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Re: [LUG] New tablet computer


I have an iPad.
I don't like it very much.
2 of the surviving important women in my life have iPads the other daughter has a Nexus 7

From Dr Adrian Midgley's hand

On 3 Jan 2014 05:07, "bad apple" <mr.meowski@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 02/01/14 00:19, Rob Beard wrote:
> On Wed, 01 Jan 2014 12:42:15 +0000, Neil Winchurst <barnaby@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>> So if anyone on the list could give me some suggestions I would be very
>> grateful. My wife uses her computer just for emails and browsing,
>> including FB. She would also like to have a camera included in the spec.
>> No gaming required.
>> Help needed, please

I'm going to weigh in on this as well - I should probably mention right
at the start that I have just bought an iPad Air for the missus for
Christmas, and I'm going to recommend you do the same (although as your
wife is spending her own money on it, at least you won't be ~Â500 poorer
afterwards, unlike me...)

This might seem a bit strange, and I was initially quite reluctant but
hey: she's the boss, she's smarter than I am and she knows what she
needs/wants for her own purposes. She's also been using a MacBook as her
primary device quite happily for 2-3 years now so is quite familiar with
the Apple ecosystem and considerably less hostile on ideological grounds
than I am. Additionally, in the medical field, Apple hardware is
increasingly ubiquitous - even 5-6 years when I was still a NHS sysadmin
pretty much all of the consultants, senior doctors, researchers and most
of the junior doctors were turning up with Macs and that tendency has
only increased. The specialised tools and apps they need are well
supported on Apple and iPads are being trialled all over the country
(and wider world) for medical use, from ward rounds to bedside diagnostics.

Now, unless your wife is also a doctor, none of that will be very
important to her. However, some things will be important to her,
especially is she's planning to use it as her primary device for the
foreseeable future.

iPads have by far the highest build quality and best specs of all
tablets out there. The IPS retina screen is genuinely astonishing if you
get a high end version. IOS, for all of it's evils, is nonetheless
consistent, polished and unlike Android, isn't a hopelessly fragmented
mess. A modern iPad is guaranteed regular and consistent software
upgrades for several years whereas with your standard Android cheapy,
well, who knows. Buying a dedicated low end device like a Nook, Hudl or
Fire is guaranteed to end in disappointment when you try and exceed it's
expected usage (reading Ebooks, using an App or two, shopping) and then
try to use it as a general purpose machine instead. They are too small,
have too little power and weren't designed for it. I have already seen
post-Xmas customers with all of these devices and none of them
particularly like their clumsy, flimsy little units.

This is just anecdotal, but although I do know quite a few people very
happy with their Android tablets, most of them are technically skilled
and both enjoy and know how to work around problems, modify things, etc
- your non-techie wife will categorically NOT enjoy any of these things,
and by the sounds of it, I doubt you will like getting roped in to do it
for her when she starts to bump up against the limitations of her
device. I know a lot of people who HATE their low-end Android tablets
and now have them living in a drawer gathering dust.

On the other hand, I have never met a single person who regretted
getting an iPad: literally, not even one. My fanatical windows-only
expert programmer friend bought an iPad2 for his family a couple of
years back now - even he loves it. I think it's fair to say that the
iPad is by far the best device that Apple have made - I don't like their
phones particularly (even though I have one), I despise their main OS
and I'd never buy an Apple computer for myself but the iPad... well,
it's best of breed really, end of story. The only competition worth
speaking of is the Nexus of course.

Which does bring me on the elephant in the room: tablets, and by
extension, smart phones, are the tools of the devil. They exist
primarily to snoop on you, exfiltrate your personal information to the
databases of corporations and impose arbitrary restrictions - the worst
part is the third party app ecosystem. Installing any little thing on a
tablet/smartphone will immediately demand permissions to access your
contacts, GPS, make calls on your behalf and probably claim possession
of your first-born child. Paid, professional Apps are usually a little
bit better but frequently not much. This is not a desirable thing on the
device that your wife plans to use as her primary computing device
ongoing. Whatever device she goes for will have to be bought firmly
under control: that will undoubtedly require
rooting/flashing/jailbreaking it, so you can seize back control of the

In our case, that involved yours truly immediately jailbreaking the iPad
and setting it up beforehand so when it was handed over on Xmas day, the
missus could immediately start playing with it and no doubt post
annoying things on Facebook without every corporation in the world
immediately going full stalker on her. You *will* also have to do this
with whatever device you end up with.

Personally, while I haven't had much time with the Air except for
hurriedly setting it up on Christmas Eve, I reluctantly admit it's an
extremely impressive device, elevated to a worthy and useful tool from a
trivial and creepy toy with some minor modifications. The A7 is
lightning fast, the multitouch is spot on and the screen is just amazing
(much better than my bog standard 24" 1080 monitor). If I can actually
pry it out of her hands for more than a few minutes I'll have a more
in-depth session but hopefully that tells you more than anything else
about why you should get an iPad and nothing else for the important lady
in your life: mine has only had hers for a week and she loves it so much
that I can't get near it.

There are exactly two disadvantage to the iPad:

1: it's bloody expensive
2: expect your privacy to be abused

The first was partly mitigated by the NHS discount (I got the 64Gb wifi
only version which retails at Â559, NHS staff discount brought it down
to Â500 by the time we added a folding protective cover) and the second
is common to all smart devices if you don't take the correct steps to
mitigate it. Google are actually worse than Apple in this respect.

So yeah, if you value your wife at all, compare the Nexus and the iPad
only, everything else is crap. She will want the iPad, so get it for
her. Trust me, she will thank you for it!


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