I’m not taking my iPad or Android tablet to the conference

I'm traveling top NYC  this afternoon for a conference and I finally decided on what gadgets I'm going to bring. Due to weight (and the fact that I don't want to leave electronics in my hotel room), I had to pick between a Win7 tablet convertible or (as a pair) my iPad and Viewsonic gTablet. I'm taking the Inspiron Duo.

It's heavy, the battery life sucks, and the interface isn't designed for tablets, but I can get more work done with it than the other 2 combined. Even discounting the keyboard, it's still more useful.

I can run all the same apps on my Win7 laptop and on my Duo. I can start a project on one, email it to myself, and continue it on the other. I also know that no matter what i download I'll be able to open it. Neither mobile OS has any real support for Office formats, not even basics like RTF, ODT, or others.

The deciding factor was when i tried to download ebooks from Fifth Imperium, a free ebook website. I couldn't download the files at all on Android, and on the iPad I had trouble getting the Kindle app to open the compatible files. With the Duo I simply clicked "open with K4PC", and it worked.

The same goes for all my other data. Just a few minutes ago I copied 70GB of work files onto the Duo. I didn't need more than about 100MB, but copying the files over was so easy that I went ahead and grabbed them all. I know that I will be able to open whatever I happen to need, so why not?

Frankly, iOS and Android have crippled file systems, and it gets in the way. The truly bizarre part is that they're both based on *nix, so there's really no reason for them to be crippled like this.

About Nate Hoffelder (11481 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on I’m not taking my iPad or Android tablet to the conference

  1. Very wise. Yes, by all means laugh at Microsoft, but Windows does not have the limitations found in the other two. Google and Apple are control-freaks and that seriously limits what the devices can be used for, however sexy their products are.

    • I agree. I have a Motorola Xoom. Owned the iPad for about 2 weeks then returned it because it was inadequate in nearly every regard. Too much like a phone and not nearly enough like a computer. The Xoom is more like a real computer, but it still has shortcomings in that regard. I wish the same device was running Windows 7. I want to run Office 2007 or 2010. I want to run my Windows applications. (Yes, I know windows tablets have been around for 10 years or more, but they’ve always wanted $1000 or more for them and that’s just not reasonable. And it’s why they’ve never hit the mainstream, while the iPad has taken off. Price price price.)

      Ran into a Microsoft employee who showed me the windows tablet they’re working on. Looks great and if it’s around $400 I will definitely buy it. First goddamn day.

  2. Krystian Galaj // 3 April, 2011 at 3:33 am // Reply

    I think you haven’t switched to iOS way of doing things yet, and that’s what is crippling your performance with them.

    • Actually, you have it backwards. When it comes to usability, iOS should behave more like Windows users expect. Forcing a user to learn a whole new system is a poor design.

      • Not really. Computers are different from pens and pencils, but that doesn’t make them a poor design. If we never changed then we never get anywhere. I would hate to still be using punch cards or DOS.

  3. Don’t leave it on a counter and turn your back!!! 🙂

  4. You are right.
    Especially when you say *the* iOS way.
    That has always been the philosophy behind Apple products: Jobs the Great decides how to do things and the masses conform. If it’s not in the product it is because you don’t need it.
    Only the great unwashed would dare to ask for more.
    Fortunately, there is still choice in this market.
    You can choose the cool, popular product, or the frumpy productive one.
    It is high school all over the jocks vs the nerds.
    Of course, if you fast forward a couple decades you’ll find the jocks selling real estate and the nerds building roads and businesses.
    Cool is transitory, productivity endures.
    I’ve used iOS and Android toys and as far as the OS goes, both are inferior to 10-year old WinCE (to say nothing of Win7).
    That is Microsoft’s biggest failing; they built a world-beating mobile OS and pigeonholed it for embedded systems only. Well, and asia.
    But then, they get all the good tools anyway.

  5. curiosity killed the.. // 3 April, 2011 at 10:03 am // Reply

    hurray for windows,still the most open ended tablet experience 2 bad most cost 2x as much as the competition lol sometimes 3x

  6. In this age of proliferation of devices it’s become important to understand what you might need to do when you pack for a trip. Or, take them all – no need for clothes or toiletries. 🙂

  7. The main drawback with Windows is that it takes too long to start. This problem could have been solved for years.
    Your testimony is great.

  8. You point to the exact reason why I’d want a Windows tablet…. Maybe if my main system were to be an Apple as well (not that it will ever be), but a Windows tablet would fit my current working station the best.

  9. This point to the idiocy of the present “SUV” philosophy for tablets. Tablets are great for reading, viewing and browsing, they are ill suited for word processing, video editing etc.

    The driving force behind the doctrine of the SUV tablet as a laptop replacement is largely to keep the ludicrous price structure in place. Soon enough tablets will drop into a $75-150 commodity bracket with light, simple tablets doing what tablets do best.

    • curiosity killed the.. // 4 April, 2011 at 12:09 pm // Reply

      if we do not give tablets a purpose beyond basic media consumption they will become nothing more than the newage versions of palm pilots with little to nothing worth doing on them.
      and as far as im aware nobody is trying to turn tablets into laptop replacements when the hardware is nowhere near that level yet. at best the tablet is a netbook equivalent and may replace those in the coming years but it doesnt hold a candle to laptops workforce power.

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