Don’t dismiss this post just because you think the premise of the title is ludicrous. “Windows is terrible,” you probably think. “And as for Windows tablets, they’re about as portable as a suitcase full of bricks, with near non-existent battery life and an OS that’s just as clunky as the Windows 7 desktop versions.”
But what if the next gen of Windows tablets could match up with the iPad in portability, battery life and simplicity? According to a leaked screenshot widely distributed across all the usual tech sites, this could indeed be the case.
I gave up my Windows 7 convertible tablet when I bought my HTC Flyer tablet, which synchs my stylus-generated notes with my Evernote account and enables me to search these notes on the device and via the Evernote client on any Mac or PC. But, while I enjoy the 7-inch form factor, which enables me to hold the Flyer in one hand and take notes with the other, and I’m a big Evernote fan, there are certain limitations that I didn’t struggle with when using OneNote on my old laptop. The first is the lag when I’m writing a long note – I can’t scrawl for a few seconds while the HTC notes app spins its wheels. Infuriating. And while the search feature is useful and supports full-text search, Evernote will only display the notes that match the search term, rather than doing this plus highlighting the words in each matching document. Ugghh!
So, if Windows 8 machines can indeed deliver on the promise of being faster, lighter and more user-friendly than their Windows 7 first cousins (and, as mentioned, if they have better battery life), I might consider getting one. Now that OneNote synchs to the cloud for added peace of mind, it could be the difference maker for humbles scribes like me when evaluating Windows 8. There are many styli for the iPad, but it’s still not a viable note taking device for heavy duty writers who, despite Steve Jobs’s assertion to the contrary, still like to use a pen or its electronic equivalent.
The other pluses of a Windows 8 tablet that lives up to its potential would be the ability to multi-task, not being tied to iTunes for movies and music, and not being just another rider on the iPad bandwagon – though I must confess my MacBook Pro whups my old laptop like the Miami Heat did the New York Knicks this weekend.
Now there’s always the chance that Microsoft won’t come through – I am still smarting from the cancellation of the Courier project. Price will be another determining factor – I’ll just stick with the HTC Flyer if the next Windows tablets are twice the price of the iPad.