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 Which tablet to buy?

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soothsayer
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PostSubject: Which tablet to buy?   Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:43 am

I know we recently had this discussion face-to-face, but as this is meant to be a forum that anyone can have access to, I thought why not simply create a thread on the subject of which tablet to buy. Also, this way we can have something to reference from.

Here then is what I'm looking at, based off of our conversation. Tablet purposes would primarily be for reading and drawing, internet surfing, and video (youtube, online streaming, etc). Gaming? Ehh, if it's free. Documents? Ehh... I'd probably like to type stuff when the feeling takes me, but it isn't really necessary. Photo editing? Transfer images to the card, take card to PC. Any really hard applications would still be done on PC.

1. Screen size. Although a seven inch screen is comparable to a soft cover pocketbook, a larger screen would be more beneficial for doing stuff like drawing or typing. Screen size for movies is neither here or there for me, having watched movies on everything from the PSP to a portable DVD player, net book to laptop, on up. It's the book reading and drawing aspect of things that is drawing me to this.

2. Memory cards. I can pretty much go in any direction with this, thumbs, SD, mini SD (or macro), whatever. As I am working on a budget here, I'll just go with whatever type is most prevalent, which seems to be the macro SD. On a related note, with whatever card would be deemed best, I have access to the various cards and adapters; fact of the matter is, I just ordered a macro SD card and SD adapter, so that isn't an issue. Also, it isn't as if I don't have the systems or means to transfer one thing to another.

3. Operating system. I'll stick with the android; all my friends have this, and so it'd make for doing things amongst friends that much easier.

4. The numbers. The more the better, but I'm also being realistic here; more also costs more... hard drive, processing speed, et cetera. Don't know what exactly I would all need, but I also know that it wouldn't be much.

I'd like for this to be at or below $200 (that's about what I have right now), but *laughs*, I know that that probably isn't going to happen.

Suggestions? Websites to check? I'll be hitting Amazon and EBay this afternoon, mainly to see what I can see, get a better feel of the pricing.
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:42 pm

I planned to drop a large, in depth answer to everything you posted, but as I am currently getting harassed as the most unfair dad ever, I'm gonna cut it short lest I snap.

I would give kudos to a 7 inch for reading, if I hadn't started reading comic books on a 10 inch. Yes, a 7 inch is closer to the size of a regular book, but with not having to hold pages open, your hands still get less sore/cramped/whatever while reading on a 10 inch. Also, with the ability to change font size in most reading apps, screen size doesn't really matter that much for reading regular novel type things. Now, if you want to read comics, 10 inch. Accept no substitute!

As for drawing... sigh. Sadly the touchscreen world does not offer a best-of-both-worlds or a party-in-my-palm when it comes to drawing or painting. I have tried painting on a 4" screen with a pinch-to-zoom and it works, but I wouldn't want to do it everyday... or even once a week. I'm sure a 7" would be better, but cutting my teeth on a 10 inch that's obviously where I'm going to lean. The problem with drawing on a touchscreen is the hardware limitations.

**A resistive touchscreen would be, in my mind, the better choice for drawing, as you can "use" the device with any item you choose for a stylus, be it a pen cap, screwdriver, or actual stylus... meaning you can also use something with a narrow shape so you can see what you're drawing. The problem with resistive screens is the pressure. The 'touch' comes from two layers of stuff, and you're pushing to squeeze these layers together. This means for ordinary drags or taps, you have to push a bit harder than other screens, and some people just can't handle that, especially after trying a--

**Capacitive screens work by creating a magnetic field over the screen. You need something capacitive (like a conductive FINGER) to break the field. The field can sense by measuring from the corners where exactly your finger is. The PROBLEM is, you need something with a point large enough to be readable by this field, so a finger will work, a finger shaved down to a pencil tip will NOT (and the mess! WOOWHEE!!). The styli made for capacitive screens tend to be big pencil eraser sized nodules of rubber, which are the cat's ass for tapping and dragging, but for drawing a 1 micron line, it's hard to tell where the line is under all that rubber! Same issue with fingers. SOME companies have made styli specifically for drawing on a capacitive screen, and many of them review well, but I have not had the extra $25-45 to spend on a pen or brush for the sole purpose of getting my touchscreen paint on. I'm not going to say it's impossible, but it takes a LOT of getting used to.

If I could, I would find an old 10 inch resistive just for drawing/painting, and keep a nice 10 inch capacitive for everything else.

Also, you mention gaming.
Soothsayer wrote:
Gaming? Ehh, if it's free.
I have not paid for a game yet on Android, and have many many happy hours of gaming on my Android device. I think you fail to understand the sheer amount of free crap available on the various Android markets. You will see.... oh my, the goodness!

Oh yeah, video. Watched video on my phone, watched it on my tablet, watched on my laptop, and all pretty much the same... much like you said about PSP.


The big thing about your personal Android experience is the apps. I HATED watching videos on my tablet until I found 'MX Player', which is like the VLC of Android video apps. I went through 5 or 6 comic reader apps, and they all had their own version of suck (even the one I run, but it sucks LESS). Ebook readers, newspaper apps, document editing, drawing, photo manipulation... Your Android experience will be less about hardware than the apps you have to dig through until you find your preferences.

THAT SAID...

**At LEAST Android 3.2... seriously. 4.0 or higher would be ideal, but at least 3.2.

**8 or 16 GB internal memory (might be called SD card or built-in SD) This is the hard drive, and where Android will store most of your apps, pics, videos, bookmarks, and such. Don't need a lot, but better to have then space than suddenly not have enough

**For external memory, just make sure it has some form of it! SD, Micro, USB, Micro-USB... adapt as needed, and most I know can handle up to 64GB SDs... Also, with adapters, Vader's Asus Transformer can handle an external 130GB USB hard drive. HELLS YEAH!

**Processor? Vader might have to clarify, but I don't think they go by numbers. I think It's all 'cores'. I have a dual core, and it powers through 99.9% of everything on the market (including 3D games and apps). So, set that for your bare minimum.

I haven't looked yet, but I do believe this actually is obtainable for $200 ish American US dollars. Hmmm... now I'm curious...

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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:44 pm

My $.02

If your max is $200.00 and you don't mind a refurbished item....

Copy and paste at Amazon.com.

Toshiba Thrive 10.1-Inch 8 GB Android Tablet AT105-T108

10.1" multi-touch widescreen supporting 720p (I know it's not 1080, but the price...)
nVidia Tegra 2 dual-core
Android Os
Internal 8GB flash
1GB RAM
USB
Mini-USB
HDMI port
Full sized SD card reader
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi


853 ratings:
5 stars 470
4 stars 174
3 stars 59
2 stars 58
1 star 92

[left]
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:01 pm

These are a few I had found, having then emailed the links to'crunch. Reposting them here if others want to give their opinions (and I'll check Vader's link within 24 hours, less than).

http://www.amazon.com/AGPtek-Capacitive-G-sensor-Expandable-Multi-language/dp/B008N6YGG2

http://www.amazon.com/AGPtek-Capacitive-E-reader-G-Sensor-Built-In/dp/B009EJNDE8/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cobalt-10-Android-4-0-Tablet-w-Capacitive-Touch-Screen-4GB-Expandable-Storage-/251122151309

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Superpad-Google-Android-4-0-10-PC-Tablet-4GB-Screen-HDMI-Bundle-w-Case-/230834719646
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:34 pm

From just making a casual observation, from what I can tell (in comparing the one Vader posted), it would seem that the first one I linked might be the better of those posted so far. But, I'll leave that up to sounder minds than mine.

EDIT

On second glance, the one Vader posted has some better features (memory card / usb capability and what not). ust look at these two in depth tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:28 pm

http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxynote/note_10.1/index.html?type=find

Opinions? Considering this is a big investment for me, any input would be greatly appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:47 am

Well, after much deliberation, reading of reviews, and comparisons, I have finally settled on which tablet to buy. I was going to order it through Amazon, but since they don't take paypal, I found what I was looking for on EBay.

So, without further ado, I would like to announce the purchase of an ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700t, with a 64GB memory; this is a manufacture's refurb, so I am a bit leery, but at least it isn't used (and with refurb, all the problems have been fixed). Coupled with this order is, of course, a leather case and screen protectors (although, quite honestly, are the covers really worth it?)

Shipping is 5-8 days, but it's free, so I'm not going to complain.

The review of which I based my final decision can be found HERE, with a notable quote you all might like.
Quote :
The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is the Transformer Prime as it should have been. A Gandalf the White to the Prime's Saruman.

So why did I go this route instead of the Samsung? The pen. If it wasn't for the fact that I would have had to use the pen for everything on the tablet, then things would have been different.
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:33 pm

Any ASUS Transformer is a powerhouse and will serve you wonderfully. In my own experiences with ASUS, I believe you have nothing to fear from their refurb. And yes, covers and screen protectors are VERY worth it!!! You have kids and you will probably take your tablet on the road with you to work and what-not, so yes the cover and screen protectors will also serve you well.

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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:38 am

Having looked things over this much, I do feel I made the best choice... except in the color department. The device is champagne gold. Not quite like that, but, well, google it. Definitely isn't me; on the plus side, it'll be hard to misplace!

And, with all the reading of reviews I've done, and knowing what the Infinity is capable of, I went ahead and just ordered the keyboard docking station; gives me extra battery life (up to 14 hours), connections for full sized USB flash drives and SD cards, and grants me the ability to do serious document work.

Was this needed? No, no it wasn't. It just adds to the functionality of the device.
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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Mon May 13, 2013 12:53 pm

Good purchase!!

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PostSubject: Re: Which tablet to buy?   Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:26 am

Picked up a new tablet today. With the one I bought above, I eventually got disgruntled with it and realized with what I was wanting to do, a laptop fit my needs; I landed up giving the tablet to the wife because she wanted something to watch Netflix on. Then a year or so ago, she gave the tablet to the oldest boy for when he was on ship. That's okay, as the wife and I both got laptops anyway.

Late last week, I received word that my company would be doing extra coverage over at a local shipyard. The coverage was to be 24 / 7, to last around ten weeks, one guard per shift. It has since been changed to two guards per shift. During orientation, we were told that we could bring books or puzzles or whatever to help pass the time. Note that this coverage is going to be stationed on ship, with the guards checking IDs against a printed list of who is allowed on the ship.

As a laptop would be too cumbersome and, quite frankly, rather insulting to the workers actually doing stuff (and much harder to hide or put away), and since the smartphone only has so much battery life (even with portable battery boosters), I decided to pick up a new tablet this morning. Something merely to put books on, or the digital download movies that come with blu ray discs. I don't have to hear what's being said in the movies, just glance down and remember.

The tablet I picked up is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (7" screen). It was on sale at Walmart, picked it up for about $130. I was going to get something far cheaper, but what won me over was that the memory is expandable to 200GB and "up to 11 hours of Internet usage" with their long lasting battery. It also has a radio tuner that doesn't rely on wifi!

I've got the thing charging and downloading or updating right now, and will hopefully be saving the digital movie downloads this evening, as I'll be on ship as of tomorrow. Think of it as a trial run. So... if anyone has any movies or books they're willing to share...
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