Thursday, May 23, 2013

I guess I might be committed to Samsung (for now)

I finally got my tablet, maybe two weeks ago. It was off of eBay again. This time the experience was amazing. It showed up when promised, and with some extras. 

I got a Samsung 16GB Galaxy Note 10.1. It is WiFi only, and I am ok with that for now. Once in a while I would like it connected while I am away from WiFi connections, but mostly I get by. I have the NoteII, and can mostly do what I need to on that. The Note II can act as a hotspot, but I am on an old contract with T-Mobile, and they will charge an extra $20/month if I do that. I've asked about switching to their monthly plan, since that has hotspot included. The guy at the store was vague, about the savings, and I was in a hurry, so I went home, and wished I had more time.

Overall the tablet experience is great! The Samsung will allow running many apps in separate windows, and you can see them all. It is clunky, with the touch interface, and forces click to type, rather than hover (I am an old X windows user, I still rely on hover to type to be efficient). It is probably the most useful feature that Samsung added over the stock android. Touch wiz is fine, no specific complaints. 

Surprises in the software included Peel a TV controller, super easy to setup. PS Touch a fancy media editor. FlipBoard a news reader. When I first logged in, the apps all synced up with my phone! It was good and bad. My kids had a bunch of games so the games are mostly on both my phone and the tablet. I keep saying I'll clean them up, but so far I really havn't (I've had the angry birds making noises in meetings!).

I mostly won't setup a Samsung account. I see nothing for me compared to the Google version of the same services. When I got the phone, it came with a DropBox account, so I signed up, but I only use the Google Drive. 

The screen is readable in sunlight. Unless the sun is pointing right at the screen, you can see it all the time. It has enough bezel so holding the device, you aren't pressing buttons. 

It came without swype or any of the drag around keyboards. I thought that was going to be bad, but with the 10 in screen in landscape, the stock keyboard is mostly usable.  I did get a bluetooth keyboard for it. It makes a nice cover. The one I got is aluminium, and will snap to the front or back. Snapping it on the back is nice when it isn't needed in meeting and such. It is super lightweight, so light that you can't stand the 10in tablet in portrait mode, since the tablet will tip it over. It isn't as good as a laptop, since the screen will pop out if you wiggle around.

Battery life is pretty amazing. A couple days on a charge is really good. The proprietary connector is a pain. I did order an OTG dongle, but that hasn't arrived yet. It is kind of big, so I probably won't use it much.  

The UI is pretty standard. Nothing special there, other than the window controls. I am getting to like Google Now, so I am ok with letting Google read my mail and such.

I've also been Listening to +AndroidCentral, +AllAboutAndroid and +ThisWeekInGoogle podcasts from Google IO. Lots of good stuff coming making the whole Android experience richer. I see only good things coming up.

Write Soon 

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