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Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?

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Richard Bridge 21 Mar 12 - 08:40 AM
John Routledge 21 Mar 12 - 08:49 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Mar 12 - 09:09 AM
DMcG 21 Mar 12 - 09:18 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 12 - 09:22 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 12 - 09:24 AM
DMcG 21 Mar 12 - 09:26 AM
Commander Crabbe 21 Mar 12 - 09:39 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 12 - 09:53 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Mar 12 - 10:01 AM
EBarnacle 21 Mar 12 - 11:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Mar 12 - 12:09 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Mar 12 - 12:21 PM
Richard Bridge 21 Mar 12 - 01:13 PM
EBarnacle 21 Mar 12 - 01:40 PM
DMcG 22 Mar 12 - 10:00 AM
Arthur_itus 22 Mar 12 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Mar 12 - 12:51 PM
Paul Davenport 22 Mar 12 - 01:18 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Mar 12 - 01:39 PM
Arthur_itus 22 Mar 12 - 03:45 PM
Greg B 22 Mar 12 - 03:56 PM
Arthur_itus 22 Mar 12 - 04:03 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Mar 12 - 04:12 PM
Arthur_itus 22 Mar 12 - 04:18 PM
Arthur_itus 22 Mar 12 - 04:47 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Mar 12 - 05:29 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Mar 12 - 07:43 PM
EBarnacle 22 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM
Tootler 22 Mar 12 - 08:33 PM
Acme 23 Mar 12 - 12:30 AM
Arthur_itus 23 Mar 12 - 04:31 AM
Tootler 23 Mar 12 - 06:53 AM
Arthur_itus 23 Mar 12 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Abdul on iphone 30 Mar 12 - 02:13 AM
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Subject: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:40 AM

My netbook has vanished (yes I have cancelled the dongle and no there was hardly any data in it and definitely no card or banking data).

What to replace it with? I only got it to be able to read email and do a little surfing on weekends I was away, typically at festivals. As it happens most of those were in areas of totally crap mobile broadband so I will be content to live with wifi and go to a nearby hotspot for access (at reasonable speed hooray).

What can I do on a kindle that I can't (readily) do on an Ipad?
What can I do on an Ipad that I can't (readily) do on a kindle?
I have no use for reading newspapers or books on screen. Paper is best for those.
I do want battery life. Lots.
If I can do what I need with one of the above can I use a decent mouse with them and a decent keyboard (and what are roll-out keyboards like to use?)

I don't want to go to smartphone because reading on those little screens is a real bugger (and for attachments in word it's worse), I hate texting on a touchscreen and typing as such is worse and the smarter the phone the more useless the battery life. My first mobile ever, a Sony Ericson would do 9 days on standby and my current Nokia maybe 3 (and it has a metal case so I can use it to knock in small nails). I'm happy with it as a phone except that it does not automatically switch networks for better coverage.

My heart says I want a laptop with a nice big keyboard and screen (and I can plug in a USB mouse since scratchpads are HORRID). Not bothered about 65 billion colours nor indeed huge processing power since I'll be surfing, doing spreadsheets, emailing and word processing. But I DO want about 9 hours ontime (use) without recharge and at least 4 days standby if unbooted and off before self-discharge drains the battery. My old netbook was an epic fail on all of those! I'd like flipdown legs to get the keyboard at a good angle and preferably a number pad (although I could I suppose carry a USB one of those). My fear is that a laptop like that will cost megabucks. Or rather Megapounds.

What does the team think?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: John Routledge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for asking this question Richard. The timing is impeccable :0)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:09 AM

I love my iPad (2) which has a long battery life and has given me no trouble, ever. I don't have the small external keyboard that you can get to attach to it, but friends who do say they really like it. Typing on any touch-screen is irksome so if you type more than URLs you might want it - it's quite small and handy.

The new iPad 3 (just out) is supposed to have even longer battery life and a vastly superior screen resolution, so considering how good my version 2's is, it must be amazing. (Haven't seen one but heard glowing reports from my much-more-clued-up-than-me students.) The Apple website will have all the spec. There are also a number of good free apps you can get for it.

Its screen is backlit, which I understand that the Kindle's isn't (though I'm not up on the latest) and no, it doesn't strain my eyes. You can adjust the brightness, and I actually prefer having something I can read when the available light is insufficient. Also the sound is guite surprisingly good, if you want to play your MP3's or podcasts; and its in-built camera is great too.

Downside? Can't think of one - apart from the physical limitations you get with any mobile device, and that it probably costs more. So the new iPad would get my vote.

People who have iPhones also love them, but they're just too small for me - I have trouble seeing and manipulating the tiny typing keys.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:18 AM

The Kindle suits me. The power supply is good enough to cope with a week long festival without recharging; I have a case for it which has a built in light if I need it; small but big enough for most purposes, and fits into a - large - pocket in my jacket. Lots of things it can't do, of course, but as a device to carry round books, including song books, it fits the bill, and is much cheaper than the iPad variants.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:22 AM

A little rummage seems to indicate that almost all kindles are black and white only (there is a colour one but without 3g - but I was going to use wifi anyway). The colour one cannot I think be had with a keyboard, but the keyboard is tiny even on the keyboard version. I'm not clear if I can use the colour one on a wifi network for general surfing (read facebook & mudcat). If I can pick up email with it can I read "Word" attachments"? I'm thinking not and so that would rule the kindle out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:24 AM

Ipad3 seems to be £400. I'm sure I can get a laptop with tolerable batter life for less than that!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:26 AM

I doubt if it can read Word attachments, but I will do a test this evening if no-one else has responded by then. As I say, I see it as a bookreader. It has a built-in browser, but its not great.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:39 AM

For all round versatility I would probably go for a laptop. For portability go for a 13 or 15 inch.

I have an Iphone and a laptop. The Iphone tends to get used for calls, mapping, emergency browsing when I'm out and about. But all the serious stuff like word processing, spreadsheets, BBC I Player etc is done with the laptop.

It also depends on how long you want it to last these days as no matter what gadget you buy it will probably be technically obsolete in six months (probably sooner!).

CC


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:53 AM

Yes, but obsolescence is not my bugbear - it's how long I can leave it on (ut idling) fo rbefire the battery goes flat! There's a 17 inch HP Pavilion reported at 513 minutes - under test conditions - but it's about a grand, and teh Macbooks are always about a grand. THere's a Toshiba at 700-ish.

The HP looks great - 17 inch screen full numeric keypad - but too damned dear.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 10:01 AM

> For all round versatility I would probably go for a laptop

Actually, so would I. I already have a MacBook (about A4 size) so I was speaking about the iPad as an extra.

Michael's Samsung netbook has a 9- or 10 hour battery life (which really does last that long) and he's very pleased with it as a portable device.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 11:58 AM

For the past 6 months I've been using my HP mini laptop - 10 inch screen, fullsize keyboard, wireless capable. For me, it's a business machine and we are going to buy an antenna which will give it cell phone capability, as well as a card swiper for direct deposit and verification of credit cards. Screen is backlit. Real [as opposed to flash] hard drive with 120 GB capability. [They are available with more]. The battery is the double sized one, which also positions the keyboard ergonomically. I generally get about 6 hours of continuous, heavy use before I have to seek a power plug. It goes everywhere with me, in part because it weighs so little.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:09 PM

Nice! What OS are you running? I forgot to mention that the Samsung I referred to above has XP on it, which is less memory-hungry than W7.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 12:21 PM

"Tech" newsletters have been "all about small" for some months now, with some difficulty finding anything about "real computers."

From email bulletins received within the last couple of weeks, one article that might give a fair idea of people's preference for the sort of use you've indicated might be:

47% mainly surf web on desktops

Also of interest might be the PC Advisor (a UK magazine) "Best of the past year" listings:

PC Advisor Best of Past Year Awards
Budget Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad G570
Portable Entertainment Device: Apple iPod touch
Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S II
Tablet: Apple iPad 2

Other possibly applicable, most recent first, from the past week or two, mostly from PC Advisor:


Free Android Aps Drain Battery

iPad Shoulder Complaints Rising

New iPad has Overheating Problem


iPad 2 more easily damaged accidentally than original iPad

Since I don't leave the house that often, I've had little interest in "tiny toys" so I haven't really investigated much of what others consider "newsworthy" in these areas, but it's impossible not to read a few since there's not much else in the reports.

Good luck.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:13 PM

No, I'm not bothered about tiny either. In fact as stated I'd rather have a normal sized keyboard and a numbers pad would be nice too - but I do want battery life. The Barden of England has pointed me at netbook with real world 9 hour battery life (using the Brazos processor) - but it seems to have vanished


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 01:40 PM

That unit came to me with Windows 7 Starter edition and Microsoft Office 2007, Student edition. It came in to our rummage sale used and I had to rehab it, replacing the power pack and screen. Because of this machine, I put 7 Ultimate on another machine and will order Office for three other laptops as a group order.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 10:00 AM

Re the Kindle: I tried to access a Word attachment, but the browser isn't good enough to cope with the Webpage for my email provider properly - it was not possible to select the right buttons etc. I've had that before on other built-in browsers for devices: they don't necessarily support everything that PC/Mac browsers do. So I think we can be fairly sure a Kindle won't work properly with Word either.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 11:01 AM

Richard
I have used Mesh for many years and they are a British company, which is what I like.

This laptop has 6 hours battery life and very reasonable price and spec. £459 including VAT

http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=PRODUCTCONFIGPAGE&USG=PRODUCT&ENT=PRODUCT&KEY=969001

Cheers
Les Worrall


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 12:51 PM

I bought a Sony tablet recently - but wouldn't recommend it for serious use (to be frank I see it as more of a toy). Two things that I don't like about it are that there aren't many ports - so you can't attach much to it - and it runs the Android OS - which I dislike. The battery doesn't last long either.

I hate to say this but I will probably replace it with a Windows 8 device, when those become available.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 01:18 PM

The iPad does loads of stuff that the Kindle doesn't. In fact the Kindle is a reading device primarily and does that brilliantly and…pretty much exclusively. The iPad is way more versatile but it isn't a laptop by any stretch of the imagination. On the subject of laptops… on the face of it the Apple range seems epensive but… when you factor in the idea of a full operating system as opposed to Windows cut-down version, and ypu examine the large and impressive bundle of software…add to that the lack of virus attacks on the Apple platforms and the Mac has it in spades. Cheap means that you add software, virus protection etc. Not really cheap at all.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 01:39 PM

Cheap is fine - Open office or a successor is free and really just as good as Office (except for the lack of anything like Outlook or that will read pst files) but I leave 3 weeks emails on my POP3 server so that's no biggie. The Windoze security thing seems pretty good and it's free - and there are other free antivirusses too. I really don't need garage band on a portable device.

I think it's going to have to be a laptop or netbook. Shame I can't get one with no OS and install WinXP. I always wanted to try Linux but it seems like a bit of a hassle. The Barden of England has pointed me at a netbook that has 10 hours real world battery life and although that exact one seems to ahve gone off the market there is a very similar replacement, and the Brazos processor is much pokier than the Atom.

I really fancied a bigger screen than a netbook though, and although laptops with 15 inch screens are available at under £300 the on-dit seems to be that 5 hours battery life it totally the top whack in that price bracket.

I'll have a look at the Mesh, since it comes so highly recommended.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 03:45 PM

Well Its more a question of supporting British as well Richard. Phone mesh up and talk to them, they might just find what you want (battery seems almost like the major requirement) as a more affordable price.

Never been unhappy with them though.

They have a good forum as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Greg B
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 03:56 PM

If you like paper, I'm convinced that you need a monochrome Kindle AND something else. Ditto for battery life. The "electronic ink" sips power and really has to be seen to be believed. Nearly everything you hate about reading online is fixed by the Kindle. The more expensive Kindle Fire, while it offers color, is not as easy on the eyes nor does it offer the very long battery life of its little brother. The ones with ads, for around $79 are a great value, as the ads are unobtrusive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 04:03 PM

Here is an acer that might bbe OK http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.212-5590.aspx


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 04:12 PM

Yes. It must read email and word and Excel and the mudcat and facebook.    And send to the same. So Kindle is out. It must have a full size character keyboard, and a numeric keypad would be a bonus. So Ipad is out. So are most netbooks.   I need to be able to carry it about all day and not find the battery flat. But as soon as the screen size goes over 13 inches the battery life drops like a stone (square law for power usage, see) until you get to 17 inch luggables some of which have BIG HEAVY POWERFUL batteries (and cost nearly as much as a Mac.

I've spent hours looking at specs and there seem to be few consistent battery tests. One called "Battery eater" is used a fiar bit - but many many reviews don't give the batterylife stats. FFS, why would you want a portable and not be concerned about battery life?

Bah.

Maybe I'll start breeding pigeons in stead. And carry a quill pen.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 04:18 PM

You are so right Richard. Battery life is critical from a business point of view.

I found this, but it may be a bit too small http://www.acerdirect.co.uk/Acer_Aspire_751_Netbook_in_Red_-_9_Hour_Battery_Life_LU.S820Y.054/version.asp


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 04:47 PM

This might be the answer if you can find somebody who has it in stock

http://www.acerdirect.co.uk/Acer_Aspire_Timeline_5810T_Laptop_LX.PDU0X.085/version.asp


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 05:29 PM

I have used these a couple of times, with no problems. prices are very good. Once you decide what you want, see if they can supply.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 07:43 PM

I'm aiming to get below £300. I've had a look at both Asus and Acer, but the ones I fancied some had gone off the market, and some one review said great battery life and others said crap battery life. I'm not convinced that battery eater, with its very intensive usage, gives a fair prediction of relative battery lives at lower rates of current draw.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 08:15 PM

One more thing, make sure you get fully licensed copies of the programs you want.

In my limited experience, both Acer and ASUS are built for bottom line users. Having worked the local regional rummage sale, I find that both seem to be built more by bean counters than engineers. It does pay to spend more for a higher end machine just to reduce the probability of failure.

As far as antivirus and trojans, we use Avast and Glary utiities, both free, and have had no attacks. We run full scans at least once weekly and, despite the "small" size of our hard drives, the machines all run at a reasonable speed.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Tootler
Date: 22 Mar 12 - 08:33 PM

Linux is no hassle. When I first tried Linux I had to do a bit of tweaking to get audio to work properly but with my present computer both Ubuntu and Linux Mint, which I currently use installed no problems and everything works. You will also get a pretty good suite of software with any popular Linux distro these days. Unless you are getting one of the lightweight versions, you can expect Libre Office (Open Office breakaway after Solaris took over Sun), Firefox, Thunderbird (or you may get Evolution instead but that seems to have fallen out of favour) audio and video players which work fine, at least they do for me. Chrome (as Chromium, its open source incarnation) is available if you prefer.

The only hassle is learning a different way of doing things but the basics are pretty intuitive. I put Linux Mint on my wife's computer as I was having endless problems sorting out internet access as Vista's way of dealing with the network was obscure to say the least. She seems to have had no problems adapting to it and she is no techy, not by any stretch of the imagination.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Acme
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 12:30 AM

Read some reviews from places you respect. Over here I look at ZDnet and Cnet, etc.

I use a full-size robust desktop at home but have a laptop from work. Nothing fancy, it's heavy, but with wifi I can use it various places without a phone. Be sure to use an encrypted browser setup if you use public wifi.

For quick reading, messages, checking maps, and for calls, I have a Google Nexus S phone (all Google, none of the Samsung software on it, though Samsung builds it.) Reading this thread reminded me I needed to research and download an app for reading Win docs, etc, so I just did that. I can read email attachments this way.

It is a pain in the butt trying to read it very long, but for something to use on the fly, for a way to pause in a store and do a quick check to see if the item and price are really what I want, it works fine. I got a stylus to use on the phone (no slider keyboard) and I'm getting better at simply sending messages with finger typing.

I have chargers all over the place, and maybe that's something you need to think about. If you're in the car for a while, use a car charger to keep whatever you buy up to speed. Of course never leave it to charge when you're not there or it won't be there when you get back.

You should be able to use Linux well enough on a net book or notebook. If you' buy one with a PC OS, I'd skip Windows 8 if they offer it to you (supposed to be out soon) - stick with Win 7 for a while. I think 8 might be more for portable devices, but it will also be new. Don't be the Microsoft guinea pig. :-/

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 04:31 AM

Look for items that use wireless charging. I think the Galaxy s3 that is coming out shortly will have that capabilty


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 06:53 AM

From what you are saying, Richard, I reckon a 10" Netbook or a 13" Laptop PC would best suit your purposes. No need for v Large HDD or lots of memory, so cheaper end would be fine.

As to operating system, it's all a matter of personal choice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 23 Mar 12 - 06:58 AM

It might be better to go to a local PC builder and have you Laptop made to your requirements Richard.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ipad, Kindle, Phone or Laptop?
From: GUEST,Abdul on iphone
Date: 30 Mar 12 - 02:13 AM

Did you come to a decision Richard?
Al


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