Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Windows 8 and 8.1 Visited

Although I could not recommend Windows 8 to anyone, it is only fair to present its good points.

To recap some of its bad points, upgrading from 8 to 8 .1 required 75 updates or patches , and then 25 more later, followed by about two dozen app updates before the 8.1 installation could occur. That then took many hours, with more updates. If you like houses with leaky roofs by all means you will love windows 8 and 8 .1.

Window 8 is nonetheless a grand vision---if built on a shaky foundation. Windows 8 actually includes Microsoft Defender, if not replaced by McAfee by the laptop maker.   Contrary to the comments of some reviewers. this a greatly enhanced and strengthened program.

At the same time the new Windows also is the only software out there with the old and the new both brought together in one device. A touch screen adds a terrific convenience to the ponderous touch pad.

A $300 touch screen laptop worked beautifully for me even with a large screen and over a standard keyboard. It ran surprisingly fast despite reviews to the contrary. I don't think the reviewers read the guide--- as long as you do not need to multitask this system runs much faster than previous systems as a result of Microsoft tweaks with the GUI software. You need to swipe down the screen to close an application before another one starts, that's all.

Also, one of the big benefits of Windows is that you can configure it any way you want, such as to run on a slow processor such as the Celeron in my laptop.   Did that.

You have an arsenal of keyboard, touchpad, mouse, and text screen tools which are either a boon or burden, depending on how you look at it. An 11.6 inch screen offers more real estate than most tablets and gives my Asus laptop a double functionality. It can easily replace a tower.

The Metro tablet screen is a joy to use with touch, as compared with the mouse. The app selection is limited, but nowhere near as primitive as in the developers' edition released a year or two ago. For example, there are few news aggregators available, though the Bing aggregator is quite outstanding. One app unfortunately loaded malware which probably was caught by McAfee. Sloppiness on the part of Microsoft.  Some apps are abbreviated from their counterparts for other devices, such as TuneIn radio, which is quite limited.

If you are still comfortable with the old Windows and are willing to expend the time and effort both to learn and support it, and you buy a cheap but good laptop, such as one like the Asus, go for it.

Still, read the documentation before starting to use the device at all, and hgetnit ONLY if you are willing to reinstall the operating system regularly, that is.

There's a big new helper here. You can now make a backup at the start which will restore in a jiffy, rather than the hours it took me to restore my Windows 7 tower. That took all day. So reinstalling the Windows 8 operating system is a dream.  All that said, most seniors have rejected Windows here, including one Windows fanatic.

It is best to have a tablet, too, if only to dictate your work. I found dictation largely limited to browsing in the new Windows.  This a weak spot.

A large screen is still a help with large web pages, spreadsheets, genealogical charts, and so on. I would like to have had a laptop with a solid state drive and a better battery, but the price was certainly right.

The laptop hardware was excellent, despite the low price. The laptop had both display output jacks. It has both old and new USB ports. It was extremely lightweight. Battery life was a little bit short, the touchpad a little fussy, and a solid state drive would have been preferable.  Sound was fine, even better than fine.

Try at your own risk.  For the tech savvy only.    A tinkerer's delight.

Dictated from my all-powerful Nexus 7 tablet

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