Ced Kurtz’s TechMan Texts: Samsung ‘monster’ tablet has its advantages

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Verizon was kind enough to send TechMan a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 for testing, the largest tablet Samsung makes and the largest tablet I have seen on the consumer market.My first reaction upon unboxing it was, “This is huge. It is so large as to be almost comical.”

Let me give you some idea of its size. Its screen has 66 square inches of viewable area compared to: 44.5 for the full-size iPad, 24 square inches for a seven-inch tablet, 7 inches for a smartphone and 32 square inches for the readable area of one page of a hardcover book. So there is about as much reading area as a two-page spread of a book.

Your first question is probably, “Who cares?” and your second question is, “What kind of a geek sits around measuring the screens on his devices?”

After using the “monster” tablet, I began to see its advantages. Obviously, it is not pocketable or even stowable, except in a briefcase or backpack. But at 1.7 pounds, it is not heavy and it boots fast. And the onscreen keyboard is big enough that even a fumble-fingers like TechMan can type accurately.

And, oh, the roomy feeling it gives. Reading on it is a pleasure, especially compared to reading on a phone. When reading on my phone, I spend as much time swiping pages to catch up with where I was as I do reading. That “Do you want to go to the spot you stopped?” feature never works, especially if you are reading the document on multiple devices.

So I wonder if some time in the future everyone will have a variety of sizes or mobile devices for different tasks, like choosing a golf club.

And if they ever get the big ones cheap enough (the Pro 12.2 is $850, $750 with a two-year agreement), as thin as paper, and pliable and able to refresh its content over the phone system or Wi-Fi — hello, electronic newspaper.

• • • • 

3-D times two: NASA recently overcame one of the major drawbacks of 3-D printing by printing the first machine part using more than one material: a mirror mount made of several different alloys. The new technique — developed by researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Penn State and Caltech — deposits layers of metal on a rotating rod, which allows for transitioning the metals from the inside out.

• • • • 

Takes all the fun out of musical chairs. A Swiss startup has developed a Chairless Chair, a device that straps to your legs. When it’s not activated, you can walk normally or run. And then when you touch a button to activate it, it locks into place and you can sit down.

• • • • 

Careful what you like. The Indian state of Karnataka has announced that clicking “like” on a post that is judged blasphemous could land you in jail for 90 days. Because India has no blasphemy laws, any material that could offend someone’s religious beliefs is prosecuted as hate speech, and that includes uploading, forwarding, sharing, liking and retweeting such material.

• • • • 

Timecast? The period for public comment on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger expired Monday. Now the FCC has to decide whether to allow it.


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