Sunday, March 6, 2011

The case for convertibles


Often, you hear about how nice slate touch tablets (android, iPad, or windows based) are for couch surfing.  I even promote the couch surf-ability of my various tablets.  But what about couch forum-posting, couch blogging, or even couch long-email-writing?  As good as touch screens and active digitizer are, and as easy as it can be to enter text via a good onscreen keyboard or inking in the windows TIP, none of those options are nearly as fast as a keyboard. 

I’m all for handwriting notes when it’s something you’ll want to remember.  I also enjoy handwriting for more creative endeavors.  But sometimes, it’s all about producing quantity or getting something out right now.  Sometimes, I don’t care if I remember every detail of the words that come out, I just need to get them out of my head before they dissolve into the ether.  I also hear that some people have to do “real work” that may be better done via keyboard.  Or perhaps someone on the internet is wrong, and you just need to set them straight. 

The other benefit of couch surfing with a convertible in laptop mode is that it holds itself up.  No matter how light these new tablets are getting, they still have to be help up, or at least propped up on something.  My Archos comes with a nice built in kickstand to hold it up on a table, and many tablets have cases that can hold them more vertically, but none of those work very well on a lap.  Sometimes, I leave my tablet in slate mode, prop it up on my knees, and handwrite.  Sometimes, I have it open in laptop mode, my feet kicked up, and I type.  I like options. 

I’ve tried to get the Archos standing up with a keyboard in my lap, but it just doesn’t work so well.  Laying it flat is no good; you can’t see the screen unless you hunch over.


I can pull out the kickstand and put it on one leg.


Which sort of works, but the keyboard is wobbly.  And the kickstand poking into one leg is not really the most comfortable experience. 



A tablet with a folio case that props it up might work better, but legs are squishy compared to a table.  While the slate is great for poking things with fingers or writing/sketching with a pen, I prefer the stability of the convertible when it comes to typing. Options are good. 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah... I didn't even realize something called "convertibles" existed. Not exactly what one would call a "techie". Good to know I have options. Because right now the biggest reason I don't have a tablet of any sort is that, although some of the features they have would be really nice, most of what I do lends itself better to a traditional keyboard. Thanks for posting.