Could An Android Tablet Replace My Laptop?

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  1. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    I have been considering buying a tablet for the first time. I'm still swaying though. I travel a lot so it isn't practical taking a tablet and a laptop with me. For example, I'm backpacking South America later this year and less is more when I don't want to take a laptop, tablet and mobile phone.

    Due to this, I'm considering using a combination of a laptop and the new Samsung Galaxy S3 for games, browsing the web etc. This is probably the most practical solution as a tablet does not replace the functionality of a tablet.

    However, I'm not sure if I need all the functionality of a laptop. I'm self employed on the web and work when I do travel but there are only a few key applications that are vital for me:

    * A good browser
    * FTP Access
    * File Management
    * Photoshop or some equivalent for cropping and resizing images

    Applications such as exel can be replaced easily with Google Docs (I actually use Libre Office for spreadsheets and documents). There are online applications for FTP and image cropping etc too but I'd prefer to have a native solution, at the very least for cropping images etc as the services that are available for that aren't very practical in my opinion.

    The transformer prime or infinity is a good option due to the great in built keyboard, though I could get a good keyboard case for pretty much any tablet so I don't have to buy that one.

    Does anyone have experience with working on the web using a tablet for working online. I'd love to make the transition to working online from a tablet as the battery life is much better (generally) and it's much lighter for me to travel with (though not by much when you include the keyboard).

    Are tablets powerful enough to do this i.e. switching applications quickly, file management etc.

    Would love to hear from others who use their tablet for work as well as play :)


  2. funpig

    funpig Well-Known Member

    Yes as long as you are not doing heavy processing. Browsing on a tablet is more pleasant because of portability, long battery life and interface. ES Explorer should give you the FTP and file management. My galaxy tab comes with a simple photo editor but I have yet to use it. As long as you understand that there will be a substantial compromise compared to a good laptop you should be satisfied. Don't expect a $10 android office app to have the same functionality of Microsoft Office costing $130. For full sized tablet with keyboard check out the ASUS tf300. The ASUS keyboard will add another 5 hours to the up to 10 hrs of the tablet.
  3. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the quick reply Funpig.

    I've looked at the Asus TF300. It's essentially a budget version of the prime but has a great spec. The 64GB version of the prime is out in the uk already.

    I'm currently living in Colombia. Laptops are generally a little cheaper here than in the UK but they usually get things a little late. The only Asus Transformer being sold just now is the TF100 (though it's fairly cheap at
  4. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    From what you say, a tablet would suit you fine. Its just simple picture cropping, internet browsing and word processing. As long as you won't be doing page layouts and advanced photo editing (anything beyond the capabilities of MS Paint) you'll be fine. A little video editing can also be done.

    IMO a tablet is best as a secondary computing device, more of a repository or access point on stuff produced on a full powered PC.
  5. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    No I won't be doing advanced page or photo editing. I hire designers for most design work. I will need to open Photoshop PSD files from time to time though.

    Another thing I was worrying about was the 1GB of ram in the device. I usually have around a dozen or so tabs open in Chrome at the same time and switch between them all. My samsung laptop has an i3 processor and 4GB of ram and when I have too many tabs open that can struggle with it.

    I do think the tablet is best suited as a secondary device. At home I have a 27" imac and a 15.4" windows gaming laptop which I use to work..but when on the road I am happy to make some sacrifices to make things more portable. Though I don't want to limit me too much. A macbook air and samsung S3 combo could be just as productive (or perhaps the galaxy note).
  6. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Interesting question. I am constantly struggling with this myself. When I first bought my tab (Acer A500), I also thought (and tried) to restrict myself to the tab. I quickly found the following:

    1. A tablet is a consumption device. A little less so with the soft KB; And, a little more less so with a built in KB (like that of the Asus Prime and others). Nevertheless, a tab remains a primarily consumption device.

    2. My work involves a lot of writing. So, the tab is out of the question. If I was in a situation like the OP, I would have to carry 3 devices - Phone, Tab, and Laptop.

    3. I use my tab for the following things: Reading (including annotating); Email; Web-based research; Skype (sometimes - usually, I'll use my laptop because I am making notes when I am on Skype). For all this, the tab works well.

    4. Usually when I travel, I carry a lot of books (all work related). Previously it was a problem when carrying the physical books. Then I started putting pdf and EPUB version on my laptop. Still was a bit inconvenient. Te tab works very well in this regard. Recently, I got the Adobe reader and it makes handling documents (especially pdf) much easier.

    So, to sum up, I'd say that the tab is not yet mature enough to completely replace my laptop...but it is getting there!
  7. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    Reading is something I'd like to do with a tablet. I have a kindle (3G keyboard edition). I used it heavily when I first came to South America as I was downloading Spanish grammar books etc. I found that it was easier to learn through apps on my iphone (primarily Brainscape - which is unfortunately not on Android yet). I would love a tablet for reading books and PDFs on occasion - though, like you, this means carrying a third device

    It's not a major problem though as it only weights 247 grams and my girlfriend effectively owns it now. The samsung 7" tab is only 345 grams though.

    I was considering getting a 7" tablet due to it's weight and portability....not sure if there's much point if I get the Samsung Galaxy S3 as that has a 4.8" screen.
  8. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    Think I'm in a similar situation to yourself. I do a lot of blogging via my laptop so would need something like the asus transformer or a really good keyboard case to even consider switching to a tablet.

    I've got a lot of web development and marketing books on PDF but it's just not practical to read them via the kindle (it really is awful). A tablet would be a great way to view them. Again, it comes down to having to carry another device. Plus, when travelling, the kindle is a great option due to how long the battery life (on e-ink models). It's just not practical to charge a phone, tablet and laptop whenever I visit somewhere new as I won't always have time to do so.
  9. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    For PDF and EPUB reading, I prefer Mantano Reader.
  10. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    Looks pretty good. What's the advantage of using that over the kindle app?
  11. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Honestly, this - the screen-orientation issue - is another thing that I have been agonizing about. I have found the primarily landscape orientation of most Android tabs (personal experience only with the Acer) makes reading books/ texts a bit counter-intuitive. OTOH, the portrait mode, which is slightly better makes a 10 inch tab quite unwieldy to handle. So, there is a problem here.

    From what I have seen of the iPad, I think the situation is a bit better - my guess only since I have never used an iPad.
  12. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'll give it a shot.
  13. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    The iPad 3 is arguably the best tablet around due to its screen and choice of tablet specific apps. It's lack of a SD slot and ridiculously long charging times puts me off though. As does having to spend a long time converting files and transferring them via iTunes just to be able to watch a movie on it.
  14. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Not really sure, never used the Kindle app. I don't think I have much access to Amazon content anyway since I'm not in the US.
  15. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    This is the thing.. I don't think an iPad can replace a laptop, because it depends on connecting it to a PC or Mac running iTunes in order to get content on or off of it. Unless one is happy to buy all their music, movies, etc. only from the iTunes Store.
  16. Covart

    Covart Well-Known Member

    Photoshop Touch is on both ios and android app stores, and will handle your photo editing needs, extremely well.

    iPad 3 can now be jailbroken and give you complete access to its file system. and even without jailbreaking, any video format can be played on an ipad without conversion, with an app like AVPlayerHD (and there are many others ike this in the app store.) it would be nice if people that had no clue about the ipad, would stop putting out bad info.

    the iPad does not need to plug into itunes or a pc to get content. OS updates are OTA. Cloud storage is easily accessible. large 2gb sized media files are probably best transfered to a tablet via pc, but again, you don't need iunes for this if the ipad is jailbroken. and even with Android ,large files like that are transferred via pc to an android phone or tablet.

    and if you are planning to get a keyboard to go with a tablet, well you might as well get a Macbook Air at that point, imo. if you stick with a tablet, there are advantages and disadvantages to the ipad and android tablets like the tf300t, but it sounds like the tf300t may get you more of what you need (tablet wise).
  17. Covart

    Covart Well-Known Member

    this used to be the case, but this is no longer correct. Apple would prefer this, however. You an buy any ios device and never plug it into a pc. os updates are ota , content can be transferred via wifi, bt or via the cloud or purchased directly on the device through the app store. plugging in to a pc and using itunes would only be required if you had to do a complete restore. Additionally, the ipad can play any format of video, without conversion, you just use a 3rd party app ownloaded via the app store.

    if you are jailbroken on an ios device, then you have the same capabilities as andriod in this area.
    if you do not know what an ipad is capable of, please don't put out false information.
  18. Covart

    Covart Well-Known Member

    or Alkido would be another option. I like this one do to it's ease of use and similarities to iBooks.
  19. kristalsoldier

    kristalsoldier Well-Known Member

    Without wanting to get into an Apple versus the rest kind of a situation, I would observe that I don't need to either jailbreak or even root my Android tab to do the things you mention.
  20. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    That's for video..what about music or audiobooks? Can I just download MP3s, WMAs, OGGs and M4As from Baidu or and play them directly on the iPad, in the same way I can with an Android tablet? Without using a computer and iTunes?

    Does jailbreaking allow me to do the above, downloading MP3s directly from websites?[/quote]

    FYI we have several iOS devices around the office here. Non jailbroken though. Everyone seems to sync them with iTunes, when they want to add content.
  21. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    I'd prefer to use an mouse with any photo editing program, and the iPad doesn't support that (as far as I know).

    I have an iPhone 4, the original iPod touch and a 27" iMac so I am far from an apple hater (I might buy the new mac air when it's released next month too), though I think the iPad is terrible for watching movies offline due to it's lack of ports.

    I'm flying back from South America to the UK in a few weeks time. It's a 10-11 hour flight to Madrid and another 3 hours to the UK (well actually longer as I fly into London and then have another internal flight). Unfortunately, unlike most major airlines, the airline I'm flying with doesn't have in-flight entertainment apart from a general TV every 15 rows or so.

    So the perfect solution would be to just copy 5 or 6 films to an SD card and then insert it into a tablet. You can't do this with an iPad, which is a shame as the screen is so beautiful. I'd have to connect it to my PC and then transfer all files manually, which is a real pain in the ass. Doing it wirelessly is very slow but is a good option - though with the HD apps taking up so much room I might not have 10 GB of space to use.

    I'd definitely still consider buying an iPad 3 though. Apart from the SD card problem, the main issue for me is charging the battery. I've read reports of the battery taking over 8 hours to fully charge and when playing some graphic intensive games the iPad battery discharges even when plugged in. This isn't practical for someone who travels a lot. It's an amazing device though and it's something I'm still considering buying despite these issues.

    I disagree that if you are going to buy a keyboard for a tablet, you are as well getting a laptop. Many people only really use the browser in their laptops so by adding a keyboard to a tablet you have a device that is useful for blogging, browsing the web, emailing etc.

    I don't think tablets can fully replace tablets at the moment or if they ever will. They are still very different devices. For me, I only need a few additional features in order to make the jump.

    Apart from using my friends tablet briefly and playing with tablets in electronic stores, I have no real experience with tablets. How do tablets cope with a browser having around 10 tabs open. Does it really slow down the device due to it only having 1GB of ram?

  22. Covart

    Covart Well-Known Member

    Yes, a jailbroken ipad can do everything mentioned here. I use both ICS and iOS tablets daily. You can download torrents, pet's, mp3's, avi, mkv, etc and play them directly on the iPad. No need for a pc.

    If you are not jailbroken, and it is a large video file, a PC would be required.
    mikedt likes this.
  23. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    That's one thing I hate about ios. It's very restrictive in many ways. Since getting my first phone about 13 years ago, I've changed my phone every 6 to 9 months. The iPhone 4 is the longest I've used any phone without feeling the urge to sell it and trade up.

    There are lots of little things that annoy me though. For example, you aren't even allowed to remove the newstand app even though the app is terrible. You can't put it inside a folder to hide it either. It just stays there on your screen even though I have no intention of ever using it. Having to use itunes to upload music is a pain too.

    This closed system does have some small benefits though (e.g. the android app store has a huge amount of crap on it).
  24. System0

    System0 Well-Known Member

    That's encouraging to hear. Did you notice a drop in performance when jailbreaking. I jailbroke my iphone. Some of the apps I installed were great but I noticed the phone was noticeably slower so I reverted it back.

    Out of interest, what tablets do you own? :)
  25. Covart

    Covart Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I edited the non jailbroken bit. It's been a long time since I had a stock ipad. I never use iTunes.

    I own an ipad 2, Samsung Tab 8.9, HP Touchpad CM9 with 4.0.4 ICS in dual boot configuration and I had a Kindle Fire (returned). The 8.9 sits idle for now because Honeycomb sucks so bad and I have no need to root or put a leaked ICS rom on it with the official version coming soon. And I always jailbreak my idevices. They are useless to me otherwise. And loading the right tweaks is an art to ensure no fc's or slowdown. It also helps if you can alter files so winterboard is not needed.

    That said, I am completely dropping my idevices on June 1, and will be Android only. I have grown tired of iOS.

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