Stichwort 'Netbooks'

Cheap Tablets

Samstag, 29. Oktober 2016 - 19:27

Not a good choice: I tried out a cheap tablet netbook PC. It is the Trekstor SurfTab twin 10.1 with MS-Windows 10. After about four months of (not to frequent) usage, the keyboard now sometimes stops working. The issue also is related to the position of the tablet. I think, that the cable between the keyboard and the dock for tablet is a weakpoint due to the bending that occurs when opening and closing the device.

By the way, don’t consider to use such cheap tablets for Linux. You can boot it externally (with some tweaks), but latest if it comes to start graphical mode, you’ll be in trouble. I guess that Microsoft made sure, that no competing operating systems can kick Windows out.

Try in case you search computers (including Netbooks etc.) which support Linux.

I now use that SurfTab with an USB hub (which has its own power supply) and an external keyboard for tasks where I cannot avoid Windows (e.g. for my iPhone). But my main computer is a Acer Aspire R11. Computers from that family work fine with Linux.

2016-10-31: I could’t stop myself and opened the keyboard and its dock for the tablet. Now I lost the warranty, but got some insight. What we see here, doesn’t need any further comment.

Windows 10 on Trekstor Surftab Twin 10.1

Montag, 13. Juni 2016 - 10:26

I bought myself a TrekStore Surftab twin 10.1 with MS Windows 10. The price is very low. Presently you can get it for less than 200€. Don’t buy it if you want to boot it from external media. But it is a fine little netbook computer – if Windows 10 is just what you need.

Seemingly on MS Windows Tablet computers, the UEFI and MS Windows is 32bit (So I installed 32bit LibreOffice etc.) even though the CPU is 64bit. There is no BIOS emulation available for booting from bootsticks with MBR. As fot UEFI, they want to make it really difficult to boot from external media. I don’t know of a Linux distribution with 32bit UEFI. Also they seem to have sabotaged the Windows 7 rescue CD utility (which still is available in that Windows 10 and could be used to make a bootstick with some external tools) which throws a 0×80070057 error even after performing the fixes recommended by MS.

Of course there only is a cheap 32GiB eMMC storage. No complaints, you can’t expect more for the price. I added a fast and rugged 64GiB MicroSD (the device can handle up to 128GiB MicroSD) and use VeraCrypt-Containers.

The microUSB connector is for the power supply only.

Windows 10 is ok. I need it anyway for iPhones etc. Compared to LinuxMint (with Mate dektop), there are two things I don’t like about Windows 10:

  • There is no process monitoring applet for the tool bar. Windows 10 doesn’t show a sandclock (or anything like that) when loading applications. It does have a monitoring app which you can use to see that the computer does something, bit that is a waste of desktop space.
  • Language settings determine the available keyboard choices. Keyboards and input methods cannot be added as independently from language settings as offered by my Linux distribution, where I use the IBUS input methods (in a multicultural family).

Otherwise MS did a good job this time.

PS: The TrekStore Surftab 10.1 with my Windows 10 installation didn’t recognize a 3TiB Intenso “Memory Point” external hard drive. The drive got the type number (Artikelnummer) 6031211. Windows reports an USB issue. (Linux Mint, however, recognizes the NTFS file partition without problems.) Intenso didn’t respond to my inquiry, but then I fixed the problem by inserting an good USB hub between the external hard disk and the computer.