On the Day Apple Announced the iPad 2, I took Delivery of a Windows 7 Tablet
Now I would hope that the title of this article says it all. Iím not a fan of the iPad. Itís fortuitous for me that itís on the very same day that Steve Jobs announced the iPad 2 with his usual flurry or colourful adjectives that I took delivery of an ExoPC Slate running Windows 7. So why, might you ask was I mad enough to do that!?
Firstly, letís compare the specs of these two tablets. The iPad 2 has a 1GHz dual core processor, the ExoPC has a 1.66GHz dual-core processor. The iPad 2 has an unspecified amount of memory and up to 64Gb of storage. The ExoPC has 2Gb of RAM and up to 64Gb of storage. The iPad 2 has front and rear facing cameras. The ExoPC has a webcam and I have a digital camera for everything else. The iPad 2 has wireless n and Bluetooth, the ExoPC has wireless n and Bluetooth. The iPad 2 has optional 3G and GPS. The ExoPC, in fact my ExoPC, has the optional 3G and GPS.
You might think, looking at the core specification that the ExoPC would nudge ahead. Thatís not the case because the operating system for the iPad has been tailored to that specific device and its hardware. Because Apple know exactly what the OS will be running on they can make it brilliant. The ExoPC, despite having its own software UI layer runs Windows 7 and is inevitably hamstrung by that.
So now the ExoPC has lost out you think. Well, think again! I will freely admit, as would any sane person, that Windows 7 is by far the last-choice operating system for tablets. Itís just not designed for them. Itís fiddly to use, awkward and clumsy with buttons too small to click.
Right then, itís clear that Iíve lost my marbles and gone completely loopy. ErmÖ no! While the iPad is a great product itís not for everybody. There are a great many of us out there who need, for one reason or another, a Windows device. This could be software compatibility, testing of the forthcoming tablet version of Windows 8 or other reasons. For me itís all three.
Windows 7 in fairness isnít actually that bad on a tablet and the ExoUI makes things much friendlier too. When you need to drop down to the Windows 7 desktop you fairly quickly get used to it and how you need to get it working with a touch interface.
Then thereís the question of do many people actually need something as friendly as the iOS operating system? Frankly there are a great many people, the more technically-minded, who will feel more at home with Windows on a tablet than they would with iOS or Android, and knowing that Windows 8 and itís tablet-friendly interface (Whatever that turns out to be) are just a year away, the purchase makes yet more sense.
So go and buy your iPad 2, itís a great device, but Iím sticking with the ExoPC and if youíre a power user like me, I think youíll like it too.