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December 21, 2011

My Love Has Changed And My Wife Is Getting Suspicious.

by Darren W Baker

I love my wife and she always gives the best gifts. She watches what I follow in the gadget scene and always chooses something great to give me. Last Christmas she gave me a Barnes & Noble Nook Color. I love the Nook Color and I have read more in the last year than since I was in college. I’ve probably single-handedly kept Barnes & Noble from Borders fate with all the ebooks I have bought. The Nook Color is as perfect as a e-reader can get. As a mini-tablet, it fits in my pocket so I take it EVERYWHERE. The new Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is nice so of course I recommend it with its longer battery life, extra memory and faster processor. But seriously, how much faster does the processor need to be to read books? I don’t want to pay for an additional service to stream video, so I don’t really need the newer version or that 2nd class “Fire” tablet with no memory or expandable storage. I have the Nook Color and a few usable apps, but the apps are more of a distraction to what I really need to do with that device, which is read books.

On my birthday in July, my wife gave me an Apple iPad 2. Not just any iPad 2, this one has 64 GB of memory plus 3G broadband internet. I’m sure it cost her around $1000, which is close to the price of a laptop. I would take the iPad 2 device everywhere we went because it had “always on internet”. It was fun to be able to get online anywhere even if there wasn’t a hotspot. We even used it to examine visiting neighborhoods while looking for houses when we moved to Seattle.

The more I use the iPad though, the more frustrated I become with it. I haven’t been able to use the iPad for work. I hear people say how great a device it is, and I have applications that let me do documents and spreadsheets, but they just don’t behave the same as the real tools do on my laptop. So I end up carrying the iPad and laptop around to get serious work done. Other than playing some games, browsing the Internet or reading an e-book, I find that the iPad just isn’t that useful for the price you pay. That isn’t to say that I didn’t use it. The form factor is awesome and the battery life is amazing. The truth is I used it so much surfing the internet or reading that my wife would sometimes take it away from me. It’s a little game that we play where she pretends she’s mad I’m not paying attention to her or the kids and she takes the iPad away and hides it. SECRET: her hiding places are predictable and I find it in like five minutes.

My wife is getting suspicious because I’m just not showing the love and attention to the iPad that I once did. I have a new love and it’s the Samsung series 7 Windows Slate PC I wrote about it right after I first got it, but I truly love this device. I love it so much that I’ve actually been helping others with out with the technology and how to set it up on the Windows 8 developer preview blog. The Samsung S7S is an extremely powerful tablet. The one that I have has 128 GB hard disk, 4 GB of RAM. an Intel i5 processor and 3G Broadband. It can do everything the iPad can do and everything my laptop could do. The Samsung is so much lighter than my laptop was and the battery lasts about six hours. I’ve gotten to the point where this is now the only device that I carry and I’ve left my laptop and iPad behind. I just went for a week long trip to Europe and I didnt even miss my laptop or iPad. When I need to look something up or do something quickly I use it in tablet mode, of course, and when I need to do serious work; I just pop out the stand, bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The stylus provides for some finer control but it isn’t required to use and most applications work ok with your finger.

The Samsung S7S really lights up when you put Windows 8 on it. While I was in Europe people were telling everyone to come talk to me and look at the tablet I was using. The Samsung is still a new tablet, its only been for sale retail for about a month. Those people that went to the Build conference were lucky to get a pre-release version of the tablet, but after compairing it to the retail versions, they are pretty much the same. People that have seen it have only really seen this device with Windows 7. It operates Windows 7 better than any tablet that I’ve used before and I’ve had several.

Running Windows 8 on the Samsung S7S caused it to get a lot of attention and I found myself showing it off more to people who want to see what the future of Windows looks like. This makes me feel good about the direction of Windows for next generation devices and I really think that Microsoft is taking the time to get it right. I had been wanting a lighter device with longer battery life, that could both function as a tablet and a powerful laptop. For me, the Samsung Series 7 Slate PC fits that bill nicely.

So how do I tell my wife? I stopped carrying the laptop and iPad and she’s noticed. iPad, I don’t love you any more. I’ve replaced you with a newer, sexier model that does everything I want it to. It’s a load off my back and I feel lighter already.

Read more from Slate, Tablet, Windows 7, Windows 8

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