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Tablet Delimma.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I find myself in a somewhat unique position or at least what I hope some of you may find as a relate able position.

When I got my first laptop a few years ago I found something out the hard way... a 15.4" laptop isn't easy to use when you have 2 or 3 text books scattered on your desk and you want to jump between text books and internet in a fluent/efficient manner.

Even with this I still have trouble jumping into tablets because, netbooks can be had with decent quality for sub 300$ and I have trouble spending any amount of money on a tablet because, it lacks a real keyboard.

As nice as a tablet would be for bouncing back and forth between books.. the lack of physical keyboard (having to carry a separate keyboard altogether for class) really is something of a deal breaker.. While it would be nice to own one its hard to justify one just for study purposes when I could get a netbook and it would be more functional.

Now, I have seen the transformer.. which is modular and seems to be perfect on most levels.. Tablet functionality means I can shuffle it around some books. Small size (maybe smaller than some netbooks?) means I won't even notice it in my backpack, and it seems like a great medium... I have recently also been recommended this which seems pretty snazzy although I am weary of dell as a brand.

I have no pressing need for any tablet and it would be a luxury either way if I even manage to get one... But, I am wondering if there are any more recommendations or tablet/netbook combo's options to look out for.

Although those are both well over it.. I am wondering what all the 300$ price range looks like if existent at all. Up till Now I'd have never considered a tablet but, lately I've been a bit more open minded as the "productivity" half of the equation is now really getting factored in more and more.. and I like modularity.

Then again.. I'm still heavily weighing the price aspect... Its very much an issue of "I don't need it" however, if I get one, it will probably see some heavy use. I love my desktop but, its not on a real desk.. so having a dedicated "study" device might be a lot nicer. Or even just light web browsing.. I find I'm in my room a bit too much these days.
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post #2 of 6
I would check out Marin's thread about his Transformer. In that thread some people asked similar questions to what you are asking, plus there is some good information and pictures of the Transformer there. In my opinion, if you need laptop more than tablet functionality then get a laptop. A 16GB Transformer plus keyboard dock is going to cost around $550. You can get a pretty decent laptop for that which will better fit your needs. Laptops are much better at getting work done such as homework and taking notes, which I assume will be your main uses. The Transformer is a step in the direction of blurring the lines between tablet and laptop, but in the end it's still underpowered as laptops are concerned and the OS was designed to be touch based. That's my opinion, not having ever owned a tablet before. The Transformer does have some benefits like better battery life and an SSD. I'd recommend you buy an 11.6" to 13.3" laptop with a non-Atom Dual-Core processor. The minimum I would get is an AMD E-350 APU since that is at least better than any Intel Atom and it has a pretty decent GPU. In my opinion, a 10.1" screen is just too small to get much of anything done or to even be able to see what it is you are getting done. Atom processors are just too slow (I owned an Asus Eee 1000HE but now own an 11.6" MacBook Air).
Edited by Ben the OCer - 6/5/11 at 5:35pm
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben the OCer View Post
I would check out Marin's thread about his Transformer. Some people have asked similar questions to what you are asking, in that thread (the question being can it be an alternative to a laptop). In my opinion if you need laptop more than tablet functionality, then get a laptop. Laptops are much better at getting work done such as homework and taking notes. The Transformer is a step in the direction of blurring the lines between tablet and laptop, but in the end it's still underpowered as laptops are concerned and the OS was designed to be touch based. That's my opinion, not having ever owned a tablet. I'd recommend you buy a 11.6"-13.3" laptop with a non-Atom Dual-Core processor. The minimum I would get is an AMD E-350 APU since that is at least better than any Atom and has a pretty decent GPU. In my opinon a 10.1" screen is just too small to get much of anything done or to even be able to see what you getting done for that matter. Plus Atoms processors are just so slow (I owned a Asus Eee 1000HE but now own an 11.6" Macbook Air).
Eh, I find my needs to be more of a mix than anything being totally honest.

I don't need the productivity of a desktop but, I do want the flexibility of the net in a small battery efficient form factor.

I really do understand where your coming from with the suggestion for a laptop.. the problem I have with laptops are the keyboards tend to take up more space and when I'm trying to shuffle textbooks/notes/internet device be it laptop or tablet.. it all starts taking up a lot more room..

I don't have any need to do hardcore computing outside of my desktop.. My school has a comp sci lab if absolutely needed.

My needs are more for note taking in my classes that don't have computers already.

Something I can bring to study that doesn't take up a lot of room.

something really good with batteries that I don't have to worry about much.

I'll look into the smaller laptops like you suggested.. its just really hard finding that balance between a speedy experience (not a "powerful" device per se but, one that offers speed for general task, battery life, and low enough price to justify purchasing it.)
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow_Fox View Post
Eh, I find my needs to be more of a mix than anything being totally honest.

I don't need the productivity of a desktop but, I do want the flexibility of the net in a small battery efficient form factor.

I really do understand where your coming from with the suggestion for a laptop.. the problem I have with laptops are the keyboards tend to take up more space and when I'm trying to shuffle textbooks/notes/internet device be it laptop or tablet.. it all starts taking up a lot more room..

I don't have any need to do hardcore computing outside of my desktop.. My school has a comp sci lab if absolutely needed.

My needs are more for note taking in my classes that don't have computers already.

Something I can bring to study that doesn't take up a lot of room.

something really good with batteries that I don't have to worry about much.

I'll look into the smaller laptops like you suggested.. its just really hard finding that balance between a speedy experience (not a "powerful" device per se but, one that offers speed for general task, battery life, and low enough price to justify purchasing it.)
OK, I understand that. If your needs are pretty modest then a tablet with an option to add a keyboard might not be a bad way to go. The Transformer does have some benefits over a laptop. It has better battery life, an SSD, IPS panel, and obviously touch functionality. With the keyboard dock installed the Transformer is going to have a similar foot print as most 10.1" netbooks.
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post #5 of 6
I'm a university student myself and I got sick of carrying a 15.6" laptop that weighs 6lbs, so I sold it and got a used MSI Wind U100 Plus for $180. I have a powerful desktop (in sig) for gaming and other demanding tasks and just use my netbook for taking notes in class and of course studying in the library..

I wonder who's idea it was to put PS3's and Xbox360's in the libraries at my school.
Edited by OrangeBunnies - 6/5/11 at 6:32pm
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I do understand that I wouldn't be getting the same power as a desktop or even a more serious laptop.

However, like I said power =/= speed and I just need something snappy enough to do what I want.

I might consider the transformer more + the keyboard dock.

Seems like a pretty small footprint either way.. pretty modular therefore flexible.

I can deal without gaming capabilities or loading up visual studio ultimate.

I do think I am going to keep searching a bit more before I pull the trigger.. 550$ total is still a bit steep.

too new to expect a price drop any time soon though.
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