Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Should I buy a Windows 8 PC?

If you need a new PC, now is a great time to get one and don't let Windows 8 stop you. Now don't go getting a new PC just because you think Windows 8 needs a new PC either. This is NOT the case. If you need a new PC...Get One!

See my article on Windows 8. 

Just announced January 17, the Windows 8 introductory prices are going way up! Upgrade will be $119 Feb 1. Get the upgrade before then for $39g.99.

This new round of Windows PCs built for the new Windows 8 Operating System are hitting the market right now.  To get the most out of Windows 8 you will want to get one that is touch-capable. That is you can touch the screen to navigate around Windows. Although this feature is not new, it has evolved much and is a major benefit to Windows 8. Recent tablets like Apple's iPad are touch-cable. In fact, using a keyboard or mouse is NOT the norm to get a great experience. The new Windows PCs with touch give you the benefits of a tablet without losing the power of a laptop.

All of the major brands are embracing this new Windows 8 experience so there is a lot of choice. In my opinion, there might be a bit too much choice. To a certain extent, there are so many looks and configurations that one might get confused and have a difficult time deciding which to get. It will likely take the better part of a year before the masses gravitate to a narrower group of hardware while the less chosen fall by the wayside.

We have the common desktop, laptop, tablet, ultra book, hybrid and all-in-one. I'll describe these and show some pictures so you can be better prepared when you trek to the store to shop.

All the buzz surrounds new Windows tablets called Surface with Windows RT.  The Surface was made to compete directly with Apple's iPad and it does pretty well for the most part. From the articles I've read, the common complaint only seems to be that it is a bit sluggish but the look and feel are quite good. The Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) pre-installed. This is a slightly scaled down version of Office but virtually all of us will be quite comfortable with it. You can even get a keyboard cover (priced extra) for the Microsoft Surface tablet. The Surface starts at $499 just like the iPad. It is wise to note that Windows RT, a version of Windows 8, does NOT let one install older Windows 7 software. Like the iPad, you will use newly created software that you can get from the Windows App Store right from the Surface.

Simon Bisson of ZDNet says  "what I've been looking in a tablet for years now has been something that's light, powerful, and above all, able to run Office. That's why my last four laptops have been tablet PCs. They've all been powerful, they've all run Office, but they have never ever been light. That's where Surface has the advantage."

Laptops and notebooks  have expanded to Ultra books, very thin and light, to convertibles, where the screen flips around. But the standard laptop is still alive and well and still popular but with Windows 8 and a touch screen, using the laptop is easier and just more fun. Laptops come from many suppliers and the sky is the limit on capability and price so do some comparisons. For those that want a regular PC that can run older Windows programs yet still does Windows 8 where surfing the web and checking e-mail are the common chores, then the less expensive laptops with Windows 8 will work just fine. There really isn't a badly built laptop for this type of person.

Ultra books and the next generation of thin and light and very powerful laptops are for the more technology savvy person. One who needs a powerful processor and speed. Check out the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 for $999. This a thin Ultra book that is also a convertible where the screen folds all the way around flat. It's a little thicker than a tablet but a very powerful PC.

Source: HP
Scott Glenn of CNET says that The Hybrid Windows PC is "a tablet that turns into a laptop or a laptop that turns into a tablet." This genre of Windows PC begins with the Microsoft Surface Table and tablets made from the likes of Acer, Asus and Samsung running Windows RT. After the first of the year the more powerful Surface Pro that runs Windows 8 that can run those older Windows programs. Some of these will be Hybrid in nature where keyboards can slip or click on to the back of a keyboard.

One of my personal favorites is the all-in-one style where the large monitor contains the DVD/CD drive and computer innards. Add a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse and you have a small foot print Windows PC that doesn't have that bird's nest of wires all around. Again, using the touch-capable Windows 8 and you've got a real joy for a PC and one that is easy to see. Check out Windows 8 all-in-one PCs from Samsung, HP, Gateway, Dell, Vizio and Lenovo priced from $550 to $1,400.

All in all, the current crop of new Windows PCs should be able to meet every one's needs. I have read that people are waiting on a new purchase because there is uncertainty with Windows 8. From my experience with Windows 8, the new operating system is absolutely no reason to wait on a new PC. If your old one is on it's last leg, feel comfortable that getting a new one with Windows 8 will not make your sweat.

News from Microsoft as reported on the Windows Blog.

"As we pass the one month anniversary of the general availability of Windows 8, we are please to announce that to-date Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses. Tam Reller shared this news with industry and financial analysts, investors and media today at the Credit Suise 2012 Annual Technology Conference. Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 PCs. And we also set out to make upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 super easy."

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