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Old 08-19-2014, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Ipad Mini - or don't drink the Kool-Aid?

I need to get something portable for web surfing, email, etc. that is bigger than my Galaxy S4. As a point of reference I've never even downloaded a single app on my phone. My needs are limited. I've never had an apple product but see the outgoing Ipad Mini 16GB is on sale for 199 at walmart. Would a non-apple guy be able to deal with the idiosyncrasies or should I just go with something android based so I don't have to learn everything all over again?

What is the best $200 option these days? If there is a tablet option that can run Megasquirt I would go with that. Short of that it won't be used for anything serious at all. Battery life would be the only other concern.

Like to pick something up before I go to Canada in a couple of weeks.

What say those that have played with these things?
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:25 PM   #2
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I have been happy with the Kindle Fire I purchased a little over a year ago. Then again, my son has appropriated it, and I haven't really used it much.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
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I've been quite happy with my Dell Venue 8 (Android), which I use for general web-surfing, watching movies on the train, etc.
Amazon.com : Dell Venue 8 16 GB Tablet (Android) : Tablet Computers : Computers & Accessories Amazon.com : Dell Venue 8 16 GB Tablet (Android) : Tablet Computers : Computers & Accessories


That said, if I'd have owned a car at the time I bought it, and was more concerned with TunerStudio than with ease of use, battery life, and ergonomics, I'd have gone for one of the $200 Win8.1 tablets on the market. Examples:

Acer 32GB Iconia W Series W4-820-2894 8" NT.L31AA.004 B&H

Toshiba 32GB Encore 2 WT8-B32CN 8.0" Wi-Fi PDW0AU-00601F

(No experiance with the above, merely pointing out that they exist.)


I actually considered picking up a Win8 tablet the last time, but went Android again based mainly on the inherent superiority of the Swype-style keyboard input. I went to B&H and used a bunch of different tablets side by side, (Win8, iOS and Android), and the Android units won hands-down for best keyboarding experience. I've been told that 3rd-party hacks are available for the other OSes to bring them something similar to this.


For reference, 8" is the correct size for a tablet. Anything larger will not fit into the pocket of your jeans, and anything smaller is smaller.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:43 PM   #4
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My wife is a school counselor, and her corporation gave all of the students and staff tablets a few years ago. The first versions the school issued were app based, and their uses were pretty limited. Last year, the corp. made the switch to windows based tablets, and they are much better. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of laptops look like this in the future:
https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...CJUHEKYrMA84KA
You can run full programs as well as any android apps.
Here's something in your price range.
Acer W4820 8 Tablet with Windows 8.1 32GB W48202894 - Best Buy
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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Martin (GreddyGalant MT member) has an ipad mini, he's constantly using it, and I've used it a few times.

I have no experience with Android devices, but I love my iphones. I'm like you, try to stay away from apps, using either mobile sites, or preferably, full web sites. I browse the full site of MT and CR on my phone and it works great. Apple products are simple and easy to use. Yes they're a cult following, and I hate "those" people, but they're dead reliable. I never have to **** with updating or tweaking the phone. Apps can be updated in the background if desired, and once in a blue moon you have to update the OS, which takes 15 minutes or so.

Martin also uses it to bluetooth to a OBD2 scanner, to give you a dashboard of your OBD2 car. Shows RPM, check engine lights, etc. Nifty device if you're in to that sorta thing.

The best thing you can do is go play with one, see if you like it. That goes for any electronic device you want to buy, everyone is different.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:12 PM   #6
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I bought a Galaxy Nexus 7 (the previous model, not the 2013 model) for just over $100 (Groupon sale) and I've been satisfied with it.

I use Shadow Dash on it with a Bluetooth adapter to my Megasquirt and it works like a champ. I can get a realtime display (the limitation is that you get only two display variations "stock"), and can create full logs that can be uploaded to the ShadowTuner website and then downloaded to your computer for display (the upload capability is somewhat iffy, but workable). For me, the ShadowDash capability was a must-have that an iPad couldn't do.

Other than that, the premium price for an iPad (mini, or not) wasn't worth it for me.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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I picked up a chromebook a few months ago and really like it. You can get them in your pricerange if you would consider something with a keyboard.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:37 PM   #8
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My ipad mini is a life saver, it has been amazingly useful at school, work, and for entertainment purposes. It's small enough to fit into a jacket pocket, and if you do one of the keyboard/case combos, it all works out quite nicely.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Martin also uses it to bluetooth to a OBD2 scanner, to give you a dashboard of your OBD2 car.
Excellent point- I do believe that I should get myself one of these new-fangled OBD-II gizmos.

Thoughts on the ScanTool LX? Looks like it supports Freeframe data, realtime monitoring with logging, etc.



Amazon.com: ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows: Automotive Amazon.com: ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows: Automotive
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:26 PM   #10
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My fiance has an iPad 2 and have a Mini. Both are useful, but I find myself using the Mini more often than the iPad 2 now that I have it. I had a fancy Windows 8 tablet/netbook for work and it was aright. From my experience it was better as a netbook than a tablet.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Excellent point- I do believe that I should get myself one of these new-fangled OBD-II gizmos.

Thoughts on the ScanTool LX? Looks like it supports Freeframe data, realtime monitoring with logging, etc.



Amazon.com: ScanTool 427201 OBDLink LX Bluetooth: OBD Adapter/Diagnostic Scanner for Android & Windows: Automotive
Normally the MX version of that tool is the recommended one for people who need their OBDII tool to be fast, I dont see the difference between the MX and LX besides some fords or something. If you dont need your OBDII to be like fast enough to be data logged for racing just pick the cheapest OBDII bluedouche they sell on amazon that claims to have elm237.

Tablet wise, if you're already part of the google world with having an andriod phone dont you even think about getting something that isnt part of the world. The integration between your **** will make up for anything you could possibly think the ipad could do better.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:47 PM   #12
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To answer one of the original questions. iPads are intuitive enough that the learning time is short.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #13
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I've been completely happy with My Nexus 7 (2013model). Fast and easy to use. Been dead reliable for school and such. Couch surfing the web is easy. The size is small enough to carry easily, but bigger than a cell phone screen. Been a all around great tablet.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:42 PM   #14
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I have an iPad mini and a nexus 7. Both are awesome. I find I use my iPad more around the house for internet etc and the nexus 7 at work and for data logging with my megasquirt in my car. At this time, iPad has no apps that work with the ms.

I got my nexus 7 new on swappa.com for like $140. I was given the iPad mini as a gift. If I could only have one? I'd take the nexus 7 because I like the form factor more and its more versatile for content. The iPad is really only good at consuming content. The nexus 7 I enjoy more for gaming as well. I like the Google play store vastly more then apples app store when sifting through garbage for valuable apps.
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:51 AM   #15
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Well, seeing as the windows tablets will do Tuner studio and same price it's a no-brainer. One that I saw had Office on it already (one was one year only) it would work for work stuff, also. I'll be fishing in Canada for 10 days so easier to respond to office stuff, etc.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:26 AM   #16
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Will the WinRT tablets run TunerStudio? I thought they only ran TIFKAM apps rather than full blown widows programs.

Pretty sure that if you want TunerStudio on a tablet, you need to buy a Surface Pro.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richyvrlimited View Post
Will the WinRT tablets run TunerStudio?
No.

Fortunately, it's pretty much impossible to buy WinRT anymore. The OS has been discontinued, and the few tablets still available which come with it are refurbs. Any tablet marketed with Win8.1, which is probably >95% of the Win8 machines on the shelf today, are running regular Windows on an x86-architecture CPU, and will run regular applications.



Quote:
Originally Posted by richyvrlimited View Post
Pretty sure that if you want TunerStudio on a tablet, you need to buy a Surface Pro
This was the case in the early days of Win8. It was confusing as hell, and MS fortunately wise up to that fact and made Win8RT go the way of Bob.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
No.

Fortunately, it's pretty much impossible to buy WinRT anymore. The OS has been discontinued, and the few tablets still available which come with it are refurbs. Any tablet marketed with Win8.1, which is probably >95% of the Win8 machines on the shelf today, are running regular Windows on an x86-architecture CPU, and will run regular applications.

This was the case in the early days of Win8. It was confusing as hell, and MS fortunately wise up to that fact and made Win8RT go the way of Bob.
Quote:
Originally Posted by richyvrlimited View Post
Will the WinRT tablets run TunerStudio? I thought they only ran TIFKAM apps rather than full blown widows programs.

Pretty sure that if you want TunerStudio on a tablet, you need to buy a Surface Pro.
Surface pro comes with 8.1 x64 fwiw.

I recent bought a Surface Pro 2, and have started using it for tuning. I mainly just use it more for on the go, in car tuning, as I still prefer to sit down at the large monitor attached to my desktop if I'm going to take the time to examine 3D graphs and the like. But, for what I need it to do, it works great.

My biggest attraction to it as of now is the digitizer. With the wacom digitizer it has, you can rest your wrist on the tablet as you write, as you would with paper, making taking notes in OneNote incredibly easy. Even quick stress analysis drawings and the like work great, I caught myself using a straight edge the other day to draw lines lol. You can even hold the stylus above the tablet and the cursor follows around below it (voodoo magnet magic).
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:55 AM   #19
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Question to Android users:

Can you see the file system on the device similar to a PC? or is it like an Apple product where you are intentionally locked out from any kind of CLI or file system access? I was dabbling with programming my home server remotely with my wife's ipad recently, and it was frustrating at times.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:59 AM   #20
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yes, you can go all throughout the file system while on the device or with it connected to your computer.
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