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Old 04-29-2010, 10:53 PM   #61
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And I'm not too willing to budge on many of those factors so I may be waiting a while!
Waiting is the unspoken option that few of us seem to be good at.

If you do have the patience, it can certainly sometimes be well worth the wait though.


I actually agree with your preference for the 4:3 format (I've been happily using it for 25 years) and I was initially quite put off by the general switch in screen ratios. However, like most things, now that I've been using it for a while it seems OK. If I had a choice of two otherwise equal machines I'd still go for a 4:3 screen, but that seems to be a dwindling option right now. Maybe the pendulum will swing back again, at least some of the way?

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Old 04-29-2010, 11:06 PM   #62
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Yeah I think it will swing back.

I think we're seeing a lot of 16x9 tablets announced as they're probably using cheap netbook screens.

Which is a problem in itself as the IPS screen on the IPAD is so damn good in both clarity and the responsivity of the touch screen!

But I do have patience on this as I'm just not all that antsy to get a tablet. My laptop, desktop and printouts of PDF have served me fine for years and can continue to do so until a tablet more in line with my needs is out.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:39 AM   #63
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Which is a problem in itself as the IPS screen on the IPAD is so damn good in both clarity and the responsivity of the touch screen!
That "joy to use" factor is always hard to rate when you're crunching specs. My wife has only ever expressed love for one tech device in all the years we've been together. As you might guess, it's her iPhone. There are many other devices that do all the things that she uses her iPhone for, and they are all cheaper. But that's not the point - the iPhone just has that hard to define "IT" that makes it a real pleasure for her to use, every time. I have an iTouch which has a similar feel about it. I've also bought many other things such cars and musical instruments for their charm factor ahead of their specs, and usually not regretted it.

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Ideal would be a 11" or so 4:3 screen (or just an A4 screen), standard windows like file system, drag and drop file loading, good stylus support for mark up, 8-10 hours battery life, touch screen responsivity on par with iPad, instant on, etc. etc.
Put me down for one too. It seems like such a no-brainer to have something that is at least 'A4 friendly', with a stack of potential business uses, that I don't get why there aren't a number of devices that have at least similar specs. Maybe we'll see them filtering through over the next year or two.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:45 AM   #64
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Well his location is "Pittsburgh, PA" so I assumed he meant within the US. Sorry. Guess he'll have to indicate where he wants to go shopping.
I don't think he wants to go shopping at all. I think it's just another "iPad... love it or hate it?" thread.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:48 AM   #65
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I played with an iPad the first week they came out and it's very slick
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I have a bigger bulky Lenovo x61t right now, but the size and weight and fan all make it not so good for e-book reading and not so portable. I really hate the way the extended battery pokes out the back (and yet I only get 5+ hrs of battery life). Still, if there was a good $500 netbook convertible with 10+hr battery life and typical 10" netbook size and weight, it would probably be at the top of my list.

Ah, I get the picture now.

You’d really like something lightweight with the slick interface of the iPad and 10 hours of battery life, but still with all the features and versatility of the Lenovo, and all for $499. Me too.

As far as I can tell, the one we both want is called the UR Dreaming 2 and it currently looks like it’s due out in about 2015.

It sounds like you’ve gone all weak at the knees for a pretty interface and can’t quite bring yourself to admit to your trusty Lenovo that you’re eyeing off a mistress. My advice is to cough up for an iPad, and work out the rationale later. Then keep saving for the UR Dreaming 2 (we all know it’s coming eventually...). That’s quite possibly what I’ll do too, when the iPad gets released here. Even though I already have a tablet that does a perfectly good job of absolutely everything I need ...

Cheers,

Chris
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:34 AM   #66
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:33 AM   #67
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It sounds like you’ve gone all weak at the knees for a pretty interface and can’t quite bring yourself to admit to your trusty Lenovo that you’re eyeing off a mistress.
Actually, I don't care about the OS. Well, it's not the main thing for me anyway. And I don't even prefer the iPad interface, given other good options. Having said that, I think it's only fair to acknowledge that the iPad and its interface does really look slick. And the advantage of Apple or Android is the extra battery life in conjunction with lots of apps and general responsiveness.

What I do really want is e-book reader application choice. It's all about a good PDF reading option. A full OS like Windows or Ubuntu would be ideal because of the added functionality, but for a reading device I don't consider it worth losing the extra battery life.

Btw, reflowable text already works fine on my Sony Reader and Palm Treo, so the main point of the hardware is the larger screen, battery life and storage.

And Chris... you're right -- there may be some incredible devices in 2025!!!! I sure hope so, and that we're all around to see it!
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:09 PM   #68
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Yeah, interface does matter a lot.

But battery life, size/weight, heat output/fan noise are the things that kill any interest I have in tablet PCs like the lenovo.

A tablet for me will mainly be a reader and mark up device, it needs 8-10 hours of battery life to be useful, it needs to be thin and light enough to hold and read for a couple hours or more, it can't have a fan and heat output that makes it unpleasant to use.

And Like I said, I'm fine waiting. I don't think it will be more than a couple years though. For me all someone has to do is make something with the iPads form factor, but with a screen an inch or so bigger and an open file system with drag and drop and I'd be set. I'm not looking for a full PC OS that gets the same battery life etc. Not really looking for any huge step forward in feature set as the iPad is very close to what I need--if not for Apple's walled garden I'd probably get over the screen being a big small and buy one.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:50 PM   #69
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What I do really want is e-book reader application choice. It's all about a good PDF reading option. A full OS like Windows or Ubuntu would be ideal because of the added functionality, but for a reading device I don't consider it worth losing the extra battery life.
PDF's do seem to be a sticking point. If I only wanted to read novels there are any amount of devices to select from, although the DRM thing still complicates the choice. But once you get away from text into more complex layouts and formatting it's a whole lot more demanding. Much of the material is created on completely different machinery (typically with considerably larger screens) or is referencing sizes like the A4 that dmaul1114 mentioned. Trying to cram some of that onto small screens often just doesn't work.

If something is truly 'pocket-portable' then it's simply too small to ever be much good for that sort of use. However, once you get to a decent sized screen then you're looking at either carrying something around your home or office by hand, or else carting it around in some kind of carry bag or briefcase. In that situation you're often not really gaining much by losing valuable screen size for a pretty small weight advantage. You might as well go for something that's somewhere nearer A4 in both shape and size.

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And Chris... you're right -- there may be some incredible devices in 2025!!!! I sure hope so, and that we're all around to see it!
True, but I said 2015, which is only 5 years away, not 15. I don't think that there's actually much of a technical barrier to building a machine that would suit you, me and dmaul1114 right now. My wild guess at 2-5 years is based on taking a punt on how long it might take for:

a) The whole ebook marketing/DRM thing to work through into something a bit more user friendly and

b) The manufacturers to turn their attention away from the ‘all singing, all dancing, read your book and play your movie’ approach towards something that is tailored more directly to just on and off-line reading and/or certain business and professional uses.

I’ve been buying, assembling and using computers running everything from CPM and MsDOS through to various flavours of Windows, Linux and Mac OS for around 25 years now. In my experience, the ideal configuration often seems tantalisingly close, but then drifts away again as the manufacturers follow mass market trends and also build to price points (which almost always means compromising something).

I’d love to see something that took the best features of an iPad and the current netbook style tablets, but there’s never any certainty about the direction things will take.


While I’m waiting, the HP tablet I’m currently using has a 12” screen and runs very quietly. It runs a lot cooler than many laptops, and I don’t notice heat as an issue when I use it. I’m getting 7-8 hours battery life, which is plenty for me, and I’m happy with the weight and bulk, even though it's well above that of an iPad. I could come up with more ideal specs, and it certainly wouldn’t suit everybody. But right now it probably does about the best job that I could expect for the particular set of tasks that I use it for.

Good luck with your hunt.


Cheers,

Chris
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:32 PM   #70
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Here's another option that looks interesting...
http://www.liliputing.com/2010/04/vi...e-battery.html
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Old 05-01-2010, 05:43 AM   #71
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Put me down for one too. It seems like such a no-brainer to have something that is at least 'A4 friendly', with a stack of potential business uses, that I don't get why there aren't a number of devices that have at least similar specs. Maybe we'll see them filtering through over the next year or two.
I think that kind of thing will filter through eventually, but at this point companies are just dipping their toe in the water with these initial products, once they know the demand is there then they will look for ways to expand the market and that's when you will products aimed at a particular niche.

Another obvious point to consider is that larger screen devices will tend to work best with some of the newer lower power than normal lcd screens that haven't arrived yet so that you can avoid pushing up the weight of the device with a big battery to such an extent that most of your market finds the device too heavy.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:12 AM   #72
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Here's another option that looks interesting...
http://www.liliputing.com/2010/04/vi...e-battery.html
Interesting to see some different opinions on the performance of that device, the most favourable one seems to come from a site that reviewed the 2ghz version so perhaps that gives a good indication of the point where the atom cpu from netbooks becomes suitable for tablets. The price creeps up quite quickly with the faster cpu and a decent-sized ssd so maybe another indicator of the situation with win7 tablets, given that the hd seems to be positioned to make it ideal to upgrade it seems a slight shame they don't offer the 2ghz machine with just a normal hd and allow you to upgrade the upgradeable part later if you feel the need.

http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2010/0...w7-ssd-3g.html is the link for the review I mention.

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Old 05-01-2010, 10:01 AM   #73
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The answer to this question depends on what you mean by 'alternative' and whether you are referring to the iPad as a reading device or as a tablet form factor multi-purpose device.

If you're talking only about reading, then there are countless alternatives, all of which beat the iPad in terms of having better screens (e-ink) or not being closed systems with arbitrary restrictions on what you can use them for based on Steve Jobs's personal values.

But the question seems to be asking if there are devices that are exactly the same as the iPad that are alternatives to the iPad, which is an odd question. There are a few similar devices, and many more on the horizon.

My cell phone has almost the same amount of power as the iPad, and can run essentially the same software. If I want a bigger screen or need to do some typing I can use my laptop (which is as portable as an iPad) or a netbook with more power and more possibilities than an iPad for a lower price tag.

For reading, a backlit LCD screen is simply a deal breaker for me. For me to get a tablet it would have to replace my Kindle primarily. I would then find other uses for it I suppose, but for now I can't think of a single task I could do on a tablet that I couldn't do better on my phone or laptop or Kindle.

I think most manufacturers are going to wait and see what happens with the iPad. There is yet to be any indication that the iPad serves any useful purpose. It fills a void between laptop/netbook and phone that I don't think many people actually have. But the software developers may come up with some amazing software that makes the tablet form factor important and useful (which is, after all, what led to the iPhone revamping the industry). If the iPad does eventually become a useful device other manufacturers will simply make better tablets that don't adhere to Apple's anti-consumer, anti-technology ways, and then I will get the best of the best.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:48 AM   #74
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"not being closed systems with arbitrary restrictions on what you can use them for based on Steve Jobs's personal values."
Any interesting statement considering you're using a Kindle which not only is restrictive on what you can load (load up any native .epub files purchased at other online bookstores lately?) but Amazon's already demonstrated ability to yank your content off your device without notice. So you trade Jobs for Bezos.

Steve may have restrictions, but I can shop at Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, soon B&N and other sources easily.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:06 AM   #75
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