Which tablet would you buy?

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Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:36 am

I've been looking into getting a tablet for reading ebooks and watching TV/movies. Given that screen is of importance to me, for the sake of being able to see more text, I've been looking into 10" tablets or tablets of a similar screen size. I'd still consider a 7" tablet like the Nexus 7, but I'm not sure what the reading experience is like on a tablet of that size, plus how does it compare to a 10" tablet?

Which tablet would you guys choose if in my shoes?

I've used iPad's 1,2,3 and 4 at work and I have to say they are mighty impressive for what they do. The only downside for me is that I'm not invested in the Apple ecosystem and don't really want to spend a lot of money, so I'm more inclined to go with Android - or Ubuntu if they ever release a tablet :D

As a side note, I'm really not a fan of 16:9 either (dam you Android!).
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:40 am

The thing that I've found that the Nexus 7 does best is play videos.

The Kindle app for Android is infinitely scalable. Just pinch to shrink or grow the text to a comfortable reading size. You'll flip pages more frequently than you would on a 10" tablet, but the reading experience is fine.

Here's an indispensable upgrade for the Nexus 7:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008D2POAS/
It's also available in Red, Teal, Tangelo, Green and Purple if you don't like the Black one that I got. 8)
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:59 am

http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-samsung-galaxy-tabs?ab=n&cj=true&p=0&c=all&utm_medium=afl&utm_campaign=3668349&utm_source=rvsGroupon has 7" & 10.1" refurbed Galaxy Tab 2.0 tablets on sale today, for rather cheap. They are competent tablets, though not as good as the Nexus series; the only real flaw in the Nexus line is their lack of a SD card slot. And the Galaxy Tab & Nexus devices are 16:10, not 16:9, if that makes you happier. It certainly makes me happier; 16:9 is the devil. :evil:
Last edited by DreadCthulhu on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:08 am

JustAnEngineer wrote: You'll flip pages more frequently than you would on a 10" tablet, but the reading experience is fine.


Hmm now that's kind of what I was hoping to avoid. I intend to read programming books and they usually have snippets or blocks of code that ideally need to fit within the width of a page, otherwise they can be quite difficult to read.

Something that worries me about the Nexus 7 is that it's been out for some time now and I'd feel pretty gutted if a new Nexus 7 2.0, or whatever Google decides to call it, bearing a Tegra 4 comes out at a similar price point in a couple of months. I guess that's the same risk with any tablet though, iPad 3's are probably the best example.

JustAnEngineer wrote:Here's an indispensable upgrade for the Nexus 7:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008D2POAS/
It's also available in Red, Teal, Tangelo, Green and Purple if you don't like the Black one that I got.


I do like those cases, I've got a Toshiba AT-100 in the office that has a similar case and it's a big help in Android development.

Has anyone got a 10" tablet and a 7" tablet to compare against?

#Edit
I do like the look of the amazon 8.9 Kindle HD, but I can't get it here in the UK and have no idea what it's like to root, flash custom ROMs on etc. :cry:
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:16 am

DreadCthulhu wrote:And the Galaxy Tab & Nexus devices are 16:10, not 16:9, if that makes you happier.


Ah, you're absolutely right. I don't know why I thought it was 16:9 - it looks like most Android Tablets are indeed 16:10. I've guess I've been spoiled by the iPad.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:23 am

Rumors suggest that Tegra 4 may arrive in the second half of 2013.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:22 pm

Choose the software ecosystem first - sounds like Android is your choice here. (I'd be sorely tempted by the newest Kindle Fires if they weren't so locked down and hacked ROMs weren't so sketchy, the hardware is pretty sweet aside from the mediocre CPU.)

Choose size - 7" is nice for the portability, but maybe not so much different from a larger 4.5"+ smartphone if you have one. 10" is great for home use, still reasonably portable though, but may get tiring for one-handed use. I think the display size jump of a 10" tablet is worth it if you have a smartphone already though and don't see yourself traveling with the tablet a ton.

As for specific device, either a Nexus for best OS updates and rooting, or at least something that's widely supported and generally open to modding like a Samsung. Being locked out of OS updates, or relying on sketchy mods that only work half-ass isn't great. Anything I'd buy today would have to at *least* have Android 4.2 when purchased - no '4.2 coming sometime!' b.s.

I've been tempted to get the Nexus 7 a few times, even though it's not much bigger than a smartphone it's cheap :) but once I saw how poor the WiFi performance is (see Anandtech review) I decided to hold off until the next iteration at least. I'd really like to see Google make the next small tablet screen size closer to 8" though, because that would give a more notable size advantage over a smartphone while retaining the compact size. (Yes, that's something Apple did right, Amazon too with the Fire HD as their 'large' tablet at 8.9".)

A final wildcard is Windows 8 x86 tablets. They aren't great right now, but I expect that the updated Atom for inexpensive tablets will be pretty nice, and if you want to spend $$ Haswell tablets will improve battery life significantly, and if AMD can get any decent design wins their new low-power chips might be good. Unless you're Linux-only you're already in the Windows x86 ecosystem from a desktop or laptop. The question then becomes, do you want your tablet to be like a big smartphone, or like a portable PC. Tough choice honestly.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:23 pm

Go to your local store which sells these tablets, or buy from a large online shop where you can easily return them, and try them out (with whatever apps you want), then make your buying decision based on that, problem solved!
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:04 pm

JohnC wrote:Go to your local store which sells these tablets, or buy from a large online shop where you can easily return them, and try them out (with whatever apps you want), then make your buying decision based on that, problem solved!


Counter intuitively, it turns out in the UK you actually get better buying rights (with regards to returns) by purchasing online, thank you EU. Amazon tend to have the best returns policy that I can think of. Furthermore high street stores where I live don't have very many, if any at all, units on live display - and people wonder why high street stores are going bust :lol:
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:42 pm

If you really must have ten inches the Nexus 10 is definitely the way to go. If you can get by with seven, the Nexus 7 is a very powerful and affordable choice but just about any tablet will work fine if all you care about is books and movies. I have a first-gen Kindle Fire which works great for that and even allows for homebrew Android development, all for $150. That said I would definitely stick with one of the major brands--Google, Amazon, Samsung, Asus--to be sure you're getting a reliable product.

If you think you might ever want to play games and such you'd be best off buying a nicer tablet upfront (Nexus or anything Samsung) since, like laptops, you can't upgrade it. It's currently unknown whether Android will rival PC for gaming and largely hinges on how third parties like Valve approach the platform.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:52 pm

If reading is a big deal to you, here is my experience: a 10" tablet is just too big and clunky for reading. I went from a 10" down to a 7". I ended up with the Kindle Fire HD, which I have really grown to love. Here is what I liked about the ecosystem:

1. Native Kindle reading is a snap.
2. Movies on Amazon Prime - Good supplement for Netflix.
3. Netflix and Hulu work very well.
4. Sound is excellent.
5. True honest to goodness MP3's that can be downloaded/loaded and played wherever, regardless of where purchased.

The Bad

1. Far Fewer apps, compared to all of Android.
2. Positioning of the power cord is weird for use when its plugged in.
3. USB 2.0 has no business being on tablets. But then, 3.0 isn't exactly common on tablets yet.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:58 pm

If you really want 4:3... Archos Titanium 9.7 HD (or Platinum 9.7 HD)

I think it's the same screen as an Ipad 3/4, but with a slower processor and android OS.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Archos-Titanium ... 220&sr=8-2

I'm looking at this, but haven't seen any real reviews or anything. :(
(Well, it's not available in the US yet.)
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:39 pm

TREE wrote:
JohnC wrote:Go to your local store which sells these tablets, or buy from a large online shop where you can easily return them, and try them out (with whatever apps you want), then make your buying decision based on that, problem solved!


Counter intuitively, it turns out in the UK you actually get better buying rights (with regards to returns) by purchasing online, thank you EU. Amazon tend to have the best returns policy that I can think of. Furthermore high street stores where I live don't have very many, if any at all, units on live display - and people wonder why high street stores are going bust :lol:

Well, then get it from Amazon, play with it for few days, and if you won't like it - return it :wink: No need to rely on other people's subjective opinions about things like display size and resolution, etc.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:58 pm

Yugiyurigyu wrote:If you really want 4:3... Archos Titanium 9.7 HD (or Platinum 9.7 HD)


Now that one looks very interesting, shame about the processing and graphics power, but it's on the right track.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:33 pm

You said your plan is to read a lot of programming books on a tablet.

One thing to be aware of, if you haven't already found out the hard way, is Kindle formatting really sucks. Fiction books---no problem. But, I've tried reading two different books from two different publishers on Kindle and the formatting was so screwed up that it was basically unreadable. Kindle formatting is basically HTML from the early 90's. I understand that Amazon has some fancy new format out (or coming out soon), but that doesn't help if (a) publishers don't use it and (b) they don't upgrade stuff you've already bought.

I buy unencumbered files (PDF/epub) from the likes of O'Reilly, Manning, etc. and read the PDF version on my Nexus 7. I think some people would find the text too small, but I think it's just fine.

I keep getting the idea of a Nexus 10 in mind for this exact task. Every time I go see a 10" tablet in a store, though, I end up changing my mind. Too big.

So, I do a lot of what you want to do and I do it using PDF files on a Nexus 7. I think a 7" tablet is the best compromise between portability and screen size.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:26 pm

Using a 10" tablet here (HP touchpad running Android 4.1 via Cyanogenmod) while my dad has the Nexus 7. The 10" format is handy for desktop or laptop use, and works better for on-screen keyboarding, while the 7" format is superior for handheld use. Depending on your usage habits, you may prefer a Bluetooth keyboard or speech-to-text regardless.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:18 am

I'm a 3 week Samsung galaxy tab 2 7.0 owner & My first tablet must say it's a very descent tablet for what paid for it. I bought it @ staples for $199.
It was the 8 gig version. Brought it home & it updated to jelly-bean or ice cream sandwich. Its version 4.1.1
I get confused! hence my nick.
Does have a front ( vga) & ( 3.2mp) rear camera which is descent.
Supports micro sd up to 32 gig.
Have download & played Google TV show on it in hd (White collar) & videos from my phone

Games: Like Zen pinball hd play fine on it. Very additive! Also slot machine+.

Was going to buy the Nexus 7 16 gig but there telling me that there not making anymore. :(

The Cons: Is no Adobe flash player, so flash video will not play on most sites.
(I know there away to make work around it just don't want to root my tablet)
The Kies software from samsung sucks using on Windows 7 64 bit ultimate having issues with hardware id not founded.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:34 pm

Having used HTC sense, MotoBLUR and Samsung Sense, I would in future be looking to buy only Google's own reference hardware for Android.

When My Galaxy SII drops out of contract I'll probably pick up a Nexus 4.
I also had long-term use of a 1st-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab (office loaner that seemed to live with me) and whilst it was fine I was annoyed with the delayed software update and Samsung additions.

Samsung Sense is probably the least intrusive of the Android re-skins, but no re-skin is worth the hassle, in my opinion. I get the feeling that vendor modifications to stock Android are there for their benefit, not ours.
I will be sticking with Nexus products in future, having now used both the Nexus 4 and the nexus 7. Zero manufacturer bloat, 100% timely software updates, no silliness that requires rooting to undo.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:28 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Having used HTC sense, MotoBLUR and Samsung Sense, I would in future be looking to buy only Google's own reference hardware for Android.

When My Galaxy SII drops out of contract I'll probably pick up a Nexus 4.
I also had long-term use of a 1st-gen Samsung Galaxy Tab (office loaner that seemed to live with me) and whilst it was fine I was annoyed with the delayed software update and Samsung additions.

Samsung Sense is probably the least intrusive of the Android re-skins, but no re-skin is worth the hassle, in my opinion. I get the feeling that vendor modifications to stock Android are there for their benefit, not ours.
I will be sticking with Nexus products in future, having now used both the Nexus 4 and the nexus 7. Zero manufacturer bloat, 100% timely software updates, no silliness that requires rooting to undo.

Samsung = TouchWiz. HTC = Sense.

IMO Sony's customization is even closer to stock Android. SII has been getting updates even up to 4.1.2, so it has been a good ride for that device. Also, installing custom ROMs like CM should give you closer to stock with good updates as well. Just stating an alternative.

Of course if you want to buy new Nexus devices, sure go ahead. ;)
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:57 pm

Sony does seem to come closest in that they don't really reskin and change things, they just add apps. That may count as 'bloat' depending on whether you like them or not but I think they can be uninstalled for the most part too. That's the way I'd really like to see Android vendors go - stock Android with custom apps, rather than messing with skinning and whatnot. It was somewhat justifiable pre-4.0 but not any more. Timely updates is another matter, but with this method OS updates would be much easier unless the drivers need to be changed significantly. We shouldn't need custom ROMs that just take Android source code and add drivers to update devices. (Most custom ROMs go beyond this but I think that's 'because they can'.) It's too bad manufacturers are actually disincentivized to work this way :(
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:23 pm

The Nexus devices do get the fastest updates; my Galaxy Nexus just got the 4.2.2 push last week. But this isn't always a good thing, since Google is fond of making little UI element tweaks for no good reason, and occasionally does something mind-bogglingly stupid such as the lockscreen widgets update in 4.2.0 that arrived with some obvious security implications and no method for disabling. Thankfully there was an app for that within a couple days, but why did it have to be third-party?
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:50 pm

Love my retina iPad for exactly these things. Just saying.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:44 pm

The best tablet for reading is an E-Ink reader. They aren't sexy, but if you are actually going to sit for hours and read, the Kindle is superior to paper books in most ways. Tablet's are not good for heavy reading. Their batteries are just not up to it yet. That said, I have actually laid in bed and read a book on my nexus 7 for hours and it sufficed. I really couldn't imagine sitting in bed reading a 10 inch tablet.

For movies, 7 inches is just a bit too small, and the speaker setup on the nexus 7 is no good for movies. Headphones are pretty much necessary.

For a general purpose tablet today, the Nexus 7 doesn't have much competition. Best software and best price/performance. On the 10 inch front if money was no issue, I'd be waiting at the upcoming Xperia Z tablet real hard.

Stay away from no-name tablets. Lots of cheap crap out there, and build quality is real important for tablets.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:13 pm

Flying fox wrote:<various options for making Touchwiz/Sense/MotoBLUR devices less rubbish>

This is all true, you can workaround many of the interface quirks by rooting your device, but a lot of people don't like doing that.
I did like CM when I tried it but went back to Touchwiz once ICS was available.

redavni wrote:Stay away from no-name tablets. Lots of cheap crap out there, and build quality is real important for tablets.

Truer words are rarely spoken.
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Re: Which tablet would you buy?

Postposted on Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:39 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Flying fox wrote:<various options for making Touchwiz/Sense/MotoBLUR devices less rubbish>

This is all true, you can workaround many of the interface quirks by rooting your device, but a lot of people don't like doing that.
I did like CM when I tried it but went back to Touchwiz once ICS was available.

Does your SII have 4.1.2 yet? It is quite nice on the international SII.
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