During 2017, I have moved from using Apple gear only, to Windows and Android instead. Why?
Well, there are several reasons for that. On the phone front, it was time to get a new phone as my old carrier contract was nearing its end. I considered a few new phones, among them an iPhone 7 or a OnePlus 5, but then my favorite electronics market (the Swedish version of Best Buy) had a short time offer where you got a very good plan, including a brand new Samsung S8 for about 300 Euros. It was a no-brainer price-wise, really. The S8 is an awesome phone though, and I especially appreciate the format, as it’s narrower but a bit higher than most large screen phones. However, it fits neatly in a pocket so those extra shaved off millimeters really does a world of difference from “awkward to carry with you” to easy-peasy. I used to detest Android, as it felt like a bad copy of iOS and don’t start on the bad graphic design and the bazillion options everywhere, but with the latest versions of Android, the ugly duckling has become a pretty and slick mobile OS. Samsungs own TouchWiz Android iteration has also gotten a much-deserved overhaul and I must say that I prefer it over, for example, OnePlus’s OxygenOS.
On the computer side, I wanted something to replace my aging iPad Air (with 16 GB of RAM) as it never was enough to keep my gaming PDFs and stuff. And since 2010 I haven’t owned a private laptop, but used my work machine (the MBP 15-inch) as it up to now has been perfectly allowed by my employer. However, the last few years, the IT department has been issuing new rules about this and that and it ended up with me feeling that I wanted to get my private stuff (mainly photos and game stuff) off the Macbook.
Due to ridiculous pricing, weak specs, and no touch screen, a new MacBook was ruled out directly. I decided to return to Windoze, which I left last time when XP was hot…
At first, I thought that I wanted a tablet that could function as a laptop at times and had almost decided for a Surface Pro i5. However, that machine is expensive when you add all the peripheral gear you need for it to function fully (keyboard, pen etc). Even with my 10% university teacher’s discount with Microsoft, the price is still high for what you get. I also started to think about what and how I usually use my computers and realized that I rather needed a laptop that could function as a tablet at times. After reading a lot of reviews and articles on 2-in-1s, I found the Lenovo Yoga 720 13-inch to be exactly what I wanted and after some saving up I decided to buy it, but then on Black Friday I saw that my favourite electronics chain had the Yoga 720 with the new 8th gen processors and with the Lenovo Active Pen included in the box. And the price was down 300 Euros for the Black Friday thingy. I picked up the computer at 0700 hours when they opened the store!
Since I keep most files in the cloud (I use DropBox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Box), the move between OS’s has been very easy. Most of the software I use is available on most platforms, so very little has been problematic that way. And contrary to most Windoze-aficionados, I think that Windows 10 is great. It’s the first ever version of Windows that I truly like, tiles and all. And it has been very easy to get a grip on how it works after having been in Mac-land for so long. And with some research on the internets, I have been able to find suitable Windows apps for those few Mac-only apps that I use.
The Yoga is truly an awesome little machine. Full aluminium body (total weight 1.3 kg), great backlit keyboard, full HD touchscreen, USB-C (firewire) as well as an USB3 port, awesome Windows precision trackpad, tablet mode, ultra-fast PCIe hard drive etc etc. The only things I regret some is not getting the i7 model, mainly because it has 16GB of RAM and a 512 GB HD, but it wasn’t available at Black Friday pricing so I saved like 600 Euros by opting for the smaller model. The screen is also quite reflective (covered by Gorilla Glass) and not the brightest I’ve seen, which means that it can be hard to see on the screen when we play, depending on where we are (we usually play daytime).
I will come back with a follow-up post about doing game related stuff on the Yoga 720 next year. Above all, I’m curious about drawing dungeon and other maps on the computer. Also, all forthcoming adventures and other game stuff will be created on the Yoga. Which means that I have to abandon Adobe (which I have on my work Mac for free) and move to other software platforms for desktop publishing/layout and PDF preparation.
We’ll see how that works out 🙂
And also – don’t forget – all my game stuff (PDFs) is now free or Pay-What-You-Want over at DTRPG. If you want printed matter, there’s still a cost attached to that, naturally.
2 thoughts on “Tech for tabletop roleplaying and publishing – from Apple to Windows and Android”
Thanks for the update. I’ve been in mac-land for years now, but the cost of iPhones with no break from Phone Carriers makes me wonder if that will end the next time I get a phone. And while I’d like to get a new iPad, the Lenovo Yoga intrigues me.
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Go check it out at the store. In my opinion, a much better choice than an iPad. I think that the i7 model is also available with a 4K screen, att least in the US, but of course, then it won’t be a bargain anymore…