Asus TF300 – Jelly Bean 4.2.1 Update

It has been about a month since I upgraded my Asus Transformer TF300 Android tablet from Jelly Bean 4.1 to 4.2.1. The upgrade was relatively painless although it is quite a large download.

The main differences are that you can change the GUI from the traditional tablet layout to the newer, phone I guess, layout. This puts the notifications, clock, etc. on a smaller, upper task bar. The soft buttons for back, home and task manager stay at the bottom and keep their original size.

The layout is similar to the Linux Gnome layout – which I know quite well, being a Linux fan. I am also a BlackBerry Playbook fan! Other than the fact that at the launch the number of apps, well, sucked, and frankly while getting better still has quite a way to go – I think that the interface and underlying QNX OS is really well done. In fact, one of the biggest surprises I had with the new Jelly Bean 4.2 GUI was that the upper tool bar menus are accessed by a downward swipe! Very similar to the Playbook but without the touch sensitive bezel. (And the speakers on the Playbook are great – the TF300, not so much…)

That being said, upgrading from the traditional tablet layout to the newer layout means that all your grouped apps disappear and you have to go about setting things up again. No settings seem to be lost but still is is a pain in the ass.

There is a new multi-user capability which means everyone can have their own login. However, the segregations is NOT as good as one would expect on a full-fledge OS. It is not there yet but is something that I think will get better over time.

Given the cost of most tablets (ahem… Apple – and yes I had an iPad first gen until I gave it to my wife) they are not what one would consider affordable as a single user device – unless you are part of the 1% club….

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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