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Old 03-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
Torwan
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Small-budget tablet for a few tasks

Hello, everyone. I thought I'd ask this question here.

I'm interested in buying a tablet for a small price for a few specific tasks:

1.) Writing. It should be able to write simple texts on this machine. With simple, I mean like "TXT"-files. Text only, no need for special fonts, structure or anything. An equivalent to Windows Notepad will be sufficient. And if possible, no external keyboard. I can work with a tablet on a desk and typing with two hands or holding it and typing with one hand.
For this task, is 7" OK or should it be 10"???

2.) Secondary task is multi-media player. Videos like AVI and FLV, Audio (MP3), pictures (JPEG etc.).

3.) "Nice" would be a way to fill it with data with USB-connection to a computer or SD-card or something. No WiFi-only.

4.) If it could also work EPUB-files, that would be cool.

5.) Ah yes, and the budget. Target value is around 100 Euro/150 Dollars.

Superb internet connectivity, HD and other fancy stuff isn't necessary. This is supposed to be more like an offline-tool than an online surfing machine.

Any suggestions? And many thanks for answering this.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
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1.) Writing. It should be able to write simple texts on this machine. With simple, I mean like "TXT"-files. Text only, no need for special fonts, structure or anything. An equivalent to Windows Notepad will be sufficient. And if possible, no external keyboard. I can work with a tablet on a desk and typing with two hands or holding it and typing with one hand.
For this task, is 7" OK or should it be 10"???
Lots of free apps available for this. Either size would be good. Personally like the 7" form factor for the lighter weight. Question is how much writing are you planning to do on this. The occasional short note is fine but if you're doing heavy duty note taking, you're probably better off sticking to pen and paper.

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2.) Secondary task is multi-media player. Videos like AVI and FLV, Audio (MP3), pictures (JPEG etc.).
So far, all the tablets I've bought recently (even off-brand Chinese ones) have had no issues with this. I use MX Player (free) for video playback.

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3.) "Nice" would be a way to fill it with data with USB-connection to a computer or SD-card or something. No WiFi-only.
Even the Nexus devices support loading via USB. However, I find the protocol used in Android 3.0 and newer - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) - to be a bit buggy (time out errors, can't rename folders, etc) so I prefer a tablet with microSD slot. That way, I can just load up the microSD via the card reader as a regular Mass Storage device.

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4.) If it could also work EPUB-files, that would be cool.
Lots of EPUB reader apps available for Android. I use Mantano Reader Premium but the free Lite version works just fine, too. There's also Aldiko, Moon, CoolReader, FBReader, etc.

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5.) Ah yes, and the budget. Target value is around 100 Euro/150 Dollars.
Not sure if you can buy brand name tablets at that price. However, I have bought some Chinese tablets for around that ballpark figure. The Ainol Novo7 Venus (7" 1280*800, ATM7029 quad-core Cortex A5 1GHz, $130) and Pipo U1 Pro (7" 1280*800, RK3066 dual-core Cortex A9 1.6GHz, $140). You're taking a big chance on warranty support if you go off-brand, though.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Thank you for your advice. I was beginning to wonder if my ideas were so crazy or basic that nobody wanted to answer.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:23 AM   #4
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Thank you for your advice. I was beginning to wonder if my ideas were so crazy or basic that nobody wanted to answer.
Your requirements are actually quite basic but your budget is a bit of a problem. Really, best inexpensive Android tablet right now is the Asus Nexus 7 (16GB WiFi $200, 32GB WiFi $250, 32GB 3G $300). Cheap tablets from brand name manufacturers have been announced but have not yet been released and I believe there's bound to be the usual MSRP $150/€150 occurrence.

As I mentioned, though, caveat emptor if importing a tablet from China. Your country might collect custom taxes so that's an additional expense you might unexpectedly incure. Returning the device for refund in case you don't like it usually isn't worth it after the restocking fee and international shipping (if the seller even allows returns for refund). DOA, etc, they'll send you a replacement but again, you'll have to pay to ship the tablet back and that might cost you 20-50% of the tablet's cost.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #5
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What about some tablet from ODYS? (I checked out a local store a little bit this weekend)

They are rather cheap and basic in their hardware. Wouldn't that be an option? Any experience with those?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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I have no idea what ODYS is.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post
Lots of free apps available for this. Either size would be good. Personally like the 7" form factor for the lighter weight. Question is how much writing are you planning to do on this. The occasional short note is fine but if you're doing heavy duty note taking, you're probably better off sticking to pen and paper.


So far, all the tablets I've bought recently (even off-brand Chinese ones) have had no issues with this. I use MX Player (free) for video playback.


Even the Nexus devices support loading via USB. However, I find the protocol used in Android 3.0 and newer - Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) - to be a bit buggy (time out errors, can't rename folders, etc) so I prefer a tablet with microSD slot. That way, I can just load up the microSD via the card reader as a regular Mass Storage device.


Lots of EPUB reader apps available for Android . I use Mantano Reader Premium but the free Lite version works just fine, too. There's also Aldiko, Moon, CoolReader, FBReader, etc.


Not sure if you can buy brand name android tablets at that price. However, I have bought some Chinese tablets for around that ballpark figure. The Ainol Novo7 Venus (7" 1280*800, ATM7029 quad-core Cortex A5 1GHz, $130) and Pipo U1 Pro (7" 1280*800, RK3066 dual-core Cortex A9 1.6GHz, $140). You're taking a big chance on warranty support if you go off-brand, though.


I am glad that there are Chinese tablets that are able to those apps. Thanks for the info.

Last edited by kroi; 03-24-2013 at 02:25 AM.
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