Well then, what would you like to discuss?
Well then, what would you like to discuss?
OH, such an invitation.
CarPC is cool. Tablet is just as cool and maybe on the awesome side
I have less hardware to deal with and I have not had to worry about power with my tab install. It has music, gps, videos, wifi hotspot, internet plus any other mobile integrations you can imagine using various hardware and android apps. Just root it and away you go
Topic suggestion: driving-friendly volume controls. I miss my knob, man.
"tablet" is a form factor, and this tablet form factor is nothing new. tablets were first introduced by Microsoft over 10 years ago and Microsoft even built a modified version of windows just to suit tablet use even way back then.
since then there have been windows tablets, linux tablets, Ipads and now, just recently, the addition of Android based tablets, which are built on a kernel thats split from and based on the Linux kernel. the operating system does not define "tablet", the form factor does. to say windows based tablets are not tablets is just wrong. Microsoft invented the term "tablet" and was the first to use this form factor, to totally dismiss over 10 years of development on this platform by it's founder & developer is wrong.
tablets are also nothing new when it comes to carpc's. I have been using tablets in some form or other for many years now, and the reason is about the same as many given here, all in one compact pc, includes a touchscreen & all hardware needed out of the box, and many are made for both outdoor use and to be very portable and power efficient. the operating system is designed around a touch screen interface (yes, even windows tablets)... to use this in a car is just a natural choice that I and many others have discovered long ago.
now I can certainly see the appeal of the latest tablets that you are talking about, weather it's an Ipad or an Android based unit, and I do agree that multi touch and the great screens available in some of these units do make them great candidates for in car use too, but this does not change the fact that tablets is a form factor and windows based tablets are still tablets.
to me the big attraction of an android based tablet, aside from the great screens available in the higher end ones, is that it is in a way almost like a pre configured custom linux box. in a sense it in many ways works more like an appliance & less like a pc, it is much easier to configure & it just works out of the box & it just does everything it is supposed to do without the normal pitfalls associated with a PC. of course this also limits what can be done & how it's done too.
android does certain things very well, and although you certainly can not do many of the things a pc can do, you also eliminate many of the headaches in trying to do things too. IF you are looking for a system that is EASY to configure and use, and are willing to give up the ability to do almost anything you want and just settle for what android gives, then this can be a great way to add a "pc" to your car. now I know that the technicalities of the term "pc" can be debated here forever, but in the broad sense of the term, a pc just being a personal computer, then yes, I think it's fair to say that an android tablet is still a pc, but it also is in some ways just like an appliance too. you do not have to know much of anything about under the hood to make it do most of the things it can do, and it is usually rock solid & reliable and always works, much like an appliance.
to me an android tablet is a great middle ground between a full blown carpc and just a head unit. for years I have been preaching that if all your after is navigation & multimedia then a carpc is probably NOT for you, but here, the tables have now turned. NOW I can honestly say, that for all those who a full blown carpc would just be way too much headaches & frustration & steep learning curves & also the need for having the time to spend many hours on researching & learning & tinkering, an android tablet may just fit the bill perfectly. I do believe that the android tablet is probably the first carpc that really can be more for the masses, and I think that many who have carpc's would actually be much happier had they just had an android tablet installed in there dash. yes, I'll say it again, it is going to be much more limited than a windows based machine, but it is also going to remove much of the complications & frustrations too.
we've all seen the many many failed attempts at carpcs by many here through the years... you know the ones, they come into this thing gung ho and they mistakenly see a carpc as a viable alternative to what used to be very expensive multimedia head units, but they also never fully understood all that was involved in getting a pc to work the way they initially envisioned in a car environment. now this has all changed. almost anyone can get an android tablet up & working, RELIABLY, and have something that is actually useful, and does much of what they need it to do without all the problems & hurdles of the more conventional pc. hell it's so easy that even a kid can do it. this WILL NOT take the place of a full blown carpc to the geekiest who want everything just he way they want it & do not want to deal with the severe limitations of an android based system, but these are certainly not the masses, this is just the rare few who are willing and able to dive in under the hood & spend the time to learn & configure & tinker & have the patience & most importantly for those who have the patience to really create just what they want... this is not for the average joe, but android very well can be... that is the real key here, an average joe can install an android in there dash & truly be satisfied with this as a standard multimedia head unit substitute. it works and is as easy to use as there phone, but with a larger screen that is more suited to in car use.
personally I do have the ability to install a full blown carpc & have done my fair share of installs on many of my cars through the years, but even so, even I can appreciate the ease of install along with the least intrusive install and the "it just works" factor of an android install... hell for years now, if I ever had to drive a car without a "live dash", I would just fall back on my android phone, and I really gotta say that in some ways the android phone just worked better and easier than even a full blown carpc. Google maps & navigation, along with seamless integration with internet radio & the more basic everyday needs of in car use were met surprisingly well, with the exception of having to deal with the tiny screen of the phone and a tacked on phone mount. many others have recognized the benefits of this use even before these tablets have emerged... there have been many threads here by guys claiming that there phone now takes the place of there carpc & many here including me have argued that it is not a good enough alternative, and not a viable alternative to a carpc, but NOT because of the limitations of android so much, more because of the limitations of the phone form factor and the fact that it it is not installed, it is not always there, and it is not a part of the car, and it is too small to be used safely & efficiently while driving... well now we have what amounts to a giant phone that's not really a phone but does everything the android phone does, and with a large enough screen that happens to be very easy to use while driving and can be installed & become part of the car... finally a real alternative to a full blown but problematic & very complicated carpc that actually can serve much of the uses that a carpc otherwise would.
my most recent install is an android tablet, & while of course there are many things I'm used to having with a carpc that I just can not have with this install, I at least do have one thing & that's no headaches... it just works, within the limitations it has... about the only "problem" I can now face is maybe intermittent 3G & 4G dropouts, that's it... other than that I simply love the nav interfaces available to me with live traffic and the integration of internet radio, emails & much of the other stuff that I really need a live dash for. the tablet install is so minimal that I was able to keep my stock head unit, therefor retaining my steering wheel controls for at least some functions and of course FM radio at least. yes, there are most certainly some trade offs, but in light of all it gives VS what it may not allow, this can def be a viable alternative for many, and the only sane route for many who otherwise would not be able to really have a functioning & useful pc install... in a word & by comparison it can be summed up as being EASY, and the fact hat it is so easy is what will make this a good alternative for the many who are not really suited to the more full blown carpc.
@turbocad6 I completely agree. The world is becoming more 'mobile-centric' which is what makes the tab appeal to me. From an android perspective there are certainly more automotive hardware these days that work with android apps ( e.g. gps/security/controls/system monitoring). So that does help satisfy some of those gaps that you would normally perform with an actual full 'carpc'.
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