Discussion in 'Technologics' started by walTer, Sep 6, 2012.
This is an interesting sample.
I feel like once you move past the iPad, you are less specific about branding. When people ask me what kind of tablet I have, I say it's "an Android tablet.". Only if they ask further do I say what specific model it is.
I feel like once you move past the iPad, you are less likely to encounter users who are so vapid they feel they have to tweet about their new toy.
I feel like once you move past the iPad, you are less likely to encounter users who are so vapid they feel they have to tweet.
Oh, you guys.
I feel like once you move past the iPad, you encounter a slew of slow crappy devices that people can't figure out how to use.
I can get a 32 GB iPad for $40 off right now, making the Apple premium $60 for an extra 16 GB instead of $100. That makes it somewhat more palatable.
And to be fair, there are plenty of other good, fast tablets out there now in among the nigh endless sea of cheap Android clones. Oddly enough, the closer you get to Apple quality/build, the closer you get to Apple pricing, too.
And the Nexus 10 continues to be a mythical beast in Canada, like the Yeti or unicorn, which is why I will be getting an iPad. Sorry, Google! Get your production chain sorted out and we'll talk again in a few years. (If I decide I also need a 7" tablet -- and I'm weird enough that I might -- it would probably still be a Nexus 7. I don't mind and actually kind of enjoy dipping both into iOS and Android.)
I wouldn't describe the Nexus 7 or 10 as "close to Apple pricing" unless the cutoff for "close" is "over half."
He's in Canada, who knows how many quatloos Nexusii go for!
The Nexus tablets are notable exceptions, although downward pressure on tablet pricing is starting to happen across the board. Eventually this will put Apple back into its usual perceived place of demanding a premium over competing products (when the original iPad debuted at $500 most were surprised that it was that low).
On the other hand, I've seen iPads go on sale three times in the past month, something that would have been unthinkable two years ago when Apple owned the market.
And for reference, a Nexus 7 32GB here is $270 Canadian moosebucks. The Nexus 10 is listed on Google's site as being $409/509 moosebucks for 16/32GB.
Fair enough. I pretty much consider other Android tablets to be various shades of crap (though I haven't used the Asus Transformer line that mkozlows is so enthusiastic about), so you can take most of my statements about tablet computing to be more Nexus-vs-iPad than Android-vs-iOS.
Not sure the three being compared with the iPad up there qualify as slow or crappy, though. Agreed otherwise.
Some of the high end Android devices like the Transformer Prime are really good, but as Ned says, we're talking Apple pricing and then if it's worth that much, depends on what you prefer.
The Nexii are significantly cheaper, but apparently they can't meet demands outside he US.
(Here the Nexus 7 is priced closer to the iPad Mini, and I haven't seen the 10 yet)
I am typing from the future! Or rather from my new iPad.
I have a strong urge to attach a physical keyboard to this thing. Seems fairly spiffy otherwise.
Just to clarify that: With the Nexus 10 existing, there is no reason for anyone to buy a Transformer.
Do it! I'm typing this right now on a Zagg Flex keyboard. The keyboard itself is... well, it's kinda cheap feeling, really. But it works well, it charges up with a regular uUSB, and the case it comes with is an excellent tablet stand. Reviewers generally say that the Logitech keyboard is a better keyboard, but the Zagg comes with a better tablet stand/keyboard case.
I've been using both a tablet case that folds into a stand, and the free-standing tablet stand, and so have some thoughts about both. Basically, the tablet case works better as a laptop thing (though not as well as a true convertible), but the free-standing tablet stand works better in general, because it makes it easier to use the tablet as a tablet -- you don't need to keep snapping it in and out of a case, or putting up with the bulk and weight of a case.
Is this the Zagg you're using? The other two I've looked at are this one from Logitech, which seems roughly similar to the Zagg and the Ultrathin, which costs more but also doubles as a cover for the tablet itself (warning: may link to scary Canadian pricing).
I have this one from Logitech/Zagg:
and it's very good. I'll be getting the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard shortly and will report back.
Yep. The decision to go with that vs. an integrated cover one was easy for me, as nobody makes an integrated cover one for the N10. My sense, after using this disconnected keyboard and using the Transformer's integrated dock, is that a more connected keyboard would be superior for laptop usage, whereas the separate thing is better for a mixed tablet/desktop type model. The Transformer got used as a laptop a lot; the N10 gets used as a tablet all the time, and then used as a quasi-desktop whenever I want to engage in typing binges.
The whole tablet + keyboard thing is a thing where I think the ideal solution isn't maybe known yet; whatever other criticisms of Win8 you might have, the part where it's encouraging this massive experimentation in tablet+keyboard form factors is definitely a good outcome.
That's the one I have, and it's excellent. Note the big difference between this one and the cover version: the Tablet Keyboard is substantially wider and closer to normal keyboard form factor. The iPad is rather tiny compared to a normal keyboard, so the cover version must compromise. I strongly recommend finding them in a store and trying the various sizes for yourself.
Good point on the size of the keyboard. I've not seen any local stores set up to let you try before you buy but most don't have a problem with returns, so I shouldn't be stuck if I get one I end up not liking.
If I do get a keyboard that doesn't double as a cover, I'd like a cover and I see there are approximately one billion to choose from. Ay caramba.
I ended up getting the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard. While the keys are a bit smaller than expected, the keyboard works perfectly fine (it probably helps that I have smaller hands and not giant ham hocks) and as a case it's a perfect match for the iPad. I now have a pseudo-laptop to be semi-productive with.
So don't semi-impulse by a new iPad through the store app on your phone and then rush over to pick it up. Turns out is could take 30 minutes to an hour for the damn thing to process. Fuck me.
So how do you take pictures with a Nexus 7? It has a camera (I think) but I can't find any camera apps.
Use an app that uses the camera. Evernote works great.
It has a user-facing camera, intended for skyping and the like. The normal android camera app does exist, it's just hidden. But you can find a launcher for it on the play store. I don't know what search terms to suggest, as it's just called 'camera' in my apps list.
Oh hey, Evernote has a snapshot function! Thanks.
The store has a million camera apps but none that looks official. Weird usability gaffe, this should come built in.
No, it's an unofficial app that does nothing but launch the hidden official one.
To digress briefly about keyboards: I got the Zagg Flex keyboard/stand, and it's good for travel purposes, and the stand is great in general. And so I've been using my tablet + keyboard set up on the kitchen counter/bar thing as basically a desktop.
And so it occurred to me that if I'm using it as a desktop, I don't need to use a super-light, super-small travel keyboard. After reading some keyboard reviews, I bought a Logitech K810 keyboard.
It's nearly full-sized, and has great key feel and travel -- my "normal" keyboard is a ThinkPad laptop, and this feels different from that, but not worse. It's backlit, it has a good key layout (it works with Windows, iOS, and Android; it has a home key, Win key, volume buttons, and play/pause -- but not track skip), and the best feature of all: It has keys to switch between three different devices. So I've paired it up with both my tablets and my phone, and now if I'm using any one of them and want to type something, I can just wander over, set it down on the stand, and start typing.
It's not cheap, but it's not out of line with good PC-only keyboard/mice combos I bought back in the day. Recommended, if it's the sort of thing you're looking for.
I've found my Logitech keyboard/case works very well for what it is (and it's stylish, to boot) but it's a bit too small for extended typing. That hasn't been an issue yet and I suspect if I need to type that much on a portable machine I'll just get an actual laptop eventually.
I am feeling the itch to get a 7" tablet for reading on transit, though. It seems like the perfect size and I can play dumb games or listen to music if I decide not to read.
I can't do any lengthy (i.e. longer than a long-ish forum post or email) on anything less than my TOTALLY AMAZING OH GOD BEST $40 EVER SPENT Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 without my hands getting seriously pissed at me. Getting old is dumb.
I bought two Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keybards 4000s just so that I'd have one in reserve in case Microsoft ever stops making them.
Your enthusiastic recommendation put me over the top in buying this one in the first place, and I am very grateful :)
Last year a bought a 5-pack of Microsoft Natural Elite keyboards (the oldskool ones with arrow keys arranged into a +) because they have stopped making them and it's my favorite keyboard in the whole world. Now they'll have to last me until the usb interface, keyboards or my hands go away.
One of the things that's periodically weird to me is that news organizations and such will still talk about how "PCs" are dying off and "tablets" are taking over, as if tablets were anything other than just another form factor of PCs. It's like talking about how the fruit market is in decline because everyone is buying oranges now.
Anyway, that comes to mind particularly because I was just reading the Ars review of the Acer W700. It's basically an ultrabook -- Core i5 Win8 machine with an 11.6" 1080p touchscreen and SSD, weighing in at 2.1lbs -- except that it has no keyboard, not even a dockable keyboard, and is actually a pure tablet.
How people can look at devices like this and still imagine that there are separate "tablet" and "PC" markets (as opposed to "tablet" and "laptop" form factors that have a considerable amount of overlap) is entirely beyond me.
Also, if you want to know why people are buying tablets and not laptops these days, consider this: A 2.1lb device with a 1080p touchscreen and six hours of battery life are excellent specs for an ultrabook; but for tablets, where 1.5lbs, 2560x1600, and 8-10 hours are more the norm, they're pretty bad. And yes, the ultrabook is faster, but for many people and many uses, the tablets are plenty fast enough. And of course, Moore's Law means that in a few years, this level of performance will be available in a smaller, lighter, cooler tablet.
General-purpose computing devices don't have to be fast, is the thing -- just fast enough for the tasks they're commonly employed for. Tablets today are fast enough to push 30fps video over their ridiculous resolutions, and I don't see a huge power increase being nearly as useful to that segment as better power usage and the lower heat generation that comes along with that, which is mostly where the development is going: moderate speed increases, yes, but much more focus on power usage and cost.
Tablets are plenty fast enough as is. I was surprised how fast my galaxy note 10.1 is. It's actually quicker loading things than my crusty old desktop and it seems to run 3d games at it's native resolution at a decent frame rate.
I think when they say "PCs" they mean windows. At this point switching over to android is really easy for the average user, there's really nothing tying them to windows. The only people who can't switch over are gamers and business. Two market segments Microsoft seems to be ignoring.
...As we spend our millions developing the next gen xbox and also business software and cloud computing. =)
Yeah, I don't think anyone could accuse Microsoft of ignoring businesses. They're an enterprise software company, like SAP or Oracle.
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