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Old Feb 8, 2013, 10:00 PM   #1
waa1futs
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4G iPad Mini + dumbphone >>>>> PC + iPhone?

So today I got to thinking about three ideas:

1) I would rather have a iPad mini + Logitech Ultrathin Mini BT Keyboard over a PC. Straight up. Even if it was just a wifi model. The iPad with a Logitech Ultrathin Mini is already better for me but when you add a 4G + GPS upgrade option to this tablet computer, it just widens the gap further.

Here is a video of the Logitech BT Keyboard in action:


Now before the haters even try to say anything I don't need ANY x86 programs (the main drawback of having a tablet computer), so the iPad mini + BT keyboard has a few huge benefits for me over a PC:
- Super SUPER portable (the main benefit towards going with this route over a PC or Bigger iPad)
- Battery life (another huge benefit for a college student such as myself)
- 4G LTE option you can have built in
- Can function as a GPS (the 4G model that is)
- Much quicker to whip out and use on the go than a PC, and much nicer screen to look at than a smartphone.

Now obviously I already know the iPad mini doesn't fit in a regular jeans pocket the way an iPhone does, but is it really that big a deal to carry around a small backpack or satchel with me like I do already with my almost 5 year old netbook?

2) If I have a super portable 4G iPad Mini that I can always take with me... do I even need a smartphone anymore? Why not just go with a dumbphone to talk / text and then if I need internet / GPS then whip out the iPad mini in a couple of seconds from my satchel and use that instead?

The 7.9 inch iPad mini screen is much nicer to browse the web with than using an eye straining 3.5 inch iPhone screen to browse the web.

3)If I end up going this route (of getting an 4G iPad mini + Logitech Ultrathin Mini + dumbphone and can put up with carrying a small satchel) it seems like I would be saving a good deal of money as well!

Right now I'm not on contract but I pay $40 a month for voice & $30 a month data on my iPhone through ATT (I don't trust straight talk). That doesn't include any sort of tethering option for my computer. If I want internet on my computer while I'm on the go then I need to upgrade to ATT's $45/mo data plan. $85/mo for only voice + data is sucky

Now if I had a Verizon 4G LTE iPad mini I would get the contract free $20/mo data plan for 1GB of data (I don't stream music or videos so 1GB is more than enough).

So either $20 per month for data anywhere I go on a better viewing experience vs $45 per month for data anywhere with my smartphone tethering to my PC. Multiplied out through a 2 year contract I would be saving roughly $600!

Then, since I don't talk more than 1200 minutes per month, I could go with a dumbphone on Page Plus cellular for their $30/mo : 1200 min + unlimited texts. So now I'm paying $30/month for voice + texts instead of $40 per month for only voice. Over a 2 year period that's at least an extra $240 saved!

Not to mention the the hardware costs you are saving:
$200 w/ 2 yr contract - iPhone
$700 or more - Slim ultrabook

vs

$460 - 4G iPad Mini
$80 - Logitech BT keyboard
$20 - Verizon feature phone

Is there anyone else that is thinking about going this route? Or any constructive tips you could give me?

For the haters: This is just an idea for ME, ONLY ME, or perhaps those who have similar needs as me. If this idea doesn't work for you that's fine, but don't just crap on the idea since it might work for myself or others. I don't care if you need photoshop, utorrent, VLC player, etc. I dont

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Old Feb 8, 2013, 11:43 PM   #2
fitshaced
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What about the times when you're heading out on the town and don't want to bring your man bag with you? You're smart phone helps with directions, time killing if you arrive early and (quite an important one) enables you to take a socially acceptable picture. Taking the mini out for a photo is not cool, not cool at all.

I guarantee you'll miss having a smart phone in no time. Some people compromise with a 'phablet' but thats not what the mini is. Certainly not with a same size keyboard attached to it.

Also, the smaller smart phone offers more discretion when, for example, on the train and needing to do some online banking.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 11:58 PM   #3
irDigital0l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waa1futs View Post
Is there anyone else that is thinking about going this route? Or any constructive tips you could give me?
nope, got nothing.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 02:19 AM   #4
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You can't replace a smartphone. Sorry.
The real problems here are the monopolistic cellular companies and their high priced data.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 02:39 PM   #5
waa1futs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
What about the times when you're heading out on the town and don't want to bring your man bag with you?
Hmmm, I was thinking last night about things I would go out to do where I wouldn't want to carry my satchel with me but I couldn't think of many

If I am going out to the movies with friends? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to a club (albeit very rarely)? Definitely want it with me
If I am going on a hike? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to a BBQ? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to a museum? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to the beach? Definitely want it with me

Really the only time I could see myself not wanting it would be is if I was going on a 1st date... yet even then I could simply keep it in the car to use as a GPS on the way there + its not like my date would really want me on my smartphone the whole time anyways

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
You're smart phone helps with directions, time killing if you arrive early and (quite an important one) enables you to take a socially acceptable picture. Taking the mini out for a photo is not cool, not cool at all.
Aha! You are correct on the socially acceptable pictures

Taking out an iPad mini for a picture would be a little awkward and less convenient than a tiny smartphone.

I guess I just don't see myself taking that many social pictures of other people to begin with so I don't see it as much of a problem. And if I was taking a picture of somebody it would be someone close to me and they would understand. Any other types of pictures (such as a document, sunset, product to buy later, etc) I wouldn't have any hesitation to use the iPad Mini for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
I guarantee you'll miss having a smart phone in no time. Some people compromise with a 'phablet' but thats not what the mini is. Certainly not with a same size keyboard attached to it.
You could be right, I'm not sure yet. I am also thinking of just getting the Galaxy Note 3 when it comes out since it's supposedly a 6.3" screen 'phablet' but it wouldn't have the elegant bluetooth keyboard solution that logitech provides. Also would be much more expensive since I'd be signing a contract for $70/mo for two years of just phone data instead of $20/mo for iPad data + $30/mo for talk & text.

Decisions decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
Also, the smaller smart phone offers more discretion when, for example, on the train and needing to do some online banking.
I guess I'll just have to get used to tilting the iPad mini screen away from peoples prying eyes the same way I would with an iPhone.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 03:24 PM   #6
LightOnAHill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
Taking the mini out for a photo is not cool, not cool at all.
.


Who cares if its cool or not? Whip out the ipad for a pic is pretty cool in my opinion because it DOES have a semi-decent camera.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 06:20 PM   #7
sectime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waa1futs View Post
Hmmm, I was thinking last night about things I would go out to do where I wouldn't want to carry my satchel with me but I couldn't think of many

If I am going out to the movies with friends? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to a club (albeit very rarely)? Definitely want it with me
If I am going on a hike? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to a BBQ? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to a museum? Definitely want it with me
If I am going to the beach? Definitely want it
My problem is I would be constantly misplacing my man purse.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 04:59 AM   #8
kylera
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From the looks of things, it seems that you seem to have the software aspect of the iPad - in other words, finding suitable alternatives or replacements for desktop apps - down pat, so let's set that aside.

Regarding the first question: how you carry your gear is pretty much up to you. I personally prefer messenger bags as I cannot stand my back getting drenched with sweat after wearing a backpack for long enough. Maybe you're just carrying the iPad + keyboard, or maybe you have other stuff with you.

For Q2: If you go this route, it means you need to carry two devices instead of one. Granted, you may be getting two devices that do certain tasks quite well as opposed to one device that can do all tasks adequately, but this means you need to have the mind to recharge two things instead of one. This can be a bummer for some people - I wouldn't know how much it would affect you, but it's worth keeping in mind.

This also means that you need to watch out for servicing multiple products.

Q3: From a strictly monetary perspective, you'd be saving, that's for sure. However, is the savings worth the necessity to carry multiple devices? That "worth" cannot be easily portrayed in money since the value of worth differs from one person to another.

I too asked a similar question to myself at one point in time. I considered ditching my iPhone since I had an iPad, and luckily, the timing was such that my contract was up and a friend was tossing his dumbphone away, so I got his phone for free, and did a week-long trial run. Granted, it was just a week, but I found the situation to not be very beneficial. It was cumbersome to run some iPhone apps on my iPad, and I don't always carry my iPad, so in the end, I concluded that the savings was not worth it for me. For you, though, your situation could be completely different from mine.
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 05:55 AM   #9
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It's your opinion, it is your decision.

For me the iPad mini is nothing more than a media consumption device. But if for you an iPad mini is more than enough for your computing need, way to go!!

Myself? Nah, it might sound like a contradiction. The iDevice I use the most is the iPad mini, but it is also the one I could survive without.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
...enables you to take a socially acceptable picture. Taking the mini out for a photo is not cool, not cool at all.
Know what takes even better photos? A camera.

A used S90 takes better photos than a smartphone and can be had for a song.

OP, its worth a shot. Try it for a week and see how that setup fits your life. You can always switch back.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 11:44 AM   #11
shaown
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Easy solution - go with your plan slightly modified.
Get a Smartphone (refurb/used/low end) that is very basic, and get a voice only plan, or a prepaid plan with minimal minimal data. For example, the Republic wireless 19 month plan or whatever.

You can use the cheap smartphone for socially acceptable photos, etc, and tether it to ur ipad over wifi when u need to send data.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:47 PM   #12
fitshaced
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Know what takes even better photos? A camera.

A used S90 takes better photos than a smartphone and can be had for a song.

OP, its worth a shot. Try it for a week and see how that setup fits your life. You can always switch back.
Yes, I wasn't suggesting taking a photo with the calculator app. The iphone, like the mini, has an inbuilt camera (two of them). But the iphone is much more practical to use in a social scene. Having a dedicated camera on you as well an an iphone is less practical.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 03:02 PM   #13
maxosx
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You've come up with an ideal solution.

I've given it thought as well, since my iPhone 5 has a nearly useless tiny screen.

There's lots of good choices in feature phones (the official category for regular cell phones).

Currently I'm really enjoying my wifi mini (with exception of its grainy low-res display) so I plan to wait for the next version with a better display resolution.

Then I'll buy the 3G/4G & Wifi Version, dump my iPhone 5 in favor of a nice feature phone, and be all set to go.

I'm taking a wait & see position before buying a keyboard since there's a lot of good ones in development at the moment.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 03:39 PM   #14
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If I was going to dump the iphone and go with a Mini ipad, i'd try to take it all the way. No dumbphones. No feature phones. Just the Mini. Use VOIP, google voice or whatever to sub for voice/texting. One data plan and that's it unless you spring for a skype phone number or something but that's pretty cheap.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 04:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fitshaced View Post
Yes, I wasn't suggesting taking a photo with the calculator app. The iphone, like the mini, has an inbuilt camera (two of them). But the iphone is much more practical to use in a social scene. Having a dedicated camera on you as well an an iphone is less practical.
Well the calc app would be silly.

While carrying a comera is less practical, having one as small as the S90 makes it easy to carry. It fits easily in a back pocket of any jeans.

Using a wifi SD card or the S110's wifi feature means you can send pics to your Mini wirelessly.

Besides, the OP said he'll almost always have a bag with him so bringing a small camera is a non-issue.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 08:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cardfan View Post
If I was going to dump the iphone and go with a Mini ipad, i'd try to take it all the way. No dumbphones. No feature phones. Just the Mini. Use VOIP, google voice or whatever to sub for voice/texting. One data plan and that's it unless you spring for a skype phone number or something but that's pretty cheap.
One brilliant use of a phone is the vibrate ring feature which is mostly how I realise an incoming call on my phone. Ipad doesn't have that.

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Originally Posted by darngooddesign View Post
Well the calc app would be silly.

While carrying a comera is less practical, having one as small as the S90 makes it easy to carry. It fits easily in a back pocket of any jeans.

Using a wifi SD card or the S110's wifi feature means you can send pics to your Mini wirelessly.

Besides, the OP said he'll almost always have a bag with him so bringing a small camera is a non-issue.
Yes but then that's still 3 devices as opposed to 2. It's not always abo weight, it's also about device juggling. Eye if cards are temperamental and bloody annoying to try and get to work when they fail. A iPhone syncs pictures to your ipad/MacBook/iMac automatically.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:03 AM   #17
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See, some of us need to do real work that cannot be done period on a tablet. The iPad may suffice for some things, but for a huge number of tasks, it is still not acceptable. I'm still of the view that tablets are best for consuming media and the occasional bit of production, but to each his own, if it works for you, then by all means go for it.

My experience with iPads and other tablets is that sometimes, you find yourself making excuses and doing all sorts of workarounds to make it suffice... and only when you step back do you realize, why am I doing this? It *can* work, but it's a lot less efficient and slower than if I just used a normal computer.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 12:06 PM   #18
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...A iPhone syncs pictures to your ipad/MacBook/iMac automatically.
But takes worse photos than a nice point and shoot.

Its really a question of do you sacrifice quality for convenience or sacrifice convenience for quality. This is a subjective matter that varies from person to person.

I don't find caryring a good P&S to be inconvenient and I have the added benefit of not running my phone's battery down by taking lots of photos.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 02:36 PM   #19
fitshaced
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But takes worse photos than a nice point and shoot.

Its really a question of do you sacrifice quality for convenience or sacrifice convenience for quality. This is a subjective matter that varies from person to person.

I don't find caryring a good P&S to be inconvenient and I have the added benefit of not running my phone's battery down by taking lots of photos.
Are you carrying an ipad around with you everywhere? An iPhone does portability better than the mini.

Also, the iPhone has a decent camera in it. If you are into photography then a good separate point and shoot will probably be what you go for but if not, the iPhone has you covered.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:26 PM   #20
darngooddesign
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Are you carrying an ipad around with you everywhere? An iPhone does portability better than the mini.

Also, the iPhone has a decent camera in it. If you are into photography then a good separate point and shoot will probably be what you go for but if not, the iPhone has you covered.
The point of this thread is that the OP will get rid of his iPhone and carry a Mini. He also said that he'd have the Mini with him in a bag. The camera question was brought up because someone said its socialy unacceptable to use the Mini, but rather than using an iPhone, which the OP wants to get rid of, I suggested getting a good point and shoot.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 03:44 PM   #21
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I've considered the same things as the OP. But I would only go back so far as a Blackberry 8310. The one I had was quite sufficient.


The iphone brings RDP ability which can be helpful. (I'm not addicted to FB and the like on a phone)

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ybz90 View Post
See, some of us need to do real work that cannot be done period on a tablet. The iPad may suffice for some things, but for a huge number of tasks, it is still not acceptable. I'm still of the view that tablets are best for consuming media and the occasional bit of production, but to each his own, if it works for you, then by all means go for it.

My experience with iPads and other tablets is that sometimes, you find yourself making excuses and doing all sorts of workarounds to make it suffice... and only when you step back do you realize, why am I doing this? It *can* work, but it's a lot less efficient and slower than if I just used a normal computer.
In an ideal world the MBA would have cellular data built in (like the ipad/iphone do)
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 04:33 PM   #22
fitshaced
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The point of this thread is that the OP will get rid of his iPhone and carry a Mini. He also said that he'd have the Mini with him in a bag. The camera question was brought up because someone said its socialy unacceptable to use the Mini, but rather than using an iPhone, which the OP wants to get rid of, I suggested getting a good point and shoot.
I think the point of the thread is for the op to move to his main uses of a smart phone to an ipad mini a practical way. They would need an iPad mini with keyboard, regular dumb phone and point and shoot by your method.

He could alternatively just have two of those as the iPhone has a decent camera.

My point is that the iPhone is not as easy to be without once you have had one.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 05:11 PM   #23
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I've considered the same things as the OP. But I would only go back so far as a Blackberry 8310. The one I had was quite sufficient.


The iphone brings RDP ability which can be helpful. (I'm not addicted to FB and the like on a phone)

----------



In an ideal world the MBA would have cellular data built in (like the ipad/iphone do)
One word: tethering.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by waa1futs View Post
$460 - 4G iPad Mini
$80 - Logitech BT keyboard
$20 - Verizon feature phone

Is there anyone else that is thinking about going this route? Or any constructive tips you could give me?

For the haters: This is just an idea for ME, ONLY ME, or perhaps those who have similar needs as me. If this idea doesn't work for you that's fine, but don't just crap on the idea since it might work for myself or others. I don't care if you need photoshop, utorrent, VLC player, etc. I dont
As you point out above, it ultimately comes down to how you use technology.

I personally think the idea has a lot of merit.

I also think the idea of using a low end Smartphone/iPad-mini combo has a great deal of merit also.
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Old Feb 12, 2013, 06:35 PM   #25
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Dude! This is totally workable. Let me explain my iPad Mini experience:
I got the iPad Mini 16GB 4G AT&T model.
So I set up Google Voice, downloaded Talkatone to my iPad Mini, set up call forwarding to Google talk. Now I can dial out and receive calls for free with my iPod Touch/iPad/etc.

I went to Wal-Mart with an old T-Mobile Android phone (you can sell later) and set up Wal-Mart's T-Mobile $30 exclusive plan:
100 minutes
Unlimited Texting
Unlimited Data (5GB at 4G speeds)

Then I went to a T-Mobile store and had them cut my sim to a nano sim, popped it in, done deal.

iPad's are factory unlocked and a lot of networks are set up to use T-Mobile's new farmed 4G band. Check your area because all of San Diego has been refarmed. Even if you're stuck with AT&T you can set up Straight Talk which uses AT&T bands and has a better deal on data.

The bluetooth keyboard is a good idea but you can also pick up an Apple Wireless keyboard on Craig's List which gives you more of the MacBook look. Don't forget to jailbreak.
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