* Posts by Ryan K

6 posts • joined 31 Mar 2011

Asus Eee Pad tablet-cum-netbook ship date slips

Ryan K

Anyone getting weird screen issues?

Forgot to ask -does anyone who has one of these get a weird mesh effect on the screen? It's really hard to describe, but there is a mesh type pattern on the glass itself. It must be the glass, as it's most visible when the screen is off, and it extends all the way past the screen itself and into the black surround. I would say the squares are about 5mm across, and also are slightly rotated and not aligned with the screen, so I don't think it's the panel. It's really bizarre and am very interested to see if anyone else has this?

A colleague of mine thinks it's some sort of mark from production (like when on conveyor belt or something), but I'm just spun out by the fact the meshing effect isn't even on 'straight', and have no idea. The visibility goes up and down depending on how clean the screen is, and can only be seen from certain angles, but I can't feel any rises in the screen itself, so maybe it's in the inside...

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Ryan K
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I was Lucky!

I got lucky, after returning my iPad 2 for a full refund because it was locked to Orange I've been on the hunt for another tablet. I was wandering past a comet store on Monday, and saw they had a display model of the Transformer, and they had one in stock, so managed to bag one!

I'm really glad I didn't order online now that the wait has just jumped!

As for the keyboard/dock, if you have already bought the tablet part, you can get a dock here, for £55 including P&P.

http://techinstyle.tv/news/eee-pad-transformer-keyboard-dock-offer/

I have to say, I like the Asus, but I do have a couple of issues with it, including the fact that the Tegra chips aren't half as good at 1080p video as the manufacturers would have you believe. Truth is that even 720p youtube videos don't run as smooth as they should, and if you download video files from 'unofficial sources', forget it, as most rips, even SD divX ones don't run very well at all. I'm hoping as honeycomb matures, video compatabilty will get better.

Just so we're clear, providing the encoding settings are spot on, the Transformer will display wonderful high definition video, however most videos aren't encoded with tegra 2 honeycomb devices in mind, so don't run well, if at all. 90% of your files will need re-encoding to watch, much like the ipad and ipad2.

There must be something wrong somewhere in regards to release dates, as the motorola xoom which was supposed to appear in PC World on the 9th April is now looking at middle of June as well. At least with the Asus, you actually have a small chance of getting it in the UK (try every comet shop you can think of!), and the MicroSD port works out of the box, as does flash 10.2.

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Carrier-sold iPad 2 Sim locks snag unwary buyers

Ryan K
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Update 4

Hi All,

I tried ukpm's suggestion of restoring the iPad and inserting a new SIM, but it didn't have any of it. In fact, it just ended up getting stuck in DFU Mode.

That was the final straw really. I have a jailbroken iPhone, and I just couldn't get used to not being able to do any of the things I am used to doing with my iPhone due to Apple's unnecessary restrictions. Anyone would think North Korea made iPads to ship to South Korea the amount the thing won't let you do in comparison to a jailbroken or android device. I wanted to copy a bunch of films I had to the iPad, but that requires jumping through multiple hoops, at different heights, wearing clown shoes with butter smeared on the bottom of them. Just trying to copy across a folder full of photos using iTunes was more awkward than watching your gran perform the Karma Sutra in public. iTunes just wanted to overwrite all the photos on the device just to upload a few more, and it was this point I really decided that enough was enough.

I spent all but a week trawling the app store and finding very few worthwhile apps for the iPad, so in my mind, all the reviews and articles about the Android 3.0 tablets not having any apps are pretty moot points as there's hardly anything decent available for the iPad 2 either. With multiple devices on the horizon that will be using Honeycomb, I don't think it will take too long for the Android store to catch up, and in the mean time, I'll be able to consume whatever media I want by dragging and dropping it on to the tablet, instead of running what I like to call 'The Never Ending Gauntlet of Apple Sync Pain'. Not terribly catchy, but I'm sure if you own a iDevice you have already experienced the difficulty of getting iTunes to sync exactly what you want it to without mysteriously removing other things that you didn’t want removing.

Anyway, I took the iPad 2 back to Phones4U, and they were brilliant. I have to say that they have treated me fantastically well, and if I'm honest, this whole experience has left me with good feelings about them. Everybody was really nice, and the manager even offered to buy my smart cover off me if the Stormfront store would not give me a refund. And, as a goodwill gesture he even refunded the tenner I paid for the SIM card! If I ever get a contract phone again, I’ll almost certainly go with them, just due to the service that they have provided every step of the way, and before you ask, I haven’t been paid off, nor did exotic dancers with nothing but skimpy Phones4U vests turn up at my door.

Spinstorm, I could have travelled for an hour and a half road trip to sort out the iPad 2, but the truth is that after a week of playing with it, I was disappointed with what you get for your money. £650 is a pretty reasonable gaming rig, a half decent laptop or the weekend of your life in Thailand, and unfortunately the iPad seems to be inferior unless all you need it for it playing Angry Birds while the girlfriend feasts her eyes and dulls her brain on Eastenders or whatever cookery show seems to be on the TV at the time. It’s fine having a thing of beauty, but the way I see it in my mind is that it’s not much different from having a vacuous model for a wife – sure it looks pretty, but try and get it to do something useful other that look pretty, and you’ll just get moaning and strife, and probably gonads in the lightning.

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Ryan K
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Update 3

Just had a call from Phones4U, and they have kindly authorised a return, but I have to do it 'as soon as possible'. Whether this result is due this article or not is hard to say, but I'm sure it didn't hurt. :)

If ukpm's suggestions don't work I shall return my iPad 2, and then the biggest question will be whether to buy (if I can get one anywhere) an unlocked iPad 2, or whether to hold out for a week or two and then get a Motorola Xoom. I have to say that despite Apple's claims, the number of decent iPad only apps are minimal, and the iphone apps just look pretty poor upscaled, whereas the Android upscaled apps actually look a lot better! I've spent the last couple of evenings browsing the app store, and I still only have 2 pages of apps that are half decent, and other than infinity blade there's nothing really to show off the improved processor in the iPad 2 at the moment.

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Ryan K
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Update 2

Ooops I meant, "I wasn't expecting it to be LOCKED"!

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Ryan K
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Update

Thanks ukpm, I will check this out! Hopefully it is just a error with the activation server. However, I did phone Apple support, and they told me that Orange locked the device, they are not involved in this process and Orange are the only people who can unlock it. However, upon calling Orange, they confirmed that they can unlock it, but that they won't do it until the end of June, which leaves me with unusable Orange 3G for 3 months!

I don't have an apple store in my city, although there is a Stormfront (a franchised Apple store - they do limited repairs and stuff) so hopefully they will be able to help me. In regards to the posters asking how much I paid, I bought the 64Gb 3G model, so paid £650, and then paid a tenner for the sim. I wasn't expecting it to be unlocked as I did buy the iPad outright, and I did ask specifically if I could cancel the contract and go with a different provider, and was told I could. I only even went with Orange as I was being a typical impatient Apple customer and wanted to use the iPad straight away without going home, which is why I got Stormfront to activate it for me in the first place. :)

Basically, this is all the fault of Phones4U in my opinion, with a smattering of blame to Orange for being the worst network ever (probably barring AT&T in America!). Orange charge £5 a month for a data connection with a 250Mb Cap and data speeds of about half a meg, providing I can even get a 3G signal, which is sporadic. Three on the other hand get speeds of up to 4Mbps, or at least my colleague gets this sat 2 meters away from me with his HTC Desire HD, and have a data cap of 1Gb a month, for £7.50.

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