I have a Sony Vaio Tap20, one of the largest tablets in the world!
Of course, I don’t use it like those guys; it’s too big and too heavy! I use it like this: Which makes it just another desktop.
Well, it’s more than just another desktop, really. It come with an i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM,a 1TB hard drive, a 20-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, wired and wireless LAN, USB 3.0; a pretty nice computer, and it is portable. The battery is heavy and only last 1-2 hours, but technically, I can unplug it and lug it around or sit it in my lap while watching TV, like the gentlemen pictured above (except it’s so heavy it leaves a red skin mark where it rested on my belly or shoulder).
So, the Tap 20 came with Windows 8 shortly after Windows 8 was released. I bought the computer as soon as it came out in November of 2012. I really, really like it and it has been a wonderful work-horse for me. Given the hardware specifications above, I even use it to run the Client Hyper-V that is available with Windows 8, and while it’s barely enough RAM to run a virtual machine or two, it works well. I would use more RAM if it could fit in, but it doesn’t. That is truly the only thing I dislike about it.
Now Windows 8 on this machine has been an experience. The first thing I did on the machine was upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. I mean, really, I need all the bells and whistles, not some substandard of an operating system. Honestly, I hate some of the default Windows 8 apps, like Mail, but still use it all the time. I also have Office 2013 Professional, and use Outlook 2013 for my more important mail activity. The Calendar app was showing me birthdays and other events for people I simply didn’t care enough about to be reminded, and it took me a lot of time to fix that (calendar events are coming from the Windows account, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
So on Friday, 18 October 2013, I went to the Windows Store and lo and behold! There was the Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade, which I ran.
It took some time, but went perfectly.
It has new functionality in the Start icon—it is still not a Start button—which suits me fine.
I like the concept of the Start screen, which is a Start button and menu all in one.
Several important differences after the upgrade:
1. The screen is much, much brighter. Too bright, almost. The screen sits kitty-corner to me at my desk, and when I’m using the KVM’ed monitor on my servers, the glare from the right-side of the Sony Tap 20 screen causes reflections in my eyeglasses, making it hard to read my KVM’ed monitor. I tried to turn it down, but the Tap 20 was actually on the lowest brightness setting. In fact, turning it UP seemed to make no difference, it was just as bright. I found that If I leave it in a white backgrounded app it is too bright, so I usually leave it in the start screen, which, with its default dark blue background, is better. But even so, the dark blue of Windows 8.1’s start screen is several shades lighter than the dark blue background of Windows 8! So I’m thinking that the driver was updated by Sony for the 8.1 release and needs some more tweaking. Come on, Sony, you can do it!
2. Annoyingly, because I have my university email in the Mail app, it is now requiring me to have the screen password locked. This shouldn’t be a problem but it happens after only 15 minutes of inactivity. I went into the local group policy and set all the settings* to an hour and a half, but it STILL locks after 15 minutes. Since I often spend several hours at my desk (I work mostly at home now, writing & videoing mostly) this is getting to be a real PITA.
3. The Mail app has been slightly improved. Not enough for me, but a few of the more nasty “features'” are gone. I’m not sure I want the Favorite (People) folder in the tree…
4. My Wireless network often loses it’s connectivity on the Tap 20. This happened before the upgrade, too, so I’m not putting this in the Windows 8.1 column, but I did hope that this would be fixed. I think it’s part of the overall inactivity settings I can’t seem to change, but maybe not. I have to do more research on it.
All in all, the upgrade went very smoothly, and I am very pleased with Windows 8.1 so far!