Category Archives: The Tech Corner

the sequel… the hp stream 7 windows tablet


see this article on a review of the hp omni 10 Windows tablet
(on which I am writing this post)…

Now we got a small sibling, the hp stream 7. It’s also a Windows  8.1 tablet, and it is cheap!

It is sold exclusively from the Microsoft store for 99 €.

See it in the MS store here.

 


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The tablet was recommended in a recent “top tablets for under 150 Euro” review which I found during a web search for recommendations on small tablets.

A full windows tablet for 100 Euro! *Wow*. And good reviews, too.

It even comes with a free 1 year subscription to the full MS Office suite worth 69 Euro.

Users and testers say it’s fast. It’s got a good quad core Intel processor on board (Z3735G), and it starts fast – just a couple of seconds. Only 1 GB RAM, but 32 GB internal memory on board, plus a micro SD slot.

It is bulky – I was surprised. It weighs 350 grams, which is a weight in your hand! No comparison to an e-ink ebook reader. But those are just for books and nothing else.

I have pretty big hands, but it is not comfortable for long.

But comparing all other 7 inch tablets (android etc.) shows that even the lightest still have about 270 grams, most around 300 g and many also around 350 g. So there is no real difference.

Same for the width – the hp is thick, almost 1 cm; others may be only 8 mm thick, but you have to decide it that makes a practical difference to you…

The back cover is plastic and I didn’t know how well it would last.

All this made me “go for cover” – I found the kwmobile cover on ebay for 6,80 Euro with free delivery. It fits well, it looks nice and fresh (“it’ greeeen! ;-)) – it also reeks of cheap glue, but what can you expect. Anyway, it makes the tablet a lot nicer, and on the functional side, it gives a lot better grip and the ability to stand, besides the protection.

The fast processor is guilty of the short battery span. HP says it is up to 8 hours, when you are surfing or reading pdf or such, it is a lot less, probably 5 hours. Which is enough for me, but other tablets seem to run up to 18 hours.

At this price, it doesn’t have G3 sim capability, of course, or GPS. Just WLAN and bluetooth. But that was what I wanted.


 My impression of working with the tablet

+ I find it nice to have my regular programs available;
windows programs are usually still a lot more powerful and
have more functionality than apps

+ Regular office programs etc. start fast, no problem there

o I still haven’t gotten used to the limited screen size when I need to
input text. The on-screen keyboard just takes away a significant
part of the screen, and I am pretty slow typing on this thing.

– There is “touchpal” available for “swyping” text input, but I didn’t
get it to work right. No swyping, and that sucks! I am faster with my
phone by far…

– Bluetooth keyboards aren’t a real solution either, I find. They have
too many glitches.

o So: happy with viewing stuff, but no good way to input text
conveniently and fast yet.


Why did I buy it?

I started reading ebooks as pdf preferably a while ago (read my post here, why), because of the editing, commenting and highlighting abilities of pdf.

My phone is a bit crampy small for that (5″), the 10″ tablet a bit to big, so I wanted to have something book-sized.

The Sony prs-t2 is a good ebook-reader, but the pdf capabilities are rather theoretical there – you can brew coffee between each page-turn, literally minutes. Impossible. And no commenting-functions there.

I had thought to get an android tablet, since my phone is android, too, but I like to have my windows programs, and since we already use the hp omni 10 tablet, it was too much of a temptation at the price. No mistake, I guess.


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Tablets – a review of the hp Omni 10 Windows 8.1 tablet –


This is a review of some points of the hp Omni 10 windows 8.1 tablet specifically, and a comparison of “the whole tablet pro and con decision thing!”

“The Quest”:

We wanted a lightweight solution for surfing, and fast enough for serious working, running all our usual programs (including some graphics applications). The battery duration was a factor, too, and the price was set to be not higher than an entry-level laptop or subnotebook.

Above you see the result of our “quest”. A windows tablet with a Kensington BT keyboard cover (more on the cover below).

Continue reading Tablets – a review of the hp Omni 10 Windows 8.1 tablet –

Using your tablet with styl(us)!


Another little Quest
This is a small post from June 17 2014 on comparing different kinds of stylus pens for use with capacitative touch screens – such as on tablets.

 

*The pre-history*
For years I have, up and on, thought how cool it would be to write and draw on a touch screen.
Now is possibly the time, after early tries with tablet PCs that I never really got warm with.

 

*enter…*
But now we bought a Windows 8.1, 10.1″ tablet. So…

 

*the fool* 
Writing or even drawing with your fingers? Too unprecise!

 

*more fools* 
One of the usual touch screen pens?
Not really a solution, either. They all have these ugly broad tips. Enough to punch an icon, but not good enough for writing or drawing.

 

*the hero* 
 
There is really no serious alternative that I found to Adonit Jot.
They have several variations: one is more specialized for writing (Scribe), of which there is a smaller version (Mini). And then there is the Pro V3 and the Touch 4.
All have a very fine metal tip that is protected by a flexible little plastic disc. Looks a little funny, but all sites agree that it works really well. See the attached pictures.

 

I chose the Pro V3 at about 21 € on Amazon.
The Touch 4 is available from about 68 € on the net. It has additional bluetooth support and a very fine-grade pressure scale (2048 different steps for very detailed line-drawing). I guess it’s the pro’s choice, but for my little use I preferred the cheaper product for now.

 

A different approach is the Livescribe 3 Pen (about 150 €): it writes on special paper and instantly digitizes what you draw and write, including text recognition.