Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Keboard testing ?

This is me trying to use the new wireless keyboard for my ipad. I have to say that so far, in the few seconds.....

Ease to set up. Excellent.

Snug Bluetooth Keyboard
Typing experience ? Rubbish.

The keys are very small and take quite some getting used to. The position of the arrow keys in particular means that each time I want to press the shift key, I end up instead, annoyingly selecting the up arrow and thus losing my place in the page. I am having to go back and correct a lot of words.

It's a cute little keyboard, but I am just finding it hard to use. This morning I was using the bluetooth wireless keyboard from my iMac with the iPad. I found that to work very, very well. This is the bit where I do wonder if the choice to not go for the Asus Transformer Prime was the right one. A physically connected keyboard that rather than drain power through bluetooth use actually adds to the battery life of the unit does seem to be a wildly better design idea.

One of the things that I had thought about was that using Celtx with the screen in portrait is better than landscape because it is closer to the orientation of an A4 piece of paper. I've used the iPad mostly in landscape format, switching to portrait when I want to read a particularly wordy webpage.

I do find my fingers gravitating toward a touchpad that just isn't there.

This concern with screen orientation overrode the possibility of a fixed - and therefore not battery sucking bluetooth - keyboard. Am I second guessing my decision because of recent Apple announcements about my (not-so-new) iPad ? Or because of the groupon email I got this morning offering the Asus Transformer Prime for 359 pounds. (can't use the proper pound sign as there isn't one on this keyboard).

After all, the Asus may actually have been a better machine, but the reality is that I can't afford it. I am as yet unsure if I will keep this bluetooth keyboard (by Snugg). The appearance is nicely sympathetic to those of the iPAD itself, I just don't know if I can get round the keyboard layout and size. I'm getting more used to it as I type this comment. Jury still out.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The not so new iPad

On Monday, after much soul-searching thinking and convincing and reviewing my finances I decided to buy an iPad 3, the all 'new' iPad as they were called.

What I hadn't counted on, was Apple announcing that they are not only releasing a new ipad mini but also redesigned iMac and MacBook Pro. Certainly didn't consider for a second that the New iPad would suddenly become the not-so-new iPad.

Does this ruin my enjoyment of this device ? Well. Yes it does. I had decided, having looked around at various options that in replacing my netbook I was going to buy a tablet, and a keyboard. This I considered to be a better solution than the ageing, slow and downright unusable netbook. I'd looked at different machines. As us transformer prime being the preferred choice for quite some time. I wanted a keyboArd, I also wanted some thing that would do the job very well of replacement netbook and tablet.

The transformer prime seemed to do very well in my criteria of, how good are the apps ? how quick is it ? How light is it ? How good is the battery life ? It then came down to cost. Quite simply any tablet without a contract would require significant outlay. Now I've been doing Lots of overtime at work lately, and figured I deserved treat. The battery power was important as much as mobility as I wanted to be take the device out of the flat because I seem to get distracted and prevented from writing when I'm here.

The cost of the device and the ongoing cost of the contract and the benefits of having mobile connection for the device all weighed up. I wrote out a pro and cons list and tried to break it down realising that there was a limited amount of money to spend.

In the end it boiled down to was it better to make a larger financial outlay now and having a lower ongoing monthly expenditure, spending less now and having a larger ongoing monthly expenditure or paying more money upfront and having no ongoing cost.

I decided that it was better to have the additional ability to connect to the Internet away from home with the contracting tablet and therefore less initial expenditure. This is good because this allows me to continue using my overtime to clear my existing credit card bills and also worked out well because one of my other existing ongoing financial commitments comes to an end in January 2013.

Yesterday I was excited as a kid In a sweet shop or on Christmas morning. This evening, as I see from the news about Apple's latest releases, I feel miffed and more than a little bit screwed over. There was no hint that the iPad was Going to get a facelift a mere 7 months after it was released.

Shocking really, those devices  no longer carry the chache of having THE LATEST technical gizmo.

Is that really all that important ? Well to some people it is. Yes. To me, not so much. I still feel gruff about the situation though. I had decided to buy the latest version that I could as the difference in price between it and the ipad 2 wasn't really enough to make the financial incentive sweeter to go one generation back. My (not so) New iPad is now not the top dog, the latest device. Right now that doesn't make a difference, but in years to come will mean that at some point it will stop being supported by Apple and stop being capable of running their latest ever changing IOS.

Is this really any different from any other computer manufacturer ? The nature of technology is that you get a doubling of power or halving of price ever six months or so. Moores law. To expect anything you buy computer wise to be 'with it' three years later is unrealistic. You should though still be able to expect it to be supported and able to run software that you need.

My netbook, which my (Not so) New iPad replaces is about three years old, and is completely useless. The updates to Ubuntu have now taken so much of the memory that like me, it really struggles to wake up in the morning. I am sure that if I downgraded the operating system it would still have function enough to browse the web and for word processing etc.

As we journey ever more into the cloud.. does this make us more or less vulnerable to such continual progress that leaves people without very deep pockets on a never ending journey from gadget heaven to  obsolescence.