Pathfinder Tablet


Technology

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I have to say that I love the resolution on my Nexus 10 — same DPI as a typical laser or inkjet. If the Nexus 7 has a similar pixel density, then I'd be very loathe to give that up...

FWIW, while I know that Combat Manager is already out for iOS, Kyle has been posting regular screenshots of his status on the Android version on Facebook. It's only a matter of time.


I think I may have already said this, but as a GM I will still be using my laptop, which has a huge screen, full sized keyboard and can run all of the programs I use as a GM, including Combat Manager.

I typically don't use my laptop as a player though, and I am intrigued by the idea of managing my PCs with a tablet. I don't like using a laptop as a player for a couple of reasons, one being that I don't like to clutter up the table with laptops (although some of the other players in our group use laptops), and another being that I don't want even the temptation to be distracted by email or web surfing. As a GM I don't have to worry about being distracted because I am 100% invested in the game every minute that we play. As a player there are always times that I'm "not needed" and that's when I'm afraid I'd get sucked into responding to an email or reading these messageboards.

I have rarely been as undecided about a technology purchase decision. Normally I make up my mind very quickly. But this choice between the iPad and the Nexus is coming right down to the wire. UPS tracking shows that the iPad is "out for delivery" which means it could show up here in my office any second. I've got two meetings to do today and then I can head to Best Buy. So I have to make up my mind today.

I keep telling myself that I can't go wrong with either choice, but that's not helping.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well, once you have a tablet, there's a good chance you'll start using it for a lot more than what you originally thought you would. I myself no longer take my laptop with me on non-business trips, it's the tablet that I pack and use in-flight and at the hotel, etc. It's also much more comfortable to sit in the recliner with the tablet on a funky pillow than the laptop on a lapdesk. With a comfortable stylus and the right combination of apps added, I've even had no trouble authoring PbP posts.

Therefore, since either device should be able to fit your needs at the game table, I would suggest asking whether you prefer Google's or Apple's offerings when it comes to contact management, email, music, and syncing with your PC. It's a popular saying that you're not just buying a device but the 'software ecosystem' when you make your decision. Typically I'd say it should be the must-have killer apps and those usage scenarios that should decide what ecosystem you want to go with. Then, after having decided on Apple, Google or Microsoft, that's when you select the device that's right for you.

Not sure if that helps at all, but perhaps it's an angle you haven't thought on yet.

If all else fails, make the choice you'll regret the least. :)


Hmmm... good points Laithoron.

Geez, every ten minutes I find myself leaning the other way on this... Right now I'm back to leaning towards the iPad mini. Ten minutes from now it will be the Nexus...

Sheesh, I hate being indecisive.


Ug. It's here. I have the iPad mini in my office. The decision time is upon me.

Sigh... Part of me just wants to open this up and play with it....


Ah well, I ended up going with the iPad mini. I did get a keyboard and stylus to go with it. Now I gotta figure out how to use it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

So, popped by Best Buy today to check on their trade-in policy and was told that they not only will allow me to trade in the iPad mini to upgrade to a better iPad, but that I could trade it in at cash value to spend on pretty much any tablet they offer. So I was looking at the "Surface" and a Google and Samsung model all in the $300-$400 range, and couldn't make up my mind.

So, if you had $400 to spend on any 7-8" (or thereabouts) tablet you could buy, which one would you get?

I'd buy the top of the line Ipad, preferably the larger one if you're going to read full page documents on it. And the cellular option is a nice thing to have in reserve.


I don't see a need for a full sized tablet when I already have a laptop that serves that purpose. A mini tablet is perfect for me for the times I don't want to mess with a laptop.

I am also waiting for the next generation of tablets which I believe will start the process of making laptops obsolete. THEN I'll get a full-sized tablet.


I would have gone with surface but congratz man.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So, I suddenly find myself considering investing in a tablet. My laptop's screen started splitting in half, my desktop's PSU fried, and my wife's laptop BSOD'd. All in a span of 10 days.

Since none of those things had critical documents on them (hooray for Google Drive!), and since I hope to go to GenCon next year and don't want to break my back, I'm considering finally getting a tablet.

A friend suggested a Nexus 7, and I've seen some others in this thread say it's good for them. I do have some questions, though:

What's a "normal" tablet screen size? I'm horrible at eyeballing that kind of thing, so I have no idea whether 7 inches is a big screen, small screen, or pretty average.

Also, my printer still works (knock on wood), so I'd need to be able to use it with whatever tablet I get. This is possible, right? (Printer has a USB plug, not one of those old huge cables.)

And would I be safe assuming that pretty much any tablet I get would be able to easily browse PDFs?


I don't think it is possible to print via USB with most tablets (Surface excepted). Instead, most can print wirelessly and through Google Cloud Print or printer company apps.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Fig wrote:
I don't think it is possible to print via USB with most tablets (Surface excepted). Instead, most can print wirelessly and through Google Cloud Print or printer company apps.

Why do I get the feeling that those printing options would mean me needing a new printer?


Freehold DM wrote:
I would have gone with surface but congratz man.

Yeah, it was a tough decision. In the end my tired old eyes just found the size of the iPad screen better for reading emails and books. Using the Nexus or any of the others just felt like a big smartphone. The iPad mini feels more like an actual tablet, but is still small enough to easily carry around.


Jiggy wrote:

So, I suddenly find myself considering investing in a tablet. My laptop's screen started splitting in half, my desktop's PSU fried, and my wife's laptop BSOD'd. All in a span of 10 days.

Since none of those things had critical documents on them (hooray for Google Drive!), and since I hope to go to GenCon next year and don't want to break my back, I'm considering finally getting a tablet.

A friend suggested a Nexus 7, and I've seen some others in this thread say it's good for them. I do have some questions, though:

What's a "normal" tablet screen size? I'm horrible at eyeballing that kind of thing, so I have no idea whether 7 inches is a big screen, small screen, or pretty average.

Also, my printer still works (knock on wood), so I'd need to be able to use it with whatever tablet I get. This is possible, right? (Printer has a USB plug, not one of those old huge cables.)

And would I be safe assuming that pretty much any tablet I get would be able to easily browse PDFs?

Having just gone through this, here are my thoughts:

Most of the "mini" tablets seem to be in the 7 inch range. The iPad is one of the largets mini tablets with an 8" screen. That, plus the 3x4 vs HD layout eventually led me to choose the iPad, just because my old eyes weren't comfortable with the smaller screens. Which is ironic in a way since the Nexus and some others actually have MUCH higher resolution than the iPad. Still, 170 DPI is good enough for what I use it for.

Printing is an area I have not researched. All of the tablets I looked at claimed to do a stellar job with pdfs, and none of the reviews I read indicated any problems with any of the tablets in viewing pdfs. I did see a couple comparisons that rated the iPad as an excellent pdf viewer.

Grand Lodge

AD, The iPad is one of the best viewers for PDF's in my opinion. Using the Goodreader App the PDF scrolls fastest and able to annotate very well with it for notes and highlighting and the like.

Android tablets view PDF's well but tend to be a little slower in my experience. Having owned a Asus Transformer previously I was impressed at the time but then I went with an iPad because of the Hero Lab app it comes with (Android does not) and found that the transformer was almost 25% slower when viewing PDF's. Now keeping in mind I did not find a true app I was very happy with on the Android either. So I am sure that was part of it. Though I love the Open Source of the Apps on Android... they were hit or miss with me though there are more apps to choose from on Android.

I also use my iPad for the Initiative Board right now and that to me along with the Hero Lab app worth almoswt every cent I paid for the iPad.


I'm typing this on my iPad mini's "Zagg" keyboard. So far I'm digging the iPad mini. I would probably also have been digging the Nexus if I had bought it. But no disappointment so far.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

I don't see a need for a full sized tablet when I already have a laptop that serves that purpose. A mini tablet is perfect for me for the times I don't want to mess with a laptop.

I am also waiting for the next generation of tablets which I believe will start the process of making laptops obsolete. THEN I'll get a full-sized tablet.

1. You really haven't spent that much time running scenarios from tablets have you? A full sized display saves a lot of headache.

2. Tablets will never make laptops obsolete. Laptops are far better for content creation. Tablets are optimised for content consumption and battery life, (and that includes running scenarios off of them.)


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LazarX, I once was viciously attacked on the amateur photography newsgroups for predicting that digital cameras would not only become commonplace, but that they would make film cameras obsolete except for specialty photography, and that it would become hard to even find film for existing cameras. You would not believe how people laughed and laughed and laughed.

Well, that's sort of how I feel about this.

I see the next, or perhaps following, generation of "tablets" making laptops obsolete precisely BECAUSE they will be as good as, or better than, laptops or desktops for all the things laptops or desktops are better at today. In a technical sense all that tablets need to accomplish that task is more power (Moore's Law) and dockable input devices. Which will be the next big thing.

Eventually we will all have a single personal digital device that does everything our phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, iPods, etc do. I may not live to see it, but that day is coming. And I think I will live to see it.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Eventually we will all have a single personal digital device that does everything our phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, iPods, etc do. I may not live to see it, but that day is coming. And I think I will live to see it.

Hoi chummer, don'tcha gotta commlink already?

Gently handled MetaLink for only a hundred nuyen.

Almost no blood on it.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I'm typing this on my iPad mini's "Zagg" keyboard. So far I'm digging the iPad mini. I would probably also have been digging the Nexus if I had bought it. But no disappointment so far.

I'm glad that you like it! I think that you are right, either choice was a good choice.

Let us know if you find any really GREAT apps that you can't live without. So far I've listed all the ones I use, but I'm always on the lookout for something that is really handy for gaming (or other stuff).

I don't know how much reading you like to do, but if you like to read a lot, check out Project Gutenberg ( http://www.gutenberg.org/ ). The eBooks there are free and can be dragged into your "Books" in iTunes and then loaded onto the iPad. None of it is new stuff, but you can get Dickens, Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, some Robert Howard, L Frank Baum all for free. They have most of the classic literature for free, and you won't wear your hand out trying to hold up a 7kg copy of Great Expectations!

-Aaron


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So, I did spend some time just exploring the iPad once I got home with it last night. I ended up deciding to embark upon my tenth or twelfth re-reading of "Lord of the Rings" as my baptism for using the iPad as a book reader. I read through the first six chapters last night and found the iPad to be a very comfortable and convenient reading device. My wife has a Kindle Fire which is also very nice, and I think the iPad is a bit more to my liking than the Kindle Fire.

But I also had to deal with iBooks vs the Kindle app. I already had the Kindle app on my laptop and my smartphone so I have some books already part of my Kindle library. I don't want to have two separate libraries for books, separate libraries for videos and separate libraries for music. I started fiddling around with iCloud but can't claim that I really know what it is or how to use it yet.

But in the end I decided to get the LotR eBook through Kindle, not through iBook. Is there a way to consolidate them?

One of the things that really bugs me about all my computing devices is that they have created a situation where I have content all over the place in multiple different apps, on multiple different devices and I can't seem to figure out how to consolidate them all, or even if I can consolidate them. I think iCloud is supposed to be that, but I've only got 5g available, which won't even scratch my collection.

Heh... First world problems.... "I've got too much expensive hardware and content to manage! Woe is me!"

Sczarni

Itchy wrote:

Here's what I use frequently on my iPad mini:

-iBooks I get free books from Project Gutenberg. I also read my Pathfinder Tales on it.
-GoodReader Someone here on the boards recommended it. It's one of the only apps I have paid for. It is a great app for reading pdf's. You can save a copy and add annotations and notes to them. It's fast with them, not as much lag as in iBooks. There's hardly any lag with page loading with the lite versions of the books.
-Herolab character sheet If you use Herolab, this turns your iPad into a character sheet.

Ditto but on my regular iPad.

* I have all the novels and several of the short fiction collections in iBooks (it also serves as proof for Boon sheets).
* I have all PFS mods from Seasons 0-4 in Goodreader, with annotated copies of the ones that I have run recently, along with pdfs of every Pathfinder supplement and rule book.
* I have all of my characters (and my wife's characters too) sheets from Herolab in their tablet app.
* I use a spreadsheet I created in Numbers to keep track of what scenarios I have played and run.

I had an android tablet but ended up abandoning it for my iPad.


I downloaded the Hero Lab app before I realized I don't actually have Hero Lab on my laptop so I can't create character sheets to view...

Goodreader is one I still intend to investigate.

The apps I've been using the most so far have been Kindle, Safari, Mail and Pages. I did allow Facebook to load the Facebook app on my iPad, but I may delete it as I deleted it from my phone. Not a big fan of FB apps.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

But I also had to deal with iBooks vs the Kindle app. I already had the Kindle app on my laptop and my smartphone so I have some books already part of my Kindle library. I don't want to have two separate libraries for books, separate libraries for videos and separate libraries for music. I started fiddling around with iCloud but can't claim that I really know what it is or how to use it yet.

But in the end I decided to get the LotR eBook through Kindle, not through iBook. Is there a way to consolidate them?

I think that a program called Calibre can convert between formats. I have not played with it at all since everything I have obtained as been an ePub, and thus has fit into iBooks.

What I know is that Calibre can convert ePubs to Kindle format, I don't see why it couldn't do the reverse.

-Aaron


Just a final post on using the iPad for almost a week. I've downloaded a couple of Pathfinder apps and have been using "GoodReader" to read .pdfs of my character sheets printed out from Excel. I've got the Pathfinder OGC bookmarked and my PF pdf files also in GoodReader.

I'm using a Zagg keyboard which makes my iPad mini like a tiny little laptop. The battery lasts all day long with no trouble, I just recharge each night.

so far it's been a great little tool and I really like it.

I also use it to read books, surf the web and do my email. I'd say it has replaced about 75% of my laptop use.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Just a final post on using the iPad for almost a week. I've downloaded a couple of Pathfinder apps and have been using "GoodReader" to read .pdfs of my character sheets printed out from Excel. I've got the Pathfinder OGC bookmarked and my PF pdf files also in GoodReader.

I'm using a Zagg keyboard which makes my iPad mini like a tiny little laptop. The battery lasts all day long with no trouble, I just recharge each night.

so far it's been a great little tool and I really like it.

I also use it to read books, surf the web and do my email. I'd say it has replaced about 75% of my laptop use.

How big is the screen/keyboard? Is it good for long-form writing (if you do any) or would you use your laptop for such things?


The iPad mini screen is about 6.25" X 4.25"

The iPad mini itself is about 8" X 5.25"

The screen diminsions should be accurate the total dimensions are approximate since I did not want to take my mini out of the case to measure it.

That said, I have no idea how big the Zagg keyboard is. I would not want to use the on screen keyboard for long form writing. I use my laptop to write anything out, though I do use the on screen keyboard to write notes in my pdf's of gaming products that I am DMing.

-Aaron


The Zagg keyboard is exactly the same dimensions as the iPad mini. This results in a sort of hybrid keyboard approach with keys that are somewhat cramped, but for most people, still usable.

I have used it to type long emails and have played around with typing at length. I'm about to go on a business trip and I will be leaving my laptop at home, so I'll be typing on it even more than usual.

I believe it would be possible to write, for example, a short story or even a novel with the Zagg keyboard, but I would much prefer a full-sized keyboard for that sort of typing.

But for casual typing, such as this sort of messageboard response, it's really quite useful and convenient.

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