Friday, October 26, 2012
Windows 8 on the Slate is not all that Great (ATM)
Alrighty, I normally stay up fairly late, and since Windows 8 was being released at midnight, I decided to upgrade my Samsung Series 7 Slate (been using for drawing since March) for the $40. Downloading the 2GB through their Update Assistant was fairly quick and installing was not much of a hassle. I had to uninstall some programs that the UA said I should before installing W8 and I did so. Installation itself took a little time, and there were no hangups.
Once I got into the new Tiles interface and using Touch, it took a little getting used to. Some options and settings are on the right side if you swipe in from there, you can switch between tasks the same way on the left side, and some other file/app options are on the bottom if you're viewing a picture or have a file selected. The Tiles make the tablet feel tablet-like. However my Samsung Series 7 Slate that I've been using is more like an ultrabook without a keyboard, and that's where my troubles with Windows 8 start to come in.
The biggest problem I've encountered (so far) is that there is no Palm Rejection when using the Stylus. Previously with Windows 7 it did a reasonable job from sensing your palm when using the pen for writing in OneNote or drawing with Manga Studio. However, W8 doesn't seem to have this feature and it has made scribbling with OneNote absolutely USELESS. Pen works fine as long as you don't touch the screen with *anything* else. As an artist, I rest my palm all the time for better control when drawing so it is a necessity for me.
That being said, even in Windows 7 there were times when Palm Rejection would fail, and I'd simply deactivate Touch by going through a shortcut on my desktop to Pen/Touch Options. There, I'd uncheck a box and be done, going back to work. In Windows 8, they've decided to remove those little checkboxes, so now if I want to deactivate Touch I have to go into the Device Manager and Disable Touch by selecting the right Human Interface Device (HID) driver. This in itself makes my once Fun Tablet into a Bringer of Gnashing Teeth and Curse Words. An easy way to Disable/Enable Touch is key.
Also broken, and this is not directly a problem with Windows 8 is that Samsung doesn't seem to have made a driver for the Motion Sensor, so that means the tablet loses an easy Rotation method for viewing manga or a full screen Portrait picture. Granted, I hardly use it, but still it means one more thing that is less functional that it was before.
I'm really tempted to try to revert back to Windows 7 at the moment. For me Windows 8 breaks most of the functionality that I had with the Samsung Slate. I'm not willing to settle for less. >:(
For the TL;DR crowd and some other qualms I have with the new OS from Microsoft:
1) The new onscreen keyboard is preferable to the old W7 one. Larger Buttons, moves up the field so you can see what you're typing, clicky noises.
2) Using Touch to click on things in W8 seems more responsive than in W7.
1) There seems to be no Palm Rejection when using the Stylus. What was once a little idiosyncracy wnen using OneNote, it is now Impossible to write *anything* in OneNote. No easy way to Disable/Enable Touch.
2) No current driver support from Samsung for enabling Rotation. Downloading the lastest driver and attempting to install will give a warning of "Not Valid OS" and close.
3) On the Desktop, one used to hold down one's finger on an icon to get a Context Menu. That also seems to be gone, and now requires a keyboard or right click of a mouse to do that function. I don't mind as most of the time I'm carrying around a mini keyboard, but a tablet should be able to do everything with Touch that a Mouse and Keyboard on the Desktop should do.
4) There seems to be no easy way to Delete apps from the Full Apps menu. Selecting one gives only Pin to Start and Open File Location options. It would be nice to be able to clean up some of the Read Me and Uninstall shortcuts that are leftovers from the W7 Start menu.
5) Native Windows players and Libraries still won't allow me to add a microSD drive as a location. If WinAmp can do it, I'm not sure why MS can't.
That's my rundown. If anyone has any solutions or their own experiences to share with upgrading to W8, feel free to comment.