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  1. #1
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    Bargain laptops and a local cloud-storage device




    BEST HARDWARE

    Bargain laptops and a local cloud-storage device

    By Michael Lasky

    With low-power convertible laptops priced lower than many tablets, deciding between the two platforms can be a challenge. Fortunately, new devices help us live comfortably in both old and new Windows. HP not only offers many new low-priced laptops but lets you choose between Windows and Google Chrome OS. Also reviewed: An elegant alternative to cloud storage and Bluetooth speakers that deliver more than sound.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/best-hardware/bargain-laptops-and-a-local-cloud-storage-device/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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  3. #2
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I still see no reason whatsoever why anyone who can install an OS or who can afford a decent Android Tablet would ever consider a Chromebook. The OS is no faster than Android, it doesn't boot up any faster, and itis tied to the Google Play Store.

    And unlike Linux, there is not enough local storage, and not a well-defined way to navigate and access locally stored content. Offline, Chromebook is crippled severely. 16GB? In this day and age, even the cheapest Android tablets have 32 or 64GB onboard. And better processors. Not to mention screen resoljutions of up to 4K. 2K (Retina) is pretty much standard in mobile devices these days.

    Why would I trust my life to a Cloud provider who operates the world's largest data collection and adveertising network? And how would I retrieve my data if my Chromebook ever breaks or if I am somewhere with neither Cell nor WiFi data coverage?
    -- Bob Primak --

  4. #3
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Connected Data Transporter

    Small correction:
    When referring to iPad and Mac, these devices use different Operating Systems. iPad uses iOS, while Mac uses OSX or somesuch. Windows of course is Windows, PC or mobile. The Connected Drive Apps also are available for Android devices, which use yet another OS, and are neither PCs nor Macs. Kindel Fire is also supported. Linux itself seems to be the only OS which is not supported directly.

    Bigger Corrections:
    This PC World Review gives details, but nothing about possible use with Linux devices.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/21554...ret-sauce.html
    Here's a more technical review of the Transporter, again with no mention of Linux.
    http://review.techworld.com/virtuali...ew=review&pn=1
    Here's another technical review, which concluded that this device is overpriced compared with NAS.
    http://www.tested.com/tech/pcs/45833...cloud-storage/
    In the Comments, one commenter described using a NAS device with Linux, which apparentely the Transporter is not capable of doing natively.
    -- Bob Primak --

  5. #4
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    does anyone know exactly what the Transporter Sync interface for sharing files looks like? what makes Dropbox so great is that you can share a folder of photographs with an HTML link, and when the other person opens the link the folder opens with a nice web-based photo viewing app that works pretty much like all the cloud-based photo sharing sites like Google+, Flickr, etc. no need for the user to download the files first, or have to open a local app. ditto for sharing videos -- send the user a link, they click it, and voila, they are watching the video in their browser. this was the main drawback IMO for the WD My Cloud drive -- the sharing functionality didn't really go beyond sending email attachments.

    the WS article does say that in order to access shared files the user would have to install a downloaded app -- that's a drawback, but not a big one. but once they have that app, will the Transporter then work the same way that DropBox does?

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Small correction:
    When referring to iPad and Mac, these devices use different Operating Systems. iPad uses iOS, while Mac uses OSX or somesuch. Windows of course is Windows, PC or mobile. The Connected Drive Apps also are available for Android devices, which use yet another OS, and are neither PCs nor Macs. Kindel Fire is also supported. Linux itself seems to be the only OS which is not supported directly.
    Which part of the article are you correcting? Did it say iPad and Mac use the same OS? Or that an app wasn't available for Android?


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Bigger Corrections:
    This PC World Review gives details, but nothing about possible use with Linux devices.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/21554...ret-sauce.html
    Here's a more technical review of the Transporter, again with no mention of Linux.
    http://review.techworld.com/virtuali...ew=review&pn=1
    Here's another technical review, which concluded that this device is overpriced compared with NAS.
    http://www.tested.com/tech/pcs/45833...cloud-storage/
    In the Comments, one commenter described using a NAS device with Linux, which apparentely the Transporter is not capable of doing natively.
    Why are you offering corrections about Linux when the article (correctly) didn't mention Linux?


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2014-08-21 at 18:51.

  7. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Which part of the article are you correcting? Did it say iPad and Mac use the same OS? Or that an app wasn't available for Android?



    Why are you offering corrections about Linux when the article (correctly) didn't mention Linux?


    Bruce
    The Linux Corrections I feel are omissions, although this is Windows Secrets we are discussing here.

    ...your Mac and/or Windows computers. ...
    The article said "Mac and/or Windows". Then the the author writes about his experiences with an iPad, without mentioning that iPad uses a different OS from Windows or Mac. Elsewhere, the article switches to using the phrase "Windows or mobile device", which is simply inconsistent with the part I quoted here. I said this was a minor correction.

    The bigger corrections have to do with the general usefulness of the device across many platforms. Saying that Linux should not be considered in an article which mentions Mac and Windows, and Android and iPad devices seems to me discriminatory against Linux devices or PCs.

    It's as though Linux doesn't exist as far as the Connected Data Transporter manufacturer is concerned. This is for some of us a deal-breaking omission.

    As I referenced, it's not as though NAS or Remote Access Drives can't easily accommodate Linux PCs and devices. I view this omission as a drawback to the device, and to its proprietary software.

    The more technical reviews I listed have much more on the pros and cons of this device than anything Linux-specific. All of these reviews make the buying decision more clear for those who want to do further research, no matter which OS your PCs and devices use.

    Considering that this device is more expensive than comparable amounts of NAS storage, it seems wise to know what we are buying.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2014-08-22 at 13:56.
    -- Bob Primak --

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    The Linux Corrections I feel are omissions, although this is Windows Secrets we are discussing here.

    The bigger corrections have to do with the general usefulness of the device across many platforms. Saying that Linux should not be considered in an article which mentions Mac and Windows, and Android and iPad devices seems to me discriminatory against Linux devices or PCs.
    Expecting Linux to be mentioned in a Windows publication's review of a piece of hardware which doesn't even support Linux is just plain silly.

    Other obscure desktop operating systems were also not mentioned, since there was no reason to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    The article said "Mac and/or Windows". Then the author writes about his experiences with an iPad, without mentioning that iPad uses a different OS from Windows or Mac. Elsewhere, the article switches to using the phrase "Windows or mobile device", which is simply inconsistent with the part I quoted here. I said this was a minor correction.
    It was quite clear from the article that the software was available for Mac or Windows computers, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.

    The only addition you provided about Kindle Fire may be useful to the less than 0.64% who use those mobile devices.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    It's as though Linux doesn't exist as far as the Connected Data Transporter manufacturer is concerned. This is for some of us a deal-breaking omission.

    As I referenced, it's not as though NAS or Remote Access Drives can't easily accommodate Linux PCs and devices. I view this omission as a drawback to the device, and to its proprietary software.
    That's a criticism of the manufacturer for not choosing to support a niche platform, not a correction to the article.

    Windows has 91.68% of the desktop market and Linux has 1.68%.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    The more technical reviews I listed have much more on the pros and cons of this device than anything Linux-specific. All of these reviews make the buying decision more clear for those who want to do further research, no matter which OS your PCs and devices use.

    Considering that this device is more expensive than comparable amounts of NAS storage, it seems wise to know what we are buying.
    Those would have been further information, not corrections to the brief review.

    But all three are reviews of a more expensive product including internal storage (Transporter, $199) than the product reviewed in the article (Transporter Sync, $99).


    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2014-08-25 at 17:13.

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