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Tablets?

Old 10-26-13, 02:37 PM
  #1  
Tandem Tom
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Tablets?

I am wondering about a tablet for use while touring. As I really not very tech oriented I need some education.
What can they do and not do vs. the notebook we currently travel with?
Thanks!
Also brand recommendations would be great.
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Old 10-26-13, 02:42 PM
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If you're not tech-oriented, you can hardly go wrong with an iPad. That said, if you're looking to replace a notebook (computer I'm assuming, not paper?), then you should list the the things you want to use it for. A Surface might suit you better if MS Apps (like Office) are important to you or an inexpensive Android tablet might do the trick if your needs are very simple - notes, email when you have wifi, etc.

To be clear, there are a lot of advanced apps for Android however they're not as easy to use as an iPad is.
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Old 10-26-13, 03:33 PM
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tablet practicality all depends on how you currently use your notebook while traveling... for storing/viewing/minor editing of digital pics and doing email/word processing (add an inexpensive thin bluetooth keyboard) fore more intensive stuff it's prob not a good way to go but for most casual modern computer users it would prob be plenty... it's just a matter of deciding what you want/need then choosing android/windows/apple
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Old 10-26-13, 03:55 PM
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For e-mail, web surfing and viewing documents, they are very convenient and light on power demands. I have a Nexus 7 and recently upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy note 8.0. The extra inch going from 7" to 8" translated into about 30% more real estate on screen. Since I expect to be using mine to read technical manuals, the extra screen space was important to me, as well as the quad core processor for rendering detailed diagrams. I still wanted something hand holdable, so 8" seems the sweet spot for my own needs. My wife has a Nook HD+, which is a 10" tablet that is more E-reader oriented, but is still a full fledged tablet.

The larger screen of a tablet compared to a smartphone allows you to (usually) use the full version of a site if desired, rather than being limited to the mobile version or an app.

For touring, I would think one of the smaller models would better provide what you need. Since you say you are not a techie type, the Ipad models may suit you better. Play around with the android and Windows Surface models however, and decide what you like.
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Old 10-26-13, 04:24 PM
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Tablets work best for viewing content. If you want to create content you usually need several accessories which minimize the advantages of the tablet. You can spend more for the tablet + accessories than a similar sized laptop.
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Old 10-26-13, 05:13 PM
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If I could just have one device, it would be a MacBook Air.
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Old 10-26-13, 07:58 PM
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So far the best tablets have been the little blue ones...

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:41 PM
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+1 for stating what your wants/needs are for this thing on the road.

Apple= most expensive, but perhaps the easiest due to the fact that the UI is the same across all devices running the same OS version- whether it be the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Android= hardware and pricing varies greatly; UI will vary as well- Samsung, Toshiba, HP... take the Android OS and then layer their own stuff on top. You get what you pay for when it comes to the Android devices, so best do your homework.

Windows= Not too many offerings running this and there are two different OS's that have subtle differences- Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT. If you go this route (and can afford it) Surface Pro with the W8 (non RT).

As you're not tech savvy, I'm not even gonna mention Ubuntu
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Old 10-26-13, 08:50 PM
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We have iPads and Samsung Galaxy's and they're both really good. I'm curious about the Microsoft Surface. Looks like it could be even better.
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Old 10-26-13, 08:52 PM
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on the android side... if you are going for the best value you can't beat a nexus tablet... first to get updates, naked android = good
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Old 10-27-13, 06:27 AM
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I appreciate the replies! Now I have another question. Can a Tablet run a program like Quicken?
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Old 10-27-13, 07:17 AM
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If you want to connect anything to it and upload/download pix, routes, ride data, etc, iPads or iPhones won't do it. I use an Galaxy S4 and can hook up Garmin Edge units to move files up and down between them and websites, including laying out routes on websites and downloading the route files to Garmin units. I can hook up a keyboard and mouse to my S4 too, which really comes in handy for some types of uses.

For Quicken, you'll have to check their site to see which operating systems they support. If I was getting a tablet now, I'd get a new MS Surface Pro because of its compatibility with the business software I use.
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Old 10-27-13, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
I appreciate the replies! Now I have another question. Can a Tablet run a program like Quicken?
A Surface Pro could, as well as a number of others Windows based tablets. A quick google search shows that there is an iPad app as well, however it gets pretty poor ratings.
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Old 10-27-13, 08:24 AM
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Wow. Some excellent comments here. You guys get it ( IMHO).

I agree we need to know exactly what you want it to do (load GPS, write newsletters, upload/download Internet content,etc).
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Old 10-27-13, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bengreen79 View Post
A Surface Pro could, as well as a number of others Windows based tablets. A quick google search shows that there is an iPad app as well, however it gets pretty poor ratings.
That's along the lines of what I was thinking. The iPads have the most tablet/phone oriented apps available. But because the Surface runs on Windows 8 (I think) it will be closer to the capability of a desktop/laptop computer. Which to me anyway, would be more useful.
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Old 10-27-13, 12:50 PM
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the surface PRO runs full windows 8... there are also a number of other tablets these days that run full windows 8 (or 8.1 now I suppose)... I know the windows RT tablets haven't sold very well as most people just didn't really like them and in turn developers haven't don a ton with it I haven't kept fully up to date on them so that may have changed somewhat but I would do a lot of research before spending any money on a windowsRT tablet

... the thing with the full windows8 tablets is the power, cost and weight vs modern ultrabooks makes it difficult to justify the windows tablet PC...

also there are still a lot of netbooks running around... I got my last netbook for $50 and I think the most I ever spent on one was $125... I spent a little bit of time doing a factory refresh, install the things I deem necessary and go with it, the $125 one I used when I was on a 6 month mission trip overseas so I spent $40 on a 9 or 12 cell battery (don't recall but it had a true 12+ hr battery life) with wifi on, screen on fairly bright and actually doing things (or watching movies)... that was a few years ago but the thing still works (except I stole it's HDD and used it as an external)...
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Old 10-27-13, 09:27 PM
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iPad would be great. I would think an iPad mini would work well for a tour.

For Quicken style apps on the iPhone/iPad there is Pocket Money by Catamount. I've been using it since the days of Palm Pilots and it's been great. There is a desktop for the mac and apps for the iPhone and iPad and they all sync flawlessly together. You an also export files in a variety of formats to import/export too (CSV, tab, QIF, etc...).

I've used iPads since they first came out. They are not just for content consumption - my iPad usage is to replace my notebook in customer meetings and traveling. When I travel, I travel with only an iPad and no laptop. Works super well for extended periods too. If you are using public wifi a lot, as with any portable device with wifi, consider a VPN service for security. I use Witopia and think ti works well.

J
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Old 10-28-13, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
Can a Tablet run a program like Quicken?
This is actually two questions:

1) Are there accounting apps (sort of like Quicken) available for Android or iOS (iPad/Apple)?
2) Can you run actual Quicken on a tablet?

For 1: Quicken (as far as I understand) doesn't run on Android or iOS but there may be accounting apps available for either. They probably aren't as complete or "connected" as Quicken. One way around this is using some sort of "remote desktop" program to access your PC (running Quicken) or using some web-based accounting program. If you need to move data to actual Quicken, you need to make sure that whatever you use can transfer data to actual Quicken.

For 2: To actually run Quicken, your tablet has to run a desktop operating system. At the moment, that means a tablet that runs Windows 8.1, like the Microsoft Surface Pro (not RT). There are other companies coming out with equivalent laptops. Given the price of these "real" Windows tablets, you might consider some sort of Windows "Ultrabook" laptop. (I have no idea if Quicken is available for Macintoshes. If it is, you could consider a Macintosh laptop too.)

=================================

A table/laptop for touring means you want to strongly prefer something that is on the light and small side. Additionally, considering that you are in a "harsh" environment, you might want to avoid something that is overly expensive.

If you need a real keyboard, you might consider a small Bluetooth keyboard for a tablet.

Since you are talking about touring, you need to determine if you want a tablet that has GPS.

At the moment, the best tablet with respect to features and price (as far as I can tell) is the Nexus 7 (it has a GPS receiver). (Some of the Samsung tablets have a GPS receiver.)

The new "retina" iPad mini is very nice but significantly more money. If you want a GPS receiver, you have to get the cellular version (you don't need a cellular plan or a sim to use it).

Android is quite capable but iOS is more straight-forward (a bit easier to use).
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Old 10-30-13, 01:55 PM
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OK, why do you want to run quickbooks while you're touring?

having said that, I don't know if intuit has a web interface you can use while you're away from your desktop but obviously a tablet can probably take advantage of that (I can't get MS Outlook on my wife's iPad or my android tablet but I can use outlook web access... that sort of thing)

Another annoying thing about iPads is that they want to control how you move documents and files back and forth. Some programs like dropbox make it easier but you can't just hook up to a random computer and copy a file to your ipad like you can with an android tablet (and presumably a windows tablet). iPads are generally easiest to operate for people with a low affinity for technology, and of course there is a huge ecosystem of aftermarket apps.

ALL tablets are significantly more portable than most laptops (even netbooks are bigger and have bigger chargers, and of course, netbooks are wimpy) and generally have 10 hours or so of battery life (and the charger is tiny too) so they are really much more pleasant to lug around.
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Old 10-31-13, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
OK, why do you want to run quickbooks while you're touring?
Haven't you read Day Trading in the Pyrrenes?
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Old 10-31-13, 07:28 PM
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I just got a Samsung 7" galaxy tablet and it's pretty simple to use. Plus now the wireless are easy to find on the road. Since I got rid of the smartphone this will work.
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Old 10-31-13, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
Haven't you read Day Trading in the Pyrrenes?
Negative, ghost rider...

and why would you need quickbooks to day trade? I mean, I used it to do absolutely nothing that I would want to do on vacation... categorize expenses, deposits etc. Maybe I'm missing out.
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Old 10-31-13, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
OK, why do you want to run quickbooks while you're touring?
where did quickbooks come in on this conversation?

quicken and quickbooks are VERY different programs... my dad has done all his check book stuff with quicken for nearly two decades now...

I still would love it if quicken would sync on my phone, tablet and desktop for my registry... instead receipts sit in my wallet till I can get home to get them put into the computer
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Old 11-01-13, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by donalson View Post
where did quickbooks come in on this conversation?

quicken and quickbooks are VERY different programs...
I have no idea... mental gymnastics on my part but he did write quicken. Ahem.
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Old 11-01-13, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I have no idea... mental gymnastics on my part but he did write quicken. Ahem.
lol ok just wanting to make sure I'm crazy
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