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#21 of 110 Parker Clack

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Posted December 26 2010 - 01:40 PM

In the end it doesn't matter if one size is "better" than the other if one out sells the other one. Its the old Beta vs VHS all over again and it will all depend on what people end buying.


The other factor is going to be the cost too. If you can get one version over the other at a lower cost for the same basic feature set that will be your winner.


For personal use I see the smaller sized Galaxy winning out with it being easier to take with you somewhere. For business I see the larger format of the Apple winning out and even replacing in many cases the laptop as the main computer to use while out on the road.



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#22 of 110 Hanson

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Posted December 28 2010 - 01:40 AM



Originally Posted by Ken Chan 

The 4:3 ratio is better for usage in both portrait and landscape. With 4:3, 10" is the minimum to get a "full-size" on-screen keyboard. People can do touch-typing on that keyboard.


"People" can touch type on an iPad?  How many?  I'm going go out on a limb and say it's probably <1%.  So this isn't really much of a feature since it's not accessible to nearly everyone.  I'm guessing more people have rooted the GTab than can touch type on an iPad, even with the disparity in install base.


I would also counter that the ability to thumb type in portrait orientation and the availability of Swype is, for most users, a much faster method of text input.

And I can't see how 4:3 is better for watching widescreen video.  It simply isn't.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Chan 

Steve has also said -- apparently not clearly enough -- that the 10" size is also the minimum for "tablet UI". You combine the hardware and software factors, and the iPad is 10" because it has to be.



That still sounds like "Steve" is saying that 7" is too small for a tablet.  Which, of course, is total BS.  When you combine the hardware and software factors, and the iPad is 10" because Steve Jobs said so.  Unless it's Jobs' contention that a tablet must be a laptop replacement, there is simply no reason a tablet has to be a minimum of 10" (or 9.7").  But even if being a laptop replacement was that goal, there is simply no substitute for a keyboard and mouse for many programs.  


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Chan 

That is the sweet spot, perhaps until we get Star-Trek-reliable voice command.


While the promise of voice command a la Star Trek is still a work in progress, the Galaxy Tab is basically a PADD:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


So if you're looking for Star Trek, there you go.



#23 of 110 Parker Clack

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Posted December 28 2010 - 03:45 AM

Hanson:


That would be a cool GUI for the Galaxy along with a Majel Barrett voice command.



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#24 of 110 Ken Chan

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Posted December 28 2010 - 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

"People" can touch type on an iPad?  How many?  I'm going go out on a limb and say it's probably <1%.


I don't know how many, and apparently neither do you. My point is that they can, based on the size of adult human hands, and that I've read about and seen people do it.



And I can't see how 4:3 is better for watching widescreen video.  It simply isn't.


Good, because that's not what I said either. For widescreen video, 16:9-ish has fewer "wasted pixels" and the physical factors like the weight that goes with them. But the additional screen height with 4:3 is better for many of the other things the tablet is used for (like typing while in landscape -- the keyboard doesn't obscure as much), especially given the relatively few pixels there are. When you turn the screen portrait, those sometimes wasted pixels are even more welcome.



 Unless it's Jobs' contention that a tablet must be a laptop replacement, there is simply no reason a tablet has to be a minimum of 10"


According to his "car vs. truck" analogy, the intention/vision is that tablets will replace not just laptops, but also desktops, for a clear majority of people. It will be their only computer.



the Galaxy Tab is basically a PADD


Funny that the screen in portrait looks closer to 3:4. I guess they (a) don't watch movies on it; (b) gone back to Academy ratio; or © use AirPlay.



#25 of 110 Hanson

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Posted December 28 2010 - 12:58 PM

My point was that only a fraction of iPad users can touch type on it, so it's not really important that the size of the screen allows for this.  Even with a physical keyboard, most people can't touch type anyway.


And not only is there less wasted space watching a movie on the Galaxy Tab, it's at a higher pixel density and you can hold it up to your face giving you a larger perceived screen size.  And if you really want to have less of the screen obscured by the keyboard, the GTab in portrait mode gives you the most uncluttered amount of screen.  That's why it's so great for remote desktop.


And until Jobs gets rid of that kludgey bloatware called iTunes, you can never replace your pc or desktop with a tablet.  For instance, what are you going to sync it with?  On the basis of desktop autonomy, the Android line beats the Apple line hands down.  I've only connected to my desktop by wire once because I was copying a large amount of files the first time I set it up.  Since then, I've moved my files wirelessly to my GTab from multiple computers.


It's all well and good that Apple wants the iPad to replace pc's, but they're not going to do this with what they have.


#26 of 110 DaveF

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Posted December 28 2010 - 01:00 PM

By definition, no one can "touch type" on a featureless tablet :) There's no distinguishing physical features to enable "touch" typing on a sheet of glass without watching your fingers.


But people can two-handed type on an iPad. Journalist Andy Ihnatko demonstrated his ability to do 30-50 wpm on a Fox network tech show a earlier this year. While sluggish for a skilled keyboardist, it's quite usable for a mobile device.




As I read Hanson's in-use commentary of the GTab (to use his useful label), I see a usage pattern *very* different from how I use a mobile device: as an urban commuter on public transit. I'm persuaded by his argument that such a use-case is well served by a small tablet (or giant phone), so it can be easily held and manipulated even one-handed; even carried in the oversized pocketed clothing favored by some or perhaps a women's handbag.


But I also see that my use -- and suburbanites of my ilk -- will be better served by a 10"+ tablet. I'll use it on the couch or in bed, at home. Or on the go, on a plane; at Panera's; or the Bagel Bin, for a Toastmasters business meeting. And driving to work and on errands, even if I wore cargo pants (which I don't) I'm not going to stick even a 7" tablet in pants pockets. It's going in my satchel, regardless of size, so might as well be a 10" screen. And having played with the iPad, even 10" feels on the edge of cramped. A screen half that seems much too small for a "large" device.

My usage isn't better than Hanson's. It's different. It may be found there is a real need for a small tablet to serve that sort of public-transit user (or however it works out). I believe that Jobs was sincere in that Apple's research found that a 10" tablet was the all-around best size for most users. But gazing ahead 24 months, as tablets become the normal household computer, I can see a greater range of tablets emerging perhaps from 7" to 15". I can imagine an "iTouch" line emerging: 3" and 5" phones, and  7", 10" and 13" tablets.


We're at the beginning. Tablets are new. As tablets become commonplace -- the iPad is a watershed, the third major Apple revolution in computing, after the original Apple and then the Mac -- the uses, and usage environments, will increase and demand a variety of form factors.


We have one true tablet: the 10" iPad. We have a one Android tablet worth speaking of, which is really a jumbo Android phone, the 7" Galaxy Tab. Next year, we'll have true Android Tablets with the actual Android Tablet OS from Google.


It's probably pointless arguing over which size is "better". That's like arguing which size notebook is best. It depends on what you need it for. :)



#27 of 110 Hanson

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Posted December 29 2010 - 05:43 AM

The one thing Apple isn't doing that is kind of surprising to me is developing predictive text entry for the iPad and iPhone.  The reality is that keyboards on portable devices will become obsolete as capacitive touch screens become the norm.  Even if you had the preternatural muscle memory and wherewithal to two hand type on the iPad, very good predictive text software, like Swiftkey, can blow away conventional typing since you only need to press one or two characters before the word you're looking for pops up.  It's actually quite eerie when the exact word you're looking for just pops up without even pressing a key at all -- it's like it's reading your mind.



#28 of 110 DaveF

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Posted December 29 2010 - 06:38 AM

The irony of Apple is that they're both far ahead of everyone in terms of next-gen designs, but also quite conservative in using new technologies. I don't know much about predictive text entry, and could only speculate they're waiting for others to make it a mature technology before they integrate it into their devices.



#29 of 110 Hanson

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Posted December 29 2010 - 08:22 AM

I was using Swype for a time, but it got a bit tedious and I would miss letters and have to correct myself too many times for my tastes. So I read about SwiftKey and took a stab at it. The text prediction is pretty badass, and it let's you type non-standard words all day long instead of picking strange guesses. The text prediction isn't merely a guess based on spelling -- it uses an algorithm that figures out what word would come next based on syntax, so some words just pop up without any letter presses. Oh, and the keyboard itself is a very responsive multi-touch keyboard that works great on its own. But yeah, the predictive text has to be seen to be believed.

#30 of 110 Parker Clack

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Posted December 30 2010 - 01:00 AM

I was using SwiftKey for awhile but with the latest build for software I having been playing around with Swype (the full version for Android vs the Beta) and really like it. Vlingo has its own too.


The verdict is still out on them for me on which one I like the best but I have sold a lot of members on the swipe keyboards and they all agree that they definitely blow away typing in one letter at a time. And you are right in the predictive text in that it is really eerie that it can predict what you are going to say before you type it.


If I had the funds I would definitely be getting a Galaxy Tab.




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reason the RNC."
 


#31 of 110 Hanson

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Posted December 30 2010 - 01:24 AM

I tried Swype on the Evo, but it felt really laggy.  Swype on the Galaxy Tab doesn't work for me because there's just too much screen to Swype around, and it gets really tiring.  I would miss letters all the time and had to retry, which made it even more fatiguing and slow.  And the predictive text, compared to SwitftKey, is rather "dumb" -- some of the word suggestions that popped up were even words I knew.  Plus, any non-dictionary words required typing in a letter at a time, but if you typed too fast, it assumed you were Swyping and suggested all sorts of crazy stuff.  So I had to struggle with three different input styles, and in the end it just didn't work out for me.


BTW, Swiftkey on Evo is very good and I'll probably keep using it.  But on the Galaxy Tab, with its roomy screen, SwiftKey is absolutely marvelous -- you could type as fast with SwiftKey on the Galaxy Tab as you could on a Blackberry.  I can thumb type as fast as I can and rarely make typos.



#32 of 110 Hanson

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Posted January 03 2011 - 06:34 AM


I played around with my friend's iPad this weekend and discovered some things I liked (Flipboard) and some things that were simply ridiculous (way too few icons on each screen).  And while I can see the operational advantages to the larger screen, I am deathly afraid of leaving things like umbrellas and bags on the train as it is, so hand carrying a folio with me on a daily basis just seems like a recipe for disaster.     But what really struck me when using both is that the iPad and the Galaxy Tab are, at their hearts, media consumption devices.  Can you be productive on them?  Kinda sorta.  Are they more productive than a desktop or laptop?  No, not at all.  And the biggest problem is the finger.  The finger is simply too coarse of an input device to be productive.   I came across this realization after downloading the SketchBook Pro app.  You can do a lot of very cool artistic stuff with it, but its biggest problem is that the fingertip is too fat and inaccurate to draw what you want.  In fact, I just ordered a capacitive stylus for this purpose -- the $1 app led to a $13 hardware purchase.  And while I was using my Pocket Cloud remote desktop software, it dawned on me that a virtual mouse pointer would be a very handy and productive input option native to the UI, but the Apple aesthetic won't allow this to happen.  Unfotunately, other hardware manufacturers follow Apple's design choices blindly without even taking their practicality into consideration, preferring style over substance many times (hence the demise of the useful but long dead Android trackball).   It is now clear that my Evo is a communication device that tries to be a media device, and functions that are screen dependant are simply hobbled by the 4.3" size.  Music?  No problem.  Podcasts?  Work great.  But movies and TV shows at that size are more utilitarian than anything else.  The Evo screen at 15" is the same viewing angle as a 34" HDTV at 10' while the Galaxy Tab at 15" has the same viewing angle as a 55" HDTV at 10'.  Now, due to pixel densities and maximum vertical resolution, it can't be called "high definition", but compared to the Evo, it's like night and day (since the Evo and Galaxy Tab aren't 16:9 screens, I used screen width in the calculator rather than the diagonal measure).  Going back to Remote Desktop on the Evo is torture.  Keep in mind that the Galaxy Tab is not only 2.6 times larger than the Evo, but there are 60% more pixels on the screen.  So Remote Desktop is a much better experience because I can see more and it's easier to see.  This advantage also applies to web browsing as well, although there's something to be said for having a device small enough to use completely one-handed.  So web browsing is a wash for me.   So I guess Dave's next question at this point is, "then why are you stopping at 7 inches?"   That's what she said.   Again, it's a portability and ease of use issue.  Thumb typing on the Galaxy Tab is fantastic.  Thumb typing on the iPad is awkward.  Not only is the screen just a bit too big to comfortably get around with thumbs, but holding the ~2.5lbs (device plus folio) by the base with your thumbs is fatiguing.  Holding the Galaxy Tab 15" form your face for the length of a movie is doable.  The same cannot be said for the iPad.  And I can use the Galaxy Tab for shooting pics and vids if I don't feel like running to get the Evo, but the size of the Evo is definitely an advantage, although you do get a greater sense of how the picture looks with the Galaxy Tab.  There have been more than a few times when I posted a picture from the Evo to Facebook only to notice unflattering details popping out that were missed on the phone display.  But when the iPad 2 comes with a rear camera, will anyone want to use it much if at all?   And for me, the iPad is completely smoked in the video department, specifically, in the video playback department.  The Galaxy Tab can natively play back almost any video format thrown at it in a multitude of resolutions.  avi, mkv, and mp4 files all play back flawlessly on the Galaxy Tab (I can actually stream mp4 files off of my PC via SMB share).  VLC can play back avi files on the iPad, but there are stutters and pauses, and HD resolutions are not supported.  We weren't able to have real side by side comparisons of video output since I had 720p mkv files on my Galaxy Tab and the avi files on the iPad were all 640 X 352.  In addition, my files had AC3 audio, which could take advantage of the SRS 5.1 Mobile audio built into the Galaxy Tab whereas the avi files on the iPad were in two channel stereo.   I was also dismayed that prices for iPad apps were three to five times higher across the board than their iPhone versions.  There is no such tiered pricing for the Galaxy Tab, and many of the apps are still free either way.   Remote Desktop on the iPad was much better than I had anticiapted.  You were able to get full screen plus keyboard with zero overlap.  But I found that the virtual mouse was easier to control with my thumb than my forefinger.  But maybe that's just preference based on repetition.   My wife's new joke is that I should stick my photo on the back of the Galaxy Tab so she can actually see my face when she talks to me.  Come to think of it, it's not so much a joke as it is a complaint.  I guess that's one advantage of the iPad -- it doesn't obscure your face when you use it.

#33 of 110 Sam Posten

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Posted January 03 2011 - 08:05 AM

I got to play with a Tab for a bit this weekend (and some other unannounced things too, shhhh!) and I can say that the Tab plays a damn fine game of Angry Birds.  Other than that, meh, I don't see it being a terrible contender agains the iPad but if they can get the price down that might change.


Pocketability?  CRAZY TALK!  =)


I do have to admit that the heavy duty clamshell cover my friend had it in was pretty solid.  Liked that a lot.


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#34 of 110 Hanson

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Posted January 03 2011 - 08:30 AM

It's in my coat pocket as we speak.  And I can jam in into my front jeans pocket all the way in (that's what she said).  It's not even peeking out -- it's all the way in there (that's what she said).


The other day I was showing someone that it fit into my jeans pocket when I got a support call and totally forgot it was there.  I walked from my office to the user's desk and even sat down before it dawned on me that it was in my pants (that's what she said).


If I had chinos, it would have been even less noticeable.  Except maybe for the bulge.



#35 of 110 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted January 03 2011 - 10:05 AM

Hanson,


Sounds like your company must allow you to dress *WAAAAY* down for those "jeans pockets" to fit a Galaxy Tab so easily and comfortably -- sounds more like gym sweats or something to me. Posted Image Posted Image  And here I thought my company was pretty relaxed about "business casual dress" for work -- officially, we're not really supposed to wear jeans, etc., but in actual practice, plenty of non-client-facing folks (at least from the ex-Thomson side of the merger) come in jeans, etc. anyhow, including myself. Posted Image


Anyway, looking forward to seeing a 4G/LTE Honeycomb tablet later this year perhaps...


_Man_


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#36 of 110 Hanson

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Posted January 03 2011 - 10:59 AM

When I first started, it was suit and tie every day. But I found myself crawling under desks and whatnot, so I moved to jeans and no one said anything, so jeans it is.

#37 of 110 Sam Posten

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Posted January 05 2011 - 04:47 AM

Ars review:

http://arstechnica.c...et-success.ars/


They note concern that it's a definite possibility you will never be able to upgrade to Honecomb...


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#38 of 110 Hanson

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Posted January 05 2011 - 06:06 AM

From what I gather, Honeycomb will be a dual flavored experience -- a mobile version for phones and a tablet version that includes tablet specific functions. One of the spec sets being bandied about for tablets is dual core and a 10" screen with 1280 X 720 resolution, all of which are out of reach of the SGT.  Some of the differences will probably revolve around the buttons that Android uses -- they will probably need to be hard or capacitive on phones but on screen only on tabs.  And the tablets will probably have multi-paned interfaces that the phones lack.

Personally, I think that the SGT may be too small to take advantage of the features that can be used on 10" + tablets.  Furthermore, the 7" size is such that no real interface changes are even necessary.  I don't ever play around with my SGT and think, "this is much better on my phone".  In fact, it's quite the opposite -- the froyo UI is actually better on the larger screen.  What will probably happen is that 7" tablets will really just be oversized phones while the true tablets will start at 10".  But I can totally see myself walking around with a 7" mobile device and a camera phone and ditching my smartphone altogether.  If I'm going to get a larger, homebound tablet, I'd probably go for something even larger, like 12" or maybe even 15".  If I'm not going to carry it on my person, I might as well get it as big as it can go.  But unless Honeycomb is really going to be a game changer, just moving to a larger screen isn't that compelling for me.


The other factor is that I'm am very satisfied with what my SGT offers.  The only real upgrade I'd like is an increase in screen resolution, but that's obviously not happening with a software update.  Frankly, I'm more excited about the next Flash update* than Honeycomb or even the more feasible Gingerbread update.


* GPU acceleration, baby!



#39 of 110 Hanson

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Posted January 05 2011 - 08:57 AM

I wanted to add this but I forgot:


The title of the AT review ("Android hitchhiking its way to tablet success") implies that the SGT is simply riding the coattails of the success of the iPad.


What AT hints at a bit but is completely whiffing on (as, I have stated is the same point missed by so many other reviewers), is that over 1 million consumers have chosen the SGT over the iPad (less, of course, the gearheads who own both).  And this is without carrier interference like the phone market.  And the lack of "off the shelf" style retail sales.  And with the fact that, compared to the wifi only iPad, the SGT is horribly overpriced.  And yet they're selling.


And I firmly believe that the form factor is the reason people are choosing them.  And yet most reviews neglect to focus on this part.  They don't do pocketability tests or note that it very convenient to drop it in a purse.  And I think that's a failure on their part, because they are reviewing the SGT as a smallish iPad and failing to grasp that the size is the whole point of the product.


#40 of 110 Sam Posten

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Posted January 05 2011 - 09:35 AM

Hanson stop refreshing this thread and go up one level for a surprise =)


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