Not all of us have the luxury of a man cave, which means now and again instead of displaying the acrobatic skills of all that Rocket League has to offer or the fine teamwork and gunplay of The Division, the TV is plunged into doom as Made in Chelsea or worse… that Essex show is blaring out of the speakers as the wife pulls rank and takes over the remote. All is not lost though… should you have a Windows 10 tablet you can make use of Xbox streaming and carry on gaming while the missus numbs more brain cells with her ‘shows’.
I opted for the Linx Vision 8, a tidy little tablet that looks very similar to Microsoft’s Surface. Produced by a small UK based company, the 8” tablet is the perfect companion to your Xbox One. It runs on a 64-Bit Quad Core Intel Atom (Cherry Trail) Processor and packs 2GB of RAM – double that of many other similar sized tablets.
The system comes complete with a gaming cradle so you needn’t worry about picking up an adaptor for the tablet’s micro USB port so that an Xbox One controller can be used. The tablet itself has a good weight to it and is a solid build with a great finish to both the casing and the glass.
The tablet synced perfectly to my MS account, Groove and Xbox. Having used iPad, Nexus and Kindle, the Linx and Windows 10 is right up there with iOS – edging it with the ability to sync and play games from my Xbox – where it does fall down though is with the internal speaker sound and the screen colour.
The colour of my games looked flat when compared to what I’m used to seeing on my TV. It’s certainly nowhere near as vibrant as the pixel colour of my iPad Air or even my Google Nexus, but at least the games looked super sharp. The speakers are clear but lack any depth to the bass – no problem if you have a decent headset and my Bluetooth ASTRO A38 worked perfectly. The only other sound issue I had was when I used the chat feature over Xbox LIVE with the tablet’s internal mic – my friends could hear themselves when they spoke.
I’m quite happy to admit that I’ve fallen victim to inflating my gamerscore with Windows 10 PC and mobile games – some are even pretty addictive – but when I do feel the need to stream my Xbox One to the tablet, the Linx’s gaming cradle snaps on easily with little fuss and no wires.
The cradle fits neatly around the tablet, giving access to the headphone and micro USB ports. The cradle features two lozenge shaped handles. On the left is the LS, left trigger/bumper and the dpad, and on the right is the RS, right trigger/bumper and AXBY buttons. The cradle is comfortable to hold and the handgrips feel great – similar to the Xbox Elite’s rubberised grips.
While the cradle works well, the button placement just didn’t feel quite right –reaching for the bumper/trigger while using the sticks, or pressing the face buttons – I’ve put this down to muscle memory, the new layout feeling alien to start with, but if your Xbox One’s TV is occupied, or you fancy a cheeky bit of XO while lazing in bed on a Sunday morning, then this is a great solution.
What messed with my muscle memory more is the positioning of the LS and RS. I’m used to these sticks being quite close together and just by moving them apart it completely threw me off. I’m also used to playing inverted, but this just messed with my head further – it will take a long while for me to fully adapt and take to online gaming without being hampered by the stick positioning.
I really like the controller cradle, but as well as it works, you can’t beat the layout of a good old fashioned controller and I’ll certainly be looking into picking up a micro USB adaptor so I can plug my Xbox One controller into the tablet.
While streaming I suffered very little lag – at least nothing that I could notice – and while I won’t be using this setup to play online competitively, it does offer me some single player solace when I can’t get to the TV. I did find that every so often the controller inputs suffered some delay, with characters walking further than I had pressed, but it was sporadic so I put this down to my home network limitations rather than that of the tablet.
The Linx Vision 8 is powerful enough to run the full desktop version of Windows 10 – a PC desktop computer small enough to store in your pocket – although I mainly opted to run it in tablet mode, opting for PC mode when I needed to dig deeper into the system folders. There’s only 32GB of storage available, but you can double this with a Micro-SD card.
The battery lasts well when using the tablet purely for Windows 10 gaming, but will drain pretty quickly when streaming – typically I got around 5-10 hours between charges depending on my Windows/Xbox usage.
The Linx Vision 8 is the best budget Windows 10 tablet I could find on the market right now, Windows 10 is a joy to use in tablet and desktop mode, and as if Xbox streaming wasn’t enough, you can also play Windows 10 PC and mobile games as well as some Steam games – what more could you ask of a PC in your pocket!
We bought our own Linx Vision 8 to bring you this review