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Author Topic: Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?  (Read 18537 times)

Offline Karsten

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I don't own a cell phone but I hear many interesting things about them. Especially the ability to connect to the web and other definitely existing features are fascinating since they may allow me to replace my desktop computer, internet connection, conventional phone service, digital camera, voice recorder, etc.. Are the better cellphones so advanced that they can replace a basic desktop computer or laptop? I would want to connect a full size keyboard to my phone. Could I? How about a larger monitor, could I attach one? How about software compatibility? Freeware? Open source operating systems? Speakers? Earphones? Listening to internet radio anytime I have cell phone service? Is that all possible?

I know, I know. Lots of questions. But I trust you folks more than cellphone sales representatives.
« Last Edit: 28/11/2009 15:46:20 by Karsten »


 

Offline techmind

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #1 on: 28/11/2009 22:53:07 »
Mobile phones are becoming more and more sophisticated and are getting good enough to do some basic web-browsing such as a Google search to find local taxi companies, to check the weather forecast, news headlines, traffic report, summon Google maps, or check out what friends are doing on Facebook.

That said, the experience falls far short of what you could do with a proper laptop.
-I'm not aware that any phone on the market could connect to a full-size screen (this is somewhat outside the remit of a phone)
-I think some of the smartphones do have some accessory keyboards - but they still won't be as ergonomic as a proper keyboard
-the internet connection can be reasonable if you have a good "3G" mobile-phone signal, but when you're out of coverage the speeds are agonisingly slow (virtually like an old dial-up modem)
-You should be aware that the phone networks often intercept your web-browsing to give a cut-down version of the web (faster to download) with shrunk images and other dynamic reformatting. This can 'break' some websites (especially those with complicated layout and not really intended for mobile use) and make them unusable on your phone.

In-built digital cameras in phones are great as a freebie, but the resolution is a bit below what you'd get on a stand-alone digital camera, they'll rarely have a proper flash, and the low-light performance is pretty ropey. Given that the camera module in a phone adds no more than a dollar or two to the handset cost, what do you expect? Also the lens gets scuffed and covered with dust and pocket-lint, so after a few months the picture quality will be degraded compared to when the phone was new.

Probably you could listen to internet radio on some advanced models (provided the 3G signal was good enough), but you'd probably run the battery down in a few hours, and your contracted data-allowance may get used up pretty fast (radio might well be 40 megabytes per hour or something).


What you might consider is what they call a 'netbook' which is a somewhat cut-down and slimmer laptop, typically running Windows or Linux with integrated 3G data-modem which works off the mobile phone network. In the UK at least you can buy these from the phone companies on a contract model where you pay £25/month (perhaps US$40/month) for a 2-3 year contract which pays for both the computer and the ongoing data-service. By the end of the contract you own the netbook (no, or minimal up-front payment).


I have 3G (mobile-network based) data-modem USB dongle which gives "broadband" internet. If I only ever used this with a laptop, on the move, I'd be thrilled with it. In reality I use it as my home broadband with my desktop computer (I'm in rented accomodation and didn't want to commit to long wired-broadband contracts)... it works reasonably well, but it has a number of teething troubles indicative of an immature technology and is a passable, but poor, substitute for real wired broadband. I suspect how well it works depends on the operators attitude to it, and we get the impression in the UK that its a far lower priority than voice-calls! I don't know what things are like in the USA.
« Last Edit: 28/11/2009 23:07:37 by techmind »
 

Offline Geezer

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #2 on: 29/11/2009 01:36:38 »
Unless you are continually on the move, don't bother with a feature loaded phone. It's all just another way to separate you from your money.

Mobile phones are great for one thing. Phone calls! I have a basic Nokia and pre-paid T-Mobile service that I only use when I'm not at home. I buy 1000 minutes for $100. They last for a year. If I buy more before the year is up, they roll them over into the next year.

It costs me about $8 a month! Try getting a mobile contract at that price. They'll try to talk you into a bunch of features you'll probably never use.
 

Offline LeeE

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #3 on: 29/11/2009 11:45:39 »
The convergence between mobile phones and 'conventional' personal computers (including laptops and netbooks) is a certainty.

The issues needing to be addressed are the screen size, data input and control, and of course, power.

The screen and data input/control issues will eventually be solved by in-eye laser projection systems.  The in-eye projection system will also incorporate a scanner so that it can also be used for iris scan identification, so that several different people can be simultaneously identified and fed customised feeds.  The same technology will also handle data input by overlaying a virtual keyboard, where needed, and handle control by tracking gestures.

I'd be surprised if the in-eye projection and scanner system hasn't already been prototyped by now, but power is still looking to be a bit of a problem for the foreseeable future.
 

Offline Karsten

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #4 on: 29/11/2009 14:12:46 »
Thank you so far for all those super-informative answers. I will wait with getting a cell phone.

The pre-paid version is an option. It is useful occasionally and for emergencies. Not necessarily because I need the mobile phone but because everyone else has one these days and forgot how to communicate or organize their lives without one. Or just plainly expects that you have one and should be able to help yourself. Try finding a pay phone these days! One per town, maybe.

The netbook sounds interesting. I will wait for further developments. Maybe I can avoid buying a computer and broad-band internet service to replace what I leave behind. I currently use equipment that is not mine.

In-eye projection sounds scary.

And I do hate to be separated from my money if I don't get something good for it.


 

Offline santosh09

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #5 on: 04/12/2009 07:30:15 »
now a days cellphone is more necessary than laptop.cellphone is so sophisticated than that for taking.now in the market more advanced cellphone are available.by through cellphone we browse,chat &do diff.thing.i think cellphone are good than a laptop in more cases.
there was some spam here, now it's gone
« Last Edit: 04/12/2009 19:24:03 by BenV »
 

Offline Geezer

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #6 on: 04/12/2009 19:05:24 »
Must be one of those Spamish cellphones.
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #7 on: 04/12/2009 19:31:20 »
Yep, they use ALL of the pig these days. Used even in call phones.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #8 on: 05/12/2009 00:17:31 »
I bought a Moto Q...smart phone from Motorola two years ago... and I lov e my phone. I pay $79.00 a month for unlimited internet  and phone service along withs Wi-Fi so that I also use my wi-Fi to use my note book anywhere I am without worry. This cost includes unlimited texting and everyring....all unlimited callin both natioal as well as international calls... my phone has usb hookup and I wil try it with my big compuer etc, and let you know. I am on phone now! I love my phone service.... Love it... It has video capabilities music.. sound etc....
 

Offline Geezer

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #9 on: 05/12/2009 04:08:10 »
Sounds like Karen's got a techno addiction!

My phone's got a teddy bear on its wallpaper. Top that.

 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #10 on: 05/12/2009 06:45:49 »
My phone has a teddy bear on the wall paper too, but of the human male Naked variety!! LOL,,,, Topped indeedy!
« Last Edit: 05/12/2009 06:47:34 by Karen W. »
 

Offline Geezer

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #11 on: 05/12/2009 07:10:29 »
Yeah, well send us a.........on second thoughts, no, don't bother. OK. You win.
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #12 on: 05/12/2009 07:17:41 »
LOL... Yes well...indeedy I do!!! LOL And he is one hell of a handsome old geezer too! LOL..LOL...
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #13 on: 05/12/2009 07:21:35 »
Under no circumstances post the picture! We'll take your word for it.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #14 on: 05/12/2009 07:28:20 »
MOI.... Post a picture....LOL Never.. my private stash mine mine mine mine alone...LOL...
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #15 on: 05/12/2009 07:31:02 »
I have a young friend who has a pole dancing young lady dancing Naked on his screen......She sashays across his screen and works her pole quite well! LOL.. Thats the one you boys need! LOL.....
 

Offline Karsten

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #16 on: 05/12/2009 16:01:45 »
I bought a Moto Q...smart phone from Motorola two years ago... and I lov e my phone. I pay $79.00 a month for unlimited internet  and phone service along withs Wi-Fi so that I also use my wi-Fi to use my note book anywhere I am without worry. This cost includes unlimited texting and everyring....all unlimited callin both natioal as well as international calls... my phone has usb hookup and I wil try it with my big compuer etc, and let you know. I am on phone now! I love my phone service.... Love it... It has video capabilities music.. sound etc....

That is close to $1000 a year just for the service! I better check some numbers. All the stuff I want adds up of course, so maybe it ends up being that much or more if not combined. Gulp.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #17 on: 05/12/2009 20:24:29 »
I try not to think about yearly cost because I refuse to have a land line when my cell phone does the job better then a land line without crazy fees for long distance etc..  so combined wi-fi + unlimited Internet for my phone, + plus a handy dandy camera + texting and picture messaging and all the amenities of my big computer along with the fact that on bad days when I cannot sit up enough to use my notebook, I can lie down on my side, back, etc and use my phone to do everything my computer does..
There are two drawbacks for me.. I love cut and paste, but I have not figured out how to do it on my phone as of yet! Also the keypad is small. I can see pictures just fine just like my computer also transfer them to my computer when I have saved them to my phones Hard drive.. My phone is a computer also has a desktop storage basically the same as my computer but with less storage of course.. when I need to save something I can use my USB and transfer to my computer..

My keys have a slight rounded hump to them which pose difficulty for me as a woman who likes pretty hands and long nails..LOL nails tend to slip off the key and make typos. Truth be known I am an excellent speller and am entirely to lazy to go back on my phone and correct errors that happen.. because of the keys and my nails..LOL
I am, right at this moment, sitting up in my bed using my phone for my Wi-fi connection with my USB, which is also charging my phone as I use it. My phone came with two batteries so that one would be charging, or charged while the other is in use.
I also bought a power converter for my car from Harbor Freight, so that rather then waisting my battery while using both my notebook and phone that I can plug in the converter to the lighter hole, and then Plug my notebook straight into converter, just like a regular household outlet with a three prong, grounded hole.

This means if I have forgotten to shave my legs before pool time.. I can pull out my electric razor and plug it into a regular plug in the converter, and it converts my car power for use with my personal accessories.. Hell.. I can power my curlers and set my hair if I so chose to do it! LOL

A power converter is really very inexpensive and offers a lot of flexibility to my phone, notebook or many other problems...

I was without power for 7+ months and this gadget was a life saver!

LOL.. I do so love technology!!! LOL...

Anyway I hope you find something cool that will work for your needs.. I have had great luck with my smart phone, but I really looked around. Most people who have used my phone rather then their Blackberries prefer my phone, and have said that it works better then their Blackberries, and was virtually hands down better in the fact that it functions as more of a computer then a phone. The phone is really secondary, but the service has been great! I am not sure that I could ever part with my phone... it would take a mighty good demonstration to prove that another was better! LOL.. They have ceased making the model I have now but the newer one was the lime green model and they have only a handful left in Eureka which I could upgrade to.. They stopped making them..:(!  I have not yet checked out the newest moto Q to replace the ones I am familiar with.

Oh Yeah My Moto Q initially cost me $400.00 dollars..USA. Will cost me $125.00 to upgrade to the green model should they have any left when I go to upgrade!
« Last Edit: 05/12/2009 20:40:56 by Karen W. »
 

Offline Karsten

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #18 on: 05/12/2009 22:25:32 »
Karen - I appreciate the detailed explanation of what your phone can do. It is in many ways what I am looking for. I will have to check how this would work out where I live since this is "the boons". Of course there is an initial cost but that is the same with any computer. Having a computer that can do most basic work and make phone calls is great. I still wonder if it will be able to run typical PC software. I may have to wait a little longer when it comes to non-communication software on phones (accounting, drafting, etc.).

I will hate being stuck with a company and having to upgrade (and pay for it) every few years even though nothing is wrong with the device I use. Growth-based economies suck this way. Always more, more, more. Never it is allowed to stay just fine the way it is.
 

Offline Geezer

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #19 on: 05/12/2009 22:26:46 »
The green model has no batteries, so you have to hand crank it  ;D
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #20 on: 05/12/2009 22:29:10 »
LOL...LOL Geezer...hand crank...No batteries.. LOL..
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #21 on: 05/12/2009 22:52:54 »
Karen - I appreciate the detailed explanation of what your phone can do. It is in many ways what I am looking for. I will have to check how this would work out where I live since this is "the boons". Of course there is an initial cost but that is the same with any computer. Having a computer that can do most basic work and make phone calls is great. I still wonder if it will be able to run typical PC software. I may have to wait a little longer when it comes to non-communication software on phones (accounting, drafting, etc.).

I will hate being stuck with a company and having to upgrade (and pay for it) every few years even though nothing is wrong with the device I use. Growth-based economies suck this way. Always more, more, more. Never it is allowed to stay just fine the way it is.

I am not required to upgrade and the reason I wanted to upgrade was because the lime green was my favorite color and I have plain black, the only one my Q came in that year...LOL.. I am not sure how much better the lime green one is..LOL just easier on my eye thats all...

By the way I live kinda in the sticks in Northern California.. so reception is really hard but My moto Q gets perfect reception using US cellular!...So I would definitely check things out... i have a calculator and other programs email etc. etc...It will sync
 with my computer as well as other devices.. hands free etc speaker phone all the good stuff.. really..

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Offline Karsten

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #22 on: 06/12/2009 15:17:35 »
You are good. Do you sell these things?
 

Offline Geezer

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #23 on: 06/12/2009 19:25:02 »
"Oh Yeah My Moto Q initially cost me $400.00 dollars..USA. Will cost me $125.00 to upgrade to the green model should they have any left when I go to upgrade!"

For that sort of money it ought to be at least gold plated!
 

Offline geo driver

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #24 on: 06/12/2009 21:37:34 »
oh the wonders of wifi. but one of the problems is that with the email thing....work is always 1 beep away
 

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Can a cell phone replace a basic laptop computer?
« Reply #24 on: 06/12/2009 21:37:34 »

 

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