Form factor

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve varied my computing habits a little. For a notebook, I have been using a Pixelbook, and I also have been spending more time using an iPad Guru for work (vs my default option of using a Mac laptop for all ).

What I have found is that the form factor of the device I am using things a lot in terms of what sorts of work it supports best. Both devices have precisely the same programs, but the experience on every could not be more different.

For instance, the iPad (the 10.5″ Pro version specifically ) is great for long-form reading: I use Pocket to collect articles (from where I am — telephone, tablet or tablet ) and when I want to sit down and read, I do it on the iPad. So it is equally good for deep reading and good for fast email processing. That mix has been working great for me. 

I’ve been trying to prevent reading — particularly at home, when I’m around my family — on my mobile phone. There’s something about the position you take when you read on a telephone that’s both uncomfortable and anti-social. Hunched over, palms, squinting down. By comparison, reading on the iPad feels more like reading a novel or a newspaper — open, relaxed. Not only is the reading place a better size, but it seems more like a”public” device, in the sense that by reading it you are not lost in the personal world of your mobile phone.

What’s nice about the Pixelbook is how easy login and installation are (especially if you’re a heavy google apps / google chrome user). You simply sign in, load up some web programs (and many enterprise desktop programs like Slack and Zoom work equally as well as Chrome programs ) and you are good. It seems very lightweight and efficient. When I log in the Pixelbook I’m ready to go. 

It just goes to prove that the form factor / layout / packaging of a system (apparatus, program, etc) really matter so much in terms of how it can / should / will be utilized. Perhaps this is obvious, but it has really struck me recently.

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