9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Elegant Tool which might replace both you laptop and tablet - but certain irritating things stop it being five star, 7 Dec 2013
I've been using this almost a month now and plan to develop a detailed review of this. This is just a few starting thoughts.
It's an elegant piece of kit feels very solid in the hands and is extremely robust. A little heavier than an iPad but in some ways is better thought of as an ultra-light and ultra-portable laptop.
It looks great and feel great in the hands. Very fast both to start-up and in use. You can loads of apps open, or seemingly open - i think there's some clever virtual stuff going on, and zip between them virtually instantaneously
Great sound for a little machine and beautiful screen visible from many sides. The two-position Kick-stand is very convenient. You can type on your lap easily, or use it as a laptop on a desk, watch TV in bed, or even sort of wedge it over one knee when sprawled in a chair so you can sort of type a bit, read a bit, watch a bit.
Free (or at least included) MS office which works great for most purposes.
Very long battery life. A whole days work no problem + probably a couple of hours watching a video afterwards if you feel like it.
The keyboard: I have "the type" (which is not included but I think you need to buy one or this device is not much use) is perfectly adequate for fastish typing. It attached and detaches easily but at the same time you hold the device buy the keyboard and it won't fall off (if you're feeling daring).
Internet Explorer on this is great! Who would have thought it. I've been using firefox and chrome for years (although I had to stop using chrome on my desktop when it recently started crashing my computer.) I assumed I would never go back to Internet Explorer and still won't on my desktop, but the web-browser on this with all its swipey funky actions is simply the best web-browser I've used on any machine, super-fast as well.
Windows 8 / Metro (RT version) is great. OK you can't run your old copy of photoshop on it (or any other normal windows apps) but I only mainly use office, kindle for reading books, the filmon app for TV and a web browser so no problem. The reader and news software are both pretty goes. Many other things like weather or media players are covered by cheap or free apps which are included. The only serious lack for me is some decent bibliographic software (I'll come to that).
For heavy users of apps there are no doubt some important ones missing but it has almost everything I used on my android phone and a few other really useful ones.
Works great in multi-language and you can seemingly just download whatever language packs you need. A big improvement on older versions of windows I've used where, if you buy it in say Portuguese, you're stuck using that language for the operating system. For the most part here you can easily flip between languages with a couple of swipes.
USB port. Great addition for a "tablet". I can easily plug in a USB drive, printer or mouse. They all seem to work, just like plugging into a normal windows machine. NB - I've done no exhaustive test on this but my kit seems to work fine although my wireless mouse occasionally stops working until the whole system is rebooted; (rebooting appears to take very little time compared to normal windows machines).
Keyboard: as said very nice but it is quite hard to turn off the touchpad on it, and then it randomly turns itself back on. This means I often find myself typing in the middle of my document as the touchpad has turned itself back on for no reason. Also why not just include a key **on the keyboard** to do this. Why do i have to swipe in from the right, go to setting, only to find it is still apparently switched off. Come on Microsoft were you trying to make this irritating. Also it is ridiculously expensive.
Dropbox is not well integrated. You can access the files but their not held locally, only in the cloud, you need to physically move them to the computer to use them or to Microsoft's SkyDrive. So if you are used to easily sharing your files with this or some other system then ... well I tempted to say forget it ... in truth it'll probably work but just not very conveniently.
Skydrive is pretty much integrated into the operating system. This could be really good but in practice, unless you are using only up to date machines it's really irritating. I'm using some older pre Windows7 kit on a couple of older PCS like my laptop. Skydrive doesn't work with this except via a browser. IN truth it feels like microsoft are deliberately forcing me to upgrade, i.e. buy a new laptop, so I can easily share files with this. I don't want to as the old one works perfectly fine for what I want to do.
Onenote which is free on this appears not to be very compatable with prior version - at least 2007 - so even though I've moved my notebooks from dropbox to skydrive I still can't use them easily. Again it feels like microsoft having thrown in office for free now want me to upgrade on all my other machines.
If you have not used windows 8 or windows on a tablet it will take some time to get used to. It's really a different metaphor for how to use a computer focusing on swypes. If you'e used android or an iPad you'll probably be fine but there's still a few things which I found really unintuitive. It's taken me the best part of a month but I'm now more or less comfortable with most of the tasks I want to accomplish with it.
Apps: I think there has been an app for most anything I want to accomplish, but I am not a heavy user of this sort of stuff. The big exception is there is no good bibliographic program and especially no endnote or Zotero. This is a problem for me and if there is some piece of software you really need to make this into a working tool for you I would seriously suggest doing some research into whether it exists before you consider buying this. In fact I already knew this software didn't exist and I decided I could work round it if I had a really light machine with a good keyboard and office. Still it has been quite irritating.
I'm a researcher and writer who uses microsoft office all the time plus a bunch of google tools such as calendar. Aside from the irritating issues mentioned above this works fine for me to take a really light device wherever I go and create notes and write.
It's also great for watching TV and video and getting onto the internet. I think it is great physical device, maybe the best computer of any sort I've owned.
The only problem that really stops me giving it five stars are the quibbles above about onenote, the keyboard and the problem that I can't install either of the main pieces of bibliographic software I use (i.e. Endnote or Zotero) because they haven't been converted for this. This means I can't quite replace my laptop and still regretfully find myself taking the old machine out two to three days a week as I need to use these programs. It now seems twice as heavy as it used to.
If only microsoft would quit trying to force me to use the latest versions of their software, I could get onenote working properly between devices, if I could access dropbox as I would like or some decent replacement easily, I'd say it was a truly great device. If you can live with these sorts of problems you will find it pretty brilliant as a highly portable working tool that you can use to do some fun stuff as well.
PS - I'll update this as I go and also make this review a bit easier to read. I just thought there must be a lot of people wondering if they should buy this device and there seems little information on what it is like to live with. So I did this fast and dirty for you. Hope it helps. ( made a small update today 8th Dec 2013)