Skip to comments.Want to Buy a New PC
Posted on 12/23/2013 12:43:41 PM PST by savedbygrace
So, I want to buy a new PC. I have a 4 year old Asus laptop and the screen has a lot of bad pixels. And I do not want to install Win7 again, but Start and Shutdown are both taking a long time, so I know I should re-install if I keep it.
So, my options are to buy a laptop with Win8, or a combo laptop/touch-screen with Win8. I will not buy a desktop PC.
What are the advantages of each, and which models would you recommend? I want as much RAM as possible, maybe 8GB, and the fastest processor I can afford. I want to keep it under $800, or not much more than that.
Note that I will not buy anything from Toshiba.
This guy is using the $29 camera connection kit.
iPad as USB Source
Back in the early days of the original iPad, it was discovered that Apple’s Camera Connection Kit (hereafter referred to as the CCK) would allow the iPad to interface with certain USB DACs. There were all sorts of limitations involved and the list of compatible DACs was relatively small, but it was still a novel way to use the device -— bypassing the decent but still decidedly consumer-grade internal DAC, the iPad could be paired with a much higher quality dedicated unit.
Fast forward a few years and things are looking better. The iPad (and iPad 2 obviously) with current iOS and a CCK will pair with many USB DACs, though still not all of them. And the prior sample rate limitation of 48kHz has been removed -— you can easily play 24-bit/96kHz audio, and I’ve heard unconfirmed reports of up to 24-bit/192kHz with certain gear. Here’s a thread discussing hi-res audio playback on the iPad.
What’s required: The basic setup is just an iPad of any type and the CCK. This should interface with most DACs that have a standard USB 1.1 input. Certain DACs will require a powered USB hub to be added to the chain. Some USB implementations seem to confuse the iPad, making it think that too much power is being drawn, even if the DAC has its own AC power. See this link for a list of compatible DACs.
So what are the benefits? At $29, this is by far the cheapest way to extract a digital signal from the device. Most of the dedicated “digital dock” type devices on the market are designed for iPods/iPhones and don’t have room for the big iPad. They generally cost a lot too. The camera kit is a cheap way to add an extra bit of functionality. One could pair it with a portable amp/DAC unit such as the HeadAmp Pico USB DAC/amp and have a very nice transportable setup, or else use it as a source in a larger home system. As seen in the picture, I’m using mine with a Kao Audio UD2C-HP integrated DAC/amp and Denon D5000 headphones. The whole rig is small enough to fit on a nightstand, and it sounds excellent.
The Home Sharing feature in iTunes also extends to iPads, which means even a basic 16GB model can have access to a massive library of music. This essentially transforms the iPad into a network streaming audio transport. I’ve used it to play 24/96 and 24/88.2 hi-res tracks and it works great as long as your network is up to the task.
iTunes not really your thing? No problem. You can use one of several different apps to enable the iPad to play FLAC files. Golden Ear and the cleverly titled FLAC Player are both audiophile-oriented apps that accomplish the goal. Another option is the free OPlayer Lite. It’s a do-it-all program that is not strictly audio-centric, but nonetheless works well for FLAC. And the price is certainly right.
At $29 you really can’t go wrong with the CCK. There are other methods of getting a digital output from the iPad but none are so cheap or have such a low profile. In the event of your DAC being completely incompatible, you could at least still use it as intended to import pictures from a camera. It’s a non-audio related function but surprisingly useful in some cases.
Here is the review of the connection.
Ya. My son loved it too.
Wonder if they’d cough up the source code.
If I win the lottery, that’s what I should do, pay them to open it up for everyone. It’s not like they would ever make a bunch of money from it again anyway.
Oopsy. Kind missed that bit.
Here’s what you need. It says “camera” but it works for other purposes, too. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Apple-MD821ZM-A-Apple-Lightning-to-USB-Camera-Adapter-ZML/22098033?srccode=cii_5784816&cpncode=32-300536190-2&wmlspartner=pricegrabber.com&adid=csepg00000000000000000000000000000101&veh=cse
But I just found this one, and the more I think about my situation, the more I think it qualifies:
I made a very firm decision many years ago to never buy anything Toshiba.
I bought a Toshiba TV, and it was designed with the default volume level at full volume whenever the TV lost power and then when it got power back, it would power itself back on without human intervention.
Try experiencing that when the electricity goes down and back up at 3am. Yowsa!
I complained about this, and was told bluntly by a VP of Engineering at Toshiba that this was the way they designed it and it couldn’t be changed.
With a corporate engineering department attitude like that, I will never buy any Toshiba products ever again.
See post #108.
Very nice. I’ll bet that sucker runs hot.
That’s very interesting, thank you. And better than the usual ‘I had a lemon PC from this company’ story. Weird design decisions.
Buy a desktop and a Chromebook.
My current plan is to buy an all-in-one to replace my laptop, then, after copying all my files over, re-format the laptop and reinstall Win7 to use the laptop with WiFi while I’m watching TV and stuff in the living room. If the screen on the laptop gets a lot worse, then I might have it replaced.
See post #108 for info about the all-in-one.
You might set a trend. Older, retired games available to the public for free. Nice.
What’s the advantage of the all-in-one?
I can use it the best way for me at any given time. Keyboard, mouse, touchscreen. My choice.
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