1. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I think Im in love.

    For the first time in at nearly two years (I bought my Playbook in late 2011), Im fully satisfied with my tablet computing experience.

    All of my favorite apps are now at my fingertips, and I even have access to legacy stuff that I had long since forgotten (but secretly missed).

    My new tablet device of choice works with every conceivable peripheral I throw at it, including that elusive combination of Skype + Bluetooth Headset (i.e. mobile VOIP Nirvana). I can print to a universe of output targets and every dongle or adapter just plugs and plays.

    The devices OS experience is both familiar and yet refreshingly new. I find myself swiping all over the place, effortlessly switching between applications with true multitasking born of a mature, time-tested OS architecture.

    The hardware is, in a word, elegant, with brushed aluminum and a gorgeous IPS screen. Its light as a feather, yet gives me 8-10 hours of solid use on a charge, and nearly double that if I mate it to the included keyboard dock.

    I am, of course, speaking of my new Windows 8 (NOT RT) tablet/laptop hybrid specifically, an Atom-based HP Envy x2 that I picked up at Staples for under $500. I bought the unit on a lark (curiosity killed the cat owners wallet) and with every intention of returning it after I had sated my curiosity about these devices.

    But then a funny thing happened on the way to the returns counter: I started really liking the device. Or, more accurately, I became addicted to the combination of the HP Envy x2s hardware and Windows 8. The responsive, swipe-based interface (it flows like butter). The seamless way that everything just works together. The reassurance that legacy compatibility is only a tap/click/swipe away.

    After struggling mightily to bend first QNX, and later Android, to my will, Windows 8 is like a breath of fresh air. I no longer worry about how to get basic things (like printing a document) done. I just do them, effortlessly, while leveraging 25+ years of experience with the underlying platform.

    Note: The Playbook will still have a place in my life, most notably as my throw it in the car door pocket device when on the go, etc. And it still has GPS, something most Windows tablets seem to lack. Hopefully BB10 will bring new life to my old friend, but for now its time to move onto to a more functional alternative.

    Now if youll excuse me, I need to finish up typing this post in Word 2013 before I check on the Windows 7 VM I was building in Oracle VirualBox and the Android app update I was downloading in BlueStacks.

    Its good to be home

    RCK

    P.S. My only gripe: The size. 11.6 is a little awkward to work with in tablet mode. However, when you can get a fully functioning, convertible system with real Windows for under $500, you learn to make a few sacrifices. At least its really lightweight...
    FF22 likes this.
    04-08-13 08:55 AM
  2. sad_old_man's Avatar
    I think I’m in love.

    For the first time in at nearly two years (I bought my Playbook in late 2011), I’m fully satisfied with my tablet computing experience.

    All of my favorite apps are now at my fingertips, and I even have access to legacy stuff that I had long since forgotten (but secretly missed).

    My new tablet device of choice works with every conceivable peripheral I throw at it, including that elusive combination of Skype + Bluetooth Headset (i.e. mobile VOIP Nirvana). I can print to a universe of output targets and every dongle or adapter just plugs and plays.

    The device’s OS experience is both familiar and yet refreshingly new. I find myself swiping all over the place, effortlessly switching between applications with true multitasking born of a mature, time-tested OS architecture.

    The hardware is, in a word, elegant, with brushed aluminum and a gorgeous IPS screen. It’s light as a feather, yet gives me 8-10 hours of solid use on a charge, and nearly double that if I mate it to the included keyboard dock.

    I am, of course, speaking of my new Windows 8 (NOT RT) tablet/laptop hybrid – specifically, an Atom-based HP Envy x2 that I picked up at Staples for under $500. I bought the unit on a lark (curiosity killed the cat owner’s wallet) and with every intention of returning it after I had sated my curiosity about these devices.

    But then a funny thing happened on the way to the returns counter: I started really liking the device. Or, more accurately, I became addicted to the combination of the HP Envy x2’s hardware and Windows 8. The responsive, swipe-based interface (it flows like butter). The seamless way that everything just works together. The reassurance that legacy compatibility is only a tap/click/swipe away.

    After struggling mightily to bend first QNX, and later Android, to my will, Windows 8 is like a breath of fresh air. I no longer worry about how to get basic things (like printing a document) done. I just do them, effortlessly, while leveraging 25+ years of experience with the underlying platform.

    Note: The Playbook will still have a place in my life, most notably as my “throw it in the car door pocket” device when on the go, etc. And it still has GPS, something most Windows tablets seem to lack. Hopefully BB10 will bring new life to my old friend, but for now it’s time to move onto to a more functional alternative.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish up typing this post in Word 2013 before I check on the Windows 7 VM I was building in Oracle VirualBox and the Android app update I was downloading in BlueStacks.

    It’s good to be home…

    RCK

    P.S. – My only gripe: The size. 11.6” is a little awkward to work with in tablet mode. However, when you can get a fully functioning, convertible system with real Windows for under $500, you learn to make a few “sacrifices.” At least it’s really lightweight...
    Errr... Welcome back..... I must be honest from the start and say that I only understood 5%, well 1% Well actually none of it but welcome back anyway. I had the same strange feeling once myself, well twice actually the first time was being ejected out at 20,000ft but that's another story. Anyway I searched long and hard and my friend I am willing to cure you of this strange illness right now and for free. That's right folks before your very eyes and all for free.

    Simply follow these simple instructions:

    Items required:
    1 x empty washing up liquid bottle
    2 x empty toilet roll tubes
    1 x roll of sticky tape
    1 x galvanised bucket
    5 x ltrs/pints water
    1 x military style metal combat helmet (important)
    1 x small piece of blutack
    1 x Wellington (footware variety not the bomber)
    1 x roll garden string
    1 x friend (wife preferred)

    Fasten a small amount of bluetack to one end of the garden string, place in your right ear securely, fill the bucket with the water, put the Wellington on your foot and place the foot inside the bucket, put on the metal helmet, ask a friend to connect a power cable (anything over 4000volts will do) to the bucket and then pass you a bottle of brandy, when you are ready ask your friend to switch on the power.

    You are cured and thank you for being a believer. Do not try this at home if you are a non believer.
    OzDude likes this.
    04-08-13 09:33 AM
  3. Omahahaha's Avatar
    I love my BB PlayBook, espeically for travel and general portability. The ability to bridge with my 9850 is a big draw, and it's great for books, comics and video viewing. But this Envy x2 sounds like something I can get more use out of for the same type of reasons you state. Thanks for the info, rkennedy01.
    04-08-13 10:17 AM
  4. FF22's Avatar
    I won't quote it all. Just a thanks for your personal opinion of the device. I've not even seen an Win tablet other than all over tv in countless commercials and product placements!!!!

    I have to admit, access to my tried and true apps would be a nice outcome. And that's probably why Apple continues to keep its adherents - it is just not easy to develop a whole new suite of apps comparable with "what you already know, use and like."

    And in response to Omahaaaaaaaaaaaa (ha!): if Rim continues the crippled Bridge that they introduced with the z10, there will be fewer reasons to stay with a pb.
    kbz1960 and Send Again like this.
    04-08-13 10:23 AM
  5. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I won't quote it all. Just a thanks for your personal opinion of the device. I've not even seen an Win tablet other than all over tv in countless commercials and product placements!!!!
    That's the kicker. I, too, was basing much of my assessment on what others had written. However, once I had experienced Windows 8 first hand, on a touch-enabled device, I was shocked at how it exceeded my expectations. I mean, the UI is FAST - blazingly so, especially on an x86 device. The touch responsiveness in apps like IE10 and the various native media apps is unbelievable, and the swiping gestures for switching between apps and in-app settings/tasks were second nature to me after all of that time on PB OS.

    But the real revelation was when I realized I could get much of what I loved about the PB - stability, fluid UI - in a zero-compromises device. Being able to use Skype to call back to the island while I've been travelling in the U.S. has been huge, and the ability to do so with a Bluetooth headset - something I could never get working under Android - simply drove home the point: This is Windows, the place where everything just works.

    And note that none of this is meant as a dig at the PB. I still love my 7" powerhouse and I look forward to updating it to BB10 some day. But I'm genuinely glad I took the time to explore alternatives. It made me realize that what I've really been looking for all along is a version of Windows that was fully touch-enabled and available on a lightweight tablet device that would give me 8-10 hours of battery life (14-16 with the keyboard dock) while also doing double-duty as a notebook replacement when necessary.

    It's why I've spent the better part of a year trying to stomach Android (at least they have Skype...sort of), and why my travel bag includes a collection of BT keyboards, mice and various dongles all designed to let me replicate a PC experience without having to lug around a 4-6 pound laptop.

    HP hit the nail on the head with the Envy x2, ticking all of my want/wish boxes. The device is light (1.5lbs in tablet form, 3lbs with the dock), expandable (two separate SD card slots - one in tab, one in dock), and built like a tank (all-aluminum casing). And it was all made possible because of the tight collaboration between Intel, Microsoft and the OEM channel.

    So chalk one up for the veteran industry players...they still have some moves left.

    RCK
    04-08-13 11:20 AM
  6. Gooseberry Falls's Avatar
    Windows touchscreen devices have been around for some time. True, they have been more resistive (stylus) rather than capacitive and there hasn't been any swiping up til Win 8. My touchcreen ultrabook running Win 8 is about 2.5 lbs but I still can't get myself to put any fingerprints on the screen!

    Hope HP does better with it than the TouchPad.
    04-08-13 11:35 AM
  7. blueberrymerry's Avatar
    Sadly tablet has become a dirty word, a euphemism for consumption devices that are useless for work. I've been trying to be productive on mobile devices other than laptops but it's been pretty hard - apps are cut down from desktop versions, there's no proper multitasking and hardware compatibility is almost non-existent. I can do email or view office documents but anything more is painful.

    Being able to run legacy apps and use common drivers is a huge advantage because you can use the tablet just like a laptop. The Atom CPU isn't fast, the GPU is hopeless, but it's good enough for office work. I think Win8 Pro Atom tablets could be the sweet spot. i-series mobile CPUs like on the Surface Pro are incredibly expensive and power hungry, while Win RT ARM tablets are locked down and have no support for legacy x86 apps.

    It's a steal at $500. I'm more interested in the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 because it has a Wacom pen... I had the older Android device and the Ntrig pen made up for a lot of that thing's shortcomings.
    04-08-13 11:46 AM
  8. kbz1960's Avatar
    I'm interested in a win8 tablet but I want a smaller size and I don't want a RT one either. Nice you found something that works for you.
    04-08-13 11:48 AM
  9. blueberrymerry's Avatar
    Argh, why is there no keyboard autocomplete in the CB app!?

    Anyway a 7" or 8" Atom Win8 tablet would be amazing. I wouldn't mind a chunky device as long as it had enough power to last a day.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    04-08-13 11:52 AM
  10. rkennedy01's Avatar
    I'm interested in a win8 tablet but I want a smaller size and I don't want a RT one either. Nice you found something that works for you.
    Frankly, I'd be happier with a 10.1" device. However, I got my Envy X2 for under $500, and that includes the dock. I might have preferred a Vivo Tab Smart, but the HP was a unique buy so I'll just have to muddle through. The main challenge is finding a decent tablet case for an 11.6" device. They simply don't exist, so I'm stuck using a netbook sleeve or similar.

    RCK
    04-08-13 11:59 AM
  11. kbz1960's Avatar
    Also it's a shame that someone who back blackberry as enthusiastically as you had to resort to another option. I'm looking for more of a 7 to 9" size.

    So does this make you want a wp8?
    04-08-13 12:07 PM
  12. FF22's Avatar
    Was that $500 price a weekend special? I see it for about $600.

    Oh, another question - how do you load programs (dvd or cd installs) on it?
    Last edited by F2; 04-08-13 at 12:40 PM.
    04-08-13 12:11 PM
  13. rkennedy01's Avatar
    Was that $500 price a weekend special? I see it for about $600.

    Oh, another question - how do you load programs (dvd or cd installs) on it?
    Actually, it was a weird coincidence. I dropped into my local Staples just to see if they had one in stock. The salesperson claimed they didn't, so I had him check other stores in the area on the computer. He then put in his own store ID and it said they had ONE somewhere in the building. Turns out it was a return from an online order - open box but in perfect condition. The guy had bought it for $525 using various coupons, and I talked them down another $25 due to it being a refurb.

    Net result: Envy x2 64GB for $499.00. Like I said, a rather unique deal.

    As for software installs, all of my Microsoft titles I get via my TechNet Subscription as ISO images, etc. For other stuff, I just hang a portable DVD drive off of the USB port. One of the advantages of having a functional USB capability.

    RCK
    FF22 likes this.
    04-08-13 12:51 PM

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