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60 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 107525 13-Aug-2012 22:54 Send private message

I have just started to do some prepurchase research with the view of buying a tablet computer. I travel a bit and have always relied on an internet booth at a hotel were we are staying to keep in touch with home and business. I also have an ipod touch and if wifi is available have used it for email etc but I find it a bit small and fidly to use. I do not wish to cart aound on holiday my 15 inch laptop so thought a small tablet might be the go.

To that end I have been looking at devices like a Samsung Galaxy 8.9inch 3g 32gb tablet. I have seen Tobshiba and Asus ones as well as well in that size range. I would not want anything bigger in diamension then the Samsung one as it would have to travel in my camera bag with my DSLR.

The use it would get would be..... to have all my music installed and use it in place of my ipod.
                                               To watch an odd movie on the plane etc
                                               Catch up on business and personal emails
                                               A bit of net surfing if free wifi availble
                                               Use it as portable photo album

If I get one with 3g built in I assume that it has a sim card just like a cellphone and operates the same way. Is this correct?

Now if it was set up here in NZ with Telecom and I went to the UK,if I used the 3g to check, receive and send say two or three emails a day would the cost of doing so be reasonable or would I need a morgage to pay for it.Say the trip is for two and a half weeks Uk and France,I dont think it would be practical to buy local sim cards for short amount of time.

Also I think it has sat nav built in as well. Operating costs for that or does it work like my portable sat nav in my car, ie no running costs.

Has anyone used one of these seven to eight inch tablets for things like described above and was/is the experience of using one ok ?

Any advice would be gratefully excepted.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 672112 14-Aug-2012 10:12 Send private message

Camden: 

If I get one with 3g built in I assume that it has a sim card just like a cellphone and operates the same way. Is this correct?
Yip got it in one, just the same

Now if it was set up here in NZ with Telecom and I went to the UK,if I used the 3g to check, receive and send say two or three emails a day would the cost of doing so be reasonable or would I need a morgage to pay for it.Say the trip is for two and a half weeks Uk and France,I dont think it would be practical to buy local sim cards for short amount of time.

Its not reasonable by any measure, go for local cards
i.e UK is $8 per MB, while France is $20 per MB,  ( that's from XT if you are an on account customer)
http://www.telecomroaming.co.nz/journey/quickcheck/


Also I think it has sat nav built in as well. Operating costs for that or does it work like my portable sat nav in my car, ie no running costs.

It all depends on if it keeps the maps locally on the device, or downloads them when you need them, if you are in europe and downloading maps at the above rates it is going to get very expensive very quickly 

Has anyone used one of these seven to eight inch tablets for things like described above and was/is the experience of using one ok ?

Any advice would be gratefully excepted.

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  Reply # 672122 14-Aug-2012 10:32 Send private message

You should really use a local SIM while overseas otherwise you will find out costs will spiral out of control.




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 672142 14-Aug-2012 10:48 Send private message

Camden:  If I get one with 3g built in I assume that it has a sim card just like a cellphone and operates the same way. Is this correct?

The 8.9 only works a s a phone thru a bluetooth headset (it's a bit big to hold up to your ear).
But yes you are correct you could get a prepay sim (or whatever they call it) where you go and use this for data, and voice calls if you wish, on the tablet.

 Now if it was set up here in NZ with Telecom and I went to the UK, if I used the 3g to check, receive and send say two or three emails a day would the cost of doing so be reasonable or would I need a morgage to pay for it.Say the trip is for two and a half weeks Uk and France,I dont think it would be practical to buy local sim cards for short amount of time.

 Get a local sim where you are, it's far cheaper than roaming data and you'll probably use wifi in most places anyway.

Also I think it has sat nav built in as well. Operating costs for that or does it work like my portable sat nav in my car, ie no running costs. 

Yes you can pre download maps for areas you're traveling in/to or use some data on the go to get them live. Personally I find the 8.9 a little big for this (the other half has a non 3G one), as someone has to pretty much hold it all the time.

Has anyone used one of these seven to eight inch tablets for things like described above and was/is the experience of using one ok ?

Yes. I've used a 7 a 7.7 and an 8.9 exactly as you describe. I've tried this a number of ways, depending on where I am, cost, and length of travel. One of them will work best for you depending upon how you use your mobile devices and what you expect from them.

- Don't put a sim in the device and use only wifi (easiest/cheapest)
- Buy a local prepay sim for data and use in the tablet
- Buy a local prepay voice sim, put it in your mobile phone and put your NZ sim in the tablet. Use only wifi for data, but this way you'll be alerted to messages etc. on your NZ number.

Personally I prefer the smaller screen size of the 7inchers, easier to use as an e-reader, but to each there own.

:small edit for clarity (I hope)



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Master Geek
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Reply # 672436 14-Aug-2012 19:13 Send private message

Thankyou for your replies and the time taken to do so.Much appreciated.

Yes, that is axactly the info I need to make an informed choice.I will look into the smaller screen sizes as well like seven and eight inch ones.However clarity has to be the main feature as my eye sight is not what it once was !! The purchace of local sim cards is noted. I will get one with the 3g as I don't want to be in a situation were iv'e got the device,need to use it and no wifi.The 3g would only be used as a last resort.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 692767 28-Sep-2012 10:06 Send private message

Like Camden, I'm shopping for a tablet for travel purposes. I'm taking the family to Europe via the US next year.
The easy answer is 'get an iPad', but I'm aware that the first Win8 slates will be hitting the market before xmas, and there always the 'droids. The Mrs likes the look of the 10" Galaxy Note, and in the same price bracket there are the Asus Transformer, and various others.
We'll have our DSLR with us, so being able to download SD cards onto the tablet is a must (I'm picking the easiest option may be to buy a couple of microSDs with SD adaptors and use them in the camera to make using a microSD slot on a tablet easy). Aside from that, it'll be the usual - email, entertaining the kids, updating blogs, etc.

Additionally, does anyone have advice on which flavour SIM to get for a tour across Europe? We'll be going from Italy to England overland, passing thru Switzerland and France on the way. Getting more than one SIM for a 2 week trip would be overkill, so is there a local vendor that would cover the whole trip?
We're only in the States for a few days (Disneyland) so I'm not bothering about a SIM there, we'll Wifi it.
We're also in Bermuda for a couple weeks, but I doubt anyone here has any specific advice on there...



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Master Geek
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Reply # 692861 28-Sep-2012 12:28 Send private message


Hi BlueShift

Since my initial enquirey in this posting I have gone out and purchased a ten inch tablet. In the end I chose an Asus Transformer Pad,model no. TF300T.

I chose this one because it has connection sockets built into it so I can connect my digital camera,USB,SD Cards and HDMI sockets as well as the headphone socket.

The pad itself is completely independant of the base keyboard that it can attach to.The Pad has the HDMI socket,headphone socket and charging port.Used by itself it has approx eight hours of battery life.

The base keyboard has the USB connection and a std size SD card slot as well as another charging socket.Used with the keyboard it then has double the battery life as the base has a battery as well.

For carrying around, the pad can clip onto the keyboard and fold down just like a minature laptop.However I thought that I would just carry the pad in my travel shoulder bag and chuck the keyboard in my suitcase.

I did not buy a 3G model as I originally intended to do as I have a Telecom USB modem that I use on my laptop and I assume that it will work the same way on the ASUS. Not yet tried though.

As cost is a consideration in most things,this ASUS combo retailed at $800.00 and I got mine mine for $600 (25% discount on sale) from Dick Smiths about three weeks ago. It might pay to shop around for any simalar deals now.They assured me that it was a new model and not an old model on runout.

Toshiba,Samsung etc have simalar pads but it is best to check what you can attach to them as some charge extra for adaptors etc.Also it was the keyboard that swayed me to the ASUS model.Having used a small Ipod touch for emails on previous trips and getting all frustrated with trying to type on a touch screen,I feel a lot more confident using a seperate keyboard.

So far so good as it has been fairly simple to set up for internet,emails etc and it operates quite fast to commands with not enough difference from my high spec laptop to worry about.For a non techy type who struggles sometimes with technology,It helps to have a couple of teenagers on hand when needed!

Have fun making the choice and it will be interesting to hear what you end up with.

Regards

Camden








785 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 692880 28-Sep-2012 13:14 Send private message

Thanks Camden. That sounds like exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for.

215 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 696068 4-Oct-2012 12:22 Send private message

BlueShift: Like Camden, I'm shopping for a tablet for travel purposes. I'm taking the family to Europe via the US next year.
The easy answer is 'get an iPad', but I'm aware that the first Win8 slates will be hitting the market before xmas, and there always the 'droids. The Mrs likes the look of the 10" Galaxy Note, and in the same price bracket there are the Asus Transformer, and various others.
We'll have our DSLR with us, so being able to download SD cards onto the tablet is a must (I'm picking the easiest option may be to buy a couple of microSDs with SD adaptors and use them in the camera to make using a microSD slot on a tablet easy). Aside from that, it'll be the usual - email, entertaining the kids, updating blogs, etc.

Additionally, does anyone have advice on which flavour SIM to get for a tour across Europe? We'll be going from Italy to England overland, passing thru Switzerland and France on the way. Getting more than one SIM for a 2 week trip would be overkill, so is there a local vendor that would cover the whole trip?
We're only in the States for a few days (Disneyland) so I'm not bothering about a SIM there, we'll Wifi it.
We're also in Bermuda for a couple weeks, but I doubt anyone here has any specific advice on there...


I went to Europe last year and had a quick look at SIM cards as we were traveling across a lot of different countries. You can buy travel sims (as an example with prices: http://www.travelsim.co.nz/Rates/) which will work across all of Europe at a set rate as each country has their own companies that don't tend to offer deals to other countries (double check this point though).

I found the travel sims were only useful for calls or txts, not data. It appears the best deal is to get a sim in each country you go to which was going to be too inconvenient and pricey as we were in each country for about 2 days to 1 week at a time. In the end I just used my Orange sim from the UK on roaming and turned data off.

I would hooked into WiFi most places I went, McDonalds often had free WiFi throughout Europe. 

Some people might have other suggestions or ideas as I honestly did not spend too much time researching. In the end you don't really use it all that much so waiting for a WiFi spot is no big deal.

641 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 696090 4-Oct-2012 12:48 Send private message

oxnsox: 
The 8.9 only works a s a phone thru a bluetooth headset 


Really? I thought you couldn't do this. Can you post some links etc?

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