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Old 03-20-2013, 09:44 AM   #1
GlenBarrington
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Looking for a CHEAP tablet and could use some advice. . .

I live in the USA if that matters, and use a Motorola Droid Bionic smart phone.

My son-in-law is an Apple guy and swears by his iPad. I'd like to explore an Android tablet as an eReader and general media consumption device. (netflix, Pandora, news videos, etc.)

Possibly, I might do some writing on it if the hardware and software seems reasonably competent and a real keyboard as an accessory is available, but that isn't a deal breaker on something like this.

Portability is important to me but as I age, so is legibility. I'm not currently having any trouble reading on my Bionic, but diagrams and maps are pretty useless on it. Will a 10 inch screen be significantly better than a 7 inch screen? Are 7" screens truely more portable than a 10" screen?

I might store around 100 or so books and maybe a few hundred songs on a device. I don't mind 'managing' my media to fit my short term future moods. For video, I am far more likely to stream via wifi than to download and store, it seems to me, I could probably get by with 8 - 16 gig of RAM. Can anyone see any faults in my logic on this? I don't see me adding such a device to my Verizon account until I feel that I have experienced a strong need to do so more than once!

I'm mostly a photographer. Is there much difference image display quality between most devices? I don't care about on board cameras, those "camera on a chip with plastic lens" devices all sort of stink for serious photography anyway. I am OK with a non color calibrated device since as near as I can tell from preliminary research, none exist!

Since the photo utilities that are currently available aren't much more than toys (even from the main photo software publishers), I doubt it will function photographically for me as anything much more than a viewer, but I want as good a photo viewing experience as possible.

Are there any CHEAP devices that I might find suitable? I'm willing to let you define the term cheap, but I am thinking more of a cost between $60 - 150 US. Anything I should avoid at any cost? Any features that might tempt me to extend my budget?

How important is the absolute newest version of the Andoid OS for general media consumption if I'm connecting only with wi-fi?

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 03-20-2013 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
I live in the USA if that matters, and use a Motorola Droid Bionic smart phone.

My son-in-law is an Apple guy and swears by his iPad. I'd like to explore an Android tablet as an eReader and general media consumption device. (netflix, Pandora, news videos, etc.)

Possibly, I might do some writing on it if the hardware and software seems reasonably competent and a real keyboard as an accessory is available, but that isn't a deal breaker on something like this.

Portability is important to me but as I age, so is legibility. I'm not currently having any trouble reading on my Bionic, but diagrams and maps are pretty useless on it. Will a 10 inch screen be significantly better than a 7 inch screen? Are 7" screens truely more portable than a 10" screen?

I might store around 100 or so books and maybe a few hundred songs on a device. I don't mind 'managing' my media to fit my short term future moods. For video, I am far more likely to stream via wifi than to download and store, it seems to me, I could probably get by with 8 - 16 gig of RAM. Can anyone see any faults in my logic on this? I don't see me adding such a device to my Verizon account until I feel that I have experienced a strong need to do so more than once!

I'm mostly a photographer. Is there much difference image display quality between most devices? I don't care about on board cameras, those "camera on a chip with plastic lens" devices all sort of stink for serious photography anyway. I am OK with a non color calibrated device since as near as I can tell from preliminary research, none exist!

Since the photo utilities that are currently available aren't much more than toys (even from the main photo software publishers), I doubt it will function photographically for me as anything much more than a viewer, but I want as good a photo viewing experience as possible.

Are there any CHEAP devices that I might find suitable? I'm willing to let you define the term cheap, but I am thinking more of a cost between $60 - 150 US. Anything I should avoid at any cost? Any features that might tempt me to extend my budget?

How important is the absolute newest version of the Andoid OS for general media consumption if I'm connecting only with wi-fi?

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.
At the price point you are looking at a good quality device at 10 inch is out of the question. Even at 7 inches the best device in terms of hardware would be Nexus 7, Kindle HD or Nook HD they all are a bit more than your budget.
Nook HD and Kindle HD are locked in to the respective stores so are a bit restricted compared to Nexus which has the pure android experience but lacks an sd card slot. My advice if you really want to try an android device is to get a nexus 7 8gb used of ebay you should be able to get it anywhere between $50-100 but its a google based device so would give you the full or real android experience.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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At the price point you are looking at a good quality device at 10 inch is out of the question. Even at 7 inches the best device in terms of hardware would be Nexus 7, Kindle HD or Nook HD they all are a bit more than your budget.
Nook HD and Kindle HD are locked in to the respective stores so are a bit restricted compared to Nexus which has the pure android experience but lacks an sd card slot. My advice if you really want to try an android device is to get a nexus 7 8gb used of ebay you should be able to get it anywhere between $50-100 but its a google based device so would give you the full or real android experience.
Thanks, Dopedangel. You are confirming what I was suspecting as I was working on my requirements list. Unless someone has a suggestion for a really 'killer" cheap tablet. I will look for a Nexus on the internet. Unless I get a super fantastic price I am unlikely to get a Kindle as I don't want to be locked in to a single vendor. (I'm assuming you can't use other ebook readers or ePub books on their devices)

B&N and I parted ways philosophically when the first Nook was released, and I foolishly bought a book from them and tried to read it on my first Sony ebook reader. Haven't used them since for anything.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
(I'm assuming you can't use other ebook readers or ePub books on their devices)
Amazon has not locked down the Kindle Fire's (unlike what B&N has done to the Nooks) so you can sideload other reading apps (there are even a few in the Amazon Appstore so you don't have to siodeload) to read ePub's.

That said I'd go for a Nexus if you can find one in your price range.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:23 PM   #5
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I will look for a Nexus on the internet. Unless I get a super fantastic price I am unlikely to get a Kindle as I don't want to be locked in to a single vendor. (I'm assuming you can't use other ebook readers or ePub books on their devices)
As to the Fire, just download 1Mobile Market and you won't have to sideload. 1MM has all of the book apps readily available.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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There is a rumor that Amazon will be offering a $99 Fire later this year. If true, this will likely drive the prices of some other devices down.

As for portability... A Nexus 7 is about the size of a standard DVD case, though not quite as wide. I can fit one in a pants, coat, or shirt pocket. It's a bit tight in the shirt pocket and a lot of it sticks out the top.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:22 PM   #7
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There is a rumor that Amazon will be offering a $99 Fire later this year. If true, this will likely drive the prices of some other devices down.

As for portability... A Nexus 7 is about the size of a standard DVD case, though not quite as wide. I can fit one in a pants, coat, or shirt pocket. It's a bit tight in the shirt pocket and a lot of it sticks out the top.
I read that on CNET, I wonder how loaded down with ads it will be.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:26 PM   #8
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I read that on CNET, I wonder how loaded down with ads it will be.
Probably the same as the current crop of Fires.

Personally, I have no problem with the ads. I have to go out of my way to see them.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:35 PM   #9
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COBY while it only has 4 gig you can expand it up to 32 gig. Run around $100
KINDLE FIRE HD comes with 16 to 32 gig But it too can be expanded. $200. I just got a Segate WiFi external HD 500 gig on sale at Best Buy $111.
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:48 AM   #10
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There is a rumor that Amazon will be offering a $99 Fire later this year. If true, this will likely drive the prices of some other devices down.
Amazon On The $99 Kindle Fire HD Tablet: 'It's Not Happening'

Quote:
So much for all that!

Amazon is not doing a $99 Kindle Fire HD tablet, a company spokesperson tells us: "It's not happening--we are already at the lowest price points possible for that hardware."

Previously, TechCrunch had passed along a rumor that Amazon was going to release a $99 tablet, which would have been extremely disruptive.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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Are there any CHEAP devices that I might find suitable? I'm willing to let you define the term cheap, but I am thinking more of a cost between $60 - 150 US. Anything I should avoid at any cost? Any features that might tempt me to extend my budget?
I recommend avoiding off-brand devices. You might encounter problems such as no Google Play store, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
How important is the absolute newest version of the Andoid OS for general media consumption if I'm connecting only with wi-fi?
As long as the tablet has Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich or newer, you should be fine. Android versions was a problem before since Android 2.3/Gingerbread or older just doesn't provide a good experience for tablets. Nowadays, even the knock-offs come with ICS and there are even some that come with 4.1/Jelly Bean so it's not as much of an issue.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:16 PM   #12
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For ereading, you want 6-8". For photos, get one of the 1280x800 7" tablets: Nexus 7, Nook HD, Kindle HD, Kobo Arc for $200. For around $150, several new 1024x600 tablets with Jelly Bean are coming. All do 720p HTML5 video.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:35 AM   #13
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Check out the inexpensive Android tablets at vendors like Newegg. I just got one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834686007


The brand name is Avatar, but I've never heard of it before. I've had mine for two or three weeks now, and I'm very happy. The overwhelming number of reviews are good, but there are some reporting disappointment. I've got the Kindle and Nook apps installed and both work well. I just had a Skype video call with my daughter at college, other apps that I've tried work very well.

The only negative I have is wi-fi strength, which seems a bit low. That seems to be a common complaint for inexpensive tablets. The screen is not as bright or sharp as the specs would seem to indicate, but it's more than good enough for me -- I don't think it would serve for critical examination of photos, etc.

Basically, there were several makes/models in the under $100 range. This one seemed like a good bet, but the others looked good, too. All have their fans and detractors.

Good luck!


EDIT (3:06 EDT): Looks like the Avatar tablet will be a "Shell Shocker" special today, starting at 10:00 AM, PDT. I don't get a commission -- I just happened to notice.

Last edited by cromag; 04-08-2013 at 03:09 AM. Reason: Was looking over upcoming deals.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #14
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As to the difference in how 7" vs 9" (I have not tried any 10")are to handle I think there is more of a difference than I thought it would be!
Reading magazines on the 9" is a joy, but not so much on the 7". On the 7" I have to zoom constantly! On the 9" I do need to zoom when reading an article (or use "text only" with a decent font size), but I get a good overview even without zooming.
On the other hand, the 7" is a joy to hold. I can hold it in one hand, it's light, it's convenient. For text book reading (what little I do on LCD) i prefer the 7", hands down! For more graphic things the 9" is better. I am very lucky to have both, becasue I go between them quite a lot!
FWIW, a Nook Tablet running CM10 is a great device in my opinion. Refurbs available at eBay for $99. Installing CM10 is very simple.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:48 PM   #15
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Check out the inexpensive Android tablets at vendors like Newegg. I just got one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834686007


The brand name is Avatar, but I've never heard of it before. I've had mine for two or three weeks now, and I'm very happy. The overwhelming number of reviews are good, but there are some reporting disappointment. I've got the Kindle and Nook apps installed and both work well. I just had a Skype video call with my daughter at college, other apps that I've tried work very well.

The only negative I have is wi-fi strength, which seems a bit low. That seems to be a common complaint for inexpensive tablets. The screen is not as bright or sharp as the specs would seem to indicate, but it's more than good enough for me -- I don't think it would serve for critical examination of photos, etc.

Basically, there were several makes/models in the under $100 range. This one seemed like a good bet, but the others looked good, too. All have their fans and detractors.

Good luck!


EDIT (3:06 EDT): Looks like the Avatar tablet will be a "Shell Shocker" special today, starting at 10:00 AM, PDT. I don't get a commission -- I just happened to notice.
Looks like it's $65 with free S&H for the rest of the day -- in the US only, I believe. That's a seriously good deal.
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