Alexander: Buying the latest gadget poses risk

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 7:45 PM

Q: I bought a Windows RT tablet computer from Asus in January. But now I’ve read that Asus is pulling its support for Windows RT (a downsized version of Windows 8 that ran on tablet computers that used special processor chips.)

If this is an inadequate product, what, if anything, can the consumer do to get recompense?

Jesica Conrad, Bemidji, Minn.

A: You’re in a tough spot. While we all like to have the latest technology, buying it carries some risks because there’s no way to know which gadgets will succeed and which will fail.

Unfortunately, you purchased a computer that failed in the marketplace. Most consumers didn’t like Windows RT tablets because they had limited functionality compared with Windows 8.

Based on disappointing sales, Asus and most other manufacturers of the Windows RT tablet have dropped the product. Even Microsoft, which continues to offer Windows RT devices, couldn’t sell as many as it expected. As a result, Microsoft took a $900 million write-off on its own unsold Windows RT tablets earlier this year.

That said, your device will continue to operate as it always did. But there probably will be no software updates, and repair service might be difficult to find.

I know of no way to get your money back in a situation like this.

Q: I recently bought a Windows 8 PC, but found that the text on the screen is displayed as gray, which is very difficult to read when using software such as Internet Explorer 10 or Microsoft Word or Excel.

The only solution seems to be changing the colors on the screen, so that I get green letters on a black screen. The trouble is that some applications display black letters, which are then invisible against the black background.

Do you think the problem is the display screen or Windows 8?

Neal Atkins, Miami Beach, Fla.

A: I don’t think the problem is the monitor, the PC or Windows 8. It sounds as if you’ve installed an Adobe desktop publishing program on your PC that uses the “OpenType Font” (a font gives printed letters their characteristic typefaces, sizes and spacing.)

Windows 8 comes with the True­Type Font, but it also can use the OpenType Font. However, some Windows 8 programs, such as Internet Explorer 10, aren’t compatible with the OpenType Font. Others, such as Word 2010, require some tinkering.

To use the OpenType Font with Word, first turn on Word’s OpenType feature (see tinyurl.com/mhkyjm3.)

You also might have to change the printer installed on your PC. Word limits its font capabilities to what a printer can reproduce. You can work around this problem by installing the software driver for a different printer (even if you aren’t really using that printer). See tinyurl.com/kjho9zt.

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@

gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 425 ­Portland Av. S., ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close