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David Smedberg

Anyone use a tablet?

7 posts in this topic

So, I just unpacked my new toy. It's an old model (a Graphire3, to be precise), but that's means it came cheap, which was my first priority.

Anyone got tips for using a tablet, especially with Photoshop? I'm planning on using it for all the things I would ordinarily use a mouse for, just so I can get used to it . . . it's awkward, but at the same time it also makes me more conscious of what I'm doing, and it's not THAT hard to use, especially after I installed the software.

The software may be good, but the Wacom website and documentation haven't impressed. They basically seem like a bunch of hints recycled from the Photoshop FAQ, slapped together with little regard for order or coherency.

In particular, have you got any hints for the best way to arrange/manage one's tablet and keyboard? It's frustrating to have to put down the pen every time I have to type, especially since I have a propensity for misplacing things!

(For those who don't really know what I'm talking about, a tablet is an input device which uses a pen ("stylus") rather than a mouse to manipulate the cursor on your computer. For example, my model looks like this.)

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I don't, and never have, and am a designer. It's not that I wouldn't want to play around with one, I just haven't had the chance (or even the need, really, until this year anyway).

However there is a discussion among designers at this link about Wacom tablets. They all seem to like them.

Edited by Chashab

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I'm hesitant to raise this here, if only because I'm still so behind the curve I don't know that I'll be able to engage specific points raised by others, but I'm seriously looking into using some end-of-year bonus money on a tablet.

 

My wife has a Samsung Galaxy Tab, the 7-inch model. She purchased it just in the past year, and she uses it mainly as a way to process orders (using a Square) at arts and craft shows where she exhibits. Between shows, she uses it to check email.

 

I thought I'd use it for my own streaming/surfing/whatever when she wasn't using the tablet, but that hasn't panned out.

 

What I need is a device that, mainly, allows me to explore online magazines. This has become increasingly important in my job, but it's something that remains on the periphery of things and won't get to the next level until I dedicate more time to magazine apps. My department does have an iPad, but it stays with other people in the department and isn't as easily accessible when I might need it. So, although I wish my employer would purchase a dedicated tablet for my use -- and/or a smartphone (I have a dumbphone) -- I've decided to buy a tablet for myself. I'll use it for movie streaming (or so I tell myself; I don't think this is a big assumption, given how many online screeners I've started to receive) as well as magazine apps.

 

I'm partial to my Nook ereader for book reading; I like eInk technology, which tablets don't have (to my knowledge). Reading on a tablet is like reading on my laptop: OK for stuff I get into and out of, but wearying for dedicated (book) reading. Magazine articles fall somewhere in between, but there's simply no way to have a full-color, full magazine app experience on my black-and-white ereader. I need a tablet.

 

Since I'm a Nookie, I've been looking seriously at the Samsung Galaxy Nook. Rather than the 7-inch -- the same model my wife has, minus the Nook app that's unique to the Nook Samsung Galaxy units -- I have my eye on the 10.1. The display size looks much more pleasing to me as a magazine-reading / movie-streaming device. The downside? From what I've read, the screen's HD quality pales in relation not only to the now-discontinued Nook HD, but to many other comparable-size tablets -- and even to the smaller Samsung Galaxy, where resolution is improved but screen size is diminshed. I've seen user comment wars, where someone says the display is beautiful, someone else chimes in about how much better it should be, the first person responds that he/she can't tell a difference between the Galaxy Nook and some comparable device, and the second person says, "You must have terrible eyesight," etc.

 

This concerns me, but I'm not sure it worries me. In the past several months, I've begun to enjoy online streams, as long as they're HD. Those streams look gorgeous on my laptop, and I'm pretty sure they'd look at least as good on the Samsung Nook. But might they look even better on another tablet? And would my eyes be able to tell the difference?

 

I suppose this same issue would affect my magazine-reading experience, although I haven't investigated online discussions of the best magazine experiences across various tablets. 

 

Today, I grabbed a copy of the Consumer Reports Buyers Guide for 2015, looked up "Tablets," and saw the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 listed squarely in the middle of the rated tablets at that screen size, with a check mark indicating it's a Best Buy. That dovetails with some of the user comments I've seen, especially those comparing this unit's retail price ($350, although B&N has it at $280) against the iPad's $500. I love Apple products but am reluctant to get an iPad, even though most of our mobile traffic at work comes from iOS devices! I confess to being partial to the Nook app, which works differently on the Nook-branded tablets than it does when downloaded to non-Nook devices. But I may be attached to Nook for all the wrong reasons. I'm aware that Nook is on the ropes and may not have a long life. Still, I figure the tablet would need an upgrade anyway by the time Nook goes away (if, indeed, it does go away).

 

So ... anyone want to lobby for or against a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (Nook-branded or not)? 

Edited by Christian

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If you are set on a Galaxy Tab 4, someone else will have to provide the reviews.

 

I have been using an iPad since 2010 and am on my second now (went from the original to an iPad 4, which is now on iOS 8.xx). iOS 8 includes a "Newsstand" app where magazines & newspaper subscriptions are automatically downloaded (e.g., my online subscription to Books & Culture). Have you tried that? Nook app also available, of course. The iPad Air 2 is more expensive than the Galaxy Tab, no doubt, though there are some discounts to be had if you look.

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Thanks, Beth. I've used the App Store, and the iPad, at work, but not for personal use, no. 

 

Interesting that you read B&C via app. Those are longer pieces. Do you ever long for the print edition? If not, how long did it take you to adjust and not miss the print version?

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Christian, I have a B&C print subscription as well, which includes the online version. Thus the app edition is just a convenience and I don't have to miss the print version.

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Ah. That's something I'm looking forward to with my subscriptions to The Week and The New Yorker, both of which, I think, are free via the app as long as you have a print subscription.

 

Also, the New Yorker app is among the $200 in material that comes with a Tab Nook purchase from B&N. I'm wondering if that will extend my current subscription, if only in digital form, once my print edition subscription ceases.

 

I had meant to ask about that today at a bricks-and-mortar B&N but ended up bombarding a very kind salesperson about image quality of the Tab Nook 10.1 instead. My requests to see an HD stream on the device at the store were thwarted because the in-store Wi-Fi is lousy (this has always been the case when using the Wi-Fi on Nook ereaders at B&N stores in the past), and the salesperson said -- appropriately, I believe -- that the streaming quality on the device would be much more affected by that than it would be by any pixels-per-inch distinction. 

 

I didn't argue, but now wonder how/where I'll be able to test a Tab Nook 10.1 if not at a bricks-and-mortar B&N.

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