Netbook vs Tablet for Travel

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by XST, Jan 2, 2014.

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When you travel, do you prefer a tablet or netbook?

  1. Netbook

    31 vote(s)
    41.3%
  2. Tablet

    44 vote(s)
    58.7%
  1. XST

    XST Member

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    Just wanting to get people's thoughts on which they prefer for travel. I am going to the USA in May for another holiday. On my last trip, I took my HP Touchpad (with Android) with me. I don't know if it was just me, but it felt like a shocking experience. Difficult to access booking websites for flights, uploading photos from my camera to Facebook was a pain or near impossible, and it just felt lacking.

    It has been nearly 2 years since I went on that holiday, and I'm faced with the same decision again. Buy a cheap second hand netbook, or use my HP Touchpad and make a USB OTG adaptor for it. Or any other suggestions, the surface RT looks ok'ish, but concerned it doesn't accept regular desktop apps, which would be convenient to touch up photos...

    Honestly, I'm leaning towards a cheap netbook as it means basically no incompatibility problems with websites, easier to use, seamless integration with SD cards, easier to back up photos, etc. Also means I can review photos on the fly and delete any bad shots.

    Has anyone else faced this decision, and which way did you lean?
     
  2. JugV2

    JugV2 Member

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    The wife and I went to Darwin a couple years ago to get married and we took Motorola Xoom tablets.

    They were great to watch tv shows or movies on the plane but terrible for general "pc style" use. Back then it seemed websites were not optimised for mobile use and those that were seemed as if they also needed to be optimised for tablet use, as logging in to flights etc was painful.

    The tablet is fantastic for portability and speedy access to a desktop environment but the things we really needed to work just didn't.

    So next time we travelled we used our Galaxy S4's but simply used a PC at family's houses when we needed net access.

    I'd use a netbook no dramas for travelling.
     
  3. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Member

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    Recently picked up a surface RT because it was crazy cheap, figured why not.. Why not? You can't install windows apps. No google services other then search. Can't install a browser of your choice, so no bookmark syncing or any of that fun stuff. But woo it comes with office! :rolleyes:


    Personally I'd get an ultrabook.
     
  4. blankpaper

    blankpaper Member

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    last trip i went on i picked up a cheap tablet. wanted to test the waters of traveling with a tablet before shelling out for something better (asus/samsung).

    only used it for surfing the web, google maps and copying camera photos from camera to USB drive (backups). i used some random file manager to backup photos, which was relatively problem free from memory.

    it was fucking horrible. any multi-tasking on android for sustained periods of time drove me mental. firefox is firefox, and google maps is google maps, so the apps individually are the same. i found it frustrating to troubleshoot various issues with various hotel wifi problems, which with windows is a lot easier (pinging, tracert, etc, which are all natively installed on windows. i get annoyed at everything needing to be a separate fucking app on tablets).

    i got sick of the touch screen for long periods of research or surfing, i'd prefer a touchpad.

    next trip i'll pick up a cheap netbook. as long as it has windows, a couple of USB ports, ethernet and wifi (for hotel internet versatility) it should be fine. i'll be shooting for a slightly older model netbook that runs Windows 7, for familiarity reasons (and no nasty surprises while i'm away).
     
  5. mtw

    mtw Member

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    If you were buying the Surface for travel you'd be much much better off going the Pro version as it is a full computer, just in tablet size. The price is quite a bit higher than the RT version though.

    As for the original question, it depends what you mean by tablet. Do you mean a toy (ie. Android, Apple options, or Surface RT) or a Surface Pro/Dell Venue Pro etc? If you mean toy vs netbook, then netbook wins hands down. If you meant the latter, then I'd lean towards the tablet just for general ease and portability.

    EDIT: I made the assumption you were comparing toys vs netbook in the poll, and hence voted netbook.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  6. EvilGenius

    EvilGenius Member

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    Impulse buy because as I said, it was cheap, crazy cheap. I did try using it for travel shortly after instead of taking my laptop along, because I had a no checked bags flight home.. but that didn't go so well. Quickly discovered how much stuff you take for granted on a regular laptop you just can't do on RT. I'd never spend the money for the full surface pro though. If I was going to spend that much I'd just get an ultrabook because I know I'd be happier in the long run.
     
  7. Elyzion

    Elyzion Member

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    ?!?

    I have a Surface RT, I don't take my Mac Book Pro when traveling anymore.

    Has Kindle, Browser, Games, plays every movie I throw at it, music, and I do programming on it.

    Does everything I was doing on my Mac Book Pro.
     
  8. Turbine

    Turbine Member

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    I was skeptical about the Surface RT, also picked one up for cheap.
    Pretty surprised how usable it is...plenty of apps in the app store I'm not really missing what a fully fledged Win8 could offer.
     
  9. metamorphosis

    metamorphosis Member

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    A solid eeepc or similar is a good investment. They get thrown around and survive tremendously. I wouldn't say the same of cheaper netbooks. A lot of it is familiarity, but honestly I wouldn't trust the longevity of a tablet on a trip.
     
  10. aXis

    aXis Member

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    I take both but wish I didnt have to.

    The netbook (eeePC) is far more usefull for practical purposes, has more storage and better connectivity. For the price it's done me well and the onboard AMD graphics acceleration can even handle some low end 3D lan gaming at a mates place. Unfortunately it's really only usable inside, and preferably at a desk.

    The tablet is great to play games/movies whilst you're the passenger in a car or plane. The netbook is not so good for this because the screen is not as usable in daylight and controlling it from your lap isn't great for ergonomics.

    A transformer tablet with both windows / android and a full dock with USB would be pretty cool. :) I know they exist but the price/build quality is an issue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  11. Zee

    Zee Member

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    I used to flip between an EeePC and a Nexus 7, depending on size/weight limits, and travel needs.

    Now, it's either the 13" Mac Air (though have considered an 11" for just travel, but that is really $1k I can't justify), or the Nexus 7. If I am doing carry on only type SE Asia trips - Nexus wins, not much I can't do with it, though some things are more painful.

    Otherwise, Mac Air (though I'd say any Ultrabook type lappy would fit in this requirement).

    The battery life of most current gen Ultrabooks is pretty damn impressive, and they have way more grunt for photo stuff when that is my requirement.

    I ended up choosing the Air over a Windows machine purely for battery life. I am getting 13+ hours watching videos and surfing the web in lounges between charges.

    Seriously awesome.

    It also did the Bootcamp thing for my Windows only work stuff...

    Z...
     
  12. oculi

    oculi Member

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    i reckon tablets just aren't there yet, all i want is a 7 incher that runs XP and has a real USB port or two, wifi and XG data but can just hotspot to my phone really. getting harder to find netbooks too, i had to buy the one i'm typing on now from the USA and even that was a pain in the ass.

    i bought an OTG usb cable and tried that to backup photos etc on phone/android tablet, no chance of it working.
     
  13. cheddo7

    cheddo7 Member

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    For me I have found the following for my light weight companions, covers all bases:

    Phone - Samsung S3, love this phone still
    Tablet - iPad Air 64gb Cellular on pre paid Telstra sim
    Laptop - MacBook Air 2013 Haswell running Win 7 in Parallels

    Best tech group I've had in years!
     
  14. choppa

    choppa Member

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    XPS 12 convertible. Best of both worlds.
     
  15. Segression

    Segression Member

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    Sounds like a job for a surface pro 2. Will do pretty much anything you want to do while not being overly large. Bit pricey but its something you will have for some time. and its worth every penny.

    some additions to buy with it to round it off.
    64gb sd card.
    usb hub for using camera, usb hdd etc.
    bluetooth mouse
    type cover 2 (backlit)

    they should have the power cover out soon with the extended battery.
    I get a good 7hrs of battery life on it.
     
  16. GetSmart

    GetSmart Member

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    Touch screen tablets are still a little cumbersome for *some* outdated websites. I could imagine some airlines/booking websites are still behind the 8-ball and have shitty dropdown selections etc.

    When I went travelling I used the original Transformer. It worked pretty damn well, ridiculous amount of battery life, SD card reader, USB ports etc.

    I could even view my RAW files on it which was pretty damn handy :thumbup:
     
  17. Taceo Corpus

    Taceo Corpus Member

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    I'm travelling perpetually now and I'm travelling with two ultrabooks. A MacBook Air 2013 and a Toshiba Satellite Z830. Can you even buy netbooks these days? :confused:
     
  18. blankpaper

    blankpaper Member

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    I might have to go second hand for mine, nothing under $400 (with the exception of an underpowered Atom I've seen). My traveling devices are always good enough to do the job but cheap enough that I don't care too much if it's stolen, so ultrabooks and the like are out of the question for my budget.
     
  19. 5p1k3y

    5p1k3y Member

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    I'd go an Atom based tablet something like an Acer Iconia W510 or a Surface RT of any kind should easily find them new and used under $400. I've got one of each and have used them on a trip, they do everything I need and plenty fast. You'll be very surprised how quick the new atoms are since they are all paired with an ssd/emmc anyway.

    Syncing of tabs and favourites with IE11 from windows 8.1 works pretty well. Ontop of that there's also reading list you could use if you want that kind of thing.

    I like IE11 way more than chrome on a windows 8 touch device, at least it scales properly and touch gestures actually work.

    Plays all my movies, music, flash websites, backups my SLR photos (usb).

    Yes the Windows Store is a little young still but most of the apps I use are from the top 100 free stuff and that's fine with me :D. Just my 2c.
     
  20. power

    power Member

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    I currently use both, I have an ASUS N10J and a Transformer TF201. Covers all bases very comfortably. The N10J has 2GB RAM and is pretty light (OS wise runs Win 7) and runs nice and quick. The 201 is great for tablet stuff both fit in the bag the N10J came with so compact as well.

    Honestly I think a Surface 2 could probably replace the pair but these devices do very well, Android is also more mature as a tablet IMO especially on the app side.
     

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