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Tech Consumer Advice


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Tablet, netbook or laptop?


jammy1988

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Hi, I'm currently using a desktop but I want something that's a bit more mobile. It will mainly be for a bit of work and internet browsing, with nothing more demanding than watching films (I don't plan to use it for gaming for example).

I've had a couple of relatively cheap laptops in the past, but they could scarcely be described as particularly portable owing to their size/weight and battery life. I'm wondering whether to go for a small laptop, a netbook or a tablet. At the moment I'm leaning towards a tablet, more specifically the about to be released Asus TF300, since it appears to be an impressive tablet and a good alternative to a netbook. Having never owned a tablet before I honestly don't know how much use I'll get out of the tablet side of it, but I'd be interested to hear any advice. In terms of price, at £399 the Asus is in the range I'm looking at. Netbooks tend to be cheaper, but if I went for a smallish laptop I'd be willing to go a bit higher, but not much.

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shellship

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Lucky me - I think I am going to be given an IPad for my b'day. Several of my friends have these and swear by them. They also use them in preference to their desktops except when they want to do serious long work with Documents or Spreadsheets when they find the screen a bit too small - but then netbooks screens are small, too.

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interzone55

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It depends what type of work you want to do.

Watching films is fine on most tablets, and web browsing, email etc, but if you want to work on it then I'd think twice, as typing on the virtual keyboard will be slow and laborious.

As an aside, a sales rep from one of our vendors popped in the other week to give a presentation on new products. I asked him where his laptop was so I could get it hooked up to the projector, and was very surprised when he brought out an iPhone and hooked it up to the projector with a little dongle. As good as any laptop at that job, and much more portable.

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The Kestrel

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This is what I eventually bought rather than a netbook http://www.laptopoutlet.co.uk/96383-acer-aspire-722-116-inch-mini-laptop-amd-dual-core-4gb-ram-500-gb-hdd-4717276516666.html It has a faster processor. much more RAM and a large HD. As it only has a 11.6" screen and is very thin, it is highly portable.

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D@ve

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If you're going to be using it for work and decide to go for a tablet then I think the Asus Transformer is a good choice due to its keyboard. There is also a newer version called the Transformer Prime, but costs around £500 and another one soon to be released with a higher resolution screen called the Transformer Infinity.

I was actually very close to buying the Transformer Prime myself but in the end I opted for an Ultrabook - the Asus Zenbook with an 11" screen. I figured it does everything a tablet does plus much more and I am highly impressed with how quickly it boots - never seen a computer boot so fast. It also resumes instantly from sleep mode and is just as quick to use as a tablet.

The new Windows 8 Ultrabooks being released in the near future look very promising indeed and look like they will take a tablet / laptop hybrid form with a touchscreen that can be folded over the keyboard for tablet like use. I sort of wish I'd waited for one of those now :(

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D@ve

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Sorry, didn't realise the Transformer TF300 is a new model. I thought it was the original Transformer that has been out for over a year or so. This one must have been released since I last looked into them.

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jammy1988

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Thanks for the advice.

I think I'm going to go for a netbook/laptop for now, specifically the hp dm1-4125ea (about £290 when bought with a discount voucher directly from HP). It sits in an ideal place between netbooks and laptops; it's slightly more powerful than a netbook, and the extra 1 inch on the screen means it has a more practical resolution, yet it's still very portable, unlike many larger laptops.

As for the tablet, while I very much like the Asus Transformer range, I think I'd rather stick with Windows for now, since at this point it's more practical for work purposes. I'll be waiting with great interest to see what Windows 8 has to offer, and if Asus were to put that on their Transformer range, I think that would clinch the deal.

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