I have just spent the past few nights playing with the new T-Touch Tab™ – Telstra’s $299 Pre-Paid mobile tablet– and would like to share my thoughts with you.

Having used several mobile tablets in recent months, I was interested to use the T-Touch Tab™. Why? I’ve been a fan of mobile tablets for some time. And the T-Touch Tab™ combines the exciting Android™ platform with touch screen technology and the speed of Telstra’s Next G™ network at an affordable price.

This, by the way, is not marketing spin. It is reality – my reality – as a consumer who would go out and spend $299 on a device such as this. The T-Touch Tab™ has really brought mobile tablets into the mass market.

Screen Layout

Turn on the T-Touch Tab™ and you get to the home screen – consisting of a clock, 6 icons (Contacts, Messaging, Tribe®, Android Market™, Email and BigPond® Home), a news section, and Google search bar. These icons and groups are movable – so you can tailor the screen to fit your own style and preference.

At the base of the screen are 6 tabs: Home, Web, Entertainment, Communications and Favourites. The final icon (four small squares) takes you to the full list of applications.

Moving between screens is easy – just swipe your finger across the screen and you get to a second screen within each tab to store additional icons/shortcuts.

Read any good books lately?
Telstra T-Touch Tab Media Centre

As a born again advocate for e-books as a convenience (you still can’t beat paper!), I just had to download an e-book reader and give it a go. The free app I chose (for no other reason that it was near the top of the list of apps) from Android Market™ was one called txtr. Downloading the app from Android Market™ (you need a Gmail account to get started) was as simple as tapping the icon, answering yes to the acknowledgement that the device would be downloading data, then waiting for the flashing icon message (top right of screen) telling me download successful. The reader comes with two free books and access to their bookstore.

With txtr you can read the e-book in either landscape or portrait mode. Turn pages by touching the screen – right edge to go forward, left edge to go backwards.

How does it compare with other e-readers I have used? The application is user friendly and works. There are many other readers to chose from, but for an overall e-book experience, I was quite happy with it.

Tell me where to go
Telstra T-Touch Tab Maps

Navigator is another application I was keen to try on the T-Touch Tab™. The 7” screen in landscape mode definitely made for a great portable GPS device. Powered by Garmin, Whereis Navigator is available on most Telstra smartphones. I was able to view my current location, select an address and the T-Touch Tab™ did the rest…and got me there as well.

Why do they call it “social” media if you become unsociable when engaged in it in company?

A future age-old question in the making and probably a topic for another post. The T-Touch Tab™ is being touted as the ideal social media device. It comes with Tribe® – a social media launch pad that allows you to get in touch with your Facebook, Twitter and MySpace friends, from one place. I updated my status on Facebook and browsed some of my friends’ pages. Having a camera is a great advantage. You can click and post – as long as you have added a microSD memory card to your T-Touch Tab™. You just need to have recharged $20 within the last 30 days to access Tribe in Australia for free. I can definitely see how the social media side of the T-Touch Tab™ will be a hit. It meets my major criteria: Ease of use, fast, and a big screen.

I’m game if you are
Telstra T-Touch Tab Games

The T-Touch Tab™ comes with a good selection of games to keep you occupied. Some are complete and others are samples or teasers that allow you to try before you buy. The sound and graphics are up to scratch with other gaming devices I have played, and again the big screen gives you a much better experience.

TV to go

BigPond TV and Mobile FOXTEL from Telstra both were given a workout – and passed with flying colours. Just remember there may be content or subscription charges associated with some of the services.  The kick stand on the T-Touch Tab allows you to watch your programme handsfree. As with a lot of the applications on the T-Touch Tab, you can use either your finger or the supplied stylus to navigate through the programmes.

Hold the phone

Something that might get overlooked with the building excitement around this product is that the T-Touch Tab is also a phone. The speaker phone function is great for conference calls or handsfree talking, and the sound quality through a Bluetooth headset is crystal clear.

But wait…there’s more
Telstra T-Touch Tab Web

There are many more features packed into the T-Touch Tab™, and I look forward to exploring them. As Android™ grows in popularity, so will the applications available to download. With over 100,000 on the market today, there is surely something out there to satisfy your needs.

As the festive season approaches, I am sure the T-Touch Tab™ will be one of the items that makes the wish-list.

Remember, if you are going to spend $299 on a decent GPS system, or an e-book/ e-reader or even a dedicated portable gaming device, why not take a closer look at the T-Touch Tab™?  It can do all of these things plus a lot more. You (like me) might be pleasantly surprised.

For full technical specs on the Telstra T-Touch Tab™, please visit the Telstra website.

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