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Thread: Any Tablets have Word?

  1. #1
    CL--DLR Trip Planning and DVC Toocherie's Avatar
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    Any Tablets have Word?

    I currently take a mini-laptop (Dell) when I travel because I need the ability to use Word for documents. Even though the mini-laptop is lighter than a traditional laptop I would LOVE to have a tablet sized machine (I already use a lightweight portable keyboard with it). I was looking at a friend's iPad the other day but it didn't appear to support Word. Are there any tablets that support Word? I was looking at the Amazon Kindle Fire that is soon being released but can't find if it supports it either.

    Thanks for any advice.

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  3. #2

    Does it have to be word or can it be any word processing program? Google-Docs does a good job with word processing for basic needs. I believe apple has ipages which can convert files to/from word documents. I don't know what android supports, but I would assume that they also have apps that can do word documents.

    I would at least look into ipages before I gave up on the ipad completely.

  4. #3
    Tortoise Thief bennette's Avatar
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    Toocherie, it does not support Word! That is not how it works!

    You can buy an app for it that lets you open up and work on Excel and Word documents and save them back into a format you can use in those applications on your regular computer. You can also create new documents and save them in those formats or as PDF's. I use QuickOffice Pro and am happy enough with it for small documents; I don't know how well it would work for heavily formatted documents. (It does other things, too, including file management, but that is not my area of expertise.)

    I use it with this keyboard, since extended typing on an iPad isn't all that feasible.

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  5. #4
    Hacker, nonmammaltarian, Warrior Andrew's Avatar
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    Any tablet that includes QuickOffice (most of them) should be able to open, edit and save Office documents.

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  6. #5
    Waiting impatiently for next trip quackinup's Avatar
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    Documents To Go also does a pretty good job and is available for both iOS and Android.

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  7. #6

    You can get the Pages App for iPad and use it to open, edit and save documents in Word format. It is probably the most productive app I have on my ipad. There are other apps like QuickOffice that Andrew mentioned that support word editing, but I haven't used them.

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  8. #7

    There are also Windows-based tablets, which will run pretty much any Windows software including the full Microsoft Office applications. Windows 7 has some fairly robust tablet features built in, although it generally works better with a stylus than with a touchscreen. The most common option for Windows Tablet PCs is a "convertible" laptop that has a touch/stylus compatible screen that can rotate around to cover the keyboard. There are also slate (no keyboard) Tablet PCs available from several manufacturers, including HP, Asus, MSI, and a few others. They do tend to be somewhat more expensive than the iPad or various Android tablets, but they could be a better fit if you really need to use full Windows applications.

    While Windows isn't as touch-friendly as iOS or Android, it is definitely very usable and it is certainly vastly superior if you want to do handwritten notetaking or stylus-based artwork. Even for simple tasks like web browsing or other similar kinds of content consumption, having the touchscreen is really nice. I've had a convertible laptop for a couple years and really can't imagine considering a new laptop that doesn't have a touchscreen.

    Windows 8, which is scheduled to come out next year, has substantial design changes that are intended to make it much friendlier for touchscreen tablets. Once it comes out, it is very likely that there will be quite a few slate tablets available from major manufacturers that run the OS. Windows 8 tablets are expected to compete much more directly with the iPad and Android tablets and, thus, will be more competitively priced than Windows tablets today. There still is some open question as to whether the lower-cost tablets will be fully compatible with older Windows software or not, as they are expected to be built on ARM processors (like in the iPad) instead of on the Intel-type processors found in current Windows systems.

    As others have noted, there are apps for most major tablets (and mobile phones) that will let you view and edit Word documents, but you should be aware that their compatibility is somewhat limited. They usually cover the most common features of Word, but if you work with documents that have really complex formatting or which use very advanced features such as macros, those apps won't likely be able to display or edit them accurately. One of the biggest risks is that most of those apps will strip out Word features that they don't understand when re-saving the documents. To be clear, these problems don't come up for most users, but they are something to at least be aware of, particularly if you are a power-user of Word.

    You also mentioned the Amazon Kindle Fire. It is important to realize that it is very directly intended as a content-consumption device rather than for content creation. QuickOffice will probably work on it (the app is already available in Amazon's App Store), but there are some potential concerns. Probably the biggest is that the Fire won't have Bluetooth or any other way to easily hook up an external keyboard, which is pretty essential for any lengthy word processing tasks. It also has a smaller screen (7" versus 10") than the iPad, which can limit its suitability for document editing as well.


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  9. #8
    CL--DLR Trip Planning and DVC Toocherie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys! I think the solution at this point is to stick with my Dell mini-laptop when traveling for word processing tasks.

    "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson



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