Cameron’s Favorite Windows 8 Devices…So Far

The most innovative, beautiful, and powerful mobile devices on the planet are running Windows 8. Here is my current list of pin-worthy Windows 8 devices.
Sony VAIO Duo 11 Ultrabook with Active Stylus Pen
SONY VAIO Duo 11 Ultrabook
I have always used a lot of Sony products. We have a long shared history that predates the Walkman™. Sony continues to be a trailblazer with a unique hybrid device for Windows 8–the VAIO Duo 11 Ultrabook. This is a tablet…I mean…notebook…I mean PC…I do not really know what the heck to call this thing…but it is super cool.

First, understand that this is a full 64-bit PC that converts like an Decepticon into a full-fledged tablet. My attention was initially drawn to the full HD IPS display. This a beautiful display and reading text is easy on the eyes at this screen-size and resolution. Additionally, Sony has added NFC proximity sensors so that you can exchange files with your Windows Phone, pay for meals, or tap and send music wireless speakers. For more than ten years, handwriting recognition and digital ink have been hallmarks of Windows tablet devices. With the VAIO Duo, Sony does not disappoint with the inclusion of a pressure-sensitive digitizer stylus pen. Sony has always been about creative arts and using a active stylus is best way to extend your natural artistic gifts to the digital domain. The VAIO Duo has to be one of the most clever designs for a Windows 8 device.

Video: Sony VAIO Duo 11

ASUS TAICHI 21
According to the Mayo Clinic, “tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise.” The new ASUS TAICHI 21 brings that graceful form to mobile devices. The ASUS TAICHI could be the ideal Windows 8 device for high school and college students that want to pack light and have complete flexibility over their mobile life. This hybrid design is a laptop when you need a full computing experience and becomes a tablet when you need a more mobile fare. TAICHI is a dual-screen capacitive touch device, meaning you can use all ten-fingers to interact with the screen. Moreover, TAICHI features an active and 256-level pressure-sensitive stylus pen as well–this is needed when you want to use digital ink for handwriting recognition or precision drawing. This is ideal for note-taking with OneNote, revising documents in Word or PowerPoint, or doing mathematics with Microsoft Mathematics. Also, the full HD display makes this a great device for digital reading.

Video: ASUS TAICHI

ASUS ZENBOOK Touch U500VZ
Your moment of Zen awaits. This is the high performance Ultrabook™ with touch for Windows 8. ASUS pushed everything to the limit with the ZENBOOK Touch. The storage drives are all flash drives so that it boots up quick and finds/transfers files with super speed. I think my favorite aspect is the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card. While gamers will appreciate that, I prefer a discrete card for accelerating HD video editing, effects processing, and production rendering. Moreover, a dedicated graphics card provides you with the necessary power for deep 3D simulations for physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences. The touch screen enables making and mixing music with apps like Cakewalk’s SONAR X2 to be more natural and intuitive. I use a large keyboard with a number pad often. This particular 15″ ZENBOOK has a number keypad built-in so that input numerical data in Excel is more productive.

Video ASUS ZENBOOK Touch

ASUS VivoTab
The ASUS VivoTab RT is my favorite Windows RT device. However, if you need to run your Windows 7 programs or install other desktop apps, then ASUS VivoTab is a great alternative. The ASUS VivoTab is super mobile and loaded with almost every sensor that Windows 8 supports: NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, G-Sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, GPS, etc. The Intel Atom processor promises 9 hours of battery life. When the keyboard mobile dock is attached, the VivoTab gets up to 19 hours of battery life. A student would be hard pressed to say his or her battery died before they got school. While the VivoTab has at 10-finger multi-touch screen; it also sports a Wacom digitizer stylus for precision input for handwriting recognition to take notes, sketch technical drawing, or perform mathematics. The front and rear cameras are also exceptional at 2 megapixels and 8 megapixels respectively. This means you can conduct an HD Skype call or capture high-resolution photography or videos on the same device. Because this is a Windows 8 device, I can plug in my existing USB mobile broadband card and get 4G Internet. I believe the VivoTab would be an ideal first computer, a companion computer, or a replacement mobile device–as long as you are not trying to edit the sequel to Avatar.

Video: ASUS VivoTab

Dell XPS 12 Convertible Ultrabook
I had the Dell XPS 12 device for a few days of Windows 8 demos with media and press. I really liked it and so did the journalists I met. Now, Dell has updated the display to full HD and now, I really love it. At first glance, the XPS 12 masquerades as a traditional Ultrabook computer. But if you press on the HD multi-touch display, the screen pops out and flips over to become a mobile tablet. Like the first XPS 12, there is a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Chip included. The TPM chip provides the security you need to fully encrypt the hard drive. While the XPS 12 is part of Dell’s consumer brand, it is equally at home in enterprise organizations.

Acer Aspire S7
The Aspire S7 is simply gorgeous. This is the ultra-thin Ultrabook. The Aspire S7 comes in 11 and 13 inch models with increasing performance for the larger models. However, no matter the size, this is a super light Ultrabook. The full HD 10-point touch screens fold completely flat so that you can share the Windows 8 experience with a friend. I must admit, I do admire the white Gorilla Glass casing. It is an elegant and rugged Windows 8 Ultrabook. I simply want both sizes.

Video: Acer Aspire S7

Go Beyond the Average Tablet
All of these Windows 8 devices have a variety of price points. I recognize that many costs more than the average media tablet. The difference here is that these are all Windows 8 devices and not the average media tablet. These are fully capable, creative and productive PC devices when that is needed and super mobile devices when that is appropriate. Moreover, all of these devices would be ideal for addressing Common Core State Standards or Next Generation Science Standards and the related online assessments.

I am not a fan of making tradeoffs when they are not necessary. So if you too like a non-compromising mobile experience, let me know in the comments below. And, if you have found some Windows 8 devices even more pin-worthy than my list, please let me know in the comments below.