Other Resources My Cup of Joe » Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused.... Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, the bear, DerekL, alicefoeller Reply
2013-11-27 9:38 PM

New user
136
10025
Subject: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
I'm looking at getting tablet, e-reader, something for the family & I. Where can I learn & compare the difference between the devices?

We have Android based phones, so I'm not thinking about going to the iPad just yet.

I'm looking for a device that will be able to do it all from downloading & reading e-books, working on Excel spreadsheets to entertainment and everything in between. What do I look for, stay away from, etc?

Thank you in advance for your help!


2013-11-28 10:38 AM
in reply to: moogley

User image

Champion
5312
5000100100100
Calgary
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Originally posted by moogley

I'm looking at getting tablet, e-reader, something for the family & I. Where can I learn & compare the difference between the devices?

We have Android based phones, so I'm not thinking about going to the iPad just yet.

I'm looking for a device that will be able to do it all from downloading & reading e-books, working on Excel spreadsheets to entertainment and everything in between. What do I look for, stay away from, etc?

Thank you in advance for your help!


These things are a dime a dozen it seems. Go to the store and look at them and play with them. My wife has an iPad, I have a small Galaxy Tab. We just use them to surf the web, look at recipes. They all seem the same to me, but then again I am not working on excel spreadsheets.
2013-11-28 11:08 AM
in reply to: BigDH

User image

Extreme Veteran
671
5001002525
Not Quite DFL
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Not sure what your price point is, but I agree with the above poster. Consider the Kindle Fire as well. Best bet may be to go to google, do a search, check the "compare" button. Or - go to Amazon and see what comes up.
2013-11-28 1:12 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Master
2406
2000100100100100
Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

Disclosure: I work at Microsoft, actually on the Internet Explorer team.  I have lots and lots of tablets.  iPads, iPad minis, Nexus 7s, Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Microsoft Surface tablets - you name it, I have now or in the past owned it.  My family loves it when I get another tablet to research and then hand them out when I'm done with them. 

As an e-reader, my wife loves her Kindle Paperwhite.  It's just about perfect for her.  Kindle software runs on everything (Kindle hardware, iPads, Android tablets, Surface tablets, even regular Macs and Windows PCs).  So everything's a reader now, at least if you're in the Amazon world.

If you want to work on Excel spreadsheets, then you should consider "the real thing" with a Microsoft Surface tablet.  There are three versions available. The first is the year-old original Surface RT which doesn't run legacy Windows apps (like say iTunes or Photoshop) but runs real Office 2013 including Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.  It's a bit slow but because it's now a year old you can get them for $200.  There is also the brand new Surface 2 which has a higher res screen and is much faster but not so cheap.  There is also the Surface Pro 2 which is much more expensive and is a full PC in the sense it can run all old Windws apps.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/html/pbPage.CATS/categoryID.66734700?icid=USGlobalNav_TopTab_1_Surface_092413

They don't include the keyboard cover.  There are a few versions of those available.

If you want to be able to do it all, then consider a Surface.  Here's a review one of many: http://www.mensfitness.com/gear/reviews/review-microsoft-surface-2

My 20 year old daughter in college has a Asus S7 laptop, an iPhone 5S, and recently I gave her a Surface 2.  She loves it for all sorts of things including note taking in classes. 

The iPad has lots of apps available for it, but not real Microsoft Office.  You can do some things with the iWork apps like Numbers, but it's not the same thing as Excel by far. 



Edited by brucemorgan 2013-11-28 1:17 PM
2013-11-28 6:16 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Champion
16151
50005000500010001002525
Checkin' out the podium girls
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
I have an iPad2 and am replying in it now. It's a nice "toy" but the inability to attach, post or create real files with real directories frustrates me to no end. For example, I can't create a PDF and store it on my network drive; something very simple in other OS environments.

I wouldn't have the iPad if it weren't bought by my previous employer who let me keep,it when I left.
2013-11-28 8:12 PM
in reply to: pitt83

User image

Master
2406
2000100100100100
Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

Originally posted by pitt83 I have an iPad2 and am replying in it now. It's a nice "toy" but the inability to attach, post or create real files with real directories frustrates me to no end. For example, I can't create a PDF and store it on my network drive; something very simple in other OS environments.

Not a problem with a Surface.

On a Surface or Surface 2, Word 2013 can easily save Word docs or other docs as PDF or XPS or any number of formats. You have both a lightweight mail program (works better with touch) or full Outlook 2013 (works OK with touch) if you want it.  So attachments are easy, and you have great Exchange support, works with POP and IMAP mail so various corporate, school, Hotmail, GMail, AOL, Yahoo mails all work.  And there are multiple PDF readers include Adobe's Reader Touch which works pretty well.

This is a regular user who bought one.  "Why I Love my Microsoft Surface 2: Tips and Tricks" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG1b0yBJHLM

He has several others.  Not a shill for MS just a happy user.

 



2013-11-29 5:57 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Master
2504
2000500
Southwest Iowa
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

I am leaning towards a Surface.  I need USB connections, and I am looking for something with a card reader, so I can take my pictures with a real camera and move them to a tablet.

2013-11-29 10:19 AM
in reply to: moogley

New user
136
10025
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Thank you for all of your help!!! I had not considered the Surface.

At home, I probably won't be doing anything with Excel or other Microsoft programs. But for the Fire Department, I will need one that can run those for a variety of reasons from training to hose inventory.
2013-11-29 1:07 PM
in reply to: moogley

User image


1159
10001002525
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
I ended up just buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - it was an amazon black friday cyber deal - ended up being close to $150 off the original price - can't wait for it to arrive next week so I can play with it

e-reader wise - i've been firmly in the Amazon corner since the Kindle was launched - i bought one in 2008 before deploying - had a DX (which I later sold for lack of use), a K2i and now a PW since then - all 3 of them work - admittedly the original kindle is very slow, but I could use it if I had to
2013-11-29 5:47 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Expert
1456
10001001001001002525
Central New Jersey
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Bruce - enlighten me some more please - I was considering upgrading my Motorola Xoom tablet to a Note 10.1 but hadn't considered the surface - with today's deal's it's almost 100 cheaper - I don't use many apps on my tablet - a few - but most have full functioning websites so I could use that - I LOVE the USB port - usable as a kindle type device for reading too?

Thanks in advance
2013-11-29 7:42 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Master
2406
2000100100100100
Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

Sure I can explain more.   In short, it includes a full functioning browser in IE11 including Flash support, and yes you can download the free Kindle app and run it.

More details: As I said there are three Surface for sale right now out of the four total we've made.  Last year's Surface RT (still available, cheap) and the Surface Pro, and this year's Surface 2 (replaces Surface RT) and Surface Pro 2 (replace Surface Pro). Physically the Surface and the Surface Pro look a lot alike, but internally they are quite different and run different software with different capabilities.  To summarize the differences:

Surface RT & Surface 2

  • ARM compatible processor
  • Runs an ARM-specific version of Windows 8.1; these can run Microsoft Office plus new "modern" Windows Store apps.  You can't run "legacy" Windows apps like ITunes or Photoshop or other 3rd party software like Firefox or Chrome.
  • Includes Office including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.  These are almost, almost the full versions (differences are slight and consumers won't notice what's left out).  These are touch-friendly but work better with the keyboard covers.

Surface Pro & Surface Pro 2

  • x86 compatible processor.
  • Runs full Windows 8.1, so they can run new "modern" Windows Store apps as well as "legacy" Windows apps (iTunes, Photoshop, your line-of-business apps at work, everything, Chrome, Firefox and so on).
  • Heavier, more expensive, less battery life

More here: http://holiday.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/html/pbPage.PDPS/productID.286867200  Really click through and read all that.

Microsoft is still selling (unloading, some would say) the original Surface RT.  It's slower and lower resolution screen than Surface 2.  But it's cheap now.

Windows 8.1 runs a new type of application called officially a Windows Store app (because you get them in a the Windows Store, like Apple's AppStore or Google's Google Play).  These apps are also called "modern" apps (because they're the new type) or Metro apps (because that was their name before Microsoft lost a naming lawsuit). 

Windows 8.1 includes IE11, two versions actually, one that works really well for touch and one that is the same-old same-old desktop version.  They also run a built-in version of Flash, so more websites work than with Android tablets or iPads or Kindles (which run a heavily modified Android).  IE11 is brand new currently has some compat issues but we (I work on IE) are resolving them quickly.  IE11 will run your full-functioning websites quite well, trust me.

So you will ask "so what "modern apps" can I run on these thiings?"  Well, admittedly not as many apps are available as for Android or iPad, but the big ones are covered.  Pandora for music streaming, Kindle for book reading, Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc.  Peruse this link here for ideas of what's available:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/apps?ocid=GA8-1_O_WOL_Hero_Home_Apps_Pos4_01#Cat=t1

You might also ask "Surface 2 is a lot more expensive than the old Surface RT which is cheap now, why not by the old one?"  Well, you could.  It's lower resolution screen, a bit less battery life, and a lot slower processor, but it runs the same apps and with the sales it's a LOT cheaper now.  Like $199 at the Microsoft Store this weekend only (without the keyboard cover), it's a deal: http://holiday.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/html/pbPage.PDPS/productID.286870700?Wt.mc_id=FY13WinHH%3fWT.mc_id%3dsurface_RTM_SurfaceRT

Being the holiday season and all, it's possible you might be able to wait and get a Surface RT for even less but no telling. Microsoft already took a $900 million write-off for unsold inventory from last year.

Kindle app for Windows 8:
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/kindle/1d7e4396-0143-4aed-8892-84eb75e799f3

 A review of Windows 8.1 (IE11 is on page 6)
http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/software/operating-systems/windows-8-1-1161745/review#articleContent

 

 



Edited by brucemorgan 2013-11-29 7:47 PM


2013-11-30 7:45 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Expert
1456
10001001001001002525
Central New Jersey
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Thank you - bought the Surface RT last night - now playing with new toy
2013-11-30 10:20 AM
in reply to: wwlani

User image

Master
2406
2000100100100100
Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

Originally posted by wwlani Thank you - bought the Surface RT last night - now playing with new toy

Cool!

As you are using it may I suggest you leave most settings at the default for a while? One of the problems I see with people using new Windows 8.1 is that they immediately want to set everything so its like Win7, which can negate and confuse what we did well with the new version. This "it's different, change it back!" approach has been common for years, but even more so with Win8. 

Feel free to PM me if you have questions or comments.  (posting from a Surface 2 right now)

2013-12-01 1:34 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Master
1585
1000500252525
Folsom (Sacramento), CA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by wwlani Thank you - bought the Surface RT last night - now playing with new toy

Cool!

As you are using it may I suggest you leave most settings at the default for a while? One of the problems I see with people using new Windows 8.1 is that they immediately want to set everything so its like Win7, which can negate and confuse what we did well with the new version. This "it's different, change it back!" approach has been common for years, but even more so with Win8. 

Feel free to PM me if you have questions or comments.  (posting from a Surface 2 right now)




Since you are on a Surface Pro 2 now, how do you like the stylus on it? I am currently trying to decide between getting a Surface Pro 2 or something like a Galaxy Note 8 and a laptop as well.
2013-12-01 2:23 PM
in reply to: 0

User image

Master
2406
2000100100100100
Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

Originally posted by uclamatt2007
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Originally posted by wwlani Thank you - bought the Surface RT last night - now playing with new toy

Cool!

As you are using it may I suggest you leave most settings at the default for a while? One of the problems I see with people using new Windows 8.1 is that they immediately want to set everything so its like Win7, which can negate and confuse what we did well with the new version. This "it's different, change it back!" approach has been common for years, but even more so with Win8. 

Feel free to PM me if you have questions or comments.  (posting from a Surface 2 right now)

Since you are on a Surface Pro 2 now, how do you like the stylus on it? I am currently trying to decide between getting a Surface Pro 2 or something like a Galaxy Note 8 and a laptop as well.

Actually this weekend I'm using the ARM-based Surface 2, not a Surface Pro 2.   At work I do have one of the Pro 2s that I use as a test machine.

The Pro 2 works really well as "I only want to own and carry one device" type machine.  With a Type cover (the ones with the moveable buttons), it makes a pretty nice laptop for writing email, reading email, etc.  The Touch cover also works but for a lot of typing I prefer the Type cover.  Perhaps it's because I have both so I haven't quite gotten used to the Typec cover.  Anyway, you can take off the cover and use it as a tablet, or fold it back, etc.  As a pure tablet, it's on the heavy side so I wouldn't want to use it in bed as my Kindle device holding it with my arms.  But it's a full powered laptop in every way, so at work you could it as a full fledged mult-monitor workstation, then take it home as a laptop, and watch movies on a plane, and run all your old Windows software, new modern software, etc.  Total jack-of-all trades.

As for the stylus, I can't say because I just don't use it all that much.  I type my notes due to illegible handwriting (pen or stylus).  I lot of people like it.  OneNote works great with it, as does using it as a replacement for the mouse if I don't have a cover with me.

Microsoft is selling a lot of "version 2" accessories, although some won't come until January.  A better Type cover 2, a better Touch cover 2, a Power Cover (with battery to extend life), and a Dock.  http://www.slashgear.com/surface-2-docking-station-touch-2-type-2-and-power-cover-hands-on-23298839/

The laptop-and-a-tablet approach also works, but of course I wouldn't recommend Android devices, not just because I work for Microsoft but because I think a lot of them suck.  Great price-point devices but I think people will be disappointed over time with them, sort of like the original Kindle Fire.  It could have been great, but wasn't. 

Just for fun, I'll tell you what machines I use

  • Work machine is a Dell 420 from about a year back, 2 TB drives, three monitors, one 20" touch, one 22" landscape, one 22" portrait.  This is my main dev box.  This runs pre-release versions of WIndows; I generally upgrade it once a week.
  • My work laptop is a Asus Zenbook 31A with touchscreen.  Nice machine.  I leave this with production shipping Windows for comparison purposes.
  • Test machines include an Surface RT, a Surface Pro 2, and a few others laying about.  These get clean installed with daily builds of Windows all the time.
  • I've also borrowed a bunch of Android tablets and used them for weeks at a time.  The Nexus 7 is pretty nice, the Samsungs I'm not thrilled with.  The browsers suck. Google needs to up their game on touch support.  IE kicks butt on that.
  • At home, my main desktop is a dual-monitor 3 year old Dell.  I run production Windows on this so I can see what end-users see.
  • And my tablets include an original Kindle Fire (which I use to read on my treadmill, if I drop it, that's OK), a Kindle Fire HD from last year (my main reader).
  • Family machines:
    • Last week my stepson got my a year-old Surface RT machine.  So far so good for him.
    • My wife uses my iPad Mini, loves it, won't give it back.  She's been traveling a lot with it and loves it for that. My wife also has a Kindle Paperwhite as her reader, and she has a 4 year old Asus 11" laptop running Windows 7.  She refuses to let me upgrade it.  SIgh.
    • I gave my daughter iPad last spring, it's about a year old model now. She's all Apple all the time. Boo! Kids what can you do.
    • Another daughter uses my Kindle Touch as her reader.  It's a few years old now.
    • This girl also has an Acer S7 laptop (the white glass one).  Great machine.
    • And my youngest has a Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch.
    • My phone these days is a HTC 8x windows phone.  I work with the phone team (IE shared codebase).  My wife just bought yesterday a Lumia 1020 and loves it, big upgrade from her 2 year old phone.  Everyone was telling her how feeble that thing was, time to upgrade!
    • My kids all use an iPhone 5. 

And of course I have a box full of old phones.  I often give them away or perma-loan them, like my old Lumia 900.

I'm a big gadget lover, so when tablets and phones starting coming out and Microsoft pays for most of them, I'm a happy man.



Edited by brucemorgan 2013-12-01 2:34 PM
2013-12-02 5:17 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Expert
3126
2000100010025
Boise, ID
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

 

Just to throw out my shopping experience. My wife and I have iPhones so the obvious choice was an iPad. However I couldn't bring myself to spend the money they ask for the limited memory space they provide. If you want 64+gbs you are going to pay dearly for it.

My wife's primary purpose for a tablet was downloading photos off her camera and possibly light editing, so I wanted the best screen I could get for a decent price.

As far as features go I really liked the 10" Asus, it has a detachable keyboard, runs on Android, you can put a micro SD card in the keyboard that expands memory a ton, HDMI out, etc, etc. However by the time I had all the options I wanted on it I was looking at about $600. That was a bit too much for me to spend on a first tablet. As many say it sounds like an awesome device that you can imagine so many uses for, but once you have one you may not use it a lot. So I wanted something cheap as a trial run and we could always get a better one later.

So the Google Nexus it was. Made by Asus whom I have had nothing but excellent results from, screen is as good or better than the iPad mini, not a lot of memory so that was the main compromise. Great price at $220 out the door. 

As feared I really only use the thing for meetings and road trips. Nice to have on a trip using the phone as a hotspot, nice to take notes on and pull up emails when in a meeting. So I use it maybe twice a month or so. My wife will use it to surf the net in the bedroom or living room, but it sits collecting dust a decent amount of the time.

So in the end I am very happy with the product and given the amount we use it I am very glad we went with the $200 range rather than going big on the $600 tablet. 



2013-12-03 1:00 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

Extreme Veteran
745
50010010025
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Microsoft is selling a lot of "version 2" accessories, although some won't come until January.  A better Type cover 2, a better Touch cover 2, a Power Cover (with battery to extend life), and a Dock.  http://www.slashgear.com/surface-2-docking-station-touch-2-type-2-and-power-cover-hands-on-23298839/

The laptop-and-a-tablet approach also works, but of course I wouldn't recommend Android devices, not just because I work for Microsoft but because I think a lot of them suck. 



What are your thoughts on the Dell Venue tablets? I like the form factor and would use it as a replacement for my laptop mostly for use on the train commuting and working at home (with a docking station and a full size keyboard, hopefully) How about the horsepower for compiling with Android Studio or Visual Studio?

I like my iPad and Nexus 7, but they are toys or accessories that I use here and there for entertainment. They are very handy but not a tool or a laptop replacement.
2013-12-03 2:22 PM
in reply to: bwingate

User image

Master
2406
2000100100100100
Bellevue, WA
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....

Originally posted by bwingate
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Microsoft is selling a lot of "version 2" accessories, although some won't come until January.  A better Type cover 2, a better Touch cover 2, a Power Cover (with battery to extend life), and a Dock.  http://www.slashgear.com/surface-2-docking-station-touch-2-type-2-and-power-cover-hands-on-23298839/

The laptop-and-a-tablet approach also works, but of course I wouldn't recommend Android devices, not just because I work for Microsoft but because I think a lot of them suck. 

What are your thoughts on the Dell Venue tablets? I like the form factor and would use it as a replacement for my laptop mostly for use on the train commuting and working at home (with a docking station and a full size keyboard, hopefully) How about the horsepower for compiling with Android Studio or Visual Studio? I like my iPad and Nexus 7, but they are toys or accessories that I use here and there for entertainment. They are very handy but not a tool or a laptop replacement.

http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/dell-venue-8-pro/pd

It's a BayTrail device (the Atom series) with 2G RAM and an 8" screen with 1280 x 800 resolution and no external display port.  I like a lot of screen real estate for dev work, so working on an 8" screen at 1280 x 800 would be very restrictive for me.  But as a tablet, that screen is quite nice.

A lot of people say this is a really great tablet.  A lot of fellow employees own the personally; I've used one a bit (like an hour) and thought it was pretty nice.

2013-12-09 8:24 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

User image

Expert
1456
10001001001001002525
Central New Jersey
Subject: RE: Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused....
Because credit must be given when credit is due - I would like to publically say that my experience tonight at the Microsoft Store goes above and beyond ANY expectations I had! I purchased a Surface (RT) on Black Friday. All well and good - liking it very much (thank you Bruce) took it to Clear-Coat to get nice protective coating put on it...they ordered the wrong one (Surface 2) put it on Friday, asked me to come back today to get the correct 1 put on. When the very nice young lady working there peeled off their (due no damage) cover...Houston, we have a problem, some of the black enamel (?) peeled right up with it. She was mortified. I had to go get my son from school - she said come back I'll see what I can do. She went to the Microsoft Store who promptly told her not to worry - they would replace the unit (heck it's only 10 days old). I went down there when I got back, sorry Ma'am, we don't have any 1's in stock we'll try and located and call you (sure) so I jokingly said you could upgrade me to a 2. And they DID! No questions asked. How is THAT for customer service? They made sure it was all set up and working before I left too.

I for one and a VERY happy customer!
New Thread
Other Resources My Cup of Joe » Tablets, e-readers, think pads, so confused.... Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

e-reader program for tablet?

Started by r1237h
Views: 613 Posts: 10

2012-01-09 7:14 AM Buckshot

tablet vs. e reader

Started by BigDH
Views: 1216 Posts: 17

2011-12-01 4:11 PM runswMoose

For the readers...

Started by possum
Views: 487 Posts: 1

2008-06-11 5:23 PM possum

In Your RSS Reader

Started by Tri-FatBoy
Views: 598 Posts: 2

2008-01-09 9:32 AM pinktrigal

Great Reader Letter in Triathlete Magazine

Started by MelissaE
Views: 555 Posts: 9

2007-09-28 12:29 PM schmize
RELATED ARTICLES
date : July 23, 2012
author : AMSSM
comments : 3
Does wearing minimalist shoes put more stress on the ankles, shins and knee joints with the loss of padding from conventional running shoes?
 
date : April 14, 2010
author : Nancy Clark
comments : 0
If you are like many active people, you feel totally confused about what to eat. You listen to a plethora of nutrition experts, read food labels, and then try to piece the information together.
date : June 23, 2009
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
The whole bottoms of my feet hurt these days. Been running for a number of years now and this is a first. Do you have any tips?
 
date : January 16, 2008
author : Nancy Clark
comments : 0
Many things contribute to current nutrition misinformation including genetics, inadequate research, ethics, age dependency and nutrient synergism.
date : September 24, 2007
author : mrakes1
comments : 0
Discussions on salt tablets, AM workout nutrition, coffee, post workout nutrition, whey powder, recovery nutrition, losing weight, Recoverite usage, the necessity of sugars and snack ideas.
 
date : September 4, 2004
author : Dillion
comments : 1
If anyone is considering expanding their horizons and getting into doing an Ironman distance or ½ Ironman distance race, there are many tips and tricks that can help in having a pleasant experience.