teaching and technology

Leave your laptop or netbook home

The Psion handhelds (the 5mx and the Revo) gave me the inspiration to leave my laptop at home. These were stand-alone devices and I did most of my papers in graduate school on these much-missed foreparents of today’s Symbian smartphones. Then I tried the Palm devices and the excellent folding keyboard from ThinkOutside. After that period, I had a pair of Jornadas: one had a bolt-in device that allowed me to go online; while the other had a bolt-on thumb keyboard.

But the Palm and Windows CE devices were not stand-alone units. I missed my Psions terribly until I was introduced to the Nokia 6600. Yes, it was wide, it was thick, it looked like a hand grenade but it was a pocket rocket. The 6600, although it lacked a qwerty keyboard, offered me the “pocket office” which the Psions did. It was, of course, more than a pocket office. It was my first connected pocket office.

These past few years, as those who read this blog know already, I have been well served by Nokia’s E-series monoblock qwerty phones. Today, I pack an E6.

What do these connected pocket office devices need in order for me to leave my laptop or netbook at home? First, they should allow me to work (read, write, edit, check grades, do email anywhere, take pictures and videos, record meetings and conferences). Physical keyboards are a must for me. Second, they should allow me to go online (for research, for podcasts, for news, for RSS feeds, for updating my blogs, for social networking, for entertainment). Third, they should keep me connected (via calling, SMS, skype, chat).

You can do all these and more on your laptop or netbook. But I chose to do these and more on my Nokia E6.

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teaching and technology

Nokia Evolves

I like QWERTY phones. I especially like Nokia’s. I’ve been through four so far: the E61i, the E63, the C3, and the E5. The E63 has been my favorite among the four. I think my work laptop and my home netbook are jealous since I spend more time with my phones than with my computers. I read somewhere that more and more people access the web on their phones. I agree. I’m one of them.

Those who read my blog know that I use my QWERTY phones as laptop replacements. Quickoffice allows me to do most of my work anywhere and anytime. Opera Mini and Mobile provide me the browsers that meet my surfing needs. And I’ve done most of my reading on tiny screens going back to my Palm V and Psion Revo days…

For several years now I’ve used my E63 as primary handheld device. The keyboard is excellent. Better than the E5’s if you ask me. Better even than the popular E71’s. Its keyboard, for me, was second to none. Until I tried the new E6.

Aside from the obvious benefits of the “touch-and-type” newcomer, I can actually thumb-type faster on the E6 than on the E63, one thumb or two thumbs! I think it boils down to ergonomics. The E6 fits my hands better than the E63.

Nokia’s QWERTY phones have evolved for me. The E61i had a 2.8″ screen but it felt too wide for me. The C3 felt too small and too light. The E5 was a powerhouse but it’s keyboard felt inferior to the E63’s. The E6 practically meets all my requirements for a laptop replacement. The USB-to-go function is a major feature that most reviews fail to mention. The screen resolution is fantastic. And Symbian Anna is a joy to use.

I think the E6 is a much better, all around device compared to Nokia’s other flagships (the N8 and E7).