Personal computing discussed

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Need a tablet & your opinions.*edited)

Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:07 pm

Hey all :)

I do not post here often,but I've been reading TR since it went live pretty much.So i have a lot of respect for everyone's opinions here.

Basically,the wife has really been wanting a tablet to browse on,while out and about or sitting on the couch,and I'd like one to play around with.We do have an older Acer Aspire 5810TZ ultra portable,which is very light,but she really wants a tablet.The CULV intel 1.3ghz cpu in the Acer is complete and total garbage,single core and highly underpowered.Even with an SSD in it,it still feels laggy.

One of our good friends has offered to sell us his HP Touchpad 32gig for 200$us.It's in mint condition so far as i can tell. And hes very trustworthy. But i was wondering if you guys would buy it,or get something different for around the same price,even if refurb/used for around 200$. Is there a Android based product that you would take over the ipad 1 for performance/ease of use reasons?Something more powerful at the same price?I really am clueless comes to the tablets so any advice you can give. Please give me ANY thoughts you have,no matter how small.

Thank you so much,i really appreciate your time!

Edit***His item isn't a ipad 1,its an HP Touchpad 32gig.Still worth it?
Last edited by panthal on Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need a tablet & your opinions.

Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:14 pm

For $200 I'd take an OG iPad. Can't comment on performance with iOS5, as I've only ever messed with 2nd gen iPads, but at $200 I don't think I'd worry. You're not going to touch that price with an Android device unless you go the super-cheap route and super-cheap tablets are frought with Gingerbread and FroYo tablets.

I like the Kindle Fire, though - and at $200 it's priced the same. Less storage, smaller screen, lower resolution...and really the stock ROM is kinda poo. Mine is running Cyanogenmod 9, and it doesn't have hardware accelerated video so no Netflix or Hulu Plus.
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Re: Need a tablet & your opinions.

Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:43 pm

I don't know about that. While the iPad is good it's not so good that a first generation would compete being bought used, versus something like a Kindle Fire being bought brand new. The Kindle Fire does support Netflix and Amazon Prime. Now you do have a smaller screen and lower resolution by a hair. But then again it's a smaller form factor to begin with. If I only had 200 to spend the Kindle Fire is pretty tough to beat. Otherwise I would save and probably get a new current generation iPad.
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Re: Need a tablet & your opinions.*edited)

Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:07 pm

If you are willing to try and hack the touchpad, then you may be fine. If you are going to use it as is, then I'd avoid it, since I believe it is running WebOS, which at this point is practically dead. If you want something like an iPad 1, but android, the Asus Transformer (TF101) is a good buy right now.. If you want Ipad 2 type chassis and better performance, the Transformer Prime is your best option. If you can wait 3 months or so, the new Asus tablet should be released which will compete with the new iPad.

It really depends on your budget, but with android tablets, you are going to get what you pay for (at least on the low end). The Sub $200 tablets are either big and heavy or lacking features. If you are looking at books and videos, I'd recommend a Kindle Fire.. my wife loves it for reading, but for general apps and usage, she's got an iPad 2. I've got a Transformer Prime and I love it... I've almost replaced my work laptop with it..
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Re: Need a tablet & your opinions.*edited)

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:46 pm

I have the TP 32GB and it is a great buy for the money IF and only IF you don't plan to expand your use of it much beyond what it does out of the box. There are still plenty of things available on the device or in the HP app market -- the native web browser is responsive and well adapted to touchscreen control, Adobe Flash is fully supported, there are several versions of Angry Birds, there's a really good media player solution called KalemSoft, the Touchpad's native music player app is pretty good, and it offers Facebook, Kindle, and Skype support. The Exchange ActiveSynch email manager works extremely well. It will Bluetooth synch to a phone if you want to use the TP as your dialpad for a speakerphone session, and you can even get Hulu working on it with a minor bit of software hacking.

Build quality is second only to the iPad, and best of all, you can still buy the HP Touchstone inductive charging dock, which charges almost as quickly as the USB connection and also acts as a nice display stand if you want to run media or display photos without draining the battery. There's also a Bluetooth keyboard available although it's kind of pricey ($55 or so).

Downsides: The TP does have problems with some types of javascript (I can't correctly download attachments from Juno Webmail, for example) and it doesn't support scrollbars, which means lots and lots of swiping when navigating through a long webpage or document. The onboard camera is probably suitable for Skype but garbage for everything else. The TP's WiFi manager also also can't detect my company's PEAP-secured network correctly, although it still connects fine if I set up the connection manually. Some people also complain about the battery life, although AFAIK most of those people also clocked the CPU back up from its factory underclock setting, which IMO is not necessary once you download the final WebOS update (something your friend probably did already).

For $200, you cannot buy a better tablet. But if you're not budget constrained, there are other options that will be supported much longer.
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Re: Need a tablet & your opinions.*edited)

Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:58 pm

Another TP owner here, enjoying mine very much. Ludi covered pretty much everything you need to know, and it boils down to how the tablet will be used. There just isn't much in the way of apps for WebOS, but that only affects a person who wants to try out the various gadgets and apps offered. I use mine as an e-reader and delivered content via Zite, and as such it does a great job. I can also watch recorded TV shows and movies on my WHS via BHome on my Touchpad.
If I really wanted apps, I could dual boot to Android or patiently await assuming that is released soon. I miss a few apps that I have on my Ipod Touch, but I find the larger screen is so much more important for me (eyes are starting to get really strained reading in even marginal light these days) so the Touch is not getting used any more.
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