question Which Tablets

LunarMist

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#1
I'm looking for a tablet with the following characteristics and don't want to spend more than about $500. Is there any device that meets or almost meets the criteria now or in the near future? Thanks.

  • No Apples
  • No 3G, 4G or other G with monthly cost - ordinary wIfI only
  • Will be used for e-mails and internet at home
  • Must be able to view PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, TIF and WAV files attached to e-mails
  • Internet browser with some way to transfer my favorites from computer
  • USB or (preferably) SDHC port to transfer files/increase storage
  • WXGA or similar display with decent viewing angle
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#2
Most 10" Android tablets meet most of those qualifications. You might have to use a tool with a small fee attached to keep your bookmarks synchronized, and the ability to do anything useful with Office file formats depends on having an app like Quickoffice or Polaris Office installed.

I suspect you're going to be more concerned about screen quality and weight once you start examining the matter more closely.
 

LunarMist

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#3
What do you think about this one? Is the display any good? I'm not clear about the USB prot (host/slave) - is that like a normal port that can accept a flash drive?
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#4
The displays on the Galaxy tablets are wonderful and in fact the 8.9" is my favorite of the tablets I have access to, but the larger ones do not include expandable storage. A few Android tablets (e.g. the Thinkpad tablet made by Lenovo) do have USB root hosts, but the bundled drivers generally preclude using them for storage devices. I believe they're meant to support USB keyboards and suchlike.
 

LunarMist

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#7
Well of course a hulking device like a tablet should have space for an SD or µSD slot (CF would be nice too), but I could live with using the adapter to copy files if the transfer rate is reasonable.

I wish they were available in local stores. :(
 

Sol

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#8
The Toshiba Thrive is probably the best fit, 1280x800 display, reports vary on if it's IPS or PVA but it's better than TN in any case (But not nearly as good as the 10" Galaxy tabs screen). It has a full size USB2.0 port supporting exfat formatted mass storage devices and a full sized SDXC card slot.

The Toshiba probably has the best connectivity of any tablet, the Samsungs have the best screens but tie with Apple for the worst connectivity.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#9
The Asus Transformer would also be worthy of consideration, though it has kind of an odd form factor.

As far as the port situation on Samsung tablets, I've never even had my 8.9" one plugged in to anything but AC power. It's less hassle to just run file copies over SMB.
 

LunarMist

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#10
I don't know if any of my computers have SMB, and probaby would not know how to use it if they did. I would most likely only copy files a few times a year for slideshows or the like.
 

Stereodude

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#11
I don't know if any of my computers have SMB, and probaby would not know how to use it if they did. I would most likely only copy files a few times a year for slideshows or the like.
:erm: You don't know how to share a folder on your PC? That would explain a lot I guess.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#15
Apparently the iPad3 will sport a 2048x1536 display, enough pixels to handle 1080p video with room to spare and a reasonable resolution for PDF and web page viewing That will at least be some justification for being so goddamned porky.
 
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#16
I shall applaud the iPad3 for choosing such an awesome screen, and purchase one of the first Android tablets to use the same. Even though I've never bought an iThing, I am grateful to them for driving the market.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#19
Technically, the ipad is a 10" tablet. It doesn't seem like it's 10", because the current display is missing 230,000 pixels that other larger-than-7" tablets have, and because it uses a 4x3 aspect ratio rather than 16x9. I don't have any problem with the extra vertical pixels, but the overall affect is that it feels a lot more like an overlarge 7" tablet.
 

MaxBurn

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#20
Right, it is fairly low resolution now.

I would actually like the android tablets to pick up the 4x3 display size, works better for lots of things. A 4x3 android with this resolution would interest me.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#21
I suspect that's quite unlikely. Most Android systems are built from off the shelf hardware, and panel manufacturers largely think in 16x9 these days.

Given the choice between 1280x1024 (290,000 pixels more than 1280x800) and 1600x900 (416,000 more pixels), I think I'd still go with the raw pixel count. Of course if the ipad really nearly doubles its pixel count compared to current 10" Androids guys, I'd be hard pressed to recommend any other high-price tablet even in spite of the ipad's other flaws.
 
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#22
Is there a current hardcore in the Android tablet space, either out now or out soon? I have a ThinkPad Tablet, but it is only 1280x800 with a Tegra2. These will be used for navigation and secondary tasks on aircraft, so the price is not a significant factor.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#23
No. The Xoom, Galaxy Tab, Thinkpad Tablet, Asus Transformer and Toshiba Thrive all have some legitimate claim based on a tiny number of characteristics that distinguish them.

The Samsung tablets are ligher and have nicer displays but crappy storage options. The Asus has the battery in the keyboard. The Thinkpad and Thrive have USB root ports. Etc.

If I had a wishlist of features, it would basically be something with the weight and screen of a Galaxy with an SD or uSD slot, 64GB+ onboard storage with 2GB+ RAM, an 8.9" 1920x1080 screen, relatively unmolested Android or at least an easy unlock/root option, regular Android Market access and a dual or quad core CPU.

And that's not going to be available any time soon. But Christmas is a long way away and I suspect that will drive a lot of product refreshes.

Would I take that device as a Windows 8 device? Or a WebOS device? Yeah, probably. But I know that Android stuff works well enough for what I want my tablets to do. Unlike certain other mobile options.
 
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#24
Recently there have been tons of great apps in the general aviation space on Android; I've personally invested more into apps than hardware, and wouldn't be switching to iOS or Win8 anytime soon.

This thing is strapped to my right thigh while I'm seated for hours at a time, with no risk of getting up. Better/bigger screen would be nice, faster would be awesome. Weight an battery aren't really issues (connected to power and not moving).
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#25
There's really very little difference between a Nook Color (800MHz single core) and a Galaxy Tab 7.7 (1.4GHz dual core) for about 85% of stuff you can be doing on a tablet. It matters if your habits include a lot of multitasking or decoding HD video, not so much if you just browse and watch non-HD media, which is what most people are doing.

Just like with desktops, most people have no need of everything an i7 can do. Tablets have that even moreso because there just isn't that much real processing that can be done on them. Yet.
 
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#26
Some of these apps push tablets more than most. My mapping/navigation program has 10GB+ of imagery stored locally that is tiled and overlayed, and can be infinitely scrolled and zoomed. Add to that the real-time GPS calculations and plotting, even real-time weather if you have an internet connection, and it gets pretty crazy. More RAM, CPU, and GPU would be appreciated. Even faster storage would be nice.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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#27
I have a Lexar 32GB class 10 card in my Evo. I noticed that my file transfer rates over SMB more than tripled when I switched from the class 4 SanDisk I started with. It helps but I think the best transfer rates I've seen to SD are on the order of maybe 3MB/sec.
 

LunarMist

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#28
I suspect that's quite unlikely. Most Android systems are built from off the shelf hardware, and panel manufacturers largely think in 16x9 these days.

Given the choice between 1280x1024 (290,000 pixels more than 1280x800) and 1600x900 (416,000 more pixels), I think I'd still go with the raw pixel count. Of course if the ipad really nearly doubles its pixel count compared to current 10" Androids guys, I'd be hard pressed to recommend any other high-price tablet even in spite of the ipad's other flaws.
We are being ripped off with the diagonal screen size as it becomes more elongated. They should specify the screen size in square cm or inches as a fair comparison. I prefer 3:2, but can live with 16:10. 16:9 is not so good. What are the Samsung tablets' dimensions nowadays?
 

LunarMist

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#30
So the 16:9 panel does not have square pixels like a standard 1280x800 16:10 panel does for example. That is weird.
 
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#37
Compared to the 3.1" 480x320 screen on my current phone, I would be loving that. Bluetooth headsets are the only BT device that seems to work well, keyboards/mice and just about anything else suck. So long as a phone can fit in my pocket I don't see a problem.
 
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#38
Looks like the cheapest voice plan combined with 5GB of data and their weak-ass insurance ($200 deductible? WTF?) would run nearly $100/mo. Have to think about that.
 
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