Review: Windows 8 on a Slate

The Windows 8 operating system was the next brainchild of Microsoft. And the key message that Microsoft wants to tell us, is this: “It’s Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. It’s an all-new touch interface. It’s a new Windows for new devices.”  I have a HP Slate 2, which is a slate device running Windows 7.

It has the following specifications:

Operating system Windows® 7 Professional 32
Processor Intel® Atom™ Z670 (1.50 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
Chipset Intel® System Controller Hub (SCH) SM35
Dimensions and weight
Weight Starting at 0.69 kg
Dimensions (W x D x H) 5.9 x 9.21 x 0.61 in (15 x 23.4 x 1.5 cm)
Memory, maximum 2 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
(Memory is on the board and not customer accessible or upgradeable; memory operates at the maximum system supported speed of 800 MHz.)
Internal drive Solid State Drive
64 GB
Optical drive Sold Separately
Display 8.9″ diagonal WSVGA wide-viewing angle touchscreen (1024 x 600 or 1024 x 768 for some applications)
Graphics Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 600
Expansion features
Ports 1 USB 2.0
1 combo stereo headphone/mic jack
1 integrated microphone
1 power connector/HP Slate Cradle connector
Slots 1 Secure Digital
Audio HD Audio SRS Premium Sound; Integrated stereo speakers; Integrated microphone; Combo stereo headphone/microphone jack
Integrated camera Integrated 3 MP camera (outward facing); Integrated VGA webcam (inward facing)
Keyboard HP Wireless Entertainment Keyboard (select models)
Input devices HP Slate Digital Pen (select models); HP 2.4 GHz Wireless Optical Mobile Mouse (select models)
Wireless Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 + HS combo
HP un2430 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband

So, with the new touch-friendly Windows 8, I was excited to find out whether Windows 8 would be the next OS which heralds a new era of mobile computing. I was keen to find the re-designed interface is something that consumers such as myself would be pleased to use it for daily routines such as browsing the Internet, checking emails, play some games, view photos, play music, take pictures etc. This review is based on the device on hand; that means that if you are using models from other brands, your performance and experience might vary. However, the key function and features of the Windows 8 OS would largely be the same.

Metro Main Screen

The interface is clean and simple. It’s very similar to the live tile concept that you see on the Windows phone. This was designed for touch screen, as the tiles are easy to point to, and facilitate launching of the programs. If you have signed into the account, you will see that the tiles are live, which means updated information appears in the tiles. For example, the latest mail notifications appears in the mail tile, photos in the photo tiles, and new schedule items in the calendar tile.

The new “Go to Start”

The replacement for the start button in Metro is a double action swipe from the right of the screen. Once you swipe, the menu will appear on the right of the screen, and all you need to do is to touch “Start”. Yes, the good old “Start” word is still there.

Running Windows Programs

The desktop is still somewhat like the Windows 7 desktop, but with a few difference. First, the start button has disappeared all together, and if you hover near the lower left corner, you may just see the Metro start screen as the start “button”. The rest seemed pretty much like Windows 7, including the Control Panel and such.

 Another difference that you can see, is that there is an touch/on-screen keyboard shortcut on the bottom of the task-bar. On clicking, the black keyboard appears, which I quite like it, for the simplicity.

However, the numbers are arranged in a num pad fashion instead of on top of the qwerty row, which in practice seemed more practical but less intuitive for me, who is used to the row on top 🙂 :

Gleeful Gleescaper

Gleeful Gleescaper is passionate about technology and shares interesting and useful stuff that come his way daily. He loves to travel to interesting places and keeps himself updated on technology & gadgets. When relaxing, he loves to sip on a freshly brewed cup of Espresso coffee to the tunes of Bossa Nova and easy Jazz.

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