Saturday, November 2, 2013

Travel Mapping on a Tablet


A while back I mentioned that Terry “borrowed” by iPad.  He’s had it long enough that I can’t say he’s borrowing it.  He actually stole it.  He loaded all his audio books, games and other stuff on it.  It works perfectly for him and I had a feeling I wouldn’t get it back ….. so, what did I do?  I started looking for a replacement tablet.

caseThank goodness I’m a researcher at heart.  There are so many tablets out there with so many different options that I knew I needed to do the research. I think with any purchase like this since there is such a range of options and prices, I needed to decide exactly what I intended to use it for.  Next, I needed to figure out what was needed to be able to use it like I intended.  I knew I didn’t intend it to be my main computer but I wanted it to be functional enough to take along as a replacement for my computer when I did travel.  In addition to watching an occasional movie or playing a game or two, I really wanted it to have a great mapping system.  Actually, I’d really like it if I could use Microsoft Streets and Trips.  That’s what I’d really like.  I knew the ones I intended weren’t big powerhouses but I wasn’t looking for a powerhouse.  I was looking at a tablet.

That decision alone made the difference whether I would be looking at Android systems, Apple systems or one with Windows.  It had to have a Window OS and most of the tablets with Windows 8 also included programs I really liked such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. 

I set up spreadsheets to collect and compare specifications including the CPU, ram and price.  Only tablets with a Windows operating system were compared.  I like the apps that come with iTunes but have never been a fan of using it for transferring files of any kind back and forth from my computer.  I was glad that would not be in my future with a tablet.

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A very popular tablet with the Windows operating system is the Microsoft Surface.  After I charted the specs for several tablets, I looked a little harder at the Surface and decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to go.  It offered a lot of the functions I wanted.  I just wasn't sure I wanted a 10" tablet.   Was that a mistake?  Only time will tell.

Another advantage of having a tablet with the same operating system I was used to is that I was familiar with what I could do with it.  For example, these tablets had USB ports, HDMI ports and were even upgradeable by using mini SD cards.  The SD card could be used to install any additional programs I wanted on the tablet while taking only minimal internal space.  A few accessories that could be used included keyboards, a mouse,  an external monitor, portable hard drives and even a CD rom or DVD player could be connected to the mini USB port just by using a USB converter and adding a hub.  Now that sounded perfect to me.
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I’ve had the little tablet I purchased about a month and so far I’m still thrilled with my purchase.  I find many times I’ll use it if I just want to surf the internet for a bit.  I’ve watched movies on it, surfed the net and even added the mapping program to the tablet.  However, had I realized at the time I was doing all this research that I might have to replace my faltering laptop sooner than later, I’m guessing my intended use might have been different.  My laptop?  Well, that’s another blog on another day.

What was my deciding factor?  That’s an easy answer.  Once I compared the tablets I eliminated the ones that I didn’t want.  Then, it was down to price.  Office Depot was running a sale and one of the tablets I was considering was on that sale  … that was the determining factor.  I ended up with a 64gb Acer, a bunch of accessories and so far I’m happy. It’s working and functioning exactly as I hoped. It's worked as an eReader, a mapping program and even goes to the laundry with me so I can be entertained while waiting for the loads to finish.  I can access all my favorite RV forums, blogs and reviews without turning on the laptop  -- easier and faster.   So, there’s my update on the tablet purchase.

PS .... even Windows Live Writer is loaded on it!


‘Tis life on the road.

Save the Earth, it’s the only planet with chocolate.

12 comments:

  1. Great summary of your decision making with respect to choosing your Acer Tablet. I'm sure you'll be happy with your choice and find it more than meets most needs you run across while traveling. It's great that you can get LiveWriter on it too as that's a big failing with the iPad for us bloggers.

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  2. Sounds like you made a wise decision with your tablet am sure you will enjoy it. I have never used live writer as I have a Mac Book, but have no problem posting on Blogger, guess its what you are used to.
    I do have Streets and Trips on my Mac by partitioning the hard drive and installing windows and works for me.

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    1. Actually, that is an option with a Mac but don't believe it would be with an iPad.

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  4. take two.... Excellent information! Does your Acer have its own data plan?

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    1. No. However, I added the hotspot to my iPhone for an additional $15 a month. Since I always have my phone with me, needing an internet connection is not an issue.

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  5. What a process you went thru to find the perfect tablet! There sure are lots of them out there. Hope that it turns out your choice will have a "hide" feature so Terry can't steal this one from you, too! :cD

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  6. Oh My ! Too technical for me. Now I have a headache !! LOL

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  7. Of course you did your research and bought the one best for you. Who would have expected anything else? I, on the other hand, bought the one Dave said would be best for me. :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment.