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Old 04-17-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
MamaSylvia
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What exactly does a tablet do?

I currently have an old PDA (Toshiba e800) that automagically syncs with Outlook 2007 and one directory on my main computer using Windows Mobile. It has a few games, old versions of Word, Excel, and Windows Media Player (which plays my MP3 files and even supports playlists), and runs an old e-reader program called Vade Mecum, but not much else. It works fine, but it doesn't have much memory, and there is no Kindle app for it.

I would love a smartphone but can't justify the monthly connection fee. A tablet sounds possible but I haven't been able to find one affordable that has the features I want. It MUST sync with a calendar/contact/task program (doesn't have to be Outlook but the PC program must be free or super cheap if it's not Outlook). It must have WiFi capability, a decent browser, at least Word and Excel, and an MP3 player - don't really care about videos. Some games would be nice but I'm not fussy. It must run a Kindle app - K for Android is probably the best possibility. I don't expect to be doing tons of writing on it, so I can use either a screen-tap keyboard or a handwriting recognition entry system. I refuse to use an Apple product.

Does this sound like a tablet will do what I want? Or should I look in a different direction?
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:59 PM   #2
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Drop into a store and spend some time playing with a tablet and see. I personally have an axim x51 and have no intention of trying to replace it at this point with my tablet.

Syncing may be possible but I have not found anything about it thus far. The x51 will do just fine. Tablets are bigger if you like that for reading or movies.

I just found a note program that might work better than pocket word but it is quite limited in comparison.

Archos does have a pocket tablet that you might look at. I have a 5 inch smartq v5 and it just hasn't made me give up the axim. Also have a pandigital novel that is nice and I use it but again it isnt going to replace the axim
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:01 AM   #3
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I don't know enough to make it worthwhile to see one in a store. (If any stores around here carry them - all I know of is that Wal-Mart carries the iPad.)

If you can't sync them, what good are they? <baffled look>

The one I've been eyeing turns out to actually be an MID and it comes with Word and Excel but says nothing about syncing: Apad Tablet PC
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:56 AM   #4
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Android tablets and the iPad are basically gigantic smartphones. So anything a smartphone can do you can do on a tablet. Obviously they are not PCs, so there are many limitations. Of course you can sync with Outlook, though in some cases you may need a 3rd party add on (sometimes only contacts are synced, but not tasks and e-mails). Or you can go through Google mail, which is the easiest option for Android. What I do is I use a web based mail server and delete the e-mails on the server only after having downloaded them to all my devices.

The Apad is an Android 1.6 device --- not really recommended. It also won't have Android market on it, and you will have a hard time finding programs for it. The screen will be very low quality. The best deal at this time probably is the Nook color (you can get the Kindle app on it).

Last edited by HansTWN; 04-18-2011 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:58 AM   #5
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Just about any android tablet will sync with google apps, calendar, contacts, email, etc.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:37 AM   #6
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> anything a smartphone can do you can do on a tablet

Sadly, I am not knowledgable enough about smartphones' actual capabilities to know what that includes.

> Android 1.6 device --- not really recommended.

What would be an acceptable Android version? The only program I know I want to add is Kindle for Android, which requires version 1.6 or higher.

> It also won't have Android market on it

What is that? I don't expect to be adding other programs (except maybe a few games, and that isn't a priority).

> The best deal at this time probably is the Nook color

Even on eBay, those are running well over $200. I doubt I can talk DH into letting me spend over $100 for something I don't really need. Which is why I'm looking for alternatives.

> Just about any android tablet will sync with google apps, calendar, contacts, email

I haven't looked into Google apps but I'll switch from Outlook if it will let me get what I need from an affordable tablet. Can it import/export from Outlook? I'd rather not re-enter everything manually.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaSylvia View Post
Even on eBay, those are running well over $200. I doubt I can talk DH into letting me spend over $100 for something I don't really need. Which is why I'm looking for alternatives.
That price range = used Android Smartphone (just don't use the cell phone portion)

You can get a Motorola Droid used for $60 or so.

Otherwise, if you are mostly interested in reading Books, then get an original Nook factory refurbished for $99 and root it, and then you can install mail/contacts/etc if you are somewhat technically competent (see Nook forum here).
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:20 AM   #8
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> get an original Nook factory refurbished for $99 and root it

I didn't know the Nooks could be rooted. Everything I've read only referred to rooting a Nook Color (which is also seriously over my spending limit)

The used cell phone without cell service is an intriguing idea I hadn't considered, although I'm afraid the screen would be too small for easy reading or easy lookup of phone #s, shopping list, etc. (You mean not everyone keeps their shopping list on computer and then syncs it to a PDA before actually going to the store?)
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #9
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Exporting data from Outlook is easy. And you have a choice of dozens of different formats.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:17 AM   #10
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I like to see the table as a portable device with multimedia incorporated.
At some point you can resemble it to a laptop there are numerous differences. Let's stick with a portable multimedia device
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:19 AM   #11
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I like to see the table as a portable device with multimedia incorporated.
At some point you can resemble it to a laptop there are numerous differences. Let's stick with a portable multimedia device
At this time they are still toys compared to real laptops -- which is why I got a Windows tablet. That is, of course, a rather pricey option.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:39 AM   #12
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Take a look through this thread....

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=123208

I think you can do everything you need to do on this tablet and someone will walk you through the steps. You can get this tablet for easily under $99 if you know how to work CVS coupons and extrabucks Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:09 PM   #13
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Target runs a little asus netbook for 199 (Windows 7 starter( now and then. You can do ebooks and outlook on it. Netbook might be a good choice for you if you can afford it.

You might look at www.pandigital.com, the novel is a nice size and you can find refurbed ones around 100.

A cell would do what you want but is very small - tablets usually are 7 inch and up. There is a smartq v5 that is a little bigger screen (4.7 I think it is) Smartq has a ten inch model out now as well if you want something bigger. the v5 runs android 2.1 but I don't know about the ten inch.

You really don't need android market as Amazon has a market as well as slideme.com. There are a few programs they don't carry but there are bunches available. There are also free sites for apps on the net. I have yet to not be able to find what I wanted without android market (admittedly having market is a little easier and less time consuming but amazon market is just as easy if they have what you want).
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reference to the other thread, but it sounds like more techie work than I could manage. (In fact, it sounds like my original idea of rooting a color Nook would have been more techie work than I could manage also - glad I didn't spend the $$$ to buy one to discover that!)

I know a tablet or MID won't have anywhere near the capability of my primary computer, and that's fine as long as it can do what I want a portable device to be able to do, which I listed in the OP. It just has to be affordable and relatively easy to use.

Netbooks are cute but too big for what I want - the 7" tablet is actually a little bigger than I would like but it's probably the smallest I'm going to find that combines small size with readable screen.

The Pandigital looks possible price-wise but will it sync with Outlook or something else that will track calendar/contacts/tasks? It looks like it too would have to be rooted to function as a tablet and it doesn't come with Word or Excel. Or am I missing something?
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:22 PM   #15
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You aren't missing anything, just the limitations of android tablets.

You can export (as has been mentioned) outlook contacts (maybe others?) to .txt files that can open in a notepad, but they are not all that handy to try to use. Just a long list of data. You can find stuff you need if you need it.

there are android office programs but don't expect a ton of options.

There are also calendar programs.

If you go to youtube and search for the different tablets you can find videos that might give you an idea of what the different sizes are like to see.

You might look at the Archos 4 or 40, don't remember, it is a pocket pc size unit that runs android.

Also you might snoop ebay for Axim x51 which is a pocket pc that will do the syncing, but they are not in production anymore so you'd have to buy used.
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