How to turn a Windows tablet into a full-fledged desktop PC with a few simple steps
Many owners of tablets with Windows 8.1 are not aware that their mobile device can optionally become a full-fledged desktop computer. This is largely true for models based on Android, but due to the specifics of the Google operating system, the transformation can become a little complicated.
However, tablets with Windows operating system, which for many years single-handedly dominates in the segment of PCs, literally, «default» is ready for such an operation.
The introductory sentence of this text can introduce some confusion. Even despite the fact that some of the fastest representatives of tablets with Windows rely on the powerful Intel Core i7 processors, they can’t provide you with a level of performance comparable with those of the gaming PC or a powerful desktop computer for video editing, for example.
However, if we are talking about normal daily tasks – web browsing, Internet communication, listening to music, watching movie or office work – you will not have any problems with your Windows tablet, and no matter whether you are going to use it mobile or desktop.
«Does my tablet with necessary ports through which I can connect it to an external monitor or TV?» This is one of the first questions you must answer if you intend to turn your tablet into a replacement for the classic PC.
The more expensive representatives of this class of devices, like Surface Pro 2, Pro 3 and the Lenovo ThinkPad 8, for example, have the required outputs, but in the Micro/Mini variants – the Mini DisplayPort and microHDMI, respectively. I.e. to transmit video output from your tablet to an external monitor you need an adapter with a port to Mini/Micro to full HDMI or DisplayPort. But you can also just get a cable Mini DisplayPort to HDMI or microHDMI-HDMI, depending on the type of connector on your tablet.
The good news is that, in practice, this is the only obstacle in your way, because after you connect the tablet to the monitor using the appropriate adapter and/or cable, all the rest will be Windows 8.1. In other words, the operating system itself will fit most things on an external monitor – for example, the most appropriate resolution and DPI. But you certainly can if you want to get a full control over these settings in the menu «screen Resolution».
Because Windows 8.1 native (default) supports Bluetooth, it is unlikely that you will have problems with connecting any external keyboard/mouse an alternative input device.
If you prefer a more traditional options based on USB (with cable or without), you should first check whether your tablet a full sized USB port. Some devices have only micro-USB, so you need an adapter for a standard USB port for connecting a mouse and/or keyboard.
One serious disadvantage may create the fact that most Windows tablets have only one USB input. If you want to connect multiple external devices, additional hard drive, flash drive, printer, camera and so on, you will need a USB hub (the hub).
In addition, we suggest to choose the model hub with its own om power – in tablet mass using so-called low-voltage version of USB, ie, ports that can’t power the mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, etc.
Well, since we’re talking about the exploitation of the Windows device then you should have no problems installing a compatible peripheral devices of any kind, styles and sizes – after connecting the device, the operating system will detect the necessary drivers for it and install them without your intervention (plug and play).
If you are going to use the tablet for serious work, it’s likely that the internal memory will not be enough. Most of the models come with limited internal storage from 16 to 64GB, which is very modest by modern standards.
How could you use the built-in memory in the tablet as efficiently as possible, we have said here.
More interesting is the question of the default application. Windows 8.1 consistently insists on the use of so-called modern apps, optimized for touch, in desktop mode, combined with the classic mouse and keyboard is hardly practical.
A way around this annoying obstacle is to manually configure the default application in the menu «Settings > Change PC settings > Search and apps > defaults». The problem here is that when you decide again to use a tablet as a tablet (i.e., disconnect the external input device), you will need to repeat this operation. The constant switching at one point to start to be annoying, so our advice is: look in the direction of ModernMix is a great, small utility from Stardock software wizards.
It is designed for such cases and allows you to easily switch between modern apps in windowed mode. The only drawback here is that ModernMix is not a free program, but if you intend to frequently switch between mobile and desktop version use your tablet, this program will give you a big advantage.