# Monday, September 13, 2010

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As I mentioned previously, I would attempt to FULLY use my Asus T101MT in slate (that means without keyboard access for those unfamiliar with the term) mode and now here are the findings from my little adventure.

Know The Shortcuts And Gestures For Using Windows Without A Keyboard :- Everyone who uses an iOS device is familiar with the various gestures such as swiping, pinch to zoom, rotate, etc. etc. As I mentioned in my Windows 7 Touch Optimization article, do read the help about what kind of gesture are available for Windows 7 Touch. It's also important to note any useful shortcuts that might help you when you're using your apps, for example :- Most Windows web browsers don't have a way to easily clear the address bar and get it ready for a fresh URL like Safari on the iPhone, instead of having to try to select the whole address bar by using your fingers you can also just hit the ESC key on the virtual keyboard when the address bar has focus, that usually selects the full address which you can then easily clear and replace.

There's An App For That! :- That's one of the primary tag lines which the iOS crowd likes to use. To which I can just ask "Is there an app to watch a 720P Soft Subbed MKV video file LOCALLY on your device without the need of any form of encoding?" Or I guess I can just ask the simpler "Does it play RMVBs then?" On a REAL PC, be it Windows, Linux or Mac, there IS definetly an app for that! But...

The Apps Aren't Touch Friendly :- Most apps on the PC were not made to be touch friendly, they were meant to be operated via keyboard and mouse. While the Windows 7 Touch features can make interacting with these apps possible it's less than ideal in some cases, and downright impossible in others. This is a classic Chicken and Egg problem, there aren't that many Windows 7 SLATES out there to call it a viable market, and thus developers don't really concentrate on this niche category of applications for now. One of the worst/best examples of apps that just expect a keyboard and mouse to be around is Adobe Reader, once in full screen mode, left click goes to the next page, right click goes to the previous page. To exit full screen mode, press the ESC key. If it wasn't for the fact the Tablet Input Panel bar is always floating around at the side of the screen my little keyboardless experiment would have ended right then. Smile with tongue out This of course means most fullscreen games are totally unplayable unless they can work without the use touching the keyboard at all.

Windows Resume From Stand By Works :- One of the primary arguments about Windows 7 as a UMPC is that it takes too long to boot up, when I ask those people why don't they just standby or hibernate they tell me the system crashes on resume. Well... go complain to your hardware manufacturer and ask them to make drivers that sleep and wakeup properly! My Asus Tablet PC wakes up from standby in less than 10 seconds, just like the old UH900, just like the old U1010. Proper drivers ensure proper sleep operation. How long does it take to go from waking up from standby to normal operation? Well... that depends on what password you use to lock your system then. Winking smile

Microsoft OneNote ROCKS! :- I've known this since the first time I booted up OneNote, I don't know which was the first note I created, but the oldest note I have in my OneNote notebook is dated July 2003. If you haven't yet experienced Microsoft OneNote, you should give it a whirl. My executive summary of what Microsoft OneNote is would have to be, You know that notebook/legal pad/scrap book you carry around to meetings? The one where you put down your ideas, circle off problem points and other tasks? THAT's what OneNote is, a flexible notetaking application. It indexes your text for easy searching, and it indexes the best guess of your HANDWRITING for easy searching too!

I'm still using the Asus in slate form most of the time, I'm growing more and more comfortable to being keyboardless and Windows 7's touch features do make it very much possible to use it that way. As I've said before, a Windows 7 Tablet PC will never be better than an iPad. You can't even compare them as Apples to Apples since they can't be categorized as the same thing as much as Steve Jobs would want to. (in the sense that an iPad can be used as a NetBook) But taken on it's own merits, can Windows 7 be used purely driven by touch? Yes, there might be some bumps here pertaining to some usability issues with some apps, but yes it is possible.


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