Friday, January 18, 2013

In Choosing a Tablet, First Try It On for Size

In Choosing a Tablet, First Try It On for Size, article.

This has much good advice on choosing the size of your tablet.
Just like with cameras, houses, and cars, no size is perfect, they all have their pros and cons.  I generally go with: as small as is practical.

...some smaller publishers simply port their magazines to tablets by producing what is basically a facsimile of a print page. When shrunk, these pages are nearly impossible to read on smaller tablets, whether they have high-definition screens or not, without zooming in.

That is true. But for me, the same is true of the full-sized tablets, you generally have to zoom in on those too, so it doesn't matter. When you zoom in, magazine pages are perfectly readable on the iPad Mini, and in addition you get the wonderful lightness of that device. We waited for 2.5 years to get a lighter iPad, and it was worth the weight, I think the Mini is delightful to use. (And I don't have problems hitting the buttons, despite my large hands (span of 8.5 inches).

I like magazines in Zinio's format (PDF type pages, fixed layout, but live text, not just a scan), and I think it's a challenge to do it better, even if you design for tablets from the start. I like the rich pages, and I don't find it a hassle to zoom in on each column.

Below, a Zinio mag (Amateur Photographer) on iPad Mini:

Same as above, only zoomed in (this takes just a second, literally):
(Clickable) (The interference patters do not exist in reality, of course)

This will be even more true once the Mini also gets a Retina display, but as I've said before, to me the difference is merely cosmetic, if you even notice it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anorexic iMac (and my dilemma)

Despite what some say, there's such a thing as "too thin". (Too rich I'm less sure about.)
Who needs a razor thin iMac?  It's a desktop computer, not a portable. And it's only that thin at the edges.

And worse, the smaller (21") model uses a laptop harddisk, and upgrades like a full solid-state drive costs hundreds of dollars more than the competition's, because the iMac is so compact that it has to use the super-compact SSD drive designed for the Macbook Pro Retina.
They don't often do it to a great extent, but this time (as with the former super-tiny iPod Nano), I think that this time Apple let their design aesthetic overrule function.

... Sure, it looks nice. But if a few millimetres thicker could have made it compatible with faster and cheaper drives... It's silly when a desktop computer uses a harddisk at only 5400 RPM because the design doesn't have space for a 7200 RPM one.

... My Mac Pro is running out of disk space, and it's also getting slower, something is wrong. I need a 3TB drive and a fast machine and lots of screen space. I'm in a confusion regarding all my options: install a bigger drive and make a fresh software install on that? Should that be Snow Leopard again, or Mountain Lion, which will force me to get new software I don't like? Should I get a big iMac? With a second screen? Or wait for the next Mac Pro, in the hope I'll like that? Oooooh, headache.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Panasonic 4K 20-Inch Tablet

OK, so this is not intended as an ereader primarily, will surely be a bit expensive and a little on the heavy side (though no more than many laptops). But with the right stand and software it could be used for reading graphics-heavy books in super-high resolution (It is "4K", the new goal for high-def, twice the resolution of HD linearly, four times area-wise.)


Of course there's a chicken and egg-situation, there are not many books scanned and sold in such high resolution. But: I know that mainstream comic books now are sold in quite high resolution, and on my iPad I can zoom in a lot and see more detail, so I would like to see how they look on this. (One question is if the Comixology app is or will be made for Windoze 8?)

Anyway, I think there's no doubt that big tablets are coming now, and it would be quite surprising if they do not become cheaper and lighter over the next few years like things tend to do.