Tablets at vowe's magic flying circus

by Volker Weber


I am currently using four (4) tablets. And I like them all.

  1. Microsoft Surface RT. This is the only tablet that is on 24 hours a day? Why? It sits on our table and displays photos uploaded to SkyDrive. This used to be a feature on iPad (with photostream), but that went away with iOS 7. Since the Surface sits to comfortably on the table, it's the goto device for all Internet lookups, photo viewing, news browsing etc. Big benefit: this device looks really nice and with its kickstand does not need a a separate stand.
  2. Nokia Lumia 2520. This the Surface RT on steroids. Much faster, with LTE connection, much better cameras and screen. Although it runs the same software as the Surface, it blows it away in every respect. The comparison is a bit unfair, since Microsoft now has Surface 2, but I lack experience with the new model. If both had the same capabilities, Surface would win because of the kickstand, and the 2520 would win because it holds much nicer in your hand. As it is today, the 2520 wins big time because of LTE connectivity and a screen you can read outside. In the end, the Surface stays at home, the 2520 travels.
  3. Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8". This is the Android device of choice for me, simply because of the very functional design. It's light, nimble, beautiful and runs forever on battery. It controls my Sonos, I check and archive my mail, look at my Twitter and Instagram feeds. The design lends itself to holding the tablet with one hand. Almost every single day it is the first and the last machine I touch.
  4. Apple iPad Air. This is the machine I work with. Microsoft claims you need a Windows machine like the Surface, but since I am a Mac user, iPad fits the bill much better. I create presentations in Keynote on the Mac and they simply appear through iCloud on the iPad. I can edit presentations there and the changes flow back to the Mac. I write manuscripts with iA Writer, and again, they flow from one Mac to the other and the iPad. It happens in real time. I can just put down one device and walk over to the other and continue.
If I had to buy only one machine, the Yoga would be my first consideration, but it fails big time for presentations. So it has to be one of the other three. And as much as I like RT, that would be the iPad Air.


Suggestion: sed 's/have/lack/' ;)

Axel von Dielingen, 2014-03-19 15:17

What happend to your Nexus 7? Gone to the dust?

Peter Meuser, 2014-03-19 16:09

I am quite happy with my Nexus 7 and my Nexus 10, but I do think about getting an 8" Windows 8 tablet, though I think I'd rather get one with the full Windows experience and not just RT.

Daniel Haferkorn, 2014-03-19 16:19

Axel, this text was lacking "do not". :-)

Peter, the Lenovo replaced the Nexus 7.

Daniel, I avoid legacy Win32 on tablets, since it's unusable anyway.

Volker Weber, 2014-03-19 16:34

Volker, what do you use on the Lenovo as the mail- and twitter-client, if I may ask?
(btw. the "Instagram" link links to this article)

Stefan Hempel, 2014-03-19 16:40

I am really liking my Surface Pro 2. The RT was a nice toy for having by the tv, but the Pro is a real laptop.

Amy Blumenfield, 2014-03-19 16:40

My real laptop is a MacBook Retina, Amy. I need simple stuff to go along with it. Don't throw the RT in the trash. I have people who want it. :-)

Stefan, the standard Twitter client and Gmail. Link fixed, thx.

Volker Weber, 2014-03-19 16:44

hmm, I think I still need a second iPad for the bathroom.

But 4 tablets?

Karl Heindel, 2014-03-19 17:00

Four tablets, because I need to know them, not because I need them.

Volker Weber, 2014-03-19 17:04

if this post is not dead yet, I was wondering if you could recommend a iPad for testing of applications/websites. I am hesitating between iPad Air and Ipad Mini with Retina, and I'm not sure what kind of memory would be reasonable - is 16 GB enough or should I fork in more?

Andrew Magerman, 2014-04-01 16:29

iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina are the same machine, in two different sizes. They do the same, they have the same chipset, etc. Smaller pixels, smaller form factor, lighter, a bit cheaper, that's the mini. She likes the mini, I like the Air.

As for memory, it depends what it should hold. Lots of photos and videos, music, etc, the more memory, the better. If it's only for web browsing, little memory is ok. I see two configs:

- Maxed out with LTE. That's the traveler.
- Minimum without LTE. Couch surfing.

You are going to use it a lot. Make it a nice one.

Volker Weber, 2014-04-01 16:47


Sigh. visiting your site is a financial risk. Sonos, iPhone, now the IPad, all because of you!

Andrew Magerman, 2014-04-01 16:53

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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