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Tablet Wars

The company for whom I have been working, is going to supply me with an iPad so I can assist with review their new product, which is a Service Book application running on iPad. It is the project for which I was hired and have been involved. Now I will be able to see it in action. Much desired for my understanding of what I am doing.

I am not sure what they will provide other than it’s an iPad. Anything (even 2nd hand) is better than none. <ha!> I am familiar with iPad operation as I have been the IT support for my wife’s iPad. I think it is the version 2 and is 6 or 7 years old. Still going strong and perfectly adequate.

She is a constant user of her iPad so it was not something I could commandeer for my business use. She doesn’t enjoy when things change in her iPad experience. Upgrades drive her crazy.

This opportunity for using my own (or loaner?) iPad gave me he desire to do some research on where the state-of-the-art and prices are with today’s tablet devices. I am not interested is the Android systems as Win 10, Linux and Apple are quite enough OS’s to be playing in.

I own a very old Apple MAC mini I purchased maybe a year after they first came out. It’s well over 10 years old. The files dates on some of the software certify this. No OS updates available for it’s  ancient processor but it still runs just like it did a decade ago. I wanted to experience the “Apple OS” experience through playing with the MAC mini for awhile. Now I am back in the Apple OS mode…

I checked the top line, latest iPad Pro and is an expensive bugger. Especially when the keyboard and pen are added to the mix. Being a tech junkie I always covet the high end hardware. There is a marketing video with a cute young girl (with large glasses) spending the day with her $$ full-house iPad Pro and supposedly not aware it was a computer. Probably no sense of purchase cost. Just something a carefree kid needs. Ah… that’s Apple marketing.

My son has a Microsoft Surface 3 tablet that he hasn’t used for more than a year. He is charging the battery and bringing it over so I can “play” with it. Designed as a competitor for the iPad (et-al) it will be interesting to see how WIN10 operates on a real tablet computer.

The latest new version of the Surface is also a very expensive package when the keyboard and pen are added. I was attracted to the Microsoft Surface when it first, uh… surfaced. The cost and marginal specs kept it out of my consideration. Then my son received one for his work, but the company IT group refused to support or allow it access to the VPN connection. So it became a useless tool and he just put it on the shelf for more than a year.

The newer versions of Surface have better hardware specs than the version 3, but are more than twice to original cost of the Surface 3 when new. Surface 3’s can still be purchased at about half of their original price. The 3 went out of production at the end of 2016, so it’s not all that old.

I admit I am a bit excited to have a few tablet “toys” to play with during the holidays. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep either one. Hopefully for some good length of time. If either one goes back to their owner, I can decide how much I have to have my own, or not.

That’s is a great opportunity for a retired guy. No cash outlay for a real user experience.

I own a tiny Asus Netbook PC that I loaded with the Xubuntu OS, and I enjoy using it from time to time… like right now. The screen height is too short for most applications but it is usable with scrolling. Not a touch screen and the keyboard is attached like a regular laptop, It’s about 8 years old.

I bought it low cost as “refurbished” and it was actually brand new with a higher capacity battery update. Couldn’t be sold as new. The original release had poor battery battery life. Currently this one is good for about 4 hours. I wouldn’t buy another. It IS a good machine for text writing and receiving email. There are some blog posts here in this blog.

The netbook was intended for my wife’s use for email and web browsing as she was recovering from cancer. Too weak to get to the MAC mini and very low white cell count required staying in isolation. I soon gave her the iPad at Christmas time, as a replacement for the netbook and she has never put the iPad down since.

I had a regular laptop from my company when I was fully employed, but almost all of my may regular use PCs are the wired power type. Includes the three in my workshop for CNC use. I don’t have a real need for total portability around the house. The netbook as been enough. The tablets will be a new experience.

That doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the new “toys” while I have them. Ha! I will have some thing(s) and new experiences to post in my blogs!


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