Tales of the Tablet

I started out last month with an iPad 2, an Asus Memo Pad 10″ fHD, and a Google Nexus 7 (2013). My son needed a tablet for school, and I had just handed down my iPhone 5 to him, so it was a natural extension to simply hand him the iPad. Which left me with the Asus (which I have slowly become disenchanted with), and the Nexus 7.

Now, the Asus tablet is still 100% functional, and I do use it several times a day. It just irks me that there is no updates for it beyond Android 4.3, either from Asus or a third party developer. But it’s heavy, and lately, if I’m doing something graphically intensive (like unleashing 200 barbarians in Clash of Clans) and it’s plugged into the charger, I get a screen popup telling me the charger current is insufficient.

I’m really liking Windows 10 on the PCs, so I thought hey, maybe I should look into an 8″ Windows tablet, and see if I like that whole user experience. So I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro 3000. I knew it was a low end device, but I wasn’t sure I would like the whole Windows experience on a tablet, so I went cheap. Besides which, for the price of a better tablet, I could have purchased a new laptop.

I tried the Venue with Windows 8.1 and hated the whole user experience. I upgraded to Windows 10, and while the user experience was greatly improved, I was still not impressed for several reasons.

  1. The settings are still too scattered about Windows. Why can’t there be a single “settings” icon like Android and iOS have?
  2. Having to use “desktop” mode on the 8″ tablet was frustrating, especially with my short fat fingers.
  3. I found myself constantly trying to use the tablet as, and expecting it to perform like, my laptop.
  4. Even after I mostly overcame #3, and used the tablet more like a tablet, and not a laptop, the low end hardware was still frustratingly erratic to use.
  5. The Windows version of the few apps I wanted are horrible compared to their Android or iOS versions.

I will say though, that having a full blown copy of Outlook running was very cool. And so was the ability to map to my network share. But unfortunately, those weren’t enough to convince me to use the Venue for serious use, for more than two weeks.

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