When I travel, even overnight, I do not know what to bring with me. It would seem to be an easy thing to pack just a change of clothes. But, I do not know if it will be cold or hot, wet or dry, or what type or style of clothes I might need. As a result, I tend to pack for all occasions. Black socks. White socks. Tennis shoes. Dress shoes. Blue jeans. Dockers. Dress pants. Suit. Tie. And, I am likely to bring my own pillow to sleep on.
The point is that I want to be prepared for all occasions that might arise. (Okay, I got kicked out of the Boy Scouts, but still I always want to be prepared).
And then in the way of tech, I just want a device that fits my needs. I am not a techie, but I remember a time when I tried to carry a laptop, a cell phone, and an iPod. I thought I needed a freakin' tool belt to keep them on me and to keep up with these devices.
So, on the one hand I want to be prepared for any need that arises, but I do not want to load a suitcase full of electronic devices as well everywhere that I go. I hate that thought so bad, I would prefer carrying no electronic devices. Contrary to the wishes of Amazon and Apple, I absolutely do not wish to carry a separate device for every need.
Juggling various electronic devices, especially in a work environment, reminds me of the expert juggler that, at the same time, juggles a bowling ball, a lit torch and a running chain saw. I am absolutely amazed to watch it, but I know it is not for me.
In this indirect way I come to say this is the reason that I do not understand readers, iPads and tablets.
Do not get me wrong! I can see the uses for tablets. I just also see the limitations. A tablet is good for consuming content, just like my Droid, but only bigger. Or, as David Letterman said about the iPad, "It does everything but make phone calls, just like the iPhone".
The problem is that I am a professional and I am called on all of the time to create content as well. For this a tablet is too cumbersome, if not impossible. (Unless, or course you carry a keyboard, mouse and docking station with you, which in some sense defeats the entire purpose of a tablet).
I was in court the other day. The judge ruled on a matter and wanted the order drafted and uploaded before the parties left the courtroom. Apart from surfing the Net for dirty pictures or pretending to read the great American novel, try doing that effectively on an iPad?
It is not that most of us lawyers do not want the option of a tablet (so that we can turn it into a thousand dollar alarm clock or radio), but we need more.
I am not a techie, a nurd or a geek. I come up with things that work tech wise by using it and, if it is not immediately understandable and useful, I throw it out.
Not being a techie in the spirit of try it, like it or chunk it, I have to think that the possible solution for lawyers might be the new Dell Inspiron duo, with its flip hinge design that allows one to switch it from a netbook to a tablet. I do not yet know, but I think it might work because it has all of the attributes of my big suitcase with the convenience of an all-in-one device.
Sure it is probably a little heavier, a little clunkier, and a little slower than the iPad or other tablets, but it is primarily a content consumption device when you want that, but it can flip open and become a content production device when that is needed. (And, it can still function as an expensive alarm clock or radio when you want that).
Now I know I will get a ton of email from the Apple fanatics who believe that in writing such a review believing that I insulted the one true God. And, I have got to admit that I am pretty much a computer agnostic. I take a little from this computer group and that computer group. But, it is what I feel.
And whether the duo is the answer or not, then maybe it can be a jumping off point for others to develop a solution to my suitcase and multi-device dilemmas.