Author Topic: Smartphone as primary computing device  (Read 5458 times)

Z

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Smartphone as primary computing device
« on: October 12, 2012, 04:58:45 PM »
Have any other forum readers attempted to use a smartphone as a primary computer?   Most other sites seem to view it as a novelty, but it's worked fairly well for me over the past 6 months or so.  My current setup is:

Galaxy S2 - $150 on craigslist
23" monitor - $80 on craigslist
Bluetooth keyboard touchpad combo - $25 on ebay

I'm curious if anyone has found a setup that works particularly well or has unique features.  There are many examples available, but interested in talking with others who are exploring it to save money, as opposed to purely geek credibility :)

Example setup to clarify the use case:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_--zcmqIyRI&list=FLk7DmoGxZTSV37gWOqUCNcQ&index=2&feature=plpp_video

Paul der Krake

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 08:08:49 PM »
There was a story on Hacker News about this guy doing the exact same thing with an iPad. It all boils down to what you expect of your main workstation.

http://yieldthought.com/post/31857050698/ipad-linode-1-year-later

Unless you are a very light computer user, I can't think of any reason why you would want to put your phone through so much. They sell laptops for $300 at walmart these days. Hell, I even went through 4 years of university with a 1999 desktop with a resell value of around $20, and that's probably around the same processing power.
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LadyM

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 08:20:28 PM »
I do a lot of drafting with AutoCAD and photoshop work, so this option would NEVER work for me.  I need a true workstation.

For a computer, yeah, they are cheap at Wal-mart or Costco, but you can also get some great REFURBISHED stuff for close to 50% what it had or would currently retail for.  Plus you might be able to stretch your dollar further and get a super-reliable brand such as Asus, refurb'd for around $300.  I got a great HP laptop with a giant 17" screen, Win 7, 1TB harddrive, and 5GB RAM....for a laptop that's pretty sweet and darned useful for us.  Cost was a little over $300 from a local computer shop that sells refurbs.

The even cooler thing about a refurb, when they re-image the hard drive, they remove all the crap!  All the stupid trial of this or that icons aren't on the desktop.  The damn thing is practically streamlined! 

Back to the original question, it all comes down to the type of work you do.  If you just need to surf the web and read email, then sure, I guess the phone could do the job for you.  And if it's been working for you for 6 months, then maybe that's the way to go, and good for you.
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Adventine

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 08:56:14 PM »
I've gradually weaned myself off my Asus laptop ever since I got a Samsung Galaxy S in April 2011. It's been much more convenient because my daily computer tasks only revolve around browsing the net and sending personal emails. I don't need to use my personal tech for work, and I only edit my budget/investment Excel spreadsheet a couple of times a month, so I ended up donating my laptop to my parents (we live together). It's worked out pretty well. I rarely miss having a laptop nowadays.

An added benefit of giving up my laptop for a phone is that I prevent myself from sinking massive amounts of time into video games like Skyrim and Mass Effect 3. Removing the source of the temptation frees up my  time for other more productive things, like writing, sketching, researching investments, etc. (I plan to be a writer-artist after reaching FI).

Jamesqf

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 09:38:11 PM »
An added benefit of giving up my laptop for a phone is that I prevent myself from sinking massive amounts of time into video games like Skyrim and Mass Effect 3.

Instead, you sink massive amounts of time into Angry Birds?

But to the original question, no.  Even if I could get compiler, debugger, and so forth running on one, why?  Most of the power use & cost goes into the display.

Adventine

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 09:54:53 PM »
An added benefit of giving up my laptop for a phone is that I prevent myself from sinking massive amounts of time into video games like Skyrim and Mass Effect 3.

Instead, you sink massive amounts of time into Angry Birds?

But to the original question, no.  Even if I could get compiler, debugger, and so forth running on one, why?  Most of the power use & cost goes into the display.

No, I've yet to find a smartphone game that can occupy more than 3 hours of my time, total. So instead of replacing one game with another I get a lot more work done now with my "serious" hobbies. It's out of sight, out of mind for me as far as games are concerned.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 10:01:00 PM by Adventine »

Ryan

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 07:52:51 AM »
I am always on the road and I only carry a smart phone.  I do have a desktop at home for printing/photo editing ect...Other than that I do all of my "work" on a 3" screen.  I generally move hotel rooms every couple days so the less bags and shit that I could forget, the better.

I use a flashed and overclocked Optimus V that has been dropped too many times to count. 

Nords

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 10:47:14 AM »
I'm curious if anyone has found a setup that works particularly well or has unique features.  There are many examples available, but interested in talking with others who are exploring it to save money, as opposed to purely geek credibility :)
Our desktop's only advantage is the size of its hard drive, and a laptop with an external hard drive will fix that problem.  When our desktop dies (it's only three years old) then we'll just move to the laptop.

I just bought a used iPad2 and a wireless keyboard for travel.  They're replacing the laptop and a used Nook for a significant volume/weight reduction.  Everything that I care about doing on the road can hopefully be done from the iPad/keyboard setup.

I find a smartphone on the road to be a very frustrating experience-- due to presbyopianism.
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Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 05:06:01 PM »
Thanks for the responses! 

Unless you are a very light computer user, I can't think of any reason why you would want to put your phone through so much. They sell laptops for $300 at walmart these days. Hell, I even went through 4 years of university with a 1999 desktop with a resell value of around $20, and that's probably around the same processing power.

Thanks for the article, it was a good read, as were some of the comments.  I doubt you'd be surprised at how far specs have come since 1999 though :)  The phone I'm currently using is a year and a half old, but is dual core with 1gb ram, comparable to most low end walmart netbooks in the $200-$300 range today.  Newer models are quad core with 2gb....it hasn't been particularly challenging from a hardware standpoint.

I do a lot of drafting with AutoCAD and photoshop work, so this option would NEVER work for me.  I need a true workstation.

Photoshop substitutes are readily available for mobile devices....even AutoCAD has an android version....
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.autodesk.autocadws&hl=en

I presume the (free) app isn't as feature rich as the $4,000 subscription, but software hasn't been a major issue either actually....

The biggest challenge has been related more to the interface and potentially saving some $ on the hardware.

I just bought a used iPad2 and a wireless keyboard for travel. 

Which wireless keyboard are you using?  I've tried a couple different ones, and have yet to find one that has a decent built in touchpad for regular use.  This has (surprisingly) been the one of the biggest irritants for me so far. 

Most of the power use & cost goes into the display.

Agreed.  In the same vein, I've been thinking of upgrading the phone to one that has hdmi out, instead of mhl.  With mhl I seem to be restricted to using monitors/tvs with hdmi, while a phone with hdmi out would allow me to potentially pickup a cheaper monitor with dvi.  It was a long shot, but thought someone in the MMM forums might have tried it...I've checked out tech forums, but few people are interested in seeing if a smartphone is compatible with CRT monitors :)

Jamesqf

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 10:42:34 PM »
...but few people are interested in seeing if a smartphone is compatible with CRT monitors :)

Why on earth would you want to run anything with a CRT?  LCD is just (IMHO) so much better in every possible way...

For the computing setup, my main machine is a laptop, mostly used in a docking station with standard keyboard & 20" LCD display.  I use the tower machine only for testing stuff that runs on GPU.  I'm mostly running that without display or keyboard, doing a remote login with xterm.  (Because the graphics has to be off to use the card as a compute device.)

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 11:35:00 PM »
Hmmm, that's interesting. I have an Adroid tablet (and a dumb phone) that I guess would do me. But then I'd have to give up watching TV.. Which I'm not ready to do entirely yet, while living alone :P

offroad

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2012, 03:40:37 AM »


I just bought a used iPad2 and a wireless keyboard for travel.  .


Have too many computers because liking the hobby. But have an IPAD2 with verizon $25 month bill  and an apple Bluetooth keyboard, and apple Bluetooth mouse. Most are impressed with how it emulates a laptop.

offroad

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2012, 03:51:09 AM »


Why on earth would you want to run anything with a CRT?  LCD is just (IMHO) so much better in every possible way...


Because a thrift store CRT costs $20 and anything LCD costs $100

Nords

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2012, 11:25:20 AM »
I just bought a used iPad2 and a wireless keyboard for travel. 
Which wireless keyboard are you using?  I've tried a couple different ones, and have yet to find one that has a decent built in touchpad for regular use.  This has (surprisingly) been the one of the biggest irritants for me so far. 
It's a Logitech iPad "ultrathin keyboard cover":
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Ultrathin-Keyboard-Cover-920-004013/dp/B007PRHNHO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350235153&sr=8-1&keywords=logitech+ultrathin+keyboard+cover

My biggest frustration was being able to find a store with iPad wireless keyboards in stock so that I could test-drive them.  I think the Brookstone model is the most luxurious (and $150) but a Zagg model seemed fine too.  The Logitech's slot supports the iPad so I didn't need to buy a special case to hold it up (like the Brookstone and others). 

As for a touchpad, well... my touchpad is the size of an iPad.  I think it'll work out OK.
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Jamesqf

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2012, 11:57:27 AM »
Why on earth would you want to run anything with a CRT?  LCD is just (IMHO) so much better in every possible way...


Because a thrift store CRT costs $20 and anything LCD costs $100

And optometrist bills cost what?  Not to mention the ongoing power use of the CRT.

Though if purchase price is your concern, I have several in the shed that you can have for free...

Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2012, 12:42:00 PM »
Because a thrift store CRT costs $20 and anything LCD costs $100
Exactly.  Granted, the power consumption eats up a bit of the savings over long term use, but I'd rather at least try and use what's readily available.  Perhaps more importantly, LCD monitors with only DVI are generally cheaper than their HDMI counterparts.

As for a touchpad, well... my touchpad is the size of an iPad.  I think it'll work out OK.
Thanks for the follow up detail!  It's a slick travel combo. 

I'll probably end up buying a bluetooth mouse to visually see it as desktop replacement (the video in the original post describes the setup better than I can verbally).

Nords

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2012, 08:31:26 PM »
As for a touchpad, well... my touchpad is the size of an iPad.  I think it'll work out OK.
Thanks for the follow up detail!  It's a slick travel combo. 
I'll probably end up buying a bluetooth mouse to visually see it as desktop replacement (the video in the original post describes the setup better than I can verbally).
I'm not a UI designer, but if you're buying a mouse for an iPad then it's possible that you're missing the whole point of a touchscreen display.  I'll know better once I get some basic word-processing software and (re)learn the Mac keyboard combo commands.

I use a Logitech wireless keyboard & mouse on our desktop PC.  They have plenty of models out there and they all seem to work well.
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grantmeaname

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2012, 07:12:31 AM »
Thanks for the article, it was a good read, as were some of the comments.  I doubt you'd be surprised at how far specs have come since 1999 though :)  The phone I'm currently using is a year and a half old, but is dual core with 1gb ram, comparable to most low end walmart netbooks in the $200-$300 range today.
A GHz is not just a GHz, and there's a lot more to it than the number of cores. Even a Netbook's Atom, which is a horrible, neutered piece of shit compared to any other x86 processor today, will absolutely destroy the best ARM architecture found in smartphones and tablets (the Tegra 3 from nVidia). Widen the competition to include even the 17W processors found in the Macbook air and its competitors, and there's just no competition.

Because a thrift store CRT costs $20 and anything LCD costs $100
New and refurbished LCDs can be had for less than $100, and that's before the price plummet that they're going to have for black friday through Christmas here in the States. If you're willing to go used, you could probably get one for under $50. That said, if you don't mind your brain being fried by a continuous beam of electrons pointed right at it, you can get a relatively high-end CRT with good color performance for much cheaper than you could get the same in an LCD-- today, a CRT is just a CRT and the whole market has been compressed to the space between "free to haul" and $40.

Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2012, 09:52:41 AM »
if you're buying a mouse for an iPad then it's possible that you're missing the whole point of a touchscreen display.
I'm actually outputting to a monitor, the touchscreen doesn't matter to me at that point.  Check out the video in my original post if you have a moment.

Even a Netbook's Atom, which is a horrible, neutered piece of shit compared to any other x86 processor today, will absolutely destroy the best ARM architecture found in smartphones and tablets (the Tegra 3 from nVidia).
It depends on what benchmark you're using.  It's also tough to measure the user experience with synthetic metrics.  For general computing needs (and my experience), high end ARM is closer to low end x86 than you might think.
http://liliputing.com/2012/02/fastest-arm-chips-are-comparable-to-intels-slowest-atom-chips.html

I.P. Daley

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2012, 10:55:56 AM »
Thanks for the article, it was a good read, as were some of the comments.  I doubt you'd be surprised at how far specs have come since 1999 though :)  The phone I'm currently using is a year and a half old, but is dual core with 1gb ram, comparable to most low end walmart netbooks in the $200-$300 range today.
A GHz is not just a GHz, and there's a lot more to it than the number of cores. Even a Netbook's Atom, which is a horrible, neutered piece of shit compared to any other x86 processor today, will absolutely destroy the best ARM architecture found in smartphones and tablets (the Tegra 3 from nVidia). Widen the competition to include even the 17W processors found in the Macbook air and its competitors, and there's just no competition.

Quite true. As much as I personally love the ARM platform from an engineering standpoint and as useful as they can be for simple data processing tasks, they're still mostly toys. I'm glad, nay ecstatic, that some of you out there can and have done this to save money on electrical usage and hardware costs, but there's just far too many caveats to make it a practical solution for people who need computers to do any form of work that extends beyond data entry and entertainment consumption.

After all, there's a reason why things like the Atrix with the Lapdock and the Transformer Prime are still niche products. I don't doubt that the technology will advance to that point eventually, but we're not there quite yet. Unfortunately, when we finally do get to that point, things like privacy, data security, and free (speech and beer) computing will likely be things of the past (or at least marginalized to the fringes) due to people embracing being hemmed into platforms they no longer control and paying monthly or trading their privacy online for access to these services. The great commoditization of the consumer.

Z, now you know a bit more about why I approach cell phones the way I do and provide the style advice that I have. It's never been any sort of grudge against you. I view smartphones as a gateway technology towards a very anti-mustachian future with computing, so I advocate trying to avoid being dependent on them or any other form of technology much beyond tool usage. Most smartphone users aren't actually end users, they're a product... commodities paying money to buy equipment they've been told they need to allow other people to make money off them. If you're fine with that, more power to you. I know it's not a rosy, happy, optimistic Star Trek future type of idea and likely not going to be too popular a sentiment around here because of it, but I'm not keen on the idea of my fellow man being treated like the digital equivalent of CAFO feed lot beef, either.

We're a society too dependent on technology to function, and we're supposed to be a community of badasses here. Granted, we're a community of badasses who have been blessed and enabled to live this lifestyle due to the progress of technology, but.... When was the last time any one of us were actually badass enough to do simple arithmetic without a calculator, let alone go 24 hours without being online? As minimal consumerists, are our lives truly enriched by letting large corporations know who we meet, where we go, what we socialize about and what we do... especially when we're paying good money to let them do that? Where do we draw the line? Is replacing a semi-stationary computational device with an always-on always-connected mobile one a convenience or a liability?
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Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2012, 11:29:50 AM »
Thanks for the article, it was a good read, as were some of the comments.  I doubt you'd be surprised at how far specs have come since 1999 though :)  The phone I'm currently using is a year and a half old, but is dual core with 1gb ram, comparable to most low end walmart netbooks in the $200-$300 range today.
A GHz is not just a GHz, and there's a lot more to it than the number of cores. Even a Netbook's Atom, which is a horrible, neutered piece of shit compared to any other x86 processor today, will absolutely destroy the best ARM architecture found in smartphones and tablets (the Tegra 3 from nVidia). Widen the competition to include even the 17W processors found in the Macbook air and its competitors, and there's just no competition.

Quite true. As much as I personally love the ARM platform from an engineering standpoint and as useful as they can be for simple data processing tasks, they're still mostly toys. I'm glad, nay ecstatic, that some of you out there can and have done this to save money on electrical usage and hardware costs, but there's just far too many caveats to make it a practical solution for people who need computers to do any form of work that extends beyond data entry and entertainment consumption.

After all, there's a reason why things like the Atrix with the Lapdock and the Transformer Prime are still niche products. I don't doubt that the technology will advance to that point eventually, but we're not there quite yet. Unfortunately, when we finally do get to that point, things like privacy, data security, and free (speech and beer) computing will likely be things of the past (or at least marginalized to the fringes) due to people embracing being hemmed into platforms they no longer control and paying monthly or trading their privacy online for access to these services. The great commoditization of the consumer.

Z, now you know a bit more about why I approach cell phones the way I do and provide the style advice that I have. It's never been any sort of grudge against you. I view smartphones as a gateway technology towards a very anti-mustachian future with computing, so I advocate trying to avoid being dependent on them or any other form of technology much beyond tool usage. Most smartphone users aren't actually end users, they're a product... commodities paying money to buy equipment they've been told they need to allow other people to make money off them. If you're fine with that, more power to you. I know it's not a rosy, happy, optimistic Star Trek future type of idea and likely not going to be too popular a sentiment around here because of it, but I'm not keen on the idea of my fellow man being treated like the digital equivalent of CAFO feed lot beef, either.

We're a society too dependent on technology to function, and we're supposed to be a community of badasses here. Granted, we're a community of badasses who have been blessed and enabled to live this lifestyle due to the progress of technology, but.... When was the last time any one of us were actually badass enough to do simple arithmetic without a calculator, let alone go 24 hours without being online? As minimal consumerists, are our lives truly enriched by letting large corporations know who we meet, where we go, what we socialize about and what we do... especially when we're paying good money to let them do that? Where do we draw the line? Is replacing a semi-stationary computational device with an always-on always-connected mobile one a convenience or a liability?

Soapbox anyone? :)  Suum cuique pulchrum est

grantmeaname

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2012, 12:10:01 PM »
It depends on what benchmark you're using.  It's also tough to measure the user experience with synthetic metrics.  For general computing needs (and my experience), high end ARM is closer to low end x86 than you might think.
http://liliputing.com/2012/02/fastest-arm-chips-are-comparable-to-intels-slowest-atom-chips.html
That's 2008's cheapest Atom being detuned to the lowest power consumption achieved in that generation. So really what you're saying is that if you buy the top ARM devices available today, you'll only be a little more than 4.5 years behind the worst member of the worst x86 processor family modern times have ever seen. You know, that's not such a compelling argument.

There's a reason I don't consider Phoronix reputable.

...
Hear, hear.

Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2012, 12:32:23 PM »
It depends on what benchmark you're using.  It's also tough to measure the user experience with synthetic metrics.  For general computing needs (and my experience), high end ARM is closer to low end x86 than you might think.
http://liliputing.com/2012/02/fastest-arm-chips-are-comparable-to-intels-slowest-atom-chips.html
That's 2008's cheapest Atom....you'll only be a little more than 4.5 years behind.
Did you even read beyond the first paragraph of the article? :) "....todayís Atom processors arenít much faster than those released in 2008." 

...
Hear, hear.
In my humble opinion, just because some use Google Voice, doesn't mean that we're "being treated like the digital equivalent of CAFO feed lot beef."  Hyperbole does not a good argument make.  I personally don't have a problem with Google knowing I called my wife twice yesterday.  But to each their own.

Jamesqf

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2012, 12:50:07 PM »
Did you even read beyond the first paragraph of the article? :) "....today’s Atom processors aren’t much faster than those released in 2008."

But the question is, why would they need to be?  I'm writing this on a laptop with a CPU that was probably released in '08 or 09', and with a decent CPU governor am seeing about 1% CPU utilization.

Now I'll grant that when I'm testing code, I can stress the CPU for a bit, but I doubt there are many people out there doing the computational equivalent of seismic tomography.

Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2012, 12:59:12 PM »
Did you even read beyond the first paragraph of the article? :) "....todayís Atom processors arenít much faster than those released in 2008."

But the question is, why would they need to be?  I'm writing this on a laptop with a CPU that was probably released in '08 or 09', and with a decent CPU governor am seeing about 1% CPU utilization.

Now I'll grant that when I'm testing code, I can stress the CPU for a bit, but I doubt there are many people out there doing the computational equivalent of seismic tomography.

Exactly.  For a significant portion of consumers (not for all), there's little need for more computing power than is readily available in a high end smartphone.

grantmeaname

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2012, 01:06:39 PM »
Did you even read beyond the first paragraph of the article? :) "....todayís Atom processors arenít much faster than those released in 2008."
It's really cool that that's the author's opinion and everything, but looking them up in the passmark cpu database, I see 299 passmarks for the N270 and 788 for the D2700.

So there's been a 270% increase in performance over the N270 and Liliputing doesn't feel it's significant? I suppose that's their prerogative, and they're welcome to have whatever feelings they want, but that's well beyond the point that any reasonable observer would note a qualitative difference. My point stands.

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2012, 01:16:55 PM »
Did you even read beyond the first paragraph of the article? :) "....todayís Atom processors arenít much faster than those released in 2008."
It's really cool that that's the author's opinion and everything, but looking them up in the passmark cpu database, I see 299 passmarks for the N270 and 788 for the D2700.

So there's been a 270% increase in performance over the N270 and Liliputing doesn't feel it's significant? I suppose that's their prerogative, and they're welcome to have whatever feelings they want, but that's well beyond the point that any reasonable observer would note a qualitative difference. My point stands.
Anyone can cherry pick passmark scores:

N2100 (launched Q2 of 2012) 321
N270 (launched Q1 of 2009) 299

We come back to the question of how well a smartphone can perform relative to a walmart netbook, given a similar user interface.  Test it out for yourself with an open mind if you have an opportunity.  It may not work well for your particular needs.  For other users, it could be all that they need.

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2012, 01:37:33 PM »
You're really grasping at straws here. I said the site was disreputable for misrepresenting information, and you responded by repeating the liliputing authors' glib and inaccurate comment. I demonstrated why it was wrong, and you found one example of a product only 10 percent faster. Problem is, it's so rare it doesn't appear on Intel's roadmaps and to my knowledge it has only been sold in one product, and even that was overseas. Here's the big picture: regardless of the range of variation in netbooks (there's not much, by the way: they stick pretty exclusively to the higher-end Atoms), wouldn't it be better to compare the smartphone processors to a typical netbook's Atom than the slowest Atom ever produced?

And as for what I'm using and how nobody but you has "given things a try": my rig has just under 1000 passmarks, and is widely if not universally regarded as a piece of shit. I'm not speaking from inexperience here, and I'm not waving around a big epeen and telling everyone they need a $900 processor. It just irks me that you're so willing to step outside the bounds of factuality in order to support your claim that smartphones are suitable desktops.

Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2012, 02:27:22 PM »
You're really grasping at straws here. I said the site was disreputable for misrepresenting information, and you responded by repeating the liliputing authors' glib and inaccurate comment. I demonstrated why it was wrong, and you found one example of a product only 10 percent faster. Problem is, it's so rare it doesn't appear on Intel's roadmaps and to my knowledge it has only been sold in one product, and even that was overseas. Here's the big picture: regardless of the range of variation in netbooks (there's not much, by the way: they stick pretty exclusively to the higher-end Atoms), wouldn't it be better to compare the smartphone processors to a typical netbook's Atom than the slowest Atom ever produced?

And as for what I'm using and how nobody but you has "given things a try": my rig has just under 1000 passmarks, and is widely if not universally regarded as a piece of shit. I'm not speaking from inexperience here, and I'm not waving around a big epeen and telling everyone they need a $900 processor. It just irks me that you're so willing to step outside the bounds of factuality in order to support your claim that smartphones are suitable desktops.
I apologize for irking you.

Can you explain how its "stepping outside the bounds of factuality" to say that perfectly usable Atom processors (both recent and historically) perform at around the same level as the smartphone I'm using right now?

I'm not forcing you to try this, or insulting you because you haven't.  I'm simply saying it's worked for me.

grantmeaname

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2012, 03:58:43 PM »
Tablets and smartphones are fast enough for a lot of things. My tablet can do all sorts of things that I previously relied on a laptop for, especially in the content consumption sphere (or, as the Liliputing user said, my monster i5 system spends 90% of its time doing no more work than an ARM processor could); further, many of the barriers that ARM devices face now are in software rather than raw CPU speed. That doesn't mean that they are as fast as a typical Atom, though--they're still far from that threshold. That's the factual statement that I was taking issue with.

flyfamily

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2012, 04:15:10 PM »
I've used a smartphone as my primary to save money.
My husband was overseas. The computer broke. He knew how to fix it. I didn't.
Guiding me by telephone was fruitless.
Rather than pay the expense of a repair, I waited it out 4 months till his return.

I do feel that it could be done, as I managed to pay bills (our bank has a great app, mail still works, and businesses still accept checks).  People could email me, and I could read. However, I could not send lengthy emails (my eyes went nuts enough as it was reading). So, I made phone calls more often.

Z

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2012, 04:45:38 PM »
Tablets and smartphones are fast enough for a lot of things. My tablet can do all sorts of things that I previously relied on a laptop for, especially in the content consumption sphere (or, as the Liliputing user said, my monster i5 system spends 90% of its time doing no more work than an ARM processor could); further, many of the barriers that ARM devices face now are in software rather than raw CPU speed. That doesn't mean that they are as fast as a typical Atom, though--they're still far from that threshold. That's the factual statement that I was taking issue with.

Well said, and agree on everything...except the factual statement :)

http://www.passmark.com/forum/showthread.php?3381-Comparing-computers-to-phones-CPU-performance

Check out the Galaxy S2 versus the Atom they've listed.  It's the (common) older model mentioned earlier.  Even if you increase the Atom's performance, the GS2 is still comparable.

As noted at the above link, the gap between mobile processors and middle/high end desktop is still huge.  But I doubt that most Mustachians are going to be purchasing an expensive system anyway.  In my opinion, it's generally not the processing power or software that dissuades people from using the phone as primary computer: it's the small screen and keyboard.  Instead of getting into a tangential discussion about passmarks and privacy, I was hoping to see if anyone had a particularly good setup that recreates the desktop interface.  Yes, a long shot.  But figured I'd least get the conversation going.

grantmeaname

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Re: Smartphone as primary computing device
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2012, 05:31:48 PM »
That is much closer than I expected, and doesn't exactly parallel the Phoronix results (one flaw of the Phoronix numbers is testing both platforms with desktop optimizations, rather than each with its own optimizations).

As far as the future: There's nothing compelling available today, at least in the android world. What I'm really excited for as an Ubuntu user, Android user, and Linux enthusiast, is Ubuntu for Android. The concept is: you have a phone that's dockable into a 'desktop' or perhaps a 'laptop' dock. When the phone is being a phone, it's a regular old Android smartphone, running Android on top of the linux kernel. When you dock it, it switches to running ubuntu-but off of the same kernel, and with a bunch of secret sauce that lets the two share information-- like, if you get a call while in desktop mode, the Android OS sends a desktop notification to the Ubuntu OS and it gets displayed on your screen. There's really a lot of potential, as most of desktop linux's programs are open source and so can easily be recompiled from x86 to ARM. When it was first teased 10-12 months ago, Ubuntu for Android was suggested to be the "killer app" that made 2012 the "year of the multicore smartphone" with Tegra3/OMAP4 level guts; since then, there's been no news out of Canonical on the matter except for the demo I linked above, which came out in February.