next_to_normal: (Hardison geek)
[personal profile] next_to_normal
In which I solicit technology advice before purchasing something. \o/

I am fed up with my laptop. It's becoming more and more of a pain. The battery (the second one, btw) gave up the ghost a while back, so it needs to be plugged in all the time, defeating the primary purpose of a laptop. Now it seems to overheat at the slightest provocation, and crashed about 10 times while trying to stream Orange is the New Black this weekend (I only made it through 6 eps, so nobody spoil me!). Also, the letters have worn off some of the keys, so it's a good thing I learned touch-typing in school.

The question this time is... do I want another laptop, or do I want a tablet? I figure that another laptop is probably best suited for my needs, but my mother keeps suggesting why not a netbook or a tablet instead (not that she would know, having never used either on a regular basis). So, you know, something to consider.

Reasons I do not need a tablet:
  1. I already have a Kindle Fire, though I only really use it for reading books, because I don't want to pay for 3G on the Kindle, so I am reliant on wireless hotspots for internet access.
  2. Now that I also have a 4G smartphone, that generally takes care of all my internet-on-the-go needs, so a tablet would seem to be redundant.
  3. Obviously, because of power cord issues, my laptop has been rather stationary of late, but even before that, I rarely used it outside of the house. Even when I travel with it, I rarely use it outside of my hotel room. So it's not like I need something especially light to carry everywhere.
  4. Currently, I use my laptop primarily for web browsing, email, streaming video, icon-making, and hard drive storage, because I have not yet migrated to the cloud. If I did want something more portable, I technically could do all of that, except the storage and icon-making, on the Kindle.
  5. However, I have no idea how well I would be able to make icons on a tablet. I'd definitely need some kind of wireless mouse and/or keyboard, because I imagine doing graphics with just a touchscreen would be a pain in the ass.

Reasons I kind of want a tablet:
  1. The Kindle Fire was supposed to be a compromise - without the full capabilities of a tablet, but a lot cheaper - so it has the reflective touch screen like a tablet. But it turns out the only thing I use it for is reading, and that's like the one thing the screen is NOT good for. I kind of wish I had just gotten a tablet + a Kindle Paperwhite (optimal for reading) rather than the Fire. (Then again, I already have the Fire, so I'm not sure how this ended up in the "pro-tablet" section, since it involves me buying two new things I don't need to replace the one I don't really use.)
  2. To be fair, though, I would probably use a tablet more than I currently use the Kindle, especially if it is meant to replace my laptop.
  3. I am apparently getting a laptop through work, because I travel a fair amount now. Obviously, I am limited in how much personal stuff I can do on the work computer, so it can't be my only computer, but work laptop + personal tablet might be better than having two laptops.

I also briefly considered the idea of getting a desktop, since they're cheaper and you get more processing power than a laptop, but I don't really have any place to put a desktop in my apartment. (I typically use my laptop at the kitchen table or sitting on the sofa, neither of which is a particularly good permanent home for a computer.)

So... laptop. Maybe. Probably.

Either way, I also need to investigate cloud storage options for things like my iTunes collection and all the icons I've made. I have a tendency to keep a shit-ton of unnecessary stuff on my laptop, which is probably one of the reasons why it runs slow. I couldn't keep all of that on a tablet, which would force me to do something about it, but there's no reason I can't do that now with the laptop, except that I'm lazy and fear new things.

Thoughts? Advice? How do you manage your technological devices and digital... stuff?

Date: Jun. 9th, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
goldenusagi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] goldenusagi
Don't get a netbook. I have one and it's complete crap. It's an ASUS, and at the time I bought it (and some even now), all netbooks came with 1GB of RAM, which is supposed to be enough to stream online video, but it's so not. I realize iPads also only have 1GB of RAM, but that must get into the different ways they're put together or something. IDK, I am not a techie. But even while new, my netbook skipped while playing HBOGO, refused to play Hulu, and even pauses before loading Youtube videos.

As for your storage problem, whether you get a tablet or a laptop, maybe get an external hard drive. You can get 1 terabyte for under $100. Then no matter what you're using (even your work laptop), your stuff is accessible. And if your machine crashes, you still have your data. The only thing about that, as relates to iTunes, is making sure whatever computer you use iTunes with, that you get it set up right and don't intend on moving it. I mean, some external devices register as D drive on this computer and E drive on that computer, etc. I had a computer with two hard drives once, and I was getting low on space on C drive, and moved my music to D drive. Well, iTunes at that time was not smart enough to reset things without reloading everything (which I didn't want to do for various reasons), or going song by song and changing the file path. So I moved the music back to where it used to be.

But for me, while I would love to have a tablet for reading fanfic and watching video online, I'd have to get a mouse and keyboard if I actually wanted to USE it (like photos or icons or typing this comment, not to mention writing a fic) and it always seemed like by the time I did all that, I might as well have a laptop. Plus, phones work on the go if you just need to check something.

Date: Jun. 10th, 2014 08:56 pm (UTC)
goldenusagi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] goldenusagi
I'm super paranoid, so just don't like the idea of cloud storage. I suppose cloud storage you pay for is different than free cloud storage, but it still has the 'trust the cloud' mentality, and I can't get my head around that. If I have the data, I KNOW nothing is going to happen to it via some third party. Plus, I can access it when I'm not on the internet, which is a thing for me. I mean, if you're just using it for backups, fine I guess, but for actual storage that you're using daily, I want a physical copy that doesn't rely on my internet connection. I have two external hard drives that I keep backed up, so even if one fails, as hard drives eventually do, I still have the stuff on the other one (which is at my parents' house, so even if someone steals my hard drive or my house burns down, I still have the other one, lol). I've never had any compatibility issues with either thumb drives or external hard drives; I've never plugged one into a computer and had it not be recognized, not that that couldn't happen, I suppose. Unlike, say, burning data DVDS, and the second computer not recognizing the software that was used to create the disk and not being able to read it. Obviously the other thing is that if you get a tablet, iPads don't have USB ports, so external hard drives are useless. Other tablets have them.

As for the iTunes thing, there shouldn't be any issues authorizing. Authorizing is about the device. So if you have iTunes on your new computer, and have that computer authorized, iTunes isn't going to care if your music is on C drive or an external E drive. The computer treats the hard drives the same. Of course, that also means that you have to have your external drive plugged in at any time you want to listen to music. Depending on how much space you need, one of those really tiny thumb drives might be the thing for that. There are ones now that don't even stick out a centimeter when they're plugged in. You can probably get 64GB easily, maybe 128GB by now. Just depends how much music you have. But that saves you the trouble of plugging and unplugging it constantly, it can just stay in. Then you could have a larger external drive for other things if you need it.

Date: Jun. 9th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (!Sciencing the Sciency Science)
From: [personal profile] frayadjacent
It sounds like you'll be getting a Windows based machine, whatever it is, and I have less experience with that, but if tablets are anything like iPads, they're probably pretty inconvenient for making icons. I can't imagine iconning on my iPad and don't know if I could even install the software to do so. They just really seem to be designed for reading/seeing things others have made, not for creating stuff yourself.

Date: Jun. 10th, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Have you thought about the new Microsoft surface? It's supposed to be a laptop in tablet form, so that might be your best option if you're not sure which one to go for

(Frelling Tralk )

Date: Jun. 10th, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
goldenusagi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] goldenusagi
The Surface does have USB ports, that's one of the points they've been advertising about it. My dad just got one, and it's completely useless for him, but he's an idiot, lol. He basically bought the world's heaviest tablet. He got the Surface Pro 2, which is about twice as thick as any other tablet. But if you get the keyboard for it and intend on using it more as a laptop, it's a light laptop, and is about the size of a netbook. He did not get the keyboard, and seems to want it for nothing but surfing the internet, and it's just a pain to use as a tablet because it's so heavy. Though the Surface does have a built in 'kickstand' so it will stand upright by itself. If you look at these, one thing to watch for is which versions you can add programs to. Some of the Surface models do not allow you to add programs to the unit, despite the fact that they're running on a version of Windows and you might think you can put whatever program you want on there. I think maybe the Surface 2 or maybe even only the Surface 2 Pro can you actually add programs to. But that's something to pay attention to if you're wanting to use it for icnoning and other things. The Surface Pro 2 is heavy for a tablet, as you can see if you go to Best Buy and pick one up, but the Surface 2 is about the size of an iPad (though probably not as thin as the newest version of the iPad).
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