The Minimalist Mobile Workstation featuring the Phoenix Wintab 7

When news of the discounted pricing for the WinTab 7 had manifested, my interest was immediately piqued; here was a full Windows tablet, a PC thru and thru, retailing for an equivalent of 54USD. I called up the contact information provided, found a retailer, and after a couple of drive-by’s to no avail because of parking concerns, I finally took one home with me.

In a nutshell, the Wintab 7 is a 16GB ROM, 1GB RAM, 1.3GHz Intel Atom 3735G, 1280x800px Touchscreen PC with a single microUSB port, a microHDMI out, and a microSD card slot that can connect wirelessly thru bluetooth and WiFi running a Windows 10 Home Edition.

Not at all something you’d expect to be able to do anything on leave for basic tasks like word processing and media consumption (limited to FullHD because of the processor generation), where this configuration is thoroughly sufficient.

When we were in Korea, I had brought only the WinTab as a productivity device apart from my phones. I had with me a bluetooth keyboard by way of the Logitech Keys-to-Go and a wireless mouse (non-bluetooth) in the Logitech M280. Here are some advantages to bringing the WinTab:

It is powered / charges with a MicroUSB and that made it flexible enough to be utilized even though all the sockets in Korea were of the round variety. We had resorted to purchasing an extension plug with two USB outputs so that we won’t need to rent/borrow a number of converters, we’re still using it here on a 110V outlet.

– We were able to leave it at the residence connected to the web for continuous download/upload tasks without much fear of overheat (not that we needed to think about that considering how cold it was there)
– It doesn’t require much space to get set-up, especially helpful because the room we got for the first half of the trip didn’t have a work table. It basically accommodates two beds and a console under the wall mounted LCD TV… no closets too. I situated my workstation at the top part of the bed so I could lie down and type haha.

– We were able to connect it to larger screens (LCDTVs) of the residences we stayed at for we had brought with us a microHDMI-HDMI cable. It’s a staple I bring on trips (HDMI cable) for downtime inside of the hotel / AirBnB because navigating through local / cable channels, more often than not, tends to be a lot of wasted time.

Disadvantages exist of course, mainly limitations of the device configuration:

While charging, the USB port cannot be used, so I couldn’t mouse then.
– Because this is primarily a tablet, it required me to bring a stand for when I’m using the keyboard. Also I needed to bring a keyboard so that more elements can be seen whilst compting.

– Slotting in a microSD card is necessary because the Windows system alone eats up all the on-board memory.

– It’s speaker lies on the bottom of the device (when in upright configuration) which puts it at the right side when in landscape and provides only a good output level for consuming content without earphones.

The WinTab 7 had seen much utility during our trip and should be sufficient for most users who don’t really require that much power. Apart from word processing tasks, there’s a lot of merit on this device typology for continuous down/uploads and connecting to screens via its microHDMI out – you’d need to go through the display menus however to set it up properly as it defaults to “mirror” mode which doesn’t use the entire screen. I find using “show on external only” and pushing it up to 1080p works best and you automatically have upgraded audio and video experience – I’d like to note that in this mode, it is an absolute must that you at least have a bluetooth mouse with you to be able to work with the device remotely – the touchscreen is not disabled but references an upright / tablet mode setting which doesn’t map as well with the externally displayed setup.

The WinTab 7 works best as part of a “kit” which really, can be solved by a keyboard case which I’m out of at the moment… will probably hit the local HMR for a possible find. All things considered, I don’t see my Php 2,500 wasted with it.. it is in fact, a very worthwhile investment for a computer that can be charged by power banks ^^

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