New Tools! This past weekend I was able to pick up a Windows 8.1 Tablet and Lightbox!
Dell Venue 11 Pro
I bought a Dell Venue 11 Pro from the Microsoft Store while I was in Chicago for work related training. It has the Intel Atom Z3770 “Bay Trail” CPU and runs full Windows 8.1! I’m super excited about the Venue 11 due to the fact that I now have a computer I can easily get out on crowded airplanes to do programming and design work on. I love my 17 inch Dell Precision work laptop but at 8 lbs and as wide as it is it just isn’t easy to work on from an airplane seat back tray table with limited elbow room. The Venue 11 Pro should solve that problem for me and also allow me to mess with my designs while hanging out in the living room with the wife. I’m waiting for the keyboard/trackpad dock to arrive in the mail this week which should allow it to function like a standard 11″ laptop when the tablet is docked in it.
After only three days my first impressions are highly positive. Its super zippy for a mobile style processor and has run everything I’ve thrown at it so far. I have Visual Studio 2013 loaded on it along with the IDEs for Arduino and MikroC. All run like a champ. It evens runs Torchlight 2 for some real computer gaming on the go! Next step will be to load Eagle CAD and a 3D modelling package on it for 3D Printing. I’m pretty confident those will run just fine as well. It only has 64Gb of storage space which is a little restricting but should be just enough. I may need to start installing some applications on a USB 3.0 Flash Drive at some point.
My other pickup was a photography lightbox from a company called Cowboy Studio. Taking pictures on my desk don’t always turn out the best so I’m hoping this should make things a lot easier to see when trying to photograph details. The premise being it makes an “infinite white” background. As you can see I need to do some ironing of the cloth insert but I’m pretty happy with how the picture of my Arduino turned out. I don’t know that I’ll use it for everything since I don’t have a space where I can just leave it up all the time but it’s handy for pictures I just can’t get to turn out otherwise. At only $12 it was hard to turn down.