I’m an old-fashioned guy when it comes to computing. I prefer working on a desktop, or at least laptop, when I write my posts, edit photos, manage my calendar, and everything in between. I prefer to have my peripherals attached to the PC – mouse and keyboard (yes, I type without looking) – so I’ve always leaned towards using a proper system rather than doing my work on tablet.
However, with today’s hyper-connected world, the pressure of being able to stories on the go has pushed bloggers, writers and content creators to work on their phones and tablets more and more. I’m okay with phones for the most part, but I’ve never really understood the use of tablets. They’re like phones, except less functional, and more awkward in terms of ergonomics and overall usability. I only ever saw people use them to go on YouTube or play Color Switch or whatever lame mobile game is trending these days, so I’ve never thought of using a tablet to add any considerable amount of productivity in my day-to-day routine.
But there’s always a first time for everything. From being a true-blue innovator when it comes to technology adoption, I’ve transformed into a complete laggard who can’t quite keep up with whatever new gadgets kids are sporting. Seriously, I was of the first people to experience and fall in love with the now defunct BlackBerry OS 10, and to this day I am still confused how most consumers ended up being too stupid to use it. Six years after the launch of the iPad – first tablet to ever make a difference in the market – I jumped into the waters and to see how I can fit the device into my lifestyle. For this experiment, Dubai tech company Merlin Digital equipped me with one of their latest releases, the DuOS Tablet PC.
The Merlin Digital DuOS Tablet PC at work
As you can probably already glean from the name of the device, the tablet ships with two operating systems installed – Windows 10 and Android 5.1. In this aspect alone, the gadget already tries to offer the best of both worlds and attract as much of the market as it could. I’m a PC guy, so I was sold on the availability of a Windows system, which means I can work seamless between my computer and the tablet without going through OS-shock. The Android Lollipop platform gives me access to apps otherwise not available on Windows, so it’s a great bonus.
The exterior is made from a black, rubbery type of plastic that has a certain amount of grip so you’re not always in danger of dropping it onto the floor. It also gives the device a premium feel – a lot less plasticky than other tablets and is a great alternative to metal in order to keep production costs low. Such surface, however, has a knack for recording every fingerprint it comes into contact with, so there’s the need to have a wipe at hand to keep the device clean.
The 8.9” capacitive display, with a resolution of 720p, is not quite up to snuff with the rest of the devices in the market that already offer QHD screens. But it’s enough for most applications you’re ever going to load on the tablet, and the clarity is quite good. You probably won’t find yourself wishing the screen resolved more detail, unless you plan on doing a lot of hardcore gaming, then you’re perhaps on the wrong device after all.
The gadget is powerful enough to be a PC on its own, with a healthy amount of internal gear that you won’t see from other tablets at this price point. It’s got a quad-core 1.83 GHz mobile processor from Intel, 32 GB of storage, 2 GB RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth and even a MicroSD slot to extend capacity. Cameras front and back, too. They’re not the best cameras available though, and you’re better off using your iPhone or DSLR if you’re picky about quality.
The thing that I really love the most about the Tablet DuOS PC is the detachable keyboard that lets you use it like a mini-laptop. I know most of its competitors offer the same extendability, but you typically have to buy it as an accessory. The keyboard even has its own trackpad and a USB port so you can connect a mouse for gesture-heavy use like photo editing or any other USB device. I guess you can’t say that about half of the detachable keyboards made for the tablet market, eh? The way it connects to the tablet is also quite high-tech, with magnets to make sure that the contacts are in place. And if you wanna fold it like a tiny notebook, you’re confident that the two pieces stay attached.
Overall, the experience has won me over to the functionality of extendable tablets and I can see myself going with the device to take notes during meetings, take advantage of the bigger screen for showing clients my visual portfolio, and be confident in the fact that I have a spare device that doesn’t die as fast as an iPhone thanks to the 4,500 mAh battery. I have to get used to the smaller keyboard and the relatively less space between keys, but that trade-off is worth not having to lug around a full-size laptop.
The Merlin Digital DuOS Tablet PC is available online and in stores for AED 895.
Disclosure: The author received product and/or monetary compensation to support this story.