Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at 5:50 pm
It worked … sort of.
Before I left I tested out pairing the tablet (and the phone for giggles) with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard (both of the Microsoft variety). This was quite easy, but I didn’t know how well they worked for actual use. Once in Sydney I can say that there was only one time that I used the keyboard and that was only when I needed to type a long email. The mouse turned out to be mostly annoying as I kept expecting it to behave like a desktop mouse, not like another touch input.
The remainder of the time they were not used as I tended to sit on the couch (while watching television) in my hotel room checking email and doing some web browsing.
This leads into the two biggest frustrations:
- While the Gmail app (on both phone and tablet) is great for checking and quick reading of messages, it wasn’t enough (for me at least) in regard to email management – I need my quick links to searches.
- A secondary frustration (offset by bookmarks syncing in Chrome) was the Mobile browser. It just doesn’t compare to a desktop browser and I was often given a mobile site which didn’t have what I needed, or a desktop site that wasn’t usable.
When I get home (currently writing this on the phone while waiting at Sydney airport) I have a number of email messages to read properly and an equally longer list of bookmarks to sort through.
Next time I will plan to take along a laptop. My work laptop (while not an ultrabook) is still quite small at 12″ so the only complexity is to borrow a bag to simplify having that in carry on along with all my camera gear. But once at my destination I will have a full computer to use.
Another thing that was annoying was how to get the tablet connected to the internet. While I knew that making my phone a WiFi hotspot would work, I first gave Bluetooth tethering a try, but it was not good for repeated use.
While I could turn on Bluetooth and enable tethering on the phone, and then tell the tablet to use the paired phone for internet access, it wouldn’t remember these settings. It also occasionally forgot them mid session requiring me to turn the settings off and back on again. I ended up returning to WiFi which would just work as soon as I turned it on from the phone as the tablet would automatically reconnect.
Hopefully Android not remembering the tethering settings for Bluetooth is just a bug, and other (eg bigger tablets) may fare better so the mileage of others may vary.