CLOSED – Your tablet, your way

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Acer Iconia w510

I got so much great feedback about my video, and I’m absolutely thrilled you guys liked it! Having a tablet really helps get through a busy day – from getting work done, to the mind-numbing entertainment, but also in satiating my thirst to read more and more! Now I’m giving you the opportunity to fall in love with an Intel tablet just as much as I have! (hip, hip, hooray!)

Here is your chance to win one Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet courtesy of Intel. This contest runs until April 15th (you’ll have until 11:59 pm to get your entries in!). This giveaway is only open to US residents at the moment, sorry international folk.

For those of you that can enter, use the easy Rafflecopter widget below to enter not just once, but many ways, so you can increase your chances of winning. If you don’t see the widget at first, you may have to refresh the page. I don’t think you can see it through RSS feeds, so you’ll have to click through your reader to get to the page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy right? You have a plethora of options by which to win
1. Like Intel on Facebook
2. Join the Intel Fan Advocate Experience and share your content through a comment
3. Leave me a comment telling me why you would like a tablet and a link to an app from their Windows store you would like to explore
4. Post a picture on Instagram of where you would set up to work on your tablet, tag @Intel and me (@thrifteye) and use the hashtag #tabletcrewthrifteye so I can find the picture (a disclaimer about the Instagram entry – your profile has to public so I can see your picture. But you also have to use a new picture, entries tagging old pictures will not be accepted)
image
5. Tweet about the giveaway, the text is already set up for you to go!

So again with the nitty gritty details – this contest is for ONE Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet. Open only to US Residents. Runs until the end of the day of April 15th 2014. When you set up to use the Rafflecopter, make sure you leave a correct way for me to contact you. You can’t win if I can’t reach you! ONE winner will be chosen randomly. The prize will be distributed by Intel. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know ASAP!

Good luck! :)

My tablet, my way

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

I’m really excited about today’s post! If you’ve been following my tablet life posts since the beginning (see all previous posts here), you’ll get an idea of how I’ve been integrating the tablet into my daily life. Intel gave some select people tablets (I think we all got different ones) back in early 2013 and the freedom to do whatever we wanted to do with them! It’s been really awesome to come home and tinker around with it most evenings, do blog work, listen to music, and my personal favorite READ BOOKS!

So with some help, I was able to shoot this video to share with you guys a quick zoom through of how I use the tablet! If you’re interested in specs about the tablet I use, the Acer Iconia w510, check it out on Amazon.

if you’d rather watch it on YouTube or in a larger size, click here!

Video: Jorge Novoa
Desktop backgrounds: DesignLoveFest
Nail polish: Butter London

If you use a Windows 8 tablet or OS, please please please share some of your favorite apps!!

Revisiting the #tabletcrew

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing content, product, access or other forms of payment. 

You may remember not that long ago I partnered up with Intel to try out the Acer tablet (click here for my introduction post!) – I am now working with their team again as a follow up to working with the tablet as I have just upgraded to Windows 8.1 and as the holidays approach (for those of you still on the fence about getting a tablet for yourself or someone else). You can browse the different Intel running tablets here through this link – and find the one that fits your needs and lifestyle. So you may see some bloggers out there also approaching the subject, Intel only provided the tablets, but has given us free range to explore the world of being mobile; the good, bad and ugly.

Some previous photos I had taken of my tablet (you can view the whole set here)
Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

The upgrade to 8.1 eliminated a few annoying quirks – mainly the customization bits. It was really confusing on how to customize the start screen and home screens! You couldn’t even choose an image of your own. Now that’s possible. I also love that the Windows backgrounds behind the tiles are now have better customization and move with your swipes in a really pleasing way. It makes it kinda cool to swipe back and forth between the apps. But mainly, the upgrade has eliminated a lot of bugs that slowed down the whole thing. It runs much quicker than before. I think one of the main perks of having a Windows tablet is the ability to treat it as you would a laptop or PC with access to a desktop. You still don’t get the ability to pinch and zoom when using the desktop, which is slightly annoying after having an iPhone and using an iPad for work – but it’s a feature that Apple has patented, so I’m hoping that in the future there will be an alternative to this. In the meantime, I make the text larger when using the browser.

ONWARD!

Down the road, these are the ways I’ve found the tablet most useful

-Reading Books – to date, this year I’ve read 51 books (last year I read 95!!) no thanks to reading them mostly in ebook form. I’ve gone on non-stop telling people to use the Overdrive function almost all libraries use now! Click here to find if your local library uses Overdrive, and click over here if you want to download the free app. The best part about Overdrive is that once you have your books downloaded, you can always reach your books even without any wi-fi! And when your due date comes up, your books will return themselves, thus you avoid any overdue fees!! aka the best thing ever. I have two library cards (one where I work and one where I live) so my e-book collection instantly becomes doubled, basically all the books in the world and not enough time to read them!

Things have changed since I wrote this comparison review of using Overdrive between an iPad and Windows tablet. The main thing being that they have finally enabled a setting that lets you sinc your bookmarks across all devices. When I have this featured turned on I can read on my iPhone (which I do quite a bit when I’m waiting in line somewhere or in bed at night), and then if I open up the same book while I’m on my tablet on the couch or maybe at a coffee shop, it will ask me to move ahead to where I bookmarked it last (as long as there’s internet available).

-Browsing internet – I have a Chrome browser installed on mine, and when you sign into Chrome with your Google account, it saves your links and bookmarks across all interfaces. So the browser I see on my laptop is the same one I get on the tablet, no need to shuffle around looking for links or bookmarks! I took the tablet to my parent’s home with me over Thanksgiving break, and I had bookmarked a Dropbox link with lots of photos my boyfriend had taken of my sister’s wedding back in August. I was able to open the link up in Chrome through the tablet and share it with my mom instantly while we sat on the couch together. My mom grew up in another country and without computers and I was able to show her how to swipe to see all the pictures. Which is something I don’t think she could have accomplished if I had asked her to pull up to a computer and use a mouse to click on X,Y, Z…

-Drawing – as someone that loves using the regular old Paint feature that Windows offers, the ability to use Fresh Paint is AWESOME! Not too many people I know have ever gotten a chance to actually use it, but if you like to illustrate or even want to dabble in it, you may enjoy this quite a bit. If you think tablet illustration is for kids, think again – I recently saw the David Hockney exhibit at the DeYoung Museum here in San Francisco with a large collection of things he illustrated right on his iPad! And they were absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t have realized they weren’t paintings had it not been pointed out. And blogger Justina Blakeney recently reviewed using Fresh Paint AND making prints from it on a Surface Pro, which is similar to the Acer I have. The results were also surprisingly very real painting like. Fresh Paint gives you access to a very detailed e-palette I don’t think I’ve seen on any other drawing apps.

-Entertainment – from using the free Spotify client on the desktop (which you have to pay to use on an Apple device) to browsing Instagram, there are quite a few entertainment features you can’t beat on a tablet. The best of which is watching TV and movies in bed or when someone else is hogging the TV ;) Our Netflix subscription comes in handy for this, we don’t have cable so we live by Netflix! We also recently switched out our Wii (where we previously accessed our Netflix on the TV) for a Roku 3 player, and I have just learned that I can possibly download the Roku app for the tablet! Which will be awesome because having the Roku lets you access many more channels to view videos, we’ve been enjoying catching up with a lot of PBS shows this way.

And some updated photos with the Windows 8.1
Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets,

Acer Iconia w510, #tabletcrew, #Inteltablets, intel tablets, windows 8.1

How I want to better use the tablet in the upcoming future

-Mobile blogging – often, my ideas about new posts come while I’m away from the computer. I used to write these ideas down, but would often lose the paper or forget where I’d written these things down. I’ve found that if I start a draft post with my idea, I’m more likely able to come back to it – now I need to be better about doing this while on the go. This also means capturing more images with the built in camera, which should now be easier that Photoshop has released a mobile editor in the last year!

-Mobile librarian – I’m still trying to figure this one out, I want the libraries where I work to begin offering more tablets to our patrons. Maybe if I begin carrying one around more, I can convince them! I recently walked someone through downloading and using Overdrive (see above) while still in the library. Many libraries will let you borrow a laptop while you’re in the library, wouldn’t it be cool if the library had a cozy corner where you can use a tablet? Patrons could browse the internet, look at ebooks, make phone calls, and maybe even one day chat with others over Skype all while in the library similar to the browsing stations at the Apple store or at airport lounges.

-Part time laptop – I still want to find a keyboard dock for my tablet. It’s actually been pretty hard to find one. I have a USB keyboard the plugs in, but it’s not the same thing. Having the keyboard dock would make lots of the features I do and want to do listed above, much easier. I’ll probably have to turn to eBay or Amazon in this case.

So I’ll be checking in with you here and there with the tablet progress! But as always, I’d love to hear your ideas on how you like your tablet if you have one, why you’re on the fence or even refuse to get one!

Tech accessories

Since I was given the Acer Iconia tablet from the people at Intel, I realized there are some accessories that make having it a lot easier and more like a traditional computer! What I need these accessories to be is unobtrusive and have the ability to work on other devices if I needed them to. In other words, get the most bang for my buck.

Untitled

My case – I ended up going with this really punchy and basic Incase sleeve at the moment. I wanted something bright and protective. But as I mentioned in some posts ago, there’s a few more I have my eye on. And in a pinch, this would totally work as a clutch!

Jawbone Jambox - the days of hooking up your devices to listen to music are slowly fading. With a simple switch on of bluetooth, I can stream my music from any device to the Jambox. Even better, it doesn’t need to be near me. Plus, the Jambox works as a speakerphone if you needed to do a conference call.

Tablet pen/stylus – There’s just some days when I feel like my fingers are too big and they’re tapping in all the wrong places! This is when I use the pen instead. Plus, I can use it on my iPhone or iPad should I need to. It works really well for apps where you can write or draw! I got mine on eBay for super cheap! (less than $1)

Portable keyboard – connecting via USB, I have the power of a full keyboard that I may not with the onscreen keyboard (plus it’s nice to not have to hide and open the screen keyboard over and over). This one is silicone, and it rolls away when I’m done! Also got this on eBay, some guy was selling it because he’d didn’t use or need it.

That being said, there are a few things I would like to get or switch out to enventually

Bamboo Stylus – While the stylus I have does the job, it would be incredibly nice to have this Wacom one. Just because I have heard it’s a little more precise and pressure sensitive than most others.

Keyboard dock – it would be nice to have this, since it makes the tablet function a little more like a laptop. You can twist the screen to share, and use it as a stand too. Plus it also works as a battery. But the price is too high for me right now.

Mini bluetooth mouse - for those times you get tired of tapping the screen, luckily I’m not there yet :)

I called in sick yesterday because I’ve had this nasty cold, and I spent most of the morning in bed reading my ebook on the tablet. I was and am plenty grateful to have it for times likes that.

intel, smart squad, tablet squad, tablet crew, tablet product image, acer

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.

A mobile life – living the tablet life

Afterglow
Ever since I began writing and sharing my experiences online about living with a tablet, the number one question I tend to get from people is if getting a tablet will replace their needs to ever need to open a laptop or turn on the desktop again? The answer is, well, yes and no.

Have I stopped using my laptop completely? No. Have I stopped using it for certain things? Yes. I’ll give a rundown and comparison.

When the tablet works best -

Browsing the internet – casual internet browsing for me personally can be annoying with the laptop. There’s only so many safe surfaces you can put it on for optimal viewing (and before the battery runs out!) So having the tablet to sit and be anywhere is really awesome. Then I don’t have to worry about plugging back in after an hour or two.

Reading books – Over on my Tumblr, I recently gave a breakdown of how my favorite book app, Overdrive works on the Acer tablet versus the iPad. The app is essentially the same thing on both devices, and you can actually run Overdrive on your regular computer too. But why would you? Reading books on a mobile device is AWESOME! And with Overdrive, FREE! Can’t get much better than that.

Social media – maybe it’s because we’re inundated with social media outlets now – but I like to access mine quickly and briefly. Of which is best done either on a smartphone or tablet. I tap around quickly to what I want to see and then move on. I hate having to boot up just to look at my Twitter or such.

Sharing – when was the last time you saw something online and had to yell at someone “COME HERE” and they didn’t and you kept telling them until it wasn’t funny or interesting anymore (maybe this just happens to me all the time?!) But now I can bring whatever I need to share to them! No more coercing people to drop what they’re doing to see what you want to share. This is a huge thing for me.

Discovering new music – there are SO many music apps out there now for free, you may never have to download music again.

When the traditional computer works best -

Photo editing – I can easily do the blog typing on a tablet or on my laptop, but I can’t launch Photoshop on the tablet to do all the necessary photo editing things on it. And that’s a big thing for me. So for right now, all photo editing is always done on a laptop for me. Which leads me to…

…Saving pictures – when I take blog pictures, I shoot in RAW mode. I have to upload these pictures somewhere so I can edit them later. So again, I have to save them on my laptop. Plus, many tablets want you to take advantage of a cloud based hard drive and don’t give you much space anyway. I’d probably fill up the hard drive after two months worth of pictures!

Updating devices  - I have a Jambox that’s waiting to get a software update, and my iPhone has update’s here and there too. As far as I know, I have to do that with the laptop which has the power and outlets to do that right now. I also have a lot of music saved from CD’s I have checked out at the library, without the CD drive, how would I save them?

Viewing something that needs to be seen in a large screen – Some websites or pictures just look better bigger. And sometimes you just want that ability. It’s just something you give up with a tablet. You can learn to live without it though :)

Things I would like to see the tablet do -

Better duality – I think I may be asking for more than these little tablets can do. But in my dreams, I could use the tablet in conjunction with the laptop like a second screen. Or better yet, like a Wacom tablet when I’m using Photoshop to illustrate and write!

More customization – while there’s so many visual elements you can change, there’s a few things you can’t. And I think this is more of a Windows 8 thing, rather than the tablet itself. So it’s actually very interesting to hear that Intel will now be creating tablets that are running an Android OS in addition to the Windows one!

In conclusion – I believe that the way tablets are working for us now, it really shows how we will be using both in our everyday lives, not just one or the other. Now we just need to wait for third party companies to catch up so that we can work on both and pick up where the other left off!

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel.