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How to replace your laptop with a tablet

If you're looking for true mobility with your devices, sometimes even a laptop can be too much. Tablets are ubiquitous, and with the right preparation, can easily replace a laptop for your (lighter) work days. If you're hesitant about making the move from laptop to tablet, let me assuage your fears.

I'm Michael Fisher, though you probably know me better as MrMobile, and yes, I'm writing this from a tablet. Sometimes all you need is to sit at a cafe, drinking coffee and typing on a device that can comfortably fit inside a SCOTTeVEST. I know that's all I need. slurp ahhh.

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35 Comments
  • For travel, I have done this, sort of, using an Asus Flip Chromebook. In my opinion, it is more functional than the Pixel C, certainly more than an iPad. I leave my larger Windows laptop running in the office and remote into it using either Chrome Remote Desktop or TeamViewer, and most of the time just use Google Docs or Android apps like Evernote without doing any remoting. On the plane, I can either work or watch movies and it has a built in stand. Battery lasts 10 hours, so no need for an external battery for charging, and I can use my Bluetooth mouse, project to a screen using the HDMI port, etc. My opinion - but I believe a device like the CB Flip offers the best of both worlds, and for an unbeatable price.
  • What did you get to allow the HDMI port connectivity. This is one of the last questions i have for taking a similar plunge
  • The Flip has a Mini HDMI port, so you can use a Mini HDMI to full HDMI cable to connect it to a TV.
  • I originally used this: https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Mini-HDMI-Female-Adapter/dp/B004PW1...
    but found that to be a little rigid depending on the HDMI cable for the projector. Now I use this one https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Plated-Female-Adapter/dp/B00JDRHQ58... and I keep it in my Bluetooth mouse bag with the mouse and carry this from meeting to meeting. All my iPad toting friends are amazed by this mysterious HDMI output functionality on a sub-$300 device :)
  • But you can buy HDMI dongles for iPad, or use airplay to an Apple TV.
  • Good to know. You could also Cast to a Chromecast-equipped TV from the Chromebook (and iPad as well I think). I guess it depends on your budget and is a good solution if a $50 dongle is worthwhile.
  • Yes, I love my original Chromecast. Just wish you could cast to it without wi-fi like the Apple TV or miracast dongles.
  • idiot statement.
    ill-informed, mis-guided.
  • Why is that still a question anymore? Haven't you ever heard of ChromeCast, or Miracast?
    The easiest way to connect any device to your TV is a Chromecast and the HDMI port.
    I never understand why people don't understand using a Chromecast?
  • Probably because the vast majority of corporate meeting rooms don't have a Chromecast, Miracast or an Apple TV installed, just an HDMI cable that goes to the projector?
  • Yes. Like I said, sometimes you need to connect where you don't have wi-fi. Miracast or Apple TV are better for this reason.
  • Well, that's not true with Chromecast. If you turn on guest mode with the Chromecast, you can talk directly to it from your smartphone or tablet, without the need of a local wifi router.
  • Doesn't the Chromecast need to be connected to WiFi for this to work? Also from what I have seen on YouTube, you can only cast video, screen mirroring does not work.
  • I just told you , turn on 'Guest' mode on the Chromecast, then you can talk directly to it using your phone or tablet.
    Is that too hard to understand? Screen mirroring works great with the Chromecast, where do you hear that crap!
    You can cast audio, video, pictures, everything to the Chromecast! How about doing some googling regarding the Chromecast, instead of making crap up about it.
    Who the hell uses Miracast anymore anyways. If anything you can also get a Roku stick, and screen mirror to it as well.
    You are not limited to just Miracast or Apple Tv to be able to talk to a big screen TV, their are many, many other devices that will accept screen mirroring and streaming to them.
  • Anybody with Windows phone can use miracast. My Nexus 5 supports it as does my HTC.
  • What is your point?
    Miracast is not being implemented on newer TV's.
    Just because you can use Miracast on your old Nexus 5 and HTC, means nothing.
    You can use a Chromecast with those phones as well, without having a WiFi router enabled.
    YOU JUST NEED TO ENABLE 'GUEST' MODE ON THE CHROMECAST!
  • I really do not think you understand the concept of not being connected to WiFi. If you are connected using your phone as a WiFi hotspot you are still connected to WiFi. Miracast does not require WiFi or mobile data to connect to your phone. This is taken from the Chromecast help site regarding guest mode:
    "when a mobile device connects to a Chromecast in guest mode, only minimal data is used to signal to the Chromecast. The Chromecast streams content using the Wi-Fi network to which it's already connected".
  • Boy you purposely are not looking at the Guest mode option, and are making up BS. There is NO NEED for a wifi hotspot!. You talk directly to the Chromecast from your smartphone or tablet! "When guest mode is turned on, Chromecast emits a special WiFi beacon. When a Chromecast-enabled app is launched on your guest's mobile device, that device detects the presence of the special Wi-Fi beacon and shows the Cast icon in the application." "How does a guest connect to chromecast?
    Stream as a guest.
    Step 1: Make sure Wi-Fi is enabled on the guest device (BUT NOT CONNECTED TO YOUR NETWORK). Then, attempt to stream by tapping the Chromecast icon at the top of the screen in a Chromecast-friendly app like YouTube, Photos, or Google Play Music and in most cases, the smartphone or tablet will have in the 'Quick settings' the Play to or screen cast option.
    Step 2: A window will appear to connect to a device." Look it up, it's a very useful tool.
    https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/6109292?hl=en Again, Chromecast has the ability to directly talk to a smartphone or tablet without the need of a wifi router, or 'HOTSPOT' !!!!!!!! I use it every time I go to a friends house and want to show something new on my phone, never connecting to his wifi network, never using a hotspot, just directly to the Chromecast!
  • But your friends Chromecast is connected to WiFi!!!!!
  • Yes it is connected to HIS wifi, but what has that got to do with me talking directly to the Chromecast?
    I never set up my phone on his wifi, no need to go through adding his SSID, typing in his 12 character password.
    All I need is the 4-digit number showing on the Chromecast screen, because guest mode has been enabled.
    I cast directly to the Chromecast, not through his network, not through a hotspot, using guest mode!!!
    You can, after setting up guest mode initially, turn off his router, his wifi, and I can Still cast to the Chromecast
    I need no wifi router to cast my content to the Chromecast.
    Just like Miracast!!!
    You are an absolute idiot, with no concept of casting directly to the Chromecast, and you won't even listen.
    Nothing can help you and your small pea brain.
    You have this insane idea that it's impossible, so be it, you cannot be helped, you are a waste of space and time.
  • Ffs I know what Chromecast guest is, I have used it before. I thought you we going to tell me how to connect a Chromecast without some kind of WiFi support, be it your wi-fi or someone elses WiFi. Clearly you can't. Miracast does let you do this. You could use miracast inside a Faraday cage, you couldn't use a Chromecast. You are the idiot. Ciao.
  • Right, use it in a faraday cage, and some how through a miracle you can talk to the miracast from your phone. Lol!
    Again, and Again, and AGAIN, you do not need any wifi router network to make the Chromecast talk directly to your phone.
    If you really are familiar with the guest mode on the Chromecast (which I highly doubt since you are a liar as well)
    and actually did use it, you would know that guest mode does not require having a network connection.
    You are the definition of an old man ignorant, stupid, idiot.
  • @norcal64 +norcal64
    Well, you must live in that past where you are, because now just about all meeting rooms with TV screens support hdmi inputs, and Chromecast is very portable for the presenter to carry around for that option.
    You can enable Guest mode on the Chromecast and stream directly to it.
    No need to use the customers WiFi router at all. Probably, you don't know what you are talking about.
  • Can you read you ignoramus? Does guest mode use mobile data for streaming from the guest’s phone/tablet? No, when a mobile device connects to a Chromecast in guest mode, only minimal data is used to signal to the Chromecast. The Chromecast streams content using the Wi-Fi network to which it's already connected. What part of "the the Chromecast streams content using the WiFi network to which it is already connected" do you not understand? You are just sending a request to send data to your friends Chromecast, not sending data without WiFi. Go to bed now, you have got school in the morning.
  • Wow!
    Where did I say you need mobile data to talk to the Chromecast?
    Or even any network at all?
    The original post was about using a Chromecast to display content on a corporate monitor or projection screen using your phone or tablet.
    Most monitors and display projectors have an HDMI port, and that is how the Chromecast can be used to display whatever content you want on those devices because the Chromecast has the HDMI port.
    There is NO Need to connect to the corporate network, at all!
    Guest mode enables you to communicate to that Chromecast directly, WITHOUT any network, or mobile data!!
    C'mon, really is it that hard to understand, NO Wifi network is needed, no mobile data is needed to send from your phone to the Chromecast!
    You said you were familiar with 'Guest' mode, but from your response it's evident you don't. Again, and Again, and AGAIN, you do not need any wifi router network to make the Chromecast talk directly to your phone. The content on the phone is displayed through the Chromecast to monitor or screen projector, just like it would from your phone to the Miracast dongle connected to those display devices.
    How do you think the Miracast works? Through magic?
    If I have to remind you, I'm only talking about being able to display content on your phone not from the internet!
    You can also screen cast from your phone through the Chromecast onto the monitor or screen projector, but again only what is on your phone.
  • Look, this is my final post on the matter. Go round to your friends house, ask him disconnect his Chromecast from the router, and try to send something from your phone to the Chromecast using guest mode. If it works, accept my apologies. If it doesn't work, give me an apology on here. End of.
  • I appreciate the information I've been struggling with making the shoe fit since tablets were a fad. I knew we get here I just didn't realize how long it would take. Pointers are always appreciated
  • I loved this, great video. This has made me realize something about my habits. Most of what I do on my laptop doesn't involve real power. I would still like to keep my laptop but I like this idea a lot for daily use.
  • SP3 is what I have. Great having such a compact device that I can run full Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC on. I need the power, but I can see that a lot of everyday stuff doesn't need a lot of power.
  • Great video! However I still think my Surface Pro 3 (with type cover keyboard) and its power pack (with a USB power port to charge another device) is still the device to beat. It's portable yet has the power of running full Windows applications with a full querty keyboard along with its built-in and expandable storage options and a built-in adjustable kickstand to accommodate any viewing angle. It's a killer device for portability and productivity without compromise. It replaced not only an Android tablet but a Windows laptop for me! :)
  • I agere, its a very powerful machine, I used one for 2 years. However, for me, I'd still prefer a thin laptop for home and some mobile, but a tablet for "true mobile" (when I won't have a desk). My only issue is that when it comes to being "mobile" for me, I had two issues with it: weight and noise and resolution. It weighed more than some of the lighter tablets and in some instances was as heavy as a thin Ultrabook. Also, because of its chassis, I found mine to be very loud, the fan would go nuts all the time. Lastly, and this may surprise some and perhaps even just be me: The high resolution was a negative for me. Yes it was beautiful. However, I do a lot of RDP-ing and or just remoting to other interfaces and the high resolution resulted in my interfaces being almost unread ably small. Love the machine, I'm not trying to put it down, but that was just my experience. At the time it was my work mobile AND my work desk computer with the dock.
  • i agree a windows tablet or transformer is really the ultimate mobility solution..And Surfaces are well the flagships :) And like all flagships.. they are pricey.. Michael does acknowledge the surface.. but i guess he was more focused on 500$ solutions for folks that don't need all the heavy lifting a desktop OS provides...
  • I have the Surface 3 and it fits most of the features here. Great portable.
  • I was raised using a real computer, so it's difficult for me to use anything else. Even a phone. I feel comfortable only with a real computer.
    Gustavo Woltmann
  • This is not an article, it's a bunch of links, with *nothing* to make me want to follow those links.