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matrixluver
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10 Nov 2011, 7:41 pm

I need a tablet to take to work. I'm a consultant in education and I need to have a small tablet to show clients presentations, videos, and access digital copies of books to show them things. I will also need it to occasionally edit word and excel documents and then send them to folks via email. I think, from what I've read, that the asus tablet will meet my needs with a smaller price tag than the IPAD, but can I use my aircard to get internet access when wifi isn't available?



GoonSquad
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13 Nov 2011, 4:54 pm

A funny thing happened on the way to Barnes & Noble.....

I did a bit of math: Nook Tablet $250 + case/cover $30 + taxes $25 + 16GB SD card for dual booting $25 to $50 = $330 to $355 total.

Right now Amazon is selling the 32GB transformer for $419 (listed $499 at release). With $10 leather cover the grand total is $429.

For a difference of $80 to $100 you can jump from a mini tablet to some serious hardware! That's a value I could not resist.

The drawback is the transformer doesn't have ANY USB ports unless you buy the keyboard/dock for an additional $100...

Meh. I can live without USB, and I'll just buy a cheap bluetooth keyboard.

Now, to answer your question... a bit. I don't know from "aircards" but I'm pretty sure one way or another you'll have to have wi-fi to access the interwebs.

What you need is an independent 3G or 4G device that creates a personal "wi-fi bubble" for you. Then you can use the transformer's wi-fi anyplace you like.

I think virgin has a device called my-fi that does this, and I'm sure lots of other devices can do this too (smart phones, etc).

I really don't think internet access will be a huge problem as long as it doesn't depend on a USB connected device... :roll:


All-in-all I think the transformer is a great deal right now. I'll post more when I get mine.


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richie
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14 Nov 2011, 8:46 pm

My iPhone now has MiFi capability. Before I was using a USB dongle with 5GB for $60 per month in addition to to my $75 / month iPhone bill.
By using MiFi or tether I now only pay $98 per month for both phone and data. The limit is 4GB per month but I was only using a couple of hundred MBs
out of 5GB, now I use almost all of 4GB. A much more efficient arrangement. Two years from now 4G networks will be more widespread and there might
be an iPhone that can use it.

If you are going to get a MiFi, get one that can take micro SD cards so you have a network attached storage (NAS) as well as a Wi-Fi modem.


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17 Nov 2011, 6:37 pm

So, I've had the Asus for a bit and overall, I'm pretty happy. Android has thrown me a bit of a learning curve, but I'm catching on. ;)


One great feature of the transformer for anybody interested in working is Polaris Office Suite. The word processor is good (compatible with MS Word) and it handles PDF files nicely too (reading only). It will even do PowerPoint pretty well -- it ran an old presentation fine, but I had a bit of trouble editing.

As far as fun stuff goes, it's great for Netflix, YouTube, and the like...

It's supposed to have some pretty good games that take advantage of it's nivida 'guts' too!

So far, my biggest gripe is with web browsers. Stock Android is meh... Opera, (what I'm currently using) is much better, but I miss the red underlines in Firefox that make spotting typos so easy.

The only other issue is IPS light bleed. This seems to be a common issue with ips tablets (ipad1 & 2, the transformer, etc) . I did a test on mine and it bleeds a bit along the bottom... But honestly, it's so minor that I would not have noticed it without testing....

I'd definitely recommend the tablet to anyone in the market for an ipad alternative.

The other pad that looks pretty good is the Toshiba Thrive. Amazon has the 16gb version at a great price right now. It has a conventional LCD screen (less prone to light bleed), and almost identical guts to the transformer. Plus, the thrive has more ports, including a USB, a full-size SD card slot, and a user replaceable battery.

If the transformer gives me any trouble during Amazon's exchange period, I'll replace it with the thrive.


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17 Nov 2011, 6:58 pm

im not touching apple portables since my troubles with the ipad updates and subsequent failure of the backup software to recognize my old backups,
the proprietary formula also gets on my nerves but that is a matter of personal preference,

in the end i got arch linux on my EEEpc and use it instead, it fits into my toolbag, is more rugged but lacks touchscreen.


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18 Nov 2011, 11:09 am

My husband and I both bought transformers recently for school. We got the keyboard dock free as part of a sale on Newegg ($400 total per tablet and keyboard). Overall I would have to say I'm amazed with it. The ability to add storage space with micro-SD and the ability to manipulations your files without jail-breaking are major advantages. While it's wonderful on its own, I'd really recommend the dock tho. It makes a difference having the extra memory slot, the USB slots, and the insane extra battery life. It's totally worth the extra cash.



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18 Nov 2011, 12:23 pm

The iPad, as with any Apple product, is overrated, and I perceive it as useless. The EEE Transformer is kind of a good one, although it definitely needs more improvement. I suggest going with the tried-and-tested ones, like Samsung Galaxy Tab, or if you need the keyboard and the USB, try a convertible.

In the meantime, I am now using a Lenovo S10-3t as we speak. Kinda crosses the line between a netbook and a tablet, although I need more RAM, and I am waiting for Windows 8 so I can take full advantage of the touchscreen.


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18 Nov 2011, 1:29 pm

n3rdgir1 wrote:
My husband and I both bought transformers recently for school. We got the keyboard dock free as part of a sale on Newegg ($400 total per tablet and keyboard). Overall I would have to say I'm amazed with it. The ability to add storage space with micro-SD and the ability to manipulations your files without jail-breaking are major advantages. While it's wonderful on its own, I'd really recommend the dock tho. It makes a difference having the extra memory slot, the USB slots, and the insane extra battery life. It's totally worth the extra cash.


Wow!! !!

I am extremely envious. :mrgreen:

I'll have to start shopping newegg.

If the transformer works out, and it's doing fine right now, I'll definitely get the docking station/keyboard. Unfortunately, I'll probably end up paying $100 for it.... :cry:

If it was only an issue of a keyboard, I'd get a cheap bluetooth. BUT, I didn't realize how capable this tablet is. I NEED to hook up a gamepad :lol: for all the great THD games, and I need that extra battery for watching netflix and youtube and listening to net-radio (the NPR app is awesome) for hours on end!

PS

How long have you guys had your tablets?

What apps are you using for school?

and

Have you guys noticed any light bleed at all?



@theimperiousdork,

I thought I needed a windows based tablet, but I'm really impressed with android.

Sure, I still have lots of things to figure out, and I'm a bit surprised at some of the things android can't do natively. However, I love the lean, efficient, modular feel of Android.

It may not be as intuitive as windows, but it's worth the time to learn. ....for me, anyway.


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18 Nov 2011, 1:47 pm

GoonSquad wrote:

How long have you guys had your tablets?

What apps are you using for school?

and

Have you guys noticed any light bleed at all?



@theimperiousdork,

I thought I needed a windows based tablet, but I'm really impressed with android.

Sure, I still have lots of things to figure out, and I'm a bit surprised at some of the things android can't do natively. However, I love the lean, efficient, modular feel of Android.

It may not be as intuitive as windows, but it's worth the time to learn. ....for me, anyway.


To answer those questions: I've had this device for seven months now, and although netbooks and tablets aren't really for heavy-duty tasks, I am subjecting it under fire (not literally putting it around flames; I'm actually doing video post-production on my convertible).

For professional (and soon, academic) purposes, I use the conventional ones: Microsoft Office for notes-taking and projects and presentation; Adobe Creative Suite for graphics design; and so forth.

My screen doesn't suffer from back-light bleeding; that is the beauty of LED-back-lit screens.

As for Android, that was exactly how I feel with it regarding the look and feel. But its functionality will all depend on the user, and in this case, it's you. If you want doing all the "dirty" work at home or do so infrequently, I'd suggest buy a tablet and save yourself the effort of having to bring a laptop with you. But if you do everything while on the go, and want the keyboard, but have the functionality of a tablet, buy the convertible outright and ditch the tablet.


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18 Nov 2011, 2:28 pm

theimperiousdork wrote:

As for Android, that was exactly how I feel with it regarding the look and feel. But its functionality will all depend on the user, and in this case, it's you. If you want doing all the "dirty" work at home or do so infrequently, I'd suggest buy a tablet and save yourself the effort of having to bring a laptop with you. But if you do everything while on the go, and want the keyboard, but have the functionality of a tablet, buy the convertible outright and ditch the tablet.


Well, like you said, it depends on the user.

Honestly, 90% of what I do on a computer (web-surfing, netflix, radio, research, and paper writing) can be done on a netbook.

So far, it seems I can do all the things I routinely do on my netbook on this tablet as well. Sure, some sort of keyboard would be an essential add-on for lots of word processing, but writing can be done without it.

In addition to the above, the tablet has a "swiss army knife" quality that windows computers/netbooks just don't have. I mean the added GPS functionality alone is unbearably cool and there seems to be an app for just about anything you can imagine doing with the thing.

I'm sure an android tablet wouldn't be the way to go for many users, but for me, it many be enough to leave the laptop at home for good.


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n3rdgir1
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18 Nov 2011, 6:25 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
PS
How long have you guys had your tablets?
What apps are you using for school?
and
Have you guys noticed any light bleed at all?


We've had them about 6-8 weeks so far. I'm starting school in the spring (biochem) and have very few apps so far. My husbands uses the Polaris office suite it comes with for school all the time. The only issue is that certain classes require headers on his papers and no android app currently supports editing headers for .doc or .docx formats (I've looked). He just has to copy them to the desktop to edit the headers before turning them in, but it's not a big deal (especially since you can use thumb drives or flash media with the dock). I happened across the newegg deal while I was on slickdeals. Check that site out more often, too.

I also (being the IT nerd I am, 12 years in the field) created a ddns connection to my home router and am running 2X (an android RDP client) that lets me remote into my desktop and it shows up on my tablet so it runs just like a windows laptop (except my desktop is an dual-core, yes 8 cores at 2.5GHz with 8GB of RAM). It makes it super easy to copy between the tablet memory and my desktop. This thing has replaced my old laptop (except it gets 16 hours of battery life, has a touchscreen, and only weighs a few pounds!).

These things have been the best purchase of the last few years, and my husband agrees.



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18 Nov 2011, 7:44 pm

I have personally been looking for tablets to read e-books on and mainly android based ones as iPad are exoritently priced and I wason amazon.ca the other day and the no longer sell Kindles there. Would I need a 3\4G(a model that connects with a mobile carrier like Virgin or Rogers) capable tablet in order to get the Kindle for Android app and download ebooks via whispernet or is a non-connectible wi-fi tab sufficient?


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19 Nov 2011, 12:37 am

LostInBed wrote:
I have personally been looking for tablets to read e-books on and mainly android based ones as iPad are exoritently priced and I wason amazon.ca the other day and the no longer sell Kindles there. Would I need a 3\4G(a model that connects with a mobile carrier like Virgin or Rogers) capable tablet in order to get the Kindle for Android app and download ebooks via whispernet or is a non-connectible wi-fi tab sufficient?


Wow, I cannot believe Amazon.ca isn't offering Kindles! :o

If I was mainly interested in reading, I would find an e-ink reader for sure. I still have my e-ink kindle keyboard and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Frankly, if I couldn't get an e-ink kindle for reading, I'd try to find a basic Nook (Barnes & Noble) reader.

But to answer your question, no you do not need a 3/4g anything to get the kindle app. My tablet is wi-fi only and I have the kindle and the nook app on mine.

PS

I just pulled up amazon.ca and it looks like they aren't selling the fire, but they are selling the new kindle e-ink touch for $109.00. That would be a great tablet for reading... just not much else.


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20 Nov 2011, 8:17 pm

GoonSquad wrote:
LostInBed wrote:
I have personally been looking for tablets to read e-books on and mainly android based ones as iPad are exoritently priced and I wason amazon.ca the other day and the no longer sell Kindles there. Would I need a 3\4G(a model that connects with a mobile carrier like Virgin or Rogers) capable tablet in order to get the Kindle for Android app and download ebooks via whispernet or is a non-connectible wi-fi tab sufficient?


Wow, I cannot believe Amazon.ca isn't offering Kindles! :o

If I was mainly interested in reading, I would find an e-ink reader for sure. I still have my e-ink kindle keyboard and I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Frankly, if I couldn't get an e-ink kindle for reading, I'd try to find a basic Nook (Barnes & Noble) reader.

But to answer your question, no you do not need a 3/4g anything to get the kindle app. My tablet is wi-fi only and I have the kindle and the nook app on mine.

PS

I just pulled up amazon.ca and it looks like they aren't selling the fire, but they are selling the new kindle e-ink touch for $109.00. That would be a great tablet for reading... just not much else.


They were but when I went on amazon.ca the other day *poof* they weren't any more. The issue is I'm low vision and the Kindle I wanted(the DX) was like nearly $600 on amazon.ca and I have no idea what it would have bee off amazon.com after duties and all that but I wan't something as big as the DX so that when I enlarge the font I'm not losing as much of the page. I kinda figure that on your standard 6-8 inch e-reader screen to increase the font size to like a 16 or 18 point font(preferably TNR) I'd lose about half a page of the book whereas on a 10" screen I'd only lose about a third of a page. Anyway the only real problem with any non-Apple tablet would be glare but I'm sure I could get anti-glare films for it.


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