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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:56 am 
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Hi folks,

Please educate me and tell me why everyone seems to get so excited about tablets?

I've got one (a PlayBook because it partners very well with my BlackBerry) but as a means of creating content I think it, and by extension all non keyboard computing devices, is rubbish. Maybe I'm just too wedded to my keyboard, keyboard shortcuts and trackball but without them I find that even simple tasks take twice as long as they should do.

On the plus side most tablets are portable, although the iPads seem to stretch the point, and some apps (like RIMs newsreader for example) do a good job of aggregating content but I really don't understand the hype. :?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:35 pm 
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Bob, I'm with you here. I got the Playbook mainly as it was the cheapest non-sucky option to get a tablet, even though I didn't know exactly why I wanted one.

Having had and used it for a little while now, they do suck as PC replacements. Full stop. BUT don't try to make it something it isn't, and it starts making sense.

What I found myself using it for so far, by time, I'd break down roughly as:
50% games and apps - I'd expect this to go down rapidly since I'm still exploring the system for now.
20% Read-only web browsing.
15% system exploring - just trying things out to see what it does
10% watching youtube videos in the bath
5% reading e-mails.

Looking forward, I'd expect my usage will be biased around using it as an internet access portal. Smart phones fail here as the screen is simply too small. At least on a tablet it's approaching that of a netbook.

A major thing here is I found I hate typing on the screen. Any more than one line of text, I'd walk over to a PC to do given half a chance. So that biases me towards reading, not writing anything on one.

I've got a wildlife trip out this weekend, and I think I'll take both a laptop and the tablet. The difference being the laptop will sit in my car until I reach the hotel, but I'd take the tablet with me in the field. Not sure why yet! But it's small enough where a laptop, even a netbook is not.

Oh, I did find the camera on it sucks in output quality, but I found it interesting holding a tablet two handed for photos. Right thumb over the virtual shutter, left thumb on a zoom control. The massive screen compared to a camera made it a live view a joy to use. I can imagine something like this, with more serious optics, could be an interesting and potent combination.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:38 pm 
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I read "Tables - what are they for?" :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:25 pm 
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I agree with Bob and popo, as a desktop or laptop replacement it doesn’t quite make sense.
What it’s good for and afore mentioned devices are not, is as a e-book reading device. I think this is one of its primary purposes and it’s a much better option than the alternatives.
Another one I am using it for is taking notes. I got a Wacom pen for my iPad and there is a plethora of notes applications, one of which are very good and flexible. I use it for my astrophysics studies, or in the field with the telescope (with a red piece of film on its screen), for notes taking, star atlas and so forth.
All other applications I find being better with desktops or laptops or dedicated devices, like a GPS navigator.
So, IMHO, reading and note taking are the uses that are the best with tablets.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:20 pm 
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thought about this recently because my GF suddenly decided to go from total luddite to tablet owner over night. My best summation is that tablets are for consuming media, while PCs, video cameras and DSLRs are for producing media.

By consuming I mean reading the news or ebooks or browsing your favourite websites as well as communications (email, skype etc), entertainment (games, videos) and some small productivity such as banking apps or maybe reading documents that someone sends you.

For most people producing media is going to require more power, better lenses a proper keyboard etc. I might read a document that work email to me on an iPad, but if I want to write one I am going to want a proper keyboard.

What they are good for (for photographers specifically) is things like showing your portfolio while out and about or getting someone to digitally sign a model release etc.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:20 pm 
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Tablets has their use for people who don't really need a computer, but still wants the core communicational functions like browsing and e-mail.
And I for one think this is a great idea because these simple products are far more reliable and cheaper than any computer out there today. If you ever help older people with computers you realize this quite fast.
However, this is from a sensible and practical point of view, for other people who justs wants a gadget/toy, it's a sofa surfer which can do video <- majority probably.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:40 am 
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Well... I was thinking about it and the result is "They can't do enough to justify buying one". I do have a great desktop computer, a nice laptop and a crappy netbook. I don't need a tablet - I'm rather saving the money for the 5D3 :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:52 am 
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I've been going back and forth about getting a tablet since the iPad came out a few years ago... the more I think about it the more I start to see a "need" for one, but honestly I keep thinking that I'm just manufacturing a desire to have one.

For my current needs, I have two things I can do: full-fledged laptop (13" MBP) and mobile internet (iPhone 3GS). I can and often do write full-length emails via my phone... it gets the job done when on the road and even with my relatively small data plan (500MB) I can stay connected on Twitter, Facebook, and any other sites I want. The screen isn't optimal but with the new Reader function in Safari (iOS 5) a lot of the pain disappears. It's still hit-or-miss though with functionality at this point.

When I want to do some serious computing or just want more screen real estate and a real keyboard for emails, I grab my MBP. I find I still don't like the on-screen keyboard of the iPhone even after almost 3 years, but at least you can thumb-type with it. To me, the iPad keyboard lacks the tactile response I need for using multiple fingers to type (I can't live without the bumps on the F and J keys).

I also have the issue of the cost of another cellular data device that performs essentially the same function as my iPhone, except without the ability to send proper SMS and make proper phone calls. I can't keep an iPad in my pocket whereas my phone I can, and if I did have an iPad, I'd likely keep it in a bag the same size as something I could carry my laptop in thereby negating any of the convenience.

Sure, the iPad weighs less than my laptop and the new iPad screen is gorgeous, but if I want to do anything "serious" online or otherwise, I just can't see myself grabbing the iPad over the MBP. If I was looking for something ultraportable I'd still choose the MBA over the iPad because it's still a proper computer.

I'd like an iPad (no other tablets interest me at all) for the sheer gadget-factor, especially if I lived in an Apple "ecosystem" with Apple TV, Airports, and all the Airplay stuff where I could push content to my other devices, but for this moment in time, I'm not in any hurry to drink any more koolaid or part with any more cash :)

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:15 am 
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maybe this one could be more useful :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:30 am 
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Now that's what I call a tablet! Rather emphasises my point that tablets are better suited to consumption than creation, though.

As for the software, having written Gravity 6 a number of years ago I feel very humble!

Bob.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:03 pm 
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For me, a tablet is something I want, not necessarily something I need. Having said that, I still kick myself for missing out on the HP Touchpad fire sale.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:52 am 
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Picked up a small (relatively)cheap one the other day because my computer required "work" with a return to me date of 10-20 business days :roll:
For surfing it definitely served the purpose,typing with fingers my size...not so much but I got by.
I travel around a fair amount and unless I am traveling for specifically for photo taking my laptop will be staying home from now on...1/2lb vs 5-6lbs...$200 vs $1100 = a no brainer in my books.
That said... most places I travel for photos, finding wifi is a challenge anyway! :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:18 pm 
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I find my iPad to be quite useful, and only rarely power-up my Sony P-series netbook anymore; about once a week. The netbook is better for checking e-mail; I dislike the way the iPad handles my e-mail. I do find myself sometimes wishing I could use a mouse with the iPad.

As for larger computers, I must use them at work, and it is a love-hate relationship, with very little love involved. Very, very little love. I know nothing about creating anything on a computer, unless entering reports and data, or uploading my evidentiary JPEG images, is creating.

Eventually, I will acquire something like a MacBook, in order to explore processing of digital images, but I still see a tablet doing most of what I need for the foreseeable future. I should note that the Nikon film cameras listed in my signature line were acquired after my first 7D, as a form of rebellion against digital, particularly the huge files made by the 7D. (I will never totally reject digital, and look forward to such cameras as the 5D Mark III, or perhaps even 1D X.)

Hype? Not in my case. A tablet is a tool. I am not in love with my iPad, which is pre-II, purchased at the discounted price after the II was released. If the New iPad has enough of an increase in resolution to impress me, I may buy one, eventually.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:56 pm 
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I use it for watching youtube, checking emails and surfing in bed.

Watching videos on it sucks... either u get a laggy video or no audio. Right I should update mine to ICS.

and the keyboard that I bought for the transformer is terribly stiff to type on!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:10 pm 
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I've had an iPad (bought on the UK launch day, now sold), an iPad 2 (passed on to my wife) and now an iPad 3. I've also used an HP Touchpad (my wife's, now sold) with WebOS and Cyanodenmod on. this gives me a good feeling for what a tablet can be used for.

My main uses are:

1. For surfing at home, in the evening, in the living room.
2. For Twitter
3. For email
4. As a portable movie player for our daughter when we go away (I hook the iPad up to a TV using the digital AV adapter)
5. For viewing photos

I guess option 5 is of most interest to people here. I carry my entire photo library around with me on my iPad. It is great to be able to show photos to my father-in-law when we visit and to my parents too. I have found that I look at my photos a lot more since getting a tablet than I ever did before having one.

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