Ok guys because of a theft recently I have found myself owning a Asus EEE Slate tablet pc which I recently installed the Windows 8 consumer preview on and here are my first thoughts with the product.
First off the specs for the Slate
12.1" WSVGA (1280x800) Capacitive LED Touchscreen; Pen or Finger Touch; Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System
Intel Core i5-470UM CPU; 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM, 1x4GB; 1 slot, 4GB Max; Intel HD Graphics
64GB Solid State Drive; Wireless 802.11bgn; Bluetooth 3.0; 2.0MP Webcam; Internal Speaker; Internal Microphone
Mini HDMI Port; 2 USB 2.0 ports; 2-in-1 Card Reader (SD & MMC); 4 Cell 34W/h Battery (Up to 3 Hours Battery Life)
Includes Digitizer Pen; Folio Case; Bluetooth Keyboard
So first thing I did when I got this was to do a in place upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, the install went through without any problems and used all the drivers from Windows 7 for the hardware so there was no fiddling with device drivers. I had to re-bind the bluetooth keyboard with the tablet but other then that there were no hardware issues with this tablet and Windows 8.
Start up time is completely respectable at around 10 - 15 seconds, battery life will vary depending upon your model of tablet, obviously the EEE Slate with its Core I5 is not going to last nearly as long as the reference hardware that Microsoft is pushing which is a Atom processor. To answer Shane's complaint about ram I would like to be able to have more but this tablet with 4 gigs is doable and when you look at the reference designs they are specifying the ram at 1-2 gigs. Visual Studio works perfectly fine on the tablet with 4 gigs, I am sure that since he is a more hardcore developer then he may need 8 gigs but for the average person 4 should be just fine.
The initial setup of the mail client was straight forward and took only a couple of minutes, the same with the weather, news, and other metro apps. Windows 8 handles iso formats natively and no longer needs a virtual cd to load them so I loaded up Office and Visio both of which load and work perfectly fine using either the on screen keyboard or the bluetooth keyboard (naturally the typing is faster on the bluetooth keyboard then the on screen one but you can get by just fine with only using the on screen keyboard)
Navigating around Surface does take some getting used to, even when coming from an Android tablet. You swipe from the right to the left for your Start button, Search, Devices, and Settings Buttons. Settings give you your Wireless, Sound, Brightness, Notifications, Power, Keyboard, and Change Your Pc Settings options. Most of that is standard options you are used to on any Windows laptop, the Change Your Pc Settings tab takes you to another screen that gives you Personalize which allows you to change your lock screen picture, your start screen background, and your account picture. Users allows you to add users or to log into a Microsoft account which will allow you to backup all of your settings. Notifications allow you to turn various notifications on and off. Search allows you to turn search functionality on and off for various apps. Share allows allows you to turn on or off sharing options for the various Metro apps. General allows you to manage time zone on the tablet, app switching, keyboard options, spelling, Language, and the ability to reset your tablet to factory. Privacy settings turns on and off privacy options. Devices allows you to add devices to your tablet such as hardware or network resources. Wireless allows you to turn off and on wifi and bluetooth as well as set the system into airplane mode. Ease of access sets high contrast and adjusts the overall size of things on the screen as well as controlling the audio navigator. Sync your settings allows syncing of your different options. Homegroup and Windows Update both work just like Windows 7.
Swiping up from the bottom on the Metro screen gives you access to all of your apps. I have Chrome version 20.0.1132.47 beta-m installed and it works perfectly fine with the tablet.
What I have taken away from this tablet so far is that it works great as a business device, Android can do that partially but it has it's limitations when it comes to working in a corporate environment and a Ipad forget it as it is only good for media consumption (in a Windows environment anyway) As more software is written to take advantage of Surface it can only get better.