With the green light from management the 'living in the cloud' social experiment has moved to the next phase, hardware...
so what is the ideal cloud end-user device?
This was always going to be a hard decision as not only is there a functional aspect to consider but for a lot of users a kudos one as well. For me I am not a brand person and whether its an iDevice or generic piece of hardware it is all about the functionality.
From my point of view the key elements are:
- Small and light
- Outstanding battery life, carrying a bag full of cables and power supplies goes against the light criteria
- Open standard or a well supported software library of propitiatory applications
- Good rear facing camera for taking pictures during presentation, flash optional but must have a good zoom
- Front facing camera for video calls
- Quiet input (don't you just hate it in a meeting or presentation when people tap away on a noisy keyboard?)
- Support for external or optional input devices and display
You may think this is a standard technical specification and simple to provide a long list of devices but I have high expectation of how I want to work to maximise my productivity, this includes:
- Be able to work wherever I am
- Be able to work both on and off-line
- Be inconspicuous if need, large screen and keyboard tapping away in presentation could be seen as not paying attention or distracting for others
- Be connected to the cloud as much as possible to access my data
- Be able to work as a full desktop if needed
I've spent quite a bit of time, as guys do, perusing numerous web sites and forums to see what will fulfill my needs. However, I have come to the conclusion that a single device won't address all of the requirements. The limitation is not due to speed but more to do with the physical device/screen size. Where a tablet is great for creating or reading documents on, it's too big to stick in your pocket. Conversely a phone is too small to type long documents but fine for checking email or the odd Blog, as I'm doing at the moment.
so what do you do...
As my wife says "if you can't decide what pair of shoes to have, the answer is to have both". As we are talking about cloud services, the end device is a terminal or window into the cloud and shouldn't be the sole repository for your data, and in an ideal world shouldn't have any data on it at all. Therefore it shouldn't matter if you are wearing trainers or dress shoes... they both do the same thing and both have their place.
what device/s would you recommend to meet my requirements?
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Picture credit: © vladgrin - Fotolia.com