Transformer Prime as a reader

The main reason for getting the Transformer Prime was so that I could read my ever growing collection of PDF journal articles and ebooks some place other than the in front of my computer. Places like my rocking chair on my back porch or the comfort of my couch or bed. You know, the comfy places.
First off, glassy screen -> reflections. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Particularly glaring reflections can, for the most part, be dealt with by angling the screen without affecting readability too much. If this is something that’s going to drive you crazy, you’ll want to consider something else. Hasn’t bothered me too much so far.
The brightness of the Prime means that the tablet should be readable in pretty much any lighting condition, from dark room the bright daylight. The brightness boost provided by IPS+ mode makes the screen on the Prime easily readable even in bright sunlight, although you’ll pay for it in battery life. I haven’t used it much for reading in sunlight too much, but it works.
The weight isn’t much more than a hefty book, but heavier than your typical paperback. Holding it for extended periods of reading isn’t too great a strain and so far I haven’t found it terribly uncomfortable. I find for reading, holding the Prime in portrait orientation is most comfortable.
Perhaps the biggest problem I’m having with the Prime as a reader is that it’s too easy to bounce around and do other things like surf the web, check mail when a new message notification pops up or check Facebook, or play a game. If you have a brain with somewhat ADD tendencies like mine, this can be a bit of a problem, especially if you’re reading something that isn’t quite engrossing enough to override those tendencies. With dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle or Nook, all you can do is, well, read so there isn’t the temptation to bounce around to or get distracted by other things. If your brain isn’t like that, then probably won’t be an issue.
All in all, I’m liking the Prime for reading. I think it will rank up there as one of the better purchases I’ve made.

Bejeweled 2: Palm OS vs Android

I find it interesting that PopCap’s Bejeweled 2 by Astraware runs way way better on my Tungsten T3 than the EAMobile version of Bejeweled 2 on my Motorola Cliq.
Tungsten T3 – Intel XScale 400 MHz
Motorola Cliq – Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 MHz
On my T3, smooth animation, pretty graphics and colours, and very playable.
On the Cliq, it’s pretty darned near unplayable, giving perhaps 3-4 fps, even with killing off a bunch of apps before running. Looks prettier than the T3 though.
Oh, and with the Android version, EA Mobile made the game do a check for updates at launch. If you have no data signal, you have to wait a little bit for it to give up before playing.

Cliq: Week 1

It’s been a week now with the new ball and chainphone. I’ve already done a factory reset on it once, but overall it hasn’t been too bad. Not great, but not horrible.
As a handheld gadget it’s pretty cool. Lots of apps to help you stay even more connected to the interwebs. If you’re into the whole social media scene, there are plenty of apps to let your stalkersfriends know where you are and what you’re up to. The MotoBlur interface Motorola slapped on top of Android lets you see what’s going on in your social network at a glance.
The slide open keyboard is nice, and the bumpy keyboard is pretty easy to type on. The screen only reacts to finger presses and not fingernails or other stylus type devices so I find using the on screen keyboard pretty slow.
It’s nice and compact, about 3/4 the width of my T3. Nice sharp and bright screen.
5MP camera takes reasonably decent photos. Like with any other tiny camera, don’t expect great results in low lighting.
It’s a cell phone.
As a PDA/PIM tool, it (Android) kind of sucks (at least compared to my Palm based PDAs). Calendar comes from the ‘cloud’ (Google Calendar and/or MS Exchange) which is fine but what happens when you have no data or wireless service? Kind of hosed there in that event. Contacts come from all the accounts you set up MotoBlur with, which means you end up with a long list of contacts and probably more than a few duplicates from various sources. Multiple contacts belonging to the same person can be linked together, but that means going through a long list of everybody. ToDo and Notes have to come from third party sources, which aren’t too hard to find in the Android Market. Basic PIM functionality can be replicated, but there’s no integration between them. So now I’ve gone from a formerly state-of-the-art PDA with great PIM capabilities to a state-of-the-art cell phone/gadget with fairly rudimentary PIM capability. Two steps forward, one step back.
Ships with Android 1.5. Android 1.5 doesn’t give me the wi-fi configuration options (without rooting the phone) to connect to the encrypted wifi network at work, options that are (should be) standard on any wi-fi device. They’re options I have in WinXP on my 6 year old laptop. What’s up with that?
It’s a pig on battery. I probably need to spend some more time doing some optimization and figuring out what apps I don’t need and can turn off. Still, you probably don’t want to be very far away from a source of power with this thing though.

Review: Glyph from Astraware

After playing the demo mode for a little bit, I couldn’t help but add Glyph and My Little Tank (I’ll review that one later) to my T3.
Astraware is well known in the handheld world for producing some really visually stunning games, especially considering the limitations of the hardware (320×320 screens, 16 bit colour, etc). Two of my favourites are Bejeweled/Bejeweled2 and now I have Glyph to add to that as well.

Continue reading “Review: Glyph from Astraware”

Palm software plug

As just about every PDA owner will attest to, there comes a time in a PDA’s life where digitizer drift sets in: the PDA registers a screen touch in a different location than where it actually occurred. My first Handspring Visor suffered from this before eventually dying. My Tungsten T3 currently has a mild case of this.
Palm PDAs have a built in digitizer program that’s supposed to help recalibrate the digitizer. Most of the time it works…for a while. Sometimes it doesn’t help things at all, or ends up making things worse.
There are a few programs out there to help stricken PDAs. DigiE was one that I used before that helped a little, although the middle of the screen would still be off. One problem with DigiE I had was that it kept turning the PDA on (software bug), so you either have to move it to the SD card, or uninstall it after calibrating.
Then I stumbled onto a new program called PowerDigi. It’s pretty slick, offering 3 different levels of digitizer recalibration utilizing different numbers of screen taps. Works beautifully and cured my T3 of digitizer drift (for now at least). One thing I have noticed is that Grafitti recognition is kind of slow when using the DIA. Otherwise I can tap all over the screen and not worry about guessing where I need to tap.
Severe digitizer problems? Try PowerDigi. 14 day trial mode, and it’s pretty cheap.
5 stars out of 5.