New Experiment

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by Don, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Don

    Don
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    So I ordered a Samsung Galaxy S3; when I get confirmation that it'll be shipped, I'll also procure an HDMI adapter (so I can hook it up to a larger monitor or even a TV), along with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I'll use Google Docs for my documents and spreadsheets. Might consider signing up with Mint to do my financials. I should be able to access the mobile versions of my email accounts; and, of course, use wi-fi wherever possible. Hook it up to the monitor/TV and use the keyboard & mouse when stationary or in a hotel room.

    Point of the experiment being, can a cellphone--especially one touted as an "iphone killer"--really take the place of a laptop, or even a desktop?

    What do y'all think? Too geeky for words? Any details I should be thinking about? Or are y'all like my wife and just rolling your eyes? :tongue3:
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    My old eyes would have trouble building large spreadsheet models on a phone, so the HDMI would be a definite need. Still, if you do very complex ones, Google Spreadsheets may prove limiting. Simple stuff, sure, give it a whirl. There are already some Atrix phones that dock into a clamshell to turn them into laptops.
     
  3. Don

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    I considered an Atrix 2 or even a Droid Razr Maxx and the lapdock; but Motorola hasn't updated the Atrix in a couple of years, and the lapdock hasn't gotten attention/support. Plus, not sure about Verizon or Sprint, but AT&T charges for tethering for the lapdock (although the lapdock is a "dummy terminal" and can do nothing without the phone....)

    I'm with you about the eyes, which is why I specifically went for a phone that I know can connect to a larger screen. The iPhone will also connect with the correct cable; but the screen size of the Galaxy S III is much larger than an iPhone.

    Phone has arrived; waiting on the HDMI cable. Gotta choose a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Will let you know how it works out.
     
  4. InTheLight

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    Yes, please give us progress reports. My phone contract is up in December and I need to pick a new phone. It's going to be either the Razr Max, the Galaxy S3 or an iPhone (ver 5?).

    As to your experiment I think the deciding factor for me would be the keyboard. I've got to have a full sized keyboard with the 'keyboard feel' to really work efficiently. I would guess that your setup will allow you to do everything you currently do with a laptop or desktop but I wonder about the convenience and efficiency of doing it with a smartphone.
     
  5. Don

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    The phone itself is great. A little larger than I was expecting. I've already opened up and worked Google docs on it. As someone mentioned, even on this screen, it's kind of small.

    But it's *fast*, faster than I was expecting. Netflix works a LOT better than on the previous tablet I had; I'd almost say it works better than on the XBox 360.

    Added a 16gb microSD card (one I already had); no problems with the additional memory. I'd recommend to anyone else trying this as a "permanent" solution to look into a 32 or 64 gb card. Between music, videos, documents, and apps, the space will go quickly.

    Haven't messed with the voice commands; not a requirement for me. I'm hearing reports that it's on par with Apple's Siri--which means, not that good.

    Some idiosyncracies with the keyboard. When I open a browser (I use Dolphin), if I turn the phone over into Landscape mode and try to type in a web address, the browser stops at my first period (as in, ".") and treats it as a Google search. If I keep the phone upright, it doesn't do that.

    Waiting on the MHL/HDMI connector cable to arrive. Had to order from a company in London (cheapest price I could find; not to mention, where I'm at, cheapest S&H I could find), so I'm pessimistic about arrival times. May be another 2-3 weeks before it gets here. At that point, I'll select a keyboard (with trackpad, or an additional mouse) and see what happens.
     
  6. Don

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    MHL/HDMI adapter arrived. Sweetness. Displayed my phone screen on a 46" TV, demonstrated playing "Draw Something" and opening Google Docs. Only drawback is, you have to have the power cord plugged in (into the adapter) in order for it to work. Resolution isn't 100% clear, either.

    Unfortunately, finding a bluetooth keyboard and mouse is not as easy as I expected. Need a couple more days to figure that one out.
     
  7. InTheLight

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    Thanks for the updates. Please keep 'em coming.
     
  8. Don

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    So I sit here typing on a bluetooth keyboard, using a Bluetooth mouse to point-and-click on the screen; using a 20" TV as my monitor. It's different; some functions I'm used to with the mouse don't work; and I have to use the keyboard's "Back" button to switch between windows. I'm figuring it out as I go. But so far, as a replacement for a desktop or laptop, it seems to be working out.

    There are some settings I need to figure out; for example, the phone's keyboard is still showing up as I type.

    But I've been able to scroll between windows on the phone screen; open up a game and play on the screen, with the sound coming through the TV on SurroundSound; play a video and play some music; work on documents; and of course, open the browser and do some surfing. I'm using an old Bible case as my "device carrier" for the cords, mouse, and keyboard.

    BTW: the iPhone has an HDMI adapter, but apparently, it only works for video (or so I'm told).

    More to come.
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

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    I have a Motorola bluetooth keyboard for my Xoom. I tried pairing it with my Galaxy SII Epic Touch, and it works. Used it to take notes in a meeting by typing into Evernote on my phone. Then I get back to my desk and open Evernote and there are my meeting notes waiting for me. :)
     
  10. Don

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    Final(?) analysis on this: there's a few limitations I haven't found work-arounds for. For example, I've been moon-lighting with a university, teaching a couple of classes. The mobile browser (BTW: I switched to Chrome; works great for the most part) allows me to get into the university's online system for tracking grades, but some of the online system functionality isn't available with the mobile browser.

    I'm able to use Google Docs (I believe they're calling it Google Drive now); I've been creating some resumes and other stuff with no problems. And I've found that OfficeSuite works great with Microsoft Office products (better than Documents To Go; I've had more than one document or spreadsheet that DTG choked on, but OfficeSuite opened without any problems).

    So I definitely recommend the Galaxy S3. I had considered a Droid Razr Maxx, but AT&T isn't offering them; and I was trying to stay within my current phone plan.

    THAT SAID, the iPhone 5 is coming out sometime in the next few months. If you're an iPhone kind of person, you might want to wait. But remember: for the "experiment" I was conducting, the iPhone won't do many of the tasks I require. We'll have to wait and see if the iPhone 5 comes with the same restrictions, or really puts itself in the "micro-computer" category.
     

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