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Phones and Tablets - Have a Beer. Don't Cost Nothin'.
Good Evening, Godless Sodomites.
Phones and Tablets
I'm kinda suprised, right now, by the 'willingness' of the Telco's to 'let' people use their cellphone data plan as a connection for other devices. First, it was just the device you were wired into, your laptop, generally. Now, and especially with the proliferation of Android, you can set your phone up as a wireless router. That's really slick.

But still not great with laptops. I mean, they're big and bulky. Not in the way they used to be, for sure, but they still are. Netbooks, better. And the Telco's are already selling 'discounted' netbooks and laptops either with a 3G data stick, or simply with a connection built in.

But the way Tablets are proliferating, especially at CES this year, damn. Yum.

I've been involved in a couple of conversations recently dedicated to "which eReader should I buy?" and honestly, while the whole idea of electronic books is very attractive, my answer is invariably "none". It's followed with the caveat of "you should save a few more bucks, and get a Tablet". There's really good reasons for this. The first of which is, if you're looking for an eReader, why not spend a couple of bucks more, and get them all in one? Whether you go Andriod or i/OS, both platforms have free access to each of the apps for all of the major eReader platforms: Kobe, Kindle, etc. With them being an android device, rather than a dedicated, sole-purpose eReader, they bring a multitude of other uses to the table.

Which brings it back to me.

Since I switched to my Captivate S, I have mucho love for Android as a platform (even 2.1: apparently 2.2 is available for Rogers customers now, but I've heard conflicting information on that I've gone through the terrifying and ridiculous process of upgrading to Froyo. I'm still having nightmare, and it's Samsung and Rogers fault.). And I definitely want something I can read books on. I'm still, it should be noted, dedicated to paper/print. I love having books. I love the feeeeeeeeel of them. But sometimes, having an eReader would be great. And I may migrate to a 50/50 kind of split. But, if I'm going to carry a device around, i want it to do more. And getting a Tablet, rather than an eReader, does that. For me, wifi is all that's needed. I'm not going to pay for a second data plan: I already pay for a good one. What I will do is set my phone up to provice service for the Tablet. Then, if I've got time, or if I'm going somewhere, or whatever, I can either take both phone and tablet with me, or just the phone (ie. if there's goin' to be going to a bar kind of stuff going on). But the extra inches of a tablet make some sense for me. I've played with a 7" tablet, and it's pretty close to right. But I'm really interested to see the new generation of tablets, like the 11" Galaxy Tab that's coming. The dual-core, wifi only tablets will also be potentials.

One of the things I will also be holding out for will not just be screen size, but resolution. While, yes, I'll be able to read articles (in, say, gReader) more easily on a 7" or 11" screen, even at the same resolution as my 4" phone, it would be far, far better to have at least 1024x600 or so resolution (as opposed to the 800x480 resolution my phone has). One would assume, that even factoring in the wifi broadcast, my phone should last longer, because the screen isn't on and off all the time: it's just ... broadcasting.

Also, how long have we all waited to have our Star Trek data pads? They're freakin' here. And I want one.

Yet another advantage over dedicated eReaders? Backlight. I've heard tons of complaints about eReaders being invisible in the dark. That's a weird oversight in design, no matter how much you want to emulate paper. It is ridiculous to have a brand new eReader, with a $10, 1970's style, clip-light reading light on it, so that you can read in bed. Seriously. Even if you're not going to backlight the screen, build the damn reading light in as a pop-up.

So, anyone got any thoughts on spec? Like I said, right now, my big concern is 7" vs 11". But there's going to be a lot of choice in the next few months, I think. I know the Dell Streak is bouncing up to 7". I don't, however, know what size is 'best' for my uses. I'm thinking it would actually be preferable at the 9" range, but I've no idea if anything is going to pop up at that size. There are Tablets for sale on TigerDirect right now: several Archos units running Android, and the like. But I think I still want to wait for the newer architecture if I'm going to do it. It also means I get to wait and see how the hardware develops. It also appears that almost everything (heavy on Galaxy S and Tegra2 platforms) is set to be shipped with Android 3.0/Gingerbread. I'd dearly like to hold out for one of those. Which means, of course, I will. Because I don't have to get anything yet. These are, in my case especially, complete luxuries.

But what a luxury!
5 comments or Leave a comment
mathowny From: mathowny Date: January 14th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
tl;dr, but I have a Samsung Galaxy at 7" and it's perfect. Used it as a computer in Hawaii with no issues, used it as an ereader on the plane, and didn't feel I was flipping the page all the time. I've played with the iPad, and my thought was too big to hold comfortably for any length of time. The 7" is much easier to handle (giggity), and store.
boozysmurf From: boozysmurf Date: January 15th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I'm waiting to get my hands on a 7", 10" and 11", hopefully, together, so I can compare them directly. Looking forward to it, because my 4" phone is fantastic: I can only imagine how good they are with the bigger screen.

One of the draws of the 10" or 11" is the higher resolution (1024x600, instead of 800x480) but it may be that I can live without that.
mightycodking From: mightycodking Date: January 14th, 2011 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Using your device as a local router ("tethering") is frowned upon by some of the carriers. Rogers gets pissy if you do it with the iPhone unless your data plan is at least 1 GB.
boozysmurf From: boozysmurf Date: January 15th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not a particular issue for me, with a 6gb plan, but even if it was, I'd have discussions iwth 'em. I pay them for data, not a lecture on how and how not to use it. :D

What I'm saying is, they can stuff it.
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5 comments or Leave a comment