Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Micro Center WinBook TW770 Beginning Review

I'm skipping a partially written topic I have, and moving on to my first entry in three months. This is a review for a small Windows 8.1 tablet I recently purchased. It does have limited resources but is able to run all of the single tasks I have tried. There is a slightly larger version (the TW801) at double the price if you do need more resources. The price is the primary factor why I bought it, as low as $59.99 from the manufacturer.

It is a complete Windows 8.1 installation (not Windows RT) and includes two licenses of Office 365 valid for a year. I've bought additional accessories that make the unit much more functional, which I will show below. The main limitation of the WinBook TW770 is only 1Gb of DDR RAM memory (the TW801 has 2Gb of DDR3 RAM). The flash RAM drive is also small (16Gb, which is close to the capacity of many Chromebook models), but if you are accustomed to working from the cloud you will be able to adapt (the TW801 has 32Gb SSD storage).

A single full-sized USB port provides some functionality, but I wanted more, as well as an ability to run USB devices from an external power supply (not from the limited battery of the tablet). The device I found is exactly what is needed, shown here ($9.99 on Amazon):
With USB an Ethernet adapter, Prolific serial port (make sure you have a chipset version that works with Windows 8.1), and external drives are possible. I also use a Logitech USB travel mouse (rather than Bluetooth, because I can shift it to other equipment I have). Speaking of Bluetooth, I run the tablet in a Logitech K480 ($49.85 on  Amazon), which is also able to operate with two other devices (I connect both my phone and Chromebook).
Other helpful accessories are a micro-HDMI cable for connecting to a larger display, the small Amazon cases and pouch to carry it around and a 64Gb micro-SD memory card. I'll include links to all of these accessories from Amazon below. The next topic will be how the TW770 operates, including pictures of how I use it.

Logitech K480 Bluetooth keyboard:
Kirin Micro-USB powered hub:
Amazon 7-inch tablet sleeve:

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