The one device quest - our shared experiences

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Kumabjorn, Jun 11, 2021.

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  1. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Most of us here have, at least as some kind of wishful thinking, a desire for a single device that would handle all of our computing needs. Once in a while we end up in situations, either by chance or desire, where we are forced to rely on a single device. I thought it might be interesting to share those experiences and see if we collectively can contribute to that evasive goal of a single device


    Since I got my Samsung Tab 6 Lite and Tab A with S-pen I have done some experimentation on trying to create a one device solution. TL:dr A one device two screen solution might be a better solution. The Tab 6 Lite has a SIM card slot, so by pairing it with a BT earpiece, in my case I used the AirPods, the “phone solution” is there. Then again I think I had one phone call during my two weeks living with only one device. If you are frequently on the phone, with suppliers, clients, morons, it is probably not going to work for you. If you’re like me and tend to Skype more then it isn’t that much of a problem since those tend to be scheduled whereas phone calls are more spontaneous. One solution might be letting them go to voicemail and then handling return calls in bulk. If your phone relationships are time sensitive then it is probably not a good idea.


    To handle this challenge I needed a small foldable stand for the tablet, a foldable keyboard and an S-pen. All of that was packed into a lightweight carrying bag. If I did this full time I’d probably look into one of those keyboard folio cases, however, when I write I really, REALLY, prefer to have it in portrait mode. So I’d need one that could swivel. At times I also brought along my Logitech Ultra Thin Mouse, but in reality I seldom used it. Just easier tapping the screen. It takes less than a minute to setup, which compared with a laptop that you just open is an eternity. Luckily I’m a patient gal and it doesn’t bother me. Those less patient might get annoyed over time.


    During a day I probably spend three hours writing, two doing research and two goofing off (YT, social media, news sites, TPCR). The last two endeavors are a cinch, the first comes with some challenges. Once or twice during a session the tablet and BT keyboard gets a hiccup in the connection. I’m a fairly fast typist so if I’m unlucky I might have written a paragraph or even two before I realize that there is nothing on the screen. Most frustrating, especially since once they work together again I have probably erased half of that paragraph in my mind as well.


    The really annoying part though is that during a writing session I probably need to consult my notes in OneNote every so often, or read on some PDF that I’ve downloaded. At home with four screens up and running, this is never a problem. However, trying to be diligent with the one device solution it becomes frustrating having to switch back and forth. Yes, the Tab 6 Lite can run two apps in separate windows, but in reality you’ll need to resize them all the time or constantly scroll. Hence, it becomes more convenient to switch between them. That though, seems so outdated today. I also discovered that at times I lost focus and went out on some completely unexpected tangent since I no longer had the text in front of me demanding more input.


    Another frustration is that in Windows I use Word (2016) that I have a license for, but on the Tab 6 Lite the Android version of Word requires a Microsoft 365 subscription (and you know I hate those) to edit. Hence, I tend towards Google Docs (like right now) so first I have to download the .docx file, then open it in Google Docs, then download that file as Word file in order to after that upload and replace it on OneDrive. Talk about annoying. Yes, I know they are rivals eyeing each others’ markets. Still annoying though.


    So far my conclusion is that it might be possible - at least when your computing needs are modest - to use a single device. But it would be soo much easier if I could connect an external screen. Especially one that was foldable, too bad the Lenovo X1 Fold doesn’t come as only a screen. One interesting solution might be an e-ink screen and move the writing to that and then being able to have two windows open on the Tab 6 Lite, one with OneNote that other Samsung’s Write on PDF.


    I did find one great advantage with the Tab 6 Lite and that is Samsung’s updated Notes app. One of the features is you can change transparency so if you have a text in a book underneath the note you don’t need to move it out of the way, you can just make it transparent and still continue to write your note. I feel like this feature is underrated, especially since it now has better integration with ON, although there are plenty of room for improvements.


    In conclusion the quest for a single device solution continues. The need for a secons screen begs the question if it is a device or peripheral. And if we need plenty of extra peripherals, are we then truly relying on a single device? 20210612_090754.jpg 20210612_090633.jpg
     
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  2. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Quite an interesting read. Truth be told, though, I've never subscribed to this one device solution. Maybe out of my tech lust, but one's never enough. If I had the chance, I'd have devices in the various size and performance ranges. Talk about Africa and polygamy. Right now I'm juggling the SB2, SGo2, GTab A, GN10, and I'm still looking for the SDuo or the Neo. I want it all!

    Sent from my SM-N975C using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    For me, a separate phone is essential. I'd love to go back to having a stylus, but the size of the Fold's display is too convenient.

    Other than that, I make do with a tablet and a laptop. Other than battery life though, I just don't like how mobile OSes work. Perhaps growing up with desktops OSes (okay, just Windows and very briefly whatever was on my mother's Amstrads), but using mobile OSes on anything other than a phone is just frustrating. So a Windows tablet and laptop are my poison. I might throw in a colour e-paper reader in the future.

    Also, you have some interesting reading Kuma... 'About 158cm' of what? I mean, I didn't think that was possible and would certainly destroy the poor girl!
     
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  4. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Not from a Japanese too

    Sent from my SM-N975C using Tapatalk
     
  5. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    That reference is to Comrade Ogi, Kim Jong-il’s mistress. I do some weird research.
     
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  6. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Although I can't come up with a good solution for your particular use-case (yet), I do think we can improve on the definition of 'the grail':

    One device includes as many daily-used peripherals as possible into the base design.

    So for example why we value pen silos, is that the pen is literally included in the body, but other forms of attachments like pen loops, pen garages (SPX), pen clip slots (Encore 2 Write) and magnets (IPP), are workable alternatives.

    The type-cover is another brilliant leap forward (thanks MS! :thumbsup:), because it marries the trackpad/keyboard with the screen cover, all daily used peripherals. Ideally, it is also wireless (ZBook X2).

    The desire to have dual screens for productivity (such as in your case of referencing while writing), might suggest foldables as the next evolutionary step, but what about a "phone attachment" system?

    For example, corner clips/magnets could allow you place your phone in a picture-in-picture like manner on the tablet frame, acting as a versatile second reference window/OS.

    And while some may argue, technically a phone constitutes a "second device", my last contribution to the "one device" definition is that we allow for an additional pocket device, because practically speaking, it occupies a different ergonomic and functional design space to most tablets (for now :vbwink:).
     
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  7. dellaster

    dellaster “Content Consuming Child” Senior Member

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    One device? Not gonna happen for me. That old dream died when I tried a wearable, which I count towards my number of devices.

    I can maybe get it down to three plus a monitor eventually: a totally independent cellular watch (my phone#, on the go text, calls, email), an 8” device w/stylus (ereading, notes, browsing, etc,), and something like a Surface Go3 or 4 (non-ARM) if they advance it enough to have at least the GPU of a Tiger Lake 1165G7 (media and games). I’ll want a larger external monitor for the Go.

    That’s roughly my new dream setup. I figure it might be possible in two or three years.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  8. dellaster

    dellaster “Content Consuming Child” Senior Member

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    Actually it could be sooner, except for the Go w/G7. A current cellular Apple Watch would do if Apple would allow it to sync with an iPad instead of demanding iPhone ownership; cell service companies need to allow a single line used by such a watch, no smartphone requirement; and the iPad mini 6 needs a miniLED display so that it’s outdoor-usable at least in the shade. That’s it. All possible if not very likely soon. Especially the cell companies in the US—they make way too much money peddling the latest ginormous sell-your-firstborn priced phablets to allow an alternative.
     
  9. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I used to be camp one-device, but as I've mentioned before I also joined the 'one device.. for each separate use case!' team. The main things standing between me and the one-device dream are gaming and outdoor readability. If I could get a super bright iPad Pro 11" with miniLED, I could go as low as three devices. Work tablet (Windows) + media/music tablet (iOS) + gaming machine (Windows). I'd be giving up an AMOLED tablet and a Boox e-ink device. Baby steps! :)
     
  10. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    Sort of goes to my point that the one device solution might be approachable if your computing needs are modest, some Office work, social media, browsing and movie watching and you are reasonably close. My need for having several research sources open simultaneously is the main hurdle. Perhaps one day we will have a tri-fold solution for a tablet/laptop as is being discusse for an upcoming phablet from Samsung. Moving those solutions from a smal phone/tablet form factor to the larger tablet/laptop with external screen is, at least in my opinion, the engineering challenge for the ‘20’s.
     
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