Which tablet or Laptop?

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m_lars

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My first option is obviously iPad (all my computers are Mac). But, ham radio softwares are usually only for PCs, also some car diagnostics such as those shown in "Lifestyle Overland", very good, but only work on PC platform, for now.
Taking this into account as the "solution" would be one of each, which would double the cost to invest and the physical space.
That is why the decision is difficult and perhaps, for now, the solution would be a tablet or a laptop but based on a PC.
I am still on the day of decision.
Won’t a cheap laptop off craigslist or the local classifieds fit the bill for HAM programming and diagnostics? I picked up a laptop to run the Volkswagen Audi Group diagnostics for $50. I can’t imagine trying to mount a laptop in my vehicle for nav purposes. People do it, but I wouldn’t work great in my vehicle.
 

Prerunner1982

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Is there a OBD2 dongle that’s Apple approved? I used torque back in the day when I had an Android, when I switched there wasn’t a single approved for iOS.
I don't know about "approved" but there are some that work with IOS devices.
Here's one for <$13 (for the next 3hr anyway) I have no personal experience with this particular unit. Mine is the same design but different brand.
 

adventure_is_necessary

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I have been an avid Apple user for about 10 years, and nearly 6 of those have been working in an IT role, primarily on Windows-based systems. I work on both platforms, but 99% is on Windows-based because of cost and ease of use. I still have the same MacBook Pro I started out with 10 years ago and it's running strong. I have an iPad that is nearly 6 years old still running strong. I have a 2.5yo iPhone running just fine. Apple products tend to last. No argument there. The cost might be high, at least compared to Windows/Android-based systems, but generally you get what you pay for. Apple is good, even at their cheapest price point. Android/Windows is another story. I have refurbished and used older Window's machines for other uses over the years without much issue. I have refurbished Mac's as well without much issue either. I have rand into issues with cheap Android tablets, even medium grade ones. I recently refurbished a few Asus tablets. Some were total junk due abuse, but most that were just were due to poor design. I was able to combine and fix a few of them. I guess what I'm getting at is while I love Apple, I don't necessarily push just for them. Quality has been the name of the game and I will probably stick with what I know works. I plan on cycling my iPad for nav use, but I may just start out with a newer one. Generally you get what you pay for, and if you can spec things right, you generally get better quality. Things can and do happen. I've had good spec HP's crap out within less than a year. Failures happen. But that's why there are warranties and backups. Refurbs are a great way to get into a device without the high cost. Also, resale of used devices can offset the cost once it comes time to replace. Kiddos can get old equipment and run it into the ground. Just make sure to do your research and be open to anything. Once you find what works for you and the application, stick with it. I constantly look at the different models and brands just to stay on the up and up with it all, especially when it comes time for replacements. In my line of work, price matters, but reliability is another factor. I will add that my work computer is an HP and I love it. It's newer, works well, and I was able to spec it the way I wanted.
 
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1Louder

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My first option is obviously iPad (all my computers are Mac). But, ham radio softwares are usually only for PCs, also some car diagnostics such as those shown in "Lifestyle Overland", very good, but only work on PC platform, for now.
Taking this into account as the "solution" would be one of each, which would double the cost to invest and the physical space.
That is why the decision is difficult and perhaps, for now, the solution would be a tablet or a laptop but based on a PC.
I am still on the day of decision.
There is an expensive ODBCII reader that Lifestyle Overland now uses which is iOS compatible. It is around $99. There is one HAM app called APRS Pro SE which works in iOS as well. I even got it connected to my handheld but that was pretty much pointless. Not enough wattage to hit repeaters consistently. You could buy a Microsoft Surface but then you will lose the entire massive world of apps in iOS and Android. I'll beat the dead horse. Stick with an iPad. The iPad Air (less GPS) is down to $299 these days. When iOS 13 is released this fall it will make it a more flexible platform with external devices.
 
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Enthusiast III

I do everything on a 2018 iPad Pro. They really are excellent and I've not used a laptop in nearly 9 months because of this iPad. When I say everything, I mean:

- I run a business including budgeting, presentation development and delivery, and all types of communication (email, voice, video chat)
- I work a full time job using the iPad for notes, e-mails, scheduling, process mapping, filing, etc.
- I do filming on my iPad
- I edit all my films
- I play games
- I watch TV
- I plan routes
- I navigate
- I work on my vehicles using it as a resource
- So, so much more.


In the past, the above list would be 3 devices. The iPad Pros, especially with the Pencil, have made it a full-time laptop replacement for me. I should also mention that the iPad is NOT a compromise in any of the above list -- it does all of those things better than my laptop used to. For around $1400 CAD, it was way cheaper than a comparable laptop too. It did mean that I had to adjust my workflow a bit, and that adjustment took some getting used to, but once that adjustment was made the workflow is a lot more efficient. I compare it to driving an Auto over a Manual -- when I went to an auto from a manual, for the first few days my foot would hit the floor boards hunting for the clutch before triggering the starter, but I soon got used to skipping that step. That's the iPad, in a nutshell.

If you've not looked at the iPad Pros, take a look. I've had several iPads over the years, but they always seemed like a bit of a toy that were good for content consumption and that's it. These new Pros are good for content consumption, creation, and manipulation.

As far as the Apple vs Android debate, as other posters have said, Apple stuff just works and there's tons of aftermarket accessories, but something I have not seen folks mention is the privacy aspect.

Apple has been on a run lately of focusing on privacy as a human right, whereas you will find no such assertion from Google/Samsung/Windows. And the business models are very different; my technical language may be incorrect, but as it was explained to me, Android is an open source or 'free' mobile OS, which is why it's used by Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, etc. with slight variations to each manufacturer as they customize the OS. However, in order to use it, you have to link it to your google account. Google makes it's money by collecting data about you, and using that data to sell targeted advertising space. Apple makes its money off its devices. While Google gives the user a lot of controls, I would wager that most people don't take advantage of them, and those that do will find (like I did on my old beloved Blackberry) that if you lock down Android too much for privacy reasons, you lose a ton of the features that make a smart phone smart. I'll pick on Google for a moment because that is the platform I have the most experience with, but to be clear, I have nothing against the company or their products. I simply chose to stop using them because their priorities did not match mine, mainly around the data use/privacy issue.

If you go into your google account, you can see what information Google has on you. I did, and I was pretty shocked. Youtube viewing history, location history, anything I've said to OK google, and more. While Google has been generally trustworthy with private information (except for that whole thing where even if you had location history turned off, they still tracked it), the business model is fundamentally about knowing you as well or better than you know yourself, and tailoring advertising to match. While I'm OK with tailored advertising about the next best winch or traction mat, I'm less comfortable with that tailoring when it's about politics or ideas. Google's Algorithms might have me correctly identified as as a supporter of the Walrus party and their Widgets for Everyone platform, but if based on that data I only ever see ads and info that re-inforce my belief in the Walrus Party, it does not a healthy society make. There's plenty of evidence of "Big Data" being used to cause harm and influence our society in various ways, so I choose to spend my money with companies and organizations that value my privacy in principle as much as I do. This isn't even touching the risk of harm that could come from a compromised Google account -- someone could literally take over a person's life if they get their Gmail password.

Privacy also applies to the apps in the App Store. There are a lot more Calculators that request access to your contacts and microphone in the Google Play store than there are in the Apple Store, based on what I've read, and this is based on Apple's approach to privacy matters. That analogy of a "barbed-wire-fence-hidden-in-the-trees-of-the-walled-garden" that another user posted is apt, but it isn't just to keep you in the garden, but to keep the bad guys out as much as possible.

For most people like me, with very limited technical understanding but a strong desire for privacy, all the research I've done suggests that Apple is the best choice for devices that manage privacy effectively today. Not long ago that was a title held by Blackberry though, so this landscape changes rapidly.

And obviously, this is more important for some than for others, so with all things, pick the tool that fits your application best. I was actually hesitant to chime in here, because this whole "Android versus Apple" thing tends to be more like a team sport than a friendly chat, but I'm happy to see here on OB it's been very friendly without a lot of the anger that for some reason seems to accompany any discussion of smart phone technologies on the internet. I'm not terribly interested in the debate or contest, but am very welcoming of perspectives that correct anything I've written here that is not right. My thinking is always evolving thanks to friendly chats like this!
 
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JCCE

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Contributor I

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Fort Worth, TX, USA
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Jason
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Bedford
It looks like this became an Android vs Apple conversation.

I want to run and Android based tablet between 8 -10 inches. Anyone know which would have the most support for cases and mounting system with built in GPS.
 

Enthusiast III

It looks like this became an Android vs Apple conversation.

I want to run and Android based tablet between 8 -10 inches. Anyone know which would have the most support for cases and mounting system with built in GPS.
I think apple versus android conversations are OK; like I said in the last paragraph of my post, the polite conversations are good for learning. It's when the fanboys come out with the whole "haha no headphone jack apple is gonna go bankrupt for sure, suckers" and the "Whatever, you just don't get what apple is trying to do, man" type stuff is when it goes sideways -- in other words, when the blind loyalty trumps good information, that's when I bow out. This tech is changing so fast it's hard to keep up on it so threads like this are handy as they can help inform a buying decision. The only other player on the block in the Tablet sphere is Windows which is really not well supported in apps, cases, devices, etc.

As far as your question, I think the Samsung Galaxy line of tablets are likely to fit the bill for you. They are the most ubiquitous of the Android tablets for the last few years so they'd have the most support for cases and such, and I'm fairly confident that all of the Galaxy tabs have GPS built in, but double check as there appear to be a few different models of the Galaxy tabs.
 

vdeal

Rank IV

Advocate II

@Pindal,

Mac guy here also. Just run the Windows software in a VM (virtual machine). Download VirtualBox for free and install Windows and off you go. No need for a second device.
 

Enthusiast III

Thanks for the info, it's greatly appreciated.
You are very welcome! I seemed to remember seeing the Samsung's for a pretty good price at my local Costco. I'm not sure if it's the same in the US, but with their return policy, and their member pricing, it's hard to go wrong on things like tablets from Costco. At the very least, they tend to offer a pretty good cross-section of the most popular models so you can use the info at the link below to search for cases and other accessories you might need. Whatever you decide enjoy the new tech!

 

Pindal

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There is an expensive ODBCII reader that Lifestyle Overland now uses which is iOS compatible. It is around $99. There is one HAM app called APRS Pro SE which works in iOS as well. I even got it connected to my handheld but that was pretty much pointless. Not enough wattage to hit repeaters consistently. You could buy a Microsoft Surface but then you will lose the entire massive world of apps in iOS and Android. I'll beat the dead horse. Stick with an iPad. The iPad Air (less GPS) is down to $299 these days. When iOS 13 is released this fall it will make it a more flexible platform with external devices.
That "APRS Pro SE" also serves to program the Yaesu?
 

Jburns

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Everything I own is Mac and apple...but what I want to do requires, or is easier, with a Samsung tab. I still bring my iPad just in case.
 

Bulwinkle

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Warren
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I would like some advise on mounting options for iPad and or iPhone for Jeep JK if anyone some good sources.
 

1Louder

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I would like some advise on mounting options for iPad and or iPhone for Jeep JK if anyone some good sources.
There is a lengthy thread on this topic. Just do a search.
 

Wanderer

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Speaking of taking over your life. I had a mountain bike advertised on cL I got a few of the typical scam calls I’ll wire you money and my agent pick it up because etc. but this one guy wanted me to prove I was a man as in not a scammer by texting him something a code I think from my google account. Looked it up and sure enough. Major I’d theft scam. The idiot kept saying to me by text. Proof you are a real man. As if the texts weren’t already proof. But I digress.
I have been an apple guy. Since 2003 and my old g5 tower still works. But no one writes anything for it any more. For nav I tried a n Android. Lenovo. But kept running up against. A problem with detail on the maps. I finally figured out that all programs for nav Gaia Bcn topo USA that I have tried all have a 100,000 tile limit which sounds like a lot but isn’t when you are trying to load large areas. Based on that alone there is a strong argument for a dedicated gps with. Preloaded topo. For the whole country that you can zoom to say a level 15 not sure what scale that is guessing somewhere around 1” = 100 ft Just a guess. But with decent enough detail and resolution I really like apple products but. I just don’t see any of them having enough memory to preload a large area like the northern Sierras. If someone can tell me how to do that then I’ll happpily go buy another apple product.
Someone?
Anyone?
Thanks