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chapter_one

join:2002-02-16
Pebble Beach, CA
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So many tablets

I could really use a little help. I'm finally trying to decide on tablet. The only discussion I found was a little over a year old and so much has happened since then. So many choices, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 GB's, SD slots, different display sizes and operating systems. Unfortunately my experience has only been with desktops and laptops, um . . . I don't even have a smartphone, so discussions on the types of OS read like Greek most of the time unless it's Windows or Apple. I retired from IT and Networking 6 years ago and have watched any skills I had slowly dwindle.

I'm just looking for a tablet that will connect to home WiFi or Hot Spots, no intention of using it as part of a phone service contract. Cost of data plans is prohibitive in our case. Most discussions I've come across seem to melt into a point/counter point, sometimes quite heated, between Apple, Samsung and Motorola with even more negatives toward Kindle and Nook. That usually ends up accomplishing nothing.

So, basically, I'm looking for WiFi, something we can watch movies on when flying, perhaps a nice camera resolution, or perhaps reading books. I am an amature photographer so I would like to be able to have some photo storage capability also, and good battery life. Do these various tablets really have good photo taking capabilities?

I know there's a lot of knowledge here on DSLReports so I'm hoping to tap into some of it.

I appriciate your time,
Ron



El Quintron
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I don't watch movies on my tablet, but I do pretty much everything else (gaming, reading, music) and I find Android tablets are really flexible.

I guess you should start by finding out what physical size tablet you want, and go from there.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


chapter_one

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said by El Quintron:

I guess you should start by finding out what physical size tablet you want, and go from there.

Well, I just Googled Android Tablets and found a review at CNET. As I suspected, the respondent comments degenerated into name calling and 'my truck is bigger than your truck'.

In any case, I think the bigger the screen the better. I like the Samsung because of the SD's capable of 64 GB. I can see it's going to need a lot more reading and disregarding the trolling and bickering.

Thanks, El Q


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
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reply to chapter_one

Here is another angle to the bickering: Tablets are starting to kill the PC business. Too many people are buying tablets to eliminate PCs, which is bad on so many levels.

In any event, no one can really tell you what to buy, and too many people are invested in brands, such as all the Apple loyalists out there that can't bear for their brand to be challenged.

The questions come down to a few things:

iOS or Droid or other OS? iOS is polished, sure enough, and is updated frequently enough to protect users from hazards, but Droid gives much more freedom. Droid is inspired by Linux I think. Other OS, such as Kindle and Nook will lock you into only buying media and apps from THAT company. Droid will get less apps and apps coming later than iOS, but there are still a LOT of apps. Before buying any device, find out if the software, books, music, and other media will be available. Find out if the file formats you want are supported, such as Mobi, PDF, and epub book formats, and AAC, MP3, and FLAC music formats and then there are the movie formats...

Does the device support FLASH (iOS does NOT, this is a huge issue) and other internet formats.

What is service like for a malfunctioning device, will the company back up their product? Apple devices, in spite of recent revelations about "Genius bar" employees misbehaving horribly (look it up), has superior service on some levels.

How anal is the OS creator, what do they prevent you from doing? What about Digital Rights Management and restrictions on media and software?

What about availability of add on devices such as screen protectors, chargers, and other gadgets?

What about resale value? What about initial cost?

What about resolution and color saturation of the screen?

What about navigation on the device, can you live with the implementation, such as Microsoft's tile system, some love it, some hate it.

It's not really bickering as much as it is passion on philosophies on a cutting edge device.

Good luck.

And FWIW, were I to buy a tablet, it would probably be a Droid, maybe a Samsung, so that is MY bias...
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.



Octavean
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1 edit
reply to chapter_one

Intel has a vested interest in challenging the onslaught of ARM SoC devices like Google Android and Apple iOS tablets. This presumably will be done via the Intel Atom initiative:

The x86 Power Myth Busted: In-Depth Clover Trail Power Analysis

However power efficiency will likely make advancements even where they are not as necessary such as Intel desktop systems.

Still an x86 table is now and has been an option for some time. Going this route sidesteps walled gardens in favor of an open platform. And naturally Intel wants the smartphone market as well.

I for one am starting to think they actually have a chance in these markets although they don't have a head start or mindshare,...

For what it's worth I'm posting this from my iPad,......


chapter_one

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reply to signmeuptoo

signmeuptoo, OK, forget it! I'm sticking with the laptop!

OK, just kidding, but holy crap on a cracker, that's a lot to consider. I can see now that I'm just going to have to sit back and do a heck of a lot more reading and looking at specific reviews. I really appreciate the thoughts behind your reply. I've got each item down on a comparison sheet and will use it to score various tablets. Perhaps it will help in making a decision. Thanks very much for your suggestions.

Ron



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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reply to chapter_one

First, you need to figure out what exactly do you want with your tablet, which you more or less did. Everything you listed is doable, but the photo taking capability is usually not as good as you can get from a dedicated digicam. It's good enough for Skype or for quick website pics, but not much beyond that.

Second, you need to figure out how much do you want to spend on it. They start around $50, and can go up to $1000 or so. (ie: the soon to be released Surface Pro) The lower end is barebone Android 2.x, but some are still quite usable. I got a 7", 800x600 Velocity Micro T301 for $80 a couple of years ago (Android 2.3), and it makes a pretty decent video player or reader. I also have a 10" 1280x800 Toshiba with Android 3.2 that I got for $159!!
--
Wacky Races 2012!


chapter_one

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reply to Octavean

Octavean, this may be getting more technical that I had hoped for but the battery life would definitely be a major concern. I'm not quite sure what all that article was saying but initial glances shows almost 15 hours vs. almost 8, high to low. Price may ultimately dictate the device of choice, we'll have to see.

Jeez. so much to consider. Thanks for the info.

Ron


chapter_one

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reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

First, you need to figure out what exactly do you want with your tablet, which you more or less did. Everything you listed is doable, but the photo taking capability is usually not as good as you can get from a dedicated digicam. It's good enough for Skype or for quick website pics, but not much beyond that.

Yup, aurgathor, as I mentioned in another reply, the cost may become the limiting factor. It would be nice to have a good photo taking tablet but I would probably rely more on my 35mm and be able to store photos on the tablet, in moderation. Of more interest would be the WiFi capabilities as well as reading books or watching movies on a trip.

Thank you,
Ron


ccallana
Huh?
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join:2000-08-03
Folsom, CA
reply to chapter_one

I'll second the vote on Clovertrail based tablets, for 2 reasons:

1 - Not only do I work for Intel, I worked on Clovertrail. I think it is a very good product. Is it a segment winner, probably not, but it is very compelling.

2 - Windows 8. Yes, I know, many people think it sucks, but it's major advantage over iOS and Android is that pretty much all your legacy Windows apps will run (in the desktop mode). I think this is a big plus for a lot of people.

That being said, which vendor to buy from - up in the air. I like the Samsung products overall (especially if you get the Ativ with the keyboard) and I really like the upcoming HP Envy x2 with the keyboard as well. Neither of them come cheap however.

I also like the Kindle Fire HD devices. The 7" is a great size for occasional use. Kids love them....
--
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us.... We are far too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis


chapter_one

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said by ccallana:

2 - Windows 8. Yes, I know, many people think it sucks, but it's major advantage over iOS and Android is that pretty much all your legacy Windows apps will run (in the desktop mode). I think this is a big plus for a lot of people.

That being said, which vendor to buy from - up in the air. I like the Samsung products overall (especially if you get the Ativ with the keyboard) and I really like the upcoming HP Envy x2 with the keyboard as well. Neither of them come cheap however.

I also like the Kindle Fire HD devices. The 7" is a great size for occasional use. Kids love them....

I did notice Staples having the Surface with the keyboard thingy or cover, whatever it's called, available for $599. I'm going to really have to think about this more. I did see the Samsung ATVI with the keyboard and just happened to think, my sister-in-law works for HP . . . hmmmmmm??

Thanks ccallana and Hi from Turlock,
Ron


ccallana
Huh?
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join:2000-08-03
Folsom, CA

Be careful with the Surface - the standard Surface does *not* run Windows 8 - but Windows RT - which does not have the same advantage of being able to run legacy apps. The upcoming Surface Pro will, but you won't find it at the $599 price point I'm sure.

Most of the Windows 8 tablets are ~$800. You can find the Acer W510 for $499, but it is a stripped down version.

Hi from a few miles north!!
--
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us.... We are far too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis



El Quintron
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reply to chapter_one

said by chapter_one:

In any case, I think the bigger the screen the better. I like the Samsung because of the SD's capable of 64 GB. I can see it's going to need a lot more reading and disregarding the trolling and bickering.

Thanks, El Q

I have a TF101 which is probably quite outdated now, but it's still serving me well.

I think comfort, battery life, and function is what you should be looking at. I have no intentions of replacing mine until it dies, because, insofar I don't see any benefit in getting a more powerful one. (unlike my gaming PC where I'm always trying to keep current)
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have

chapter_one

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reply to ccallana

said by ccallana:

Be careful with the Surface - the standard Surface does *not* run Windows 8 - but Windows RT - which does not have the same advantage of being able to run legacy apps. The upcoming Surface Pro will, but you won't find it at the $599 price point I'm sure.

Rats!! That's what I just noticed elsewhere also. Maybe it would be just as convenient to go for a Kindle Fire now and wait for the Surface Pro to see what the pricing is for that.

OK, back to the drawing board.

chapter_one

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reply to El Quintron

said by El Quintron:

I think comfort, battery life, and function is what you should be looking at. I have no intentions of replacing mine until it dies, because, insofar I don't see any benefit in getting a more powerful one. (unlike my gaming PC where I'm always trying to keep current)

I agree and my first inclination would be to look to the Surface because of Windows but, if the Pro version is going to come in between $800 and $1,000, it would be even better to just go for the Kindle Fire and stay with my current laptop. I'll still keep looking though.


Raphion

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reply to chapter_one

I have an Asus Transformer Infinity TF700, and can vouch for it being really nice. It's best points are the 1920x1200 IPS screen with 600nits maximum brightness, a very usable keyboard add-on that basically turns it into a netbook - even folds closed like a netbook, and it's very light, even with the keyboard. 10 hours battery life is nice too, and 14 hours with the keyboard which contains an extra battery.

Oh and it has GPS, which is useful with the offline Google Maps, even with the Wifi only version of the tablet.



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
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reply to chapter_one

A comment about my own tablet experience:

Over a year ago I bought, off eBay, an original Nook (black and white with tiny color screen for navigation), and tried hacking it to very limited success and it almost got bricked (I had to find an exotic I found after a LOT of google searching, it is now no longer hacked). Viewing PDFs is a no go, and I have a LOT of PDFs, educational stuff, and I can't use them. Such PDF books have illustrations and insets that will not view on the tablet. And viewing PDFs WAS the reason I got the thing. I am very unhappy with it and plan on putting books on it and sending it to my kid in Cebu and getting another tablet that WILL make viewing PDFs effective.

I find the 7" screen a problem, I'd rather have an 8", but not a 10", because of PDFs.

My BIL and I searched and found an almost ideal tablet, a Samsung, for my early teen nephew, it is a 7 inch unit with an older Droid on it.

It is my impression that once they put a version of Android on a tablet, you don't upgrade to a newer version?

For me, the important things are:

How many formats of books can I view, and view properly?

How many and which apps can I install?

How well can I surf the web via wifi, and will WPA2 work, or am I stuck with WEP?

Will the battery last at least 6 hours of reading?

Does it take a MicroSD card, and how high a capacity?

Which Android OS and can it be upgraded?

Is the build quality so bad it will physically break?
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.


chapter_one

join:2002-02-16
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reply to Raphion

said by Raphion:

I have an Asus Transformer Infinity TF700, and can vouch for it being really nice. It's best points are the 1920x1200 IPS screen with 600nits maximum brightness, a very usable keyboard add-on that basically turns it into a netbook - even folds closed like a netbook, and it's very light, even with the keyboard. 10 hours battery life is nice too, and 14 hours with the keyboard which contains an extra battery.

Oh and it has GPS, which is useful with the offline Google Maps, even with the Wifi only version of the tablet.

Thank Raphion, I have added that model (actually Asus in general) to my list of tablets to look at reviews of. This is the kind of information I'm looking for.

chapter_one

join:2002-02-16
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reply to signmeuptoo

said by signmeuptoo:

For me, the important things are:

How many formats of books can I view, and view properly?
How many and which apps can I install?
How well can I surf the web via wifi, and will WPA2 work, or am I stuck with WEP?
Will the battery last at least 6 hours of reading?
Does it take a MicroSD card, and how high a capacity?
Which Android OS and can it be upgraded?
Is the build quality so bad it will physically break?

Ah . . . a bunch of good points. My list is getting pretty long now. I think that I'm just going to sit back, take a breath and go look up reviews and try to digest everything that I've read from everyone here.

Thanks, signmeuptoo


ztmike
Mark for moderation
Premium
join:2001-08-02
Michigan City, IN
reply to chapter_one

said by chapter_one:

I could really use a little help. I'm finally trying to decide on tablet. The only discussion I found was a little over a year old and so much has happened since then. So many choices, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 GB's, SD slots, different display sizes and operating systems. Unfortunately my experience has only been with desktops and laptops, um . . . I don't even have a smartphone, so discussions on the types of OS read like Greek most of the time unless it's Windows or Apple. I retired from IT and Networking 6 years ago and have watched any skills I had slowly dwindle.

I'm just looking for a tablet that will connect to home WiFi or Hot Spots, no intention of using it as part of a phone service contract. Cost of data plans is prohibitive in our case. Most discussions I've come across seem to melt into a point/counter point, sometimes quite heated, between Apple, Samsung and Motorola with even more negatives toward Kindle and Nook. That usually ends up accomplishing nothing.

So, basically, I'm looking for WiFi, something we can watch movies on when flying, perhaps a nice camera resolution, or perhaps reading books. I am an amature photographer so I would like to be able to have some photo storage capability also, and good battery life. Do these various tablets really have good photo taking capabilities?

I know there's a lot of knowledge here on DSLReports so I'm hoping to tap into some of it.

I appriciate your time,
Ron

»play.google.com/store/devices/de···s_7_32gb Be sure to click on (More Options) to see the different models of the unit.

Gets updates straight from Google as soon as their available, stock android, cheap, but good hardware.

Your welcome.


GadgetsRme
RIP lilhurricane
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Canon City, CO
reply to chapter_one

Another thing to consider is what kind of support forums you can get help from. I have a Toshiba Thrive, which is rooted and has a deodexed ROM installed. The forum where I got my info and help is

»www.thriveforums.org/
--
Gadgets


Happydude32
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reply to chapter_one

I have two tablets. The HTC Evo View 7” tablet running Android 3.2 using Sprint and the Sony Xpreia S 9.4” tablet running Android 4.04 Wifi only. I use the Sony more since it’s newer and faster and does a better job at handling tablet specific apps and I like the size better. I have 32GB of internal storage with the Sony tablet plus another 32GB with the SD card. I use it a lot for media functions. It’s DLNA compliant so I can share out media stored on the tablet to my other devices, it has a built in IR sensor with an advanced remote control app so I can control all of my devices using the tablet as my remote control and have it execute multiple functions using macros. It has Sonys S-Master audio built in with advanced audio options and equalizer making it able to reproduce some awesome sound, I have it paired to my Big Jambox while listening to my own personal music collection or streaming Shoutcast or Sirius XM.

I also use my tablets for multitasking on Sundays, the day God set aside for guys to watch sports. I’m usually flipping between games on NFL Sunday Ticket while the HTC tablet streams DirecTV Red Zone using the DirecTV app, the Sony tablet streams NFL Red Zone using the Time Warner app and when NASCAR is on, that get streamed on the phone via WatchESPN.

I’d Rather have a wall of 8 60” TVs each tuned to their own thing, but this is the best I can muster at the moment


--
iPhone: 4” 1136 X 640 Display, 1.30 GHz Dual Core Processor, 1 GB RAM
MyPhone: 5” 1920 X 1080 Display, 1.50 GHz Quad Core Processor, 2 GB RAM
So tell me, why is exactly is the iPhone so great?
Droid Does What Jobs Won’t Let You Do.


chapter_one

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reply to ztmike

said by ztmike:

»play.google.com/store/devices/de···s_7_32gb Be sure to click on (More Options) to see the different models of the unit.

Gets updates straight from Google as soon as their available, stock android, cheap, but good hardware.

Your welcome.

Thanks ztmike, I kind of like the Nexus 10 a little better simply for the larger display, however, I couldn't find whether or not extra SD cards could be used or what type of applications for word processing or spreadsheet options there are, although, without a keyboard that might be a moot point. Most of the discussions seemed to revolve around Apps, Android vs. iPad. I'm just a bit overwhelmed at this point though. Being so rooted in PC and Laptop use, so much of all this stuff doesn't register in this old brain.

chapter_one

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reply to GadgetsRme

said by GadgetsRme:

Another thing to consider is what kind of support forums you can get help from. I have a Toshiba Thrive, which is rooted and has a deodexed ROM installed. The forum where I got my info and help is »www.thriveforums.org/

I have no idea what you just said. "rooted and has a deodexed ROM installed." I do totally agree with you relative to available forums though. Like Broadband, looking for specific information on specific items, they really can be a lifesaver.

chapter_one

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reply to Happydude32

said by Happydude32:

I have two tablets. The HTC Evo View 7” tablet running Android 3.2 using Sprint and the Sony Xpreia S 9.4” tablet running Android 4.04 Wifi only.

Oh boy, two more to add to the list. I won't however, be using any tablet with a phone contract. I do like that the Sony will accept additional SD cards. I had to go look up DLNA Compliant.

I think it's getting a little too technical and expanding beyond what I currently understand. I was just hoping to find something with around a 10 inch display that can handle reading books and viewing movies and isn't too expensive. Also, being able to use plug in SD cards to carry my photos with me to show friends and family.

I'm creating a Word document from all the responses in this thread so I can go back over to review and keep track of the various tablet suggestions presented to me by all of you great people.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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reply to chapter_one

said by chapter_one:

Of more interest would be the WiFi capabilities as well as reading books or watching movies on a trip.

Pretty much all tablets had Wi-Fi, the only difference may be whether it's 'b', 'g', or 'n' -- as long as it works I don't think type makes that much of a difference.

What may be optional are Bluetooth, GPS, micro/SD slot, OTG USB port, connector for external display, the ability to charge the battery via the USB port, or via a cigarette lighter.
--
Wacky Races 2012!


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to signmeuptoo

said by signmeuptoo:

It is my impression that once they put a version of Android on a tablet, you don't upgrade to a newer version?

As a general rule of thumb, upgrading one from one minor version to the next (i.e. 2.0 - 2.1 - 2.2 - 2.3 ) should be easily doable as long as the manufacturer will make the code available. The reality is that that they may not bother, especially in case of no-name tablets.

Upgrading from one major version to the next (i.e. 2.3 to 3.1) is trickier because the HW requirements are likely to be somewhat higher -- sometimes it may be doable, other times it may be plain impossible, especially in case of cheap, barebone tablets. And even if it's doable, the manufacturer is less likely to do that, though since it's open source, users are free to create their own versions.

Jumping two major versions (i.e 2.2 to 4.0) is even more trickier, and I can't think of any tablet where the manufacturer would do anything like that. But as before, users are free to try, although HW limitations (i.e. memory) are likely to be a major roadblock.
--
Wacky Races 2012!

chapter_one

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reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

Pretty much all tablets had Wi-Fi, the only difference may be whether it's 'b', 'g', or 'n' -- as long as it works I don't think type makes that much of a difference.

What may be optional are Bluetooth, GPS, micro/SD slot, OTG USB port, connector for external display, the ability to charge the battery via the USB port, or via a cigarette lighter.

Wouldn't Bluetooth and GPS require a data plan via a phone contract? The micro/SD slot is a major concern to me. Not sure what the "On The Go USB" port would be for. Charging via USB port as well as dedicated charger, yes. What's a cigarette lighter? One of those butane things? Sorry, couldn't resist. There's an electric outlet on our new Escape but I haven't found it yet (didn't look for it yet).


El Quintron
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said by chapter_one:

Wouldn't Bluetooth and GPS require a data plan via a phone contract?

Not in either case... Bluetooth is dependant on another Bluetooth device, and GPSes are usually satellite and maps based, although I'm not as knowledgeable about GPS as I am about Bluetooth.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have


marti
Color outside the lines
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join:2001-12-14
Houston, TX
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reply to chapter_one

Nexus 7 android. No "flash" and no camera (front facing only camera). I love it. Read email, Twitter, web sites, and have Amazon Kindle app installed for e-books. Battery life is good; if I read a book all day on it, battery is still charged. No USB port nor SD port.
--
Team Discovery