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Could my next laptop be a tablet? Perhaps!

April 30, 2013, 5:30 PM

First of all, hello from the Microsoft Store at Pentagon City Mall:

Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!

And I am writing this on a Microsoft Surface tablet with one of those flat keyboards.  Take a look:

Surface tablet at the Microsoft Store

And you know, a tablet might just be the kind of hardware that replaces my netbook.  That computer is about two and a half years old now, and while I think that I can still get a couple more years’ worth of use out of it, I’m going to have to replace it eventually.  After all, the netbook only cost me $200.  To upgrade it in any significant way defeats the purpose of buying such an inexpensive computer in the first place.  Thus it becomes an outright replacement vs. an upgrade scenario.  And considering how technology is going, I’m thinking that a tablet would be a better plan than another laptop.  After all, you can use a tablet in more ways than a laptop.  Need a camera?  No problem.  It acts like a big camera.  Need a computer?  Great.  It does that, too.  Need to work in a small space?  Great – shed the keyboard and work using the touchscreen.  I can handle that.

The only thing that worried me about using a tablet going into this was the little keyboard:

The tablet keyboard.  Flat as a pancake.

The tablet keyboard, you see, is as flat as a pancake.  But once I sat down, I quickly discovered that this keyboard is no impediment to my productivity.  As you can see, I’m just flying over it.  It’s a slightly different feel here, but it works.  And it feels natural to me.  So no major learning curve.  I can handle that.  The keyboard also has a trackpad mouse on it, and so it feels just like my netbook.  Awesome.

And then there’s the pen:

Holding up the pen that works with the tablet.

That could be handy for all of my various little graphics needs.  I could actually doodle on the screen, vs. drawing on paper and then scanning it in like I do now.  Handy.

And then this thing runs Windows 8.  Not Windows RT, but Windows 8.  Which means that I can bring all of my usual applications over and use them on a tablet.  That’s important, because Windows RT can’t run most Windows applications, and I use a lot of older software that just plain works.  And I am already using Windows 8 on my big computer at home, so I already know the OS.  I have Windows 7 on the netbook, because it’s so cheap that to upgrade the OS would be grounds to replace the bloody thing.

So after testing the tablet out on this Journal entry, I think I might be sold on the tablet as my next computer.  But not for a while.  I still can get a few more years out of the netbook.  Plus tablets are expensive.  This one I’m typing on costs $900 (plus tax).  I’ll bet that by the time I’m ready, the prices will come down and the specs will get better.  They always do, after all.

And by the way, the employees at the Microsoft Store just loved Schumin Web.

Categories: Computer, Shopping