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Changing My Mind on Windows 8 Pro

posted Jul 2, 2013, 10:53 AM by Tim Key
Just over a year ago, I evaluated Windows 8 Consumer Preview and wrote about it here. A lot has happened in the hardware side of things since then, namely Microsoft's introduction of the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.  In my original review, I declared that my only interest in Windows 8 was a tablet or maybe even an ultrabook.  I've been skeptical of the Surface Pro as the reviews are wildly mixed as to good or bad.  Some claim the batter life isn't all that great for a tablet for the price.  So that basically left me scratching my head for a replacement for my now 2 years old HP Elitebook 8540W that I recently threw across the parking lot at work as I slung my backpack over my shoulder not realizing I had left the zipper open on the laptop compartment.  I don't recommend it...

This incident forced me to dig deeper into the market place for a replacement unit.  My expectations are very high in choosing a laptop that I'm going to live with for at least 18 - 24 months.  I don't like having issues with my equipment and I don't like junk.  I went looking for an ultrabook 13" or less.  I've not seen a tablet that I could live with exclusively, so I just wasn't considering that as an option.  I looked at a lot of products like the Dell XPS 12 convertible, HP Envy x2, HP Elitebook Revolve 810, Lenovo Ideapad, and many more.  I just couldn't decide.  I don't like Atom processors and I desire to have either a Core i5 or Core i7.  While browsing around, I noticed this one unit was in the suggested similar items on Amazon, the Asus TX300 Transformer Book.  I was very impressed with the specification of the unit.  Check them out below:

Asus Transformer Book TX300

 Processor Intel® Core™ i7 3517U Processor    
 Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64bit
 Memory DDR3 1600 MHz SDRAM, OnBoard Memory 4 GB
 Display 13.3" 16:9 IPS FHD (1920x1080) Glare panel
 Storage 500GB HDD With 128 G SSD
 Camera Front HD camera & 5M rear camera
 Interface 1 x COMBO audio jack 
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) 
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert 
1 x micro HDMI
1 x Docking Connector
1 x mini Display Port
1 x SD card reader
 Battery 2Cells 5000 mAh Polymer Battery
2Cells 3120 mAh Polymer Battery

I would call it love at first site.  A 13.3" tablet/ultrabook.  There wasn't a lot of reviews on this device since it was so new in the market and the price was a little steep at $1400 but it was exactly what I was looking for.  I ordered it and couldn't hardly wait to get home with it and set it up.  This is one beautiful product.  The depth of color is incredible to say the least.  It feels a bit awkward as the display is basically the brains of the unit and the keyboard half is more of a dock, it feels a bit top heavy but is very stable and doesn't tip over.  It's more of a mind trip than a real issue. 

I must confess, I had issues locating a number of functions and features in Windows 8 and became extremely frustrated that first night.  I bit the bullet and logged on over at Virtual Training Company and took the Microsoft Windows 8: Introduction Course by Mark Long.  I didn't take the entire 7.5 hrs. course but about 4 hrs and I'm sure glad that I did.  I'm now a fan of Windows 8 and contrary to my previous blog about not using Windows 8 on my desktop, I'm now planning to upgrade that as well.  Microsoft could have done a much better job helping make the transition but they didn't and that is the reason it will take a lot longer for this Windows to catch on.  I do believe it will catch on but the learning curve is just too much for the average user who just wants to do their thing on the PC and get off.  I consider myself to be an Expert Windows user and this one was tough for me to take on.

If you have the desire and time, Windows 8 Pro is certainly worth the trouble to learn.  One of the most impressive things about it is how fast it boots up from a power off mode.  I say go for it!  Sign up for a course on Windows 8 and you'll be glad you did.