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Old 07-01-2012, 05:35 AM   #71
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Cairns, Australia
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Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
Integrated data plans on a tablet form factor is a niche product, bcs it will never be your primary personal comm device, nor will it be your primary data computing device. It's most likely going to be your 3rd data service--following your smartphone, and whatever you've got your laptop/pc/home network running on.
Speak for yourself. If I buy a surface (waiting to see actual shipping hardware), it will be my primary computer at home (I need a proper UNIX workstation and ~30" display at the office, so that's out the window).

Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
For international travel, the best pairing of hardware is to sever your hotspot from your handset/tablet; get a mifi type device, and run your 3G or 4G from there. Personally, I prefer this, even over the option of tethering to a smartphone. There are several reasons why this is advantageous. You get the benefits of tethering, which means you can run your service to serve your smartphone, your laptop, and your tablet, and whomever else you want to share your hotspot with. Meanwhile you can run your phone all day w/o killing its battery. Speaking of battery life, you also don't have to be sitting within a power-cable's length from an outlet to use your phone when it's tethered. Plug your mifi device in across the room, and act like a normal human being, not some borg. The fact that you can tether to your phone, is imo, a nice backup plan. But it's lousy for a primary mode of operating, because it *really* kills battery life.
As far as I can tell, most mifi devices get a lot less battery life than my iPhone*, which can tether via WiFi or Bluetooth or USB and is perfectly capable of having multiple devices connected to it at once. I've been using my iPad tethered to my iPhone for years with none of the problems you describe.

In truth though, I don't understand why anyone would want 3G/4G in a tablet. I use my tablet at home. I don't use it while in town or travelling... my smartphone has all the same apps, and it fits in my pocket. Why would anyone, especially motorcycle riders, drag a tablet around the place them when a smartphone is almost as good? All my experience with tethering is at home - I cancelled by DSL a while ago.

* 5 to 8 hours with WiFi tethering, and I've seen reports of 15+ hours using bluetooth. I imagine it depends how intensive your browsing is. I've never seen my battery drop bellow half full, any time I need more than an hour or two there is power nearby.

abhibeckert screwed with this post 07-01-2012 at 05:53 AM
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