Sunday, 28 December 2014

Imminent death of my tablet

I refer to my Sony Tablet S, bought in April 2012. Here's a shot of it when new, illustrating one of its core uses, as a digital road atlas when driving around:

It still has three other core uses: (1) as a device for looking at websites, documents and spreadsheets; (2) as a small TV screen for BBC iPlayer; (3) as a device for playing card games on. But for how much longer?

Almost exactly one year ago, the SD card slot failed. More recently it has been having trouble picking up my home Wi-Fi, when the router is fairly close by - and it's only a small bungalow! It isn't because the Wi-Fi signal is poor - my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone gets hold of it in an instant - the Sony tablet has just become less sensitive than it was, or is behaving as if that is so.

And now the on/off button has partially collapsed into the body. It still works, if you press it in the right way, but it has no travel. If it fails completely, I can still turn the tablet on by dropping it into its charging cradle (not very handy if away from home), and turn it off by letting the screen timeout kick in. But that's not how things should be.

What next? Will it just suddenly die on me?

It's a model from 2011, of course, with a long-superseded processor running Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3) - so technically speaking, it's old hat. Well, I can easily live with mere technical obsolescence. But I don't expect important hardware let-downs after less than three years' ownership. After all, my Asus laptop, bought in January 2006, and taken to New Zealand and back in 2007, still works faultlessly. Sorry, Sony: I won't be buying one of your products again. My enthusiasm for 'Sony style' has been eroded to the point of no return.

And I don't think I'll be buying another tablet again, either. The original attraction was to have something that was a lot lighter to carry about than a laptop, and yet was still endowed with a decently sized screen, and (if kept on standby) an instant start-up. Back in 2012, the Sony tablet was all of this. It was a very pleasant revelation.

Now I'm not at all convinced. I see the severe limitations of all tablets - their lack of processing power and lack of internal storage. I think the latest and best Samsung tablet would be a big step up from my Sony, but I won't be buying one if the Sony kicks the bucket. I'll get a modern laptop instead.

It won't be a laptop for carrying around. For out-and-about use, I'll be content with my phone. I might miss not having the Sony's larger screen, but my Samsung phone's screen is brighter and sharper. You can see the difference in this picture, which has the Sony tablet and the Samsung phone side-by-side:

The Sony hasn't yet given up, but I expect its imminent death in the New Year. An announcement will be made. Watch out for the obituary. I can't see myself shedding tears. I used to love her, but it's all over now.


  1. I remember when the iPad first appeared and thought that they might be useful with quick start up and ease of use. I told someone at the time that I would wait until the early problems had been solved and a more reasonable price made.

    I have lost count of the number of models they have made and I still do not have one. A lot of money for something which even if it does not fail has been made redundant by not accepting new apps. Then there is the daylight robbery prices for a decent size of memory, many times what you would pay if buying it for a camera memory! My computer has two individual user settings but the tablets are single user items and I am not able to afford two!

    We had a computer for several years before I even found the need to touch one and several more years before broadband arrived in town and made internet connection desirable and as you know I used it intensively for many years but now I am fascinated to find that my interest has waned to the point that I am not sure that I would rush out to replace my desktop computer if it croaked, it is about as old as your laptop...

    Perhaps it is the more hostile place that the net has become with the never ending threat of being hacked or conned by crooks and the total inability of anyone in the IT world to be able to sort it.

    My new address book is being written out on paper...

    There are very few blogs left to read, obviously yours is top of my list. Well I say list but google removed the reading list! no wonder I have taken to reading books again.

  2. Books! And letters and other things, written with a fountain pen in one's best handwriting...

    I hear ancient (and no doubt distorted) folk tales of such wonderful stuff, and there are paintings of it on cave walls, but surely it must all be a myth? Didn't primaeval man develop nimble fingers in order to tap and stroke touchscreens better in his iCave, while sending lovenotes to his iWoman?

    A time before computers? A time without computers? iThinknot. Even if Apple gives one the pip.


    1. This old fashioned girl's poor writing skills...

      The few friends who have let me have any time to play with tablets have all owned iPads, my comments were meant to be generic but you are right about apple giving me the pip these days...

      I have lost track of how long I have been online but a graph of my activity would look very much like a bell curve, starting at zero, growing in the middle years and swooping back down towards zero. Most of my online contacts have either become real friends or vanished back into the net.

      For the little I now need to do online the cost of a new machine and the running costs do seem quite large. Magical in their powers they may well be but as a month away from use this year showed, life can go on.

  3. Oops! I deleted a duplication of my reply to Coline, but with it someone else's comment. Very sorry!


    1. I thought my words had gone... Hummmmm, a tablet and a new bicycle seem to be about the same sort of price...

  4. Coline, save your money. Bikes wobble and you fall off them. Catch the bus, drive the car, or walk.



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