough to thoroughly investigate the validity of this it certainly seems to be the "way it is".
Android, IMHO, is a vastly superior experience to Windows 8 tablets. Since Windows 10 is Windows 8 with some modifications I'd say we are going to experience the same problems. Also, Windows just isn't updated with the frequency of Android and if you follow Microsoft's past history you'll pay for updates to your tablet just like you pay for updates to your desktop versions.