Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Surface 3 is an excellent tablet

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Update 7/30/15 – The Surface 3 is an excellent tablet with Windows 8.1. The Surface 3 is even better with the Windows 10 upgrade.

Original Post Follows:

The Surface 3 is an overall excellent tablet, and a top notch media device. I did acquire a 4GB memory, 128 GB storage model along with the associated optional type keyboard.

The full HD screen is sharp, bright, and crisp with pleasing color rendition. Both media, and text are well rendered on the 10.8 inch, 3:2 aspect ratio screen. No over-saturation of colors with this screen. Netflix, Hulu etal rendered sharp, crisp pictures along with flawless performance. The sound quality / volume from the speakers allows enjoyable media watching without headphones. I did hear stereo separation with no noticeable distortion.

Since the new Cherry Trail Atom x7 processor is x86 based, I have installed some of my favorite x86 based programs; all have run without problems. The Cherry Trail Atom processor is peppy with no performance lag noticed so far. I do like the totally quiet environment with this fanless processor. Just remember, you are not driving a quad core i7 with 16GB memory, and you should be fine.

The Windows Store certainly does not have the depth of apps available with other platforms. Since the browser supports full Flash, some of the apps you utilize with other platforms are not necessary. I have experienced no problems performing my desired tasks using either Windows Store apps, legacy x86 programs, or the fully Flash enabled browser.

I enjoy using the optional keyboard for longer typing tasks. I also prefer using the arrow / page down keys on the keyboard for scrolling webpages. The touchscreen on the Surface 3 is excellent, but constant scrolling while reading gets old quickly on any platform. With the optional keyboard you have a much easier method (arrow / page down) with the added benefits of not clicking links inadvertently while scrolling. When using as a tablet, the optional keyboard folds around 180 degrees, and is shut off. I keep the keyboard attached 98% of the time.

The kickstand is a very handy feature that should be included with any tablet / phablet with a > 5″ screen. Kudos to Microsoft for including a kickstand with all Surface tablets.

The Surface 3 continues my pleasant experiences with my prior Surface models, the original Surface, and Surface 2. Those previous models were ARM based with no x86 support. I knew when I purchased the previous models that they did not support x86 apps, so not a problem. The Surface 3 has the same excellent build quality as the prior models with a faster (still fanless) processor, twice the memory, full Windows 8.1 (not RT), an optional pressure sensitive pen, and a nice screen ratio compromise for both media consumption, and web / document browsing.

If you are in the market for a top of the line tablet, add the Surface 3 to your short list.

Click here for Microsoft product page with pictures, specs, features etc

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is excellent for sharing files between PC’s, and Android devices.

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

If you regularly use a Flash Drive to transfer files between a PC, and a USB To Go enabled Android device, the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive is an excellent accessory.  This Flash Drive incorporates both standard, and micro-USB connectors eliminating the need for the easily misplaced / broken USB To Go cable.  Using a 64GB Ultra Dual USB Drive with excellent results on both PC’s, and Android devices.

Android again the winner for playing Archos 7 video files from WiFi Flash Drive

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

You know from prior posts that Android is the easiest, and quickest platform for me to watch TV shows I record on my trusty Archos 7 device while out the next day. Due to iOS’s lack of USB To Go support, I experimented with using a WiFi enabled Flash Drive, a SanDisk 32 GB model.  The results were the same, Android the clear winner.

With Android, when I select one of the mp4 AVI files, I am immediately prompted to select the player to view the video.  Both streaming, and download worked flawlessly on Android.

On iOS, streaming worked fine for video formats natively supported by iOS, but I received a “video not supported message” for my AVI files with no opportunity to choose a player that supports the format.  I tried force downloading the AVI  video files, but again I never received an opportunity to select one of the players I have installed that can play the files properly, just the same old “video not supported” message.  I tried accessing the WiFi Flash Drive via Safari browser.  If Safari could complete the download, I was asked which player to use.  Problem is Safari / iOS were not able to complete a large file download without loosing the connection, and trying again resulted in another lost connection the majority of the time.  My Android devices were able to consistently download the same large video file from the same WiFi Flash Drive without any glitches.

I tried downloading to a Windows 8 Bay Trail based tablet, and the files also downloaded without a glitch consistently.

I did not try the WiFi Flash Drive with Windows Phone since I have not yet located a video player that can play the Archos video files without conversion.

Like Windows 8 Atom based tablets, but disappointed with video playback performance

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Windows 8 Atom based tablets have the potential to be one of the best tablet platforms.  Nice screen, full x86 compatability, full Flash support, full user file access, and very good battery life.  Unfortunately, video playback does not seem as smooth as the playback on laptops, Surface 2, or Android tablets.  In addition, the video pauses too frequently for a second or so for no apparent reason.  The same videos on Android, laptops, and Surface 2 play flawlessly over the same network.

Overall, I enjoy Windows 8 based Atom powered tablets, but am very disappointed with the video playback issue.  If Microsoft, and manufacturers can solve the video problems, Windows 8 Atom tablets would be a top tier tablet, maybe even the best.

Surface 2 is excellent – huge improvement

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Surface 2 is excellent – fast, great screen, Flash supported, light, Office included, use split screen frequently. Big improvement.

Welcome a Windows 8 Tablet in 8″ form factor

Monday, May 6th, 2013

I welcome a Windows 8 tablet in a 8″ form factor.  Since iOS never supported Flash, and Android will not support future versions of Flash, Windows 8 will soon be the only way to view the full web on a tablet.  I realize it is fashionable to hate Flash, but without Flash support, you only view a large subset of the web, not the full web.  On my tablets, I want the full web experience, not just a large subset.  As for HTML 5 / native apps relegating Flash to dodo bird status, do you really believe there is, or will be an app, or alternate video format for every Flash based page, or Flash video on the web?  If you do, maybe you are interested in purchasing a well known bridge for a good price.

I hope the 8″ tablet is x86 based (fortunately it is), I’ll take the battery hit.  As for small controls on classic desktop apps, every version of Windows I can remember included settings to change the size of the close box, menu items, etc. to a size comfortable for your finger girth, not the one size fits all we are all familiar with.  Been using finger navigation with Microsoft Windows since adjusting the control settings on an XP convertible many years ago.

Being the gadget addict I am, I did purchase the Windows 8 Acer W3 x86 based 8 inch tablet.  I am quite pleased with the W3, it has met, or exceeded all expectations.  After my usual 4 adjustments using Windows built in settings, the classic desktop is very finger friendly as well on this 8 inch tablet.

Hope an 8 inch Windows 8 tablet is in the works

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Hope the rumors of an 8 inch Windows 8 tablet are true.  If the 8″ model is x86, not RT, could be the best 8″ tablet available.

Like to see a 7 to 8 inch Surface Tablet

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Would like to see a 7 to 8 inch ARM based Microsoft Surface tablet with a less restricted Windows 8 RT OS, full Flash, no compatibility file.

Why is POP email not supported in Windows Modern UI email client?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

What was Microsoft thinking when they decided not to support POP email in the Modern UI email client. There are work arounds, but ????

Just received a 64GB Microsoft Surface Tablet

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Fed Ex just delivered a 64GB Microsoft Surface tablet. Nice touch by Microsoft to use the deliver by 10:30am service.