How is Windows 8 on tablets?


#1

I’m (still) looking into buying a tablet.  Most of the tablets I’ve seen use Android, but there are a few that use Windows 8 instead.  Does anyone have any advice or opinions on this?

There are a few things in particular I’m concerned about:
-How easy / hard it is to upgrade Windows 8 (as compared to android)
-App availability (especially apps related to Japanese language learning)
-Ebook reading and purchasing (especially Japanese books and manga - a related issue would be if Windows 8 can somehow access Itunes since it seems that Japanese Itunes is a common approach to obtaining such material).
-Anything else noteworthy (such as somehow not being able to use flash). 


#2

Windows 8.1 itself works great on tablets.  Are you thinking about getting something with Windows RT, or the full Windows 8?  Depending on what you want to spend, I’d recommend picking up full win8 with an original Surface Pro 128GB, which are $500 now at Best Buy and the Microsoft Store.  I have a Surface Pro 2 myself, and it’s great, though a good deal more expensive.  If you get full Windows, you don’t have to worry about anything like what apps are available in the store, etc.

I only have experience with one Windows Store Japanese app, and that is Kanji Book.  It’s easily the best app I’ve found for kanji input, but it won’t do anything else like for learning or studying.  Maybe someone else has other input there.


#3

I recommend that if you are OK with the battery life, you get an 8.1 device (not RT) since that will give you access to anything that can run under Windows as well as all of the newer Windows store apps.  You can get an Intel Atom based processor that will still give you pretty good battery life and let you do this.  You could also go the RT route, which won’t let you install traditional Windows programs, but still lets you use the Windows Store apps.  The RT route is usually less expensive, comes with MS Office for free, and often has longer battery life.

As for your questions:
-Upgrading is automatic and happens about once a week - occasionally your computer will tell you it will apply updates next time it shuts down/restarts.
-There aren’t a ton of apps related to Japanese, but there are a few.  You do of course get a full web browser so anything you could do on the web is still available.  There’s a pretty cool annotated + voiced Kanji book app, though it doesn’t have a ton of material.
-If you go with the full Windows 8 route you’ll have no issue with ebooks - not sure about apps in this regard, you can always search online (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/search#q=top+free&s=Store)
-You get access to flash whether you go RT or not.  You can go with a basic tablet or with a hybrid device like the Surface or one of the many other offerings out there.


#4
Nysis said... I'm (still) looking into buying a tablet.  Most of the tablets I've seen use Android, but there are a few that use Windows 8 instead.  Does anyone have any advice or opinions on this?

There are a few things in particular I'm concerned about:
-How easy / hard it is to upgrade Windows 8 (as compared to android)
-App availability (especially apps related to Japanese language learning)
-Ebook reading and purchasing (especially Japanese books and manga - a related issue would be if Windows 8 can somehow access Itunes since it seems that Japanese Itunes is a common approach to obtaining such material).
-Anything else noteworthy (such as somehow not being able to use flash). 
I don't have a tablet, but I run a desktop PC on Win8.1 Pro and a laptop on Win8.0 Pro (I am scared to upgrade this one as the update on my desktop broke a lot of drivers... don't want to wage war against a laptop based Win8.1 upgrade^^)
Both don't have touch, but still I love Win8! I got Launchy (which is more than enough.. also has a great deal of better settings than Win Search).
As for your questions, here are my answers:

- if you set it to automatic, it will download and install updates and tell you to restart the computer (and for god's sake... do it. Or it will force you to restart after 72h after the update or sth. like that^^)
- Apps are always available. But normal applications might not work (see posts aboth). Don't get the RT. Most good JP learning tools are just executables.
btw, there are a lot of JP apps in the store - you just keep on stumbling over them :)
- Lots of ebook reader apps with stores available (I even got a Japanese one). If you want iTunes, just download iTunes for Windows. It will work without problems on the non-RT version
- Dude, it's Windows. If you don't have flash, install it from the official website. Same for Java, a good Browser (for example Chrome <3), Office 365 (might be great on a tablet), ...

There are a lot of resellers who sell single copies from batch-buys which results in very low prices. I got my Win 8 versions both for 30€ each (even had them confirmed by MS Store support because they were so cheap^^). There's a student version for Office 365, too. It's only 80€ for 4 years with an all-you-need-and-now-be-happy packet  ;)
I would buy an Android (or FreeDOS) tablet and install a separately bought version of Win8 on it. Can't really get cheaper than that.

#5

I’m going to second getting a Surface Pro, just based off general usability. If you’re a student it can be really nice for taking notes, because it comes with a pen . If you decide to get one, I would highly recommend that you get the type cover. It’s expensive, but it works pretty well. I don’t like the trackpad on it very much, but you can easily use the pen instead. It can run most programs pretty well (not sure how well something like Maya or ZBrush would run).

Upgrading works basically the same as on Windows 7.

I’ve had a really good experience so far with  using mine. Reading ebooks on it is pretty nice, I believe it comes with an app called Books for reading pdfs and the like, but I just use Adobe Reader. It uses Windows 8.1, so you can get Itunes.


#6

I test a lot of devices for work, and though I tried to like the Surface Pro I just couldn’t.  Too thick and heavy to comfortably hold with one hand, too small of a screen to replace my laptop, awkward to sit on my lap and try to type.  Expensive.  

My advice is get a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, the best of both worlds.  Or if you’re on a budget get an original-model Yoga and a Nexus 7 tablet :slight_smile:  


#7

I just bought a new computer/tablet because my old ones motherboard finally bit it. Heres what I got

http://www.asus.com/in-search-of-incredible/us-en/asus-transformer-book-t100/

Full windows on a tablet, comes with a keyboard/dock with a usb on it. Long battery life, and windows 8.1 actually seems useful on a touchscreen. Comes with office, the cheap I’mabrokestudentandthisismyfoodmoney version is $350 for a 16gb ram and a microsd slot, but theres a 32gb version as well. If you have money to blow it also has a $950 version with a core i7 in it

edit if you do get this tablet, update the bios first thing and do the windows 8 built in wipe. For some reason there are a lot of quirks with this comp that just vanish after that


#8

android has the Wanikani Mobile app (aka best app ever)

Windows updates automatically, you won’t even realize it happened
both platforms are probably capable of reading standard formats for ebooks

if you are getting just Windows RT, then I would favor android. If you are getting the full Windows OS, then that obviously beats android


#9
deepwat3r said... I test a lot of devices for work, and though I *tried* to like the Surface Pro I just couldn't.  Too thick and heavy to comfortably hold with one hand, too small of a screen to replace my laptop, awkward to sit on my lap and try to type.  Expensive.  

My advice is get a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, the best of both worlds.  Or if you're on a budget get an original-model Yoga and a Nexus 7 tablet :-)  
 wahwahwahwah! the Yogas are so cool!