Tablet Plus Keyboard, Anyone?

chisueMay 9, 2011

I wonder if I could be happy replacing my laptop with a tablet and a keyboard -- and something to hold the tablet upright while I type.

My laptop is 'elderly'. I have no e-reader. I don't need all the power of most laptops. I'd like to be able to read books, magazines and newspapers. I merely email, net surf and write the occasional short letter or document on my laptop. (Can you print from a tablet?)

I thought about a netbook, but read sales of those are dropping off. Must I buy a new laptop AND a tablet e-reader? Cost differences? Problems with use?

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

It would depend on what tablet you were going to purchase for some of the info and what size it would be. I would not do it with a 7" or 10" tablet just too small in my opinion.
but yes you can add a keyboard and mouse to a tablet or at least many of them, you would have to make certain they have multiple usb ports for that. The keyboards on the tablets can be awkward to use for any extended time.

I do not think that netbooks will go away, they have newer models coming out with more stout processors in them and many now run windows 7. I have an acer netbook one of the first ones so mine is a little smaller than the ones out now, I love it but would not want it for my only computer, I use a usb mouse with it because I hate touchpads. Netbooks have no cd or dvd drive and neither do tablets so you have to use usb flash drives or have an external usb cd or dvd drive to plug in should you need to.

Printing can be done if you have a printer that is networked, plugged into your router or you can use it by usb plugged into the tablet or netbook. If you have to install software for the printer that would have to be done either by download from their website or by usb flash drive or as I said a usb stand alone cd or dvd drive. I have not installed printer software on a netbook or tablet so can not help with that, however I just got a new laser printer delivered today and I hope to network it so that my netbook will be able to use it and since I have a wireless router I should be able to use any wifi enabled device that can print to print to it.

If you really do not do much heavy work at all then you could probably get by. Again it would depend on the tablet.
Do you have one in mind? Many of the bigger ones will cost you more than a laptop or netbook. Prices will of course drop on them since so many are now hitting the market.
I love the looks of motorola zoom, and like the looks of the blackberry playbook also nice is the Acer Iconia, I prefer an Android based tablet myself, preferably one that is running the newest Android Honeycomb OS. but again I sure would not want a 7" or 10" main use tablet.
I have the pandigital novel 7" tablet which I love and to me it is perfect for ereader use and I can do most of what I want to do on it including email, surf, music, pictures and video but would never think of using it for a primary device.
Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets: a guided tour of the UI

some good youtube videos of systems with Android Honeycomb
Android Honeycomb

for some tablet options check out chinagrabber they have a ton of options. All of these have Android 2.2 Froyo which is the version prior to the new Honeycomb.
Android 2.2 Apad Tablet PC

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:36PM
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First off we should probably define what you mean by a "tablet." There are only a few on the market that come close to matching the performance of netbook much less a laptop. Those are the Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, and Samsung Tab (although wit the Tab, the current 7" screen is probably a bit small, larger screens are coming).

There are keyboards and stands available for both the iPad and Xoom.

Yes, you can print from a tablet.

My recommendation would be the iPad.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 2:48PM
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I think I'm expecting too much, too soon. I should probably stop waiting for a single solution (Tablet + Keyboard and Mouse) and buy a new laptop and an e-reader! I'd want a tablet big enough to read a newspaper easily, which is what led me to think I could do the combo.

I can limp along with my Compaq laptop for a while, and buy an e-reader or tablet. I don't have to move the laptop from my desk until we go to Maui next January -- good thing since the HINGES are broken. lol Things change so fast in this field; maybe by then there will be other possibilities.

Thank you both for your useful information!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 5:08PM
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You're not going to find a mouse with a tablet, the operating system doesn't have a cursor. You'd still need to reach up and tap the screen from the keyboard (although you can certainly move around the screen like you can with a PC keyboard).

The trick is to find the device or combination of devices that meet your needs, there's "no one size fits" all approach and every device as its unique advantages and disadvantages.

I think we'll see more tablets as time progresses but right now Apple is the 800 pound gorilla and a lot of companies don't have the technological, financial, and marketing wherewithal to beat them so the remaining companies are fighting over a slice of the pie, not the pie itself. There

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 7:44PM
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I read a lot of newspapers online, and mainly on my desktop. I have tried using a netbook with a 10" screen. It does the job in a pinch, like when I am traveling. However, I would be reluctant to try to read a newspaper regularly on a tablet. For that reason, I suggest you get yourself another basic laptop with a decent size screen. It'll probably be cheaper and you'll probably be happier.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 2:07AM
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mike said: "You're not going to find a mouse with a tablet, the operating system doesn't have a cursor. "

Thats actually wrong..Recently I purchased a 10" knockoff tablet from China just to play around of course does not have a Windows Operating system by uses Android Foyo 2.2..Not hard to figure out for browsing email etc.. it does have two usb ports and there is a keyboard/leather case combo for $23..I also use a corded optical mouse with it...As I mentioned, I only wanted something to play with and the cost of the tablet was less that $200. much better than $500-$800 for an IPad...pan down thru this article to below the specs and there are options which include the keyboard and leather case...I have had mine for a couple of months and absolutely no problems

Here is a link that might be useful: Flytouch 3

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 5:17AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

agree there are various models that do take mouse and keyboard, I had mentioned that it would depend on the actual tablet. But yes indeed many do have the ability to use a mouse and keyboard. They are making definite headway in the tablet field.

so genes would love to hear how you are liking your flytouch! If you want to create your own post I will look for it, but I and I am sure others would really be interested in your opinion pros and cons etc. Did you get it from chinagrabber?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:10PM
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I just read that the new head of the Chicago Tribune has put forward a plan to GIVE subscribers a tablet -- and charge them for internet subscription.

"It's coming, it's coming." LOL I'm back to my wait and see mode. Nice to hear from all of you 'latest and greatest gizmo' folks. Thanks!

BTW, for those of you who do acquire every new trick, what do you do with your 'old' stuff? Not landfill, surely, given that we are posting on GARDENweb.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 12:55PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Most of mine is still here and I use it, I have passed a few things down to people that could use them, have never thrown any away.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 5:20PM
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Dont get every new trick...but happened upon the China Grabber site thru another forum and said what the hay...always liked the idea of a tablet but didnt want to spend the big bucks for an IPad or some other $5-$800.00 machine..I hang on to them forever (almost) and the wife whose sole link to computers, is a game of solitaire or Mahjong, asks "what in the heck are you going to do with that"..when I say its a toy she rolls her eyes..I have also gotten older ones from family and fixed them up and given them to other family members...just something to doodle and play with

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 6:12PM
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