×
Search TQA Weekly
×
Log into your TQA Weekly

Choosing Your Portable Device

Considering the pros, the cons, and usability of portable devices before purchasing a laptop, netbook or tablet.

What you need to consider before buying a portable device you may or may use, and a reminder about the Subscribe and Win! Contest.

Episode #1-17 released on January 23, 2011

How to Choose a Portable Device

When choosing a mobile device most of us have no idea where to start, or we see something shiny, and go for that. The IPad is a good device, but its not for everyone. So what am I talking about when I refer to mobile devices. What I am talking about are laptops, netbooks, tablets and E-Ink Devices.

Each device has its uses and fails. So by looking at each type of device and determining its positives and negatives, and its general uses, we can determine which is for your use. We can also incorporate the environment in question we are in, so we can determine the portability required.

So lets start off with a little more traditional device, the Laptop. A lot of us have one that we leave at home, or bring to work or school. I, as a computer programmer, web developer and computer technician, bring one around to test out networks, download patches, and recover data. A lot of you may use these to play games, do office work, handle orders, etc... If you go to school, or need a reliable computer for work, laptops are the best solution, we can plug them into virtually any power outlet, and we can have spare batteries, I do, and this makes this product by far very portable. And when talking internet, we have the option of LTE, 3G, Wimax, Wifi, hardlines(phone line and RJ-45), and tethering with cellphones. We can change the hard drive, wireless adapters, add new hardware via the express ports, plenty of usb ports, and expandable. You can choose your own mouse, and plug in another keyboard. The negatives would have to be that they are often larger, less stable, and easily broken, but that remains true of all portable LCD devices using conventional LCD glass techniques.

There is another option like a laptop, but smaller, its called a Netbook. It has many of the same features of a laptop, but rarely has an optical drive, usually no express slot, and you can't really change the hard-drive. It does have a keyboard so for those who do not carry around a laptop, but wants to type, can use this device. It falls short when it comes to portability when it comes to battery life. With an average 3 hour battery life, your better off with no optical drive, or having the screen brightness at 100%. You could buy another battery, or set up the netbook to consume as few watts as possible, but its not unlike a laptop in battery life. Suggestions would be to turn off all wireless modems if your not using it. Turning off bluetooth and wifi normally give you a lot of battery life back, as well as, turning down the screen brightness and lowering the volume. And because it shares the same form factor, forget droping some on the floor, however, there is a silver lining, some netbooks like my Asus EEE PC are actually drop tested, they can resist some normal fall. If you drop it to the floor from higher than a couple feet, forget it, it is going to break.

We now have the tablet as a possible choice for you to use. We have a choice here, you can go more like the Ipad with a touch screen, or the Amazon Kindle with an E-ink screen. Both tablet types have their uses. Let's start with E-ink devices, they have the longest battery life, easy to read in the sun, on the beach, in bright lit areas, but have no backlight. A friend of mine has the Amazon Kindle, and he only needs to charge the battery every few weeks. It has no color display, not a touch screen, you must use the buttons of the keyboard, or the ones along the side of the screen, and the UI is not all that friendly, or clear. The other kind is the LCD tablet, some models are the Apple Ipad, The Blackberry Playbook, etc... These are easy to use, feature touch screens, rarely has a physical keyboard, but some models have baystations that can accommodate other hardware devices such as mice and keyboards. This of, of course, depends on the manufacteur. The battery life is acceptable, however, you may need special adapters if your not close to your computer or charging station.

I do have a few suggestions for you, if your really unsure.

  • If you need an ebook reader - Amazon Kindle
  • Want to watch movies, listen to music, an surf the internet - Apple Ipad
  • Want to play computer games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft - Laptop
  • Go to school and need to take notes and do assignments - Laptop
  • Go to school, want a mobile device, but have too many books - Netbook for assignments, Amazon Kindle for textbooks, a lot of text books are now available from Amazon
  • Technician in a company and need to verify equipment - Laptop / Netbook / Blackberry Playbook
  • Public Presentations - Ipad / E-ink Devices good if you have bright spotlights as the screen remains easy to read

Spam Wars Updates

Recaptcha upgraded and fixed, so as it stands, our fight against spam has basically been won at a total score of 1 = Steve, 0 = Spam. If you need a better reason to use Google Recaptcha for your site, this is it. And if your on a Godaddy.com Linux hosting account, you may be interested in my source code that prevents most, if not all, remote form attacks, as well as copy/paste attacks.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Steve Smith | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions