Good deal for an automation tablet. Cameras maybe?
Like the look of the new DELL XPS 15 2-in-1 with the new Intel CPU/AMD GPU hybrid design.
Never really been sold on the idea of a laptop as a desktop replacement ...
... but this looks like a contender.
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Hey everyone. First of all, I'm unsure if this is the best place for this thread, so admins, feel free to move it, if necessary. As I am just starting (or trying to get started) setting up a smart home/home automation system, and I am a huge technophile, it has always been a dream of mine to have a cool (and useful) central touchscreen control panel in my house. As I was dreaming up future plans for my smart home, I revisited this concept. At first it was a fleeting and fanciful dream, since there is no way that, on our budget, I am going to waste an expensive tablet computer to act as a mostly dedicated wall-mounted control panel. But then my eyes got wide, along with my grin, as I remembered the likes of www.gearbest.com -- with a huge selection of relatively dirt cheap off-brand smart phones and tablets. So now I've been thinking very seriously about this possibility and searching for a good tablet at a good price, as well as some nice wall-mount hardware. So I'm wondering what you all think about the DIY touchscreen control panel for the smart home. Do any of you already have something implemented? I am trying to compile a list of possible uses for such a device, to make it as useful (and cool) as possible. If you have any ideas, or know any good apps for this purpose, please include them in a reply. The ultimate version of this idea would be to have a tablet eventually in most rooms of the house, maybe a larger, slightly more expensive one near the home entry, and smaller, cheaper satellite devices throughout. I personally would prefer an Android tablet for this, but if you have any ideas for an iPad (or Windows), please share those, too. Here are some of my own ideas: Home Automation Control Center -- most likely using the mobile app for whichever smart home ecosystem you have decided to go with in your home Weather Station -- Lately I've been really happy with an Android app called "Weather Timeline" that I think would look good and work well Music Player -- I don't think this would work very well if you're a big audiophile, but using the tablet's bluetooth, you could connect it to bluetooth speakers in the room or a bluetooth receiver in your media center and play Pandora, Spotify, or whatever over them, or find a more robust whole-home music system that has an tablet app available for control. Video Phone -- using Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever. Motion Sensor/Security Cam -- I know there are ways, with combinations of apps and the likes of Tasker, to have the built-in (front-facing) camera watch for motion then start recording or broadcasting when it sees something. Intercom -- if you have tablets mounted in multiple rooms and don't feel like shouting across the house to your spouse or children, you could "call" them on the tablet network. I know there has to be some walkie-talkie-type apps available, or there's always Google Hangouts with voice calls and video calls. Note/Message Center -- you could keep a notepad or sticky notes widget, or an audio note app, on the home screen so you can leave memos to your family, manage your shopping list, etc. Household Calendar -- using Google Calendar (or whatever app/service your household uses), you could keep track of everybody's agenda. Security System Control Center -- Currently, we have an ADT system, but once our contract is up, I'm hoping to cancel them and set up a self-managed system and use a mounted tablet for controlling and activating it.
I'm sure I'll think of some other ways to use a wall-mounted tablet, and I'll try to add them to this list as they come to me (or as I add them to my own mounted tablet).
Surface with Windows RT, 32 GB: $499
Surface with Windows RT, 32 GB with Black Touch Cover: $599
Surface with Windows RT, 64 GB with Black Touch Cover: $699
Surface Touch Cover (white, red, black, cyan, or pink): $120
Surface Type Cover: $130
Initial reactions? To high?