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12-07-2011, 10:59 PM #1
Ipad 2 or Android Tablet? (or boring old netbook)
Right, I'm about to go back to college. I have a super duper gaming PC which will be the main workhorse machine. I have an HTC Desire Android phone which is very reliable. I sync all contacts etc through Google. I also have a 17" Asus laptop which doubles as a second desktop really, that my kids play on.
I need something portable for college. I originally thought netbook! But my head has been turned by the shiny, shiny tablets. Now, I pretty much (irrationally) hate Mac for being over-priced and pretentious. But the Ipad 2 is sorely tempting me - I'm Mac-curious you could say. But then there's the very well reviewed Asus Eee Pad Transformer - an Android tablet running honeycomb.
This thing must have some office functionality - I'm going to be using a separate keyboard (comes with the Asus or I'll buy a Mac wireless one) and will need word proc, spreadsheet and even possibly database software. It needs to play nicely with my big old PC.But I'd also like to lol on the sofa, surf, and wonder at its beguiling form.
Normally, I'd go straight for Android, but I hear the app support for Honeycomb is still poor. And, as I said, I'd quite like to see what all the fuss is about over in the Mac camp? Is the app store a thing of wonder? Will itunes make me smash the fascia in a fit of pique?
Can anybody put me right? Do I want the moon on a stick? Any advice from anyone who's used these things much appreciated.
Last edited by Edgar The Peaceful; 12-07-2011 at 11:19 PM.
13-07-2011, 12:01 AM #2
If you want productivity then I wouldn't look past the netbook. Install Ubuntu on it and you can have a very good office experience that I doubt any tablet app will meet. Honeycomb is still finding its feet app wise and the iPad isn't really designed for what you want. I'm sure at some point you'll want to read a PDF and make notes on it and that'll prove rather tricky on a tablet. There were quite a few people who tried the tablet instead of laptop thing at uni last year and most of them ended up looking at one thing on the screen whilst making paper notes.
For the cost of a tablet you can probably get either a top range netbook or possibly an ultra-portable and avoid the atom entirely. Either of the tablets will be a lot more fun than the netbook though and a much better couch surfing device. Essentially they'll do what you want well but what you need badly and the netbook vice versa.
Last edited by ComradePenguin; 13-07-2011 at 12:15 AM.
13-07-2011, 12:40 AM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
What are you wanting it for? Tablets are great for browsing the web on, and playing some games. But if you want to like, take notes or do work on the move then you'll be wanting a netbook/ultraportable with a real keyboard and real office applications,
13-07-2011, 01:00 AM #4
If you've got the cash, no question: 13" Macbook Air. It's fast, ultra-portable, and a joy to work on.
I'm a big Google fan, but Android so far has been extremely underwhelming. Wouldn't bother with the tablets. The iPad is quite good at what it does (watching videos, reading books, casual web browsing), but if you need to do real work, forget it. It's slowly improving, but it's still very awkward compared to a real computer.
Netbooks are cheap and portable, but they're slooooowwww. As in, forget about even watching 360p YouTube videos without choppiness. It's not bad for light work though, if the 10" screen isn't too cramped for you.
13-07-2011, 04:16 AM #5
I am a college student. I own an iPad 2.
I stuck with Android and my netbook both for far longer than my patience really was willing to put up with, and when I switched last year with the iPad 1 I didn't regret it a whit. When iPad 2 came out I upgraded to a 3G one without a second's hesitation.
Android just isn't ready for primetime, the app support is terrible. And TillEulenspiegel is right, netbooks are painfully, horribly, "you will want to smash it with a rock" slow. I hated my netbook more than any electronic device I think I've ever owned.
The iPad replaced everything I was doing with both my Android phone and my netbook, in one fell swoop. I can make calls, send texts (thank you Google Voice), surf the web properly and quickly, read books (I'm currently using it as my "textbook" for two different classes), and I also use it extensively for writing (all of my French writing assignments last term were done on it), I have graphing calculator apps for it for my math courses, I watch Netflix on it and David Mitchell's Soapbox, stream my music collection over AudioGalaxy, I use it as a recipe book and timer for cooking, and of course, I play a shit load of games on it. Everything and every style from Weird Worlds in Infinite Space to Simcity Deluxe to Infinity Blade to Order and Chaos to Galaxy on Fire 2. I've got a collection of classic PC shooters like Marathon, Wolf3d and Carnivores.
Bottom line is, I found it did both the productive stuff I needed, and the fun stuff, in one lightweight device with far superior performance and battery life than anything I could get for the same price. It's awesome.
13-07-2011, 04:17 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Washington, DC
From what I understand, functionality is similar, so it depends on whether you prefer the more open PC platform or the glossy and rounded Apple product.
13-07-2011, 08:25 AM #7
Thanks for the considered, interesting - and conflicting! - advice. More food for thought and it's all still up in the air (to mix metaphors). I'm leaning towards the ipad with this:
13-07-2011, 09:48 AM #8
I agree with TillEulenspiegel and J Arcane that netbooks are horribly slow. I have eeePC 901 that whilst I was able to write essays on it, trying to go to the web to look something up would make me cry. However if you go down the iPad and keyboard route you're going to be spending close to £500. For that you can get a pretty meaty small laptop. Say the Alienware M11x which is £500 at Amazon. And that glowing alien head has to be cooler that an iPad right? A HP Pavillion dm4 has a last gen i5 in it, can manage over 6 hours battery life and is around the same price. No glowing alien head though. So really your alternative isn't a slow netbook.
That said my head has been turned by J Arcane as a tablet is a much more fun solution and one I'd consider when I go back to do a masters if it is viable. Mr Arcane, I was wondering what office app you use and if it can do more than just basic functions (e.g. exporting stuff as PDF, excel fun, inserting other documents etc.) and if it was possible to look at two documents at once (notes and an essay) as they're killer for me (and possibly Edgar too).
13-07-2011, 10:28 AM #9
If you plan to use it to WRITE, get a netbook :D those "virtual keyboards" present on the tablet sucks IMHO.if you like manga, RPG and dating sims, check my indie computer games
13-07-2011, 11:29 AM #10
Just to reiterate - If I buy a pad I WILL get an external keyboard.
13-07-2011, 12:16 PM #11
I don't think either platform is ready for prime-time just yet. Check back in a generation or three.
13-07-2011, 02:53 PM #12
I love my iPad, but I wouldn't recommend it for productive stuff. Typing on it shouldn't be a problem, especially if you're getting the external keyboard. But editing text can be a pain in the ass. It's not as simple as selecting some text and ctrl+c-ing and ctrl+v-ing it to move it but rather you click on a word, then get these tiny "handles" which you need to drag sideways if you wanna select more text and then tapping on your selected text again to bring up the "rightclick-menu" that lets you copy and whatnot. Also, multitasking isn't as fast/smooth as Alt-tabbing on PC. Then again I guess J Arcane figured out a way to do all that stuff easily so maybe it just takes a bit of practice to get used to it. *shrug*
13-07-2011, 06:38 PM #13
However, I also have Celtx for iPad for screenwriting/scriptwriting applications as well, as it does some handy things that make scriptwriting easier and it also syncs over the web with a desktop version.
I have yet to personally acquire them, but the three main iWork apps, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are available and I hear nothing but wonderful things about all of them and some of the features are seriously cool. There's also a few MS Office compatible suites that are reasonably well received.
I never had an issue with the multi-tasking on the iPad though, so long as the apps themselves behaved with it. My running apps and more are always just a double tap of Home away.
14-07-2011, 11:42 PM #14
Well, I'm typing this from my spanking new IPad 2. The Apple Store was so shiny and I am so weak.
Nice bit of kit. Once college starts i'll let you know whether it's a White elephant.
15-07-2011, 04:19 PM #15
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
15-07-2011, 12:30 AM #16
16-07-2011, 04:00 PM #17
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
considering that Android devices are currently in the process of being released with more and more system memory, i don't see that being an issue in the future, and in part, even now.
many devices tote 1GB, of that around 800MB available to system apps. I'm a very heavy user, and on my Galaxy S2, I rarely hit 500 MB used.
I have no idea how i went through life with my old BB Bold 9000 with its 100MB of application storage which doubled as RAM.
16-07-2011, 10:54 PM #18
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
I feel like I live in a different universe. I've never spent as much on a gaming rig as an iPad is worth!
That's why to me they seem like a massive rip off. As they cost more than a 'proper' computer so it's impossible to justify. Plus I've never had an issue with my smartphone that could be fixed with a bigger screen. The problem I have with it is it doesn't have a mouse and keyboard.
16-07-2011, 11:00 PM #19
It costs that much because it can make games that look like this: http://www.epicgames.com/infinityblade/
While still only weighing like 10 ozs and having 12 hours worth of battery life. That kind of engineering doesn't come cheap.
Comparing your home built gaming rig full of off the shelf consumer parts to a custom engineered tablet computer is silly.
24-07-2011, 11:25 PM #20
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
The question of iPad versus Android is really based on preference.
The iPad is the system that is marketed as a device that simply works.
It's simplistic controls both inside and outside are easy to master, however the software -although abundant- is arguably limited by it's design (no easy connectivity with other devices, no things like DLNA built in) but most software vendors made great workarounds to say the least (apps like Quickoffice Pro and their webDAV, Dropbox and Googledocs support comes into mind here).
On the other side, Apple's strict grip on the software side does make for a very sleek and accessible experience.
The Android devices shine in their customisibility and variety, there is always a device for your price bracket and preference wherether it's the powerful "Xoom The First: Beloved of Google" and the enduring and versatile EEEpad Transformer or one of the many chinapads that flood ebay and import shops.
However this variety comes at a price, the performance, consistency and general of the Operating System is usually at the mercy of the OEM which usually hold shorter maintainence cycles, make a lot of crapware for the device (remember the AV program that comes with your laptop? now imagine you can't remove it!) and sometimes delay the deployment of software upgrades.
The app selection compared to apple might be considered meager to some but the bleeding edge hardware features and easy possibility to gain superuser access to the device (along with its perks like ROM management, NES emulation) could make this the more promising of the two!
It have an Android phone and a second-generation iPad.