Tablet

The WeTab

If only all tablets were designed like this one.

Nokia/Intel provide the “other” tablet OS, but nobody really knows what that’s like. Have you noticed that MeeGo is almost 2 years old? Where are those devices? If MeeGo is the iPad killer, why are we almost about to realise the iPad3?

Anyway, read on for my list of current tablets that are out there. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll skip devices which are really ereaders, glorified smartphones and netbooks. This one is about Tablets.

For reference, back in the Christmas/New Year of 2007/2008, I got myself my very own tablet, the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Tablet (hostname: bay) to replace my previous Apple iBook. I took lecture notes with it, learnt how to program and served as my primary computer for everything. It was always with me, and since I didn’t really play computer games[1], it did EVERYTHING I needed it to.

Prior to this, my only experience of tablet computing came from my Mum’s HP TC1000. It is this generation of tablets that give rise to the current atmosphere of scepticism to modern tablets. It wasn’t until the iPad and finger touch technology that they became glitzy again.

So, what makes a good tablet for me?
Lightweight/Portability: In tablet mode, hold the device in left hand and interact with the right. The X61t works well for this, but OS design limits dictate that, with the exception of a few programs, laptop mode + screen prodding is the most efficient way of doing most of my tasks.

Sensible Operating System choice, and tablet integration: Across all of my devices, I use Gentoo, Win7 or both. I’ve learnt over the years how to best optimise these Desktop OSes for tablet use and I have been in a culture of gathering as many tablet friendly applications as possible.

I use Opera as my web browser, it was designed with optimisations for small devices/obscure layouts. Both common with tablet form factors, and this scales well to laptop sized screens. Jury is still out on 27″ desktops and projector displays (without touch). Opera itself is finger friendly, large buttons, gesture support and hides bloat sufficiently away from me that I regularly use all buttons, toolbars, bells and whistles that are presented to me on screen  on a daily basis. It also works EVERYWHERE, always a bonus.

Quick notetaking without faf: On windows, my text editor of choice is Scite/Kate for Linux. IDE of choice is QtCreator (Cross platform) and OneNote served me very well during University[2].

The Bottom Left of my Screen

The Bottom Left of my screen is universally like this.

This post is getting a tad longer that I had planned. I’ll save the rundown of tablets for a Part 2.

[1] That’s why we use games consoles.
[2] But my life isn’t that organised/hierarchical  since I graduated.

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