January 7th, 2012

2D barcode

Tablet, again

Unfortunately, the tablet didn't work as I had intended. Once in a while, we would get a total crash -- one that wouldn't even be fixed by resetting the tablet, but reflashing the OS! I tried out a few of the different ROMs available (including the stock ROM), and all of them had this problem. Reflashing and then re-installing everything is rather tiresome. And then the (hardware) buttons would get stuck after using it for some time. Perhaps the heat of the CPU (the back of the tablet got comfortably toasty) warped some traces or something -- but using a tablet is hardly any fun when the power or home button get stuck.
Reading the forum, I also noticed that a lot of people had problems with multiple instances of the tablet having build problems (things like the glass coming off the screen and stuff like that).

So today, I returned the tablet to a Blokker-store and got my money back (excellent service, by the way: most stores would only give you store credit!). Too bad, because the tablet had good specs, but in the end they cut some vital corners.

What we did learn from all of this, is that a tablet is something that we would actually use a lot. So it would pay to invest a bit more and get one that's actually good. I've done some research, and it seemed that the Packard Bell Liberty Tab would fit the bill: 10" capacitative screen, good CPU, Android 3.2, the works. And the price wasn't too bad either. So we got the last one (the demo model) from the Dynabyte (a store I usually avoid, but I had seen that their Nijmegen store had the tablet in stock). With he 60 euros of vouchers that we got because we both had our 5 year anniversary working at TNJ, the price difference was even smaller. We got the white version, and it was cleaned meticulously by the salesperson. There seemed to be a small ding in the back of the tablet (which we didn't even see, but he pointed it out to us), so we got an additional 10 euros discount.

We got home and put the tablet on the charger. It automatically wanted to update twice (which I let it do) and now we're completely up-to-date with Android Honeycomb 3.2 -- a version that was made for tablets. All of the applications that I had to use Aptoid to get on the Xiron tablet were already present in the Android Market -- it all just works like intended. And it's much more speedy than the other tablet, and lighter.

So, all in all, I like it a lot. I don't regret getting the Xiron tablet, because that showed us that, while it's a gadget, it's a gadget that we would actually use and benefit from. But I certainly don't regret getting this one.

In slightly-related news, yesterday they started distributing iPhone 4S'es at work. I still had a chewed-down dumbphone (having always resisted the siren call of the Blackberry), but now I had to upgrade. The whole activation procedure is a serious PITA: you have to have iTunes on your machine to activate the phone, for some reason. And, if you don't start out by trying to buy a free app, you have to enter your credit card details. Bah, the Android activation procedure is much more lightweight and 'just works'.
But now it works. I find its little screen quite cute.