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Adonit Jot Touch 4 Bluetooth Pressure Sensitive Stylus for iPad, iPad Air, & iPad Mini - Red
Adonit Jot Touch 4 Bluetooth Pressure Sensitive Stylus for iPad, iPad Air, & iPad Mini - Red
Offered by Adonit USA
Price: $64.99
5 used & new from $64.99

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best iPad Stylus under the appropriate set up, April 19, 2014
As a owner of Surface Pro and and former owner of Galaxy Note 10.1, one major feature I miss on my iPad Air was writing experience. So I have decided to give a try to some expensive stylus option on iPad with a hope. First I tried Livescribe 3, then JotScript, and finally arrive to Jot Touch 4.

In short, Jot Touch 4 works the best and comes fairly close to the experience I have/had with Surface Pro and Note 10.1. This pen is absolutely a keeper for me. Now let's take a look at detail and I'm going to throw in some comparison to other technologies I tried in an event someone out there also considering similar options as myself.

====Accuracy/Lag====

This is a critical portion of the stylus. For the form factor, JotScript beats the Jot Touch 4 because no disc is of course better than with disc. However, when writing experience is not optimal it means nothing.

One way that I test accuracy of writing is to write as small as possible without a zoom feature. To my surprise, Jot Touch 4 allowed me to write as small as I physically can i.e. tracked pretty much my whole movement even a subtle one.

In contrast, Jotscript failed to recognize some of my moves such as writing in cursive "a" in a word can always ended up as c-n. If I exaggerate then yes Jotscript registered my writing. Alternatively, using block style writing also helped. But it meant I had to train/change my writing.

This was not an issue with Jot Touch 4. Lag wise, I use application Good Note 4 and Noteshelf but in both application Jotscript showed noticeable lag when I start writing at the regular speed. With Jot Touch 4, I do feel still some lag with Good Note 4, but not with Noteshelf.

====Form Factor====

This was a main reason I tried other options before Jot Touch 4. Simply based on the spec and visual, I wanted to truly replicate a pen and paper experience that Wacom based digitizers provided to me. The disc surprisingly did not bother me when I actually started writing. However, based on the other reviews, this thing may fall a part or wear. I have not used enough to say how often such happens. But with the experience I have with this pen, I can compromise it.

====Battery====

Jot Touch uses rechargable technology and supposedly lasts up to 4 months. My battery ran out within 1 day after the unit opened but I did not charge at first so I am assuming the battery was already low when I opened this.

If it truly lasts for the duration as it states or even half or quarter then it is amazing. Because you don't need to turn this off. It wakes up whenever I launch supported app.

In contrast, Jotscript used battery and it supposedly lasts only 10-12 hours of continuous use. It goes to automatic sleep in 2-3 minutes of unuse but frequent reconnection created issue to many users. Jot Touch seems to reconnect on occasions and its not instaneous so may be similar other than the ridiculously long battery life and use of rechargable option, which are significant for me.

====Built Quality====

All three pens (Livescribe 3, JT, JS) were all solid. Again only potential pit fall here is the Jot Touch 4's disc which supposedly can be vulnerable to damage.

====Palm Rejection====

It is crucial to have this feature to truly replicate the feeling of writing on pen and paper. Some may be able to learn a way to not touch the screen but certainly not a natural way of writing for most of us. Even though this sounds a minor feature, this makes a huge difference. If you don't really need this option then, Jot Pro without bluetooth connection may suffice. In fact, when an application don't support Jot Touch 4, the pen simply works as Jot Pro.

For Noteshelf and Good Note, the palm rejection works really well. In fact, on Noteshelf if I write with a finger it will ignore my writing (see set up).

====Pressure sensitivity====

I don't draw so this feature is optional for me but Jot Touch 4 has one and other two did not. The pressure sensitivity does work. But not sure if it is enough for professional digital artist. I just can't speak about it due to lack of my knowledge about this regards.

====Set up ====

Perhaps this is a key for some of you who just assume everything works automatically. Here is my set up.

Device: iPad Air

Though not certain if there is much difference among versions, Air certainly has the most CPU power compared to others so there may or may not be difference. All three devices uses bluetooth connection so only works with versions of iPad that supports Bluetooth 4 standard. So make sure that's the case.

Screen Protector: Techamor Clear version (bought from amazon)Tech Armor Apple iPad Air (Generation 5) High Defintion (HD) Clear Screen Protectors -- Maximum Clarity and Touchscreen Accuracy [2Pack] Lifetime Warranty

I did not have this for other two pens i.e. livescribe 3 and jotscript because there were no mention of screen damage from these. However, jot touch 4 is infamous for such. So before the first use I have placed screen protector. There are certain screen protector that won't work with Jot Touch so be sure to check which one works before you purchase. Personally, I recommend Techarmor as it was the first screen protect I was able to apply without a single bubble and works very smoothly with Jot Touch 4. As far as actual protection, I am not sure yet but for now it's good. One tip is after the application of the screen be sure to wipe the screen protector so it becomes smooth for writing/drawing.

*IMPORTANT: With jot touch 4, I highly recommend getting some sort of screen protector.

Applications:

Per the recommendation for Jotscript, I purchased both Good Note version 4 and Noteshelf. They also support Jot Touch 4, and supports really well. However, Good Note seems to have a little lag whereas Noteshelf does not. Also annotating PDF on Goodnote further seems to slow down things where as Noteshelf does not. So I recommend Noteshelf.

You need to turn multi-touch gesture off to avoid palm recognized as multi-touch.

Also, for noteshelf I had to turn off the palm rejection from the icon bar. This may be a counter intuitive but this rejection feature is a general rejection for pens that don't have bluetooth capability. So using such feature on top makes free writing not truly free.

====Conclusion====

This pen is a keeper for me and it replicates a feeling of active digitizer experience I have with Surface Pro. The pen only works with certain apps but that is true for surface pro or galaxy note as well. Jot script did not have the accuracy I needed for normal writing. Livescribe 3 does give true paper and pen experience but inability to delete mistake, requiring to purchase special papers etc. simply was not my choice.

If you are buying Jot Touch 4, don't forget to put a screen protector before the first use.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2014 10:54 AM PDT


Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition Fine Point Stylus for iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone [Previous Generation]
Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition Fine Point Stylus for iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone [Previous Generation]
Price: $64.95
27 used & new from $40.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jot Touch 4 > Jot Script, April 18, 2014
First I believe it is important to tell my set up as there may or may not have difference among devices.

System: Ipad Air
Screen Protector: None
Applications: Goodnote, Noteshelf, Outline+

I own Surface Pro, and used to own Galaxy Note 10.1. One main thing that I felt missing with iOS ecosystem for my use was the pen writing experience. So I have decided to give a try to various stylus/stylus-like tecnologies to see if I can replicate the experience from Surface Pro or Galaxy Note.

I have tried LiveScribe 3, Jot Script, and Jot Touch 4 in these specific order. The reason behind this particular order was based on the spec and description I felt my need may be met with these.

In brief, I ended up choosing Jot Touch 4 because it replicates the best drawing experience. It is close enough to Surface Pro or Galaxy Note, not identical, but really close to the point I am satisfied.

Since this is Jot Script review, I am going to talk about why this stylus came short of my expectation.

Pixel Point:

This is the main issue. I have purchased Noteshelf and Goodnote per the recommendation from other reviews and based on my web search. I have configured the set up. The pixel point works relatively well when I write big, but writing small letters or writing fast, it was far from the real pen/paper experience. For example, "I can" in my writing always became I c-n i.e. apparently my movement for a was too small and did not register. I cannot say for sure, but it is well known issue that Jotscript has an issue with slowly written diagnonal line perhaps this issue may be reflecting such in the real experience.

Furthermore, I write Japanese i.e. include Chinese characters with many strokes. This truly requires high resolution stroke recognition. I had issue with this as well.

Palm Rejection:

This worked relatively well; however, failed enough times and for some reason using the same applications GoodNote and Noteshelf, Jot Touch 4 seems to have a less issue.

Build Quality:

This I really liked. The appearance of a real pen without disc at tip was definitely attractive. But the actual functionality did not meet the expectation.

Does this work?

Yes. You can still make this work. First you cannot use Penultimate as many as already stated , the application simply is not optimized for the Jotscript despite it is the official application. So use Goodnote or Noteshelf. I personally prefer Noteshelf.

Don't write small. You can either use zoom function or write relatively big or if you write in block style that should help as well. I can say Jot Touch 4 is more accurate for writing (not just for drawing) but if you really like the style of Jot Script and if you are ok writing a bit large, I think this stylus may still work for you.

This is still better than many styli. Just don't expect pixel point accuracy if you write small.


Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet 128 GB Hard Drive, 4 GB RAM, Windows 8 Pro - Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian only
Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet 128 GB Hard Drive, 4 GB RAM, Windows 8 Pro - Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian only
Offered by Direct Distributor
Price: $530.00
58 used & new from $334.90

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best for now, March 15, 2013
I have been in a hunt for tablet device for past couple years (or if we go back to TC4200 era, almost ten years). Surface Pro is by no means perfect. I can readily list downsides on this device (see below). However, as of today I must say this is what I need and I see no alternative.

Background:
I have owned multiple Android tablet including Transformer Infinity and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets.
I still have iPad 2.
I have owned Ativ Smart PC by Samsung for almost three months.
I have Macbook Air 13in 2011 model.

Pros:
1. Windows 8
Some may say the OS is not great, but I personally like Windows 8. If not anything for anything else, it is still a windows i.e. I can run pretty much any Windows application as long as it does not require high spec graphic card i.e. games (see below). The touch side of the Windows 8 is good for me to use as tablet i.e. I use this to read a comic or ebook. But for the purpose of productivity, I use in ultrabook mode.

Most important part of this OS to me is the true multitasking support. I can do multitasking with any application 2-3 or 4. Galaxy Note 10.1 has good mutltasking option but it was limited to selected applications and only 2 at a time. With dual screen and split screen functionality, I usually have my PDF open in one screen, One note on other with split screen Email on the side. This gives me a huge productivity boost as I no longer have to open PDF copy and switch to note app then paste, and go back to PDF app etc.

2. Accessories
Again this is a real Windows so I can easily use bluetooth or USB accessories to give me real productivity. Specifically, I use AOC E1649 portable USB monitor i.e. dual monitor set up on the go. This was not something I could do with iPad or Android tablet though I've seen some option with AirPlay application, I have some doubt it would be as smooth as my experience with Surface Pro. The other accessory I use is wireless bluetooth mouse. Touch pad on the Surface Pro Type cover keyboard is pretty bad but I don't care because I can use a real mouse.

3. Applications
Yes. Windows 8 specific store is lacking its quality content when compared to Google Play or Apple App Store, but since this device supports Windows 7 applications I can use One Note (which is one of the main reason I needed Windows 8 tablet like device), full Office (of course), and many games and other helpful applications.

4. Wacom Pen support
Closest to pen and paper writing requires inductive screen technology. Using stylus on capative screen e.g. iPad or non-Galaxy Note android tablet are just not the same. Pressure support, palm rejection but most importantly highly responsive and accurate experience is here.

5. MicroSD slot
128GB is not a small but I really needed expandable memory option. The upcoming Windows 8 tablet (lenovo helix) unfortunately does not have this option so I had to give up.

6. Processing Power
Core i5 is powerful. Though not a true performance indicator, if you use crossplatform benchmark tool (Sunspider) you see Surface Pro has 4-5x speed for javascript processing compared to the fastest tablet iPad 4 or Nexus 10. Obviously, this does not mean it really has 4x processing power but just as an example how powerful it can be on certain tasks. The other example is you can see how things lag quickly when you write a full page with Atom Processor, but you won't see that with Core i5 processor.

7. Display
After using Transformer Infinity's Full HD, all the text appeared blurry when reading text in tablet mode if the resolution was below full HD. So Surface Pro got this part right. This was the downside for Ativ Smart PC.

8. Graphics
This is more of actual GPU processing power. This is not powerful enough to play high-end game in high setting. I don't play high-end game but I have heard you can play Skyrim in low-setting, which is reasonable for me. When I tried to play relatively low demanding game on Steam with Ativ Smart PC, which uses Atom processor, it could not even start the game. Surface Pro had no issue loading and playing the game.

Neutral:
1. Price
The retail price of the 128GB is $999. When you add a keyboard and tax, you are looking around $1200. This is more than double for Android or iPad tablets. So yes. it's expensive if you are looking for just a tablet. However, when you compare to the ultrabook which is basically really thin and light computer like Macbook Air or other similarly spec'ed windows 8 tablet this is reasonable price.

2. Weight
With keyboard, the weight is easily over 2lbs. 1.5lbs is the cut off that I feel comfortable holding in a hand for prolong time. Thus this is definitely heavy for tablet. However, as a ultrabook, this is one of the lightest ultrabook.

Cons:
1. Heat
The system gets hot while in tablet mode. For me it is to the degree a bit uncomfortable to hold. Fortunately, folded type cover insulate it but even then I can still feel it. This was not an issue with Android, iPad or even Atom processor Windows 8 tablets.

2. Battery life
5 hours of battery life is not terrible; however, I really need full day battery i.e. 8-10 hours without a charge. The device charges relatively quickly so it's a help but even then I really wish the battery life is longer. Though there is a hope. Supposedly, there is a rumor that Microsoft might be working on battery containing keyboard. The new ports on the Surface Pro is capable of supporting it, and we know such can be done as proven by Asus transformer series. So may be this will change.

Conclusion:
This is a keeper for me. Three main downsides are weight, heat and battery life. The next generation intel chip, Haswell, specifically focuses on these issues. So if you can wait until next iteration of Windows 8 tablet, that is probably the best. Otherwise, as long as the budge is not your issue, this is a tablet you have to consider. Provides great productivity especially purchase accessory such as portable monitor. It plays many windows games excluding graphically intense games.

The potential alternative devices are upcoming Lenovo Helix (priced starting at $1500) or Ativ Smart PC pro (similar to Surface Pro). Personally, I did not choose the former as I could not wait and the price was a bit too high, and no microSD.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (32GB, Deep Grey)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (32GB, Deep Grey)
27 used & new from $219.99

92 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best tablet not because of S-pen nor multitask (compared to transformer infinity), August 19, 2012
============= Updates ================
9/15/2012
Final Decision - I ended up choosing Infinity. Please see updated conclusion section. Also updated Battery section to Tie because I finally got transformer dock and had to change my mind of what I said before.

9/3/2012
Week 2 update
1. S-pen - So I still don't use this feature, but just for fun I tried. Quickly, this is the closest to paper as it can get. See the updated section of "handwriting".
2. Windows 8 Tablets - Since recent IFA Berlin showed several upcoming Windows 8 tablet, I have decided to give a quick comparison to them.
3. Future Potential - During IFA Berlin, Samsung announced the Jellybean update on the Galaxy Note 10.1 is coming "very soon (changed from this year)." & showed many cool features of upcoming Galaxy Note 2 (handheld) device features, which most likely be included in the Galaxy Note 10.1 as well. See Future potential section for detail.

8/24/2012
After one full week of use, here is quick update.
1. Stability - The stability of this system is amazing. I had only a single crush of stock browser, which at this point could even be my error of clicking pushing button by accident. Even on the iPad 2, I still had at least 1 or 2 freeze/crush every other day or so. So this is actually the most stable tablet/system I have ever used.
2. Lack of HD Screen - After 1 week of use, I had hoped that I would forget about my experience with HD Screen on Transformer Infinity. Unfortunately this isn't the case. Whenever I browse and open a web page, I simply have to zoom in to be able really read things, which again wasn't the case with HD screen. So yes. it is really noticeable.

At this point, I can say basically Galaxy Note 10.1 is pretty much superior to transformer infinity in every aspect except HD screen. However, the screen is one of the major point so the choice still remains to be a bit hard. But once experiencing the stability & speed of Galaxy Note 10.1, I don't think I can go back to infinity or any other android tablet that gives us freeze or crush every hour.

============= Vs. Upcoming Windows 8 Tablets ============

I was actually hoping with IFA, at least one of windows 8 tablet announced be my dream system i.e. customizability & flexibility of android, solid 8+ hours battery life, portability, stability, speed and full HD screen.

In short, no system met this criteria. The major systems are ASUS Vivo series and Samsung ativ series. Among these, only Samsung Ativ Smart Pro is the only one has full HD screen that Galaxy Note 10.1 lacks. However, this system like other full Windows 8 edition tablets are much heavier, battery life is mere 5 hours DVD play time, and price is over $1100.

Other tablets that are portable, and has good battery life are usually Windows RT versions. Given how stable Android OS on Galaxy Note 10.1, stability is no longer comparison point. Just like iOS vs. Android, it becomes applications. Windows RT edition only runs Metro specific applications. Though they will certainly grow, it will likely to take sometime. Given the rapid change in the technology, if you decide to buy a system with a hope that the application will come, you may end up not enjoying your system as by the time applications flourish on the metro market, there may be better spec systems with cheaper price. Furthermore, it appears no Windows RT based system have stylus support.

So in conclusion, though windows 8 tablet are not inferior by any means, there is no upcoming windows 8 tablet at this point can say "absolutely better" than the Galaxy Note 10.1 or even Transformer Infinity. Both tablet have still their own places and target audiences.

============= Original Review Below =====================

Quick background of myself, I had recently purchased transformer infinity as upgrade from my ipad 2, and Samsung galaxy 10.1 4G. It was a great tablet of its own, but had couple major negatives for the purpose of my use. So I had to seek for alternative. Given my relative unhappiness with Galaxy 10.1 original and 4G, I was a bit skeptical about Galaxy Note 10.1 but decided to give a chance. The result after 3 days of use is "amazing." This should be the flagship/standard of Android tablet.

In the review of Transformer infinity, I have discussed about iOS ecosystem vs. Android ecosystem. In here, I am actually going to focus on comparing to the transformer infinity, which is by many major review sites rated as the best android tablet. And I see several people are considering this vs. the infinity.

WARNING: Do not trust some reviews you read on the websites. I just do not experience/see the issues what some reviewers are saying.

============ Summary ===============

Compared to transformer infinity

Strength
+Stability
+Speed
+Audio/Speaker

Weakness
-No HD screen
-Samsung's very slow software update
-UI

Tie
*Battery Life
*Build Quality
*Overall hardware spec
*Future potential

Note: I did not mention S-pen nor multitasking here because I personally don't use S-pen, and multitasking is good but you can do pretty much the same with applications on the market on any android device.

Conclusion:

Do you want android tablet?
Are you ok with not having HD display?
Can you afford the price?

If yes to all three, then this is the tablet to get.

=========== Detail Review ================

1. Stability

This is in fact the biggest selling point of this tablet. I was always under the impression that by choosing Android ecosystem over the iOS, one thing we have to give up is the stability. So when I initially got the infinity, I had a hope but the hope of stability quickly went away. Browser crushed/froze every hour or so. Other applications also froze and crushed. In android world, I guess it's called application not responding (ANR) error. I don't think infinity had any more of ANR than the my old Galaxy 10.1 but definitely did not seem less.

To my surprise, Galaxy Note 10.1 is actually extremely stable. In fact, I have used so far approximately 20-30 hours and have not encountered a single ANR nor crush. Having stable Android system is just an amazing.

Winner: Galaxy Note 10.1

2. Screen

If you have never used HD display tablet such as New Ipad, transformer Infinity or ACER Iconia A700, you would probably not notice. But after using them for awhile, the sharpness of text produced by these high definition screen are certainly noticeable. With infinity, i can load a page and without zooming in, I can basically read entire page because resolution is so good. But with Galaxy Note, everything look somewhat blurry so I have to zoom in to really read.

This is a huge disadvantage of Galaxy Note. And perhaps, the reason why every other aspect on Galaxy Note is better than Infinity because it does not have to drive HD. If you need HD screen android tablet, you have to go with transformer infinity. Even there is not much HD specific applications right now, you will notice the difference on every day use.

Winner: Transformer Infinity

3. Speed

After doing some custom tweek on my infinity, browsing on infinity became much faster (at least so it seemed). When it is at maximum speed, infinity and galaxy browser loaded pages in equal speed. I tested this by simply going to the same site at same time for couple pages. But after couple hours of use, infinity browser always seemed to slow down or crush. This does not depend on which browser I used stock, chrome, opera, firefox beta, dolphin beta etc. The benchmark sort of show this. Sunspider benchmark of infinity was decently fast so browser should be fast, which again it was when working. But Galaxy Note 10.1's sunspider result is simply in another dimension. It's even faster than new iPad. Since stock is so well on the Galaxy Note, I have not really tried much else on galaxy note.

Another example is I use Mantano Reader for my ebook reading. With infinity, I could not open couple files. One was 50MB, the other was 400MB. It simply took forever and gave me ANR. If lucky and got it working after awhile, it only showed couple pages and then crush. I sent email to Mantano asking for fix as I could not believe with such high spec on the Infinity can be an issue. In fact, some files larger than 50MB opened fine on the Mantano. Furthermore, other PDF applications such as Repligo, Adobe Reader opened these files fine as well. So I had good reasons to blame on application itself. But the same file opens instantaneously on Galaxy Note and obviously no crush or ANR.

So despite infinity being fast system on its own, I have to give this one also to Galaxy Note.

Winner: Galaxy Note 10.1

4. Audio/Speaker

Speaker on the infinity was simply a weakness. So any system can win over this. I am not expert on sound system, so all I cared was whether I can hear sound loud enough. With infinity, some of my video files were only barely audible even with maximum sound setting if there are any background sounds. This was different from any other tablet I owned. Galaxy Note 10.1 is just like others I have no problem hearing sounds. It is what I expected.

With infinity I had issue on listening to video file that was on the microsd using headset. Every minute or two, I hear small but definitely noticeable "beep beep." This was fixed by copying files locally to the device. But this sort of defeats the purpose of microsd... This issue is not there with Galaxy Note. So I can keep video files on microsd.

Winner: Galaxy Note 10.1

5. Software Update

No one can beat ASUS. Their reputation on the software update is the best of all android tablet maker. In fact, they have already released jelly bean on one of transformer line. So it probably won't be too long for infinity either. This will for surely be true for OS after jellybean as well. In addition, Nexus 7 is made by ASUS and has very similar specification to transformer prime, so future proof in terms of software update on infinity is the best on the market.

In comparison, Samsung is one of the worst in terms of software update. One main reason is that they make their own touch wiz customization. The original samsung galaxy 10.1 just recently got ice cream sandwich. Samsung announced that Galaxy Note will be getting Jellybean by end of the year, so we will get it but I don't count on the time. As far as the OS after Jellybean, who knows we may get it but that would be even further down the road and it may even become irrelevant at the point.

Winner: Transformer Infinity

However, there is a catch on this. If the actual software is working perfectly, do we really need/care newer OS? I was looking forward to Jellybean when I had infinity because I thought it would make the system faster, and possibly more stable. However, Galaxy Note is already extremely fast, and perfect stability. So I am not sure if I am much to look forward to in Jellybean.

6. User Interface

Transformer Infinity uses near stock interface. Their widgets are very clean. I loved their transparent weather, and date widget. Touch Wiz on the other hand, I don't think as pretty. Samsung Weather widget just don't fit well. This may be personal preference though.

Winner: Transformer Infinity

7. Build Quality

The actual external appearance of the tablet goes to infinity. The metallic Zen design is really great. It does look like expensive tablet. On the other hand, Samsung has plastic and I even had my port plastic broken one time on my Galaxy 10.1 4G. Clearly, it is not common place for accidental damage as it is simply so hard to break the piece by intention. But Samsung totally refused to fix it and asked for $100 to fix this even though I only had the tablet for 5 months. So I am skeptical for the durability of plastic tablet.

However, quality assurance seems better on Samsung. I had to try two Infinity. Both had light bleed, one had loose screen i.e. I can get click sound by pressing corner, sticking button (first one was volume, second one was power). According to XDA forum, this was very prevalent issue and pretty much most people had one or other. Galaxy Note I have none of these, and seemed like forum is also pointing to the same direction with very minimal complain on these matters.

Winner: Tie

8. Battery Life

This is one feature I could not tolerate initially with infinity. It lasted 5 hours if I use browser. If I play game, it lasted only 3 hours. Watching video or reading ebook without any browsing is the only way to get close to 9.5 hours documented on the specification. But in reality, I always surf net, so generally I could never get more than 6 hours from 100% full charge. Galaxy Note's battery life is amazing. Over 6 hours of screen time I was still at 50% one time. Second time 9 hours of screen time including 2 hours of gaming, 3 hours of constant almost pure browsing, 2+ hours of local video, and rest are ebook reading, I still have 30% battery left. This will undoubtedly gives me 10+ hours of browsing time. In fact, I am guessing this can even give 12+ hours easily unless I play game. Even with gaming probably 8-9 hours.

Some review claims battery hours on this much shorter, or even compatible to infinity. My guess on this is they only either compared video play not included browsing but even then the number won't much. So most likely explanation is they used 3G version of Galaxy Note 10.1.

In any event, battery life on Galaxy Note is simply amazing. When comparing tablet to tablet, without a question Galaxy Note is better. However, this becomes a bit more complicated with Infinity's selling feature which is extra battery containing docking station. I did not realize the power of docking station until I actually purchased one. But if I do not want to carry around extra-weight, I can simply think the docking station as a battery charger. I can do something like use as tablet at work, then connect to dock when get a chance/want to use as laptop/watch video. Even while I use the tablet recharges from the dock's battery. As I drive back, the tablet continues recharge from the dock. So by the time I go back home, I am ready to use the tablet for night time reading. All I need is recharge the dock and essentially I can completely eliminate the time to wait for tablet getting charged though with Galaxy Note's extra long battery life, this may not be frequent issue.

Winner: Tie

9. Overall Hardware Specification

This is technical aspect. No matter what the specification is, in the end user experience is everything; however, hardware spec can definitely affect the experience. Generally speaking two are similar with one better on one regard but other on the other.

CPU: Tie - Atuntu scores are basically the same.

GPU: Samsung Galaxy Note - Galaxy Note has the best GPU in any of Android tablet on the market right now. Still not up to the level of the new Ipad. Given it has to push less pixels compared to infinity, stronger GPU further makes difference. Having said this, I don't think there is any application on android market currently that pushes to their graphical limit. So not sure if extra GPU power make much difference.

I/O: Samsung Galaxy Note - Supposedly I/O issue has been discussed on transformer series before infinity. But infinity still has it. It had improved with the latest firmware, but not solved. There is speculation that this is indeed hardware level of issue i.e. can go only so much. The speculation is coming from XDA developer who tested running things off of highspeed SD card gave much boost in the function when compared to local storage i.e. Flash storage is the conundrum. This is reflected on the benchmark. The infinity had RL benchmark score of 80-90's with the latest firmware (originally like 120's). Galaxy Note has 20's. This actually does affect daily use as you save file, access file all requires reading and writing from flash drive. Obviously, infinity is not 4 times slower than Galaxy Note but this may be reason why my PDF file opened fine on Mantano with Galaxy Note but not on Infinity.

Memory: Samsung Galaxy Note - 2GB. Since most tablet still has 1GB memory, we won't likely to see anything that require 2GB memory for awhile. So it is only helpful when opening multiple applications i.e. you may be able to cache more application than before but otherwise, I am not sure if this helps much.

Screen: Transformer Infinity - See above.

In any event, both hardwares are the best in the market right now. If these two system cannot handle any more update, application etc. then pretty much nothing else on the market can handle them any more either. So as far as hardware goes, both are relatively future proof.

10. Future Potential

ASUS, the maker of Infinity, makes Nexus 7 and again it has similar spec as the infinity's ancestor transformer prime. So it should have good support from Google as well as future application makers. Furthermore, recently ASUS became of the playstation partner. So you will likely to see playstation games on it.

Galaxy Note 10.1 on the other hand is made by Samsung, who makes one of the most popular smartphone Samsung Galaxy Series. Since Galaxy Note and SIII etc. uses Exynos CPU design and the number of unit sold are so high, android software developers will/should continue support them and hence, also supporting Galaxy Note 10.1.

Update (9/3): Samsung just recently announced it is bringing Jellybean to Galaxy Note 10.1 "very soon." No solid time here, but compared to "this year", this sounds much more imminent. Only the time will tell, but it would be interesting how quickly Samsung can make the update to change its reputation here.

More interestingly, Galaxy Note 2 (handheld) device was just recently officially announced by Samsung. This device is very similar to the Galaxy Note 10.1. So new features coming to the Galaxy Note 2 is highly likely to be added to Galaxy Note 10.1 as well. If you are interested in seeing what these features are, search for [GALAXY Note II] First Hands-on Video by Samsung on Youtube. These features appear very unique (at least to me).

Winner: Tie

11. Handwriting

For those of you who thinks S-pen is just another stylus, it is not. You can never write as small on iPad, or Infinity because simply technology is different. So those who wants to have closest to the real pen and paper experience, you need inductive pen device like Galaxy Note.

Updated 9/3/2012
Coming from the background of looking into tablet PC when still relatively new (back windows XP era), one thing I can say to test whether stylus/pen on screen truly work or not is write as small as you can and see if the tablet can recognize your writing. The conventional touch screen tablet like iPad, most of android tablet including transformer infinity, you will quickly notice the smallest you can write is not so small. You have some applications to convert your bigger drawn handwriting into smaller text, but it certainly is not same experience as you were to write on the paper.

Since I had time with this tablet, I had a chance to try this. Well, the smallest the tablet recognizes is the smallest I can write. So in this sense, Samsung did phenomenal job. Perhaps, this may be the reason why they could not include full HD screen.

Winner: Galaxy Note

============== Other less important features =================

Other things that I personally don't think much important are followings:

1. Split Screen

There are many applications on the Google Play that already allows you to watch video, browse web, take note etc. while opening other window. So it is nice to include as a free feature and emphasize such feature exist, but Galaxy Note's built in applications are limited to certain applications. For instance, I cannot use built in browser to watch flash movie while I read ebook. However, if I buy overskreen I can do that. And overskreen is supported on transformer infinity as well. So I don't think split screen should be decision maker for anyone.

2. Keyboard dock

This is mainly the feature of transformer series. But samsung does make keyboard dock. Galaxy Note 10.1 version is not out yet, but it is in process. The difference is that Galaxy Note one (probably) won't have extra battery. But I don't think it needs that as by tablet alone it can last so long and probably even longer than Infinity with dock. Form factor goes to the transformer as it attaches and closes like laptop. My personal opinion about this is, it doesn't really make difference. If I need keyboard I can still carry it. The total weight is the same. So another factor, I don't think should be decision maker.

=============== Conclusion ==================

Update 9/15/2012

Galaxy Note 10.1 is phenomenal device with its stability, speed, and extra function of S-pen.

Galaxy Note and Transformer Infinity are definitely two of the best Android tablet on the market at this time. Though all the major reviews only giving credit to Infinity, if you use Galaxy Note 10.1 you will know its power, speed and stability, which are even better than that of Infinity. However, I have ended up choosing transformer infinity. Because even when Galaxy Note is superior in pretty much every other aspect to Infinity except the screen, the full HD screen turned out to be such an major feature that infinity has(=note lacks). I read ebook, surf web, and watch videos. Basically, every second that I look at screen for these tasks I noticed the difference in screen resolution. Though not to the level of the Note, with tweaks I got my infinity browsing speed faster, and system more stable. After these tweaks, these difference are only wastes several minutes a day of my time in the end i.e. accumulation of 10 seconds difference in loading flash heavy site, system force close/ANR 2-3 times more than Galaxy Note add up extra time of waiting for page to load and relaunching applications.

It is not easy decision to make. You just need to weight what is important to you.
Comment Comments (18) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2013 1:13 AM PST


ASUS TF700T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model
ASUS TF700T-B1-GR 10.1-Inch Tablet (Gray) 2012 Model
Offered by BLINQ
Price: $195.49
103 used & new from $129.77

46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Currently the best Android Tablet, August 13, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE

9/27/2012
So I came back from Galaxy Note 10.1 because I just could not tolerate non-Full HD screen any more after using Infinity. I tried to convince myself it would be ok, but it wasn't. The biggest concern coming back to infinity were relatively frequent application not responding error (ANR) and random application crash/close especially on browser, and relatively but significantly slower speed of browser page loading compared to iPad 2 or Galaxy Note 10.1. However, with a little tweaks I am now very satisfied with infinity as those concerns are now significantly improved to almost completely fixed.
- See Stability section for added Tips
- Conclusion updated

8/31/2012
- Wifi related battery issue is not unit based, but through out the all unit (according to the quick survey at XDA) See battery life section
- See new section on Quality Control Issue: In short, make sure to purchase infinity from a place where you can exchange/return.
- Compare to upcoming Windows 8 Tablets

8/19/2012
Had to down grade score to 4 after using Galaxy Note 10.1. Please see
- Stability/smoothness
- Conclusion

8/15/2012
- Performance Boost Tip (see speed section)
- Multitasking updated

=====================
Compared to recently announced upcoming Windows 8 tablets
======================

Recently, multiple windows 8 tablets have been officially announced with their detailed specifications and prices. For some of you considering this vs. windows 8 tablet, based on the specifications, I concluded following:

"No windows 8 tablet is completely superior to Transformer Infinity or Galaxy Note 10.1"

Major players are followings:

Samsung ativ series: The only one that has Full HD screen is Smart Pro version, which costs >$1000, and DVD play battery time is 5 hours. Infinity by tablet alone has documented video play time of 9.5 hours, which becomes mere 5 hours with web browsing and 3-4 hours with playing games. So what could the 5 hours really be. Such short battery life is not acceptable for me. Other ativ series do not have full HD, and priced higher.

Asus vivo series: None of them actually has full HD screen.

The benefit of Windows 8 only comes if you purchase Pro version as RT version will only run windows metro specific applications, which will likely to grow in number but won't be for a while to before catching up with Android (my guess). But Pro version tablets are much higher price, and heavier.

So they are not necessary inferior, but for those of you like me was looking forward to see one "this is it!" system, that is not ready. Windows 8 tablets have their own drawbacks/design decision mainly weight, battery life, price, and lack of full HD screen.

====================
ORIGINAL REVIEW
=====================

It is not my personal opinion, but if you search around the web for major review sites, pretty much it is unanimous that this tablet is the king of 10 inch Android Tablet at this moment (8/2012). As with no system is perfect; otherwise, nobody would ever make newer model again, this indeed has some room for improvement. Since I currently or previously own(ed) ipad2, Samsung galaxy 10.1 (both wifi only 4G LTE), and Xoom, I have decided to put a little comparison from my experience to indicate what aspect of this system I am truly impressed with but also what aspect can be further improved in the future models.

========= Why I chose Android Ecosystem ==========

iOS vs. Android may be the one biggest question potential tablet buyer must answer first. The most popular tablet by far is indeed Apple's Ipad series. They are great. Very smooth and stable. For me coming from Android system, then to iOS, then back to Android system, followings were what I looked before coming back to Android ecosystem:

------------------ Android Ecosystem Pros ------------------------

1. Storage expansion
- I have relatively large collection of videos that I like to carry around. I would rather swap back and forth microSD than the transfer files from computer every time. So this was one big factor for me.
2. True Mutitask
In iOS, multitasking is very limited and in my opinion there is no TRUE multitasking there. For instance, if I start download a file over the internet, and leave the application and do something else such as reading ebook, the file downloading quickly goes into frozen state i.e. not really downloading in background. On the other hand, Android will let you download things in background and you can do other things in the mean time.

(8/15)Recently, I was a bit intrigued by the introduction of Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, which offers split window capability (not for every applications but browser, polaris office, note taking application, video covers for me). With this news, one of forum poster actually referred me to multiple applications that are already out there on market that essentially does similar and perhaps better to certain degree. For instance, if you like to browse a web but do something else e.g. read ebook, use office of your choice, or perhaps even browse two different sites. The application is called "Oversckreen." This is type of things that I believe true multitasking and flexibility of the android shines.

3. Data Transfer
- Transferring data using proprietary application (iTune) with USB connection became quickly very restrictive for me. We could bypass this by using cloud storage but that required uploading file first then download. On the contrary, in Android you can plug in the system via USB and transfer data by drag and drop using folder system on either Windows or Mac OS. Alternatively, you can use application such as AirDroid to transfer file over the WIFI with desktop like interface through browser.
4. Centralized File System
- In android, it uses similar tree file system as desktops. So I can create my own folder organization, and any application can use the folder structure. This is handy for me. For example, I have many PDF and EPUB books. For me these are nothing but ebooks. So I like to organize them in the same folder(s). However, some application does better job opening PDF than the other, but for EPUB I use different application. But this won't affect storage for me as files are still single copy one location where I placed. Whereas in iOS, each application gets own copy. So for some reason I want to open PDF in one application but then reopen on the other application, I have to create two copies in the system.
5. User interface
iOS has simple interface that nobody should have any difficulty with. This can be pros for many, but personally, I enjoy more customization. I like to see fancy widget like home screen quickly showing weather, news etc. People also frequently hear calling Android ecosystem is more "flexible." My take on this is that Android ecosystem allows you to change home screen not only with widgets but even whole interface i.e. launcher. So certainly not as simple as iOS, I prefer such on Android system. It just simply more fun for me.
6. FLASH support
This will be going away entirely from mobile platform. However, it will take time. No new device be supported at this point, but existing devices including transformer infinity is still supported. When Jellybean update comes, though there is no official support, no doubt we will still see easy way to load FLASH on android device. In fact, Nexus device user with Jellybean update confirmed they can still use Flash on their devices. So some day everything will be HTML5, but until then I like Flash compatibility.

------------------ Android Ecosystem Cons ------------------------

So above are in strength of the android system (obviously in my personal opinion). The downside is

1. Stability/Smoothness
Android had came quite far since the initial tablet optimized android OS Honeycomb introduction. The current version (Ice cream sandwich) is far more stable and smooth than the Honeycomb. However, applications still do crush on Infinity. Some are not too infrequent. Initially I wrote "one main reason may be due to so many hardware out there, developers have no control/way to test on every single device. In my experience, it is most of time finding the right application." Well, I guess I was blind. Recently I purchased Galaxy Note 10.1. After 20+ hours of use, I have yet to encounter single crush or ANR (application not responding). I basically do the exactly same with Galaxy Note and Infinity. Infinity give me at least one crush or ANR every hour or two.

2. Applications
Overall, iOS has more applications optimized for tablet. Many games are initially released on iOS then later ported to Android. If gaming on tablet is primarily interest, iOS is undoubtedly the way to go. However, some applications are better on Android. For instance, application called "Anki", which is probably the best cross platform flashcard application, you can get it for FREE on android with WIFI sync of stats and cards. Whereas, iOS you have to pay $20+ to purchase the application. Android has easy 15 minutes trial and refund policy, so I don't have to waste money to find out whether an application is what I truly wanted.

========= Transformer Infinity ==========
Once you made your mind with Android ecosystem, here are what's special about transformer infinity.

------------------ Pros ------------------------
1. Speed
I am not certain why some complains of smoothness/speed. But swiping home screen, launching applications on this device is extremely smooth and fast for me. One big sales point of the newest android OS Jellybean will be "Buttery smooth" interface; however, I am not sure if I will see any difference from what I already have here because it is already buttery smooth. Benchmarks are simply numbers, but check them out on google. You will see infinity indeed has the top notch benchmark scores across the board among all the existing android tablet. For instance, I use application called Mantano reader for my ebook. They have recently added page curl effect for epub book reading like iBook. It is so smooth on Infinity that I see no difference from iBook. But this may not be true for some older systems with lower specifications.

[Tips] This is only true if you are running in balanced or performance mode. Battery save mode indeed sees a lag/stuttering.

(8/15) I had not had an issue with original or replaced unit, but if your unit runs surprisingly slow. It sounds like "factory reset" had helped some. So try it out. But true performance boost was immediately noticed, and perhaps stability improvement as well after reading an article at XDA forum. If you are interested, try search "tweaks to sweeten your life with the Infinity." If not, this at least proves that ASUS can eventually with software update make this tablet even much faster.

2. HD Screen
This is main advantage of this device over the other android tablet. Basically, you are paying for this feature. The upcoming Galaxy Note 10.1 has equivalent CPU benchmark and better GPU benchmark; however, it lacks HD screen. There is currently not much (if any) HD optimized application on android market but you don't really need them to see its effect on daily use. When you surf web, read ebooks, the texts are crystal clear. If HD screen is what you want, you only have two choice in Android market right now. Acer A500 and this machine. Every site that I saw basically puts Infinity over the A500 despite $50 more.

3. ASUS reputation
ASUS does have its own problem. However, when comes to software update they are among the best. They have introduced Ice cream sandwitch before anybody else except google device e.g. xoom or nexus. People complained about poor I/O perfomance, they have already released firmware less than a month since the device release to fix this. There is no doubt aside from Xoom and Nexus 7, transformer series will be the first to see Jellybean update.

*In comparison, Samsung makes great tablet but they customize the OS quite bit and resulting in extremely slow update. They have just recently updated to ice cream sandwich on their original Galaxy Tablet series, which is like 6 months behind that of ASUS.

4. Keyboard Dock
You can use keyboard on any Android tablet whether bluetooth or USB. The key difference here is that transformer series keyboard will extend the battery life and attaches to tablet and makes the tablet like laptop. Since I have not purchased one yet, I cannot say much about this.

[Rumor] Many rumors are floating around that transformer prime keyboard dock is indeed the same as that of transformer infinity except now priced higher. One most objective argument I have seen regarding to this is on the XDA forum. One user disassembled both and basically saw everything being the exactly the same. ASUS representative says otherwise, but no convincing proof has been provided so far.

5. Future Proof
Tablet market is perhaps the most rapidly evolving field. If you wait 3-4 months, there will be better specification system on the market. However, Infinity being the top of notch at this point and similar but superior to the Nexus 7, we can safely say that this device will have relatively good future proof for a while before its gets obsolete. No doubt we will get newer OS even after Jellybean.

Upcoming Galaxy Note 10.1 will have 2GB of memory, which is great and I wish we had it on Infinity; however, it being the only system with that, and many will be at 1GB we will not see any application that requires 2GB memory for awhile. Though larger memory will certainly help multitasking.

------------------ Cons ------------------------
1. Battery Life
Personally, this is one major downside of the system. The system has higher pixels to push compared to transformer prime, yet has the identical battery. In comparison, New iPad doubled its battery from iPad 2 to sustain its battery life. ASUS claims 9.5 hours of battery with tablet alone. In balanced mode with WIFI on but watching local video or reading ebook under 30% or so monitor setting, I get ~10%/hr battery loss. So it is possible to get the number. However, if you surf the web the battery life quickly goes down. With WiFi surfing and online streaming, the battery drain becomes ~20%/hr i.e. only lasts 5-6 hours. This seems a bit low. Couple tricks to save battery life exist including changing to Power Saving mode, which would add 1-2 hours extra, but system becomes overall laggy. Adding dock will bring up the battery life to top of its kind; however, I still prefer seeing 9-10 hours battery with constant web surf without dock.

Note: These numbers are screen on time. I can easily get over a day if including the screen off time.

I initially thought it was fault on my device as some claims phenomenal battery life, so I did got exchange but still the same. Those claiming over 10hours battery life is undoubtedly talking about "off charger but not on-screen" time. Those who claims on-screen time of >6 hours have minimal WIFI use (not it is on or off but actively browsing or not). I have sent an email to ASUS rep about this to see if they can potentially fix it as other tablet usually won't have this much difference in battery use just by using browser.

[TIPS] For those of you getting too much drain from WIFI while screen is off, go to setting > WIFI > advanced and select WIFI on while sleep to "never". This way when your system is off, you won't see drain in battery.

2. USB File Transfer Speed
When compared to my iPad 2, file transfer speed across the USB is slower on transformer infinity despite using the latest firmware .26. The time I transfer files are not so frequent and I can even download files in background and do something else, but it is certainly nice to have maximum speed when hooked on to USB as those are times I want to transfer big file as quickly as possible.

3. Sound
It talks about Sonic System but sound on this machine is definitely weakness. Sometimes I have difficulty hearing via speaker. Fortunately, I use mostly with headphone but if someone wants to watch a movie on this device using a built in speaker and expecting high quality, you may be a bit disappointed on this regards.

[Tips] You can potentially boost the sound beyond the manufacture's setting. But this shouldn't be necessary.

4. Quality Control (added 8/31)
Based on my daily checking of forums on transformer infinity, I can confidently conclude that quality control on the transformer infinity have some major flaw. Some may try to defend saying that they got a perfect unit, which is great for them. Others may say every company has defective unit, which is true statement. However, if you look at forum such as XDA, you see so many people complains of issues. In contrast, if you check forum for Galaxy Note 10.1, you basically see 1/10th of hardware related complain. This overall make ASUS a huge loss in my opinion. Because we don't know if the system instability, slow speed etc. is actually from the system or simply faulty unit. Some may not even consider latter and instead just return. Because of relatively high prevalence of QC issue, I highly recommend buying infinity from a place where you can exchange/return.

------------------ Mixed ------------------------
1. Build Quality
Overall the unit looks phenomenal. Compared to my previous plastic made Galaxy 10.1 which port hinge cracked without any major physical damage and Samsung refused to replace... Solid metallic feeling, beautiful concentric design of ZEN. It definitely feels like high quality tablet. My original nor replacement unit had single dead pixel, so that's a good thing. However, if you become nit picky, you finds a few (minor) but noticeable issues including:
- Light bleed: Only noticeable during boot up so should not affect actual use but they are there. Supposedly pretty common based on some forum.
- Clicking sound: My initial tablet did have this and many others experience this according to XDA forum. Most likely due to slightly loose attachment around the screen. Again, this does not affect daily use but this one was certainly noticeable to me. Replaced unit did not have this but got more light bleed.
- Soft button: Original unit had some asymmetric softness to the volume up button, and replaced unit has that on the power button.

2. Stability
This may not be due to hardware but rather applications but applications do crash at least several times during my charge cycle. Particularly, noticeable is on the browser. It does not matter if stock, chrome, or other popular third party browsers. They still give me random close. Mainly with flash site though. I hope this will improve with Jellybean but it emphasizes "smoothness" not "stability" so who knows.

(8/19) After using Galaxy Note 10.1, I am not sure if it is due to software or hardware. Because Galaxy note 10.1 also uses Ice cream sandwich but after 20+ hours of use, I have experience 0 crush or freeze. Even on the file I could not open (pdf on mantano reader), I can readily open with Galaxy Note 10.1. It is possible that Samsung did extensive customization/kernel design and ASUS did not so it is software related, but in any event when compared to the most stable systems i.e. iPad or Galaxy Note 10.1 (yes. so far that system is stable as iPad or could be even more.. who knows as I haven't experience single crush on this I don't know how good/bad it is), infinity definitely lacks stability. Though I don't think it is any worse than my old Samsung Galaxy 10.1 or Xoom.

(9/27) I am not certain whether it was related due to defective hardware for my original units, firmware update improvement, or turning off the bloatware. But at this point, I have encountered only handful application random crash, and probably same or less number of ANR after two weeks. This is essentially compatible to my experience on Galaxy Note 10.1, and iPad 2. So from my side, only one special thing I did here, which is "turning off bloatware." ASUS includes many application that runs on background. These can be turned off without you rooting or unlocking the device. So I highly recommend doing this. For the exact list of which application can be turned off, see XDA forum.

3. Power Save Mode
It is nice to have an option to extend battery a little as it is indeed the biggest weakness of this unit. However, noticeable lag by switching to it seems a bit of issue. I understand becoming laggy on demanding applications such as games but just swiping home screen, launching application should still be smooth. I wonder if Jellybean will fix this.

========= Conclusion ==========
Overall, I now give 5/5. This is the best android table on market. Main advantage are full HD screen, ASUS's continuous support with timely updates, top notch hardware spec at the moment makes this is future proof device. However, battery life is sub-optimal for today's tablet standard when used tablet alone with WIFI on, and built in speaker is weakness. Also, quality control issue of ASUS product suffer, so be sure to get this from where you can exchange as you have relatively high chance receiving defective product.

Out of box, this item may be slightly inferior in a few area compared to Galaxy Note 10.1. In particular, browser speed and overall smoothness and speed on ICS. These however, can be improved by simple fixes. 1. Turn of bloatware (no root/unlock needed). 2. If you still think browser is slow, then supposedly, you can install an application called browser2ram. However, for this you supposedly need to root the system. But with these modifications, you can make infinity true king of the android tablet at the moment.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 15, 2013 12:04 AM PDT


Mantano Ebook Reader Premium
Mantano Ebook Reader Premium
Price: $4.99

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Reader for HoneyComb Tablets, June 30, 2011
This review is from: Mantano Ebook Reader Premium (App)
*7 days free trial version is available on Android Market.

Background: I have great amount of custom EPUB files. Some of which goes up to 500MB. These contain fancy tables with text and images. Also multilevel Table of contents etc. I also have great amount of PDFs with some of which goes up to 80MB. I really wanted to be able to read these in fact this was one of reason I got my Tablet. Tried pretty much all readers on the market including Aldiko, Cool Reader, FBReader, StarBook, MoonReader, Mylib etc. My current Android Tablet is Samsung Galaxy 10.1.

Among the all I tried, this beats everything else by far and $5 is worth it. Here are reasons with some comparison to other epub readers.

1) Rendering of EPUB
This uses ADE (Adobe Digital Edition) Engine. For those of you have used it on Desktop knows that it flies. When many other EPUB reader took even up over minutes to open 500MB epub file, ADE opens in 2 seconds. This indeed applies to Mantano Reaer as well. The other reader I know uses ADE is Aldiko. So rendering are essentially identical on both. Starbook and Mylib may be just uncompressing files and open simply as straight HTML format so their rendering was great as well. But others could not render my files.

2) Stability
This is one biggest feature sets Mantano apart from Aldiko, which I had to say probably had the best potential and thought I had to wait until Aldiko matures for tablet until I see Mantano. But Aldiko actually force closed 100% on Xoom. For some reason, it was better on Samsung Galaxy but still had occasional force close. Mantano I have not encountered any.

3) UI
Undoubtly professionally built UI quality. Table of content has collapsable tree. Very clean and intuitive.

4) Speed
This is yet another factor that placed Mantano over the Aldiko. Page to page flipping on large EPUB file is very smooth on Mantano; whereas, on Aldiko essentially every page flip I had to wait at least 2-5 seconds.

When it comes to PDF. This flies. 80MB PDF opened in no time.

5) Annotation, Highlight
Aldiko did not have this feature. Perhaps other readers might have had these features but due to lack of ideal rendering for my files, I could not even get that far on others.

6) Custom Support
Major factor. This is what makes I belive one reader probably the best over the other at least until Mantano came by. Again as I believe Mantano is already by far the best. But all the others had its own pros and cons. When I addressed issue with each reader to developer in a hope, one of them eventually become my ideal reader, unfortunately none did quite their job at least in timely manner. Mantano developers are very responsible.

Known issues:

1) Table of Content: Large table of content takes forever to load. In fact, this was only time I saw Force close option popped up. If I click wait, eventually it resolves and worked fine. But for 500MB file it took close to minute to load the TOC.

2) Couple UI subwindows are not tablet optimized.

Above two I have just sent email to developer today as they have just rolled out Tablet optimized version today. They have already responded and told me these will be fixed in next version.

If you have never tried this, just give a shot on trial version. That's what I did and on my 6th day. I knew this is what I wanted. So I purchased one.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2014 6:52 AM PDT


NetFront(TM) Life Documents
NetFront(TM) Life Documents
Price: $0.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potential to be the best office document viewer, April 2, 2011
This review is from: NetFront(TM) Life Documents (App)
Using Xoom (Android Tablet), this program has several issues at the moment. But the core of the program is indeed the best.

*Warning: This is view only application. Does not allow you to edit or create new office documents.

Pros:
Best rendering of all office software I have tried so far on the market including Document To Go, QuickOffice Pro HD, Office Suite, ThinkFree, and Picsel Smart Office. It renders style of microsoft office 2007 word document themes. It displays inline textbox at correct location with correct appearance. With occasionally tight lower margin within the textbox, but viewable and if it needs this can be easily circumvented by adding extra line at end. Very premitive and not really useful yet, but it attempts to support SmartArt, which no other application seem to even care about.

Cons:
1. Unstable on Xoom - Unforunately to the point it is almost unusable. I get frequent error of "not enough memory". Clearly with Android Tablet this should be the last issue.
2. File Manager/Browser - Perhaps by design but this application list all compatible files to single screen. This is great for some people who only have few files in their system. But one with so many files, I need see my folder/subfolder structures as I use these to organize different files.
3. Not really a con if you know what this application is for, but this is indeed viewer only office application.

Conclusion:
As an office document viewer, this application has the potential to be the best if appropriate changes are made. But as the way it is, it is not usable on my Xoom at the moment. But with many more Android Tablet to be born soon, I hope the developer pays more attention to tablet compatibility and same time make some changes to really push this application to the top.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 25, 2011 11:32 AM PDT


MOTOROLA XOOM Android Tablet (10.1-Inch, 32GB, Wi-Fi)
MOTOROLA XOOM Android Tablet (10.1-Inch, 32GB, Wi-Fi)
Offered by WorldWide Distributors
Price: $379.00
51 used & new from $100.00

71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, March 29, 2011
As with many others I have spent a great amount of time researching about IPAD2 WIFI vs. XOOM WIFI.

I ended up choosing xoom, and I am impressed with this product. Here I would like to share my thought process as well as impression. So anyone in similar situations as I was may be able to use this for guidance.

First of all, I own tablet pc x 2 with most recent one purchased back in November 2010. I also own itouch. Never owned android product.

Quick background for the reason I needed/wanted new tablet

- Longer battery life: My tablet pc only lasted 5 hours
- Lighter tablet: My tablet pc weighted 2.5 lbs
- Bigger screen: My tablet pc had less than 9 inch screen, which was great for comic reading but not so great for work related document reading.

Work related
- To watch multiple work related video series
- To read ebooks. Some of which are not straight off kindle nor nook market, but rather converted books from other file formats such as chm or saved web pages. Some of these files are huge in size (up to 200MB) and contain multiple images, tables, and applied CSS.
- To view Microsoft Office files. Some of these files are relatively large in size(over 10MB) with multiple images, textbox, and smartart. These need to be accessible even when there is no internet connection.

Personal use
- To read digital comics
- To watch streaming videos.

Here are are my opinion about xoom wifi version so far.

Pros
1. Watching videos
- Works very well without any lag or stuttering. Screen resolution is a bit higher than IPAD2, but doubt it is significant enough to be noticible.
- One great thing about xoom is microSD support (not available yet). As I need to have multiple DVD sets with each being 20+GB, rather than deleting/reloading videos here and there, I can simply have dedicated microSD for each DVD sets. Currently, the highest storage capacity of microSD goes upto 32GB. If I had gone to IPAD2 route, I was going to go buy 64GB for maximum storage capacity, which may have been sufficient by itself but 32GB alone will not.

2. Ebook reading
- My ebooks are not typical. They are in epub file formats. Even on PC, only couple applications can render these files correctly. On itune market, using itouch I could not find any application that can render my ebooks except Stanza, which came very close for one ebook, but clushed on the other and ibook came very close with the other book, but did not show any images on the one opened with Stanza. So together was able to provide close to perfect solution. *Supposedly, ibook does not render images if they are within the table.

On my xoom, I tried pretty much all the epub reader on android market. None could render my files except one application, which actually rendered both books with complete original style and layout. Minor issues are still there in this application such as bug with internal hyperlink. But this is the best epub reader I have tried so far among pc, itune, and android market. Just in case anyone is wondering, it is called StarBook.

*Reason I said best and included PC here is two applications on PC that renderes my files correctly actually takes longer to open the epub files for some reason.

3. Reading Digital Comic
- Not to say much here. Works perfectly. Certainly, should work as greatly on ipad2.

4. Watch streaming video
- Flash 10 has been installed. All the streaming video sites that I visit works just as on PC. Definitely better than PS3 web browser. However, I have read somewhere that playing Flash based games on xoom have significant lags. As I don't play Flash based game, this was not an issue for me. But Flash for Android Table OS is still beta version, so considering it is better I am sure many issue will resolve with final version.

5. Customizability
- Very impressive. In fact, this is the one main reason that I suddenly became fan of android os. It takes some learning and definitely not as Apple customer friendly interface. But once you know how to customize this, you can basically make it into exactly the way you want. Widget is awesome feature just like windows 7 widget, but seem more appropriate in tablet setting. For instance, CNN widget updates highlight news every hour on my home screen without me clicking on the application.

6. USB Connectivity
- This can be both pros and cons. But for me this is under pros. As I just simply like to be able to drag and drop files, and be able to create my own folder organization.

7. GPS
- Surprised to see built in GPS. Have not really played with, but apparently there is a way to have voice direction navigator using google map.

Cons:
1. Weight
- Main negative for xoom here. According to the technical specifications, in comparison to Ipad 2 xoom is 130g heavier. It indeed does have bigger monitor, but for me, I'd rather have lighter tablet. Despite overall weight is around 730g and significantly lighter than my asus 8 inch windows 7 based tablet, it is still noticible weight for me. Especially holding on one hand or holding up in bed. If this is the major concern, I recommend one to wait until June when Samsung Android based tablet that supposedly be lighter (by really small margin) than ipad 2 is released.

2. View microsoft office files (primarily word document)
- So far, I have not found any perfect word viwer application yet. None of them can render textbox (maybe preminum version of Document2Go). None can recognize SmartArt. Skydrive shows everything, but not crisp due to lack of SilverLight plugin support for android; besides, Skydrive will not work without internet.

3. Slight learning curve
- Never owned android product before. There is definitely much more steeper learning curve with android os than the ipad os. I didn't mind this or in fact, I enjoyed finding out new things. But I cannot recommend android os product to my parents as they can hardly surf internet on pc. On the other hand, I am sure they will not have any issue learning ipad2.

So for those who cannot decide, which one to get like I was. Just list what your main use will be and compare each. I am sure either will work out great. But one thing I can say is that Android Tablet OS is real stuff. I thought it could be buggy, lots of lags and so on. But works as smoothly as you can imagine.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2011 11:06 PM PDT


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