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Old 13-07-2012, 04:21   #46
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Re: What laptop?

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
Many business applications are only available on Windows, some on Mac, and almost none on iPad (...)
I think many off the concerns have been already addressed by posters above.

I can only add that often the apparent limitations come from our perceptions. We tend to underestimate, and then understate, 'the other' systems and hardware, only to find people who use them can work and play just as well as we can!

Having used both Atari and IBM I cannot really say any of the tools limited me in any way and today's tablets seem to have the computing power and the choice of application well beyond an IBM of 10 years ago.

Well, let's hope the OP will find the tool of his dreams with some help from our diverging experiences!

Cheers,
b.
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Old 13-07-2012, 09:49   #47
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Re: What laptop?

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Originally Posted by NorthPacific View Post
I am reading and listening. Thank you for the comments.

I have a personal budget that I can use of $2000. I have become a MAc user for 4 years due to the issue at work. I like Mac because I don't have to do anything, it works and I find it very intuative. I can edit movie clips, and do most other things without additional software that may or may not work without some "tech Knowledge"

However I am not married to Apple. On the negative side of the Mac Air and Mac pro is the battery issue. Can not take a spare cruising to the South Pacific. Wiffi will be limited and a pactor modem to my ssb will do the email and weather info.

Also I am aware that a drop of water can destroy a mac, or any other regular PC. The Toughbook type are interesting, my query is how much extra in software and is windows 7 as easy to use as mac systems? Bit daunting to go away from the simple Mac operation.

Should state that no real business use. Just looking for a good simple system that is not going to cause me grief. This could be a 1 off situation so I do not want to mess up my one shot at the can.

with the ipad you can hook up to a mac and download that way can you not?
The original design concept of the iPad was that it would have no local storage whatsoever, except for music. This concept gradually expanded to include movies and photos - essentially, only those document types supported by the iPod.

There was no way to download files from the internet, or to store a local copy of a data file on the iPad, or to upload an internal file to a website. This makes the simple act of sharing a resume (for example) much more complex than it ought to be.

On the iPad, there is no way to plug in an SD card, or a USB Drive, or any other external accessory. The only way to exchange data with an iPad is through iTunes (on a laptop over the cord), or over the internet, and the data sharing is limited to certain document types.

Today, there is a movement toward making tablets desktop replacements. But it still remains that, if you MUST be able to run any software at any time in order to meet customer requirements, you need to have a laptop.

Windows tablets (I think) are real desktop replacements, but they have not been well received - basically, they are trying to adapt the regular Windows environment to a touch-based tablet.

Google has two kinds of tablets - Chrome and Android. These tablets have had spotty records. I'm not sure if Chrome is available on any tablet today. Android tablets vary widely in quality and features.

For offshore use, the iPad benefits from long battery life, a mostly sealed form, ease of use from a deck or cockpit, and (according to some here) decent support for sailing-relevant applications. It is lightweight, and just extremely convenient compared to a laptop. However, you will need to learn some new paradigms (compared to a laptop) and will be prepared to lose some functionality altogether, though it may reappear in future software upgrades.

In laptops, given your budget, I don't see any reason to consider a PC laptop if you already enjoy using the MacOS, except possibly if you want to buy a fully ruggedized laptop like the ToughBook - in which case you can use Windows or Linux or even Chrome (maybe), but not MacOS.
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Old 13-07-2012, 10:18   #48
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Re: What laptop?

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"windows 7 as easy to use as mac systems? Bit daunting to go away from the simple Mac operation."

Not remotely close. PC people have been lauding for years how far windows has come. Yeah, because they had to catch up when even frikken linux was easier to use, but they are a long, long long way off.

I went PC for about the last year because someone stole my macbook, and I was super broke so I bought a $400 lenovo. it was OK for a while, but AMAZINGLY cheaply made, the thing really fell apart on me. Obviously a toughbook is in a different league, but priced accordingly and STILL stuck with the beast that is windows.

Mac OS is still so much amazingly better, it just works. Windows would constantly hang for no apparent reason. And it STILL crashes, Way (WAY!) more than mac.

I just got a macbook air, and it's like I can breathe again.
Not having multiple batteries is kind of a bummer, but I guess I'm a little unclear on your motives. I mean: you are still going to have to charge all them batteries so why not just plug in the computer?
The ease of use is what I enjoy with mac. Mine goes all year without a hitch. Never a crash. The point about the battery is that the batteries do fail. I will be along way from an apple store. South Pacific Islands. Having the ability to replace a dead battery is a good idea.

Question. Why the air rather than the Pro model? The drives are supposed to fail just as quick?
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Old 13-07-2012, 10:35   #49
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Re: What laptop?

For me personally, the slim small air is just really nice to travel with. I take it on extended motorcycle trips even.

If the batt dies, it will STILL run under power. And the air has a fantastic battery life, (unsure of the pro)
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Old 13-07-2012, 10:57   #50
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Originally Posted by ArtM

There was no way to download files from the internet, or to store a local copy of a data file on the iPad, or to upload an internal file to a website. This makes the simple act of sharing a resume (for example) much more complex than it ought to be.
Not true! There have always been many ways to download or upload data files from the internet, including Microsoft Office docs, which could be created or edited on the iPhone or iPad. And with the now defunct iDisk, or Dropbox, you could access any type of file needed. Or with Splashtop, you could access your entire home or office computer! There is no need for SD cards or thumb drives.

That said, I would still buy a MacBook Pro before an iPad.
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Old 13-07-2012, 11:04   #51
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Re: What laptop?

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Not true! There have always been many ways to download or upload data files from the internet, including Microsoft Office docs, which could be created or edited on the iPhone or iPad. And with the now defunct iDisk, or Dropbox, you could access any type of file needed. Or with Splashtop, you could access your entire home or office computer! There is no need for SD cards or thumb drives.

That said, I would still buy a MacBook Pro before an iPad.
How do you download an MS Office document from a website, modify it, then e-mail it or upload it to another website using an iPad? If this feature exists, it is either a Jailbreak feature, a new OS feature, or a specialized app which I will be very surprised by since I don't think that Apple would approve such an app on the App Store.

Also, it is an excessively broad generalization to say "there is no need for an SD card or a thumbdrive". I need at least one of these things on a regular basis, and when I do them them there is rarely a viable alternative, certainly not an alternative that would work on an iPad.
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Old 13-07-2012, 11:22   #52
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Re: What laptop?

Of the i pads available now, which is optimum for cruising.
You've all convinced us to pick one up.

Habana Vieja
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Old 13-07-2012, 11:29   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM

How do you download an MS Office document from a website, modify it, then e-mail it or upload it to another website using an iPad? If this feature exists, it is either a Jailbreak feature, a new OS feature, or a specialized app which I will be very surprised by since I don't think that Apple would approve such an app on the App Store.

Also, it is an excessively broad generalization to say "there is no need for an SD card or a thumbdrive". I need at least one of these things on a regular basis, and when I do them them there is rarely a viable alternative, certainly not an alternative that would work on an iPad.
Yesterday I listed two apps I used on the iPhone since 2009--before the iPad was even released: Doc2Go and QuickOffice. I also used Print'n'Share. There are many better and more versatile apps now, but I no longer need them. I do use Pages and Numbers for word processing and spreadsheets.

You can download any type of file imaginable and store it on your iDevice. Whether you can manipulate it is a different story--but that has never been a problem with Office documents.

I would recommend searching the app store.

Also, with SplashTop, your host computer, which is accessible through wifi or the internet, is fully functional. Everything you can do on the host computer, you can do from your iPhone or iPad. This includes watching flash videos, using any apps on that computer, or anything else you might want to do.

There used to be an app for that. Now there are 1000 apps for that. No, I don't jailbreak.
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Old 13-07-2012, 11:34   #54
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Re: What laptop?

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Originally Posted by Habana Vieja View Post
Of the i pads available now, which is optimum for cruising.
You've all convinced us to pick one up.

Habana Vieja
It's definetly worth getting the model with a bult in GPS which is only in the 3G +wi fi model.
Get the latest model which is the one with the retina display.
I have no idea about the memory I got the largest one, still a tiny amount of storage, but it shows no sign of filling up.
A wifi hard disc is a great accessory, as shown to me by a fellow crusing sailor, but I have not hit any shops since he showed me. You might be able to make do with a small amount of internal storage with one of these, saving a few dollars.
Make sure you get the maps, they are a bargin.
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Old 13-07-2012, 11:40   #55
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Hi NorthPacific, I've just been noodling this question myself. One thing's for sure, we are spoiled for choice these days - there are a lot of options. There's no one right answer. And this is a very rapidly evolving space, so things will continue to change and improve. For years the PC and Mac markets were in a refinement mode, such that it was basically a Wintel vs Mac choice, and they are both so capable you could do what you wanted with either. Enter the iPad and its Android-based tablet competitors, and it's a whole new ball game.

If you want to look at Toughbooks, there's a small outfit that does professional refit, called BlackHawk, I think. Google them. I would not recommend sourcing a used one otherwise - as someone else said, you're not likely to be satisfied.

I've never switched from W7 to Mac, but for 9 months now I have been usng an Android tablet, which I got almost by accident. It is a direct competitor to iPad, that also docks with a built-for purpose keyboard-half to become a laptop. It is complete with microSD and SD removable storage, 2 usb ports, gps, 9hr battery life, 15+ hrs with the keyboard dock which has 2nd battery, built in track pad, etc. HDMI output, and of course Wifi, and Bluetooth, plus optional 3G. I travel with it for business all the time. Have long since left the Windows laptop behind. Also never put it down for leisure time. Here's what I've found:
- there's nothing like the flexibility of a tablet, be it iPad, Android or W8 slate when that comes
- my tablet (Asus Transformer) has user definable file system and removable storage, which overcomes the iPad limitations very neatly.
- when I need to author docs I use it in its laptop configuration, and plug in a wireless mouse too, because I am not a fan of trackpads. It's plug and play with USB devices, not vendor specific.
- For document creation and authoring, I use one of several file-compatible Office suites. There are some pretty capable tools out there in this regard. None are as fancy as MS Office 2007 or 2010 yet but some do go well beyond the phone oriented 'view' type products and really designed for authoring, not just consumption. Android's openness means there are lots of choices, without the market management of Apple.
- there are a few situations where I still need a laptop, but those are mostly legacy corporate apps. I do 90% of my work on this gadget. If I got tired of using the 10" laptop keyboard, I could just plug in a usb one, full sized (never bothered).
- there are very capable apps out there now for route planning, charting, and navigation (gps integrated of course) using either NOAA raster charts (free) or vector charts (paid.) Tides and currents. GRIBS. Buoys wx and current observations, as well as surface charts and forecasts. Weather, sea state, sea temp, radar, sat observations and forecasts, of course. AIS based traffic plotting. NMEA interface to onboard eqpt of various types. Celestial tables and calculators to support ocean navigation. All but the charting apps require some connection to the web to get updates, of course - but that is true for every device.
- i haven't looked at the Apple software marketplace, but am sure there are probably more choices for the very small niche of boating/navigation/reference apps for iPad, at present. However, the list apps available on Android is growing very rapidly. Note that last month, I saw a report that said that more than 50% of all phones and tablets worldwide are now running Android. That attracts a tremendous amount of developers. For more day to day apps, I'd say there's not much you won't find on Android already.

Of course if you're already Mac oriented and comfortable with that, I see no reason to look farther. As someone else said, there are ways of buying and keeping spares. ALL Li or LiPO batteries wear out after about 3-4 years, your boat's deep cycles wear out after a while, too, right? So you either replace the batteries or replace the gadget. In the case of tablets and super thin laptops, it's not easy to make them so thin without sacrificing some ease of disassembly or replacement. Look at some of the 'teardown' articles on the web. Batteries and screens are by far the biggest bits in these things. We want them to weigh 20 oz and have 9+ hrs battery life in something less than 3/4 inch thick? Pretty danged amazing, I say.

In your shoes I would go with a laptop *and* 10" tablet. You can get both for two grand. For me, I already have the Transformer, and I definitely wouldn't switch to an iPad. But I'm also comfortable with being an early adopter.

Have fun!
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Old 13-07-2012, 11:41   #56
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I agree. Get the 3g version, and get as much storage as you can. My 64g iPhone is nearly full--and most of my music is in the cloud. My HD copy of Captain Ron occupies nearly 4 gigs, so plane accordingly.
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Old 13-07-2012, 12:52   #57
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Re: What laptop?

The android tablets will be more flexible with greater openness than an iPad, but lack the overall popularity and standardization of the iPad. Android tablets will vary in features and quality and available accessories, but benefit from the fact that they don't have an overarching software-czar telling you what you may or may not do on your own device.

Apple is becoming more and more open, though, and it appears from this thread that the recent iOS version (Apples operating system) is significantly more "open" than past versions.

Another point, looking to the future, is that all devices are moving toward the model of being an "App Launcher". Under that model, all apps run on any "app launcher" device equally. We're not there yet, but we are reaching closer to it every day. In that world, it will be nearly irrelevant what device you have, it will be strictly a matter of physical design features and personal preference.

This is Steve Jobs' unwitting and unwanted legacy - that all makers will be allowed to openly copy any Apple innovation with little risk of interference from the courts.
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Old 13-07-2012, 12:57   #58
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Re: What laptop?

Buying both, if allowed, is a great idea. You will have backup capability, if you need it, and get the benefits of both worlds.

Here's another example I just thought about. It's totally an artificial limitation, yet it exists in today's world - Hulu is available for free on a laptop, but you must pay to use it on any other mobile device. I don't know how many other services will be like that, though, and Hulu could change that at any time.
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Old 19-07-2012, 18:33   #59
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Originally Posted by RainDog
If you are willing to forgo the Mac OS, buy a Panasonic Toughbook. For reliability in a harsh environment, no mac laptop will come close. To stay under $2000, you will need to buy a refurbished unit.
I agree the toughbook is the best solution used by police and military.
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Old 19-07-2012, 18:51   #60
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Re: What laptop?

I use a Toughbook at work and a MacBook Pro at home. I'm surprised that there are so many Mac users here.

My co-worker who just bought a boat has an iPad. I think that would be the best option if you can use your existing Mac for the things you need to do on a laptop. That is assuming that you aren't editing videos, have lots of USB hard drives, and want to save a lot of files.

I've heard that LifeProof is making a case for the iPad which would make me feel better about taking it out on the water. (I have no financial interest in this company, I just use their product and it works)
Meet The Nuud: LifeProof’s New Waterproof Ultra-Rugged iPad Case | TechCrunch
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