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Pad, Netbook, or Laptop?
Old 11-16-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
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Pad, Netbook, or Laptop?

The screen part of Lena's laptop is now connected to the keyboard part only with wire and packing tape. Here it is before the tape was necessary.

LaptopFix2.jpg

So, she's starting to think about replacing it. What are your experiences with the relative merits of a pad, netbook, or regular laptop?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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What does she do with the current laptop?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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What does she do with the current laptop?
+1

It isn't important what other people's experiences are, their use case is probably different. What is right for one is wrong for another. Else, they would only make one type.

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Old 11-16-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
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I'd love to think of an excuse to get an iPad or netbook. I have a high end laptop that can do anything I would ever want or need to do. I don't think that would be the case for me with an iPad or netbook.

My laptop is not as portable as an iPad or netbook, but then I can use my iPhone when I am on the go. I guess my iPhone is sort of like a tiny iPad that fits in a little pocket in my purse....

For everyday use, I like the larger 17" screen on my laptop better than I might like the smaller screens of an iPad or netbook, since my vision is not what it used to me.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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After my second Mac G4 laptop died I decided to go with a $250 Toshiba Netbook. I've had it 18 months and it is perfect for me. Its lightweight, not too hot to hold on lap for extended periods and does everything I need to do.

I was able to set it up to access the hard drive of our desktop PC and to print wirelessly to the printer on the PC.

So DW can be on the PC in the office and I can be in my recliner and do all the stuff online that I like.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:24 AM   #6
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I'd love to think of an excuse to get an iPad or netbook.
You're retired, you have the money, you don't need an excuse...
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:26 AM   #7
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You're retired, you have the money, you don't need an excuse...
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.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #8
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My two cents: it all depends on what you primarily use a computer for, as well as (of course) what you're used to and your budget.

We travel quite a bit and are way into traveling light (did 5 months in 4 countries in Asia a few years ago with sub-20lb. packs and would pack lighter next time), and are into using our computers rather than troubleshooting them so long ago converted to Macs from PCs.

Bought an iPad 2 and ended up selling it and a couple of old iPods to generate cash for the cheapest new generation Macbook Air (~$949 from Amazon). The reason: the iPad is a device for consuming media, not for creating it. Great for checking (but not creating) emails, watching video, etc. (except no Flash, which gets irritating in a hurry) but we both write and blog at length. The Macbook Air weighs 2.5 lbs. which is exactly 1 lb. more than the iPad, but for that extra pound (and extra $400!) you get a real computer. Of course being an Apple product it is more than double the price of a good Windows netbook, so if initial outlay rather than user experience and costs over time (including cost of your own time doing maintenance and upgrades) are key you have to go with a netbook.

If I had it to do over (we have a larger laptop as well) I would buy the Macbook Air and when at home dock it with a nice big monitor and wireless keyboard. For travel once you have a 2.5 lb. Mac Air (or 1.5 lb. iPad) in your hand you will never even think of schlepping a 5 lb.+ behemoth again, not only for the weight but for peace of mind, as the lighter device you take with you everywhere without a thought, while the heavy one will get left behind in the hotel room with all the attendant worries about theft.

The iPad is essentially an overgrown iPod Touch, so if you really want to go light and are mostly looking for a media consumption device the Touch is well worth considering. We have traveled with just our iPod touches in countries like Mexico that have lots of internet cafés for when you need a full computer and have been able to check email, jot quick replies, watch Netflix, take photos, make lots of Skype calls, even check this forum (nice ER app!) all from a cell phone sized device that goes everywhere.

For reading books at length the cheapest Kindle is far, far easier on the eyes than the backlit screens of tablets or computers but if you read for less than 2-3 hours at a time the Kindle app on any of these devices is sufficient. To be able to do a multi-country trip and not carry a single guide book (but have them all on our devices on Kindle) is just fantastic.

Hope this is of some help.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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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 but I am still on the fence about that.
Have you checked out the new Kindle Fire? Not only is the name perfect, it combines the virtues of an Amazon e-reader with the features of a tablet - and it's wi-fi so no monthly fees.

How much remorse can you agonize over at a price of $199?
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:37 AM   #10
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This is not an easy question for me. I have an iPad, netbook and full laptop. My least favorite device is the netbook which I find frustrating. I use the iPad a lot. It's a great travel device and it can handle most of what I need to do on a portable device. But lately, I have found some limitations which have made me yearn for a full laptop again (though this time I would go with a 13" model instead of a 15-17" model).
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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Have you checked out the new Kindle Fire? Not only is the name perfect, it combines the virtues of an Amazon e-reader with the features of a tablet - and it's wi-fi so no monthly fees.

How much remorse can you agonize over at a price of $199?
I prefer the regular Kindle with e-ink for actual reading, because it is easier on my eyes over longer periods of time. My present Kindle has no monthly fees, either.... I dunno. Maybe after Christmas I'll revisit this electronic device "dilemma".
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:59 AM   #12
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I prefer the regular Kindle with e-ink for actual reading, because it is easier on my eyes over longer periods of time. My present Kindle has no monthly fees, either.... I dunno. Maybe after Christmas I'll revisit this electronic device "dilemma".
I received my K-Fire yesterday, and am impressed of what it can do for the price.

BTW, I have a desktop, laptop, and netbook (for travel). If the Fire continues to work as promised, it will replace the netbook on our next trip (as a "test drive").

The biggest drawback (for those that require connectivity 7x24) is that it is not 3/4G compatible (works over a local internet connection).

However, since we don't have smartphones and always connected via a local wi-fi we don't see it as a problem...
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:00 AM   #13
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What you want to do with it is very important.

Like FD, I have been frustrated by my netbook. I find it to be crippled. For productivity, go for a good laptop. For travel, a netbook may be more acceptable unless you need an integral DVD player.

Personally, I have an unlocked Android Samsung Galaxy S2 that does almost everything I need. It is alleged that there are apps that can work with Microsoft Office documents, but I have not used them. It is hard to imagine that this works given the tiny virtual keyboard. A laptop works for my technical needs.

DW loves her Nook and her iPad and they are impressive.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:00 AM   #14
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Have you checked out the new Kindle Fire? Not only is the name perfect, it combines the virtues of an Amazon e-reader with the features of a tablet - and it's wi-fi so no monthly fees.

How much remorse can you agonize over at a price of $199?

Mine is supposed to arrive tomorrow and I hope it's the perfect toy for travel . At home I use a laptop but I refuse to lug it with me when I travel which is becoming more frequent . I'm usually ultra cheap but at $199 I'll try it .
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:07 AM   #15
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TA...buy one of each and in total it will still probably be less than what you paid for Lena's current laptop.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:08 AM   #16
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I still need some portability but don't like the small screen or keyboard so the combination that works best for me is a laptop connected to a full size keyboard and monitor. Neither the iPad nor a netbook have the connectivity yet to do this - at least last time I looked. My previous laptop had a 17" screen, and this made it far too bulky. Because >80% of use is in the office with a monitor, screen size is far less important so 14" works fine.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:16 AM   #17
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I got an iPad2 WiFi as a gift, was not planning to buy one. Now I use it far more than our desktop or our laptop.
  • For surfing, email, music, movies/video, eReading it's addictive, I never would have guessed before I had one. The multi-touch screen is incredible and very intuitive.
  • The screen size and keyboard don't bother me, though I doubt you could touch type on it. I don't think you'd want to write a book on one, but it's more than fine for email and basic text entries.
  • You can print from an iPad with a wireless printer, and supposedly you can use a wireless hard drive with one too - though I don't know anyone personally who's tried the HD.
  • The iPad does not support Flash, so some webpages just won't run. I've found that to be a minor inconvenience (less than 5% of the time). Most sites are tripping all over themselves to be iPad compatible, so Flash may become even less of an issue.
  • And for $30 (or $10 ea) you can get Pages, Numbers & Keynote - a serviceable basic "office" suite. But by no means equal to Word, Excel & PowerPoint for a power user.
So like others have said, it depends on what you plan to use it for. The iPad is incredibly handy for travel, local coffee shops, etc. By all means, she/you should go try one so you'll know firsthand.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:28 AM   #18
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I still need some portability but don't like the small screen or keyboard so the combination that works best for me is a laptop connected to a full size keyboard and monitor. Neither the iPad nor a netbook have the connectivity yet to do this - at least last time I looked. My previous laptop had a 17" screen, and this made it far too bulky. Because >80% of use is in the office with a monitor, screen size is far less important so 14" works fine.
? I'm pretty sure all the netbooks have a USB port for the keyboard, and some kind of display port for the monitor.

I bought a little ASUS 901 netbook in April 2009, and it support an external monitor and keyboard just fine.

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Old 11-16-2011, 11:33 AM   #19
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We’ve had an iPad 2 for a few months and it’s nice to have sitting next to our favorite recliner in the LR. The instant on capability is great and it gets used daily for quick searches, reading stuff on the web, watching videos and reading e-mail. If I want to do any amount of writing/typing, I go to the laptop or desktop. Can’t beat a good keyboard and mouse when you really want to do something.

At this point, I don’t see a tablet device replacing a real, true-to-life computer. A Kindle Fire might be a good option for the light stuff, but if you are trying to replace a laptop, I’d get another laptop.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:49 AM   #20
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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).
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