“Tablets aren’t mobile… they’re immobilizing.”
That’s a random quote from a Tomi Ahonen blog post that I’ve come to agree with. Because the vast majority of tablets out there connect via WiFi they lock you down to a specific place, be it a coffee shop or whatever. So despite being extremely portable I wouldn’t really call tablets mobile, and thus don’t write about them very much.
I do have some tablet-related news to share, though—a few small stories rather than one big one. So today I’m going to dump them here.
Pixel C is a Dud
In their latest episode the hosts of the XDA/Android Podcast confirm what I’ve been reading about Google’s new Pixel C tablet/laptop hybrid: nobody likes it. While the hardware is almost universally praised—the inductive-charging keyboard is a particularly brilliant idea—everyone was expecting this thing to run Chrome OS, or at least a more customized version of Android.
Even this Nexus fanboy is ready to concede that the Android tablet experience lags behind the competition. According to XDA/Android you should get an iPad for multi-window support, or a Microsoft Surface if you want the best laptop/tablet hybrid experience. That sounds about right.
Speaking of the iPad…
iPad Data Roaming
Mobile Syrup reports this week that the Roam Mobility folks have a new venture called Always On Wireless, which uses Apple’s SIM card for data roaming in 45 countries. The catch? They charge by the hour, and you’ll pay up to $3.99 USD for a virtually unusable 15 MB of data.
I can appreciate that SIM-enabled tablets would be convenient for users on a data-sharing plan, but in my opinion tablets with SIM cards are a horrible idea for travel. A lot of stories I read about surprise roaming bills from trips abroad involve iPads. Speaking of travel…
The Greatest Android Tablet Of All Time?
I can’t resist giving my favourite tablet some more love. For me, the best Android tablet sold thus far (way to set the bar low) is the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS. Why? First, it hit that elusive target of being cheap and good. But perhaps more importantly, it’s 7 inch screen size is small enough that a blown-up phone UI suits it just fine.
I’ve a pair of Nexus 7s for the girlfriend and I, and they’re perfect for one travel-related task: using the Internet when our phones are charging.
Maybe that’s damning tablets with faint praise, but I myself don’t have much use for them beyond that. Tell me if I’m wrong…