You can add a keyboard and mouse to your Windows 10 Tablet for free. And it’s easy!
But first, a few words on my CHUWI Hi8 Windows 10 Tablet and its memory situation. I found out that you can actually integrate external storage quite effectively. For example, you can leave your micro SD card as a separate drive, and simply tell Windows 10 tablet OS to use the external storage for everything you would normally put into your My Documents. In the alternative, you can reformat your micro SD card to NTFS and then make it show up as part of your c: drive. This is what I did by following these instructions.
Anyway, I now have lots of storage available. Unfortunately, you are stuck with keeping Dropbox installed only on the internal drive.
Windows 10 Tablet Keyboard and Mouse
As an older guy, I have never gotten used to on-screen touch keyboards, although they suffice for entering a password or URL. And they are a huge improvement on those little buttons I used to hate on the Blackberry.
I got to thinking that I should add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. But they are not cheap, and from an ergonomic perspective, not that much better than the on-screen keyboard. Instead, I wondered if there is a way to use my normal PC keyboard and mouse with the tablet. This would be very useful for installing and setting up applications and features, as I could use “real” input devices and not have to worry about accurate “touch” on a very small screen.
And guess what? There are two great solutions available at no cost. The first is called Input Director. The second is ShareMouse. They both work by enabling two computers to connect with each other over the local wireless network.
- Input Director is an older program, developed in 2009. It requires quite a bit of configuration – not hard but still some work. You configure your main PC (the one with the keyboard and mouse) as the Master. You configure your tablet (or any computer without a keyboard and mouse) as the Slave. Input Director is completely free, supports multiple monitors, and also supports drag-and-drop of clipboard and files between devices. It is a Windows-only solution.
- ShareMouse is a currently developed program and configures itself automatically. You just install it on both devices and they will find each other on the LAN. ShareMouse has lots of features, but they are not enabled in the free non-commercial version. (Compare versions here.) As a bonus, ShareMouse also runs on the Mac but does not yet support the iPad.
Since I simply wanted to use the keyboard and mouse on my PC on the CHUWI Windows 10 Tablet, I installed ShareMouse and was up and running in less than 2 minutes. To transfer the input devices to the Windows 10 Tablet, I just move the mouse to the left edge of the big monitor, and then the keyboard and mouse show up on the CHUW. In reverse, I move the mouse to the right edge of the Windows 10 Tablet screen, and they return to the PC.
There are other solutions to sharing input devices between the PC and Windows 10 Tablet, but these two seem to be well regarded. And of course, you could also use a VNC (virtual network connection) or something like TeamViewer which is free for personal use and also supports iPad. But ShareMouse seems to be pretty lightweight and also runs as a service in the background on your PC or Windows 10 Tablet.