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Thread: Fast iPad or Android Tablet on a Budget?

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    Fast iPad or Android Tablet on a Budget?

    I run TPA on an older iPad Air and gameplay is very smooth, with only occasional slowdowns or glitches. I assume this is because I often have many apps open in the background. Overall, it's as smooth as butter.

    However, FX3 has a lot of frame rate judder. It plays relatively smoothly, but the ball doesn't appear clearly: the refresh rate is quite slow, so the ball still moves quickly, but doesn't remove previous frames of the ball quickly at all.

    I can see the appeal of FX3: the light and dark transitions add a little bit of a sense of 3 dimensionality, and there is a bit of extra detail, for example the ramps on red and ted show details of the mini wooden planks. The ball plays heavier as well, which is fun.

    I'm happy to try again with FX3, but don't want frame rate or GPU problems on my next tablet.

    FX3 works quite well on the laptop however. I'm looking for a controller with fast reaction time. The split second delay in activating keyboard switches makes it pretty much impossible to time shots accurately.

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    How old is your iPad Air? Any current iPad will handle Williams Zen perfectly. Android, as usual, is more of a mixed bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strells View Post
    How old is your iPad Air? Any current iPad will handle Williams Zen perfectly. Android, as usual, is more of a mixed bag.
    It's an iPad Air Gen4, model no788A I believe. It's an older model.

    It's just a bit of a surprise as TPA runs buttery smooth almost all of the time.

    Tap touch controls are just so superior to a keyboard it doesn't make much sense to use a computer for virtual pinball. And the larger screen size of a tablet I find makes for a far more enjoyable experience compared to a phone.

    I will stick to a tablet but was hoping that a newer budget android model would work well. I suppose not.

    I would like to get to an Apple Store perhaps to demo fx3 but that's not happening for at least a couple of months it looks like.

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    Moderator shutyertrap's Avatar
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    I'm gonna throw one more wrinkle into your decision making...you are aware that the mobile version is a free-to-play model, where you can't just purchase the tables outright but have to grind for stuff? Many of us are fine with this, many not, but I'd hate for you to go and purchase a new tablet with the express desire to play these tables, only to find you loathe this model of gaming.
    I'm just sayin'

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    I thought you could buy the tables outright on a tablet. That's unacceptable then.

    I think I would enjoy a budget PC laptop with virtual/visual? pinball. Those tables are all free, am I right? I'm assuming there are hundreds of tables available.

    What's the advantage of FX3 vs Virtual Pinball? VP looks amazing and it doesn't cost anything.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanpinball View Post
    I thought you could buy the tables outright on a tablet. That's unacceptable then.

    I think I would enjoy a budget PC laptop with virtual/visual? pinball. Those tables are all free, am I right? I'm assuming there are hundreds of tables available.

    What's the advantage of FX3 vs Virtual Pinball? VP looks amazing and it doesn't cost anything.
    You will want something much more capable than a budget laptop for either FX3 or VPX.

    How good are you at configuring various config files, getting your controller to work (probably need a third party ($) program),hunting down the correct ROM, and dealing with many different table authors that have many different ideas about how tables should be presented and physics be implemented? If you feel confident with your IT skills and want to get knee deep into VPX, it is a wonderful place that can provide a superior experience to just about everything else (paid or otherwise). However, if you like polish and require a turn key solution, look elsewhere.

    p.s. nothing is free, unless you don't value your time.

    Personally, I prefer VPX, but I completely rebuild every table to fit my specific expectations and hardware setup. Depending on the original author, I may only need to spend an hour or two making physics changes, while with others it may take me a week as I will find that I need to realign graphics, build invisible walls, mess around with sloppy scripting, and a whole host of other items before I consider the table "playable." And I have been working on Future Pinball and Visual Pinball (plus commercial physics engines) for probably a couple decades or more. So... I don't want to completely deter you, but it could be overwhelming if you expect an experience like FX3 without a lot of trial and error.
    Last edited by trash80; 03-24-2020 at 04:52 PM.

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    Very informative, trash80.

    I thought the process would be more straightforward so the appeal of plug and play makes more sense now.

    In that case, FX3 on a PC (not laptop) could work out well. What CPU and graphics card on a budget would work well? I'm looking for a system free from noticeable lag. I'm assuming the latest budget processors as long it's not paired with an integrated graphics card would work well.

    The only other issue is the controller. What do people use for a PC setup?

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    Moderator Jeff Strong's Avatar
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    FX3 runs great on a fairly recent gaming laptop as well, as long as you have a dedicated graphics card (not integrated). It runs flawlessly on my laptop with a 1060 GTX, which is actually better than what my current desktop has (960 GTX) and it runs fine there as well, but I wouldn’t go much lower.

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    How much did your laptop run you, Jeff? I'm hoping $1K or less.

    I would prefer a laptop setup, probably with an external rotatable display.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanpinball View Post
    How much did your laptop run you, Jeff? I'm hoping $1K or less.

    I would prefer a laptop setup, probably with an external rotatable display.
    Check newegg for some ideas... here is a Dell that is within your budget. https://www.newegg.com/p/2WC-0009-002S3

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    Moderator shutyertrap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trash80 View Post
    Check newegg for some ideas... here is a Dell that is within your budget. https://www.newegg.com/p/2WC-0009-002S3
    That'll get 'er done! Plus he can plug in any controller and it'll work like a champ, be it Xbox or DualShock. As a bonus, Zaccaria Pinball will run at max specs on that and Pinball Wicked can have most of it's stuff turned on high. And then should he still feel like diving into the VPX arena, that option will be there with this.
    I'm just sayin'

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    Moderator Jeff Strong's Avatar
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    Yeah mine was just over $1000 a couple years ago from Newegg as well so you should be able to snag something comparable for less (although it was on sale at the time). That Dell looks quite similar spec wise except I have a 17” screen (which you probably wouldn’t need for your setup), an i7, and an SSD as my main drive which I would definitely not want to be without as the load times are night and day. The Dell looks like it has a hybrid drive, which might not be bad, But I’d personally go for a full SSD, with a secondary drive or even another SSD. In addition to load times and SSD reliability, having 2 drives for peace of mind is always nice as well.
    Last edited by Jeff Strong; 03-25-2020 at 10:36 AM.

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    A dedicated graphics card and ssd drive would be the bare minimum.

    That's the nice thing about PC's, you can pay quite a bit less for nice specs.

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    I'll have to go the PC route if/when I opt for VP eventually.

    Until then, FX3 works quite well on my MacBook Pro.

    What controller do you all recommend?

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    Moderator shutyertrap's Avatar
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    My controller of choice for everything is a PlayStation Dual Shock 4. I just prefer the feel of that. The Xbox controller however works with everything, whereas some games I have to use a 3rd Party app to make the DS4 work properly. If I used Steam’s Big Picture interface that wouldn’t be such an issue, but I kinda hate that. I always play wired in.

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    Is the PS wireless only? That's all I'm seeing. I'm just hoping there isn't any latency with a wireless controller. That's what's detracting from my playing experience using a keyboard. I can definitely see the advantage of use a wireless controller though, especially if you get caught up in the game just a bit too much.

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    Moderator shutyertrap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanpinball View Post
    Is the PS wireless only? That's all I'm seeing. I'm just hoping there isn't any latency with a wireless controller. That's what's detracting from my playing experience using a keyboard. I can definitely see the advantage of use a wireless controller though, especially if you get caught up in the game just a bit too much.
    It is wireless, but you can plug it in with a USB cord (which is how it charges) and use it that way. That’s what I do since my PC doesn’t have Bluetooth

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