Windows 8 on the Samsung Series 7 Slate
This was asked about in another thread, so I figured it was time to start a new topic. I didn't see a dedicated Samsung subforum, nor a Windows 8 subforum, so I'm putting this here in the general forum for now. Mods should feel free to move it if there's a better place for this discussion.
First off, my background. Compared to some of the folks on this forum, I am a relative newcomer to the TabletPC space. My first tablet was a hand-me-down Motion M1400 about 3-4 years ago. I'd been coveting a slate tablet for years, but never had the money or work justification to purchase one. I immediately fell in love with the M1400 and slate tablets in general, quickly conforming my workflow to the new platform. From there I moved to a lightly used LE1700, which I've used for just over two years.
I use a tablet for taking notes (OneNote synched with Dropbox means that I have notes for every single meeting I've attended in the last 3.5 years immediately accessible) and for lightweight content production and review. This involves heavy user of Excel and Word, moderate use of Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop for concept work and approval and light use of Illustrator and InDesign for final production. The LE1700 has served me well over the last two years, with what is STILL the best screen in the market space, a nice comfortable form factor and decently good performance.
But, it's getting older, slower and this newfangled "touch" thing is kind of catching on. I found myself picking up my iPad more and more often when I just wanted to consume content, and found myself more and more annoyed at system slowdowns as Windows 7 collected the usual cruft of security updates and other things that slowed it down from the early days. Waiting half a bus trip just for Illustrator to start was kind of the last straw.
So, one supervisor approval later, I have a brand new Samsung Series 7 Slate for work. After using it for about 5 minutes just to confirm that (A) it worked and (B) It was full of crapware and stupid configurations, I blew away the OS and installed a clean copy of Windows 8 Developer Preview, sans tools.
I used this page as a guide for the Windows 8 install:
The only thing that didn't work for me was the USB key install. First, it needs a key larger than 4Gb, as the usable space on all of my 4Gb keys was about 100Mb too low to fit all of the files. Second, once I got that working and booted from the key, it refused to acknowledge that there were proper drivers for the hardware on the key (despite having copied all of the files and followed all of the steps). So, since I had a portable USB DVD drive anyway, I just used that instead and all went well.
I'd already played around with Windows 8 a little bit on a traditional laptop, so I had some idea of what to expect, but I really wanted to try it out and see how well the metro style apps worked with a touch device as well as how the overall experience would be improved. Given that the traditional desktop mode is ALMOST indistinguishable from Windows 7, it seemed a no brainer to play around with it and see how well it worked.
After installing all of the Samsung drivers as per the page above (and removing one, which is a subject for the next post), I ended up with Windows 8, Office 2010, Dropbox and Sketchbook Pro. Overall the system has been pretty well behaved, the metro style apps are an interesting concept, especially given how they implemented that feature into Internet Explorer, and for the most part, my software works as expected. I'll follow this up with my specific experiences with the software and features I care about, with the hope that this will prove valuable to anyone who is wondering about either the platform or the OS.