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by JB Burke

Q. I want a tablet but I don't want to have to learn a new system, like Apple iOS or Android. What do you think of Windows tablets?

A. You'll find two kinds of Windows tablets – those that run Windows 8 and those that run Windows RT. RT is a stripped down version of Windows 8, and there aren't many apps for it just yet – certainly nothing like what you'll find for Android tablets or iPads. So first of all, look for a tablet that runs full Windows 8. If you do that, you'll be able to use all your Windows experience, and run not only the Windows 8 apps, from the Windows Store, but also those many, many desktop apps you've learned to love.

There are a number of advantages of going to the Windows 8 tablet. Most of these tablets have keyboard options. If you want to do more than just web browsing or watching movies, then having the availability of a keyboard will be very helpful. Of course you can also use the Windows 8 Metro (think tiles) interface with the tablet's touch screen as well.

Another nice feature is Microsoft's SkyDrive. This allows you to synchronize between your Windows desktop and your Windows tablet. You can't really do that with between Windows and the Android tablet. You can exchange files with apps like DropBox, but SkyDrive is best for Windows to Windows syncing. Another nice feature of the Windows 8 tablet is that you've got a real browser in Internet Explorer 11. I have an Android Tablet, and IE 11 is much better than the Chrome browser on my Android.

And then there's the SNAP feature that allows more than one app on the screen at once. This too is much nicer that the Android and iPad iOS limit of one app on the screen at once. Most Windows tablets currently have 10 inch or larger screens, though smaller ones are starting to appear. I prefer a larger screen to get more done, but the smaller ones are certainly more portable. Hmmm … perhaps I'll switch to a Windows tablet myself!

Published: Courier 12/15/13 - Page 3C