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MSI WindPad 110W Anybody Try Windows 8 On It?

post #1 of 7
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I just ordered an MSI WindPad 110W which is an x86 AMD Bobcat based tablet (5.9W AMD Z-01 APU to be exact). I know the downsides to tablets like this (heavier and shorter battery life being a few) but I wanted to play with an x86 Windows 8 tablet on the cheap (I paid $350 open box from Newegg). Has anybody tried out Windows 8 on there's? How is it working for you guys and what if anything doesn't work or is buggy? I know with the 1280x800 display I won't be able to do Snap in Windows 8 but given the small display I don't see this as a big deal. I got Windows 8 free from school via DreamSpark but alternatively I should be able to get the Windows 8 Pro upgrade offer for $14.99 (this should qualify).
Edited by Ben the OCer - 10/31/12 at 10:59pm
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post #2 of 7
Got Win 8 on mine since last week. Runs quite a bit better than its Win7 days (in both speed and UI). I did mine via upgrade (vs. clean install). Most things worked immediately. I just re-installed a few drivers and O-easy from the MSI site. The only issue I had was that I had upgraded my SSD to a 80GB Intel last year and Win8+Windpad+this SSD don't play together unless I disabled volume shadow copy. Everything else is smooth sailing and it gave new life to my Windpad. For the price, its specs really isn't that bad. Still lighter than most PC based machines and its CPU is no speed champ but is better than netbooks in general. I have also upgraded my Ram to 8GB and have half of it run as a Ramdisk for temp files. Seems to speed things up that way.

Hope it helps.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eduardoo View Post

Got Win 8 on mine since last week. Runs quite a bit better than its Win7 days (in both speed and UI). I did mine via upgrade (vs. clean install). Most things worked immediately. I just re-installed a few drivers and O-easy from the MSI site. The only issue I had was that I had upgraded my SSD to a 80GB Intel last year and Win8+Windpad+this SSD don't play together unless I disabled volume shadow copy. Everything else is smooth sailing and it gave new life to my Windpad. For the price, its specs really isn't that bad. Still lighter than most PC based machines and its CPU is no speed champ but is better than netbooks in general. I have also upgraded my Ram to 8GB and have half of it run as a Ramdisk for temp files. Seems to speed things up that way.

Hope it helps.
Thanks for the reply, it was helpful. I got my WindPad Tuesday. I right away took out the stock mSATA SSD to upgrade it because I heard it is extremely slow. Then I installed Windows 8 on the newly installed Crucial M4 128GB mSATA. I installed all the drivers and O-Easy because I heard that adds screen rotation functionality. The only things I can't get working are the cameras and screen rotation doesn't work in Metro or Metro apps.

Does yours buzz with the vibrator motor when you turn it on? At first I thought it was a glitch or something because I got it open box. Then I spotted the funky looking motor inside when changing the SSD.

I heard it can handle 8GB of RAM so that is likely my next upgrade. I might also upgrade the Wi-Fi card to one that does the 5GHz band as the stock one is an Intel 2230.
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post #4 of 7
I installed a rotation application mentioned around here:
http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=152789.msg1188467#msg1188467
and rotation now works in Metro mode, too.
For the camera, the native Win 8 camera program can only get the cams up to 0.3M front and back, but MSI's Dual camera Switch program can do 1.3M for the back cam. When I had my Win 8 installed, it had some trouble with cams, bluetooth and rotation here and there, but they all got fixed after I went through all the MSI driver and program installs (available from their website).

As for the buzz, it is "unique trait" of it. Some people tame it with some vibration absorption stuff around that motor. I learnt a lot about the fixes and tricks of the machine from here as well:
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/other-brands/42626-msi-windpad-110w.html

BTW, I didn't like the Metro side of IE at first because there is no longer a direct favorites function on it. But now I am using it in conjunction with Xmarks app and I come to appreciate the broader real estate offered by the full screen IE and things go quite snappily, particularly with the gesture driven forward and back page functions.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eduardoo View Post

I installed a rotation application mentioned around here:
http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=152789.msg1188467#msg1188467
and rotation now works in Metro mode, too.
For the camera, the native Win 8 camera program can only get the cams up to 0.3M front and back, but MSI's Dual camera Switch program can do 1.3M for the back cam. When I had my Win 8 installed, it had some trouble with cams, bluetooth and rotation here and there, but they all got fixed after I went through all the MSI driver and program installs (available from their website).

As for the buzz, it is "unique trait" of it. Some people tame it with some vibration absorption stuff around that motor. I learnt a lot about the fixes and tricks of the machine from here as well:
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/other-brands/42626-msi-windpad-110w.html

BTW, I didn't like the Metro side of IE at first because there is no longer a direct favorites function on it. But now I am using it in conjunction with Xmarks app and I come to appreciate the broader real estate offered by the full screen IE and things go quite snappily, particularly with the gesture driven forward and back page functions.
Thank you so much for your detailed response with sources. I will have to look into those. I have been referencing the TabletPC Review forum already but have not had a chance to read every post yet, as there are a lot of them.

Yep, I got all the drivers from MSI's site. I'll have to play with the camera some more as it wasn't a top priority, so I didn't put much time into it.

I really hated the motor at first before I knew how it got triggered but don't mind it as much anymore. It definitely could be toned down. It is a little annoying when I accidently hit the touch buttons on the right.

I agree with you, the Metro IE10 is really growing on me. Having the full screen for the web page is a nice feature, as you mentioned. Overall as I'm getting acquainted with Windows 8 and how to multitask on it I find it to be quite efficient as a tablet OS. Definitely, the swipe to go back and forward in Metro IE is nice. Also swiping from the left to toggle among open Metro programs and the desktop.

Have you seen much backlight bleed on yours? Mine seems to have it pretty bad and is very noticeable with all black backgrounds, otherwise I can't really see it. I don't like it but given the price I paid, how rarely I see it, and the fact that it's still a nice IPS display it doesn't bother me too much.

I connected a receiver for a wireless keyboard and mouse into the USB port so I could try some games on it. I fired up Battlefield 1942 on it, which is free on Origin right now. It is a 10 year old game but did have pretty good graphics for its time. It plays smooth and with the widescreen mod to get it at full 1280x800 resolution it looks pretty good. It's insanely fun. I also tried Portal and that worked fine.
Edited by Ben the OCer - 11/8/12 at 8:25pm
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben the OCer View Post

Thank you so much for your detailed response with sources. I will have to look into those. I have been referencing the TabletPC Review forum already but have not had a chance to read every post yet, as there are a lot of them.
Yep, I got all the drivers from MSI's site. I'll have to play with the camera some more as it wasn't a top priority, so I didn't put much time into it.
I really hated the motor at first before I knew how it got triggered but don't mind it as much anymore. It definitely could be toned down. It is a little annoying when I accidently hit the touch buttons on the right.
I agree with you, the Metro IE10 is really growing on me. Having the full screen for the web page is a nice feature, as you mentioned. Overall as I'm getting acquainted with Windows 8 and how to multitask on it I find it to be quite efficient as a tablet OS. Definitely, the swipe to go back and forward in Metro IE is nice. Also swiping from the left to toggle among open Metro programs and the desktop.
Have you seen much backlight bleed on yours? Mine seems to have it pretty bad and is very noticeable with all black backgrounds, otherwise I can't really see it. I don't like it but given the price I paid, how rarely I see it, and the fact that it's still a nice IPS display it doesn't bother me too much.
I connected a receiver for a wireless keyboard and mouse into the USB port so I could try some games on it. I fired up Battlefield 1942 on it, which is free on Origin right now. It is a 10 year old game but did have pretty good graphics for its time. It plays smooth and with the widescreen mod to get it at full 1280x800 resolution it looks pretty good. It's insanely fun. I also tried Portal and that worked fine.

It kind of feels like we are finding each other on a deserted island, knowing how rare MSI Windows tablets are, and Win 8 upgrade on it being a yet even smaller subset! smile.gif

About the buzz, it should take quite a long time touching the touch buttons for it to trigger, unless you are still on Bios 1.05 (with which the tablet will wake on any touch of the touch buttons. My Sep11 tablet came with it). Bios 1.06 cures that.

Backlight bleed. There is some on mine, too, but since I don't have my brightness turned too high most of the time and appreciating the nice IPS display and other features for the price, it doesn't bother me much either.

I bring a tiny wired keyboard when I am on trips as it also serves as a USB hub. Together, they probably weigh just over a kg, which makes the combo still lighter than most laptops. I don't do gaming on mine (or maybe I just don't do gaming), but I do play a lot of videos on it and it runs reasonably well, even with hi-def material.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eduardoo View Post

It kind of feels like we are finding each other on a deserted island, knowing how rare MSI Windows tablets are, and Win 8 upgrade on it being a yet even smaller subset! smile.gif

About the buzz, it should take quite a long time touching the touch buttons for it to trigger, unless you are still on Bios 1.05 (with which the tablet will wake on any touch of the touch buttons. My Sep11 tablet came with it). Bios 1.06 cures that.

Backlight bleed. There is some on mine, too, but since I don't have my brightness turned too high most of the time and appreciating the nice IPS display and other features for the price, it doesn't bother me much either.

I bring a tiny wired keyboard when I am on trips as it also serves as a USB hub. Together, they probably weigh just over a kg, which makes the combo still lighter than most laptops. I don't do gaming on mine (or maybe I just don't do gaming), but I do play a lot of videos on it and it runs reasonably well, even with hi-def material.
Thanks a lot for pointing out the custom made screen rotation driver, it works so much better than the one with O-Easy. It's awesome when someone takes their own time to improve the user experience and shares their work. Shame on MSI for not fixing this themselves but they have come out with most of the Windows 8 drivers so they are not totally abandoning us.

I know, we are very much in the minority with these niche Windows tablets. WindPad is just so insanely upgradable for a tablet, fairly easy to open as long as you follow the instructions on the web, it's refreshing. I actually just bought it because it was a good deal, I wanted to try full Windows 8 on a touch device, and I just plain love playing with new toys.thumb.gif I ended up liking it a lot more than I was expecting. There is far too little Windows 8 and customization information about this tablets on the web, aside from that TabletPC forum.

I checked and I do have BIOS v1.06 already. I think I just tend to rest my thumb on that area and I have to learn not to do that.

I agree, the IPS panel is definitely a plus for the device. Acer uses mostly TN panels in their tablets (and in the competing W500), which are just not very good idea for tablets.

I'm not sure how much gaming I'll be doing on it but it's nice to know it can do it at least.

Some slight frustrations, Metro IE10 only appears to support 10 tabs. This is very limiting. Aside from just using the desktop version or another browser that is less touch designed, have you found any workarounds for this? I used the Micro HDMI port to connect the tablet to my TV to watch a TV show (as my HPTC was down at the time). The problem is the 1280x720 res of my TV the Metro app didn't like (it appears to be an OS limitation) and said the res was too low for it to run. I got around this by using desktop IE to access the TV network's web site, and watch the TV show from there instead.

Thanks again, for your continued help. We can call it a deserted island or an elite club.wink.gif
Edited by Ben the OCer - 11/9/12 at 3:56pm
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