My iPad Beater


A while back I got myself a Packard Bell Butterfly Touch laptop. It reminded me a bit of the Toshiba M200 I used to know and love, with a twisty screen that made it into a tablet or a notebook. I quite liked the machine and found it much more useful to carry round than any device whose name begins with i. A few weeks ago I popped a solid state drive in it (you can get the OCZ Agility 3 120G drives for less than 100 pounds now – excellent value) and loaded it up with Windows 8. Result = happiness. I’m in the process of getting used to Windows 8 (I keep starting up Internet Explorer rather than the Start button) but what I’ve got now is a really useful device with a battery that seems to go on for ever.

I took this machine to Singapore and, although it is a teensy bit underpowered to run Kinect programs, it did everything else I asked of it with aplomb. I did quite literally a whole day’s work at Schipol airport using the device. I really can get 10 hours of useful battery life out of it.  And it can boot faster than my iPad.

Windows 8 on the touch screen works very well, it seems to support the swiping gestures very well, and the fact that I can open it up and start typing into Word, or PowerPoint, or Visual Studio, is just wonderful. I even wrote my first Windows 8 application on the device while I was at the airport, along with my sessions for CampFire.

There are not many “twisty top” laptops out there at the moment, perhaps this will change when Windows 8 gets going. And while I was at CampFire I got a look at Shane’s really nice Samsung Series 7 Slate. But for now this is my weapon of choice for carrying around and doing stuff.