Please help me buy a tablet

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by dtuuri, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I need a new computer with Windows 10. I think I would like a 15+ inch screen, since that's what I'm used to. I want to be able to draw on the screen while demonstrating to a remote student while running a flight simulator session for IFR training purposes. I need some kind of simulator software too (never used any sim games). My web master suggests a Surface Pro, but the screens seem tiny. I need a tablet for now and later I can get a tower, but don't now have the space for the tower set up I'm planning for later. I also run a second 27" monitor, but it's old and may need to be upgraded. Has anyone done this sort of remote training or can advise me what to get / where to look? Thanks.
     
  2. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    My employer give me a Dell laptop about 3 months ago which has a touch screen. I realize you asked about a tablet, but it works like a regular computer, and I can use the touch screen to demonstrate a remote-access instrument almost as if I were at the unit.
     
  3. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    MSFS 2020 has been announced, in beta, will probably be available this summer. Here are the hardware specs:
    • Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz. FX-8320. 2.5. Login. GeForce GTX 960 2GB. Radeon R9 380. 3.1. Login. 2 GB. ...
    • Core i5-7400 3.0GHz. FX-8370. 2.8. GeForce GTX 1060. Radeon RX 480 8GB. 7.3. 8 GB. 7.5. ...
    • Predicted Requirements. Core i7-6700K 4-Core 4.0GHz. Ryzen R5 1600. 8.8. Login. GeForce GTX 1070. Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB. 9.2.
    It may be more practical to use MSFS X or even MSFS 2004 - you can pick up a copy much cheaper and it runs on less powerful computers. In fact I'm running both on my old Windows 7 system with 8 GB memory and not a super-highpowered-chip or graphics. Of course I don't run max quality graphics, either. But for IFR training, you don't need the really good graphics.

    Since you'll be doing this remotely, consider the student's and your network speeds. Also what software will you be using for remote display of your screen? Skype? Google Hangouts? Or will the student have the same software and display their screen for you to see what's going on?

    Your old monitor is fine for now. Also remember that your hardware (even the small Surface screen) is irrelevant to what the student is seeing. They may also have a small screen or may be using a very large monitor - something you cannot control. Besides, it's IFR training. We don't look out the window, just reasonably quality display of the instruments and perhaps the corresponding map is what you need.

    My personal preference is X-Plane 11 but again, you need horsepower. I'm still on X-Plane 10 because of that. Would rather spend the money on the airplane than another computer.

    I've done a great deal of remote training but never tried it with a flightsim....something to try out later this week with our next snow storm. (Colorado)
     
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  4. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Could you post the model for me to check? If the display and keyboard are hooked together doesn't it pose a problem drawing without hitting the keys?
     
  5. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Much good info, thank you. A few years ago I walked into a Best Buy and posed the same question to the sales manager. He said he was unfamiliar with Flight Simulator and drawing on the screen would depend on the program running at the time. Told me to contact Microsoft, which, to me, is like saying, "Call the Pentagon." I'd really like to know what you find out.
     
  6. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Sounds like you don't want a tablet but rather a 2-in-1 laptop like a Lenovo Yoga or a HP x360.
     
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  7. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Well, you know, I did think that a couple years ago when they came out with an Acer Nitro Spin 5 gaming 2 in 1 computer. I read all the previews and waited for the opening day of USA sales. Then, life got in the way for awhile and after a few months I rechecked the reviews from customers. Wow, I'm glad I didn't buy it! "No way to upgrade, everything's hardwired," and "Too noisey," and "The keyboard gets so hot you can't touch it!" and "Whatever you do, don't buy this computer!" That kind of cooled my jets until now. I figured 2 in 1 gaming tablets aren't a good idea. Hoping things are better now.
     
  8. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Happy to do so, but I'll do it Monday when I go to work.
    It depends on the drawing. For pointing things out and circling items of interest, such as a slideshow presentation, it is no problem. If I was making a full-up drawing, like in photoshop or GIMP, yes it would be a pain.
     
  9. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    It still does depend on the program context. Running the operating system, touching the screen lets me select and drag items. In a Powerpoint slideshow, I could draw on a slide, but I don't know about when making slides- I suspect it would let me draw and move slide objects. When I have the google chrome browser open, it acts like a tablet browser.
    In flight simulator, I suspect it would let you touch and manipulate the controls but not draw on the screen.
     
  10. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Hmm, not good. I don't want another mouse thing, I want to draw. How would the pen work with Sketch It! while running MSFS, if you happen to know?
     
  11. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I don't know for sure, but if you can switch between flight simulator and a drawing program, it would act as a pen in the drawing program.
    I have my laptop running with a standard monitor and the laptop screen as a second display. I can touch on the laptop screen (e-mail is what I tried) while I have excel on the large screen.
     
  12. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    A third option... An "All-in-One" with a touch screen. Desktop operability with tablet-like control (when you want to draw or select things on the screen without using the mouse). No tower. Just a big monitor with USB ports, Ethernet jack, and maybe a DVD Drive, if you want.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082T5JWN1
     
  13. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    I also suspect the stylus would interact with your sim software and act as mouse clicks. However, you could screen record the sim session, and then while playing back add the drawing with the stylus. I’ve never tried something like that but I think it would work.
     
  14. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    It sounds to me like my Sketch It! would work. It resides in RAM and the drawing pen can be locked so the left mouse button will enable the mouse pointer to draw. That would seem to override the flightsim action of the pen. Next question is if I can record the drawing or just the underlying display. With Skype, I'm pretty sure the drawing gets transmitted.

    Do any of these "All in Ones" tilt down flat, like a tablet? I suppose the keyboard would have to be on-screen then?

    I like the recording solution. Actually, that's pretty much what I was thinking of doing anyway during a remote lesson, but I also intend to draw, on the fly, while recording some IFR tutorials for my website.
     
  15. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    Donno...

    If you want... Did you look at the link? It comes with a Bluetooth full-size keyboard and mouse.
     
  16. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I use a bluetooth keyboard with my iPad. Works just fine, but it's not Windows nor can it run X-Plane (other than the demo) or MSFS.
     
  17. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Yes, I'm intrigued.
     
  18. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    It is not a tablet by any means (heavy, large, and powered by AC) but it does have a touchscreen and runs Windows. You can disable mouse responses in MS flight sims although I am not aware of software that will allow you to draw over an actively running flight sim. Not saying it does not exist, however. The recommendation of recording and adding the drawing in post may be your best bet.
     
  19. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    @dtuuri I said I would look up the model fDell my employer gave me for use. The computer is a Dell Latitude 5490.
     
  20. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I think the thousands of people with touch-screen laptops (such as myself) would have complained if that was the case.
     
  21. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Thank you.

    I've been looking at these two 15" "Surface" computers, "Surface Book 2" & "Surface Laptop 3" which can be compared here. I wouldn't want a 13" screen. I wonder if anybody knows if they'll run a later version of MSFS/PrePar3D? @murphey?
     
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  22. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sorry, I run unix/linux. My Windows system is an old HP still running Win7
     
  23. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Got another question. Today AT&T offered to give me a free iPhone XS or Galaxy S10e for Valentines Day. Any thoughts which is better? Believe it or not, I've never owned a smart phone nor used Foreflight or any other apps. Which way would you dear folks go?
     
  24. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    1) Nothing is free. You'll pay for it over time in the bill.

    2) Get a used I Pad from Gazelle - one with cell service capability so you get the GPS built in. Then get ForeFlight.

    3) If you really want to jump into smart phone arena, get a used one from Gazelle. (see point number 1)
     
  25. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Well, I had called to make sure and they said there would be a $30 charge and a $30 credit for 30 months added to the billing.
    What's this "GPS built in" of which you speak?
     
  26. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Your bill over 2 1/2 years will be more than if you brought your own phone. Call and ask. Compare apples to apples data plans, etc. (BTW - I also use ATT)
     
  27. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back to tablet question - get a used I pad pro - will work fine with ForeFlight
     
  28. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Ok, what is it about nothing more per month (+$30 -$30) that will cost more than buying a used one that I don't understand?
     
  29. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think that if you asked you’d get a lower rate if you had your own phone. The 30/30 promotion is over a higher priced plan.

    I could be wrong. Just a suggestion to look at. Why else would they offer a phone if not to make more money somehow ?
     
  30. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Yep, the devil's in the details. I had to dig deep to find the answer in the small print. I even had to paste it into Notebook in order to read it, the print was so small:

    iPhone XS 64GB for $0 offer
    Get the iPhone XS 64GB for $0 when you buy it on a qualifying installment agreement with eligible wireless.

    Limited Time Offer. Available in select locations.

    You'll need to:

    Purchase an iPhone XS 64GB on a qualifying installment agreement.
    Add a line to a new or existing account.
    Pay taxes on the full retail price up front.
    Activate postpaid unlimited wireless service (min. $75/mo. for new unlimited customers before discounts. Existing customers can add to eligible existing unlimited plans, which may be less). AT&T may temporarily slow data speeds when the network is busy.
    Pay a $30 activation fee.

    Note: Requires a qualifying 0% APR installment agreement (30-mo. term at up to $28.00/mo.) Other installment options may be available and vary by location. If buying on the AT&T Installment Plan with Next Up, customer is responsible and will not receive any credits for an additional $5/mo. for the Next Up upgrade feature.

    Eligible unlimited plans: AT&T Unlimited Starter, AT&T Unlimited Extra, AT&T Unlimited Elite, AT&T Unlimited &More, AT&T Unlimited &More Premium, AT&T Unlimited Plus, AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced, AT&T Unlimited Choice, AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced, AT&T Unlimited Choice II, AT&T Unlimited Double Play. Excludes prepaid, session-based, and Data Unlimited at $45/mo. plans. Speed, usage & other restr's apply. See att.com/unlimited for current unlimited plans.

    After that you'll get:

    $900 in bill credits applied in equal amounts over 30 monthly installments—sweet!


    Note: Credits start within 3 bills. You will receive catch-up credits once bill credits start.
     
  31. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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  32. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Barely. Have you checked the X-plane website for v10 specs? I’ve got a 1.8 ghz cpu laptop, and it’s draggy. I re-installed v10 on a 2.6 ghz cpu, running medium quality scenery, it’s better, even tolerable. I’ve been pricing out higher performance system to run v11 but would rather spend the money on the airplane. The SSD makes a lot of difference. I also increased the RAM from 8 to 16, (altho the hardware specs state not possible) and that helps,too.

    But all I use it for is demos (schools and such) it’s fine. I did get a price from Microcenter to build to v11 specs..$700 if you put it together yourself, add $200 for them to build and test. Don’t forget the Windows license, another $150 or so.
     
  33. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I did, but the thing is I don't understand any of it. I'm still using a 13 year-old HP laptop with Vista. There's too much ground to cover before I can make an intelligent decision. The last CPU I remember was the Pentium II. :blush:

    So, I ordered this thing because I don't want to make a mistake spending for an expensive one. I can do the work I need to do with this, it has a 10th gen i5-1031G that can go to 3.6 Hz with turbo whatever. The most recent X-plane isn't essential, I can run something older and may not even need it at all. It seemed like a reasonable risk to take for the price. This should get me into the modern era, if I can understand Windows 10. I'm dreading the transition.

    Now I need MS Office 2019. I've seen activation keys for $40 or so, up to $150. How's that work? o_O
     
  34. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Go with Office 365, which is a subscription service. You get the full suite, and it updates as needed. I get mine free through the college, but I think it is $49 per year from Staples. There are also various occupational discounts available. Online delivery, no need to go to the store.
     
  35. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    More on Xplane...there is required activation each time you run the program. Activation is by DVD (that must always be in the dvd drive) or a dongle. Contact Xplane for details and decide which works best for you.
     
  36. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Or get OpenOffice for free.
     
  37. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    Meet the Fokkers
    Not sure that applies fully now.
    I do have to activate, but it's just a key I put in, and it stays activated. Unless I update to the new versions. But even then, it's already populated with the correct numbers. If re-install, I have to copy/paste the numbers from email.

    I am using Version 11 though.
     
  38. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Ugh. Transitioning to Windows 10 is such a PITA. Working through a tutorial on it and reading through the HP User's Guide now. All new stuff to me: Touchpad gestures, everything moved around and renamed, and someone named Cortana bugging me with 20 questions as soon as I plugged it in. Now that I managed to get past her and got to fumble around a little—I'm wondering if I answered all her questions properly or if I might come to regret my answers. Can't figure out how to rerun her spiel.

    Anyway, it's $70/yr for Office 365 at Staples and everywhere else that looks legit. I'm concerned about putting all my hard work in Microsoft's cloud for annual extortion payments. Why shouldn't this bother me, anybody?
     
  39. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    Being the anti-fan of subscriptions of all types and completely distrustful of relying upon others to maintain my critical data, I purchased a full version of Office and retain my documents locally. Sure, it seems expensive at first, but after a couple years of subscription, the price is a wash.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/office-home--student-2019/CFQ7TTC0K7C8
     
  40. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I also purchase full copies, NO subscriptions, memory is CHEAP.

    and owning my own documents (not hostage) ...is priceless!