In my efforts to go paperless, I grabbed my eDGe and headed off to 3 days of meetings last week. I experienced a little anxiety attack as I am used to having a pack of pens at the ready and my small notepad. It was strange showing up with my little cocoon case, my Blackberry and nothing else.
Long story short...I was very impressed. I found the eink side very easy to take all of my notes, store them, and retrieve them later. It is true that there is a slight bit of lag as you write but not enough to be disruptive. It felt almost as natural as writing on regular paper except for the fact that people kept coming over to see what this "funky" piece of tech was. It was also fantastic to be able to switch to my novel of choice by the press of one button. I don't need to be distracted but there was some downtime and I enjoyed filling it science fiction thrills and chills.
The tablet side was a trip down the lane fantastic! I felt like I was in Star Trek as I paid bills, read and responded to emails, scanned my RSS feeds, and seached for the latest news using just my finger! I prefered using the stylus for longer email messages but the virtual keyboard also worked well without it. For all you librarians and library fans...the eDGe utilizes epub files which means downloading books from libraries is a breeze!
There are a few things that definitely need some attention:
- First of all, my hotel's wireless network was down which meant the WiFi on my eDGe was useless. The people at Entourage thought of this by providing a USB ethernet adapter option BUT they are sold out!!!! I hope they correct this soon.
- My internet experience was also limited by my inability to access a lot of online video. If they want this machine to be a real contender then this needs to be rectified and soon. The 21st century is multimedia rich and so this device needs to navigate that world effortlessly. According to the tweets I have seen, this will be fixed with an update very soon. Supposedly very soon may mean this summer as they emphasized to me they want to be fully functional before the start of the next school year.
- The lack of an app store also was a little frustrating. As an innovator...okay geek...I accept the fact that I will have to put in some effort to utilize new technologies. I toured forums and blogs to find apps and to find the tips necessary to install them. As a geek I view that process almost like a badge of honor. Most people (and me after the novelty wears off) just want to be able to effortlessly find, install, and utilize their apps. Once again I was assured that this is in the works and will be rectified soon so......we wait patiently.
- Oh yeah....one of the reasons I picked the eDGe was because it seemed more versatile than the iPad. It has USB ports, audio recording capability (works great) AND a camera. Too bad the camera isn't functional yet!!!!
The Entourage eDGe is a fantastic tool. I am thrilled I invested in this product. Judging by the number of principals who questioned me about it, the eDGe has the potential to take the world by storm. I just hope that their "very soon" to do list will be completed sooner rather than later. At the moment I fully trust this to be the case. Their staff has been highly accessible to me as a customer and they seem genuinely determined to be ready for back to school shoppers in the summer.