This post is going to discuss the usability and accessibility of a Windows 10 tablet recently released by a company called My Go. In addition, I will also provide a physical description of the said tablet.
I would like to point out that I had no experience of using tablets running Windows prior to exploring the device in question. Also, in the interests of balance, I am a self-confessed advocate for Apple products such as the iPad and iPhone.
If you would like to learn whether or not a Windows tablet is usable by, and accessible to, someone who uses assistive technology such as a screen reader, you are invited to red on. As always, if you have any comments and/or questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a Comment at the end of this post.
I haven’t heard of My Go before, what can you tell me?
I was not familiar with the company My Go either until a few weeks ago, but I have done some research since then. I have summarised some information I have gathered from the My Go website below, but if you would like to explore that website for yourself, you can do so by visiting this link.
- My Go’s product range includes Windows tablets, Android tablets and phones, eReaders, laptops, netbooks all-in-one devices and tablets intended for children.
- My Go’s website offers the afore mentioned products for sale (Shipping within the United Kingdom only), provides technical support, access to the My Go Guide, guarantee registration and contact information for the company.
- The My Go site also offers links to various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and information relating to My Go’s press releases and news regarding the company.
- My Go is based in the United Kingdom, but it is possible to contact the technical support team from Ireland via telephone.
Can you tell me more about the Windows tablets on offer from My Go?
There are 3 versions of the Windows tablet My Go sell, which is referred to as the GoTab. The primary differences in the said versions are screen size, internal storage, RAM and battery capacity.
While each version of the GoTab is going to be larger in size depending on the screen size, I assume from the product description that the physical composition of each tablet is similar. I would describe the GoTab as a thicker version of the iPad for those of you who are familiar with that device.
The tablet is intended to be used in landscape at all times, so if you were holding the device, the headphone, video-out and Micro USB ports would be to your left. The volume rocker and the on/off switch is at the top of the device, and the slot for your Micro SD card is at the bottom of the device.
The right of the GoTab does not have any buttons or ports, and there is a camera lens protruding from the back side of the tablet. The device has a built-in microphone, speaker and front-facing camera, but I could not locate the exact positions of the said elements.
Can I get an external keyboard to work with the GoTab?
Unless you are getting sighted assistance to setup your GoTab, which I think is advisable, it is essential that you have a USB keyboard to hand. An OTG cable is provided with the GoTab, and basically converts the Micro USB port on the device to a full-fledged USB port which you can use to connect a keyboard.
Once a keyboard is connected to the tablet, you can use the key shortcut Windows Key + Entre to start Narrator which is the built-in screen reader on Windows. As I will explain shortly, my setup was not standard, so unfortunately I cannot offer advice regarding what you will encounter during the setup.
Can the GoTab be used with a screen reader
In addition to Narrator, I installed and successfully used the popular screen reader NVDA. I do not own another screen reader which is compatible with Windows 10, and therefore I was limited to using NVDA.
However, NVDA is a fantastic screen reader, and I am only beginning to understand the software’s true potential since using it with the GoTab. Don’t quote me on this, but I would imagine other screen readers such as JAWS could be used with the GoTab, but I would urge you to consider the CPU and RAM requirements of software such as JAWS.
Did you experience any technical issues when setting up the GoTab?
After I excitedly opened my GoTab and powered it on, I was disappointed to be met with an administrator login screen. I had sighted assistance, and I was informed that a message along the lines of “This account has been disabled. Please contact your systems administrator” appeared on the screen.
After contacting My Go’s technical support, I discovered this is a flaw in the GoTab which was only discovered by the company shortly before the product went to market. My Go have stated the flaw is due to the software Microsoft provided, and the company have taken steps to ensure that retailers can rectify the issue before the customer takes the tablet home.
However, I didn’t purchase my tablet in-store, I purchased it online, so my device was never updated. My Go technical support were able to advise me how to update the tablet manually, and furnish me with the steps required to solve the issue.
Even though everything worked out, this was definitely not a welcome surprise when I turned on my GoTab. Furthermore, the instructions provided to me were graphical, and the steps required to update the tablet did not have audio feedback, so sighted assistance was pretty much essential.
Technical issues aside, would you recommend the GoTab?
The short answer is no, I couldn’t recommend the GoTab to someone intending to use the device for casual or professional use.
The version of the GoTab I purchased had significant battery and performance issues. While I cannot say if similar issues are present in other versions of the GoTab, I cannot recommend any version of the GoTab because of my experience.
Would you recommend a tablet device produced by someone other than My Go?
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I am an advocate for Apple products, so it may not come as a surprise that I would recommend any of the tablet devices produced by Apple. I own a version of the iPad, and I think it is a great device.
I typed the original draft of this post on my iPad, and I have used the said device to take notes and conduct research while I was at University as detailed in an earlier post. However, there are other producers of tablets, so you do have alternatives.
Although I have no experience of the device, the first unit that springs to mind is the Surface Pro produced by Microsoft. From my limited knowledge of the Surface Pro, it is expensive and I would recommend that you test any device before purchasing it.
Another alternative is the Latitude tablet produced by Dell. I haven’t used the mentioned product either, but Dell has a good reputation for producing quality personal computers, and I can only assume this is also true of their tablet device.
As mentioned, try to test something in-store before you purchase it, as it could be difficult to return the item and get a refund.
The Bottom Line.
It is fantastic that a tablet running the Windows operating system is available, and can be used in an accessible fashion by someone who is visually impaired or blind. Even though the GoTab may not be a tablet which I would recommend due to battery and performance issues, I would not discourage someone from exploring the area of Windows tablets.