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Guide To Windows 8 For Tablets  

Irrespective of what Microsoft may claim, Windows 8 is not truly intuitive – even on the touch screen of a tablet computer. Consequently, Windows 8 for Tablets in the Plain & Simple series from the Microsoft Press is of great value in getting started with a Windows 8 tablet and then customising it to meet your needs and then being able to get the best out of it.

windows8 for tablets plain and simple
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This book is task-orientated so that one can dip into it as and when required. This will, no doubt, start when one first gets the tablet and needs to get to grips with the start screen and the new vocabulary of tiles and charms as well as learning how to use a touch screen. In practice, despite being an experienced PC user, I found the opening section Exploring Your New Tablet a life saver as it covers all those essential basics such as starting and shutting down as well as switching between apps. However, as this book is for general use and not device specific, there are occasions where it will refer you to your own tablet’s actual instructions.

As well as learning how to use the various gestures on the touch screen the book also covers the use of an on-screen keyboard as well as connecting an external keyboard. In addition, it shows how to use handwriting recognition. There is also a list of keyboard short cuts which, by the way, I also found useful with a Win 8 desktop computer.

The chapter on customisation is aimed at setting up the tablet to suit a user’s particular needs. This includes syncing with your desktop or other machines. However, one needs to turn to a later chapter to get the information on how to set up WiFi or Bluetooth so as to connect it to the rest of the world.

As well as connecting to the network or to, say, a printer or a webcam it covers how to browse the Internet, to set up and use an email account, and to connecting to a social network. Then, once you are all set up, you can go to the Windows Store and download and install new apps. Here it points out that not all apps are free and therefore shows how to go about paying for them where necessary.

Importing music, videos and photos as well as saving to cloud storage with SkyDrive are covered as is file handling in general as well as, importantly, how to listen to/view etc these files when using the tablet as an entertainment centre.

This 450 page book with a plentiful supply of coloured illustrations contains a large amount of useful information and is laid out in an accessible manner. Priced at £18.99 but available on Amazon at £12.72 is a worthwhile investment to assist one in getting the best out of one’s new Windows 8 tablet.

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