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General Chat => Off Topic => : Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 10:00:58 AM

: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 10:00:58 AM
Well I'm on the trail again.

My lovely Samsung Galaxy Pro 12.2'' is starting to show its age - bless it. Its well over 5 years old now, maybe nearer 6 actually. Anyway its served me well but its beginning to faulter. Battery life isn't what it was and it crashed on me three time in quick succession this morning - seems fine again now who knows what coursed that.

Anyway its time I started to at least plan replacing it and find a target. The trouble is I really like the 12 inch screen space when reading comics - which is a fair chunk of its function.

Having looked around for a suitable replacement to aim for I'm struggling a little. There just doesn't seem a market in the UK for a good twelve incher. There is the Apple but its very expensive and I've never been a fan of any of the Apple devices I've had (have an iPhone from work and had an iPad which I gave back for a laptop for all sorts of reasons).

So I'm wondering if the Microsoft Surface is an option. Its just as expensive BUT will have other advantages being more of a laptop tablet combi. BUT does anyone here read comics on it? If so how is that?

Also can you even get the 2000ad App - or indeed others for it???
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: wedgeski 29 June, 2020, 10:30:01 AM
The Surface is a Windows machine so you'll be able to get the app from the Windows marketplace.

Not that it ever works. :grumble:
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 10:38:12 AM
Looks like you can't get a Comixology App either - though can read them online or via a 3rd party app.

What issues you having with the App Wedgeski?
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: IndigoPrime 29 June, 2020, 11:20:53 AM
FWIW, I’m rather enjoying the 12.9in iPad Pro here for comics reading (mostly using the fabulous Chunky (https://apps.apple.com/app/id663567628), but sometimes also Comixology), and it makes for a solid modular computer with whatever input devices you choose. My only real grumble is it’s a bit heavy at 640g. (I prefer the lighter 11in to hold.) Mind you, looks like the Samsung was even heavier than the iPad!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 12:54:21 PM
Yeah I knew you'd pop along as I know you get on weil Apple Products Indigo Prime. I've just really struggles with Apple devices.

What appeals about the surface is the ability to use it as a laptop(ish) as needed. The upside of the Apple is everything is designed to work on them. Just my experience of them (and the cost) really colours me against them.

My only real grumble is it’s a bit heavy at 640g. (I prefer the lighter 11in to hold.) Mind you, looks like the Samsung was even heavier than the iPad!

Yeah my old beauty is a bit of a brick.

I will look at the iPad instore at some point - still need to save for the next device - as it would be foolish to rule it outright and the Surface is going to have drawbacks - I least I know what the Apple's are!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: wedgeski 29 June, 2020, 01:37:44 PM
The Surface is a Windows machine so you'll be able to get the app from the Windows marketplace.

Not that it ever works. :grumble:
It would refresh my collection about 1 time in 10. All the rest of the occasions I tried it, it would simply time out or do nothing. That was several months ago -- it may have been fixed by now. In the meantime I'm just manually downloading PDF's from the store.
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 01:40:37 PM
I was having similar problems on my Samsung (Android) device as while back. Has long since sorted itself so hopefully that will be resolved by now?
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: IndigoPrime 29 June, 2020, 01:57:26 PM
In short, the iPad is a first-rate tablet and an increasingly good laptop—assuming you get relevant accessories. The Surface is a solid laptop and a half-arsed tablet. So it really depends on use-case. If it’s mostly going to be a tablet, I would say at least don’t rule out what is objectively the best tablet on the market—although I’m well aware that iPads have prohibitive costs at that end of the line. (The standard iPad is of course pretty good value at “from £349”, even when compared to Android fare, but it’s 10.2in rather than 12in+.)

Also, FWIW, although I do write a lot about Apple, my tech remit is wider. If someone wanted a recommendation for a new phone, I wouldn’t default to iPhone—I’d have to ask a bunch of questions regarding what they wanted to do first. For telly stuff, I’d almost never recommend Apple TV. But for tablets, Apple’s playing alone in the space, because no-one else comes close. And now, even in modular computing, the iPad is kicking bottom in many areas (although, infuriatingly, still lags in external display support, which remains a relatively weak point).

If it’s helpful, here’s my current comics set-up in Chunky, with a biro handily overlaid so you can see the screen dimensions. Chunky auto-groups comics, unless you tell it to list A-Z. And, yes, I do buy a lot of Humble Bundles… (I don’t use the 2000 AD app much, because I prefer sticking all my comics on a NAS and grabbing them from that. Comixology is the only regular exception.)

(http://www.reverttosaved.com/forums/chunky-1.jpg)

This shows landscape DPS view with the full UI active. The settings menu is open, showing some of the various options. (I turn off motion, allow upscaling, and don’t tend to tweak beyond that point.)

(http://www.reverttosaved.com/forums/chunky-2.jpg)

And portrait, again with a handy pen.

(http://www.reverttosaved.com/forums/chunky-3.jpg)

And here’s my review for Stuff: https://www.stuff.tv/apple/ipad-pro-2020/review
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: oshii 29 June, 2020, 02:07:17 PM
I've very recently bought a Surface Pro 7, and it's all been pretty positive so far.

I use Cover as an app, and it's fine - although I only read the prog on it.  I don't really get any other comics these days.   

In the past I had an ipad with comic zeal, which was a better app, but the Surface ticked the most boxes for me, for what I needed a device to do this time round
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Tiplodocus 29 June, 2020, 03:51:12 PM
I use a Chromebook that folds and can be used as tablet or laptop... will need to measure screen
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 04:49:31 PM
I use a Chromebook that folds and can be used as tablet or laptop... will need to measure screen

Do chromebooks fold flat so you can read comfortably in portrait? I see some have screens that detach but do the 'regular' one fold so you can read them like a tablet in portrait?
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Tiplodocus 29 June, 2020, 08:20:38 PM
Yeah, this one does. Keyboard is exposed on the opposite side from the screen. But you can't accidentally key anything because it stops as an input.

Comfortable? Well it's a bit heavy but that's only an issue for me if I have a long reading (60 minutes plus) session
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 29 June, 2020, 08:50:00 PM
Cool, thanks everyone. Some food for thought. Way I see it at the moment, with more research to do.

1) Surface is an option but expensive and has a degree of risk

2) iPad is something that many experts recommend as the best, but its also expensive and I have a personal biase against

3) A chromebook feels like a cheaper fall back but will have draw backs and I'd have to do a lot more research.

4) Wait for something else to come along... but that feels unlikey there doesn't seem to have been many other options come out since the Samsung 12.2 aside from those mentioned and that's 6 years ago now. The iPad was what over two years ago and not much seems to be coming out to challenge it?

Hmmm more thinking to be done and a trip to the shops... when I can actually mess about with stuff that is!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: IndigoPrime 29 June, 2020, 10:10:24 PM
My previous iPad Pro case had the keys on the back when folded. It just felt weird. One thing I do like about the (admittedly expensive) new iPad keyboard is the effortless nature of detaching it (something Surface users also enjoy).

iPad Pro was two years ago for this design, yes, but it got a minor refresh late last year—see my review for info. As for challenge, why would anyone? Android’s app ecosystem is awful, and its tablet ecosystem is non-existent. Microsoft is happy being more laptop than tablet with Surface and scooping up disaffected premium laptop users (including, entertainingly, prior MacBook Pro fans).

Also, I say this as someone who deeply wishes this wasn’t the case. If Android’s app ecosystem was stronger, it’d make my job a whole lot easier!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 30 June, 2020, 07:20:29 AM
Well my oh my I'm having a Cookie party and all the Cookies are invited. Bloomin' heck try doing a search for info on tablets and the like and all the cookies come out to play I've not seen such targetted advertising for some time. Its almost as if they've been reading this thread!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: IndigoPrime 30 June, 2020, 10:10:57 AM
Entertainingly, Apple’s now getting crap and ire from advertising companies because as of the next run of operating systems it’s blocking all that shit by default. (Google Analytics apparently gets a bye, however.)
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 05 September, 2020, 10:48:09 PM
Well that targeted advertising finally paid off and some adverts that keep cropping up for a Samsung S7 ... well I didn't realise it was a new 12.4" Samsung tablet, now I've followed a link on an ad. I'm in hog heaven. And will no doubt have hundred's of things telling me about them whether I'm online now!

Okay it will be pricely at £799 (for the one I'd get) and an eye watering £179 for a keyboard (cheaper off brand versions already available) and early reviews seem to be singing its praises.

I'm over half way to saving up as well and since its not out until later this year (from what I hear not confirmed yet) looks like I might have my new baby... though I'll whisper that as I've just got to cox this ol' thing through the next few months. Still crashes every now and then but its holding on and recovers immediately.

I got kinda lucky with this one!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: DrJomster 05 September, 2020, 10:57:16 PM
I’m reading on a normal sized ipad. The iPad Pro would have been lovely but also quite pricey. What I do is view in landscape, but zoom into a one page width. Have to scroll down the page but that’s not a problem tbh. Works very nicely!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: IndigoPrime 06 September, 2020, 10:50:59 AM
Honestly, I’d be quite reluctant to spend 800 quid on an Android tablet, given the dreadful app ecosystem, but if it’s the one that floats your boat, Colin, I hope you enjoy using it.

Assuming you’re talking about this model (https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews/samsung-galaxy-tab-s7-plus), do be aware of the aspect ratio (16:10 vs the squarer one on the iPad), smaller battery, and, again, Android being sub-optimal on a tablet form factor. You might want to find stores that stock these things so you can see them in the flesh before parting with your cash.
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: broodblik 06 September, 2020, 11:49:09 AM
I am reading my comics on an iPad Pro and it is great but the device is very expensive. 
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 06 September, 2020, 03:03:46 PM
Honestly, I’d be quite reluctant to spend 800 quid on an Android tablet, given the dreadful app ecosystem, but if it’s the one that floats your boat, Colin, I hope you enjoy using it.

Assuming you’re talking about this model (https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews/samsung-galaxy-tab-s7-plus), do be aware of the aspect ratio (16:10 vs the squarer one on the iPad), smaller battery, and, again, Android being sub-optimal on a tablet form factor. You might want to find stores that stock these things so you can see them in the flesh before parting with your cash.

I know you know more about these things than I ever will, so I'm defo listening to you, but I've never had a problem with the apps on Android, always seem to get what I need fine. The exception, ironically given what I use my device for half the time, is I've always made do with the comics reading apps and haven't found one I love. I know you recommend 'Chunky' on iOS and I wish I had a app I could recommend with the same commitment! Well I'd basically love to try Chunky on Android, but been waiting an age. But even so the one I use is fine, just doesn't sparkle or make me sing.

The aspect ratio on the Samsung is actually nearer to what I want - I will indeed go and look in a shop before buying to see the weight and feel, but suspect it will be better than my loved current device. I looked at an iPad pro in John Lewis based on your recommendation and its 'squarer' ratio would be lovely for reading the Meg I suspect, but most of the comics I read are US format and the screen I have currently is neigh perfect for those and the model I've seen (indeed the one you link to) has the same ratio as my current device just a smidge bigger. So fingers crossed that works for me.

The one thing I wait for, before commiting, is some more reviews. The ones I've read and watched are all glowing - which I suspect (and I wonder do you have inside insight on this?) / wonder whether they are 'friends' of Samsung sent free stuff ahead of time to say nice things before launch? One did seem to do a pretty decent comparison with the iPad and the Samsung came out top on the things that matter to me though.

Its a lot of money to spend on a device I agree, but I've got so much use and time out of my current device - though I strongly suspect using it to only 50% of its potential! That its money well spent. I barely touch our home laptop anymore, except when using spreadsheets and irritating my comic cataloguing service which doesn't work well on my tablet, bloody infuriating that. The cost is something I'm prepared to absorb for the screen real estate that I love for my digital comic reading...

...and yes I've typed all that by way rehearsing justifying in my mind shelling out best part of a grand on a tablet just to read bloody comics!
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: IndigoPrime 06 September, 2020, 03:23:54 PM
If your needs are fairly typical, Android is fine—on a phone. On a tablet, most of the apps look like blown-up phone apps. On iPad, that sometimes happens, but it’s rare. Developers actually make an effort. As for Chunky, that’ll never come to Android. There are reasonably good alternatives for Android (ComiCat was what I used to recommend, but I note it’s not been updated in three years; Astonishing and CDisplayEx get a lot of love and are… fine), but none I like to the same extent. (The app I really hoped would happen was the Chunky follow-up, designed to pull libraries from remote storage. Seemed ideal for me; but development appears to have stalled.)

Aspect-wise, comics fill the iPad display in landscape/DPS, but in portrait will find black borders left and right—although that never bugs me because that’s where my thumbs sit. For wider usage, I prefer the squarer format, though. I find it more useful for work-related tasks (writing; spreadsheets) and creativity (painting; music creation)—and Apple’s ecosystem has the apps for that. (Android has some apps, but they are fewer in number and generally not as good.)

Reviews won’t be biased in the manner you’re concerned about. No reputable website will be nudged by Samsung to any degree. The only issue with Samsung is that, in my experience, the loan periods are annoyingly brief. So there’s always a kind of shorthand in reviews. (You get a week, mostly, with their hardware.) The unit does compare favourably to iPad in some ways, and if in areas that matter to you, go for it. Just tread a bit carefully.
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 13 September, 2020, 09:31:26 AM
Is this love
That I'm feelin'
Is this the love
That I been searchin for...


Wondered in John Lewis in town yesterday looking for bits and bats. Popped up to the IT Floor to look at a couple of phones as my contract is up and I'm NOT going to do the getting my phone with my contract thing again and then... our eyes meet across the shop floor.

We're pulled to each other.

I had no way of knowing it would be there. Didn't think they were in town yet, not for a while at least. But they were there. Waiting for me. Calling to me. All lovely and beautiful and perfect.

They had the Samsung S7 plus and it was love at first sight.

Only complication is the desire to buy a phone not on contract has kicked the savings a little, but I'm happy to have a budget(ish whose idea of Budget is £200-300!) phone anyways and them I'll save the gap you will be mine baby. You will be mine....
: Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
: Colin YNWA 13 October, 2020, 09:42:39 PM
I've been living in the past. Dragging myself through the stone age, reading comics smeared in dung onto moss cover rocks.

But now... now... now I'm viewing, no embracing my digital comics through a kaleidoscope of digital beauty, thrown into eye cuddling wonder via a brain pump that smashes the glory of every pen stroke directly into my optic mind nodes...

... I got my new tablet in a bundle off that meant I could get it this month and by wife said the kids could well use my old device now my daughter is in secondary school and needs something half decent to work on... all the excuse I needed! It landed today.

Keyboard doesn't feel quite as robust and sturdy as the one I had on my last device, when typing on my knee but otherwise this device is giving me nerd wees every few minutes and I've not even tried the sound yet.