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Old 07-09-2010, 04:13 PM   #1
abeaty
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Struggling making a decision - looking for advice

OK I came here a month ago to find the best eReader for PDF books I recently purchased. Two things quickly became clear:

1) There was no "slam dunk" solution in any of the eInk screens. The closest I found were the iRex offerings. The problem is they were very expensive and the company is in chapter 11.

2) For my needs I would likely need at least a 9" screen.

Fast forward to today - once I started looking at the bigger screens, the costs quickly escalated to where an iPad entered the discussion. From what I have seen, the iPad would be a great technical solution to my dilemma, but there are a few stumbling blocks:

1) I hate that Apple locks it down from a software side. I should be able to run any software I own that is also supported by the OS and the hardware. This is not limited to apps or plugins, but should include drivers and even OS.

2) I hate even more that Apple locks it down from a hardware side - I should be able to buy the $500 unit and upgrade it to more memory and 3G if I need it and when I want to spend it.

3) I hate even more that Jobs has made a political statement about Adobe and Flash and I have to carry the brunt of his decision by not being able to install the flash plugin. Without this plugin, the vast majority of websites will not work properly.

Because of these issues, I started looking for iPad alternatives and have found a small offering of netbooks with convertible screens so they effectively become tablets.

Like this.

They are definitely in the same price range as the lowest priced iPad. From what I have read, with some setting customizations and an extra GB of RAM, these these do pretty well in comparison to the iPad.

Obviously the screen is way better in the iPad as is the overall usability, but these netbooks don't have the same limitations as I mentioned above.

Wanted to see if anyone here was able to compare or had some strong feelings agreeing or disagreeing with my views.

Thanks and let's keep this civil.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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If the battery life is no issue you should be very satisfied with a convertible tablet netbook. Try stopping by Dynamism and check out the various slate and convertibles they carry.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #3
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Ease of use, speed, intuitiveness and flexibility of iPad is unbeatable IMO. Netbook is also flexible but there are overhead, battery life issues. If u only need to be able to read/notate PDFs and don't need other functions then get a dedicated reader, if you want to do lots of functions and want to deal with pc-like issues then get the net book.

iPad is designed with the locked out stuff for a reason. For it's intended function you don't need to have certain functionality, it just gets in the way
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:15 PM   #4
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Just get an iPad. Plain and simple, it works.

Coming from computers people feel like they need to have a device that can do everything in the world because software on computers is so specialized that you need a lot of options to get what is perfect for you. If you're looking to do some serious computing and excel modeling and presentation building the iPad will suck for that. Basically the iPad is a very fun device that allows you do consume media in a very easy fashion: Ebooks, PDFs, Movies (in ipod format), Comics, blogs and the web.

Battery Life: iPad wins
Netbooks don't have the same battery life as an iPad so you will need to be around a power plug a lot more often with them.

Applications: iPad wins
Sure netbooks have all the applications for Windows to choose from but those applications are mostly built for more powerful machines and are not finger friendly which is why you are trying to use a tablet. Most PDF applications for PCs don't remember what page you were on of a document that you last viewed let alone multiple docs so PDF eBook reading is much better on an iPad. iPad applications are made specifically for the device so you don't have to worry about crashes or menus being to small to navigate with your finger.

Design: iPad Wins
Ergonomically the iPad would be better to hold than a Netbook which is larger/heavier so it gives you a better reading experience.

Real Work (ie, using Microsoft Office and extended typing): Tablets Win
The only real benefit of a Tablet netbook would be if you do not have a laptop and you need to do real work on it. The iPad is not a real computer no matter how much people wish it was, but its a very good device and runs circles around the eInk devices out there.

Last edited by junkyardwillie; 07-09-2010 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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iPad is the clear choice. I do find it interesting that your big issue with the iPad is that it is "locked down", yet you would consider an iRex.... or any eInk device....

Anyway

You really can't go wrong with ether iPad or netbook. It really depends on what you will use it for. Do you want to run Windows software? Then get a Netbook.... Is battery life, portability (at least more so), and access to 200,000 plus applications are important? Get the iPad....

I own a Gateway 10.1" Netbook, with the newer Atom processor, and Win 7... Got it a month before I got the iPad... Let's just say the iPad is used a LOT more....
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:19 PM   #6
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To each their own, but I tried using an iPad as a reader, it just didn't work.

If you are in Europe, why not the new 10" Samsung?

Otherwise, wait for the Asus Tablet...

Or settle with the SONY PRS900. That's what I am doing - it's not perfect, I wish it had a bigger screen, but it gets the job done.

But an iPad... reading on anything retro-illuminated seems to bother some people more than others - but it sure bothers me a whole lot. And battery life. And weight. And Apple-wants-to-control-you....
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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Another option similar to the Asus you linked is the Lenovo... not sure what it's called, but it's a similar 10" tablet.

I have used the Asus. While I don't like reading on anything like that (I still rather deal with E-ink, despite the smaller screens of current touch-screen devices), one think I really appreciated was the functioning remote desktop options in Windows7 (yes, yes, XP and Vista too, but W7 really made it so much more useful and user-friendly). When on the road, I can remotely access my desktop at work and have a fully working machine at my fingertips - running SAS code on my 10Gb+ datasets from a tablet is, frankly, priceless.

To be fair, the iPad has some remote desktop apps as well, but they are not as user friendly - especially when interfaced with Windows - as a straight W7 to W7 remote desktop solution.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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I'd go the netbook route. You have so many more options without the restrictions from Apple.
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