Getting stuck on the tube can be a nightmare at the best of times but there you are, 15minutes late, an unexplained signal failure threatening your foreseeable future stranded 150metres below the ground. The day ahead’s looking bleak before it’s even started and your new tablet pc’s sitting pretty useless aside from a scattering of over-played games and a stack of unanswerable morning emails. You may not be able to communicate beyond your fellow frustrated carriage-dwellers (and the guy with the baseball cap looks about as friendly as the briefcase tutting at his watch) but what about bashing out that press release ready for this afternoon? Or typing up some notes for your next client to save some time? The touch screen technology may be swish for light-fingered idling but when it comes to blasting out a document or two at full speed how useful are they and where should you start?
Many would argue that a netbook would be the most efficient option for business oriented pass-times but that’s not to say you shouldn’t give tablet PCs a chance. They are generally purchasable in two forms, the traditional slate or convertible model. The first essentially does what it says on the tin and would be familiar to you in the shape of an iPad or perhaps the Sony Tablet S. In terms of documents these generally use a touch screen keypad or the tablet pen tool, allowing you to navigate, hand-write and often give the option to transform written text into typed font. Although this might be useful to scribble notes on the move or type in the occasional Google search, for full document writing you’d almost certainly miss out on the speed and simplification of solid keys that make the process that little less taxing.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab does take some of this hassle away with on screen QWERTY keyboard allowing touch typing accuracy. It has been occasionally reviewed with slight lag but generally is top of its game in this field. Having paid more than enough for cutting edge technology, if gaming, apps and browsing are not your first priority and you’re still not attracted to the netbook then it’s probably worth considering convertible tablets with a more all-in-one approach. In-built or keyboard docks which slide, slot, fold or twist into place can transform tablet PCs increasingly closer to the laptop format and although external keyboard and mouse attachment’s are available with any standard slate tablets, it can remove extra cost, weight and hassle to buy it all together.
October 2011 saw the Asus Eee Pad Slider sporting an in-built keyboard, sliding neatly into place from below. Despite acquiring a perfect viewing angle in an equally attractive stance, it does of course add significantly to weight specs so was quickly surpassed in the New Year by the Asus Transformer Prime. Useable as either a slate or connected to a QWERTY enhanced keyboard dock, Asus make the best of both worlds.
So what’s the best tablet PC for writing documents? Android versus Apple: as ever head to head and neck and neck. The iPad 3 and Asus Transformer Prime, two top of the range tablets alongside the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1; it has to be said that with a personal preference for solid keys beneath my fingertips and additional battery length on connection of the dock, the versatile productivity of the Asus Transformer Prime tips the boat pretty far for those all important docs. But where does your loyalty lie?
Written by Charlee Owen