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Old 01-06-2011, 03:39 PM   #1
Terry Smythe
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I'm editor of an association journal, 6 issues per year, typically 64 pages, typically 36 pages in color, working with QuarkXpress under WinXP Pro. This coming summer, I'll be traveling (driving) through Ireland, UK, and Poland. During that time, I will need to work on an issue current for that time.

Thoughts of others would be appreciated relative to the practicality of using a contemporary "tablet" with an external keyboard docking station. I'm attracted to Samsung's Galaxy Tab which has built-in GPS, cameras both ways, video, audio, cell phone, lots of useful features. But is it practical to consider such a device for a one time DTP application.

I'm reluctant to carry my laptop as it is heavy and lacks many of the useful features seemingly present in these new tablets.

Is there an alternative to a "tablet". What's emerging from within the CES this week in Las Vegas?

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Terry Smythe
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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Isn't the Galaxy Tablet an Android device? Does QXP run under Android? Does anything that'd be compatible with QXP run under Android?

I suspect this is a non-starter, Terry.

Have you looked at netbooks? For around US$300, you can get them with XP or Win7. They're not hot performers, but any decent one will be more than adequate for light editing, word processing and whatnot.

They won't have GPS built in, but you can buy a copy of something like MS Streets and Trips with GPS included.

http://www.microsoft.com/streets/en-...treetsgps.aspx

And you can move the software and GPS to another computer if you like. Can't do that with a built-in GPS and software that runs only on a dedicated platform.

Some have video camera built in, most if not all have audio. No phone but if you've got a wireless connection, you could use Skype (paying for skype credits) to call regular phones.

And it'll run pretty much anything you use on your regular PC.

Downside: Unless the tablet's battery life is truly horrid, it'll be better than you'll get on a netbook. 'Course, you can buy spare batteries for at least some netbooks. Charge 'em up in advance, swap 'em out as needed.

   
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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What parts of the editing job will you be doing while you're travelling? I don't see any apps on the Galaxy that would allow you to open and edit Word documents for example, or view graphics, or mark up PDFs. But I'm no expert on Android apps, just looking at the apps on the Samsung site...

   
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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I don't think tablets will do what you want, Terry, but old DTP software (Photoshop 6, Illustrator 9, Quark 4.1 and Acrobat/Distiller 5) should run on XP Home on a Netbook. Mind you, the small screen might drive you nuts.

   
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:29 PM   #5
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"Is there an alternative to a "tablet"."
Yes, buy one of the many lightweight laptops on the market. Some of them even allow you to flip the screen down so they become a "tablet" if you don't need the real keyboard. All will probably be cheaper and more powerful than the new tablets you can buy, and they'll be running the OS you need to run.
Forget about CES, most of what you see released there will not hit the market for 90 day, and usually at high price and quota longer than that.

Look at an "ultaportable" XP notebook, if you buy well in an off-lease machine, you can probably sell it at the end of the summer with only a $100-150 loss. Thank of that as a rental fee.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:02 AM   #6
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Assuming you still want to run Quark XPress, Illustrator and Photoshop, then that really rules out a tablet.

There are many Linux freeware clones of these apps -- Scribus for QXP, Inkscape for Illustrator and GIMPShop for Photoshop (a modified GIMP designed to have a Photoshop interface).
However, I have no idea whether the Android OS can handle these, or if the touchscreen GUI of a tablet renders them useless without a mouse.

I would suggest that getting a lightweight laptop is a more useful investment. If you can afford it, the MacBook Airs (MacBooks Air?) are designed exactly for this purpose -- long battery life, low weight, good screen. I'm sure there are similar Windows-based ones.

If you do want to use a tablet, then you'll need to find some other software that can do the magazine work on the tablet. I have no idea of how producing Pressready PDFs and sending them to a printer would work.
Pages on the iPad, as part of iWork, the Apple "office-style" suite, is capable of producing really nice press work. You would have to build your old templates from scratch, though.
If you did go with the Galaxy, then you would need to use whatever layout software has been written specifically for Android.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annc View Post
I don't see any apps on the Galaxy that would allow you to open and edit Word documents for example, or view graphics, or mark up PDFs.
I'd be very surprised if you couldn't open and edit a Word document on Android. I can do that on my iPhone, so there's no way that Android
are going to compete if they can't do this.
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
I'd be very surprised if you couldn't open and edit a Word document on Android. I can do that on my iPhone, so there's no way that Android are going to compete if they can't do this.
I suppose we need to know what Terry needs to do himself. He says he's the editor, but we don't know if he also does the layout and typesetting...

   
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
Terry Smythe
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....layout and typesetting...

Many thanks for the feedback, appreciated..... Beginning to look a lot like a NetBook might be a better option than a tablet. As Editor of my association journal, I use QuarkXpress to do the full layout. My Ohio publisher works with my PressQuality PDF output. What remains to be seen is if I can work reasonably effectively with a tiny NetBook screen, albeit one time only. I'm currently working with a 22" LCD screen, very nice.

As we expect to do some driving in Ireland, UK and Poland, I had thought that a tablet with GPS would be useful. However, I do have a Garmin portable GPS unit that I could bring with me, keeping to a minimum items consuming luggage space. I really don't want to be burdened with my 16" laptop.

And the Netbook would seem to be suitable for all other minimal applications on the road, such as email, photo storage, etc.

Regards,

Terry Smythe
Winnipeg, Canada
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:16 PM   #9
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Another thought. I'd have a look at netbooks in the stores if you can. Most of them are in wide screen format. Meaning that they give you around the same number of pixels as, say, a 1024x768 display but rearrange them to give you more across the width. But fewer top to bottom. You might find that a bit maddening for vertical page work. A subcompact laptop rather than a netbook might be worth looking at too, though it's almost certainly going to be more expensive.

I use both. I'd be happy doing text editing on the netbook and am fine using it for landscape layout work (I mostly do PowerPoint presentations on it) but I think it'd make me a bit nuts (more than heredity and nurture have already provided for) if I had to do a lot of portrait layout work on it.

Hm. Some of the lappies Groucho mentions, the ones that let you flip the top to switch between tablet and regular, may also let you change the orientation of the screen from landscape to portrait quickly. That might be just the ticket.

   
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:53 AM   #10
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I have a netbook with a 1024 x 600 screen -- fairly standard resolution for the category. I wouldn't think of doing layout on it, though it's fine for reading Web articles in bed and I'd use it for email and other lightweight tasks on the road.

Terry, any old 1024 x 768 monitors in easy reach? Attaching one of those to your current computer and masking off the bottom 20 percent of the screen would give you a sense of what would fit on a netbook screen.

   
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