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tablets aren't the 'third device' I'd hoped for... from a productivity standpoint, anyway
Engadget ^ | 8/21/2010 | Darren Murph

Posted on 08/22/2011 8:17:36 AM PDT by dangerdoc

Editorial: tablets aren't the 'third device' I'd hoped for... from a productivity standpoint, anyway By Darren Murph posted Aug 21st 2011 12:06PM Editorial Hang tight just a second -- let me preface all of this with a quick reminder that I'm speaking on a personal level, and I'm absolutely certain that slates have a place in this world somewhere. We could go back and forth for hours with use-case scenarios (and the same could be done with cars, time machines or your luxury good of choice), but this isn't about proving that a tablet can do one or two things; it's about the limitations and awkwardness of using one that no one seems to talk about.

After years of watching the masses fawn over the iPad (and every other PC maker scramble to come out with something that serves a similar purpose), I still can't ever imagine myself investing in one, let alone actually using one in place of a smartphone or laptop. I've met quite a few folks in my line of work that all ask me the same thing: "Should I buy an iPad?" It's worth noting that no one actually asks if "they should buy a tablet," but that's speaking more about Apple's absurdly enviable mind (and in turn, market) share than anything else. My response is always the same: "If you can't think of a reason you'd need it, you don't need it."

Tablets, for whatever reason, seem to defy logic when it comes to purchase rationalization in the consumer electronics realm. I've yet to meet a bloke who purchased an ultraportable without knowing full-well that they would take advantage of enhanced battery life and a highly mobile chassis. Everyone I've know that invested in a high-end gaming rig knew why they were shelling out on that $500 GPU (read: frames-per-second). And all of my movie cuttin' pals knew precisely why they just had to have a Thunderbolt RAID setup. But tablets? People are just buying these things in a fit of hysteria -- does anyone actually know why this "third device" is such a necessity? Let's dive a little deeper, shall we?

The obvious answers (and the not-so-obvious question) Look, I'm not disputing that tablets serve a purpose. I would've leaped for ever-loving joy if my middle school classes were delivered on one, and my photographing wife uses hers to show example poses to nervous brides and grooms who want to look good in their wedding album. But when it comes to using one as a tool for myself -- a device which should make me more productive -- slates have failed to provide me with a compelling reason to drop $500+ on yet another computing instrument.

And here's why. With qHD displays becoming the norm, most modern smartphones can nearly match even the highest-resolution tablet display. Pixel-for-pixel, I can see almost as much information in the palm of my hand as I can with an unwieldy screen that requires two hands to use with any precision whatsoever. And then, there's typing. Let's say I'm in class, or at a conference, or in a boardroom meeting, and I'm attempting to jot a few notes down for later. If needed, I can peck away with a shocking amount of accuracy using SwiftKey's magical prediction keyboard on insert-your-Android-phone-here... with one hand. Is it really worth the pocketbook hit to bring something else in there to do the same thing?

If you're asking what the big deal is with using both of your arms to operate a handheld computing apparatus, you're asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is this: "Why did I just spend $500 on a device that's just marginally easier to get work done on than the smartphone I already own, while being entirely more limiting than even a netbook from an OS standpoint?" If anything, it's just a testament to how immensely useful, longevous and mobile the modern day laptop truly is.

Look, tablets are weird to use C'mon, admit it. Slates are silly to hold and silly to operate. Ever tried taking a photo with a tablet? You're guaranteed to get perfect facial expressions for tomorrow's highlight image on Awkward Family Photos, but that's about it. Without a case, it's even awkward to type on a tablet. You're usually left with two options: propping it up against your leg, or laying it flat on a table and forcing yourself to hover directly over it, neither of which strike me as "natural." You might say that using one is no less strange than pecking away on a laptop, but if I have to sit down with it I might as well use something with a keyboard.

I'll confess that using one as an in-flight entertainment device looks pretty practical, but my 4.3-inch smartphone screen would accomplish the same task with a lot less fuss (and without taking up another square millimeter of precious space within my carry-on bag -- something only hardcore minimalist travelers like myself will appreciate).

I also can't seem to grok the value in spending half a grand on something with a souped-up mobile OS. Marketers have stated from the start that a tablet is a "third device" -- something that's worth owning even if you already posses a smartphone and a laptop. I'm guessing it's because they know tablets aren't capable of replacing either. It's too big to fit into any pair of pants I own (MC Hammer digs from Halloween 2008 notwithstanding), and it's downright frustrating to use as a netbook replacement.

Even something as basic as chewing through unread emails proves to be a gigantic pain on a tablet. I typically get through eight or nine messages before I need to a) add an attachment from a file system that doesn't exist or b) open up a new browser to complete an inbox search whilst keeping the existing message open in a nearby window. Foiled again. This also brings up the point of multitasking; even with webOS' absolutely laudatory "Cards" system on the now-defunct TouchPad, there's no actual multi-window, multi-app multitasking. I can grab a 10-inch netbook -- priced at $300 or less, usually -- and multitask in ways that iOS could only dream of. Again, I'm looking at this strictly from a productivity standpoint, and if you're still trying to convince me that I need a "third device," you're barking up the wrong tree. I also won't argue that the "experience" of using iOS on a tablet is exemplary, but at most, it's a novelty in my world.

The "third device" requirement is manufactured Apple, and everyone else trying their best to hawk tablets, would have you believe that there's a huge hole in your technophile lifestyle that can only be filled by hauling around yet another contraption. I beg to differ. For consumers who don't consider themselves power users, you might be able to get away with using a tablet in place of a laptop. If that's you, fantastic. You just figured out a way to stick with only two devices, and you made the second one a good bit more compact. But if use things like Photoshop and Windows Movie Maker (real esoteric stuff, I tell ya), or you like to actually add attachments to your email from a file system, you'll probably find yourself in a place like myself: wondering what the heck the fuss is all about.

My dear friend and confidant Chris Ziegler said this of the iPad in January of 2010: "This is simply Cupertino's answer to the smartbook executed with typical Apple spit and polish, and whether anyone really needs the world's slickest smartbook remains to be seen." For me, it has been seen, and I'm no worse off without another computing apparatus forced between my already-capable phone and laptop. Another of my peers -- Mr. Michael Gartenberg -- confessed this about the iPad just over a year ago: "So what's missing? The required accessories. In order to make the iPad a real productivity tool capable of replacing your laptop, you're going to want a Bluetooth keyboard, the VGA adapter for presenting, and a copy of iWork (or another compatible office suite). Even then, you're still going to be missing some of the functionality that you're only going to get on a full computer."

I'm not disputing the fact that the iPad is a runaway hit; Apple has sold millions, and it'll continue to dominate this landscape for the foreseeable future. Its shareholders are obviously thrilled with the demand. But here's a genuine question: how many of you actually use your tablet (of any brand) for productivity tasks as much as you thought you would when you lined up around the block to buy it? And after you invest a couple hundred in accessories to make it halfway useful, aren't you better off (financially and otherwise) with a bona fide laptop? For me, that answer is "yes."


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1 posted on 08/22/2011 8:17:40 AM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: dangerdoc

Bump.


2 posted on 08/22/2011 8:22:12 AM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: dangerdoc

I don’t get the tablet craze. I’m 31 and don’t have a smartphone or a tablet. Seems to me the primary advertised functionality of, say, the iPad is that it can play games, edit photos, play music, and browse the web.

Try manipulating a 4,000 line spreadsheet with multiple pivot tables on a tablet, and we’ll talk. Sometimes a keyboard and a mouse win the day.


3 posted on 08/22/2011 8:24:11 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: dangerdoc

My wife bought the Zagg keyboard/cover for the iPad. Much, much lighter than a laptop. And without the keyboard, she uses the iPad as a gaming/reader device. YMMV.


4 posted on 08/22/2011 8:25:34 AM PDT by Pecos (Constitutionalist. Liberty and Honor will not die on my watch.)
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To: dangerdoc

IMHO, the iPad is just the Nintendo DS on steroids. It’s fun for kids to play games on.


5 posted on 08/22/2011 8:27:40 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dangerdoc

Darren Murph is a tard.

Sorry, there is no better way to say this. He’s mentally difficient, he’s not the person that Engadget wants on staff. He’s not smart enough to work, let alone be published.

The iPad is a LEISURE device. It excells as a book reader, displaying photo’s, playing movies, limited game play, surfing the net, checking email, and entertainment sort of activities. It was never designed to be a productivity device.

A laptop excells at productivity. The built-in keyboard, extensive hard drive space, processing capabilities, I/O devices make this a mobile workstation.

When you bring up the virtual keyboard on the iPad, you have a ‘screen’ of what you are typing appear, that measures approximately 3 inches tall, by 6 inches wide. Sure, you can easily respond to an email with a 3x6 screen; but do you want to write a report, prepare a presentation, or work a spreadsheet with a screen that measures 3x6? Nope.

A motorcyle and a lawn mower are two entirely different devices. Each has a specific task they were designed for. Too bad the author hasn’t grasped this basic concept.


6 posted on 08/22/2011 8:27:57 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: dangerdoc

He’s wrong and he’s right. It depends. For some people, it has replaced the laptop, or been used in new ways, like to take orders at a restaurant, or work with customers. For others, who need spreadsheets or a keypad, it is useless. I go days sometimes without using my laptop, and i can take my ipad places i would never take a laptop. It is a very useful tool, for me.


7 posted on 08/22/2011 8:28:54 AM PDT by Defiant (We are governed by the Oboehner party.)
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To: dangerdoc

Watching a movie on a 4.3 inch screen kicks ass over a 10 inch screen. :)

The tablets, to be useful, need a good handwriting recognition program.


8 posted on 08/22/2011 8:29:13 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: dangerdoc

The writer says “After years of watching the masses fawn over the iPad ...”

It may seem like years, but the iPad debuted just 16 months ago. I agree with some of his points, disagree with others, but mainly, I am old-fashioned enough to think that 16 months isn’t a very long time to base an “it’s useless” judgment on...


9 posted on 08/22/2011 8:31:59 AM PDT by PhatHead
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To: rarestia
Try manipulating a 4,000 line spreadsheet with multiple pivot tables on a tablet, and we’ll talk. Sometimes a keyboard and a mouse win the day.

You don't want a tablet that can do this. A tablet, on the other hand, is a highly glorified Kindle. Great for books, magazines, 'some' games (your hands are in the way), watching movies, email and web surfing. Travel a lot? 10 hour of battery life means you can watch movies and read while you are in the plane. This is an LEISURE (think entertainment) device, not a PRODUCTIVITY device.

10 posted on 08/22/2011 8:34:57 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Hodar
The iPad is a LEISURE device. It excells as a book reader, displaying photo’s, playing movies, limited game play, surfing the net, checking email, and entertainment sort of activities.

I have a Sony PocketReader that cost a lot less than a tablet. With the 2nd magnification level, the text is quite easy to read. Since I'm not in to movies, that's a wasted point for me. The photos aspect I can understand, but paying $500+ just to read some books and show a recent photo to a friend doesn't calculate.

I took a recent look at these things, and came up unimpressed. I love my laptop for its workstation ability, my Sony Reader for it's compact means of carrying a multitude of books with me, and my non-smartphone for doing what a phone's supposed to do without all the extra garbage and expense. I'm a happy guy...

11 posted on 08/22/2011 8:38:40 AM PDT by bcsco
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To: dangerdoc

Got my wife one for xmas - most of what she uses a computer for is surfing and video viewing from that perspective it’s perfect. I’d consider it except that I like multiple windows open at the same time and I can’t run many applications, so for me a laptop or desktop is a better solution. I have an ipod touch for calendar, to dos, instand photo/video, and boredom relief while waiting in line.


12 posted on 08/22/2011 8:39:45 AM PDT by reed13
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To: dangerdoc

bump.


13 posted on 08/22/2011 8:40:35 AM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: dangerdoc

I was lucky enough to get in on the HP Touchpad ‘fire sale’ that virtually shut down every major electronics e-tailer and retailer this weekend. I’m posting from it right now. Its been out for 6 weeks and the price dropped from 599.00 to..... 99.00
which caused and is still causing pandemonium on various sites/stores..most are sold out now. This thing Is an AWESOME machine and for 99.00 it wouldve been stupid NOT to buy one.
There is a 5000+ page thread on the slickdeals.net forum updating by the second...get one if you can


14 posted on 08/22/2011 8:43:05 AM PDT by JoshuaLawrenceChamberlain
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To: dangerdoc

I got an iPad to work on my artwork. I needed the portability it offers over a laptop and my desktop computer. I have also taken it out to do plein air painting, tho have spent half the time explaining to the curious.

While it doesnt do everything, it has been worth it for me in increased productivity.


15 posted on 08/22/2011 8:47:44 AM PDT by janipa
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To: JoshuaLawrenceChamberlain

Saw the deal on WOOT from B&N. Ordered 2!!


16 posted on 08/22/2011 8:51:08 AM PDT by colinhester
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To: Hodar

The slate is missing a handwriting recognition program to really be useful.


17 posted on 08/22/2011 8:54:47 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: colinhester

hope they dont cancel your order...from what I’m reading it is a crap shoot..cancelling 3 of every 4 orders since they didnt have the inventory to back up the selling numbers..this is pretty much what is going on all over..never seen anything like this


18 posted on 08/22/2011 8:56:51 AM PDT by JoshuaLawrenceChamberlain
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To: Jonty30

Handwriting is going to require a stilus - you can type faster than you can write.

You can install the Dragon Naturally Speaking app (for Free) and that will simply use the microphone and you can dictate your note. They have really improved voice recognition.


19 posted on 08/22/2011 9:00:05 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Hodar

You can’t easily type a mathematical formula, in an easily readable form.

You cannot type a picture.

You cannot easily sit at a park bench and use a laptop.
You can’t sit on a bus and use a laptop.

There are areas that are appropriate for tablets that appropriate for laptops.


20 posted on 08/22/2011 9:09:39 AM PDT by Jonty30
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To: dangerdoc

Does anyone know how to print from an IPAD? I’m not going to buy an AirPrint printer. I am looking for a free app to do this. I have a wireless printer and can’t figure out why I just can’t send a web page to my printer to print out.


21 posted on 08/22/2011 9:14:14 AM PDT by FreeManWhoCan (Watch Rubio...)
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To: dangerdoc
An IPad does not take the place of a laptop on the road. If I'm on the road for an extended period (longer than a week) the laptop has to come with me. I bring the Ipad along for books and entertainment. Also it's a good mobile device for checking my emails and getting lengthy ones written. If it's just a quick check or short response, the smartphone suffices.

But you won't be doing a spreadsheet or any major changes to a document on the Ipad.

Where it shines for me is on the shorter trips where I know I'll only need it for email. The laptop stays home and I don't have to lug it around. In all cases, it's great for presentations.

22 posted on 08/22/2011 9:14:26 AM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: Pecos

A graphics designer friend is a huge apple fan and user. He just got an Ipad. He considers it pretty useless. It’s not very useful as a computer. And is really too big to be all that portable.

I think it is analogous to a flying car: It’s a lousy car and a lousy airplane, but would be good for a very few with unique needs.


23 posted on 08/22/2011 9:18:12 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: lovecraft

I think that the Macbook Air would be a better choice for on the road substitute for a full sized lap top.


24 posted on 08/22/2011 9:18:12 AM PDT by Eva
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To: Eva
I bring a small Mac laptop, don't think it's an Air though. Although what I have doesn't weigh much, I do enjoy the chances I have to leave it home and just work on the Ipad. Just one less thing (several things if you include charger and mouse) to bring on a road trip.
25 posted on 08/22/2011 9:25:08 AM PDT by lovecraft (Specialization is for insects.)
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To: Hodar

He doesn’t say a tablet is useless, he just doesn’t see the need for a third device.

The phone does everything a pad does, is more portable and you already have one. The laptop does what the phone cannot and you already have one. Where is the real need for a third device for the average person.

I have an original iPad, it got used for a while but now mostly sits and collects dust. I have two apps that technically or mechanically are superior to doing the same task on the phone or laptop otherwise, it sits on the shelf in the living room. Even the kids tired of angry bird and they just use one of the laptops.

I can see his point and thought it would stimulate an interesting conversation.


26 posted on 08/22/2011 9:28:24 AM PDT by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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To: Hodar

I see your point, but you’re coming from a narrow definition of “productivity.” If your job involves a clipboard, a tablet is a productivity tool. If your job involves retrieving content more often than generating it, a tablet is a productivity tool. A tablet won’t let you manipulate that 4,000 line spreadsheet with multiple pivot tables, but if you have people in the field collecting data, tablets might help you fill that spreadsheet a lot faster.


27 posted on 08/22/2011 9:35:14 AM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: Hodar
A tablet, on the other hand, is a highly glorified Kindle.

True, but you can get a Kindle (Nook) for 1/3 the price. Granted they are B&W but so are most books. My Nook battery lasts nearly 10 days (not hours). If a reader is what you want save your money and buy a Kindle/Nook. An iPad is a solution looking for a problem.

Regards,
GtG

28 posted on 08/22/2011 9:35:57 AM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: rarestia

A tablet is nothing more than a glorified, over-sized smart-phone for boomers who are losing their eyesight.


29 posted on 08/22/2011 9:47:03 AM PDT by jettester (I got paid to break 'em - not fly 'em)
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To: Gandalf_The_Gray

Yes, but with my ‘elderly’ eye-sight, I can do my email, surf the web and read entire pages in big print. I can upload my photo’s, edit home movies and photo’s from either my camera or cell phone’s camera.

I have a host of fun games (Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds, Zombie Gunship, Cut the Rope); plus I can read and edit MS Office documents. So, if I prep a Powerpoint presentation, I can review and edit it; and with a $29 adapter, I can give that presentation to anyone on a projector. I can email, and as I travel a lot - being able to read Kindle, iBook and .pdf files, as well as watch 30+ movies and play games while I’m sitting in the middle seat on a 4 hour flight - I keep myself entertained.

“An iPad is a solution looking for a problem.” - Um, the market would beg to disagree with you. Would you care to compare the numbers sold?


30 posted on 08/22/2011 10:02:09 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: dangerdoc

Before I owned a tablet, I thought the same thing - that they do the same thing as a smartphone, but are just bigger so you can’t keep them in your pocket.

After you own one, though, you realize there are all sorts of things they’re ideal for. Mine has an app that replaces a special-purpose computer costing thousands plus regularly updated paper charts costing a thousand or more per year (the app subscription runs just $75-150). This app is available for smartphones (and I have it on mine), but it’s not practical to use on a smartphone-sized screen. A tablet screen is ideal.

There are lots of general-purpose uses for tablets that follow the same model. Sure, you can view a web page or a video on a smartphone, but try sharing it with multiple people who want to see. A phone is just too small to do that well. You also miss a lot of content even watching things by yourself on a small phone screen compared to a tablet screen. And most people wouldn’t want to read books or text of any great length on a smartphone screen as opposed to a tablet.

It’s also a convenient middle ground for those times when you don’t want to bother pulling out your laptop. It’s instant-on, has cell data so you don’t need to worry about finding a wi-fi connection, and can be shared easily amongst people. If you want to show your client a certain page of your proposal or show your friend a great video, you can just hand the device over the table. Too awkward with a laptop and too difficult to see with a phone.

As for productivity, most of the use of mine is personal and not business. But I can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on mine, and I have done so on more than one occasion where I didn’t have my laptop with me, didn’t want to get it out, or needed Internet access to make the needed changes and wasn’t in range of wi-fi. I’ve also used it as a supplement to my laptop when giving presentations - rather than just displaying a video and presentation on the overhead projector (which wasn’t bright enough to really show what I wanted) I just loaded the documents on my tablet and passed it around the room.

Tablets aren’t for everyone, and if I had to choose whether to give up my tablet, phone, or laptop, I guess the tablet would be first to go. But they really are great “third devices” for those situations where a phone is too small and a laptop is too big or unwieldy. The author should try one for a few weeks; I don’t know anyone who’s had one and hasn’t found lots of uses for it, largely in areas where it just works better than a laptop or a phone.


31 posted on 08/22/2011 10:03:28 AM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: ReignOfError
I see your point, but you’re coming from a narrow definition of “productivity.” If your job involves a clipboard, a tablet is a productivity tool.

Point conceded; but how many people use a laptop for this, when an iPad would work? Just not that many folk. Doctors, for example - would do very well with a tablet.

But, many people who use laptops are business managers, engineers, salesmen, accountants, ect. They need the processing horsepower the laptop brings to the table, as well as the dedicated keyboard/mouse and larger screen. They sacrifice size and battery life - for productivity.

Consider, a laptop can easily do everything the iPad does (ok, except for the accelerometer and gryros). You can do email, surf the web, play movies, listen to music and a plethora of great games - but this comes at a price. Battery life, cost of the apps ($40 for a PC game, vs $1 for the app), size, space and encumberance. I can lay on my side, on my back and read my iPad in bed, in the bathtub (carefully!), on a plane's middle seat (and not bother anyone else, nor risk utter distruction when the guy in front leans his seat back).

If I were to place numbers down for practicality - I'd say that a laptop is 90% productivity and 10% leisure; where an iPad is 80% leisure, 20% productivity.

32 posted on 08/22/2011 10:08:29 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Hodar
Battery life, cost of the apps ($40 for a PC game, vs $1 for the app), size, space and encumberance. I can lay on my side, on my back and read my iPad in bed, in the bathtub (carefully!), on a plane's middle seat (and not bother anyone else, nor risk utter distruction when the guy in front leans his seat back).

By all means, if you want to play games, or read books, the iPad is fine. But if you want to do more, then get the laptop. Having choices is a good thing.

33 posted on 08/22/2011 10:10:51 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: rarestia
Try manipulating a 4,000 line spreadsheet with multiple pivot tables on a tablet, and we’ll talk.

Try ... well, just about anything (checking email, navigating somewhere, remote desktop, distracting kids, editing content, VoIP, whatever) with a desktop computer while out for lunch, in an elevator, on the couch, or anywhere not within arm's reach of your multi-screen multi-terabyte multi-core number-crunching monster, and we'll talk. Notebooks also have the origami of unfolding, awkward holding, shorter battery life, etc. befit a compromise between functional and portable. Sometimes a slim 24oz anywhere anytime always-on always-connected tablet can make much - yes, profitable much - of those otherwise lost minutes.

Tools for their proper use. A notebook is a compromise; a desktop + tablet give best of both worlds.

34 posted on 08/22/2011 10:22:39 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: dangerdoc

The iPad and other devices have a market in easy access and recording of data. Trying to view large data bases on them would be hard but using them to a inventory would work well. iPaqs were used by the mail room where I last worked to record signatures for deliveries. The new tablet cost more but not much. It can be carried around like a clip board and find the price of any house in the country that is on sale. I could see a doctor using one while doing is rounds in a hospital. It won’t replace a laptop for most people but has endless work possibilities.


35 posted on 08/22/2011 10:30:44 AM PDT by ThomasThomas ( Congressmen should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers, so we can identify their corporate sponsors.)
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To: dangerdoc
I can see his point and thought it would stimulate an interesting conversation.

But, the author approaches it from a totally ignorant point of view. If I wrote that I couldn't see the purpose of a 150cc Scooter, because it doesnt' cut grass like a similarly priced lawn mower - I'd be fired.

Simply stated, the author hasn't bothered to see what the target audience is. Consider, I travel a lot, it's my 'hobby' - I like it. I can sit in the middle seat on any aircraft, plug my headphones in and blow up Zombies, read books, watch movies, listen to tunes and keep myself entertained. At my destintination, I can shoot movies on cell phone or camera - and use the iPad to edit them, and upload them to Facebook or my Google storage. Not a whole lot of productivity going on. That's why my laptop gets packed in the luggage.

If you decide to travel (cruise, flight, bus, train or even car) - the iPad is awesome. Tether it to your mobile cell phone do double-duty. When I travel, I plug in my phone, and turn on the Hot Spot. My wife can surf, post here, email, play games and even pull up the GPS go get me 'un-lost'.

36 posted on 08/22/2011 10:31:07 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: JoshuaLawrenceChamberlain

My cc was charged and order not cancelled....yet. Keeping fingers crossed.


37 posted on 08/22/2011 10:39:56 AM PDT by colinhester
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To: Gandalf_The_Gray
you can get a Kindle (Nook) for 1/3 the price

An iPad can do a whole lot more than 3x a Kindle etc.

With just what's on my iPad right now, I have:

...and that's just what I have loaded right now.

Let's see a Kindle, or three, do that. Let's see your desktop do any of that, say, in a doctor's waiting room, or at lunch, or on a plane, or (looking squarely at notebooks) in an elevator after 8 hours of heavy use since charging.

Oh, and it did pay for itself within a month.

38 posted on 08/22/2011 10:40:25 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Hodar

Excellent assessment of this author’s failure to grasp the concept of a leisure device. I have a powerful gaming PC that I built myself, a laptop, and a net book. However, my net book is rarely used now because it has been eclipsed by my Acer Iconia tablet. In fact I am typing this on my tablet. Sure, my iPhone could do this too, but seriously...why would I do this on a 3” screen!?


39 posted on 08/22/2011 11:02:45 AM PDT by arielguard (Fasting without prayer is vainglory.)
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To: Hodar

Excellent assessment of this author’s failure to grasp the concept of a leisure device. I have a powerful gaming PC that I built myself, a laptop, and a net book. However, my net book is rarely used now because it has been eclipsed by my Acer Iconia tablet. In fact I am typing this on my tablet. Sure, my iPhone could do this too, but seriously...why would I do this on a 3” screen!?


40 posted on 08/22/2011 11:02:45 AM PDT by arielguard (Fasting without prayer is vainglory.)
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To: ctdonath2

Don’t get me wrong, ct, I applaud anyone who wants to go about their life with a device attached to them. Call me old fashioned, but when I’m away from home, I don’t expect to have the comforts therein. I have a very basic cell phone that I use for emergencies or calling the little lady about dinner. Otherwise, I don’t use the phone much and prefer a home phone for audible fidelity.

And that always on feature out in the world requires cellular tower connectivity or a wi-fi hotspot, two things that would go tango-uniform in the event of a catastrophe (not that my home rig would be doing any good in that situation).

I’m in the IT world and pay very close attention to security, and I would prefer to have a smaller security footprint overall than to have a device that can entertain me when I’m out. I have a Kindle for reading on long trips and an iPod Classic for my music. Far as I’m concerned, that’s all I ever see myself needing, but then again everyone used to say, “We’ll never need more than 512K(yes, Kb) of RAM!”


41 posted on 08/22/2011 12:32:07 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Hodar; ctdonath2
I scored 100+ as an “uber-geek” but apparently have fallen behind the times. Ah well, different strokes for different folks, as they say. I am retired, the last time I flew anywhere was 1992 and I cheerfully leave that to the young bloods as I find a more relaxed lifestyle much to my liking.

Looking at the voluminous list of things that a tablet can do it has become obvious (even to an old fossil like me) that it has something for everyone. Although I still wonder if some of the newer laptops wouldn't do as well (I sincerely miss a keyboard on my Nook).

Speaking of Nooks, I am a voracious reader and bought the Nook solely for that purpose. As I said B&W (E-ink) display is fine for a reader plus I really like the battery which lasts nearly ten days w/o recharging. If there is one thing that has started to become a pain it's the file manager (or lack thereof).

When first purchased I added a 16gig micro SD card to give maximum storage (I do read a lot!) and it seems that the "on board" memory is treated as "my library" whereas any additional memory is "my documents". The downloaded files include some "comment files" which contain notes on author and such plus a synopsis of the ebook itself. The problems arise when you download a book and it always winds up in the library. If you want to move it to the axillary memory chip you need to attach to a computer thru a USB cable. Then the computer see the Nook as two outboard drives and you can moves epub files as you please, however the "comment" files are completely invisible and stay put in the library. Frankly, I'd settle for DOS right about know.

Do you run into similar problems when reading epub files on your tablet? If things work smoother that might be enough to get me to try one...

I look forward to you comments,
Regards,
Gandalf

PS Any comments regarding the non-Apple tablets?

42 posted on 08/22/2011 12:35:28 PM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: Jonty30

“The tablets, to be useful, need a good handwriting recognition program.”

That’s something I don’t understand. On my iPAQ, several years ago, I could jot notes with the stylus and it converted them very well to text. But I can’t find a similar capability for my Toshiba Thrive.

I found one that will record my handwritten note, but it records it as handwriting - a picture, not text.

Doesn’t make sense.


43 posted on 08/22/2011 1:07:14 PM PDT by FrogMom (There is no such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: rarestia

To each their own.

For those who want to walk away from technology with little more than “just a phone”, or are concerned about security footprints etc., go for it. No tablet for you.

For those who want connectivity and functionality anytime anywhere always-on always-connected, get an iPad - it’s a lot of capability in a very slim & light game-changing format.

And I’m from the era of “a gen 1 IBM PC! awesome! let’s see what I can do with 16KB RAM and cassette tape storage!”. I’m thinking of having my iPad surgically implanted.


44 posted on 08/22/2011 1:14:38 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: FrogMom

Hand writing recognition is a very difficult thing for computers to do, just because there are an infinite ways anybody can write down a paritcular letter or number and computers aren’t very good at accounting for individual differences.


45 posted on 08/22/2011 1:16:40 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Gandalf_The_Gray

If it works for you, use it.

Nook? There’s an app for that.
Web browser? You’re posting on FR, so that’s useful too. Anywhere anytime (3G is awesome).
File management? iOS is moving past that.
Battery life? 10+ hours covers even heavy use, just plug it in each night as habit.
Straight B&W text? e-ink wins, except that page-flip flicker drives me crazy. I’d rather a instant-change no-weirdness full-color glowing screen and sacrifice the bright-daylight issue.

I haven’t done much with epub yet; iBooks & Nook & Kindle readers are working fine. There’s a lifetime of reading loaded on my iPad now; just trying to snap that sentimental attachment to paper (and at 26 bookcases, that’s hard).


46 posted on 08/22/2011 1:22:31 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Gandalf_The_Gray

“PS Any comments regarding the non-Apple tablets? “

I have the Toshiba Thrive. My eldest has just gotten the iPad.

I can put an SD card in my Thrive, she cannot. iPad has no card slots so I have unlimited storage limited only by the number of cards I have. Also, everything she does has to be synced through iTunes. I don’t like iTunes for my iPod, let alone everything! Mine is viewed by the computer the same as a USB thumbdrive. Easy. Further comparisons will have to wait until she’s had it longer.

I have 4 ereader programs on it. My kindle has, well, Kindle ereader. Nook has free books that aren’t available on kindle.

I love the orientation changes with the tablet.

I can play double-deck solitaire games on the tablet, cannot on the phone.

I have access to two email accts on the tablet, same as my phone. Can open pics or slideshows on the tablet, cannot easily/reliably on the phone.

Can easily read Free Republic on the tablet ;) not so much on the phone.

Will find more as time goes by!


47 posted on 08/22/2011 1:24:42 PM PDT by FrogMom (There is no such thing as an honest democrat!)
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To: colinhester
...WOOT...

Elmer Fudd does Linux?

48 posted on 08/22/2011 1:26:01 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Hodar

I’m a big Mac fan from wayyyyy back. Love my iPhone 4. Mail, text, little web surfing, read a ton of books on it via iBooks and Kindle aps. Play a few games. Also have a Mac Pro quad for real work, and a Macbook pro for light work.

Spent some time playing with the iPad and the Apple store and I immediately had the distinct feeling I was using a device with an oversized interface. Like the touch tone phones with the really big numbers on it for granny.


49 posted on 08/22/2011 1:27:28 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: ctdonath2

My first PC was a 286 with 64K of RAM. I’m an engineer now working with server-class hardware and every bit the hardware geek. However, despite my ability to put together a ridiculous gaming rig, I spend less time on it gaming and more time on it upgrading.

I suppose I took a path that diverted from the software side of things, and I prefer Linux to Windows any day. Anyone who wants to use these devices, I say more power to them.

Just not for me.


50 posted on 08/22/2011 2:09:27 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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