Confessions of a techaholic

I’ll admit it. When new tech comes out, I study the specs and do my best to see if it is something I might be able to use either as a writer or a gamer. It doesn’t matter that the tablet I have is still perfectly fine or the laptop still does the work I need it to. It’s the new shiny factor that always catches my eye. But there is something else as well. With the increase power and capability of tablets, and the smaller footprint even for those with 8″ or larger screens, I almost always have a tablet with me. If not, I have my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Charcoal Black 32GB (AT&T) phone which is great in a pinch if I need to make notes or dictate something.

Something else I have found is that I don’t game on my tablets or phones. Between the Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB (Previous Generation – 3rd), Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-Inch Tablet (16 GB, Smoky Titanium) and Note 4, I have one game installed. The Fire and the Tab are used mainly for reading. The Fire is exclusively for reading. The Tab I also use to write on in a pinch. Now, before you start asking me what bluetooth keyboards I use, I don’t type on it. There are some great apps that will translate handwriting to text and then there is the fact that Dragon is built in. That makes the Tab excellent for dictation. I simply sync it with my bluetooth headset and can dictate as I drive.

My go-to device when I’m away from the house is my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (128 GB, Intel Core i5, Windows 8.1) – Free Windows 10 Upgrade . That has probably been the best investment I’ve made when it comes to portable tech that I can use as an author. As much as I liked my Apple MGKL2LL/A iPad Air 2 64GB, Wi-Fi, (Space Gray) — which has died an ignoble death — the Surface Pro 3 allows for seamless movement between it and the work laptop. It also allows for peripherals much easier than the iPad. Like the iPad, it is bluetooth capable. It also has a usb port on the tablet itself. The dock, which is invaluable if you plan to use the SP3 as your work machine, allows for more usb connectivity as well as offering an HDMI port. My only disappointment is that you can only hook up to a single external monitor (as far as I’ve been able to discover).

My secondary travel device is a Apple MacBook Air MJVE2LL/A 13-inch Laptop (1.6 GHz Intel Core i5,4GB RAM,128 GB SSD Hard Drive, Mac OS X) . It’s a great little machine but I am spoiled by the ability to use the SP3 as both a laptop and as a tablet. However, the Macbook Air, or something similar, is necessary if an author wants to upload their work to iTunes/iBookstore. Unless Apple has changed their requirements recently, you have to have a machine doing the upload that meets certain OS requirements. The last time I looked, an iPad would not work.

There are other machines in the house. I believe in having backups to my backups. Part of the reason is I do tend to replace tech before it dies — the exception being the iPad which, despite being in one of the best cases around landed wrong on a short drop and shattered and a Toshiba tablet I’d given my mother. Mom, much as I love her, can kill tech quicker than a hot knife can slice through butter. I am only half-joking when I talk about her walking into a room and everything electronic dying. The other part of the reason is I don’t want to risk my only work machine by traveling with it. (By the way, I’m the same with backup media. I have backups to the backups.)

Now, I find myself looking longingly at the new Microsoft Surface Book (128 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5) and Microsoft Surface Book (128 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5). Do I need them? Absolutely not. Will I get them? Not for some time because I don’t need them and don’t have that kind of cash to burn. But oooh, shiny.

The truth is, before I upgrade the SP3, I need to upgrade the work laptop. But even that isn’t necessary right now. So, I will put my credit card under lock and key and not let the shiny call too loudly.

Still, shiny.


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