Things I'd want to change to the Samsung 7 Slate

2012-06-06

I've been using the Samsung //Build slate as my primary machine for the past few weeks and I can say that I like it very much. There are a few things I'd change to it if I had a chance.

Different dock
The dock that comes with the device is great, don't get me wrong, but I'd want to be able to order a different type dock. One that can be fitted to a VESA monitor stand. One that includes more USB ports and one that has a power supply built in. It's meant to be fitted to my working desk so it doesn't have to be all portable. It would also be great if it would come with a dedicated DisplayPort or VGA/DVI port instead of the HDMI port that comes on the standard dock. For a work machine the HDMI port isn't all that useful.

The current dock is great of short work, but if you expect to use the slate for more extended sits, it's better if you were able to have the screen at eye height and thus on an adjustable dock. The VESA stands are readily available. A dock that you could screw onto one of these would be ideal.

Update: a colleague suggested to have a simple L-shaped piece aluminium bolted to the VESA arm, that might actually work just fine :). The power plug, HDMI and USB port can be exposed through holes cut into the carry arm if needed. With some creative work I might even be able to make the VESA arm a dock-dock if you get my drift. The Samsung dock would then plug into the arm and the HDMI, usb and power would just be forwarded to an already connected monitor, power adapter and sound system. I like that... Another project to consider.

Physical on/off button on the bluetooth keyboard
It took me a while to figure out how to turn off the blue tooth keyboard. There's a number of press combinations you can use on the power button. Quick press to turn it on; Long press to put it into pairing mode; Something in between press to turn it off.

My other blue tooth keyboard (a Logitech diNovo Edge) has nailed this. It has a physical on/off button and a dedicated pair/reconnect button. That's what I want.

Update: Turns out that the diNovo Edge can be connected to the built in Bluetooth by the press of a button. Given the extremely long lasting battery performance of this keyboard, I might actually use this is my default from now on. Just means I''ll need to get the Rapoo for my HTPC at home.

A touch pad on the keyboard
I'd very much like a touch pad on the keyboard as well. The Logitech on my desk has it and it doubles as a great remote control for media player. Rapoo has a very nice one which lets the touch pad double as a numeric keypad. Too bad it isn't available as bluetooth, I'd have bought it already if they had one. One thing these tablets can't handle is a lot of usb receivers due to the lack of usb ports, so Wifi-Direct or bluetooth is a requirement for me. I'm not going to carry another USB hub with me. Or else I'll take longer setting up my desk than actually getting some work done.
DisplayPort support
While HDMI is great for a consumer device, it's awful for a business environment. Our monitors have VGA or DVI-D support and non-default HDMI resolutions. DisplayPort would have been a much better choice. If only for the large number of adapter cables already available for MacBooks which carry this as their default display connector port.

As mentioned in my previous post, I've found a number of adapter cables for HDMI, but I had to order them abroad, the DisplayPort cables are available from MediaMarkt around the corner.

Update: Displayport doesn't support sound as I now understand. Who forgot to add that ;). There are Displayport to HDMI adapters that have an audio in option, but I suddenly more understand the choice for the HDMI port.
One thing I noticed though is that if I put the device in the dock, I can't use the HDMI-D connector on the device, so I'll actually have to carry a HDMI-A to HDMI-D connector plus a bunch of conversion plus. Urgh... Why didn't they just put an HDMI-D connector on the dock as well for consistency's sake.


Kensington lock thingy
At Avanade (as well as at a lot of our customers), leaving an unguarded device is not allowed without first bolting it to something. I haven't been able to find a kensington lock hole on the slate anywhere. I guess this is because the tablet itself doesn't have much to actually bolt to. A possible solution here would be to be able to lock the slate in the dock and actually be able to bolt the dock to the kensington cable. Two simple holes in the bottom of the dock would have sufficed.
 

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