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Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android


I have a Linx 7 and I quite like it. My old NC10's LCD ribbon failed again (thanks Samsung) and being in need of something to replace it for bedside viewing I debated where to go for the solution. Given that the machine's hardly essential price was a major factor, and although I swore I'd never buy a tablet because they were pointless gimmicks, for the £60 I paid for the 7" model I couldn't resist.

On the Linx 7: Looks good, visually featureless, flat and black, I like this look. The casing does seem to flex a bit more than I'd like, I don't think it would stand up to being sat on terribly well if that's the sort of misfortune you commonly encounter. Specs-wise it's "good enough", some would consider the 1GB of RAM to be insufficient but in my experience it copes admirably, and in general the machine responds promptly. Battery life is a bit on the weak side, but full x86 tablet, little room for a battery, £60, I'm not going to complain, it's good enough for a movie or two. It can be charged via USB as you'd expect, so you could also stick a battery bank in your pocket if you had to. I'd like a way to use USB peripherals whilst charging, and with some combination of BIOS settings and a particular cable configuration it might be possible, but a second USB port would have been nice.

Side note: Given that the Intel Compute Stick has a very similar spec, including an extra 1GB of RAM, I'm quite optimistic that it'll be a really useful general purpose stickputer, as long as the price in the UK isn't the usual "let's just swap the $ for a £ sign".

On Windows 8.x: I'm not fond, I didn't like it on the desktop, and assumed after my good experience with the UI in Windows Phone that Windows 8 would excel on a tablet. I was partially right in that Metro is smooth and finger-friendly, but it lacks apps. Seriously, no YouTube? No iPlayer? This is a tablet, right? No problem, I'll just use the desktop, I wanted the flexibility of x86 Windows anyway just in case the tablet should be required for more complex tasks, but as you'd expect it's nigh impossible to touch some of the smaller UI elements. You can scale the UI, which works to an extent, making controls much larger and easier to hit, but it can mess with some less well behaved applications, making them too large to fit on the screen.

Also, if you buy from certain retailers you can get trade-in prices, so even cheaper!

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