After a few months of using the 8" tablet Dell Venue 8 Pro it’s gotten a few non-obvious gadgets that you wouldn’t immediately think you’d need (or need).I decided to make a little list, maybe someone will be useful. Plus some stuff about saving disk space and useful programs.
Under the pictures are links to places to buy (ebay, dx) or descriptions on yandex.markt if it’s easier to buy in Russia. Most, of course, belong to the class of "make a tablet out of a netbook", but the thing is that I do not need to connect everything at once. Sometimes only a card reader is enough, sometimes only a network interface, etc. And the netbook has it all hooked up all the time and sometimes it gets in the way.
Most importantly, a specially trained cord with a charge/data switch. Allows you to charge your tablet from any charger, not just the native one. Even from your computer’s USB port. Although it is better not to mock the device and provide it at least 1A.
Case. In general, I have never used a case for tablets, but here I decided to get one – a keyboard with a stand came later, but I do not always take it with me. The case is pretty decent, unlike many inexpensive universal covers, it doesn’t increase the size of the tablet significantly. I bought it on ebay. The clasp is magnetic, when you open the cover, the tablet does not turn on – not the iPad.
Keyboard. Needed because the tablet was taken as a substitute for a laptop on short trips. After buying the tablet I took the first one I saw – oclick 840s – I didn’t like it. Small buttons, crooked layout. Typing is impossible. After a lot of reading in the Internet, I settled on the Microsoft Wedge Mobile. Full-size keys, normal layout, keyboard case, which works as a stand for the tablet. Powered by AAA batteries, automatically turns on when you remove the cover and turns off when you put it on. Heavy, of course, but the advantages outweigh this drawback.
Mouse. Still the same old bluetooth logitech (v470) that has been in use since I bought my first 10" netbook in 2008.
Three-port USB hub with card reader. Plugs directly into microUSB, no need to use an adapter. Nice and handy.
USB networking device. Some no-name Chinese one, I don’t remember when I got it on dx.com. I prefer to plug it with a microUSB-USB adapter, because I usually need it somewhere "in the field", where a dangling hub would be inconvenient. I do not give the link, because the network drive is completely nameless. It is identified as something like AT1001.
64GB SanDisk "SDSDQUI-064G-U46" microSDXC UHS-I Class10 memory card. Thought about using it to install programs, but after looking at the speed of the tests, decided that better not. Built-in SSD is not fast, but still many times faster than the memory card. For this reason the memory card is only for data storage.
Initially there was 11 gigabytes free which pretty quickly turned into 2-3 gigabytes. So at the first opportunity I installed a clean Windows (by removing the recovery partition) and cleaned it up a bit (but not too much):
- Reduced minimal size of swap file to 300 megabytes (max set to 2 gigabytes).
- Reduced the size of the hibernation file to half the size of the RAM :
powercfg /h size 50
- Removed pre-installed tile programs. The first command deletes the installed ones, the second command disables their reinstallation when a new user is created. The app store remains, so what you need can be reinstalled.
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage
Get-AppXProvisionedPackage -online | Remove-AppxProvisionedPackage –online
The result is 20 gigabytes of free space on a clean system. Additionally, you can use NTFS compression, the good thing from the CPU point of view these days it is almost free. But this is all in the process of use is already done.
Of course, you could fiddle with wimboot, thank good people already made up a manual
Pros of wimboot – don’t have to give up the recovery partition, gigabytes of free space over and above my results.
Cons – it’s a lot of fiddling, even with the instructions available. Not for lazybones, in general.
After that, I moved the user folders – Document, Pictures, Downloads, Dropbox, Onedrive, etc. to the memory card.
I kept my desktop on the SSD, as well as appdata folders, because this is where my work files are kept and should be accessed as fast as possible.
The most useful ones are TouchMousePointer Virtual Touchpad. Makes it very easy to work with desktop software. Plus it’s free. A must to install.
As a graphics viewer (the tablet was also taken for the original sorting of raw footage) I decided on the IrfanView Lightroom is too cumbersome for a small screen, and FastPictureViewer was not up to expectations (especially in terms of support). I am not a big fan of this program, I do not like the interface. Faststone Viewer is more convenient, and works better with the touch screen (knows about swiping gestures). But irfanview has almost no competitors in terms of speed.
Although, don’t forget about the built-in windows viewer – it shows Olympus raw previews without any problems and rather smartly. So, I have to delete bad frames at first, and irfanview for batch processing and small editing when I want to publish/send something. And I put a bigger skin on the buttons.
IE as my main browser is tiled IE. I tried Firefox, but it is slow in tile mode. Therefore, although installed, it is used in desktop mode only for
porn sites ad-laden pages – for IE there are no working adblock, flashblock or other useful plugins.
The rest is about the same as on the desktop. MS Office 2013, Potplayer – it has customizable touch screen support, aTrip and Geosetter to work with GPS-logger, Steam client. And other programs as needed.