Tablet + 3G Service Thoughts....

Odale

Active Member
My mom wants to ditch Comcast but still wants internet. All she does is browse the internet, Facebook, and email. She also likes to watch Hulu.

I told her that she could get a tablet from Verizon (she loathes AT&T, her words - "I'll go without internet before I pay AT&T again") with 3G service and use the internet on it.

Does anyone here have a tablet with 3G service? How is it? How do the data caps affect watching video (e.g., Hulu)?

Also, if I get one off Craigslist (like an iPad with 3G enabled) can I sign it up with Verizon for service for her (I don't know how a new owner would do that)?

Any information would be stellar.
 

ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
Is Comcast the only cable internet provider, or is there a reasonable DSL provider available? Does it have to be a mobile device?
 

ewoksrule

Active Member
I called into Comcast on Monday and asked to be transferred to retention department. I told them I was paying too much for internet only and ATT had a tempting deal. 1 min later I had a no-contract year long promotion that took $25 of my monthly bill with no loss in speed/package. Worth trying at the least.
 

Odale

Active Member
The other option is AT&T, and she apparently did call Comcast and the bill was supposed to be lowered to $30 a month, but the last bill was $60.

I think the most recent bill she got was the last one before the lesser price took effect.

I also think a tablet would be better for her than the laptop shes always on.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
I grew up with a mouse and keyboard as my primary controls for digital communication, so I can't text as fast as twenty-somethings or swipe (think Swype or Android's Gesture Typing) as quickly as teenagers. I spent my teens and twenties chatting on IRC, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, and other chat networks, which is why I can type as quickly as I can.

A tablet is a good enough device for consuming content, but tap-typing or swiping are both very weak alternatives to a keyboard and mouse when it comes to producing content (e.g. forum posts, e-mails, Facebook posts, etc.) longer than 140 characters.

If you can find a tablet with a snap-in keyboard at a reasonable price, that may help bridge the gap in regards to communicating.

As for connection downstream, upstream, and stability, a cable or DSL line is likely going to offer a considerably smoother experience than 3G or any cellular data technology.

Tablet + 3G sounds serviceable in theory, but leave it to me to point out the faults in any plan, like a good editor should. :)

There's also the matter of cellular companies pricing mobile data like it runs on unicorn blood. Seriously, it's ridiculous. On a related, note, bandwidth caps are holding back innovation and America's downstream and upstream speeds are embarrassing when compared to other first world nations.

</rant>

When it comes to streaming video, 4GB per month probably doesn't go very far. The lowest cable or DSL cap I've read about in the US is 150GB and I think that information is at least a year old.

The good news is that a tablet would be excellent for off-screen viewing (e.g. someone else is watching the television in the living room and you want to watch an episode of something on Netflix on your tablet) and the price point is actually reasonable, especially for 7-inch tablets like the Nexus 7 2013.

But for typing e-mails and Facebook posts? Not so much.

Then again, as you can tell from the length of this post (and many, many others like it that I've posted), I do not represent the average user. :)

EDIT: Also, Comcast and AT&T are both horrible, horrible companies. (Unfortunately, AT&T U-Verse is the lesser of two evils in my area as politics has prevented any real competition. The U-Verse service is solid, but the U-Verse billing department is an absolute mess. I spent between 6 and 10 hours on the phone trying to get AT&T to honor the promo they promised when I first signed up.) I'd look for alternatives to those options in your area, but I understand that there may be no other viable choices (and believe me, I sympathize).
 
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Odale

Active Member
I was talking to an Australian friend last night about it and he says its illegal in Australia for companies to charge you out the wazoo for going over your cap (yes they still have them but it's far less painful).

A tablet is a good enough device for consuming content, but tap-typing or swiping are both very weak alternatives to a keyboard and mouse when it comes to producing content (e.g. forum posts, e-mails, Facebook posts, etc.) longer than 140 characters.

If you can find a tablet with a snap-in keyboard at a reasonable price, that may help bridge the gap in regards to communicating.
I had an Acer Transformer and while it performed well enough for every day use and while it would have certainly been good enough for my mom (who may as well be allergic to technology), to my knowledge they do not come with 3G or LTE service. Essentially, it's not the technology that is the problem, its the connection. Whatever she winds up with cannot solely rely on wifi for a connection.

As for connection downstream, upstream, and stability, a cable or DSL line is likely going to offer a considerably smoother experience than 3G or any cellular data technology.

Tablet + 3G sounds serviceable in theory, but leave it to me to point out the faults in any plan, like a good editor should. :)
Also I learned that the iPad mini and the iPad with retina display can be had with LTE. I'm still unsure if that's fast enough to stream Hulu, though.

Also, I think my mom is more hardcore than even you are, Tek, when it comes to avoiding companies they don't like. :p
 
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ursen

Officer SOE/LoE/Where's "here"?
Hard core in hating companies you don't like? Pffft Tek you are a piker, I break out in an angry rash at the mere mention of the ***mart name.
 

Lloren

Christian Gamers Alliance Forums Administrator
If buying used be aware that AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon LTE devices don't interchange (mostly - new Nexus 7 tablet is the exception). In otherwords, you can't by an old AT&T iPad and activate it on Verizon. Won't work because different hardware.

I'm just going to put this Nexus 7 review here.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEpMtf6nJco
 

Odale

Active Member
If buying used be aware that AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon LTE devices don't interchange (mostly - new Nexus 7 tablet is the exception). In otherwords, you can't by an old AT&T iPad and activate it on Verizon. Won't work because different hardware.

I'm just going to put this Nexus 7 review here.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEpMtf6nJco
Haha... I looked at the Nexus 7's tech specs and it comes with LTE, but only from AT&T and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile's coverage couldn't be worse, and my mom thinks that AT&T's CEO is Satan himself.

I suppose the Nexus 7 could work, it seems nice enough from that review you linked, but if she ever found out that her service was through AT&T she may destroy the tablet.
 

Abba San

Legacy of Elijah [LoE] - Proud Grandfather
I grew up with a mouse and keyboard as my primary controls for digital communication, so I can't text as fast as twenty-somethings or swipe (think Swype or Android's Gesture Typing) as quickly as teenagers. I spent my teens and twenties chatting on IRC, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, and other chat networks, which is why I can type as quickly as I can.
That's because you are old, Tek. Me...I was pre-mouse.

I put Swiftkey on my phone and tablet (it was the Amazon free app of the day a few weeks ago) and it has made a huge difference in my swiping on both devices. Once it learned me and my vocabulary I became pretty quick.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
I was talking to an Australian friend last night about it and he says its illegal in Australia for companies to charge you out the wazoo for going over your cap (yes they still have them but it's far less painful).
That's because, sadly, other countries put the United States to shame when it comes to consumer rights.

EDIT: On second thought, I'll hush my mouth now and not risk turning this thread into a political debate.

Also I learned that the iPad mini and the iPad with retina display can be had with LTE. I'm still unsure if that's fast enough to stream Hulu, though.
I've made my opinion regarding Apple products (both in terms of openness and value for price) clear in other threads, so I won't revisit that topic, but I would have to think there are current Android tablets that play nice with LTE and would connect to Verizon towers.

Also, I think my mom is more hardcore than even you are, Tek, when it comes to avoiding companies they don't like. :p
More power to her, then. If more people spoke out with their wallet rather than just rolling over, companies like AT&T and EA would have to adapt or die.

Hard core in hating companies you don't like? Pffft Tek you are a piker, I break out in an angry rash at the mere mention of the ***mart name.
And as much as I hate to say it, my wife and I shop at the nearby (as in, approximately 1 mile from our house) Walmart Neighborhood Market. Unfortunately, where we live, it would be financial idiocy to do otherwise. :(

I know it sounds like hypocrisy, having just blasted AT&T and EA, but if more socially responsible and morally sound companies are legitimately interested in gaining more loyal customers, they can't charge one and a half times the price for the same product. People can only vote with their wallets if those wallets aren't empty.

In the case of AT&T, there are usually (though not always) viable alternatives. (Unfortunately, the only other viable post-paid cellular provider where I live is Verizon, which has an excellent network and absurdly high prices to go with it. Prepaid is the way to go, yo!)

In the case of EA, they don't create anything we really need, just stuff we want. It wouldn't bother me in the slightest to skip Battlefield 4, but I'd be in a rough spot if I had to go without Internet access at home (especially considering my role as President of both the CGA and Tribe of Judah).

That's because you are old, Tek. Me...I was pre-mouse.
I played many, many hours of Doom II with keyboard only, so I'm even older than I may have first implied. :)

I put Swiftkey on my phone and tablet (it was the Amazon free app of the day a few weeks ago) and it has made a huge difference in my swiping on both devices. Once it learned me and my vocabulary I became pretty quick.
I really liked the Swype beta, but I learned to like Android's Gesture Typing just as well. My wife, on the other hand, finally broke down and bought Swype for $0.99 and said it's the best dollar she's ever spent.
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
Doom - I loved Doom. Yes, we must be old.
Let us revel in our oldness!

I frequented Excalibur BBS's before the Internet went public.

I think we need a new thread for stuff like this.

And then we need Keero to drop by and tell us he was born the year Ocarina of Time was released, or something like that.
 
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