At November, 2015
tablets have begun to appear in the marketplace. Microsoft
seems so intent on competing with Android, that they've apparently
made Windows free to manufacturers for smaller devices (not sure
what the limit is, possibly tablets with 9" - 10"
smaller). A couple of advantages that tablets have over desktop
systems is their lower cost, and lower power requirements.
As well, their compactness and portability work to their advantage
for control and monitoring situations.
I recently picked
up a 7" Windows tablet for $99 CAD. In the testing I've
done so far, I can say it works for 108Relays software.
- Model: Proscan PLT7064, with 7" Screen
- Resolution: native is 1024 x 600, but also works at 1280 x
- 1GB RAM, and 16GB Storage (part of which is taken by
- WiFi and BT
- 1 microUSB port for charging and data
- microSD slot
- has cameras and headphone out
- comes with Win8.1 Home
I didn't do any
testing in Win8 -- I took Microsoft up on its
offer of a free upgrade to Win10. Win10 can be toggled
between tablet and desktop modes, which makes it much more
attractive. The upgrade itself went okay,
the problem was finding enough room to store the necessary upgrade
files downloaded from the Microsoft site. Once that got sorted out, all was fine.
will work okay on Win10, in desktop mode. Some have recently
been modified so they'll work on a small tablet screen. Using an OTG cable with a USB/Serial adaptor
this case), the apps can connect to hardware no
To switch between
Tablet and Desktop modes, go: Settings/System/Tablet mode, and
turn it off, and set start mode to "Start in Desktop".
Note: everything is so small on a 7" screen, it's an absolute
necessity to use a stylus. Even then, it can take a bit of
fiddling to tap the right item.
Most lower-end tablets have only 1 usb port, which is used both for charging
and data connection. Which means a tablet
must be operated on battery, when connecting to external
hardware. This severely limits a tablet's usefulness for
monitoring and control projects.
- find a tablet with a separate DC power jack (eg:Aoson)
- find a tablet with 2 or more usb ports (eg: Asus
(assuming one port for charging, and the
other for data)
- do a hardware hack: pull the back off the tablet and
to the battery so that it can be
charged by means other than the
usb port. This will void any
warranty there may be on the tablet.
- Aoson 10", model GB-T-R12
Has separate DC jack. Found on
- Proscan 10" model PLT1067-PK (londondrugs.com)
Has separate dc jack, plus keyboard
- Asus Transformer T100TAF 10" (Amazon)
Has 2 usb ports.
- RCA W101 10" model (RCA site, and
Has 2 usb ports, plus separate DC
jack, plus keyboard
- Vulcan Excursion XB 10" model (on
Has separate DC jack, plus
- Vensmile iPC002 Wintel Mini PC (on Amazon)
Not a tablet, but a very compact pc
box, no display, no keyboard.
Has 1 microUSB, plus 2 standard USB
ports. Power connection is
through the microUSB port.
Has wifi and BT.
- Pipo X8, 7" model (on Amazon)
This is a tablet screen in a
box. The box is promoted as connecting
to a TV to make it
"smart". It has 4 standard USB ports, plus 1
microUSB port, plus separate DC
jack. There is no battery.
It also has an RJ45 network jack,
plus the usual wifi.
found these units by searching the 'Net. I have no direct
experience with any of them. Acquire and test at your own
Windows 10 Updates (Jan 04/16)
Microsoft has changed how updates work in Win10. With Win10
Home you have no choice but to receive
updates. In Win10 Pro, you can defer updates for a period of
time (some months only, it seems).
It's not clear (to
me) at this writing how far Windows goes in forcing reboots
(updates implying a possible reboot). If you want to prevent
updates coming into your Win10 tablet, you have a couple of
options: (1) you can disconnect/disable your network connection;
or (2) you can go into the network settings, and set your
connection as "metered" (meaning high-priced - pay by
the minute), in which case Windows wont download updates until you
change to a faster connection.