I’ve been a fan of Android for years now. I’ve been using the operating system on my phones for the last 4 phone purchases, including my current Samsung Galaxy Note 3. But I have only had one previous Android Tablet, the Nexus 7 tablet.
Last week, I went to Verizon to upgrade my son’s iPhone. While I was there, the sales rep suggested that I consider a free Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet. (The tablet is free, but requires a $10 per month access fee for my account for 2 years). I thought that would be perfect for my wife for her birthday. She has wanted one for a while and other than the monthly data access, it was a free tablet. I didn’t even consider
getting one for myself as I had the Nexus 7 tablet.
Her birthday came and she opened up the tablet. I help her set up the device with the best apps, and showed her how to use it. She has a Note 3 phone, so not a stretch for her to quickly adopt to this tablet.
What I didn’t expect was how much faster it was then my Nexus 7. Granted I have the original version of the Nexus tablet. But the Ellipsis was night and day faster. Plus, it had “always-on” 4G data via Verizon. Oh, and it has both front and rear cameras. I was hooked.
So the next day, we went to get her a case for her Ellipsis and I got myself one of these free tablets. The thing that made this purchase worthwhile, was that I also purchased a Zagg Keyboard Case for the Ellipsis. (Amazon has this for the iPad and Nexus 7 as well)
The keyboard really opened up a lot of new options for me. No longer was it a device to consume visual information and reply to simple emails. I could now use it as a device to create content.
The first test was performed this week when I had a client appointment. This was a sales call, so I didn’t need to lug my heavy laptop. All I needed was to be able to take notes. So Zagg Keyboard Case and Ellipsis 7 in hand, I went to my client appointment. While there, I opened up the case, fired up the tablet, and opened up Evernote, my default note taking solution. I love Evernote because I can use it across devices and store meeting photos and notes together. I can even snapshot a whiteboard and add it to my note. The cool thing with Evernote is that it will recognize handwriting in photos and make it searchable. So you can write something on the white board and then search for it in your notes. Very handy.
I am still debating whether the point and touch is the best screen interface, or if I should add a bluetooth mouse. I have tried it in the past and it does work, but it is one more device to carry.
Since I work for a cloud computing company, most all that I need is a web browser. Chrome works just fine for my needs to access Salesforce.com, Gmail and the like. I was inspired a while ago to make a tablet work as my mobile device by the blog post by Michael Sliwinski (the founder of Nozbe, my favorite Task Manager apps). Of course, he uses an iPad and I use an Android, but its the same idea.
So to summarize, the key things I will be doing with this table for work will be to:
- Take notes in Evernote
- Update documents in Google Docs
- Read and Write Email in Gmail
- Use the Salesforce 1 app to read and update Salesforce and Chatter
- Use the Nozbe app to keep track of my tasks and commitments
- Use Google Now to keep track of key things I need to know
- Watch web conferences remotely using Webex or UberConference
The largest obstacle I face to using this exclusively for client appointments is the fact that there are times where other people send me Word, Excel or Powerpoint files that I need to update and return. And, occasionally I need to use a tool like Visio. If I can get away with using Google Docs, I will import them there. The problem is that many people are not yet aware of the power of Google Docs and the collaboration functions. You no longer need to send revisions back and forth. Just collaboratively update the same document and review revisions online.
Despite the occasional “back to the PC” tasks, I think the majority of my meetings on-site with clients will not require a laptop at all. The tablet should work well for me in handing my business applications. Please let me know if you have any experiences around going “tablet only”?