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Old 11-27-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Default Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

After a recent discussion with davydd about the pros and cons of these newfangled tablet computers
like the iPad, I'm curious how many of us have one, are thinking about getting one, or see them as
just another fad that will go the way of the dodo.
I've started looking into them, but the prices will have to come down a bit before I bite on one. I'm
just not sure they have the "horsepower" of a full blown laptop, at a price I like. But I'm looking.

My main absolute must haves are battery life, durability, security, lightweight, intuitiveness, easily
connects to my home router and public wifi (last month at a Starbucks in Anthem, AZ I actually guided
a guy through connecting), and lastly, price.
Nice to haves would include detachable peripherals, like a real keyboard, and USB ports for mice,
flash drives, etc.......
I've never been an apps person, but that could always change. Technically, POI files are "apps" so
I've got some experience. Using, vetting, and creating from scratch (Roadtrek Service Locations).

What do others think? Share your thoughts, opinions, and anecdotal experiences.
Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

The first thing you have to get over or understand is a tablet is not a computer in the sense that it is a substitute for one. A tablet is more for information gathering be it surfing the internet, reading books, newspapers, other information, PDF documents, etc. They are also great for doing research through specific and dedicated apps such as campground directories. All this stuff can be done more intuitively easier than going through a conventional internet browser. Visually most apps make reading easier. Information gathering is a whole lot easier holding a device similar to hold a book than a hinged device like a laptop or a desktop computer with separate keyboards, monitors and mouse. A tablet is a pickup device that turns on and off instantly.

There are shopping apps for Target, Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, etc. that a much easier to use than going through a browser like IE or Firefox.

On the road, through a tablet, I can still browse the internet with a browser such as visiting this message board. But when I am on the road my habits change. Being online goes way down simply because I have little idle time to be online.

I have apps to check my accounts with my online broker. I have an app to conduct all my banking business, pay bills, transfer money, etc. through my bank.

Twitter and Facebook are easier to use and more enriched with apps like Flipboard.

I watch movies with my tablet either personally by holding it my hand or via wifi to my large TV screen at home or by component cables to my TV in my RV. I can live stream or I can download movies. Similarly I can watch TV shows on demand. Similarly for music I have my iTunes with me and I can tune in any radio station in the nation anywhere.

The iPad stores photos from digital camera. I can edit them and upload them if I desire. One feature I don't have on my current iPad are cameras. We have been using our new iPhones to conduct Facetime calls with friends and family and look forward to expanding that idea with the next iteration of iPads. That's like Skype but seems smoother, easier to do and it is totally free. All that is needed is any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or computer) with cameras and a wifi connection at each end.

This past year with over 100 days on the road, I took my iPad and my laptop computer along. Not once did I bother to take my laptop out and use it. At home I do use my laptop most of the time for internet browsing because I spend more time interacting rather than gathering. The keyboard is simply easier to use as I am a touch typist. I could add a bluetooth keyboard as an accessory to my tablet but haven't felt a need to.

A tablet is not just a smartphone with a larger screen. That may seem the case with Android devices because Android app development is still way behind in that most are still blowups of smartphones. Apps on the Apple iPad are totally different than apps on the iPhone and have much more functionality. Apple's tablet maturity still has a 25 to 1 advantage over the Android market. The app developer for the Allstays many Campground & RV apps said over on RV.net the Apple iOS (iPhone & iPad) was 10 times better and faster and easier to develop for compared to having to write apps for over 960 combinations of Android devices and OSes. That's just the facts of life right now. It could change.

Games. Smartphones and tablets will replace dedicated game machines and computers. This is not my expertise but my grandkids have taken tablets like fish to water.

I probably missed a few things to mention considering I have download in excess of 200 apps and played around with them other than to see quite a few are free and the cost range is generally less than $5 compared to buying similar stuff for a computer that would cost six times as much.

For me, on the road, the tablet has made a lot more sense than taking along a computer.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Do you feel comfortable doing financials and banking on these things? I believe I read somewhere that Apple took 7 months to correct an SSL exposure discovered in one of their Operating Systems. For anyone who isn't aware, SSL is a secure connectivity protocol (usually uses a URL address prefixed with https:// ) which can be used in most web browsers and allows the user to connect securely to websites which support it, like many online banking sites.
Online security is probably the one make or break for me on any technology.
I realize no security system is 100% safe, but I'm concerned these newer operating systems may be full of holes. Most have some. I'd rather deal with a vendor who realizes the importance of plugging those holes as soon as possible, every time one is discovered, and doesn't try to dodge the issue. Microsoft is arguably probably the best at proactive and reactive security fixes. Out of necessity. But I like the way they deal with every problem openly and honestly.
I'm concerned that some vendors may actually believe their operating systems are invincible, and greatly underestimate the potential for serious breaches. I guess if these tablets are more research units (web browsers) as opposed to action units (laptops?/desktops?) then maybe it's not necessarily an issue.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
The first thing you have to get over or understand is a tablet is not a computer in the sense that it is a substitute for one. A tablet is more for information gathering be it surfing the internet, reading books, newspapers, other information, PDF documents, etc. They are also great for doing research through specific and dedicated apps such as campground directories. All this stuff can be done more intuitively easier than going through a conventional internet browser. Visually most apps make reading easier. Information gathering is a whole lot easier holding a device similar to hold a book than a hinged device like a laptop or a desktop computer with separate keyboards, monitors and mouse. A tablet is a pickup device that turns on and off instantly.

There are shopping apps for Target, Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, etc. that a much easier to use than going through a browser like IE or Firefox.

On the road, through a tablet, I can still browse the internet with a browser such as visiting this message board. But when I am on the road my habits change. Being online goes way down simply because I have little idle time to be online.

I have apps to check my accounts with my online broker. I have an app to conduct all my banking business, pay bills, transfer money, etc. through my bank.

Twitter and Facebook are easier to use and more enriched with apps like Flipboard.

I watch movies with my tablet either personally by holding it my hand or via wifi to my large TV screen at home or by component cables to my TV in my RV. I can live stream or I can download movies. Similarly I can watch TV shows on demand. Similarly for music I have my iTunes with me and I can tune in any radio station in the nation anywhere.

The iPad stores photos from digital camera. I can edit them and upload them if I desire. One feature I don't have on my current iPad are cameras. We have been using our new iPhones to conduct Facetime calls with friends and family and look forward to expanding that idea with the next iteration of iPads. That's like Skype but seems smoother, easier to do and it is totally free. All that is needed is any Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or computer) with cameras and a wifi connection at each end.

This past year with over 100 days on the road, I took my iPad and my laptop computer along. Not once did I bother to take my laptop out and use it. At home I do use my laptop most of the time for internet browsing because I spend more time interacting rather than gathering. The keyboard is simply easier to use as I am a touch typist. I could add a bluetooth keyboard as an accessory to my tablet but haven't felt a need to.

A tablet is not just a smartphone with a larger screen. That may seem the case with Android devices because Android app development is still way behind in that most are still blowups of smartphones. Apps on the Apple iPad are totally different than apps on the iPhone and have much more functionality. Apple's tablet maturity still has a 25 to 1 advantage over the Android market. The app developer for the Allstays many Campground & RV apps said over on RV.net the Apple iOS (iPhone & iPad) was 10 times better and faster and easier to develop for compared to having to write apps for over 960 combinations of Android devices and OSes. That's just the facts of life right now. It could change.

Games. Smartphones and tablets will replace dedicated game machines and computers. This is not my expertise but my grandkids have taken tablets like fish to water.

I probably missed a few things to mention considering I have download in excess of 200 apps and played around with them other than to see quite a few are free and the cost range is generally less than $5 compared to buying similar stuff for a computer that would cost six times as much.

For me, on the road, the tablet has made a lot more sense than taking along a computer.
I've just finished re-reading your post about your iPad. Very comprehensive. Upon further review, here's what I've gleaned.

It's starting to sound like an expensive option, even if, as you say, the initial unit is very reasonably priced, and you go with a 16GB, wifi only, iPad 2, with front and rear cameras. That doesn't sound too bad by itself. But you go on to say that you have to buy what sounds like a library full of additional software (apps) in order for it to do more than browse the internet? The more I think about it, it seems like everything I hear on TV and read online from users of the iPad, is about going to the Apps Store and buying this or that, to do x,y,and z. Seems like getting the thing to do what you want it to do, might not be worth the effort and expense involved. What's the most expensive one time price app you've bought, and what does it do?
I'm thinking I may go with a smaller Win7 laptop after all. I'm thinking they do as much as the iPad, and more, and it all pretty much comes with the original hardware/software in the package, or can be downloaded for free off the internet. That's a strong sell for conventional operating systems from Microsoft or Apple. There's lots of stuff out there on the web that can do most if not all of the things that pay-per-use software does. All of the major applications running on my laptops was free off the web, and it all works just as well as the more expensive licensed software from commercial software companies, like Symantec, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, etc.. I don't get nickel and dimed with the laptops I've bought, unless I want to be. I'll assume there are some tablet OS apps that are free, but I also think the majority are pay-per-use. Is that correct?
My laptops don't have a touch screen, but my laptops aren't covered in fingerprints either. They need a mouse because that's what we like, and I like the feel of a real keyboard for the same reasons you do, just easier to type. And, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I don't do Facebook or Twitter, I'm just anti-social I guess.
I'm just not sure the tablet is for me after all. Sorry Steve (Jobs).
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

iPad - Free support, support, support!!
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

I have a Toshiba Thrive tablet running Android 3.2. Got it for under $300 because it was a open box deal. It is nice if I want to turn something on quick and check the Net (email, Facebook, banking, weather, some games, etc). It turns on quicker than the laptop and the battery lasts a lot longer. I can easily watch 2 full length movies on my tablet and still have battery life left.

As far as which is better and which is worse, that depends what you want the device for. The laptop does far more than the tablet. I have a MagicJack for when I am away from home so I can make phone calls anywhere in North America for free through the Internet. It only works on a computer through the USB port. There is apparently an Android App that will use the MagicJack account to make calls but there is a lot of tweaking to do to get it to work. A laptop has far more storage than a tablet. My tablet has 16Gb with a 32Gb memory card. My laptop has a 500Gb hard drive. Both my laptop and tablet have full sized HDMI and USB ports so I can watch movies on our TV though either of them. I use the tablet just because it's quicker to set up and get started. Storage room is one thing the tablet wins on. It's a lot smaller. The laptop wins on using a keyboard. Mind you, I have a bluetooth keyboard for my tablet so it's really the same as the laptop but it adds to the storage area required.

One thing not mentioned here is the Netbooks. They are a full laptop but with the size of a tablet. They just don't have a CD ROM built in. They have the portability and are full Windows computers. I still think a good tablet will have better battery life than the Netbook but that's just a guess.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by renrut
I have a Toshiba Thrive tablet running Android 3.2. Got it for under $300 because it was a open box deal. It is nice if I want to turn something on quick and check the Net (email, Facebook, banking, weather, some games, etc). It turns on quicker than the laptop and the battery lasts a lot longer. I can easily watch 2 full length movies on my tablet and still have battery life left.

As far as which is better and which is worse, that depends what you want the device for. The laptop does far more than the tablet. I have a MagicJack for when I am away from home so I can make phone calls anywhere in North America for free through the Internet. It only works on a computer through the USB port. There is apparently an Android App that will use the MagicJack account to make calls but there is a lot of tweaking to do to get it to work. A laptop has far more storage than a tablet. My tablet has 16Gb with a 32Gb memory card. My laptop has a 500Gb hard drive. Both my laptop and tablet have full sized HDMI and USB ports so I can watch movies on our TV though either of them. I use the tablet just because it's quicker to set up and get started. Storage room is one thing the tablet wins on. It's a lot smaller. The laptop wins on using a keyboard. Mind you, I have a bluetooth keyboard for my tablet so it's really the same as the laptop but it adds to the storage area required.

One thing not mentioned here is the Netbooks. They are a full laptop but with the size of a tablet. They just don't have a CD ROM built in. They have the portability and are full Windows computers. I still think a good tablet will have better battery life than the Netbook but that's just a guess.
Thanks for the comments. Storing a laptop is a good point, although we have one netbook and one laptop, both are fairly small screen sizes, we usually take them both, and and we just use which ever, or both, based on requirements. I'm not sure about the security of the tablet operating systems. There's not much out there on it, so I don't know whether that's good or bad. The battery life on the Acer 10" netbook is pretty poor. In fact, 2 years after buying it (outside warranty) it barely holds a charge. The convenience factor sounds good but I'm not sure adding the extra apps to make the functionality is really worth a faster setup to browse. After much practise, I can setup either laptop styled pc in a few minutes. The wifi hotspot connection basically happens automatically from saved ssids, so I don't have to do much except boot them up, and open a browser or two. If it isn't designed to do much more out of the box than web browsing, or information gathering, or reading, and making phone calls if it's 3G capable, then it sounds a bit like going hunting, but only taking the scope with you, not the rifle.
I guess I'll keep looking. Maybe there's something out there that might do more out of the box.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

A lot of apps for tablets are free. You could just take a look at the Android Market or the Apple one just to see what is available. One thing that is nice about a tablet is ebooks. The tablets aren't much bigger than a book but can hold hundreds. If you're into reading, taking one tablet will take up a lot less room than several books.

There are all kinds of tablets out there now. Some have poor batteries and don't last very long. Some have resistive screens which are not very practical. Some Android tablets come with cellphone versions of Android. They are alright but a lot of apps are designed to fit on a phone screen not a tablet. There is a lot of information to look at if you want a tablet. Of course, same thing goes with laptops or anything these days.

Personally, I use both. I'm away from home again in Little Rock Arkansas and brought both with me. When I go to class (I'm here for training), I bring my tablet. I can catch up on news, play a few games or watch a few short videos without any problems during breaks or when our class is split up for practical and we're in the class waiting. Can't do that with my laptop. In my hotel room, I have the laptop set up and use it for most things. I do use the tablet to check weather since the weather app I'm using is quick and quite good.

One thing I do like about my tablet is the GPS. I installed CoPilot GPS software on it so I could use the tablet for directions. It is quite big but I can look for points of interest. Data or WiFi is required for Google to work. For driving, I just use the same program on my phone and place it on the windshield mount.

Just thought of one more thing about a tablet; it doesn't need a cooling fan. That way, you can pretty well put it anywhere. A laptop needs to have the vents open so the air circulates and keeps it cool or the motherboard could burn out. A guy here just had his girlfriend destroy a laptop by using it on a bed and not keeping the bottom clear for the cooling.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

I seriously looked at a BB Playbook today. It was on sale for around $300, the 32GB model with wifi.
I was very colose to a done deal, and then I asked about security, and battery life. I called RIM Tech
Support and they stated the Playbook is as safe as any desktop, laptop, or cellphone when doing
secure internet browsing, as long as the connections are to SSL enabled websites, as most banks
and FIs are. So that was issue one resolved, I was happy enough with that info.

However, as regards battery life/replacement. The battery life is unknown. OK, fine that's what I
expected. What really surprised me, and it apparently applies to most tablets, is that when the battery dies, most tablets are refurbished with a new battery and then forwarded to a different owner.
Apple and BB both apparently do the same thing when your battery dies. The Tech at RIM mentioned
this when I asked about whether the batteries are user replaceable and what they cost.
I admit, I was really surprised. You send them your dead battery tablet, and usually pay for service and the shipping, and they send you back somebody else's tablet, with the battery replacement/refurbishment already done. It's a giant tablet computer battery refurbishment Ponzi scheme. And, since you don't get YOUR Ipad or tablet back, any personal data has to be backed up and removed from the device before you ship it. They do not return the same box you send them. That really doesn't fly well with me. This isn't an issue with a compact laptop.
Unless you are told this up front, you could put all kinds of personal stuff on them, like account numbers, userids/passwords, saved emails, and a world of other stuff, and when your battery dies, kiss it goodbye unless you pre-organize it so that it can be quickly and easily moved off the tablet if necessary. So, now the question of how long will the battery last, suddenly becomes much more important.

Did those of you who have a tablet computer know this?
Here's one story that describes it, from last year 2010.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/13/dead ... sends-ano/
This process isn't clearly mentioned in the battery replacement page at Apple's website, as an example.
http://www.apple.com/batteries/replacements.html
The above scenario applies to tablet computers with non-user replaceable batteries, which probably includes most tablets. If the battery is replaced at the location where you bought your unit, and apparently some do, you might be able to get the same tablet back that you bought. I can't confirm this, though. YMMV.

Further research may be required on tablet computers. Even at the low price of $300+tax, I'm not sure if I ever want to have to deal with the dying battery issue. It sounds like it could be a PITA.
Link to a sample DIY battery replacement
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Mike,

The other concern you should have about the RIM Playbook is how long it will continue to be supported. RIM just announced they were going to start developing for the Apple iOS (iPad/iPhone) for their enterprise systems. That's a hint they might be throwing in the towel. HP with its Touchpad WebOS didn't last but a month on the market. No one is going to invest and develop apps for the RIM Playbook.

Android tablets can't seem to be making any inroads against the iPad either. They are still stuck for the most part using blowup smartphone apps that take no advantage of the larger screen real estate. That's because developers are just not willing to invest in the market. The Android smartphone market is healthy. As both an iPhone and iPad owner I can tell you that aspect makes a huge difference and is what makes a tablet worthwhile. Otherwise you might as well stick with a smartphone.

The market is coalescing down to the Apple iPad if you want everything possible on a tablet including the software (apps) available and the stripped down information gatherer/eBook readers offered by Barnes & Noble (Nook) and Amazon.com (Kindle Fire). Those three have a retail base to build off of that none of the others have. If I want assurance my tablet would still be supported in the expected lifetime I plan to keep it, those would be the only three I would invest in and I think I would narrow it down to Apple and Amazon.com.

As for battery life on my iPad I consistently get the 10 hours of use and greater depending on my usage. I've had my tablet since day one April, 2010 and will most likely get a new iPad before there is any battery life fall off. So, I'm not worried about that aspect.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

More on costs. The RIM Playbook at $300 is a fire sale. They are dumping them at below manufacturing cost. The biggest problem Android tablets are having are manufacturing them at a cost to be able to compete with Apple's iPad. For various reasons they have not been able to do so other than create lesser quality or also dump them at below cost to try to make sales inroads. Amazon.com and B&N are deliberately selling their tablets at cost or below cost because they have a reason. They have goods to sell you through their devices and that is where they hope to make their money - the eBooks, music, market, etc., not the tablet itself. The Nook and Kindle Fire are both using old generation Android OSes because in their stripped down single purpose state they are not really out to compete with other Android tablets or even Apple iPad.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Quote:
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Mike,

The other concern you should have about the RIM Playbook is how long it will continue to be supported. RIM just announced they were going to start developing for the Apple iOS (iPad/iPhone) for their enterprise systems. That's a hint they might be throwing in the towel. HP with its Touchpad WebOS didn't last but a month on the market. No one is going to invest and develop apps for the RIM Playbook.

Android tablets can't seem to be making any inroads against the iPad either. They are still stuck for the most part using blowup smartphone apps that take no advantage of the larger screen real estate. That's because developers are just not willing to invest in the market. The Android smartphone market is healthy. As both an iPhone and iPad owner I can tell you that aspect makes a huge difference and is what makes a tablet worthwhile. Otherwise you might as well stick with a smartphone.

The market is coalescing down to the Apple iPad if you want everything possible on a tablet including the software (apps) available and the stripped down information gatherer/eBook readers offered by Barnes & Noble (Nook) and Amazon.com (Kindle Fire). Those three have a retail base to build off of that none of the others have. If I want assurance my tablet would still be supported in the expected lifetime I plan to keep it, those would be the only three I would invest in and I think I would narrow it down to Apple and Amazon.com.

As for battery life on my iPad I consistently get the 10 hours of use and greater depending on my usage. I've had my tablet since day one April, 2010 and will most likely get a new iPad before there is any battery life fall off. So, I'm not worried about that aspect.
My concerns are now about tablet computers in general, iPad included, in that they are expensive, after you factor
in the "apps" library you need to add to make them "do what you need them to do" as you've said. And to now find
out that battery replacement is akin to swapping your machine for someone else's makes me think I'm better off
sticking with the more user friendly, secure, and user serviceable compact laptops and netbooks.
Unless the tablet manufacturers find a way around some of these issues, I think I'll choose to avoid for now.
Planned obsolescence at it's best perhaps? If that's OK with you, then that's your choice, no worries.
I'm just looking for something that survives in it's original form longer than it's probable battery life.
Beyond that, it smells like disposable computing to me.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

By the time you might need a new battery you will more than likely be out of warranty anyway. There are third party companies that can replace your battery so you can keep your tablet.

My experience with batteries are like this. The first cell phone I ever owned had a replaceable battery. Unfortunately since it was a form fit battery like most cell phone replacement batteries are I found out they quit manufacturing that model and I had to get a new cell phone. The second cell phone, ditto, which forced me into a 3rd cell phone about a year before I wanted to buy one. That 3rd cell phone was an Apple iPhone 3G. I had it for three years. The battery was still good but I traded it in for my current cell phone an Apple iPhone 4G which has a better battery still. At the rate cell phones are progressing knowing I will want 4G in about two years when I figure it will finally be practical for RVing outside the metro areas, I will want a new cell phone well before the battery degrades.

Batteries are fine. It is not a disposable situation because my iPhone 3G will get recycled, but more of an obsolete situation. I suspect inside the box replacement batteries have a longer life cycle potential than those form fit to a specific device that can be replaced by you. Batteries have improved tremendously since I bought my first cell phone.

Quite frankly if I were worried about cost or disposability I would buy the $199 Kindle Fire and get my feet wet on the tablet concept. It probably has more potential than a RIM Playbook at this time.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
More on costs. The RIM Playbook at $300 is a fire sale. They are dumping them at below manufacturing cost. The biggest problem Android tablets are having are manufacturing them at a cost to be able to compete with Apple's iPad. For various reasons they have not been able to do so other than create lesser quality or also dump them at below cost to try to make sales inroads. Amazon.com and B&N are deliberately selling their tablets at cost or below cost because they have a reason. They have goods to sell you through their devices and that is where they hope to make their money - the eBooks, music, market, etc., not the tablet itself. The Nook and Kindle Fire are both using old generation Android OSes because in their stripped down single purpose state they are not really out to compete with other Android tablets or even Apple iPad.
And $600 ($599.99 @BestBuy.com) or more plus $$$apps for a trendy web browser seems a bit silly. too.
A small laptop does all of that out of the box, and you usually don't have to top it up with extra software to improve
it's basic functionality. Tablets are lighter and don't need mice and stuff, but most laptops don't either with touchpads.
Re-read what you just said about the retailers motivation.....
"Amazon.com and B&N are deliberately selling their tablets at cost or below cost because they have a reason. They have goods to sell you through their devices and that is where they hope to make their money"
To me it's not worth it. To some it is. I don't care that the rest of the planet has a "gotta have one" mentality.
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Quote:
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By the time you might need a new battery you will more than likely be out of warranty anyway. There are third party companies that can replace your battery so you can keep your tablet.

My experience with batteries are like this. The first cell phone I ever owned had a replaceable battery. Unfortunately since it was a form fit battery like most cell phone replacement batteries are I found out they quit manufacturing that model and I had to get a new cell phone. The second cell phone, ditto, which forced me into a 3rd cell phone about a year before I wanted to buy one. That 3rd cell phone was an Apple iPhone 3G. I had it for three years. The battery was still good but I traded it in for my current cell phone an Apple iPhone 4G which has a better battery still. At the rate cell phones are progressing knowing I will want 4G in about two years when I figure it will finally be practical for RVing outside the metro areas, I will want a new cell phone well before the battery degrades.

Batteries are fine. It is not a disposable situation because my iPhone 3G will get recycled, but more of an obsolete situation. I suspect inside the box replacement batteries have a longer life cycle potential than those form fit to a specific device that can be replaced by you. Batteries have improved tremendously since I bought my first cell phone.

Quite frankly if I were worried about cost or disposability I would buy the $199 Kindle Fire and get my feet wet on the tablet concept. It probably has more potential than a RIM Playbook at this time.
How very 1% of you. Is this the equivalent of Occupy Classbforum?
Only joking, I know deep down inside you're one of us (99%-ers).
Maybe we should call it a day on this one.
Unless I read a story about a homeless person finding a tablet computer tossed in the trash filled
with hundred dollar bill$$$$, I think I'm going to pass on them for now.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:20 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

As far as batteries dying and sending the tablet in to get it replaced, that depends on the tablet. My Toshiba has a removable back and the battery can be accessed and replaced very easy. The Tablet does not return to factory defaults when I remove the battery either.

There is mention of the BB Playbook. A guy on course with me here has one and really like it but, it has no place for additional memory. The Ipad tablets are the same. It's nice to have the ability to add storage for movies, songs, books and what ever else. The BB Playbook is suppose to be coming out with a new operating system that will allow it to run Android apps. I think it's suppose to be released in the new year. Android now has the 3.0 and up operating system which is specific for tablets. It's not the phone version. They too are working on a new version of their operating environment that will work on both the phone and tablet.

Features make a device have more uses. A full sized USB port and HDMI slot allows for the use of USB devices like external hard drive and, flash drives. The HDMI allows the device to be connected to a modern TV so you can watch movies through it. The additional memory (SD Cards) adds flexibility to storage needs. Everything depends what you want the device for.

Basically, the electronic word is advancing far too quick to keep up with. As soon as you think you have the latest, it's out-of-date. When you think you get a great price, the device goes down even cheaper before you know it.

Like I mentioned earlier, I like my tablet for doing quick things like news highlights, weather, email, Facebook and stuff like that. It turns on instantly and I can use it anywhere there is a WiFi available for Internet or just use it without WiFi. My laptop takes a lot longer to boot up but I will use it for typing letters and doing things that require more time and a good keyboard to use.

It would be nice if there were websites that would give good reviews and information on everything but when you search, you can find just about any opinion you want to find on things. It's frustrating with all the clutter on the net now.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

I didn't even see a Toshiba tablet in my research. It sounds like a blend of the some of the best
features of a tablet and a more conventional laptop/netbook.
Might have a look at them. You've mentioned a fairly accessible user replaceable battery. To me, that means
even if it becomes obsolete for other reasons, the thing will still do what I bought it to do, without taking it
somewhere to have it repaired, and having some sales person tell me it's not worth the cost of replacement.
I think we've all been there before, inkjets and laser printers being a good example.
Can you tell, on some things I prefer DIY?
Another thought my peanut brain just came up with is, "are apps transferable for free?" from your old tablet to
your new one, or is that a hidden cost when it comes time to replace with the latest/greatest? Some software is
machine licensed, and isn't transferable without cost, if you get a new box.
Thanks renrut.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Another thought my peanut brain just came up with is, "are apps transferable for free?" from your old tablet to
your new one, or is that a hidden cost when it comes time to replace with the latest/greatest? Some software is
machine licensed, and isn't transferable without cost, if you get a new box.
Thanks renrut.
With Apple the apps are not locked to the device. There is a limit of the number of devices that can share music, movies, apps, etc. and that is five at one time. But once you buy it you can transfer it to your current devices. I've been managing my apps through iTunes. When I upgrade my Macs I may migrate 100% to iCloud but I am still trying to understand all this cloud computing. I am just partially using iCloud with the iPhones. Most of my apps are free and the ones I paid for most all were 99 cents or $1.99. I paid $9.99 for Apple's Pages word processing app. I paid $14.99 for Reunion, a genealogy app. The most expensive app I bought just this week was TomTom GPS North America. To get the functionality of TomTom GPS this app has I would have to buy a standalone GPS from them for $200 and up. I have it running on two iPhones and will have it running next spring most likely on a 10" screen iPad 3 (hopefully) all for the one $39 price. That most expensive app I have is quite a bargain. I could buy GPS apps from TomTom, Magellan, Navigon and Garmin and try them all for under the price of one standalone GPS from one company.

iCloud is kind of slick. My wife purchased a new 99 cent app last night called Radio Finder. It shows local radio stations in range, describes their format, current signal strength, gives their web page and gives antenna locations. This hopefully will take the guesswork out of finding local radio stations to tune in on the B radios when we travel. What was slick is after she downloaded it on her iPhone, it also downloaded directly to my iPhone via iClound syncing.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Cloud computing isn't new, it's just that some larger outfits have seen it as a potential revenue source
after giving it away for years. So they gave it a fanciful name and now it's 4 sale.
Generally speaking, cloud computing is keeping your "stuff" (data) on remote servers, usually at the service
provider's secure (you would hope) data center, so you can access it from anywhere, and now it seems
from multiple platforms. If you login to MSN email at home, you can still get the same emails if you login at
the public library, for example. Mail clients like Yahoo/Hotmail/Gmail have essentially been doing it for years.
When you login, you "fetch" your data (notes/msgs) from the servers using whatever permissable/compatible
device you happen to be using at the time. Outfits like Carbonite and Mozy have been doing it for years too,
but under the pretense of hard drive failures, as a disaster prevention/recovery tool. They sell you software to
do the backups to their servers. I would think you control the frequency and amount of data to be backed up as
well as how long to keep different levels/ages of your backups. Like FEBE for Firefox. You can decide what to
"cloud" and how long to keep it there, even though it's on your device's hard disk.
If used with personal applications and data on a tablet, it might be the answer to the data backup/transfer issue
if your device finally goes to the bit bucket in the sky (cloud related humor intended).

My only concern about cloud storage, is what happens if your service provider has a security breach, or other
problem and you can't access your data when you need to? I would be wary of going with anyone but large scale
companies with proven track records of access and availability. Might be why BB is making it easier for Android
and Apple users to run on their servers. Exploiting potentially a huge market of cloud computing there.

If iCloud allows automatic sharing of data across multiple devices on one account,that's a nice feature.
However, be careful what sort of personal data you store there.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tablet computers - Which ones and why?

Interestingly, after my wife bought the Radio Finder app I mentioned from her iPhone I got an e-mail from Apple notifying me that it was done on a device that had never been used. If that had been fraudulent I would have known it immediately and would even had the option to stop it. That was besides the fact my wife for the first time had to fill out all the credit card info, security code, password and security question. It can be a wild world out there but it is the future we will have to trust. When I travel I trust the internet more than I trust traditional mail. Even at home I am reluctant to put a check in an envelope anymore when I can bank online.

I am familiar with cloud computing. I'm just sorting out how I want it set up between all our devices.
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