Aug
30
2013

New tablet question: #ipad, or #surface?

The iPad is starting to have that ‘can’t keep a charge’ problem; it’s still fine for the kids, though.  I’ll be honest, though: I’m hearing enough good things about the Microsoft Surface that it’s a definite possibility. It’s fun making the iPad act outside of the parameters forced upon it by Steve Jobs… but, well, maybe it’s time to get off of that train.

Now, if either Apple or Microsoft wishes to influence my decision – which I will of course social media about, ad nauseam – well, they can always contact me about that.  This isn’t politics: I can be… persuaded.

9 Comments

  • Herp McDerp says:

    I wouldn’t get that model if I were you. For one thing, it’s running Windows RT, a brain-damaged version of Windows for ARM processors that runs a limited set of apps — I’m not at all convinced that Windows RT will survive. For another thing, the “Touch” keyboard is a step above the on-screen keyboard, but it’s almost as bad as the flat membrane keyboard of the ancient Atari 400, with no tactile feedback. There’s a “Type” keyboard that I’d recommend if you intend to do any non-trivial amount of typing. (Alas, it’s rather expensive — $140.)
     
    The Surface Pro system runs Windows 8 on an Intel processor and has been getting much better reviews. It’ll also set you back several hundred bucks more than the RT tablet you’ve linked to. Trouble is, for that much money you’d better need its exact mix of features — it seems to be okay-but-not-great as a tablet and rather mediocre as a laptop.
     
    If you really want to buy a Surface RT, can you wait a few months? The model you linked to is relatively cheap because it’s being phased out; you may be able to get an even better closeout deal soon. Of course, you’d be buying an obsolete system, but if you bought it now that’s what you’d have in a few months anyway. There’s supposedly going to be a Surface 2 coming out in the next few months that remedies some of the deficiencies of the original; I haven’t seen any speculations about specs that’s I’d trust, and nothing about prices yet.
     
    I’d get the iPad, but I’m curious: are you staying away from Android tablets?

  • nighttwister says:

    I have a Kindle (Android-based) and love it. I also have a Samsung Galaxy 7 (from work) which works great. Battery life on both are excellent. I’m an Android guy though, so YMMV. I really don’t care for Apple (as I type on my work-supplied Airbook…). I’ve heard the Surface is good, but pricey for what you get. I haven’t worked with one yet, though I do have a Dell laptop/tablet combo. I’m still trying to get comfortable with Windows 8. It’s quite a learning curve, and frustrating at times for a long-time Windows user.

  • LiberExMachina says:

    The first rule of Microsoft ownership is that you NEVER buy the first edition of ANYTHING (Hardware or Software). Microsoft is very good at using the first edition of a thing as a public beta test one pays to be a part of (see Windows 8, X-Box 360 red ring o’ death, Windows Vista, etc).

    The surface might not have been all that buggy, but, if that is the route you want to go, wait until surface 2.0

    I also actively discourage anyone giving Apple or Google money; I like my corporate CEOs less overtly evil.

    • acat says:

      And Ballmer’s any better? C’mon.
      .
      (drops topic like it’s hot, suggests others do the same .. There are NO white hats in IT)
      .
      You are correct about avoiding the first couple tries Microsoft has at anything.. Their 1.0 and sometimes 2.0 are pretty bad. Even if they work well, sometimes they just … end. (Kin phones?)
      .
      I would suggest Mac, based on lack of learning curve from current, and that it’s not a 1.0 product… Let the three battle it out another couple years (life of an iPad) and then jump from one solid product to another.
      .
      Mew
      .
      Mew

  • BJM says:

    I just spent a week doing the research. For starters I must confess that I wouldn’t own anything from Apple for free. Fuck them and their wallet-mining DRM and closed OS.

    So that left Android or Windows and the choice of compatibility with our PC’s or phones.

    We have Android phones and I’m still hatin’ on Win8.

    A huge plus factor was that the learning curve with an Android tablet would be pretty much nil and I already planned to buy a Samsung Galaxy s4 when my contract rolls soon.

    So I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Got it at Best Buy cuz once i decided I couldn’t wait two days for Amazon and there was only a $4 price differential…$379 seems to be the price at all the brick & mortar stores. I picked up a 64GB SD card on my Best Buy reward points so it was all good.

    Love. It.

    I got the espresso brown with a burnished gold edge, less gaudy than it sounds cuz I hate white devices, the seams get grubby from hand oil and such.

    A very simple setup, excellent battery life, a strong wifi receiver(N band only, nice crisp screen, clear text w/o artifacts, and a very quick wake up time. 3 sec from power on to swipe screen, swipe and 3 more seconds to a loaded web page/widget.

    Oh that’s another major minus for the iPad, it takes for-fucking-ever to boot. I like to do research/background cites/info when I’m reading or watching a film and a long boot is too annoying.

    Also the Android Tabs run widgets from boot, so you can have your feeds, email and stuff up and running immediately on the home screen…there are 100’s of 1000s of apps/widgets from which to choose. I think ICS is a bit faster than Jelly Bean, but both boot quicker than iOS.

    The iPad home screen is static icons…reminds me of the Mac+, but not in a good cool retro way.

    I like the Tab3 so much I’m actually considering paying $100 more to re-up my phone early.

    Bestest part? I fobbed the newish Win8 laptop off on my sister for a smallish profit.

    btw…if you aren’t running Samsung printers or run more than one flavor of printer you’ll have send a few bucks ($5-10) for an printserv app. We run a Canon laser, an Epson large format laser and a Brother inkjet. If you are running a single printer or one brand just grab a free app from your printer manufacturer.

    Anyhoo…that’s my two cents.

    • acat says:

      Two questions for you.
      .
      First question: why are you waiting for iOS to boot when taking notes? If you *know* you’re going to be taking notes, then it should be press-button-and-slide… and that takes seconds. That’s not a “boot”, it’s equivalent to ctrl+alt+del-password on a locked Windows box….
      .
      I can see a long startup if you are using a Windows laptop that’s in “sleep” mode, but .. iOS shouldn’t be doing that unless you *deliberately* power it off .. and if you’re doing that, then it’s not the device, it’s the user, eh? No heat, just observation.
      .
      Second question: how much bandwidth do those from-boot widgets take? Seems to this cat that having “a bunch of stuff” trying to pull data on boot would, if you’re away from a WiFi signal, be a problem for a couple reasons.
      .
      Cell signal strength and quality – especially for those of us who travel a bit – vary wildly, there are times where it’s necessary to limit what tries to fetch data because the amount of data I can *get* is very small .. and it can get $expen$ive$ in terms of data rate plans.
      .
      For someone who’s always near good WiFi, your approach makes sense, but .. life is not one-size-fits-all, eh?
      .
      Mew

  • BJM says:

    @acat

    Good point, your device should fit your needs and the way you work.

    -I’m referring to powering up, not waking from sleep/hibernation. I’m not taking notes, I’m streaming & browsing. I might read for a couple of hours and pause to look up a fact or a footnote cite. I want the tablet to power up quickly and it does.

    -By choice my tablet is not connected to a carrier, so bandwidth/data usage isn’t an issue. I work from home and have excellent wifi coverage. If I’m away from home I use my phone as a hot spot(unlimited data plan) which was another reason I went with an Android tablet…it just makes sense to have a compatible phone and tablet, no?

    I can tweak the system settings so that if the signal is unavailable/low widgets pause…so far no problem.

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