Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

My review of trying to turn the PlayBook on.

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

So yesterday, having literally nothing else to do, I decided to check out RIM’s PlayBook. So I went to Futureshop to see if they had one out on display. They did. Actually, they had two, but despite the efforts of me and one honest-to-god software engineer, the device couldn’t be made to turn on. It was plugged into a power strip, which was turned on. Hitting the play/pause and volume buttons had no effect. Hitting the power button — when we were finally able to hit the power button — had no effect other than to make it go from completely off to off with a red status light. Hitting it again made it go to a blinking orange light. Hitting it again made it go to the red light. Hitting it again made it go to a blinking green light that was promising, but which ultimately did nothing at all.

Friends, let me tell you about the goddamn power button. Others have complained, I know, but their vitriol is nothing to mine. This power button, on the top of the device, is presumably made tiny and difficult to hit so that braindead enterprise users who haven’t yet had their third coffee of the day don’t hit it and start screaming “Wha happened?” again and again while spraying their Starbucks at nearby — and more intelligent — passers-by. The problem is that the button is, because of this goddamn design decision, nearly impossible to press.

It’s half the width of a pencil eraser, and COMPLETELY flush with the device. The PlayBook should come with a crapdamn pin just so you can turn it on and off. It’s ridiculous. Sure, nobody will accidentally turn the device off, but considering it’s apparently the only way to activate or deactivate the stupid screen, the reason no one will ever turn it off is because nobody will ever be able to get the thing turned ON. They’ll get tired and discouraged, and buy a tablet that’s actually designed to be used.

So the first PlayBook — which is, what, two days old? — simply wouldn’t turn on, with no visible indicator that it was even trying. That’s the impression of a solid piece of work, there, RIM. Way to go.

The second PlayBook had a screen that was active, but the Kobo app that was running, was — and I don’t use this term lightly — apparently having some sort of epileptic fit: the book reader software was constantly jiggling up and down as if some over-caffeinated brat-tard was trying to masturbate it, BUT NOBODY WAS TOUCHING THE SCREEN. And we couldn’t get it to exit the app. We had to restart the PlayBook, which took two attempts, involved a fair amount of scotch and swearing — POWER BUTTTOOOOOOONNN — and several minutes of waiting. Inexplicably, as this happened, some poor, masochistic bastard actually bought one of the 32GB models.

I’m assuming he hated himself, and wanted to make his death as slow and painful as possible.

Mission accomplished.

Finally the device came back up. The screen was nice, even though at this point anything smaller than the iPad seems, well, overly goddamn small. I like the idea of 7″ — IF ONLY — but now I’m used to the magically sized iPad.

So the PlayBook was on. The browser was fine, Youtube looked nice, and the videos played well, even though the tastes of whoever was foolhardy enough to try it before us was  terrible. I mean, seriously, soccer videos, you bastard?

Unlike the iPad, the bezel on the PlayBook is smart, which is to say that you swipe your fingers from the bezel to the screen in different ways, and it’ll do things like return to home, pull down the settings pane, and switch between tasks. In theory this is really a great idea, and if you know what you’re doing — I do, because I’m the Goddamn Walt Mosspuppet, shut up! — it’s a nice bit of functionality. But if you don’t know that’s a feature, if you’re just some Joe Schmuck a-hole who came into Futureshop to buy that season of Arrested Development that’s on clearance — like it should be, the stupid piece of crap — and you wander into the tablet aisle because gee, golly, look at them compuuuuters, you don’t know about the smart bezel, and you probably don’t know what the goddamn word bezel means, anyway. So you pick up the PlayBook, and, assuming you’re actually able to turn the screen on and don’t, I don’t know, give up to go home and cornhole a gopher, if you’re in an app, you’d have absolutely no idea how to get out of it. The device would seem crapping broken, and you’d walk over to the iPad, which has a glorious home button that always takes you back to the right place.

I realize this isn’t so much a review of the PlayBook as a whole as it is a review of the experience of trying to use the PlayBook, but considering how goddamn difficult it was to actually use it in any capacity, it seemed worth mentioning.

I’ll close with this final thought: whoever designed the PlayBook’s power button, and whoever let it get through QA without tossing acid in the designer’s face or on his scrotum, should both be forced to listen to Robert Scoble explain the totality of his knowledge about technology. It will only take three minutes, and it will be completely wrong, but I can’t think of anything more painful. Aside from trying to power on the PlayBook.

Shut up.


RIM Unveils The Latest Thing They’ve Wasted a Lot of Money On.

September 27, 2010 1 comment

I’m not sure if it’s cute that they keep trying, or delusional that they think they should.

The Kno tablet would be great if it were made by Apple

September 27, 2010 1 comment

Of course, if it were made by Apple, there’d be no stylus support, because only nobody’s like stylii.*

(I get an exemption from this rule, because I’m the goddamn Kingmaker, and my close, personal friend Steve Jobs said so)


June 16, 2010 4 comments

Macrumors sure does attract brainiacs. Seriously, I love Apple like I love my penis, but these people are talking about how lovely it would be if Apple created a new, portable multitouch tablet for use in their devices, because ohmygodhowgreatwoulditbemyiqis12!

That would be sooo cool, finally a keypad for my MacBook late 2008.

I think that was the initial thought before iPad, having such a peripheral extension with any older Mac / MacBook is just amazing, just think of the possibilities, perhaps even remote, now all we need is a cheap projector built in so that we can just lie on the bed and play with the computer and watch movies etc. etc. etc.

Please Apple, this would be the most appreciated wonder in technology today!!

The thing is, Wacom’s already selling this device. They’ve been selling it for months. They’ve been selling fully portable tablets and fully portable tablets with screens on them, for years.

I’m a fanboy, unabashedly, and I’m goddamn proud. But I’m not an idiot. I keep up with what other companies are working on. Jesus.

Shut up.

Google Brings the FUD

May 6, 2010 4 comments

Flash-enabled multitouch Android tablet spotted in the wild, apparently. But if Flash were any good, the greatest smartphone platform on the planet would have the power to support it, right? FAIL.

Google wants to make Android even MORE of a Toy

Seriously, Google? Why not just slap that silly little green robot on top of an Etch-a-Sketch and call it a beta?

I am not surprised that the JooJoo sucks.

April 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Engadget has a big ol’ review of the crapcake that is the JooJoo. Arrrrrrrrington must be relieved at the bullet he dodged on this one; if his business partner hadn’t been a back-stabbing cromagnon*, it would be the crunchpad that would be currently sinking into the muck of oblivion.

Way to succeed by losing, Arrington.

Anyway, this is a nice summation of the interface of the JooJoo:

The user interface on the JooJoo can best be described as a Monet – very attractive from afar, but up close it’s just a mess.

I’d say that the 2nd-gen JooJoo might be better, and be a real iPad contender, but we all know that this capacitive bastard is taking Fusion Garage down with it.

* When I call Chandra a cromagon, I’m not insulting him; he really does look like a cromagnon. Look it up. It’s creepy.