2021 SQ Mixpad tablet recommendations?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Brian Brian 5 months ago.

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  • #97148
    Profile photo of YIT
    YIT
    Participant

    Greetings

    The 2 in 1 Windows 10 laptop I used for SQ Mixpad app just croaked on me, and I need to replace it soon. Hoping we all get back to steady work soon? Been looking through the forums, but have only seen old threads where users were having problems with older SQ firmware instances. My previous laptop definitely had overkill specs, but worked pretty darn reliably. Trying to avoid laying out the big bucks for another 2 in 1 laptop, so I’m wondering what tablets, specs, and operating systems users on v1.5 are getting good performance with Mixpad these days. Really only concerned with connection reliability (dual 2.4 / 5.0 band connectivity) and enough horsepower to not be sluggish running the app. What are the current recommendations for tablets, and which ones are you SQ users finding work well for you?

    Thanks for any responses,
    Wyatt

    #97155
    Profile photo of jb07
    jb07
    Participant

    Asus zenbook duo?

    #97177
    Profile photo of YIT
    YIT
    Participant

    Thank for the response jb07

    Unfortunately, ASUS Zenbook Duo falls into that “big(ger) bucks” category I’m hoping to avoid. I”m already using a powerful ASUS laptop (without tablet option) for running Waves and couple other things, and an older but powerful Creation Station for my DAW. But both are tethered by physical connections to a fixed mixer location. My recently croaked (Windows 10) 2 in 1 was mostly used as an extra SQ display sitting beside the mixer, that I occasionally carry to the balcony for quick FOH adjustments, or onto stage during soundchecks to tweak wedges. Otherwise, I didn’t use all of it’s other bells and whistles. However, I do still have some small shows where I get stuck mixing a whole gig from the tablet alone, so 12-14″screen would be nice. Was hoping maybe some user’s were getting good performance from cheaper new Android OS tablets, or even older Window OS refurbished units in the under $500 US (or cheaper) range. Especially since tablets usually have a way of not lasting too long anyway. My worry was if using these lower processor speed, older OS tablets/2 in 1’s (including refurbished), will it be unstable regarding connectivity to my router or perform poorer with SQ Mixpad software. Not even certain if the newest mixpad app will run on older OS, less powerful, and slower processors, or has any other compatibility issues with SQ’s running v1.5 firmware? Also, for me working capital is pretty puny these days. Other thoughts, or personal experiences are still welcome.

    Cheers,
    Wyatt

    #97193
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    If the machine is purpose driven to be used for the SQ Mixpad only, then you can find a 2in1 in your price range – perhaps something with an AMD Ryzen processor because they are a tremendous value. The 2020 AMD processors are much better than the Intel offerings with the 4500u costing less than an i5 but performing as good or better than an i7. That being said, $500 is really hitting the bottom of the barrel when it comes to 2in1s. One thing that is pretty universal about 2in1 in that price range is that the screens are all terrible – 250 nits brightness is common which is below the 300 nit min that most people can work with. The color accuracy is also terrible, although this isn’t a huge concern given your desired use.

    If you are looking some something with a little more quality and life expectancy I would highly recommend looking at the HP Envy X360 with the Ryzen AMD 4500u or 4700u processor. The EnvyX360 is the mid-grade HP lineup that really has 90% of the features that the top of the line Spectre have (like all aluminum body and better screen options), but at a much lower price point. You can get something really nice in the $600-800 range, especially if you wait for a good deal. I think the 13″ version is what you want size/weight wise, but just be aware that the RAM isn’t user upgradable on that size (but the NVME SSD drive and wireless card are). If you get the 15″ version the RAM, NVME SSD and wireless card are all user upgradable, but it is a little big to be using in tablet mode for very long.

    My suggestion would be to get the HP Envy X360 13″ model with the AMD Ryzen 4500u, 8gb RAM, 128 NVME SSD (DIY upgrade to save $$), Realtek Wifi 5 card (DIY upgrade to the Intel Wifi6 cards for $20), 300nit screen, and active pen for $660 (that price is available right now). But I would suggest waiting until there is a 10% off coupon with HP (usually “SMBHOL10″ is active every few weeks) and getting it for $595.

    I just picked up the HP Envy X360 13” model with the AMD 4700u, 16gb RAM, the mid-grade 400nit 1080p screen, 128gb NVME SSD (which I will immediately upgrade for less cost than HP wanted for larger drives), base Realtec Wifi card (upgrade to the newest Intel Wifi6 card for $20), and active pen for $775. To me the extra money was well worth the CPU, RAM and screen upgrades, but this will be my primary laptop so I am expecting more than you might need.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck with the hunt!

    #97206
    Profile photo of YIT
    YIT
    Participant

    Greetings Brian

    Always seem to struggle because straddling the fence on laying out the same dollars for new/warrantied (with fewer features) Vs. used/refurbished (not warrantied & who knows the usable lifetime left) equipment purchases. Especially when choosing a single purpose device. I have had good, and poor, results with both approaches. That said, your recommendation is well measured and addresses all my main concerns. Plus, I’m assuming you’re sharing firsthand “real world” experience running the SQ Mixpad app. So it’s exactly the kind of advice I am looking for, and IMHO, worth more than your modest 2 cent asking price. It can be tempting to try to save money, but then very remorseful finding yourself painted into a corner where performance and upgrade-abilities are concerned. Under normal financial conditions (pre-Covid), I wouldn’t even be considering buying on the cheap. Your response has reminded me, that guiding principle has usually served my interests better. So I will seriously consider your recommendation, and wait until I can muster the funds required to buy something I’m less likely to regret later.

    What would you think about an Acer Spin 3 14″ Laptop – 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1. It’s available at Costco (double warranty, 2 years) now for $500. Think it’s little less bright screen, fewer upgrade options, and slower processor, but does have Wi-Fi 6 and a Thunderbolt USB port already. Much appreciation.

    Best regards,
    Wyatt

    #97207
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    Honestly the Acer Spin 3 is probably fine for what you are looking for. The battery life is halfway decent actually. The biggest downside is probably the screen and it isn’t worse than other entry level models. The good news about getting it from Costco is that you have a 90 day return window. That’s plenty of time to make sure it will work adequately for your needs. Plus, if you use a Costco credit card, you get a little extra third party warranty.

    PS – you might want to check out the Windows program Bluestacks if you haven’t before. It is a program that will run Android apps virtually on a Windows platform. Android-x86 is another option which allows you to run a full Android experience – either by booting into it from a flash drive, etc – or by running it virtually on top of the Windows desktop. I personally haven’t tried either yet, but will definitely be testing it when I get delivery of my laptop. It’s very possible that you will be able to run the SQ Mix app or Mixing Station Pro, etc on the 2in1.

    #97250
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    My comments about the Android emulation come from the fact that I am using an Avantis and not the SQ. The Avantis does not have a Windows based Mixpad app and I didn’t realize the SQ had a Windows version. DOH!

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