Computer & PC Help


I had the chance to try out Windows 8 not on Surface but on a Dell Latitude Tablet.  I have to say it was an experience.  There are things I liked about it and things I don’t.  To be fair, this was used in a business setting so it was Windows Pro 8 not RT.  If you are using this for business purposes, get ready to struggle.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it on my wireless network at work. That was because we don’t broadcast SSIDs, don’t get me wrong, it connected to my guest network without a problem and for you home users it will probably not take much effort to connect it your home wireless.  But in order for me to connect it to my wireless network I had to first hook it up to a port replicator and hard wire it to the network.  For those of you who don’t know what a port replicator is, it’s simply a cradle that attaches to the tablet so you can add use a cable to connect to your network along with, keyboard and mouse. I never did connect the keyboard and mouse because I was trying to use the tablet only. So once I got it connect to my network then I was able to get it on my domain.  I mostly used the desktop part because for my purposes that’s what was required.  In our business setting the tiles aren’t practical.  I had to install Office on it and once I got it on the network I was able to do that via a share but I couldn’t get it to recognize and external CD drive.  Next problem I encountered was the fact that you can’t expand some things.  In other words you can’t make them bigger, for example, the TCP/IP properties aren’t expandable, neither are any of the setting in the control panel, or for adding the printer.  This makes it a little difficult to use the tablet with your finger, so I suggest if you are going to use this for business, you should get the stylus (the pen) so you have better control over the “little” things.  Also in terms of the keyboard, it doesn’t automatically pop up, you have to hit the keyboard icon, I think that should be changed.  Next, it took me a while to figure out how to add things to the desktop and I never could figure out how to customize the tiles – adding my own shortcuts to the tiles.


It comes with IE 10, don’t get me wrong that’s not a bad thing, unless your company can’t really use IE 10, in my case we are still using IE 8 and you can’t uninstall IE 10 nor can you change the home page either.  I tried, but I never figured that out either. I do think I understand why you can’t change the home page in IE10 or down grade it to 9 or 8 – I think this is because of the tiles update from the home page and the touch screen isn’t compatible with IE 9 or 8, but I could be wrong about that.   If you are on a network and you have GPO’s (group policy objects) it doesn’t process all of them, granted we are still using Server 2003 so it maybe better with 2008 or 2012 server – I don’t know. I never tried to install Firefox or Google Chrome and frankly I don’t know if they would work, I would hope they would.


I truly loved the tiles and for a home user it’s awesome.  You see everything and it updates instantly, for example it shows the news, Facebook, email etc. And that I really liked about it.  It’s really easy to use and it’s a nice experience. You just look at the tiles and it’s instant, that’s a nice feature, because you don’t even have to open the app. it shows you a preview before you open it.


In my opinion, Microsoft did a good job with the tiles. The desktop part, to me is Windows 7 on steroids, basically it looks the same but there’s no start button.  You have to swipe the sides to get to the controls, the control panel or anything else you need to do, it took me a while to figure out how to add shortcuts to the desktop too. Once you get used to it it’s not so bad.  I happy to say that I was even able to install printers without any problems too. It comes with Microsoft security 2012  for virus protection, I couldn’t install the virus protection software we use because it wasn’t compatible.  I’m not sure what virus protection you can install on it in case you choose not to use Microsoft’s product.


So depending upon your needs, this could be a great toy.  If you’re a techie well it’s perfect because you can use it like a desktop PC.  You can install any VPN client and have access to your office. It even has RDP (remote desktop connection)  Imagine you’re on call and your phone rings.  You don’t have to rush home, just pull out that tablet connect to the internet and you’re good to go!


I will say this, I did not get to check out any apps or install anything that didn’t actually come with it so for the home user I didn’t get to “play” that much so I can’t compare it to apple IPad, if that’s what you’re waiting for.  But in general my impression of this is it’s pretty nice and I would recommend it if you want to have something that serves duel purposes.


Lastly, I haven’t seen a 64 bit version yet and that’s what I’m waiting on a 64 bit tablet version.  If and when that comes out I think that will be my toy.  So if you are thinking about purchasing this go for it, it’s a nice toy.

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