Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Electronic tech questions

Does anyone here run skype on a tablet or have suggestions on what to get to do it?

My situation: computers have aged beyond support and are too expensive to replace with new, so I’m considering alternatives. Smart phones are too small & expensive by far for me, for lessons…

Using skype is the only reason I need a new device.

I need the capacity to save the calls (at leat to a thumbdrive).

Will Wifi work as well as cable on video calling?

Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Dave

Skype should work on a Tablet what you’ll need is one with a fast processor and a good chunk of memory, and a fast internet connection. I am pretty sure @BanjoBen uses a Tablet or IPhone when he is on Skype answering queries Wifi should work my Granddaughter contacted us from Florida on Skype using Wifi some years back but I think she was using a laptop. An IPhone and Tablet can be hooked up to a TV screen not sure how. My grand kids do it all the time

I know some do work with skype and some don’t…

What is “fast” for processor?
what is “a good chunk” of memory
What is “fast” for internet?

there are technical questions I have, about something I know little to nothing about.

From what I’ve read, most tablets won’t even hook up to cable internet, unless you pay extra for that ability…but I might if it worked better than satellite…I do know that running it on wifi here at home is less than desirable compared to being “cabled in”

Hi Dave,

I am not too clued up on Tablet Devices so bear with me here.

The Processor is a chip (brain for want of a better word) that controls the data passing in and out of the device so you’ll want to avoid buying the cheapest Tablet.

I would say a good chunk of memory is about 64 Giga Byte 128 would be better.

Fast Internet - I would say around 300 Megabit

I have a High Speed Broadband Cable Connection with a Wifi Box, My wife and family connect to the internet using their iPhones laptops and IPads via the Wifi.

Have a chat with your local TV shops ask them what the Local Service Providers have on offer, Cable VS Satellite Broadband. Don’t be in a rush to subscribe do your homework then you will be better placed to make the best choice to suit your budget. Most internet companies offer a two year package at the end of which you can often negotiate a better deal.

1 Like

I facetime (video chat) on tablet over wifi. It is ok. It is fine for rough communication, but If you want smooth video, my results have not been ideal. Video is a huge load on throughput (and storage). Your video speed is only as fast as the slowest link. I have 50MB internet service (and can stream video fine), but my wifi (and even some older routers) downgrades that quite a bit. I hope you get some guidance from folks that use skype on tablets and get you hooked up with a good setup. My inclination for such needs would unfortunately be a cheaper PC… even in the bargain basement bin, you can get one with plenty of storage, a wired ethernet and the ability to easily move data to external storage.

If you don’t get bulletproof advice before then, I’d wait for Ben to return. I suspect he has done a fair amount of video conferencing (skype and others) and probably has a good feel for what works.

Best of luck!


thanks guys
i’m in no hurry…just doing research right now.

so far the most expensive tablet is less than the cheapest refurbished computer I’ve found, and I don’t want more old hardware sitting around that may be obsolete/unsupported next year…

video runs fine here on my cable…just not as well over the home wifi.

the only problem I had when taking banjo lessons over the home wifi was that the “under water” banjo would attack sometimes.

Hi Dave

What type of broadband do you currently have cable or satellite and what speed ?

I have cable…have no idea what speed or if it’s broadband…but I think they pipe it into the cable place via satelite?

ran a speed test via measurement lab…18.8mbps download and 2.15mbps upload…latency 83ms to Calif server

That’s plenty of speed to support most video.

that’s what the report said

Do have any buddies you could borrow a tablet from to see how it works out for you before you buy?

Hi Dave

Ok have your tried installing Skype onto your computer ?
If not give a try and test it with someone you know who uses Skype. Why go to the expense of an upgrade if it works.

How old is your PC? As an IT tech, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped people who thought they needed a new pc avoid the purchase just by cleaning up the pc they have.

1 Like


Archie it has been on my computer for many years…it is no longer supported and cannot be per hours of searching and two computer repair stores.
I have taken banjo lessons on it in the past…worked fine with one guy, but the other had too slow service and it didn’t work as well

Mark…mac book pro 5.5 OS X 10.6.8
I believe it was purchased in 2011

Dave Your right, upgrading the old version won’t work but you should be able to uninstall the software and download and install the latest version. Be sure to download the software and not try to RUN it from the host site.

Archie…my version of OS is no longer supported by the new version of skype…they will no longer let me use the old version my OS is compatible with…

I’ve even tried two “workarounds” that boasted of getting a version Skype to work on my OS and they both failed also.

Pity. I felt sure it would work

I still use my MacBook Pro 2011 on a daily basis and it’s going strong. 2 things you can do to speed it up.

First, the simplest thing to do is see what programs are starting up in the background that don’t need to and address that. You can review how to do that here.

Second, and this is where the real bang for your buck will come in, you can swap out your hard drive for a solid state drive. Oddly enough, those 2011 MacBook Pros come with a SATA3 controller on the motherboard, but only come with a SATA2 drive.

So, upgrading to a SSD not only gives you the improved performance of solid state, it also doubles the data transfer rate between the drive and the board.

When I upgraded mine, waking up my Mac from sleep went from 1 minute 26 seconds to 10 seconds. Everything got so much faster I no longer even thought about a new laptop.

Also, if you want to keep it for a while, you can upgrade the standard 4 GB of RAM to 16 GB.

I would imagine you could do all of that for < $150, depending on the size of the SSD you get and whether or not you choose to do it yourself.

1 Like

That all sounds fine, even though my MB still runs great, and it’s plenty fast for me…

But does it solve the issue of only being able to run the outdated software that is no longer supported such as Skype? That is why I’m looking at tablets…

I have purposefully not updated my OS in a few years because some of the software I need for my job doesn’t run on the newer versions. Have you tried updating your OS to the latest? If it’ll update, that should solve that problem.