I Pad or similar

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chokkie | 21:59 Sat 08th Sep 2012 | Technology
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Hi folks, we are thinking of getting ourselves an I-Pad, to add to the desk-top and laptop computers that we already have. Before we really start looking around in earnest, we've got a couple of burning questions, which I wonder if you can help us with ...

Firstly - once you've got the actual tablet thingey, do you need to download your various software - e.g. Microsoft Word, e.mail provider, etc? separately?

Also - presumably these things come with a power cable so you can work with it plugged into the mains and/or charge it up to use without the cable?

Thirdly - do you need a broadband connection?

Lastly - and this is probably an even sillier question than the previous one - we have wireles at home, if we wanted to use it away from home, do we need to be in a "wireless zone"?

Sorry, there was one more - we are off to the States in October, and thought we might leave our purchase until there and see what we can find there. Would you recommend buying something there? What I mean is, if we bought something in the US, and something went wrong with it here, unless it was a make where there are stores in the UK, e.g. Apple, would it be stupid to buy there and much better to get one in the UK?

Sorry these are such stupid questions, but we are pretty much dinosaurs when it comes to I pads and the like, but just wanted to know all this before we actually take the plunge.

Anyway, hope someone out there can offer some advice.

Best wishes, Chox.


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While iPads don't attract Import Tax, you'd need to pay 20% VAT when you imported it into the UK. (If you failed to declare it, you'd risk having it seized - and possible prosecution)

Any power supply provided with an American electrical product would be designed for use with a mains power supply of 120V, supplied at 60 HZ. (The UK uses 230V, at 50Hz, with different plugs). You'd almost certainly have to buy another power power supply.

I'll leave the other questions for people who are more familiar with tablets than me.

You can connect to the net outside your home in three ways on an iPad. You can use hotspots, usually free in places like costas, macdonalds and so on. If you have bt Internet you can sign up to their extended service where you can connect to wifi via a network piggybacked onto everyone's home hubs. This is good in cities, less good rurally. You can also pay a monthly subscription to connect to the net like a smart phone but there is no phone service on an iPad.
Word processor, spreadsheet and so on on the ipad come From the app store, they cost about six pounds each iirc, I bought mine a while ago.
Question Author
thanks both, very useful information. We are on Virgin for our phone, computer and TV services. Does anyone know how it would work with them?
Cheers, chox.
"e.g. Microsoft Word,"
There is not a version of Microsoft Word for the iPad.
If you've got wireless, then you connect to it just like you would a laptop etc.

Various mobile companies offer ipad plans.
If you have itunes, you can take a look at the app store.
It might be worth a visit to your local apple store. The folk are very helpful and were patient with my idiot might end up getting a different tablet from somewhere else but at least it would be a start point for you. You'd need to talk to Virgin about connecting your ipad.
If you are waiting 'til October, you might want to try one of these instead (you can always return it if you don't like it:
rojash, the Op mentioned a word processor program. Does the new Kindle do that?
Woofgang. This app would seem to fit the bill (This is not a recommendation, just the result of a quick trawl of Android apps on Amazon). User Recommendation
Question Author
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I think we shall probably wait until the end of the year now, who knows - there might be something interesting on the market by then, if not, well, we'll see. Anyway, in the meantime we shall pop into town and have a word with the people at our Apple store, and I think we shall also probably contact Virgin, who provide our broadband stuff, etc. Really appreciate the advice. Best wishes, Chox.
You said ipad or similar

I have been looking for an xmas present and came across this bargain yesterday and will be collecting it today

It is more than 1/2 the price of a smaller GB ipad 2nd gen
OK. I don't know the answers to all your questions but I will have a go :::

1 Any tablet should already have an operating system loaded. My Samsung Galaxy TAB two has Android.

2 Yes they come with a mains cable....sometimes they can be charged up
via a USB socket.

3 How will it work if you don't have an internet connection ? At home you will pick up your home broadband, in the same way as a laptop or smart phone. Away from the home it will pick up whatever Wifi it can detect, like McDonalds or Wetherspoon Pubs, etc. You might have to use a dongle to pick up service if you are not within range of any Wifis. But bear in mind an awful lot of places have Wifi these days, including airports. Tablets are really just a different kind of laptop, that's all.

4 It might seem tempting to buy a tablet in the States but it might not be much cheaper ( taking into account exchange rates ) and you might get caught bring it through Customs and have to pay duty. Also it might not be the same spec. as a British one, and there is the usual difference in mains voltage. God only knows what would happen if something went wrong and you had to take it back to the shop ! Personally I wouldn't bother...just go to Tesco, or another place you trust.

Don't forget it doesn't have to be an Apple Ipad. As I said before, I have a Samsung Galaxy TAB and find it very good. There are others as well and they are ALL cheaper than Apple. For instance, Apple sell a smashing-looking laptop but it costs nearly £2000 ! Its a lovely bit of kit but such an awful lot of money.

I mentioned before that tablets are like laptops but they are not the most user-friendly when it comes to typing lots of text, so bear that in mind. A laptop is really the only one to use in that situation....typing on a virtual keyboard will drive you MAD !

Hope this helps !

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