Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Living with the zPad ...

I've had my zPad, my no name Android Froyo tablet for about a month now and it has changed my life.

Admittedly only in some small ways, but there's definitely change there. For example I now use it most mornings to check my email my diary and the news headlines while making J a cup of tea, feeding the cat etc.

And that's a function of it's instantness and portability, and the fact that both the Guardian and the BBC have free Android apps (the SMH doesn't, but then we get the print edition anyway).

The other thing I ended up using it for is happenstance browsing ( or creative buggering about if you prefer) where you look at the weather, hop over to the Irish Times web page, something about an early medieval burial site catches your interest, you tweet the link, google for the detailed press release etc etc.

Previously this would be done from my laptop in the study, now it's easy to do sat on the sofa stroking the  cat and while talking to J.

And that change in behaviour  is purely the result of form factor - it's easy to hand across to someone else, and it's comfortable to hold in your hand for happenstance browsing, while a laptop of a netbook has to end up balanced on your knee. In other words, while it doesn't let you do anything you didn't do before it does make the experience more congenial.

And that's it's key - congeniality. While in some ways it does less than a netbook or a full size laptop, it does those things that don't demand intensive input - such as blogging - in a good enough manner that it gets you out of the study and into the house. The keyboard, once you get used to it's eccentricities, is god enough for composing short emails and notes. I did start writing a blog post on it, but gave up - sometimes a proper keyboard is just plain better.

Strangely the one thing I thought I'd use it for - as an Evernote based replacement for meetings paperwork - is the one thing I havn't used it for - yet ...

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