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Pros and con of tablets

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 12, 2011 3:20:27 PM

Hello,
I am thinking of a tablet...would that be a good alternative to a laptop

More about : pros con tablets

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 12, 2011 3:38:19 PM

This topic has been moved from the section Wireless Networking to section Laptops & Notebooks by Grumpy9117
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July 12, 2011 4:07:10 PM

Depends on your usage. Imo, no.

Ebooks: You can hold your tablet up, or you can put your laptop in your lap and have your "book" propped up for you.

Movies: Same as ebooks- hands free.

Internet: You can hunt/peck with the tablet keyboard, or you can have 10 pages loaded on your laptop by the time you finish typing your search query on the tablet.

Content creation (documents, blogging, twitter, etc): Same as internet- no keyboard.

Tablet battery life will kill the laptop, but a netbook is another story. Also it depends on your portability needs.
I bought a tablet, and these are my complaints with it, and why I pretty much never use it.

It's funny, I was over at my friend's house the other day, and he wanted to show me a youtube video. He breaks out his ipad, hunt/pecks for the keys, pulls up the video, and holds up the tablet for me for the duration of the video. I am thoroughly convinced that touchscreen, while marginally more intuitive than a mouse, is an infinitely more cumbersome input method. I don't think it'll catch on. I HOPE it won't catch on. There's something about feeling the grooves between the keys that makes it so much easier to type on a physical keyboard than a virtual one.


lt,dr: definitive no.
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July 12, 2011 9:36:03 PM

I have an Asus EeePad transformer tablet, plus the docking keyboard/battery, so the onscreen keyboard is not an issue for me. I also have a 17" Asus RoG laptop with an i7 quadcore CPU and 460M GPU for gaming, so I feel qualified to compare the two :p ..

The lappy tends to get heavy in your lap, plus a bit on the warm side whereas the tablet does not. The tablet also does some cool things the lappy does not, such as act as a nice remote control for DLNA-enabled TV's as well as any Windows 7 or Vista PCs (obviously you have to set permissions on each PC in order to use the tablet as a remote). So if you have an HTPC or an iPod or some equivalent entertainment device, the tablet is great. I just need to search a bit and see if I can control my Zune with the tablet, since when the Zune is docked to my stereo across the room, I have to use a telescope to read the screen :D .

That said, I do use my tablet as a Kindle reader pretty frequently. My wife likes it for browsing her Yahoo email, Yahoo news, etc - unfortunately Yahoo doesn't support Android for Yahoo Chat (or whatever they call it now - Communicator or some such 50 cent word). But you can download the Skype app for free and do video chat with any other PC, or call any phone. Of course you can do the same with the lappy as well, but it is more cumbersome esp. if you wanna walk to the kitchen or something while chatting, which my wife does. Of course, she also calls people while sitting on the toilet in the morning - I'm just waiting for the time when she forgets to turn the tablet camera off :D ..

As for speed comparisons, fuhgeddaboudit - the lappy is much, much faster than the tablet. Of course, the tablet runs some 8 hours on its own battery, and about 16 hours when docked and using the keyboard battery in combination with its own.

The touchscreen is quite handy for zooming, rotating & panning stuff like maps or pix or video on the screen, certainly far better than using the touchpad on the tablet or lappy, and better than a dedicated mouse for selecting, dragging, etc. But you hafta clean it every so often, unless you like looking at fingerprints.

The tablet also includes a 5MP front camera in addition to the 1.5MP rear camera for video chatting. Haven't taken many pix with it but it seems OK. I do have a 16GB microSD card for storing stuff, but the tablet itself has 32GB memory. So I can download a boatload of free flash games without worrying about storage issues.

Other goodies include a GPS tied to Google maps, but of course you have to be on wifi to connect. My particular model doesn't include 3G or 4G sim card capability, but then I was just at the Verizon Wireless store this AM and saw a 3G/4G USB adapter for $49. Of course that will cost you something like $30 a month for 2GB of data usage as well, which is why wifi is so much better & faster to boot :p ..

I'd suggest browsing an appstore (Google's or Amazon's Android appstore in my case) to see what is available and what a tablet can do...
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July 12, 2011 10:09:49 PM

In general

Pros

1) Portable
2) Android OS \^_^/ (and by extension Angry Birds :p )
3) Really long battery life (compare 8 hrs to my i7 laptop that only has like 2).

Cons
1) Not Windows so no windows programs for you
2) Less Powerful
3) generally not suited for alot of typing though with many you can use a blutooth keyboard.

I have both an Archos 70 and an older Archos 7HT. I think tablets are great for trips to take your music, listen to audio books, read books, look up things on the net, light gaming, and to check your mail. At hope it's pretty much just used for the light gaming, ebooks, and downloadable audio books since I don't want to bust out my laptop for that ^_^. While I bought the 7" tablets for convince when I go on trips or while I'm waiting at a coffee shop the one thing I don't like is typing on them, but then I don't like typing on phone screen either ^_^. I haven't bought a wireless keyboard for the Archos 70 just because I haven't gotten around to it.

How much are looking to spend and what are you looking to do with the tablet?
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July 12, 2011 11:43:57 PM

Assuming you alredy own a notebook, the only con of a tablet is its price. Dont get a tablet instead of a computer, get a computer if you need a computer.

Having said that, its a great alternative to a laptop in many ocasions, I prefer to take a tablet to class for example.
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July 13, 2011 12:18:21 AM

leandrodafontoura said:
Assuming you alredy own a notebook, the only con of a tablet is its price. Dont get a tablet instead of a computer, get a computer if you need a computer.

Having said that, its a great alternative to a laptop in many ocasions, I prefer to take a tablet to class for example.


How do you use your tablet in class? I bought mine to use in class, because I understood that there were some notetaking applications and I wanted to be able to access the web at the same time. Unfortunately, being a chemistry student, most of my notes are drawings, so a computer won't cut it. Then I found out that all of the notetaking applications were for typed notes, which kind of defeated the purpose of having a touchscreen.

So I'm curious how you use it in class? Do you have an extra keyboard?
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July 13, 2011 8:07:34 PM

Robanada said:
How do you use your tablet in class? I bought mine to use in class, because I understood that there were some notetaking applications and I wanted to be able to access the web at the same time. Unfortunately, being a chemistry student, most of my notes are drawings, so a computer won't cut it. Then I found out that all of the notetaking applications were for typed notes, which kind of defeated the purpose of having a touchscreen.

So I'm curious how you use it in class? Do you have an extra keyboard?


Hmm, I've heard of people using laptops with a small but good directional (mini-shotgun type) microphone and just recording the lecture - you should be able to do the same with a tablet, plus take pix of the board as necessary. Or even real-time speech recognition might be possible, instead of just recording the audio. After all, even old cellphones can do command recognition of spoken instructions..
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a c 433 D Laptop
July 14, 2011 1:16:35 AM

Tablets are great if all you really want to do is consume content. Such as read a book, watch a movie, play a game.

It's not so good if you want to create content or use it for productivity beyond writing e-mails. Such as work on a spreadsheet, write a document, edit video, design a game for tablets.

The Asus Transformer is an interesting product since an optional keyboard can be purchased (for $150) that makes it easier to be productive with the Transformer since the entire screen is available to be as a display rather than a display / virtual keyboard. The physical keyboard should also make typing easier and faster as well.

A Transformer + keyboard will cost either $550 (16GB) or $650 (32GB). That puts it in the prices range of a decent laptop that in many was is more versatile than a tablet. Of course you will not be able to hold up a laptop with one hand to read a book or watch a movie.

If you need to draw diagrams for class notes, then that's a deal breaker for a laptop. A tablet would be better in that case.
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July 14, 2011 2:42:47 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
Hmm, I've heard of people using laptops with a small but good directional (mini-shotgun type) microphone and just recording the lecture - you should be able to do the same with a tablet, plus take pix of the board as necessary. Or even real-time speech recognition might be possible, instead of just recording the audio. After all, even old cellphones can do command recognition of spoken instructions..


It's possible, but you'd need an external mic, because no stock tablet mic is that good. In that case, I'd argue that using a netbook would allow you to annotate faster than would a tablet.
I've seen people doing this as well, but they're in the first two to three rows, and they just use a digital camera to snap pictures of the board. That's definitely easier than holding up your 10" tablet to take a photo.


jaguarskx said:
Tablets are great if all you really want to do is consume content. Such as read a book, watch a movie, play a game.

It's not so good if you want to create content or use it for productivity beyond writing e-mails. Such as work on a spreadsheet, write a document, edit video, design a game for tablets.

The Asus Transformer is an interesting product since an optional keyboard can be purchased (for $150) that makes it easier to be productive with the Transformer since the entire screen is available to be as a display rather than a display / virtual keyboard. The physical keyboard should also make typing easier and faster as well.

A Transformer + keyboard will cost either $550 (16GB) or $650 (32GB). That puts it in the prices range of a decent laptop that in many was is more versatile than a tablet. Of course you will not be able to hold up a laptop with one hand to read a book or watch a movie.

If you need to draw diagrams for class notes, then that's a deal breaker for a laptop. A tablet would be better in that case.


I agree that tablets are good for consuming content rather than creating it, but capacitive screens make any kind of accurate drawing of diagrams an impossibility. There's no way you'll be able to label anything. You might get a rough outline done, but by that time, the prof has moved on to the next topic. I just stick to my pen and paper and, if necessary, scan it later.

Honestly, I'm gonna stick to my laptop argument: You may be able to hold a tablet in one hand to read a book or watch a movie, but you can hold a laptop in no hands to do the same (because it sits on your lap, and the screen is therefore at a 90-120 degree angle to your legs). I still think that, while tablets are better at consuming content than they are at creating it, laptops are still better at both.
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July 14, 2011 2:55:18 PM

Robanada said:
It's possible, but you'd need an external mic, because no stock tablet mic is that good. In that case, I'd argue that using a netbook would allow you to annotate faster than would a tablet.
I've seen people doing this as well, but they're in the first two to three rows, and they just use a digital camera to snap pictures of the board. That's definitely easier than holding up your 10" tablet to take a photo.


A 'shotgun' mic is an external microphone - I had one leftover from my old camcorder, takes one AA battery but it's almost a foot long so probably too cumbersome to use in a classroom seat or desk. Pretty good directionality, although I forget the specs.

Hmm, there might be some sort of market here - a highly directional small mic and a camera sharp enough to capture what's written on a board and still be readable, in a small package with either USB or bluetooth connectivity to a tablet or notebook. Using a telescoping clamp or tripod so you could mount it on your desk or seat arm, aim it and forget about it. In fact, the school could just mount one in each classroom & let students link to it via bluetooth or wifi I guess..

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