Clean install of Windows 10 on Turbo-X WinTab: Nailed it!

[NOTE: I hold no responsibility in case you follow the process described below and damage your tablet; it has worked perfectly for me but this does not mean that it will also work for you – try at your own risk!]

Yeap, I am really excited; despite the total lack of support in terms of drivers and all the issues I faced during the last months in terms of trying to clean install Windows 10 on my WinTab, I finally managed to complete it and have everything work properly (including both cameras).

I always want to have a clean install of an operating system and this was the case with my WinTab which currently runs Windows 10 but after upgrading the original Windows 8.1 (so not a clean install); however, I did not have the necessary drivers for the touch screen and the two cameras of the tablet so after a refresh of the OS, I got a misaligned (and non-functional) touch screen and no cameras at all. Plaisio, the distributor and maybe the manufacturer of the tablet does not provide any drivers on their website nor after requests (I was told that they only have an image of the system with Windows 8.1 that they install when needed). I got so frustrated that I kept looking for a solution. And it seems that I found it.

First I created an image of the system using the built-in functionality of Windows 10 – I wanted to make sure that if something went wrong, I could still revert back to a working state. Then I copied the few files I needed (photos, documents etc.) to the SD card that extends the insufficient 32GB storage space of the tablet. After thatñ, I went through the System settings and went for the clean install of the OS (Windows 10) opting to delete everything. Since I had already upgraded to Windows 10 (so I did not need the product key for the upgrade) I could also use a USB flash disk with Windows 10 Home 32bit but I didn’t have to as I could do the same without creating a bootable disk.

The process took quite a while and when I booted into Windows, I noticed that the touch screen was not functional, the cameras were not present/installed at all and there were a couple of devices not properly installed. After the research I made throughout the last months, I ended up with the following solution for these issues (the link to the drivers is at the end of this post):

A. Touch screen

1. Uninstall KMDF HID Minidriver for Touch I2C Device (in the Human Interface Devices) and click on Remove Drivers
2. Uninstall all devices from the Human Interface Devices APART FROM the USB Input Devices
3. Install all .inf files available in the subfolders of the folder [Onda v820w Dual OS Full Touch Drivers JACKBAUER]
4. Copy the file SileadTouch.fw from the Touch screen files folder to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers
5. Restart
Working version of the KMDF HID Minidriver for Touch I2C Device driver: 18.24.23.67, 2/6/2015

 

B. Cameras

1. Update driver of the Intel(R) Imaging Signal Processor 2400 (in Imaging Devices) by manually selecting the camera.inf from the folder Camera_GC310_HM2056_OV2680-5648
2. Restart

Working version of the Intel Imaging Signal Processor 2400 driver: 10.46.22.382, 19/9/2014

The files are available hereGood luck with the process and let me know in the comments of you have managed to successfully apply it in your case 🙂

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Things I like & hate about my Turbo-X WinTab

I expect the lists below to be updated at some point:

Thing I love:

  1. It has a full-size USB port on top of the common micro-USB; this means I can plug at least two USB devices at once.
  2. It has an additional full-size USB port on the keyboard part, which makes the system even more extensible.
  3. It can charge through its proprietary charging port, so I can work and charge it at the same time, without unplugging any USB devices (the micro-USB port can also be used for charging).
  4. It is compact and easy to carry around.
  5. Boots much faster than my new laptop, so I tend to use it more frequently compared to my laptop when e.g. looking for information online.
  6. The tablet/system is responsive enough for daily tasks, like document editing, blogging, email, social media and video playback (even full HD); it does not complain instantly when multitasking.
WinTab & Lumia 735
WinTab & Lumia 735

Things  I hate:

  1. The keyboard sucks; it is small and the keys are hard to press correctly (for my fat fingers), having a strange behaviour. I literally cannot type long texts using it (I am writing this one though!) so I am thinking of a bluetooth one. FYI, the one I have used in other similar tablets (the Asus Transformerbook T100) was way better; actually usable.
  2. When the keyboard is used, each time I move the screen/tablet to a different angle, the keyboard is instantly deactivated (like removed and identified again by the system; I clearly hear the notification sound)
  3. Sometimes, when I connect the keyboard after I have used the tablet for a while, the keyboard is not recognized and I need to reset the system to make it work.
  4. Right-clicking using the touchpad is not very precise; the right part of the touchpad does not click equally to the left one.
  5. Minimum screen brightness is still high for my eyes (and apparently results in lower battery lifetime).
  6. The power button is so close to the Vol Up that I keep deactivating the tablet while I actually want to increase the volume
  7. Storage space is not sufficient, if I want to use the tablet as my daily driver; all my work files are stored on the cloud (DropBox & OneDrive) and I can’t sync them with my tablet.
  8. Screen is a tad smaller than I would like; it is not bad but the Surface one might be more convenient to me.

Wintab 2-in-1: Issue with charger and upgrade to Windows 10!

One of the advantages of the specific tablet is that you get a charger (with a strange plug) for charging it; this means that you don’t need to occupy the micro-USB port for this purpose and as a result, you can plug another micro-USB device.

One of the issues that I noticed from the first days with Wintab was that this charger was not fully charging the tablet (it only reached about 70-75%) and then it stopped charging – so I started using the micro-USB charger for this purpose.

After some weeks, I noticed that the charger was getting really hot (hard to touch it while charging) and at the same time the red charging light on the tablet started flashing – that was a bad sign! In the end, the charger went dead; it would get warm (not hot) but would not charge the tablet.

For once more I headed to Plaisio, to have the charger checked. They did and insisted that the plug (pin) of the charger was damaged and that this was the cause; so I had to buy a new one. While passing by the section with the chargers, I noticed a demo tablet like mine – running Windows 10! So I went home, used the new charger for topping up the battery and got an image of my system using an external hard disk. After that, I started working on the upgrade to Windows 10, the notification for which I kept seeing during the last weeks.

The result: Everything went smoothly, the tablet rebooted normally and the touch screen & display adapter were correctly recognized! For some days now, the tablet runs smoothly on Windows 10, activated and fully functional! Just to be on the safe side, I also got an image of the system at this point, too.

Yes, Turbo-X Wintab 2-in-1 tablet CAN run Windows 10. Flawlessly. 🙂

Wintab 2-in-1: Issues solved

To make a really long story short: The guys at Plaisio were fast in activating again my tablet (the issue was caused by the replacement of the board) but each time I refreshed the tablet and restored stuff, I got the same issue; after they fixed it for a 2nd time, we both agreed that I will take an image of the system (using the built-in functionality of Windows 8.1) in case the issue comes up again.

This is exactly what I did so now I have a fully functional tablet again; even though it still runs on Windows 8.1. 😦

Turbo-X WinTab: Second round of issues

Turbo-X WinTab: Second round of issues

I picked up my WinTab from the Plaisio service yesterday; I was informed that both the motherboard and the battery were replaced and I was glad to hear that. I did a quick check to see if the touch screen was responsive (it was, but the tablet was downgraded to Windows 8.1 in order to work) and went back home.

After I completed the install/set up of the operating system, I realized that I could not proceed with the activation of Windows, which should have taken place automatically. I kept receiving a message about the key used not being valid…as you can imagine, I never had any key as the tablet comes with Windows preloaded. I quickly checked online and found out that this is common after replacing a motherboard and a special procedure needs to take place by the manufacturer or service (e.g. see here and here).

Windows activation issue (Greek only, as Windows are not activated)
Windows activation issue (Greek only, as Windows are not activated)

I immediately contacted again the Plaisio service via email (always useful to have all communication in written form) and started working on workarounds; I reset the tablet to the defaults, went from zero again and installed all updates, tried some additional Windows updates…nada. I even tried to make use of the free upgrade to Windows 10 I was offered by the system, but it was not possible for me to go on without first activating Windows.

I received a response to my email later today; as I was afraid, I will have to visit the service point again (not really accessible from my house) in order for this special procedure to take place. In addition, I was informed that:

  • The tablet’s drivers are not available anywhere online, as they are included in the ISO file of the operating system (provided as-is by the manufacturer).
  • Windows 10 are not currently supported due to lack of proper drivers; they are currently under testing and I will be informed as soon as I can upgrade to Windows 10 (even though I guess that I will have missed Microsoft’s deadline for this).

This means that I will have to spare my tablet for some more days and hopefully receive it in a fully-working state. Fingers crossed!

Turbo-X Wintab 2 in 1 Τablet 10.1″ WiFi – First impressions

Turbo-X Wintab 2 in 1 Τablet 10.1″ WiFi – First impressions

I have been in the hunt for a Windows-powered transformer / 2-in-1 tablet for the last months, after the lovely experience I had with a colleague’s Asus TransformerBook T100 during a business trip. As I had the opportunity to buy something cheap last month, I decided to go for the Turbo-X Wintab 2 in 1 Τablet distributed by Plaisio, a major Greek tech/gadget (among others) retailer. I would expect that such a tiny (but powerful enough machine) would be my companion in my business trips, where no CPU-intensive tasks are required.

Turbo-X_Wintab

I have been using the Turbo-X WinTab for the last three weeks, mostly during my summer vacations, where I needed something easy to carry around for checking my emails, light web browsing and updating social media – while also drafting some blog posts and other texts. My impressions from this short experience with this 2-in-1 are the following:

Portability

It is a 10-inch tablet with a keyboard so it is easy to carry around. It is much easier to carry it as a tablet-only but the keyboard also provides a sense of protection to the screen. The laptop is pretty heavy (at least heavier than expected) with the keyboard docked.

Hardware

10,1-inch touch screen with 10 touch points and a 1280×800 screen resolution, vibrant enough to be readable under bright sunlight. Intel Atom Z3735F CPU @ 1,33GHz, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage, which can be extended through the use of a SD card. Small-form keyboard (to match the size of the tablet/screen). The packaging included a micro-USB to USB OTG adapter to allow the use of devices with full-USB interface through the micro-USB port. Last but not least, the WinTab features not only a webcam (which can act as a front camera) but a 5MP rear camera as well. The system is powered by a 6600 mAh battery (non-replaceable).

Extensibility

The tablet has numerous ports, actually more than the (older) T100. Apart from the typical headphones jack and power port (it features a needle-like, proprietary charging port), the WinTab has two USB ports (one full-sized and a micro-USB one) as well as a mini-HDMI port for connecting it to a larger screen or TV). In addition, it has an SD-slot for increasing the available storage space. Another full-sized USB port is available at the keyboard’s side. It features WiFi and Bluetooth while 3G is also supported by a different (slightly more expensive) model.

The micro-USB port can be used for charging the tablet as well; however, the additional, proprietary charger can also be used, freeing up this valuable USB port for connecting another device.

Software

The laptop came with Windows 8.1 32-bit edition and no bloatware installed. It also came with a free 1-year subscription for Office 365 and some other perks, such us free Skype call time and storage space in OneDrive.

Overall usage

The laptop feels pretty nice to use on a frequent basis. The small-form keyboard is not easy to get used to but it does the work when needed. The whole package is heavier than expected but it can be carried around easily, as it is pretty compact. The tablet part (screen) is pretty light and responsive enough for everyday tasks. When docked to the keyboard, the laptop feels sturdy and stable enough to support fairly heavy typing. The viewing angle is nice and comfortable and the docking mechanism is simple enough (featuring a sliding button).

Things to notice

  • Sometimes when the tablet is docked, removed and then docked again the keyboard becomes non-responsive and the tablet has to be restarted in order for the keyboard to respond again. I read somewhere that this may have to do with the touch screen driver, that needs to be set up in a way.
  • Even when the tablet is charged overnight, the battery is charged at 95% maximum. The only way I found to charge it up to 100% is to switch on the tablet and then leave the charger on or remove and plug the charger again. Otherwise, using a micro-USB charger solves the problem.
  • Battery life is nice but not as great as the T100 one. Depending on the usage, it may last for about 4-6 hours (maybe longer but I have not tested it yet).
  • In the keyboard part of the laptop, there is a wire that can be easily seen extended and then back in place when the screen is docked and changes position (from fully extended to closed on the keyboard). I hope that this wire/cord is durable enough to withstand frequent use and cycles of extension.

WinTab_cord

  • The screen is bright enough to be comfortably used indoors with the brightness set at minimum.
  • A driver update of the touch screen screws up the calibration and renders it unusable. The solution is to undo this update/roll back the driver and totally disable it/hide it. You can read more here.

Overall

The WinTab is a nice companion for those seeking a transformer in a small factor. It provides the convenience of Windows 8 (and subsequently Windows 10; I have already received the notification for the free upgrade to Windows 10) in a small and efficient factor. The CPU does well even with HD videos and cannot be compared to the lousy Atom CPUs used in netbooks some years ago.

The only drawback I see so far is the hard-to-get-used-to small keyboard, which makes me wonder if a stand-alone 10-inch tablet with a larger (but still not full-sized) keyboard would be a more efficient combination.