Thursday, May 03, 2012

What Tablet Should I Get?

Department's getting me a tablet to replace my aging laptop. What should I get?

Looks like the iPad is the consensus #1, but not by much over the Asus Eee Pad. I kinda shy away from Apple for all the common reasons. I'd rather have the Android platform, to mention one in particular.

The Eee Pad + docking station looks good...  I'm really interested in the Lenovo Think Pad, in part b/c of the stylus/touchscreen, but I'm not sure it stacks up well.

Any input would be appreciated.


Blogger Joshua said...

My partner had a non-tablet Asus Eee for a while (until someone stole it), and she loved it. Reliable hardware, the custom Ubuntu OS did basically everything she needed, all that. I can't imagine the new Android tablet versions are any worse.

As for the Thinkpad, I recall them (again, though, I only worked with the pre-tablet hardware) being kind of a pain when I was doing in-house tech support. We had fewer of them deployed than their Dell equivalents, but I saw them in for service more often. Most of the folks with Thinkpads were sales/corporate and other non-technical types, though, while Dells were our default option for the software engineers. Maybe that's a biasing factor in my anecdotal evidence.

Still, I think you won't go wrong with the Asus tablet.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

Oh, I should also add that I do have an Apple iPad, and it's perfectly fine for me, but I completely understand not wanting to buy into the Apple ecosystem. Used to be they were basically the only viable tablet-like device on the market, but not so any more.

In fact, if you want a full computer in a portable tablet format (which is what it sounds like), I can't think of a worse option than the iPad. It's clearly designed to supplement a computer, not replace one.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Random Michelle K said...

My husband has the 10" Galaxy tab and LOVES it. He has an app that allows him to basically do a Remote Desktop to his other computer, so he can watch DVDs on it.

If your department will spring for it, go for the ThinkPad tablet. I've got the x200 at work and it's hands down my favorite laptop. (Work has always given us ThinkPads, so I'm familiar with ~12 years worth.)

I can't stand not having access to a keyboard, which is why the X200 series works so well for me. You can turn it into a tablet for meetings etc, but have a keyboard for writing email etc. (I'll admit I despised the z60, which was one of Lenovo's first ThinkPads)

Oh, and if you go for something Windows based (like the ThinkPad) you can use OneNote, which is probably the best piece of Software MS ever created. I keep OneNote notebooks on the network at work, and they sync up whenever I'm on the network--take the tablet to a meeting, take notes, then come back and it's all on my desktop. (You can also use SkyDrive or SharePoint if you have access to those.)

As far as the reliability of ThinkPads, you can stand on the damned things, drop 'em onto tile folers, and they'll still work, and our Help Desk suffered a water leak that spewed water over 5 to 10 laptops that were up and running--every one of them continued to work perfectly. (The students in our Health Professional programs have gotten ThinkPads for the past ~15 years, because they're so damned sturdy and hard to kill.)

9:14 PM  
Blogger Random Michelle K said...

You can feel free to email me if you have specific questions--my day job is still software support, and I use a LOT of computers of different types.

But what I forgot to say, is that if you're replacing a laptop, don't get a straight-up tablet unless you're only using it for internet & movies etc. If you're planning on doing any amount of writing, you'll hate not having a keyboard.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

J and MK,

Thanks guys. This is extremely helpful.


10:14 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

What's your budget? There are slate machines out now which run Windows. With Windows 8 coming soon and being optimized for a touch interface, you might do well to invest in a beefier machine than something restricted to Android or iOS.

2:45 PM  

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