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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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Message 11 of 18

One of my best time investments in H.S., was learning how to type .. long before even mainframe computers were common in offices. (Mom warned that she wouldn't type my college papers for me). So I know exactly what you mean about "feel". I even replaced the keyboard that came with my Dell PC in 2012, with a Logitech keyboard, because I hated the FLAT keys the Dell had.

 

While I do a lot online, I really need to be able to have Excel functionality, even on a backup device. I really wonder why the Galaxy Note isn't rated as highly as the S4 or S5.


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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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Message 12 of 18

The Note is just a bigger phone (aka bigger screen) with the same functionality. I had to actually go into a Verizon store to see it before I committed. For the rare times where I actually use it as a phone held to my head, it's a tad large. For everything else - it's great. I think it's the best one I've ever had over the years. I'll be watching video on it when I get on my ellipitical here shortly :-).

 

I know a lot of people who live on tablets. Whether that would work for you really depends on how you use it. They're great for data consumption - reading, watching, listening and so on. Throw the Kindle app on it and youv'e got your Kindle books. Throw your email on it and you're connected. Throw a Facebook app on it and you're on. (If Facebook is your thing.) It's data manipulation and creation that are more difficult. Writing a long email on a device with no keyboard is ... different. (on-screen typing works for some, voice recognition has gotten better, but it's different no matter what.)

 

My biggest concern with the scenario you outlined originally was manipulating Excel spreadsheets. It's certainly possible, but I find it so cumbersome as to be something I can't recommend. What I would recommend if at all possible is to get hands on one to see how it works for you before you invest - with particular attention to that Excel scenario.

 

Leo

The "Leo" at https://askleo.com
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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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RetiredTraveler - Thanks for the lead to CNET; I'm finding that Consumer Reports often beats a particular subject to death monthly (i.e. smart phones), but the information is the same .. rather than a different or more detailed take on it. I would like a device that's fully functional remotely, so I could go to my stock broker's office, and be able to refer to my spreadsheets while speaking with him .. and be able to see calculations I used to evaluate something.

 

I hate the cost of smart phones, but now they really do have a lot of non-phone functionality .. like GPS. It seems like there's no escaping having to get 3 separate devices. Although I'm an Apple stockholder, I'm concerned about interface problems, since my desktop computer is a Dell w/Windows.


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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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Message 14 of 18

As you know, even though I'm ex-IT, I'm the Luddite on these forums. All we have is a 10-year old dumb-cell phone (old Motorola) through TracFone.

 

   I am looking at a tablet. If  all you want is a backup, take a look at something like an iPad. Get one of the larger ones, 8" or better.  You could even look at the tablet that AARP endorses and is sold at Walmart. However, that unit has much less capacity and from what I read, speed.

 

   I know --- you always think things through so you have to decide what you  really want the device to do for you, how much use you would get out of it, etc.  As I said, for what it's worth, I'm going to go 'whole hog' and get an iPad since that will take me into the future too.

 

   If you want more reviews on devices, please look at CNET. I'm a fan of Consumer Reports over the decades, but CNET will give you more detailed, up-to-date info and comparisons of many models of various e-devices.

   I have no interest in a phone because I don't want to replace my land-line and don't need a mobile device, especially at $50 a month for the service. We want the tablet for traveling, using free wifi, to access e-mail and be able to communicate via email with family members. That may or may not be something that pertains to you. Our families access email, so it works. Some people don't do that so it would be useless.

  Tablet would also help with travel. Again, may or may not matter to you.


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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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I have a laptop, Dell Inspiron N5030, and a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.

 

The laptop came in very handy again last month when the hard drive went out on my desktop.

 

Yes, I paid around $380 dollars for my cell phone but my plan through Wal-Mart is only $50.38 a month (30 days), Straight Talk. I have unlimited talk, text and data.

 

I do use Excel on my phone sometimes but it is just to look at my home movie list when I am shopping to make sure I don't buy a movie I already own. It is a very simple list of movie name, is it DVD or VCR and the movies location in our home movie library.

 

Posted by,
cat0w
Texas (USA)

 

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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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Message 16 of 18

I'm glad you mentioned Galaxy Note too, since I don't have a cell/smart phone, and think I ought to have one as well. Consumer Reports ranks Samsung's S5 as "better" than the Note, but there weren't enough details to differentiate them in their article. Does the larger size come at the expense of some functionality .. or just the "inconvenience" of size? I'm obviously not the kind of person who's glued to a cell phone, so it doesn't need to be tiny.

 

I always find it both fascinating & frustrating, to compare the overall cost of "communications" today, and say 20 years ago .. even adjusting for inflation. Early cable TV wasn't very expensive, some people had basic cell phones you got free with a wireless plan, and all you needed was a basic desktop computer. Now you need digital cable boxes to get any service & premium cable for the better channels, and many people subscribe to additional services, everyone has smart phones costing $ hundreds and/or plans costing $100+ monthly, and many people have a laptop/notebook/tablet computer as well.


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Re: Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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Message 17 of 18

Personally I find working with Excel on even the simplest of spreadsheets difficult on my smartphone, and only slightly less so on a tablet. I REALLY miss a mouse and keyboard.

 

Surface Pro is an interesting alternative - it's a real PC that also happens to be a tablet. Runs "real" windows (not Windows RT), and as you see has a keyboard and to which you can connect a mouse. There are other, similar devices at varying price points that are also stil a PC.

 

Personally - I'd wave you off of smartphones and tablets as tools for creating and editing spreadsheets, though possibly "OK" for viewing.

 

But that's just my experience. Perhaps others feel otherwise.

 

FWIW: I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone (large screen comperable to the bigger iPhone 6), as well as a Motorola Zoom tablet, and one of the original Surface Pro's. The Pro acually substituted as my primary desktop for a while (with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse) and did so swimmingly. Its native keyboard is too small for my fat fingers, and never felt right to me.

 

 

The "Leo" at https://askleo.com
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Pros & Cons of Different Types of Devices

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Message 18 of 18

I just spent the entire last week without my computer or internet access at home, due to a serious virus. My entire existence is on that desktop computer, and I'm just grateful that my files could be retrieved from the external backup drive! The majority of my files are in Excel.

 

I would love to have another device, where I could not only look at my files, but be able to work on them, if my desktop computer was down like this. I thought I'd seen an article in Consumer Reports, comparing the functionality & use of different types of devices, but couldn't find it now.

 

I've been thinking of getting a smart phone, but haven't yet. But it would be hard to work on an extensive spreadsheet, with such a small screen. What are the benefits & limitations of a tablet? How do they compare to having a laptop? What about something like the Microsoft Surface Pro .. which works with a keyboard, but also like a tablet? Is a table just a larger format of a smart phone?


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