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The Paperless Dream

Posted on Feb 6, 2011 by in Concept, Featured, HP iPaq 200, Mobile, News | 0 comments

The NoteSlate - This is it

The NoteS­late — This is it

Since the begin­ning of time I’ve been search­ing for a device to replace paper. The prob­lem with paper is that I use a lot of it. A whole lot of it. For per­form­ing a quick cal­cu­la­tion, jot­ting down some notes, mak­ing a quick sketch etc., paper is the eas­i­est, cheap­est and fastest way to get that done. But there are sev­eral prob­lems with paper.

Paper occu­pies phys­i­cal space. I have so much paper lying around every­where in the form of note­books and refills and ran­dom scraps of paper it’s crazy.

That brings me to another prob­lem. Man­ag­ing all of this paper. One can form only so many stacks and each stack can only be so high. The result is that I can never find any­thing and I just have to dis­pose of the older stuff. It’s all quite depressing.

A few years back, I got the HP iPaq 211 PDA. That was my first seri­ous paper replace­ment con­tender. With a 4″ resis­tive touch screen that has a 640x480 res­o­lu­tion and Win­dows Mobile 6.0 , I thought it was per­fect. I got the ulti­mate writ­ing app too — Phat­Pad (shown below).

HP iPaq 211 - PhatPad

HP iPaq 211 — PhatPad

Soon I realised it wasn’t quite what I thought it would be. While it is very respon­sive, the screen size, 4 inches, is just too small for writ­ing stuff. You will notice also that the edges of the screen are raised cre­at­ing a bar­rier around it that shrinks the writ­ing space even more. The app is also pretty slow when it comes to flip­ping pages and awk­ward when chang­ing col­ors or undo­ing some­thing. The same goes for other apps too. It does have char­ac­ter recog­ni­tion soft­ware that can turn writ­ten notes into text but that’s not the point. So the iPaq didn’t deliver what I was look­ing for.

The Apple iPad - Penultimate

The Apple iPad — Penultimate

Then Apple announced the iPad. As soon as I heard the iPad was com­ing, I knew I had to get one. I thought the iPad com­bined with a sty­lus would be the combo I’ve been wait­ing for. I have most of the pop­u­lar and not so pop­u­lar notes apps on the mar­ket. From Penul­ti­mate to Noter­ize to Note Taker HD to Note Hub to Use Your Hand­writ­ing Gold (UYH Gold). I got ‘em all. Of the 500+ apps that I have installed on my iPad, a good num­ber of them have some­thing to do with notes. I also got a capac­i­tive sty­lus early on. Unfor­tu­nately, although the apps are top notch, the accu­racy of a capac­i­tive screen/stylus is really low. These devices are designed for fin­ger use and not for pen input. I use the Apple wire­less key­board more than I do the sty­lus now.

The NoteSlate

The NoteS­late

I believe the solu­tion is finally upon us. The NoteS­late is it. Here’s a break down of the features:

Basic Char­ac­ter­is­tics

- REAL PAPER look design (pic­tured at the top of the page)

- ONE COLOR dis­play (Optional multi-color display?)

- ONE TOUCH abil­ity just with pen / eraser

- 210x310x6mm thin body

- 13 inch matte mono­chrome eInk display

- 190x270mm active dis­play, 750x1080pixels

- 180 hours bat­tery life (almost 3 weeks of daily work !)

- 280 g weight !

- basic inputs: pen with eraser, USB mini, SD Card, Jack 3.5 mm, AC/DC 12V

- Wi-Fi mod­ule on request with order (no added charge (!))

- no web browsing !

- end price $99

- ONE POINT OF SALE — NoteS­late online e-store

The high­lights are 3 weeks bat­tery life and the 13″ e-ink dis­play. It’s flat like a paper note­book with no raised edges. It runs cus­tom soft­ware so it’s prob­a­bly not going to have per­for­mance issues. If you’ve seen e-ink eBook read­ers like the Kin­dle or the Kobo reader, you can appre­ci­ate the qual­ity that e-ink tech­nol­ogy offers. It’s very close to paper qual­ity clar­ity. That, together with a sty­lus and high screen sen­si­tiv­ity and accu­racy can make for the ulti­mate paper replacement.

This thing is not like the fea­ture rich tablets that we have today. It’s bare-bones sim­ple yet pow­er­ful. The per­fect paper replace­ment. Lets just hope it doesn’t remain vapour­ware. It’s set for release in June 2011.