Best of both worlds: Windows 10?

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Win10 on Vivobook X202E.

I have been running some small workflow tests on doing basic daily tasks – writing, surfing the web, doing email and project budgets – comparatively on three environments: Chromebook, Windows 10 touchscreen PC, and a Macbook Pro.

While the Mac is the most efficient and beautifully designed of them all (and the retina display is a pleasure to behold), the shallow-move chiclet keyboard does not suit my style of touch-typing. Also, I am still a bit uncomfortable with the way OS X handles maximized apps and keyboard shortcuts to move between them.

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Side by side: Toshiba Chromebook 2, Asus Vivobook X202E (with Win10), and Macbook Pro (with OS X El Capitan).

My Toshiba Chromebook 2 has excellent keyboard, beautiful screen and even the keyboard shortcuts and touchpad controls are simple and clear enough. The problem for a power-user is in the way Chrome OS is often a bit slow to respond, as it needs to load every app and file from the cloud. Also, basic operations such as copy and paste of data between cloud-based apps does not always work, which can be really painful when you are busy working on a deadline.

Windows systems are the basic workhorses of many industry professionals and office workforce in general. I recently updated my old Asus Vivobook X202E into Windows 10, and I have actually been positively surprised how snappy this underpowered, “netbook class” PC can be under the new OS. I also like the flexible, two-handed way of managing the OS and apps simultaneously via both touchscreen, touchpad and keyboard. The trick is to stick to the bare essentials in the software – for example, Chrome is too much work for this old machine to handle these days, but the native Edge browser of Win10 is not (yet) burdened by various extensions and it runs light and fast enough so that I can actually get into the web-based data before my patience runs out. Also, the classic office software and some interesting “modern style” apps work fine in Windows – e.g. this post was written in the new native WordPress desktop app, which can be from found here: https://desktop.wordpress.com/ .

Your mileage may vary, e.g. depending on which cloud service and app ecosystem you are primarily located in. I am a mixed user of iCloud, OneDrive and Dropbox myself (and Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Chrome devices), and while I think that all major OS & service ecosystems have their strengths, I am particularly happy with the Windows 10 style of doing things at the moment. (If only my touchscreen laptop would be a bit more capable and up to date model…)

Author: frans

Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, esp. Digital Culture and Game Studies in the University of Tampere, Finland.