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New Member considering buying an Ipad, but...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions - Site Assistance' started by antonio107, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. antonio107
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    antonio107 iPad Fan

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    Hello, I'm Antonio. Nice to meet you all.

    I've long derided people who went for an Ipad instead of a netbook, like I did. I've had a Toshiba NB-100 for three years, and the experience was great. Even though it's a dinky stripped down laptop with windows XP, I've had no real complaints across it in the three years. The mini-keyboard gave me grief for about week, and since I just finished writing my master's thesis on it, I think I can say with certainty that it didn't really hold me back at all!

    Well, for the past 2-3 weeks, I'd had problems with the DC jack not properly charging the machine, and after getting a quick solder fix on it once, was told that the next step would either be to duct tape the adapter right TO the jack (gross), or replace the mainboard (costly; not gonna happen).

    So, as I was wandering through the local mall, I decided to goof around with one of the Ipad 2s there. It's a sexy little machine, no arguments there. But I have a blackberry and a Kobo already; if I'm buying a wi-fi model Ipad, at 600-700 dollars, plus a handful of accessories, it pretty much needs to replace my netbook.

    I've seen the logitech case/keyboard combo, and that seems to quell a lot of my concerns. Yet I'm really bugged by this flash/java thing. Iswifter and these cloud browsers seem to cover a my flash woes, but Java is still a bit unreliable, given that you can only use it through remote access.

    I really, reallllly want this thing to be my laptop replacement, but I think it's ever so slightly far away from being that. Would anyone here care to convince me one way or another? :D

    Thanks!
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    This is a really difficult thing to address. Everyone has different needs and approaches. I'll make a few comments, but you have to decide if you are ready to abandon your netbook and go iPad.

    If all you have right now is the netbook, then I'd say no. At some point you have to have a computer to use with the iPad. Not often, but it is unavoidable in the short and long run. You have to activate it, you should do backups, and you'll want to update the OS. All need a computer running iTunes.

    If Flash is central to doing what you need to do, it will be a problem. You may be able to work around it, but it will take experimentation and work. If Flash is just a luxury, you'll have to decide if it's a luxury you can do without much of the time.

    Other than that, there is a solution for just about everything. But you will need to be prepared to approach problems from a different angle. Computers have evolved into a file/folder centric work flow. You open files, move files, delete files, edit files, using this and that app as needed. iPads are app centric. You do things with apps, and export or import files between them as needed.

    Hold in mind that the iPad and tablets (not the old full OS kind) are still a new market. There are rough edges in all the OS's, iPad included, and everyone is still figuring out the best way to use them. Apps in general are still first generation apps. They are often missing features that you've come to accept as normal on the more mature platforms.

    It is a major change in the way you do things and some people find the transition more than a little frustrating. If you do get an iPad, I recommend you hang on to the netbook too, until you've learned how to make the iPad do everything you need. It won't happen all at once.
  3. antonio107
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    Thanks for the response!

    What I do with the netbook...I have three computers, but the netbook's been my main computer for the past three years. Asides from word processing, outlook and (extremely limited) spreadsheets, I use it for mindless internet surfing, a bit of netflix and youtube. I check facebook (games I could do without; take it or leave it), tweet, look at internet comics, check message boards, school stuff, and the odd chat room. Instant messaging, Skype. also simulate a lot of circuit bending with ROMS designed for a NES and GBA emulator (not illegal!), for which I thought, could I get an emulator for the Ipad, would be WAY cooler to work on than a laptop.

    I could do with the limited Flash in iSwifter (how is it for streaming video?). Bluetooth keyboard for typing. The emulator would be nice, but not necessary. Windows Live and Yahoo both have Ipad messengers. And there's some sort of office suite for Ipad, right? I don't need anything fancy; just word processing and footnotes and the like, that will be compatible with Open Office. Mayyyybe the odd powerpoint.

    The only thing absolutely bugging me at this point is the lack of Java. A lot of people complain about the Flash (and I agree, that's a nuisance), but it doesn't bother me as much as the lack of java. I wouldn't be able to access Blackboard/WebCT from my school's website. I couldn't lounge around my favorite chat room, or play games on Yahoo's page. I know Apple apologists will tell me this saves my machine from being bogged down, crashing, etc., but it doesn't change the fact that these are things I would ideally like to do. I have to imagine it's harder to get around the Java fix than it is Flash (or not?).

    I know these are a bunch of questions, and I apologize. I'm using my big laptop right now, and I'm basically deciding if I want to spend 300 bucks fixing a netbook not worth that much, getting a new one (or the Fujitsu Q550), or spending 7-800 dollars on a new Ipad 2 with all the fixins! :)
  4. Mountainbikermark
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    Mountainbikermark iPad Addict

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    Before getting my iPad1 I used a Droid Incredible for everything I didn't need a big screen for and then my desktop. Since getting my iPad I have yet to fire up my desktop for anything but dumping files ( pictures and music from Tunee music app) from my Inc, print some stuff for my wife, and a couple syncs of my iPad. Haven't needed it.
    I'm not sure what you are using Java for but I've not found anything that Tagdisk,Puffin or istorage couldn't handle at least decently. I have dsl so speed is not my biggest asset at home and I've found my iPad is no worse and in many cases faster to load pages.
    Coming from a Windows and Blackberry will be different because you will find there are soooo many apps, that your browser needs will be much less than what you are used to now. Apps take priority over web browsing so the struggle is finding " an app for that" but once you do it's so much smoother.
    I use a Zagg mate Bluetooth keyboard/stand/case combo and it makes typing much easier than the onscreen keyboard.
    Hope that helps


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    Sent from my iPad
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    There are generally ways or apps to around most java clients, at least the more popular ones. Blackboard has an app called Blackboard Mobile Learn. You'd have to check with your school to see if they can/will enable your iPad.

    There are several word processors, but I'm not sure if any of them support foot notes. Pages, my favorite, does not.

    I have no direct experience with iSwifter, but understand it will handle video on most sites, but quality varies. The same is true of the other Flash browsers.

    If you can leave a desktop online, there are several remote apps that will let you do all kinds of things, even over 3G (when bandwidth permits). YMMV
  6. antonio107
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    I would really like to play games with my normal group of friends on Pogo and Yahoo, both are Java content. I also frequent a few chat rooms inside Vbulletin that use them. And then there's WebCT, a client program for classes at my university that has Java runtime environments.

    Just out of curiosity...since the display models at Best Buy and the Apple Store don't have any third party browsers...will any of those play something on pogo.com, or games.yahoo.com? They definitely did not load on safari at the store.

    Definitely going to get that keyboard case combo if I do opt for the Ipad versus a Windows tablet. Looks really slick. Thanks!

    Oh, also, I dislike not having USB, but the Ipad has an SD slot I can access files from at least, right?
  7. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    No. Most of us use a combination of the GoodReader app and DropBox.com to move files on/off the iPad.
  8. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Apparently pogo.com has an iPhone app with six free games, and more available through in-app purchase. Yahoo offers several of it's games as apps as well.

    You can download iTunes to one of your computers and browse the app store. No purchase or account necessary. That would give you a way of checking out what kinds of apps and tools are available.

    Other sites to get a feel for what's out there would be appadvice.com and appshopper.com
  9. antonio107
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    antonio107 iPad Fan

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    Now THIS may be the game changer...a lot of my tech savvy friends (who are trying to talk me out of the Ipad, as a sidenote), say I can rig up something called a VNC to my Ipad and my home PC, that essentially lets me operate my home desktop remotely via the Ipad.

    So, using my LAN or an internet connection, I basically can run any java apps or flash game that I might want, right? Perhaps not in the most *convenient* way possible, but would it be at least smooth enough on a decently speeded cable internet connection on both end?
  10. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    There is at least one forum member who does this, and said it works well. Sorry I can't remember the name, or the app.
  11. antonio107
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    antonio107 iPad Fan

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    I practiced running a VNC client on basement PC, and even on my BLACKBERRY. The experience is smooth enough to warrant getting an Ipad2. Just reserved it online, picking it up at the store tomorrow.

    Here's hoping for no buyer's remorse! :)
  12. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Good luck. Be sure to research a good iPad client. There are several.
  13. lungpai
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    lungpai iPF Noob

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    How's it going for you? You like it? I'm sure you will. I just read through this thread and I think the iPad will serve you well. Like others said, you can do most things you just need to find a workaround to it. I am a PC user (I'm one of the ones who just can't afford the switch yet) and the biggest pain is using itunes. But I cannot imagine life without the ipad or iphone.
  14. antonio107
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    Thanks lungpai. The iPad is working out great. I don't like Mac computers; I used a Mac mini for years, and worked many a Mac book belonging to my friends. But this was the thinnest, fastest, nicest tablet there is out there.

    Mocha VNC lite has been a free experiment so far in using my PC desktop with a thin client like this. I bought the iPad for the sheer aesthetic factor, and I can still play games, visit my chartrooms, and pretty much do my normal PC routine on an iPad.

    I emailed the mocha people about upgrading to the full version of their software. They say that NO iPad app has full Bluetooth keyboard compatiblity, so I wouldn't, for example, be able to use the F1 through F12 keys on my PC screen. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
  15. msukc
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    My two cents. Just got an ipad 2 32 g wifi. Sexy as you said. But, I am starting to think this thing is more hype than substance. Don't get me wrong. For a tablet type device, it is nice. but at the end of the day it is a big ipod touch.

    I dont have any netbook experience. Personally, I have a laptop that is a little old. Still gets the job done but I wanted another laptop or possibly a notebook. Instead I picked up the ipad. Only been a few days, but I am starting to think this ipad is not going to see enough use to justify 600 bucks.

    For 600 bucks, a netbook is not the competition. You can get a pretty solid laptop for that. I would dare say if you are savvy enough, you cant get a higher end one.

    Thoughts on the ipad:

    1. I miss a keyboard with the ipad. I am actually debating if I should list this on ebay. But I think I will just stick this out and see where it goes.

    2. I think my droid x does just about everything this thing does.

    3. Goofy interface. Maybe I don't have enough experience with apple products. But, auto fill is annoying. The virtual keyboard should be better in my opinion and is cumbersome.

    4. Website compatibility. I have already ran into sites that don't run well. Obvious mouse pointer flash related so I wont dwell. Just surprise that it annoys so much.

    5. Most of the apps are made for iphone not just the ipad.

    6. Searching for ipad apps sucks.

    7. Battery life - awesome. This is a huge plus imo.

    8. Quick boot. I read somewhere that it was a 10 second boot. Not the case. It is basically instant on. Another huge plus.

    I could rattle more perhaps but I am lazy. I will give it more time and a decent shot to be a regular device in my line up. But I feel this will end up being a toy for my 5 year old or my wife.
  16. twerppoet
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    1. I have an Apple bluetooth keyboard I keep around in case I want/need it. Nice to not have to lug it around when I don't.

    2. It's not about what it does, but what it does better. For some things the Droid X is better, I had one. For others there is just no getting around the advantages of a bigger screen. And I find I like the apps better, overall. I do miss the notifications. Widgets, only slightly.

    3. You can turn auto-fill off. It's in Settings, under General, Keyboard.

    4. It's a case by case thing. The only thing that affected me was missing a few videos on CNET, but that is a very small part of my browsing.

    5. Only because there are so many apps. There are 80,000 iPad apps. Enough to keep you busy for a while at least.

    6. On the computer you can turn on the iPad filter at the top of the screen for general browsing. Search results come back with separate lists for iPad and iPhone results. Recent changes both on the iPad and Computer have made it possible to refine searches somewhat. Still, you might want to check out appshoper.com, think if it as appbrain.com for iOS.

    8. This is sleep mode to awake. To actually turn the device off you have to hold the power button down until you get the power off slider. Actual boot from off is 10 seconds, or occasionally a bit more. You'll want to do that now and then. Even iPads need an occasional reboot.
  17. antonio107
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    After 2 full days, I'd agree with you that there are things it doesn't do as good as a netbook. Yet my desktop is my main computer. Once I manage to wake on LAN and connect to it from school, I'll basically have the thinnest, coolest VNC client possible. So I'm hoping this works out better than my attempt to replace my old school laptop with a palm pilot. A lot has changed in 10 years...:D.

    Also, I can finally watch American tv, since iswifter is based in the united states. Its pretty sweet! Hulu and comedy central and such!

    Still waiting on the bluetooth keyboard!
  18. akintomide
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    The ipad 2 may not be a good replacement for your laptop. If you have another computer, then you can go for it. If you want an independent computer, then you need to look elsewhere. The iPad 2, with its many outstanding features, is still far away from being a laptop replacement.

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