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Replacing a computer with Android phone or tablet?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by CharlesLewis, May 27, 2011.

  1. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Has anyone had experience replacing their computer with either an Android phone or tablet? As a happily retired school teacher, I don't have nearly as much need for the power. I use email, music and book apps, limited work processing (I do a weekly book review column, so I would need something more than the on-screen keyboard I currently have on my Droid X), photos (almost no editing, just importing pictures from my camera (10X optical) and organizing them into albums, and of course the internet.

    I currently store most of my data on dropbox, so the more limited storage would probably not be an issue.

    I'd love to hear your experiences. I have a MacBook, so I have thought about the iPad, but right now it still requires periodic connection to the computer for backups and updates.

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  2. Timanator

    Timanator Well-Known Member

    If you use alot of multimedia like edit pictures in emails or large documents, then no. If you are just surfing the net, maybe.
    CharlesLewis likes this.
  3. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    The largest document I am likely to edit would be 1000 words, and I almost never edit multi-media.
  4. HunterBrooke

    HunterBrooke Well-Known Member

    If I wasn't a heavy PhotoShop user, I think I could make do with a tablet (with BT keyboard option).
    CharlesLewis likes this.
  5. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...

    Moving thread to the Android Lounge...
  6. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert

    I use my MSM7227 ARMv6 phone for 90% of my web use, so it's possible :)
  7. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    I've partially replaced my PC with my phone. For consuming content, the phone is great. For heavy data entry and document editing, I prefer a PC.

    When consuming content like from a web page or book, I tend to read the information sequentially. Occasionally, I may scroll back and forth, but generally, I read an article from beginning to end and when I'm reading a paragraph or sentence, I don't really need to go back and forth looking at words elsewhere in the document.

    When doing data entry or editing a document, I generally want to look at other parts of the document as I edit. For short emails and messages, this is not a big issue. For larger documents and especially spreadsheets, I need to see a larger portion of the document than I can normally see on the small screen of a phone.

    At least the way I use my PC/phone, I cannot do without a PC. There are functions I don't need a PC, but there are functions where I do need a PC.
    CharlesLewis likes this.
  8. cb2000a

    cb2000a Newbie

    I do more and more on my phone. I use it as a business tool. I can invoice and print from it. I would think a good Android tablet and phone could replace most computers. It will be more so in the future. In two to three years we will see screens that fold or roll out from phones. I would imagine a future where computers will be used less and less and THAT is why big corporations are going hot and heavy on the mobile phone market.
    CharlesLewis likes this.
  9. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    The issues with the small screen might be solved with an Android tablet. Have any of you tried that approach?
  10. I was just now thinking about the same thing!

    My current computer usage consists of
    1) web browsing
    2) e-mail
    3) managing my photos

    What I think I would like is a Android phone (not a big cumbersome pad) that I can take with me everywhere I go and use it as a camera, and when I come home I connect it to a TV to view and sort my photos, and a keyboard to write longer e-mails effortlessly.

    I would be very interested in hearing what experiences you have using your Android phone as a basic "home computer".

    Note that what I mean is using an Android phone instead of a computer, not in addition to a computer, the main point here is to see if I can manage without a computer (Windows or Mac) at all.

    What accessories are useful?

    What works and what does not work?

    Any suggestions would be helpful! :)
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I'm a teacher as well. I have looked at possibly how a tablet could replace a laptop, netbook or what I'm using at the moment, a Fujitsu UMPC running Win 7 and Linux. But for my needs a tablet wont be suitable.

    Main reason I must have a real keyboard. Device must be self supporting and not dependant on another PC to get content on or off it. It must support Mongolian script, which I'm currently learning to read, no tablets support Mongolian yet. Also the ability to directly download and play music from google.cn, again no tablet can do this, unless it's running Win or a full blown Linux distro like Ubuntu. And the ability to correctly display and edit mixed Chinese/English Powerpoints, basically this means MS Office.

    Cloud storage is not an option for me, due to often patchy internet access and because things like Dropbox are not available.
  12. mrcaptain

    mrcaptain Well-Known Member

    I recently bought an Acer a500 tablet, and have hardly touched my laptop,desktop, net book or phone since I got it.
    I have no problem creating word and excel documents using the on screen keyboard, as it has multi touch, so touch typing is easy. If you had any issues using the on screen keyboard, you can use a USB keyboard or bluetooth one, as the tablet supports both.
    With the USB connection, you can connect a USB card reader, so getting photos from your camera will be no problem.
    I've done a little photo editing with ease also. You obviously won't be able to do anything indepth, but as you don't edit media, it won't be an issue for you.
    Also, with the ability to connect an external hdd to the tab, storage is not an issue either.
    Web pages also load like a dream.

    In short, yes, I think the Acer a500 has replaced my computer massively.

    Any questions about it, feel free to ask me.
    CharlesLewis likes this.
  13. Quboid

    Quboid Android Enthusiast

    If you do any writing, a keyboard is highly recommended. I wouldn't go without my desktop but if you like a tablet with a keyboard, I assume you get keyboards for something like the Galaxy Tab 10.1?
  14. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Yes any Bluetooth keyboard should work with the Tab, and other Android tablets provided they have BT.
  15. raynoldsk

    raynoldsk Android Enthusiast

    *Definitely* get a wireless keyboard. Then I think you would be good to go with what you described.

    I would love to ditch the laptop, but I haven't found a graceful way to navigate amongst the four sites I need to use at the same time. The minute I figure that part out, I guarantee you I will be a happy camper:D.

    If it helps, The Lad is a teacher and just got a new job at a brand new school, and they gave the teachers a choice between a computer and an iPad, so it is entirely possible to get by with a tablet and do the job. In fact, it seemed to be encouraged. (He comes fully equipped with all manner of electronics so the point was moot as far as he was concerned.)

    But for typing larger documents, you almost gotta have a keyboard. They are nice and work great, though!
  16. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I've been reading reviews of the Asus Transformer -- it has a keyboard that can be attached, turning it into a laptop. That would allow you to use it as a tablet when you didn't need the keyboard but still have the keyboard if you needed to do a lot of typing.

    The price was good, too. $400 without the keyboard, which I think was about $160 extra.

    Anyone had experience with it?
  17. Wisenos

    Wisenos Android Enthusiast

    not totally same but big gamer and photoshop user... lol
    so tablet/phone replacement for pc is a no-go for me
  18. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I've noticed a few web sites don't work correctly on the Droid X and assume it is because of some limitations with the app. What has been your experience with the tablet?
  19. mrcaptain

    mrcaptain Well-Known Member

    I've not came across any sites that i've had any problems with and I use java rich sites aswell as flash sites. Do you remember the site addresses and i'll have a check.
    The default Acer browser is really good. It also has tabs, so that solves the problem that someone else had with navigating 4 web pages with ease.
  20. Quboid

    Quboid Android Enthusiast

    Presumably you can use a 3rd party browser with handier tabs like Dolphin or Miren?
  21. mrcaptain

    mrcaptain Well-Known Member

    With the Acer? Not tried any others, as the stock browser is great. I'm sure you could if you really wanted to though.
  22. Quboid

    Quboid Android Enthusiast

    ^ For handier tabs. Someone mentioned that switching between four windows was a concern. For all I know, the stock Honeycomb browser has handier tabs.
  23. mrcaptain

    mrcaptain Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a stock honeycomb browser, I think it depends on the model of tab.
    Certainly the Acer a500 has the ability to open up several tabs and easily switch between websites.
    You can also close the browser and do something else on your tab, then open the browser back up and your tabs are still there.
  24. 1ds

    1ds Member

    No matter how much tablet offers you but still its an half ass in front of netbook, for ex i can develop my DSLR RAW files in my Sony Netbook in Adobe lightroom and Adobe photoshop,i can convert any type of video to any format in my netbook via IMTOO video convertor, burn DVD's by connecting external ODD download torrents,huge 320Gb HDD and list goes on and on,

    Tablets are nice way to waste money.
    mikedt likes this.
  25. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    But I don't do any photo editing, I don't burn DVDs, and other than music and photos (which are stored on-line), my data takes up less than 10GB. For your purposes, I would never think of a tablet, but I am thinking for mine, the table may be all I need. I'll probably wait six months or so to see if prices continue to drop and the bugs get worked out.

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