Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Handhelds Portables

Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device? 417

cashman73 writes "My mother's six year old desktop computer finally bit the dust due to an electrical surge. It's out-of-warranty, and not really worth fixing. Plus, I'm 2,500 miles and two time zones away, so I can't exactly troubleshoot things from here. I recently got a new tablet, and even 80% of the things I do are done easier with it. Plus, she really likes the size, convenience, portability, and the screen. Virtually everything she does is simple web browsing, email, light photo sharing but no heavy editing, and other simple tasks. We're thinking that using a tablet as her sole 'computer' might be the best solution here. What are other Slashdotter's experiences using tablets without a separate desktop computer?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: Using a Tablet As a Sole Computing Device?

Comments Filter:
  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Saturday January 05, 2013 @04:49PM (#42489847)

    I'm sure she would like a Tablet. But you can't do everything on a tablet, why not get her a nice inexpensive laptop as well?

  • To me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @04:49PM (#42489853)

    It already sounds like you made your choice, so why are you posting a question that is trying to convince us to agree with you?

  • Get her a keyboard (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @04:52PM (#42489873)

    Older people have worse eyesight and often require the tactile feedback of a keyboard.

  • Ipad and Keyboard (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @04:54PM (#42489895)

    You said it yourself. iPad, possibly a keyboard for her and you are done. Every person I've met that didn't have an iPad has said, I don't know what I'd use it for. Every person who has an iPad has said, how did I live without it? I've seen a lot of conversions, so I just bought iPads for my family and now I don't do tech support.

  • by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:00PM (#42489937)
    iOS still requires a computer (with iTunes) to do some things. For example, if you want to add new music files to the library. So it's not an optimal solution if it's supposed to be the sole computing device.
  • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:21PM (#42490087) Homepage

    Sure you can't do everything on a tablet, but does the person in question actually want to do anything that's not possible or practical on a tablet?
    If not, then no reason to have anything other than a tablet.

  • Re:To me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:34PM (#42490161) Homepage Journal

    It already sounds like you made your choice, so why are you posting a question that is trying to convince us to agree with you?

    This should not have been modded Troll but Informative (it's too obvious to rate Insightful).

    There may be plenty of reasons not to get a tablet, but will this guy really read and consider them? I sincerely have my doubts.
    The real question seems to be "I want to buy my mom a tablet to replace her laptop - can I get some backpatting?"
    While the real question should have been "Mom, what do you need, want and feel comfortable using?"
    Which we can't answer.

  • by tuppe666 ( 904118 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:42PM (#42490227)

    Seriously...another post PC debate to advertise the iPad, my favourite part is the fact that its out of warranty!? If that sort of thing is a major issue. Do not go near an Apple product. The have got in trouble in both Europe (http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/04/02/123207/apple-is-forced-by-eu-to-give-2-years-warranty-on-all-its-products) for breaking the law by offering year instead of the statutory two years for returns, and in China(http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/xinhua/2012-07-26/content_6549444.html) for putting used parts in new products that fair under warranty.

    While we are talking advertisements...and while I'm with Linus wanting higher pixel density on all his (and mine) electronics devices...lets not push another shitty marketing term from Apple, who ironically have lower pixel densities than the opposition offered at half the price (and as for the mini *rolls eyes*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_displays_by_pixel_density [wikipedia.org]

    The reality is having another article where iPad users, dutch rudder each other, everyone else I went out and bought a tablet (A Nexus 7)...and know exactly where the smaller more portable (capacitive) screen fits into my life, rather than the larger screen with the keyboard & mouse. Are we really meant to believe the author of this too lazy to search for "another post pc flamefest". Thank god Apples market share (down to 50%) in tablets is dropping like a stone, so we are not constantly bombarded with this nonsense.

    Seriously while the incompetent mother in the suspiciously convenient scenario , who if she can't afford a new computer more than every couple of years...an Apple product is not happening...give her a good value Chromebook...and a $2 surge protector....and visit more.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:44PM (#42490241)

    Oh I didn't know that.

    Im going to throw my iPad in the garbage right after this post and switch to a chrome-book. I didn't realize the iPad was so horrible until you enlightened me. Thank you so much.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:46PM (#42490255)

    You or I can't do everything we need on a tablet.. but for other people that's not necessarily true.

    And speaking from the perspective of a person with several computers already, but who recently bought an iPad Mini - I find myself using the Mini more than I expected, just because its usually nearby and convenient. Heck, even for ssh if I just want to check how something is doing, or to quickly fix something trivial on the server - a tablet is quite adequate.

    DON'T get a Kindle Fire though. We recently bought one for my mom (I got talked into it), and she has a lot of trouble with figuring out how to do stuff. If you want to go the Android route, get a Nexus. Trust me, an Apple user can figure out how stock Android works easily enough, and an Android user can figure out iOS; but having experience with both of these didn't help much when my mom has asked for my assistance figuring something out on her Fire.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @05:59PM (#42490367) Journal

    I would bet that it's just a power supply that died. It's a great excuse to buy a new computer, but all in all, I'd give it a 90% chance it's the power supply that died.

  • by jbp ( 112516 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @06:32PM (#42490613) Homepage

    I was in the same situation, and the iPad has worked out great. My mother switched off her ancient dial-up modem to broadband at the same time, and is having a great time sending text messages, video chatting with the grandkids, watching instructional crocheting videos, playing logic puzzle games, chiming in on Facebook conversations when they're only minutes old instead of weeks old, etc. She feels far more independent with the iPad than she did on the PC because she's more willing to try something for herself (search for and download a game, for example) that she would have been afraid could screw up the PC before.

    The only thing we've found that she can't do on the iPad so far is downloading maps to her new automotive GPS. She has fairly convenient access to desktop computers at the local library and doesn't mind stopping by there occasionally if there happens to be one purchase or video or website or whatever that she can't make work on the iPad.

  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @06:58PM (#42490773) Homepage Journal

    You mean like copy and paste? Oh, I know it exists on tablets, but it's a chore. Hell, iPad users don't even know how to post links to Youtube videos unless it's to Facebook or Twitter via a 'share' icon. The ease of use of tablets is a myth. For even the simplest things: you need an app for that.

    The on-screen keyboards are shit as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @06:59PM (#42490775)
    You are very ageist. I am almost 70, and I support a large number of OpenBSD servers from my Thinkpad. My 90 year old mother OTOH, is happy with an iPad for faceplant, provided she can still use her Macbook Pro for editing videos.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 05, 2013 @07:23PM (#42490921)

    I'm glad I don't have YOU as a friend.

    Gee! Thanks for buying me this device that invades my privacy and steals all of my information!

    What has the world come to when people like you keep recommending the one and only browser that was created solely for the purpose of stealing your privacy?

  • by PastTense ( 150947 ) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @08:25PM (#42491361)

    I can't believe the comments here.

    First get her a computer with the same Operating System as she already has. The older generation doesn't like change for the sake of change--they only want change when it offers significant improvements.

    Second she will want a full size keyboard and a decent sized screen. As you get older your fingers are less nimble and your eyesight gets worse.

    So I am thinking something like a 15"-17", used business class laptop from eBay (a few years old).

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling