Friday, June 28, 2013

Windows 8 Tablet- WHAAAAT? A Guest Blogger and Reviewer

At ISTE13 Microsoft gave away free Windows 8 tablets to educators who had their requested paperwork filled out.  It was a brilliant marketing move by Microsoft.  Teachers were clamoring to get their free tablet.  Rumor had it that 10,000 tablets were given away!  

Now if you ever check in from time to time to read our amazing blog here at TT4T, you know that we love Apple products.  We are a huge advocate for their devices, laptops, and availability to apps.  So I was reluctant to spend too much energy trying to get my hands on the Windows 8 tablet.  However, it was free and we always say, “If it’s free it’s for me!”  Plus, I can now speak intelligently about the comparisons.  So I did what any good tech person would do- I “gave” it to my kids to set up, experiment with, and analyze.  They were excited to play with it.  I am pretty sure they were so excited because it is new and different, but here is the breakdown by my son.  He is a 12 year old super savvy tech guy if I may say so myself.  

The basic features:
It has the menu button and the search button, options button, share button, devices button on the keyboard and one home touch screen button on the screen.
The tablet is very convenient you can fold it up and take it with you to places. You can change it into desktop view by going to the home screen and then it should be the 1st tile on the bottom left corner. It can go from being a tablet into being a computer in less than a second! The windows 8 tablet does use internet explorer.

The Not- so- Cool

The keyboard: The keyboard is not the easiest to type on. It hurts your hands after a while of typing, but I have realized that it just takes awhile to get used to and after that it is really easy to type.

Available apps : It does not have google apps and it doesn’t have as many apps as I am used to.  For example, I tried to get Google Drive but all that came up was Google Drive Viewer which does not allow you to write anything but only allows you to look at Google docs you have made previously.  You cannot install Minecraft fully.  You can only get the app and play locally without logging into a server.  

Desktop View: Because it is a Microsoft product, it uses Bing for its weather and search engines.  Personally, I do not like Bing and would prefer Google but unfortunately you cannot change the search engine.

The Cool Features

It is cool for me because it is new and different compared to what I usually use.
I like how you can change the background color and design and choose  a picture or design for your start-up screen. It looks cool and it is very different from Apple operating system.

On an iPad you usually pinch or swipe to get to different screens, but on the tablet you can press buttons on the keyboard to get to different screens.  There is also a way to get to options and setting by swiping on the right corner to give you options.  It is kind of like pulling over a hidden tab on the right side of the tablet.  

Sam Krzystowczyk

Some of my observations while watching him try to work was that he was frustrated with the feel of the keyboard and the speed of the device when switching wifi networks.  The interface is very different than the iPad and he was also frustrated when certain gestures unexpectedly caused an app to close or a screen to change.  He also noticed that the auto correct was not “automatic” so he had to be more diligent in his typing.  

When I asked Sam, “So what is it good for?”  He stated “surfing the web and gaming.” My 15 year old spent two hours on the tablet gaming.

My last question was, “As a student, what could you do with this?”  and his reply was “Not much.”

Food for thought....

p.s. I am totally biased as I clearly stated from the beginning.

Written by Jennifer Krzystowczyk
With Sam Krzystowczyk

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