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Old 09-08-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
mbabc OP
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Windows 8 Tablets & Basecamp...

I know there's been some discussion on a few Win 8 tablets (Dell Venue Pro 8) but I expect to see more and more of these cheapish machines coming out and thought some might want to post their experiences of them here.

Any openers?? I'd like to see how the Fall of 2014 ones stack up with Basecamp.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #2
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Get at least a 64gb SSD, 32gb ones don't have much room left for maps after Windows 8 is installed. Not an issue if strictly reading the maps on a GPS in Basecamp.

8" is a bit small for these old eyes, but nice and compact. 10" would be easier but worth the extra bulk?
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:32 PM   #3
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I use BaseCamp on my Dell Venue 8 Pro. No problem there so far. It has been handy to have along while traveling to view routes, tracks, etc.

My portable USB external hard drive, a LaCie Rugged Mini, must be plugged into a powered USB hub to work with the DV8 pro.

The real annoyance with this machine is that it has a hypersensitive touch screen, meaning it has a maddening tendency to repeat characters when inputting text from the on-screen keyboard.

I find it preferable to use a Bluetooth mouse and external keyboard, which makes it a mini laptop. Dell's stylus for it functions oddly, but it does make using the on-screen keyboard much better.

Screen is sharp, and other than the above, it works well as a small portable device.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:00 PM   #4
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When my Nexus 7 stopped booting for the second time in 2 months, I breathed a sigh of relief and started to search for a replacement. Ended up with an Acer Iconia W3 refurb for $150. What an improvement!

This has Windows 8.2 installed, 32 Gb onboard, and a 64Gb uSD card. I can connect anything I choose to via micro usb, and play torrents on hotel tvs through HDMI.

I installed Basecamp, but haven't had time to do much with it yet, but it does work.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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Nice thread. I just started thinking about replacing my notebook with a pad. Hope to see lots of comments.

I am big on touch typing and not sure I can get by without a keyboard. OTH the keyboard on my notebook is a little too small to type fast on.

I know nothing about pads. I get the impression they don't have an internal disc drive, so one needs a thumb or other external drive for storing files?
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
Nice thread. I just started thinking about replacing my notebook with a pad. Hope to see lots of comments.

I am big on touch typing and not sure I can get by without a keyboard. OTH the keyboard on my notebook is a little too small to type fast on.

I know nothing about pads. I get the impression they don't have an internal disc drive, so one needs a thumb or other external drive for storing files?
You could always use a Bluetooth keyboard if you're planning to do a lot of typing.

Re storage - plug in a big uSD card if possible, and usb external drive if necessary.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:08 AM   #7
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... I know nothing about pads. I get the impression they don't have an internal disc drive, so one needs a thumb or other external drive for storing files?
Tablets have Solid State Drives (no moving parts) rather than a Hard Disk Drive (moving parts). The size of the SSD in Windows tablets tends to start at 32Gb and goes up from there (as does the $$$)
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:17 AM   #8
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They aren't meant to be replacements for real laptops and desktops, but rather small and portable travel devices. For that, they are very good, esp. on a bike. Inputting and working with text and data without a mobile keyboard is not their strength, but packability sure is.

Thumb drives are so high-capacity and inexpensive now that, for data storage, they fit the purpose well. Add to that cloud-based applications, and storage of photos and documents, and the need for large hard drives seems to be diminishing.

I'm typing this on a tiny Bluetooth keyboard and my Dell VP8. Takes getting used to, but also takes up very little space.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 250senuf View Post
Get at least a 64gb SSD, 32gb ones don't have much room left for maps after Windows 8 is installed. Not an issue if strictly reading the maps on a GPS in Basecamp.?
+1 on going for 64gb as I documented in my thread. I had both Mapsource and Basecamp loaded on my tablet. I've used Mapsource for several years but it was not easy to use with a touch screen. I started using Basecamp and it seemed more touch screen friendly. But then I got a Bluetooth mouse and Mapsource became very useable. So I quit using Basecamp - so not a lot to add to that.

A couple other things. I don't mind using the touch screen to type short notes such as this reply. Editing or long stuff makes it worthwhile to switch to a computer with a keyboard. I bought the tablet to decrease the size of stuff I haul so no Bluetooth keyboard is in my future. However a Bluetooth mouse is mandatory for routing but be aware not all Bluetooth mice will work with all tablets as I found out.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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Dell does offer an optional, tiny Bluetooth keyboard for the VP8. It is shaped to fit the tablet when folded up, and it's slightly magnetic for folding up with the tablet itself.

A mouse, stylus and keyboard sure make this little thing easier to use.
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
Nice thread. I just started thinking about replacing my notebook with a pad. Hope to see lots of comments.

I am big on touch typing and not sure I can get by without a keyboard. OTH the keyboard on my notebook is a little too small to type fast on.

I know nothing about pads. I get the impression they don't have an internal disc drive, so one needs a thumb or other external drive for storing files?
The way I see it: GENERALLY (there are exceptions)
1) There are tablets out there with ARM processors. Android and iPad. Generally 7 to 10 inch screens. These usually are flash drive based. These have on screen keyboards, or you can add a bluetooth keyboard. They are somewhat limited in what can be added, as in, some don't even let you plug in an SD memory card. They are geared towards CONSUMING data. As in, surf the web, look at photos, read documents. You can create on these, but it tends to be a bit difficult. These operating systems started on small phone screens so on tablets they work well.
2) Windows PRO tablets are x86 based. Generally that will run anything that your desktop or laptop runs. They use an SSD drive (basically, a type of flash drive). They have limited storage. And as much as I prefer Windows, it IS a space hog, so a 32GB unit leaves almost nothing for load large apps with map. My tablet is a 128GB AND I have a 64GB flash card in it. And I'm looking at getting a 128GB card. You can usually add any USB peripheral like you would a laptop, and usually have a memory card slot. The memory card will show up as drive D, so it isn't of much value for installing apps to. Some like the Microsoft Surface can have an optional keyboard directly attached to them. Or a bluetooth or even a USB. These tablets can CONSUME data, like the ARM based devices, but also support more productivity software and devices that CREATE. For example, I can read the ECU rom, modify it, and write it back to the ECU, with my Windows 8.1 tablet and the standard USB port. You can use mapsource or whatever to create a route and transfer it to your Garmin. Running Windows on a small touch screen can suck. You may want a bluetooth mouse or such.

Basically, figure out what software you want to use, and get a device that is compatible. Don't go cheap on the storage and expect to simply add a card later. That may not work.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:50 AM   #12
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For those of you that have bought tablets with the Atom processor what is your experience with the performance? Does it run Basecamp well enough to display the maps without being too sluggish?
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:54 AM   #13
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:44 AM   #14
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Has this turned into 'Why you shouldn't get a Win 8 tablet' thread?
you're right, i deleted my comment.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PbdBlue View Post
For those of you that have bought tablets with the Atom processor what is your experience with the performance? Does it run Basecamp well enough to display the maps without being too sluggish?
I think the speed will depend to a certain extent on whether your maps are installed on the device or being used through a gps connected via usb. That is one of the benefits of Basecamp, but I don't know how it'll pan out yet. I wanted to try that now but Windows is installing updates.

It'll definitely mean that the tablet will have to be plugged in to power if you plan to use the maps through usb, anyway. Otherwise the gps will probably be quite a drain on the tablet's battery.

Will check later.
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"The motorcycle, being poorly designed for both flight and marine operation, sustained significant external and internal damage," police noted.
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