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A Plea For Better Inking on Small Mobile Devices



Warnerc2Yesterday was the first run-thru of the new show we are working on, Shadow of the Raven: Stories of Edgar Allan Poe. While I take notes all the time in rehearsal, a run-thru is a rehearsal where I sit still (more than I normally do), watch the rehearsal, take notes, and given them orally afterwards.

For almost a year now, I’ve been using the Asus R2H as my primary device in rehearsals both with XP and also with Vista. What I love about using that particular Ultra-Mobile PC is that I can take notes in OneNote without thinking about it as I get no registration or vectoring issues. I’ve experimented with this using the Samsung Q1P but the Inking experience is just not the same. I’ve also experimented with the OQO Model 02, and although I love that little device, it is just to small for the chores at hand in that circumstance.

So, here’s my plea to the OEMs (I mentioned this on our latest GBM Podcast as well): Don’t forget the Inkers out there. As we head into Mobile Internet Device land, and a newer wave of UMPCs as well, don’t forget the note takers out there. Use a digitizer that allows those of us who need to take notes on a regular basis a real opportunity to do so, in the same way we have been able to with Tablet PCs. I enjoy tremendously the touch navigation and what that offers, but I happen to believe that there are others out there, like me, who see tremendous value in picking up a small mobile device to take notes. Having to place your hand just so on a screen to take notes defeats that purpose and quickly leads to frustration.

The 7 inch screen size is almost perfect for this functionality. Smaller, in my opinion, doesn’t work. Yeah, I’m selfish. I want it all. I want the ease of the soft touch screen navigation, with a reliable method of note taking. I just don’t think that should be too hard to accomplish, (after all Asus did, and so did Fujitsu with the P1610) nor do I think the OEMs should miss or ignore the market that I’m sure is available for this kind of note taking device.

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