A Windows 8 Tablet for Free? Sort of.

One of the more intriguing developments in computing today is the introduction of Windows 8 on touch-screen tablets. Unlike an iPad or an Android tablet, a Windows 8 tablet allows you to access all of your normal desktop applications and documents. But if you already have another tablet, you might not be ready to buy another one, and full Windows 8 tablets are not cheap: prices range from about $900 to $2000.

Well, here’s a way to turn your iPad or Android tablet into a Windows 8 tablet, for free.

If you happen to have a Windows 8 computer, you can tie it into your tablet. If you don’t have a Windows 8 computer, but you have a spare desktop or laptop computer sitting around, you can upgrade it to Windows 8 inexpensively. (If you need help upgrading, of course you can bring the computer to us.)

On your tablet, download an app called Splashtop. The Splashtop app allows you to remotely connect to other computers. If that computer is running Windows 8, all of the “touch” features will be available on your tablet even if the remote computer does not have a touch screen. Essentially, your iPad, or an Android device such as a Samsung Galaxy, will mimic a Microsoft Surface tablet.

The Splashtop app is free so long as you connect to the remote computer over your local network. If you want to connect across the internet, there is an annual fee of $16.99, which is awfully cheap compared to a Windows 8 tablet computer.