New Cheap Windows Tablet

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  • If you grab the item with both hands and flex it gently the screen has many spots where it looks like you're poking the screen with your fingers or holding a magnet near it. That colorful weird smearing effect.

    I don't feel it flex much, but the screen itself reacts.

    You mean as a bonus, it's a Fidget?


    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Well that's new.

    Essentially yes.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • Heading out now to see/get one.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Yep, seeing that. The case seems pretty well made but the screen doesn't have a lot of backing. Probably not a good choice for photoshop but should be fine for programming. The HP Stream 7 doesn't seem to show this weakness but that might just be the fact that the ICraig is larger and therefore more flexible.
  • My closest OD was out of stock tonite, but there are others nearby. The salesman I talked to knew the brand, and highly recommended the 2 yr. warranty for $15. I'll track one down.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Yeah if I buy several of these it will be with the warranty.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • Got one today, playing with it now. First impression is, it's def worth $127.98 (my total with tax & warranty).
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Everybody's right. It's a very useful item and well worth the entry price. It's thin and lightweight, a mixed blessing. Probably not very durable/impact resistant (thus get the warranty). The keyboard feels cheap but it works. I do like that magnetic coupling and the way the keyboard case folds to support the tablet. The screen is OK, but very directional, you need to view it at the right angle. So that's good for privacy, and no one will ever mistake it for a Retina Display. :)

    I'm busy exploring Win 8.1 on the tablet (works quite well) and wondering if I should be in any rush to put Win10 on it.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • I would be worried about how much drive C flash would remain after an OS upgrade if it keeps a rollback image. My recommendation if your'e not used to Win8 is to put Classic Shell on it to fix the UI when you're in desktop mode.

    My wife is getting ready to take hers to Nepal for a month insead of her much larger and more important laptop which doesn't need to get dropped while the hard drive is spinning.

    One warning: If you need to plug a second USB device in, don't try to use an OTG cable on the power port. It will work (the hardware is capable) but it confuses the battery charge controller which will think the battery is dead if it sees a plug there but power going out instead of in.

    This thing actually compares favorably with the 15 inch laptop I've been using for some years and might seriously end up taking its place. I just got my mini HDMI cables so I can try it with an external monitor...
  • Hmmm. This tablet has a "Windows 8.1 with Bing" OS:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8.1#Windows_8.1_with_Bing

    This is a modified OS. Wonder if it qualifies for the Win10 upgrade?
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • My ICraig tablet offered the upgrade as part of the Windows registration process, but I declined. Someone mentioned that there is also a 32-bit version of Win10 so it probably is eligible, as MS seems intent on getting as many people to 10 as quickly as possible.
  • "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • localroger wrote: »
    ...
    My wife is getting ready to take hers to Nepal for a month insead of her much larger and more important laptop which doesn't need to get dropped while the hard drive is spinning.
    ...
    120 GB sized SSDs are selling for under $50 these days. I just ordered a couple the other day to upgrade some older machines currently running WD Raptors.
    - Rick
  • What are the inplications of erco's Wikipedia link?

    For example, how important is it that you can't "Remote Desktop Connection, or join a domain"?

    localroger have you used your HDMI yet?
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • Keith, the limitations are pretty meaningless unless you are trying to maintain a corporate network. Microsoft doesn't want businesses to use these cheap tablets instead of more expensive machines for which they get the Windows tax, so they left out the tools used by corporate IT departments to do remote maintenance and environment control. For the most part those are things you don't want your machine doing anyway as an individual user.

    I'm planning to break out the HDMI cable this afternoon. I expect to be watching a lot of streaming video on the flatscreen soon :-)
  • Please let me know the results!
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • EEK, FYI

    yelp.com/biz/asurion-protection-services-kansas-city

    consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/asurion.html

    bbb.org/nashville/business-reviews/cell-phone-replacement-insurance/asurion-insurance-services-in-nashville-tn-2131781

    This might be a deal killer for me. With this things apparent lack of quality (good for the price, but not good enough to withstand a ton of kids using them) the insurance was going to be key.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • Just watched a YouTube video on the TV with the HDMI output and it's BEAUTIFUL. Once my wife gets back from Nepal one of these tablets will probably live permanently under the TV.
  • localroger wrote: »
    Just watched a YouTube video on the TV with the HDMI output and it's BEAUTIFUL. Once my wife gets back from Nepal one of these tablets will probably live permanently under the TV.

    Stream THIS, localroger! I think the quality went up since the DVD came out.

    http://www.solarmovie.ac/watch-movie-the-avengers-age-of-ultron-free-online.html

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Actually I just watched a Modern Marvels episode about the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway which was auto-suggested after I watched one of my own time lapse YouTube Causeway vids, and it felt completely natural (though I did have to use the wireless mouse a few times to skip an ad). I've watched internet TV over the TV through the ChromeCast before, but that was much more awkward, and it doesn't work with services like Hoopla that don't explicitly support the ChromeCast. (Yeah you can cast the browser window if you want to watch at like 2 frames per second. This is full frame rate.)

    Seriously once I add a mini wireless keyboard (which I have at work and I'm not using there) this will be a great media appliance.
  • Oh, and I saw Ultron in an actual theatre in 3D. My TV is a lot better than the computer but it can't compare with that.
  • Really tough decision, think I'm not going to adopt this thing for teaching. Reasons:

    Screen doesn't seem to have anything close to "gorilla glass", doesn't seem durable enough to stand up to use by multiple kids on a daily basis
    Warranty company has a trend of horrible reviews online
    Only powerful enough for pre-rendered videos and programming robots etc. Not powerful enough for some of the tougher software I teach with such as Blender.
    Another small reason was the need to bring around a bunch of USB Hubs. Small reason.
    Struggles hard to run some online flash/java games that can be used to teach
    Screen has a poor viewing angle for teaching 2-3 kids per tablet

    So basically for around $300 I can get laptops that can run things like Blender. No employees in the near future so these would be redundant for Fall16 when I do need the laptops to teach Blender/etc classes.

    Still kicking myself since this thing is nearly perfect for teaching to program with the ActivityBot/S2/PPDB/etc. It was the right size, incredibly compact and light, keyboard was totally sufficient and fit nicely in the case, kind of liked the case, overall it was great.

    BUT at the same time, in a year or 2 there will be a much better option at that price point. That's assuming of course they quit the trend of making thing look cooler with less functionality. In 2 years there might not be hardly any options with full sized USB and some sort of physical video out that will work with a non-smart wifi rocketship nuclear monitor.

    Hate making these kinds of decisions. This thing was nearly perfect. Overall it was the reputation of the warranty company that killed it, and the reality that they won't be used much in Fall16.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • I agree Keith, this thing is fragile and good enough for careful personal use, but handing them over to students and expecting TLC is looking for trouble.
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Hate making these kinds of decisions. This thing was nearly perfect. Overall it was the reputation of the warranty company that killed it, and the reality that they won't be used much in Fall16.
    There are other warranty companies ?

    However, I would also suspect the fine-print would not cover multiple students using it in class, as that changes the usual risk factors.
    ie Any warranty cover, would need to explicitly include class use.
    OR you call these consumables / required materials, and totally the students responsibility.
    How much do they pay for these classes ?

  • Keith,
    I would be concerned about using these with kids in a class. The first one I got turned out to have been a used ( or floor) model, and there were large, deep scratches in the screen. I got it exchanged for a new one after I complained. I also saw that the current floor model had a cracked screen.

    Tom

  • Keith, for what you need you might want to check out the HP Stream 11, which I believe is retailing around $160 right now at Best Buy. It's in a clamshell form factor instead of tablet but might work out for student use. I was seriously considering one of them for the TV but it comes with 2 gigs RAM and therefore 64-bit Windows, and I really wanted something that would run my legacy work software on the side.
  • That actually looks great minus the 3+GB RAM I'll need to run the more demanding software. That processor looks surprisingly good at 2.58GHz for that price.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • twm47099twm47099 Posts: 543
    edited October 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've been playing around with mine to see how it works. First off, I'm not a big fan of Win 8.1, but I'm learning how to use it. (only took me a half hour to learn how to shut it down.)

    I agree with others about its physical characteristics. I wish it had at least 1 more USB port so I could add a mouse and still connect to my Prop boards, but I'll have to try it with a hub. I like the keyboard, It looks cheap, but so far it works better than the pretty one on my Toshiba web book.

    It runs Prop Tool and Simple IDE. It also runs RobotBasic (free from robotbasic.org). I've got the Robot Basic book Hardware Interfacing and Control Protocol which uses the Prop as its microcontroller (primarily with the PPDB as the board). It has a number of graphical interface methods for both control and receiving and displaying data from sensors.

    One nice thing about RobotBasic is that it can interface to Prop Boards through a variety of methods (USB, PropPlug, RS232, XBEE, and Bluetooth. For the wireless methods all that is necessary to change in the RobotBasic program is the com port number and set the proper baud.

    I tried it with a couple of programs from the book using the direct connection and the 2 wireless methods, and it works well.

    I've been wanting to use RobotBasic with my ActivityBot, both to send commands to the Bot and to receive sensor data, analyze it, display it, and store it in files. This tablet lets me do that with a portable control panel rather than being tied to a laptop.

    Tom
  • Thanks for the report, Tom.
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,191
    edited October 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    twm47099 wrote: »
    I wish it had at least 1 more USB port so I could add a mouse and still connect to my Prop boards, but I'll have to try it with a hub.

    Yes, at a minimum I need a mouse and USB/serial adapter connected. I just ordered this cute little dollar hub: http://www.ebay.com/itm/321899433040

    I think a flexible-arm hub like that might be more forgiving on this tablet if something/someone yanks on it.

    I'm wondering how long the micro USB charger connection will last, even with careful use.

    Today I noticed that System reports 1.3 GHz Atom, whereas the box & manual say 1.83 GHz.



    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
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