Sunday, 21 February 2016

Surface Pro 4 Versus $99 Pendo Tablet

A picture of a Pendo Tablet
Pendo Tablet
A picture of a surface pro 4 with its keyboard
Surface Pro 4

In the red corner we have a brand new $2750 Surface Pro 4. In the blue corner we have a brand new $99 Pendo 10" tablet. In this David versus Goliath battle can a tablet nearly 30 times cheaper really compete?

Acquired for very different purposes we realised there was in fact an overlap of uses and we wanted to see which one was best.

The SP4's main use was for Photo Shop & Illustrator. It is a (very nearly) top of the range i7 with 8Mb RAM. It handles Photo Shop with ease and has helped produce some pretty dam awesome drawings & photos.

The Pendo was intended use for browsing the internet, checking emails and watching TV shows on Netflix.

Both do their respective jobs well.

At first glance the SP4 does everything the Pendo does but better. No argument there. But the Pendo has one major card up its sleeve; Could it be the Ace of Spades!

Do you remember when you had your first car? After the initial honeymoon period, once the adoration had settled, you drove that car everywhere & anywhere. You were able to park that car outside your friends house, have more drinks than humanely possibly, somehow avoid being arrested and wake up on a sofa belonging to a strange bearded man claiming to be your soul mate. All this without giving one thought to your poor car left behind in the dodgy area of town displaying a virtual sign reading "Please take me! I'm abandoned and lonely".

But no one took your car.

Why not? It worked. It did its job as well as any other car. The reason no one took your car was because it had the sex appeal of dead rat. You had to drive that thing the long way around hills as to avoid being overtaken by a cluster of sloths.

But let's not get too hard on the old banger. Did it get you to your mates house most times? Yes. Did it give you independence from your parents? Yes. Did it give you a worry free night? Of course, and your new soul mate agreed whole-heartedly.

Now imagine your same teenage self driving a Ferrari, or a new Porsche. You drive to your friends house, in the dodgy area of town. Seriously, are you really going to leave it there? Overnight!!! No way!!!!! It wont be there when you get back. It wouldn't be there if you turned away for 5 minutes! Your friend is now upset with you because you are focused on the car and not the night ahead. Truth is, you are so worried about your car that the last thing you want to do is relax and have fun. You decide not to drink, you know you will be stopped and breathalyzed later; who would be driving a Ferrari in that part of town. Dam! You just remembered you left it under a tree. Bird droppings! Acidic bird droppings! Can you take a Ferrari through a car wash? Now you know how Ferris Bueller felt!

There is a place for the Pendo. It's not quite disposable, but not far from it. It does it's job like a "trusty" old Ford Fiesta. There's absolutely nothing sexy about it, but on most occasions it will get you from A to B, and you can park it at B without the slightest of concern. The chances are, if it's not there when you get back, someone will lend you their old one anyway, and they probably wont want it back.

When you are travelling, in unfamiliar public areas, on public transport, at the pub or in a taxi and you have other things on your mind, which tablet do you reach for?

More often than you would think, the winner is the $99 Pendo.

Yes. We used the Pendo rather than the SP4 on many occasions. We have used it a lot. Not only that, we have enjoyed using it. Some may complain it is slow. Some may say it has pixels bigger than an Elf in Lapland, but the Pendo has a place in our hearts and in our bags.

The big discovery and realisation to surface from this unlikely battle however, was not that the Pendo could replace an SP4, but that it was used so often at the same time as the SP4. Often we had both devices in front of us, plus a phone (or 2). Photo Shop running like a dream on the SP4, Tidal on the Pendo doing a sterling job bluetoothed to the amp. Business app on one, Social on the other. One device can do it all, but two devices, two screens, makes it so much less fuss.

We are so glad we invested the $99 on a cheap tablet. It was worth every dollar and then some. The only question that remains is, should we invest again!

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