Tablets forum

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Ask the Editors: Why should I buy a tablet? Live chat with CNET editors, Donald Bell and Scott Stein

by CNET Event admin / July 27, 2011 4:35 AM PDT
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The tablet market has grown rapidly over the last few years, and a variety of players are entering the space. But what can a tablet really do for you? And if you already have a smartphone and a laptop, how will it add to your gadget life?
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Bring it on...

Morning, folks. Scott and I are here and ready for any questions you have on tablets. We can't guarantee we have all the answers, but we'll try our best to reply to questions we think we can help with.

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dorr7111

Why should I buy a tablet? More data fees. Should I dump my smart phone and my notebook?

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Tablets aren't cannibals
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:31 AM PDT
In reply to: dorr7111

For better or worse, I don't see the tablet fully replacing the laptop or smartphone. The roles tablets are taking seem to be different for everyone, so just steer clear of carrier fees and give a Wi-Fi model a try.

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Don't dump the notebook if it's your only PC
by ScottStein8 CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:31 AM PDT
In reply to: dorr7111

From a laptop perspective, no tablet can do what a PC can...yet. I have a tablet (iPad) and a laptop, and the iPad works great as second laptop-like device...but only for certain key functions. It's also hard to be productive (write, publish, edit) on a tablet.

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Tablet for Work

Can I use a tablet to access my work computer? Can this replace my carrying my laptop around in order to do this?

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Yes, but it's not always an easy fit
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Tablet for Work

There are many VPN and virtual desktop apps out there for Android and iOS, but you're still left with a touch screen interface. If your work involves spreadsheet or document editing, touch screens are very inefficient.

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7" honeycomb

When can we expect a 7" honeycomb tablet? I feel as if I've been waiting forever. Also promise me you will review one the second it hits market!

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Why?
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:37 AM PDT
In reply to: 7" honeycomb

I understand wanting a more interesting ecosystem of Honeycomb devices, but the 7-inch form seems like a step backwards for Android. The whole point of Honeycomb was to optimize for 10-inch screens and create a platform for developers to build larger apps. Shrinking back down may cause more problems for Honeycomb than it's worth.

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Flash

I've heard you can install a browser on the ipad that supports flash. Is that true?

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Skyfire
by ScottStein8 CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Flash

I have that browser, and it's called Skyfire. I believe one or two other solutions exist, too. It "supports" Flash by converting Flash video streams and re-streaming them in iPad-compatible format. It's a hack, but it works for some content. Not always, though. And Skyfire doesn't work for Flash sites or games, just video.

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I'd go flip phone again with a tablet

My vision is not the greatest for a smartphone and most are not big enough for me to see well for practical use. I would go back to a flip phone now that I have a tablet. And with Skype and BT headsets,could be this be a trend away from current smartphones?

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toshiba Thrive

What do you think about the new Toshiba Thrive? How does it stack up against the others in the market?

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The SUV of Honeycomb tablets
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: toshiba Thrive

The Thrive is a great piece of hardware, but Toshiba is betting on an audience that will sacrifice thinness for ruggedness and full size ports. I'm not sure if that audience exists in the consumer sphere, but it may find better traction with business and government use.

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Laptop + tablet + smartphone

I want to make sure I have the three 'in synch'. I have been a Palm OS customer forever, and I guess it is time to move on. But where too? So, first of all.. I guess that I should move to a consistent set, at least, same base OS for smartphone and tablet. Is that a right assumption? ie. iPhone+iPad or android-smartphone + android-tablet or all windows OS.

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Same ecosystem can save money, but...
by ScottStein8 CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:35 AM PDT

It depends. We have colleagues who have an Android phone and an iPad and enjoy getting the best of both worlds, but having an iPhone and iPad can save money by sharing iTunes purchases and taking advantage of universal apps that run on both devices. Buying apps across multiple platforms could get seriously costly.

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Playbook

I have a Blackberry Torch and I am thinking about purchasing a Playbook, Are the Playbooks faster than the Torch?

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why would anyone buy a WebOS or Blackberry tablet without mu

Enter text here.

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Adobe Flash

It seems that the iPad has everything the competition does, and more. however since Apple continues to be stubborn about Flash, I am nervous to buy it. Are their any apps to force the iPad to play flash without jailbreaking?

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Live Video?

Is this just text or is there live video.

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New tablet purchase.

I'm looking to purchase a new tablet to replace my Archos 10.1 that recently died.

When I bought it there wasn't many choices in tablets or OS's. As I'm researching, there are so many more tablets and OS's out there, where do I start? It's more confusing then ever.

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Go with your use case
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: New tablet purchase.

There are more OS options now, but still only two (Android & iOS) that have substantial app stores behind them. If that matters to you, than you have fewer options to consider. If email and browser performance are your primary concerns, then you can play the field and shop on price or design.

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What are the pros & cons to purchasing a tablet?

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Pros & Cons

What are the pros & cons to purchasing a tablet?

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apps?

is there any hope for a strong set of tablet apps outside of ipad?

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Maybe.
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:51 AM PDT
In reply to: apps?

But the Google's, HP's and RIMs of the world need to show developers that they have a large enough audience of spend-happy customers to make it worth their time. Google has the best momentum so far, but they still don't seem to be getting tablet-optimized apps developed at the pace of Apple.

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Totally confused between the choices...

I'm a senior citizen and would like one of these new "toys" just for web searching, uploading photos while on a trip, emailing, etc. I have very little technical knowledge of the operating systems on these machines. As of now, I'm familiar only with Windows 7 on my PC and laptop. Can you give some detail about the different systms the tablets use -ie) android, ipad (Apple), WebOS (HP), etc. What are the advantages and disadvantages to each? Which ones are easiest to learn, etc. I have no idea which ones to consider and really need some advice.

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Check out our buying guide
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:54 AM PDT
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Nook Color

Should I get a Nook Color to be my tablet?

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Maybe.
by audiodonald CNET staff / August 9, 2011 2:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Nook Color

The Nook Color is a great piece of hardware, but it's late in its product cycle right now. I suspect Amazon will have a strong competitor to announce soon.

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