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Recently Telstra launched a device into the tablet market which they have called the ‘Telstra T-Touch Tab’. From Telstra;
Created with Australian families in mind, the T-Touch Tab TM can be enjoyed individually or shared together, providing entertainment to all ages. From games that keep the kids amused, reading e-books, checking email or catching the weather on the move, the possibilities are virtually endless.
This device appears to be targeted towards hobbyists, with Telstra research suggesting 3/4 people are spending more time on their hobby’s than ever before and wish to use technology to further their passion. This is why they have offered me the chance to review the product, looking at it from a gardening perspective. It definitely appears to be an entry level device, which is definitely a positive, aimed at people who probably are not already in the technology market.
How does this product relate to Gardening?
You are quite possibly asking, right about now, how on earth this product could ever relate to, or be used with, gardening? I mean, AussieGreenThumb.com focuses on gardening, so why would I be reviewing a new technology gadget? Well, simply put, because I believe the Telstra T-Touch Tab can help you in your desires to cultivate a gardening lifestyle, today and tomorrow.
Here are 4 ways you could use the Telstra T-Touch Tab to benefit your green thumb
1. Use it to read your favourite gardening blogs or online magazines.
– The Touch Tab is capable of connecting to the internet, whether it be via Bigpond’s NextG network, or through your home or public Wi-Fi connection. The inbuilt browser comes with a zoom feature, which enables you to zoom in on the text of a blog or web magazine, making it comfortable to read. The portability of a device of this size means you can either read your favourite blogs or magazines in the comfort of your lounge or even take it out into the garden with you so that you can follow my hints and tips directly from my blog!
2. Similar to the first application, you can use the Telstra T-Touch Tab to read your favourite gardening books. The T-Touch Tab is built on Google’s Android OS, which means you have access to over 80,000 applications, one of which is Kindle for Android. This enables you to make all your future gardening book purchases at amazon.com and have access to those books on any device you might have, like your laptop or desktop computer or this new Telstra T-Touch Tab. This is definitely one way I intend on using the T-Touch Tab.
3. Use many other gardening applications. I did a simple search for ‘gardening’ on the Android Market and 106 results came up. These range from books, to manuals, to podcasts on gardening, to programs to help you keep track of what you planted and when, and these applications will only grow into the future.
4. Monitor your plant growth and what you have growing. The T-Touch Tab comes with a 2 megapixel camera. Though this isn’t actually amazing, it is sufficient for use taking photo’s of your plants to keep track of their growth. I’ll be using it to take a photo of my vegetable beds each week so that I can compare them from week to week and see just how much they have grown. Some people also like to measure their plants and record this. There are Android apps that can be used for creating documents or spread sheets that all this data can be input into.
There are just 4 uses, with many more to discover along the way! As this device is linked with social media websites like twitter and facebook, their would also be many ways to use the T-Touch Tab in the social media realm.
So this wouldn’t really be a good review of the T-Touch Tab if I didn’t at least cover some simple technical pro’s and con’s of the device. However I do want to say at the outset, it seems to me that the T-Touch Tab is marketed as an entry level device and as such is not designed to be ‘the best of the best’ technically, but adequately equipped for entry level users.
1. Price – At $299 RRP there simply is not another tablet device that even comes close to competing with this price. Most tablets will be selling for anywhere from $600 to $1000 dollars.
2. Social media integration – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Web Browsing, the T-Touch Tab allows easy switching from one service to the other, all on the same device.
3. The Design layout has a natural progression, with 5 tabs ‘Home’, ‘Web’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Communications’ and ‘Favourites’ and then a button to click to go to all your applications. I understood this layout right from the get go and found it to be a good way or organising all the programs.
4. Access to the growing Android Market. As mentioned earlier, this device uses Googles Android OS which means it has access to around 80,000+ apps, some free and some for payment. This number is only growing.
5. Designed as an entry level device. Lots of ‘tech heads’ are panning this device because it doesn’t meet their high, tech head expectations. However I actually think this is a ‘pro’. This device is marketed at people who want a simple device that does a lot of what the more expensive devices do…cheaply. If you enjoy doing gardening as a hobby and can see how the benefits I mentioned above for gardening might apply to you, for $299 this is quite achievable. However the average ‘hobbyist’ is probably going to baulk at $600+ and so Telstra has rightly ‘dumbed down’ the tech side of things so that device simply does the basics, and does them relatively well.
1. Resistive Touch screen. Basically, the T-Touch requires more force pressed onto the device than other tablets. So when you are using your finger to touch the screen and make it do stuff, you have to press harder than on a tablet like an iPad. I, however, haven’t actually found this to be a huge problem, unlike most other reviewers out there. Not being an iPad or iPhone user already, I picked up the T-Touch Tab from day dot without any significant trouble. If you learn on this device, I doubt you’ll have trouble. If you have an iPhone or an iPad, you’ll probably get frustrated.
2. Battery Life. Sadly, this device does have relatively poor battery life. If you just leave it, it’ll last a day. If you use it even mildly, it struggles to give a days usage. I’ve been playing with mine a fair bit since I got it and as long as I plug it back in to charge when not in use, it is fine, but if I leave it unplugged then it’ll go flat within a day with use.
3. Weight. Being smaller than an iPad, you do expect it to be quite light, but it isn’t.It just feels heavy. You look at it and go to pick it up, thinking ‘this will be light’, and then are surprised. This is only really a problem if you want to use it for an extended period of time. However, the upside is that it does come with an inbuilt stand at the back, so if you are watching something on it or reading a book, you can stand it on your desk without needing to hold it, which takes care of the heaviness factor.
4. It is a low end gadget. Don’t get me wrong, I myself actually really like this device, but it is generally getting panned in reviews because it really is not designed for tech savvy people, and if it is, it fails. It is entry level. It is basic. It is toned down on specs like speed and capability so that it can be offered at such a cheap price. If you like your gadgets and want a really superb, high end machine, don’t buy the T-Touch Tab.
5. It is a Telstra device. This is the biggest con for me. As it is being released by Telstra, at its core it is designed to operate best on their system. The T-Touch Tab is a phone (though I have no intention of using that feature), and comes on the NextG network. I am not a big fan of gadgets that are ‘locked’ to one network. I like the freedom to move around networks and not need to replace all my gadgets when I do so. The unlocking fee is more than $100, which makes that untenable for most people, and so this limits the market for this device to either people that are already with Telstra or people that don’t mind moving to Telstra. I’m happy with my current provider.
The Last Word
Overall this device makes a good entry level device. If you are into your fancy gadgets and want something with sublime performance and is top of the range, the Telstra T-Touch Tab is not it. However, for $299 the T-Touch Tab is a really good entry level device. It does all the basic functions of a tablet, combines social media and web browsing in one easy place, and allows access to the growing Android market. If you are a hobbyist gardener and like to peruse various books, magazines or blogs, or like to take my blog or other garden tips out into the garden with you, then for $299 a Telstra T-Touch Tab may well be worthwhile.
Overall I’d give it a rating of 6/10 simply because it is very basic, but I am sure many of you would be quite happy with a basic device for $299.
I have been given a Telstra T-Touch Tab by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my user experience and personal opinion.