Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Artisan State

Today I received my first book order from Artisan State ( Including shipping the book cost NZ$17.50. For that I got a 7"x5", 20 page book with thick board pages printed on a satin finished paper. The quality is phenomenal and far exceeds a similar priced offering from Blurb. Well worth checking them out if you want to get some photos printed. Or, in my case, some fractal images.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

PS Touch

The Galaxy Note came pre-loaded with Adobe's PhotoShop Touch. Adobe has done a fantastic job of shoe-horning what is effectively PhotoShop Elements into a tablet format. Of course, it's not PhotoShop Elements but, feature for feature, it's pretty close, so there is a lot that a user can do with it on the tablet, even down to compositing.

But, and its a big BUT, compared with a laptop or desktop, editing pictures with PhotoShop Touch is like trying to thread a needle while wearing boxing gloves - possible but not recommended. Unless, that is, you also take the pictures with the tablet and need to edit them before uploading to your favourite social media site. In that situation PhotoShop Touch does make some sense, but wether it makes sense for someone who uses a 'real' camera, is another matter entirely.

Still, and despite my reservations, PhotoShop Touch is a masterpiece of ingenuity, like getting a ship into a bottle, and I shall keep it around - just in case.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The ultimate tablet?

We have become a family of tablet users.The girls each have iPads, while I am on my fourth Android tablet and my second Samsung. This last gem and the subject of this post, is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.

A lot has been written about the Note, so I won't repeat all that others have said, but simply focus on what makes this tablet such a stand-out. At the end of the day, it comes down to the incorporation of a Wacom tablet and pen - what Samsung call the 'S Pen'. Coupled with the Note's large screen the pen brings a huge increase in precision over the usual capacitive screen and pudgy finger, though you can still go the pudgy route if you wish.

Some have said that the pen is suitable for artists but of little practical use to the normal user. But this ignores the best input method yet available on a tablet - hand writing recognition. This complete post was written on the Note using hand writing. Samsung have really worked wonders with the hand writing recognition; after a little tuition it works almost flawlessly through a text input area which replaces the more usual on-screen keyboard.

An early criticism of the first Notes was that the split Screen function only allowed the pairing of a limited subset of applications. With the Jelly Bean release, that has been addressed and over twenty applications can now be paired for multitasking.

In summary, the latest Note 10.1 has, in my opinion, become the premier work-horse of the current tablet world - although that accolade does come at a higher price than most tablets.