“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify!” – Henry David Thoreau
In a recent post, I broke up with my iPad and my laptop in one fell swoop. The reason was simple, I needed more power and less bulk. Basically, I’m looking for the convenience and form factor of an iPad with the functionality of a laptop. Ideally it would be a device designed for Windows 8, but since those haven’t shipped yet, I decided to make due with the Samsung Series 7 tablet I received last week while at an event in Redmond, WA (aka the home of Microsoft). For the next 30 days I’m going to use the tablet as my only device to see if the concept will work. Along the way I plan on blogging about my experiences, both good and bad.
Today was day 1, the day when I spent 8 hours being productive on the tablet. Since I was out of the office all of last week I still playing a bit of catch up, so most of my work involved Outlook along with some PowerPoint, and no Visual Studio. I also spent a an hour or so as just a consume (reading, books, watching videos, etc.) Here are my thoughts from the day:
- My Samsung Series 7 Slate Case Stand arrived today, so I’ll start with my impressions of it
- It’s a nice looking case and I really like how the tablet snaps into it. I seemed to constantly have issues with the iPad’s smart cover falling off, so this is a nice change. I am wondering if after prolonged use it will be difficult to keep it nice and tight in the case.
- There is a holder for the stylus, which is nice as my understanding from colleagues is that earlier versions of the case did not have this feature. However, it feels like an add on, and I think it actually detracts from the look of the case when the stylus is in place. It is useful though.
- The case does not allow you to lay the slate down at a 30 degree angle like the iPad smart cover does. This feature made it very easy to use the iPad’s soft keyboard for typing. Unfortunately no one else manufactures a case for this tablet, so I’ll have to live with it.
- The case is not “smart”. Which means I have to remember to turn off my tablet when I close the case because the tablet won’t turn itself off. This is identical to how the first generation iPad worked. Once again, not a deal killer, but it would be nice to have.
- I ordered two additional docks and power adapters so I can have one set in my bag, one set at home, and one set at my office. This is for pure convenience. I could get by with just one, but three will make it easier, as well as less likely that I’ll forget a dock somewhere.
- I decided to use the USB port on my current Samsung dock for my Logitech illuminated keyboard. The Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000 is good and will serve me well when traveling, but I simply love my Logitech keyboard and can be more productive with it during intense coding sessions.
- The tablet is bigger than the iPad and weighs a bit more, so it will take some getting used to hold while reading in bed.
- I turned off the “Adjust Screen Brightness Automatically” feature in Windows 8, and now I can’t seem to adjust the screen’s brightness at all. When I turned the feature back on it didn’t have any effect. Not a big deal, but it would be nice to have a dimmer display at night when reading.
- I had a couple of PDF’s I needed to print today, when I opened them in the Reader application I found out that the app provided no way to print them. Ugh. Luckily I was able to switch back over to the desktop and open them in Microsoft Word 2013 for printing. Anytime I can avoid installing an Adobe product I call it a huge win!
- There is no good RSS Reader app yet. I was heavily reliant on the Reeder app for my iPad, and I’m hoping something similar will be coming to Windows 8.
- I ordered a 64 GB Micro SD card for music, video, and photo storage. I don’t want eat up the precious space on the SSD, so this seems like a good plan. An added bonus is that I will be able to pop this card into my Windows Phone 8 device consume content there as well. Win and win!
- While I’m not a huge fans of iTunes software on Windows, one thing it allowed me to do was sync content between my computer and my iOS devices. I’ll definitely need to find a solution for this as I don’t want to copy and past content from network shares to my machine.
- Cables, cables, cable. I ordered 3 HDMI to DVI cables from Amazon (at a great price). One for my bag, one for home, and one for the office. I also ordered an HDMI cable from Amazon just to keep in my bag. I also ordered an HDMI to VGA cable as well as a VGA Female-to-Female adapter to keep in my bag. I do a lot of presenting and I know some venues will only have a VGA projection option. This should do the trick.
Despite what you may think by reading my comments, I consider today to be a success. A lot of these things are simply the result of getting used to a new machine and a new way of working. Tomorrow and Friday I’ll be in all day meetings, which means a lot of OneNote, OneNote MX, PowerPoint, and Outlook which will be some good experience with the new wave of Office products.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to experiment with replacing AirPlay as I mentioned in my last post. That will come soon though, don’t worry.
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