Thanks for the info VegasGuy. With the vehicle I have and the construction of the dash it will be very easy to make a dock that is completely concealed, making the unit look like it's a permanent part of the vehicle, but only a second or so needed to remove the tablet. The picture you showed looks not unlike the soon to be released dock (if it's not already available in some places).
Totally agree with the touch screen and visual quality, especially compared to the higher quality? over priced currently available car PC touch screens.
As I had to make a custom hardware and SW interface (windows) for this vehicle to use the HVAC system once the OEM head-unit was removed I need quite a few USB connections. Tested this and it works fine.
Compared to the current car PC I have installed, I won't need any external battery or controlled start - shutdown at all, just makes for a very simple install and in the long run costs less that the current car PC, screen and associated hardware.
Just for a laugh I plugged in a small USB GPS stick I had laying around and went for a walk with Garmin PC - try not to laugh to loudly.
Uh, that's exactly how I test Localizer when its late and I don't feel like jumping in the car. I'm serious when I say I love the fact that I don't NEED the truck to test the tablet, and I don't need the tablet to enjoy the truck. Cue the Van Halen...Best of Both Worlds!
This is a great idea, I looked into the surface RT , it's actually cheap here compared to the load of stuff I have in my car now.
How are you doing the usb stuff since there is only 1 usb port , I got at least 5 items I got to connect , unless I start to expand the pc with extra stuff (DAB+ came available last month here in the Netherlands)
as for windows 8, I got 8.1 on my home machine and I am loving it , so the transition should'nt be too hard , only thing I don't know if you can go to desktop mode in windows RT , I can on my home machine.
Would love to hear/see more on this
Maybe a surface pro is a good idea , there is a dock available for that one
I am looking at getting a Surface Pro 2 at the start of the year and would love to hear any feedback on this unit. I have the same mini-itx motherboard you have Mickz that I plan to use but I am looking at the SP2 for my college computer. Being a programming student I originally bought an Asus ROG laptop but lugging around that huge laptop with 17.3" screen is a pain. (10+lbs)
Did you get it with a keyboard as well? Just curious how well the keyboard works.
Otherwise getting a good quality dock for your tablet and integrating it into your vehicle would likely be the best solution. Especially if the dock has all of the ports broken out for you already like some do for laptops.
The Surface RT is - apart from the look - a completely different unit and will not run x86 Windows Desktop applications.
On my first post I indicated I was using a 10 port HUB with 3 USB-3 and 7 USB-2 ports. The docking station discussed has not been released yet, at least not over here in AU)
I have the Type 2 keyboard (not the touch version) - normally I hate laptop keyboards, even ones on large screen laptops but I love this keyboard, nice feel to the keys and adjustable back lighting on both Type 2 models.
The dock is a bit pricy for what it is. However if I go for a vehicle install I'll be rolling my own, very simple with this tablet design.
A bit more on the keyboard.
Hold the tablet over the top edge of the keyboard and it magnetically connects. It has a felt finish to it and acts as a screen protector when closed.
It completely folds back behind the tablet so you don't have to disconnect or reconnect it to switch between purely touch or keyboard/touch modes.
I can use touch on the desktop with my fingers and still select the small form control buttons and menu's. Win 8.1 seems to allow much better scaling of the desktop than 8.0 in the default native high resolution setting for this screen. Including individual font sizes for various parts of the desktop. None of these settings interfere with my own FE or the navigation SW I use.
It comes with a stylus and some people are having trouble with it being slightly out of calibration on the left edge but mine is perfect. The stylus has a right click button and eraser, being a full Wacom digitizer with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity its nice to use.
Since I am looking to get one of these I will certainly be watching what you do with yours. I will likely be able to put my GA-Z77N in my truck about the same time I can get my SP2 but would be nice to see how well it works in that environment.
(Type 2 keyboard? looks like I need to start doing my research instead of just watching the commercials.. ;) )
Rodney, unfortunately it will be some time before I get around to doing an install as the current system is working perfectly and I have a few trips planned. I will be doing some testing with it on the rear seat and powering the entire USB system and monitor to see how it handled everything via one port and multiple hubs, initial testing indicated it should have no problems.
This thing runs cold when used for non demanding tasks like a car PC, it would only increase in power with my dual WEB cams recording and encoding in HI-DEF in my installation- hardly ever need to do that anyway.
The only problem I could see is with vehicle interior heat on hot days - apart from theft, that's another reason for a quick release dock. This tablet, like a lot of others, is glued together and a heart gun is used to separate the halves. Seen a few warnings with glue and tablets in vehicles on hot days. Apart from that its a solid unit, close ups of the internal construction indicates that vibration in a vehicle would be of no concern.
if x86 applications wont run on the surface RT makes me wonder what does run on it.
that nifty lil tablet could use a nice frontend
Some info I found on the docking station - unverified.
A: No additional video outputs, just the same mini Display Port which you already have on the device.
B: No extra USB 3.0 ports - just one USB 3 (same as on the device) with two or three USB 2 ports added.
C: Ethernet is USB to Ethernet and can only run 10/100 Mbps.
On the face of that and the price I think I'll pass.