Waiting Rooms

I spend a considerable amount of my work life in meetings and the attendant waiting rooms and hotel lobbies. True to some words I read recently on twitter, if you want some ‘me’ time just show up in time for a meeting.  Hardly a good thing but unfortunately that is what it is for a big chunk of the corporate world. In these waiting rooms I’ve been subjected to everything from medical journals to age old copies of Financial Times – all in the name of entertainment as I wait at someone’s reception.

I learnt timeliness from my mother. Ever so gently, she drilled this habit into me over the years and I have a standing paranoia of being the late one. Being that girl who saunters into a meeting and simply declares ‘traffic’ or ‘nanny issues’ to a conference room of pissed off people. Not that I’m belittling nanny issues. I know how much these people can hold their employers’ lives at ransom but that’s a story for another day.

This is not a rant about late comers. It is more about what I do instead of spending precious energy seething about them. With help of technology and in my case the Alcatel One Touch Pop 10 tablet, I have since perfected the art of getting into full work mode from wherever I am. I’m in the digital world and work can sprout seemingly from nowhere, more often than not with fierce urgency. We are digital. We are switched on. We’re in the age of tablets and mobile phones. Failure to deliver can no longer be explained away by the ‘I was not at my comp’ excuse. As such, I always have some technology of some sort on my person at all times.

Netflix Chocolate Paint

Netflix and hot chocolate.

For me a tab is more about mobility than anything else and this is for both work and leisure. I find that it fills a perfect gap between my laptop and phone and I can get on with work without having to lug a laptop around everywhere, and without having to navigate excel sheets in the cramped space of a phone. I find that I can also catch up with movies and series on lazy mornings without leaving my bed. With a screen size of 9.6 inch and a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels, work, entertainment and playing games are not a struggle.

Screenshot_2016-03-02-15-06-50

The Alcatel One Touch Pop 10 is an android tab and with an android the first place one visits is play store. Considering that for me the tab is something only to fill specific gaps in parts of the day, I did not fill mine up with as many downloads as I do phones. The first programs into this one were Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. This sees to it that my documents and spreadsheets are synched on one drive so I can sit at the back of a taxi and just pick up on documents from where I left in the office. I also put in the usual suspects like whatsapp, chrome browser, twitter, pocket, telegram etc. And colour note to manage my busy life. I may or may not have downloaded Ztype too :-D. It is not all work and no play in a girl’s life.

Setup for Microsoft services is not difficult, just kind of lengthy and can be frustrating. Thankfully it is a one off and once you’ve signed into all your devices with your Microsoft account, you’re good to go. It’s a small price to pay for having your documents on the go, never missing and deadline, and significantly reducing the need to carry work home at the end of the day.

The Alcatel One Touch Pop 10 tablet costs Kshs.26,000/- and for an additional Kshs.3,000/- you can get a Bluetooth keyboard. The tab I have from Alcatel has both. New keyboards are always this much awkward but with time and a line of work where I go through different gadgets every once in a while, I’ve learned to get over that awkwardness and get on with work without hissing about and cursing technology. My problem with the keyboard on this tab is not that initial awkwardness though. It is the fact that I type very fast and the keyboard feels sticky and slows me down.

Alcatel Alcatel One Touch Pop 10 has 8GB internal storage which I think is too low for modern day users. I’ve however found myself not giving too much thought to that because I really do not need much storage on a tab. As I noted earlier, I use this tab only for mobility purposes and not as a full time use gadget. My documents are on cloud, my use for tabs generally does not prioritize photography or video, and I stream my movies, series and documentaries on Netflix. Not that I do not take random and useless photos, but those I take with a phone. For those who need additional storage though, memory is expandable to 32 GB via micro SD.

The tab has a 5mp back camera and 2mp front. Not anywhere up there but it will do just fine for every day photos. It has a SIM card slot and you can insert one and use it as a phone and for cellular data. I’ve since counted myself out of this though and only use WiFi. If I’m out of WiFi range, I tether my phone.

Colour

The tab comes in grey and white. The good people at Alcatel gave me a black one and I’ll choose not to rant about that though I still don’t see why gadget manufacturers won’t give people more choice.

Battery

I’ve not had to use the tab for say a full day nonstop but judging from my hourly use for example, I can tell that it can comfortably take a day. The beauty of having both the tab and the keyboard is that you can charge both and should the tab run out of power, it will draw some from the keyboard. If you’re really pressed for charge to send that quick email, you can use a power bank to charge the tab.

Sunday Morning Paint

A win for lazy Sunday mornings.

Conclusion

The Alcatel One Touch Pop 10 is a good purchase that will fit very well into the life of anyone, whether they have a an erratic work life or whether they just want something to relax with. It will go with you to meetings, move around with you outside of work and is a good companion even for home entertainment.

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