Productivity

Saving up for a Samsung Note Pro 12.2

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The Samsung Note PRO 12.2 is my next big tech purchase, and I am looking forward to having a new piece of equipment to slake my nerd-thirst. I find I am doing most of my computing with my smartphone and tablet, and even the laptop I received at Christmas is not seeing much in the way of use. The desktop has begun to gather dust, and it would not surprise me if I haven’t retired it in the next few months.

The desktop is one of those items that I have a good share of nostalgia for. Waking up first thing in the morning in my old efficiency apartment, the routine was to put on a pot of coffee, satisfy the call of the wild, make a gigantic stein of Java with whole milk, and proceed directly to the desktop. Inevitably I would log on to World of Warcraft and check my auctions, while keeping an eye on the time if I had things to do during the day. At one time I was working in the mail room of the local paper, so there was a check and balance in my computing time, but once my back could no longer support the job, my routine was set in stone. I truly miss the enjoyment of instant gratification I received from the coffee, computer, and cigarette in the first 15 minutes of the day.

After I purchased my first tablet I began to distance myself from the desktop since I am much more comfortable laying down than sitting in a chair, and the smartphone simply amplified the situation. The original tablet I owned was a Galaxy Tab 7 inch: it was too heavy for one handed operation, and provided enough wrist strain that I welcomed the retreat back to the desktop, while the Motorola Triumph smartphone simply did not have enough battery for an extended romp online. So, the desktop still held the crown for reliable computing, as the other two devices were quite finicky, and I knew my way around a Windows PC if I had problems, unlike Android.

Fast forward to 2014, my smartphone and tablet have become my daily drivers. I attribute two main factors to this: ease of use, and a steady decline in my productivity. The first is normal, as the technology improves, Android has become a brilliant platform to work with, but the second factor has more to do with depression, and while I miss the joy of productivity, finding value personally in what I create has become more difficult as my desire to create has been offset by my general discomfort.

To combat my slide into futility, I have decided to purchase a Galaxy Note PRO 12.2, a productivity Android slate with enough staying power to last two or three years while remaining relevant. My hope is to rediscover my old joys of writing and photography while having a device that can serve as a unit I can use well horizontally. On the days where typing is a necessity but my back is aggravated, this Nexus 7 I am using right now seems to be fitting the bill quite nicely. While I worry about the weight and size of the Note 12.2, I have tried it out at Best Buy, and I think I can make it work. The Zagg keyboard is quite expensive, so I may have to save for three months instead of two, but it will be worth it. The weight of the unit is a pressing concern, I will admit, time will tell if this turns out to be a wise purchase…

Ramen noodles and egg,  anyone?

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2014 Tablet or Bust

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This coming year I will be saving up money, since I am quite worried about geopolitical happenings. I feel that the powers that be have decided to reset the system, because the West, and particularly the USA, cannot afford it’s debt. Therefore I am embarking on a modest plan to save enough to pay rent, electric, and internet for two months should my income become imperiled, or the dollar losses value, and expenses rise.

Nevertheless, I have a few electronics purchases I have been meaning to make, and have to pare these down to fit my new budget. Essential function is the watchword, which leaves either the laptop or the tablet as the device to upgrade.

The laptop I currently have is a Toshiba Satellite P775D-7360, and the tablet is a Nexus 7 2013 32Gb. While both function well enough, they are also budget devices, and I am looking to combine the functionality of both into a single device. I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a Surface 2 Pro 8 GB RAM 256 GB SSD, but the cost is prohibitive: Once one spends 1,300 dollars, plus tax, then one has to purchase a keyboard for over 130 dollars to have laptop capabilities. The price is too high, I’m afraid, and I would by necessity need insurance, raising the cost again. So… Time to look for alternatives in productivity.

Next choice, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, which is my current favorite. Stylus input, 10 inch display with high resolution, light, and plenty of storage options, plus up to 64 GB SD card storage. The tablet has palm rejection, and Samsung has truly worked at an extensive library of provided apps, that ensure the stylus has functionality. The downside is that the screen is only 10 inches diagonal, making this choice less of a laptop replacement, and more of a tablet replacement. If the rumored 12 inch Note materializes, however, problem solved.

The third option is to move back to laptop computing, which will not happen until I have adequate pain management for my back. I hope the 12 inch Note rumor is real, I would give up World of Warcraft for a chance to replace desktop, laptop, and 7 inch tablet for a unified solution. With the Chromecast slowly starting to show its muscle, a possible screen mirroring function from a Samsung Note 12 inch tablet would add to media consumption, and possibly productivity, plus reduce the need for a large computer monitor.

My only misgivings are processor power and screen size, even at 12 inches. If I have to go for 10 inches, the current laptop will be in my future, and the current one I have has also been a royal pain, so in 2014 I really hope to be tablet centric at last, finally getting rid of my hellish PC experience. To say that PCs are temperamental is an understatement, and now that I can finally remove them in favor of a lightweight, future proof experience, I will certainly do so.