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My $200 Laptop Can Beat Your $500 Tablet 789

Roblimo writes "Yes, we know tablets like the iPad are the wave of the future and that PCs and laptops are dead. But some of us see tablets as laptops with their keyboards missing and a few hundred bucks tacked onto the price."
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My $200 Laptop Can Beat Your $500 Tablet

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  • Table. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @09:37AM (#35571648)

    Yes, but I can't rest my feet on a laptop, like I can my table.

    Anyway, the cost of the device is hardly relevant. Aside from portability, the real differences are consuming versus creating. So far, tablets are basically giant consumption devices. Listen to music, read books, watch videos, visit other people's websites. Not so much made for creating (unless the limit of creating, your case, is writing blog updates).

    It's kind of like comparing a television with a video camera.

  • Who thinks this? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gmai l . c om> on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @09:39AM (#35571714) Journal

    Who thinks a tablet could replace a laptop? Tech journalists who don't know shit about tech, and various Starbucks-dwelling types (who also don't know shit about tech), that's who. Tablets are doomed just like PDAs without cell modems were doomed. The future is convertible laptops. Mark my words.

  • by alt236_ftw ( 2007300 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @09:42AM (#35571764) Homepage

    Repeat after me:
    The iPad is a tablet, but not all tablets are iPads.

    I own an Android tablet with USB host functionality (2 ports, weep old macbook air users!), which is sold for $99, has multitasking, can use a keyboard, does not use iTunes and supports SD cards.

    Granted, I would never write an essay on it, but tablets are not meant to be user as PC replacements: They are information retrieval devices, not data entry ones.

  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @09:44AM (#35571814)

    The future is convertible laptops. Mark my words.

    Wow, if someone ever tried that I'm sure it would change the entire industry!

    Hint: The reason why tablets are popular is not because of their features. It's because you can carry the damn things around with you without your arm falling off. Slapping a tablet screen on a notebook does not fix this problem.

  • Tag as flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @09:54AM (#35571950)

    Please tag this story as flamebait because that's what the TFA is.

  • Re:Table (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:08AM (#35572176) Homepage Journal

    But really, tablets *ARE* like laptops

    Hardly. Unless you use a laptop as a tablet (i.e. run only one program at a time and always maximize every app you run), in which case you're screwed to begin with, and will never catch up in the tech race.

    A tablet is an oversized PDA with a focus on bells and whistles instead of useful functions. Do not want.

  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:09AM (#35572192) Homepage Journal

    A. A Laptop's CD and DVD Player/Burner: If you're into permanently saving photos, music, or movies

    Wireless connectivity allows me to store my music, photos and such, on a machine which I won't lose. The chance that I will need all my music, those movies, or that photo, are to be considered, but many of us know what we reference daily. I would rather have a home full of things I need now than a home full of clutter I think I might need and never access. Tell me this, how many have look at last used dates on many items on your notebook? It might surprise you.

    B. A Laptop's Keyboard: Most iPad users readily admit it's difficult to type anything that is data intensive on the touch keyboard that appears on the screen.

    OK, but given time you learn to adapt. I find just as many people complain "you will never be happy with a notebooks keyboard" as I see with tablets. Well I can get a nice clamshell case with a bluetooth keyboard built it. Tablets are not meant to replace home computers for development and large work, the Apps just are not there. However they are great for taking what you need in a small footprint.

    C) The Storage Available on a Laptop:If you want to download and store tons of decent-quality movies,

    Which in point A I stated, go check when you last viewed/listened to the majority of it. Then scroll back to see what you used in the last year. You will be surprised. I have over 20g in music and guess how much I listen too. I have the 32g iPad of which I haven't used half. Why? Because its like packing a car. I am taking what I know I will use and then tossing in small things here and there. I guess for some being lazy and taking it all is a great method but you never rid yourself of the clutter if you do. Fact is, we keep to much crap on our computers because its easier than cleaning it up

    D) A Laptop's Ports: No USB port on an iPad? Sure there are pricey adapters, but what if you want to plug in a mouse, digital camera, and/or printer?

    My printer is wireless. I have an adapter for HDMI, SD cards, and USB cables, which btw I haven't used every day. I don't need a mouse with a touch screen and wireless eliminates most ports anyway

    E)Apple iPad 2Apple iPad 2The iPad Doesn't Have Multitasking: So I can't listen to sports talk radio online, check to see if little Charlie has bitten anyone else's finger, and type my blog, all at the same time? This versatility is why we love mobile computers. This fact alone will always keep me using a laptop.

    False. I load a VPN connection and close the app to load something else and yet my VPN is still running. How is that? Is that not multitasking? I have loaded a work app and bounced between it and my webbrowser which by the way was showing the weather an it updated in the background. I guess by multitasking you meanm you cannot have a bunch of windows open all at once of which your are using ONE AND ONLY ONE AT THIS EXACT MOMENT. Many Apps that you invoke keep background services running, that is multitasking. Don't confuse that with having many windows open.

    F) The IPad Is Confined by the Limits of iTunes: Jared Newman, a PCWorld blogger, summed it up: "

    And it gets updated all the time. We don't know what new features we will get. As it stands now, after I first setup my iPad with iTunes I have never used iTunes since as I have never connected my iPad back to my Mac. I get documents, Apps, and the like, all over the wireless connection. I could care less what iTunes is not doing. As long as I have the Apps I need to do the work I want to do I could care less about your perceived limitations because they aren't mine.

    G) The iPad's Battery Isn't Replacable: I know the iPad has respectable battery life, but if you need to work on a long plane ride and in a café with no available power outlets, I feel you'll need excellent battery life and a back-up cell that installs easily.

    This one is even more laughable. Sorry, but spending 10 hours at the cafe ain't exactly what I call a winning strategy ever

  • Re:less is more (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:13AM (#35572254) Homepage

    And yet, I have not once seen someone holding up a laptop to their face and reading or browsing the world-wide web on it on my daily commute with the bus. But I do that with my iPad and have seen other people do that with other tablet computers. So, all those morons that claim that netbooks etc. are far superior to tablets are obviously wrong! I spend 1 1/2 hours a day on the bus and that's why I love my iPad. I also really enjoy it the few times a year that I have to fly.

    Can't say if a tablet is "better", or just different.

    But I can say when I travel on business, the last few times I've brought both my iPad and my laptop. My laptop largely sits in the laptop bag just in case I need it (though the last two trips I haven't so it's been dead weight). I use my iPad in airports, hotel lobbies, restaurants, my hotel room, in my recliner, laying down on the sofa ... all sorts of places I don't use my laptop. Both because my laptop is much bulkier and awkward, and for security reasons, my company has disabled wireless. I just find the iPad to be more convenient.

    I couldn't replace my work laptop with an iPad, but I do use my iPad differently ... and when I'm travelling, far more often. To me, the two form factors have entirely different usage patterns. A tablet may not be for everybody, but for those of us with one, it's hard to imagine not having one.

  • by Roogna ( 9643 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:13AM (#35572258)

    I don't see why everyone keeps comparing the two. A laptop and tablets like the iPad are simply not in the same market. Yes there is some overlap in use, but there's overlap between a laptop and my cell phone these days. If you want to get pedantic about it there's overlap between my laptop and the dvd player sitting on the shelf across the room. It doesn't put them into the same market at all. Why is it that everyone is still trying to make it as if it's exclusive, you can have one, or the other?

  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:13AM (#35572266)

    um Apple is kicking the crap out of every manufacture on price and you call them greedy? When apple first annouced the price of the ipad every other CEO shit bricks as they were expecting a $1000 price tag from apple and they would be in a good position to undercut on price.

    No one can touch Apple's price points because the factories don't yet exist. In 5 years they will be lower, but it takes time to retool factories.

    maybe you should learn something about economics, before mouthing off what things "should cost" you have no clue.

  • At what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theJML ( 911853 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:15AM (#35572300) Homepage

    So what can your $200 laptop beat my $500 tablet at?

    Web surfing? I don't know, the tablet interface with it's ability to just click, rescale, scroll and everything without having to use a mouse is quite an upgrade personally.
    Gaming? You mean, you have a $200 laptop with a good graphics card in it? I'm pretty sure an iPad 2 or Tegra 2 powered tablet could blow the socks off your $200 intel integrated graphics card.
    Size? I think the tablet's gonna win, unless you attached a brick to the back of it. 1/4"-1/2" thick tablet wins every time. Especially when I'm in a cramped coach seat flying for 6 hours and can't open the laptop up all the way because the screen hits the seat in front of me.
    Battery Life? We're talking about a $200 laptop here... not a netbook. And even then try getting 10 hours of good use out of a netbook or laptop.

    And who makes a New, powerful $200 laptop in the first place?

    Face it, There are cases for each item. They're not meant for the same tasks. We're trying to compare apples and oranges here and I'm starting to get tired of it. Although, I will say that I got a tablet because I don't want to have to take care of another laptop. the tablet just works for what I need, I have a perfectly powerful PC in my home office I can use if I want to do anything I need it for... and if I'm just doing simple things like web browsing, facebooking, some gaming, youtubing, etc the tablet works perfectly. (and if I felt like it, I could sync my keyboard to it or use a stylus to do text input.)

  • Re:Table. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gatzke ( 2977 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:24AM (#35572442) Homepage Journal

    It's kind of like comparing a television with a video camera.

    No, your analogy is flawed.

    Tablets and laptop are both computers. The tablet is limited by lack of a keyboard. The iPad is limited in a variety of other ways (Flash, battery, ports, battery, application installs, multitasking, etc).

    Even you admit tablets are used for creating and consuming. Creating blog updates. Emails. Pictures. But the tablet is crippled. And overpriced.

    The iPad does give you a nice user experience, if all you basically want to do is consume. However if you want to do anything more than play with a toy, you may need something different.

  • Re:Table (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:25AM (#35572456) Homepage

    A tablet is an oversized PDA with a focus on bells and whistles instead of useful functions. Do not want.

    Define 'useful'. And, for that matter, define 'bells and whistles' since I'm not sure my iPad has anything I'd call that.

    I'm not going to use my tablet to code on, or to write a technical document or create visio diagrams, that's true.

    But, for getting into a more comfortable chair, or sitting in the back-yard or the hammock at my parents place, or at the hotel bar or in the airport ... I actually find the form factor to be usable in a lot of circumstances where I wouldn't want a laptop. For me a laptop is mostly something I put on a desk and use it like a desktop.

    I can sit in a comfortable chair in the hotel lobby, cross my legs or slouch in my chair and still check my email in several different accounts, check the news, and maybe play sudoku or Pocket Frogs or something. It's used more for consuming content than doing anything like my professional work. But it's become something I get quite a lot of use out of, and on business trips I use it far more often than my laptop (which I still drag around with me).

    To me, they're very different devices, and used very differently.

  • Re:Table. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theBully ( 1056930 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:29AM (#35572534)

    It's kind of like comparing a television with a video camera.

    Not really. A video camera can only be used to create a movie and a television to display it. A laptop can be used for both creating and consuming content while a tablet only for consuming it. The difference here is that a video camera is not in the least appropriate to consume while a laptop remains very appropriate to consume content. I agree with the poster. Just make the darn tablets 100$ and I'll get one. That's how much I would spend for a redundant device in the house. Otherwise, I can use a laptop or desktop for everything I can do with a tablet and keep my 700$.

    The iPad was introduced as a revolutionary device that covers the space between a phone and a laptop. In reality is a device that's not appropriate for either purpose, with non or little actual space to cover in between (at least for the moment). If you really think about it, there's nothing that you do with an iPad that you couldn't do on a laptop. By extension I think this applies to any kind of tablet.

  • Re:Table. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:47AM (#35572836) Homepage

    Getting information isn't necessarily playing with a toy. Lots of commuters like to read and use it like a kindle or a nook, but a kindle or nook that also email. Not having a keyboard isn't necessarily a disadvantage if you are going to be using it on a train or subway, especially if you might need to be standing while using it. Etc... Look if you are fully stationary a desktop is better than a laptop. If you need to be portable a laptop is better. If you aren't going to be able to be in an office like environment a tablet is often better.

  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @10:51AM (#35572906)

    If you think that a tablet is something that just gets "lugged" from place to place, you're unclear on the concept.

    A tablet is to a notebook what a paperback novel is to a hardcover book. One stays in your hand as you travel around, the other is ported from one reading spot to another. Sure, you can easily carry around a large hardcover, but try reading it with one arm outstretched and I guarantee you'll be in pain before long.

    And for perspective, the iPad weighs as much as some softcover bibles. The average 13" notebook weighs as much as a hardcover copy of War and Peace.

  • by Fishead ( 658061 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @11:11AM (#35573232)

    One place I worked at my wife would send me a bag of cookies every day in my lunch. She'd put the cookies on the icepack in my cooler, and they would be cold and nasty by the time coffee break came around. Then I figured out that the heat from the laptop exhaust made a nice cookie warmer. First thing I'd do every morning is prop the bag open so the warm air blows in. By the time coffee break rolled around, the shop would smell like freshly baked cookies.

    Mmmmm... me want cookies...

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