HP TouchPad as portable blogging machine

The first thing I do with a new gadget is test it for mobile blogging potential. The HP TouchPad is serving that role well using simple apps and the cloud.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor on

I am always trying different gadgets as part of my mobile tech blogging, and one of the criteria that determines if a particular gadget works for me is how well I can use it in my job. That means how well a device can function as a portable blogging machine. My testing of the HP TouchPad has surprised me that it fills that role nicely.

A portable blogging machine must be easy to carry most of the time. It doesn't do much good if I have to leave it in the office a lot. The best blogging system is the one I have with me. The TouchPad is such a gadget, I find it easy to take along for most outings, making it available should a writing opportunity present itself.

The Wordpress app on the TouchPad is very good compared to other versions, and those with a simple blog on the network will be happy. Our blogs on ZDNet are very complex and require a special backend to support this publishing environment. That usually means writing in the browser editor. This works on the TouchPad browser to a degree, but I find it falls short in handling the entire blogging process from writing to publishing.

I have settled on a method for blogging that utilizes the TouchPad as a writing machine only. I write articles using a text editor on the TouchPad, and then finalize them back at the desktop for publishing. This method works well, even better than I expected, and has benefits as a result.

TapNote for the TouchPad is a simple text editor that makes this system work well. It provides me with a blank screen for entry, which allows me to focus on what I want to say and not the vehicle for capturing it. This has turned into a great method for me as it allows my creativity to flow. It works equally well with the onscreen virtual keyboard and the Bluetooth keyboard I occasionally use. The TouchPad onscreen keyboard is really good, and I can do a lot of entry using it. When I have big articles planned I bring the wireless keyboard along to get busy.

TapNote can automatically sync with my Dropbox account in the cloud, and this makes the process work for me. I enter a new "note" and it instantly appears in my Dropbox storage. This makes it available on every computer and gadget I use, so my work follows me as it should. TapNote saves each note to Dropbox as a simple TXT file, making it easy to incorporate into blog posts via simple copy and paste. This system works so well that I am using it more often than I anticipated.

Once I've written an article in TapNote while on the go, I can create a Wordpress blog post at any time back in the office (or on a laptop anywhere). I bring the text into the blog editor and then edit it as usual for publishing. I have come to appreciate the extra proofreading I do on both the TouchPad and the desktop, as I catch almost all typos.

This system won't be appropriate for everyone, after all we are all different. It works marvelously for me, and I can be productive at a moment's notice almost everywhere.


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