Another mobility path (Asus Transformer TF300T)

2012-12-25 12:45:27 -0500

Originally posted on tumblr

Woot had the Asus Transformer TF300T on sale cheap recently, and I'd always been enamored of the form factor - I'd played around with Android/x86 on the EEEpc briefly, even without a touch screen, and I'm certainly one of the people stalling on getting a MacBook Air because it really should have a screen which is a detachable (retina) iPad :-) Likewise the Motorola Atrix was pretty tempting when it first came out (I got to poke at one and conclude that it wasn't quite there yet but was a good direction, it certainly wasn't enough to switch me over to AT&T at the time.) The TF300T is an interesting pile of neat features:

It has a touchpad, which is a negative as I've pointed out before - but there's a top-row key to turn it off entirely, so it doesn't end up bothering me (and yet I can turn it back if I must have it... or I can just touch the screen which I keep forgetting :-)

Oddly the Jelly Bean upgrade was more trouble than benefit: my two primary "content production" (as opposed to consuming/surfing) apps, Flickr and Tumblr, report themselves as "not compatible with your device." I'm actually writing this on the TF300T, using the website and Chrome - but I'm at home with solid network, and making use of tumblr's "save as draft" feature - and I'm still worrying about not actually having persistence or auto-save. (Still going through the exercise, of course; writing speed is certainly 100% anyway, the keyboard is Just Fine as long as I don't think about it too much :-) (Update: The Tumblr app now has tablet support, though it's still inconsistent about rotation.)

Having carried the Transformer for another week, I've taken a few more steps:

It's definitely working out as "mobile typewriter" - just slightly less overhead than the GNote+bluetooth approach, at the cost of making one pocket a lot bulkier. Was also useful for getting some quick cat pictures up on Flickr after all, even without the native app - the Web UI uploader is just fine, stick the card into the keyboard (haven't tried USB-to-camera yet), select the image from /Removable/SD, add some tags and a description, done. Winter is upon us (no really, just because it was 55F two days in a row, doesn't mean, umm...) so I won't be getting as many excuses to go out "in the field" and want to immediately push wildlife shots to Flickr, but I might do a few more for practice anyhow.

Another thing the transformer is letting me experiment with is the whole idea of a "MacBook Air with a removable iPad screen" - the TF300T is a fine prototype of that, and it turns out that

I haven't tried SSH or VNC from here yet; oddly, I've kept finding plenty to do that doesn't need either of them; it's not that I don't need to do those things, but if I'm forcing myself to spend time using the transformer, I can use the time well, just a little selectively. (I really need to come up with a decent programming solution - in fact, I should try Koding again, see if it works better from here than from the CR-48 ChromeBook...)