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Old 2011-09-30, 16:16   Link #21
Random32
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Dante makes a good point. How long are expecting to use this machine?

I believe that the next gen Intel CPU's are Ivy Bridge. Thunderbolt is crap (very expensive, inefficient, not supported, proprietary), though USB3 will be nice. On the topic of eGPU's, we have had that for a while now over ExpressCard.

Also, for most cases it is against your best interest to buy an "ultrabook." Its in Intel's best interest since they want to sell ULV chips to someone other than Apple, and ULV chips are more and more not worth it compared to their performance loss (for example, Lenovo does not provide a ULV "s" variant of their X220, opting to use SV chips on the entire line). The only benefit is the reduction of maximum heat output which is only useful for laptops thin to the point of being counter productive (such as the MacBook Air), other benefits are negligible to non-existent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
how about... higher?

let's bump it up to $1200

the screen used in this ASUS alone is definitely worth it!!!
i'm sooo saving $$$ for this!

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Slate-EP1...6843696&sr=1-2
just get a separate keyboard and you're good to go
I would not suggest a tablet. They are only useful in very specific scenarios (The reason why they never took off until the Church of Steve Jobs endorsed them) and require many compromise. If one is to spend $1200 (btw, this is double the OP's original desired price), I would still stick to my suggestion of the Thinkpad X220, just with more upgrades. Unless the budget doesn't allow for it, the Thinkpad X220 is the best ultraportable this side of 2 grand imho.
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Old 2011-09-30, 20:21   Link #22
Urzu 7
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Yeah, I'm not seriously considering an ultraportable any more. After looking into it, if I were to buy one that would be worth the money, it would be close to the price I'd like to spend on a new desktop. Just don't really need an ultraportable. It would be a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have.

I wouldn't mind a portable computer, though. The new Amazon Fire has a price I like. It looks like a quality tablet PC at the right price ($200). The only downside is the storage (8 GB). I will wait for the next models of Amazon Fire, as the rumor is that in the middle of next year, better models will roll around.

I heard some Android tablets support micro SD cards. I found some online that do, but they are crap tablets. Does anyone know of any Android based tablets that are good and also support micro SD cards?
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Old 2011-09-30, 21:02   Link #23
Dante of the Inferno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I heard some Android tablets support micro SD cards. I found some online that do, but they are crap tablets. Does anyone know of any Android based tablets that are good and also support micro SD cards?
The Nook Color is currently the best Android tablet on the market under $300 (that also supports micro SD). Since it's been quite a while since there's been a new version, Amazon will likely force Barnes and Noble to release their new tablet in late October/early November, just barely in time for the holidays.

However, don't confuse a tablet for a tablet PC. If you have even the slightest desire to run a full operating system, I'd say you should just wait until next year for Windows 8 tablets running quad-core ARM processors. Even the dev models given out at Build are about the same dimensions as the Galaxy Tab 10.1.
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Old 2011-09-30, 22:14   Link #24
Urzu 7
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Oh, Windows 8 tablet PCs due out next year; not to be confused with "tablets". Okay.

I might just want a tablet, really, but now that I know there will be tablet PCs, I wanna wait for more details on them. Any indication to their price range?

I found a Sony tablet with micro SD support. Does anyone know if the Sony tablets are any good? Do they support netflix, or streaming from sites such as Crunchyroll?
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Old 2011-10-01, 01:39   Link #25
Dante of the Inferno
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Tablet PC's tend to cost in the $600 - 800 range, but the current generation are by all accounts inferior to what is coming, in terms of build quality, size, weight, general use, and (likely) price. Windows 8 is going to make or break Microsoft in the tablet space, and it may actually succeed, based on reviews of the developer version in circulation. Expect to see it in Fall 2012.

If you need a tablet with microSD support, then you are obviously going to use it for video. I'm going to tell you right now that thanks to Sony's partitioning scheme, the 16 GB model of their Tablet S has only 7 GB to work with and only about 3.5 GB of system space for apps. Currently, the best Android tablet with microSD support is the Acer Transformer, which you can get bundled with a keyboard dock and embedded battery for the low, low price of $550 total. However, the codec support on Android means that it won't be able to play every file type, and no Android device can play 1080p video (max is 720p).

As for streaming, the Transformer should be able to run Netflix (at least if side-loaded). I don't stream from tablets, so I don't really know how capable Crunchyroll is on it. It should be fine with a good internet connection, since hardware isn't likely a problem.


Incidentally, if you DON'T need more than 30 or so GB for space, I would recommend getting the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7, which is going on sale around the end of October for likely $500 - 550 (for the 32 GB model). The reason I mention this is because it's (currently) the only tablet with Super AMOLED Plus screen (the kind on only a small handful of the best smartphones on the market). I'll tell you right now, the display kicks the crap out of literally everything else, so the experience of watching video on it is truly something to behold.
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Old 2011-10-01, 02:03   Link #26
0utf0xZer0
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I'm not sure if Urzu 7 is aware of Microsoft's tablet strategy with Windows 8 so I'll briefly explain:

There will be versions for both X86 CPUs (like you find in current Windows PC) and ARM CPUs (like those found in Android and iOS devices).

Windows 8 will have two components: the default Metro user interface, and the traditional Windows desktop, launched from Metro. Each will run applications specifically designed for it (Metro Apps and traditional Windows apps). While Metro will come with both ARM and X86 versions, only X86 Windows 8 will have access to the Windows desktop.

(ARM based Windows 8 machines will probably be cheaper and get better battery life though.)

The Metro user interface is designed for tablets and will run applications designed specifically for Metro, but be advised that applications for Metro will be available only through Microsoft's app store.

@Dante:

The Transformer is made by Asus. Acer makes the Iconia series. I have a friend who recently bought a Transformer and seems to like it, although I haven't played with it much yet.

@Random32:

I thought Expresscard to PCI express adaptors were limited to a x1 link, which imposes limitations on the speed of external GPUs. Thunderbolt is supposedly capable of providing a X4 PCI Express link although people will need to build hardware to use it.
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Old 2011-10-01, 02:54   Link #27
synaesthetic
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The newer ExpressCard standard can yield an x2 link... which, depending on your eGPU, could still be significant over a native mobile solution.

Thunderbolt is the obvious solution in the coming years, however.
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Old 2011-10-01, 03:02   Link #28
Dante of the Inferno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
@Dante:

The Transformer is made by Asus. Acer makes the Iconia series. I have a friend who recently bought a Transformer and seems to like it, although I haven't played with it much yet.

@Random32:

I thought Expresscard to PCI express adaptors were limited to a x1 link, which imposes limitations on the speed of external GPUs. Thunderbolt is supposedly capable of providing a X4 PCI Express link although people will need to build hardware to use it.

Yeah, sorry for the mix up. I'd hate to credit Acer for much of anything these days.

As for the Thunderbolt approach, companies have already started to created PCI Expresscard to Thunderbolt adapters (only 1-way, due to hardware limitations). Better still, there are also now straight PCI cards (like the kind you stick in a regular desktop PC) to Thunderbolt accessories. These will (once there is integrated Thunderbolt support) allow you to carry around an ultrabook with good specs and then later plug into the equivalent of a docking station to access the video processing power of a desktop machine. This is great for allowing you to perform intensive video editing or gaming on a middling machine while also giving you the option to turn ANY Thunderbolt-equipped machine into a GPU-upgradable device.


Random32:
What I meant to say is that the Cactus Ridge controller will be out in 2012. Whether or not it's on the Ivy Bridge processor in early 2012 or late 2012 is anyone's guess. Otherwise, it will definitely be on the Haswell processor in late 2012/early 2013.
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Old 2011-10-01, 03:36   Link #29
Urzu 7
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I might just get a cheap (but good quality) tablet for my first tablet, and then get something better next year.

I might as well go with an Amazon Fire. I mean, look into it. Get something with much more storage space in, let's say, fall or winter of 2012.
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Last edited by Urzu 7; 2011-10-01 at 03:50.
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Old 2011-10-01, 09:19   Link #30
Random32
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Sorry, misinterpreted what you were trying to say Dante.

As for traditional Windows aplications in Windows 8 on ARM. I'm pretty sure MS has said that Win8ARM will support traditional Windows applications and Win32 applications will just require a recompile (provided that there isn't anything else chaining it to x86).

http://m.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/mi...8-on-arm/10756
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Old 2011-10-01, 09:32   Link #31
SeijiSensei
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The Ubuntu Linux builds for ARM are known to run on some tablets, giving you a complete operating system. Of course most of the applications are not designed for multi-touch, so I don't know how you manage gestures and text input. People have been successful at installing Ubuntu on the now-discontinued HP Touchpad. Too bad you didn't pick one up when HP unloaded their inventory a few weeks back at $99-149. Now they're running $250-300 on eBay.
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Old 2011-10-01, 10:53   Link #32
Random32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I might just get a cheap (but good quality) tablet for my first tablet, and then get something better next year.

I might as well go with an Amazon Fire. I mean, look into it. Get something with much more storage space in, let's say, fall or winter of 2012.
running a few numbers

cheap tablet $200-300
good tablet $500-1000
total $700-1300
Thinkpad X220 $800+ (less with a good sale) (X230 next year as well)

So you will end up spending about the same amount of money on both tablets and ultraportables. Except with tablets, unless you have a very specific usage scenario that is good for tablet usage, you will get significantly less functionality. You'll probably need to convert video into a format friendly toward tablets if you want to watch downloaded fansubs (mkv support is very limited, I doubt stuff like Hi10p would work either both due to lack of support and lack of compute power), streaming may not work if its flash, any typing will suck due to the onscreen keyboard being worse than even the crappiest physical ones (except for ASUS Transformer which has real keyboard), if not a Windows 8 tablet there won't be file system access.

Also, since you have to convert downloaded fansubs to be viewed on a tablet anyways, the main reason we suggested against the Thinkpad X120e doesn't apply anymore. You can get a fully loaded X120e for what you would have spent on tablets.

Thus suggestions
1. Get a Thinkpad X220 now/soon or an X230 later. This will provide a full computer that is capable of handling anything you throw at it in a small package. It is a bit heavier, but is much faster, flexible, and better built, provide a real keyboard and a matte screen, and probably get better battery life if you choose and extended battery option. Considering that the X220 has a Standard Voltage CPU, it is fast enough to replace a full size laptop or desktop.
2. Get a Thinkpad X120e now. It will be slower than the X220 and get less battery life, but compared to a tablet, it is still a superior device for most usage scenarios. Compared to a tablet, it will be faster, more flexible, most likely much better built, and provide a real keyboard and a matte screen at the cost of some battery life and some weight (the weight is negligible imho since all of them are very portable devices, the battery life cost you probably will feel though)
3. Get a Windows 8 Tablet later. Don't get anything now. It should provide similar levels of functionality to the Thinkpad X120e, but be lighter and have longer battery life, but you lose the keyboard and probably the matte screen as well.
4. Get a cheap tablet now. Don't get anything better. The cheapest option. Depending on how your going to use it you might not mind the loss in functionality from a Windows 8 Tablet or an ultraportable. If you are considering upgrading to something better in the near future, just get that now if you can or wait since this will be $200-300 wasted if that happens.
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Old 2011-10-01, 12:04   Link #33
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
Sorry, misinterpreted what you were trying to say Dante.

As for traditional Windows aplications in Windows 8 on ARM. I'm pretty sure MS has said that Win8ARM will support traditional Windows applications and Win32 applications will just require a recompile (provided that there isn't anything else chaining it to x86).

http://m.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/mi...8-on-arm/10756
Okay, I stand corrected. Still means that your old Windows apps won't work out of the box though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I might just get a cheap (but good quality) tablet for my first tablet, and then get something better next year.

I might as well go with an Amazon Fire. I mean, look into it. Get something with much more storage space in, let's say, fall or winter of 2012.
One note about the Fire: by default, the Silk web browser preprocesses parts of webpages (ie. resizes images) on Amazon's servers for faster loading. Meaning that Amazon's servers see pretty much everything you're doing. You can turn this processing off (although it'll reduce speed) if it concerns you, but I thought I'd mention it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
The Ubuntu Linux builds for ARM are known to run on some tablets, giving you a complete operating system. Of course most of the applications are not designed for multi-touch, so I don't know how you manage gestures and text input. People have been successful at installing Ubuntu on the now-discontinued HP Touchpad. Too bad you didn't pick one up when HP unloaded their inventory a few weeks back at $99-149. Now they're running $250-300 on eBay.
I actually mentioned the $99-149 Touchpad deal to the friend who eventully bought an Asus Transformer back when the drop was first announced. We gave up on it pretty fast - our initial inquiries suggested it was going to be very difficult to find anyone who actually had stock of them. Not sure if the situation was better in the US.
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Old 2011-10-01, 12:14   Link #34
Urzu 7
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Thanks for your post where you suggested options, Random32. I'd like a portable computer of some kind, I just don't know what yet. I think I'll just wait till at least next year for a portable computer. I'm not going to rush to a purchase. I'm just considering options for portable computers and tablets right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post


One note about the Fire: by default, the Silk web browser preprocesses parts of webpages (ie. resizes images) on Amazon's servers for faster loading. Meaning that Amazon's servers see pretty much everything you're doing. You can turn this processing off (although it'll reduce speed) if it concerns you, but I thought I'd mention it.


Yeah, I don't intend to get an Amazon Fire this year. Not any more. It fits in with what I said above. But wow, Amazon getting browsing information...I'm sure there will be a lot of people who will look at tons of porn on that thing, not knowing so much of it will be collected by Amazon. @_@
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Old 2011-10-01, 12:20   Link #35
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I'm sure there will be a lot of people who will look at tons of porn on that thing, not knowing so much of it will be collected by Amazon.
Amazon doesn't give a damn about your porn browsing. What they do care about are your visits to other shopping sites, your interests, what you buy from competitors, etc. That sort of information is a marketing executive's dream.
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Old 2011-10-01, 13:50   Link #36
DreGon45
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All I have to say, is don't go with Dell. They're stuff is pretty good but over priced as hell. They also make it to were if parts go bad you have to take to a Dell distributor to get it fixed and price it ridiculously instead of letting you fix it by simply replacing a 30-80(Possibly more depending on the price) dollar piece, that and their products aren't all to reliable. HP is the same basic way.
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Old 2011-10-01, 14:38   Link #37
monster
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Since Windows 8 has been mentioned, I would just point out that if anyone plans on buying a laptop/tablet this year and wants to install Windows 8 on it either now or some time in the future, make sure your display supports the minimum screen resolutions:

1024 x 768 or larger to run metro-style apps
1366 x 768 or larger to run metro-style apps and get the metro-style snap functionality as well, so you can display two metro-style apps or a metro-style app and the desktop side by side

Most displays today will probably meet the requirement, but people should know just in case they find one that doesn't. Note that desktop applications will still run with a lower resolution.
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Old 2011-10-01, 17:15   Link #38
DreGon45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
Since Windows 8 has been mentioned, I would just point out that if anyone plans on buying a laptop/tablet this year and wants to install Windows 8 on it either now or some time in the future, make sure your display supports the minimum screen resolutions:

1024 x 768 or larger to run metro-style apps
1366 x 768 or larger to run metro-style apps and get the metro-style snap functionality as well, so you can display two metro-style apps or a metro-style app and the desktop side by side

Most displays today will probably meet the requirement, but people should know just in case they find one that doesn't. Note that desktop applications will still run with a lower resolution.
I haven't seen any PRDs for the new Windows OS. Do you know when it'll be out?
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Old 2011-10-01, 17:26   Link #39
Random32
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It isn't really very relevant to Urzu7's purchasing decision, but most 10" netbooks are 1024x600 and therefore will not run Metro without hacking the screen resolution (which tends to make things look like crap).
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Old 2011-10-02, 01:02   Link #40
monster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreGon45 View Post
I haven't seen any PRDs for the new Windows OS. Do you know when it'll be out?
It's still too early in the development cycle to announce release date. But if development is anything like it was with Windows 7, then you could expect it to be out in the second half of next year.
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