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Country: Europe, DE, Germany
Almost every review fails by proclaiming that Windows 8 is only for touch screens and tablets. This is a result of Microsoft creating an OS that DOES work well and flawlessly on touch screen and tablet devices, but it does not mean that desktop or regular notebook users get left behind.
If you are on the fence, here are few reasons to ignore any anti-Windows 8 reviews/arguments for desktop/notebook users:
1) Keyboard Shortcuts - Windows 8 added more keyboard shortcuts and navigation than any previous version of Windows since 1995. Using the new UI portion of the OS, you can literally fully navigate and use 99% of App using only the arrow keys, tab, enter, and the Menu/Windows keys.
2) Search - Microsoft has brought a new set of search tools to all the new Apps. Just start typing and the search opens and Windows returns local results. However, the beauty is that you can click through your installed Apps and every one will do a full search as well. So if you were looking for anything, you could search Netflix, Hulu, or even Wiki, Maps, IE/Bing all in a couple of seconds. (Current no other computer or phone offers anything close to this functionality.)
3) Apps - There are a lot of great Windows 8 App that you simply do not have access to on previous versions of Windows. This alone is reason enough to upgrade, even if you just use your notebook for Netflix, as the App is far faster and more elegant than Netflix via the browser.
4) Performance - There are a lot of low level optimizations and new features like low RAM mode that take even an marginal computer like a P4 with 1Gb of RAM will feel as usable as the latest high end desktop. Microsoft also added in new video rendering technologies, so that even if you don't have a DX9 level GPU, you still get all the visual effects, as it uses a software renderer and composer now. (An Atom based Netbook from 2006 will run faster with Windows 8 than it ever did with Windows XP.)
5) Microsoft knows where the UI heading and have done a brilliant job of making an OS that can be used on a tablet or a desktop and neither system has to give up functionality. Every user will find themselves using the new Start Screen and Apps more than expected, and miss features when working on an non-Windows 8 system.
If you have loved ones/friends that are less technical inclined, Windows 8 will make them fare more proficient as the new UI truly does make things easier. Power users will also enjoy the new UI Apps and features, but will find the performance and other features that are seldom discussed like (File History, Account Sync, etc) to be essential.
A little about me, I'm not a gadget hound, I don't like to jump on the latest and greatest newly released technology. I have a DroidX which was my first smartphone just a year and a half ago. I didn't get an iPhone because I didn't want to use AT&T, and when Verizon picked it up, I decided I wasn't going to change phones and stick with Android. It's funny, but some friends were sooo excited to get "new" things on their iPhones recently and it was stuff I've had on my DroidX since I got it. I don't get the hype. I know PCs like the back of my hand, and we have a MAC at home which drives me nuts sometimes because I can't clean it up or really find where files are stored (and what's up with not being able to copy cd's?).
So I finally really really wanted a tablet, but which one to get? Here's what I was looking for:
1) Wanted the 10.1 size, not the "mini" 7"-8" tablets that are out there. I have a smartphone, so I don't need a slightly larger one.
2) WiFi only, did not want another phone/data plan.
3) Front facing camera so the grandparents could Skype with the granddaughter and not be tied to the desktop computer. So this ruled out the Kindle Fire.
4) Removable/upgradable storage. I like having an SD card on my phone to transfer photos and stuff, and wanted to have the same option on my tablet. Also allows to upgrade from 32GB to 64GB without spending the extra $$ for it internally. Sorry iPad, I guess this rules you out. The thought of having to sync through iTunes made me cringe, I like to be able to just select what files I want and copy to a thumbdrive or SD card and move it over.
I was originally looking at the Xoom2, but when it finally released it was 3G only and pretty expensive. In reading reviews for that one I found out about the Transformer Prime. I knew of Asus only because I had bought my husband a netbook a couple a years ago by them because of great reviews.
So I read the early reviews for the Transformer Prime and waited patiently to order (this was early December). Finally ordered on the 19th and waited patiently again. I received my Prime on Jan 21st, which was ok with me since all the updates were rolled out (like Ice Cream Sandwich) while I was waiting.
I love my new tablet, it's bright and sharp and quick. It did it's upgrades right away and Ice cream sandwich is great. I never used Honeycomb but I like ICS better than Gingerbread. I don't have any WiFi issues, always have 3-4 bars in my house. I haven't even turned on the GPS yet because I have my phone for that when I'm out. For those Apple versus Android people who love to do comparisons, the iPad2 doesn't even come equipped with GPS on the WiFi only model.
What makes this tablet great compared to others is that you can buy the dock and turn it into a "laptop/netbook" and also get an extra battery. This was really cool to me since I get tired of pecking/Swype. The USB port is also a bonus for transferring stuff off my thumbdrive.
I'm not concerned about the 700T tablet with it's HD display, 2Mp camera . Don't think I need that for an extra $100. The battery life will probably take a hit, and there will always be something better a few months later. I'm sure after HD tablets they will start making 3D display tablets.
So there's my 2cents for what it's worth, now I can start wondering what phone to get with my "new every 2" on Verizon.