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Hands On With Notion Ink's Pixel-Qi Equipped Adam Tablet 109

Posted by timothy
from the feel-free-to-send-one-this-way dept.
Jax7 writes with this snippet from Technoholik, which dispatched a team with a video camera to get some early footage of the upcoming Android Tablet from Notion Ink, with Android and a Pixel-Qi transflective screen. Also interesting is the back-mounted touchpad. "We flew down to Hyderabad and caught up with the Notion Ink team just before they left for Barcelona to showcase the Android-based tablet tomorrow at the Mobile World Congress. Note that this product was 'one engineering day short' but we aren't complaining since we literally badgered them into giving us this sneak peak. The top panel over the screen was still a bit loose, so they took it off before booting the system."
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Hands On With Notion Ink's Pixel-Qi Equipped Adam Tablet

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  • Nice, but Android? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday February 15, 2010 @05:56AM (#31142282)

    I like Java as much as the next guy, but why would you want to force all your developers into that language?

    Since it's clearly able to run Linux, just provide a standard Ubuntu installation. That'd be much better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LukeWebber (117950)

      Java has the advantage of running in sandbox, and security is serious issue for something as connected and pervasive as a smartphone. I also means that Google only need to provide a single API, hence fast turnaround of new releases.

      And it must be said that coding in Java beats the hell out of writing Objective C on a Mac, which is the only supported environment for the iPhone.

      • Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:06AM (#31142326)

        And it must be said that coding in Java beats the hell out of writing Objective C on a Mac

        Having done both for a great deal of time on each platform, I disagree.

        It's not that much different, and most memory problems you have are the same ones between Java and Objective-C - over-retention. That's not something GC fixes for you.

        • Re:Not really (Score:4, Interesting)

          by renoX (11677) on Monday February 15, 2010 @09:20AM (#31143180)

          >[cut] most memory problems you have are the same ones between Java and Objective-C - over-retention. That's not something GC fixes for you.

          A GC *could* help: there has been some research with GC which cooperates with the kernel's virtual memory manager, the main advantage is that memory referenced but unused can be swapped instead of being kept in memory by the garbage collector, see http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/2391 [lambda-the-ultimate.org]

          Unfortunately this require modification of the kernel's virtual memory manager, so AFAIK the research has never been used :-(

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        But it’s not real Java. It’s some messed-up version from Google. So the whole advantage of running pretty much every cell phone app out there (which are nearly all Java apps) is gone.

        • by AuMatar (183847)

          There's a much wider variety of non-Java apps for cell phones out there than you think- almost all Symbian and Windows Mobile apps are C++. All iphone apps are Objective C. Java has a large number, but less than half.

          And even of those that are in Java, Java on one phone is not the same as Java on another- there's custom APIs involved. Even of those platforms that attempt to implement J2ME there's huge differences. Write once run everywhere is a joke on normal platforms, on cell phones its so broken it

          • You are not quite right here. As Java apps often are not labeled as Java. It’s just expected to work. Since at least 95% of the market can do Java. Even crappy old phones.

            I guess I thought about the global market share of the phones.
            And you thought about the app count of the US market.
            Which of course are completely different things. :)

            Uuum, you don’t need to explain J2ME to me, as I am a J2ME developer and make a living with it. :)
            I”m just saying Java, because it’s obvious that it

            • by AuMatar (183847)

              I was a mobile dev until 3 months ago. I didn't work on the J2ME stuff, but my company did. They would put in hundreds of hours per phone to get it to work- minor breaks in the API ended up snowballing. In the end there were so many manufacturer and phone specific hacks they had to use special tools that extended Java to add in #defines to keep track of it all. It just doesn't work well, because the OEMs don't try very hard.

              And you'd have no problem with sound of a C++ app if you recompile it on a comp

        • by Daengbo (523424)

          Honestly, the number of true "cross-platform" Java apps written out there has to be easily countable. Almost all of them have some platform-specific code or library in there, completely wrecking "write once: run anywhere."

      • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:35AM (#31142426)

        Well -- not so much, really.

        Android doesn't rely on Dalvik doing sandboxing as much as it relies on the OS to handle security constraints; each application gets their own UNIX user and group created, and these are automatically managed to give applications access only to what the user approved for them on install.

        This is why availability of the Android NDK doesn't compromise security.

      • by bkr1_2k (237627)

        Did I miss something? This isn't for a phone. This is for a tablet style PC. Who cares what coding for a phone is like?

      • by jo42 (227475)

        writing Objective C on a Mac, which is the only supported environment for the iPhone

        Don't know much about iPhone OS, do you? Mac OS X and iPhone OS share over 80% of their core source code. Why the frak should Apple bootstrap OS X development under Windows or Linux when they already have a perfectly wonderful OS [apple.com]? All Apple had to do was add iPhone support to Xcode [apple.com]. GCC is used as the compiler, so as long as your UI code is in Objective C, your work code can be in C, C++ or Objective C++ [apple.com].

    • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:32AM (#31142416)

      Android has a NDK [android.com] (Native Development Kit); it's possible to write Android apps for the Market in languages other than Java.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AuMatar (183847)

        Possible, but definitely not recommended- the APIs for anything OS specific except file access are non-existant. You end up with a Java GUI calling C/C++ via JNI, which probably has to call back into Java via JNI again. There may be multiple levels of language switching there, all of which are expensive. And that leaves you an environment pretty difficult to debug.

        In reality the NDK is only really suited for creating a graphical UI to a command line C or C++ program. Anything else and you'll feel less

      • by Tapewolf (1639955)
        AFAIK you can only write subroutines in native code, you have to use Java for the main program and IIRC the user interface. The NDK is intended to be used for number-crunching, or reusing large amounts of existing logic written in C/C++.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's not locked down in any way so you will be able to install standard Ubuntu on it once it supports the Tegra platform.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by EdZ (755139)

      Since it's clearly able to run Linux, just provide a standard Ubuntu installation. That'd be much better.

      The spec page [technoholik.com] lists "Android, Ubuntu, Chromium" under OS. I'm guessing that just means they're leaving it open for you to install whatever you want on it rather than shipping multiple version with different OSes, but I could be wrong.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Good luck getting drivers for Nvidia's proprietary shit on non-x86 archs.
    • by Trepidity (597)

      I'm guessing Java never really made it onto the radar. This is an answer to the iPad+iPhoneOS combo: a different tablet with Android as the OS. It has has some of the same advantages, using a smartphone-style, fairly simple, app-centric OS for a tablet, rather than a normal desktop/laptop OS. Java just comes along for the ride because it's what Android happens to use for its apps. Whether Android should be using Java for its apps or not in the first place is sort of a separate discussion (although Android d

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Daengbo (523424)

        The swivel camera is an amazingly obvious (in hindsight) fix to complaints about front or rear-facing cameras, and (as pointed out in the video) you could position the camera in the middle to record while taking notes.

        I also like the trackpad on the back. I think it would take some getting used to, but once you figured it out, there would be no need to move your hands from front to back all the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by naz404 (1282810)
          Interesting thing I see about rear-touchpad is that your finger won't obscure the display. That's one problem when building apps for touchscreen such as games, because your big clunky fingers will get in the way of seeing stuff like small targets onscreen.
          • One thing I'm wondering about: A "normal" touchscreen needs no cursor (or mouse arrow or whatever you may call it) since you see where you tap.

            A rear-touchpad needs to work much more like a normal touchpad on a notebook: You move around some sprite on the screen and click/tap if it's in the right place.

            How does this work on this tablet and how is it supported by the OS and the apps? I think one important thing with tablets is integration: In the best case you don't have to care at all about such things. You

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Depend what you call "better". Sometimes a full desktop operating system with an interface meant for mouse with several buttons and keyboard could be more complicated for the tasks meant for a simple touchscreen interface? Accessing Android market of apps (some fitting pretty well to the hardware features of it, like camera, gps, or accelerometer) won't hurt neither.

      Why ChromeOS if you plan to use that device more for playing multimedia or reading local books than accessing internet? What if you want it pri
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I don't know exactly why loads of random vendors who would never have touched linux are putting out android devices rather than stock linux devices, or maemo devices, or moblin devices; but I'd say that Google's motives for using more-or-less-java are fairly clear:

      First, of course, they bought Android when it was a startup, founded primarily by ex-Danger guys. They were using java for Android because they had used it for Sidekick, where they had presumably been using it to give themselves some degree of
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Android is fine, no touchscreen but a trackpad in back?? EPIC FAIL. this junk will never sell.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by slim (1652)

        Android is fine, no touchscreen but a trackpad in back?? EPIC FAIL. this junk will never sell.

        It has BOTH. The rear trackpad for when you're holding the device in your hand. Touchscreen for when it's on a desk or your lap.

      • by DrXym (126579)
        It did seem to have a touchscreen since the guy was tapping on things but I couldn't tell if the screen was colour or mono, or switchable between the two. I sort of like the form factor although it's a little too thick. The weird lump looks (well weird) but it would make the device easy to hold while moving around so the device would be quite practical. The biggest question mark is over the OS and what apps it ships with (for bookreading etc.).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Per Wigren (5315)
          The screen is colour, but it "looks" black'n'white when the backlight is turned off, aka "e-reader mode". Probably you'll see some colours without the backlight if you have a very bright light source (the sun). It will come with Android but it's not locked down so you'll be able to run any Linux distribution on it as long as it supports the Tegra 2 platform.

          Personally I want to have one already! *drool*
          • Pixel Qi displays (Score:4, Informative)

            by naz404 (1282810) on Monday February 15, 2010 @11:36AM (#31144464) Homepage
            I've had the pleasure of getting my hands on a One Laptop Per Child XO-1 laptop (which uses a Pixel Qi display).

            I'm relatively sure they were shooting it in color backlit mode in that footage. When you put a Pixel Qi display in sunlight/under bright lights, it'll look like classic black and white LCD even when the backlight is on. When you move it back into the shade/low-light, you'll see the backlit pixels in color again. The nice thing about it is that even if you don't turn off the backlight, it'll still be sunlight readable.

            Even nicer is that if you turn off the backlight, the display will look like those old black & white Nintendo Game & Watch or Gameboy LCDs and it consumes so little power, extending battery life tons.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      Well you don't have to use Java (strictly speaking it's not Java but Dalvik), since Android supports native methods. Your Java app could be a stubs that invoke C/C++ for the most part. I am not sure there is any reason to do this unless you absolutely have timing critical code to execute.

      Most of the time apps are bound by latency of the user, the network, the database or whatever so it really doesn't matter what they're written in so long as they are responsive enough. Java fulfills this role admirably an

      • by hazydave (96747)

        Java is the high-level language, at least assuming you're using the standard SDK. Dalvik is the byte-code/virtual machine model. There may be other ways to generate Dalvik byte-code in the future.

    • by slim (1652)

      I assume Android doesn't insist that your Java bytecode was compiled from Java source.

      So if you're really averse to Java syntax, pick from Jython, jRuby, Groovy, Scala, Clojure etc., or compile to Java bytecode from C, Ada, even Cobol!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jimmy_B (129296)
      You aren't forced to write in Java, you're forced to write for the JVM. There are other languages [wikipedia.org] that target the JVM, including versions of Ruby, Python, LISP, and my personal favorite, Scala. Using the JVM means that Android isn't locked in to using any one particular CPU instruction set (which was what destroyed the original PalmOS), and that all Android programs and libraries are API-compatible with each other without the need for setting up special bindings.
      • by cduffy (652)

        You aren't forced to write in Java, you're forced to write for the JVM

        ...though in this case it's not quite a standard JVM.

        Not all those languages are compatible with Dalvik out-of-the-box, and some of those that do work are known not to work well. (Clojure, for instance, suffers heavily from Dalvik's poor garbage collection performance).

  • by iMac Were (911261) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:05AM (#31142316) Homepage Journal
    Love the touchpad. Like any Apple fanboy, I'm a big fan of reach-arounds.
  • Like the LCD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:10AM (#31142340)

    The LCD does look pretty impressive, it seems like it would totally address all of the concerns of those who claim you can't read books on an LCD. They forget that no LCD is emissive, they are all reflective at heart... it's just a matter of what the light source is.

    I think the form factor seems decent, I like the faux notebook look and I think the bulge up top is to let you get to the trackpad easily when the device is on your lap - though the trackpad on the back seems a little wierd when you already have a touch-screen, it will be interesting to play with that and see how it works in practice.

    The only thing that I saw as a potential downside is the tracking looked kind of slow - when he scribbled rapidly across the screen it lost almost all the input, it was only when they drew much slower that it worked and even then there was a little lag. But hey, they are still working on the software. I wonder what the SDK is like for this device, since it's Android what have they added I wonder?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by xlsior (524145)
      though the trackpad on the back seems a little wierd when you already have a touch-screen

      Except the touchscreen is difficult to use while you're walking around -- a 10" panel is kind of unwieldy to balance in one hand, especially while applying pressure to the touchscreen in varying locations. Overall this looks like a pretty ingenious setup, although I do wonder if the touchscreen on the back is going to be affected by other things than fingers pressing it.

      I'm curious how the monochrome version compa
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Most touchscreens are capacitive these days, so I don't think it will register anything else beside fingers.

        All eleven of them.

        • by joh (27088)

          Most touchscreens are capacitive these days, so I don't think it will register anything else beside fingers.

          All eleven of them.

          It's somewhat curious that the multitouch touchpads on MacBooks indeed support exactly eleven touch points [blogg.se]...

      • by cvd6262 (180823)

        I agree with you. Putting a trackpad on the back - if done properly - could be one of those I-can't-believe-we-didn't-think-of-this-before ideas. I hope to see it on more devices, if it works. Even if it does work, it might not catch on. The old Garmin 12 had thumb controls *above* the screen. Despite its efficiency for one-hand use, that format never caught on.

      • I'm curious how the monochrome version compares to actual eInk displays.

        Pixel Qi screen's are just as readable [youtube.com], except without the terrible refresh rate of eInk. Also, I don't know if you just misspoke, but do you realize that there are not separate "versions", but that the screen is able to be toggled between black-and-white (no backlight) and full color (backlight) with the press of a button?

    • Re:Like the LCD (Score:4, Informative)

      by hitmark (640295) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:55AM (#31142514) Journal

      the one problem i have had with browsing when using a touch screen, is the need for "mouse over" various elements.

      • the one problem i have had with browsing when using a touch screen, is the need for "mouse over" various elements.

        This is where I think a variable pressure touchpad would help.

        • That's a crappy solution and you know it.

          I've commented on this before, but you can NOT use a touchscreen with windowing system features designed for mouse and keyboard, and mouseovers are a good example of this. The effect of a mouseover is to make something happen exactly where you're pointing, so that's a strike against the touch interface even if you do something like variable pressure, double click, or click and hold.

          It might be better to have a dedicated button that turns part of the screen into a fa

          • I am not claiming a touch interface can work exactly like a mouse interface. I just think it makes sense to touch something lightly to get information about it, and more heavily to interact with it.

      • by hakey (1227664)

        the one problem i have had with browsing when using a touch screen, is the need for "mouse over" various elements.

        Watch the video, they put a trackpad on the back so that you can mouse over. Looks like a neat idea, but hard to say if it will catch on or not.

    • Re:Like the LCD (Score:4, Informative)

      by TeknoHog (164938) on Monday February 15, 2010 @07:26AM (#31142630) Homepage Journal

      The LCD does look pretty impressive, it seems like it would totally address all of the concerns of those who claim you can't read books on an LCD. They forget that no LCD is emissive, they are all reflective at heart... it's just a matter of what the light source is.

      Actually, LCDs are transmissive by nature. Put a mirror behind it, and it becomes reflective. This is how digital watches and calculators have worked for ages, though the "mirror" is not a smooth, shiny reflector for practical reasons. Today you can have a transreflective display with both a backlight and a mirror, thanks to improved light transmission through the LCD.

      • by pavon (30274)

        Thanks, I'd always wondered how the OLPC screen managed to be both emit light and be reflective. I learned something new today.

  • ...this is the first touchpad I was ever excited about. And the first device since the N900.

    Let’s see what it costs, and if you can easily format it and install Linux (including working drivers)...

    • I agree. this is the kind of device I want. The sunlight-readable screen and the long battery life are essential. Finally I can read my ebooks on the beach !

      I might prefer Chrome-OS or a Linux tablet edition over Android. We'll see.

      • According to this chart [technoholik.com] (that I've been shamelessly pimping around /.), it will be able to have ChromeOS, or Ubuntu installed on it, although I do not know if Notion Ink plans on this being one of the options in the initial release. Personally, because of the app base, I'd probably choose Android to start with, and then if I was feeling adventurous later, try out ChromeOS. I haven't seen a good touch-friendly gnome or KDE implementation, so I might hold off on Ubuntu until there's an effective touch-UI.
      • by hazydave (96747)

        I agree. There are several things I must have an in eReader, to even bother with one. It needs to work on the beach, and it needs at least an easy day of life of book reading. I also want color and decent resolution on the display, so that magazines and datasheets are at least possible to read. This seems to be the first device that does that, thanks to the Pixel Qi display (been following that one for awhile).

        The nVidia Tegra 2 chipset, though, clearly makes this more than an eReader. They've done a great

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by DeBaas (470886)

      ...this is the first touchpad I was ever excited about. And the first device since the N900.

      So you haven't been exited about a device since September last year.... Hard times

    • Android is Linux. You mean '...and if you can easily switch to another distro.'

  • by jellyfrog (1645619) on Monday February 15, 2010 @06:21AM (#31142374)
    What, with real badgers?
  • Sigh, (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Apple in a way hit spot on, there is no reason to pack the tablet full of features when the form factor hinders utilization of those features, what can you seriously do with a tablet?..
    I know people argued the same about netbooks, mainly because of the smaller displays, but fact remains it's a 'hold while using' concept with input requiring at least one free hand, preferably two. I don't have 4 hands and holding it with one will be quite a strain (tried reading a book while lying on your back).
    Applications;

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by obarthelemy (160321)

      Since that thing has integrated USB ports, you can put it pretty much on any stand you like to keep it propped up while you eat. It will also work with a range of USB and Bluetooth keyboards/mice, making conversion to a netbook easy. The CPU should be quite good, and the screen looks like a winner. I'm a bit worried about price though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        According to Notion Ink, there will be different versions (probably based on 3G capabilities, internal storage like the iPad) ranging from $327 to $800 [gizmodo.com]. I don't really know how they could be making a profit @ $327 with everything they crammed in there, but I'm pretty damn hopeful.
    • I think a lightweight tablet has a lot of potential if it is cheap enough. The $500+ Apple tablet I think costs WAY too much for any but the fanboys who will buy anything Job's touches. If they could get this tablet down to the $200-$300 range I think they could have a winner. I would love to have a little tablet that lets me browse the web, read e-books, store/play music, maybe watch movies, and do other passive media consumption tasks. It is easier and more ergonomic than a laptop when lounging around

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PFI_Optix (936301)

        I work in education IT. An application I'm keen to see in a tablet is the ability to control a desktop computer via a wireless tablet such as this device or the iPad. Especially if the software involved allowed the instructor to enter a mode where they can draw/write on the screen that the students see, allowing them to visually communicate information about applications or web sites they are using.

        Why not just use the tablet via some wireless video technology directly to the projector? Because it would be

      • by phaggood (690955)
        clicking thru to the 'pictures' link in the article, a comparison chart [technoholik.com] between this device and the iPad says it should be somwehere between $327-$800.
      • by joh (27088)

        I think a lightweight tablet has a lot of potential if it is cheap enough. The $500+ Apple tablet I think costs WAY too much for any but the fanboys who will buy anything Job's touches. If they could get this tablet down to the $200-$300 range I think they could have a winner. I would love to have a little tablet that lets me browse the web, read e-books, store/play music, maybe watch movies, and do other passive media consumption tasks.

        As always the question is how much money your time is worth (and if you want to have it metered). If the iPad with its OS and apps require/allow much less tinkering than that tablet with Android and Android apps, $500 may be cheaper than $300.

        I have seen only very few Android apps that are really great and the fact that there is so much hardware and different screen resolutions to be supported by those apps makes me think that for "just use the thing" an iPad isn't that a bad idea.

        I'm not an Apple fanboi bu

        • by Shihar (153932)

          Your "geek mind" might want to feel how it is to use something your mother might use, but unless your mother has a lot spare cash, she probably isn't interested at $500+ and a data plan.

          Like I said, Apple plays in its own market. It has a loyal base of fanboi's and early adopters that will plunk down pretty much any price that Apple names. Those are the only people who are going to buy an iPad. 500+ is just too damn much for what amounts to a passive media consumption tool. It is WAY too much for a casu

          • by joh (27088)

            So only Apple fanbois bought the iPhone (which is more expensive than the iPad)? Surely not. There are more iPhones out there now than Macs.

            I tell you what: Only geeks are interested in what their devices can do. Normal people are interested in what *they* can do with their devices. Price plays a role, yes, but it's not the only thing. People already have computers and smartphones. They will only buy something really new if they can do more with it with less effort.

            The iPad has a home screen with icons for

            • by Shihar (153932)

              I'm not sure exactly who you are arguing against. I never argued that for a tablet to work it needs 40 connectors, an OS you can hack, or anything else geeky. I said it needs one thing, and that is to be cheap. Cheap is not a geeky feature.

              An iPhone is a different beast. An iPhone, even to the most inexpert user, serves a good four or so functions. It is a phone, an mp3 player, a browser, and a games/apps station. It overlaps with a lot of different devices that most utterly normal non-geeky people ha

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quadrox (1174915)

      Obviously you'd have to lay it on a desk or your lap when you for example want to type an email.

      For me the point is not that this sort of device can be used as a handheld device (and ONLY that), but it should work well as a handheld device IN ADDITION to being a proper computer, albeit with lower performance than a big desktop machine.

      That way you have ONE device that you can take with you anywhere, which is always useful AT LEAST as a handheld device.

      • Obviously you'd have to lay it on a desk or your lap when you for example want to type an email.

        For me the point is not that this sort of device can be used as a handheld device (and ONLY that), but it should work well as a handheld device IN ADDITION to being a proper computer, albeit with lower performance than a big desktop machine.

        That way you have ONE device that you can take with you anywhere, which is always useful AT LEAST as a handheld device.

        And with (to my knowledge, the first) dual-core Cortex A9 MPCORE (1GHz), you may actually be getting snappier performance than most netbooks/bargain-laptops. Especially when you consider the 1080p video encode/decode ability.

        • by quadrox (1174915)

          yes indeed. I'm just wating for one of these devices to come out with a proper screen resolution (1024*768 - seriously?) and a proper Desktop-like OS.

          • Personally, I'm not that concerned about the display on the device being higher resolution than that 1024*XXX. That's currently plenty for the far majority of my web browsing, eBook reading, note taking, media playback, and even basic word processing, spreadsheet work, and image editing (with bluetooth mouse/keyboard). If I want to do more serious work I'll probably want the larger screen size (17"+ minimum) along with the higher resolution. It looks like I'll be able to plug the Adam directly into my 24" m
      • by joh (27088)

        For me the point is not that this sort of device can be used as a handheld device (and ONLY that), but it should work well as a handheld device IN ADDITION to being a proper computer, albeit with lower performance than a big desktop machine.

        That way you have ONE device that you can take with you anywhere, which is always useful AT LEAST as a handheld device.

        To be honest, the keyboard-dock for the iPad was the point where my modest disappointment with the iPad (I hadn't expected anything else than a larger iPhone anyway) turned into shy interest. This thing, along with iWork, looks *so* much like an old-fashioned typewriter executed with modern means. It's probably just a dream but I had some flash of finally using a computer just as a tool I have to and want to waste only very limited thoughts on. I very much doubt that we're there yet, but the dream is still

    • I'm usually a fan of Apple's minimalistic design, but the iPad feature set is worthless to me.

      Reading: the main purpose of a device like this, but reflective displays are much nicer than emissive. +1 Notion Ink
      Drawing: these ought to be great for drawing and sketching but iPad can't due to lack of stylus. -1 Apple
      Note taking: again this could be a major use case, but the iPad doesn't support it at all. -1 Apple
      Slide Shows: external monitor support, both will require dongles for some situations, iPad always

  • Hey, friend, swivelling cameras like that have been around on laptops and handhelds for years.

    Eg, Sony TR3A [images-amazon.com].

  • Im being picky here, but the screen is an awkward shape for eBooks. 1024x600 as 10.1" is a rather elongated rectangle, and isn't anywhere near the same ratios as 8.5"x11" paper (22:17 which pdfs emulate). It's not a 16:9 ratio It's a strange 128:75 ratio

    I think this will leave readers of pdfs with a shrunken page so that it will fit into the slimness when the tablet is held vertically, and with a little bit of the next page seen at the bottom of the screen.

    I dont think the screen shape will be good for te

    • by joh (27088)

      Im being picky here, but the screen is an awkward shape for eBooks. 1024x600 as 10.1" is a rather elongated rectangle, and isn't anywhere near the same ratios as 8.5"x11" paper (22:17 which pdfs emulate).

      As much as I like the Pixel Qi displays I have to admire Apple to be bold and go back to the good old 1024x768. I was totally surprised by that but they're right.

      There's another problem with 1024x600: When you turn the thing around the height/width ratio changes so much that you either have to totally re-adjust your UI or have to accept some awkward compromise that somewhat works with both orientations and somewhat sucks in both.

      OK, Android apps have to deal with so many different screen solutions that this

  • I just need to inject some Eve now, and I'll be all set for my trip to Rapture!

  • Somebody needs to learn the meaning of "literally."

    • by timothy (36799) * Works for Slashdot

      They (so they claim) literally badgered the company reps to show them the device. That is, they had to implore / plead / entreat, rather than having it handed to them after a single "Please won't you?"

      I don't like misuses of "literally" (as in "he literally exploded with rage" -- unless he did) but this isn't one.

      timothy

  • The rear trackpad is wonderful. Before the iPad was introduced, I suspected that Apple would use two rear trackpads to allow users to type while gripping the pad, I thought that was what the rumors about a "surprising" input method meant. Whether for cursor movement or the more advanced idea of text entry, using the back of a pad - where our fingers will be most of the time anyway - if such an obviously good idea. When you have a small screen, why obscure it with your hands? I had also hoped that the iP

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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