Tablets vs. PCs

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Tinkerer, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I think one of the biggest advantages of using a tablet vs. a PC is portrait mode and pen input. It is unfortunate that many hardware and software engineers still design tablets and apps for landscape mode and either without or with inferior pen input.

    Except for viewing videos portrait mode seems so natural. Think of reading web pages or eBooks or taking notes! Or a word document in portrait mode. Even some spreadsheets are easier to read in portrait mode but that also may depend on the design.

    Pen input also has a lot of advantages. Using a keyboard forces the user on all devices to use landscape mode. Why can't we design keyboards that can also be attached in portrait mode? After all who needs a keyboard for viewing movies!

    Let's change the computing paradigm of landscape view and mouse and keyboard input! We have new technologies now.
     
  2. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy FORMER Editor, TabletPCReview Staff Member

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    I'll confess, I hardly ever use any of my tablets in portrait mode. Just about the only time I do is when I run across an app that doesn't support landscape, and then I complain about it.

    I can see three reasons.
    • For the most part, I use my tablets as 2-in-1s, with keyboards attached. This essentially precludes portrait mode.
    • Also, I have been using PCs since the 1980s, and my landscape-only habits are deeply rooted.
    • The third reason is related to the second: landscape mode makes room for bigger fonts, and I need that these days.
    It's not like I have anything against portrait mode. When someone hands me a something written/printed on a letter-size piece of paper, I don't wish they'd used landscape mode instead.

     
  3. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Agree with OP, it baffles me that no maker is trying to set themselves apart and offer a device that you can turn around and still have it attached to the keyboard. On my desktop I have a 24" monitor set at portrait mode and I do all my writing on that since I like to have a full page in view. I write something and realize that forces me to change something else two or three paragraphs before. Voila, there it did right in front of my eyes, no need to scroll and look for it, easy and fast to change and when I edit that part of the text I will most likely observe something else that can be improved.
    Not claiming that the text is perfect in any way, just that it becomes better when written in portrait than when done in landscape. But I guess I must be some rare exception since everyone else is happy to chug along in landscape.

    Twitter is to communications as haiku is to literature.
     
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  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I totally agree with the sentiment, @Tinkerer and @Kumabjorn.

    I even wrote a UI critique in support of @thatcomicsguy, detailing the challenges for a graphic artist in this 16:9, landscape locked world.

    While it could be argued that mainstream tablet users "don't want black bars on their videos", but it makes no sense that graphic design tools like Photoshop, and even specialized art tablets, like the CC2, are stuck in the landscape paradigm!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
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  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The 3:2 ratio emerging among new devices was a welcome change. I'd just like to see them a little bigger.

    The Surface Book is almost there. As it stands, the 1080p world is livable for content creators if the screen is around 15+". -You can fit a whole Surface Book screen on one of those with a few extra inches to the side. But it's still not ideal. The best portable screen I've ever had the pleasure of using was equipped with the uncommon sheet-of-printer-paper sized 14" 4:3 screen.

    I did quietly complain that this was only *just* big enough to be satisfying, but these days, I look back and sigh in remorse over that fine format having being abandoned.
     
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  6. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    While returning to more balanced screen ratios would definitely help (who actually complained about 4:3 back in the day, anyways?), I think most of the onus falls on UI designers to think of orientation-agnostic interfaces.

    It's a non-trivial design problem, but one that still has yet to be adequately resolved—despite half-a-decade of tablet UI iteration (or non-iteration, as it were :p).
     
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  7. gerg

    gerg Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The Vaio Z Canvas keyboard uses a radio frequency connection to the tablet, so you can use it in either orientation, or from across the room for that matter. One of the many things that this machine gets right.
     
  8. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I use portrait mode to draw a lot. Also I like to read long threads in portrait so I can get more glance of the replies.

    I even use portrait mode in something like the Dell Inspiron 15 7568 15" 2 in 1 since I can fold it out like a book and place the keyboard to the left so I can get some keyboard shortcuts going:

     
  9. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I had to gravitate toward landscape mode for my tablet PC usage simply because even art apps like Paint Tool SAI and CLIP STUDIO PAINT are biased toward landscape orientation due to the way their UIs work (fixed columns of UI elements). OneNote thankfully averts this problem.

    The other deciding factor was to have the keyboard at hand for shortcuts. I don't have enough bezel buttons on the T901 or T902, and the Cintiq Companion Hybrid barely has enough ExpressKeys, which happen to be in landscape orientation anyway. It's a shame, as it feels much better in portrait.

    If I had a way to quickly rotate my Cintiq without having to dig through the NVIDIA control panel on my desktop, that would be great. Portrait makes a lot more sense for the things I tend to do with it outside of the aforementioned art apps, and because it's a separate monitor, I don't lose access to my keyboard.
     
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  10. Grissom

    Grissom Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I long for a tall screen portable solution. I have until recently been using a 2006 Thinkpad T60 with 15 inch 4:3 screen, but unfortuately the GPU has died, so I am facing a dilemma of whether to make it into a T601 Frankenpad, or bite the bullet on an inferior screen format.

    I am incredulous that we have still not seen even a 3:2 laptop aside from the limited Chromebook Pixel line and the somewhat problematic (and in some ways non-laptop) Surface Book. I would have thought a Yoga-type convertible device would work well in 3:2.

    So I am leaning towards either going for an overly large, but still not tall enough, laptop (15.6 inch 16:9) to tide me over, or possibly trying a large tablet "propped up" in portrait mode with an external bluetooth keyboard. The latter would not be ideal because I use laptops *on my lap* a lot.

    I feel that tablets in portrait mode with attached keyboards might just be too unstable, unless the keyboard weighs a ton, because the tablet portion would itself have to be balanced weight-wise for use in landscape orientation.
     
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