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Thread: Mobile Device????

  1. #1
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    Mobile Device????

    I always had only a desk top computer so have very little knowledge of mobile devices and probably the terminology too so bear with me. What would be better to get, laptop, chromebook, Ipad or something else and please not an Iphone. What makes one better than the other and maybe a recommendation as to brand. Thanks.
    John T.

  2. #2
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    I use iPads, windows computers, MacBooks but have never had a chrome book.
    One colleague has a chrome book and canít set it up to use a hp printer - I know itís probably user error, but Iím not around enough to sit down and set it up. Evidently it doesnít play nice with the network printer either.
    My iPad and all the iPhones in the house canít find my HP network printer. Iíve tried, believe me.
    My 2 Lenovo computers, both laptops, do what they need to, every time. Iím running windows 10 professional on both.
    Youíll get lots of opinions about all the platforms. One of the things you havenít told us, is what you want to do with it.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  3. #3
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    It depends on how you want to use the device. I run an Acer Laptop computer with Windows 10. My husband had an Android based tablet until it just died and he chose a HP Chrome Book for a replacement. As I run accounting software for his business as well as Fusion 360 for project design and 3D printer files it is important to me to use Windows as there are many, many applications I can choose from. Hubby on the other hand, primarily uses his device for surfing and email. His Chrome Book is quick and responsive. He has commented since switching to the Chrome Book that it is easier to surf using the keyboard instead of the touchscreen.

  4. #4
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    Do you need to make phone calls on it? How do you feel about the need for a keyboard?

    I'm the desktop support guy for our household and I finally purged the place of Windows and Android (leaving us with Apple and Linux based devices) and my workload went down by a factor of 10. Everything works, everything talks to each other. I can print from my phone (HP laser printer), my pictures, email, and web bookmarks show up everywhere without my intervention, I can do texts and phone calls from my laptop. Everything backs up to a NAS and to the cloud. I can put the output from my computer, phone or my wife's pad onto the TV with a simple click. It all just works with minimal intervention on my part.

    So, if you do things that involve real computation (unlikely, I'm gathering), depend on desktop apps, or like having an integrated real keyboard then you probably want a laptop. If you primarily surf the web and do email then a pad can be a very attractive, very portable option. (the voice recognition on iPads works very well, eliminating much of the need for a keyboard for text. For ultimate portability, a smartphone is fine. An oversize phone blurs those categories, but loses the convenience of fitting readily in your pocket.

    Some web sites, like this forum, work much better on a laptop than on a pad or phone. That will change over time, but we're still in a transitional period. There is rare, mostly specialty, software that is platform-specific. If you depend on one of those applications (eg to run a CNC or laser cutter) then that will drive your choice.

    So, it really depends on what you need to do and how you work. In any of those classes I have no regrets over choosing the Apple devices. The extra upfront cost for me is blown away by the downstream ease of use and integration.

  5. #5
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    Agreeing with what Roger said. Depends on what you want to do with it. I have a laptop (MAC Airbook) and wife has an iPad. I got a laptop so I could have a real keypad to type documents and manage files easier. Her iPad is a touchscreen so you can do surfing easier. iPad is a bit more portable. Neither has ability to read DVDs/CDs if you have a bunch of old stuff to transfer - you'll need an external reader. I'd almost say that iPad is made to work while in your hands (like a big phone) while laptop is made to sit on desk/table/lap. If you want to read books, do Facebook, or just social media, iPad is better.

    We've converted to all Apple stuff, despite concerns over world domination, and are happy with the compatibility between products. Windows 10 killed any further interest in PCs.

  6. #6
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    IMHO if you want a 'computer' that will best mirror your desktop experience, you want a laptop. Depending on the type of user you are (gadget and peripheral requirements) the new habit of omitting, on portables, the connectors your familiar with can be a challenge. The absence of a USB type A connector is not a show stopper, just a consideration.

    When I want to use a computer I go to the desk. I do a lot of computing away from the desk. PADs and other 'gameboy' devices are handy but, not for what I consider serious work. None of these wonders are bad (well, OK, some are), they just vary in value with how you plan to use them.

    For mobile computing I want a decent keyboard (I don't care about a 10-key but others do) and a good pointing device. I'll take a touch-pad over a ball or a nipple-mouse but that is very user specific; a small optical mouse in my pocket trumps any built in pointing device on any laptop I have ever seen and I've used them since they came with handles.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 04-01-2021 at 12:15 PM. Reason: sp
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  7. #7
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    When I want a true mobile device for viewing Internet accessible things like forums, web sites, etc., I have an iPad. The screen size and quality is very readable. That added to the stability, consistency and security of iOS makes it attractive for this purpose. (I will be clear that I use the entire Apple ecosystem other than for my CNC machine that requires Windows). I certainly have used the laptop format for travel when I needed full computing capabilities for certain applications or need my files along for the ride, but otherwise, the iPad tablet is a great tool.

    My normal computer is a "laptop" (MacBook Pro) but I use it primarily at my desk (99% of the time) with a dual 27" monitor setup. I like big monitors, I cannot lie....
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    IMHO if you want a 'computer' that will best mirror your desktop experience, you want a laptop....
    I agree, although I wouldn't rule out another desktop unless you need the mobility. In our house one of us has a degree in Computer Science and the other is a former IBM Systems Engineer. She uses a 10-year-old Gateway desktop. Mine is homebuilt and 2-3 years younger **. Both originally used Windows but now run OpenSuse Linux. I'm not going to try to talk you into Linux right now.

    I don't think laptops make good desktops although adding a real keyboard, monitor and mouse help a lot. On the other hand, desktops aren't portable at all if that matters to you.

    There are times I'd like to have a tablet (running Android) for easier web surfing while sitting at the table or watching TV, but we get along without it. IMO cell phones are too small for decent web access unless that's all you have.

    If you get rid of your old computer, someone you don't trust might end up with it. Consider physically destroying the hard disk so none of the information can be retrieved. Simply deleting things is not enough. The old PC isn't worth anything anyway although you might be able to use the keyboard, mouse and monitor.

    [** Edit: Both computers have newer and bigger monitors. Mine has 2 of them. The screens and the web connection seem as important as anything else these days.]
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 04-01-2021 at 12:13 PM.

  9. #9
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    This is all good info. Knowing what I want is not something I know and thus the question. I have no idea what these all can do. Surfing the net is a must. Eventually will want it for doing shows so that I can show examples of other work I do for interested customers when I do not have inventory. What are the devices that look like they are carried in a thin leather case and when you want to use them you just fold them out?? They look smaller than a laptop and look like a book. I have big hands and stubby fingers so typing is a concern. Yes sometime down the road I will need to upgrade my computer. Just hearing so many bad stories about Windows 10. Afraid if I do buy and put an older system in that will get outdated and not supported any more. I may need to just walk around in BestBuy and pick the geekers brains and see what all these things look like. Trying to gather some info so I do not sound like a complete idiot. Thanks everyone.
    John T.

  10. #10
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    For pitching jobs an iPad seems like it'd be the way to go. I'm not a huge fan of Apple, I don't care for their "walled garden" approach though it has its benefits. I find it a pain to move things - photos and such to "the outside world". I guess an iCloud account would be the best option. I carry two phones - yeah it's a pain - but I tend to prefer the Android. Company wants me to carry an iPhone. Typing on an onscreen keyboard is frustrating, I bought a folding bluetooth keyboard which works out reasonably well. For doing things like this - posting on Sawmill Creek - a desktop or laptop is my preferred device. Special software needs? Not much choice there, buy what the software will run on.

  11. I have a laptop, tablet (Surface) and two Android smart phones. I also have Samsung Smart TV's It is nice that they can all communicate with each other. I find something on the internet, on my phone or tablet and I can push a button to have it appear on my large screen TV set. I can use a phone take a video of something and text it to my wife, or e=mail it to a buddy or put it up on the TV for a group to watch. In fact, before I retired, I did some evidence this way for court trials. My 92 yr old father despite being very mechanically inclined all his life, is just not digitally inclined. ie he sees little he could want in electronics and digital devices. My 90 yr old mother, until her vision got too bad was quite the computer saavy senior. Trading recipes, sending emails, making vacation arrangements etc over the computer and smart phone.. One hot summer Saturday morning, I hit a groundhog hole and busted a bearing on my front axle of my tractor, while raking hay. While out in the field, sitting in the shade of the tractor, I pulled up a parts diagram of the tractor, got the part number, searched the inventory of the local dealers, found one in stock, paid for the part and had them put the part out side in the bushes, because I would be unable to get there before they closed at noon. All on my smart phone. Had I not been able to get the part on the tractor that day, I would not have finished baling hay before the rain the following Monday. I literally saved thousands of dollars of hay because of a smart phone.

    Took my wife to a fabric store for quilting supplies. While we shopped, she used her smart phone joined their "customer club" and got a first time coupon by email on her phone for 25% off. (Of nearly $150 of material.) Even if we never go back to that store, it was worth the discount and all in the space of a few minutes while shopping. We get a check in the mail, she takes a picture and deposits the check without ever leaving the house. She can order take out and pay for it while I am driving home and it is ready when I get to the restaurant and all I need do is pullup out front and they bring it to me.

    I do miss the interpersonal contact of seeing the people at the bank or the restaurant, but this sure beats driving, parking, ordering and waiting.

  12. #12
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    I know I spoke of iPad previously because, well...it's my favorite.

    But there is one potential choice that would give you "tablet" when you want/need it and "laptop" when that's the call...Microsoft Surface. LIghtweight, portable, fully capable as it's a Windows machine. While I'm no longer a Windows user other than for my CNC, Surface is indeed a pretty nice setup, particularly the more premium versions.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Jim just mentioned the Surface, but the iPad Pro has had mouse capability for a little while, too, making it very similar. I have not tried adding a mouse to my iPad yet (Pro, 10.5”, bought in late 2017, I think), but I do have a Logitech combination case and keyboard that works quite well, and the keyboard is magnetically attached, so it’s quick to remove. The case then has a back support that allows for a wide range of tilt angles.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  14. #14
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    I use a Kindle Fire and am very happy. It does everything I need and significantly cheaper than an iPad. I also use my Samsung Galaxy for a lot kf things. I use it for music, audio books, reading, etc. I use my Kindle to read forums.

    I have a Dell PC and Dell laptop.

    People seem to be either Apple or PC /Android. And of course, whatever they have is best.

    To often, people ask this type of question and do not ask the most important question. What are you going to use it for?

  15. #15
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    I use an iPad Pro when I am visiting potential customers. I load the highest resolution pictures I have and use a slide show or view specific pictures depending on customer interest. My slide show generates additional work almost all the time because I am capable of making more than just signs. I also use my iPad when I travel to access SawMill Creek and use email and I have a keyboard and mouse when I need them. FWIW I can't use my iPhone for web browsing or to send email. My fingers just can't function on a small device but I can read email.

    In my office I use an iMac and in my shop I use a Windows PC to run my CNC Router and Laser Engraver.

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