Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Smartphones vs Netbooks

Trying to keep this short, I've had an EeePC 701, 901, and T91MT.  I might have messed up the first two model numbers, it's been a while.

I was so extremely excited when I learned about the invention (and release) of the netbook.  In theory, they could give me the freedom to take everything with me.  My writing, web surfing, reading, watching--whatever tv show I was working through, movies, etc.

In practice...well, it was pretty close.

Typing was the activity I was most worried about not being workable on a netbook.  Those nine inch keyboards did take some getting used to.  Felt like I was typing with thick leather gloves on my hands at first, but to be honest I've come to prefer a smaller keyboard.  I feel like it's easier on my hands, and perhaps a slight bit faster than a full sized keyboard, though there are a lot more typos on a smaller one.

Battery life has been pretty weak on these three models.  Video playback as do-able, though it's also very spotty codec-to-codec, especially on the T91MT, with it's abysmal poulsbo graphics chip. The T91MT has problems scrolling simple web pages sometimes.  Not too Linux-friendly, either.

Reading was a draw.  I could and did read comics on them, but the crappy viewing angles of that period's LCDs made anything hard to read in portrait mode.  I already was used to reading prose books on my phone, so there was no reason to cart my netbook out to take over that responsibility.

I had a Nokia N900 for a while.  Great phone.  Still miss the awesome OS.  Tried to watch videos on it, catching up on my shows while visiting family for instance.  Never really liked it.  Screen was too small, resolution not good enough.  It would do in a pinch, but not for regular viewing.

Now I have a Galaxy Note.  Battery life is way better than my netbooks had.  Can watch videos just fine, and even though the screen if relatively small it's got a good resolution and it's got a good picture.

I can read comics on the thing!  In portrait mode, surprisingly but it's easiest in landscape mode.  Two page spreads cause me some problems, though it's still readable, just takes a little fussing.  Reading in landscape, scaling to fit page width, it's actually very comfortable.  I was delightfully surprised.  Maybe I shouldn't have been.  I did once in a pinch read a comic on my Nokia N800.  The thing got super hot, the battery percentage dropped faster than I'd ever seen before, and that was tiny screen (on a device that's, overall, roughly the same size as my Note is, but my Note is almost all screen).

I can read books on it, obviously.  So there's nearly all my demands and expectations on netbooks, cleanly met by smartphones.  Except one.  Writing.

Freaking writing.  I could write, believe it or not, 40-60wpm on my N900's slide-out keyboard.  I was fairly happy with that rate.  I can't write for shit on an on-screen keyboard.  Virtual keyboards.  Ugh.

There were rumors a few months back that RIM, Blackberry's RIM, were working on a version of the Note with a slide-out Blackberry-style keyboard.  I've never used a Blackberry for an extended period of time, but I'd be willing to bet I'd take to it fairly quickly.

Even so, it would be pretty fast, but still not as fast as at least a 9" keyboard.  I have a 9" Bluetooth I can cart out when I've got a table in front of me, and I'm going to write out something fairly long.  Still would be nice not to have to bother with it.

I wish there were a better option for putting ideas down in my phone. For proofreading and editing, for straight up writing.  I'm sure something's on it's way, but you know...I want it now.

Til then,


No comments:

Post a Comment