question Which Tablets

sdbardwick

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On a lark I bought a Lenovo ideatab Lynx for $350 from Amazon. So far it seems to be fine; more responsive than I expected. Display is nice (IPS) and it plays 720p MKV files via MPC-HC just fine. Win8 isn't as annoying on touch-screen as on a standard ATX desktop, but they really should have spent a bit of time making the 'desktop' more touch friendly. It does make me miss 8.1 though...
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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The newest revision of the Galaxy Note 10.1 is a freaking hot rod of an Android tablet. It's light for a 10" device (1.2lbs), has a 2560x1600 screen, has Samsung multiwindow support, a card reader and 3GB RAM. It costs as much as a decent laptop, but I got to mess with one today and it seems to be the guy to beat for a 10" tablet.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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More pixels are always better than less pixels, but good enough for general use is highly subjective. I could do a lot of work with one if I had to, but frankly I could do a lot of work with anything that has an RDP/VNC client and access to Google Drive.
 
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Best thing about the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is that is uses a standard micro USB connector instead of the larger one that their older tablets used. Loving that.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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If you have a tablet or e-reader or phone you keep by your bed at night you owe it to yourself and everyone you know who does the same thing to get one of these stupid $16 pieces of plastic. I've been using mine for about three weeks and I appreciate that I'm not having to go dig for a charging cable behind my nightstand (since they always fall on the floor after a device gets unplugged) any more and that by itself is worth it.
 

LunarMist

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If you have a tablet or e-reader or phone you keep by your bed at night you owe it to yourself and everyone you know who does the same thing to get one of these stupid $16 pieces of plastic. I've been using mine for about three weeks and I appreciate that I'm not having to go dig for a charging cable behind my nightstand (since they always fall on the floor after a device gets unplugged) any more and that by itself is worth it.
What exactly holds it in place, just the matress weight?
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Just the mattress weight. But that's enough that I can stack 12lbs. of crap on it and nothing will go anywhere. My cats were curious about it but they haven't been able to knock it off either.
 

LunarMist

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I think it is interesting, but not worth the risk that everything will go flying if I have a vigorous night movement in bed.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Here's the thing about the Fire HDX 8.9: It's really nice. Ridiculously nice. It weighs less than some 7" tablets. It's really fast. The 2560x1600 screen is gorgeous. The speakers, not traditionally a strong point on a flat computer-like object, are loud and clear. The Amazon media-based launcher, something I hated on the original Fire, has been polished to a mirror finish that, while still limited to Amazon content, no longer feels like a cage. I could live with Amazon's launcher, which was the first thing I replaced on my original Fire.

I was able to get almost the whole suite of Google Applications loaded in relatively short order. The actual Play Store doesn't seem to work, nor does Hangouts, but Gmail Chrome, Cloud Print, Youtube, Google Drive, Google Voice and Play Music do. I get a couple messages about one of the dependent apps crashing every time I unlock my HDX, but as far as I can tell that doesn't hurt anything.

So what's wrong with it?
1. The keyboard is not replaceable. No Swype. No Swiftkey. I do not like the included keyboard, but apparently Amazon hard-coded things so users can't change it. I don't know if I'm going to void my warranty to fix that but man is it lame.
2. No GPS software? I have Copilot on my Play account and I can sideload that, but there's nothing on the device to use it. Also lame.
3. ES File Explorer is as utterly essential for Kindle Fire products as Dropbox is for iFruits. It's pretty much the only thing in the Amazon App Store that talks to Google Drive, Dropbox, Onedrive or Sugarsync. It also does SMB shares and has a ridiculous set of file viewers of its own. Amazon is in most respects very good at being the second fiddle to other internet services. I wish I could replace the "Docs" option in the Launcher that points to my empty Amazon Cloud Drive account with Google Drive or even OneDrive.
4. The camera kinda sucks. It's a tablet, so I don't care that much.
5. Bing is the default search engine? Really?
6. Likewise, the sharing menu options feel very limited compared to other Android things. Maybe Andmade Share will fix that, but I definitely miss sharing to Cloud Print and Google Drive.

Relatively speaking, this is a tablet that is worthy of consideration.
 

Will Rickards

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I bought a refurbished samsung galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition from the woot sale Wednesday.
I'll have it next Wednesday. It was about $370 after taxes and shipping. 16GB version.
If others are looking for something like this groupon has it still on sale.
 

Chewy509

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Hi Guys,
In the market for a new 10" tablet for the wife, since our son dropped her current 10" Toshiba Thrive on the tiles and cracked the casing. The Toshiba still powers up and seems fine, except the backlight will flicker a little if held certain ways, and battery life has dropped dramatically... Plus it's her birthday mid-next month...

Basically want:
1. 10" (or 9") tablet, (min 1280x800 res)
2. Android 4.x,
3. 2GB RAM,
4. 16GB+ flash + microSD slot
5. 802.11b/g/n/ac
6. compass + GPS
7. Not Samsung.
8. sub 650g in weight
9. Flip style cover that is actually available to purchase.
10. 10hr+ battery life (web browsing).

Everything else if pretty much a bonus.

We've looked at the Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 and looks very nice except for the price (AU$599), but the one that looks really interesting is the upcoming Google Nexus 9 (by HTC) but alas all the specs and pricing is currently unavailable... (rumoured Android 5.0, nVidia K1, 3GB RAM, 16GB Flash, 2048x1440 display, 420g weight at approx AU$300-$350). Just read the Nexus 9 will be unveiled on the 8th Oct.

Any other's we should consider? eg the Asus ME302? The Lenovo Yoga 10? It seems pretty much all brands have either dropped their tablet ranges or severely reduced the number and availability of models. eg we can only find older Acer models here, as the low-end markey is being eaten up by Allwinner based tablets (sold as Thomson, PendoPad, etc).
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I thought the Nexus 9 compared unfavorably to the FireHDX 8.9. It has a 4:3 screen it's kind of miserly in terms of display DPI for a high end device, and on top of that it's pretty heavy for its size, but then the FireHDX isn't Google-licensed and most models don't have GPS (and none have a card slot), so it's probably not the device you're looking for anyway.

I do quite like the Galaxy Note Pro models which you've also ruled out, and at that point you're pretty much down to Asus or Google (also Asus) as far as top-tier Android stuff goes. I usually look at the screen specs above all else, since low screen resolution is probably the single biggest reason I no longer use my Xoom (which was updated to run KitKat, shockingly) or otherwise much-loved Galaxy 8.9. More pixels and a more vibrant screen really do make all the difference.

The Transformer series is quite nice, but they're pretty heavy even by 10" tablet standards (.6kg) and the keyboard-battery combo isn't really the selling point you're asking for.

I don't think you're going to find anything with mainstream 802.11ac support and wouldn't get hopes up for 3GB RAM for anything that's not aimed solidly at business users, either, but that Nexus 9 still isn't actually announced yet and could yet surprise us.
 

Chewy509

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LunarMist

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Don't know, don't care...
Apparently that is so, but it really isn't very helpful. :(

The new iPhones are out, so I was thinking that new tablets may be on the way. It may be worth waiting if they will be out before Christmas, else the current models will do.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The big thing about the 7" Nexus is that it was powerful and inexpensive. I heard that some of them had hardware issues, but overall those guys drove a lot of people in to a pretty nice device for the money. I suppose there wasn't a reason to refresh that model when there are also 6" and 9" devices in the Nexus lineup, but the Nexus 7 was an easy way to get a top-tier device and it's too bad Google doesn't seem interested in it any more.
 

LunarMist

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Oddly enough I feel the same. I can see buying a $600 10' iPad, but the Nexxus 9" is too much for an in between size.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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What's the justification for the ifruit that costs $200 more than the Samsung equivalent? Magical Apple fairies aren't sprinkling value-adding moon dust on them, you know.

Also, here's the thing about the 8.9" form factor: You get the same number of pixels as a 10" tablet in a weight that's comparable to (heavier, admittedly) 7" devices. It's really a very happy medium.
 

sedrosken

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I prefer Android for its customization capabilities and the openness of the platform. Sure, Google markets their own version of it, but the core of it is open and you are free to change it and/or distribute it. To my knowledge, at least. That would be why we have successful Android "distros" such as CyanogenMod. If it weren't open, they'd be getting a C&D from Google. The only condition to this is that Cyanogen can't distribute Google Play services with it, rendering the whole thing almost useless. Thankfully, there are flashable packages that install Google Play services on any Android OS, including Amazon's Fire OS (provided you've wrangled root permissions out of the thing and installed a recovery mod). I myself am now using a first generation Kindle Fire (with CyanogenMod, what else?) In place of my aging Galaxy Tab. Surprisingly it has less RAM than the Galaxy Tab, and there are other tradeoffs too (such as limited storage space, port and lock button placement, and a lack of a volume rocker) but all around the Kindle is faster. With only 400MB RAM you really want to limit the amount of multitasking you do - personally I don't multitask on tablets or smartphones, I find the interface and screen space (or lack thereof) to be limiting factors in this. For some reason or another both Chrome and Firefox are giving me fits on Android devices - Chrome crashes on startup and Firefox crashes whenever it feels like it. The only browser to give me no issues so far is Maxthon.

For extra irony points, after I got CM installed and spent half a day trying to make Google Play work and finally succeeded (kept installing the wrong version of it), the first app I installed was the Kindle reader.
 
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