Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mark Mosher's Overview of the TW802 WinBook Tablet

Here is a brief overview by Mark Mosher (of the Modulate This! blog) on his experience borrowing my WinBook TW802. His desire was to find a way to have an "Absynth Machine"; here is his feedback:


I tested the WinBook. My conclusion is since having Windows in this small form factor is both a plus and the product's undoing. Unlike an iPad, where app interfaces scale and are designed for the form factor, Windows apps that would run on your desktop are very hard to read or simply don't fit. If you used Max or something and turned it into a black box you didn't have to interact with, it might do the job  - but it's too underpowered to trust with off the shelf applications unless they are super lean. So this is a non-starter for me.

Here are more detailed notes on my testing:

  1. I couldn't get my novation NIO (USB1) soundcard working. It's ASIO driver went on, it lit up, no audio. I ended up using the WASAPI driver for testing using headphone jack.

  2.  It's underpowered for Abysnth. Absynth works, but more complex patches stress or overload the CPU. If you played single note drones you might get away with it. Interestingly, latency was reasonable for live performance for lower CPU patches. Because it's underpowered, if anything goes wrong recovery takes too long. Example, I switched audio drivers in an app. the app hung. I tried to kill the process, that took like 45s.
  3. The screen is too damn small for use live. Text is teeny - but man it's hard to read.  You could never use your finger to manipulate the interface without losing your mind.

  4. MIDI Bridge ran and cubes function, but the interface  didn’t fit in the dimensions of the screen (1280x800). At this point I'd rather just wait for a Percussa hardware box.
  5. I loaded BeatStep MIDI Control Center, but it's interface wouldn't quite fit on the screen either.
 - Mark

Many thanks to Mark for this overview from a typical software user. I'm particularly focused on using it with Max, and will have more information on this shortly. Whee!!!


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