Windows 8–Double Edged Sword
For the past two weeks I am using Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my ExoPC Slate. The ExoPC slate is a Windows 7 Home Tablet with multi-touch capacitive touch screen running on Intel Atom Processor. I have done a fresh install of Windows 8 Consumer Preview on this machine.
Here are the specs of my Windows 8 slate:
- 11.6-inch HD LCD BrightView touchscreen display with fingerprint-resistant coating and resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels
Intel atom Pineview-M N450 1.66 GHz processor, L2 cache 512 KB
2 GB DDR2 667 MHz RAM, & 64 GB SSD P4
Memory card reader (SDHC) with support up to 32 GB cards
2 built-in 1.5-watt speakers powered by Realtek High Definition audio
Intel GMA 3150 with shared graphics memory
2 USB 2.0 ports, headphone output, microphone input, mini HDMI
802.11b/g/n WiFi, & Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
Integrated 1.3-mega pixel webcam (fixed focus)
Lithium-ion battery for up to 4 hours of battery life – for Windows 7. But for Windows 8 I have found much better efficiency.
Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.7 x 0.55 in and weighs 2.09 lbs
I found two interesting things during these two weeks of my experience with Windows 8. Since it has two interfaces (Metro and Desktop) and Desktop UI is considered as an App, you could do a lot of stuff within that Desktop App like developing apps. Once you are in the office, you could dock your Slate to the docking station with a keyboard, mouse and a pointing device, you have full fledged laptop/desktop pc for business purpose. While going to a meeting or home or on travel, just undock your tablet, and you have a full fledged slate in your hands. It would be interesting to see how Microsoft could justify the same scenario with its WOA (Windows on ARM) devices.
The other interesting thing I noticed was battery life. On a single charge I could go up to 8 to 10 hours of moderate usage of the slate like emails, surfing the web, and playing the limited games available like Fruit Ninja. But on a standby mode the battery lasted for about 10 days on a single charge. That’s quite amazing for an Atom powered slate. .
I am mainly using this slate for surfing, emails, and developing apps for Windows 8. I am starting a series of articles on my experiences for the next few weeks. Stay Tuned.
Andy Beualieu did a very good job on fresh and clean installation of Windows 8 on ExoPC slate, so I don’t want to repeat the same. You can just follow it to have and you get ExoPC slate for $350 to $400 on eBay.
How’s the performance with the Atom proc? Zippy with W8 or like W7 on a netbook?
It is not bad. Since it is still Consumer Preview I would give them one. Occassionally the Swiping across in Metro Start UI might get delayed, I noticed only 4 or 5 times in these two weeks, but it seemed it recovered from that seizure pretty fast (less than few seconds). Other than this I haven’t seen any issue in performance. Even at the Consumer Preview state it is comparable to Windows 7 in desktop mode.
I got Windows 8 to install on my 8 year old Fujitsu P7010 Lifebook, with 1.2Ghz Centrino processor and 1GB of Ram. WiFi B. Only problem is my Graphic card does not support DirectX 9, so videos are choppy (except when I play them through Zune) and I can’t get a game to run. And of course, no touch screen. But the OS is very responsive. Have installed a bunch of legacy apps, Office viewers, etc., without issue. No crashes when navigating the Start screen and the couple dozen apps I have installed. Desktop view works as well. Looking forward to Win 8 on a slightly meatier PC.
Are you able to output using the mini-HDMI port? I am having trouble with that, and it would help to be able to output to a monitor for business usage.
Make sure you have the drivers for it. Open the device management and check your HDMI port driver is working properly. If not then you have to download it and install. Force windows update, and it should show you the optional installations. It happened to me with Bluetooth drivers.