Wednesday, March 30, 2011

iPad2, Xoom and other similars: a BibChr colloquium

My questions are few and brief:
  1. Did any of you get an iPad2? If so, what do you think of it?
  2. What do you actually use an iPad for?
  3. We're thinking we don't want to lug a full laptop around Europe. So what do you get, that is smaller, can do email and web surfing, can do word processing, and (preferably) can carry BibleWorks and Logos? In Europe?
  4. What about Xoom? Anyone have one o' dem?


Mark said...

I too have been looking for an excuse to get an iPad2. However, when I'm honest, well, I don't currently have one. The closest I came was a week or two back. I attended a conference (technology, natch) and they were everywhere. People were using them instead of laptops (what I had) to take notes and check out online resources mentioned in the workshops. They are much less bulky and lighter than my big ol' Gateway. But, in my day-to-day, I still can't come up with a good excuse. For your purposes? Yeah, that sounds really good, and I'm sure you would be pleased. As far as Xoom, I've been hearing a few critiques of it, here-and-there. What it comes down to is the user interface. Apple just has that down.

SQLSvrMan said...

What about using a Netbook Dan? They have a 10" screen. You can run Logos and Bibleworks both on it. They are cheaper than an iPad.

HSAT, I have a Netbook, Kindle, iPad(1.0) and a Galaxy Tab. (Yep, I'm a Geek).

I use my iPad as a reader (Kindle and iBook). I have OliveTree BibleReader on it and the Logos iPad app.

If you really want to use BW8 and Logos the Netbook will be the way to go.

Stefan said...

Maybe I'm a luddite, but I just got a plain, old-fashioned Acer Netbook a month ago. It's powerful enough to run Microsoft Office, e-Sword, simulation games, and other large programs, and it has enough data storage for a decade's worth of computer files--but it's also light, portable, and adequately fast.

Overall, I'm quite happy with it, but there is one caveat: This particular netbook is running Windows 7 Starter, and does freeze occasionally while browsing the web (doesn't matter if it's IE or Firefox).

SQLSvrMan said...

I have a Samsung N150 Plus. 2GB 250GB HD (bought external DVD drive). It weighs 2.8 pounds.

I use Logos, BW8 and MS Office on it and that's pretty much it.

It's really light to carry.

SQLSvrMan said...

Oh, I almost forgot. You have to run Win 7 Home Premium to run BW8.

Steve Talas said...

Cheaper yet!

If your in the area of Edinburgh, Scotland you could crash out at our place we've got 3 PC's and a Reformed Baptist church where you'll be welcome!

DJP said... preach?

We might just have a deal!


Jules said...

I have an iPad 2 and it has replaced our laptop. It does everything our laptop could do, but in a much more convenient way, as far as portability. I'm also very pleased with the battery life and versatility of the iPad, and the apps that have been developed specifically for it. It's also very intuitive. Overall I give it an A.

ANiMaL said...

I have an iPad1. I use it more than any other computer in my home.

I do not do word processing or other extensive writing on it. (I would get a portable keyboard if I did). I have not gotten a camera adapter for it yet, though I would like one(sd card reader). 16GB gets used up quickly if you have lots of images, apps or videos. (vodcasts for example) I really like the ESV app, haven't spent the $$ on the esv study bible app yet but it's reviewed well. Logos on it is a mixed bag of good and annoying. I download and read PDF's using iBook. I have several Kindle books on it as well.

Basic day:
I get up and read on it. (News/blogs/email/daily motivational stuff)
I use it as my primary portable bible.
I drive my apple tv with it.
I let my kids play with it in the car a lot.

If I was using it to travel without an iphone I would get one with cellular for the GPS in it, but I didn't need that.

If $$ matter the ipad1 is great and "cheap". If $$ do not matter, the ipad2 with lots of flash and gps is probably a good way to travel.

Wendy said...

I vote netbook. I use mine for business meetings/travel and it's perfect.

RealityCheck said...

From what I understand the IPad 2 still does not have flash support. Considering how many videos on the internet (I’ve heard as much as 60-70%) use flash, I personally think that is a huge negative. My Android phone doesn’t support flash and I have run into several times when I couldn’t watch a video (as in a Christian video) that I wanted to watch.

As far as Xoom, I played with one quite a bit at Best Buy a week ago or so and it worked great. It did everything I wanted, including flash, but at $800, yikes!

For the money, I think the Netbook is the best way to go, even though the keyboard is a little tight. My biggest concern with Netbook is that it has (last I checked) a “special” version of Windows on it that fits within the 1gig of RAM. My experience with Windows over the years has been that it just grows and grows so I wonder what problems this could cause on a Netbook down the road. When I looked into more RAM for a Netbook a while back I found that you can replace the 1gig that it comes with with 2gigs pretty cheaply, as in under $100.

Sorry if I repeated stuff already said but I didn’t have time to read the other comments.

DJP said...

I checked WalMart, and they have netbooks with 2GB RAM and Win 7 pro - even 64-bit.

Mike said...

Haven't spent much time with an iPad 2, but I brought home an original iPad this week.

I am totally amazed by it. The touch-screen and gestures make everything feel far more immersive. Web browsing, email, twitter, and e-reading all feel effortless. I don't know that I'd want to do word processing on it without an external keyboard, but for content consumption it crushes a laptop.

I'm not sure how (if?) it runs BibleWorks or Logos, but the ESV app and Evernote make good study tools for the layperson.

Stefan said...

Dan, re your 12:13 comment: well, there ya go, then.

P.S.: You'd better check with Steve that you don't have to fake a Scottish accent to preach there—you know, to be all authentic and contextual.

DJP said...

Dude: I ate haggis...

...and liked it.

That should do.

threegirldad said...

I don't own either an iPad[1|2] or a XOOM, but I'm around both all the time due to work (yes, even though the XOOM just hit retail).

The answer to your questions really boils down to how strong that "(preferably)" is. Wrt tablets, you can run Logos on an iPad. That's it. There's no Logos for Android yet (supposedly in the planning stages, according to their website), and no Bibleworks for either iOS or Android. A WinXP/Win7 netbook is the only small form-factor device that is going to run both. An iPad would "work" if you're willing to go without Bibleworks.

The iPad2 is noticeably faster than the iPad1 for graphics. Whether it's a differece that matters is a question only you can answer. FWIW, James White just replaced his iPad1 with an iPad2, and can't say enough good things about it (in his IRC channel).

Let's say you're willing to go without Logos and Bibleworks. iPad2 vs XOOM is another question that only you can answer. For general-purpose things like word processing and email, neither is obviously better than the other.

The real question (beyond the Bible software issue) is the virtual keyboard. Just trying to type this comment on one would drive me completely bonkers. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to bother Jules at all. :-)

I suggest visiting a Best Buy (or similar) and test drive them all. I understand the appeal of tablets (might get one at some point), but for word processing, browsing, and email while traveling, I'll stick with a 2GB netbook.

Brad Williams said...


I got an iPad2. I love it, but it has been stolen by the wife and children. If you get one, do not allow your children to use it, or your wife.

Really, I waited on the iPad2 b/c I wanted the FaceTime option for when I head to Africa this summer. Also, I thought it might be a great organizer and gadget. So far, it is much more handy than I expected. Portable, internet ready, good computing power, amazing productivity apps, virtually unlimited book storage, Netflix streaming for the kids whilst the wife is at the doctor and such, beautifully illustrated children's stories for bedtime...I love the thing, and I'm not generally a fanboy of such technology.

Anecdote about the children's stories. I was reading my son Rudyard Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi, and my son said, "What's a mongoose?" I clicked twice, did a google image search, and pulled up a picture of a mongoose and a cobra. Oh yeah, and the "Just So Stories" and "Rikki Tikki Tavi" were free books.

How sweet is that?

RealityCheck said...

I checked WalMart, and they have netbooks with 2GB RAM and Win 7 pro - even 64-bit.

Well there you go; your WalMart trumps my Best Buy (as of a couple of weeks ago).

My biggest concern when it comes to anything running Windows is always memory. A netbook with only 1GB and a scaled down version of Windows sounds like trouble down the road to me. A Netbook with 2GB and Win 7 (not pro) would seem like just the right mix to me right now, depending on price of course and how much typing you are going to do with that keyboard. Later when the 2GB starts lagging (and it will) you’ll probably be able to upgrade to 4GB of memory.

I look forward to hearing what you decide as I am kicking the same questions around. I really liked the Xoom but not its price.

Rhology said...

I love my netbook but obviously iPads and other tablets are really cool.

Netbook = easier to type tho even tho the keys are smaller than a lappy.

Sir Aaron said...

@Steve Talas:

I'm definately going to ask for your church next time I'm in Edinburgh! I absolutely love Scotland! For whatever reason, I'm mesmorized by Scottish history, especially the Jacobite uprising. Culloden is one of my favorite places to visit.

@DJP: Keep in mind when you are looking that the IPad has keyboard accessories that you can purchase. I'm generally not a big fan of Apple but it's tough to beat the Iphone or the Ipad. Oh yeah, I like Haggis too...can't do the blood sausage though

CR said...

I use my regular iPad for personal use during business travel. I already lug my work computer around and I don't want to lug my personal computer. My iPad also has my ESV study bible.

Data will be very expensive in Europe, I imagine. It's not like here where you get unlimited usage for $30 a month. You'll have to pay about about a $1 per mg use.
If you use wireless, again, data is expensive abroad so it's not like you're going to be able to go to a Starbucks and use their wireless, unlimited, for free. You might have to pay a few bucks for 30-60 mgs of use per hour.

John said...

I have a Lenovo S10-3T Netbook Tablet - to me it's the best of both worlds.

threegirldad said...

Here's another option that might be worth a look...