Friday, January 16, 2015

Recent computing experience

Over the Christmas holidays, I decided to buy myself a present and looked into buying a new tablet.
I considered the iPad Air2 but passed mainly because of the price. Then I saw a flyer from Microcenter
and took a chance on their house brand, Winbook, and purchased the Winbook TW801 which was an
an 8 inch pad with a 32 gig harddrive as well as 2 gig of ram, and with the option of adding more via sd
card. The screen was average, as well as the sound, and it ran Windows 8.1, the full version. In addition,
it had a full size USB 3.0 socket and they tossed in Microsoft Office 365 free for one year. On paper, the deal
seemed too good to pass up. I paid $139+ another $20 for the Winbook made case.

I have had an aversion to Windows 8 but decided to take a chance with it. It really wasn’t too bad on a touch
enabled device and I got the hang of it pretty fast. I found myself using this device more and more for media consumption
and web surfing, with the only drawback being the touchpad which seemed inaccurate.

Speaking of this touchpad, it is a barebones 5 point capacitive and does work with a stylus. So I bought one
made by Targus for around $15 and used it; however the touchscreen still seemed off and then I made the fatal
mistake of calibrating it within Windows 8.1.

I am always tweaking my devices using the OS and most of the time I have successful results. But not this time.

I turned my new pad into a paperweight and was unable to use it and Microcenter wanted $99 to reimage the hard drive
to make it work again, so still within the warranty period and their return period, I took it back for a refund.

Here is how it happened. While recalibrating the touchscreen, I unchecked the option which showed where the pointer was on the screen. Big mistake! Now after recalibration, I had no idea of the pointer’s location. Every time I  put in my Windows
password, it said I had the wrong one. Obviously the pointer was still off after calibration and I had no idea where. Even after changing my password and verifying that it was right on my Windows 8.1 laptop, same result.

Inadvertently, I have discovered a big flaw with this Winbook. The touchscreen is just plain bad, junk really, for such otherwise a fine device. Perhaps that explains why they have just cut the price again down to $119.

My advice. This is still a worthy device for basic media consumption and web surfing. At $119, it is a steal. But I say this with
a caveat. Under no conditions should you turn off that pointer location setting, and do not expect calibration to
noticeably improve the poor touchpad. If you can handle these conditions, I say buy it right now from Microcenter while it is still $119.

As for me, I plan on probably buying the new Dell Venue 8 7000 which is an Intel powered Android based 8 inch tablet which is slightly thinner than the iPad Air 2, has a gorgeous screen and a 3D camera. It will also cost $400-479 depending on configuration, cheaper than the Air2. Did I mention that you can add up to 512 gb of storage via SD Card? I think that
I may have finally met the tablet of

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my dreams but will wait for a comprehensive review before committing my money again.