iPad – can it really change my views on tablets?

Before undergoing this project I always refused to be dragged into the iPhone, iPad hype. My view was that they were just fashion accessories that were cleverly marketed by Apple to weak minded people who tried to follow the crowd. The extortionate price tags on both products and the lack of features present in comparison to other companies, such as samsung, made me wonder why people even bothered. I would constantly try to persuade people to save themselves £20+ per month and just get a samsung, which has more features and better performance.

My original view on tablet technology in general was that tablets were just downgraded laptops with similar price tags (why pay so much for something that is so limited in comparison to a laptop that is capable of so much more?). They had no real purpose in my opinion because they are just oversized smartphones minus the phone (paying for less yet again!).

Being a tight fisted yorkshireman I would never have paid £300+ on an iPad to test whether or not I would find it useful. Therefore I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in this project because I would get to test the capability of this device without digging deep into my pockets (now I really do sound tight fisted!)

Originally I was skeptical about replacing paper based notes with the iPad. I went throught the whole of semester 1 taking notes in class and  revising from them, with success. I decided to commit 100% to this project and try to use the iPad to replace all of my note taking. I must say that my original, very strong, opinions have been downgraded. I doubted the capability of the iPad from the start and I take back some of the points I previously stated (SOME, I must stress).

I am really surprised by how responsive the keyboard is to fast typing. In every single lecture so far I have managed to take about 3-4 pages worth of notes (in comparison to 2 while using pen and paper). The interface is very user friendly and easy to navigate through (with some very useful shortcuts that I am accidentaly coming across day by day).

However, I tried to read a PDF off the iPad the other week and no matter how much you change the brightness, it still gives you that feeling you are reading off a computer screen which can be very tiring. This is something the Kindle has managed to perfect and something the iPad may need to work on. The iPad also has an annoying habbit of remembering where you have capitalised a letter. If you accidentally capitalise letters 1 and 2 in a word, when you try to delete the second one and retype it, the iPad will remember you capitalised it and you may end up doing the same mistake twice or more before realising you have to press the shift key.

Although there are some minor flaws, so far my expectations have far outweighed my original impressions. However I still have a strong view that tablet technology is very limited, when compared to computers and laptops (even netbooks). The iPad is, however, very convenient for what I am currently using it for. Will it be useful for anything else? I will soon find out.

Getting to know the iPad 2 – my first impressions

First of all, I need to say that I am an Apple user for many years and in consideration of that the use of an iPad was relatively easy for me.

My initial impression of the iPad 2 was very positive. The overall design and size was exactly what I was expecting from an Apple product. It gives you to some extend a feeling to hold something really special in your hand. But now it was time to find out if the iPad 2 can perform as good as it looks.

Due to the fact that I am using an iPhone, I wanted to download applications that I mostly use.  In this context I realised once again that Apple has created an impressive app store for both, the iPhone and iPad. Compared to the android version of the app store, which is labelled “market”, I take the view that the app store is far better organised and informative. I could easily browse through the store and download apps without having any problems. In this context I would like to mention some apps that I have downloaded such as dropbox, adobe reader, bbc iplayer, facebook, skype, news apps, etc.

After having most of the apps together on this iPad, I have tried to use some other functions; for instance setting up and using my personal email account. As compared to the email functionalities on my MacBook, the iPad has different user settings, however this still implied the simplicity of Apple’s user-friendly style. When I  initially started to write my first email on the iPad, I realized that the keyboard is large but however unfamiliar to type on. This led to the unfavourable fact that typing became after a while quite exhausting, nonetheless, I tried to continue with writing on this device such as emails and taking notes in the lectures and seminars. Ultimately, it took me maybe more than a week to get used to it, but now I can almost type on the iPad as it’s my MacBook or my iPhone, which I use for many years.

Most notably, in lectures when I had a powerpoint slide open to follow the readings and trying to make notes besides, I was missing a multi-task function to split the screen into two halves; having my powerpoint slides on my iPad in order to follow the lecture and making notes meanwhile. Due to the iOS device, I needed to switch from handout slides to my notes every time when I wanted to make some notes.

In addition I found it comparatively difficult to copy and paste a text, or for instance, a book title, although this could be akin to the experience I made with typing on the iPad and be solved by regular exercises with the iPad.

All in all, I am really impressed with the iPad. Besides some minor difficulties I was facing in the first two week, I am more than happy to use this device not only for academic reasons, but also for personal use such as networking, watching videos, playing games or simply just surfing in the web. All the apps are working without problems and the multitasking functionality allows me to quickly switch from one app to another. The resolution is brilliant and makes especially some HD apps just fun to use and generate a unique user experience.

Even though, I was initially questioning the usage of iPads with regards of people reading their books and/or newspapers on it, I have to confess that I would probably do the same within the next months.  And I think the brilliant resolution and the way newspapers look on this screen are a major reason why. Within the next weeks I am intending to purchase a book or a newspaper article and share my experience afterwards.

I am positive about the fact that there is much more to discover about iPads, hence so far I am looking forward to use it in the next month and hopefully share more interesting experiences on this blog.

Asus Transformer series -transforming perception !!

I have joined this project primarily because of my interest in environment and sustainability. A way to eliminate usage of paper and make information mobile was an ideal foresight. Initially I was reluctant to try any other operating device other than IOS but as a part of this project we wanted to test Android vs IOS.

The tablet had transcended the meaning of convenience, mobility and simplification to another unimaginable level. I no longer carry heavy notebooks and lecture handouts and I have saved more papers than I could in the last few weeks  just by using Supernote for scribbling.

The touchscreen facilities are well designed for convenience. However I would require more time to be more efficient.

Polaris Office has worked perfectly for me minus the PDF files  for  which  our mentor, Nicolas had suggested Easy edit.

For Android, it is difficult to switch between apps. I hope it is just due to my technology illiteracy for android devices otherwise they will need to incorporate up-gradation for the same.

Other apps such as the My Library, Press reader and My gallery  created my virtual second home after mac .

I am yet to explore more  apps but  these few weeks has just been about developing acquaintance with the tablet and I am relatively content.


First Impressions using the iPad2

As a person who knows relatively little about techology, I have found the iPad 2 surprisingly easy to use. Within a week I have downloaded a multitude of applications which have been both interesting and useful to my studies. For example, the ‘iTunes U’ app enables you to download podcasts and videos of lectures from universities around the world. Many universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, have their own pages featuring collections of lectures and information from various schools. Perhaps this could be something for the Leeds University Business School to consider as it seems to make learning material increasingly accessible.

Other applications which I have come to rely on include news apps, for example Bloomberg and Zite (a bespoke newspaper). I was also impressed with the vast content which can be accessed freely from ‘iBooks’. The calender application has been useful, however it would be beneficial if the personal iPad calender could link with the university system so that any timetable updates, such as an additional dissertation briefing, could be added directly to the calender. Hence it seems that over time tablets could possibly provide increasingly innovative methods of interacting with students.

Whilst I have benefitted from the constant access to news and information, the iPad has not proved to be of much use in lectures so far. I find it much easier to take notes on paper, however I am looking to buy a stylus for the iPad so that I can test if this may be more practical.

First impressions using Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″

My tablet is operated on Android system and it’s Samsung 7″.

Since I’ve always used those electricity things with my study all throught out my life ever since I graduated from primary school , I’ve been looking forward to this project very much. All these new technologies do brought a lot of convenience to my study, and what I’m looking for is something that can integrate all my needs, which gives me a great reason to give the tablet a try.
First of all, I have to say the tablet do seems very helpful for gathering information.  Reading e-books is much more convenient and affordable in modern time besides from the damage to our sight. Ever since I was 12 I’ve been used to read books on screen mainly because that it’s  much more affordable compared to real books. If I feel like reading some novels or textbooks, I don’t have to carry all those books in my bag from Grayson Heights to the university. It’s a long journey and I seriously hate that weight.  Also, it’s very useful when some information is needed emergently, we can directly log into the Internet and check about the information. For example, when I have got some doubts about my time table I can directly go to my tablet and check it in my classroom during the break instead of going to the computer cluster.

But there are  also some pitfalls about the tablet during the process of gathering information. First of all, as i’ve mentioned before, it will do serious damage to our sight if we try to read all the materials from it, personally my family  really has a crush on the newly developed screen used in the kindle series which claims themselves as much more eye-protecting than those colored screens. I don’t know wheather it can be adapted to tablet some day.  Secondly, I don’t know if that’s my problem but it seems that it’s not very convenient to download the files and open it directly when I was browsign the internet, sometimes the information is simply packed in some pdf or ppt files which needs to be downloaded and open, however my tablet never successfully downloaded it nor opened it.

However, what I really counted on the tablets is making notes. I’ve been used to making notes with PC for a long time, last year I’ve made piles of notes from the Economics course with my PC, it does have a lot of advantages over paper notes like computer files are more easy to be managed and corrected. Futhermore, When they are printed out ,the outline will be more clear for reviewing, not to mention about the environment friendly and time-saving part. However, when I really started to try making notes with the tablet, I find it really disappointing to put  in this way. First of all, for making notes, I have to pay my attention to those books I’m currently reading or  what our teachers are lecturing, however, without attention on the tablet keyboard, it’s impossible to type correctly.  It’s really annoying for me when I have to pay attention to my tablet when I try to copy down some words from those books that I’m currently reading. Also, the speed of typing can never compare to that when I was using real keyboards, I doubt wheather it can be quicker than writing actually!!

That’s all my first impression, it seems a bit over too long on the first week and I’m really sorry for those grammar mistakes.  Hope this will helps a lot in our projects.

First impressions with the Motorola Xoom 2

Hi guys Chris here,
I’ve been testing out the Motorola Xoom 2 for this project. Having only used an ipad as a tablet computer and never having owned an android phone my main concern when i received this tablet was whether or not I would be able to use it as smoothly as I would with an iOS tablet.

So far I have found it to be fine, although I think a iOS is an easier interface to use, especially if you are unfamiliar with tablets. However, since getting the tablet I have become much more suited to the operating system. The main problem I had at first was having difficulty setting up my university email on it.
There are certainly benefits to the Android operating system, such being able to switch between apps easily. It is also good to be able to watch flash videos. Also, I like using Evernote to make lecture notes, since anything I write can then be accessed by my phone or laptop. Although I don’t think I take better notes than if I had written them by hand.

For the tablet itself, I do like the feel of it and think that it looks good. However, I dislike that the power button is next to the volume ones, so that I often press the wrong button. The case is also bulky and not effective at acting as a stand. The battery life is long enough but I think that charging it takes longer than it should. The speakers are good though and so are the two cameras. I have also found typing tougher than if I were using a keyboard, but I have got better since I started.

Therefore, so far I do like this tablet computer, and I look forward to seeing how comfortable I can become with it. Although I am still not sure whether it is making me more productive for note-taking and participating in the course.

iPad first Impressions

Hello everyone it’s Tony,

First post here, just letting everyone know how I feel about this wonderful device and how my experience has been thus far!

I have been using my iPad every single day. Very convenient, to say the least! I really enjoy bringing my pad to class, because I can take notes on my notepad and email them to myself for review later on in the day. Is it more efficient? I’m not totally sure it’s more efficient… But it is definitely good to have. I think I took more detailed notes with pen and paper though.

I used to lug my laptop to class in order to go to the library after, but this as simply to access notes or whatever on my laptop. This has been replaced now so I find it easy to bring this along.

In terms of adaptability, the android definitely trumps the IPad. The android allows for much more versatility when browsing, downloading, etc. The iPad is locked tight.

Overall, I’m enjoying my experience and it is working well for me!

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