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Tablet PC Buying

  1. Aug 1, 2013 #1


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    I'm looking for advice on buying a tablet PC.

    I'm a Droid Razr HD smart-phone user, Windows PC user and I don't think I own any Apple products, so I think that basically rules-me out of the iPad market. And I want to be able to use it effectively for work, which means it needs to run MS Office apps well and be easy to type on; I have a specific project in mind that requires data-entry on an excel spreadsheet. I also want to take it on vacation instead of a laptop, which means it needs to download and edit photos from my camera.

    So the Cnet review of the MS Surface says it is the best for typing and "creation" and it has a real USB port, which isn't common. These seem like critical features to me. But it has some serious cons:

    1. Expensive.
    2. Doesn't come with MS Office (more expensive).
    3. Few apps.

    So my main questions are these:
    1. Anyone own a Surface? Opinions?
    2. Are apps really that important on a tablet? In other words, what do I need a tablet app for that I don't already use my droid smartphone for?
    3. Can I download pictures to a droid based tablet either by USB mass-storage connection to my camera or using the SD card (maybe use a micro card and adapter on the camera and plug it directly into the tablet?)
    4. Can a droid-based tablet effectively use MS Office files? (maybe I could upload a prototype and people can test it...?)

    Surface review: http://reviews.cnet.com/tablets/microsoft-surface-rt/4852-3126_7-35332494.html
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2013 #2
    You are lucky to not own any Apple. I would love to get a Nexus 7 but I've had an ipod and iphone for awhile and i'd like everything to transfer over.
  4. Aug 1, 2013 #3


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    A real "Tablet PC" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Tablet_PC first introduced in 2002) refers to a specific type of Windows-XP-(or later)-based computer with a pressure-sensitive stylus (usually made by Wacom or N-trig) and support for true electronic ink.

    The label has been hijacked to mean something like an iPad with a touchscreen.
    (I like iPads for what they are... but they aren't real TabletPCs. We have several Apple devices in our household... as well as Windows machines.)

    Compared to an iPad-like device,
    a true tablet PC is more expensive, but is generally a more powerful general-purpose computer
    which can run all Windows software.

    Among true TabletPCs with an detachable iPad-like slate running at least a core i3 [not an Atom, not an ARM],
    I did consider a Surface Pro ( http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/surface-with-windows-8-pro ),
    the Lenovo Helix ( http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/tablets/thinkpad/thinkpad-helix/index.html ),
    and the Samsung ATIV 700t ( http://www.samsung.com/us/business/computing/tablet-pcs/XE700T1C-A03US ).
    While the Helix was the most powerful, it was pricey... and lacked an SD or microSD slot.
    I settled on the Samsung
    which I am trying to get used to.
    The relatively few number of available apps doesn't bother me... I use it to run inking applications and Windows software (including some simulations by others and some I wrote [...content creation]). I have enough apps on my iPhone.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Aug 3, 2013 #4


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    I read that Office for Android was just released--but I don't know what it costs. I use a 10" Samsung Galaxy tablet and love it. I did buy a USB keyboard and mouse for it, and I can use a (free or very low cost) Remote Desktop client to log on to my Windows PC while at home--in which case, it's Windows.

    I love everything about the tablet except--I don't like surfing the web on it, and it can be frustrating trying to transfer files back to Windows.

    Surface would seem like the way to go, especially if you can spring for the version that has Office on it. Reviews of Surface are quite positive.
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