Windows Tablet Reviews
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One of the biggest problems with upgrading to a new operating system is driver support. It’s a major reason why Vista failed to take off (well, one of several reasons at least).
Fortunately, that doesn’t look like it will be a problem for Windows 8. Nvidia just announced that it has upgraded its GeForce graphics card drivers with an update specific to Windows 8. That means early adopters who have installed the Windows 8 Release Preview will be able to get the support they need for their GeForce graphics cards.
Since the drivers should only be used by people running the Windows 8 Release Preview, consider the new 302.80 driver to be Nvidia’s first foray into optimizing its graphics cards for Windows 8. As of now, the driver looks fairly stable, and although Nividia’s cards are still having a few minor problems with Windows 8, it’s fairly smooth for a beta version.
To see the full list of features in Nvidia’s 302 graphics drivers for Windows 8, click here. In that PDF file, you’ll also find a list of known issues that Nvidia is working on fixing, like flickering screens and the loss of video on Hulu.
Here’s the big news folks: Steve Ballmer hit the stage earlier this evening in Los Angeles to announce one of the biggest hardware innovations (if not the biggest) that Microsoft has ever created. It’s called the Surface tablet, and judging by some of the images we’re seeing, it looks VERY cool.
The first thing you notice about the Surface is its sleek, smooth, black interface. At first glance, it looks a lot more professional than the iPad, which is certainly a good market for Microsoft to go after.
The second thing you notice is that the screen transitions are incredibly smooth. While video of the event has yet to be released, Microsoft has posted information up on its website.
The Surface: a cover that turns into a keyboard – “Type Cover/TouchCover”
Up until this point in the keynote addresss, the Windows Surface tablet certainly looks cool, but here’s its killer feature: a cover that turns into a keyboard. You know the case that you see around tablets like the iPad and other tablet PCs? On the Surface, that cover will feature a real physical keyboard on which you can type. That means you don’t have to carry around an external keyboard and attach it whenever you need to use it.
It also looks like the Type Cover will feature a trackpad, which means that you don’t always have to drag a mouse around with you either. Awesome.
Colors and customization
Much like Windows 8 itself, the Windows Surface tablet looks like it will be completely customizable in terms of colors and customization. Since customization has been a clear goal of Windows 8 all along (after all, iPads aren’t very customizable), the Surface Tablet just reinforces that idea. Here’s a cool pink casing:
Bundled with Office – uses Windows RT
Since the Windows Surface tablet is bundled with Office, expect it to ship with Windows RT. This is Windows’ streamlined mobile operating system that will play a key role in the success or failure of Windows 8.
2 versions of the Surface tablet have been announced so far. One will use Windows RT, while the other will use the full version of Windows 8 Pro. Apparently each version will come with Office pre-installed, which is a nice little touch.
Top quality manufacturing
Gorilla Glass, VaporMG casing, and others round out the features column for the Windows 8 Surface Tablet in terms of manufacturing. The entire casing is incredibly thin and it really has to be seen to be believed.
Microsoft’s press conference all featured an in-depth description of the layers of technology that the Surface tablet uses. Rest assured that you’re looking at a high-quality, durable piece of equipment.
There will reportedly be a line of products under the ‘Surface’ name. One will feature Windows RT (the more lightweight, mobile version of the Windows 8 operating system), while the other will feature the full version of Windows 8 Pro.
Here are the technical specifications for each tablet:
Windows RT Surface Tablet Specs
-10.6” HD display
-MicroSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD
-Office Home & Student 2013 RT
-Includes Touch Cover and Type Cover
- VaporMG Case & Stand
-34GB, 64GB editions
Windows 8 Pro Surface Tablet Specs
-10.6” HD display reportedly featuring a full 1080p display (1920×1080 resolution!)
-MicroSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
-Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block included
-VaporMG case and stand included
-64GB and 128GB models
Why is it called the Surface?
In the words of Microsoft, they called it the Surface because “It was important for Micrsoft to rise to the surface. Kinda lame, but kinda cute too.
Surface Tablet Price
No announcement yet on the price of either tablet. “Suggested retail price will be announced closer to release date” =(
They did say that it would be priced similarly to other ARM computers and Ultrabooks, so that could basically mean anywhere from $350 to $1300.
Since most people were hoping for a price that competes directly against the iPad (if not at a lower price point), this could be a major point of debate over the coming months.
Surface Tablet release date
Just like Windows 8 itself, there is no formal release date for the Windows Surface Tablet. However, we know that it probably won’t be released before Windows 8, and Microsoft won’t want to wait long after the Windows 8 release date to launch the Surface either.
So, expect to see the Surface sometime around October.
Somewhere in LA, Microsoft is going to announce something big later today. Rumors are swirling, but most major tech websites expect Microsoft’s big announcement to be a Windows 8 tablet manufactured by the company itself.
Some suspect the tablet will be running Windows 8 RT, which is a streamlined version of Microsoft’s upcoming operating system. Others believe it will be an e-reader, as various sources initially indicated that Barnes&Noble would be attending the event (this has recently proven to be false).
Ultimately, nobody can say for certain what Microsoft has up its sleeve until we see the announcement ourselves at 3:30PM Pacific time this afternoon (June 18th).
As soon as the news is announced WindowsTabletReviews.net will have complete coverage of… whatever it is.
Microsoft’s mysterious event is creating Apple-like levels of hype. Instead of disclosing exactly where the event will be held, Microsoft simply sent out a press release last Thursday that said a big event would be taking place in LA on June 18th. No location nor specifics were announced, setting off a firestorm of buzz and anticipation.
Will Microsoft announce a cool new Windows 8 tablet? Or are they going to continue pushing their Xbox 360-centered media expansion? All that’s left to do is wait!
Computex 2012 and E3 have come and gone, and all the computer industry can do now is wait until the next big trade show. With Apple’s WWDC wrapping up yesterday, it seems like this year’s top tech trends have already been revealed.
Here are our 7 predictions for where technology is going to be headed over the next year:
Intel’s Ultrabooks are becoming a legitimate rival to Apple’s line of slim, powerful MacBooks. Featuring sleek exteriors and fast hardware inside, Ultrabooks are certainly living up to their name. Expect to see more of them over the coming year.
This prediction was a no-brainer. Even since Apple’s iPad was officially released back in 2010, the tablet computer market has been steadily climbing with growth. With Windows 8 tablets hitting store shelves later this year, expect to see a lot more people walking around with tablets over the next year.
Hybrid laptop/tablets played a key role at Computex 2012 this past week. The Taichi hybrid was a particular show-stealer. It features two screens, allowing you to easily transition between laptop and tablet usage. It’s also fairly slim and runs Windows 8. Other hybrid devices feature break-away tablets that can easily detach from the mounted keyboard. Either way, hybrid tablet/laptops look very cool.
People have already started to label Microsoft the clear winner of Computex 2012. The fancy new operating system made a good impression at Computex, with some of the largest tech giants showing off their Windows 8 based devices. The only issue standing in Windows 8’s path is whether manufacturers can still make a profit while spending $80 to $100 on each Windows 8 license. If they can, then look for Windows 8 tablets to compete head-to-head against the iPad this fall.
If you haven’t heard of Thunderbolt, then it’s okay. Intel’s radical new PC peripheral technology has taken a while to reach the larger market. If Computex 2012 was any indication, that’s about to change. A few major PC manufacturers – including Drobo and Belkin – unveiled Thunderbolt devices at Computex, and ASUS’s Thunderbolt monitor was particularly impressive.
That’s right! We’ve got a new wireless standard hitting the airwaves soon. 802.11ac had its first major showing at Computex 2012. Qualcomm – the noted telecommunications technology manufacturer – showed off a number of 802.11ac chipsets, and even ASUS got in on the action with its 802.11ac router and laptop combo.
This is another no brainer as far as predictions go. IF you’ve been paying attention to any tech websites in the last year, then you know how big cloud computing has become. However, its true potential is only just beginning to be seen. Asus debuted a new service at Computex called Asus Open Cloud Computing that looks to change the game completely.
Windows 8 is gathering an increasingly larger following. Many people like the sleek look of the Metro interface and the low-resource requirements that Windows 8 offers.
However, there is one thing that many consumers aren’t a fan of: Internet Explorer. Upon hearing that name, many people immediately think of cleaning useless browser toolbars from their grandparents’ computers, or slogging through a wave of error messages just to get onto MySpace.
Today, consumers have a lot more options available. Internet Explorer’s two biggest competitors – Firefox and Chrome – have captured a huge portion of the internet browser market share due to their enhanced speed, privacy, and functionality.
Here’s the good news: Chrome has already started developing a version of itself for Windows 8. Designed to be used in the Metro app interface, the Windows 8 version of Google Chrome will likely be even more streamlined than other versions.
Google Chrome for Windows 8 has already entered beta, which means that tablet PC users will soon be able to get a glimpse at the popular internet browser on their devices. If you’ve already installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, then you should be able to download the Chrome beta for Windows 8 very soon.
Downloading beta programs has some disadvantages. Google is already warning early Windows 8 users that the new version of Chrome could be a little rough around the edges. The company is encouraging users to submit bug reports here.
The Chrome beta will be released any day now. Check the Google Chrome developer channel daily to see when it will be released.
If you’re a PC user, then you’ve probably encountered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) at some point in your life. If you haven’t, then consider yourself lucky. If your Windows based computer starts to encounter serious problems, it will immediately display a Blue Screen of Death before shutting itself off.
The BSoD sometimes contains useful information that helps you fix your computer problems. Other times, it’s just a vague warning about why you need to restart your PC.
Any way you look at it, the BSoD is an annoying error. There’s nothing worse than trying to use your computer, only to be confronted with an angry looking wall of text that doesn’t always tell you anything useful.
Fortunately, the Blue Screen of Death is getting a serious revamp in Windows 8. Instead of looking like the screenshot we listed above, the next generation Blue Screen of Death will look simple, clean and happy.
Here’s an early sneak peek at the Windows 8 Blue Screen of Death:
Pretty nice, right? It’s a much nicer shade of blue and all of the unnecessary information has been eliminated from the screen. Now, users know exactly which error they need to search for online and can (hopefully) solve their problems more quickly than ever before.
The sideways smiley face is a little silly, but at least it’s not this guy: