Monday, June 14, 2004

Well i have been away from the blogging for almost a week now, well work has been playing catch up, but this hasnt stopped me from keeping up with reading of the blogs one that really caught my eye was the one on tablet PC by michael hyatt.

Here are some excerpts from the blog:

About three weeks ago, I bought a Toshiba M205-S810 TabletPC. I’ve always thought it would be a big boost to my productivity if I could actually take my computer with me to meetings. Then I would have access to everything I need—my calendar, e-mail messages, documents, spreadsheets, etc. I tried using a PDA, but that didn't really cut it. The interface was too primitive and scrolling documents was a drag.

Then I tried a ThinkPad X31 laptop. This is a great computer. Powerful, light, and elegant. In my opinion, it’s still the best looking laptop on the market. However, laptops in meetings are a problem. Michael Linenberger stated it succinctly in his excellent book, Seize the Work Day: Using the Tablet PC to Take Total Control of Your Work and Meeting Day. He writes:

Using a Tablet PC during a typical management meeting is totally different from using a laptop. It’s the difference between night and day. The difference between success and failure. Here’s why.
Discretion: Nothing is more distracting than, during a management-style meeting, having a meeting participant typing away on a laptop. In contrast, working with a Tablet PC in your lap appears no different from what you would be doing with a pen and notepad in your lap. This is particularly true if you use, as recommended later in this book, an executive-style portfolio case that makes your Tablet PC resemble an executive notepad portfolio.

Communication barriers: Placing a laptop with the screen flipped up in front of you on a conference room table creates a physical barrier between you and others in the room. This is literally a barrier to communication. The Tablet PC is normally on your lap, and out of sight. Or it is flat on the desk like a writing pad.

Personal effectiveness: Research shows that if you use both hands to accomplish a task, a much larger percentage of your brain becomes engaged in that operation. Typing with both hands tends to totally engage your brain in the typing activity and makes you visibly less tuned-in to the meeting. In contrast, writing with one hand during a meeting is second nature to most of us. The brain stays mostly engaged in the meeting activities. We all can take notes and participate in a meeting at the same time. Using a Tablet PC in a meeting is little different from this.

Eye contact: Related to the above point, and for the same reasons, many users have reported that it is much easier to maintain periodic and consistent eye contact with others in a meeting when using a Tablet PC versus using a laptop. This has a dramatic affect on the perception of others that you are engaged and personable. Lack of eye contact also limits your ability to read body language of others, adding to your distance from the meeting (pp. 15, 16)
So, based on Marc Orchant’s recommendation, I bought the Toshiba. The nice thing about this unit is that it’s a “convertible.” This means that the screen swings around so that you can use it as either a regular laptop or a TabletPC.


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