Tablets forum

General discussion

Laptop, Tablet, or Combo, which should I buy?

by DarenB1 / November 6, 2011 12:29 AM PDT

I am trying to decide what notebook and/or tablet to buy and although I know hardware fairly well, I usually spend most of my time in the server and storage market, not the consumer space. Therefore, I don't know the full breadth and depth of the laptop and tablet market. Let me start by saying that I am NOT an apple fan, so unless there is an extremely compelling reason to go that route, skip it. Over the past 20+ years I have been a big fan of Microsoft, although some of their decisions over the past couple of years have been perplexing me and I am not sure of their future in the consumer market with the techies. I don't understand the huge step backwards with Windows Phone 7 in so many areas, but I am not your normal user. For example, I have several VB apps that I developed to run on my phone that I like to side-load and I have used the VPN and terminal services clients on occasional and consider them to have substantial value. Anyway, on to my current dilemma;

I am looking at tablets and/or notebooks and I have found a couple that look interesting including the combo of the thinkpad x220 or the ASUS Eee Slate 121, but I am not sure how well the tablet vs laptop sides of these machines work as compared to something like the Samsung Galaxy tablet or a similar tablet coupled with a decent laptop. I wish I could get one of each for a few weeks, decide which I like best and send back the rest, but life doesn't work that way.

I have made a prioritized list of the hardware and software features that I would like to have in both the notebook and tablet, but I am thinking that it may be way too detailed to post in this forum.

Does anyone have any advice on where I should post to get some good information or someone that I could email who could advise me? If the person is a true expert, I would be willing to either compensate them a reasonable fee or trade my knowledge in the server and storage markets. As for my knowledge in the server and storage side, I am a published author and sought after speaker who has worked at an engineer or architect level with Microsoft, EMC, VMware, and several others. Therefore, I have knowledge to provide in trade. If anyone would like to contact me directly, I have setup an email to use for this search. LaptopTabletDecision@hotmail.com

Thank you is advance for any help that anyone can provide.

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Re: what to buy
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 6, 2011 12:58 AM PDT

What's best for you really depends on what you would want to use it for (or: do with it). You don't tell anything about that. For portability, nothing is better than a smart phone or iPod Touch (yes, that's Apple). For raw computing power nothing is better than a professional grade laptop with an Intel i7 processor.

And what do you mean with "tabled coupled with a laptop"?

Kees

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More details
by DarenB1 / November 6, 2011 1:23 AM PDT

Since I have been asked for what I intend to do with each, here is the table (converted to text, since I couldn't post it as a table). Again, this is detailed and I am sure it is incomplete, but it should give you an idea.

Effectively, I would rather buy a single device that does everything on the list well, but I'm fairly sure that doesn't exist.

(Great this great interface not only doesn't support tables, it doesn't accept tabs, multiple spaces, or returns properly. Here goes a bunch of time trying to make this readable. Sad )

OK, here is the poorly aligned, but hopefully gets the points across list of what functionality I want out of either a notebook and tablet or a notebook/tablet combo (like the thinkpad x220).

Sorry if this is verbose, but it was requested.

Features and ----- Importance (1=not really important to 5=mandatory)

LAPTOP

HARDWARE

4+ GB ram ----- 5
i5 or A6 or better ----- 5
4+ processor cores ----- 4
Windows 7 Pro ----- 5
SSD ----- 2
Fast boot, wake, etc ----- 3
High res, but not physicallt large screen ----- 4
Outdoor viewable ----- 3
WiFi BGN ----- 5
N+ Wifi ----- 3
smooth roaming WiFi ----- 2
Cellular capable ----- 2
webcam (front facing) ----- 5
webcam (rear facing) ----- 1
HD webcam ----- 3
bluetooth ----- 5
BT 3.0 ----- 3
Full size USB ----- 4
USB 3.0 ----- 3
GPS-R ----- 4
ability to switch batteries ----- 4
available external battery power source ----- 4
DVD Drive that can be used on battery ----- 4
Blue Ray (prefer battery use, when needed) ----- 3
SD slot ----- 3
Good typng keyboard ----- 4
Good touchpad ----- 4

APPS

create, save,read, and edit (csre) Ms Office files including doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, one note files ----- 5
csre MS Access DBs ----- 5
csre MS Project Files ----- 5
Visual Studio ----- 5
Visio ----- 5
MS SQL ----- 5
Remote Desktop ----- 5
VPN L2TP, PPTP, etc. ----- 5
Get email from and to gmail, MSExhange, POP3, SMTP, IMAP, etc. ----- 5
Sync PIM data with gmail, MSExchange, possibly others. ----- 5
Send and receive faxes ----- 3
scan----- 5
print ----- 5
GPS based map guidance without live web connection needed ----- 5
Development platform for whatever phone OS and tablet OS I end up running ----- 5
Excellent voice recognition software ----- 5
B&N ebook reader ----- 5
Adobe ebook reader ----- 5
full featured web browsing ----- 5


TABLET

HARDWARE

More than adequate processor(s) ----- 5
More than adequate RAM ----- 5
Adequate onboard storage ----- 5 (3 or 4 if SD is usable)
ExcellentTouch screen ----- 5
Digitizer pen type input ----- 5
compass sensor ----- 3
g sensor ----- 4
accelerometer ----- 4
outdoor viewable screen ----- 4
WiFi BGN----- 5
N+ WiFi ----- 4
Cellular capable ----- 3
webcam (front facing)----- 5
webcam (rear facing) ----- 3
HD webcam ----- 3
bluetooth----- 5
BT 3.0 ----- 3
Full size USB ----- 3
USB 3.0 ----- 2
SD slot ----- 4
Good Battery life ----- 4 (less important if batteries can be changed or external battery available)
ability to switch batteries ----- 2
available external battery power source ----- 4

APPS
create, save,read, and edit (csre) Ms Office files including doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, one note files ---- 5
csre MS Access DBs ----- 3
csre MS Project Files ----- 5
csre Visio Files ----- 4
MS SQL or compatible platform available ----- 3
Remote Desktop ----- 4
VPN L2TP, PPTP, etc. ----- 5
Get email from and to gmail, MSExhange, POP3, SMTP, IMAP, etc. ----- 5
Easily sync PIM data with gmail, MSExchange, possibly others. ----- 5
Send and receive faxes ----- 2
scan ----- 2
print ----- 3
GPS based map guidance without live web connection needed ----- 4
Development platform for whatever phone OS and tablet OS I end up running ----- 2
Excellent voice recognition software ----- 4
B&N ebook reader ----- 5
Adobe ebook reader ----- 5
full featured web browsing ----- 4


There you go. Sorry if this is not easily readable, but the interface for posting here really sucks!

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Those apps are PC/Mac centric.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 11, 2011 11:24 AM PST
In reply to: More details

I won't duplicate them all but "create, save,read, and edit (csre) Ms Office files including doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx, one note files" pulls you away from the current Android/Playbook/iPad market.

Let's go at this from another angle.


What tablet have you used that has you looking for a tablet?

We know tablets are the in and cool things but in your list I can't see where a tablet can fill the needs. I see g-sensor and such but what apps use those?
Bob

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I'm with Bob
by Bob_Meyer / November 11, 2011 1:04 PM PST

When MS Office and (apparently) lots of typing are at the top of your list, you are talking about a laptop. For most of us, when you talk tablets you're talking iPads or Android tablets. That ThinkPad x220 is a Windows 7 laptop with Pen & touch screen. I understand the convertible part, but I don't think that's usually what springs to mind when you mention tablets.
So it looks to me like you're getting a laptop and you're wondering whether to get one with a convertible touch screen or not. I would, if I were you. Windows 7 is not the ideal touch platform, but it's pretty good.

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Laptop or Tablet
by skarrufa / November 17, 2011 2:47 PM PST
In reply to: More details

I cannot see a tablet vs laptop comparison as a real issue. Laptops are real full blown computers. Laptops are no more than glorified smartphones. They are significantly less powerful. You seem to be aware of much of their limitations judging by your tablet requirement list. However, creating Visio, files is out. Reading Microsoft project files is also an problem. Typing is quit annoying although you can get an attached keyboard easily. Printing and scanning is another problem. Not insurmountable but not as easy as a laptop.
I have several laptops, an android tablet and a smartphone. I do all my work on a desktop. The tablet is fun and useful and portable, its battery life is impressive and it boots in seconds. However as a productive tool it is limited.
I think that you should look at the many laptop alternatives that are presently available. Netbooks and ultrabooks and the Google Chromebook in particular. These are true computers and productivity tools and they have the advantage of portability and long battery life. My wife has a netbook and was very impressed with my Android tablet when I first bought it. Now she has seen the limitations, she has upgraided to a better smartphone for her social connections and stuck to her netbook. Hope this helps

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CES 2012
by ewern / December 5, 2011 12:13 AM PST
In reply to: More details

The quad core Asus Prime tablet is being released middle this month. It is a forerunner of what is to come. While this model is Android based, you need to check out CES 2012 coverage next month.. I'm sure there will be some ultra-portables with convertible screens, and some with both Windows 7 and Android support. Get one of those, and upgrade to Windows 8 when that is released (late 2012?): Here is link to Windows 8 running on quadcore chips that Prime uses:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSFdgwZZVOE

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Well,
by porsche10x / November 11, 2011 1:03 PM PST

Regarding:

"...I wish I could get one of each for a few weeks, decide which I like best and send back the rest, but life doesn't work that way..."

Um, actually, it does.

Heck, you could even just buy them all and sell the ones you don't want on Ebay. Compared to compensating an expert with a reasonable fee, it might not be a bad deal.

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