Gransnet forums

Technology

Updating present "setup"

(29 Posts)
Twopence Mon 15-Feb-21 12:41:47

During the past year I have saved quite a bit of money and am thinking about updating my present technology.
At the moment I have a desktop computer, which is very cumbersome, takes up a lot of room and has a lot of trailing wires. I use it for shopping and internet banking. I also have a Samsung tablet which is coming to the end of its life and will probably need replacing soon. I've been a bit reluctant to use it for banking and shopping, but find it very convenient for emailing, doing puzzles, following Facebook, gransnet and generally surfing the internet.
What I would like to do is to replace the desktop computer and tablet but I would like some advice as to what to replace it with. Do I go for a laptop or an iPad, together with a smart phone? We have a TV which I understand could probably be converted to go online. I have a large collection of CDs and am very keen on music so wonder about streaming music in the future. I've also wondered about Alexa or the equivalent.
Sorry its a bit of a long screed but I would be interested to hear about other people's "setups" and any useful tips as to the best way of getting up to date.

Pittcity Mon 15-Feb-21 13:15:47

You can do everything on a tablet nowadays, including phone calls.
I have a tablet and a smart phone, both running the same operating system.
I only use my laptop for one Microsoft programme that has become obsolete and so can't be transferred.
I do all my banking on my phone.
As for streaming music. That is in the cloud so can be picked up on whatever device you are using.

My advice is to ask a teenager! My DS uses his phone for everything. I just use a tablet because I have bad eyesight so need things bigger.

tanith Mon 15-Feb-21 13:27:04

I have an iPad on which I can do everything I need. Also a Samsung smart tv and phone. I hardly put my laptop on anymore and my pic has been in the loft for ages. Been banking on my phone or iPad for a few years now with no problems. I watch all my catchup tv any of my devices depending whether I at home or not (😂chance would be a fine thing).

Missfoodlove Mon 15-Feb-21 13:30:41

I would recommend an Apple iPad and Apple smart phone.
The two will automatically synch, the technology is simple and intuitive.
If you subscribe to Amazon prime an Alexa is great for music, radio and podcasts, most music is free.
You simply put the App on your device
I have the Alexa Show so I can video call on it, it will also display all my photographs that are on Amazon storage.

Doodledog Mon 15-Feb-21 13:31:52

I would prefer a laptop (not a Chromebook) to a tablet, as you can store things such as personal documents and files on it, and they are generally easier to work on, because of the keyboard. This does depend on what you use your tech for, of course, and there is no one size fits all.

A tablet is better for carrying about - I liked my iPad when I was working full-time, but now that I'm not I haven't bothered to upgrade it. The laptop will do everything a tablet will do, as will a phone, but a tablet won't replace a laptop for everything.

People all have their favourites, but I use Apple for everything - phone, iPad and MacBook. They 'talk' to each other, so you can work on something on one device and it will pick it up on the others - same with photos and music. Apple customer service is good too. If you are upgrading all at once, I would recommend that you go into an Apple store, and one of their assistants will set everything up for you.

Your TV can probably be upgraded to SMART with either a fire stick or a Roku stick. They just plug into an HDMI port at the back of your TV (check that you have one) and will pick up a wide range of channels. You will need to subscribe to some of them (eg Netflix or Prime Video) but others are free, such as iPlayer and the other catch-up channels. They are well worth the money, in my opinion.

I'm not a fan of Alexa things, as in order to obey or answer your commands they have to listen to conversations in your home. A lot of people think that because they aren't criminals that this doesn't matter, but I'm not comfortable with it, and also, anything that is connected to the Internet can be hacked into, so it's another possible security risk. That's just me though - my mum and sister love their Alexas grin.

Music can be streamed free from Amazon prime if you have that, or you can get a Spotify account (or ask children/grandchildren if you can go on their Friends and Family list). As you have a lot of CDs, you can also save those to iTunes or Windows Music and play them through your laptop. You will need a separate CD drive for this, though, as most laptops are now internet only. They are cheap enough on eBay though - I think mine was about £20.

I think that covers all your questions, but shout if not? As I say, though, someone else may well give you very different advice - a lot of this is personal preference, and a lot depends on how you use your devices.

Pittcity Mon 15-Feb-21 14:05:35

Doodle you can store files on a tablet and phone too. Both of mine run Microsoft Office. In fact my files are in the cloud. You can get wireless keyboards for tablets too.

Doodledog Mon 15-Feb-21 14:25:20

You can, but it's a lot less hassle having a built-in keyboard and offline access to files.

As I said, it depends what you want to use things for, but for my own needs I prefer the laptop. I have an old iPad which I do still use, but I see it more as a toy, and when it came to deciding whether or not to upgrade it, I decided that it was a very expensive toy that wouldn't do as much as the MacBook, so I didn't bother. For things where touchscreen makes a difference (and I can't think of much) my phone will do just as well.

Your mileage may vary, of course - these things are very personal choices.

Mollygo Mon 15-Feb-21 14:45:52

I use a laptop for work, and updating my website. I use an iPad for entertainment and iPhone for everything else. The TV used to need a firestick now we have a smart TV that allows access to most things.
I’d rather have a laptop, though one DD uses an iPad Pro with a keyboard for everything-perhaps it’s an age thing.
It is better to have things that synchronise, but I found a MacBook more hassle than an ordinary laptop when using Microsoft Access and other programs.
Good luck with your update.

simtib Mon 15-Feb-21 19:12:01

I prefer a desktop with two large screens and a proper keyboard. I do have a laptop, tablet and phone which I will use if I have to. Many websites give more options on a computer than on a tablet or phone and I have far more control over what the computer is doing.

geekesse Mon 15-Feb-21 19:40:44

A laptop which converts to a tablet may be the way to go? My (work supplied) laptop flips over to become a tablet, and it comes with a stylus so I can write on the touch screen. I usually use the touchpad, but I have a wireless mouse for when I have to do a lot of clicking. I need a PC rather than Mac for work purposes because much of the software we use is PC only.

Although I love my ageing iPad and new iPhone, Mac laptops are rather overpriced for ordinary use compared to PC laptops.

muse Mon 15-Feb-21 19:40:52

Everything Apple. Definitely laptop. Don't use my iPad anymore. I bought my latest Macbook Pro as new but buy used iphones and put new Apple battery in. Apple support is brilliant.

TV is not very up to date but I have a Humax. I also link up my Macbook Pro to TV (HDMI port) so we can watch lots more. It also helps MrM when doing work emails. He can see them on our big TV. I type them for him . Quicker.

Important for me is storage. My iphone has 128GB storage.
Backup important - icloud and external hard drive sed with Time Machine on the Mac. Separate CD/DVD drive. I download all my music via iTunes store.

I don't game but I've a spotify.

All our finances are done through both Mac and iphone and I use Apple Pay - no limit and touch ID. I do a huge amount of shopping on line

It will come down to how much you have saved.

I still prefer to buy real books. grin

cornishpatsy Mon 15-Feb-21 20:13:49

I had a laptop that had a touch screen, best of both worlds.

It didn't respond well to being stood on though.

Twopence Tue 16-Feb-21 18:44:55

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. It has made me realize how little I know about various devices. One thing I hadn't considered is that I use the desktop computer for preparing and printing out various talks. I haven't done this at all during the past year but hope to continue in future when things are back to normal. We have a printer which at the moment is connected to the computer but can be used wirelessly. Am I right in thinking that a laptop would be more suitable for this than an iPad or tablet?

Doodledog Tue 16-Feb-21 19:07:12

Not as far as the printing is concerned - you can print direct from a tablet/iPad. Preparing them might be easier, depending on what you use. I wouldn't want to use PowerPoint on anything but a laptop - even Word is a lot easier with a keyboard, IMO.

Teacheranne Tue 16-Feb-21 19:42:01

I use a lap top for “office” type activities such as typing letters or reports, designing leaflets or posters, PowerPoint presentations etc, mainly for my WI or for personal record keeping. I prefer to use a keyboard rather than the touch screen on my iPad for typing long documents. I also like to use my laptop when on Zoom calls as I can see more people at a time. I save all my documents to the iCloud rather than to the lap top.

I then have an iPad mini for entertainment purposes and banking, with an iPhone for mobile use and texting etc. I prefer not to do internet banking on my mobile but I do use it for online shopping. All three devises are linked to my wireless printer. I use my iPad with the Kindle app for reading so don’t want a heavy full sized one.

I’ve just upgraded my phone to the IPhone XR as it has a bigger screen ( bought it from my niece, it was only 18 months old) and I also treated myself to a new iPad at Christmas with a bigger memory.

I seem to spend most of my day on one of my gadgets during lockdown!

evatrav Thu 10-Jun-21 00:32:08

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Coolgran65 Thu 10-Jun-21 03:59:37

I have an old desk top with keyboard and monitor. An iPhone and a 10” Kindle Fire HD. They each have their own advantages.
For everyday general stuff I can use my iPhone to check banking, read my kindle books (synced), use google, check a discussion board where I am one of several moderators. It is more lightweight in the hand.
To do more than just check things I’m likely to use the 10” Kindle because of the bigger screen. Also for FaceTime because of the screen size.
For serious typing, especially using Word, I prefer the desktop because of screen size and the typist keyboard. Probably because I am a touch typist and can very speedily create documents and type up letters.

When my ancient tower desk top dies I don’t know if I’d replace it. I don’t feel I’d want to be without it and in the meantime my sons are able to sort any repairs it might need.
The desk top sits in an office cabinet with closing doors and pull out keyboard shelf and when the doors are closed it’s a very nice piece of furniture.

BlueBelle Thu 10-Jun-21 06:06:29

I never use my laptop now I forget I own one Desktop went years and years ago
I have had an iPad and iPhone for about 6 years and wouldn’t change They are completely compatible so photos I take on my phone can easily be pinged over to my iPad when I get home and as most of my family have iPhones we are compatible
I can print from them, airdrop pictures photos etc I find the iPad easier to read ( just my eyes) if I m writing a letter or document than my phone

hollymak Mon 21-Jun-21 07:17:07

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

dragonfly46 Mon 21-Jun-21 07:27:32

We have Apple as they all sync. I like to use the Mac ( desktop) for most things as I touch type and I can print from it. The iPad is handy as it is portable. My next purchase will be a laptop though then I will have full house.

Lovetopaint037 Mon 21-Jun-21 09:53:32

I love my iPad and although I have a Mac I hardly use it. It depends what you want. I do online shopping and banking and all the internet searching I want. FaceTime for video calls. Pages for writing letters and other formats.I love the ease of taking screen shots and the way they go straight into your photos on an iPad. I can’t do that on a Mac. I love the camera and I also love taking photos on my iPhone and finding them on my iPad and in my Mac. Apps are easily available and supposedly more secure through the Apple App Store. Again the security inbuilt into Apple is good and they do not recommend you adding any more security. If you want a keyboard to attach to the latest iPads then you can although I am happy with the onboard one.Just one warning when setting up your Apple ID do write the password down somewhere like your address or phone book as it is a problem if you can’t remember it. I have a friend and two relatives who didn’t do this and had a problem to sort out as it isn’t like other forgotten passwords where you can easily reset them via text or email. Also write down the PIN number you decide to have for opening iPad. Choose something really memorable. Other than that the world of Apple is great and iPhones don’t have to be the latest model. Just make sure you have adequate memory such as 128:gbs or higher.

Missedout Mon 21-Jun-21 10:22:06

I am about to update my ancient iPad which needs to be charged up frequently now. I also have an elderly MacBook Air which is still absolutely fine, running on the latest operating system. (I am also a touch typist.) Then we have the full sized Apple Mac which DH loves and uses all the time.

My iPad is always near me when at home.

My only reason for not fully endorsing the iPad is that I cannot set up new payees for Online Banking BACS payments easily using the iPad.

I also use my Android phone with the Macs, not automatically but simply enough, mainly to transfer photos to an Apple device. I have a Windows 10 laptop too (I volunteer to support others with their IT) but have to say that I don't like it and it feels sluggish and outdated.

I don't have much experience of a Chromebook but prefer not to put all my eggs into Google's basket!

I can print wirelessly to my printer from all my devices.

I also wouldn't like to wholly rely on the iPad because I like to be in control of backing up the data on it. I regularly back up the iPad to a hard drive but this needs to be accessed via another computer (in this case my MackBook Air.) I think backup is a weakness with the iPad but Apple would like you to pay to use their cloud storage, a bit like Google and Chrome really. Photos stored on the iPad of the DGC growing up are very precious.

I also have found Apple support really helpful in the past.

Missedout Mon 21-Jun-21 10:33:50

I forgot to add that I use my printer to scan documents and old photos and save to a filing system on a Mac. I haven't bothered to try this with an iPad, I'm not sure how that would work!

Screen grabs are also simple with Apple Macs.

henetha Mon 21-Jun-21 10:44:49

I'm similarly trying to decide, Twopence. (It takes me ages to decide anything these days).
I got rid of my desktop a few years ago and have an aged laptop now and a smart phone. I'm trying to decide whether to get a new laptop or a tablet. And I'm still Windows7 so will have to have Windows10 I suppose, which fills me with dread.
I might eventually get round to making a decision.
Good luck with yours.

MaizieD Mon 21-Jun-21 10:58:30

And I'm still Windows7 so will have to have Windows10 I suppose, which fills me with dread.

I can't contribute to answering the OP's query, but I can assure you, henetha, that Windows 10 is absolutely fine. We had a nasty experience with Windows 8 on my DP's laptop, so I was very dubious about 10, but it is no problem at all.