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View Full Version : Tech help needed - Choosing an Android tablet



Italian Hippy
2013-10-28, 08:06 AM
Hello, Playground!

I turned 32 just ten days ago, and my wife, grandma (yeah, I'm 32 and I still have a granny, may she live to see 4 digits of age!) and aunt have decided to chip in to get me a really nice gift, rather than the usual plethora of sweaters, socks and paraphernalia one usually gets.

I immediately started looking for a model which could fulfill all my needs, but the various websites I've sifted through only confused me even more about it, which is why I don't have my birthday present ten days after my birthday. My only experience with Android is with my smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S2, which was already running Cyanogenmod 9 when I bought it. That said, I've decided to ask the most pleasant community I know of for its collective opinion and advice.

Here's a brief run-down of what I need:

- Call me a fanboy if you want to, but I'll have nothing with the logo of a bitten apple in my home. Android only here.

- I'm already half-blind, so I would choose a bigger screen rather than a smaller one. 7 inches is way too small for a tablet, at that point I'd just get a phablet. 9/10 inches is ideal.

- The absence of a Micro SD card slot is possibly all that made me discard the Google Nexus 10, so that's pretty much a deal breaker, too. I refuse to pay 100 for 32GB more of memory, especially when I have more spare Micro SDs laying around that I have hair strands in my beard :D (in a pinch, any other card will do, but expandable memory is a must have)

- I'd like something SOLID, that I won't have to replace or repair for a while. Quality of the components, as well as ease of access to certified repair shops, is another selling point for me.

- A SIM slot is not strictly necessary, just an "added bonus". In a pinch, I can use Wi-Fi tethering with my phone. It wouldn't be a bad thing to have, though, considering the battery limitations of both phone and tablet.

- My main uses for the tablet would be browsing, media entertainment (movies, music and all that jazz) and reading ebooks. For work, I could certainly use it, but the only thing that would be useful in that aspect is a *very* accurate on-screen keyboard with a good response. Also, I suppose I could also use a Bluetooth/USB keyboard instead of the on-screen one, so that's a minor point. As for processing power, I honestly don't *know* if I'm going to use the tablet for gaming. So far, I have been stopped by the fact that "phone games = phone battery dies", but I guess a tablet can last much longer.

- Cameras: simply put, I don't give a poop. I'm not using a 10" tablet as a camera. I'll be satisfied with a 1MP front one for videocalling, but back camera is a non-issue.

- Budget is between 350 and 400. As you can see from my profile (and my screen name) I'm from Italy, so we're talking European market. If I buy stuff from the US or China, they CAN and probably WILL stick me with customs fees.

Thanks in advance to everyone who'll take the time to read and reply! Your help is appreciated!

Erloas
2013-10-28, 04:48 PM
You might also look for a USB port instead, then you can do USB flash drives rather then an SD card. While the SD card is easier, flash drives are just as cheap and you will have more options that way.

And while I haven't used it, I've heard good things about the Microsoft Surface Pro. It has a detachable keyboard, USB port, and SD card. The first generation Pro just dropped in price too since the new one was just released. It isn't Android, but it isn't Apple either.

Not much help, but I haven't used any of them either.

Italian Hippy
2013-10-30, 08:51 AM
Hmmm, I haven't heard good things about Windows 8, much less about the RT version. Also, the Surface is known for being stupidly hard to repair, clocking in at 90 screws plus the use of glue to assemble the screen. Anything else? I would prefer to go 100% Android, not Win, iOs or Blackberry...

Erloas
2013-10-30, 12:12 PM
What I've heard about Win8 is that it isn't a good desktop OS, but it works really well for what it was developed for, tablets with a touchscreen.
Taking it apart to repair it seems like a non-issue to me because there is virtually nothing you can change or fix in any tablet and I would imagine none of them are designed for being able to take them apart easily.

But like I said, I haven't used one and I haven't used any of the Android tablets either.

Is there any particular reason you want a tablet instead of a laptop? None of your uses really dictate form factor and it sounds more like "tablets are the thing to have so I have to have a tablet even though I know nothing about them" sort of situations. Granted there isn't much for Android based laptops, but again, nothing about your use says it needs to be Android other then that is what you said. (none of the features or uses you are asking for are unique or uncommon in any computer device) With not wanting a really small device/screen too...

Tylorious
2013-11-01, 08:14 AM
Please look at the ASUS tablet family, they are absolutely amazing and fit all of your requirements. They also have gorilla glass which is impossible to scratch. I used to work at Best Buy and would show my customers by taking my keys out of my pocket and trying to scratch the screen to no avail.

Italian Hippy
2013-11-02, 04:24 AM
Is there any particular reason you want a tablet instead of a laptop? None of your uses really dictate form factor and it sounds more like "tablets are the thing to have so I have to have a tablet even though I know nothing about them" sort of situations. Granted there isn't much for Android based laptops, but again, nothing about your use says it needs to be Android other then that is what you said. (none of the features or uses you are asking for are unique or uncommon in any computer device) With not wanting a really small device/screen too...

Well, several reasons actually. Mainly, I already have a laptop which serves as my "mobile office". However, even a 10" tablet would be several times more portable than it, both for size and weight. Plus, a touch screen would be way more practical than a laptop's touchpad. Then, there's the battery life. Tablets last several hours, while my laptop currently lasts seconds. A new battery for the laptop wouldn't really solve the problem. Finally, there's cost. A (good) new laptop would be quite expensive, and absolutely not within my budget.

Tylorius, thanks for the advice, I'll take a look at those. I've got quite a bit of faith in ASUS too, they've always made good quality components.

Maelstrom
2013-11-02, 05:25 AM
I have an ASUS Transformer Infinity and can tell you, it's a great pad. With the keyboard, it functions great as a lightweight "laptop" as well as having a battery life of nearly 9 hours...

Fit's all your requirements, with the exception of the mobile SIM slot.