As indicated previously, I have been looking for a tablet that would replace my laptop for travel computing. I initially considered the Samsung ATIV Pro, which was costly and was using Windows 8. Then, I looked at and bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with Keyboard and Mouse, which was more affordable and was using Android instead of Windows 8. I wanted to know if Android could satisfy my travel computing needs. This blog (Article) is to report on my findings.
First, let me say that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) is a terrific product in itself as a tablet. Android has surpassed Apple’s iOS in terms of functionality and ease of use according to many industry experts. My wife has an iPad, I can therefore subjectively compare both products. Personally, for reasons stated in previous articles, I prefer the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 with Android 4.1.2 over the iPad.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with Keyboard & Mouse photos:
Keyboard reference: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1PU0M45684
Mouse reference: Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000
Using the keyboard & mouse to do serious work
I have started to enter the text of this article using the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and using Polaris Office. In itself it is a new learning curve. Here are my first observations:
- Polaris Office is not MS Office Word which I am familiar with. Therefore, it is an additional product that I have to learn and remember the differences with MS Office Word. As you can recall, I am trying to keep the number of products that I have to learn to a minimum.
- The small keyboard requires adaptation. It is better and more productive then the touch screen keyboard, but once again it is a compromise.
- I am used to a lot of real estate in term of monitor size. I use two 28 inches monitors on each of my desktops. The main reason is that I often work with side by side apps or monitor the financial markets while I do other work. This requires space.
- Up to now, I had not taken the time to learn Windows 8 which I am starting to do lately.
NOTE: at this point, in writing this article, it has become evident to me that this small screen and keyboard are not the right approach for my needs. Therefore, I have decided to complete this article on my laptop with MS Office Word. I have given up on learning Polaris Office and had to retype the above text since I could not find a way to copy it into a Dropbox file to make it available on my laptop.
5. Lately, Dell has come up with a large Windows 8 tablet called the Dell XPS 18 Portable All-in-One. This looks more like the type of product I need as a laptop replacement for traveling.
6. Meanwhile, Intel is launching, in the first week of June 2013, its new fourth-generation “Haswell” processor line. These processors will consume less power to double the battery life, which is ideal for tablet type products. “Haswell’s underlying architecture can scale from delivering server-level performance to tablet-level power consumption. In the ultrabook segment, Haswell provides 20 times reduction in idle power over the previous generation,” said Borkar, who is based in Oregon, US.
All of the above mean that I will now wait for the first Haswell powered large tablets to come to market. In the meantime, I will focus on getting proficient with Windows 8 on my laptop. If the Haswell tablet is powerful and easy to carry as I expect it to be, it will most likely replace ALL my current computers. I can foresee an environment with a second large monitor in each location (Freeport & Montreal) to operate with this large Windows 8 computer/tablet. This should reduce upgrading costs and simplify keeping up with the latest new technology since I would only have one computer/tablet instead of three computers. I will report on this approach as soon as I implement it, most probably in the fall of 2013.