Asus Transformer T100TA Tablet

I hate to say it that this tablet has killed the Surface RT for me. The full Windows 8.1 (no RT!) tablet with a seriously docked keyboard is a fun and great locking bit of kit, whilst not as high spec and definitely plasticky (is that a word?) it still looks and feels good. At 32gb internal memory it does most things that I disliked about the Surface RT:

  • You can install stuff, woop woop! so hello iPlayer, VLC player, Zip 7
  • You can prop it up on your lap, no flappy keyboard
  • The keyboard feels like a keyboard
  • It’s one hell of a serious dock mechanism
  • Serious 11 hour battery life
  • Micro USB charge port
  • A full USB port and a usable Micro USB port – usefule with an adapter to full size
  • I don’t use a mouse with this device, unlike the Surface RT, as the keypad has a good feel to it

OK, so as ever onto the hates:

  • It is stroppy in regards to  charging – it likes good quality cable and occasional hates high powered chargers – liking the odd slow charge
  • It’s screen size is smaller than the Surface RT and not as good quality, the Surface RT has a certain clarity about it
  • No rear camera
  • It does come with Office 2013 – Word, Excel, PowerPoint but this does not include Outlook
  • This one is the killer… you cannot back up and delete the restore image to USB like you can on the Surface RT. Effectively giving you only 10gb of workable storage so although I can install I am loath to!

I have favoured this over the Surface RT though (as much as it pains me to admit, I just wish it was the 64gb version!

Andy

Changing Phone Provider to Three

I have for the past two years had a 1gb data limit for my phone and although I never go over this limit I do get very close. When I was looking to get the iPhone 6 Plus I wanted to move to 4G and have a healthy data limit, I had been hearing no complaints regarding three and plenty from all the other providers and thought that it would be worthy of a further look into….

  • everyone I knew on three had no complaints
  • it was eat all you could data on 4G (although as yet nobody seemed to be using 4G in my local area of M25 to Southend-on-Sea)
  • great price – £15/month for 12 months (my wife’s contract is 12 months behind mine so this would put us at the same time for renewal)
  • 4GB of free tethering a month (a previous blog entry outlines my frustrations with prior provider) and in light of MS Surface RT effectively dead in the water without a WiFi connection this was a definite positive

I signed up and have no regrets at all, in fact there were further benefits (in part to the new iPhone)

  • A 5 minute dead-spot on my commute is no longer dead
  • Southend has 4G
  • where I live, a rural spot, has 4G as well (in fact it is often twice as fast as my home broadband)
  • due to the “eat all you can data” plan I am finding myself changing settings to update my phone as I roam (hopefully taking the burden of my heavily utilised home broadband to some degree)

Great job Three!

 

Andy

Type Keyboard on the Surface RT

Last week the felt-like backing started to come away from my Type Keyboard (v1), only a little and right at the back in the middle, a little double sided sticky tape that was cut to size and placed with tweezers seems to have done the job at holding the material to the exposed metal well. It seems on mentioning this to a colleague that they have they same problem as well with their type keyboard, so maybe it is not uncommon.

It seem that the new generation of keyboards (v2) have a plastic backing so should not be prone to this, although I am not too happy at the prospect of having to purchase a £100+ keyboard just because the backing has come away. Although I have seen the v1 keyboards price falling under £60, as well as the type 2 keyboards if your willing to look around on the web and  have them imported from the US.

 

Andy

Anti-Virus on the Surface RT

A colleague asked a question as to ether they needed to install anti-virus upon their surface RT:

Windows 8 includes Windows Defender, a replacement for Microsoft Security Essentials, as the stock anti-virus on the Surface RT. As the Surface RT also utilises and RT version of windows, effectively only allowing “signed” applications to be installed (of which there are very few and these are all official such as office 2013), the chances of you becoming infected are extremely rare.

Besides unless it was an anti-virus App you would not be able to install it anyway due to the Windows RT restrictions!

Andy

Blank Outlook Tile on the Surface RT

office SP1

My outlook tile is blank after what seems a recent update. Checking for recent updates still outstanding has not solved the issues, as well as trying to remove and reinstate the tile. On further enquiry it seems there is a service pack (SP1) for the office 2013 installed on the RT.

  1. Swipe from the right for the charms menu
  2. Select settings
  3. Select change PC settings
  4. Select update and recovery
  5. Select Windows update
  6. Select View details (if SP1 is shown skip to step 9)
  7. Select the Back Arrow
  8. Select Check Now button
  9. Check the checkbox under Office 2013 and next to Service Pack 1 for Microsoft 2013 (KB2850036) RT
  10. Select the Install button
  11. The update process will take a few minutes
  12. Select the Restart Now button

You should now see the Outlook tile restored 🙂

Andy

iPhone Tethering (via Bluetooth) to the Surface RT

blutooth

This week I had the opportunity to finally connect to my iPhone (well I did not really I just did not have local WiFi password when I needed it)

Simply put it is a case of turning on your Personal Hotspot and once your surface picks up your phones name input the password that is set, the problem is this will cost myself £5/Gb. Not something that I want to worry about. Connecting via wire/USB is not an option as you cannot install the drivers required on the Surface RT but you can by Bluetooth…..

Follow instrustions on how to connect bluetooth given by microsoft:

  1. On iPhone turn on Bluetooth (swipe up from homescreen to ensure Bluetooth is turned on, or settings > Bluetooth > on)
  2. Turn on personal hotspot (settings > personal hotspot > on)
  3. On the RT Surface swipe from the right to access the3 charms menu
  4. Select Change PC setting,
  5. select devices,
  6. add device
  7. Accept pairing on the  iPhone and surface as instructed
  8. To allow internet access on the Surface RT go to the control panel > Hardware and Sound > View device and printers
  9. Select the iPhone and you will find that more option appear above
  10. Select “Connect Using” and then click on drop down menu and Select Access Point.

I have found this is sufficient for reasonable access. Don’t expect it to be consistent/stable.

Andy

Musemee Notier Prime V2 Stylus and the Surface RT

IMG_6940_20140303_173116

I have lost my beloved Musemee Notier 😦 I have a bamboo stylus as a backup but there is a new Notier model, the Prime 🙂 . I could not resist!

Arriving in a far more stylish case the Prime has a rubberised grip, my previous gripe was that the Notier was a devil for rolling away (it probably still will but not as fast) and certainly long-term use would have your fingers slipping. I am sure this  model is a little lighter (18g) and possibly shorter (137mm),  hopefully I can compare with another original Notier soon.

Update: The original is approximately 25g and 142mm and , so a huge weight saving but one that does not take away from the feel greatly.

So what do you get for just under £16 (inc. delivery) ?

  1. Tracked Delivery (mine took exactly one week to arrive)
  2. Improved case instead of cardboard box
  3. The Prime with one stylus tip
  4. A small bullet shaped capsule holding 2 spare tips (I am sure I only got one with my original Notier but got 2 – so now I have 7 tips in total!

IMG_6945_20140303_173403

 

Until next time!

Andy

Replacement Power Supply for the Surface RT

It finally happened, I lost misplaced my charger (reclaim it next week) so I needed a replacement quickly and preferably cheaper than an original. Enter Amazon and a 3rd party offering for £24 (Inc. Delivery) that took two days to get to me (just in time for a business trip or two this weekend). Made by the company that produces the end connector it is a  genuine Battpit™ product and comes with 1 year warranty and I am genuinely pleased with it.

  •  3.6A / 45w of power compared to the original charger at 2A/24w, almost doubling the charge rate
  • The overall length of cable from plug to end connector is a whopping 3.24m compared to the original 1.5m charger length. I always found the original could have done with another half metre of length
  • The magnetic strength of connection is not worse (or better)

Don’t get me wrong it has its issues build quality is not as nice as the original,

  • End connector not as polished
  • Chunky block midway is a bug-bear (although the official charger for the Surface Pro 2 is the same format)
  • No LED built into end connector to confirm good connection (you can simply check on the tablet for charging status)
  • I never got the little velcro strap as in the image above – not a deal breaker but would have been nice touch especially as cable is so long

I certainly would recommend it as a cheaper alternative, and one I am less likely to mule over if lost. I have swapped out the mains cable for a slimer lead (and smaller form factor plug) from an old laptop charger to reduce the supplied heavier duty cable.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DSL7600 

Andy

VGA Adapter (W7S-00001) on the Surface RT

I have received  the correct VGA adapter (some time ago) outline in a past post ( http://wp.me/pspi8-gt ). And have used a number of times, not really much to say other than it does as expected. Giving you the option to be the primary, duplicate (mirror) or extended desktop that most windows users have encountered.

The connection to the surface can occasionally be temperamental, but this is minimal. I would avoid 3rd party adapters as these are likely not to have the angled face on the connector to the surface that helps (in the most part) to ensure a good fit.

Andy