John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Toshiba write 2 review (WT8PE-B)

I`ve been taking notes digitally for quite a while now and love it. Rather than have a ton of scribbled paper you have it in a form that`s easy to find, can be searchable and is just so much more convenient. I use Microsoft One note which has cross platform (Windows/Android/web etc) meaning your notes are available anywhere any time. Sadly there are so many parts of OneNote that are not implemented in the Android version of the product meaning the experience is the best on a Windows tablet. For over a year I have struggled with an Asus Vivotab Note. It has turned out to be 100% unreliable and Asus can`t seem to (or won’t) fix the issue. It has left me high and dry with no ability to take notes at an event. So this prompted me to have another look around at what might be out there to do this (accurately take digital notes with a pen). I stumbled upon this one on a list of pen enabled tablets.

There are a lot of reviews out there for this device and one of the first things they comment on is that the physicals of the device are uninspiring. Nothing bad, nothing good, just another 8 inch tablet. And I have to say I agree. Now that is not a bad thing, it is light enough, good size, good thickness. The bezel like most Windows tablets is on the larger size.

Port wise the device has a standard micro USB 2 port (for charging, and USB OTG), a standard headphone jack, and a microSD slot. There is no HDMI port. The charging is good and bad. At least they didn`t use a proprietary port, but the cost of that is slow charge times. Fortunately battery life is quite good.

Spec wise its an Atom Z3735 with 2G ram and a 64G SSD. And performance is pretty much what you would expect from this combination which is fine.

The display is an underwhelming 1280×800 and is the weakest link being very low res. That said it is bright enough and crisp enough for what I want. So this falls into the good enough category and not a whole lot more.

Out of the box it came with Windows 8.1 which required 161 updates and most of the evening to install. Typical for these tablets. But shocking to me was that I bought this from the Microsoft store and Win 10 was not installed on it. Moving on …

And now onto what makes this tablet unique … the pen.
The pen is an active pen requiring a AAA battery. Oddly there is no indication of which way to put the battery in, no instructions on whether you need to pair it, nada to guide you at all. Fortunately it seems to just work. It is not compatible with the passive pen from my Asus VivoTab Note, or Samsung note. And is also not compatible with the Surface pen. Replacement pens should you loose yours are not easily had. I could only find them on the Toshiba US site at $49US.

The pen has a clip on it which leads you to believe it is for a shirt pocket, but the clip is so loose as to be easily lost if that is what it is for. But then my bud Lance looks at it and figures out it is designed to be slid into a slot on the bottom of the tablet. This was so not obvious to me (and again no instructions).
It actually fits ok but could be easily hit/caught and thus potentially broken or lost. But all in all it actually does work ok. A dedicated bay for the pen would have been nice but given the thickness of the tablet I get why there isn`t one.

They have provided a cap on the end of the pen that protects the nib, and goes on the other end of the pen for storage. The end of the pen does not act as an eraser as my last one did. I am hoping at some point I don`t forget that and scratch the screen 😦

The pen has two buttons on it that do various things depending on the app. The overall feel of the pen for me is not great. It`s too slippery. I will likely end up putting some form of rubber grip on it. Overall the writing experience is quite good with little to no noticeable lag inside one note. A nice improvement over my Samsung Note 8 (on Android).

The tablet has front and back camera but as usual no flash. Common for tablets.

The power button is extremely close to the edge of the screen making it difficult to use generic cases that latch onto the side of the tablet. There are lots of inexpensive cases available for it on Amazon, although not exactly the kind I like. But then I am picky when it comes to cases.

The unit includes a GPS so with the addition of Navmi can act as a in car GPS.

All in all the tablet does what it is suppose to. The pen is fine and works well. And I was already to press save when I encountered a really bad catch. Turns out Microsoft brought a US model into Canada. Toshiba Canada will not support and will not sell accessories for the tablet. So loose the stylus or wear out the tip of the stylus and you have a $400 boat anchor. Absolutely unbelievable. So back to the store it is going. I will return it. A crying shame it’s a good tablet.

November 13, 2015 - Posted by | Windows tablets

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