10 reasons why I dumped my iPad for Windows Slate
Although best is yet to come from Microsoft (Windows 8), but I am already in love with my Fujitsu Q550 Windows slate running Windows 7 Professional. I had always been a big promoter of iPad but being an enterprise user, I always felt that Apple has gone wrong in some of the important design decisions (That’s just my opinion so don’t get wired up..), although Steve Jobs has his own reasoning behind those. I always felt that iPad with its intutive design had a huge potential of being a both reader & writing device. However, Steve Jobs always conceived a devices without a “Stylus” & finger operatable. No doubt that has enhanced the usability & end user experience of the devices to a different level but one thing which has definitely not clicked is the writing part. I have tried several writing apps available on iPad App Store & even bought some of the high end third party stylus available for iPad, but I must admit that they are just not comfortable. I just don’t get comfortable with trying to write with my finger on a capacitive touch iPad screen. Apart from the writing part, there are several more reasons which were key in swinging my loyalty to Windows Tablet. Some of the key points are mentioned below.
1. Digitizer Pen (Stylus) & OneNote App - I always wanted to carry a tablet with me which can help me to take notes during my meetings & help them to organize for a better findability. Windows Tablet with Digitizer & OneNote application makes it so cooool.
2. Availability of all Windows Features & Programs – Best thing is that I still have all my Windows Programs available for use on tablet. Some of the key ones include MS Office suite (MS Outlook, MS Word, MS Excel, MS Powerpoint etc), Choice of Browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox etc), Several Media Players etc.
3. USB Port – One of the biggest drawback on iPad is that it doesn’t have any USB Port. I think we all know the importance of USB port & I don’t really have to explain how it makes our life easy in sharing files & media.
4. HDMI Port – Although this might differ from device to device but I am sure most of the upcoming Windows tablet would come with built-in HDMI Port. You don’t really have to shell extra money to buy external devices like the ones required by iPad.
5. Media Playback – I am able to play most of the video files (using VLC Media Player) without going through tedious & long conversions process (normally required on iPad when you copy the files to Video app).
6. Usage of Data Cards – You only have choice of either Wi-Fi or 3G for accessing internet. For 3G, you have to buy pre-paid credit. However, for those who already have a separate datacard (USB Datacard available in most countries) to be used with their laptops, subscribing to additional 3G usage is just waste of money. Due to presence of USB & support of these Datacards for Windows OS (Most of the providers provide required software), it makes sharing of these
7. Swappable Batteries – Again this may differ on various available devices but the fact that Fujitsu has already come up with models allowing swappable batteries (means you can keep an extra battery for your mobile work scenarios without getting locked into fixed battery devices like iPad), future looks really bright for upcoming devices. Fujitsu device comes up with quick swap 2-Cell -19 WHr & 4 Cell- 43Whr batteries, providing full work day battery life.
8. Expandable Storage – Although Fujitsu device like iPad comes in 2 models – 32GB / 64GB solid state drives. However, the biggest difference is that it has SD Card slot. This gives you a chance to insert another external SD card to store your files. I already have 32 GB SD Card & which makes it easy to port & use my files on Fujtsu & other laptops.
9. Security - Upcoming Windows tablets are more of enterprise ready from security perspective. Fujitsu tablet comes up with fingerprint reader, TPM module & Smart Card reader. This covers pretty much what you get in fully loaded laptops.
10. Choice of Wireless Keyboard & Mouse – Apart from Bluetooth Keyboard, you can also use your existing wireless keyboard & mouses leveraging USB port. This is not really a big plus but gives a little bit more leeway.
I think I have given you enough reasons to get excited about Windows Tablet but let me also talk about some of the compromises. Windows 7 OS is not optimized (was never optimized) for touch based devices & hence if you compare the usability of iPad , you will still find iPad better. Windows devices are comparatively heavier than iPad 2 (marginally though) but swapabble battery makes up for that marginal weight. Having said that, I am happy to compromise with all thes cons, as I get whole lot of advantages. Biggest news is that Microsoft is going to launch Windows 8 next year (probably I will play around with betas pretty soon) and Windows 8 has been completely redesigned for tablets with heavy touch optimization & usability comparable to iPad. Windows 8 would also support ARM based processors which are used in iPad like devices.
Windows Tablets have been a failure so far because of the inherent nature of Windows & hardware. Fujitsu currently uses Intel’s Oak Trail processor which is highly optimized for Windows & that’s one big reason why this is one of the first Windows Tablet which has been praised all over. With Windows 8 on complete new set of hardwares, Apple is all going to get a good run for money next year in tablet/slate space.
I will soon share some of the coool Windows 8 features as soon as I get my hands dirty with Windows 8 Beta. I signoff for today leaving with one of the cool Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 video..