Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am such a GEEK

I cannot believe that I'm excited about a new Windows release.  But it's more than the operating system - it's the new tablet from Microsoft.  Tablets, actually.  There's a lite version and then a full Windows 8 version.
Add this music to your workout routine when you need a boost:
I've been running Windows 8 on a spare PC for about 4-5 months now.  I've added a free app to bring back the Start button & menu and that makes most of the difference for me. It actually seems faster than Windows 7 - which is faster than XP with decent hardware.

The New York Times article & video sum it up well, although they don't show the Surface tablet, which is a real game-changer, in my opinion.  That's pretty much what I expect - those looking to do desktop computing a la XP or even Vista/7 will find both the Windows 8 "Metro/Start Menu" & the new desktop without the Start button frustrating.  But those using a touchscreen - like an iPad - will find it much better for basic browsing & reading emails.  I love not having to have a keyboard to check the weather, read my emails, pull up soccer highlight videos.  Just point, touch, swipe.  And oh-so-easy to carry around.
Ed Bott's article describes the new Surface RT tablet, the Lite version.

And Win8 is pushing the boundaries by having what I'd call smart icons - icons with changing information.  Like a Skype icon with caller ID, or Weatherbug with some basic weather info.

But when I want to compose emails, blog posts, letters - give me my keyboard!!!
So here's what I love about tablets & my iPad:  
  • content that I need* - weather, radar, email inbox
  • content that I want - netflix, Pandora, YouTube, NPR and then some
  • wireless & charger-less - I can go days without recharging, don't need to lug around power cables & blocks
  • in other words, lightweight & very portable size
  • reasonably large screens, very sharp displays, even bright enough to see in daylight (not the original iPad, though)
  • no need for a keyboard or mouse to *easily* navigate
  • onscreen large button keyboard for small typing tasks
And what I want from my desktop PC:
  • a LARGE screen!  multiple screens if I so wanted
  • my keyboard (particularly the Logitech K800, wireless & backlit keys) with a keypad
  • Windows Office - Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint
  • Printing maps, documents, web pages as needed 
  • File management, vast storage, backup 
If & when I buy a Windows 8 PC, it will be a Surface with Windows 8 Pro - or equivalent other brand.   With a keyboard that doubles as a protective cover that can be disconnected.  I will keep my wireless keyboard & mouse, as well as an external display.  Perhaps set up a docking station.  And a 3 year warranty would be reasurring - as portable devices are much more prone to accidental damage.  I will add a free Start button/menu app and everything will be great!

I'm really itchin' to see the Microsoft Surface & similar tablets.  Like I said, such a GEEK!
* what I *think* I need but really what I want

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I admit it.  I love the iPhone and the iPad, the iPod & the Shuffle.  But the Samsung Galaxy III has a larger screen!

Until I buck up and take the plunge, I'll have phone envy.  So watching an iPhone 5 and a Galaxy III in a blend competition does make me a bit green....

click for YouTube video

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tick, Tock - Windows 8 & Surface Tablets are Knocking Yet?

PC Magazine - among other sources - tells us that Microsoft will have stores opening by the end of this month (October 2012 for those keeping track).  Click for the article.

Preview of Microsoft Surface Tablet
They expect to have Windows 8 available for purchase.  I expect that the Windows 8 Surface tablets will be there or not be far behind.
I'm not recommending a buy at this point, especially for anyone looking for a deal.  My approach is cautious - wait 3-6 months for a good deal and at least 2 weeks to a month for consumer reactions to the new hardware & software.
For those buying Windows 7 PCs - with an optional upgrade to Win8 for $15 - remember that the key feature of Win8 is touch.  Few Win7 laptops and fewer PCs come with touchscreens.  Still, I would recommend the upgrade as insurance for future-proofing the OS as well as resale value goes.
In any case, I'm planning to visit the store in the Columbia (MD) Mall - when Surface arrives.