Is this the next step in the evolution of the personal computer? Merging of the laptop with the tablet?
Last time I was browsing in PC World, the idea of a laptop-cum-tablet really tempted me. Before I knew it I was making for home with a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 in the bag.
Mind you, even before unboxing I realised this tablet was a lump. 2 pounds. Not too bad for a laptop, but tiring to hold for a tablet.
Another disadvantage reared up soon after. At first I was attracted by those Microsoft desktop panels with their simple, no-nonsense squares. It didn’t last. Several years ago I switched to Mac from Windows, and I soon discovered I didn’t take kindly to going back.
Alas, my elegant Surface Pro is Ebay bound pretty shortly.
One thing I shall really miss. Even in the few days I have had the Surface Pro, I have come to love the painting with the Fresh Paint app.
The Fresh Paint app for Surface comes with the tablet. During its evolution, the Fresh Paint app was developed in the materials lab at MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was tried by some 60,000 people at the museum in over a year.
The Fresh Paint app has wonderful oil and watercolour brushes. I used them together with the blender tool for the autumn leaf above.
Fresh Paint app even works with my marvellous Wacom Bamboo Feel stylus, though the tablet does come with a stylus of its own.
S Note is really just a digital memo pad. Well, except that it seems to do everything except polish the kitchen sink. Among its many talents, this app can act as a simple colouring book for scribblers, doodlers and jotters.
I have grown quite addicted to S Note in its manifestation as a simple Galaaxy Note drawing pad. S Note springs up ready for you to scribble something down whenever you take the S Pen out of its socket. Saves no end of PostIt notes.
What is an S Pen? An S Pen stylus comes as a fixture in every version of the Samsung Galaxy Note series of tablets, phablets and phones. The Note series have a special layer on the touch screen similar to those on Wacom desktop tablets for digital artists. This allows the screen to respond to the pressure sensitive S Pen as well as to a finger. You can vary the width and/or transparency of your stroke according to how hard you press on the stylus.
I have had Samsung’s Note devices since the start, and am currently exploring a new Galaxy Note 3. I have to say it takes a bit of exploring! Samsung say proudly that they have simplified the S Note app, but I’m glad they told me. I’d never have known.
Many of the many S Note facilities I may never use. Others are fascinating. Draw a square anywhere on the screen, and hey presto, up in the frame pops your choice of clock, calculator, address boook, video player or other handy item. Magic!
This array of bloatware tools and possibilities can be overwhelming. Best thing to do is take it easy. Discover what’s really useful gradually, and ignore the rest.
Since S Note offers colouring book tools, I had a go a few weeks ago at scribbling down an elephant with the S Pen on my Galaxy Note drawing pad.
Using the S Pen, I found I could rest my hand on the screen as I drew without its making a mark or causing the image to slither around. Another S Pen advantage to add to pressure sensitivity.