About a year about ago, I wrote a review about Windows 8.1. I wanted to revisit with hardware built for the OS.
It’s no secret to fellow posters in Neowin that I am not a fan about Microsoft’s direction, and I often troll or joke about their latest OS. I decided to give Windows 8.1 another try, but this time, on a tablet.
I bought a HP ElitePad 900, 64GB to test and evaluate to see if the issues I had with Windows 8.1, where fixed when using a tablet.
Day 1, I boot the tablet and set everything up. I want to install the 8.1 update, but that was very problematic. I did all the Windows Updates like it said too, but the update still would fail to download. After further research, I had to change some settings to view hidden updates. When those updates installed, (Took six hours, really.) It rebooted and said, “Failed to install Updates, reverting changes”. And that took overnight because I just went to bed. When I got back up, I took the tablet to work, and started the update process over, this time it only took 4 hours, and it would finally let me install 8.1.
Most of everyone on Neowin is tech savvy and this isn’t an issue to him or her. However, you must look it from the normal customer and competing products. iPad or Android, easy to update and just one step. You don’t have do research and go through all these extra steps. I do realize that this was probably just a one time issue with me, however, the regular customer, would have just returned it. I also do realize that Windows is a much more complex OS than Android and iOS. That does not make it ok for an end user to jump though updates and updates. Microsoft needs to really change their way of Windows updates are pushed out. It isn’t 2008 anymore.
Day 2, I get more acquainted with the OS and installing my favorite Apps. This is were a Windows Pro tablet has a major leg up on their competition. Being able to carry a tablet with me, that have full-blown Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, Visual Studio, ect is really amazing.
Now that I have the tablet setup how I like it, it’s a great mobile device to carry. I do love my iPad, however the way Office works, it really lacks as a solution. If Microsoft would open the gates for the iOS Office to open from Network locations, they would dominate the market again with Office apps in the App Store. I’m always on the go, and need to access and edit documents; this tablet allows me to do that, without any headache.
In my last review, I wrote how I felt like I didn’t have any control of the OS and it just didn’t flow well. I still stand by that 100%.. on a desktop. On a tablet, the OS makes sense and works really well. Microsoft really screwed the desktop users with 8/8.1, in my option. This has been beaten to death, but they should have made the OS more desktop friendly. People comment on how you should just use to it, install 3rd party software, you’re too old, etc. Get real. Please don’t debate this section of the review. I know it’s a strong debate around here, but remember; it’s in my option. There are other threads to have this debate on.
Conclusion, I’ve had the ElitePad for a week now and it’s a good choice for a tablet in an enterprise world that demands a high level of Windows Apps. For most, an iPad or Android would suffice. It is nice to have a full blown version of Office and easily edit documents.. However, with document mangers and other apps for iOS and Android, it’s slowly deflating the need for such.
Windows 8 is really great, for a tablet and I think they nailed it for the most part.. On a desktop PC, it’s still horrible, IMO.
Quick review of the Hardware on the ElitePad, (This should not reflect the Windows 8.1 review. This is just the hardware)
Price: Overpriced For $700, I could have got a Surface 2 with an i5
Screen: Horrible. No reason in 2013/2014 a higher end tablet comes without a 1080P resolution.
Speed: Slower than I would like, especially for the price.
Camera: OK, nothing special..
Touch Screen: Works pretty well
Weight: On the heavy side
Battery: Sucktastic J
Also, there are no USB ports or no microSD slots.. you have to buy a special case from HP.. Kinda BS. Should have included it the case for the price.
That’s my two cents on the OS and hardware.. Windows 8.1 is the right direction a tablet and as these updates come out, it’s really going to improve..