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Poll

What should I buy that is currently available?

ipad
8 (27.6%)
PC tablet
8 (27.6%)
Netbook
7 (24.1%)
Other (please specify)
3 (10.3%)
monitor arms + tweed suit
3 (10.3%)

Total Members Voted: 29

Last post Author Topic: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?  (Read 49487 times)

wraith808

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2010, 01:18:36 PM »
I'd planned to use my jungle disk account and dropbox for the heavy lifting where file storage is concerned
You know what I use for this stuff?  HFS.  I set up my own file server at home and use the web interface.  I really like it.

however, one day my next big project is to create my own personal server with really fast speeds.  My ISP has slow upload speeds, as do most isps.  One day, i want my own commercial grade server to put all my websites, shared files, file transferring, etc.  I want to have control over all of that eventually.  The only thing I don't want to control, nor can i, is the grid access.  I want a fast line for uploading/downloading/traffic and all the hardware, web space, servers, etc. is under my control.  I don't like committing to any cloud services.  I'd much rather set up an application myself on my own hardware, and simply use the isp to access it from anywhere.  This is my goal eventually.

I *could* set up my own service- in fact I've done it before.  Why did I change?  Reliability.  Jungle Disk allayed a lot of my concerns about my data by the fact that I have it on S3.  And now I don't have to worry about hardware issues.  I have my data on a dedicated home machine, but I know that if it goes out, I don't have to worry about the financial costs (and time) of replacing it/troubleshooting it immediately.

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2010, 02:39:44 PM »
Now I'm considering using some of the money to buy an X-series walkman from Sony, and using the rest to get some other kind of tablet....or just save it for getting a nice tablet later on.

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2010, 03:34:49 PM »
Hmm!!  I've just been reading around and i think i've found the product that suits me best.  They are called UMPC's (ultra mobile PC).  The one I am eyeing is the Viliv N5.  Perhaps this is the best solution for someone like me.

To me, it seems like all the non-apple tablets are still in the very premature phases.  meaning, the OS's aren't even built for tablet use, they are just being shoe-horned to work that way.  Also, I find that they way people who use use UMPC's speak about things is more in line with what I like and do.  The Apple people and smartphone users are different kind of users than I am.  i think that's a big indicator of the right device for me.  All the UMPC seem to be thinking like me.  That tells me I'm on the right track.

I like the idea of running Win7 full on a little device, and have instant-on and relatively long battery life (compared to a laptop).  I've always liked keyboards over touch stuff anyway.  I think I found my item.

wraith808

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2010, 04:29:43 PM »
lf I remember correctly, UMPCs were the next evolution of tablet pcs. I tried one- a Samsung I believe. I remember being less than overwhelmed. It was a coo| device, don't get me wrong, it just Seemed it was an under powered tablet pc. And the instant On was overrated. I also remember the battery life was exaggerated. Just food for thought.

http://www.microsoft...ly/umpc/default.mspx
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Ultra-Mobile_PC
http://www.brighthan...ult.asp?newsID=12973

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2010, 04:56:59 PM »
The N5 has been getting really good reviews.  I watched a couple of youtube videos and it seemed to be fine to me.

The other thing I've just run into is an RDp app for the ipad.  if I set up my home computer for an RDP connection, could I use this app to do that?  Actually, regardless of an addon app, would it be possible somehow to use an ipad to connect to an RDP computer at home running XP or win7?  Seems like an intriguing possibility.

But I like the idea of being able to play with the device like a full-fledged computer.  I'm even interested in the people trying to put linux distros on the N5.  If this stuff works well enough to be a satisfying experience, I might just do it.

The UI and experience of the ipad is lovely to me.  But every time I get more into it, I get more turned off by its limitations.  My brain is really really used to Windows and doing whatever I want with it.  I'm very very particular and I sometimes tweak every little setting.  i don't know how well I'll be able to temporarily suspend my mentality away from that.  Heck, I even meticulously tweak my taskbar clock display.

I think the real question for me is this:
What device do i want to get now while I wait for the tablet, UMPC, or ipad-killer market to fully mature.  The answer so far is the N5 I think.  but I am changing my mind by the hour!

wraith808

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2010, 05:20:47 PM »
The other thing I've just run into is an RDp app for the ipad.  if I set up my home computer for an RDP connection, could I use this app to do that?  Actually, regardless of an addon app, would it be possible somehow to use an ipad to connect to an RDP computer at home running XP or win7?  Seems like an intriguing possibility.

Yes, that is an option... there was a blog post on jkontherun where he talked about using the iPad for his blogging work.  He actually used LogMeIn Ignition as his RDP client. (review)

And here is some more on the V5 if you needed any more info :)  It seems too small for me... almost like the Dell Streak which I looked at when I was evaluating platforms.  It reminds me of the Sony that they released a little ago.  I wanted that, but when I took a closer look, I realized that the keyboard would be a bit too small for my fingers.

http://www.umpcporta...m/products/Viliv/N5/
http://www.umpcporta...n5-umpc-full-review/

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2010, 06:24:04 PM »
Thanks for the links, wraith.  They are very helpful.

I just ran across the Sony one today as well.  i love Sony products, I'll always try to get them if i can afford it and it's a decent user experience.  Sony always finds a way to ruin a product by screwing up the UI, or some little feature here and there that frustrates you to death.  They tease you by always having the best technology and well-built products.  But they ALWAYS find a way to screw up the user experience.  It's exactly the opposite of Apple, who has mediocre products but excellent user experiences.

The N5 is small, that's for sure.  But that's not that big of a deal.  it's a tradeoff. I like the idea of being able to hold it in my hand and stick it in a (large) pocket or bag.  On the other had, I like the large ipad screen, but I know it will be significantly more awkward to carry around.  Once again, I am more of a UMPC kind of guy than an ipad kind of guy, I can tell from reading the way people write and think about things.  That's a very strong indicator for me.

[edit] for the UMPC's, I also like the idea of being able to install other OS's on it like Linux and playing around with that.  Honestly, there is a very good chance that I'll get bored of my new gadget.  So, in that case, at least having an generic gadget like a UMPC will allow me to experiment with it and be creative.  With an ipad, I'm locked to it's use.  It's not hacker friendly.  a UMPC is basically like a barebones pc computer without the ability to change the hardware.  So you can do a lot more creative things with it.  I like that.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 06:29:10 PM by superboyac »

wraith808

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2010, 10:29:52 PM »
Agreed on that part. The reason that I like the tablet over the iPad and the umpc is actually the experience reading documents. The kindle and nook makenone handed reading possible. The iPad does not. The umpcs I've seen are too thick, but with the hp, I cradle it in my arm and use the jog dial. I didn't even pick up on that until today!  It's just natural.

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2010, 11:12:12 PM »
Ok, ok...you have a point there about reading documents.  I'm going to want that also.  I've been reading heavily about the hp tablets the past few hours.  I still don't want either your old one or the newer one.  Battery life is too short and it's still pretty big.  Plus, I really predict me not using this much anyway, so the power and flexibility is lost on me.  Once again, I am pointed towards the ipad.  But the apple-resistance is strong in me.  I don't want to do it...there's too much I hate about apple's stuff.

I'm becoming more clear on what my preferences are:
--I'm convinced whatever I get is only going to be the gadget that temporarily holds me over until a really good, consensus top pick tablet (ipad-killer) comes out.  So, assuming I'm not going to take it seriously, I may as well get the item that I have the most fun with.  That comes down to my previous main uses: web browsing, reading documents, music, video, note taking.  done.

--also, I was thinking about my typical day, and there simply aren't many times where I will be using an alternative computing device.  During a normal week, 90% of my time is either at home or work, where the pc is supplied.  In the cases where I'm not at work or home, I am not in situations where using a computer is appropriate.  Very rarely am I just sitting or waiting around if not at home or work.  So, once again, the device doesn't have to be all that powerful or flexible.

--Now, the weekends are a different story.  I will be out of my house a lot, not at work, and I will be in situations where having a portable computer will be handy.  How often?  Maybe 2-3 hours per weekend, which is enough to make me care.

So, how about this:  I get two new toys instead of one.  A netbook and perhaps the Sony x-series walkman?  The Toshiba mini NB305 gets great reviews, and I like the 6-hour battery life while being able to enjoy a full pc experience.  I also want to try the new jolicloud OS.  Stuff like that would hold me over until a really good tablet came out.

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2010, 11:52:20 PM »
Oh...F it all, I can't even come close to making up my mind.  The truth is, I love a big-ass, fully powered desktop PC and that's all there is to it.
My current desktop  has a huge tower, two 24" monitors, several hard drives, and I love it.  What the hell am i doing?  I'm never going to use some little computer.  I mean think about it.  I'm a huge computer geek, software geek, technophile.  Yet, all these years, I have never had the need for a portable computing device.  i don't use a smartphone, i barely use my cell phone, I have a laptop that I hardly use.  Actually, the most I ever used my laptop was a couple of years ago when I had it connected to my tv as a media center.  But now, i've replace it with my old desktop, which works much better.  There you go!  Once again, I am just a desktop guy.

I don't need another computing device.  I'll consider tablets when they become good and offer something great and different from my pc.

So forget it.  No new computer for me.  I'm going to use the money and buy an expensive dual-monitor arm for my 24" monitors.

nudone

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2010, 03:39:16 AM »
final word? hmm, still time to change your mind, superboyac.

a nice new toy, that's not a budget killer?

something to try other o/s's with?

sounds like the tc1100 machine. on ebay, less than $300. buy it, play with it, sell it - maybe even for a small profit.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #36 on: August 07, 2010, 07:37:56 AM »
I have never had the need for a portable computing device.  i don't use a smartphone, i barely use my cell phone, I have a laptop that I hardly use.  Actually, the most I ever used my laptop was a couple of years ago when I had it connected to my tv as a media center.  But now, i've replace it with my old desktop, which works much better.  There you go!  Once again, I am just a desktop guy.
...Because there really is no good reason that we need to be that well connected. I've got a really nice Dell 6 year old laptop with a Gig of RAM and an 80GB HDD that dual boots between Win2k & XP. And I'd venture to say that I spent more time setting it up out of the box than I have using it since.

Smart phones I've got no use for either - I ain't gonna be texting/Googling/Shopping online from a motorcycle. That will just have to waite till I get where I'm going (which seldom takes long on a fast bike...).

Hence! ...I fully support your decision to do nothing. ;)

cyberdiva

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2010, 10:04:20 AM »
I don't need another computing device.  I'll consider tablets when they become good and offer something great and different from my pc.
Superboyac, I don't want to push you to buy something you don't really need.  But I thought I'd mention why I did buy a Toshiba NB305-N410BL netbook.  I too much prefer my desktop, even though it's four years old.  And, like you, I don't own a smartphone and use my cell phone rarely.  But I do travel--not all the time, but when I do, I want to be able to have Internet access without going to an Internet cafe.  Until recently, I used my PalmTX for that.  If there's free wi-fi available, I can read my email and, with some hassle, go to websites.  And it's got great timewasters like Scrabble to keep me happy on an airplane.  I can also load movies on an SD card and watch them with my TX on the plane as well.  But I've come to feel that the screen is just too damn small to make me happy (it's the same size as the iTouch screen, I think, though the iTouch may have higher resolution). 

I own an ancient IBM laptop, but it is too cumbersome for travelling (at least for me).  Hence my decision to get a netbook.  I was attracted by the great reviews that the Toshiba got, especially the comfort of the keyboard and the relatively long battery life.  I now travel with it, and it's a lot more satisfactory than my old laptop or my PalmTX.  Frankly, though, it doesn't have nearly as much zip as I had expected.  I upped the RAM to 2 GB (the maximum it will support), but the processor (Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz) is a lot less powerful than the one in my four-year-old desktop.  I suspect that the iPad would be a lot quicker.  But the netbook can multi-task and is not dependent on iTunes or the Apple Store.  I can also use Linkman with Firefox and use my choice of email clients, something I'm not sure I could do on an iPad.  And it's got a real keyboard, which I much prefer to the iPad's arrangement (based on the three minutes I played with one in an Apple Store).

I'm not saying you should buy a netbook, but your recent messages (including your mention of the Toshiba NB305) made me decide to comment.

PPLandry

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2010, 01:35:25 PM »
I'm a PC kind of guy, for as long as I remember, I mean DOS days... and I bought an Ipod Touch (8G, $199 Can) 2 months ago...

And do you what, I never thought I would use it so much. In good part, because it is small, so my first recommendation is get something small so you carry it with you all the time without asking yourself if the extra weight is a problem.

And there are so many things it does... Here are my favorites apps:
- email
- Calendar and Tasks (both of which will soon sync with IQ)
- photos and music
- Facebook
- Weather
- Maps
- Local news paper
- Read e-books (there are tons of free books out there)
- Dropbox which allows me to see all the stuff in my Dropbox folder of my PC
- Tons of games of course, most free

And of course you can browse the web for stuff that doesn't have a dedicated app

(and don't listen to people you complain about battery life, it is excellent (I charge it at night and go through my day on a charge)

HTH
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2010, 05:30:48 PM »
I think I've decided:
I'm going going to get my dual-monitor arms.  I will get a new Bookster three-piece suit.  I know I'll use both of those a lot, and I'll wait for a good tablet to come out.

JavaJones

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2010, 06:56:01 PM »
I see you may have made up your mind by now, but I'll comment anyway just in case you're still thinking... hehe.

iPad isn't quite "instant on", it's about 15 seconds - some of the Linux instant-on solutions are faster than that. Hilariously the video I found to demonstrate this has a guy counting out about 10 seconds, but the video time elapsed shows at least 15 going by: http://www.ipadforum...ipad-boot-times.html

The iPad uses the same OS as the iPhone, which is a smart phone OS. They updated it to work with the iPad, but it's not a complete redesign by any means, and many people have mentioned the similarities and, in some cases, holdover stupidity from a phone UI on iPad, especially with apps not yet updated for the larger form factor. The same is true of Android, neither is particularly better designed for a tablet experience, and by the time the majority of Android tablets come out, they'll have had just as much time to customize for the tablet experience as iOS did.

The N5 does look interesting, but the screen is not much larger than the more recent touch-screen cell phones, and while the keyboard is a bit larger than sliders like the Samsung Epic (which is a phone I'm planning to get as soon as it comes out), you still can't use standard typing position so it's not necessarily going to be any faster. It's also a heavier and not really pocketable (depends on your pockets I guess). Running Win7 may be an advantage as far as flexibility, but you have to remember that Windows wasn't designed for screens that small, so it's really going to be cramped in, any any advantage from being able to e.g. run your typical desktop apps is probably going to be lost in many cases just because the UI is illegible. Win7 is also likely to be a bit heavier than e.g. Android and so may affect performance (although I know N5 reviews are so far saying performance is pretty good). Anyway it's certainly a viable option, but getting further away from the tablet benefits and more toward cell phone territory, in which case one wonders why you wouldn't consider a smart phone (granted there are data plan charges that most carriers require). It's a shame smart phones aren't sold more often unbundled...

Personally I've found a netbook to be the best solution so far (provided touch screen is not a requirement). They're light enough to be extremely portable - I take mine places I'd never bring my laptop - the keyboard is actually quite decent and can totally be typed on naturally and quickly with standard finger positioning, and you can do anything you want with it like a regular desktop. I've got an ASUS I'm extremely happy with, it claims 10.5 hrs battery life and in practical use I get about 9, so it's pretty good. Newer ones have dual core and can handle stuff like HD video better, but mine is great as-is. It's running XP but I imagine it would be great on Win7 too. Now I don't use it as much as my main desktop or laptop admittedly, but when I do go out and need the portability it's definitely my go-to. We'll see what happens when I get my new smart phone. :D

- Oshyan

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2010, 02:33:08 PM »
We'll see what happens when I get my new smart phone. :D

Which one are you getting?

JavaJones

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2010, 02:37:09 PM »
Samsung Epic. 1Ghz Hummingbird CPU (benchmarked faster than Snapdragon), 4″ WVGA Super AMOLED display, sliding QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video capture, front-facing camera for video calling, GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, mobile hotspot support for five devices, six-axis motion sensor, and 512MB RAM / 1GB ROM. It's basically the highest spec'ed phone you can get that has a sliding keyboard.

- Oshyan

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2010, 03:27:03 PM »
I see you may have made up your mind by now, but I'll comment anyway just in case you're still thinking... hehe.

iPad isn't quite "instant on", it's about 15 seconds - some of the Linux instant-on solutions are faster than that. Hilariously the video I found to demonstrate this has a guy counting out about 10 seconds, but the video time elapsed shows at least 15 going by: http://www.ipadforum...ipad-boot-times.html

The iPad uses the same OS as the iPhone, which is a smart phone OS. They updated it to work with the iPad, but it's not a complete redesign by any means, and many people have mentioned the similarities and, in some cases, holdover stupidity from a phone UI on iPad, especially with apps not yet updated for the larger form factor. The same is true of Android, neither is particularly better designed for a tablet experience, and by the time the majority of Android tablets come out, they'll have had just as much time to customize for the tablet experience as iOS did.

The N5 does look interesting, but the screen is not much larger than the more recent touch-screen cell phones, and while the keyboard is a bit larger than sliders like the Samsung Epic (which is a phone I'm planning to get as soon as it comes out), you still can't use standard typing position so it's not necessarily going to be any faster. It's also a heavier and not really pocketable (depends on your pockets I guess). Running Win7 may be an advantage as far as flexibility, but you have to remember that Windows wasn't designed for screens that small, so it's really going to be cramped in, any any advantage from being able to e.g. run your typical desktop apps is probably going to be lost in many cases just because the UI is illegible. Win7 is also likely to be a bit heavier than e.g. Android and so may affect performance (although I know N5 reviews are so far saying performance is pretty good). Anyway it's certainly a viable option, but getting further away from the tablet benefits and more toward cell phone territory, in which case one wonders why you wouldn't consider a smart phone (granted there are data plan charges that most carriers require). It's a shame smart phones aren't sold more often unbundled...

Personally I've found a netbook to be the best solution so far (provided touch screen is not a requirement). They're light enough to be extremely portable - I take mine places I'd never bring my laptop - the keyboard is actually quite decent and can totally be typed on naturally and quickly with standard finger positioning, and you can do anything you want with it like a regular desktop. I've got an ASUS I'm extremely happy with, it claims 10.5 hrs battery life and in practical use I get about 9, so it's pretty good. Newer ones have dual core and can handle stuff like HD video better, but mine is great as-is. It's running XP but I imagine it would be great on Win7 too. Now I don't use it as much as my main desktop or laptop admittedly, but when I do go out and need the portability it's definitely my go-to. We'll see what happens when I get my new smart phone. :D

- Oshyan
I think this sums up the way I think pretty accurately.  Had I gotten something, it would have been a netbook.  As it is, I'm going to get my two non-gadget things (which, honestly, I was going to get anyway) and wait for this whole tablet thing to mature.

And I still say someone is going to become a billionaire one day by doing what Dell did to cell phones: separate the service from the hardware and allow people to sort of build your own cellphone.  That's where it should be going anyway.  At this point, cell phones are just like computers, so when will we (computer geeks) be able to treat them as such?  Meaning, I want to pick the cell phone I want with the hardware specs that I want, I want to put whatever OS I want into it, and configure the OS, apps, just the way I want.  That's when things will really get interesting.  Wouldn't that be great?

JavaJones

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2010, 03:52:49 PM »
Dell's laptops still aren't that configurable - in fact it's hard to make configurable laptops due to the constraints of the form factor. Phone form factor is even more constricted and requires even more rigid design to end with good results. When you have such little space to work with, you have to design with every component that will be in the phone in mind to fit it all in properly while maintaining weight, battery life, and other factors.

In any case, I do think the OS side of things could be "revolutionized", as well as the purchase model. Google tried to do this, but they are fundamentally not a customer service company. If a company who is (theoretically) customer service driven (like Dell or any other major electronics developer/seller) did it, I think it would work a lot better. You need existing sales channels and, perhaps most importantly, technical support. Google's relationship to Nexus One was really pretty frustrating. So yes, I think Dell could do great things for the smart phone world's sales model, with an Android OS as a base for example, but the underlying issue of carrier lock-in is still a huge problem to overcome...

- Oshyan

superboyac

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2010, 09:49:09 PM »
I don't buy the whole form factor argument for laptops and cell phones.  It's not that I don't agree that it's more difficult to create a customizable cell-phone because of the space.  it's just that I don't think that's the reason why it hasn't happened yet.  If the demand was there and vocal, it would happen.

It doesn't have to be exactly like our pc's today, where we can pick every little part.  If they started trying to do it, it would pick up and keep getting better.  But as someone said earlier in this thread or another one, people go to certain providers BECAUSE they want to use the cell phone exclusive to that provider.  The providers are the ones who are resisting this kind of thing.  And as long as people are quiet about it, it will be fine.  I imagine people are fine with it for the most part.  I see an opportunity, however, and if I were in the position to do something, I'm quite certain it would be a big success.  The reason why customized laptops don't exist is because nobody cares enough.  I'd love to learn how PC's became the way they are.  What happened in history that got people to start demanding that they be able to build their own pc's?  Something happened.  Now, everything is really nice.  All parts are standardized, even color coded and everything.

With a phone, all somebody needs to do is come up with a generic form factor for the various types: touchphones, slideout phones, flip phones, etc.  Then, just offer the user additional options.  What chip do you want?  How much internal memory?  basic stuff.  Then you figure out which OS you want running.  Then you choose a provider later.

If it catches and people like it, it will sell well and people will demand more things.  Eventually, the market will evolve.  Better form factors (cases) will develop.  Additional user-options will be added....what kind of keyboard do you want, what kind of auxiliary jacks do you want?  What kind of screens do you want?  I can see monitor manufacturers starting to offer standalone little screens that fit onto phone cases in some kind of standardized way.  Stuff like that.  It can happen, but people have to want it.

JavaJones

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2010, 12:09:06 AM »
I really think you're dramatically oversimplifying. Or at the least, not accounting for the sacrifices that are made when you take something that has extreme design requirements and try to make it very flexible. Remember the iPhone 4 antenna issue? Imagine the issues that would come up if people had the choice of whether or not a GPS, Wifi, whatever was in their phone, and how you'd have to change antenna design(s) to accomodate.

There are also semi-customizable laptops, see http://www.powernotebooks.com/ for example. And Dell allows some amount of customization even, on certain models. Are people clamoring for more? Not really. Even power users? Yep, even power users.

Hobby computer building was probably born out of the general hobby mindset of the 80s, where you could get e.g. a "theramin kit" or any other electronic gadget in a built-it-yourself kit. Now these things are still generally available, but back then it was like everyone wanted them, even your grandma. And hobby system building may have even somewhat predated the fixed system, at least in some sense. I don't know why really, but I do think the PC form factor and purpose is more suited to custom builds (and more needing of it). I just don't see a significant need with phones, and this is coming from someone who builds his own computers and has done for the past 15+ years. Do *you* see a need for this? Can you explain what *you* would do if you could "build your own phone"? I can all but guarantee that a phone exists that does pretty much what you want. The only difference might be that it's not on a carrier you want to use. Which brings us right back to the carrier lock-in issue, and says to me that *that's* the real issue.

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2010, 12:33:12 AM »
Do *you* see a need for this? Can you explain what *you* would do if you could "build your own phone"? I can all but guarantee that a phone exists that does pretty much what you want.

well, given the option, I'd build a phone that doesn't look like a crappy childs toy, and doesn't try and incorporate every damn gadget and/or function known to man (that I've never used and probably never will), ie no radio, or media player, or camera, or net access, etc, etc etc

JavaJones

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2010, 12:43:04 AM »
Yeah, there are zillions of those available Target. Is there something wrong with the ones we have? Or is it just the (aesthetic) design you don't like?

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Re: Should I buy a tablet pc, ipad, netbook, or other?
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2010, 12:56:28 AM »
here we don't have the choices you probably do - and yeah, I suppose it is largely aesthetics

There are handsets available that don't include all the extra gewgaws, but they generally look like something you'd give you're toddler when they're teething...

but we digress...