I’m such a tease! My official excuse, and of course I have one, is that I would rather actually publish a series of short posts than not publish a nice, long one. That, and I have forgotten how to do page breaks.
ANYWAY …on to the questions and their answers:
1. Does it do what I need? Mostly. As traveling companions go, it’s hard to beat, and I can see now how people get so accustomed to them. After having a six-pound, seventeen-inch MacBook as my “portable” computer, it’s a refreshing change of pace. Saving documents from the tablet to the Dropbox is a two-step shuffle, but the Kingsoft (free!) office suite is a little dream to work with. Internet access is quick, but a little dodgy at times. Some pages look odd unless I load a desktop version, and navigation is tricky. I’m used to seeing the browser tabs and toolbar ready at the top of the screen, and the tablet hides them behind some other buttons. The on-screen keyboard is usable, but nowhere near as comfy as a proper stand-alone. Still, I can bust out 500 or so words at a time without much trouble. Worse was not having the CTRL, ALT, and arrow keys, especially with writing longer text pieces. The biggest hangups here are that I can’t seem to get a Bluetooth keyboard to function with the tablet and the WordPress app won’t install. The Amazon app representative thought it might be that I need to upgrade the operating system again to Android 4.1. I would if I could, but so far I can’t, so I opted to splurge and drop all of $3 on an upgraded keyboard app. It’s a definite upgrade, but still no CTRL key!!!
2.Does it beat the alternative? Well, that all depends on what the alternative is. Compared to the Ancient Dell, it’s light-years ahead for a portable device. I am actually writing this part of the post on the tablet, and you probably can’t tell where I left off with the other computer, can you? It’s just that good. On the other hand…(said Tevye)…a proper notebook computer, ideally a small one like a netbook/Chromebook/Macbook Air, would probably be better at on-the-go word processing, multi-task situations, and the like. So, in between what I do have and what I could have, it’s a decent compromise.
3. Does the good outweigh the bad? Not entirely. For one thing, I’m going to have to save this post as a draft, log back in from a computer with a proper keyboard and mouse or touchpad, and tidy up the grammar and formatting. Nor was I able to paste into this template from the Kingsoft doc where I had begun this post until I had opened it on my other computer through my Dropbox account. There always seems to be an extra step or two with this arrangement. Then again, I would have a hard time playing pool or curling (really!) without a touchscreen, so there are certain compensations. Overall, though, it’s not as good at what I need as I need it to be. Neither is the old Dell, for that matter, and the time I’ve spent wrestling with the two of them…not sure how I’m getting that back, if ever I am.
So there you have it; sometime next week My Dear Wife and I will take a road trip, 75 miles north, to the nearest Big Box Bargain Store that stocks the Samsung Chromebook, which at $249 is nearly as much as I can drop on a gadget right now. Until then I’ll just muddle through with what I have.
Although…there is one more thing I can try with the tablet…just kidding…maybe…