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First of all let's understand that tablet is first of all a convenient media consumption device. A very good eBook reader. Large (12" or larger) tablets are good portable browser of newspaper content. Perfect weather tracking device ;-). Also 7" tablets with 2G/3G can (and should) give smartphones a run for the money as now you can answer calls from Bluetooth headset and see who is calling on a smartwatch such as LG G Watch without getting to the phone.
Tablets really shines as readers and entertainment device. That's why the casual users (browser + music + video type) who never needed the full power of a PC moved to tablets and large smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy Note.
But touch interface, while providing adequate control for browsing and entertainment type of tasks, proved to be problematic for more complex tasks, especially tasks that require exchange of information between applications. Here is a typical exchange about frustration felt by the users (Tablet takedown: the best (and worst) of 2013 – video review)
I just got a Nexus 7 (2013). Would be a good tablet except for one thing, it has horrendous touch screen problems. If you're left stabbing your tablet in frustration because it won't do what you want, well then it's not nice to use.
Google have acknowledged the issue and have been trying to fix it in recent software updates, but so far with little success. There are suggestions that it is in fact a manufacturing/design issue (certain patterns on the screen cause interference in the touchscreen circuitry), so software changes may not be able to rectify it.
Stabbing your tablet isn't going to fix the issue. Might make you feel better though...
The most typical frustration with the tablets is that you try to click on a link and nothing happens. Or you click on one link and other nearby link opens because of "fat finger" problem. That means that in areas outside "pure" entertainment and browsing touch interface provide in principle can't provide experience that is superior to regular PC or laptop, no matter how hard manufactures of tablets try.
And it is important to understand that for complex tasks touch is neither intuitive, nor it is natural. Only with stylus, with its additional button (think about one button Apple mouse ;-), and pressure sensitivity they became more adequate for performing complex tasks. Without stylus in most cases as soon as task became non-trivial PC or laptop still has a distinct edge. Or you can use Bluetooth mouse with tablet which is also an option.
|It is important to understand that for complex tasks touch is neither intuitive, nor it is natural. Only with stylus, with its additional button (think about one button Apple mouse ;-), and pressure sensitivity they became more adequate for performing complex tasks.|
Among the tasks that tablets perform reasonably well:
So it is probably a bad idea to buy a eBook like CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys How and Why US Agents Conspired to Assassinate JFK and RFK. or, God forbid, some book on their special list. As Goebbels aptly explained the key principle of "national-security state" long before NSA became such a formidable force "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear". Which can be countered with "If you have nothing to hide, then that quite literally means you are willing to let me photograph you naked?" ( see Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide' - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education).
...in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's novella "Traps," which involves a seemingly innocent man put on trial by a group of retired lawyers in a mock-trial game, the man inquires what his crime shall be. "An altogether minor matter," replies the prosecutor. "A crime can always be found."
This is a complex issue and will not pursue it further. Still please remember that paperback bought with cash in a real store in a big city might be a better deal.
But still it is quote usable for reading:
For more complex tasks tablets are a source of frustration, not so much the source of help, unless you have a regular keyboard and mouse. Most do work with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Still working with documents in Microsoft Office on laptop beats tablet without keyboard by such a wide margin, that using tablet if you have laptop just does not make much sense outside situations like buying a car in car dealership or similar situation when you need to look and slightly manipulate a spreadsheet. Even in simplified, basic form (and capabilities) represented by "Chromebooks", netbooks (see Acer - Aspire 11.6 Laptop) and "transformers" (such as ASUS transformer, Dell Inspiron i3147, Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1, etc) traditional laptop form factor gives tablet a run for the money if we are talking about working with spreadsheets, documents and moving files around.
The key problem with tablet is that pure touch interface provides poor or very poor user experience, especially in case of unresponsive touch screens typical for many tablets (including some very expensive models). In this sense this is typical "buyer beware" situation and without clear ideas of how you will use it and spending a couple of half-hour testing sessions in the neaby shop you should never buy a particular model of a tablet, no matter what glowing reviews it has. This idea that owning iPad makes you more productive is bogus, but selling it brought Apple billions (which probably can be used more productively instead).
Please remember that even for tasks that tablet performs well, the small size of the screen is a serious limitation and even 12"-13" laptop (not to say about 14" an 15" ) provides a distinct edge.
Also it's very difficult to find tablet with a reasonably sensitive touch screen. And clicking two or three times on the same tiny link quickly became annoying and frustrating. Again, for some reason even on expensive tablets and "best of the breed" models (like Samsung Notes 10.1) sometime you need to click two-three time before link starts loading.
On the other hand smartphones with large screen ("Phablets") such as Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 (with dispay size 6.3”) or BLU Studio 7.0 Unlocked 4G Phone are closing the gap of functionality with 7" tablets and have a tremendous advantage that they are always with you, no matter where you go. Often they have better camera capable of working OK in low light conditions (Samsung Galaxy 4 is an good example here) That's why Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones put such a strong pressure on iPhone. With less the 5" screens, iPhones are less suitable for browsing no matter how many pixels Apple can pack in the screen. It is just a very effective "more pixels -- better phone" marketing campaign for simpletons (which many lemming bought at face value). And too many pixels are killing the battery life in the process.
Also right now the tablet market, especially for 7" tablets, is close to saturation. So prices became rock bottom (you can buy Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 light for $89 on Black Friday of 2014) and even this does not entice buyers. So instead of buying $500 smartphone people can well buy $300 tablet with 3G and use it via Skype or similar applications as a phone too: "Pure data" plans are a little bit cheaper then data + voice plans.
In any case saturation of the market is now high and that creates a rush to the bottom for manufactures.
In this stampede of almost identical models it's better to demand something special from the model. The most attractive additional capabilities IMHO are:
Those categories are not mutually exclusive as some of tablets with stylus and Wacom digitizer run Windows 8 (Dell Venue 8 Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro II and models expected at the fall of 2014). Also some Android tablets can be either bought with 3G/4G, or even contain 2G in addition to 3G and can be used as a phone without Skype or similar application (you are probably better off with Bluetooth headset).
Some older models that probably still can bought cheaply and which I tested include:
These models compete with 6" smartphones such as like Samsung Galaxy Notes 3, Samsung Galaxy Mega, etc, which are priced much higher but provide the same functionality.
Let's discuss tablets with pen and digitizer. First they were produced as Windows organizers (for example quite popular model was Dell Axim; The first model, the Axim X5, was introduced in 2002, while the final model, the Axim X51, was discontinued on April 9, 2007. Wikipedia) Modern stylus enabled tablets were launched for Android first as Steve Jobs was allergic to the idea of stylus (which was pretty illogical idiosyncrasy on his part, as it can be considered a variant on one button mouse which he loved so much ;-)
There are several major types of tablets with pen and digitizer on the market. Not all popular tablets have a digitizer, so you need to carefully check the capabilities of the model you like. Among most popular models with stylus are:
All have the principal advantage that other tablets lack: Watcom digitizer pen support, meaning you have the option to use a pen to write notes and perform other operations, very similar to using mouse. The Watcom pen is more accurate than a regular capacitive stylus and provides capabilities that are unique and can't be replicated on other tablets.
|S-Pen is much better for clicking links and selecting the text in Android. Selecting and copy/paste operation in Android without S-pen (or generally stylus) is a torture.|
In this sense I think Steve Jobs missed the boat and it might well be that iPad dominance will be short lived, as it became Apple principle not to include stylus with it.
Among unique capability that pen provides and first and foremost is the capability to use handwriting input and annotate photos. Actually Microsoft managed to do this thing right long ago with first organizer like Dell Axim. And before Microsoft was Palm Pilot which used special script to ensure 100% recognition. But neither Palm, nor Microsoft were able to develop this technical success into stable market share. Here marketing genius of Steve Jobs made the difference. All talk about iPad as "the first" is just nonsense. IOn each and every area, expect the ability to get a market share, iPad was "the second". I remember that Microsoft handwriting recognition software did tremendously impressive job even on those underpowered CPUs in Dell Axim.
In other words the most innovative aspect of tablets outside their role as media consumption devices (the role that propelled Apple iPad to the dominant market share, despite rather limited functionality of the device) is new functionality provided by the stylus and active digitizer.
The first tablet that recognized and implemented this capability on mass scale was Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen launched in August 2012 on the base of huge success of a similar Samsung phone. In order to accommodate S-Pen input, the touch screen uses a Wacom W8008 digitizer, with Atmel mXT1664S as the touch screen controller. 16 GB version of the tablet (with WiFi only) can be bought for around $400, so pricewise it is very competitive with iPads. It is very well built, very impressive tablet.
Similar tablets with digitizers running Windows 8 in Intel chips (which is great for application compatibility) are also very impressive (and Dell Venue 8 Pro is cheaper then many Android tablets):
Some models have 3G capabilities and a SIM slot. Ideally for AT&T you need the tablet to support UMTS/HSPA 3G and for T-Mobile 1700MHz or 1900MHz band for 3G. See 3G frequency bands. Manifactures overcharge for this capability and you can get the same effect cheaper using a 3G modem that convert 3G/4G into Wi-Fi. See MiFi
There are three dominant brands of tablet on the market that can be used with stylus and several minor players:
Apple tablets are very good entry level devices. iPad is a beautiful tablet, which defined the modern tablet appearance and features. They have up to 10 hour battery life and beautiful screen. They are OK for entry level users and users that are oriented on entertainment and media consumption. Bad for everybody else. But they not have digitizer and stylus which put them again into entry level users category and are not discussed here in detail other then as a reference implementation that grabbed lion share of entry level tablets space. It is not recommended for advanced user. The essence of this type of device is "a media consumption devices for a regular user", especially those who want "small luxuries" as for pure media consumption they are almost twice more expensive then Android alternatives. At the same time they have a very closed ecosystem, that might well reflects the egomaniac nature of Steve Jobs and which that I hate.
The other the problem with the iPad is that Steve Jobs rejected the very existence and need of a stylus, and now for good or bad it is now became kind of official Apple tablet philosophy. Will we ever see an official intelligent stylus for iPad releases by Apple? I don’t think so. Still there are some attempts to make iPad more "stylus friendly". iPen for iPen is one such attempt (iPen the first active stylus for iPad! by Cregle Inc. — Kickstarter:)
The Cregle iPen transforms the iPad into a content creation device, not just a content consumption device. iPen is the first active digitizer stylus that allows you to write with precision directly on the iPad. Unlike the passive digitizer used in the typical iPad stylus, iPen writes like a real pen with accurate positioning and palm rejection features that passive products simply cannot achieve.
With the Cregle iPen’s active digitizer, the attached receiver picks up the iPen’s signal and its precise position as it hovers above the screen (whereas a passive stylus can be located only when the user touches the screen). This crucial advantage allows iPen to actively transmit 60 samples per second to pinpoint the pen’s exact location.
Android tablets emerged as Apple iPad challengers. They have an advantage of a more open ecosystem. But unlike Android phones Android tablet met much less acceptance in among the users due to low quality of applications (most of which was created for phones with much less screen resolutions that tablet have) and serious defects in interface design. Most of them, including such leading tablet as Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen look and behave more like oversized phones. Interface is pretty crude for a 10" tablet. It definitely has phone flavor.
Each application has its own interface. In other words it's kind of Linux style interface SNAFU. You can get used to it and learn the ropes (people who have an Android phone can do it quicker then those who like me have Blackberry.
The most affordable Android tablet with stylus such as Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with S-pen beat in functionality iPads. For approximately $400 the price of this tablet is competitive with iPad. Still they are adequate for people like me who use tablet mainly as super-expensive organizer. I actually started with Palm and progressed slowly to Dell Axim, then to Blackberry playbook and only then to Android. Now in view of Prizm revelations I probably need to repeat this sequence in reverse order. Paper now regained attraction to me as in no way in can be transmitted via wire without my knowledge ;-)
|One advantage of the Note 10.1 is you can read Kindle books and have S-Pen note taking
available on a split screen.
The other important advantage is that you can use stylus to click on links and for cut and paste operations. The latter are a torture without stylus on Android
Microsoft tablets with Windows 8 are a challenger of established status quo on high end of tablet market with iPad as dominant player and Android as a minor player. But it represents a formidable force mainly in 10"-11" tablet market. In 7"-8" tablet market Android dominates (although Apple did well with $300 8" miniPad). As such they pack a lot of functionality in the tablet. But they are way too expensive: currently the minimum price for a Intel-based Windows 8 tablet with a digitizer is around $550 (Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T)
Still those tablets are first really laptop class devises with dominant laptop OS preinstalled and Windows 8 essentially wipes out competitors advantages. Google got pretty good kick in a chin, as Windows 8 expose a lot of dirt in Android interface. A lot of things that are thought out well or never though out at all. Due to the brilliant idea to use wakeup instead of full start Windows 8 on tablets is actually boots very fast. Microsoft game plan is to try to exploit defects in Android tablets interface design on one hand and limited functionality of iPads of the other. I think they do not want to attack Apple closed ecosystem, as they gradually adopt something close, but still in a millio0on ways Microsoft ecosystem is more open and attack happens whether Microsoft wants it or not.
The only real problem with Windows 8 tablets which might prevent them to kick Apple off the feet is that they are expensive. Pro version are almost twice more expensive then entry level iPads 2
But some of them have digitizer and stylus built-in and as such they should grab lion share of advanced users. Microsoft is a software king so arrival of Microsoft tablet instantly changed landscape and put Apple on the defensive. After arrival of Microsoft tablets Apple does not have any real chance to penetrate enterprise. The window of opportunity that exited for several years is now closed. Pro version of Microsoft Surface tablet has an i5 CPU which puts it in the class of Ultrabooks not iPad class. Windows 8 is a better designed OS the iPad OS, has Office and will benefit from compatibility with Windows 7 applications. In a way the game for Apple should be over, but marketplace is unpredictable by definition. One problem is the Windows 8 tablet are priced on the level of iPad. With keyboard any of those can be used like of a regular laptop but the total cost is over $1K. In any case the level compatibility with the office is simply unachievable for any other type of tablet and that means that for enterprise usage those tablets will became preferable devices.
This convertible mini-laptop that doubles as table is very well built. When you take it in hands you instantly feel that Dell made a good product. For me it has somewhat Mac-style look and feel. Competition is mainly Lenovo Yoga, its larger cousin Dell Inspirion 13 7000 series 2 in 1, and Dell XPS 12. Dell XPS 12 is $300 more than this Dell Inspiron 2 in 1. But but has 128SD and the flip spin screen. So you do not expose keyboard when you use it in tablet mode.
Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series is a recipient of PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2014 award ( pcmag.com )
"The Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 will get you through a typical work day, and its battery life is exceptional for a convertible-hybrid laptop."
... ... ...
The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 (3147) proves that you don't have to endure a stripped-down laptop when you only have $450 to spend. It combines a well-designed flipping hinge with all-day battery life and a relatively full feature set. All this earns the Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 our first Editors' Choice for entry-level, convertible-hybrid laptops.
Compared to the Lenovo Yoga, Dell has large 11.6 inch screen and generally is a better deal as it costs less and has an extra USB port, a standard HDMI cable port (vs. the mini port on the Yoga) and a standard power port (vs. the proprietary port on the Yoga).
Commonly sold for around $400. But Staples used to have a great deal on this laptop - $150 off making it $349.99 with free shipping. This gives you the idea of low-high price range for this convertible laptop.
This laptop is way more versatile and useful that a typical tablet in this price range or even twice more expensive Microsoft Surface Pro (althouth Dell Inspirion 13 7000 series 2 in 1 isa a more fair competition for Surface).
New Inspiron 11 3000 Series 2-in-1 Dell
- 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i3-4010U processor (3M Cache, 1.7 GHz)
- Memory: 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz (4GBx1)
- Ports: HDMI™ 1.4a, Multi-media Card Reader, USB 3.0 (1), USB 2.0 (2), Note that the USB ports are all the same black color, so you'll have to figure out which one is the USB 3.0 port by searching for the tiny USB SS icon (hint, it's on the left, next to the HDMI port).
- Bluetooth 4.0 standard. Bluetooth tied to wireless card
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Multi-Touchpad with integrated scrolling & gestures
- Hard Drive: 500GB 5400 rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Media Card Reader: 2-in1 Media Card Reader and USB 3.0
- Biometrics: FastAccess Facial Recognition
- Display: 11.6 inch LED Backlit Touch Display with Truelife and HD resolution (1366 X 768)
- Fax/Data Modem
- Audio: Dell 2.0 Speakers with Waves MaxxAudio
- Dimensions & Weight: 0.74" (19mm) / 11.81" (300mm) / 7.91" (201mm). 1.41 Kg
The Yoga 3 Pro is about as thin and light as we've ever seen a notebook; it's even thinner and lighter than the silly-svelte Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. However, that's not its only selling point. Thankfully, Lenovo saw fit this time to make room in the Yoga 3 Pro's emaciated exterior, for an SD card slot. It's a prerequisite these days, though much to our dismay, Lenovo left it out of the X1 Carbon. The rest of the creature comforts are here as well, with a pair of USB 3 posts, a combo USB 2 / DC Power port, a combo-Audio jack and micro-HDMI out.
C. Carmona - See all my reviewsFairfieldwizard (Jacksonville) - See all my reviews
One hell of a tablet,
February 24, 2014
*** Updated 5/8/2014 - if you're using Dolphin Browser with Adobe Flash player do yourself a favor and do NOT update Dolphin Browser if prompted to in the Google PlayStore. It seems like every time they update Dolphin there's a chance for Flash to no longer work without jumping through more hoops ***
I come from a Windows OS background and I'm an ex-Apple iPhone (now Galaxy Note 2) and iPad user. I've been waiting a long time for a tablet like this to be released: a large screen, expandable memory and the freedom of Android. Thanks to my Note 2 I have a little over a years of experience with Android OS but I knew what to expect from the Note Pro 12.2. Originally I had my eyes set on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (32GB, Black), after months of waiting and playing I decided to bite the bullet and buy it. Just before doing so I read of a possible 12" model coming out in the following year so I figured another 6 weeks of waiting can't hurt and patience definitely paid off.
Comparing the Note 10.1 2014 Edition and the Note Pro 12.2:
One big issue that annoyed me with the Note 10.1 2014 Edition ("14E") was the ridiculous My Magazine app that never goes away. It constantly hogs system resources as it runs in the background even after forcing shut downs of the app, and disabling the Home button link to this app didn't help as it would just keep running in the background. I noticed that the 14E was constantly using 1.5-1.7GB of its 3GB RAM total at all times even after factory resets, disabling apps and reboots. Thankfully the Note Pro 12.2 ("NP12") doesn't have this issue as it hovers around 1.2GB of memory used after a reboot. Even having pages of the magazine feeds and widgets running it still allocates memory usage better and best of all: no pesky My Magazine app!
Luckily I was able to compare both tablets side by side at the local Best Buy. This was a large factor in my decision to go with the NP12 over the 14E. Both tablets are about the same when it comes to hardware but there are other major differences between the two. Let's go over some of the features that the NP12 has over the 14E...
1. Over 2 extra inches of real estate on the screen. This means writing on the NP12 with the stylus while in portrait mode is very much like writing on a real piece of 8.5 by 11 inch piece of paper, aka standard notebook paper. The palm rejection does a great job of making sure only the stylus gets recognized for input (if you want that on). I find that a 10 inch screen is too cramped to comfortably write notes on. Do your research, this is a 12 inch tablet so don't be surprised and don't consider it a downside.
2. Larger, longer lasting battery rated at 13 hours (9,500 mAh) versus the 14E's 9 hours (8,220 mAh). My mixed use gets me anywhere from 8 to 12 hours before plugging it in for a charge, depending on what apps I'm using and what the brightness/volume is set at. Lots of gaming/graphic intensive apps will exhaust the battery quickly whereas reading PDFs, E-books, etc. is where the battery really stretches its legs. There are numerous settings and options for the tablet to use minimum energy which I will go over later.
3. Multitasking on the NP12 is fantastic. Multi Window allows you to run 2, 3 or 4 apps on screen at once (the 14E supports up to 2 apps side by side). There are many apps compatible with Multi Window. You can also resize the windows depending on where you need the most room on the screen. Chatting with friends on Hangouts, surfing on Dolphin Browser, watching your favorite movie and checking/writing Emails all on the same screen is productivity at it's finest. You can save Multi Window templates too for quick access so that you don't need to drag the apps one by one every time you want to multitask. Just select your template and all the apps open up automatically. I usually have 3 apps going at once: Video (or Music) at the top left, AquaMail at the bottom left and Dolphin Browser taking up the entire right side of the screen.
Bonus feature: there is a trick that allows more than 4 apps open at once on the NP12, up to 9 apps total. First use Multi Window to load up whatever 4 apps you want on the screen, then hold the S-pen above the screen and press the pen's button which bring up Air View. On the Air View pop-up select Pen Window. Now use the S-pen to draw a box and then choose an app to launch in that box. The app loads up in the box you drew. It comes up as a floating window that can be resized, moved around on the screen and also minimized to a floating "bubble" that you can move around anywhere you want. You can do this 5 times total. So 4 apps via Multi Window and 5 apps via pen window. The Multi Window apps are all joined on the main screen while the 5 pen window apps are solo floating windows and can be minimized to a bubble to have them out of the way. Pretty cool!
4. KitKat 4.4: the new "Magazine Home" user interface (UI) is a little like Windows 8 but at the same time its different. After playing with it for a little while you'll actually want to use it and set up multiple pages filled with your news subscriptions, feeds, widgets, etc. I did not think I would like the dashboard/widget style UI but on a screen this size it works well and looks great. Basically you can set up different pages filled with all sorts of widgets ranging from:
Application widgets (Email, Calendar, Music, Video etc.)
Social widgets (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube etc.)
News widgets (Art & Culture, Science & Technology, News, Style, Sports, Business, etc.)
Each news category has dozens and dozens of publications to subscribe to and I find myself spending more time reading articles than I ever thought I would. If you're not a fan of the new UI the familiar Android desktop is still there with your standard icons and widgets. If you'd rather customize the tablet completely I highly recommend Nova Launcher.
Those are the main differences to me. Now onto some general information about the tablet as well as apps I use and features worth checking out:
Like every other phone, tablet and computer out there the NP12 does come with some bloatware. There are different types of bloatware so I'll cover each one:
1. Some preloaded apps can be uninstalled completely giving you back some minor storage space. This is a good thing.
2. Some preloaded apps cannot be uninstalled and instead can have "most" of their data cleared and then "turned off" - these apps remain installed on the tablet but are disabled. Some of the preloaded apps that can only be "turned off" are Chrome, e-Meeting, DropBox, Gmail, Google+, Twitter, Cisco WebEx and others. These are just some that I do not use myself so I turned them off. Even when turned off/disabled, these apps still take up some room but its very little, 5MB or less per app.
3. Some apps cannot be uninstalled nor can they be turned off. They can have most of their data cleared though. Either way this is just plain stupid. I can only think of two off the top of my head: Evernote and RemotePC. I don't use these particular apps at all so why can't I at least disable them so they don't show up in my apps list? Both of these apps use about 9MB of space combined. Again it's not a deal breaker for me but Samsung y u do dis?!
I bought the 32GB model. The tablet needs about 6-6.5GB for the operating system and preloaded software/apps. Out of the box you have around 25.5GB of space to play with, this of course depends on what preloaded apps you choose to keep/update or disable/uninstall so your free space will vary. A great investment would be a SanDisk Ultra 64 GB microSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card 30MB/s with Adapter SDSDQUA-064G-U46A, which gives you another 60GB~ of extra space for apps, movies, music, pictures, whatever you want to put on it. This SD card plus the tablet's free space adds up around 85GB which for me was more than enough. It's very easy adding your media files to the SD card, just plug the card into your PC with the supplied adapter and create folders like Music, Movies, etc. then copy/paste or drag and drop Artists folders into the Music folder, and videos into the Movies folder. I loaded music, movies and pictures on the SD card and I leave the tablet's internal storage for apps since applications seem to run faster off of the internal storage as opposed to off the SD card. If you think you need more space you can go big with SanDisk's newest 128GB card also found on Amazon.
The screen is beautiful. High quality photographs and wallpapers at the native resolution (2560x1600 or bigger) look really, really good. If you're looking for some stunning wallpaper for your tablet check out:
This model is WiFi ONLY! There is NO slot for a SIM card. The WiFi model also works with your MiFi device and can also connect to the internet via a mobile hotspot such as your iPhone or Galaxy smartphones. I use my Note 2 smartphone as a mobile hotspot and it works great.
If you are looking for the 4G/LTE version you'll need to check out the model that Verizon offers. It's available through Verizon or here on Amazon, just search "note pro 12.2 verizon"
GPS - yes the tablet has GPS built in, you do not need to be connected to the internet for GPS to work (such as the Google Maps app).
Hancom Office is included with the NP12. This is Microsoft Office for Android, simple as that. You get full versions of word processing (Word), spreadsheets (Excel), and slideshow (PowerPoint). It all works very well with the large 12.2" screen and I find it very familiar after using MS Office for so long. You can even open existing word, excel and powerpoint documents with Hancom Office and continue editing and creating. Hancom Office is fantastic, however I must admit it was a little involved to get it up and running, so I will explain as best I can: After the initial setup of your NP12, go to your apps (bottom right, little white squares) and launch the "Samsung Apps" app, it will require an update so go ahead and download then install the update. After that is done, go back to your apps and launch Hancom Viewer (there is also a Hancom widget in one of the two default Magazine Home screens if you want to launch it that way). When you launch it a small white box should come up and it will say installing fonts and files, etc. so let it do that and when its done the Hancom Viewer app should open completely. On the left side select Office Download, then OK. This should open the Hancom Office Update Manager. When you do this there's a good chance the Update Manager will prompt you to update it so go ahead and do that. After its updated you can launch it again, the Hancom Office Update Manager is where all the Hancom apps are downloaded/updated/installed. You'll see 12 rows of Hancom apps such as Hcell, Hshow, Hwp, etc. Update and/or install all the ones that need to be done by pressing the rectangular button at the far right of each row. Each time you press the install or update button on the far right it will take you to Samsung Apps where you can press the Update button. Go ahead and update all 12 apps if needed, some may already be updated but will need to be installed (or vice versa). Once every button on all 12 rows is greyed out in Hancom Office Update Manager, then you know you're done! Now just go to your apps and launch whichever one you like. Hcell is excel, Hshow is powerpoint, and Hword is word processor.
Hangouts is a cool app and it comes with the tablet. It lets you text/message anyone with an email address or phone number. If you are familiar with iMessage then you know what this is.
*** UPDATED BELOW
Dolphin Browser is a must for surfing the web. It is fast, supports tabs, and has a cool feature named speed dial. A speed dial is a bookmark placed on the Dolphin home screen for easy, one-tap access to the webpage. You can have pages of speed dials, its very useful and beats going down a list of bookmarks looking for a particular site.
Perhaps the best feature of Dolphin Browser is that it supports Adobe Flash and Java. I bet your iPad can't do that! What is Adobe Flash? Many of the websites you visit require flash to display the content properly, some websites even have flash animation and to play those you will need the flash player. One example of flash required content is Youtube videos, and Youtube videos that are embedded in other websites. Here is how to enable Flash on the NP12:
*** NOTE: the link to download the Flash Player Installer on the website above is broken. Here is an updated working link for the Flash Player installer: downloadandroidfiles.org/Files/Apps%20%28APK%29/KitKat.Adobe.Flash.Player.11.1.apk
When you're all done installing Flash player you should head over to the official Adobe Flash website to test the flash player so that you know it works. On the website you should see a bouncing red box. If not just refresh the page and you should see it the second time around. The Adobe page to test your flash player is:
PROTIP: ONCE YOU GET DOLPHIN BROWSER AND FLASH PLAYER UP AND RUNNING, DO NOT UPDATE DOLPHIN BROWSER IN THE PLAYSTORE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. It's not worth taking the chance of the update messing up Flash Player.
Amazon Instant Videos - yes, you can watch them on this tablet. Yes, you'll need Dolphin Browser and Adobe Flash installed and correctly configured. If you followed the aforementioned links you should be all set by now. Here is another link specifically dealing with streaming Amazon Instant Videos on KitKat 4.4, which is the tablet's operating system. This worked for me and it should work for you!:
*** UPDATED ABOVE
Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop is a remote desktop app that you can download for free and in my opinion works better than the RemotePC app that comes preloaded on the tablet. This app allows you to access your PC or Mac's desktop environment so that you basically have your entire PC/Mac on your tablet. It takes advantage of the 12.2" screen by filling it entirely with your computer's desktop. This is useful since you can run all your PC/Mac programs right on your tablet. It works really well and is probably my favorite app that I have come across. There is an optional paid upgrade to the app that let's you remote into your PC/Mac from anywhere. For now I am just using the free version to access my Windows PC, very cool and worth the download.
If you want to connect this tablet to your HDTV, a projector or anything with an HDMI input, you'll need a Samsung MHL HDMI adapter. This adapter allows you to mirror your tablet's screen onto your HDTV or other source. I also noticed that you can play a movie on the tablet (which also displays on your TV) and still use the tablet for other apps while the movie plays uninterrupted in the background of the tablet but still in full view on the TV. In other words you can play your movies or shows on the big screen while surfing the net or whatever apps you want to use on the tablet. This adapter is available here on Amazon but I chose to buy mine off of ebay. If the one sold on Amazon does not say "shipped and sold by Amazon" there is a good chance you will get a cheap knockoff adapter that will not work, just read the reviews from other buyers for yourself. If you want to try your luck the adapter can be found here: Samsung ET-H10FAUWESTA Micro USB to HDMI 1080P HDTV Adapter Cable for Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 and Note 2 - Retail Packaging - White. The seller I found on ebay is selling the legitimate Samsung adapters that have the hologram sticker and QR Code on the box indicating that it is a genuine Samsung product. Mine arrived promptly and works great. Save yourself the headache and get a genuine one here: ebay.com/itm/350958988570
Bluetooth is available so you can connect a BT mouse and keyboard if you like. Samsung makes an S Action mouse especially for the Note Pro and Tab Pro line of tablets and it works very well. The mouse buttons are specifically linked to actions such as Recent apps, Multi Window, Back, Menu, etc. I got to play with this mouse recently and it's fun although I opted not to buy it as I don't see me using the mouse enough. If you are interested its available at Best Buy (search ET-MP900DBEGUJ) and here on amazon: Samsung S Mouse for Tablets (ET-MP900DBEGUJ)
You can also connect USB peripherals to the tablet using a USB OTG cable like this: Black Color Micro USB 3.0 9pin OTG Host Flash Disk Cable for Samsung Galaxy Note3 N900 N9000 10cm. This allows you to connect a number of USB devices such as a mouse, keyboard, flash drive, external hard drive, even a PlayStation 3 controller to the tablet with the ability to access them - If you have a lot of movies on your external hard drive you can use the OTG cable to connect it to the tablet to watch movies. Another example is if you have a thumb drive on your keys, you can connect it to the tablet to access all your files. You can connect more than one USB device at a time by using a USB hub along with the OTG cable mentioned before. I don't recommend connecting more than two devices at the same time in the USB hub, especially if its a device that sucks up a lot of power like an external hard drive.
Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Kindle, Google Earth all work great, no issues. If you want to stream video from the tablet to your Smart TV (like Apple AirPlay) check out the AllCast application made for Android devices.
Extending battery life is simple: disable the vibration/haptic feedback and keyboard/stylus sounds as it really isn't necessary. Keep the brightness on Auto and the volume at half or less. When you're done using it for a while make sure you close all your apps and clear your RAM before putting it to sleep. This will greatly increase the standby time of the tablet so that when you pick it up again later it will still have lots of juice left in it. This is the procedure I do:
Swipe down the top of the screen
Clear your notifications by pressing the X under the sound bar
Swipe down the top of the screen again
Turn OFF WiFi (important)
Press the "Recent apps" soft button (to the left of the Home button)
Select Close all
Press the Recent apps button again (no apps should be running now)
Select Task Manager
Select RAM manager on the left
Press "clear memory" - do this AFTER closing your apps
Press Home button
Press Recent apps button a third time
Select Close all (this closes Task Manager)
Press Power button to put it in Sleep/Standby mode
Doing the above every time sounds tedious but after a few times its second nature and you will notice the battery percentage stays where you left it (or it only drops only 1 or 2%) even after an entire 24 hours in standby.
If you notice when opening/closing apps and switching between apps there is a slight visual delay, this is normal. It is meant to make the transition between apps look "pretty" - Microsoft OS and Apple iOS have something similar. This will eliminate the windows animation and transition effects which in a nutshell will make the tablet run much quicker and smoother:
Swipe down and go to Settings
Go to the General tab
Scroll down to About Device
Press the greyed out Build Number section continuously, 5-7 times
Developer Options is now enabled right above About Device
Under Developer Options, scroll down to the Drawing section
Set all three of these settings to OFF:
"Window animation scale"
"Transition animation scale"
"Animator duration scale"
You'll notice how snappy it runs after doing that.
Another available on/off toggle is the double-press Home button to bring up S-Voice. When you press the Home button twice quickly it will launch S-Voice. If you'd rather have this feature disabled read on:
Launch S-Voice by pressing the Home button twice (or via apps > Samsung folder > S-voice)
At the top right press the 3 small squares then select Settings
On the next window the second row down is the "Open via the Home key" on/off toggle.
Some apps that my girlfriend has recommended for drawing/painting/art. She is a graphic designer and bought her own Note Pro 12.2 soon after playing with mine so I will take her word for it. I have seen some of the pieces capable with this tablet and it is impressive. Also note that the files you create and save in some of these apps can be opened and worked on in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop:
Sketchbook for Galaxy (included with the tablet)
Fresco Paint Pro
Onto the accessories:
I am using the Samsung 12.2" Book Cover with my NP12. It is well made, very sleek looking and does protect the back and corners well. The stand works well in both positions. Don't plan on taking too many pictures with this cover though because when opened the cover wraps around the back and blocks the camera lens. That is OK though because you should never be using a tablet to take pictures. Ever. Stop. No.... don't do it. You look ridiculous. I'm pretty sure there is a law against this - ipadisnotacamera.com - I rest my case.
Anyway, I bought mine at the local Best Buy and you can find it on bestbuy.com - search for "samsung book cover 12.2"
The IVSO Slim Smart Cover Case is nice too and protects the tablet a little better than the Samsung Book Cover but I find the IVSO's stand to be a little more flimsy and I don't like that it makes the tablet sit upside down (home button on top) when using it in your lap. On the plus side the camera lens isn't covered with this cover and there's a thin magnet that holds the cover to the tablet so it doesn't flop around. IVSO Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2/Tab pro 12.2 Ultra Lightweight Slim Smart Cover Case with Auto Sleep/Wake Function-will only fit Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2/Tab pro 12.2 Tablet (Black)
I picked up this Galaxy Note Genuine Wacom Touch Pen 8pi Stylus (ET-S200EBEG) - Black. It is about the same thickness as a regular pen so its easier on your hand and it has an eraser on the end, too. Here's a tip: go to settings > controls > S-pen and at the top make sure "Turn off pen detection" is not checked, now you can use a second stylus without needing to remove the factory stylus from the tablet. If you're going to be using the S-pen a lot this is a very good investment.
If you're looking for a great sleeve, check out the Merkury Innovations 12-Inch Solid Zipper Sleeve, Black/Blue (M-LL1090). It fits this tablet perfectly, even with the Samsung book cover on it and the quality is top notch. I love the fit and finish of this sleeve and how well it fits this particular tablet, the side pocket for the charge cable/external HDD is a bonus.
Need a longer USB 3.0 charge cable? I bought one of these here on Amazon: Cable Matters SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Type A to Micro-B Cable in Blue 10 Feet. It works just as well as the factory cable for charging and is available in 6, 10 and 15 feet - useful if the nearest wall plug is too far away.
I like choices so I bought another sleeve, this one has a handle though: Evecase 10.6~12 inch Tablet, Netbooks Ultraportable Neoprene Zipper Carrying Case with Dual Hidden Pocket & Handle - Black/ Red. This sleeve is great because of the handles so I can throw in the tablet and carry it around just like that. If using my backpack I'll use the other sleeve mentioned above inside my bag. This sleeve is just as nice as the other and also has a side pocket. The black/red color looks sharp.
Last but not least: the User Manual. This has TONS of useful information about the tablet. Definitely worth it to look through this, in fact most questions that people keep asking about the tablet can be answered just by looking in the manual. The direct link to the PDF is:
... ... ...
7. A mouse!
Ok, so I was amazed. Yes, with a Bluetooth mouse connected, an arrow icon actually appears on the screen and you can use it pretty much like any mouse on a conventional PC. I'm using the Microsoft Sculpt Touch mouse but any Bluetooth one will work.
You can also connect a keyboard at the same time.
J. Jung - See all my reviews
i view my tablet as digital paper.
i can now do my math on the tablet and have a permanent digital copy of my written work.
i use Lecturenotes and Papyrus as my note taking apps.i still have not decided which one is my go-to note app as i am testing them right now.
Lecturenotes allows me to create black notepaper. i like writing on paper that is not illuminated. Lecturenote is extremely feature rich. So it great for customization.
Papyrus allows me to have infinite sized paper. this is great for creating an unlimited sized mindmap of my topic.
the extra surface area really makes a difference. bigger area means i can write down my thoughts more freely and in greater quantity.
both programs allow me to set it up so that i can store my notes in the cloud for safe keeping.
both program stores the data in vector graphics format.
the button on the stylus enables me to capture anything i see or to create a sticky note at any point. i find action-memo, screen-write and scrap-booker very useful for this purpose.
the action memo is a supercharged sticky note program.
the screen-write lets me capture and annotate any screen that i see.
scrap-booker lets me capture any portion of the screen that i want captured by drawing an lasso around the content.
another positive effect of the larger screen size is that i am able to read my math pdf files and books much more easily. on smaller screens, i had to constantly scroll to see the full page. i suggest that you install Kindle for reading pdf files because you can go to the next page of the document with just a touch of screen instead of the larger swipe gesture.
i don't use the stylus that came with it because it is too skinny.
instead i bought a seperate samsung/wacom pen model number ET-S200EBEG for around 20 bucks.
i made it even more comfortable by slipping on two gel pen cushions(Paper Mate Foohy Gooshy Grips). Believe me, this combination of thicker pen with gel grips makes the pen more comfortable and more effective.
samsung if you are listening, please bundle these tablets with a easier to grip stylus along with the internally mounted stylus. it makes such a big difference in the usability of this tablet. forcing people to write with a toothpick just because a toothpick fits into the narrow slot is a bad compromise. if you want a pic showing the two stylus side by side, click on my profile.
when i have time, i will explore the excellent Sketchbook for Galaxy app more fully.
i am just now learning about the value of drawing with layers. i used Sketchbook to draw a logo for my friend's company and the feel and accuracy of the drawing experience was outstanding.
update: i discovered a significantly more powerful and customizable paint/drawing program called clover paint.
it cost $8 for the program and if you are serious about using your tablet as an art or design tool, you can spend another $20 to upgrade the user interface.
so for $28, you get a serious art/design tool.
it has a steep learning curve. there is an overwhelming number of functions and options.
but once you take the time to learn the basic architecture of the layout and customize it, the interface becomes logical and speeds your work flow.
the biggest idea to this program is that you are able to create little movable icons called "clovers" that are click-able. the clovers can represent a particular custom brush or some particular program functionality like bucket fill. anyways, i am very excited about this wonderful program.
i find the price of the tablet to be very reasonable. i saw too many reviews about it being over priced. i am not sure what they are talking about. the amazing large screen uses the high-end wacom digitizer technology which simply costs more. the wacom digitizer makes a difference in terms of better accuracy, better palm rejection and larger pressure sensitivity levels.
the deal is even better if you end up using some of the perks they include with this tablet.
i ended up using the free dropbox 50gb for 2 year offer, evernote 1 year offer, and of course the $25 google play credit. i found the 2 year of RemotePC to be intriguing enough to have installed it. i did it so that i can run my favorite windows software(keynote nf) on my tablet. it works, but the process of setting up the remotepc was quite tedious. it required me to download a very large program to verify the identity of my laptop computer. the only other offer relevant to me was the Gogo inflight Wi-Fi offer.
improvements i would like to see:
1) bundle it with a larger more comfortable external stylus with the ability to turn off the side button along with the internal stylus
2) 13" or 14" screen that is less glossy. i am able to see the entire page of my pdf documents, but the font is still small. i am not obsessed with holding this with one hand. when i write on a clipboard, 99.9% of the time the clipboard is resting on some surface. i am more than willing to trade a little portability for the greater usability. i laugh when people act like 1.6 pounds is too heavy to carry.
3) make a windows 8.1 version
4) place the physical buttons(home,back, options) away from the middle of the long side. i am hitting those buttons accidentally when i am using it in the portrait mode. the location of the buttons coincides with the best place to hold the tablet in the portrait mode. another possible solution is to keep the location of the physical buttons but add another set of buttons on the short edge side so that in the portrait mode the current buttons are inactive but the buttons on the short side are active. and when in the landscape mode the buttons on the long side are once again active and the buttons on the short side are inactive.
5) be able turn off the side button on the pen. it is easy to accidentally depress the button. this can get annoying. perhaps they can put a sliding button somewhere on the pen that would turn off the side button. or maybe it can be turned off with a twist of the upper end of the pen. or maybe design a vertically sliding side button that gets turned off when you slide it up 1 centimeter.
6) make it easier to share a screen with other samsung note pro user. this tablet has great potential as a collaborative whiteboard.
7) be able to totally uninstall the UX magazine. i don't need it. being able to reduce clutter and complexity is a productivity enhancing strategy.
anyways, i love this tablet so far.
Call me a simpleton in these matters, but I bought a Lenovo 10.1" S6000 for £189, and I think it is excellent. It never seems to get mentioned by these know-all gurus.
I just got a Nexus 7 (2013). Would be a good tablet except for one thing, it has horrendous touchscreen problems. If you're left stabbing your tablet in frustration because it won't do what you want, well then it's not nice to use.
Google have acknowledged the issue and have been trying to fix it in recent software updates, but so far with little success. There are suggestions that it is in fact a manufacturing/design issue (certain patterns on the screen cause interference in the touchscreen circuitry), so software changes may not be able to rectify it.
Stabbing your tablet isn't going to fix the issue. Might make you feel better though...
The aspect ratio of the N7 is why I use my iPad Mini as my chuck-in-handbag device rather than my N7, which my dad now has and adores (he's an old IBMer; wrote code in Assembler, can't stand Apple devices because he can't tinker with them).
I'm probably going to treat myself to one of the 8" Bay Trail Windows tablets - just a matter of deciding which one. I'm pretty fed up with the iPad Mini: it's slow and limiting - though I do love its smart cover.
He nailed it when he took 'emotion' and 'go with the herd mentality' out of the equation, and said he liked the Nexus because it's tied to google and he used google apps etc. for the majority of his work and productivity.
If you have money to burn - it really doesn't matter.
But if the over priced Apple gadgets make you more productive and gets you 'home' sooner or helps you to do your job better and faster than the rest of the herd, then that's what you should invest in - otherwise, treat these gadgets for they are - toys.
When I travel to and from work, I don't even turn on my 'gadgets' - but I constantly spy on all the lemmings using theirs, and overwhelmingly it's women looking at shopping sites or people watching silly videos and movies or playing games or engaging in silly texting. "Just go up." "I'm on the train."
JonathanCR Naime Bond
I'm sure you get a lot of satisfaction out of sneering at all those saddoes wasting time on their devices, but I can't help feeling that your attitude would be a little more legitimate if you were using your own commute to read great works of literature, get productive work done, produce works of art, etc., and not just watching other people wasting time on their devices. Is watching a silly video really a greater waste of time than watching someone else watching one?
How many was that - six? No space for Sony, Kindle, Nook, or Samsung, but two Apple devices. Bit odd. Did you not ask their PR people to send you one to show off? Or if you did and they declined (unlikely), would have been worth mentioning.
And no mention of each tablet's processing power, storage, memory card slot, camera quality for Skype etc.
This was not the 'best and worst' tablets of 2013, this was a quick chat about a few chosen at random.
Watching this video reminds me of when I was a young chap, nervously sitting next to my set-in-his-ways boss in meetings, itching to tell him there is a better way than clinging to the certainties of seasons past; my nervous glances betraying how hard it is to find that form of words that wouldn't gratuitously upset him.
I got bored as soon as I realised that I was watching the Apple fanclub. This is so boring. Where are the Samsung and Sony devices? This is farsical.
There is the little known tablet called Nook.
It's a great one. perfect for kids and reasonable priced. Light and android free Apps make it easier to use.
I use one at home. (i am not a nook salesman)
If nothing else, at least on a Win machine, you can remove the crapware that shouldn't be there in the first place. Try that on an iAnything
The crapware shouldn't be on the Windows machine in the first place.
iDevices don't come with crapware.
You can remove the crapware from Windows machines. You can't remove iOS native apps you don't use.
What an awful video review. The Nokia Tablet trashed due to it not being able to play iTunes or run Chrome. I'd say that makes it a selling point.
The Surface Pro review was glib. It is bad because it has the power of a laptop with a removable keyboard? Could you not mention the lack of the walled garden, the usb expansion, the memory expansion port... you knock the Nokia tablet as it doesn't have support of the Windows OS yet this is a bad tablet because it does?
How do you both justify being paid to create rubbish like this?
This 0.35" (9mm) thick $299 tablet (216 x 130 x 9 mm) is a new kid on the block and so far beats most of the competition. It has 1,280x800 pixels IPS screen. Uses Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740D with 32GB storage (2MB Cache, up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core), 2GB Single Channel DDR3L-RS 1600MHz, Intel® HD Graphics, 8.0 inch IPS Display with HD (WXGA 1280 x 800) resolution with 10-pt capacitive touch, Dell Wireless 1538 Dual-Band 2x2 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth® 4.0, Integrated 1.2MP HD Webcam (front) / 5MP (back), 1 x Micro-AB USB2.0 (for trickle charging and data transfer), 1 x Headphone and microphone combojack, 1 x 3FF micro-SIM slot (optional)
About 120 million tablets were shipped in 2012, nearly seven times as many as in 2010, when the Apple iPad was first released and generated wide interest, according to Gartner, a market research company.
"Getting on an airplane it's amazing the number of iPads that you now see that used to be either notebooks or portable DVD players," along with smaller tablets and e-book readers that are replacing books and magazines, said Ross Rubin, an independent analyst for Reticle Research.
Apple has maintained a clear lead, but with the tablet offerings from manufacturers almost as abundant as those for smartphones, the market has become more fractured.
In the second quarter, iPads had the largest share of the worldwide tablet market, with 32 percent, according to IDC. Samsung, the No. 2 tablet maker, is quickly gaining traction, with 18 percent of the market in the second quarter, up from 7.6 percent in the period a year earlier.
Apple is expected to announce significantly upgraded versions of its iPad and iPad Mini devices on Tuesday. The iPad Mini is expected to have a higher-resolution display, while the bigger iPad is expected to have a slimmer design, weighing about a pound. Both iPads will also most likely get Apple's new processors, but not the fingerprint sensor that is in the latest high-end iPhone.
On the same day, Microsoft will release new versions of its Surface tablets. Nokia, the mobile device maker Microsoft is in the process of buying much of, is expected to introduce a new tablet in Abu Dhabi.
Think twice about Nexus 7 2013. Unresolved problems with touch screen, maybe hardware or software. Phantom touches, double touches, unpredictable zoom.
I agree completely. Tablets are a fad. The form factor is terrible and the functionality is lacking. I think that most people are going to continue using phones and laptopsRe:I agree (Score:4, Insightful)Chirs
The major issue is that tablets are great content consumption devices for watching video or reading but piss poor content creation devices.
This is like comparing the number of people who own music versus the number of people who play music. "Content creation" hasn't been on the radar of most people since pre-recorded media has been made available at a good price point. I remember being about 12 or 13 years old with a Commodore 64. Of the 6 other kids I knew at the time who owned computers about 5 of us could code simple games and such. That's roughly 85%. How many kids can code today? The difference is that for a 12 year old pre-recorded media was too expensive and my parents weren't shelling out 20 dollars for the latest SSI title every other week.
are you kidding?
I'd say they're okay for creation at best...at least the kind that I do.
Given the choice I'd *far* rather use a full-sized keyboard/mouse and big monitor (1920x1200 but I want to go bigger) for just about anything creative--writing code, retouching photos, editing video, or even just writing this comment.
skineAre tablets going to go away?
Of course the tablet market isn't dying. It could possibly be described as a bubble at the moment, but that doesn't mean that that sales are going to disappear within the next five years.
The issue is more that tablets are essentially as powerful as they'll need to be for the next five years, if not longer. They're designed to be highly portable devices that can access the internet and be used as ebook readers, but are large enough to be easier to read from than a smartphone. Aside from the people who need to have the new shiny, most people who own or are thinking of buying a tablet will only upgrade when it can no longer handle their needs, much like Windows XP computers.
WMJ "Tech Guy" (Washington DC)
Great Product - but I wouldn't pay MORE than list price for it..., February 26, 2013
I own three Surface Pro 128s. I love the product. For me, iPads and Droid tablets have been fun for consuming apps, but not very suitable for office productivity. The Surface Pro 128 has plenty of horsepower for virtually all applications that you would run on it. Plan on having only about 85 GB left after the operating system and Office is installed - but you can also add a micro card for additional storage. Battery life could be better, but it's adequate at between 3 and 5 hours depending on what's running. The Surface Pro is fast, reasonably light, excellent, and a welcome change from the iPad and Droid tablets...
The only reason that I'm dinging this listing by a few stars is that the list price of a surface pro 128 is $999. They are hard to come by - but you can find them at the list price - I've found 3. As well, there should be new inventory hitting the market within a matter of a week or two - at the lsit price.
B. Hill (Reston, VA USA, 7 reviews)
Without compare! Very close to one-device nirvana, even for a power user, February 16, 2013
I do a lot of web development and graphic design work, as well as financial reporting and general writing. I'm on the web constantly. I've tried iOS, I carried an Android tablet for a while, and I've been using a nice Win8 laptop with a super-fast SSD drive and 8GB of RAM for the past 6 months.
My goal was simple: can I ditch the tablet and laptop, and get 1 device to really support all of my needs?
The Surface Pro delivers in a near-perfect way.
I travel from desk-to-desk; the only time I'm on battery is for occasional meetings or short day trips. I'm never more than a few hours without access to a plug. Yes I'd love to see better battery life, but that complaint doesn't really impact my personal situation.
I use a large 2nd monitor, and contrary to what I feared from other reviews, the TEXT LOOKS GREAT AND MONITOR SCALING HAS NOT BEEN A PROBLEM.
PROS: - system is highly portable - it runs ALL apps and software. The first time I connected to my work VPN, connected to SQL server, and remote desktops, all from a tablet-sized machine? AWE. SOME. - type cover is great, I can type full speed with no problem - USB port means that any peripheral works great; I normally use either a mouse or a USB hub for extra devices - everyone comments that the screen looks brilliant and crisp - I have never heard any fan noise at all, the thing is completely silent - I set up multiple user accounts for my kids, with Family Safety turned on. One tablet not just for my needs, but it also works well with my kids - The C drive has 118GB of usable space. This is after I created an external recovery drive (on a microSD card), which allowed me to delete the recovery partition that ships with the device.
CONS: - would love 1 extra USB 3 port - extra power supply (which I did buy) is too expensive - needs about a 1-week learning/comfort curve for anyone who is new to Windows 8. I've now trained a handful of average users who have moved over from Windows 7. They all love it, after the initial hurdle.
In summary, buy this device! It is without compare.
With these installed, the camera was able to completely empty its buffer, ready to start shooting again, only six seconds after we took our finger off the shutter. Other cards were much slower: the class 4 SanDisk card took 25 seconds to catch up. Copying the shots off the card was faster too.
There isn't a perfect correlation between write and read speeds, but by using a USB 3 SD card reader, we were able to copy files from the Kingston 233X card (Kingston Digital, Inc. 32 GB Flash Memory Card SDHA1-32GB) at an average of 70MB/sec, while other cards offered less than a third of that read speed.
(I wonder if what would be the speed of SanDisk Extreme Pro 32 GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card 95MB-s SDSDXPA-032G-AFFP Electronics)
Nov 1, 2012 | SlashGear
If you couldn't already tell, I haven't used very many convertibles. I was never really sold on the idea of a tablet/laptop hybrid, but with what I've seen of the IdeaPad Yoga 13, I might be singing a different tune by the time everything is said and done. The Yoga 13 impresses right out of the box – the silver chassis looks sleek, and I was actually surprised by how light it is. I was certainly expecting heavier than 3.3 pounds, though with that weight, the Yoga 13 still has some heft that you won't find in traditional ultrabooks.
The screen is really nice as well, though again a little unconventional as far as ultrabook screens go. Instead of running at the 1366×768 resolution we're all so bored with, the Yoga 13′s touch screen is running at 1600×900 resolution. It's an odd resolution that we don't see to often in notebooks, but it's a welcome change. The visuals are sharp and touch is responsive. This plays hand-in-hand with the touch-friendly tiles in Windows 8; even when using the Yoga 13 in notebook mode, I'm finding myself using the touch screen instead of the track pad. I said in my Windows 8 review that the operating system was clearly geared toward touch screens, and the Yoga 13 backs that assertion up.
I am using the yoga more than a week and I am just amazed with the product and annoyed with all the reviews missing out some key points.
- The cold boot up and total shutdown of the system is Max. 4 second. I repeat, from total cold (not hibernate or sleep mode) the boot time is 4 sec. I couldn't believed it and I tested but it was never more than 4 sec. Even iPad needs 35 sec from cold boot up.
- The build quality is excellent. I gave it to my 7 and 10 year old and they abused it and it is still excellent.
- The trackpad us great. Especially that you can do charm call (swipe on the right) on the mouse pad. It is really usefull.
The size seems a bit bigger than you say to be comfortable tablet use but it is amazingly wonderfull enjoying the bigger tablet mode.
The only note I have that if it would 2-3 mm thinner and a little bit less wait this could be the best PC ever.
I also think it is CHEAP for the value you are getting
Microsoft has announced the availability and pricing of its Surface Pro tablet, the Windows 8 pro-packin' big brother to its Surface RT tablet, and reaction has been tepid given they start at $899 for the 64GB version - without keyboard (but with a stylus). Add 64GB and the price is $999. It will be available in January.
Holsen I WANT TO LOVE IT,
December 7, 2012I have been very excited about Samsung Smart PC (and The Pro version) so when I finally saw them back in stock I bought two of them. 1 for me and 1 for my wife. Tablets (Convertibles) all the way back to Win XP so I am very familiar with their form and function. They both arrived on the same day and I was very pleased. The Long and the short is this: One works perfectly and the other is plagued keyboard disconnect issues mentioned in several reviews. I'll try to be completely objective and want to give a fair review here from the perspective of the machine that works:Patrick Kelley (WI USA) Do the updates before you pull your hair out, December 6, 2012
SCREEN: In a word it's beautiful. Several people have complained that they'd rather have the Full HD Screen but in truth it's very difficult to see the difference in resolution on the screens between the Smart PC 500T and the Smart PC Pro 700T in making the decision to buy this unit I went to a future shop in Vancouver where they had both units on display and put them side by side viewing the same pictures and the same sites and neither me no the sales rep could see any difference in the picture quality. The 1366 x 768 is superb
Keyboard: The one that works, works flawlessly. It's comfortable and the materials feel great. The keys are precise and I have no problem that it's made of plastic. The plastic keep the weight down and it's high grade with a very good look and feel to it.
TABLET MATERIAL: There have been many comments also about the plastic the tablet itself is encased in. Again I think the complaints are unfounded. In my opinion it looks great, feels great and hides the finger prints well not mention the fact that it also keeps the weight down.
PROCESSOR: I was very sceptical about the ATOM processor but based on reviews and tech specs decided to take a chance on it. Honestly it's a very capable processor. I mean I know it's not designed for video editing and bought it knowing this. BUT for a having a versatile, lightweight Email, word doc, powerpoint machine - it's perfect.
Had I not bought two of these, and only ended up with a good unit, I would have given it 5 stars for doing what it's designed to do. Unfortunately I do have two units the second one is so unreliable that I am giving an over all three. I would rate the 1st unit as 1 star and the second unit at 5.
I think the real problem is in the latch on the keyboard dock, on the one unit it sounds like it clicks / locks into place but it constanly loses its connection and I get USB Recognition Errors. The working dock seems to lock in the same manner but I don't experience any of the errors. I hope this helps somebody. I'm keeping the working unit, and sending back the other. The question is whether I take a chance on a Samsung Replacement or spend the extra money for the Asus Vivo TabThe reviews on this tablet--with the keyboard (as such I have) have been mixed. And I believe--from personal experience--it comes down to installing the updates. This includes the SW (samsung) and windows 8 ones. SW will install some critical windows 8 updates, but not necessarily all of them.
Updates are everything to your enjoyment (or torture) of this device. When I first got this and fired it up, I was ready to send it straight back. Like others have mentioned there were issues with the keyboard constantly disconnecting and the WiFi being flaky. But, once I did all the updates it "behaved."
Assuming you do the updates, and everything is working well for you for me, it earns the 4-star rating I have ultimately given it (without the updates, were are seriously talking 2--if I'm generous--because without the vital updates this tablet with the keyboard is all but useless). As a side note, I would deduct one more star for some of the shortcomings of windows 8, but that's not Samsung's fault or its hardware.
The only other area of disappointment for me was the cheap digitizer pen that is included. Honestly it looks and feels like something you get out of a gumball machine as a novelty prize. As a long-time user of Fujitsu tablet PCs and laptops, I do expect a bit more out of the digitizer pen, both in quality and functionality. But it serves it purpose (if you can manage to get it out of its silo/dock). An active digitizer is superior to capacitive tough in accuracy, especially if you want to take notes or work with graphics (such as PhotoShop).
[2012/12/07] Since I so critical of the digitizer pen, I thought it was fair to mention one other area I found the tablet to shine. That would be the speakers. Not only are they forward facing, unlike many others that are side or even rear mounted, they sound surprisingly good (for a tablet--still no bone rattling bass or anything =P).
E. Yu It's Samsung time now September 15, 2012I am a long time Apple guy who currently owns 2012 Retina Macbook Pro, 27 inch iMac, iPad3, & iPhone 4S. I stay with Apple products mainly because Mac does the best for what I do. However, I never have been 100% satisfied with iPhone & iPad due to their unnecessary restrictions and limitations. I just couldn't find alternatives - I love Android in terms of features and potential, but the execution(overall user experience) has been lagging.
I guess that the time has come. Galaxy Note 10.1 made big step forward and turned the potential into reality. Just after 48 hours learning and playing around, I am convinced this is the device I want to use everyday. It is the first tablet that actually helps my productivity, no more frustration with restricted toy. So iPad goes to my mom now.
I won't relist pros and cons, since all reviewers already listed them. But I just want to correct a few misconceptions that some biased online reviewers manufactured.
1. Some people lie about build quality and they claim it makes squeaky sound when they grap it. Either they got the defect or it is downright lie. It feels solid and much better material for everyday use. Aluminum on my iPad may "look" better, but not practical without cover or case. I always had to use cover for my iPad to prevent scratches. But if you have to use case to cover, what's the point? It covers "beautiful" aluminum anyway. I don't even use cover/case for Galaxy Note and it feels just right in many hours use. Again, this two tone design(mine is white-silver) looks beautiful, very comfortable for many hours. This tablet is designed to work, not just look.
2. Screen - screen resolution is one of the reasons I was hesitant to try Galaxy Note. All I can say is just go try it yourself. This screen is beautiful! Yes you heard this from the owner who use Retina Macbbok Pro and 27 iMac everyday. Do not fall into john doe's resolution comparison, just go check it yourself! Sure 1920 would be nice, but I'd take Galaxy's 1280 with S-Pen any day.
3. Some say it's expensive. Do you know how much it cost to buy wacom device with this size and feature alone?
Most importantly, this tablet is so fast and responsive and delivers many things in my wish list "today". No more compromising and stuck with iPad. S-Pen, true multitasking (yes limited as of now, but it's already very powerful and useful), and microSD support (I feel like a prisoner who just escaped from Alcatraz!). I suggest you to check this device yourself and never fall into some online reviews.
Don't get me wrong. I still love Apple products and I will stay with Mac unless I see something better for my life and work. I just wanted to share my experience with Galaxy Note 10.1 because there are so many false reviews from Apple or Android fan boys and girls.
*** I strongly recommend you to watch all SAMSUNGmobile's YouTube videos to utilize Galaxy to its full potential. You will see why I think no other tablets can even compete with Galaxy Note. ***
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