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Thread: Powerful digital companion for travelling

  1. #1
    Senior Member 2girls1cup's Avatar
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    Powerful digital companion for travelling

    The perfect digital companion for a tour - Microsoft Surface Pro or Macbook Air?

    The reason the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet (with keyboard) caught my eye is that it runs full Windows 8 & a fast Intel Core i5 processor, ie it's a real computer with tablet capabilities. It makes running Garmin Basecamp & Mapsource mapping software simple and transferring data to and from a Garmin Montana GPS a breeze, for me these are a priority when out riding, route planning and mapping. It has a SSD hard drive, so getting bumped around shouldn't be too much of an issue with a 64GB & 128GB option.


    Here's mine below with the magentically attached keyboard. It's about the same price as the Macbook Air, so the comparison is interesting.






    I've tried the Mac OS route (I own a Macbook air), it just doesn't work for me. As far as i'm aware Garmin Mapsource won't run in Mac OS, Basecamp does & a conversion process is needed to add new maps that you want to run in Garmin software. You can partition and run Mapsource in windows through Parallels or Bootcamp, but if you do that why not get a Windows based machine in the first place. Computer people tell me that Mac OS 10 software is completely different from earleir versions and you are set free from the Apple restrictiveness, so maybe going forward is the right way. For me after spending years in windows, staying windows based is the most productive way.




    Windows 8 takes a bit of getting used to, it feels like you're running 2 operating systems at the same time, an app based system and the regular windows desktop.

    The app store is currently quite small compared to Apple's app store but all the important things you need are there, you can set the apps up in folder groups to make them easy to find.







    Even though Mapsource shows up as an app below it actually opens in the regular computer "desktop" not as an app, all this takes some getting used to, but not a problem









    Then you have the regular Windows based desktop too below












    CNET did a review of the Microsoft Surface Pro in the link below:


    Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro Review - Watch CNET's Video & Read Our Review - page 2



    The good: The Microsoft Surface Pro fits a full ultrabook experience in a compact 10-inch tablet. Thanks to the ingenious Type and Touch covers, it offers a comfortable interface and typing experience. The clean, crisp design and sharp 1080p screen rise above the competition.

    The bad: The battery life is disappointing, and more ports would be nice. The 64GB model barely has any free storage. It costs as much as a regular laptop, especially because the cool keyboard cover isn't included by default.
    The bottom line: The Surface Pro's gutsy design successfully reinvents the Windows 8 laptop by cramming an ultrabook experience into the body of a 10-inch tablet. Those wanting to go all-in on the tablet experience won't regret buying the Surface Pro, but we're holding out for a future, more polished generation of the device.












    First impressions are good, it's fast, once set up and organized very user friendly. The magnetically attaching keyboard isn't a toy and types well, the onboard/ screen keyboard is excellent too













    Only 1 USB port, not really too much of an inconvenience, it just means you need a USB hub. The Garmin mapping software runs great with good screen resolution/ definition, very happy with that.












    No built in gps which is a shame, might look into a bluetooth gps







    The big competitor is the 11 inch Macbook Air. One huge advantage of the Macbook Air is that it has over twice the battery life of the Microsoft Surface Pro, but no tablet / pen capablities which I think his a huge advantage of the Surface Pro.







    Good review of the 11 inch Macbook Air below:


    Apple MacBook Air 11 Inch (2013) - CNET Reviews



    The good: The new 11-inch MacBook Air manages a phenomenal 10-plus-hour battery life; base $999 model finally has 128GB SSD; still compact and comfortable to use.

    The bad: New CPUs donít really boost performance over last yearís Air; still lacking SD card slot; 11-inch displayís not as high-res as competitors'.
    The bottom line: Appleís new 11-inch Air goes a conservative route in 2013, emphasizing longer battery life and more affordable pricing over any big design changes. The battery boost alone might be worth it.





    So for touring, where a good digital companion has become essential, there's some good choices out there.

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    Can you get LB porn on it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member 2girls1cup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dupree View Post
    Can you get LB porn on it?


    Libra Pondo?



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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

  5. #5
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    That's so hawt.

    Anyway, back on topic... I was in love with the Surface when it first came out and wanted one pretty badly. Problem was, the damn thing did indeed cost as much as my brand new laptop, with much less speed, memory, features, ports, etc. In time, I kind of lost the notion of getting one as I was waiting on the Pro version to come out (it was only available with Win 8 RT for months at first), then after a while I just didnt care.

    But my desire to have extremely mobile computing hasnt gone away, so I am now looking at pulling the trigger for the new Google Nexus 7. After a lot of reading and then visiting a few local electronics stores, I felt like the 10 inch format wasnt for me... that it wouldnt be comfortable in one hand and wasnt as portable (though still far more so that a full laptop) as a 7 inch. So I'll probably go with the Nexus 7. And at 25%-30% the cost of the MS Surface I once wanted. It wont be as nice in many ways, but it'll absolutely do everything I need to do and even fit in the cargo pockets of my shorts.
    Last edited by WarProfiteer; 8th August 2013 at 16:07.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 2girls1cup's Avatar
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    I have a Nexus 7, great machine but tablet/ android OS. After the novelty wears off it felt small and cumbersome to be productive on.


    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    That's so hawt.

    Anyway, back on topic... I was in love with the Surface when it first came out and wanted one pretty badly. Problem was, the damn thing did indeed cost as much as my brand new laptop, with much less speed, memory, features, ports, etc. In time, I kind of lost the notion of getting one as I was waiting on the Pro version to come out (it was only available with Win 8 RT for months at first), then after a while I just didnt care.

    But my desire to have extremely mobile computing hasnt gone away, so I am now looking at pulling the trigger for the new Google Nexus 7. After a lot of reading and then visiting a few local electronics stores, I felt like the 10 inch format wasnt for me... that it wouldnt be comfortable in one hand and wasnt as portable (though still far more so that a full laptop) as a 7 inch. So I'll probably go with the Nexus 7. And at 25%-30% the cost of the MS Surface I once wanted. It wont be as nice in many ways, but it'll absolutely do everything I need to do and even fit in the cargo pockets of my shorts.
    Last edited by 2girls1cup; 8th August 2013 at 16:21.
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  7. #7
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    Neither really.

    If you need a laptop, get a decent one instead of a Mac.

    This Asus ultrabook is the same price as the Mac, but had more RAM, a better CPU and Asus' 2 yr international warranty. Works with all your existing Windows software, can be downgraded to Win 7, SD card slot, USB 3.0 ports (3 of them) and a 13" screen (which is better than a 10 or 11" screen over long periods of time).

    Otherwise, tablets are cheaper but more painful for typing.
    This post is known by the state of California to potentially contain more than the maximum daily allowance of awesome.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2girls1cup View Post
    I have a Nexus 7, great machine but tablet/ android OS. After the novelty wears off it felt small and cumbersome to be productive on.
    If you need a laptop.. get a laptop.. If you have to produce, create, or have a niche need like garmin apps.. Get the device you need.

    To travel with and simply consume (music, media, emails, websites) with some very basic duties (uploading but not editing photos taken.. Maybe a basic document or fax, etc etc) then I find travelling with a tablet superb. I dont expect it to do everything.. And there are a few times i would like a keyboard (tho I could get a BT one or iPad keyboard and case) but being able to slip a tablet into the tiniest gap of space in my carry on, read a book, play a game, and not have lappy, charger, cabling etc.. It works for me.

    All very personal pref.

    I would like to get a basic 7 inch tablet to do xbmc remote duties.. Didnt you get some nook colors at one stage ??

  9. #9
    Senior Member 2girls1cup's Avatar
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    Kindle Fire, but too restrictive - won't run Skype etc... without a LOT of messing around

    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    If you need a laptop.. get a laptop.. If you have to produce, create, or have a niche need like garmin apps.. Get the device you need.

    To travel with and simply consume (music, media, emails, websites) with some very basic duties (uploading but not editing photos taken.. Maybe a basic document or fax, etc etc) then I find travelling with a tablet superb. I dont expect it to do everything.. And there are a few times i would like a keyboard (tho I could get a BT one or iPad keyboard and case) but being able to slip a tablet into the tiniest gap of space in my carry on, read a book, play a game, and not have lappy, charger, cabling etc.. It works for me.

    All very personal pref.

    I would like to get a basic 7 inch tablet to do xbmc remote duties.. Didnt you get some nook colors at one stage ??
    #MotoAsia - Ultimate motorcycle tours

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bacon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2girls1cup View Post
    AAARRRRGGG!!! Kill it! Kill it!
    ןooʇsɹɐq ʎɯ uo ʞɔɐq eɯ ʇnd esɐeןd sıɥʇ pɐeɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟı

  11. #11
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    I read quite a few written comparisons of my top 3 choices (Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD & Galaxy Note 8), as well as about 90 minutes worth of various videos comparing, contrasting and showing the 3 (as well as several including the iPad mini, which I already knew I didnt want. No iCult for me).

    In the end, it came down to the Nexus 7 as the clear winner. The Kindle Fire was nice, but it's mostly meant for use in Landscape mode. The camera is even mounted in the side, not the top. This plays hell with Skype, which I use quite a lot, so that was a huge strike against that device. The Galaxy Note 8 was nicer in that it was bigger and ran Android, but I dont think the extra inch justified $100+ more in cost (insert d!ck joke here). In the end, the Nexus 7 is faster and has far better screen resolution than the other 2 devices.

    Dont get me wrong, back when I making 'Afghanistan money', that MS Surface was looking real good. But these days I have a budget to consider, so it boils down to my real needs... email, Skype, some simple games or stored movies while in transit or waiting somewhere. Maybe read the news online. As such, the Nexus 7 fits the bill and at 25% the cost of a Surface. So that's the way I'll go. If your needs are different, or your budget's different, then obviously your choice is likely to be different.

  12. #12
    Member Masterwoodsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2girls1cup View Post
    I have a Nexus 7, great machine but tablet/ android OS. After the novelty wears off it felt small and cumbersome to be productive on.
    I reckon EB hears that most days!!!! 55555
    kris-one likes this.

  13. #13
    Member Podders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2girls1cup View Post
    Kindle Fire, but too restrictive - won't run Skype etc... without a LOT of messing around
    I have a Kindle Fire and it runs Skype perfectly, just install the app and login. Simple as that!
    "The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine"

    Winston Churchill 1944

  14. #14
    Senior Member 2girls1cup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Podders View Post
    I have a Kindle Fire and it runs Skype perfectly, just install the app and login. Simple as that!
    First Kindle Fire version:


    Kindle Fire Review: 5 Things Amazon's New Tablet Is Missing - DailyFinance



    Kindle Fire Review: 5 Things Amazon's New Tablet Is Missing



    1. There's No Camera


    2. There's No Microphone
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  15. #15
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Pulled the trigger and bought a Nexus 7 online this morning... took a bit to find somewhere that one was available. Damn things are sold out all over.

    Also bought a case that doubles as a stand. I figure that's pretty much mandatory.

    Considered buying a keyboard, but decided against it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member 2girls1cup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    Pulled the trigger and bought a Nexus 7 online this morning... took a bit to find somewhere that one was available. Damn things are sold out all over.

    Also bought a case that doubles as a stand. I figure that's pretty much mandatory.

    Considered buying a keyboard, but decided against it.


    My apple bluetooth keyboard works with my Nexus 7, bluetooth mouse will work too
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  17. #17
    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Yeah, I figure if I develop the need for either, they can be bought locally. But in the beginning, I'll try to use it without those things to see if I really need them.

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