Feb. 10, 2014
I’ve been having a good-natured comments exchange with a reader about the practicality of 8-inch Windows tablets. I truly don’t know the right answer here, so I am promoting this to its own blog post to collect more comments.
As you know, I am all about the advantages of Windows tablets as a Productivity Tablet—one that can run tablet apps as well as a full range of traditional office software (in desktop mode), when needed.
My confusion is this: If the main advantage of a Windows tablet is the ability to run traditional PC software in the desktop mode, why would you want to get an 8-inch Windows tablet where the desktop is so small it’s very hard to use? Why not just get a lightweight (1.2 pound) 10-inch version? They are currently about the same price, and both are light enough to hold with one hand. Why sacrifice a usable desktop?
Sure, the Windows Store apps will be fully usable on an 8-inch tablet, but if all you want to do is use apps, and not the desktop, why get a Windows tablet? An 8-inch iOS and Android have a far better list of apps.
And sure you can plug the 8-inch tablet into a larger monitor on your desktop, but then why bother with an 8-inch computer. Why not use your current desktop or laptop?
Asus VivoTab Note 8
I’m excited about the new Asus VivoTab Note 8 (pictured above) because it ships with a Wacom digitized pen and a slot to hold it, and Wacom is usually the best way to go with a pen interface. This tablet just started shipping at Microsoft Store for $329. And both Lenovo and Dell also have 8-inch Windows tablets.
But again, I am really wondering about the usability of an 8-inch screen, on any Windows computer, with the Windows desktop. So, has anyone out there been using one of the 8-inch Windows tablet in desktop mode, and if so, what do you think? What desktop software do you use it with? Is it worth hassling with its tiny interface when using desktop software?
Thanks for your feedback on this!