4.Capacitive Reactance

In this section we discuss the particular issues of having a pure capacitive touchscreen tablet pc when using it to teach science and math.  As such, the issues we will see here may very apply to all tablets with capacitive screen (iPads, expensive Androids, etc).

As you may have read on the section 2. Tablet PCs we started using a Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet PC, once our multitouch Tablet PC from HP started to die.

The Dell Inspiron Duo is a strange breed of Tablet PC. It is small, like the notebook Inspiron line from Dell. It is convertible, but it does it in a very unique way: it flips the screen instead of rotating and folding it. And it sports a capacitive screen.  All other Tablet PCs and Pocket PCs we have used either had resistive screens or hybrid screens. The Tx2 mentioned in that section had an N-Trig multitouch hybrid screen which worked with an active stylus much like a plastic one for resistive screens, but was able to do multitouch, something capacitive screen are supposed to do.

Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet
Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet

The Duo comes in several colors. Mine is black, just like in the pictures, and that was so because the black model came bundled with the cradle at no extra cost, and which also serves as charger, HDMI interface and extra USB interfaces, and a pair of JBL speakers. Nice, don’t you think.

Dell Inspiron Duo Cradle

Dell Inspiron Duo Cradle

(Both pictures are adapted from material by Dell received with the Duo).

As said, the touchscreen is capactive and very responsive. So for a regular finger-handling usage, the Duo makes a good job at it. However, that was not our intention, but to handwrite on it and we thought it could be done with a regular rubber-tip stylus; Wrong!

… it will continue

This discussions brings finally to a conclusion: without writing some key concepts in class or a  meeting, one cannot really learn science, that is, you cannot teach and learn just by finger touching.


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