iPad 2 review – first impressions from an Android user’s perspective

Neither of us could wait till Christmas to play with our Christmas present – an iPad 2. As Android phone users you would have expected us to have bought an Android tablet. But when hubby went to the shops to have a play he fell head over wallet with the fruity alternative.

This week I have been rather busy with our daughter’s seventh birthday so I haven’t had much time to play. But I want to share my first impressions.

I love it. I can’t tell you whether I would have loved the Samsung Galaxy tablet more, but despite my gripes I do love it and don’t have any regrets.

We are currently in setup mode. We need to find a good Twitter chat app and more importantly we need to resolve the shared device problems re account logins, email etc. But I am loving Flipboard – a magazine style presentation of your Twitter and FB feeds only available on the iPhone and iPad.

So what don’t I like?

There is is only one button and it takes you home. I am used to a back, menu and cursor control buttons on my Android phone. I don’t want to always goes back to the very beginning, I want to be able to change settings within the app and it’s incredibly fiddly to position the cursor exactly where you want it when typing – there is though a solution, you just have to long press and the near vicinity is magnified making it possible to move the cursor one letter at a time – but I don’t think it’s as easy as having a physical button.

The keyboard is also very annoying. Aside from missing long press to active shift, the apostrophe is on screen two – though it is accessible if you long press the exclamation key but this is a well kept secret as there is nothing on the key to tell you this. It also frustrates me that the keyboard doesn’t change when you change case. But I do like that the ‘return’ key is context sensitive, changing to display ‘go’ or ‘search’ and I like the keyboard hide button. So I’d really love to be able to change the keyboard but I’m pretty certain that’s an Android advantage feature – i.e. not possible.

And my final gripe is the browser. I don’t want the mobile web version I want the desktop version. I am very much hoping that this is something we can change.

Having originally posted a near identical post on G+, fellow similarly named Geek Mummy said that my review was a fair assessment. Most depressing was that there is no magic solution to the multi-user shared device problem. So I am very interested in hearing people’s work arounds.


EasyTags Name Labelling Gadget Review

If you are like me, the idea of sewing or ironing on name labels just seems like way too much effort. Last year I wrote Geeky Daughter’s name on in pen on the labels of everything, which to be honest, seemed to be almost as much effort, and come the end of the school year, I had had to re-write it at least once on most things.

What particularly attracted me was the ability to remove the tags. I have used iron on labels but was then left with the problem of how to remove the labels once the item of clothing was ready to be passed on to someone else. I didn’t want to leave her name in the clothes, but there was no way those name labels were coming off. Yes you don’t have that problem with sew-ons, but life is really just too short.

So there was absolutely no way I could resist trying out Easy2Name’s EasyTag. It definitely falls into the category of gadget as, let’s be honest, it is more expensive than just buying sew-ons or even buying a permanent marker pen. I love my gadgets so I simply had to have one.

What is an EasyTag?

The best way to describe it is as a stapler where the staples are actually buttons with your child’s name on it. The video below produced by Easy2Name shows you how it works.

There are 3 key parts to EasyTags. The applicator, which is your stapler, the name tags which are reusable and the backs (think of the tags as a nut and the backs as the bolt) that you can only use once.

Incredibly whilst their website stated it could take up to 14 days, I received mine in just 5 days – however do not rely on this, I probably just got lucky.

Initial Impression of EasyTags?

Opening the envelope I was pleased to see that there was no packaging. That’s right, no blister packs, cardboard or even a plastic bag (well the tags and backs were in tiny little bags otherwise it would have been annoying). The packaging would have just gone straight in the bin and would have raised the price, so already a good start.

The name tags are all connected, so you have to pop them out – Geeky Daughter was quick to request that job, and fortunately they came off really easy – so no problem there.

EasyTags in Action

Now to test drive. The instruction leaflet was to be honest a poor photocopy – nowhere near as easy to read to as the one shown in the video, but readable enough that I wasn’t having a flat pack style breakdown.

The applicator has been well designed in that the backs which have a right way round, will only fit one way, so it is very obvious whether or not you have got it right.

Getting the name tag to slot into the applicator, I did however, find a bit tricky. The first time I tried I struggled to get the tag to fit in properly and it did keep popping out, so I used the applicator upside down and it still worked. You just need to press it in, hard – I must have been too gentle – neither tag nor back should fall out of the applicator if you have put them in properly.

I also spent some time trying to figure out which way up to put it in, after all I didn’t want her to have to read her name upside down  – I now know that it doesn’t matter, because to ‘staple’ your tag, you have to turn the blue lever which spins the tag round and round and once done, you can twist it whichever way up you want.

You then just find where you want the tag to go (personally I think wash labels are the best place), press down, turn the blue handle and hey presto.

The instructions say to turn the blue handle until it goes click. However, maybe because I have been adding tags to the wash labels, I get a click when I press the handle, so I am never quite sure when it is done – I just do a few turns for good measure, presume it is done and no problems so far.

They are supposed to be washable and can go in the tumble drier – haven’t tested that one yet.

I also haven’t tried removing the tags yet as replacement backs cost around 17p and you know the saying, look after the pennies………..

Detailed Financials – Are EasyTags Cost Effective?

So talking about cost, it is a gadget and yes it is your most expensive option (compared to sew-ons or iron-ons). The cheapest option is to buy what is essentially a starter kit for £25 which includes your applicator and 30 tags and backs. Replacement backs cost £5.

So I look at it as £20 investment in the gadget and then £5 for 30 uses which equates to roughly 17p a tag. Iron on labels cost 1p each less i.e. £8 for 50.

I think 30 are enough for one child. So my cost per school year moving forwards is only going to be £5. I know mums that pay to have someone else do their sewing for them and I am sure there is a cost associated with using an iron for the electricity used.

The cost of the applicator can also be halved because I have two children and an additional set of 30 tags and backs costs £15, which works out that the cost of the reusable tags are around 33p each.

EasyTags Review Conclusion

Geeky Mummy loves gadgets and thinks these costs are pretty reasonable all things considered.

It would be nice if the tags could come in different colours, maybe that will come in the future.

It is way more fun than sewing, ironing or writing names on wash labels and Geeky daughter seems to like them too which is an important consideration.

Geeky Mummy EasyTags Review Verdict

EasyTags get a big Geeky Gadget Thumbs Up!

Final Geeky Thought

Should you decide to buy EasyTags or anything from Easy2Name don’t forget to select your school or nursery when ordering so that they can earn commission, and if they haven’t signed up, get the PTA to do so – it’s money for nothing.