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Author Topic: Advice: MacBook Air 11" or Transformer Prime with Keyboard Dock?  (Read 2498 times)
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Dante Rising
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« on: January 02, 2012, 10:16:39 AM »

I want to grab an ultraportable device to coincide with my standard desktop. This will be used mostly for watching 1080P MKV movies and anime (65%), internet browsing (25%), and some productivity odds and ends (10%). Think of it as a device to be used while louging around in bed. It is imperative that the device play 1080P video flawlessly, as I'm tired of juggling everything I download through a Handbrake re-encode so it can play on my first gen ipad.  

I know very little about Android or Mac OS, so any suggestions would be appreciated.


1st Selection: ASUS Transformer Prime tablet 64GB with keyboard dock

$750
Ice Cream Sandwich OS
1280x800 10.1" Super IPS, Gorilla Glass screen
1.3Ghz Nvidia Tegra 3
1GB RAM
Micro SD slot
Keyboard has USB slot, SDXC slot, extra battery

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5163/asus-eee-pad-transformer-prime-nvidia-tegra-3-review

2nd selection: MacBook Air 11.6" (2010 closeout-clearance priced)
$849
11.6-inch glossy widescreen display 1366x768 TN ultrasharp panel
1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400
4GB RAM
128GB flash storage (no slots for exta storage, except USB port)
NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
Installed with Mac OS X Snow Leopard - FREE Upgrade to Lion
Parallels Windows 7 (Free) *Parallels 7 allows you to use Windows side-by-side to Mac OSX, without rebooting

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=5915&review=Apple+MacBook+Air+11+inch+apple+netbook






a couple notes-

-I'm really attracted to the ASUS super IPS panel which has been rated by some sites as the finest IPS panel on any tablet, even outshining the ipad 2 due to higher pixel density and brighter picture. Anandtech commented that 1080P at very high encoding rates runs fine, but no word on if it supports Hi10p MKV files.
-The dual boot option with a MAC OS and Windows 7 on the MacBook Air sounds great, and the reviews are good. I'm not sure how well MKV files play on a mac. Unfortunately, no one commented on how system resources were allocated, and if 1080P is possible while the MAC OS runs a Win 7 shell.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 10:23:43 AM by Dante Rising » Logged
Calavera
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 02:22:20 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 02, 2012, 10:16:39 AM

I want to grab an ultraportable device to coincide with my standard desktop. This will be used mostly for watching 1080P MKV movies and anime (65%), internet browsing (25%), and some productivity odds and ends (10%). Think of it as a device to be used while louging around in bed. It is imperative that the device play 1080P video flawlessly, as I'm tired of juggling everything I download through a Handbrake re-encode so it can play on my first gen ipad.  

I know very little about Android or Mac OS, so any suggestions would be appreciated.


1st Selection: ASUS Transformer Prime tablet 64GB with keyboard dock

$750
Ice Cream Sandwich OS
1280x800 10.1" Super IPS, Gorilla Glass screen
1.3Ghz Nvidia Tegra 3
1GB RAM
Micro SD slot
Keyboard has USB slot, SDXC slot, extra battery

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5163/asus-eee-pad-transformer-prime-nvidia-tegra-3-review

2nd selection: MacBook Air 11.6" (2010 closeout-clearance priced)
$849
11.6-inch glossy widescreen display 1366x768 TN ultrasharp panel
1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400
4GB RAM
128GB flash storage (no slots for exta storage, except USB port)
NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics
Installed with Mac OS X Snow Leopard - FREE Upgrade to Lion
Parallels Windows 7 (Free) *Parallels 7 allows you to use Windows side-by-side to Mac OSX, without rebooting

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=5915&review=Apple+MacBook+Air+11+inch+apple+netbook






a couple notes-

-I'm really attracted to the ASUS super IPS panel which has been rated by some sites as the finest IPS panel on any tablet, even outshining the ipad 2 due to higher pixel density and brighter picture. Anandtech commented that 1080P at very high encoding rates runs fine, but no word on if it supports Hi10p MKV files.
-The dual boot option with a MAC OS and Windows 7 on the MacBook Air sounds great, and the reviews are good. I'm not sure how well MKV files play on a mac. Unfortunately, no one commented on how system resources were allocated, and if 1080P is possible while the MAC OS runs a Win 7 shell.




Macbook Air, no question. It's a general purpose device for $100 more. Think of the Transformer Prime as a fancy e-book reader/internet device for a buttload of money. The $250 Nook Tablet can do mostly the same things that the Transformer Prime can excluding play 3D Games and have a physical keyboard.

MKV is a H.264 stream in a different container. Anything that can play MP4 at 1080p can play MKV at 1080p. I'm not sure why you're having to re-encode to play on the iPad unless it isn't supporting the resolution or the MKV is encoded... strangely. All you should need to do is load the MKV into VLC and click Media->Convert. For both Video and Audio click 'Keep Original Stream' and for the Encapsulation choose MP4. It will just re-write the file as an MP4 instead and it should play. You can use this same technique to play MKV files on the xbox 360 without re-encoding the video, the audio needs to be re-encoded as a stereo aac if its not.

Keep in mind with both of the devices you listed, they're going to downscale to 720p because the native LCD resolution is (basically) 720p.

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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 04:22:56 PM »

I vote for the Prime. The screen is gorgeous and once you go Android you won't ever go back.

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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 04:34:41 PM »

I've had my MacBook Air for a year now and I love it. 
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 06:06:59 PM »

Agreed with Calavera on all points, especially considering you're looking at about $100 add-on to the Transformer to add any reasonable amount of storage to it.

I'd add that there's no reason you'd need to install Windows for your range of tasks.  VLC will handle damn near any format you throw at it:  http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 09:09:24 PM »

Funny I saw this just moments after thinking just how much I love (and have loved) using all of my Macbook Airs.  While I've never owned the particular model you mentioned, I have to say the overall experience on the Air is the best I've had on any portable notebook/netbook, and I have tried out far too many more than I'd like to admit.  I recently in a moment of weakness bought the latest Asus clone of the Air (name escapes me at the moment) which is almost a feature for feature copy but Windows based.  Everything was great on the unit (even look/feel/weight), except.... the basic usage experience (even running Windows 7 on both) is just not quite as good.  Apple has really perfected and optimized the keyboard/pad experience on a portable, and once you're used to it, it's hard to go back to anything less. 
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 09:13:34 PM »

Quote from: Eco-Logic on January 02, 2012, 04:22:56 PM

I vote for the Prime. The screen is gorgeous and once you go Android you won't ever go back.

Sent from my A500 using Tapatalk

That is one of the sticking points. I love IPS screens, and reviews state that the ASUS has the best yet. However, I did see the MacBook Air, and they must have picked the very top of the line TN screen for the device. It was significantly better than any TN screen I've seen on any windows based PC.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 09:21:37 PM »

Quote from: Calavera on January 02, 2012, 02:22:20 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 02, 2012, 10:16:39 AM

I want to grab an ultraportable device to coincide with my standard desktop. This will be used mostly for watching 1080P MKV movies and anime (65%), internet browsing (25%), and some productivity odds and ends (10%). Think of it as a device to be used while louging around in bed. It is imperative that the device play 1080P video flawlessly, as I'm tired of juggling everything I download through a Handbrake re-encode so it can play on my first gen ipad.  

I know very little about Android or Mac OS, so any suggestions would be appreciated.




Macbook Air, no question. It's a general purpose device for $100 more. Think of the Transformer Prime as a fancy e-book reader/internet device for a buttload of money. The $250 Nook Tablet can do mostly the same things that the Transformer Prime can excluding play 3D Games and have a physical keyboard.

MKV is a H.264 stream in a different container. Anything that can play MP4 at 1080p can play MKV at 1080p. I'm not sure why you're having to re-encode to play on the iPad unless it isn't supporting the resolution or the MKV is encoded... strangely. All you should need to do is load the MKV into VLC and click Media->Convert. For both Video and Audio click 'Keep Original Stream' and for the Encapsulation choose MP4. It will just re-write the file as an MP4 instead and it should play. You can use this same technique to play MKV files on the xbox 360 without re-encoding the video, the audio needs to be re-encoded as a stereo aac if its not.

Keep in mind with both of the devices you listed, they're going to downscale to 720p because the native LCD resolution is (basically) 720p.



I've never used VLC before,and the last time I had looked it was pulled from the itunes app store. Is the media>convert function on-the-fly, or like Handbrake, is it a 20 minute process for 30 minutes of 1080P video? Does it keep the original quality of the encode? I believe I used the wrong terminology when I stated I needed to re-encode through Handbrake. It sounds like I'm simply converting the file and choosing the file output extension and final quality.

For example, I load the MKV file into Handbrake, choose ipad, load the subtitles, adjust the quality slider, and adjust the resolution. 30 minutes later I have my anime ready for the ipad.
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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 10:04:18 PM »

I'll leave the convert on the fly question to someone else, but as far as downloading it you can just get it the old fashioned way.  I think the only things I've ever bought from the Macbook App Store are Apple programs.
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Calavera
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 11:03:20 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 02, 2012, 09:21:37 PM

Quote from: Calavera on January 02, 2012, 02:22:20 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 02, 2012, 10:16:39 AM

I want to grab an ultraportable device to coincide with my standard desktop. This will be used mostly for watching 1080P MKV movies and anime (65%), internet browsing (25%), and some productivity odds and ends (10%). Think of it as a device to be used while louging around in bed. It is imperative that the device play 1080P video flawlessly, as I'm tired of juggling everything I download through a Handbrake re-encode so it can play on my first gen ipad.  

I know very little about Android or Mac OS, so any suggestions would be appreciated.




Macbook Air, no question. It's a general purpose device for $100 more. Think of the Transformer Prime as a fancy e-book reader/internet device for a buttload of money. The $250 Nook Tablet can do mostly the same things that the Transformer Prime can excluding play 3D Games and have a physical keyboard.

MKV is a H.264 stream in a different container. Anything that can play MP4 at 1080p can play MKV at 1080p. I'm not sure why you're having to re-encode to play on the iPad unless it isn't supporting the resolution or the MKV is encoded... strangely. All you should need to do is load the MKV into VLC and click Media->Convert. For both Video and Audio click 'Keep Original Stream' and for the Encapsulation choose MP4. It will just re-write the file as an MP4 instead and it should play. You can use this same technique to play MKV files on the xbox 360 without re-encoding the video, the audio needs to be re-encoded as a stereo aac if its not.

Keep in mind with both of the devices you listed, they're going to downscale to 720p because the native LCD resolution is (basically) 720p.



I've never used VLC before,and the last time I had looked it was pulled from the itunes app store. Is the media>convert function on-the-fly, or like Handbrake, is it a 20 minute process for 30 minutes of 1080P video? Does it keep the original quality of the encode? I believe I used the wrong terminology when I stated I needed to re-encode through Handbrake. It sounds like I'm simply converting the file and choosing the file output extension and final quality.

For example, I load the MKV file into Handbrake, choose ipad, load the subtitles, adjust the quality slider, and adjust the resolution. 30 minutes later I have my anime ready for the ipad.

Handbrake is actually re-encoding the file based on the settings you're giving it. The reason it's taking 20 minutes for a 30 minute file is H.264 (the video format) is a somewhat slow process to encode. VLC would take the place of handbrake on your computer, not on the iPad. You won't actually be doing any encoding, so the whole process takes maybe a couple of minutes depending on how fast your hard drive is and the size of the file. You can then take the MP4 file and load it on your iPad, just like you loaded the file from Handbrake.

MKV and MP4 are container formats, that is, they describe the contents of a file. MKV is really only used in the.... hmmm... 'internet community', but almost always contains H.264 video data and AC3 or AAC audio data. So, your MKV file is saying 'I have a H.264 video track in 1920x1080 resolution at X bits/sec and an AAC audio track in Stereo' in a specific way. Whereas an MP4 file is saying 'I have a H.264 video track in 1920x1080 resolution at X bits/sec and an AAC audio track in Stereo' in a slightly different way. What you can do is just have VLC "translate" between the two without altering the data within. If you do this, it's very very fast.

The basic steps are:
Open your file in VLC. Click Media->Convert in the menu.
Click the 'Use a subtitles file' and choose your subtitle file.
Click Convert/Save.

On the next dialog, chose your destination.
Then on Settings chose 'Video - H.264 + AAC (MP4)' then click on the screwdriver/wrench button.

On this dialog, make sure MP4/MOV is selected, then click the 'Video Codec' tab.
On this tab, make sure 'Video' and 'Keep original video track' are selected then click on the 'Audio Codec' tab.
On this tab, make sure 'Audio' and 'Keep original audio track' are selected. Click save.
Click start.

It will sit there for a minute while the time counts up. After it returns to 00:00, open the destination file. Ta-da! MP4 from MKV without re-encoding everything. If the audio is missing when you play it on the iPad, you'll need to re-encode the audio. If you need to do that, just deselect 'Keep original audio track' on the 'Audio Codec' tab and click Save then click start.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2012, 12:55:00 PM »

Quote from: Calavera on January 02, 2012, 11:03:20 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 02, 2012, 09:21:37 PM

Quote from: Calavera on January 02, 2012, 02:22:20 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 02, 2012, 10:16:39 AM

I want to grab an ultraportable device to coincide with my standard desktop. This will be used mostly for watching 1080P MKV movies and anime (65%), internet browsing (25%), and some productivity odds and ends (10%). Think of it as a device to be used while louging around in bed. It is imperative that the device play 1080P video flawlessly, as I'm tired of juggling everything I download through a Handbrake re-encode so it can play on my first gen ipad.  

I know very little about Android or Mac OS, so any suggestions would be appreciated.




Macbook Air, no question. It's a general purpose device for $100 more. Think of the Transformer Prime as a fancy e-book reader/internet device for a buttload of money. The $250 Nook Tablet can do mostly the same things that the Transformer Prime can excluding play 3D Games and have a physical keyboard.

MKV is a H.264 stream in a different container. Anything that can play MP4 at 1080p can play MKV at 1080p. I'm not sure why you're having to re-encode to play on the iPad unless it isn't supporting the resolution or the MKV is encoded... strangely. All you should need to do is load the MKV into VLC and click Media->Convert. For both Video and Audio click 'Keep Original Stream' and for the Encapsulation choose MP4. It will just re-write the file as an MP4 instead and it should play. You can use this same technique to play MKV files on the xbox 360 without re-encoding the video, the audio needs to be re-encoded as a stereo aac if its not.

Keep in mind with both of the devices you listed, they're going to downscale to 720p because the native LCD resolution is (basically) 720p.



I've never used VLC before,and the last time I had looked it was pulled from the itunes app store. Is the media>convert function on-the-fly, or like Handbrake, is it a 20 minute process for 30 minutes of 1080P video? Does it keep the original quality of the encode? I believe I used the wrong terminology when I stated I needed to re-encode through Handbrake. It sounds like I'm simply converting the file and choosing the file output extension and final quality.

For example, I load the MKV file into Handbrake, choose ipad, load the subtitles, adjust the quality slider, and adjust the resolution. 30 minutes later I have my anime ready for the ipad.

Handbrake is actually re-encoding the file based on the settings you're giving it. The reason it's taking 20 minutes for a 30 minute file is H.264 (the video format) is a somewhat slow process to encode. VLC would take the place of handbrake on your computer, not on the iPad. You won't actually be doing any encoding, so the whole process takes maybe a couple of minutes depending on how fast your hard drive is and the size of the file. You can then take the MP4 file and load it on your iPad, just like you loaded the file from Handbrake.

MKV and MP4 are container formats, that is, they describe the contents of a file. MKV is really only used in the.... hmmm... 'internet community', but almost always contains H.264 video data and AC3 or AAC audio data. So, your MKV file is saying 'I have a H.264 video track in 1920x1080 resolution at X bits/sec and an AAC audio track in Stereo' in a specific way. Whereas an MP4 file is saying 'I have a H.264 video track in 1920x1080 resolution at X bits/sec and an AAC audio track in Stereo' in a slightly different way. What you can do is just have VLC "translate" between the two without altering the data within. If you do this, it's very very fast.

The basic steps are:
Open your file in VLC. Click Media->Convert in the menu.
Click the 'Use a subtitles file' and choose your subtitle file.
Click Convert/Save.

On the next dialog, chose your destination.
Then on Settings chose 'Video - H.264 + AAC (MP4)' then click on the screwdriver/wrench button.

On this dialog, make sure MP4/MOV is selected, then click the 'Video Codec' tab.
On this tab, make sure 'Video' and 'Keep original video track' are selected then click on the 'Audio Codec' tab.
On this tab, make sure 'Audio' and 'Keep original audio track' are selected. Click save.
Click start.

It will sit there for a minute while the time counts up. After it returns to 00:00, open the destination file. Ta-da! MP4 from MKV without re-encoding everything. If the audio is missing when you play it on the iPad, you'll need to re-encode the audio. If you need to do that, just deselect 'Keep original audio track' on the 'Audio Codec' tab and click Save then click start.


Excellent information, and your step-by-step process was easy to follow. Definitely a neat little program. I've always used Handbrake and CCCP, so this was a new experience. Unfortunately, it has a few fairly large snags (unless I'm missing something):

1) I only have the actual video files, and not a separate .srt or .ssa file for all of my subtitled movies and anime. It looks like I would need to use another program to extract the subtitles so they could then be imported back into VLC.  This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid- multi step, somewhat cumbersome preparation of my media. Your write up was excellent, and indeed only took about 45 seconds to prepare, but unlike Handbrake, VLC seems to need that separate .srt file as it doesn't recognize the subtitle already in the container.  It may be a deal breaker. I'm trying to avoid multi-tasking through multiple programs just to play a simple video file, and/or get stuck re-encoding everything.

2) No sound. I changed the preferences here a few different ways, but I'm never getting sound. Alot of stuff is FLAC, so maybe that is an issue. I'll need to test further after work. I tried "keep original audio track", as well as changing the drop down to flac, etc.

3) Video playback stutters in several locations in comparison to the smooth playback of the original MKV container.



<edit 1> Sound seems to be an issue with flac, as it worked with AAC fine. Stuttering is still a problem. I'll have to test further, but the problem is definitely not the player, as both VLC and Media Player Classic stutter with the newly made mp4 file....



« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 01:03:24 PM by Dante Rising » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2012, 04:43:24 PM »

Quote
Handbrake is actually re-encoding the file based on the settings you're giving it. The reason it's taking 20 minutes for a 30 minute file is H.264 (the video format) is a somewhat slow process to encode.

Not to mention it's a 1080p file - those take *forever* to render, even with the best hardware.
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 09:01:57 PM »

I'm a little confused here.  When I run VLC on my MBA, it just plays any file immediately, there's no encoding or converting or steps.  Just right click on the file and click Open with VLC and boom I'm watching my file.  And by watching I think you all know what I mean.   icon_twisted
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2012, 11:15:37 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on January 03, 2012, 12:55:00 PM


Excellent information, and your step-by-step process was easy to follow. Definitely a neat little program. I've always used Handbrake and CCCP, so this was a new experience. Unfortunately, it has a few fairly large snags (unless I'm missing something):

1) I only have the actual video files, and not a separate .srt or .ssa file for all of my subtitled movies and anime. It looks like I would need to use another program to extract the subtitles so they could then be imported back into VLC.  This is exactly what I'm trying to avoid- multi step, somewhat cumbersome preparation of my media. Your write up was excellent, and indeed only took about 45 seconds to prepare, but unlike Handbrake, VLC seems to need that separate .srt file as it doesn't recognize the subtitle already in the container.  It may be a deal breaker. I'm trying to avoid multi-tasking through multiple programs just to play a simple video file, and/or get stuck re-encoding everything.

2) No sound. I changed the preferences here a few different ways, but I'm never getting sound. Alot of stuff is FLAC, so maybe that is an issue. I'll need to test further after work. I tried "keep original audio track", as well as changing the drop down to flac, etc.

3) Video playback stutters in several locations in comparison to the smooth playback of the original MKV container.



<edit 1> Sound seems to be an issue with flac, as it worked with AAC fine. Stuttering is still a problem. I'll have to test further, but the problem is definitely not the player, as both VLC and Media Player Classic stutter with the newly made mp4 file....

I've had the stuttering problem before on a file. If I remember correctly, with mine it was a side effect of re-encoding the audio. It was an error in the sampling rate which needed to match the original file's settings. Something to check, but I'm not sure it's likely to fix your problem.



Quote from: rittchard on January 03, 2012, 09:01:57 PM

I'm a little confused here.  When I run VLC on my MBA, it just plays any file immediately, there's no encoding or converting or steps.  Just right click on the file and click Open with VLC and boom I'm watching my file.  And by watching I think you all know what I mean.   icon_twisted

You have no clue how many times I rewrote my post hoping it was clear. biggrin
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2012, 12:59:23 AM »

I'm a big Android fan, and I have never owned a Mac and have generally been irritated at them when I have (albeit briefly) used them.

Having said that, I have been very disappointed by the experience of owning my Acer Iconia A500 tablet. My wife's iPad 2 is simply a much more enjoyable tablet experience. I think the devs are not (yet) really putting ANY effort into their tablet Android apps. And, with Android making little gains on market share, I am not sure this will improve. The Kindle Fire seems to be the first real competitor, but since it's a very gimped Android tablet, I am not sure it will result in Android tablets getting the attention they need or not. I'm on my 2nd Android phone since I feel the iPhone lacks a lot of features I would really miss, but things will have to improve greatly before I would even consider another Android tablet.

So I say MacBook Air.
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2012, 01:57:26 AM »

I also am a big android fan, and own both the original transformer, and an original ipad.

I never use the ipad, I enjoy my transformer much more.  Most of my friends/family who have had the opportunity
to use both always ask me for the transformer when they come over.

The new transformer looks pretty sweet. 

That being said, you can't go wrong with either I think.  Guess it depends if you buy into the apple/ios world or not.

Let us know what you get, and how you like it smile
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2012, 07:14:28 PM »

Quote from: gangeli on January 05, 2012, 01:57:26 AM

I also am a big android fan, and own both the original transformer, and an original ipad.

I never use the ipad, I enjoy my transformer much more.  Most of my friends/family who have had the opportunity
to use both always ask me for the transformer when they come over.

The new transformer looks pretty sweet.  

That being said, you can't go wrong with either I think.  Guess it depends if you buy into the apple/ios world or not.

Let us know what you get, and how you like it smile

I think it's more than just buying into the apple world.  While that Transformer does look cool, it really doesn't seem like there's a comparison here.  It's really 2 completely different sets of hardware.  On the one hand you have (arguably) one of the best tablets out there - but it's still a tablet.  Even with a keyboard connection the experience won't be the same as a notebook (for better and worse).  On the other you have one of the best, fully realized ultraportable notebooks on the market.  I've installed Win 7 on my latest MBA and can run SWTOR and Diablo 3 (a little choppy but both run).

- - -

Still, going back to the original post, it sounds like you do want more of a tablet experience (using in bed, etc) - so to me the decision point should be based more on what you really want from a usage standpoint.  If you want something truly portable for the bathroom, bathtub, bed, couch - go with a tablet.  If you want true notebook performance in the most portable but still functional form factor, go with an MBA.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 07:28:56 PM by rittchard » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2012, 07:48:07 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on January 05, 2012, 07:14:28 PM

Quote from: gangeli on January 05, 2012, 01:57:26 AM

I also am a big android fan, and own both the original transformer, and an original ipad.

I never use the ipad, I enjoy my transformer much more.  Most of my friends/family who have had the opportunity
to use both always ask me for the transformer when they come over.

The new transformer looks pretty sweet. 

That being said, you can't go wrong with either I think.  Guess it depends if you buy into the apple/ios world or not.

Let us know what you get, and how you like it smile

I think it's more than just buying into the apple world.  While that Transformer does look cool, it really doesn't seem like there's a comparison here.  It's really 2 completely different sets of hardware.  On the one hand you have (arguably) one of the best tablets out there - but it's still a tablet.  Even with a keyboard connection the experience won't be the same as a notebook (for better and worse).  On the other you have one of the best, fully realized ultraportable notebooks on the market.  I've installed Win 7 on my latest MBA and can run SWTOR and Diablo 3 (a little choppy but both run).

- - -

Still, going back to the original post, it sounds like you do want more of a tablet experience (using in bed, etc) - so to me the decision point should be based more on what you really want from a usage standpoint.  If you want something truly portable for the bathroom, bathtub, bed, couch - go with a tablet.  If you want true notebook performance in the most portable but still functional form factor, go with an MBA.

Is the MBA any less portable than a tablet though?  I don't think so.  Really the only thing any tablet has over the MBA is the battery life.  And I guess the specific Apps if we're talking about iOS.
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2012, 08:09:33 PM »

Quote from: gellar on January 05, 2012, 07:48:07 PM

Is the MBA any less portable than a tablet though?  I don't think so.

Definitely not.  The MBA is so tiny it fits in the seat back in front of you on airplanes.  It's basically like having a slightly larger tablet that's a full power computing beast. 
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« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2012, 05:39:34 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on January 05, 2012, 07:14:28 PM

I think it's more than just buying into the apple world.  While that Transformer does look cool, it really doesn't seem like there's a comparison here.  It's really 2 completely different sets of hardware.

I agree with this and meant to mention this in my earlier reply. Comparing any tablet to any notebook is really not an apples to apples comparison.

I also want to make it clear that I do like my Iconia tablet and use it every day. But, I don't think the experience is nearly as polished as using an iPad, and with certain apps that are available to both Android tablets and the iPad - the iPad experience is light years ahead.

If you plan on keeping the iPad, I would still suggest the MacBook is more worthy of your money.
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« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2012, 06:51:32 PM »

Eh, I like my widgets smile

Tablet comes out of sleep, can see at a glance my emails, the weather, some news, stock ticker, and a few other things.

On my ipad, I get to open 8 different apps for all of that smile
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2012, 02:24:04 PM »

+1

After using both I greatly prefer the experience on my tab over the iPad.
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2012, 08:03:33 PM »

Well, I decided on the Transformer Prime....for the moment.  My Amazon order isn't due until February, so if 2012 CES shows anything stellar I may take another route altogether. I'm really interested in the Windows 8 tablets.

My main reason for deciding on the Prime is the utterly fabulous super IPS display. I saw it in person and it is simply stunning. The Mac Air has one of the best TN displays I've ever seen, but it is massively outclassed by the ASUS IPS technology.

Having said that, it is absurd that a cheap tablet uses superior IPS technology for the display, and laptops 3 times the price still use crappy TN technology. There is absolutely no reason that the Amazon Kindle can throw a high pixel density IPS screen in their Kindle fire, but a $2000 ultraportable 11" laptop cannot do the same. Hell, they don't even offer the option to upgrade to IPS.

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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2012, 08:21:34 PM »

Great choice!   Update us when you get it.  Happy to share my favorite tablet apps with you as well.

Sent from my A500 using Tapatalk
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« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2012, 11:00:24 PM »

Quote from: gellar on January 05, 2012, 07:48:07 PM

Quote from: rittchard on January 05, 2012, 07:14:28 PM

Quote from: gangeli on January 05, 2012, 01:57:26 AM

I also am a big android fan, and own both the original transformer, and an original ipad.

I never use the ipad, I enjoy my transformer much more.  Most of my friends/family who have had the opportunity
to use both always ask me for the transformer when they come over.

The new transformer looks pretty sweet. 

That being said, you can't go wrong with either I think.  Guess it depends if you buy into the apple/ios world or not.

Let us know what you get, and how you like it smile

I think it's more than just buying into the apple world.  While that Transformer does look cool, it really doesn't seem like there's a comparison here.  It's really 2 completely different sets of hardware.  On the one hand you have (arguably) one of the best tablets out there - but it's still a tablet.  Even with a keyboard connection the experience won't be the same as a notebook (for better and worse).  On the other you have one of the best, fully realized ultraportable notebooks on the market.  I've installed Win 7 on my latest MBA and can run SWTOR and Diablo 3 (a little choppy but both run).

- - -

Still, going back to the original post, it sounds like you do want more of a tablet experience (using in bed, etc) - so to me the decision point should be based more on what you really want from a usage standpoint.  If you want something truly portable for the bathroom, bathtub, bed, couch - go with a tablet.  If you want true notebook performance in the most portable but still functional form factor, go with an MBA.

Is the MBA any less portable than a tablet though?  I don't think so.  Really the only thing any tablet has over the MBA is the battery life.  And I guess the specific Apps if we're talking about iOS.

Actually, in terms of usage, the answer is definitively YES.  Even the 11" MBA is about a pound heavier than the tablets, and that added weight becomes a factor over time.  The notebook form factor is not conducive for use in situations where you want to hold the unit in one hand.  If I'm typing and have room on my lap, I absolutely love the MBA - can't be beat.  But I can't really bring it into the bathtub with me or use it well while sitting on the toilet.  The iPad/tablet works just great in those situations.
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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2012, 11:37:09 AM »

Did you know that there's a new Prime coming out? It has 1920x1080 and a revamped back to help with the GPS problem and the front camera is slightly upgraded.  It's going to be $100 more.  I have no idea whether it's worth it or not.
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2012, 03:53:36 PM »

Lenovo Yoga. biggrin
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