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One thing a Windows tablet/slate MUST have IMHO

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  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    Even though there have been Windows tablets/slates/convertables for many years, I really hope that the the new versions should not lose pen input. I just won't buy a tablet that can't run applications like OneNote. Yes it is great that you can use your finger to do finger paintings, but if you have used OneNote for any amount of time then you realize how inportant pen input is.

    The reason I thought of this is because was just going through many years of notes I have taken on OneNote, mostly technical drawings related to visualizing 3D collision detection algorithms etc. There is nothing like having the ability to have "endless paper" that allows you to make detailed drawings. In past of course, I used physical pen/paper, but using OneNote for this is dramatically better. I really hope MS doesn't cave and eventually release a tablet OS that is so dumbed down that it loses pen input. That will be a sad day. Multi-touch and pen input.

    This is an area that MS can have an advantage over iPad. The iPad completely excludes these types of applications.

    I still believe the best solution would be a new framework based on Silverlight/XNA that can run as either the main UI on lower powered devices (a la WP7), and also as a full-screen app (like WMC does) on more powerful devices on top of Win 7. It should also have a unified app store where developers can target any combination of WP7 and this tablet UI. We know the development tools can already do this (single app targetting WP7/Xbox/PC).

  • User profile image
    intelman

    All of them must have great viewing angles. Apple is a fan of IPS screens, I see no reason other OEMs shouldn't follow suit. My tm2 gets kind of annoying if I have to move it or my head to read text clearly because of its poor viewing angle TN screen.

    I think most "professional series" tablets already have IPS screens. High end Lenovos and HPs do for sure.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , intelman wrote

    All of them must have great viewing angles. Apple is a fan of IPS screens, I see no reason other OEMs shouldn't follow suit. My tm2 gets kind of annoying if I have to move it or my head to read text clearly because of its poor viewing angle TN screen.

    I think most "professional series" tablets already have IPS screens. High end Lenovos and HPs do for sure.

    IPS screens also have great colour fidelity too. Only problem is with fast-moving video, you ocassionally get artifacts, and the response times aren't as good as TN panels.

    But as you know, mass-market (i.e. sub $1000) products are competing on price, and anything that lowers costs will be exploited by the OEMs. Using a TN panel instead of an IPS or *VA panel won't change anything about the tech-spec sheets customers read, and at most might have a sentance devoted to it in a review column no-one reads.

  • User profile image
    USArcher

    , BitFlipper wrote

    I really hope MS doesn't cave and eventually release a tablet OS that is so dumbed down that it loses pen input. That will be a sad day. Multi-touch and pen input.

    Why would they "drop" pen input, it offers them one of the few areas to differentiate.  The OS will no doubt see a UI refresh with Windows 8.  But Microsoft really could use something dramatic...something that makes it easy and inexpensive for their hardware partners to incorporate pen input.  The capacitive styluses out on the market today are crap.  Perhaps there is another way to do it.  Check with Microsoft Research first if they haven't already been working on that.  And if it takes a couple of acquistions..do it.

  • User profile image
    Lord Zarquon

    I completely agree. Microsoft, or probably moreover Ballmer, needs to realise that Windows just isn't going to cut it for all purposes. I think Windows 8 slates will end up being really good, but only for larger screened devices. I'd personally prefer something around the 7 inch mark for predominantly using OneNote, and I find it very difficult to believe there's anything they can do to make something like that work. Even on a 10 inch screen you end up having either high resolution with really tiny buttons, or lower resolution with toolbars taking up too much screen real estate.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @BitFlipper: I also couldn't agree more. For note taking and sketching a pen is essential!

    I think the iPad is an excellent device to stream media, but for real work (note taking in my case) I don't see how it could be of great help.

    Also, I agree with you that for note taking only purposes a small low power device might be better than one with a full blown OS (lighter, smaller, fan-less, requiring less power).

  • User profile image
    Bass

    You can buy many brands of stylus that work with the iPad.

    I actually was provided a convertable tablet (it's broken now - f**k laptops) where I lost the stylus approx 3 weeks after getting it. I used it for another year without even bothering to replace it.

    The whole pen thing really seemed like a gimmick. I can type faster then I can write by hand, and FAR more accurately too. Even for math, I don't see the point with stuff like LaTeX or Microsoft's Equation Editor around.

     

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @Bass:It would really depend on your usage. I often use my stylus to sketch out diagrams. I can see it being a lot easier when I am using an existing diagram, or other image to be able to move and rotate the image with finger input, and draw with the stylus. It's a much more natural process then always having to toggle between fingers drawing and fingers moving.

  • User profile image
    USArcher

    @Bass:  In settings where I need to focus on the discussion, I find using a pen far more comfortable and efficient.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    , USArcher wrote

    @Bass:  In settings where I need to focus on the discussion, I find using a pen far more comfortable and efficient.

    That's what whiteboards are for.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    , Bass wrote

    You can buy many brands of stylus that work with the iPad.

    I actually was provided a convertable tablet (it's broken now - f**k laptops) where I lost the stylus approx 3 weeks after getting it. I used it for another year without even bothering to replace it.

    The whole pen thing really seemed like a gimmick. I can type faster then I can write by hand, and FAR more accurately too. Even for math, I don't see the point with stuff like LaTeX or Microsoft's Equation Editor around.

    Adding 3rd party pen support as an afterthought isn't the same as having it integrated into the OS so that all app developers can make use of a consistent pen-input API. Which apps were specifically written for the iPad to work with the 3rd party pen? Most likely the pen is meant to replace your finger in apps that were originally meant to be used with your finger. Just ain't the same thing. And does it properly discard unwanted input from your hand as it rests on the screen while using the pen?

    I've had my convertible tablet almost 4 years now. It still works flawlessly (esp now with Windows 7), and I have a huge collection of OneNote documents. This is a killer app for me and apparently for many other people too. If you are not someone that makes alot of drawings (or prefers taking notes with a pen), then fine, you might not find it useful and finger-painting might be all you need. And it has nothing to do whether you can type faster than you can write with a stylus. That is just missing the point altogether.

    Just to make my point that for me this is a killer app, here are some of the drawings I have on OneNote:

    • Prototypes of UI layouts for a music application I wrote a long time ago.
    • Pseudo code for algorithms for the above application.
    • Visualizing various ideas for implementing a height-map into my 3D engine I'm working on (how edge triangles will morph with edge triangles from different parts of the height map during LOD transitions).
    • Visualizing both 2D and 3D collision algorithms.
    • Block diagrams of how to design the framework of my 3D engine.
    • Making sense of specific problematic edge cases during collision detection where I can draw the rough triangles based on coordinates so that I can visualize why the collision test is failing.
    • Electronic circuit diagrams when I modified my Kill-O-Watt meter to use a current probe so that I can measure 240V appliances (HVAC, hot tub).
    • Designs for a home recording studio I built. Both the vocal booth, as well as the wiring layout.
    • Designs for a dumbbell stand.
    • Designs for a platform bed my wife and I built.
    • Designs for a gazebo my wife and I built.
    • And many more.

    None of these would be possible unless I used a real stylus.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Or a pen and paper.

    I know, that would work too well. Smiley

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    , Bass wrote

    Or a pen and paper.

    I know, that would work too well. Smiley

    Why do you need an iPhone when you can just use two cans and a string...?

  • User profile image
    Bass

    , BitFlipper wrote

    *snip*

    Why do you need an iPhone when you can just use two cans and a string...?

     

    Please leave the iPhone and WP7 comparisons out of this thread man. Smiley

    But seriously, there is a reason why iPhone and iPad was designed without a stylus in mind. Because it's a gimmick.

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    @Bass:

    Yes, and the reasons are that it isn't supposed to support pen scenarios since they are dumbed down devices. Just because iPhone or iPad doesn't support a stylus, doesn't mean it isn't useful functionality for a lot of people.

    Apple also told us that video on portable devices was a gimmick. Then they added it and suddenly it was a must-have feature. Apple also told us that a subscription music service was a gimmick (people need to "own" their music). Now we hear they are in the process of implementing a subscription service. Are some people really so easy to control that whatever Apple says on any particular day is what we all do or so not need? Fascinating!

  • User profile image
    Bass

    I know! Lets do a feature comparison:

    Cost:
    Paper and pencil :  50 cents
    Tablet : $500-2000

    Battery life:
    Paper and pencil : One bajillion years
    Tablet : ~3-5 hours

    Boot time:
    Paper and pencil : Instant
    Tablet : ~30-90 seconds

    Accuracy:
    Paper and pencil : Basically perfect
    Tablet : Depends on type of touch screen, generally poor

    Can be used as toilet paper
    Paper and pencil : Yes
    Tablet : No


    Looks like pen and pencil wins. Sad

  • User profile image
    BitFlipper

    @Bass:

    Your response is so off the mark it isn't worth replying to. I would like to ask you a question though...

    Apple didn't add stylus support to iPad. Yet apparently there is a market for this. Why is that?

    iPad Stylus

    iPad Stylus

    iPad Stylus

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Clearly some people (as witnessed here) haven't discovered that paper and pencil is still a superior technological solution. Smiley

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