What to go for - Help needed

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Dave and Ginny, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Before we shot off to Spain for the Winter I cancelled our talktalk contract so we currently don't have any phone or WiFi at home. With more time away I don't think we would get value from another home package because they all seem to come with phone line rental which you continue paying whilst not there!

    Quite happy with my '3' payg but need a better way to connect to the internet at home and whilst away. Both current old laptop and ancient Samsung tablet need replacing also.

    What's best to go for? A quality tablet, laptop or Chromebook maybe? 3g or 4g?
    Mifi or device that takes sim card. And the biggy, android, ois or windows?

    Happy to pay for speed and quality and do need a proper keyboard ideally. Been looking at some reviews but none for motorhomes found...probably about to get some, hopefully !

    Cheers Dave
     
  2. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,818
    Likes Received:
    3,187
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    MacBook Pro - check out KRCS prices and extended warranties on Apple products. They are Authorised Apple re sellers and have a showroom in the Vic Centre in Nottingham. They may be able to advise on Internet access too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,564
    Likes Received:
    11,543
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    If you don't use a massive amount of data, specifically wanting to watch iPlayer or download videos at home then why not get a Three sim on monthly contract? Put it in a 4g MiFi with an external aerial and you should get a fast connection at home and take it away with you on your trips. But it does depend on what sort of signal you can get at home of course.

    For the hardware if your budget will stretch I don't think you will regret getting some sort of MacBook or possibly an iPad used with a separate keyboard. I would avoid Windows mobile devices as a number of apps, particularly CamperContact are not available for it.

    The budget option would be a Chromebook and these are very capable.

    I use an Android Nexus 9 and if I need to do a lot of typing I couple it to a £20 Bluetooth keyboard from Tesco which works very well. Google docs are excellent for writing stuff as it is all backed up automatically for you as you write.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks @DBK . I've been with 3 on my phone for a while now, pretty good signal at home, always been excellent abroad and generally everywhere else we've travelled.
    Your suggestion for a 4g mifi is along the lines I was looking and no, we don't watch videos or download films generally unless on a WiFi connection. I've never been a big fan of apple but most folk I know that use it seem to get excellent results so yes an iPad or MacBook is a consideration if I'm getting good results the extra cost may avoid frustration in the future!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Sas r us

    Sas r us Funster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1,203
    Likes Received:
    1,980
    Location:
    Cornwall
    I use my iPad for almost everything now.. I have a very capable laptop but the only time I turn it on is to up date it or to watch a downloaded film. Probably once a month it that. I won't be buying another.....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. berni109

    berni109 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    worcester
    Let me start by saying that I have always had a thing about Apple and their marketing of overpriced and locked out equipment.
    If u don't know much about computers and want to stay that way go with Apple lots of people do and are very happy.
    Android based devices are generally just as good and cheaper even from the big brand names.
    If u do much on a computer I think a laptop is almost essential but for browsing then a tablet is more than adequate.

    A deal that gives you a reliable data connection and gigabytes of data on a Mifi device should meet your needs for not a lot of money
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,491
    Likes Received:
    9,840
    Location:
    E Yorks
    We had just '3' for years, no land based telephone or broadband (BB) at all, along with a couple of mobile phones on cheap contracts. We were very happy as the BB was a hell of a lot cheaper. Unfortunately '3' in our area got worse and worse, to the extent that we couldn't use it most of the time so we bit the bullet and got a land based telephone and broadband which costs us 4 times what we paid for the mobile broadband! :mad: We very reluctantly let our excellent '3' contract go ... we paid less than £8 a month for 15gb, we'd been with them for so long we got a 50% loyalty discount!

    Unfortunately we have in effect a 'monopoly' situation where we are for land based services (Kingston Communications) as BT isn't in our area therefore we can't take advantage of any of the BB offers provided by various companies, so we have no choice but to use KC. Other mobile BB providers weren't much better than '3' when we needed to change so we were pretty much forced into doing what we did at the time however things have changed since then (about 15 months or so now) and hopefully when our current land based contract comes to an end we'll have more mobile BB options open to us so can ditch the 'tethered' service completely.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,491
    Likes Received:
    9,840
    Location:
    E Yorks
    Equipment: Unless you really are into Apple you're IMV basically paying a premium for the 'name', a lot of non-Apple products are just as good for a lot less money.

    I am a big fan of HP laptops - they are well made and the support if needed is very good (we had them at work and they were very reliable whereas Toshiba and other makes were awful!). Samsung are also very good.

    What to get will really be down to what you want to use it for - a Chrome book etc is something I would avoid as they are reliant on an internet connection for a lot of things, such as storing stuff, more an 'internet' access device than anything else.

    We have a cheapo Chinese phablet (tablet that will take a sim, either phone or data) so can be used on it's own, or can connect to a mifi too. One benefit is that if you have a phone sim you can put it into the phablet and use it for texting etc if you want ... much easier than trying to do it on a small phone screen! The phablet also doubles up as a spare sat nav if needs be and we can also store the apps on such as Camper Contact etc.

    I also have an HP laptop (15" screen) which is more than sufficient for what I want and is fast being an i5 processor. It wasn't expensive either ... it's just a matter of knowing the best places to buy from and not simply plump for the cheapo ones that you often see advertised which are low spec - my quality HP cost no more than a cheapo one.

    Out of interest what laptop and tablet have you currently got? Just because they're not 'new' doesn't mean they can't be tweaked to improve their performance. I have a smaller Samsung laptop that I take away in the camper with me (13" screen) which cost me £130 a few years ago when I got it brand new - it doesn't take so much power and has a longer battery life, plus is easily stored in a hidden place, it therefore means I don't have to take my larger (and more expensive) HP with me.
     
  9. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Current tablet is a 7" Samsung Galaxy 3 we bought in 2013, still works OK but always seems a bit slow to me. Laptop is a cheap old Tesco bought one that's always been very annoyingly slow!
     
  10. berni109

    berni109 Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    293
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    worcester
    If u delete everything you don't need off both of them and then try to update to the latest operating system u should see a tremendous speed improvement.
    U may find the laptop is just too old though.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,491
    Likes Received:
    9,840
    Location:
    E Yorks
    If you are able to put some more RAM in the laptop you will find it will make a hell of a difference ... it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve it.

    Also as has been suggested, get rid of all the rubbish and ensure that you've properly uninstalled programmes etc you don't want any more to remove the cr@p off the hard drive, then run cr@p cleaner, and finally defrag - I would be very surprised if this didn't help at least a bit!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    26,417
    Likes Received:
    25,074
    Location:
    Macclesfield
    Isn't chromebook the one that stores everything in "the cloud" ? So a killer if you don't have WiFi or are on wireless broadband.

    Tablet fine for FUN. Useless if you want to back up your digital camera.

    You can't go far wrong with a W10 leptop of which you'll find many deals.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Just a quick follow up!

    After a fairly good look on line and taking into account all the advice given, we went out yesterday to have a look...just a look, in Curry's in Derby. Just wanted to get a feel for what we fancied and felt best!

    So looked at it all, various laptops and tablets.

    Then we just had what I thought would be a quick look at the Apple products. A very pleasant a knowledgeable assistant came and had a chat and we had a play with a Mac or two. Well I liked what we were seeing but prices nothing like anything I've ever payed before so I thought we would be walking away...next thing I know is Ginny talking prices and deals etc...:eek:.

    Well, upshot is that I'm typing this on the nicely discounted MacBook Air 13". Coupled with a 4g wifi from EE on a rolling contract at £18 for 16gigs a month. I had already got a TP-Link wifi (un-locked) from Maplin and it's all working very well. Cannot believe the speed of the current 4g signal I'm getting, never seen anything so quick...hopefully that will continue.

    Not sure if going with EE was the best choice, but fine here in UK and can cancel when we like. Anyone know the score using EE data roaming?

    Anyway, she's happy and can now FaceTime with long lost daughter working in Shanghai :).
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page