John, Trevor, Tracy and Warner did a great job fielding and answering Tablet PC questions from the many participants; there were even a few tips and tricks thrown in there for good measure! Due to a technical snafu, I could hear the webinar, but couldn’t see it or speak as a panelist. However, I did have two Tablet PCs in front me, so I took meticulous notes on some of the questions and figure: hey, what the heck: I’ll write down what I would have said and share it now! That’s the best workaround I can think of for my lack of participation, so after the jump are the thoughts I had.
I quickly want to thank John for the invitation (I’m in for next time if you’ll have me there!) and a special thanks to Tracy. One of the questions was "what mobile technology sites can I visit for good information?" and Tracy was kind enough to point out jkOnTheRun, so thanks!
John had asked the panelists to come prepared with a tip or trick, so I started to pen a few. Of course, I tend to get carried away, so here’s what I came up with:
- Some touchscreen tablets don’t have the floating tip, meaning the Tablet Input Panel will not automatically pop-up when tapping a text field. There is a 3rd party application called floattip.exe that adds it. If you place this file in your Startup folder, it will work upon bootup. Caution: even when you don’t want the small floating tip icon, it will always appear, which can be annoying.
- You can resize the tip if you don’t dock it but you can only do this when viewing the On-Screen Keyboard.
- Always check the vendor included software that comes with your Tablet PC as it often provides even greater customization options. Example, on the Samsung Q1 I can adjust not only the length of the tap and hold (standard), but also how big of an area is the tap and hold area. Comes in handy on the smaller screen.
- Consider increasing the DPI on a high-resolution Tablet PC. I run my M205 at 1400 x 1050 resolution, but up the DPI to 120.
- Always keep an eye on the Microsoft Tablet PC site. That’s where you find the great and useful free applications such as the Education and Experience Packs.
- Snipping tool is a great tool; so good that it’s included in Vista and you don’t need a Tablet PC for it in Vista. People often overlook the Options in it, so look for the options icon on the right side. I was saving all of my clippings and then later converting them to .jpg; there’s a setting to save as jpg, png or SNIP.
- Hardware buttons are very useful if you have a Slate or a convertible: they are configurable so you can set them up for shortcuts, forward / back navigation, etc….USE THEM to save time.
- With a touchscreen tablet PC people sometimes have issues trying to get the properties of a file by using the tap and hold, simply because they might be set up for a single-tap execute. Way around this is to tap elsewhere and drag the cursor to the file and hold. You’ll get the right context menu.
Told you I got carried away. ;) Some of the questions that came up along with my thoughts were:
- Q: What do you think is the optimal resolution for a 12-inch Tablet PC?
- A: This is personal preference, but I like the 1400 x 1050 resolution on my Toshiba M205 simply because of the extra real-estate on the screen. I use the tip above to set the DPI to 120, which works best for me.
- Q: How can you keep mulitple devices synchronized?
- A: There’s a number of ways to do this (and several were shared on the webinar). For me, I use a Hosted Exchange Server along with Outlook clients on all of my devices (2 desktops, 2 Tablet PCs and 1 UMPC). I also have all of that mail forwared to my Gmail account so I always have an on-line archive of my mail. Additionally, Microsoft’s FolderShare is a free beta that allows you to synch files on many PCs, even across a WAN, plus you can share files with people you invite for sharing.
- Q: Will Motion be updating the LS800 to have a greater resolution and what other small form factor PCs have a greater resolution?
- A: No idea on Motion’s plans to go higher than 800 x 600, however the Sony UX series has a 4.5-inch screen with 1024 x 600 native res. Additionally, all Origami devices are 800 x 480 resolution, but so far, they all support resolution switching of 800 x 600 and/or 1024 x 600.
Thanks again to John Hill and Allegiance Technology Partners for a great webinar!