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A Surprise From Samsung August 17, 2014

Posted by Tom Wells in Introductions.

After a year and a half I would have thought that my laptop/tablet from Samsung was too old to mater to Samsung. I hadn’t realized the seriousness of the grumblings over my Samsung 500T keyboard performance when I bought this computer. I was drawn in by the wonderful ways is performed as a tablet. Not long after buying the computer the troubles crept up. Then I broke the original detachable keyboard and the replacement never worked right. The only practical place to use the keyboard was sitting firmly on a table, which didn’t seem too fair because if I needed to use my computer on tables only I wouldn’t need an attachable keyboard. I could just use one of many, many better working Bluetooth versions.

Still, the tablet form running on Windows 8 exceeded my expectations. Paired with an S pen it does everything I can do with a pad of paper and so much more. In tablet form, my computer has been the realization of all the things I wanted a computer to do. It goes everywhere with me in the office. I take notes, catch up on e-mails, check schedules, and I can pull up all of the cloud based documents for my construction projects. With my sketch program I can create colorful renderings and sketch my ideas while keeping an ear to the long meetings I become stranded in. I bought a Windows phone that stays perfectly synced with my tablet. Pictures I take on the phone are available for me to share through the tablet. My internet favorites sync between devices. Add a favorite to my phone and its there for me the next time I use the tablet. Hand scratched notes taken in meetings can be e-mailed to the meeting participants before we leave the room. I have many I-Pad owners asking how I keep all these things synced and the simple answer is I haven’t abandoned the Windows platform that my State business is run on. People are often genuinely amazed at what I can do with my tablet.

Then there was the BUT. A big BUT. The kind of but that haunted this unit’s stellar performance. It was the keyboard. Because it only worked when sitting perfectly flat on a table it wasn’t much use for all of the things a laptop is meant to do. No typing in my lap while watching TV. No typing on the airplane or on the go. Most of the time it was just a little annoying with the connection being broken with a mocking warning tone. Bee-boo-bee. But in the past few weeks it was worse. If I used the computer as a tablet and then plugged into the keyboard, nothing worked. Not just the keyboard itself, but the tablet. Taking it off of the keyboard was not good enough to set things right either. I would remove the tablet, but then the built in pop up onscreen touch keyboard no longer popped up on the tablet. The only remedy was to fully shut down and restart the computer. It was getting to be infuriating. I was fully out of love with the whole thing.

Then something wonderful happened. Samsung finally produced a real software fix for the unit. It was the kind of thing everyone was clamoring for a year and a half ago. Owners like me pleaded on the Samsung help sites and in product reviews and despite the claims at the time, all attempts to resolve these issues with an update failed. I really was certain that if it couldn’t be fixed then, that it was a problem Samsung was never going to be able to fix. But with my computer now going downhill fast I made one more attempt to try the latest updates. If it failed, I was reserved to having to buy a new unit and I did not look forward to that pain. So I opened the SW Update program and started the update process. At first it looked like the update program was crapped out too. It spun one of those classic twirling graphics so long I had shut down the computer thinking it was stuck again. When I restarted the computer and then the update program that twirling graphic spun on forever. I abandoned the computer for half an hour unwilling to watch it die such a slow death. But when I came back the twirling was gone and the update was ready. Again the download itself took forever. Again I worried. But after some time and several software induced restarts, the update was done.

My tablet was back to its former glory. It no longer hung up on auto-rotates. The pop-up on screen keyboard was back and working like it did before. I was mildly optimistic, so I went to the next level of testing. I added the dreaded keyboard. I was afraid that might freeze up the tablet again, but I had to try. It didn’t. I could disconnect and connect at will and everything worked. My attachable keyboard started right up when connected and the on screen pop up keyboard came back when I took the keyboard off. I was completely satisfied with the results before I realized something more remarkable was happening. Before, when the tablet was firmly locked onto the companion keyboard, the slightest jog disconnected the two. It did it with this stupid mocking tone as the keyboard communicated, then broke its connection with the tablet. Bee-boo-bee. Disconnected. Bee-boo-bee. Reconnected. It did this on the table too through my heavy fingered typing. The only way to end the mocking was to turn the volume down. But what good was that? Volume down meant no music playback while typing. What a drag that was.

After the update, there was no more bee-boo-bee. I tried turning up the volume but it was already up. What? So I typed more, and more. Not on a table, on a pillow. On my lap, on the arm of a chair. I found I could type anywhere and no bee-boo-bee. No dropped keyboard. It just works the way it was supposed to. My computer is back. Oh happy day as one of my employees says. I am thoroughly amazed. Samsung has done the unthinkable. They have not forgotten their old product. Thank you for helping me fall back in love with my device.



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