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Old 08-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
Ruairi
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Buying the Right Tablet

Hi.

How are all you people doing? This seems like a nice little community here.


I recently bought a wee scroll tablet and returned it. I want to use a tablet to connect to my stereo and had assumed that any tablet would also provide me with the facility of connecting an external hard drive meaning i was no longer fumbling around in cd cases. Since reading into it i decided that the nexus was for me only to find it doesn't support an external hard drive either. I have spent hours upon hours trying to find which one is best and every time i settle on something I am put off by a review or a comment in a forum.

My needs are pretty basic. I would say that the tablet will sit in it's stand at least 95% of the time and just be the interface for my music to be played through the stereo. A facility to connect to a hard drive is a the only essential. I am currently sitting on about 45-50gb of music. I'm sure once i get my new toy I'll want to have a wee fumble around with it. I don't play games or anything. A bit of general browsing, youtube, email, facebook and maybe iplayer is as far as I go online.


I was thinking about getting the galaxy note but then i read it is a little expensive considering quad-core processors are being manufactured and sold cheaper that the galaxy is priced at currently and i would rather keep the price as low as possible. i don't really like the stock music player with android. I downloaded winamp to my phone and laptop so i'd probably prefer a device that has the play market and not this SlideMe nonsense I found with the Scroll so I can get winamp pro for the tablet as well.



I would really appreciate it if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions on which tablet would suit me best. I am not the most techinically able so I would really need any items to be ready for use coming out of the box. I wouldn't be too keen on trying to use a "root" for the nexus for example.

Thanks in advance folks.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
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I have an Archos 80 G9 that I picked up at a local Staples for $199. I think they are now running about $149.

The 80 G9 has a port on the back that is meant for a USB 3G adapter. When you turn on the 3G port in the setup, you can pretty much connect anything to it. I have a 32GB thumb drive socketed into mine right now that I use to hold videos. I have also plugged in my 250 GB external hard drive that is powered through the USB port and it is accessible and I run various videos off of it, also.

The only thing I can say is a downside on this is that the port is recessed in the tablet and a thicker usb connector may not plug into it correctly. The flatter the connector, casing, and/or cable the better it will plug in.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:57 AM   #3
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How does the 250gb hard drive work with those? i'm assuming that it exists as a separate unit that is connected via usb?

I'm a little confused by the talk of micro, mini and 2.0 usb. If a device has a mirco usb connection then it cannot connect a mass storage device? And what is a usb slave?

It's very difficult to make an informed purchase regarding all this.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #4
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There is a small, removable section of the case on the back that covers the standard USB 2.0 port on the back. A 3G device is designed to socket in and replace the removed section of cover. (See pic above for reference)

I used an exacto knife and cut away a small section of the removable cover piece to let me seat a usb flash drive here and put the cover back on. I also plugged in an external hard drive and the unit powered the drive with no issues. I also tried an external USB CD drive and it worked fine also.

Note: The external drives plug in to the port but sit alongside the tablet when in use

There is also a micro usb port on the unit that acts as interface and charging point. The same charger for my blackberry charges the tablet up with no issues. The micro usb can also be used to transfer data to/from a PC and also be used as a host port (with an adapter cable) and only on extremely low powered devices or ones with an external power source of their own.

If you want, you can also get one of these with its own internal hard drive, but the unit is a little more expensive and slightly more heavy than the flash based ones.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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If I remember correctly Toshiba Thrive tablets have full size USB ports for connecting things like USB sticks and external hard drives, might be worth a look.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #6
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The toshiba ones appear to be a little more expensive. I am just going to buy the Archos one today. It has everything I need and althought it's not quite as cheap here it's probably as good as I will get for that money.

I remember reading about screen problems. I'd imagine it is all sorted by now though as that was a year ago.

Thanks folks.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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I have never seen the issues with the screen on the one I have, but I think the ones at Staples were made specifically for them so non-Staples units may or may not have the exact same construction...
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:23 AM   #8
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Tablets have great WiFi connectivity. If you get a NAS with a media player then you can access both the shared storage on the NAS and control the media player remotely and wireless from the tablet in your lap. No need to connect a harddrive directly to the tablet. All but impossible anyway.

You can then stream video from the NAS to the tablet, or music from the NAS to the stereo. And control it all from the tablet. You can also copy files from the NAS to the tablet over wifi so you can bring them with you.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #9
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Perhaps I could have carried out a little more research on this and maybe this is something I could look into in the future. I bought the tablet after work yesterday.

When I finally got around to getting myself a nice stereo I was putting speakers into other rooms and I decided I didn't want to depend on bluetooth or wireless. I wanted the unit to stand alone, so to speak. This is why I didn't even consider one of those streaming devices that i've heard of people using for their spotify subscriptions.

To be honest a 64gb microsd card for a tablet would solve my problems. I'm sitting on about 47gb and even if I bought a cd a week it would take quite a while to fill it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:23 AM   #10
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It's just that I think it seems to be a pity to have the tablet in a stand, connected with a cable to the stereo. Instead you could have it in your lap, and use it as a very advanced remote or to read a book...

For me, the whole idea with a tablet is that it is possible to carry it with me and use it anywhere, without any cables. If I was going to use cables I might as well use my ordinary computer instead.

I control my Squeezeboxes for music, I stream video to it, I pipe sound out from it using bluetooth, I check IP-cameras of my back yard and garden on it, I control a torrent daemon to add toorrents. I remote control my main computer. All wireless, from anywhere in my house.

Oh... And I also read books on it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:16 PM   #11
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I am not sure that I am online enough to need a tablet. I have a galaxy s2 phone for any quick ventures online and I am sure that when my tablet arrives I will have it in my lap from time to time. I also made the decision to move the shelf in my stereo's cabinet down so the tablet will be behind the glass door on top of the radio reciever and below the record player after my girlfriend dropped her own galaxy and it smashed. out of sight, out of mind and all that.

I wouldn't rule anything out. I may discover I have more uses for the tablet than I anticipate. I'm hoping to be able to use my phone as a remote somehow as it is always in my pocket but we'll just have to see.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:06 PM   #12
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I've got the original Toshiba Thrive...they've been frequently on sale in refurb for $199 lately if you have some patience. I got my 8GB on Black Friday for $199 new from Newegg. Full size USB. It's good for this kind of thing.

Keep in mind the HDD will have to be formatted FAT32 for android (although there is an NTFS mounting APK available on thriveforums.org for a rooted Thrive).

Archos - they make mediocre tablets mostly, though, compared to the competition, but one of the pros is that they tend to bundle a lot more video/audio codecs (so Archos tabs can generally play a lot more formats).
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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I've got the original Toshiba Thrive...they've been frequently on sale in refurb for $199 lately if you have some patience. I got my 8GB on Black Friday for $199 new from Newegg. Full size USB. It's good for this kind of thing.
The full USB was the only reason my dad-in-law got the Thrive. He uses it for work, and needed something handheld like that to do stuff in the field and easily transfer it to a desktop (he's frequently wearing his tin-foil hat, so any discussion with him about "the cloud" never ends cleanly).
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