jump to navigation

In Praise of 7” October 23, 2012

Posted by gordonwatts in Uncategorized.
trackback

I have lots of posts I’d like to write, but I have no time. I swear! Unless external events force my hand. In this case, I suppose I should be writing about the apparent crazy conviction of the geologists who failed to predict a deadly earth quake in Italy (really not possible), or science policy of the USA’s presidential candidates (wish I had a nice link).

But in this case, I want to talk about tech. I’ve been using a small, 7” tablet for over a year now. My first was the B&N Nook Tablet that was a gift about a year ago. At the time it was the best for the low price on the market – beating the Fire easily on tech grounds (longer battery life, lighter, thinner, and it had an SD slot for expanded memory). This year when everyone had announced their tablets I decided to upgrade to the Google Nexus 7.

My path to these and how I use them today is perhaps a little odd. It was completely motivated by the New Yorker and the Economist. I receive both magazines (thanks Dad, Uncle Steve!!) and love them. However, I can never keep up. When I go on long plane flights I would stash 10 issues or so of each in my bag and carry them across the Atlantic to CERN or where ever I was traveling. And often I would carry 9 issues back. You know how heavy & fat those are? Yes. 1st world problem.

The nook was fantastic in solving this. And if I was away for more than a week I could still get new issues. I soon installed a few other apps – like a PDF reader. Suddenly I was no longer printing out lecture notes for my class – I’d load them onto the nook and bring them with me that way. I could keep the full quarter of lecture notes with me at all times for when a student would ask me something! I try to keep up on blogs, and I managed to side-load gReader before B&N locked down the nook. I soon was putting comments in papers and talks then I had to review – very comfortable sitting on the couch with this thing!

As the new crop of tablets showed up I started looking for something that was faster. And perhaps with a more modern web browser. The main thing that drove this was viewing my class notes in the PDF viewer – sometimes a 5 second lag would interfere with my lecture when I was trying to look up something I’d written quickly. Amazon’s HD Fire and B&N’s new nooks were pretty disappointing, and so I went with the Nexus 7. The performance is great. But there was something else I’d not expected.

I know this is a duh for most people: but the importance of a well stocked app store. Wow. Now the Nexus 7 is very integrated into my workday. I used it constantly! My todo lists, some of my lab notebooks, reading and marking up papers and talks, all that is done on thins thing now. B&N’s app store is ok, but nothing like the Google app store – pretty much whatever I want is there, and with Google’s free $25 for the app store to spend with the purchase of the Next 7, I’ve not actually had to spend a cent… and having now owned this thing for about a month my app purchasing has pretty much dropped off to zero. Basically, all I take back and forth to work now are my reading glasses and the Nexus 7 (it was the same with the tablet). I put Dropbox on it, and… well, it is all there.

I have a few complaints. About the hardware – the 16 GB version is barely enough – because I want to be able to load it up with TV/Movies/DVD’s for my long flights. For everything else (music included) the 16 GB is plenty. I think I can connect a USB key to the device, but it was very nice having all that extra space in the nook tablet with its SD slot. The battery life is worse than the nook – it will make it only through two days of heavy use. The nook tablet would good 3 or 4 (but I didn’t use it nearly as much, so this might not be a fair comparison). This guy has NFC, which if I understand the tech right, should be so much better than Bluetooth – so I’m eager to try that out… when I get other devices that support it.

The rest of the complaints I have are due to software and thus can be easily updated. For example, Microsoft’s OneNote app for android doesn’t display handwriting. Smile Many of my logbooks contain handwriting. Also the email app is really awful (seriously??) – though I should add it is serviceable for quick checks, triage, and reading. The only other mobile smart-device I own is a Windows Phone 7.5 – and the design and how the interface flows on android isn’t as nice or as integrated, but with Android 4.1 Google has done a great job. SkyDrive, which I like a lot better than dropbox, is on Android, but it doesn’t support in-place-editing (i.e. open a PDF file, annotate it, have it put back up to the cloud). With 7 GB free (25 because I was an early adopter), I’d drop dropbox if SkyDrive supported this on Android.

If you are still reading. I’m sure you know what triggered this post: Apple’s rumored 7” tablet that will be announced tomorrow. If you are locked into the Apple eco-system, and your work load looks anything like mine, you should get it. Otherwise, go with the Nexus 7” (at $250).

My wife has an older iPad, and I’ve played around with other iPad’s – for whatever reason, people don’t seem to carry them around to meetings, etc., very often. And I see people using them, but often not reading papers, etc. – but propped up on the stand and watching a movie. Also, the 10” form factor makes it very difficult to hold the tablet in your hand and thumb type: you need very big hands. For this sort of task, the 7” is perfect.

That isn’t to say that the 10” form factor isn’t great in itself. Microsoft with its W8 release is going to have a bunch of these tablets – and I can’t wait to buy one. Of course, for those of you who know me, my requirements are going to be a little weird: it must have an active digitizer. This is what allows you to write with a pen (as on my Tablet PC’s). Then I can finally get rid of the Tablet PC which is a compromise, and I can carry something optimized for each task: the 7” for quick work and reading, the 10” for a lab notebook, and a ultra-portable for the real work. Wait. Am I going to carry three now? Arrgh! What am I doing!?!?

Comments»

1. Ron - October 23, 2012

“the 10” form factor makes it very difficult to hold the tablet in your hand and thumb type: you need very big hands.”

Gordon, that’s not true. You can split the keyboard into two small halves, one along each edge, and then easily type with thumbs. Plus, splitting is easy. You just pull the keyboard apart, in effect. I do it all the time.

2. gordonwatts - October 24, 2012

Yes, the split keyboard, thanks, Ron. I’d forgotten about that. I still find it harder to use than the unsplit keyboard on the 7″ – I think the reason is partly the weight. But thanks for reminding me of that.

3. gordonwatts - October 24, 2012

Ugh. I just noticed! There are ads on this now!! And what is worse, when I log in as myself, they remove the ad’s.😦😦

4. Jonathan Thornburg - January 21, 2013

Re ads: The Adblock Plus plugin for Firefox does a *very* good job of removing (more accurately, persuading Firefox not to display) ads. Using it (with the “don’t even show non-intrusive ads” checkbox checked), I probably see under one web ad/month.

5. Cheryl - February 14, 2013

Got any specific game apps you’d recommend that a 9 year old could play that would teach, without realizing, basic engineer and physics lessons? Maybe in the course of building fun things? He’d be using a mini iPad. // I have a Nexus 7 I really enjoy. Still trying to figure out offline use for writing docs, etc. I’m new to Androids but I like them so far.

6. cudmore - August 9, 2013

Hi Gordon, Finally got to this post and with good timing. I have been eyeing up the new Nexus 7 LTE (out soon) and will probably get one. Still don’t have a smart phone and like it that way, I hope the Nexus 7″ is good for all the stuff you mentioned at work and reading but also on weekend trips to organize and use maps/GPS. Oh, too many electronics.

7. camtasia studio 9 download - April 24, 2016

Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed
reading it, you will be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your
blog and will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage one to continue your great
posts, have a nice weekend!

8. cara menanam cabe - April 26, 2016

I think that what you posted made a lot of sense. But, consider this, what if
you were to write a awesome title? I ain’t saying your
information isn’t good., however what if you added a headline that makes people want more?
I mean In Praise of 7” | Life as a Physicist is kinda boring.
You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create news headlines to get people to open the
links. You might add a video or a picture or two to get readers
excited about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it could make your posts
a little bit more interesting.

9. games android apk - July 2, 2016

Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super
long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly
enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer
but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers?
I’d genuinely appreciate it.

10. oleh oleh bandung - July 23, 2016

Great post! We are linking to this great post
on our website. Keep up the great writing.

11. Rod - August 19, 2016

Simply wanna tell that this is invaluable, Thanks for taking your
time to write this.

12. xtreme Fit 360 muscle programs - September 11, 2016

It’s a pity youu don’t hhave a dobate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog!
I suppose for now i’ll settle foor bookmarking and
adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to fresh updates and will shuare this site with my Facebook group.
Talk soon!

13. Revitasence Cream Review - September 11, 2016

I’ve been browsing online more thhan 2 hours today, yeet I never found aany interesting article
like yours. It is pretty worth enough for
me. In my opinion, if all webmastters and bloggers
made good content as you did, the net will be a lot
more useful than ever before.

14. koning - September 16, 2016

Thanks for finally writing about >In Praise of
7″ | Life as a Physicist <Liked it!

15. PT. Istana Argo Kencana - September 16, 2016

Nice replies in return of this difficulty with firm arguments and telling the whole thing regarding that.

16. gangbang - September 29, 2016

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness
of valuable knowledge about unpredicted feelings.

17. movie2k - October 6, 2016

Now, earlier than I proceed, it is essential to state that PCMag doesn’t
condone illegally streaming or downloading films.

18. ultra music festival 2017 ticket prices - October 8, 2016

Whilst Ultra is no doubt the principal event of the week, the entire city is filled with incredible parties and occasions.

19. ryder cup heckler sinks putt - October 9, 2016

Points earned in all Race to Dubai tournaments starting with the 2015
M2M Russian Open and ending with the 2016 Made in Denmark that completed on August 28, 2016.

20. Booty Pop Review - October 9, 2016

Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating
it but, I’d like tto send you an email. I’ve got
some suggestions for your blog you might be interested inn
hearing. Eithher way, great website annd I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

21. select skin serum - October 9, 2016

Hello, I would like to subscribe for this weblog to take hottesxt updates, so where can i do it please assist.

22. anal - October 9, 2016

Wow, incredible weblog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for?
you made running a blog glance easy. The entire glance of your site is great,
as smartly as the content material!

23. Borinquen Title Loans Canovanas - October 10, 2016

May I just say what a relief to discover a person that
truly understands what they are talking about over the
internet. You actually understand how to ring
an issue to light and makke iit important. A lot more people have to look at this
and understand this side of the story. I was surprised that you are not more polular given that you most certaily possess the gift.

24. Belle Epoque Skin Cream - October 10, 2016

Some times its a pain in the ass to read what
people wrote but this site is rattling user genial!

25. college years - October 12, 2016

When some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she needs
to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

26. Bleaching Cream Products - October 17, 2016

Everʏ weekend i used too pay a quickk visit thiѕ web site, becausе i wish for enjoyment,
for the reason that this this weeb рage conations in fact faѕtidiοus fubny data too.

27. Belladerm Skincare - October 20, 2016

I do not even understand how I finished up right here, however I believed
this put up was once great. I don’t recognize who you might be however certainly you’re
going to a well-known blogger in case you are not already ;
) Cheers!

28. Ryan - October 21, 2016

The challenge that wᥱ have right here is that thhe сomputer usսally limits you as tօ the plaсe yoᥙ mɑү listen to the radio.

29. sasquatch pizza calories - October 23, 2016

A single that was manufactured by the Sasquatch
numerous months just before, and a second one particular that was produced the evening before I arrived.

30. ways To Whiten your underarm - October 24, 2016

Someone neϲessarily һelp to make severely posts I migҺt state.
That is tthe vey first time Ⅰ frequented youг web pаge
and up to noѡ? I sjrprised witɦ the reseɑrch yоu made tоo
ϲreate tyis actuazl ⲣut upp incredible. Wonderful process!

31. Top skin bleaching products - October 25, 2016

Nice post. I was checking continuously this bblog and I am impressed!
Extremdly helpful information particularly the last phase🙂 I
maintain such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a lolng time.
Thanks and good luck.

32. Charla - October 28, 2016

Stay up tօ date on the newest developments іn Internet terminology ᴡith a
free weekly newsletter fгom Webopedia.

33. car loans rates 2016 - November 1, 2016

Major P2P lenders in Australia comparable to SocietyOne and Ratesetter at present offer personal loans which can be used for buying a automotive.

34. portalleasignu.eu - November 2, 2016

We pleasure ourselves in having the sources to assist all credit situations and we’ve got helped people identical to you
from across Alberta.

35. gta online - November 7, 2016

I know this web page presents quality depending content and other material, is
there any other website which gives these data in quality?

36. review android - November 15, 2016

I do believe all the ideas you have offered on your
post. They are really convincing and will definitely work.

Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters.
May you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
Thank you for the post.

37. rak tas Sepatu Organizer Grosir Karakter princess - November 19, 2016

I have learn some excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.
I surprise how a lot effort you set to make any such great informative web
site.

38. free thot sex tape porn videos - November 20, 2016

Social intimacy is the sharing time together around life and life cycle events.

Chances are, you will probably adore the attention lavished
on your freshly pedicured tootsies too. The very title may sound promising
for an FPS, but EP ends up being as extreme as a Sunday-afternoon macramé and crotchet session.

39. https://hotsupercallgirlsforsexavailabledubai.wordpress.com/ - November 26, 2016

Hello everyone, it’s my first viisit at this website, and article is truly fruitful in support of me,
keep up posting therse posts.

40. σεξισμος - December 2, 2016

Helo there, I discovered your blog via Google at thee same time as
searching for a similar topic, your website got
hee up, it seems great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Hello there, simply was aware of your weblolg thru Google,
and located that it’s really informative.I am going too watch out for
brussels. I will be grateful if you happen to proceed this
inn future. Lots of other folks wiill likeoy be benefited
out of your writing. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: