This is an introductory article by an old timer looking to join the technological revolution. My laptop is giving up on me and it’s time to purchase a tablet. I’ve resisted this change because I didn’t think a freelance writer could write extensively on a tablet, but I hope I prove myself wrong.
If you’re an old timer like me, come along on my quest in finding the right tablet to suit a freelance writer’s needs. Before starting the journey, I have to admit my biases and preconceptions. They are as follows:
- There’s no way I can write using a touchscreen. As a touch typist I must feel the keys beneath my fingertips in order to produce my work. Can a freelance writer really use a tablet for extensive writing?
- The screens are too small. There’s an inverse relationship between my age and the size of devices. The older I get, the smaller the devices. I need a screen large enough to read and one that has the ability to allow me to view two or more open windows at a time, side by side.
- Portability. This is a no brainer. Back in the day laptops were considered portable. They’ve now become synonymous with desktops. Tablets are the new laptop (just like 50 is the new 35). To cover the portability requirement I purchased a netbook, but soon realized it was way too slow to fit the bill. It was portable, but that was the only saving grace.
- Ability to write. Must have decent word processing software (or should I say app).
- Keyboard compatible. Touch screens are nice in a pinch but for a multi-page document, I need a keyboard.[smartads]
- Voice recognition compatibility. I currently use Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. The tablet doesn’t have to have NaturallySpeaking, but it must be able to transcribe my dictations.
- Storage devices. Clouds are nice, but like I said, I’m a dinosaur. I do use Google Drive, but I still like the ability to transfer a few files via SD cards. I’ll even be satisfied with a mini-SD slot.
- HDMI – Okay, all work and no play makes this gal boring. I’d like to be able to connect the device to an HDTV. What’s the use of having a Netflix account if I can’t watch the movies on a large screen when I feel the need.
- Social Networking: Not a social networker so that’s not important to me.
- Camera option: I’d like both a front and rear-facing camera. I’m not a social networker but I do Skype on occasion. A rear-facing camera is important because I’m not big on selfies. I need to take pictures of other people and things. It helps with my writing. One picture is worth 1,000 words.
- Video capability: This isn’t a high priority, but freelance writing has evolved. The written word isn’t enough. People like videos. I’d like a device that has some rudimentary form of video capacity. I might even want to create a podcast or two.
- Gaming: Not a gamer.
- Hard Drive Space: With cloud technology and SD cards, hard drive space isn’t a real issue, but I’d like to get as much space as I can. 32GB of storage sounds nice, but is not absolutely necessary.
- Screen size and clarity: I’d like something in the 10-inch range. 7-inch screens are just too small for this writer. Additionally, I like to write outside. I’d like to be able to read the screen even on sunny days.
- Durability: Once I buy this tablet it will have to last for quite some time. I don’t want something that must be replaced every year or two.
There you have it. Those are just the basics. I’m sure as I begin my quest and my tablet knowledge grows, I might add a few more “must haves” to the list, but for now, if I can find a device that satisfies the above needs, I’ll be a happy camper.
And the journey begins…