Best Tablet Option for Laptop Replacement?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Visionblue, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Visionblue macrumors member

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    Jun 16, 2013
    #1
    Hey All,

    My 2010 white Macbook is on its way out. I can't complain, it's served me well in the time I've had it. My plan was to replace it with the new retina MB. Unfortunately I don't know that my laptop will make it long enough for me to comfortably budget a new one.

    I was thinking about scrapping my current MB for parts and picking up a used tablet to use until I can afford the computer I want. I considered a Chromebook but the budget range seems to have a lot of low res screens and I feel like propriatery chargers add to their bulk when traveling.

    I'm at a loss though on what to get. I like the idea of an iPad with superb build quality and more tablet optimized apps plus multitasking. But it lacks a torrent client and PC like features and ultimately is a blown up iPhone.

    I would be using said tablet to write, lightly torrent, web browse and consume media like movies and music. I'd be shopping on swappa or eBay for used products and my tippy-top budget would be about $400. I would also be looking for a Bluetooth keyboard to accompany said tablet.

    Any input or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Billy95Tech Suspended

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    Apr 18, 2014
    #2

    Why do you say the iPad is just a "blown up IPhone"?? Just wondering.....

    I definitely don't think the iPad is a huge iPhone or a huge iPod Touch and for me I think of it as a ultra portable PC like device and yeah both are similar in a lot of things but lots lots of people use iPad and the iPhone for different things and think iPad is more of a ultra portable PC like device then a iPhone and lots lots of people have ditched/replaced there laptops/desktops with iPads.

    Fortunately with IOS on iPads starting with IOS 9 the iPads are starting to do a lot more things and becoming more PC like then on the iPhone which it is awesome and with that being said IOS 10 will be HUGE for the iPad! :D :D
     
  3. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #3
    Since I got my first iPad back in 2013, I haven't been in possession of a laptop, except for the MacBook Air that I borrowed between the time when my iPad 4 broke and the time when I got my Air 2. I have never gone back. This iPad is pretty much perfect for me. You say it's a blown-up iPhone, but no size phone can beat the experience that you get with the iPad, to thee point where I nearly always turn to my iPad when I need something.
    Back to you. Although it would be temporary, an iPad could do the job very well, especially with a Bluetooth keyboard. As Billy95Tech says, iOS 9 is amazing for the iPad. With the easy-to-use multitasking capabilities, 2-finger cursor movement and Bluetooth keyboard optimisations, iOS 9 makes the iPad a powerhouse.
    As for which keyboard, I would 100% recommend this one: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/the-best-ipad-keyboard-out-there.1954755/
     
  4. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #4
    You might not think that the iPad is just a "blown up iPhone" but that doesn't change the fact that it is. It has the same capabilities and limitations as the iPhone, but only with a larger screen.

    Splitwindow capabilities of iOS 9 are indeed unique to the iPad, and the smart connector and Apple Pencil of the Pro are as well. If one doesn't own an iPad Pro, or is not using splitwindow then there is essentially no difference.

    Being a "blown up iPhone" is not a bad thing.
     
  5. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #5
    My interpretation is that it runs essentially the same OS as a phone. And albeit while more powerful and functional than ever, it is still lacking certain features for some.

    To the OP, I would say try using an iPad in stores to see if it can do everything you want it to. I sold my MacBook Pro, and solely have my iPad as my computer. It does do great for most things, but I'm at a point where I am considering getting a surface pro 4 to fulfill the rest of my needs. I believe there is now a way to torrent on an iPad via a web-browser. If you could give a full list of what you do, it would help.
     
  6. AustinIllini, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #6
    The iPad is the best non-full computer tablet. Period. Currently, it's not even particularly close.

    Edit: Let me make one thing clear, as well. No tablet is currently both a good tablet and a good laptop replacement.
     
  7. Visionblue thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 16, 2013
    #7
    Yes, I didn't mean that iOS being so similar on both devices was a negative point. I just meant the same restrictions applied to content such as torrenting clients and choosing default apps. I'm a big fan of how iOS works on tablets. Especially compared to android's limited tablet ecosystem.

    I suppose my short list would be:

    Writing (I can use pages or Google docs)
    Media Consumption (mostly Spotify, gpm, netflix)
    torrenting (I suppose this is possible via Jailbreak for iOS)
    Light photo and media editing

    I guess my two top choices right now would be the Nexus 9 or iPad Air. They both seem to have excellent displays and decent battery life. My only qualm with the nexus 9 would be build quality and androids lack luster history of tablet optimization.
     
  8. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #8
    You can get a used Chromebooks Pixel for about 500$ on Amazon. Good screen on that one.
     
  9. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

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    #9
    Agreed with this. The N9 is a little long in the tooth and no one can mistake Android for a tablet OS.
     
  10. tbayrgs, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #10
    What about a used Surface 3 (not the Pro)? I haven't looked at current used prices but I'd wager it's close to your price range, offers full PC functionality and has an available removable keyboard.
     
  11. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #11
    I think the iPad can torrent, I've never tried it though

    I can't comment on the nexus 9, I've been very distant with anything android :p
     
  12. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    UK
    #12
    Not considering a Surface 3?

    It's about $530 now for 64GB version with Keyboard included ($399 for the tablet on its own). That's a bit over your budget but I imagine you would be able to get a good condition used one for within your budget.
     
  13. msavic macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2014
    #13
    I had a Nexus 9 and am now looking into grabbing an Air 2 before the exchange murders the prices of iPads in Canada.

    The Nexus 9 is honestly a terrible tablet and that's coming from someone who utilizes an Android device as a daily driver and moved from iOS way back in the 3GS days.

    The Nexus 9 is plagued with issues both hardware and software. Many devices are plagued with horrible light bleed and every device has an air gap in the back cover that clicks as you hold the device. The Tegra K1 chip inside is horribly optimized and acts as a hand warmer for mundane tasks. There is countless software bugs as well, apps reload consistently, apps crash and random reboots are all part of the game. Also Netflix was never approved on the Nexus 9 so it is stuck at a pathetic 480p...

    I loved the Nexus 9 form factor and the speakers are fairly decent. I also got it for a great price but in the end the issues far out weigh the pros of the device. I figured if I already spent close to $300 on the Nexus 9, I may as well add some additional money and atleast get a good tablet experience.

    In my opinion, Android is the best mobile phone operating system and iOS is the best mobile tablet operating system.

    I also own a Surface Pro 3 so the iPad would be relegated to purely media consumption duties. There's also a jailbreak if you need to break free from the walled garden.
     
  14. SteveJUAE, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #14
    Why not consider these little 10" full Windows 8.1 OS Tablets : Thinkpad 10/MIIX 10/Yoga Pad 2 10/HP Pavilion 2 10 all seem good or there equivalent 2 in 1's if you prefer, all should be sub $400 (There is plenty more to consider)

    These Atom based devices all are more than capable for your needs, most come with a KB and free MS Office subscription for one year and are eligible for free upgrade to Windows 10 and can work in tablet or laptop mode.

    EG: The Lenovo Tab 2 10" has amazing battery life 15 hrs (more like 11 IRL) a 1920x1200 IPS display a BT KB although trackpad is a little rough, 2GB Ram, 32G mem and SD slot for 64G and will run any windows software or apps. These are good consumption and day to day devices with little or no restrictions outside of heavy usage/requirements and will synch with any phone (Bookmarks/Photo's/mail/cloud).
     
  15. mi7chy, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    #15
    I'd look into something like the Surface Pro 3, Thinkpad Helix 2nd gen or Surface 3 since you can run full desktop software, multiboot different operating systems and they have micro SD card slot. Have seen the Helix 2 for as low as $350 to $400.

    Otherwise, the best ARM tablet that's closest to being a PC replacement with foreground and background multitasking, many excellent bittorrent client options such as Flud, micro SD card slot to store your media, etc. is the Galaxy Tab S2 when on sale for $399 for 9.7" and $299 for 8" at Best Buy.

    I'd skip Chromebook since it has limited media consumption apps and there's only one good bittorrent client. iPad is even worse since there's no bittorrent client, no file manager, no micro SD card slot, way overpriced for what little you get, etc.

    This is from actual experience running all four ecosystems, Windows, Android, ChromeOS and iOS.
     
  16. Billy95Tech Suspended

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    Apr 18, 2014
    #16
    Well I did not the say the iPad being a blown up iPhone is a "bad thing"......

    But I say and think It's definitely much much better then having a Desktop OS like Windows on tablets. :) :)

    What do you think???? Do you agree????
     
  17. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #17
    Sony MAY be possibly announcing a new tablet at MWC in a couple of weeks, they make excellent tablets :), could wait to see what they offer, or look at a Microsoft Surface.
    Otherwise if it does torrenting an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, if you can stomach the price?
     
  18. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #18
    Well no, you didn't say it was a bad thing, directly... you said that an iPad was NOT a blown up iPhone. You're wrong. It is. You then go on to defend the iPad (as if the fact that the iPad is just a blown up iPhone is a bad thing).

    Apple has done a great job of providing a platform that "scales up" pretty well. Not perfectly, but better than what the competition is doing. And now they are working to introduce elements into each form-factor that are unique for the general use cases of that form-factor.

    Apple may be the first one to attain the ubiquity that Bill Gates sought 30+ years ago.
     
  19. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #19
    Sorry I don't buy in to any of that it's just clever marketing to make you buy more products by including or excluding features in each product range and nothing to do with optimising form factors etc else Ipads would never had the same OS as a IPhone from the start.

    I much prefer MS philosophy which is far more consumer friendly but has a way to go yet, but is on the right track IMO
     
  20. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #20
    I have extensive firsthand experience with Microsoft's tablets. "consumer friendly" is the last phrase that I'd use to describe them. The Surfaces (Pro and non-Pro) make adequate notebooks but offer poor tablet experiences. Microsoft understands that. This is why Microsoft NEVER advertises any of the Surfaces without prominently featuring the optional/extra-cost TypeCover keyboard. It is why Microsoft ONLY offers covers that include a keyboard... they don't offer a simple smartcover option.

    The chronic shortage of a quantity of quality touch-optimized Modern UI apps greatly contributes to a poor tablet experience. The use of desktop apps are a compromise to fill that gap but not preferred.
     
  21. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #21
    I'm not sure what this has to do with philosophy of approach of across platform devices and equally the same short comings of the IPP with no KB or pen included on a supposedly enterprise pro format or the lack of true apps to support the format outside of bloated IPhone ones that are stretched. The few good enterprise apps are severely restricted by lack of mouse/trackpad amongst other things.

    Sorry I think you are missing the point Apple deliberately stifle features so not to encroach on other devices where MS is trying to push the opposite

    I'm not interested is debating pro and cons on individual devices you can google that and waste 10x1.756437739^27 hrs on that :)

    They all make good devices on a standalone basis it's how they project the future is fundamentally different IMO
     
  22. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #22
    A philosophy without a successful implementation is nothing more than a pipe dream... it is only validated when there is a successful implementation.
     
  23. mi7chy, Feb 13, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016

    mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

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    #23
    There's no debating as to which is better.

    You can use a Surface device to DFU restore a soft bricked iPhone or iPad. An iOS device can't DFU restore another iOS device.

    And, what's with the touch optimized app non-sense and requiring keyboard? Who cares about blown up iPod toy apps when you have professional software like Bitwig?

    Comment from the professional musician in the video:

    "Yes!! I've been an apple user for a while, but they just don't seem to want to jump on the touch screen full os computer world. I need professional programs that I can touch!! Surface for the win! :)"

     
  24. thewitt macrumors 68020

    thewitt

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    #24
    I do all of the on my iPad and have published three books in the last year.

    If you want a Windows PC in a tablet form, buy a Surface Pro. If you want a tablet that will do what you say you want to do, the iPad is brilliant.
     
  25. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #25
    This isn't necessarily universally true, or even true at all. The surface tablets make for an EXCELLENT tablet experience, and I've heard very few arguments which would convince me otherwise. Microsoft advertises the way they do because they mean the surface lineup to be laptop replacements, they just have the nice advantage of also being excellent tablets. The entire blown up debate about Modern UI apps is just that. A gross exaggeration of how necessary "apps" are on a tablet coupled with having blinders on to the many improvements Microsoft has made on the touch frontier, including things like continuum, display and UI scaling, optimizing their software as well as providing tools and incentive for other developers to optimize their desktop software for a touch environment. It's interesting to me that the ipad in particular is FAST becoming a less viable tablet by the day.

    For tablet use I would NEVER EVER give up my surface, not in a million years. As a tablet I'd feel as I would be losing so much functionality.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 13, 2016 ---
    I'd say the opposite, the ipad is the worst non-full computer tablet. Even Android allows mouse use and can be hobbled into a more computer like interface if needed. Certainly a windows tablet runs rings around something as functionally limited as the ipad.

    I'd also continue to disagree, the surface line up is both a good tablet and a good laptop replacement if we compare apples to apples, such as comparing the surface tablet to a similar sized ultrabook and/or similar sized tablet.
     

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