Other Pros and Cons of Tablets and Laptops

yinkin

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My wife wants a tablet/small laptop for christmas, but having no real experience of the tablet computing or similar small machines I want to know what other feel about the various options. My wife wants to surf the net, watch tv and films off bbc iplayer and love film, she also has course work to do with quite a bit of image manipulation, photos and such like. She also want to do facebook and other social stuff. She doesnt need a phone and wants wifi access and not 3g. She would probably find a proper keyboard useful and ease of use, stability is important as she is not especially tech savvy. Being able to easily move stuff between her new device and the existing laptop would be great, a micro sd card slot is probably essential as it makes transferring photos easy with our digital camera.

Ipads and ipad minis seem expensive for their specs, but seem to have the ease of use thing down pat.

Android seems pretty ubiquitous, but people suggest it is not as easy to use or user friendly as IOS.

A small touchscreen laptop with windows 8 is another possibility, I know ordinary pc users seem to hate windows 8, but with a touchscreen it seems okayish.

Currently I have in mind the following devices,

Vivobook s200e, touchscreen laptop

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 ( the stylus on this seems very useful)

Ipad mini (small form factor aids portability)

So any thoughts from the assembled masses?
 

Plaxinator

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I have an iPad and a laptop. If she's into image manipulation then I'd go the laptop route. Friend has tried to do graphics on his iPad and says it's extremely difficult.

I was going to get a Samsung Note tablet but as I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone so fancied a change. For iPlayer, Internet, FB etc then pretty much any tablet does that. With regards to Facebook though if she plays games through it she's better off getting a laptop. I know the iPad doesn't have inbuilt flash that many of the FB games use. Don't know if this is the same for Android devices.
 

yinkin

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To be clear she isnt doing anything especially fancy with the image stuff, but playing around with photos and doing a bit of drawing, I would guess that the ipad was not meant for this kind of work. The Galaxy Note seems to be built around student type stuff with its built in stylus and I believe photoshop thrown in. My wife is not really interested in playing games on the computer so that is not an issue.

How easy is it to move stuff between the IPad and say a normal pc, stuff like word processing files and stuff?
 
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ColSonders

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My wife has a Windows Surface tablet and it integrates with her existing Windows laptop very well.

It has a detachable physical keyboard and the screen resolution is top notch.

Being Windows it runs slow as hell, as every device on the planet does with that OS, but if you're used to it then you probably won't even realise it's slow.

It's actually the full Windows 8 operating system that's on there so you can have full blown versions of every app you want.

One of the huge advantages over something like an iPad is that it has a USB port so you can easily use a USB drive with it for additional storage or transferring files.

Personally I would rather just stick with my macbook, it's far superior than anything i've seen tablets do, but if I was going to buy a tablet i'd go with an iPad purely for integration with my existing device, ease of integration is hugely important for me.
 

DrewePeacock

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iOS is very user friendly imho, so personally I would go with an iPad mini. Giv uses hers all of the time. The only issue that I can see for you is the lack of a USB port as @ColSonders says.

We've got a couple of Samsung Galaxy Notes at work. They are good, but I find the OS and navigation to be a pain. I find myself looking through all of the options trying to find what I want. On the other hand, it is easy to transfer files between that and a PC.
 

Martok

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I'm an Android user and have a Nexus 7 which I much prefer over an iPad (which I have through work). I don't think the Android OS is any more difficult to use than iOS, in fact at times I've found it easier because there are several virtual buttons to use in Android OS compared to the one main button in iOS. I do like using my Nexus 7, it's very convenient for browsing the Internet, checking Facebook and doing some other things whilst watching the TV and far more comfortable than sitting there with a laptop on my knee all evening. However there are some things that I may want to do that the tablet either isn't good enough for or just isn't as easy to do on, at which point I will revert to my laptop. I'd say that generally though my laptop is used for work and stuff during the day and is switched off in the evening in favour of the Nexus 7.

The route you go will very much depend on what your wife wants to use it for. You mentioned LOVEFiLM - if she wants to watch stuff on that on a tablet then you can rule out all Android tablets apart from the Kindle Fire HD. LOVEFiLM is owned by Amazon and they have deliberately not released a LOVEFiLM app on Android apart from on their own device. Typical. It's also available on the iPad though so those would be your choices for using that. Personally I wouldn't go for a Kindle Fire HD at all because the interface has been crippled to make it look prettier and the other main disadvantage is you are tied to the Amazon App Store rather than the Google Play Store that all other Android tablets used. The Amazon App Store doesn't have anywhere near the range of apps that the Google Play Store has, plus it can lag behind in versions of those that are on both.

Depending on the exact nature of her coursework and digital image manipulation will also determine on whether or not a tablet is suitable. If she is doing anything more than just basic image manipulation then really she'll need a laptop. If she is doing a lot of typing then it's either a laptop or at least a separate keyboard for the tablet. The other thing to think about is what format the coursework files need to be in (presumably she will also work at them in college or wherever else she may do them plus her tutors will need to view them?). If it's typical MS Office format then it'll probably be better to get a Windows laptop than a tablet and have to faff around with compatibility.

If you do then decide that Windows is the route to go then as Col says, there is the Windows Surface tablets to consider. Personally I'd only be going down the Windows tablet route if I was looking at Surface Pro, which uses the full Windows 8 OS. Surface (i.e. not Pro) uses Windows RT OS and you can only run apps from the Windows store, not full Windows programs. The question then is, if you are going to go Windows Pro, do you really want the tablet format or should you just get a standard laptop instead which could work out cheaper.

Sorry there isn't a straightforward answer to this. I think your wife needs to prioritise what is most important for her on this new device - what she *must have*, what is desirable but not essential and what isn't really important and from that you can decide (and we'll be happy to help) exactly what is the best choice for her.
 

Wilks

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I've gone the tablet route recently. I own a Nexus 7 and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Tablets can be awkward for some tasks but until my PC died, I was only switching it on once a week so it did not justify replacing. It's all down to personal use.
 

yinkin

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I think I need to narrow down what functions are most important to my wife and go from there, there is not going to be a solution that does it all without breaking the budget.
 

Jkrohn1

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I'm also a Nexus 7 user but if she's looking at image editing and stuff a cheap laptop is probably a better idea.

Tablets are good as they are instantly on but I can't see any tablet as a replacement for a pc/laptop.

I wouldn't get a apple pad as I find them very restricted, never looked back after switching to Android.
 
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