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Subject: Help me spend my money! Ipad? Laptop? e-reader? rss

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JessA
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Hi ChitChat, I have an opportunity to buy myself a present. Spending money on myself is very hard for me to do! I need advice.

Bascially, I want to be able to sit on my couch and read stuff that's online.

So. Now what.

An iPad sounds awesome, but will I miss not having Flash? I like Google products, so maybe I should go with Android instead. A laptop would probably serve my whole family well for homework, etc. but do I want to share?

Here's what I want:

-to be able to read e-books
-to read blogs, chitchat, facebook... just basic internet browsing
-to watch videos
-to be able to have recipes that I can reference while cooking
-to maybe play games, have some apps? I don't know how much I want that

Well, any and all thoughts on the matter will be much appreciated.
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I personally loved being able to throw my iPad on the counter as I'm cooking to keep the recipe at hand. The laptop worked, but took up a lot more counter space.

Kindle can be accessed through iPad as well as iBooks.
Blogs, FB, CC, and the like can be accessed through apps or Safari on iPad--Flipbard is a good app where you can keep them all in one place.
Videos: Youtube, Netflix, Hulu+, Vimeo, Daily Motion, and the like all have apps for iPad.
I play tons of games with Wiles, Gola, Belanger, Mr. Cranky, and others on iPad--great fun.

I'm not saying that an Android won't do all this also. It probably will. I've just only ever used an iPad. Flash is dead. Don't let that argument affect your decision in any way.
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Billy McBoatface
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Flash is not a big deal. I have an Android pad (the Asus eee transformer), and I think it's great and use it all the time, but I hardly ever do anything where flash matters.

My advice: If money isn't a big deal, buy the Apple. I've never heard of anybody who was disappointed in it, and it is at least as good as the android pads. But if saving a few hundred dollars matters, buy an Android. They'll do everything on your list. The only drawback to me is that the android pad apps are often not as polished as the apples ones.
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JessA
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If I get the ipad, would I need itunes on my desktop computer for any reason?
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Joe Gola
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The iPad is awesome if you like being taunted by random Montanians because you can't flick a virtual puck thing straight.
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Michael Edwards
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I'll also chime in that I'd go for the iPad, the UI is excellent. Androids will browse just fine, but I rarely miss having flash on my iPad. I've spent way, way more on iOS apps (and downloaded way, way more free apps) than I have for my Android phone.

It would be useful, and probably recommended, to install iTunes on your desktop computer, in order to have an easy method of backing up. However, it's no longer needed - you can update the OS/Apps/etc via WiFi directly now, and even back up to iCloud if you so choose. I now plug in my iPad to my computer about once every few months. It's still useful if you are going to have a lot of music/movies/photos/etc to transfer to it, as the computer can hold more, and you can pick what you want or have it randomize.

A e-reader I would get just for that, reading books. I have been tempted to get one additionally, as they have their advantages as an e-book reader (10 days of power vs. 8 hours, easier on the eyes, works in direct sunlight). But, their "high end" tablet versions begin to loose these advantages in order to be more of a tablet, yet aren't as good at is as the iPad (in my opinion).
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除名山 蔵芽戸
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Jatoha wrote:
If I get the ipad, would I need itunes on my desktop computer for any reason?


Not really anymore. Unless you want to get music that you have in CD form or on that computer onto the iPad. As for updating the OS and backing up your apps, it is all done through the cloud. I don't use iTunes for my phone or iPad much anymore...
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If you do get the iPad you would be able to lose to Gola and me, and beat Belanger, at Disc Drivin'!
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Michael Edwards
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Man, I haven't had a game of disk drivin in a bit!
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Blorb Plorbst
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Dave
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Jatoha wrote:
If I get the ipad, would I need itunes on my desktop computer for any reason?


I remember first time turning on the ipad it requested me to hook the iPad up to the computer to give it a name and register it to my iTunes account through iTunes. Not sure if it was a mandatory thing however. Perhaps someone could clarify more.

Guess I should mention that I don't miss flash at all.
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Jeff Forbes

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You can acheive all of that with a laptop or iPad, or an Android tablet.

Laptop
+ Most capable
+ Can get best battery life (if you want 11+ hours of battery life, talk to me)
+ If you type, this is the only option
+ Good display is an option on some

- More expensive
- Bigger (though not gigantic by any means)
- Smaller laptops generally not great for games if you're aiming for Civilization 5. If you're looking at casual games you're fine though.
- Can get worst battery life (if you buy some piece of shit at Worst Buy)
- Can get shit display if you don't listen to me :P

iPad
+ Most Simple
+ More portable than laptop
+ Plenty of small games to play, including best board game variety
+ Best display
+ Best variety of tablet applications

- Less capable than laptop
- Typing is slow
- Too large as a tablet to be super portable


Kindle Fire
+ Simple
+ Much more portable than laptop. More portable than iPad.
+ $199
+ Best Amazon experience in the world
+ Good display
+ Two thumb typing in portrait!

- Performance is so-so - totally usable but it's not snappy
- Mediocre battery life (5-6 hours)
- Mediocre app selection - Amazon uses their own market which is improving, and while we're starting to see apps designed for a small tablet formfactor, most aren't
- Least capable (though I will note it'll do everything you list in your post, it won't video chat if you really care about it)
- But typing is still slow

Normal Android Tablet

Asus Transformer Prime
+ Simple
+ Can be more portable than laptop. Slightly more portable than iPad.
+ Comes with keyboard dock that also gives it the best battery life
+ Latest version of Android (Hey, it's a plus for Android stuff given that so much runs old versions)
+ Good display

- Android tablet apps never caught on - there are some but not many
- Less capable than laptop
- Expensive for Android tablet

Dark horse:
Windows 8 tablet. Not available yet, obviously
+ Simple when you need it to be
+ Intel tablet will run desktop applications
+ Market will be populated with tablet style applications with quite a bit of speed
+ Most capable combination
+ Highest performance for tablet

+/- Windows is still there if you need it. It's there if you like it. But it's there if you don't want to deal with it, and you may need to deal with it from time to time.
+/- Totally new interface that you may love or hate

- Win8 Intel tablet will likely get mediocre battery life and be heavier than ARM tablets like iPad and Transformer Prime (I'll guess 1.5+lbs)
- Win8 ARM tablet won't have access to desktop apps
- Not out yet


Depending on budget, if you were to get a Win7 based convertiable tablet, you would have a ~3.5lb, 12.5" tablet with Win8 when it came out. But it's still a laptop.


If you don't have a laptop, I'd recommend one. I like Lenovo and use a Thinkpad x220. It's 3.5lbs, has a full power CPU, gets ~11-12 hours of battery life, has a very good display, and the best keyboard in the business. It's trim but not sleek. The x220t model is a good convertiable tablet, but it's better to think of it as a laptop that's convenient to use with a touch display than a tablet. It's much bigger than the below options.

If you want a cheap, basic tablet, the Kindle Fire is a good option. It's not going to knock your socks off, but it's small and easy to take around, battery life is good enough for my use with it. It won't replace my normal Kindle for reading, but I can occasionally go a weekend without using my laptop.

The iPad is a much more capable tablet, but for what I use a tablet for - mostly web browsing - the extra money and size is not what I'm looking for. I usually have my laptop with me, anyway.

The Transformer Prime is a tougher sell, but if you like Android, or desire the ultimate in form factor and battery life flexibility, you may want to consider it. If you use Google services heavily, Android integrates very well with them. The lack of applications and high pricetag are the main turnoff here, but the keyboard + battery combo might make up for it. Android 4.0 is fantastic, I might add (I have it on my phone, it's a significant jump from 2.3).
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rob cavallo
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i just got an ipad. i love it.

i think of it like a netbook.
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除名山 蔵芽戸
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The iPad isn't portable? It'll fit in one of my jacket's inside pockets!
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rob cavallo
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those are some big pockets.
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JessA
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jforbes wrote:
You can acheive all of that with a laptop or iPad, or an Android tablet.


snip....



Wow, thank you for your thoughtful answer. This gives me a lot to consider.
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rob cavallo
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speaking of disk drivin...

i just DL'ed that the other day.
a lot of fun!
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M C
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Walmart was selling Kindle Fires for $199 with a free Walmart $50 card. I like my Kindle Fire. I would prefer an Ipad, but I can't justify the, minimum, 2.5x increase in cost.
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Jeff Forbes

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Jatoha wrote:
jforbes wrote:
You can acheive all of that with a laptop or iPad, or an Android tablet.


snip....



Wow, thank you for your thoughtful answer. This gives me a lot to consider.


If you want more info, just ask. :)
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Pater Absurdus
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My iPad 1st gen does everything you just mentioned better (IMHO) than anything else I have tested except stream video's. Youtube is a bit slow but that may be fixed in the newer models. Watching downloaded video's is great.
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Andy Andersen
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My wife dearly loves her iPad2. I stick with my trusty desktop
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Redward wrote:
Watching downloaded video's is great.


I made my wife watch Netflix on iPad last night (Instead of on TV), so that could study.
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Mike Jones
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Last year I bought my wife an iPad because she was talking about wanting to be able to serf the internet on the couch while the family is watching TV.

She had originally talked about getting a laptop. But, for a gift I decided to just get an iPad. She doesn't use the desktop much for word processing or spreadsheets. So, she really only needed it for the internet. She has since downloaded a word processor though and does do some work on it.

We have a Mac at home, so the i-tunes question really wasn't something we worried about. But, it is rarely connected to the desktop, so I can't imagine a NEED for it on the desktop. We do have an i-tunes account and it is used to download directly on the iPad itself.

I just bought the wifi version because the main use was going to be at home. In general, we've not had a problem with it while traveling and out of the house, but are now toying with the idea of a 'Mifi' hotspot.

I haven't heard her complain about the lack of Flash and when I'm using it, it is 'rarely' an issue.

BUT, you mention maybe not getting a laptop because you may not want to share with the family. My wife's biggest complaint is that the kids keep making off with it and she has to hunt it down (sometimes with a low battery). So, it might still be an issue with your family. The kids do complain though that it doesn't have flash and would much rather 'borrow' my laptop from work if I have it with me.

She also doesn't use it for reading books. She looks reading, but uses a Kindle for reading.
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Jeff Forbes

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As for sharing:

Each device is easily picked up by other people to be used.

There's a simple solution, which won't work on the Kindle Fire - passwords.

If you have a laptop you don't want to share, all you need to do is not set anyone else up with an account. Bam. They can't use it. I'm pretty sure you can use a number based password on the iPad. Problem is it's a pain when you want to use it yourself. Fingerprint readers on laptops work, but are more hassle than they're worth, I've got one on my work laptop and it's frankly easier to type my password in.

Laptops are less casual devices. I'm more prone to randomly grabbing someone's tablet and looking something up on the internet than I am to open up a laptop, or sit down at a desktop computer. But you can set up a guest account so they don't have access to your personal stuff.

The iPad, kindle fire, and laptop all suck for reading. A real book is better in every case when you're at home. If you're on the run, a real Kindle/Nook will have battery life measured in terms of months, or weeks if you read very heavily. And the e-ink displays are much easier on the eyes than LCD displays on a laptop or tablet.

They're also very cheap, and very limited. I have a Kindle and love it, but it is for one thing and one thing only: reading books. It is useless for any other activity. It is also small, light, and portable too. The cheapest version is all of $80 now, and it's well worth it at that cost. If you ever plan on writing notes in the books, get the touch version or the keyboard version, but if you don't mind horrible text input, the cheap one is just dandy.
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Brook Gentlestream
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What sorts of games were you hoping to play?
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