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Before you buy that iPad...



photo booth with a tabletI've been a Mac user since middle school and have been programming on the platform for a long time.
When Apple released the iPad, I figured it was a no-brainer to pick one up. I had no specific use in mind for it, but I thought it would eventually prove to be useful.

After months of use, I found the iPad to be most useful for three things: Email, (most) Web Browsing, and Netflix.


What I really wanted was the tablet experience with the hooks of a desktop OS.
Options like printing, networking, and file storage are available in some ways but are still far removed on the iPad. And while there are indeed printing options available, those of us using dye subs are out of luck without a desktop computer to print.

Actually, Microsoft got it Right
photo booth software one a tabletWindows 8 has taken a beating in the media and by users everywhere. The reason for this is because Windows 8 marked a departure from the creature comforts we've gotten used to, particularly the Start Menu and the traditional desktop.

For desktop users, Windows 8 can be a frustrating experience. For me, this changed the moment I used a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet.
Windows 8 was without a doubt designed for the touch screen world and works impressively well in tablet form. Where Microsoft faltered was in the removal of too many familiar desktop features, none of which really effect usage on a tablet.

Windows 8: Better than iOS and Android
I'm not talking about Windows RT, which I think is a misplaced OS for tablets and should have been exclusively for mobile phones and similar devices.
What I can say is that a true Windows 8 install on the Microsoft Surface Pro or Dell Latitude 10, is without a doubt leaps and bounds better than iOS or Android.

The reason is simple: Windows 8 is a well-supported and full-blown OS that has evolved over the course of 28 years. Options such as Bluetooth, Wireless, USB, and Printing are there. If you need to use a printer, you can install a printer driver and connect via USB or connect to a shared printer on your network. All of the limitations we've dealt with when using iOS and Android are not an issue. For me, the lack of a real printing solution was a show-stopper on iOS and Android.

Taking the Plunge, No Regrets
I finally took the Windows 8 tablet plunge with the Dell Latitude 10 64GB tablet and it's been by my side since I've opened the box- I've officially handed over my iPad to my 8-year-old.

photo booth software on a tabletWhat surprised me most about the Dell Latitude 10 was that it was actually cheaper than the 64GB iPad I purchased- by $250.00! I use many of the programs I already own and I don't have to hunt for an app for every little thing I need to do. I've even doubled my storage by adding an SD Card (using the built-in SD card reader).

With all that is good about the Dell Latitude 10 and the Surface Pro, it's not a desktop true replacement- but neither is iOS or Android. There's only so much you can squeeze out of the 1.8GHz Atom processor and only so much you can do with 2GB of RAM.

Even with these shortcomings, the Surface Pro or Latitude 10 still outpaced any other tablet I've used to date. The bottom line: The Dell Latitude 10 gives me everything I need in a tablet to do what I need-today. If you're in the market for a tablet, give the Dell Latitude 10 or Microsoft Surface Pro a try.

In the next entry, I'll dive into using the Latitude 10 with SnapShot Studio- DSLR camera, video capture, and printing.

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