A day in the life of a tablet

What’s it like to use a tablet computer as a business laptop replacement? Matthew Stibbe, CEO of Articulate Marketing, spent a day with the Samsung GALAXY Note® 10.1 2014 Edition to find out.

First impressions count and the Samsung GALAXY Note looks good and feels light. It weighs in at a svelte 540g (about half the weight of my usual laptop) but it packs in a large bright screen, a powerful processor and around 10 hours of battery life – plenty powerful for a long business day.

The journey

I began the day with a trip on the London Overground. Waiting for the train, I caught up on some reading. I use the Kindle App which syncs up my books with my other devices but I have also used Google’s own ebook reader, which works very well. The bright screen was perfectly readable in daylight.

Once on the train, I switched to POLARIS Office 5, which came with the Note. It’s compatible with Microsoft Office documents so I was able to review a presentation and make some notes on an article using the Note’s S Pen™ (of which more later).

Like most of the apps on the Samsung, it integrates with Dropbox (as well as other cloud file sharing apps), which made it easy for me to open and save files online.

I really liked the Note’s ability to open two windows side-by-side for multitasking. When I’m writing, this is great because I can open a web site for research and keep a word processor open in the other window.

The screen is a super high-resolution WQXGA with 2560 x 1600 pixels so splitting the screen like this doesn’t feel cramped. Actually, it has more pixels than my main desktop monitor at home, albeit in a smaller 10.1” physical screen.

It’s a great productivity feature that sets the Note apart from other tablets and makes it much more like a regular computer.

The meeting

The Note includes the S Pen. This is more than a gimmick: it uses a high-resolution, pressure-sensitive digitiser to capture handwriting, sketches and annotations with great accuracy. It turns the Note into a genuine notebook.

I was able to mark up documents with feedback and send them back to the authors and I took notes in meetings using the pen and emailed them to the other people before the meeting ended.

I’ve always found that using a laptop in a meeting feels rude because the screen is a kind of barrier between people. But taking notes on the Note felt natural and unintrusive.

After work

I downloaded a lot of apps to the Note. At Articulate, we have moved a lot of our company processes to the cloud. Most of the services we use have Android Apps so I was able to create my own home page on the Note with apps like Basecamp, Salesforce, Zendesk and Turbine.

The combination of cloud-based applications and easy-to-use apps is revolutionising the way people work and it puts tablets at the forefront of the change.

Realistically, though, I didn’t want to spend all day and all night working. Underneath its business-like exterior, the Note is also a bit of an entertainment superstar. The screen is so sharp and bright it makes videos and games look pixel perfect.

So, after a long day of meetings and travel, I used the split screen multitasking mode let me keep watching a movie while also reading emails or using Facebook. The Note has a built-in infrared blaster and, using Samsung’s WatchON™, so it can double as a universal remote control and TV guide.

It’s clear that the Note can replace a laptop in many, if not most, business situations and it can definitely complement a regular PC. I still find a keyboard the easiest way to write lots of text but the Note’s portability, battery life and the availability of business apps helped me get through the day without one. The tablet has grown up – it’s ready for work.

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