Getting The Most From Your Entertainment
Taking a look at a few key applications will show how the built-in tablet features will help you to get the most out of your music, movies, and games. Going in respective order, music will be the first point. In addition to the increased flexibility of using the stylus to pick out music files and scroll to exact time points in the track, one of the greatest uses of Tablet PCs is that almost all of them have built-in microphones. This is an often overlooked feature, even though it is not nearly as standard a feature in ordinary notebooks.
This actually comes in very handy thanks to a new trend that’s showing up on the Internet. Specifically, I went to Midomi.com, a site that provides the fantastic service of letting me hum a few bars of a song and then finding that song for me. I tried doing the same thing on my desktop, but I first had to rummage through my walk-in closet - better known as the Apocalypse - and find my USB microphone, which was tangled up in all my old Nintendo 64 controller cables. I really preferred the godsend that is a built-in microphone on my Tablet PC, and was finally able to figure out that the song I could never remember was the theme from Jurassic Park.
Once again, many of the basic features of Tablet PCs help enhance the PC experience, and that’s definitely true of media files. What I’m talking about here are specific functions that optimize certain applications or websites. Along those lines, one of the most useful things I find I can do with my Tablet PC when I’m watching movies is to get rid of the keyboard.
Since many tablets are widescreen, the aspect ratio of a movie is already more or less optimized for the screen. When I swivel the screen down, I can just hold it out in front of me. Of course, when my feeble arms get too sore from that, or I’m sitting down in a plane with limited space, I simply just turn the screen 180 degrees, so that the keyboard is facing away from me, I’m closer to the screen, and I can still rest the PC on my lap.
Finally, one area where touch-screen input has a dynamic effect is gaming. Most PC games become much more interactive when you trade in mouse control for the stylus. Even simplistic games like Solitaire come to life, when instead of pointing and clicking, all you have to do is point. From Flash game sites, to $10 titles in the nether regions of Best Buy, to immersive online role-playing games, the addition of an interactive touch-screen interface really makes the game more seamless.
This also opens up the possibility of exclusive Tablet PC games that specifically make use of the touch-screen capabilities. There’s even an entire company, Increment Software, that specializes in tablet titles. Its flagship product, Slate Labyrinth, is just one example of a game that would really have no redeeming qualities on an ordinary PC, but becomes strangely addictive when the control is mandated by your own hand movements just inches away from the screen.
Slate Labyrinth has you creating and solving puzzles by digitally inking on the game screen.