Geek Zen: The invisible machine scenario

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, readers.

Previously in Geek Zen… I came to the conclusion that I wanted a large screen tablet for comics, and the iPad Air seemed like a perfect fit for that category. Is it? Seems that way.

But it turns out I’m not discarding my Nexus 7 (2012) yet. I don’t think tablets are essential items. If I travel with my laptop, a nine-hour-battery-powered Mac Air with a 500 GB solid state drive, I literally have no lack of personal computing power. Any trip that I undertake alone or that has any chance of blogging (literally almost any trip I take) requires a real keyboard for typing. To find if there’s a scenario in which the Nexus 7 still fits, I decided to define how many scenarios exist in total.

Basic Scenarios:

  • Everyday computing at home. Large bandwidth. Constant power. Multi-tasking, Always on. Ideal machine: desktop. Supplementary: laptop.
  • Work commute. Mobile internet. Occasional use. Battery power. Ideal machine: smartphone. Supplementary: light and small tablet.
  • Short to extended travel stay. Hotel wi-fi access and power. Keyboard required for blogging. Extensive media payload for movies. Ideal machine: laptop. Supplementary: light and small tablet.
  • Airplane travel. No internet. Extensive battery power. Extensive media payload for movies. Ideal machine: laptop. Supplementary: light and small tablet.

Optional Scenarios:

  • Bed browsing at home. Large bandwidth. Battery power. Shared network access to media. Comixology app. Ideal machine: light and small tablet. Supplementary: smartphone.
  • Bed browsing at a hotel. Hotel wi-fi access. battery power. Comixology app. Ideal machine: light and small tablet. Supplementary: smartphone.

Extra scenario:

  • Comic book reading. Battery power. Medium or small media payload. Comixology app. Ideal machine: large screen tablet. Supplementary: light and small tablet.

Realize that depending on your work commute, your ideal machine might be the tablet instead. Mine is not a long commute which includes getting on a bus with limited space and sometimes no seating, all which favors just a smartphone. The optional scenarios take place when it’s bedtime but not quite time to sleep yet. These are optional. The iPad Air only fits one scenario, the comic book reading one.

There’s one more scenario I need to add. The short stay out of town with friends. The one where it’s just a weekend getaway. The one where bringing a laptop along is a social faux pas. You do not need a laptop. There’s a chance there won’t even be cellphone reception. You really want to go, but you wouldn’t mind having a small factor machine that you can use, mostly as an e-reader. It can also contain a few episodes of your favorite TV series that you can’t drop at the moment for some viewing at bedtime with some headphones. It needs to stay out of sight and add zero bulk to your luggage. So, here’s my extra extra scenario:

  • The invisible machine. 3G or plain no internet access. Battery power. Small to medium media payload. Comixology app. Ideal machine: light and small tablet. Supplementary: smartphone.

The desktop supplies most basic needs while at home. The laptop supplies almost everything during travel. With my short work commute, the occasional use is negligible. I could rely on just one tablet for both comic books and bed browsing, but comics on a large screen are different. There wasn’t need of a large media payload for the iPad Air, but when there’s a sale I tend to up the specs. The large screen tablet doesn’t work good as an invisible machine though. You need that small factor where you can still read stuff.

The big factor here is that I already own the Nexus 7, albeit the 2012 model. Selling that one gets me very little cash back. There’s no point. So for a while longer, the light and small tablet remains since it fits in almost every scenario, and it’s the only thing that shines as the invisible machine.

That will do for now.

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