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View Full Version : OT: Advice on Tablet PC's (Android, etc.)


Requiem
04-13-2012, 02:29 PM
Hey guys,

Six months ago I bought myself a MacAir and I love it, but I am interested in in a tablet PC.

An iPad seems like a logical thing, but I'm open to other ideas. Price range up to $500. Thanks.

Dutch
04-13-2012, 02:59 PM
Hey guys,

Six months ago I bought myself a MacAir and I love it, but I am interested in in a tablet PC.

An iPad seems like a logical thing, but I'm open to other ideas. Price range up to $500. Thanks.

We picked up my wife a Samsung Galaxy Note back on the 1st. I thought it would be too large to be used as a phone/lugging it around all the time. I've since changed my mind. It is pretty much awesome. The "smart stylus" is fantastic, once you get used to the functionality of it. Battery time was a bit of a pain, but once we picked up a better battery on Amazon, that is no longer an issue. She has had an iPad for the last two years and now she hardly touches it. Oh yeah, the "Vehicle Kit" from Samsung is the bomb. Plug the Note in and it automatically goes to "Auto Mode". Voice talk App control for everything, turn by turn directions, and Bluetooth connectivity to the audio system. We've both been pretty floored by how well everything works, and being compatable with Android's new OS "Ice Cream Sandwich" coming out later this spring or early summer (supposed to have voice command/assistant to rival "Siri" from Apple), we feel like it shouldn't end up being "old technology" overnight. I have a Galaxy S2 Skyrocket that I'm probably going to take back and exchange for one as it is looking like the Skyrocket was just an interim solution for the various carriers 4G LTE networks. Very limited support and accessories available from Samsung with a rumored Galaxy S3 that will have an HD display and built to take full advantage of "Ice Cream". Get a case for one (we picked up the "Active Combo with kickstand" from Seidio as Otterbox has no plans to produce one), it adds to the size and heft of the Note, but in this case that is not a bad thing. It does feel like you've got a shingle on the side of your head when using it as a phone, but get a bluetooth headset and that issue goes away. It really isn't that big a deal anyway. Good luck with the search. We spent about 6 month figuring out what we were buying, just wish I'd have picked up the Note from the get go. You can find them for around $250 + or - $50 on the web, or in stores if you want the ease of support/warranty. Good luck on your decision, and let us know what you decide to do/how you like your choice.

Rigs11
04-13-2012, 03:06 PM
get an ipad. apple has sold millions for a reason.simple to use, they just work.

snowspot66
04-13-2012, 03:08 PM
Hey guys,

Six months ago I bought myself a MacAir and I love it, but I am interested in in a tablet PC.

An iPad seems like a logical thing, but I'm open to other ideas. Price range up to $500. Thanks.

Asus Transformer Prime. It's one of the, if not the, very best tablets available.

snowspot66
04-13-2012, 03:09 PM
get an ipad. apple has sold millions for a reason.simple to use, they just work.

Except with Flash.

Chris
04-13-2012, 03:10 PM
I give you credit for not keeping your brain on autopilot and thinking "Apple Apple Apple". That said, I don't own a tablet so I can't say.

Aftermath
04-13-2012, 03:33 PM
Asus Transformer Prime. It's one of the, if not the, very best tablets available.

Except for the shell around it. Blocks wifi signal and gps. It works fine 10ft from router but once you go 15ft or more its embarrassingly slow. Do a speedtest if you don't believe me, and they actually removed gps from the specifications.
I was so excited for that tablet I got it the day it came out, returned it 2 weeks later and just bought the new ipad. The new ipad is the best thing I've owned.

Blart
04-13-2012, 03:33 PM
What do you want to use it for?

snowspot66
04-13-2012, 03:52 PM
Except for the shell around it. Blocks wifi signal and gps. It works fine 10ft from router but once you go 15ft or more its embarrassingly slow. Do a speedtest if you don't believe me, and they actually removed gps from the specifications.
I was so excited for that tablet I got it the day it came out, returned it 2 weeks later and just bought the new ipad. The new ipad is the best thing I've owned.

No I'm aware of it. The next iteration of the Prime will fix the issue.

Requiem
04-13-2012, 04:00 PM
I give you credit for not keeping your brain on autopilot and thinking "Apple Apple Apple". That said, I don't own a tablet so I can't say.

I started out on a Tandy 386 and grew up on Windows machines my whole life owning or building over 10 machines. I've always had Apple's to play with in our school district, (mainly for video/graphics editing in HS) and didn't think much of them back when. My brain has never been on auto-pilot. I just was interested in something new and thought the Air fit the bill for what I wanted to help do.

I went with the Air because the applications and software. It's a powerhouse and can do what I like to do and it's as light as a feather. The mobility is awesome and it's a portable studio for me with Garage Band. If I ever visit friends who are throwing down jams and want to record something, it's that easy to take with me.

I think it is a unique investment that will get multiple year shelf life and in the sixth months I've had the device, it has already paid for itself.

I'm looking for a tablet for multiple reasons, some of them with some business interest in mind in regards to point of sale transactions, document and data mobility. I also enjoy a mobile life style and like to be out and about but still connected to things that are of interest or matter to me, whether I'm traveling, camping/hiking or what not. (And while I get good battery life on my Air, I'm looking for something that may get a little bit longer. I also am extremely interested in getting a tablet as a device that can be charged through solar power.)

I have a phone that has HP WebOS, and isn't a true "smart" phone and am not interested in getting a baller phone.

All and all, I'm just interested. It's just a way of creating something useful for myself moving forward.

DBroncos4life
04-13-2012, 04:03 PM
Asus Transformer Prime. It's one of the, if not the, very best tablets available.

This 100%

Chris
04-13-2012, 04:04 PM
I had an IBM as a child, grew up on macs, then switched to PC as a teenager. I much prefer the flexibility of Windows, though I now own a MBP because I record music (Ableton) and got suckered into it.

As for the power, you're going to want to look at cases. I knew they had some for phones but just did a search and found this:

http://www.gizmag.com/solar-spark-tablet-case/17775/

Requiem
04-13-2012, 04:08 PM
I had an IBM as a child, grew up on macs, then switched to PC as a teenager. I much prefer the flexibility of Windows, though I now own a MBP because I record music (Ableton) and got suckered into it.

As for the power, you're going to want to look at cases. I knew they had some for phones but just did a search and found this:

http://www.gizmag.com/solar-spark-tablet-case/17775/

That's pretty sick dude. I've found some other things that are universal, well -- do phones, tablets, etc. Thanks again.

Boobs McGee
04-13-2012, 04:59 PM
My boss just gave me an ipad 2 about two weeks ago...pretty impressive little piece of technology. This is my first tablet, but teamed with my portable BOSE soundlink, it does just about everything I want it to. I went for the non 3g one, as I can turn my rooted evo into a hotspot, so didn't spring for the upgraded ipad.

So far, for all of my basic uses, it really is tremendous. Calendar's great, music is wonderful, web browsing is fantastic, the portability is outstanding, battery life is a LOT longer than I would've expected. The only qualm I have (and I haven't checked into a fix yet), is that I can't upload movies onto it that I've downloaded (that aren't from the itunes store). No way in hell I'm spending the money to buy movies from the store that I already own. Seeing as this is my first piece of Apple technology (besides an ipod or two), I might be missing the boat on something.


Kind of hard to have an objective view (since I haven't owned or used any other tablets), but this thing is pretty epic.

Houshyamama
04-13-2012, 05:00 PM
Just got an iPad 1 64GB wifi. First apple product I've ever owned, love it so far. In fact I'm posting from it. Just get an iPad, it's the real deal.

broncosteven
04-13-2012, 06:53 PM
I started out on a Tandy 386 and grew up on Windows machines my whole life owning or building over 10 machines. I've always had Apple's to play with in our school district, (mainly for video/graphics editing in HS) and didn't think much of them back when. My brain has never been on auto-pilot. I just was interested in something new and thought the Air fit the bill for what I wanted to help do.

I went with the Air because the applications and software. It's a powerhouse and can do what I like to do and it's as light as a feather. The mobility is awesome and it's a portable studio for me with Garage Band. If I ever visit friends who are throwing down jams and want to record something, it's that easy to take with me.

I think it is a unique investment that will get multiple year shelf life and in the sixth months I've had the device, it has already paid for itself.

I'm looking for a tablet for multiple reasons, some of them with some business interest in mind in regards to point of sale transactions, document and data mobility. I also enjoy a mobile life style and like to be out and about but still connected to things that are of interest or matter to me, whether I'm traveling, camping/hiking or what not. (And while I get good battery life on my Air, I'm looking for something that may get a little bit longer. I also am extremely interested in getting a tablet as a device that can be charged through solar power.)

I have a phone that has HP WebOS, and isn't a true "smart" phone and am not interested in getting a baller phone.

All and all, I'm just interested. It's just a way of creating something useful for myself moving forward.

I would think having a iphone would be more mobile and provide you the same functionality. They have adapters to do POS from the iphone. It is amazing how much you can get done on a smart phone, I still don't see the need for a tablet, laptop and smartphone.

If I were young again I would put the $500 in a Roth account and use your Air and phone instead.

BroncoBen
04-13-2012, 07:01 PM
Hey guys,

Six months ago I bought myself a MacAir and I love it, but I am interested in in a tablet PC.

An iPad seems like a logical thing, but I'm open to other ideas. Price range up to $500. Thanks.

Depends on what you want to do with the device, the Kindle Fire $199 is great for surfing the Interwebs and reading ebooks. Some of the apps you can download are pretty good, but you are limited.

You can do more with the IPad, but its way more expensive. I think it starts out at $499 for the lower end device. Lot more apps to work with, this is where you may want to get a more expensive device so you have room for these apps.

Have fun..

Archer81
04-13-2012, 07:04 PM
I'm deciding between a kindle fire or an apple Ipad. Since I already have an ipod-touch...do I want to spend another $500 for a bigger version of it?

...

:Broncos:

El Guapo
04-13-2012, 07:06 PM
I bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxytab/10.1/index.html) about six months back and absolutely love it. It does everything the crapPad does and more. See: It (or its apps) are not restricted by the manufacturer.

Note: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 will be available May 4th http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxytab2/index.html?type=find

While they have not considered the Tab 2 in their reviews, pcmag.com did rate the Asus Transformer Prime as the best tablet available.

get an ipad. apple has sold millions for a reason.simple to use, they just work.

They have sold "millions" cause people are retarded sheep.

Archer81
04-13-2012, 07:10 PM
They have sold "millions" cause people are retarded sheep.


It would be funny if sheep are really geniuses, but have the appearance of small brained farm animals to fool mankind before they attack and eat us all.

:Broncos:

DBroncos4life
04-13-2012, 07:19 PM
It would be funny if sheep are really geniuses, but have the appearance of small brained farm animals to fool mankind before they attack and eat us all.

:Broncos:

[img=http:/w/s10.postimage.org/o0abhvuwl/Blacksheep_poster.jpg] (http://postimage.org/image/o0abhvuwl/)

Archer81
04-13-2012, 07:22 PM
[img=http:/w/s10.postimage.org/o0abhvuwl/Blacksheep_poster.jpg] (http://postimage.org/image/o0abhvuwl/)


I've seen that horrible movie. And why I believe its going to happen.


:Broncos:

snowspot66
04-13-2012, 07:38 PM
The only qualm I have (and I haven't checked into a fix yet), is that I can't upload movies onto it that I've downloaded (that aren't from the itunes store). No way in hell I'm spending the money to buy movies from the store that I already own.

Their product may not come with a contract but you're pretty much exclusively locked in to what they offer. Unless you don't mind breaking your warranty in which case I guess you can do whatever the tech geniuses of the world come up with.

baja
04-13-2012, 07:47 PM
My iPad is perfectly good but I bought the new one last week for the voice command and the new camera and the retina screen. O and now I can listen to music in stereo ;-)

Requiem
04-13-2012, 08:20 PM
The Kindle Fire seems like an interesting device. Thanks for letting me know on some stuff guys and other general advice.

Marshall Dumervil
04-13-2012, 09:35 PM
This 100%

Yep, love my Asus. Matter of fact, posting from it now.:flower:

Fedaykin
04-13-2012, 09:44 PM
What do you intend to use it for?

I have a Galaxy Tab and a Nook

Galaxy Tab = expensive toy (that I got "free" with my HDTV) that gets used about 0.5hr/week. Might become the control panel for my DIY home automation system because I don't really have a use for the damn thing.

Nook = reader/tablet that gets many hours of use a week for reading.

If I were to buy a tablet today, it would probably be an ASUS Transformer Prime 2 just because it would be a good laptop/tablet hybrid would could actually come in useful for meetings/etc.

Requiem
04-13-2012, 09:47 PM
Fed, post #10.

Fedaykin
04-13-2012, 10:16 PM
Fed, post #10.

Well to hit some of the things I picked out of your post:

* Documents/business: Tablets in general are terrible for this. They aren't really aimed at content producers, only content consumers. There are some business type apps, but nothing a person would really want to use for anything other than trivial work (note taking, etc.).

* Mobility/Active Life: I'd suggest a ~7" table like the Nook, Kindle Fire, or Samsung Note. An iPad or 10" Android would be more cumbersome. Totally personal choice though (I'd personally hate lugging around anything larger than a smartphone).

There are solar chargers for smartphones (no idea how well they work), though I haven't seen one for a tablet.


Anyway, what I really meant when I asked for "what you want to use it for" is more along the lines of:

a.) Consuming Media (books, videos, music etc.) Right now the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets are the clear winners here because they are backed by the content delivery systems of Amazon and Barnes & Noble (with Amazon doing movies, music/etc. and B&N doing mostly books). A Kindle Fire with an Amazon Prime membership has access to a massive amount of content in an integrated, easy to use, mobile package. Apple has iTunes, but is stuck in the stone ages of paying per video/song.

They also have very good form factors (7") IMHO. The hitch is they are more locked down than typical Android (The Nook has a special market with only a tiny fraction of the available apps. I'm not sure on the Fire.)

b.) If you are more interested in apps, games, etc. a Samsung Galaxy, Asus Transformer or iPad are better choices due to processing power, app availability and popularity.

The one dark horse candidate may be the Samsung Note, which is about the same size/capability of a Nook or Fire, but I believe runs a fully functional version of Android.

Dutch
04-14-2012, 12:32 AM
Well to hit some of the things I picked out of your post:

* Documents/business: Tablets in general are terrible for this. They aren't really aimed at content producers, only content consumers. There are some business type apps, but nothing a person would really want to use for anything other than trivial work (note taking, etc.).

* Mobility/Active Life: I'd suggest a ~7" table like the Nook, Kindle Fire, or Samsung Note. An iPad or 10" Android would be more cumbersome. Totally personal choice though (I'd personally hate lugging around anything larger than a smartphone).

There are solar chargers for smartphones (no idea how well they work), though I haven't seen one for a tablet.


Anyway, what I really meant when I asked for "what you want to use it for" is more along the lines of:

a.) Consuming Media (books, videos, music etc.) Right now the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablets are the clear winners here because they are backed by the content delivery systems of Amazon and Barnes & Noble (with Amazon doing movies, music/etc. and B&N doing mostly books). A Kindle Fire with an Amazon Prime membership has access to a massive amount of content in an integrated, easy to use, mobile package. Apple has iTunes, but is stuck in the stone ages of paying per video/song.

They also have very good form factors (7") IMHO. The hitch is they are more locked down than typical Android (The Nook has a special market with only a tiny fraction of the available apps. I'm not sure on the Fire.)

b.) If you are more interested in apps, games, etc. a Samsung Galaxy, Asus Transformer or iPad are better choices due to processing power, app availability and popularity.

The one dark horse candidate may be the Samsung Note, which is about the same size/capability of a Nook or Fire, but I believe runs a fully functional version of Android.

Correct you are. While my wife was in China, Korea, and Japan a couple of weeks back for meetings with UPS Asia/Pac employees, everyone was using the Note. They were everywhere (she had only owned her's a week and it floored her to see so many of them over there). It is a great business tool, and not just a social media/entertainment toy. With the stylus you can actually have people sign invoices,contracts, and credit card transactions (mini usb connected credit card reader was being used by vendors in China, so one would think you could get them here). It has a pretty robust ability to sync documents and spreadsheets. All in all, I'm floored at how much you can do with it. Look into the business apps available for Android (Google Market)and be prepared to lose a couple hours of your life. If you are serious about small business there are some impressive things going on there. I had no idea as I've always used my laptop for these types of applications.

Blart
04-14-2012, 12:58 AM
OT: I don't know why anyone would prefer to read a novel on a backlit screen over paper/E-Ink, but they do. Weirdos.

Wes Mantooth
04-14-2012, 08:13 AM
Except with Flash.

flash is dead.

Wes Mantooth
04-14-2012, 08:16 AM
Asus Transformer Prime. It's one of the, if not the, very best tablets available.

I have one. I have to say, it is quite awesome.

Goobzilla
04-14-2012, 08:19 AM
I have one. I have to say, it is quite awesome.
I have the OG Asus Transformer and I love it. The ICS update made it even better.

Rigs11
04-14-2012, 08:52 AM
My boss just gave me an ipad 2 about two weeks ago...pretty impressive little piece of technology. This is my first tablet, but teamed with my portable BOSE soundlink, it does just about everything I want it to. I went for the non 3g one, as I can turn my rooted evo into a hotspot, so didn't spring for the upgraded ipad.

So far, for all of my basic uses, it really is tremendous. Calendar's great, music is wonderful, web browsing is fantastic, the portability is outstanding, battery life is a LOT longer than I would've expected. The only qualm I have (and I haven't checked into a fix yet), is that I can't upload movies onto it that I've downloaded (that aren't from the itunes store). No way in hell I'm spending the money to buy movies from the store that I already own. Seeing as this is my first piece of Apple technology (besides an ipod or two), I might be missing the boat on something.


Kind of hard to have an objective view (since I haven't owned or used any other tablets), but this thing is pretty epic.
You can convert your movies to mp4 format,add them to your iTunes library on your pc,and then sync.Works great for movies you already own

Rigs11
04-14-2012, 08:54 AM
Except with Flash.

True,but many sites are moving to html5.plus there are browsers that you can use that convert flash on their servers and send it back so that the iPad can read it

Wes Mantooth
04-14-2012, 09:01 AM
True,but many sites are moving to html5.plus there are browsers that you can use that convert flash on their servers and send it back so that the iPad can read it

those flash converters suck. Flash is seriously dead. Adobe will not be developing major releases past ICS on any mobile device.

Boobs McGee
04-14-2012, 09:03 AM
You can convert your movies to mp4 format,add them to your iTunes library on your pc,and then sync.Works great for movies you already own

I've never tried that before...is there a program you recommend? I've been using VLC to watch movies on my laptop, and I think it MIGHT have a converter.

Thanks for the tip btw, I'll try it when I get off of work today!

Que
04-14-2012, 09:13 AM
iPad if you can afford it. Have iPad, iPad 2, Fire, ASUS...

montrose
04-14-2012, 10:48 PM
First and foremost, as I've said with just about any electronic now days, they're all pretty awesome and can mostly all do the same stuff. It's just a matter of personal preference.

I'm not sure what your timetable is but you may want to consider waiting for Windows 8 which should drop this fall. Now I'll first caution you that Windows 8 is the biggest change to Microsoft's OS since Windows 95 but unlike the mid 90s, they're are enough alternatives that users won't be simply forced to adapt and could turn elsewhere due to the extreme changes. Considering XP is still the most used OS in the world over a decade after its release, its not hard to believe a drasticly new OS will be hard to catch on. Windows 7 was very well done and has only been out a few years with several businesses just now making the upgrade. So for those reasons and more, Windows 8 may have a bit of an uphill climb. With that...

I think Windows 8 is aimed very much at a user like you and may be the perfect option. Its designed to be used on any PC or tablet but after using the Consumer Preview since launch, I'd say it's moreso a tablet OS. Despite Windows 7s critical success, Microsoft recongized through the movement of tablets their prized PC/software empire could be in serious jeopardy and they had to move in that direction. Instead of putting their new phone OS (again, critically acclaimed but struggling in sales) on a tablet destined to play 3rd fiddle to Google's distant 2nd fiddle to Apple - they went extreme and linked their tablet future to their valuable PC OS. What that created is a hybrid that serves the standard tablet needs but provides full PC functionality. It will help breed some cool hardware like the YouTube video below...

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8VjXl-AoHgc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you need a tablet right now the Android one's suggested are fantastic as is the iPad. Productivity apps like the ones that would help you aren't where they need to be yet but are getting there. Because you have an Air, I'd recommend you go with the iPad for familiarity but you can't go wrong either way.

snowspot66
04-14-2012, 11:15 PM
I've heard some great things about Windows 8. I may actually get a tablet when it comes out if the reality lives up to the hype.

Boobs McGee
04-15-2012, 12:23 AM
You can convert your movies to mp4 format,add them to your iTunes library on your pc,and then sync.Works great for movies you already own

SO. No VLC anymore...there's a free app in the store called FlexPlayer - does exactly what you described. Downloaded it, and opened it up in itunes. Dragged 3 movies into the folder (2 avi's, one mkv), and they play PERFECTLY.


Thanks so much for the suggestion...this is now officially my laptop haha

tesnyde
04-15-2012, 09:24 AM
I have a Nook Color that I converted to a fully functional Android tablet. The only thing missing is a camera but by far its the most economical route for a good solid tablet. Just get a Micro SD card, load a couple of programs on it from a computer, and pop it into the Nook and it coverts from a limited reader to a fully functional tablet. There are instructions on how to do it all over YouTube and the net. I have the newest IPad through work and I love it, but there are some things my $199 Nook Color Android does better.

Requiem
04-15-2012, 11:22 AM
You guys are great, thanks.