Mini-laptop/netbook or iPad?

  The Kestrel 18:32 PM 04 Mar 12

I want to buy something which is small and portable, that will let me use the internet and email when I'm away from home, on holiday etc. Storing photographs and music on it is also important and the ability to make notes, write letters and short documents too.

I have been researching netbooks and mini-laptops and quite like the Acer One 722 which seems to fit my needs.

Having mentioned it to my eldest son, he suggested that the best option was to go for an iPad. When I mentioned the lack of data storage compared to the Acer, he told me that I can store whatever I need on iCloud.

I'm now in a quandary. I like the idea of having a real keyboard and enough storage capacity for all my needs, but should I go for the modern option of an iPad? What are your thoughts?

  Woolwell 18:49 PM 04 Mar 12

How much do you want to store when on holiday? How important is a USB connection? Noting that you cannot connect by USB to the iPad and would need the camera adaptor for a digital camera. How portable do you want it?

You can make notes, etc on an iPad. Suggest you go into a store and play with an iPad. Then try to play with an ultrabook.

I have both a lightweight laptop and an iPad (iPad is a much more recent acquisition). I'm thinking of taking both on holiday!

I would take an iPad instead of a netbook.

  canarieslover 19:36 PM 04 Mar 12

Personally I would opt for the mini laptop as it is more versatile than the iPad for connecting to other devices, local storage and typing letters etc. It comes with it's own keyboard instead of on screen one that takes up half your display. I know you can use iCloud for storage but uploading files is always much slower than saving to hard drive and you will also not need to be near a wifi hotspot to access your files. Also it has the advantage of being considerably cheaper than an iPad.

  Forum Editor 23:49 PM 04 Mar 12

I use a iPad and a netbook when I travel, and find that there are pros and cons with both of them.

My iPad is incredibly convenient, and much faster to use than the netbook, once you get used to the on-screen keyboard. It has a similar sized display, but of course it can auto-rotate - a very useful feature.

My netbook runs Windows 7 and Microsoft Office, with all the advantages that they bring. It has better connectivity, so I can just plug it into a LAN if I'm working in an office network environment.

The iPad connects rapidly to any available wifi network, and it has an onboard mobile broadband SIM which gets me online more or less anywhere in the UK at a moment's notice. It deals with my email efficiently and rapidly, and I can take work files with me as PDF files. The installed word processor is fine, and I have all the tools necessary for a business life on the move.

The netbook handles everything as well - if not quite as rapidly - as my office desktop or my larger laptop. It is hardly any bigger than the iPad, but doesn't have the advantage (and it's a big advantage)of the iPad's touch screen.

If I had to take one and leave one at home the iPad would come with me. if I had to make a value for money choice the netbook would win hands down.

  The Kestrel 07:26 AM 05 Mar 12

Thanks FE, your comparison of their respective pros and cons was just what I was looking for.

  rickf 09:12 AM 05 Mar 12

Have you checked out the new Asus Prime with quad core tablet?

  The Kestrel 16:58 PM 05 Mar 12


The Asus Prime looks really good, but is out of my price range.

  rickf 11:24 AM 08 Mar 12

Get a 2nd hand one on eBay. Lots of people simply buy things and then put them up for sale for various reasons.

  rickf 11:26 AM 08 Mar 12

Forgot to say I have been using the Transformer 101, the last generation with dual core and so far very pleased with it w/o having to pay the premium on Apple products.

  The Kestrel 11:10 AM 11 Mar 12

I have decided to go with the Acer Aspire 722 netbook, as I prefer to have a real keyboard rather than an on-screen one. Also, having plenty of storage means I don't have to be on line to retrieve photographs etc that would need to be stored on iCloud if I bought an iPad.

Thanks for everyone's comments and suggestions.


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