Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Leave Me to My Own Devices

My daughter is usually annoyed with me and her husband.  She claims that we can't have a conversation without consulting our phones several times. She is right.  I am addicted to my gadgets. 

This morning I was looking at my night stand and took stock of all the devices I had there.  This is ridiculous, I thought.  Then I began silently enumerating the advantages of each device.  Yes, I need each of them.

My favorite device is my HP Pavilion dv7 laptop with 17" display.  I love this laptop.  For one thing, it is big but portable.  I can see the screen.  The color contrast and battery life are good, and it has Beats audio.  The HDMI port allows me to project whatever I want on an HDMI TV.  I can display anything I want by only using one cable.  No projector, screen or smartboard necessary.

This laptop is not without a few drawbacks.  For some reason, I have needed the OS reinstalled twice and a hard drive replaced once.  The reinstallations were most likely necessitated by user error on my part.  No doubt one of the apps I downloaded caused conflict.  Nonetheless, being without my laptop for even a short period of time is inconvenient to say the least.

Another issue with the laptop is its size.  Yes, I love the 17" display, but the size does not lend itself to the easiest portability.  The format does not easily fit into any backpack or laptop case I own. When you're carrying this baby around town, you know it.

The second device on the night stand is a an HP 3125 notebook.  It sports lots of the advantages of its larger counterpart: Beats Audio and HDMI portability.  It is only weighs 3.5 lbs, three pounds less than dv7.  The drawbacks are that the tiny keyboard takes time to get used to, as does the .  11 inch display.  However, I am only vaguely aware of it's presence in my purse as I walk to and from a meeting.

Left:  HP 3125 is portable but not easy to see  Right: HP Pavilion dv7
The next device is my Kindle Fire HD.  I love it.   I love the predictive text.  Yes, I said it.  Normally I hate predictive text, but this text is smart.  If I type "I want to go" the predictive text autofills "to the."  It really gets me.  I like that the Kindle reader syncs with the Audible app.  

The display is gorgeous!  I don't normally see a huge difference between HD and regular displays, but this is an exception.  I downloaded an insect video in HD and connected it to my HDTV after a faculty meeting.  The teachers who saw the video were blown away by the vivid colors.  It was really gratifying to know that paying the extra for HD actually made a difference.

Another feature of the Fire that I love is the Kindle Free Time app.  This app allows me to set content for my granddaughter and other small people who might use my app. My 20 month-old granddaughter can turn on the Kindle and navigate to her videos.  I don't have to worry about her downloading apps or inappropriate content.

The fourth device is a Nexus tablet.  Why would I need a Nexus tablet when I have a Fire?  Well, the Nexus can run the MyOn books that my Kindle cannot. It is also thinner and lighter.  There are more apps available for this tablet than for my Fire.  But, this tablet is not HD and does not have Beats.  The audio is acceptable, but not outstanding.

I like using the tablets to play games and check Facebook and mail, but I am not much a fan of composing on it.  Fat little fingers with limited manual dexterity do not do well with little AMOLED keyboards.

The final device on the nightstand is my Samsung Aviator. I hate it.  I loved my first Samsung phones, but this one just doesn't have the RAM necessary to run all my apps.  It locks up and doesn't dial.  Then, after I have tried five times to complete a call, it launches five copies of the call.  I really want to chuck it.  However, I don't have to tolerate it much longer.  Today I am getting a new phone.  I can't wait to have a new toy!

I do love my devices.  What were you saying?

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