The folks at Netbook Navigator have been threatening to send me a demo unit of their new 8.9 inch Windows tablet for months. Apparently they decided to send one to the folks at CrunchGear instead, because the site has just published a review of the tablet.

The long and short of it is that CrunchGear feels the Nav9 is pretty good for a Windows tablet… but they’re not entirely sure why you’d want a Windows tablet. Unfortunately, the review does more telling than showing, with the reviewer repeatedly suggesting that Windows 7 isn’t well designed for touchscreen tablets, but never really explaining why, or how that affects this particular device.

My own two cents is that the default WIndows on-screen keyboard is much more difficult to use for touch-typing than the iPad keyboard and I’d only ever want to use it to enter URLs or other short bits of text. It’s also hard to accurately hit smaller Windows elements such as individual files in the Windows Explorer in list view, or items in the start menu, and especially close, minimize, and other toolbar buttons using a fingertip. These elements were clearly designed with a more precise input than your finger in mind.

But here’s the thing: The Nav9 actually has a multitouch resistive touchscreen. While you can use your fingertip to navigate, you can also use a stylus for more precise input and even for handwrirting recognition, which is probably faster than using the on-screen keyboard for text entry.

Windows 7 Home Prmeium does have some touch optimizations built into it, including touch-friendly commands for Internet Explorer. Of course, I can’t really comment on the experience of using this particular tablet, because I haven’t tried it. And I haven’t found a Windows 7 tablet in this price range (the Nav9 starts at $599) that I really like either — but most have come either with capacitive displays that are ill-suited to Windows navigation, or slower processors that make the OS feel sluggish — which CrunchGear says isn’t really a problem with this model.

You can check out the full review at CrunchGear.

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13 replies on “Netbook Navigator Nav9 Windows 7 tablet reviewed”

  1. I have been using Win7 on a t1028x for about a year now. that is a 10″ 1366×768 screen. I have not altered the size of anything other than to make the Desktop icons even smaller. I only ever use the keyboard when making longer text passages (like this one) so easily 90% of what I do is via the touch screen. I am sometimes on the machine using that touch screen for 10 plus hours a day. I have found absolutely no issues with it what so ever.

    My Samsung Galaxy S running Android annoys me more. I love it, but its no where near as simple or easy or Familiar to use as Win7. If I am on there for any more than 10 to 15 minutes, I usually give up and “get it done” on the t1028x instead if I have it with me.

    I have never used iOS in any way, shape, or form. Most likely never will unless I am given one for free or for work or something (which I quietly hope will happen) so in that case I can not compare.

    However comparing Win7 to Android as a touch interface, sorry but I much prefer Win7. I wish I could say Android but I just can’t. Right now Win7 is definitely the easier touch OS to use from my experience.

    1. Yes – most people who complain about win 7 touch haven’t used it or have no idea how to use it. Okay so at the moment there are no decent slates to judge but as for tablets – you and I are testiment to the viability and ease of use of touch on windows 7.

  2. “My own two cents is that the default WIndows on-screen keyboard is much more difficult to use for touch-typing than the iPad keyboard and I’d only ever want to use it to enter URLs or other short bits of text.”
    RESIZE IT! Or you can download one of the many alternatives – you can even get ipad like ones if you are desparate to imitate.

    “It’s also hard to accurately hit smaller Windows elements such as individual files in the Windows Explorer in list view, or items in the start menu”
    DON’T HAVE IT IN LIST VIEW! and ITEMS ON THE START MENU ARE NOT NECESSARY WITH ONE TOUCH OPEN DESKTOP ICONS/FOLDERS OR A UI LIKE BLUEDOLPHIN!!!

    “and especially close, minimize, and other toolbar buttons using a fingertip. These elements were clearly designed with a more precise input than your finger in mind.”
    YOU KNOW YOU CAN RESIZE THEM!!!!!

    IF THESE ARE THE ONLY ARGUMENTS AGAINST WINDOWS THEN PLEASE LETS STOP THE PREJUDICE AND MOVE ON. WINDOWS 7 + TOUCH = A POWERFUL FULL OS DEVICE THAT IS EASY TO USE AND FUN TOO!! TOTALLY IN A DIFFERENT LEAGUE TO THE IPAD AND ANDROID DEVICES.

    1. This is a pretty succinct explanation of why Windows 7 on a tablet of this type is fiddly and clumsy: You’re not really using a touch interface – you’re using a keyboard and a mouse that have been mapped to a touch interface.

      1. Have you ever tried it? It is not fiddly and clumsy. Maybe natively it is but you can install user interfaces on top, enlarge buttons, use one touch icons etc. As good a touch experience as anywhere once customized. That is the beauty of a full os – you can do whatever you want with it. You are not limited like the ipad.

        Keyboard and mouse – i can easily go without using either on my touch win 7 device. In any case who says they aren’t necessary sometimes – the number of keyboards available for the ipad is testament to that.

        1. Give me specific issues if you can and if you’ve used win 7 with touch.

        2. Sure, the Archos 9, for example. You need to manage a cursor and a software keyboard, as well as window sizing and dimensions. It’s kind of a hassle to do that when the only tools you have are a keyboard key and a touchscreen. The Archos 9 tried to help with a funny little mouse pointer device and mouse buttons but it was pretty hard and slow to use. There’s a reason no recent mobile os has gone that route. You can work around it but it involves setting up your own little mini walled garden that falls apart the second you load a typical Windows app.

          1. That is a HARDWARE issue not windows 7. The archos 9 has a very poor processor, a poor screen, a very slow HDD, max 1gb ram which isn’t enough for windows 7, windows 7 starter with no flicks etc etc. A VERY POOR EXAMPLE TO GO WITH A VERY POOR ARGUMENT.

            Take the exopc which is a new breed of touch win 7 devices – has a great custom user interface, 2gb ram, hardware hd decoder, capacitive screen, reasonable processor, FAST ssd. It will be a completely different experience.

            windows sizing – all you need is the maximize button which can be enlarged easily to suit anyone’s massive fingers.

  3. Brad I wouldn’t worry about it. Do you really want every tablet coming to your door to review? And you were finding netbooks a bit boring to review? My god. Imagine tablet reviews. *yawn*

    Oh boy this one has um… what the heck do you write? Um, this tablet feature Android! Oh, and it has a silver edge and weighs the same as the other 50 tablets on the market. Oh, it has a touch screen. It’s thin, just like every other tablet on the market. In fact, this review just sucks. I would rather be a painter (no offense to that occupation) than have to review tablets as they come to market. Again, perhaps I’m the only one thinking this. I mean c’mon. Do these things even have different colors? Nope. You can’t even review the color of the tablets. I’m sure there will be a color surge in the tablet segment soon enough. Then it will be slightly, and I mean laughably more interesting.

  4. Brad, your choice of words is totally out.

    How can you say, “threatening to send you”

    A threat is

    1. a declaration of the intention to inflict harm, pain, or misery
    2. an indication of imminent harm, danger, or pain
    3. a person or thing that is regarded as dangerous or likely to inflict pain or misery

    So, how can the folks at Netbook Navigator threaten to send you….?

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