A Successful Hunt

Well, I have to pay off the Hunt for the Perfect Bible by actually showing the result of the hunt with this last post of the series. After all, the point of hunting is, eventually (and hopefully), getting!

I checked my list. I was looking for a device that can function as a bible for reading, preaching, and intensive study. With solid software and tons of electronic books, I had to make sure that whatever I was running could store a lot.

Besides all that, I’m (1) a gamer and (2) a designer who does a fair amount of print and digital design. That meant that I needed something pretty powerful.

I also needed the thing to be very portable, light and to have some tablet like capability so I can preach with it. This is a problem since almost all tablets in the marketplace don’t offer an OS that can support my programs and definitely don’t have the cranking power to justify the expense.

Asus vs. Samsung

Cross-category machines, like the Asus EEE Slate and the Samsung Slate, wound up being added to my spreadsheet. Apple doesn’t have any slates that have a full Operating System unless you go with a hack (which costs way too much) so that wasn’t even a consideration. Plus, even if I stayed only within the realm of laptops, the Apple Machines just didn’t give me as much for my money. Only 2 USB Ports? Bah.

Anyway, the slates seemed to be a good buy but you still had to invest in a keyboard (which added to the price) and there wasn’t any real history with the things yet. They ran Windows 7 which has multi-touch functionality (to use the thing as a tablet) but nowhere near the slickness of Android OS or Apple’s iOS. I didn’t mind it since I would be using full software but I still will need a keyboard to do real work.

In the end, I wound up looking at either Fujitsu’s convertible notebooks or Lenovo’s. Lenovo’s screen has the quality of the iPad but without a lot of the glare issues, the reliability backing of Lenovo (formerly IBM), and the great track record of a solid machine. Fujitsu’s, though good, would break my budget. Add to that some Lenovo coupons and corporate discounts and I wound up with a powerful Lenovo Thinkapd X220t Digital Bible that can also run several operating systems in VMWare.

Is the thing perfect? Not quite. Windows 7 could be smarter with the touchscreen (and I’m hoping Windows 8 fixes that) and the active use battery life could be better, but other than those bits I’m pretty satisfied.

Drop us a line (and include pictures) if you wind up successfully hunting for your own Somewhat Perfect Digital Bible.

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The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: Check Yourself

The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: Check Yourself

It’s too easy to be psyched out by the spurious glitter of a shiny chrome shell so in this post I want to focus on what you need to look for when you go digital with your doctrinal deeds and needs by listing five questions you should be asking yourself.

What Am I Doing With This Thing? Have a solid plan on how you’re going to use this thing. If you’re going to be using multiple versions, looking at original languages, accessing notes (yours and others), creating new notes then write that down. If it’s just going to replace a print Bible, write that down. If you’re throwing down 2 grand on a Macbook Pro to use BibleGateway, you’ve failed.

Is This Burden Light? Check the weight. Feel it. You might be carrying it all day. Avoid laptops that are labeled “Desktop Replacements” because, although they have a ton of power and a huge screen, they weigh a ton. You’re wide margin Bible weighs about 3.5lbs so stay below or within that.

Can I Read On It? Some people find cell phone screens easy reading; others have real problems with them: no one can tell you what the right fit is for you. If you’re looking at netbooks, make sure you can read text on it. If the store allows it, plug in a thumbdrive with some sample documents. Also, side note: laptop display size is usually figured out diagonally. Those of us who remember our Pythagorean theory, this means that a 17 inch laptop screen that is about 8 inches high might only actually be 15 inches wide. Ironically, back in the day when screens were round they had to be measured using diameter and thus diagonals became the rule!

Can I Type With It? iPhones are great but I can’t stand typing more than a sentence or two with that tiny virtual keyboard. The Sony Netbook’s keyboard is so tiny that your fingers slam into other keys whereas Asus’ gives you some more room for actual typing. Like legibility, you are the one who has to ultimately decide if these devices work for you but as a pointer, Netbooks that are 7-8 inches have a significantly smaller keyboard than those which are 9-10 inches; laptops generally have similar keyboards across the board; and tablets usually have a virtual keyboard that might focus on two finger input.

Does It Work With My Stuff? Lots of folk don’t consider this when they pick up a device, but you have to make sure that you can actually use it with your stuff. If that brand new tablet is gorgeous but can’t sync with any of your printers or computers or documents, then it’s no good. This means that if you own specific Bible Software already (such as Logos) you’re going to want a device that can run it. If you have tons of .docx files (which is the new file format for Microsoft Word docs after Word 2007) then you’re going to need a computer that allows you to install your version of Word—or at least access them.

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To read the next installment in this series click here.

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