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Thread: Tablet for travelling?

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    Tablet for travelling?

    So I've got a fair few trips coming up and I'm thinking about how I can lighten up my load since I generally have climbing, camping and photo gear to carry.

    The last big trip I had I took my 15" MBP which was great but it's freaking heavy and bulky but that trip was a little unusual since I also had ski's in addition to the above gear...

    So I'm thinking about getting a tablet device that has USB hosting ability so that I can use the tablet to download photos and transfer to small portable hard drives.

    It'll also mean I can use it for emails, blogging and various other small computing needs.

    Does anyone have experience with using a tablet like this?

    I'm looking at something like a Nexus 7 or Galaxy Tab 2 7", I'd like iPad but it can't host a hard drive...

    Cheers!

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    I have an iPad and there is a a card reader and USB connector set for it, which I also have. So I camping pull photos straight off the card, or connect my camera via USB cord (which I have never done).

    But I am an apple girl.

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    *can pull, not camping

    I blame wine!

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    Thanks I knew the iPad had a card reader but you can't get the photos off the iPad onto a hard drive without a computer as far as I am aware.

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    You are correct!

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Most Android devices have the ability to transfer from card to external HDD.

    If you have(or get yourself) a laptop HDD with USB connection you hook this HDD to the USB port on the tablet.
    Note tho that not all tablets will support power over USB connection(whilst in battery mode), so your hdd may need to have it's own power supply.
    My brother's tablet needs to be powered via the power supply for it to recognise the notebook USB hdd! But in saying that, before he left for his trip, he purchased a cheap battery bank device that is charged prior to use, and acts as a pseudo external power supply. It's battery is 12000mAh, so gives him about 3x more mobile use from the tablet before it needs to be properly charged.
    Even tho the notebook USB drive needs some sort of external power to power up on the tablet, you're not necessarily tied to an AC power source.. you just need to be prepared for all eventualities.

    Note that microSD is the most common card port type, so you can't just squeeze an SD card into it.(this is why I got my Win7 tablet, as it has multiple USB ports and a full sized SD card slot.)


    For Android software, I recommend using ES File Explorer available from the Play store (free!!!).
    Otherwise there is Total Commander .... which I also sometimes use for specific tasks.

    I don't have an Android tablet device myself(mine is Win7), but all this tethering and transferring works on my brother's Toshiba tablet, without any issues.(his still runs Android 2.3 or 3.2 I think).
    He had a D5100, and on his 2 month holiday he transferred his files to a portable USD hdd I gave him.

    One note tho with Android 4(ICS). The native image browser pooed its pants(on Galaxy SII phone) since the update.
    Not a major issue, but it doesn't rotate images properly(easily .. naturally). It's a weird bug, but anyhow! ... one that forced me to look for an alternative image browser.
    And with that, I downloaded an app called QuicPic. Much better than the native image browser(Gallery) on Samsung Android devices.

    if you go with an Android tablet device the Galaxy Tab 2 looks like it has very nice tech specs too ..... keep some of this software in mind.
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    Have you thought about taking an ultrabook type of laptop.

    Some have great screens and use an i7 processor, so you can do your PP'ing on the fly as well as downloading the pics to a HDD.
    They have a much larger disk space too, and as they usually run an SSD, they boot up very quickly, and they are not much heavier than an i-Pad, but have bigger screens and aren't all that much dearer than a 10" tablet, but a lot more useful and easier to connect to, as most have a USB3 port.
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    Thanks arthur, that's the kind of info I was after! The samsung looks good and felt good to play with in store, had a few quirks but I think compared to the Nexus it's not quite up there anymore.

    Since posting this I've spent a fair bit of time researching as well and it seems like as you suggested most Android based tablets will work with what I want to do.

    Benny thanks the idea but I'm trying to keep this relatively cheap and purchasing another laptop doesn't really sound that economical, my current MBP is still going strong and is no where near needing replacing. Any netbook / ultra book or anyother small form laptop will still be bigger and more expensive than a 7" tablet.

    Looking around I can get a Nexus 7 16GB for ~$300, I've already got a small 2.5" 500GB HDD (seems it should work) so I'd just need a cheap adapter cable and I'd be pretty much set to go.

    Thanks for all the advice so far, keep it coming!

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    I just bought the Samsung 7 exactly out of that reason, its a great device very portable and should be enough to get you along on the travel.
    Now the Nexus is for sure a great device as well and maybe a tad better than the Samsung but I got the Samsung 7 for $240 from the Good Guys, after all with the 7.7 they have to get ridd of the old model. Buy a new 32GB SD class10 $30 and SD card reader $10 bucks and you'r in the game ready to go. I personally think 7" is what one should allow as carry on holiday device other you may as well carry a Laptop (I have the 13" Asus and would not want to take it on longer travel).
    Cheers,
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Most Android devices have the ability to transfer from card to external HDD.

    If you have(or get yourself) a laptop HDD with USB connection you hook this HDD to the USB port on the tablet.
    Note tho that not all tablets will support power over USB connection(whilst in battery mode), so your hdd may need to have it's own power supply.
    My brother's tablet needs to be powered via the power supply for it to recognise the notebook USB hdd! But in saying that, before he left for his trip, he purchased a cheap battery bank device that is charged prior to use, and acts as a pseudo external power supply. It's battery is 12000mAh, so gives him about 3x more mobile use from the tablet before it needs to be properly charged.
    Even tho the notebook USB drive needs some sort of external power to power up on the tablet, you're not necessarily tied to an AC power source.. you just need to be prepared for all eventualities.

    Note that microSD is the most common card port type, so you can't just squeeze an SD card into it.(this is why I got my Win7 tablet, as it has multiple USB ports and a full sized SD card slot.)


    For Android software, I recommend using ES File Explorer available from the Play store (free!!!).
    Otherwise there is Total Commander .... which I also sometimes use for specific tasks.

    I don't have an Android tablet device myself(mine is Win7), but all this tethering and transferring works on my brother's Toshiba tablet, without any issues.(his still runs Android 2.3 or 3.2 I think).
    He had a D5100, and on his 2 month holiday he transferred his files to a portable USD hdd I gave him.

    One note tho with Android 4(ICS). The native image browser pooed its pants(on Galaxy SII phone) since the update.
    Not a major issue, but it doesn't rotate images properly(easily .. naturally). It's a weird bug, but anyhow! ... one that forced me to look for an alternative image browser.
    And with that, I downloaded an app called QuicPic. Much better than the native image browser(Gallery) on Samsung Android devices.

    if you go with an Android tablet device the Galaxy Tab 2 looks like it has very nice tech specs too ..... keep some of this software in mind.
    Thanks for the tips on the andriod apps will give it a go

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    The samsung's, like the iPad have one connection port. Have a look at the Acer range of Android tablets(I have an Acer A501). It has USB, micro USB, HDMI inputs. Gives you a lot more connectivity options.
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    There is a new Kobo tablet being released soon called 'Arc'.

    I don't know it's capabilities regarding file storage but it would be well worth a look. I have the Kobo touch e-reader and it's a great item.

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    for my 2 cents, i have a asus netbook, cost$400, can do anything a laptop can do, light, small, not handy for post work but i never do that on holidays anyway
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    I am in the same boat as Wallywoo333 - Asus EEEpc for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    The samsung's, like the iPad have one connection port. Have a look at the Acer range of Android tablets(I have an Acer A501). It has USB, micro USB, HDMI inputs. Gives you a lot more connectivity options.
    I bought the connector SD & USB for the Samsung $10 delivered now the Samsung is up and running for holidays, I have the light weight Asus U31S and its still to heavy to carry around on holidays. with 340grams you can't go wrong but of cause its just a compromise for a quick review in the evening. The proper PP is better done on a max 10" or bigger.

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    I went with the Samsdung Galaxy Tab 2 7".

    Unit feels nice and solid. One major drawback about it is that the backing is of a shiny slippery plasticky substance and the unit being thin, is hard for me to hold comfortably without my hand cramping up.
    My heavier Gigabyte tablet feels nicer to hold over the long term.
    My brother's Toshiba is also nicer as it has a textured rubberised backing and 'sticks' to your hand nicer, so you don't need to continuously clasp it lest it slips and something breaks(as you feel is going to happen with the Galaxy Tab.
    You could easily just let it rest in your open hand between the thumb and forefinger, and if the backing wasn't slippery, your fingers would simply

    In terms of performance and use, it feels fast enough for multitasking.
    The only slowness about it is at startup(proper cold startup not warm start) is that the app pages are ready to go too early in the boot process, and it takes another second or so for all the app icons to load up .. so it looks as though it's booted up with a problem(or in safe mode) ... but once the icons launch, everything runs fine and dandy.

    I've now loaded my main app(Oziexplorer) and it loads fast and operates smoothly. The on board GPS is a bonus with the Galaxy, so I don't have to tether or Bt connect a GPS as well.

    As I have a Galaxy SII phone, it connects seemlessly and easily, and transferring files and settings was a matter of waiting for it all to finish.
    In the end I got the 3G model(being close enough in price) .. you never know when you may need the data of phone ability .. and strangely enough, even tho it's massively huge for a phone, it can be used as one too.

    One slightly disappointing aspect about it is the screen look. Colours look 'muted', which is both a good thing and slightly annoying too.
    One thing that drives me nuts with the Galaxy SII, was that the screen is wayyy too vivid in colour .. muted oranges come out red .. with a twist of dayglo about them(on the phone screen), yet on the Tab they look more pale and seem to have lost some colour(for example when compared to a PC screen.
    On the phone there is at least the ability to set one of three screen vividness settings, but it still doesn't look right at the lowest colour contrast setting, and (that I know of at this time) there isn't a setting to adjust colours at all on the Tab.

    RawDroid works well tho. Having tried it on the Phone, it felt a bit slower than on the Tab2. The 20Meg NEF files load instantaneously(close enough too it) ... and apart from the more muted colours on this screen, are displayed well enough. Certainly not going to be rendered in the same manner as an iPad with retina display tho .. just good enough.

    The Samsung proprietary connector is a PITA, as you can't simply use any ol cable to charge or tether it, and I was in Officeworks earlier and nearly burst out in laughter at the price of the simple SD card connector/reader!($28!!)

    Quick search on ebay reveals better accessory connectors with USB and card slots for $5 or so(will get one of them soon).

    The micro SD card slot is a feature I also couldn't live without either, so the Nexus was never going to be an option for me.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    A bit late, I know .. but an update none the less:

    I only just received my 5-in-1 OTG connector off ebay... postage was a 'bit slow'(understatement), but I was in no rush. For $5 all up posted to me .. "I no complain"

    Insert the 5 in one connector, it has two card slots and one USB slot.
    It has the ability to read 5 types of cards, but I can't make out the card types it's trying to describe... either way CF cards is not one of those types.
    (FWIW: the small slot for the small card types is a bit of a PITA to use with micro SD cards. Once in, almost impossible to get it out without the use of a tool of some kind!)

    But!! the USB port is what I really wanted.
    This particular connector has a small switch on one side that you flip to enable the USB port, and you have all sorts of connectability options available.
    With this switch you either get USB port OR card slots .. but not both at the same time.
    This could be important if you wanted to use the tablet(SG T 2 in my case) as the medium between transferring files off a card and directly onto a portable hard drive.
    They'd have to be transferred to the tablet first and then onto the other device.

    Anyhow, with the USB port enabled tho, the D300 comes up as a device(usbA drive) and all files are easily and quickly transferred to the tablet.

    So it works sort of how I wanted it too, with just a wee bit more tedium than I was actually expecting.
    I would have liked the ability to slot in a car reader and transfer files straight onto a portable hard drive. I suppose it may work with a USB port multiplier tho .. I don't have one to test it.

    The good thing is that the D300 comes up with no power drain. I tested my daughter's little P&S and it also pops up as a device too.

    RawDroid is quite handy for viewing and managing raw files either on the device or card, and even on the files on the camera.
    I can use RawDroid to select only the files on the card in the camera for transferring to the device(saves downloading/transferring wastage).

    So far, so good .. I like this lil Samsung Tablet thingy.

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    Tablet for travelling?

    Thanks Arthur for keeping me updated. I still haven't made the plunge since apple are apparently coming out with a newer smaller iPad so want to see what that does to the market before buying plus I am in no rush.

    I've seen a video where a guy used a USB hub to connect multiple devices at once. Perhaps give that a go?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd love too, but that's what I'm missing .. a USB hub/replicator doodad!
    I remember I used to have one, but gave it to someone that needed it more.
    I reckon it'd work tho.

    Strange thing is tho, all this is not actually why I got the (Samsung)tablet.
    I prefer the Windows 7 Tab for doing this kind'a stuff anyhow. It has connections to please any connectivity geek!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    The samsung's, like the iPad have one connection port. Have a look at the Acer range of Android tablets(I have an Acer A501). It has USB, micro USB, HDMI inputs. Gives you a lot more connectivity options.
    Rick, is it useful for any editing? What photo apps can one get? I have an iPad but this would be handy if I can hook up an external HDD. I am looking at a Acer Iconia Tab 7" Model A101. 3G + WIFI Ltd Edition with 8Gb. (used)
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    Pretty sure iPads scale down the size of the images she you import them. Tricky when u shoot raw as well, as they have no expandable memory. With a galaxy, you can chuck in a 64gb micro SD. There is an app for processing raw files as well on the play store..

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