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Old 11-16-2011, 06:04 PM   #41
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DH got me an iPad last Christmas. My poor laptop now sits unloved and unused. To access my desktop I got VNC. I love reading on it -- adjusting the font size to accomodate aging eyes. I got used to typing on it but there are covers that include a bluetooth keyboard.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #42
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DW's Kindle Fire arrived about an hour ago. She and our oldest grandson are currently arm wrestling over who gets to play with it...
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:30 PM   #43
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I've read many books on my iPad touch, and don't seem to get any eye fatigue from the backlit screen.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:39 PM   #44
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I've read many books on my iPad touch, and don't seem to get any eye fatigue from the backlit screen.
I didn't see the difference either, until I owned an e-ink device.

Or maybe I'm just another Luddite. But like the guy on Bogleheads, I prefer e-ink.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #45
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I have a netbook, laptop, and iPad. I find that:

Ipad is great for email, internet, apps, music, reading books, movies - at home or traveling. As described above, it's best for accessing information.

Laptop is great for writing and creating documents. (although iPad can create docs with pages and numbers)

netbook is like a laptop light, and is more portable for travel.

I find myself using the iPad most, I use the laptop mostly for work tasks (becoming less), and I find myself almost never using the netbook.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #46
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I have a laptop and and netbook (using that right now). I don't have a Pad so really can't comment on this.

I like my current netbook for travel (so easy to pick up and transport). But the 10 inch screen is just a tad too small. Maybe a 12 inch one, would be best (or does the extra size make it a laptop?).

I really don't miss not having an internal DVD writer (have an external one if needed) and use a portable USB drive for my data.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:14 PM   #47
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I just don't want to be afflicted by buyer's remorse - - I can beat myself unmercifully (metaphorically speaking). That's no fun.

I have been thinking about a wi-fi iPad to be justified as a toy (like my Wii), but I am still on the fence and unsure of how I feel about that.
I bought one, as a sort of toy for myself, and it had turned out to be ridiculously useful, far more than I had anticipated. (I'm on the sofa, with my feet elevated 18 inches higher than my chest, and posting with the thing right now while a cat circles around on my stomach.)

Today's usage:
Breakfast: put on "wall street journal this morning" podcast while making coffee, then listened to the podcast while reading the morning e-paper and eating my oatmeal.

Exercise: did an hour on the elliptical while listening to tunes, and watching a TV show that was on my desktop computer, streamed over WiFi to the iPad.

Later this morning, read this forum, did some online shopping, and a little research work.

Now: reading and posting here.

Later: I'll catch the evening news with dinner, catch up on e-mail, and check market futures before bed.

It's handy...
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:25 PM   #48
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90% of her use is surfing the net, looking at knitting stuff, and researching answers to questions for crossword puzzles. The other 10% is email.

So, not much typing is done, but I have a feeling that she would not like typing on the iPad or Kindle fire.

We'll have to find someplace to try one out (no Apple stores around here).
From her use it doesn't sound like she particularly needs a notebook although I think one would be fine particularly if she does a lot of writing (but it doesn't sound like she does).

About the typing -- with the ipad there are a couple of options. First, you can get a keyboard for it. I was sure I would use the keyboard a lot and bought one although as it turns out it is easy to type on it so I rarely use the keyboard (every few months). Also, I think you can download Dragon dictation app and use that to dictate instead of typing. I just got the iPhone 4S which has dictation built into apps and it is great. With the app you can get for the ipad I think the dictation isn't built into the apps but understand it is fairly easy to use it to do email.

There are occasionally websites I can't do on the ipad because they use Flash but that is rare.

I have a notebook which I use hardly at all. For me, its main use is to play World of Warcraft when I travel. Most everything else I do I can do on the ipad. (I do have a desktop so for actual major composing of documents or spreadsheets I just use the desktop).

DH just received his Kindle Fire today (I have one of the early editions Kindles which I haven't used much since I got the ipad). He hasn't had time to do much on it yet but it does have a nice looking screen. It is quite a bit smaller than the iPad and is not as versatile and you can't store anywhere near as much on it. But it is several hundred dollars cheaper.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #49
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... you can't store anywhere near as much on it.
Remember that you can store all content you download from Amazon free in the 'cloud'.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #50
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I got an HP Netbook about 2 years ago. Has plenty of computing power , but the 10" screen is just too small. If I had to pick again , I would get a low end laptop.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #51
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I am using DW 's Kindle Fire to post this. This is much more convenient than a laptop, netbook or smart phone to read and post. <old eyes>
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #52
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I've been noticing that my PC's hard disk is getting frequent errors that get patched by my maintenance program. So I started doing a little research and decided that I might go for a 13" Mac Air next spring. I would dock it with my existing 19" desk monitor and a keyboard. My DW has a Mac and now that I am not working I can switch from my PC. Also, now that I am not working I don't have the laptop that work provided. My portable device is my iPhone which worked pretty well for me while on my road trip to Chicago last September. So if I have to purchase a new computer I plan to go for a laptop with a docking station this time.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #53
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Needed to replace the desktop. I wanted new desktop and an Ipad. Sisters and hubby talked me into laptop and am loving it! Go figure! Went the wifi route so I can surf while watching TV in the family with DH. Never use the desktop dinosaur anymore. Not sure how I'll like it for travel but it's what I got so it's what I'll use.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:36 PM   #54
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Sounds like Lena's needs are predominantly recreational. If I were Lena, I would put the laptop where it doesn't need to move, and buy an iPad.

For me, productivity is important, as is screen size. My 2003 Toshiba laptop with a 15" screen (which was top of the line at the time) is still the best. I use it at home with a wireless keyboard. I also have a newer laptop with a 13" screen that is owned by a company I consult with. They insisted I have it, but I never use it because all my programs are on my personal laptop and it just can't replicate that experience. I find that my BB is ideal for most short business trips. For longer business trips I usually stay at a hotel with a business centre and the combination works well. I don't think I would like the smaller screen and keyboard on a netbook, which I see primarily as a business tool.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:43 PM   #55
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When I was thinking about replacing my desktop I realized a few advances in the last several years:

1. Laptops have become very light weight because of the use of solid state memory replacing hard disks.
2. There is no need for internal CD/DVD drives anymore. In fact, for most portable storage needs flash drives (memory sticks) work just fine. This reduces the laptop weight even more. Of course you can always get an external CD/DVD drive too.
3. Huge amounts of cheap external storage is available to store all those image and video files or store them in the "cloud" if you are so inclined.

The size of a Mac Air vs an iPad isn't all that different from a practical point of view. The Mac Air is 3 lbs vs the iPad 1.35 lbs. Three lbs has always worked fine for me. The laptop is somewhat more expensive but you get the added functionality. This all applies to PC laptops vs tablets as well. For most people, I think laptops have become a viable replacement for desktops. Laptop sales have outpaced desktop sales for many years. I just think there is hardly any compromise at this point.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:54 PM   #56
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The iPad is a much better product than you would think from reading the specs. We have a desk top, lap top, netbook, iPad and iPhone. All are useful. The desktop and iPad get used the most. Use of the netbook has decreased, it is our only PC, the rest are Macs, but it still has a great keyboard and runs XP.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:06 AM   #57
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Ars Technica has a detailed review of the Kindle Fire. Their summary:
"Before it was announced, the Kindle Fire was rumored to be Amazon's entry into the Android tablet market. To get a serious tablet, even a small one, at the Kindle Fire's price of $199 would have been a holiday miracle.
But in our time with the Kindle Fire, it fell far short of what tablets should be able to accomplish. As a vector for Amazon's video and music stores and huge e-book selection, it's great. As an e-reader, it's merely OK. As an Internet and app portal, it falls short of Amazon's promises.
Still, if you're looking for an e-reader and don't mind a smallish LCD screen, a lightweight video player, and a limited-use browser, the Kindle Fire can fill those niches—in its own ambling way."
This is kind of how I view the Nook (although I think it is better as a reader than the Ars folks describe the Fire): Limited as a tablet but a decent reader and useful if you want to be able to check email and do lightweight browsing on trips.

Update: further down in my RSS feed I see that Ars reviews the Kindle Touch as well. This is an e-Ink reader (Nook has an equivalent touch device). Here is the summary:
"When Amazon introduced its most recent crop of Kindles, the company kept the devices and the press thoroughly separated. Which was a bit of a shame, because one of the newer introductions, the Kindle Touch, demanded some hands-on time to really appreciate. When we finally got our hands on the new low-end Kindle, we found a lot to like, as it provided a polished e-reading experience in a small, lightweight package. The Touch does quite a bit more, but you pay for it not just in price, but in some added size and weight."
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:54 AM   #58
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I'd say go for an Ipad2 with at least 32GB of storage and 3G capability. My understanding is you don't have to use the 3G connection unless you need to and you can do it on an as needed basis without a monthly contract commitment.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:49 AM   #59
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I am using DW 's Kindle Fire to post this. This is much more convenient than a laptop, netbook or smart phone to read and post. <old eyes>
I agree (received mine on the 15th ).

It sits on the coffee table in the family room with the primary use to answer DW's questions - you know, the only one's that can be answered by Google .

At least I don't have to walk to the kitchen to use the (always running) "recipe laptop" that is located on "her" desk to find out the answer ...

As to what tablet/PC is best? IMHO, it's the one that works, for the situation (that's why we now have four). Everbody will have a different requirement, and different answer, based upon their unique wants/needs.
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:34 PM   #60
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We tried an iPad, and she's hooked. We're considering a refurbished iPad 2 16 Gig wifi only for $449 or an iPad 1 32 Gig with 3G for $399. We don't travel much, and wouldn't use/rent the 3G service much.
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