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Looking into new tablet IPad type device and need opinions and advice on what to look for and what is available now.

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2016-02-11
I currently use a IPhone and love it but I am not in love with Apple and I am open to any type of tablet type of computer that is on the market.

My main use is going to be using it to browse websites, the Iphone is great but faster hardware and a bigger screen will be very useful for me. And using something similar to GOTOMYPC to access my business computer while traveling. I wouldalso like the ability to open, store, and read office documents.

Some of the features I need are....
The ability to quickly turn it on, like the Iphone.
A way to store files on the device although this is not a show stopper
Good battery life, I think the IPad 2 can last up to 10 hrs
3G or 4G wireless internet, not sure if you can get any in 4G but would be nice. Since i need to use it for remote access faster is better.
Ability to use a add on mouse and keyboard is a plus but I am fine with the IPad touch screen

My main reason for getting something like this is for a business that I travel every now and then and the ability to surf bigger and faster than the Iphone and be able to access my home PC would be very useful for me.

Thanks for any info, advice, and tips you all can give me.
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Question by:REIUSA
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aleghart earned 167 total points
ID: 35029917
I returned my iPad.  It is not a business machine...in only a few ways can it replace a traditional laptop or tablet.  (Yes, tablets existed before Apple.)

I used the best RDP client out there, IIRC it was just under $20 for the two-part purchase (one App store, the second part in-app).  The touch interface of the iPad makes it near-impossible to perform basic functions and maintenance on a normal desktop via remote control.

I couldn't plug in a mouse to overcome the fat-finger issues, nor was a normal keyboard an option.  Typing passwords that are mostly muscle memory are problematic.  Security is a joke, as bystanders watch each character show up on-screen as you type.  This is Apple's acknowledgment that it's touch interface is a poor replacement for a keyboard.  But it sacrifices security 100%.  That makes it a no-go for remote control.  You'd be typing your network credentials for all to see...and unlike a laptop keyboard, you have no screen to hide your fingers.

Keyboard input has a built-in pause.  Which means fast typing will overwrite previous characters.  Try to type your password "password" quickly, and you end up with "pssod".  Apple does not allow replacement of their keyboard interface with something like Swype, which overcomes the deliberate keytouch pause.

Don't get me wrong...it was a fun toy for a week.  I watched Netflix videos, played games, checked Facebook.  The Apple FB app is not up to snuff, but that's not Apple's fault.  Surfing many web sites while lacking Flash was not as problematic as I thought.  But you need to take a good look at your surfing habits and give them a good test before hitting the road.

I couldn't do things like answer questions here at EE.  No way to handle multiple windows and capture screen shots.  I'm sure there's an app for that...but you get tired of spending money for tools you already have on a computer.

A computer, by the way, which is required for using the iPad or iPhone.  They're not standalone devices.  I own a tablet with a stylus...it _is_ a computer.  It doesn't rely on one to function.

I was very unimpressed with it as a business tool.  Definiitely more geared for personal entertainment.  Not household entertainment.  They only handle one single user profile...so your wife picks it up and gets your email and your Facebook accounts.  No way to make profiles for guests (not to be polite, but to protect your privacy).  No was to make safer profiles for your kids.  It's a personal entertainment item only.

I gave it a go.  Even used it at my desk, since it was a company gift.  My boss was convinced it was going to be the perfect work tool for everyone.  It isn't.

Particularly disappointing was that I could only play movies from Netflix online, or had to rip movies off DVD.  That's a different workflow when you've got shelves of DVDs and a 3-year-old who has no problems loading them into a Mac and navigating the menus.

If it's for entertainment...go for it.  If you're the boss and you're expensing it as a "business tool"...well, you're the boss...go for it.   If you're a regular line employee, consider getting one for your IT department, so they won't rat you out for buying a toy.  If they have one too, they can make use of it.  There are some monitoring apps coming out, Spiceworks, etc.  Useful, but not enough to justify buying an iPad just to use them.

Presentations...I hear the iPad 2 is trying to be more friendly to getting user content onto a big screen.  I see some usefulness there, but mostly gimmicky.  You still need a computer to create the content.  If all you do is present, and have an art department to do all the dirty work, then gimmicky is OK.  They do look sleek and tiny.  Like the gold-plated cell phones that top sales reps got to carry around.  It was part of the character played in the sales pitch.
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by:nappy_d
nappy_d earned 167 total points
ID: 35031540
Take a look at this discussion thread started on the same topic.

http://mobile.experts-exchange.com/Q_26843064.html?rlStart=41&ssid=21054&rlSort=-1&rlOrderBy=3
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Assisted Solution

by:RobMobility
RobMobility earned 166 total points
ID: 35034921
Hi,

Given what you are trying to do, you might find waiting a bit for an Android 3 Tablet might be prudent:

1. A number of Android to PC apps are available - GotoMyPC, LogMeIn, Teamviewer etc.
2. Office documents - a number of office applications are available
3. Battery life - pay for a premium tablet to get best performance/battery life (somethink like a Tegra 2)

The alternative is to wait for the BlackBerry PlayBook - this is scheduled to appear in April (around 10th) and has a 4G option with Verizon Wireless? The PlayBook is designed for busines rather than consumers.

Not sure about remote access to home PC at this stage though for the PlayBook but it's likely to come soon!

Another option is a Windows 7 tablet device running something like an Atom? Battery life is likely to be far less than the 10 hours you're looking at but your Windows apps are likely to work - something lile a TegaTech lasts for 5 hours, for example.

Regards,


RobMobility.

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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 35035269
Some additional options are:
-Motorola Xoom running Goole's Honeycomb
-The Dell Duo http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/products/landing/en/inspiron?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs
-HP SmartTouch http://www.hp.com/united-states/campaigns/touchsmart/alt/touchsmart-tm2.html

But as discussed in the thread I posted above, give it a few months, there will be quite a few options in the market place that will have real world reviews
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Author Comment

by:REIUSA
ID: 35035888
Great thanks for the info guys. I will make sure to check out the other thread too. 4G sounds very interesting.

After thinking about it as long as I have a good connection to my home PC I probably won't have a big need to write to office documents although it would still be a good option.

I like having entertainment value but to justify the purchase (to myself) the primary use has to be for business, everything after that is a plus.

With the IPad 2 and other good options coming out I will probably wait  at least until the end of spring or summer and see what is out there.

I noticed a lot of the wireless companies offer cheaper plans for 2 GB or so of data transfer. Does anyone know how much bandwidth the remote PC apps would use? Chances are I would only be remotely connected a few hours a week plus average surfing, probably not a lot of online video and stuff and some companies like verizon have the hotspot so that may help reduce 3G/4G bandwidth.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 35035920
Remote PC apps badnwidth are based on the colour depth being transmitted.  The higher the colour, the more bandwidth is required.  Also, if you wanted to stream audio(if supported), you also require and use additional bandwidth.
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Author Comment

by:REIUSA
ID: 35035958
The convertible tabs look really cool too, I'm sure it adds some bulk though.

One thing I wonder though, as Apple has proven the apps is what makes the device, no apps no success. So with the Windows 7 tabs is there a market for apps designed specifically for a tab type computer?

Being able to use Windows apps is definitely good but IMO there needs to be very specific apps made for a mobile computer or phone.
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by:aleghart
ID: 35038411
Remote Desktop consumes very little bandwidth.  If you push the color depth to 15-bit, it faster.  Go to 8-bit and turn off background images and sound, and you can do it over a 56k dial-up connection.

Things like Netflix and YouTube are going to consume the bulk of your bandwidth.  Depends on resolution and compression levels.  Some of the Netflix streams are between 3000-4000kbps, which would (@3400kbps) = 425KB/sec = 25MB/min = 1.5GB per hour.

Doubt you'd get that connection speed through a cellular carrier today, but it's possible with the expansions in service and newer 4G, etc.

Even at "low-res" of 500kbps, that's still 219MB/hr.
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Author Comment

by:REIUSA
ID: 35078941
Thanks for the info everyone, I can see this will take a while to research and make sure which direction I want to go.

Does anyone know if there are apps specific to Windows 7 on a tab? Something comparable to the App store in Itunes or the Android market place.
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Author Closing Comment

by:REIUSA
ID: 35421606
Thanks for the info guys, each comment was helpful so dividing up the points.
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