Monday, October 17, 2011


Looking and think about tablets, wondering what I wanted to do with one and why. I really didn't know. I have a Nook Color that has been rooted & running Froyo. It is fine, but a 7" is a bit small. There are some stability issues but that is not the fault of the device. But, it is Android. The interface works great on a phone but I'm not impressed with Android as a large screen interface. Perhaps IceCreamSandwhich? No, I am not only passing judgment on the Nook, but other 10 inch tablets I have used too.

Of course there is the iPad. It is a nice device, I guess, but still more phone like than not. The little icons on the desktop, etc. Of course there is the price and price of ownership. No, I have never owned with one only played with them in passing so having never lived with one, my opinion may be faulty. Ok.

Then came along the WebOS HP Touchpad. It is truly a nice device. Same size as iPad, very sleek and $100/$150. I have one and the card interface is fast and great to get around in. I love the gestures to stack cards, switch cards (each card is a running app in the background) and the multi-tasking capabilities. It is great to sling-shot a card off the screen like launching a bird towards the pigs. Cool. But, it is lacking. All the non-running apps are lurking behind a button in 4 sub categories, all little icons just like android & iOS. No desktop apps, that's ok, but if there were a better interface to get to apps or even a way to pin more apps to a scrolling bar at the bottom of the screen like Android would be great. Nope. Could be fixed one day, but unlikely, at least not with the pockets and computing prowess of HP.

So this brings me to Windows8: The next great tablet OS? It may very well be. I downloaded the beta onto my laptop like many have and complained about the start screen but got used to it and must admit that it will be great once the apps are worked out and there are ways to convert more programs into nice looking app buttons. The mouse gestures work ok, good enough in fact, to get around. But when I see a scroll bar I want to use it. Using it on the start screen is a little kludgy but I know I can spin the wheel to pan......But it looks like it will be an awesome touch interface. It is. I got an Acer W500 just to find out. A touch tablet with a keyboard dock. Using W8 is a snap and quite intuitive (except for switching native apps, but I figured it out), the way a touch interface should be. Grabbing an app from the start screen is easy, switching apps is easy. So far this is a great tablet!

My goal is to use this as my daily user for (nearly) everything and to report on what I find. So watch fore more on the Windows 8 experiment! (I'll throw win my thoughts on the W500 too!)