Well, it was worth a shot...
I've been (overbearingly) desperate for a new tablet for a long time, so about three weeks ago I decided to pick up a Windows tablet for cheep from The Source. It seemed like a very solid buy for a great
price, and for a short time, I was quite happy with my purchase. But niggling doubts kept creeping in, and I've finally decided to get rid of it. Reasons:
Like Windows can
, the tablet had a tendency to shut itself down for no good reason that I could find, and trying to pour through Event Viewer with a touch interface is NOT fun.
Speaking of touch interface, the Desktop "view" is cool and all, but it's really not ideal when you're not using a keyboard and mouse. Lots of trial and error to be efficient (an oxymoron, I know). And no, I didn't explore all the options (ie: Bluetooth mouse), but I also didn't feel like bringing my OTG cable, my USB four-port hub and a lightweight USB keyboard and mouse around wherever I went.
Switching between Tile and Desktop view could be frustrating: which apps showed up in which interface was very
hit-and-miss. If I was in Tile view, some (but not all) desktop apps showed up, whereas when I was in Desktop view, no Tile apps showed up. And don't get me started about app management: it took me fifteen minutes and a few searches online just to figure out how to uninstall Windows 8 phone/tablet apps in the first place, since they didn't show up via Control Panel.
Back to power for a second, Windows 8 doesn't provide a "close all" option like Android (and I'll assume iOS) has, so twice the power ran down on the tablet overnight. I woke to a dead slate, and had to charge it up. Also, the coin toss of "is it off, or is it asleep" was a fun game the first three times or so, more tedious as the weeks wore on.
The Windows 8 phone/tablet apps were, on the whole, pretty stable, but when they crashed, they just went away. Maybe there's a setting to let you know what happened, or maybe you have to jump into the Event Viewer (see above) to find the crash by hand. Either way, it made for some frustration.
On the plus side, since I've been so negative thus far, the tablet feels great in the hand, the screen is VERY nice, and some apps like Netflix and the Microsoft Arkadium games (Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc.) are really well put together. The constant reminder that you could upgrade the games was a bit of a let down, which brings me back to the con side, and my last point...
As I've been using my BlackBerry PlayBook and Android for the past few years, I know what to expect in terms of apps and general feel
, and I just couldn't seem to get a feel for Windows 8 on a tablet. It's not quite split down the middle, caught between Tile and Desktop view, and apps
have a lot to do with that. There's very little that's free (what can I say, I don't have a lot of money to throw at a tablet), and what is there seems just a little off
, coming from publishers that I don't know (or trust) enough to install their knock-off version of something that looks like an app that might come in handy. In a lot of ways, it reminds me very much of what happened to the BlackBerry PlayBook: a good environment hobbled by the fact that no one seemed willing to devote time into developing for it. If there had been more Tile-based apps, I might have stuck around for longer, but when I realized that I was using the tablet as a glorified NetFlix and gaming machine, with none of my usual collection of tools and productivity apps, I decided to throw in the towel.
Maybe I'll try a low-cost Android tablet, like the UbiSlate... heck, I can get two of 'em! Acer Iconia Tab 8 W1-810 (whew!)... you are outta here!#review #tablet