An invitation to the Singapore Windows 8 launch party on Thursday, October 25th was one of the highlights of my year so far (yes I am a super geek!) I was eager to (literally) get my hands on the long-awaited Windows 8 powered touch-enabled hardware for the first time since I installed Windows 8 on my notebook.  Read my Windows 8 review here.

Bobby at the Singapore Windows 8 Launch “like a kid in a toy shop”

The demo booths showcased a wide selection of hardware: tablets, touchscreen laptops and hybrids (although, I was disappointed not to see any Surface tablets on the day of the Windows 8 launch).

Various manufacturers had their devices on display including Dell, Toshiba Asus, Sony, Acer, Lenovo and Samsung. Among the best designs I saw were the hybrids; the Toshiba U920T‘s snappy sliding transition from laptop to tablet and the Dell XPS 12 with its sophisticated spinning screen.  There were some clunky designs too and some were just laptops with touchscreen functionality.

Bobby Jimenez testing the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Testing the new Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

I was particularly drawn to the Lenovo booth to test their hardware since our company has been a happy IBM/Lenovo customer for years.

I tested the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, a 13 inch Tablet/Ultrabook hybrid. The model I tried came with a Core i7 Intel processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB solid state hard drive. As standard, Yoga 13 has a 1600 x 900 touch screen, a 720p camera, one USB 2.0 plus one USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port and a multi-card reader. It’s 0.66 inch thick, weighs 1.54 kilograms and promises eight hours of battery life. The spec tag listed Lenovo’s estimated recommended retail price at S$1899.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 and 4 “Yoga” moves

As the ‘Yoga’ title suggests, there are 4 different positions for using the device: laptop mode, tablet mode, tent mode and stand mode. I played with the Yoga 13 mostly in its tablet mode position. The Yoga 13’s display resolution was vivid and sharp, the touchscreen was quick to respond and I had no problems practicing the Windows 8 swipe gestures I learned previously using a mouse. I liked the overall build quality, size and weight and it might even be on my Christmas wish list!

Following on from my previous Windows 8 review and taking into account my latest experience in testing the Windows 8 powered hardware, I would advise that even though Windows 8 can be installed and run on your old PC’s and laptops, it is primarily designed for touchscreen devices.

Should you have the urge (and the budget), buying the latest touch-enabled hardware with your Windows 8 is the way to go, instead of just upgrading the operating system of your old PC or laptop. A Windows 8 system with just a mouse and keyboard in terms of user experience is simply not as smooth or intuitive – and could be frustrating.

About Bobby Jimenez

Bobby Jimenez is a Cloud computing strategist, problem solver, functional innovator, super geek, eats, drinks and sleeps technology. Bobby is the CTO of a global climate change mitigation and sustainable resources company, where he is responsible for technological vision and development. Connect with Bobby on Twitter @bobbyjimenez or via his website