Yup… I should have been posting for the past few months. Hopefully I can get back into the habit!
I don’t need a new laptop yet. Yet… however, the screen size trend in industry really bothers me. Wider is not better if we’re sacrificing vertical pixels! Yet, every manufacturer is basically training us to accept low vertical pixel density by hiding behind the “HD” moniker.
Today, you will be hard pressed to find anything functional with a vertical pixel count of 800 or more. I’m not talking about netbooks (although I have one). I mean most new laptops in general.
We’re just taking a step backward to the 90’s… 1024×768 (VGA) is really close to 800 pixels tall!
Now, I’ve been a user of Tablet PC’s for the past 5 or 6 years now and I find them incredibly useful. I do mainly 3 things with my tablet:
- Draw User Experience Prototype Sketches
- Take down whiteboard sketches of architectures and the usual “ideation” work therein
- Retouch, enhance, and correct photos I take (portraits especially)
I find the tablet’s interface to be as natural as we can get for work in photography. For example, there’s a big difference (in my mind) in the look of a brush stroke made with a pen vs. made with a mouse. This guys seems to agree with me about screen size and art.
I can draw something in OneNote quickly, and then go into SketchFlow and redraw the same thing and make it function.
I can retouch a photo using an airbrush that actually almost works like an airbrush.
Yes, I could use an external tablet like a Wacom Bamboo, but it’s so much nicer to see exactly what you’re doing on the screen. Moreover, you don’t have to carry one more thing around. I’m sure that anyone who’s seen Microsoft Research’s Project Gustav will agree that more pixels will be better!
As a backup plan, I have one of these Hantech Stylo pens that will work with any PC. But, it’s probably not quite the same (I have yet to really try it out in earnest).
Size is everything, actually
My criteria for picking a Tablet PC has been pretty simple:
Get the one with the highest screen resolution possible!