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iPad versus touchscreen laptops.

  • #1

    OK, so the past few days I have been looking at different systems at stores and utilized a touchscreen laptop to access features here and even played a game on one. Today, I am on a iPad 2 and was surprised at how much better the iPad was over the laptop. What I am wondering is do you think that chess.com can further refine the technology to allow for better ease of use with the touchscreen or is this likely not going to be worth the effort.

    One of the things I noticed was that unlike the iPad, the touchscreen laptop could interpret about 80-90 percent of the moves imputed but had a difficult time with not only pawn captures but with long moves such S moving from d1 to d8 with the Queen. When I discussed this with a tech guy at the store, he explained that the touchscreen would register the two points of contact on the screen as separate operations instead of as one single operation.

    By contrast, the iPad was far more responsive to inputting moves, 100 percent of the moves in fact. It also allowed for increasing the size of one area such as the board without having to alter settings. The touchscreen however required re sizing the board from the settings so as not to get the moves confused.

    Aside from perhaps a novelty thing, has anyone tried to use the touchscreen laptop to play chess on the site and what did you think of it.

    PS this was generated on the iPad.

    Your thoughts?

  • #2

    I would just get an ipad

  • #3

    I bought a Sony touch-laptop about a month ago as the iPad isn't quite cut out for me to do heavy typing on on-the-move. For browsing chess.com though(and the web in general) I have found the iPad to have a much smoother interface, and it generally loads chess.com with more alacrity. Moves are easier to register, and it's easier for my fingers to slide in between tabs. By contrast the laptop feels quite clunky, although a lot of this may be because it will sit at a slightly more awkard angle where as the ipad is more wieldy. Like you I've also found the touchscreen to be frustrating at times, and sometimes noticably less responsive.


    I just wish it had flash compatibility.

  • #4

    Agreed on both systems.

    The laptop uses something called Capacitive Touch and was a bit hard to understand the tech support's information but I am liking the iPad more every day.

  • #5

    I believe an iPad also uses a capacitive screen, maybe it just works better with the operating system. It doesn't feel as though windows was made to work with one too well.

  • #6

    No disrespect here, but I do not like tablet devices for many reasons.

    First, you'll see many complaints here on chess.com about problems with "apps" that don't work properly, disconnections to the server and other nightmares that interfere with playing on mobile devices.

    Second, tablets and such are devices built with planned obsolescence in mind.  They are expensive, they cannot be upgraded (outside of minor software updates), repair is almost out of the question, and the batteries become weak in rather short time causing "time problems" when using them.  Batteries almost always cannot be replaced by the user.

    They lack a keyboard and require a lot of "hunt and peck" character entry which renders them unsuitable for lengthy data input.

    I do not own one because my laptop is available for travel, and a tablet is a very expensive replacement for a pencil and paper for game notations during play.  One tablet buys a lot of other chess goodies or coaching.  Just another personal perspective on value.

  • #7

    If you don't mind being married with all sorts of proprietary crap which Apple with spoonfeed you, then get an iPad. Personally I would never, ever buy anything from that company. Maybe another tablet in which I could use a free OS and configure it to MY likings (still I prefer a subnotebook), but never an iPad.

  • #8

    Funnily enough I don't really use the app, I use the web interface on the browser. 

    I can see your point mldavies, and equally I mean no disrespect but I disagree with some of your opinions are slightly out of date. These days I think everything is built with planned obselence in mind, and only a fraction of people who buy modern computer equipment are looking to upgrade them. It's not a viable or economical way to improve your computer any more, much better to buy a new unit after a few years. Also your arguments about battery life and connectivity don't seem to be particularly resonant with me because I've had excellent experiences with both.

    Personally speaking, it has made chess (and other things) far more accessible, as it offers learning resources (through apps and a readily available fast internet connection - no booting up etc) that has made a huge difference to how I play chess. This means I buy far fewer books and I can even use it as a portable chess board with an engine for analysis which has, and will, save me a ton of money in the long run. Convenience is a big thing for me.  That's another personal perspective on value at least.

  • #9

    The difference is, most likely, that I am retired and work on chess entirely at home except for a few weekend sessions OTB.  When I worked full time, I did not have time to take a tablet with me to work on.  My lunch breaks were short, and my job was such that doing anything other than working was unethical and dishonest.  It was necessary to drive to work.  I have a laptop for mobile use when traveling, so a tablet is totally unnecessary for me.

    I can understand a tablet might be nice if you did not have a laptop.  They are lighter.  They make excellent game notation devices.  But to use one to study chess when a nice desktop or laptop keyboard and big screen is available, is (for me) an unnecessary expense.

    And at the risk of starting a war, I concur with @pfren that I avoid Apple products for many reasons, not the least of which is their corporate philosophy, pricing and attitude.  But that's another thread and a personal preference that has little evidence to back it up.

    Bottom line is that adding a tablet to my arsenal is simply not worth the cost for an item that will be obsolete before I get it out of the box.  Yes, I'm a dinosaur.

  • #10

    True, I admit that Apple's corporate philosophy, as you put it, is highly questionable, and I know I should have some objection to their products because of it. And I did. Until I picked up an ipad. I'm a sucker for a shiney surface.

    Everyone's different. 

  • #11

    I also looked at the Surface tablet from microsoft and they run the Windows 8 system, just like a PC or laptop or the Windows phone. A friend of mine that did the end-user line testing said the same thing that most techs and users say: it is crap, period. the Surface also did not register some of the moves (approx 20-25%), the OS is junk and Windows 8 for the OS is 2 years late to the dance. It will never be able to seriously compete with Mac OS, which is why I use the desktop icon when looking at models and if I buy a laptop, I will likely install Windows 7 on it for this precise reason.

    Also, unless you are going to run big apps, even the 8GB iPad is sufficient for the site and does not require anything more than a wifi connection. you do not have to use the iPhone/Andriod features on the site and there were no disconnects during the 2.5 hours I used it (simulating my average amount of time on the site. Also, I can download ebooks on chess as well as software for post mortem, thus having the whole ability to analyze a game from one system. Cost for the 8GB retail: 129.99

  • #12

    You know, kids, when you get older, those tiny little screens are hard to see as well as my 24" monitor.  And those tiny little smaller-than-my fingertip icons representing letters, numbers, pieces or whatever don't always react to the one I think I pointed at.  And my DSL hard wired desktop never drops a connection or lags or ghosts.  I do too much "heavy lifting" on my big desktop rig including Photoshop and Flight Simulator to even think of transporting those massive CPU and graphics-intensive programs into a palm-sized mobile device.  8GB?  I have 8GB of RAM and 1.2GB on the graphics card alone, not 8GB of total storage (less what the OS hogs).  They are totally different devices.  Enjoy your iStuff as much as I enjoy my 24" monitor.  No argument here.  Different strokes for different folks.  I just don't have any use for them.

  • #13

    I like being able to use a laptop but unfortunately in today's economy, it is hard to plunk down 300-500 dollars to be able to have one. I am hoping things will change but most smaller businesses do not like to hire full time right now due to Obamacare provisions mandating health insurance. If anything, this would be a stopgap measure until I can purchase a laptop and have the freedom and power of such a device.

    Were Microsoft able to make the Surface more affordable and the ability to have more than one USB slot for devices, I likely would jump on it and use a wireless mouse to interface with the site.

    Still you are right, I miss my laptop/PC systems. Cry


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