So I was recently tasked with the responsibility to evaluate a Windows 8 tablet; in this instance, it is a Dell XPS 10 tablet. Before I get started, let me tell you that this machine has been configured to work with my work domain, so there are some cutesy bells and whistles that don’t look to be available to me.
My first take of the device was that it had a great display, with rich colors and deep enough pixel count. Then I actually picked it up. Having used some form of iPad for the last 3 or so years, I felt this thing was some kind of heavy. Then I started to pay more attention to the display. It’s a landscape format that is probably 16:9, maybe even wider. My issue with that is it doesn’t really lend itself to being used in portrait mode. I mean, the thing seems to reach all the way down my entire lower arm when I do so. The size in combination with the weight would most likely assure me of Popeye forearms in no time.
Once I logged in for the first time, I decided to give the OS and some of the apps a run through its paces. The moving tile Immediately, the first issue was the s-l-u-g-g-i-s-h-n-e-s-s-s-s-s-s-s. There was the usual array of updates that were required for the device, and the process of performing this update was excruciatingly slow. Then there was the installation of an app, Evernote, which also took a dogs age to install.
The next issue I ran into, over and over again, was the lack of intuitiveness the operating system has. Nothing makes logical sense to me, even as a veteran of many different operating systems. Swiping in from the edges is a good way to avoid having to go back to the Start page every time, but the lack of intuition for tasks like app-switching really makes you wonder whether the device was tested by an actual end user before it was released. I literally had to RTFM for an explanation, and that disappointed me. I only say that because in this post-RTFM-age that we are in, you will not get heavy adoption if you require people to consult a guide to quickly move around your device.
This latest foray by Microsoft fell with a resounding thud in my opinion. I might be able to see some potential if Microsoft would get out of its own way in terms of updates, software bloat, and general sluggishness.