Friday, June 22, 2012

A Whole New (Technological) World


This has been a long time coming. I’ve been wanting an electronic way to read books while on the road for several years now. Ever since last year, when I realized that I could pick up a book and not feel guilty for reading in my spare time, I have wanted an easier way to transport several books with me while I’m traveling! I am on the road quite a bit for work and all. And I do like to read.

I finally splurged with my credit card cash back last November and bought a Kindle Fire. I loved it passionately but returned it just three weeks later when I received an iPad 2 through work. (SURPRISE!) It didn’t make sense to carry both for the same purpose, and I might as well choose the one that work bought, right?

Three months later, however, I turned in my iPad when I turned in my resignation for my job. So I was, once again, missing a way to read books without carrying some bulk with me.

Luckily, renting the iPad made me realize that I would never pay money for one of my own. It is just a lot of money for a tool that is very restricted in what it can do! Like Hubby, I am liking Apple less and less with the more I interact with them. This statement may get me some hate mail, but sometimes the truth is hard to take. By Apple Lovers.

However, I liked the larger 10.1'” screen, so I couldn’t return to the smaller (but loveable) Kindle Fire after having three additional inches for a few months. After playing with several tablet options at Best Buy (does anyone else enjoy just playing with gadgets?), I realized that I would need to wait a few months for some newer options to be released.

April rolled around, and the tablet that I had been dreaming about came into existence. The Acer Iconia A510. What a machine! But, in a shockingly patient move, I waited for a few months for the reviews to come rolling in. You see, this was the first tablet with a quad-core processor. Though it might seem crazy that a tablet would need a quad-core processor, with the knowledge that such a processor now existed for a tablet, I knew that was what I “needed.” But it was important to ensure that people liked it, and that it was a good investment, so I not only waited for the product to be released, but for people to chime in with their thoughts of being owners.

In another shocking move, I never got to play with this tablet in person before purchasing. They are still pretty hard to find in stores, so I just read reviews like no other and watched videos of others putting the tablet into action. Big risk to not try it out in person first! At least, I thought I was being risky!

Luckily, after a very painful and long two months, the reviews were mostly positive. Just a few weeks ago, after spending a week on the road and having plenty of money left over from my per diem account, I clicked “buy” on Amazon and went to bed as one happy camper.

I waited so patiently for the package to arrive, though I don’t know what I would do without our free two-day shipping option. After running errands that morning, I spent the afternoon waiting at home. With such an expensive box arriving, I correctly assumed that my signature would be needed before the package could be left. Waiting another day just wasn’t going to happen, if you know what I mean.


I held the box on my lap. It just felt right. I was so happy that my months of waiting had paid off, but I was even happier that the waiting was over. I finally had a better way to read my books (and do so much more) on something larger than a 2-inch screen!


Oh golly. It’s beautiful. This looks good, folks. Veeeeeerrrrrry good.


After researching cover options to protect my new toy, I found this 5-star leather case for just $19. What a steal, considering cases usually go for around $40 for something this size.

Not only was it affordable, but those reviewers really knew their stuff. I am tickled with this case and am thrilled that it perfectly protects my tablet while still giving me easy access to the things that I use most.


Let’s check out some specs first, huh? Quad-core processor? Check. Two cameras? Check. Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system? Check. Unlike the iPad for twice the cost, I also have an mini HDMI plug (to connect the tablet to a television for movies, pictures, etc.), and a mini USB port for connecting any device that I wish. Not only that, but the Iconia comes with a mini SD card slot, which enables me to double my storage to 64 GB!

You can’t do that on no iPad, yo!

Did I mention that it has a 13-hour battery life?! I can proudly say that they weren’t lying, either. I can read, check email, play Words with Friends with Charloe and Parker, and read some more without the battery needing to be charged all day.


This is where the Aladdin Disney music stopped, however. How dare they?! I patiently wait years for this device, and now I have to wait four more hours to actually turn it on and start enjoying it?!

I carefully read the instructions beforehand, for just such a moment. You can screw up the battery forever by not using it properly that very first time, so I was willing to wait a few measly hours to make this machine even better.

Patience is a virtue, right?


While it charges, I will just admire it in its packaging. My goodness, it’s a pretty little thing.


Here is the rear camera. Five megapixels! Also, I love the non-slip ergonomic feel to the back of the tablet. They thought of everything to prevent slips and breaks.


Four long hours later, I was so ready to crank this puppy up. Let’s see what it can do! Luckily, Hubby’s foot was in for the ride as well.


Yes. Yes, this is good. I like what they’ve done here.


Sweet! It already has an update and automatically started to fix itself on startup! I love when devices are smart enough to do all of the manual labor for me. I just enjoyed the animated Android Store robot while the new operating update was installed.

It went very quickly, if you compare it to four hours of charging…


Oh my stinkin’ heck. It’s gorgeous! I tend to get excited about pretty technology, but I am really loving the look and feel of this little machine! And it is so fast! This main page stores all of my quick-access apps. Without even reading how to use this machine, I soon felt like a master. An app master, that is.

“Master App” could be my next tattoo. Or first tattoo, I guess.


The tablet comes preloaded with lots of apps, and then I added a few of my own. My only complaint is that I can never delete any of the preloaded ones. Even though I don’t use Facebook and never will, it will be an app on this machine for.ev.ver.

But that’s OK. If that is my only complaint, and it is, then I can deal with that.


I might just add a few goodies of my own, like Lose It, which helps me keep track of my weight loss goals. I really love using this app in a larger format than my iPod Touch. I can actually see what’s going on now! Double-bonus!


Ahhhh, but this. This is the main event for which this tablet was purchased. Reading free books from the library using my free Kindle app. I love it. I love everything about it! I love the two-column look when turned horizontal. I love the clean, crisp words. I love that I can turn the background to black with white script if I want to read at night. It’s amazing! And it’s way better to read on a large screen than on a microscopic iPod Touch!


I love that with one click, I can instantly be depressed at how awfully hot it is outside. See that high for today? It’s been it the hundred-and-teens for the past week and has been simply ridiculous. But at least I have a machine now that will share my heat-wave woes.


Yep, there’s a fast and flash-enabled web browser, too! Take that, iPad-that-can’t-show-most-websites!

I love this tablet. With pretty high expectations of what arrived from UPS last week, I can happily say that I am blown away. It is the perfect solution for my traveling and book-reading needs. And, since I purchased it with free extra money carefully saved from my per diem, it was pretty much a perfect purchase.

If you are in the market for just such a tool, may I recommend the Acer Iconia A510 tablet. It’s a keeper (and it’s $40 cheaper now than when it was first released on Amazon in April)!


  1. Micah, you are a nerd....!!! lol, lol!

    And, since you ARE a nerd, will help me get my Kindly Fire up and rolling better when you are here in a couple weeks? I would really appreciate it!

    Enjoy your new toy!

  2. I'm so old fashioned I don't know if I'll ever go to reading on something like this. My husband tells me I technologically ignorant. I don't get mad because it's true:) I just got a cell phone a few weeks ago only because I was going to be driving a long distance by myself and he insisted. It's one of those pay as you go. I bought 120 minutes and threatened everyone not to call me unless blood or broken bones were involved!
    I do use the internet and email so I guess I'm not so bad...I'm even trying to figure out facebook...
    Good luck with your new toy. I might get there one day.



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