Tablet recommendations?

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Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:33 pm

Hello all, I am in the market for a tablet, mainly for travel purposes (i.e. entertaining a toddler during a long flight) and was wondering what the TR consensus would be. As this would be mainly for media consumption, I am currently looking at the iPad and the Nexus 7.

The main advantages I see of the iPad are the larger screen and resolution, although for most videos would be upscaled and/or letterboxed anyway given the native resolution of the iPad. Also, the wife has an iPhone, so she would be familiar with the device and iOS.

On the other hand, I wonder if the smaller Nexus 7 would be easier to travel with, or if movies would look better (less letterboxing, etc). Not to mention it's half the price of the iPad.

I was also looking at the Surface, but I'd really like to wait for the Pro version. Plus, our trip is in a couple of weeks, long before the Pro will be available.

Also, if anyone who has these devices can comment on the durability, it would be appreciated. (The little guy has quite the throwing arm.)

Thanks!
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:50 pm

iPad Mini with something akin to an Otterbox?
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:55 pm

Just get an iPad. Best screen. Best graphics. They're plenty durable. I had an iPad 2 and was never really worried about hurting it. As far as the little one goes, just put it in a case and be done with it. I, for one, wouldn't get a mini. If it were between the mini and the Nexus 7 I'd get a Nexus. If you're not looking to spend that much Google just dropped the 16GB Nexus 7 to 199. I honestly feel the 16GB WiFi version of the Mini is overpriced at 329.

edit: I just remembered. http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC705 ... generation
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:45 am

I hope you're looking for a tablet for more than just one trip. If you want to kid to actually be able to hold and use it reasonably, go for a smaller tablet. A full-size iPad is too big for a young kid to hold and use imo.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:06 am

I do have a bit of an ulterior motive in that I've wanted to buy a tablet for a while, but this trip is the impetus (and spousal approval) to purchase one. So, while a smaller tablet might be better for smaller hands, I'd like to get something that the grown-ups will also enjoy.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:24 am

newben wrote:Many new company's have released tablets now. Especially a lot from China.


I've played around with 3-4 different no name Chinese brand tablets, 7" and 10" models and they are very impressive for the price. Sure they're not as good as an iPad but they're getting on for between a third and a quarter the price of the cheapest iPad.

All the ones I've played with have been dual core 1.2 with mali 400 gpus, 1GB ram and between 8 and 16 GB storage (though all have had an sdcard slot for more and USB host so you can connect a standard flash drive too). Probably most importantly they've all got android 4.0x or above. All but the very cheapest had IPS panels (though they were obviously a bit second rate they had good viewing angles).

The good thing about cheapo Chinese tablets is that they are so cheap you can get the kid a 7" one and yourself a 10" one and still have a chunk of change left over from what an iPad would have cost that you can spend on buying another 7" one for the kid when he breaks the first one.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:31 am

Yeah now that dual core SoCs are common the Chinese tablets aren't nearly as second-rate as they used to be. The main shortcoming that stands out any more, if only from their specs, is battery life.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:30 am

Can you recommend any particular cheapo Chinese tablet?
It's a minefield out there and the only one I've ever seen (was an impulse test-buy of a £79 Sumvision one for the office) wasn't well made.

I quite fancy a bargain-basement tablet kicking around the kitchen. One I could get filthy with the sort of dirty fingers one only gets when preparing food. Obviously for such a menial role I wouldn't want to spend much money, but at the same time it would be nice if it could survive the inevitable fall onto the deck from a waist-high worktop.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:36 am

I have had the Microsoft Surface since release. And while there may be a bug or 2. I assume it will be addressed with patches soon.
I actually really enjoy it. Battery life is great. Video looks awesome. And being able to use a memory card is pretty sweet.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:52 am

Save yourself some time and just get a Nexus 7. IMHO, it pushes all the right buttons.

It's a Nexus, so all of your updates come straight from Google
No Play Store quirkyness (like what you may get with one of the chinese tabs)
Not as expensive as an iPad Mini
Access to the majority of Amazon's content without being confined to Amazons store
The 7" form factor is a lot better for travel than you might think. (I had a Transformer Prime and I'm digging the portablility of the 7)
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:56 am

I've got the Nexus 7 and I'd say it's just about ideal for content consumption. You can't beat the price, either.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:13 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Can you recommend any particular cheapo Chinese tablet?
It's a minefield out there and the only one I've ever seen (was an impulse test-buy of a £79 Sumvision one for the office) wasn't well made.

I quite fancy a bargain-basement tablet kicking around the kitchen. One I could get filthy with the sort of dirty fingers one only gets when preparing food. Obviously for such a menial role I wouldn't want to spend much money, but at the same time it would be nice if it could survive the inevitable fall onto the deck from a waist-high worktop.


I wasn't too upset by the Sumvision one I used (though it was going for £10 less than you paid for yours and perhaps my expectations were lower). Their 9.7" one felt much nicer in the hand though, nice Al case and all. That said I think the StorageOptions ones are a bit better. The biggest drawback I see with the cheapo route is that:
1) you're not going to get software updates from the manufacturer so you'll be stuck with whatever version of android it shipped with.
2) battery life isn't going to be great (still in the region of 5-6 hours on the ones I played with)
3) screens aren't as good (low res with slightly iffy colour reproduction)
4) quality control won't be as good so there's more risk of a DOA.

They do seem perfectly capable of the basics: web browsing, email, simple games (though they obviously won't hold a candle to the 3D performance on the iPad or Nexus7 etc, angry birds works just fine :wink: ). If you just want a basic tablet, IMHO these things are acceptable and if you're planning to let kids use them then they're ideal as replacing them isn't nearly as painful.

I don't think you could rely on any tablet surviving a fall from a worktop on to a tiled floor, at least not without some kind of big bouncy bumper addon.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:21 am

Really, the only downside of the iPad4 is the price and iTunes.

The only downside of the Nexus 7 is the horrific QC in place at Asus. My friend is on his 6th one (not an anecdote, look at the web and lots of people have problems with theirs), he calls it a boomerang; Asus throws it and it always returns.

If you are looking for durability around children, buy a basketball.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:26 am

I'm pretty pleased with my wife's Nexus 7. It's a lot better-sized for our purposes than a standard iPad (or any other 10" tablet), the battery life's not bad, and it's speedy. As others have said, you really must get a case if you're letting a young child play with it, and the 10" iPad is just too big for a toddler to hold comfortably.

IMO the only reasons to choose an iPad over the Nexus are
1) if you want to read on it - you can read just fine with a Nexus, but Retina-type iPads have much nicer fonts[1], and
2) if you're in the iOS ecosystem already, and/or if there's a particular iOS app you want with no Android equivalent.


[1] OTOH if you're wanting a reading device you ought to get something with an eInk screen and be done with it. There's no comparison.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:34 am

I would recommend going to see devices in person when at all possible. This gives you a true sense of at least their size, even if they are uncharged and you can't play with the software. 7" tablets are surprisingly compact.
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Re: Tablet recommendations?

Postposted on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:08 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:I would recommend going to see devices in person when at all possible. This gives you a true sense of at least their size, even if they are uncharged and you can't play with the software. 7" tablets are surprisingly compact.


Definately do this.

But, just to throw something out there, I love my Kindle Fire HD. The thing I would look at is that a 32 GiB tablet for $250 is a pretty awesome thought. The amount of storage will help you, as a parent, not suffer through the same movies over and over. Yeah, the fire ecosystem is closed and all and it doesn't have near the number of apps. But, between my Samsung Google Nexus phone and the Fire, I have the same number of apps loaded. Its only the small-market, highly specialized apps that I miss out on my Fire. Plus, with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the vastly improved Amazon Prime, I have no lack of content.

Plus, the HDMI out is a solid option.
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