1. Armada's Avatar
    I was considering buying a Dell Venue Pro 8 since it's such a good price on the Microsoft Store. I think it'll be nice to run Windows 8.1 on a tablet since I've been enjoying it on my desktop. However, I am also a tinkerer. I'm used to my very open Nexus 7 (2012 version) and my PC which I built to be a friendly to other operating systems as possible. I like trying out the newer versions of Ubuntu and Elementary OS and I'd like to dual boot Android as well. I'm aware of Android x86 but that seems to have some problems and I don't think there's and Android-IA build for Bay Trail yet.

    So just how friendly are Windows tablets to other operating systems? I'm hoping it's as easy as with my PC because I'm not so sure I want to get into a device that is relatively more locked down.
    01-28-2014 09:39 AM
  2. N_LaRUE's Avatar
    Windows 8.1 on a tablet is the same as a Windows 8.1 Laptop. There's no difference aside from the Solid State Drive (SSD).

    It's only Windows RT that's different.

    Anything you wouldn't do on a laptop is the same thing you wouldn't do on a tablet. :)
    01-28-2014 10:11 AM
  3. Armada's Avatar
    Windows 8.1 on a tablet is the same as a Windows 8.1 Laptop. There's no difference aside from the Solid State Drive (SSD).

    It's only Windows RT that's different.

    Anything you wouldn't do on a laptop is the same thing you wouldn't do on a tablet. :)
    That... Doesn't answer the question I asked. I was not inquiring about the difference between a Windows tablet and laptop. I was asking is is just as easy to install another OS on a Windows tablet as it is any other PC.
    01-28-2014 11:40 AM
  4. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Theoretically, yes. The only problem is getting hold of suitable drivers, which might be tricky considering the touch screen. Have a mouse/keyboard handy. Also, you'll want a 64gig version to make it dual boot as you'll essentially be making two 32gig tablets in one. An alternative would be to have a USB stick for each extra OS install and run off that when you need to drop to Linux.
    Armada and xandros9 like this.
    01-28-2014 12:18 PM
  5. Armada's Avatar
    I did some research of my own and it looks like Bay Trail has a 32-bit UEFI bootloader that seems to limit what can be installed on it right now. I have a feeling that Android-IA will be supported by Intel but Ubuntu and other Linux distros won't boot because they only support 64-bit UEFI. Support may come, it's just a question of when. I'm going to have to weigh the pros and cons of potentially having Windows only, but I have a feeling I'll be able to do more than with just Android. I'd like to have more free reign though.
    xandros9 likes this.
    01-28-2014 12:55 PM
  6. 11B1P's Avatar
    the price is not that great. you can get it cheaper on Amazon. mine was not stable, had to send it back. got a Surface Pro and all is well.
    01-28-2014 01:02 PM
  7. Armada's Avatar
    the price is not that great. you can get it cheaper on Amazon. mine was not stable, had to send it back. got a Surface Pro and all is well.
    Pretty sure $230 new beats $264 on Amazon. I'd get a Surface but it is more than I am willing to spend; the DV8P just so happens to be at the same price as the 2013 Nexus 7 right now. Also, I like the smaller sized tablets (used to have 10 inch at one time). Really wish there was a Surface that size. Anyway, how was it unstable? To be honest, I work in IT so I can troubleshoot my own device I'd just rather not.
    01-28-2014 01:57 PM
  8. 11B1P's Avatar
    Pretty sure $230 new beats $264 on Amazon. I'd get a Surface but it is more than I am willing to spend; the DV8P just so happens to be at the same price as the 2013 Nexus 7 right now. Also, I like the smaller sized tablets (used to have 10 inch at one time). Really wish there was a Surface that size. Anyway, how was it unstable? To be honest, I work in IT so I can troubleshoot my own device I'd just rather not.
    The original price in reference was higher at the MS store. My Dell touch screen would sometimes type multiple letters as I typed. I had to regularly correct the double, triple and quadruple letters. The update page on Dell would never refresh and clear off the updates after I applied them, or else the updates weren't taking effect.
    01-30-2014 08:53 PM
  9. Armada's Avatar
    The original price in reference was higher at the MS store. My Dell touch screen would sometimes type multiple letters as I typed. I had to regularly correct the double, triple and quadruple letters. The update page on Dell would never refresh and clear off the updates after I applied them, or else the updates weren't taking effect.
    Hm, that does sound inconveniencing, but it's the best deal out there and I can't stretch the extra money for the Miix 2. I'll give it a shot and if it starts acting up in 30 days, I'll return it.

    I found out I can at least emulate Android in Genymotion, if I absolutely need an Android app. I've been testing Windows 8.1 in a touch environment with Splashtop and I think I might as well take the plunge. Think there's anything else I should know?
    01-30-2014 08:59 PM
  10. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Hm, that does sound inconveniencing, but it's the best deal out there and I can't stretch the extra money for the Miix 2. I'll give it a shot and if it starts acting up in 30 days, I'll return it.

    I found out I can at least emulate Android in Genymotion, if I absolutely need an Android app. I've been testing Windows 8.1 in a touch environment with Splashtop and I think I might as well take the plunge. Think there's anything else I should know?
    Another restriction with the Dell Venue 8 Pro is the lack of ports. Having a full x86 version of Windows on a tablet sounds nice, but without ports to connect other devices like displays, and external harddrives, I think makes it the worst of both worlds. There is only one microUSB port which is used for only one function... charging the tablet or connecting to a peripheral. I don't know of an 8" tablet that provides as much connectivity as the Surface.

    I've been doing a little research while toying with the idea of getting a full Win8 8" tablet. I nearly pulled the trigger on a Toshiba Encore. But I have a sense that there is going to be a boat-load of new tablets on the horizon in the next 3-4 months.
    01-31-2014 11:16 AM
  11. Armada's Avatar
    Another restriction with the Dell Venue 8 Pro is the lack of ports. Having a full x86 version of Windows on a tablet sounds nice, but without ports to connect other devices like displays, and external harddrives, I think makes it the worst of both worlds. There is only one microUSB port which is used for only one function... charging the tablet or connecting to a peripheral. I don't know of an 8" tablet that provides as much connectivity as the Surface.
    Coming from a Nexus 7, which only has a microUSB port and no SD card slot, it's actually a step up in connectivity! I'm not looking to dock this or hook up external drives so I think I'll manage. If anything, I'll pick up a USB OTG cable.
    xandros9 likes this.
    01-31-2014 03:56 PM
  12. urphonesux's Avatar
    The miix is horrible based on my in store experience. I had no problems at all with the DV8 that I had for 30 days. The speakers were super loud and the processor was plenty snappy to keep up with me. The only low point to windows 8 is the kindle for pc app. IT IS HORRIBLE and not at all what I expected! The ONLY reason I took the Dell Venue 8 Pro back is because I found an awesome deal on a hp split x2
    02-02-2014 05:17 PM
  13. xandros9's Avatar
    full Windows tablets are full computers, just smaller, unlike most other big phones.
    As has been noted, acquiring touchscreen drivers for Linux and gettings a 32-bit UEFI bootloader compatible distro are problems.
    But if you have an OTG cable and maybe a hub, there's little you cannot do compared to a full laptop. Limitations are just size/form factor, disk space, horsepower and being a bit unique in hardware.

    Even inside Windows its fairly open. It's not open source, but it still lets you get under the hood with tools and other utilities. I put f.lux on my Dell and other utilities that wouldn't fly on RT and iOS. Probably on-par with Android. (just more desktop oriented though)
    02-02-2014 08:21 PM
  14. 11B1P's Avatar
    Another restriction with the Dell Venue 8 Pro is the lack of ports. Having a full x86 version of Windows on a tablet sounds nice, but without ports to connect other devices like displays, and external hard drives, I think makes it the worst of both worlds.
    Not exactly true. Click here Look at post #15.
    02-04-2014 02:15 PM
  15. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Not exactly true. Click here Look at post #15.
    In the very general sense, you are correct. Though when we talk about connectivity we generally mean directly. It's the same thing when in another thread we discussed what the Surface can do that the iPad can't. iPad defenders pulled out every kludgey Rube Goldberg option available to allow the iPad to kinda/sorta do what the Surface can do directly without any additional accessories.

    In the end even that dock is not a true viable option because the other limitation of the DV8P (USB charging vs. accessories) is still true.
    xandros9 likes this.
    02-04-2014 03:55 PM
  16. 11B1P's Avatar
    In the very general sense, you are correct. Though when we talk about connectivity we generally mean directly. It's the same thing when in another thread we discussed what the Surface can do that the iPad can't. iPad defenders pulled out every kludgey Rube Goldberg option available to allow the iPad to kinda/sorta do what the Surface can do directly without any additional accessories.

    In the end even that dock is not a true viable option because the other limitation of the DV8P (USB charging vs. accessories) is still true.
    Yeah, I agree. I used the DV8P for a week and found that I didn't care for it.
    02-07-2014 06:24 AM

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