Test - Playbook to Replace them all
So I am about to test out how much work and play I do with my playbook. I am off to a business + pleasure trip tomorrow for 2 days, and I am leaving my private laptop (a Dell 1537 laptop - weight: about 2.5 kg...) home and I am travelling with:
* my trusted playbook, in a soft case
* 5 meter long HDMI cable
* hdmi to hdmi connector
* normal to mini HDMI cable
* playbook charger
* of course, my passport
So far, I have copied videos (music videos, movies, etc), music colection and documents (word, excel, pdf) and power point presentations that I am going to give in a workshop. All this is now safely stored on the playbook - transferred over WiFi. I am a bit nervous when it comes to by power point presentation, but have informed the workshop organiser to arrange for a projector that has an HDMI connector. I have installed Citrix app from app world, so that should keep me connected with the office e-mail. As a test, I am leaving the playbook USB data cable behind, and thus force myself to use wireless solutions. BlackBerry bridge is up and running with my other trusted friend: BlackBerry Torch 9800.
I am sure someone has done this before, but since I really want to start replacing the laptops with my playbook, I thought this would be a good test and make me understand how far I can take the replacement of a laptop with the playbook. I will write my observations, pros and cons and other thoughts either as I travel or after my return.
I still have 12 hours before I depart, so if someone think I have missed out anything, then please feel free to comment.
- 01-03-12, 12:12 PM #4
If you're on serious business, I think you should take your laptop. In my opinion, tablets were never meant to (nor will they ever) replace laptops and netbooks. I draft up PowerPoint presentations all the time and I use plenty of mathematical symbols and equations. When I put these PowerPoint presentations on my PlayBook and open them with the Slideshow To Go app, most symbols are either missing or replaced by Latin Letters
the Acrobat Reader and the To Go apps are not up to professional par right now and these are essential tools for the professional. In time I think they will get better (I hope) but right now professionals need them for professional looking work - not mediocre mockups.
Take your laptop man but we can agree to disagree since you are testing... just my opinion
Back from my trip, and following are my observations:
Thanks for all your feedback. Indeed, the trip is was a serious business trip. Agree with @bounce007 that tablets were never meant to replace laptops. In this case, since the trip is a workshop, the only requirement is for a presentation and access to work e-mail via citrix. It is not my intention to replace my laptop with the playbook, so perhaps I should modify the title of this thread
@howarmat – Indeed, tested the presentation on the Playbook and it looks good. Also, viewed it on my TV and no problems there. As @bounce007 I do see that the fonts I was using in the PowerPoint didn’t come up exactly as I expected, but since it is text, it didn’t matter. Also, the small modification in the font didn’t alter the slide layout.
So gathering your comments, this is what I did before I left:One sealed plastic bag labeled “Break the seal in case of emergency” that contains: 1) A data USB cable, 2) USB stick containing the presentation (@Psych1 – have the presentation on my e-mail Was surprised that during my whole trip, I didn’t need to open the bag. I also had a small and compact notebook with me, but didn't use it at all either.
- Wi-Fi sharing via hotel Wi-Fi access point worked very well. Needed to share a few files with a friend, and used the Wi-Fi sharing option on the playbook.
- i also had a Samsung galaxy s2 with me, and could use the Wi-Fi sharing to send files to the playbook. The biggest file i sent over was on 2 gb
- hdmi cable connected to the TV in the hotel room: watched videos, surfed on the big screen, used YouTube and movie app to watch countless clips
- using hdmi connection for presentation work as good as advertised. No problems what so ever
- half of the videos audio did not work. They were all avi files. During my stay I saw the article on the crackberry website that even though the video file is an avi file, that does not mean that the audio will work properly. learning for next time
- Bluetooth file transfer did not work. Not sure if playbook Bluetooth supports file transfer
- for some reason my app world decided to not allow me to purchase any apps while being abroad. No sure why. Got paypal error number 9300. Need to investigate this further.
- Lack of a solid cross platform sharing app for the PB was missed. I use SugarSync, and I can access files made available from my BlackBerry and Samsung S2, but unfortunately not from my PB. I can see such a powerful cross platform application adding a lot of value.
- Citrix connection to my office didn’t work, so the notebook came in very handy (thanks @bounce007)
What would be good to have:
- a small docking station to allow playbook to be used more robustly. What do i mean with that? The hdmi cable connection to playbook is very prone to be easily disconnected while using it in a split mode. Or perhaps using a soft hdmi cable with bent hdmi micro connection is what i need.
- some time ago it was reported that playbook will have usb host. At a couple of instances the wifi sharing saved the day, but usb host would have been a brilliant option to use
- 01-08-12, 07:25 AM #7
Well it seems as if your trip was successful and with little to no hindrances. I'm glad you decided to bring the laptop and an emergency bag. Good test!
I agree that a docking station would be great for the PlayBook. I have an idea of one in my head but it would be too wordy to describe.
Glad your trip went well! POWER TO THE PLAYBOOK!
- 01-08-12, 08:36 AM #8
I've done multiple business trips now with my iPad and Playbook only. I mostly use the iPad for work and the biggest reason is it has a very good Remote Desktop App. I use Splashtop. This allows me to tunnel back to my work laptop at home anytime. I also bring a good bluetooth keyboard. When the Playbook gets a good RDP app you will be able to leave the laptop at home. This works very well for me. If I know I will have to be building presentations or a lot of spreadsheet manipulation I would still bring my laptop...but the last 4 trips have been laptop free with no issues.
- 01-08-12, 08:57 AM #9
I, too, am trying the "how long can you go without a laptop" experiment. I just returned from the U.S. to my home on Mauritius, and I'm doing my best NOT to fire-up the laptop. In fact, other than debugging some issues with bringing my router back online (after a month away with everything stored for security reasons - used my daughter's netbook to access via Ethernet), I've yet to use anything else. And unless I need to do some actual coding (I write .NET solutions for Wall Street firms), I can't see myself needing to bring my Thinkpad w700ds back online anytime soon.
Note: I've tried to go "lightweight" before, my system of choice being an HP Mini 2140 "business class" Netbook. However, rather than liberating me it simply infuriated me by providing an inferior Windows experience (though the build quality of the HP was top notch). By contrast, the Playbook's smooth, well-oiled UI is always responsive - I never feel like I'm getting the "lesser" version of an experience that would have been better provided on a larger system.
Things that make the transition more palatable include an HDMI cable/Acer mini digital projector (for presentation purposes/movie night on the road), rapid charger and dock charger (for road/home use), Logitech bluetooth keyboard for Android 3.0+ (works great with the OS2 dev preview), and a fairly rugged Case Logic 7" carrying case that doubles as a stand to prop up the Playbook when open.
BTW, we are now a two-Playbook family since I picked-up a 16GB model for the wife during Sprint's fire sale last week (paid $199 for hers, and $249 for my 32GB model at Office Depot before Christmas). Wife loves hers and, like me, hasn't fired-up her laptop since we got home.
Long term the plan is to use the Playbook to deliver business presentations here on the island (working to open the first American high school in the southern Indian Ocean) and I may pick-up a BB phone just to get the bridging functionality so I can go fully mobile.
Anyway, the w700ds continues to collect dust. It'll be interesting to see what, outside of the need to write .NET code, forces me back into laptop mode.
- 01-08-12, 10:46 AM #11
Gspot can identify the properties (video and audio aspects) of a video and show you what might have been wrong with those avi files (probably that dolby codex).
The pb does not support the ordinary bt file transfer protocols to allow communications between devices. It only supports Bridge betw pb and bbphones.
Others have mentioned, when out of HOME, you may not be able to purchase from appworld as you are coming in from a foreign ip address.
- 01-08-12, 11:04 AM #12
portal; You said Citrix receiver didn't work while you were travelling. Did it work when you were at home?
I have installed it on my Playbook and accessed my Citrix desktop. It took some tweaking to do so but it works.
I plan to take my PB on a business trip this month, leaving my laptop behind.
I don't really care about the lack of native email on the PB, I rarely use it on my laptop other than sending / receiving attachments. I have a Torch 9800 for corporate and personal email.
For me, the Playbook is a power tool that still has not been released to its full capacity. Bluetooth is locked (no file transfer, no audio for us who are not using Beta, but good to see that it is in the works), WiFi browsing on the network is not possible (i.e., can’t access network folders), USB host is locked, etc. I am eagerly looking forward to the 2.0 official release and hope that the awesome hardware can be fully utilized.
@Angu_CB: Regarding Citrix: That was one thing I didn’t get any time to test before I left. I got hold of the Citrix address for my company, but when I attempted to connect, it would just stop and not connect. I believe that the issue with Citrix is on my company’s IT side, and have raised this as ticket with the customer support department. I am pretty sure they will come back and say that they don’t support PlayBook, although in my mind, an orange is an orange – despite who is holding it. Citrix is Citrix, and one should be able to connect.
A few points to highlight (might be old news for most of you, but let me share anyway):
* I have permanently mapped my media folder on the playbook on all the computers in the house. Benefit: 1) no need to use USB cable anymore. Anyone can copy / upload files from their computer to the PlayBook in my house. 2) Since there is media stored on the playbook, the second I enter the WiFi zone in my house, all the media players attached to the home network (I use PlayOnHD – Playon!HD | Full HD Network Mediaplayer by A.C.Ryan) can immediately access the media stored on the playbook and start playing it on the TV (note: all network units in the house have fixed IP’s). When my kids found out that they could see the photos on my playbook, they would wait in the window around the time I was due home from work, and as they would see my car approaching, they would run to the TV and try to connect (a shortcut to the playbook is already there). I have walked into the house (with the playbook in my briefcase) and seen picture already streaming to the TV. Now where else can you get this kind of awesome feature built in?
* In some recent posts I asked how to connect the PlayBook to a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone for tethering purpose. I am running VPN on my Android phone, and it seems like PlayBook will not tether if VPN is active. As soon as I turned VPN off, the tethering started to work with great success. Just a tips in case anyone is using a combination of Andriod (with VPN) and PlayBook.
* I live in a non-supported BlackBerry App World country, and I am using a dd-wrt PPTP enabled router to an access App World (and for that sake all other services that are blocked for non US IP address holders). The issue I encountered during my travel was (I believe) related to the credit card I have registered with PayPal. My credit card is registered in the country where I live, and perhaps that blocked the purchase. As soon as I was back, I was able to again purchase whatever I want from App World. Perhaps next time I travel I should bring with me a portable WAP with PPTP. On the other hand, I do see that PlayBook in its current OS release do support VPN, but they are linked to specific providers (Cisco, etc). Not sure how easy it is to get hold of a VPN account with them. PPTP support would allow end customers to connect to any VPN provider, and would make the PlayBook truly global.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if anything is unclear.
- 01-10-12, 04:05 PM #22
Yes, its good the Playbook could do this but..
When I have a need to go somewhere to do a presentation, I put it on a USB memory stick. I also have a wireless remote with a USB stick. Most Large screen would have a computer hooked up to it. I just plug USB Wireless remote and my memory stick to the computer. The wireless remote also has a laser pointer built in. I can control the presentation anywhere in the room.
These two devices hardly weight anything. Much easier to set up.
- CrackBerry User
01-10-12, 06:30 PM #25
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I've really enjoyed reading this thread. I'm setting up a blog about sustaining a mobile computing life with a tablet and the playbook / Bold 9900 are my weapons of choice. Really good to see another thread with so much info.
Can I add something to the audio-less AVI debate. I might have just got lucky, but I had the same problem when trying to download a lot of Stand up Comedy. I would download the folder and then transfer only the AVI file onto my playbook. The audio would play on my Macbook, but not on my Playbook. Then I started dragging and dropping the whole folder into the videos folder in the Playbook directory and not once have I had an issue with audio, and without diving into menus that I know nothing about. Give it a try. I've been successful every time since.