A year or so back I tried out an ipad1 for a few days. It was a painful experience. Though I should mention that I was in my then Melbourne office for a week’s training. They took away my laptop to upgrade me to a new one and loaned me an ipad for a few days in the interim, plus gave me a new phone (iphone 3GS). Unfortunately the work software we were being trained in didn’t work on the ipad so it was primarily a notetaking device. I liked the virtual keyboard but found editing text painful…someone had to explain a day or two in, that I could move the cursor around by pressing my thumb to the screen. Even then it felt awkward. Some things I liked but the poor ability to edit streams of text was a deal breaker for me.

Anyway, here we are a year or so later and I had to do some testing yesterday at work on an ipad2. In the last year or so, I’ve had a lot more experience of touch screen devices initially via the iphone 3GS and then with the Samsung Galaxy S2 I bought when I changed jobs. As far as phones are concerned, I particularly liked the Galaxy’s use of Swype for entering text and found its text abilities substantially better than the iphone approach (same as the ipad with thumb dragging) ie decent cursor control. My ipad2 experience was for the most part, much improved on my ipad1 experience; I was much more at home with the touch screen and found it fast and responsive. Fun even. Text editing however has not improved.

However my netbook is dying: randomly freezes on shutdown and takes a while to start up, even from hibernation…compared to the super quickness of tablets. I am reliant on some sort of portable notetaking device for meetings and so forth. The traditional pen & paper approach are no good as I’ve mostly lost the motor skill for handwriting:

I am keyboard dependent.

So I am investigating tablets once more. They’re fairly light, around 600g, startup is quick and typing seems fine. Unfortunately the ipad2 is out of contention so I’ve been looking out for alternative options. Given my happy experience with the Galaxy phone, I have been very, very keen to try out the new Galaxy tablets. Alas, due to a long running court case with Apple, there’s nowhere in Sydney I can legally try one out and buy. I’d also be interested in comparing the 10″ Galaxy with the 7″ though I suspect I’d want the bigger version. The other tablet that has attracted my fancy is the Sony Tablet S and it looks pretty slick. A friend at work has one and she showed it to me though I didn’t get a chance to try out the editing functions – have read somewhere that text editing is poorly handled. With that said, it’s a decent looking tablet and has a nice feel in the hand, similar in weight to the ipad2. I’ll pop into a Sony shop next week and try it out properly and keep my fingers crossed that the Samsung court case with Apple is resolved soon.

2 thoughts on “tablets

  1. Ah, thanks for the reminder, I forgot to mention their offerings, curious to try both the transformer and slider models. Both my netbooks have been ASUS too, first the 701 (which mum has) and my current 901. The Transformer is 680g but the Slider is at the heavy end at 900g.

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