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Need a netbook/tablet pc and wifi access....help!
Old 07-23-2010, 12:00 PM   #1
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Need a netbook/tablet pc and wifi access....help!

i am new to the whole ipad/tablet pc/netbook scene.

i am looking for a standalone product (not a smartphone) that i can get online with anywhere to check the status of our orders. no heavy computing...just web surfing

So first i thought 'netbook' and I've seen some as low as 180 bucks on clearance. then I read/heard about tablet pcs...but im not sure what they do

I think Verzion has wireless broadband for about $40/month for 250mb which should be fine for simply checking our orders and email while on the road


can someone give me some guidance?!?!?!
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #2
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I think your $200 netbook idea is the way to go. Much less expensive than an iPad for your needs.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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I'd vote for the netbook. I'm a very satisfied owner. It is extremely powerful for small biz tasks like you are talking about - internet, email, typing up even lengthy letters/documents, spreadsheets, etc. You can stick it in your glove box when not in use (for security). Pop it out and use it for a minute when you have some downtime during the day, at lunch, between jobs, etc.

It has an integrated physical keyboard you won't get with an ipad or other similar touchscreen device (if typing is important to you).

$40/mo for broadband internet sounds fair. I think we have something locally called "Clear" that might be a little less, but don't know much more about it or whether it is available in your area. Clear is billed as mobile broadband.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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Netbook. $250 a year or 2 ago. Asus Eeee. I use mine alot. Great for internet, spreadsheets, music/video watching, backing up camera.

I decided against an aircard, as free WiFi is so easy to find nowadays (Starbucks, McDonalds, libraries, etc) if you just need occasional access.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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Second the netbook. You can get online at a lot of places these days (McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.) so you might not even need a separate plan.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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I have a netbook for a couple years and I like it. I use it a lot less now that I have an ipod touch, very portable but requires wifi.
Although the netbook is likely to do what you want, do not look at the ipad, it is very compelling and you will want one even if you don't need it.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #7
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I also have the Asus and use it both at home and when we travel (around the world).

The question I would have is if you are going to use it outside the U.S. where phone service (using a phone based product) would be very expensive to use. Just a consideration.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:33 PM   #8
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Is checking on your orders the only thing you are ever doing?
And how important is:
1) cost
2) convenience
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:04 PM   #9
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well, we talked and made a decision already! we ended up getting a HP Mini 311 Netbook from Verizon for $100 with a 2 yr contract on the mobile broadband service...250mb/mo for $39.

Yes...the only thing this will be used for is checking/taking orders while out of the office as we are fully web based now. Another thing I may do with it is take it to the warehouse in the mornings and be able to pull customer info there if I lose/misplace a contract...my old inkjet is gonna go to the warehouse and be used for these instances

Wifi hotspots are great, but we need to get it anywhere, any time, within 60 seconds while a customer is on hold...so this seems to be the best option. inputting customer info on a smartphone would be too tedious
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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I realized you have already made your decision so this comment is more for other people who might be reading this.

When netbooks came out I was sure I would want one. Then DH bought his. I tried typing on it and found typing painful. The keyboard was not big enough to type like on a regular keyboard.

I do have an ipad now and FWIW I find it far easier to type on it than on the netbook (I do have the Apple external keyboard for the ipad but rarely use it).

Also it is just easier to use the touchscreen than the netbook. Dragging fingers across the screen is just much easier than fiddling with a mouse or a touchpad.

And internet through the ipad tends to be faster than when I had an aircard.

And, of course, the screen is much nicer on the ipad.

The one advantage that the netbook does have is that it runs regular software rather than apps. In most instances the apps are fine but not for some things where you need a specific program.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #11
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I wonder how much usage we will see by accessing emails and our own website for orders?

Curious if anyone uses an aircard all the time instead of a wired home connection? Verizon used to have unlimited plans, but they no longer do...
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:57 PM   #12
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I wonder how much usage we will see by accessing emails and our own website for orders?

Curious if anyone uses an aircard all the time instead of a wired home connection? Verizon used to have unlimited plans, but they no longer do...
I used mine at home a few times when the cable went out. Even though it is fast enough for casual on the go usage, it was painfully slow compared to regular cable modem.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:00 PM   #13
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Curious if anyone uses an aircard all the time instead of a wired home connection? Verizon used to have unlimited plans, but they no longer do...
Me. Living out in the sticks and spending weeks at a time on the road in our RV, an aircard has proven to be the best option for access to the net. I have a Sprint aircard and a grandfathered (so far) "unlimited usage" plan.

I also have a wireless router allowing DW and I to both use the aircard simultaneously.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:06 PM   #14
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I used mine at home a few times when the cable went out. Even though it is fast enough for casual on the go usage, it was painfully slow compared to regular cable modem.
I suppose it's what you are used to. I'm getting between 1.2 and 1.5 Mbps downloads on my aircard and compared to the dial-up speed I "enjoyed" previously, it is pretty darned swift.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:09 PM   #15
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I suppose it's what you are used to. I'm getting between 1.2 and 1.5 Mbps downloads on my aircard and compared to the dial-up speed I "enjoyed" previously, it is pretty darned swift.
I'd die. I just checked using the CNET bandwidth check. Apparently I'm getting well over 3.5 Mbps with my cable modem connection, and it seems as slow as molasses sometimes.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:10 PM   #16
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I'd die.
I doubt it. I have indoor plumbing.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:12 PM   #17
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I doubt it. I have indoor plumbing.
Oh, well in THAT case (assuming it's city sewerage and not a septic tank) I guess it's ok. You can always take a break while webpages are downloading, to go and, uh, er...
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:13 PM   #18
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Oh, well in THAT case (assuming it's city sewerage and not a septic tank)....
Don't ask, don't tell...
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:14 PM   #19
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Don't ask, don't tell...
I'd DIE!!! Such primitive living conditions. Pretty soon National Geographic is going to show up to do a special on how the natives live in your area.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #20
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Re: Typing on a netbook.
I went to the store and tried out various sizes. I ended up buying a 10 inch netbook and it has become the only computer I have used for the last 2 years, much to my surprise -- I didn't even unpack my desktop computer when I returned to the USA on my last several visits. This netbook keyboard, if I recall, is 92% size. What I found is that there is a big difference between a 9 inch netbook and a 10 inch netbook on the keyboard size, it really made a difference. And I am a touch typist who can type very quickly.

And now I think the netbooks are a little wider (and also lighter and also have higher res screen and longer lasting battery, etc.).
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