January 3, 2013
Note: This was an abject failure. It died in 6 months going to random app opening and closing at a rapid pace and after the short warranty was over. I'm very disappointed in this.
Today, I finally ordered a tablet computer. I've been dissatisfied with my mobile computing while I'm in travel mode. If I'm not particularly enthralled with a place, I like to drive until I get tired then find a place to park for the night. I take care of the animals, take a walk with the dog, do something about diner and go to bed. I've been using my smartphone to do a little web browsing and reading before dropping off to sleep. It is a pain to write on the phone. I discovered I could dictate to it thru the Android voice to text facility which helped a lot but then there's always that comical misunderstandings from the little robot. I also found it hard to update my blog. I usually didn't want to boot up my laptop without a lot of time to spend.
So, I've been eyeing the tablets for a lot more portability and quick access like I have to the phone. But a lot of them are set up more as toys than tools. While modern computers are very flexible in all the things they can do, I want one that can run a Word compatible word processor and spreadsheet in addition to the browsing and media stuff. What finally tipped my hand is the new Android OS and the now available office apps.
Since I'm pretty much an old geek and like to have fast and capable computing, I got the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF700T with the keyboard dock. Among the features I consider important is it has a micro SD to expand the memory. The keyboard dock has a regular SD reader and USB ports and an additional battery. That will allow me to plug in my usb disks for more storage and easily transfer pictures from my camera SD card to the tablet. I like the idea of being able to use just the slate for touch screen things like I do with the smartphone but on a bigger screen and be able to use a regular keyboard and touchpad for real typing jobs.
It looks like this device will bridge the gap between the super portability/accessibility of a phone and tablet and the real workhorse of a laptop. I was looking at the new Microsoft Surface but the software isn't really available yet. No matter how wonderful the hardware is in a computer, it is just a brick without good software.
The tablet should be arriving next week. I'll be setting it up as soon as I get it and the test of usability will be my upcoming trip to St. Thomas.