Tablets for Reference - All Posts

Keyboard on Dell Windows Tablet

There are actually 2 keyboards on this device. One is the default keyboard that pops up when you need to do a search, enter a password, or otherwise click in a search box. Oddly this keyboard did not popup when I opened Notepad in order to jot some notes. This keyboard is large and takes up the bottom half of the screen or so. In the Desktop mode (I'll explain that later) the default keyboard can be moved around the screen, but in the non-desktop mode the keyboard cannot be moved, and in the case of Chat, blocks the chat window. The only way to see what you're typing is to keep closing the keyboard.
***If for no other reason alone, this would eliminate, for me, this device from Reference use, unless there was an external keyboard (preferably wireless)

The other keyboard is available by pulling up the "All apps" button from the bottom right corner (drag up on the bottom of the screen). One of the apps is a keyboard app. This keyboard is nice for several reasons: it contains letters, numbers and symbols all on one keypad; and you can drag it to various locations in the window. However, this keypad is not as large as the default keypad and is more difficult to type on.

However, there may be more to discover here. Ongoing.

Tablet Type: 

My First Week with the Nexus 10

So, yes, I have the Nexus 10. I have an iPad 2 that I have used in the past, but it is my personal device and I wanted to experiment with setting up a tablet that is geared just for work-related use. The Nexus is a Samsung tablet that uses Google's Android operating system. Other than using other people's phones, this is my first experience with Android.  
I've had the Nexus about a week and this first post just goes over some of my initial impressions and uses. 

I was able to get it set up (registered and whatnot) in a few minutes, I synched my WWU email and started adding bookmarks to the home screen. I also figured out how to delete the various Google ads and stuff I didn't care about. Android is directly tied to Google Play (Google's app store) and Google products, but I haven't downloaded many apps at this point and have spent more time adding bookmarks to websites that I use for research and instruction. I searched for a few apps related to library and education but didn't see much that interested me. In a later post I will list what apps and bookmarks I have and have not added. 

The Nexus uses the Android operating system and is directly tied into Google Play (Google's app store) and Google products. I have a work-related Google account set up using my WWU email. It isn't a gmail account and is mainly just a Google docs account that I use for collaborative work. Not sure if I would a gmail to register the Nexus, I tried my WWU email and becuase it was associated with an established Google account, it worked. 

Synching my Outlook email account was easy. There is a separate email app that allows you to synch with an Outlook Exchange account. And after using it, I prefer Outlook on the Nexus to Outlook on my iPad. 

After a week of using the Nexus, I began leaving my iPad at home because I wanted to use the Nexus as I would the iPad. I take it to meetings, I take notes on it, and I use it for research consults. Out of those things, what I have used it for most is meetings--and I have mixed feelings about it. The on-screen keyboard is just different enough from the iPad keyboard that it takes me longer to type (I adjusted to the iPad keyboard fairly quickly), and the screen on the Nexus is narrower and the on-screen keyboard seems to take up more space than I am used to. 

I have used it for reference consults. Or I should say consult. I met with a student to discuss her senior project. We met in the new LC space where we discussed topics, search methods, etc. We moved to the reference book section to look at some titles that would be useful, and we used the Nexus to look up books related titles while we werethere. As a follow up, I found another useful book and used the Nexus to take a picture of the cover of the book (and call number) and emailed it directly to the student. 

Prior to getting the Nexus 10, I checked out the Nexus 7 for a week or so and rarely used it because 1) it was too small, and 2) it was tied to a generic account and I didn't feel like I could or should personalize it.   


  • Outlook
  • Android has more flexibility than Apple's iOS
  • Personalizing things (ie., setting it up with links and apps I thought would be the most useful. 
  • Using it for meetings has helped me figure out how to navigate around as it is a little different.
  • I like the notifications system in Android
  • And the big one: Just having the option to be mobile in different work situations. 


  • Wireless access. I signed into the WWU Wireless--Secured instead of the regular WWU Wireless becuase it seemed more stable, but this week I have been having more problems with weak signals. I don't know if this is the device, overwhelmed wireless, or both. 
  • Keyboard. It is just different enough from the iPad that ithas taken me a lot longer to get used to it. 
  • Screen. As I mentioned, it's narrower. The dimensions of the Nexus are a little different than the iPad and the navigational tools are part of the touch screen and that takes away from display space. 
  • Some online tools I use for task lists and taking notes (mainly Workflowy) work in Chrome, but they seem tickier than they are in Safari on the iPad. 
  • Saving documents. I saved a file sent to me via email and I have no clue where it went. My Google Docs folder? I really don't know. 
Tablet Type: 

This Dell Windows 8 Device Sucks Less Everyday

Microsoft Windows Tablet

Initial Random issues (some have been solved by now):
No instruction book was provided
Windows needed to be authorized and couldn’t figure out how or if I should? Chad did it.
The keyboard often blocks the boxes you are typing into. This is often true for Chat and passwords.
The screen rotation was messing up – had to turn off the screen rotation button
The keyboard intermittently did not visually register key strokes. This was a setting that Chad turned off.
Two operating systems do not interact well and simply confuse things.

Tablet named Refdesk1
Paul is the first account I sent up. There is no password.
There is also an open account that anyone can use. Chad has his own account and domained or is that dominated) the tablet.
Don’t seem to be able to download apps without having a Microsoft account HASSLE!!!!
Had to do this (what a hassle) from my laptop because passwords on the keypad are a PAIN! This took way longer than it needed to (largely at home Friday evening – yes, I have no life) and I ended up with yet another account I didn’t want.

Chad reinstalled Microsoft Office – apparently something went wrong during the download, so we’re good to go with that.
And he figured out how to launch a different keyboard that can “float” and be sized. So we should be good on that too.
One nice thing is that this tablet beeps when a Chat comes in, unlike the Ipads (so I hear).

Tablet Type: