Author Topic: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks  (Read 19173 times)

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Offline noshbygosh

Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« on: March 11, 2011, 11:12:34 am »
Hi,

I am further along in the planning for a two mini self-contained tours in the summer and fall. Now that I am making the move to a GPS, I am considering whether to bring along a computer of some type too for daily uploading/downloading as well as for checking emails, blogging, etc.  What would people recommend re an Ipad, some other type of tablet or a netbook?


Offline John Nelson

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 12:10:46 pm »
You should throw a smart phone on to your list. Yes, they are annoyingly hard to type on, have small screens that are hard to read in bright light, are expensive and have limited battery life, but they are much lighter that larger computers. Something to consider anyway.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 12:19:31 pm »
I am further along in the planning for a two mini self-contained tours in the summer and fall. Now that I am making the move to a GPS, I am considering whether to bring along a computer of some type too for daily uploading/downloading as well as for checking emails, blogging, etc.  What would people recommend re an Ipad, some other type of tablet or a netbook?

My recommendation would be "none of the above", but if you really want to carry something, I'd go with the lightest option that does what you want/need.  I was pretty happy with an 8 ounce Nokia N800 mini tablet (about like a smart phone, but not a phone) and it is about as heavy as I want to carry.  While too heavy to suit me, a lot of people like netbooks.

When you say mini tours, how mini are you talking?  For overnight, weekend, or even week long tours carrying a netbook seems like gross over kill to me.

Just one guy's opinion though...

Offline noshbygosh

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 05:46:27 pm »
When you say mini tours, how mini are you talking?  For overnight, weekend, or even week long tours carrying a netbook seems like gross over kill to me.

First trip:  10-14 days
Second trip:  21 days

P.S. Second trip will be in Europe.  I currently have a blackberry for work and a pre-paid cell at home.  See no real need for a PDA outside of these trips (and question the utility of one for the trip in Europe).
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 05:48:15 pm by noshbygosh »

Offline aggie

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 08:02:26 pm »
I used a netbook on the ST and it worked pretty good.  However, I now have a smart phone using Verizon.  I like it better than the netbook for trips.  Yes its small but I get service just about everywhere and I don't have to look for a wi-fi spot to get email etc.  In the future all I'm going to bring is my phone.

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 08:30:59 pm »
... Now that I am making the move to a GPS, I am considering whether to bring along a computer of some type too for daily uploading/downloading as well as for checking emails, blogging, etc.  What would people recommend re an Ipad, some other type of tablet or a netbook?

You will need a netbook or notebook--something running Windows or OS X--for the GPSR to run programs that manage the maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks. I am not aware of any for iPad, which lacks a USB port to connect the receiver anyway.

FRed

Offline Tourista829

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 10:02:09 pm »
For the puriest who doesn't carry any electronic powered devices, disregard this post. Regardless of what you carry, there are times when you are not near a source to recharge. I like my Samsung Galaxy Phone, but it is eats batteries up. I am going to put a Schmidt NAB28 Dyno Hub with a BM EWERK, on my Comotion. Expensive but it can power my lighting too. (I do not relish dealing with Peter White) Considering the amount of cyclist, in Europe who use this set up, I am surprised more Americans haven't considered this to power GPS's, Phones, and other electronic devices.

Offline noshbygosh

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 10:59:05 pm »
You will need a netbook or notebook--something running Windows or OS X--for the GPSR to run programs that manage the maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks. I am not aware of any for iPad, which lacks a USB port to connect the receiver anyway.

FRED
[/quote]

This is no longer true.  The I-Pad 2 comes with a USB port.  See:

http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 11:21:30 pm »
Wow, that is certainly good news. It sent me off to the Apple site, where the only mention of USB I find is "Charging via power adapter or USB to computer system." Do you know whether iPad 2 can be a USB host, connecting devices like a GPSR? I know the Droid can, which must have influenced the Apple design.

If iPad 2 can be a host, an app to handle routes, tracks, and waypoints will not be far behind. May we dare hope for one that will also store Garmin maps on the iPad and load them into a receiver?

Fred

Lucky13

  • Guest
Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011, 07:17:24 am »
The iPad 2 does not have a USB port. As with the original model, "some" USB devices might work when plugged in to the Camera Connection Kit adapter. This usually applies to keyboards and microphones.

I have no idea about any GPS thingy.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2011, 01:58:59 pm »
I am going to put a Schmidt NAB28 Dyno Hub with a BM EWERK, on my Comotion. Expensive but it can power my lighting too. (I do not relish dealing with Peter White) Considering the amount of cyclist, in Europe who use this set up, I am surprised more Americans haven't considered this to power GPS's, Phones, and other electronic devices.

http://www.starbike.com/php/product_info.php?lang=en&pid=12413
http://www.starbike.com/php/product_info.php?lang=en&pid=13570

Starbike in Germany sells the E-WERK for 98 Euros.  After removing VAT and converting to Euros, its about $115.  The cache battery is 51 Euros with VAT and $60 after removal and conversion.  Plus shipping.  Peter White charges $200 for the E-WERK and $93 for the cache battery.  I did not realize shipping stuff over the Atlantic Ocean almost doubles the price.  I have bought from Starbike and everything went fine.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 04:29:04 pm »
Russ, thank you for the information. Are you using a Schmidt Dyno Hub? If so, where did you purchase it. So, if I understand you correctly, the next time I go to Europe I should pick up the ewerk and cache battery over there. LOL I was thinking of picking up some used equipment, but when you deal with electronic equipment, best to go new, so when one fries ones cell phone, one might have some recourse, or may not. If you know what I mean.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 08:46:01 am »
I am making the move to a GPS, considering a computer for daily uploading/downloading, emails, blogging...

I'm not a "puriest" nor am I a Luddite. But if I'm carrying my own gear, I'm carefully weighing everything in terms of mass, utility, and criticality. Criticality evaluates investment, replacement cost and availability on the road, likelihood of failure, subjective potential for theft or loss, and some idea of necessity.

I carry a cellphone for my wife's sake, not mine; I'd prefer to be unreachable for a few days. Until I got my iPad, I would never consider carrying a tablet on a tour but it's an interesting device. Not because it communicates on wifi but because it plays Go. That means it would only be fun to have along; it satisfies none of my criteria and I'd really hate to break it or have it stolen. The hassle of keeping track of it outweighs any utility.

Still, I have to have to ask, what is your perception of the value of the data you are collecting? Is it necessary or interesting to anyone but you? Is there anything these devices provide you that analog workarounds cannot, like, say a notebook and postcards? Is the mass and the threat of loss worth being online as you travel across the country?  Why can't you just unplug for a few days?

The MacBook Air is the lightest full-function machine you can own and--bonus--you get the MacOS. As others have pointed out, a good smart phone is a touchtypist's nightmare but you get used to thumbing quickly. A good phone will have a decent camera and eliminates another electronic jewelry item. Solar recharging will add significant mass and can be unreliable. Dynamo hubs are cool and practical but add mass and pedaling resistance as well as another piece of hardware and wires to connect your devices.

Hope you will come back after your trips and let us know how your choices worked out. You will be able to help answer this same question with practical experience. It comes up often.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 09:12:58 am »
I am making the move to a GPS, considering a computer for daily uploading/downloading, emails, blogging...
Still, I have to have to ask, what is your perception of the value of the data you are collecting?
I am curious as well regarding what you are doing wrt the gps.  Are you talking about collecting gps data as you go?

FWIW, despite being an avid gps user in other activities (trail running, sailing, hiking, backpacking, etc.) I have not found enough added value for the gps to bother and actually mailed it home after a week or so on the road.  I never really missed it.

Offline noshbygosh

Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 02:51:26 pm »
I am making the move to a GPS, considering a computer for daily uploading/downloading, emails, blogging...
Still, I have to have to ask, what is your perception of the value of the data you are collecting?
I am curious as well regarding what you are doing wrt the gps.  Are you talking about collecting gps data as you go?

FWIW, despite being an avid gps user in other activities (trail running, sailing, hiking, backpacking, etc.) I have not found enough added value for the gps to bother and actually mailed it home after a week or so on the road.  I never really missed it.

I am looking ahead to two self-guided tours later this  year, one lasting two weeks (somewhere yet TBD in the U.S.) and the other for three weeks in Tuscany.  I am less interested in keeping logs of my daily data.  I am interested in being able to modify different legs of a route once the tour begins, which as I understand, is much easier to do on a computer than on the GPS itself. 

My biggest gripe is coming down to the discrepancies in technological standards in aligning a GPS system like those made by Garmin with some type of netbook/Ipad/tablet.  Issues with open-sourced software, the future of Google maps, dvd drives and USB ports are three major issues right now.  It seems as if Garmin's GPS with its software and a netbook is by far the best solution right now.  I do not know how true this will be in several years.  I unfortunately misread the new specs of the Ipad2.  Even though Apple introduced USB ports; it seems as if they are in the lead for something better.